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Unwholesome practice: Lagos seals 34 health facilities across metropolis

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Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu

Lagos State Government has shut 34 medicine outlets in the state over non-compliance to regulatory standards.

The outlets were shut in areas such as: Shomolu, Bariga, Gbagada and Ifako areas of Shomolu and Kosofe Local Government Areas as well as Bale and Savage Streets in Orile Iganmu Local Council Development Area, LCDA, of the state.

Commissioner for Health, Prof.  Akin Abayomi who disclosed this on Friday, after reviewing the report of the recent monitoring, inspection and enforcement exercises carried out by the Lagos State Taskforce on Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Food, explained that the affected  outlets were shut for contravening regulations guiding the operations of sale of medicines in the state.

“The sealing of the affected medicine outlets was in accordance with the provisions of Section C34 of the Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods Miscellaneous Provision Act of 1999”, he noted.

Abayomi explained further that the affected premises were sealed for offences including inappropriate storage conditions of drugs, having unskilled persons handling and dispensing drugs, sale of drugs by illegal shop owners, stocking of expired drugs and sale of drugs in market places.

While noting that sale of medicines are only allowed in registered and licensed outlets, Abayomi said patent medicine vendors are authorized to sell drug products only in their original and approved pack size as produced by the manufacturing companies.

He added that the law prohibits patent medicine vendors and licensed  pharmaceutical premises from operating beyond their scope. According to him, the recent operation was a follow up to the rejigged enforcement exercise  by the taskforce to sanitize the drug distribution chain in Lagos State. 

“The Task Force enforcement activities in Shomolu and Bariga LGA was a follow up to previous enforcement exercise conducted in the areas in October which is aimed at compliance.

“The revisit revealed a significant success in the war against fake drugs and illegal drug shop in Lagos as 16 shops earlier sealed were met evacuated and are no longer involved in illegal sale of drugs.

“The November enforcement exercise at Savage and Bale streets in Orile-Iganmu LCDA was to prevent clustering of drug outlets which are haven for fake drugs. It is worthy to mention that 13 out of 14 outlets visited were sealed, one of the sealed premises was found to be stocking expired drugs which is hazardous to the health of the State Citizenry”, he explained.

Abayomi promised that the activities of the State Task Force on Fake Drugs would not only be sustained, but intensified until stakeholders in the pharmaceutical value chain appreciates the need to adhere strictly to the provisions of the law. 

Also, Director Pharmaceutical Services in the Ministry, Mrs. Oyebisi Omolambe  said that the State Government will not relent in its efforts to stop the inherent dangers associated with the operations from unlicensed pharmaceutical outlets and drug shops.

She added that the Task Force through the Pharmaceutical Inspectorate Unit (PIU) of the Pharmaceutical Services Directorate has been re-energized to intensify the on-going war against fake, expired and substandard drugs being peddled by unlicensed and illegal premises.

“This closure is thus part of the government’s renewed efforts to sanitize the drug distribution system and curb proliferation of fake drugs in the State,” she said.  

The enforcement and compliance raid by the State Taskforce on Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods was carried out in collaboration with the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Pharmacists’ Council of Nigeria (PCN), Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Federal Taskforce on fake drugs and the Police Officers from Environmental and Special Offences Unit (Task Force) of Lagos Police Command.

HEFAMAA

In a similar operation, the Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency, HEFAMAA, has shut down nine health facilities in the months of October and November 2021.

The Executive Secretary of the Agency, Dr. Abiola Idowu disclosed this at a Sensitization and Advocacy Campaign on the roles and responsibilities of HEFAMAA, held in Lagos Island, stated that six and three facilities were sealed within the period.

She explained that the facilities were shut for various infractions including: quackery, lack of qualified medical personnel, non-registration of facilities and lack of basic equipment adding that “as soon as the infractions for which the facilities were sealed have been corrected, they will be reopened.”

Idowu, who was represented at the event by the Head of the Agency’s Monitoring Department, Dr. Olayinka Daniel, explained that the campaign  aimed at keeping the public abreast of HEFAMAA’s responsibilities, programmes and activities as well as the State Government’s zero-tolerance for quackery to safeguard the health, safety and wellbeing of the citizens.

She added, “Through the awareness campaign, members of the public are also counselled on the need to expose quacks in the system who parade themselves as professionals thereby protecting the health of Lagosians.”

Idowu advised the populace to be cautious and desist from patronizing healthcare providers whose facilities are without the Agency’s logo and Certificate of Registration adding that they should report any suspicious healthcare facility to the Agency. 

She equally advised owners and operators of health facilities to ensure the completion of their registration with the Agency and also collect the official logo which should be displayed at a visible location in their premise where members of the public can easily see it.

While revealing that the Agency will commence the franchise of its monitoring activities in 2022 to improve monitoring effectiveness in the healthcare system of the State, Idowu said, “the Agency will not relax in its efforts to ensure that health facilities are operating within the ambit of the law in Lagos State.”

