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Anambra Governor Soludo Backs Single Term For Politicians, Rejects LG Autonomy

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The executive governor of Anambra State, Chukwuma Soludo on Wednesday threw his weight behind the growing calls for a single term for elected officeholders but he argued that any form of autonomy for local government areas in the country is against the tenets of true federalism.

Due to the nation’s declining revenue, the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Solomon Odunwa, advocated for a National Assembly with only one chamber.

Soludo, who served as the CBN’s governor from 2004 to 2009, delivered a speech at The Platform Nigeria, an event organised by Covenant Nation, a church in Lagos, in honour of 2024 Democracy Day.

Other speakers at the event, which had the theme “Democracy and the Free Market Economy,” included former Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara, former Minister of Works Babatunde Fashola, and the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan-Kukah.

“Sometimes, these conversations about single term might begin to make some sense so that you fix it, whether you say four years or five years, six years, seven years, single term,” Soludo said.

“So, you are not thinking about the next election once you finish getting into this. I face that all day in my state. You want to get into this (project), they say, ‘No, wait, you know you have an election’. And I say, ‘No, let’s get it, if we get there, we get there and if we lose, we lose.”

  • LG Autonomy Anti-True Federalism

There have been increased calls for local government autonomy in Nigeria. President Bola Tinubu has also supported the calls and in May the Federal Government sued the 36 state governors over alleged misconduct in the administration of Local Government Areas.

Governor Soludo, however, has a different view.

He said, “Funny enough, more recently, some people are arguing for the autonomy of local governments including some APC persons, which would take Nigeria back many decades from what a true federation is about.

“There is no federal system in the world where you have three federal units. The counties in America where we copied (democracy), their local governments don’t go to the centre to collect money directly.

“Each state must have the power to design the kind of local government system they want. That is what true federalism is about.”

Soludo said the Federal Government should give some of the responsibilities in the Exclusive List to sub-nationals.

“We need to tinker with the fiscal powers of the federal and state governments, devolve much of the responsibilities under the Exclusive List to the states, and at about 60 to 65 percent of the revenues to the states, with each deciding on the local system to adopt.

“Why not consolidate the National Assembly into one with no more than five representatives per state? We don’t need a National Assembly costing over N300bn yearly to maintain. We don’t need it,” he said.

  • Tinubu Should Clear Economic Mess

The Anambra governor admitted that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu did not cause the country’s economic problems. Rather, he believes that Nigeria is feeling the effects of poor actions and inactions of administrations since 1999.

“We are now suffering the consequences of delayed adjustments,” he said, adding that Tinubu has “the historic duty to mobilise Nigerians to clean up the mess for future generations.

“Nigeria faces fiscal quagmire and even technical solvency problems. Debt has piled to a level that leaves little headroom for more borrowing albeit at a very high cost. Yet, the needs of the citizens keep increasing in geometric proportion by the day.”

The governor warned that printing more money would lead to spiraling inflation.

“We are in a bind and must get out of it,” he said.

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St. Ives Hospital Opens Ultra-Modern FESTAC Branch [PHOTOS]

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One of Nigeria’s fastest growing hospital groups and renowned fertility experts, St. Ives hospital has opened a new, ultra-modern branch at FESTAC, Lagos. The new hospital branch was declared open on Sunday, July 1, 2024 by the Group Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Babatunde Okewale. Also in attendant at the event were members of the hospital’s advisory board which included Mr. Adesegun Ajibola, SAN, Mrs. Bisi Adeyemi and Mr. Gbenga Badejo and medical directors and staff from its other branches.

The newly opened branch at FESTAC brings the number of the hospital to 5, with the other locations being Ikoyi, Ikeja, Akowonjo and Abeokuta. Facilities at the 45-bed hospital includes a children’s play area, which has become one of the signatures of all its branches, family convenience room, nursing stations, delivery suite, pharmacy, neonatal unit, theatre, X-Ray room, radio diagnostic, fertility unit, IVF/ ART unit, andrology laboratory, IVF theatre, and an emergency/ observation room.

