American pharmaceutical company Pfizer has recalled batches of its Xalatan 0.005%w/v eye drops solution in Nigeria.
The solution is used in treating glaucoma.
According to an online medium, a notice of the recall was sent to doctors.
The notice partly read, “Please be advised that Pfizer is recalling, at the patient level, the below lots of Xalatan 0.005%w/v Eye drops solution (the “Product Lots”) from distribution in Nigeria.
“The use of the counterfeit Product Lots has a high probability to cause therapeutic failure and adverse events, such as infections. The potential risk to patients is considered high as patients will not be able to identify the counterfeit product.”
The product batches affected are those with lot numbers W67369; expiring 10/2020 and AK4753 expiring 10/2021.
Tunde Bakare, serving overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly (LRA), has sent a cryptic message to Bourdillon, saying he who stole will vomit all he has stolen before he goes.
Bourdillon, Lagos is where the All Progressives Congress (APC) national leader and former Governor of Lagos State, Senator Bola Tinubu resides.
Speaking during a sermon at the Latter Rain Assembly on Sunday, Bakare said the people are praising the one who stole from them, and regarding him as a generous man.
The fiery preacher, who also spoke about the race to 2023, added that a truly generous man is a man who “devises generous things, and by generosity, he shall stand”.
“The eyes of those who see will not be dim. The ears of those who hear will listen. Also, the heart of the rash will understand knowledge and the tongue of the stammerers will be ready to speak plainly,” Bakare said.
“The foolish person would no longer be called generous. You can say ‘so so and so’ has stolen all the money in the state, but he is a very generous man, you are foolish.
“That’s why potholes are killing you, that’s what pools of water… you can’t drive now anymore because what is meant for road has been stolen since democracy began, they are living larger than life having jets here, having jets there, having house in Bourdillon, having house in this place, having house in that place, having house in every place at the expense of the public.
“You will not go without vomiting what you have stolen. Wait, and see. Because a king will reign in righteousness and princes will rule with justice. Unfortunately, Nigeria people, you celebrate your villains and crucify your heroes.”
SPEAKS ON LAGOS FLOOD
Speaking about the floods in Lagos, the convener of the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) added that the government has not done right by the people.
“You’re complaining about Flood. Since 1999 the condition of this road for 30 years now since I’ve been here has remained the same. They’ll do patch-patch, join-join, until rain comes and reveal that they have not been right with the people,” Bakare added.
“And you think your children will stand shoulder high above the perversity you have created? I see the race to 2023, congratulations Presidential ‘hope-fools’. You cannot, you have stolen what belong to all.
“You can tell the man, he is a very generous man, he would pay for your hospital bill. Because he didn’t build hospitals. The foolish person will no longer be called generous.
“Woe betides the government that does not know that the purpose of government is the welfare of the people.”
Bakare, who ran alongside President Muhammadu Buhari in 2011, said some people came to him in 2011, and just told him to sign that I would step down after a few days as VP and get a house in Abuja and another one in “Banana Republic”.
The Lagos state house of assembly has summoned Akinwunmi Ambode, former governor of the state, a second time to give account of some financial dealings under his administration.
Two weeks ago, the assembly invited the former governor, but he did not honour the invitation.
Olusegun Banjo, former commissioner for economic planning and budget, and Olawale Oluwo, his energy and mineral resources counterpart, appeared before the assembly.
In a fresh notice published in national dallies, the assembly asked Ambode to provide answers to five questions bordering on his administration.
“The Lagos State House of Assembly, pursuant to Section 129 (1)(c) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) hereby summons His Excellency, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, the former Governor of Lagos State (May, 2015 – May, 2019) to appear before the Committee of the House on Wednesday, October 30, 2019 at the Lateef Jakande Auditorium, Assembly Complex, Alausa, Ikeja by 1 pm,” the notice read.
”(1) Unauthorised discounting of promissory note; (2) Purchase of 820 buses by his administration without due authorisation; (3) Misappropriation of Special Expenditure Funds; (4) Improper implementation of the Appropriation Law; and (5) Non-adherence to the Financial Regulations of the state.
“You are kindly requested to furnish the committee with 15 copies each of all relevant document(s) relating to the issues raised through the Office of the Clerk of the House on or before Tuesday, October 29, 2019.”
In August, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) raided the Lagos home of the former governor in the course of its investigation into alleged N9.9 billion found in bank accounts linked to him.
But Ambode denied operating those accounts.
Scio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed to provide information on the total amount of paid to contractors from the $460 million loan obtained in 2010 from China to fund the failed Abuja Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) contract.
Until this is done, the organization asked the minister to suspend repayment of any Chinese loans until there are specific guarantees by local and Chinese contractors and companies that transparency and accountability will be ensured in the execution of the affected projects;
SERAP said it would take legal action “if the requested information is not provided to us within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter.”
The federal government is presently re-paying the loan in line with the terms of the loan.
SERAP request was made under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act.
In the FoI request dated October 25, 2019 and signed by SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said it made the request because poor Nigerians are being made to pay for the Chinese loans for apparently failed projects, and for which they have not benefited in any way, shape or form.
