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The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has given its support to the Federal Government’s recent increase in excise duty on alcoholic beverages and tobacco products. The Director-General, Babatunde Irukera disclosed this in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja.

According to him, the increase will serve as a measure to reduce the risks of abuse and disease. The DG also lauded the Federal Government’s consideration for consumers in “granting a 90-day moratorium and periodic incremental adjustments to ensure an appropriate balance between personal consumer choices and the public interest.

“I commend President Muhammadu Buhari for his strong leadership in addressing this vital consumer issue in a manner that is consistent with prevailing global practices.”

Irukera said that though CPC protects the rights of all consumers and their prerogative to make personal lifestyle choices, it, however, encourages responsible consumption in all circumstances.

He said that of particular concern were products that may potentially have adverse effects or possibly modify behaviour in a fashion that may be harmful or inconvenient to the consumer, or others.

He further stated that the policy was the product of consensus pursuant to broad stakeholders’ engagement and was motivated in large part by the Federal Government’s desire to reduce the risks of abuse and disease that may be associated with consumption of these products.

According to him, the Federal Government’s approach will also foster consumer confidence, provide regulatory clarity and prioritise safety, all of which reinforces the mandate of the council.

“The council insists that all producers, particularly of the products subject of this revised excise duty must take appropriate steps, including full disclosures to promote responsible consumption, responsive, transparent and accessible consumer complaint resolution mechanisms to protect and satisfy consumers.”

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Dangote Launches ‘BlocMaster’ For Cement Moulders

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Builders and other stakeholders have lauded the BlocMaster Cement which was formally launched by Dangote Cement PLC yesterday in Kano, Kano State, describing it as extra strong and the best for block moulding in Nigeria.

Before it was officially rolled out yesterday, the innovative cement product had been adjudged ideal by the country’s engineers, builders and block makers, due to its rapid setting within an hour, its strength and top quality.

The multitude of block makers in attendance lauded the company’s innovate efforts and after a demonstrative test also confirmed its strength and asserted that surely, it is the best product for building construction for now, from the stable of Dangote cement.

Speaking at the official unveiling of the cement yesterday, Kano State Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje called on all Nigerians to patronize the new cement to help minimize the menace of collapsed building in the country.

The Governor who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government Alhaji Usman Alhaji commended the Management of Dangote Group, adding that it has always been supportive in all sectors of the economy.

Group Managing Director, Dangote Cement Plc Eng. Joe Makoju said the new brand is a product of years of deep research, adding that it has been tested and approved by builders nationwide.

According to him, it is strong and affordable to Nigerians because of its rapid setting, especially during raining season.

“This is a new era. This is a new quality. This is a product of research,” Mr. Makoju said.

Speaking, Group Chief Marketing Officer Oare Ojeikere said the new cement is multipurpose and very strong, urging Nigerians to adopt it for all construction purposes.

He said he was happy that hundreds of builders in Kano had used it before the launch.

The immediate past chairman, Nigeria Institute of Building and Director Consultancy Services, Science and Technical Schools Board, Kano State Abdullahi Alhassan SanSan said he was elated because the new cement block will address the issue of collapse building in the country.

Speaking also at the event, Manager Magina Blocks Industries Kano Nura Musa Yahayah said he has used the block and can therefore recommend it to Nigerians. According to him: “I can recommend this product. I have personally used it and I am very convinced that it is the best for those of us who are in the business of cement moulding. It is strong and sets very fast. This is the product that we need at this time and we are grateful to the Management of Dangote Cement for giving us this product”

Chairman Kano State Concrete Block Makers and Allied Products Association Alhaji Umar Faruk Musa said the cement innovation will translate into more income for block makers and in the long run for Nigeria.

He commended Alhaji Aliko Dangote for yet another giant stride, a week after a flour brand was unveiled by the same Group.

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National Assembly Committee Passes Amended Electoral Bill

Peter Okunoren

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The National Assembly Joint Panel on the Independent National Electoral Commission has passed the amended Electoral Bill.

The passage of the Bill on Tuesday was preceded by disagreement among the members of the Committee.

The lawmakers, who were set to address newsmen on the Amendment of the Electoral Bill earlier in the day, were hurriedly invited for an emergency meeting in the office of the Joint Chairman of the Panel, Senator Nazif Suleiman.

The version of the Bill passed by the House of Representatives was different from that presented by Suleiman on behalf of the Senate.

However, after the closed-door meeting, Suleiman confirmed the passage of the Bill.

President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier declined assent to the amended Electoral Act.

This will be the fourth time the Act will be amended.

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Buhari Does Not Understand Governance —- Saraki Insists

Peter Okunoren

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Senate President and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant, Bukola Saraki, on Tuesday, insisted that President Muhammadu Buhari does not understand governance and was not prepared to govern the country when he was elected in 2015.

Saraki stated this while addressing Oyo State delegates and members of the party ahead of the national convention of the PDP at the state secretariat of the party located at Molete, Ibadan.

The former governor of Kwara State, who said that Nigerians made a mistake by voting Buhari in 2015, added that Nigeria needed a “digital President”.

Saraki, who was accompanied to Ibadan by Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, Senator Abiodun Olujinmi, Captain Idris Wada, Dr. Doyin Okupe and Hon. Muhammed Wakil, declared that incumbent President Buhari of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) “does not understand governance”.

He noted that the mistake Nigerians have made over the years was electing people into positions of authority based on sentiment.

He specifically maintained that Nigeria needed a digital President who can relate well with Presidents of other counties.

Saraki, while speaking further, declared that he is the most capable for the job among the PDP Presidential aspirants, urging the Oyo State delegates to support his aspiration.

He said, “The major mistake we are making is that we vote people who cannot do it. All other countries, they look for the best candidates. If you look at other aspirants, you will see that I can do it better than all of them.

“The mistake we made is that the person who is there does not know anything. The person that is there does not understand governance.

“If you have observed, you will discover that Presidents of other counties who have visited Nigeria in recent time did not sleep in the country. They will just come for two or a few hours and go back”.

The Senate President maintained further that what the country needs in 2019 is a capable President, as Buhari has shown that he is not capable of the task.

Saraki insisted that having worked with the President for over three years; he has discovered that the Buhari does not understand governance.

Among Oyo PDP leaders that received the Senate President were, State Chairman of the party, Alhaji Kunmi Mustapha; Elder Wole Oyelese; Alhaji Hazeem Gbalarumi; Mr. Wasiu Adeleke; Dr. Saka Balogun and Chief Jacob Adetoro.

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