READ Top News Now: Guinness & NAFDAC, Corruption, Tough 2016, Shiite, Public holiday & Buhari’s 2016 budget . . .
Guinness sues NAFDAC over N1 Billion fine
Guinness Nigeria Plc has approached a Lagos High Court in Igbosere to challenge the N1bn fine imposed on it by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control. The company urged the court to perpetually restrain NAFDAC from publicly discussing, analysing or providing any information to the media, whether print, electronic or in any other manner,” to suggest that the decision to sanction it was lawful.
Guinness, through its lawyer, Mr. Olasupo Shasore (SAN), claimed that NAFDAC did not afford it the opportunity of fair hearing as to the allegations that warranted the N1bn fine.
NAFDAC had issued a letter dated November 9, 2015 on Guinness directing the company to pay N1bn “as administrative charges for various clandestine violations of NAFDAC rules, regulations and enactments over a long period of time.”
The agency claimed that Guinness had been revalidating its expired products without the authorisation and supervision of NAFDAC.
Among other things, NAFDAC also accused Guinness of failing to secure the gate of its warehouse and claimed that “the raw materials used in the production of beer and non-alcoholic beverages by the brewer were permanently opened to intrusion and exposure to the elements and rodents, which “invariably affect the integrity of the raw materials.”
We won’t stop until we recover stolen funds – Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday said nothing would stop his administration from recovering the country’s stolen money, no matter how long it would take and wherever the money was hidden.
Buhari made the reassurance as he presented the estimates of the 2016 budget to a joint session of the National Assembly in Abuja – on Dec 22, 2015.
’2016 will be tougher than 2015’ – Adesina
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has said that although 2015 has so far been a tough year for Nigerians, 2016 would be tougher. Adesina, according to a post on his Facebook page on Tuesday, gave the submission while featuring on an interview programme on a private radio station, Radio Continental 102.3 FM.
The presidential spokesman argued that as much as the dwindling oil price continues, things would be tougher especially in the early part of the new year.
“I agree that 2015 has been a tough year, but then it’s like 2016 would still be tougher, at least in the early part of that year. We have been running a mono-product economy based on oil, and as long as oil prices remain down, things will be tough,” he said.
Nigerian Police promise to investigate Army, Shiite group clash
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Solomon Arase has promised to carry out a professional investigation into the recent clash between the Nigerian Army and the Shiite Islamic group in Zaria, Kaduna state.
This is contained in statement issued by the Force Spokesperson, Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP Olabisi Kolawole in Abuja on Tuesday.
It stated that Arase gave the promise when a delegation of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, led by its Secretary-General Prof. Ishaq Oloyede visited him.
He said that the Police and other security agencies were conscious of the citizens’ fundamental rights and would protect them.
Arase appealed to the Islamic body to use its platform to caution all groups in the country against encroaching on other citizens’ rights.
“While they have the constitutional rights to express their views, it should not circumscribe the rights of others,“he said.
Nigeria declares December 24, 25, 28 public holidays
The Federal Government has declared Dec. 24, Dec.25 and Dec. 28 public holidays to mark Maulud Nabiy, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, respectively.
The Minister of the Interior, Retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, made the declaration on Thursday in Abuja in a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Bassey Akpanyung.
“The Federal Government has declared Thursday, 24th December, 2015 as public holiday to mark Eid-El-Maulud celebration.
“Friday, 25th and Monday 28th December, 2015 have also been declared as public holidays to mark Christmas and Boxing Day celebration,” the statement said.
The minister enjoined Muslim and Christian faithful to use the unique occasion to pray for the peace and unity of Nigeria.
Buhari presents N6.08 trillion budget proposal for 2016
President Muhammadu Buhari has presented 6.08 Trillion Naira budget proposal for 2016 to a joint session of the National Assembly. The budget is predicated on $38 per barrel oil benchmark; 197 Naira exchange rate.
The budget was increased by about 40% from the 2014 budget of 4.357 Trillion Naira presented to the National Assembly by former president, Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
Prior to today’s presentation of the budget, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and the National Assembly had approved the Medium Term Expenditure Framework which pegged the 2016 Budget at 6 Trillion Naira.
According to the president, the budget would address youth unemployment and improve the wellbeing of the vulnerable.
He also said the nation remains committed to diversification to build and reflate the economy, and announced that the petrol pump price would remain at 87 naira per litre.
He emphasised that there would be changes in the way government conducts its business and that all MDAs would be required to prepare and present their annual budgets on time.
“We will align fiscal, monetary and investment policies,” he added.
In the course of the budget presentation, President Buhari apologised to Nigerians over the fuel scarcity that has persisted across the country since October.
According to him, the cause of the scarcity was due to the refusal of stakeholders in the petroleum industry to embrace change.