It said transparency in the spending of Chinese loans is good for everyone, as this would help to increase the effectiveness, legitimacy, and contribution of the loans to the development of public goods and services, and the general public interests.
The organization expressed concern that the $460 million loan got for the failed Abuja CCTV project and the N1.5 billion for the construction of CCB headquarters, which may be part of another Chinese loan, may have been mismanaged or stolen, and in any case, remain unaccounted for.
The organization urged Mrs Ahmed to “disclose specific details of local contractors, if any, that have received funds from the loan for the CCTV contract, reportedly awarded to China’s ZTE Corporation, as well as the implementation status of the project.”
It also sought: “disclosure of details of repayment for other Chinese loans for allegedly failed projects between 1999 and 2015, the status of any such projects, and details of local and Chinese contractors involved in the projects. We urge you to clarify if the N1.5 billion paid in 2010 for another apparently failed contract to construct the headquarters of the Code of Conduct Bureau is part of another Chinese loan.
“We would like you to clarify if the N1.5 billion mobilisation fee reportedly paid in September 2010 to contractors for the construction of the headquarters of the CCB in Abuja is part of another loan obtained from China.
“We are concerned that the CCB building project is still in foundation level several years after payment of N1.5 billion of the total contract fee of N3.5billion. However, the contract was reportedly reviewed in October 2012 from N3.5 billion to N8.7 billion, with the contract agreement signed on February 5, 2013”, it said.
SERAP urged Mrs Ahmed to disclose the total amounts of money, if any, that have been paid/released for the execution of projects for which loans have been obtained from China; compel the contractors and companies including Chinese companies that have been paid from the loans to go back to sites and urgently complete the projects.
The organization, in addition, urged the minister to disclose the amount of interests so far paid on the loans obtained for the project which have allegedly not been fully, properly or satisfactorily executed; refer any allegations of corruption involving the execution of projects for which loans have been obtained from China to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for investigation.
It urged the minister to ensure that anyone involved in alleged corruption in projects supported by China is brought to justice if there is relevant and sufficient admissible evidence and set up processes and procedures to safeguard Chinese loans and mitigate corruption risks in the spending of the loans and to promote fair and free competition, consistent with Nigeria’s anti-corruption legal frameworks and international standards.
SERAP argued that servicing Chinese loans for failed projects is double jeopardy for Nigerians as they can neither see nor benefit from the projects; yet, they are made to pay both the loans and the accrued interests.
It contended that the loans should never have been obtained in the first place, as successive governments should have drawn funds from the over $670 million (N241.2 billion) budgeted annually as security votes, but which remain synonymous with official corruption and unaccounted for.
The FoI request read in part: “SERAP is concerned that the allegations of corruption involving the use of the funds and other similar Chinese loans may be responsible for the security challenges confronting Abuja, and the limited capacity of the CCB to discharge its constitutional and statutory mandates to prevent corruption in asset declarations of presidents, vice-presidents, governors, and other public officers, as prescribed by the Nigerian constitution of 1999 (as amended).
“As trustee of public funds, SERAP contends that your Ministry has a legal duty to disclose details of spending on the $460 million Abuja CCTV project and N1.5 billion for the construction of CCB headquarters, to the beneficiaries (Nigerians) of the trust, if and when called upon to do so. Any failure or refusal to provide the information will also be clearly inconsistent with the letter and spirit of the FoI Act.
“If the allegations of mismanagement and corruption in the execution of projects for which loans have been obtained from China are true, such allegations will clearly amount to a fundamental breach of national anticorruption laws and the country’s international anticorruption obligations including under the UN Convention against Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party. The facts relating to these serious allegations require your immediate and urgent disclosure and clarifications.
“As a key agency of government, the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning has a sacred duty to ensure that the country’s loans including those obtained from China are transparently and accountably used solely for the purposes for which the loans are obtained, and for the effective development of public goods and services as well as the general public interests.
“This implies providing strong leadership in the efforts to curb public sector corruption, and to refer to appropriate anticorruption agencies any allegations of corruption in which any agencies of government and/or contractors may be involved. This leadership is important if the Ministry is to enjoy the public trust and confidence essential for its effectiveness and impact”, it said.
SERAP noted that the consequences of corruption are felt by citizens on a daily basis. Corruption exposes them to additional costs to pay for health, education and administrative services.
It said corruption undermines economic development of the country, trapping the majority of Nigerians in poverty and depriving them of employment opportunities. (The Nation)
Chairman, Lagos Advertising and Ideas Festival (LAIF) Management Board, Steve Babaeko, has stated that the 2019 LAIF Awards is centred on the celebration of the Nigerian and African culture, as well as creative storytelling in the advertising industry.
Babaeko, who is also Vice President of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) said this at a media roundtable in Lagos on Friday.
