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NDLEA: Why cannabis can’t be legalised in Nigeria

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NDLEA: Why cannabis can’t be legalised in Nigeria
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NDLEA: Why cannabis can’t be legalised in Nigeria

The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it arrested 178 illicit drugs offenders in Sokoto State, out of which 29 persons were convicted in 2018.

The agitation for the legalisation of Cannabis Sativa cannot succeed in Nigeria because the proliferation of illicit drugs often leads to crime, chaos and conflict, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has explained.

In a statement issued on Friday by the spokesperson of the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, the Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Brig. General Mohammed Bubba Marwa (retd.), made this statement as a guest speaker at the 2021 Ulefunta annual public lecture organised by the Deji of Akure Kingdom, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi and chaired by a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae.

Marwa said, “The proliferation of illicit drugs often engenders a pattern of crime, chaos and conflict. In the advanced world, it is the driver of the high crime rate and violent killings in the inner cities. In developing or third world countries, it is the escalator of strife, pogroms and civil war, and has played a big role in countries torn to pieces by tribal war, such as it is playing in Syria, which has become the hotbed of Captagon, and Afghanistan, which controls the opium trade.

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“We have seen narco-terrorism in countries like Colombia and Mexico where drug cartels are a law unto themselves and are as powerful, if not more powerful, than the state. So, there are real cases, not scenarios, of where and how illicit substances played a role in a society’s rapid descent into chaos and teetering on the brink of a failed state.

“So the pertinent question for us today is: Have drugs played any role in the festering insecurity in Nigeria? The answer is yes. Of this, we have ample evidence.”

NDLEA: Why cannabis can’t be legalised in Nigeria

Marwa, represented by his Special Adviser on National Drug Control Master Plan, Otunba Lanre Ipinmisho, stated that considering the intractable burden of insecurity facing the country, “We do not have the luxury of allowing a narcotic economy to take root and thrive in our society. Africa, nay, Nigeria has enough problems without adding the burden of narco-terrorism.”

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He said, “Of all the known illicit substances, Cannabis Sativa is the only one that is native to Nigeria and it is the most abused of all illicit drugs, and from the findings of the National Drug Survey of 2018, cannabis is becoming a national albatross.”

While warning that the population of Nigerians hooked on cannabis alone was more than the population of countries like Portugal, Greece or the Republic of Benin, he said that as such Nigeria could not afford to toy with the grim reality of the danger of legalizing cannabis when all the needed infrastructure to monitor and control it are still far from being in place.

“Where cannabis is concerned, we should not by any argument allow ourselves to become the proverbial fool that rushed in where angels fear to tread. Countries like Canada, which are pro-cannabis have strong and efficient institutions that are way ahead of ours by long mileages.

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“Given the reality of our law enforcement, controlled cultivation of cannabis is a mirage. Aren’t pharmaceutical opioids controlled? Tramadol, codeine, Rohypnol, Benzopam, are all controlled, yet, their trafficking and abuse are causing us unquantifiable human and economic loss.

“And for those who point at the inherent economic benefit that could accrue from the legalisation of its cultivation, following our reality, would you be comfortable, if by tomorrow, your 13-year-old son can easily access marijuana, or you find some wraps of weed in his pocket, or you learnt that someone has introduced your 16-year-old daughter to smoking cannabis under the pretext that it has medicinal value?

“Our individual answer to that question will give us a public opinion of where we should stand as a country in the cannabis debate,” he said.

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CBN rejects account opening for BVN violators

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CBN rejects account opening for BVN violators
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CBN rejects account opening for BVN violators

The Apex Bank in Nigeria, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has barred BVN Violators from from opening a new bank accounts going by its fresh rule.
The new policy is contained in a Revised Regulatory Framework for Bank Verification Number (BVN) operations and Watch-List for the banking industry released by the apex bank in its Update Report circular.

According to the apex bank, the new framework has been designed to enhance the effectiveness of customer due diligence and Know Your Customer (KYC) processes.

it therefore described the policy as part of its overall strategy for promoting a safe and efficient banking and payment system.

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In the circular, the Director, Payments System Management Department, Musa Jimoh, explained that the watch-list is a database of customers identified by their BVNs, who have been involved in confirmed cases of breaches.

He explained that under the new framework, breaches on the part of customer could see the individual getting barred from entering a new relationship with any participant (banks).

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INTERPOL Elects Baba Umar As Vice President For Africa

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INTERPOL Elects Baba Umar As Vice President For Africa
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INTERPOL Elects Baba Umar As Vice President For Africa

INTERPOL has elected Nigeria’s Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG GARBA Baba Umar as the Vice President (Africa) and Executive Committee Member of the International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO) – INTERPOL.

Umar was the Head of INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NCB), Nigeria.

A statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba on Thursday said Umar was elected in the early hours of that day “in the 89th INTERPOL General Assembly currently holding at the Halic Congress Hall, Istanbul, Turkey”.

The statement said, “The year 2021 General Assembly, which have in attendance 470 Police Chiefs, Ministers and Senior Law Enforcement Officials from the 195 INTERPOL member countries, seeks to identify areas where the organization can reinforce the global security architecture and enhance collaboration against national and transnational crimes.

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INTERPOL Elects Baba Umar As Vice President For Africa

“AIG Garba, one of Nigeria’s finest criminal investigators and professional strategic police manager, with over thirty (30) years policing experience both at national and international levels, polled the highest number of votes in the elections. With this appointment, which will span through a period of 3yrs, AIG Garba is expected to bring his wealth of experience to bear in coordinating INTERPOL operations targeted at ensuring a safer world for people and communities across the African continent.
“This is in addition to drawing international policing support and cooperation towards advancing public safety and security, protecting the cyberspace and generally addressing challenges faced by law enforcement officers and policing managers in the continent.

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“The Nigeria’s delegation to the 89th INTERPOL General Assembly was led by the Honourable Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, ably supported by the Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, psc (+), NPM, fdc. The other members of the delegation are: the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa and the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo (represented by the Naval Provost Marshal).”

INTERPOL Elects Baba Umar As Vice President For Africa

INTERPOL Elects Baba Umar As Vice President For Africa

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FCMB Sees Flat Loan Growth, Eyes UK Licence

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FCMB Sees Flat Loan Growth, Eyes UK Licence
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FCMB Sees Flat Loan Growth, Eyes UK Licence

A mid-tier lender, First City Monument Bank, expects loan growth to be flat this year — down from last year’s 5.4 per cent rise — as oil companies pay down debt, according to its Group Chief Executive Officer, Ladi Balogun.

Balogun said the bank would focus on retail banking with a higher margin this year to make up for a drop in government bond yields as the lender might not be able to write large loans quickly enough to counter-balance repayments by oil firms.

He said the economy was improving after the country experienced its worst recession in a quarter of a century in 2016, which should boost consumers, Reuters reported.

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“We expect to see large repayments in the oil and gas sector this year. We agree that the (economy) will be improving but largely because of chunky pay-down; we don’t think we would be able to replace quickly,” he told an analyst call, adding, “We are pushing more in the area of retail banking.”

Balogun said the group was seeking to convert its wholesale banking unit in Britain, FCMB UK, into a retail bank, as part of its push to grow its balance sheet and tap into non-institutional customers in Britain.

He stated that the impact of the British strategy would not be immediate but would enable the lender to achieve incremental growth.

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