In her welcome address at the event, the hospital’s Chief Marketing Officer, Mrs. Kiki Okewale disclosed that the hospital’s mission has always been to offer dedicated consultant-led, technology-driven healthcare services to women, children, family and fertility in a friendly environment. In her words, ‘over the years, we have built a reputation for being a trusted healthcare provider, and our new FESTAC branch is a testament to our commitment to expanding our reach and enhancing the quality of care we provide’.

Reputed as one of the hospitals championing reversal of medical tourism in Nigeria, due to the outstanding success rate in IVF, St. Ives with the new, state of the art, ultra-modern branch at FESTAC will further push the frontier of the medical profession through the use of advanced technology, in delivering qualitative healthcare services to their patients. St. Ives hospital adopts a success oriented-approach towards fertility, which has seen it become the go to hospital for families facing the challenges of conception.

St. Ives Hospital is a multi-specialist hospital that began operation in 1996. The hospital offers dedicated specialist services in all matters of women, children and family/fertility healthcare. The hospital is well managed by a dedicated team of specialists and consultants with years of experience in the medical profession. They provide a wide range of specialist services in OBGYN, Pediatrics, medicine and surgery.

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MOHBAD: Late Singer’s Family Conducts Fresh Autopsy

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The family of late singer Mohbad (born Ilerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba) has ordered a second toxicology test to uncover the truth behind his mysterious death on September 12.

Following his burial the next day, Mohbad’s body was exhumed on September 21 for an autopsy, which was conducted on the same day.

However, in May, it was revealed that the pathologist conducting the autopsy informed the coroner that Mohbad’s body had decomposed by the time the test was performed, potentially compromising the results.

The new toxicology test aims to provide clarity on the circumstances surrounding his death.

The pathologist also said the cause of the singer’s death could not be ascertained.

Mohbad’s autopsy result from the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) showed that “no significant gross finding” could be attributed to the singer’s death.

The toxicology “revealed the positive finding of Diphenhydramine, an anti-histamine; however, this concentration was not in a fatal or lethal range”.

Last month, the Aloba family rejected the autopsy result while also demanding an independent post-mortem and toxicology test.

In a statement on Tuesday, Monisola Odumosu, a member of Aloba’s legal team, said a two-part autopsy is being conducted on Mohbad.

She disclosed that the first phase had been carried out last week while the second part involved “a toxicology and histology test”.

The lawyer added that the procedure was witnessed by Joseph Aloba, Mohbad’s father, and a pathologist representing Wunmi, the late singer’s wife.

“The second autopsy as requested by the Aloba family and ordered by the Magistrate of the Coroner Court, Ms. T.A. Shotobi, was conducted on Friday, July 19, and Saturday, July 20, 2024. This autopsy is a two-part exercise, with the first part now completed,” the statement reads in part.

“If the cause of death cannot be determined from this initial examination, the second part will proceed, involving a toxicology and histology test on the necessary samples already obtained.

“This comprehensive procedure, conducted last Friday, was witnessed only by Mr. Joseph Aloba, the forensic pathologist appointed by Mr. Joseph Aloba and his team, legal representatives of both Mr. Joseph Aloba and  a pathologist appointed by Wunmi Aloba to observe the procedure.”

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Nigeria’s Foreign Reserves Now $37bn, Up By $2bn In 18 Days — CBN Governor Cardoso

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The country’s foreign exchange reserves have surged to $37.05 billion as of July 18 according to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

CBN Governor Yemi Cardoso announced this development during a press briefing on Tuesday, following the 296th Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja.

The reserves experienced a significant boost, rising by $2.35 billion from $34.70 billion at the end of June to $37.05 billion in just 18 days.

“As of July 18, 2024, external reserves stood at US$37.05 billion, compared with US$34.70 billion as of June 2024. This represents 11 months of import cover for goods and services,” Cardoso said.

However, according to data published by CBN and seen by TheCable, Nigeria’s foreign reserves stood between $35.93 billion as of July 18, and $36.23 billion as of July 22, less than what Cardoso presented.

On July 18, CBN approved the sale of foreign exchange (FX) to eligible bureau de change (BDC) operators at N1,450 per dollar to meet the demand for invisible transactions.

Days after, CBN said foreign currencies worth $106.5 million were sold to authorised dealers.

CBN said the aim is to improve supply in the FX market in tandem with its price stability mandate.

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