The 2019 LAIF awards, which is the 13th edition, holds on Saturday, 14 December at the Landmark Event Centre, Lagos
The LAIF Chairman stated that the emergent growth witnessed in the Nigerian advertising industry would not have been achieved if the awards, which commenced in 2006, had not been conceived and organised on a consistent basis. He explained that the awards aim to recognise advertising agencies for their creative excellence throughout the course of the year, noting that the event remains a key pillar of the AAAN.
Babaeko noted that the theme of this year’s award, “Tori Tori of LAIF”, was deliberately chosen as the event specially focuses on effort by Nigerians and African to tell their own stories via ingenious storytelling techniques.
“This year will be a celebration of our own culture and you can see that come through for the theme of this year’s awards; it’s about telling our stories. Over the years, what you discover is that you are looking for a background literature about a person or an institution in Nigeria, but until before you go to the BBC before you can get some of those materials. I think it’s a little bit embarrassing.
“So, we decided to do say instead of leaving our stories as Africans, as Nigerians for other people to narrate and tell, let’s concentrate on telling our own stories, that’s why the theme: ‘Tori Tori, Story of LAIF’ was chosen,” he said.
The LAIF Chairman disclosed that Gbemi Sagay, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Dencil Limited, is the Chairman of the jury for this year’s awards, adding that the jury is a blend of veterans and current young practitioners in the industry. He also stated that the jurors also include prominent communication and marketing experts from Ghana and the United States.
He also stated that new categories of awards are being included for this year’s award such as the “Advertiser of the Year.” He explained that the award is been instituted to appreciate clients who support agencies to produce creative copies.
Also speaking, Vice Chairman of the LAIF Management Board, Temitope Jemerigbe, said one of the special events being organised for this year’s award is the Young LAIFERS Competition. She explained that the event aims to honour young persons who are not active practitioners have begun to showcase their talents.
“It’s not just about the awards this year. We are planning seminars which gives us an opportunity to discuss issues in our industry. We also have a platform for the Young LAIFERS Competition because we are trying to encourage interest in the industry. So, we know talented young creatives who are not yet in our industry along with the young ones who are already in the industry because beyond recognising agencies, individuals who’ve got talent are also going to be recognised. So, we have a very robust calendar for the event,” she said.
On his part, Bolaji Alausa, a member of the LAIF Management Board, who also oversees the jury committee, stated that entries for this year’s awards are being submitted by agencies, especially young advertising agencies. He also disclosed that entries are expected from West African agencies.
Alausa said the special focus on Nigerian and African creative works will not influence the jury’s assessment, but noted that the criterion is an important emphasis for this year’s award. He also enumerated the benefits of winning the award, saying that it helps build the profile of winning agencies while clients strive to ensure their campaigns are celebrated.
“There are layers to this. From even inspiring the youngest creatives on the shop floor who aspires to be on the stage and have his works celebrated, to having targets; CEOs, CMOs making it part of the KPIs that these campaigns apart from it delivering for the product, it should deliver on the PR angle, meaning it should do well locally and internationally in terms of awards.
“The LAIF awards has been able to do that for us because our clients and prospective clients sit in the room and see other campaigns celebrated. So, it makes you feel like the next time I give a brief to my agency, I will also make sure that apart from ensuring that the campaign moves the product, it will also be able to make waves in the country that it gets awarded,” he said.
Prominent Marketing Communications expert, Jenkins Alumona, has stated that the deployment of e-governance and other Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools in Nigeria will only be functional when ordinary Nigerians can benefit from such. Alumona, the Chief Executive Officer of Strategic Outcomes Limited Group, said this at the inaugural edition of The Nigeria e-Government Conference in Lagos on Thursday.
Speaking on a sub-theme of the conference, “Government Service Delivery in the Information Age: Citizens’ Expectations”, Alumona explained that the non-availability of critical infrastructure such as electricity greatly hinders majority of Nigerians from participating in the e-governance process and limits the progress of the initiative.
He stated that all issues which limit citizens’ participation in the process must be resolved before the goal of an effective government-to-citizen e-governance system in the country can be attained.
“Whichever area you want to focus on, whether it is e-governance or efficiency, we must never forget that if there is no direct benefit to the people, then it’s a complete waste of time. I don’t know how many people here know of a growing industry called ‘phone charging’. If you don’t focus on the big ‘E’, which is electricity, how do you get to e-governance, how do people get to benefit? We’ve heard submissions here on broadband, how it is expanding but I wonder: Can you access broadband using torchlight or firewood? So, if you don’t have access to electricity, how do you benefit from e-governance?” he asked.
Alumona, a former journalist, also called on Nigerians to hold the government accountable in ensuring that the relevant infrastructure and services are provided for their well-being.
“The previous speaker talked about some part of our constitution that tells us that we really cannot do anything to the people we put in power. That’s a wrong thing. We need to hold them (government) responsible even as we talk about the benefits of e-governance,” he said.
The conference had in attendance representatives of the Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Babatunde Fowler; the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Garba Danbatta; and Postmaster-General of the Federation/Chief Executive Officer of NIPOST, Bisi Adegbuyi.
Also present were prominent practitioners in the ICT industry and stakeholders from other endeavours.