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Certificate Racketeering: Why Reporter breached our system, got mobilised twice – NYSC

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Certificate Racketeering: Why Reporter breached our system, got mobilised twice – NYSC
• The undercover journalist
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has explained how an undercover reporter breached its system and got mobilised for the scheme even after serving in 2019.

The reporter Audu Umar detailed how he bagged a four-year degree in under two months and later got mobilised for the NYSC scheme even though he served earlier.

Days after the report went viral, the spokesman of the NYSC Eddy Megwa explained that the reporter used different phone numbers to beat the system.

“It is not that we don’t have checks and balances in place to detect possible breaches of the system. When the undercover reporter first put in his data, the system rejected him because he had served in the scheme before. He later changed his email address and his phone number which made the system to accept him. And he was initially posted to Osun State,” he said on Thursday’s edition of Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

“He did that because he was out for a particular purpose. We are looking at the situation and ensure that it does not happen again. We don’t have a database of graduates to serve in the scheme. We only rely on the lists sent to us by the senates of the various universities stating the number of graduates to expect from them”.

When asked how the NYSC can guide against such in the future, the NYSC spokesman said: “It is not our duty to assess their certificates, but we have resorted to inviting foreign students and giving them tests to know their abilities.

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“In the course of doing that, we have made startling discoveries. Ask some of them to write a simple essay, you will be surprised at what you get. I have some of such materials that I can show you. NYSC is an elite scheme, not for illiterates and the means of communication is English Language.

“In 2006, the then DG of NYSC, Brig.- Gen. Yusuf Momoh, went to an orientation camp and asked a supposed corps member the title of his final project, the answer he gave was incredulous, and further investigation revealed that his name was smuggled into the list of graduates from a particular university.”

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House of Reps orders NAFDAC to suspend ban on alcohol in sachets, pet bottles

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House of Reps orders NAFDAC to suspend ban on alcohol in sachets, pet bottles
• Alcohol in Sachets and Pet Bottles

The suspension is pending the outcome of its investigation on the matter.

Rep. Regina Akume, chairman, House Committee on NAFDAC, said this in Abuja after a public hearing on the ban of the product on Friday.

She said there were proper steps to take before the ban, adding that there was a need to put access control procedures in place.

This, she said, was to prevent children and youths from consuming the alcoholic contents of the sachet and pet bottles.

She said the committee was entrusted with the essential responsibility and effectiveness of NAFDAC for the creation of employment and enhancing economic growth.

She promised to reach a level playing ground between NAFDAC and manufacturers that would not be detrimental to children or public safety.

Speaking earlier, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, director-general, NAFDAC, said the ban was imposed to protect the health and welfare of children, youths, and other vulnerable groups.

“We tried to protect the market, and that was why we agreed to a five-year moratorium for the manufacturers to phase out alcoholic drinks in sachets and pet bottles in December 2018.

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According to her, it is a ministerial directive and not unilaterally made by NAFDAC, and the expiration of that five-year period has come.

Mrs Adeyeye said that, in spite of the agreement on the ban on alcohol in sachets and pet bottles, it was shocking to NAFDAC that the campaign from manufacturers was mounting.

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She said that a lot of issues could have been solved before now, adding that the agency was not against the production of alcoholic drinks but alcohol in sachets and pet bottles to wade off children from unnecessary access.

“The World Health Organisation had a resolution in 2010, in which Nigeria was a co-signer, that each country will have alcohol that is less reachable and less accessible to the youth, and nothing has been done about that until now.

“It is very unfortunate we are where we are now because the children who are used to taking alcohol will also become vulnerable to drug abuse.”

Mrs Adeyeye said that as a result of the alcohol in sachets, about “30 per cent of our children now take alcohol casually.”

She, however, said the market that was going to be lost, as expressed by the manufacturer, would be about 30 per cent because such could be easily concealed in the pocket.

Segun Kadilimni, director general of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), however, said there was no major basic disagreement between it and NAFDAC.

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He added that MAN remained committed to protecting the youth and children from accessing alcohol.

Mr Kadilimni said the issue remained how to protect the underaged, saying: “We have realised that there is a process to get there, but banning the product will be counterproductive.”

According to him, this is because you are going to open the market to producers of illicit drugs, and these are people you cannot control.