Some members of the public who spoke with the team commended the state governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwoolu and the agency for the sensitization initiative with a promise that they will continue to support the agency in its battle against quackery and unprofessional conducts in the state’s healthcare system. 

The campaign, according to the Executive Secretary were held in Badagry, Ikorodu and Epe divisions and will also move to Ikeja division soonest.

The campaign team also visited community leaders including Chairmen of Community Development Committees, Lagos Island Local Government and Lagos Island East, Primary Healthcare Centers as well as General Hospitals in Lagos Island among other public places.

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West African leaders must collaborate to overcome common challenges – Buhari

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Buhari

ABUJA—PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari yesterday advocated renewed collaboration among West African leaders to overcome the myriad of common challenges, including state of insecurity facing the sub-region.

This is just as the President of Ghana and Chairman of Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, Nana Akufo-Addo, said only two per cent of the entire population of the subregion had been fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 pandemic. President Buhari made the advocacy in his welcome address at the 60th Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, held at the Old Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He noted that the sub-region had, in recent times, managed to stay afloat amid a myriad of crises, which include the negative socioeconomic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, state of insecurity, which has claimed many lives and left millions displaced.

The Nigerian leader, however, charged leaders of the region to be ready to deliberately work together in the task of finding solutions to the challenges, as a region.

“Our subregion continues to face socioeconomic, political, security, and environmental realities linked to Coronavirus pandemic. Our democracy is being challenged in Mali and Guinea. Furthermore, threats are looming around environmental degradation and climate change on our farming systems. We are facing a network of criminals, including terrorism.

“All of these challenges require our collective action to work in concert with each other to pragmatically address and provide our people better prospects in life. Today’s realities remind us of the need to continue to forge stronger solidarity in order to address the new challenges, including the current third wave of the pandemic and its Omicron variant.

“I am glad that the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States and the West Africa Health Organization are continuing to work with our respective national disease control centers to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on our people and subregion,” President Buhari said.

He, however, thanked the Ghanaian President and Chairman of ECOWAS, President Nana Akufo-Addo, for providing the needed leadership to member states, as they mitigate the effects of the pandemic.

In his opening remarks, President Akufo-Addostre-ssed the need for the subregion to take local production of COVID-19 vaccines more seriously, pointing out that with all the efforts so far made in the fight against the virus, only 2% of the population of the subregion had been completely vaccinated.

He said:   “As of 8th December, our region has recorded 674,556 cases of infections with some 10,000 deaths. This scourge has impacted our humanitarian, social and economic sectors, and it continues to rage with the emergence of a new variant and the risk of a new wave in our region.

“The new variant Omicron has already been found in three member states, and has led to unfortunate imposition of travel bans by some countries, which are unjustified and unacceptable. Meanwhile, the availability of vaccines continues to remain a problem. Despite our efforts, we have only 6% of our population receiving one dose, with 2% of the population fully vaccinated.

“Whilst we remain grateful for the support from friends of the community, we must continue to pursue national and regional efforts to fight COVID-19 and move rapidly into the domestic production of vaccines for the protection of our citizens and for the growth and development of our economy”.

The ECOWAS Chairman, also called for continued mobilization of troops for peace keeping in areas where peace is fragile, noted that all is being done to restore democratic governance in Mali and Guinea, where there were undemocratic change of power

Akufo-Addo restated ECOWAS’ resolve to promote good governance in West Africa, through the sustenance of democratic institutions.

“We continue to be faced with security trials in the forms of deadly terrorist and kidnapping attacks, particularly in Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Nigeria, causing numerous casualties amongst civilians and security forces, resulting in a significant number of displaced persons.

“Recent events in Burkina Faso are matters of the greatest concern. Increased coordination, however, on the part of coastal nations, have recently led to an improved maritime security situation in the Gulf of Guinea.

“Let me on behalf of the authority, condemn in the strongest terms, these attacks that continue to plague our region. Significant efforts are being made at both national and regional levels to fight terrorism and extremism.

“We must step up our efforts to deal with these tasks which will be imposed upon us and we must act in such a way that no one will doubt our resolve to protect our peoples and the peace and stability of our countries”, Akufo-Addo said.

He congratulated President Jose Neves of Cape Verde, who was attending the summit for the first time, as well as Adama Barrow of Gambia, who recently got re-elected.

In a goodwill message, the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, represented by the Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel, Annadif Saleh, pledged more support for ECOWAS, as he sued for more cooperation among member States. 

Guterres commended Cape Verde and the Gambia, for holding peaceful Presidential elections recently.

In another goodwill message, the African Union represented by its Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Nigeria’s Bankole Adeoye, hailed ECOWAS for sustaining democracy in West Africa.

The AU pledged to continue to work closely with ECOWAS to ensure the promotion of good governance within the region.

The two-day summit was attended by Heads of State and government of all the member States, as well as Former Nigerian leader and ECOWAS Special Envoy and Mediator to Mali, Goodluck Jonathan, and President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean Kassi Brou, among others.

