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Fuel marketers to pay N2.5bn fine for diverting over 9m litres

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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has fined 20 marketers N2.5 billion for diverting over nine million litres of petrol.

The Director of DPR, Mr. Mordecai Ladan, said this on the sidelines of a meeting of zonal controllers from 28 states and all heads of division in Abuja.

Presenting the position of the meeting to newsmen, the DPR Head of Public Affairs Unit, Mr Saidu Bulama, explained that the marketers evaded detection because the products were intervention products meant for the market between December. 9, 2017 and February 3 this year. According to him, the intervention products were released to alleviate the acute scarcity currently being experienced around the country.

“The DPR has uncovered massive diversion of products. These were as a result of Special Intelligence Unit that we just created to intensify surveillance.

“These operatives go about to give us report; in fact, they work day and night. We received report that largely some of the diverted products do not appear on the manifest.

“About 162 trucks, slightly above nine million litres, have been discovered to be diverted within the month of January and February.

“This gives DPR a lot of concerns and that was why DPR gathered all the con trollers across the country to make sure they further strategised and given clear cut directives as to how they should go about uncovering these sharp practices.

“The products so far diverted were from Kano NNPC depot where one marketer diverted 115 trucks within a month and you could see that it was the peak of the crisis.

“One marketer through Kano depot was consigned 115 trucks, specifically meant for intervention and those trucks never got to any station because the station he claimed to be taking the truck was a non-existing station.

“Our intelligence unit visited there and discovered that the land was not even cleared let alone a filling station existing there,’’ Bulama said.

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Reps move to amend revenue sharing formula

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The House of Representatives, yesterday, initiated a legal framework for restructuring distributable revenue to the three arms of government.

The resolution came following passage through second reading of a bill for an act to amend allocation of revenue (Federation Account etc), Act Cap., A15 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to establish the excess revenue fund account and for other related matters (HB. 1277).

 

The bill was sponsored by Hon, Lovette Idisi (PDP, Delta). It came on the heels of criticism over the legality of the proposed withdrawal of $1 billion from Excess Crude Account (ECA), for the procurement of arms to fight Boko Haram. Leading debate on the bill, Idisi noted that the “allocation of revenue Act was established in 1982 to prescribe the basis for distribution of revenue accruing to the Federation Account between the Federal and state governments and Local Government councils in the states; the formula for distribution amongst the states; the proportion of the total revenue of each state to be contributed to the state joint Local Government Account.”

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Health

Bed sharing raises risk of baby deaths

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Scientists have raised the alarm over the number of babies dying of suffocation, occasioned by an increase in the number of parents sharing beds with their infants.

 

According to the findings of a report published in ‘Paediatrics,’ babies are safest sleeping on their backs in their own cribs without any pillows, toys, blankets or other loose bedding. From 1999 to 2015, the suffocation death rate for babies younger than one year climbed from 12.4 to 28.3 fatalities for every 1,000 United States (US) infants.

 

Similarly, the study shows that in 2015 alone, this translated into 1,100 infant deaths that were entirely preventable.

 

The majority of these suffocation fatalities occurred while babies were in bed. Although, there is lack of data to show the trend of these activities in Nigeria where bed sharing between mothers and newborn is very common among low income and the poor, it is believed that this practice might also be impacting negatively in the country.

 

 

However, going by the guidelines from the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP), if babies do sleep in parents’ beds, parents should have a firm mattress, remove soft objects such as pillows, and move the bed away from the wall, as part of measures to ensure the safety of the babies.

 

Similarly, the AAP said parents should also be aware that bed sharing is most dangerous for newborns, less than four months old, premature babies and underweight infants, or if babies were exposed to tobacco during or after pregnancy.

 

 

Study co-author, David Schwebel, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said: “It may be that parents are not following `safe sleep’ recommendations to place infants in beds without stuffed animals, soft blankets, pillows, and other items that could cause suffocation.

 

Suffocation and strangulation deaths increased across the board for boys and girls, regardless of race, ethnicity or whether they lived in urban or rural communities, the study found. At least some of the increase in suffocation deaths might be due to a change in how these fatalities are categorised, researchers note.

 

Some fatalities that were attributed to sleep-related causes like sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) at the start of the study might have been categorised as accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed by the end of the study period.-

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Proscribed IPOB blames FG for members’ plight in prison

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The outlawed Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) yesterday expressed dismay over a move by a lawyer representing Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, one of the sureties for Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in the ongoing case to release some of its members in prison custody to adjourn the case to a later date.

 

IPOB listed the members in prison custody to include Benjamin Madubugwu, David Nwawuisi, Bright Chimezie Ishinwa, Chidiebere Onwudiwe, among others.

 

A statement made available to journalists in Awka by IPOB’s media and publicity secretary, Emma Powerful, the group noted that seeking another adjournment on the ongoing matter in court was a clear indication that the blackmail machinery of DSS and presidency was fully at work.

 

The statement reads: ‘We have no doubt that this adjournment was instigated by the Federal Government of Nigeria as another way to delay and deny justice to those who have now spent more time in jail than those convicted of similar offences.

 

“Information reaching IPOB now from Federal High Court Abuja with Justice Binta Nyako presiding is that Abaribe’s lawyer has written to the court asking for an adjournment.

 

“The Government of Nigeria has succeeded in pressuring Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe to ask for adjournment of the ongoing case of treasonable felony between Nnamdi Kanu and three others who have so far spent more time in prison than those convicted of similar offences.

 

“DSS and Aso Rock knew they had no choice than to release David Nwawuisi, Benjamin Madubugwu and Bright Chimezie Ishinwa so they decided to blackmail and intimidate Senator Abaribe into getting his lawyer to write to the court seeking yet another adjournment.”

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