“I believe if we work together, we will be able to eradicate underage access. These sachets are not produced for children but for adults, and they have been warned not to consume them.”

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The committee, however, adjourned indefinitely.

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10 ways to ensure safe and healthy foods for family during economic hardship

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10 ways to ensure safe and healthy foods for family during economic hardship
• Foodstuff in Nigeria
Nigeria is currently grappling with a significant economic downturn characterised by spiraling inflation which has significantly impacted the purchasing power of Nigerians.

The economic hardship has made it tough for many families to provide healthy food for their loved ones with protests against hunger now a constant news item in recent times.

However, with some planning, resourcefulness, and creativity, you can provide healthy meals without breaking the bank. Here are 10 ways to help you navigate these difficult times:

1.     Planning and prioritisation: This is the period to plan meals. It helps you avoid impulse purchases and food waste. You can also create a tracker to understand your baseline and set a limit you can comfortably stick to.

2.     Be friends with your local farmers’ market: Look for deals at the end of the day and consider “ugly” produce that’s perfectly edible. Seasonal options are often cheaper and fresher. You can also join a buying group to purchase larger quantities of seasonal produce at wholesale prices, benefiting from economies of scale.

3.     Master one-pot meals: “One-pot” meals like jollof rice, beans, and plantain, or yam pottage are affordable, filling, and packed with nutrients. Cook them more.

4.     No to leftovers: Transform leftover food into other delicacies. Leftover rice could be transformed into fried rice while leftover vegetables can be used in soups.

5.     Shop smart: Instead of shopping from one place, you can compare prices across different markets to find the best deals. You can also explore options like buying directly from local farmers or patronising smaller stores that may offer competitive prices.

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6.     Maximize savings: Learn effective storage techniques for different food items to extend their shelf life and prevent spoilage. To avoid wastage, cook only what you can consume at once.

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7.     Grow your food: You can also some food like vegetables, and even peppers on your balcony for a constant supply of fresh produce. If space is limited, consider joining a community garden to access shared resources and learn from experienced gardeners.

8.     Eat healthy as a family: Involve other family members in meal planning, You can discuss budget limitations and encourage their input on healthy and affordable meal options.

9.     Limit processed foods: They are often high in unhealthy fats, sodium, and added sugar, offering little nutritional value and can drain your budget. You can opt for brown rice, over refined white options for sustained energy and fiber.

10.  Eat more vegetables: Many local vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, offering a budget-friendly and nutritious alternative to imported options.

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Obi is not leaving Labour Party

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Obi is not leaving Labour Party
• Peter Obi 
The Peter Obi Media Reach (POMR) has said that its Principal, the Labour Party (LP) Presidential candidate, Peter Obi, is not quiting the party.

POMR, in a press statement on Friday, February 23, 2024 signed by its media aide, Michael Jude Nwolisa, dismissed trending news about Obi quitting the Labour party, adding that the “fake and fallacious news” emanated from mischief makers bent on destroying and disorganising the party.

“The Peter Obi Media Reach, POMR wishes to outrightly dismiss trending fake and fallacious news story suggesting that he was parting ways with the Labour Party.

“This is not true and it did not originate from Obi or the Obidient Movement but from mischief makers bent on sowing the seed of discord in the party.

“These rising misdemeanors on the party did not start today as they set out to destroy and disorganize the party all to get at Obi and derail the inevitable journey of rescuing Nigeria,” Nwolisa wrote.

He however said that Obi, on his part, is currently busy with making Nigeria work and focusing on creating an environment where democracy will thrive, adding that “the struggle to rescue Nigeria from the criminal gangs holding it down will not stop until it’s achieved through the will of the Nigerian people.”

The statement continues: “Presently our principal is preoccupied with making Nigeria work not on partisan politics which ended on October 26, 2023, when the Supreme Court of the land took their final decision on the general elections.

“Those bent on creating a crisis in the Labour Party are clearly enemies of democracy wishing for the failed status quo to remain.

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“Obi’s focus at the moment is on creating an environment where democracy is to be practiced according to the defined tenets not the rascality and all forms of impunity prevalent in the country today.

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“Peter Obi therefore would like to assure Nigerians, particularly the Obidient family that his way with Labour is unshaken and intact and that the struggle to rescue Nigeria from the criminal gangs holding it down will not stop until it’s achieved through the will of the Nigerian people,” he added.

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