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FG urged to re-visit matters of NDDC board

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Niger Delta Development Commission

A prominent northern leader, Alhaji Musa Saidu has again called for the urgent inauguration of the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, saying the delay was generating tension in the region.

Alhaji Saidu who is the leader of Arewa in the South and former aide to Late Chief  Harold Dappa Biriye also lashed at some youths under the aegis of Niger Delta Progressives Movement, NDPM, who poured encomiums on the Minister of Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio for launching a Strategic  Implementation Work Plan for his Ministry, dismissing them as political traders.

Saidu said it was unfortunate that some youths would come out at this time to shower praises on the Minister at a time the region was condemning his delay in constituting aboard for the NDDC.

“I am not sure they are Niger Delta youths. At a time the region is bitter over delay in constituting aboard for the NDDC some youths could come out to shower praises. This is wrong.  What we expect now is for all Niger Deltans and youths inclusive to be focused on agitating for a board for the commission and fixing the East-West road. “, he said.

“When these are done, achieved then you can call anyone a Messiah. But for now, these youths that came up with the statement under the name Niger Delta Progressives Movement, NDPM,  should bury their heads in shame. “, he said.

He said he had called for the sack of the Minister over the delay in inaugurating aboard for the commission and the deplorable state of the East-West road, adding that he had not changed his mind.

Alhaji Saidu said the Niger Delta is very dear to him because he had been actively involved in driving matters of development in the region, adding that he moved a motion for the north to support the creation of the NDDC at a gathering of prominent northerners at the Arewa House when he was national youth President of Arewa Youth Forum.

Continuing, he said as an aide to the late Harold Dappa Biriye, a Frontline leader of the Niger Delta, he accompanied the late sage to almost all meetings on matters of development of the region.

“And at meetings in the north  Chief Biriye will ask me to speak first on matters of the region on many occasions before he would wrap up. So you know and see my passion for the region”, he said.

Alhaji  Saidu further called for the implementation of recommendations of the Niger Delta Environmental Survey and several other recommendations on Niger Delta, stressing that sweeping them under the carpet was not a good one for any serious government.

“It is high time federal government visited recommendations on redressing challenges in the Niger Delta. There are several of them. There are the recommendations of the Niger Delta Environmental Survey and many others. They should give them attention so the area can enjoy development “, he said.

On the Minister of Niger Delta, Senator  Akpabio, he said he was calling again for his sack because of his failure to keep his promise to inaugurate aboard for the NDDC before August this year.

“We heard the  Minister when he visited stakeholders in Warri, Delta state that he was going to ensure aboard was in place before the end of July. But this has not come to be since. then. I still call for his sack. The East-West road is in shambles. The dry season is the time.to work but you see the situation. “, he said.

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Teni, Jaywon, others thrill fans as Funmi Ayinke launches album “The Journey”

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Teni

It was a superlative afternoon of kid’s glove reception, music and fun as fans and lovers of music were treated to heartwarming performances from Nigerian singers, Teniola Apata, popularly known as Teni, Iledare Oluwajuwonlo better known as Jaywon and others at Funmi Ayinke’s debut album “The Journey” on Sunday in Ikeja, Lagos.

The event witnessed the presence of some notable personalities like the former Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Shina Peller, the publisher of Ovation International, Bashorun Dele Momodu, royal fathers and others who all took part in the launching of the 15-track album titled, The Journey.

The 16-track album features talented and multiple award-winning acts such as Tunde TDot of Styl Plus fame, popular comic act-cum-singer, Klint D Drunk, Magnito, and legendary singer, Chief Ebenezer Obey.

‘The Journey’ album according to the brains behind it features well-written and powerful compositions that are a strong source of motivation and inspiration to listeners, providing needed zest to those in a moment of darkness and hope for the downcast.

FunmiAyinke noted that all the 15 songs were carefully composed and written with the hope that they heal the mind, body, and soul of everyone that listens.

Speaking on the album, the multi-talented Funmi Ayinke, who also doubles as the founder of Funmi Ayinke Records and Funmi Ayinke Humanity Foundation (FHF), said the body of work was inspired by her desire to pass a strong message of hope and motivation to her listeners.

“I decided on the album after taking a deep reflection on how I can impact the larger society aside from what I do at the Funmi Ayinke Humanity Foundation (FHF). Then the inspiration to sing hit me. It was at the time that I decided to write the songs before hitting the studios to pour out my soul on the songs. The album is a mix of inspirational and soulful soft music that was well produced and mastered to delight my listeners,” she said.

On her choice of features on the album, Funmi Ayinke said, “I grew up listening to Chief Ebenezer Obey whose career has lasted multiple decades. It was a dream come through having him on a record that I intend to use to inspire a wider audience. I also featured established characters such as veteran gospel singers: Funmi Aragbaye, TDot, Magnito, and Klint D Drunk on the album.”

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