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Ponzi Schemes On The Rise, SEC Alerts Nigerians

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The Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, has frowned at the resurgence of Ponzi schemes and illegal fund managers in the country’s financial sector.

The Director-General of SEC, Lamido Yuguda, frowned at the development at an enlightenment workshop with the staff of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning on Wednesday in Abuja.

Mr Yuguda said the unlawful schemes had continued to enjoy massive patronage of the populace and remained a source of concern for regulators in the financial sector.

According to him, the commission is poised to continue to apply measures and seek the cooperation of relevant stakeholders toward combating the activities of these Ponzi schemes.

He regretted that the upsurge of the schemes had undermined the reputation of the financial markets and dampened investors’ confidence, among other things.

“SEC firmly believes that the country’s capital market can attain its potential if market operators and participants contribute their respective quotas to the growth.

“SEC is committed to always ensuring and maintaining an environment that is enabled by the appropriate regulatory framework, timely and affordable access to market.

“The commission is also committed to zero tolerance for infractions, heightened investor confidence and awareness, innovative product development and good governance practices.

“There is the need to restore investor confidence and improve the participation of retail investors in the market.

“The demography of investors in the country’s capital market shows that our young population do not participate in the capital market, and only few Nigerians invest in the capital market.

“This situation creates a huge challenge to the growth of our market and the commission is striving to change the narrative by instilling a fair, transparent and orderly market,’’ he said.

Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, represented by Stephen Okon, Director Home Finance, urged investors to take advantage of the various initiatives in the market.

Mrs Ahmed said the workshop was in line with the commission’s Capital Market Master Plan, CMMP.

She urged SEC to reflect and review the challenges faced by investors with a view of actualising the objectives of the plan.

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US President’s Medical Adviser, Anthony Fauci To Speak At Nigeria COVID-19 Summit

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As part of efforts to redefine the country’s national COVID-19 response and build the health security framework for the country, the Nigerian COVID-19 Summit is to host Dr Anthony Fauci.

Fauci, who is the Chief Medical Adviser to U.S. President Joe Biden as well as the Director, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, U.S. will be speaking at the summit.

The summit, which is in partnership with the Coalition of Development Partners, will be held from December 6 to December 8, 2021, in Abuja.

Dr Mukhtar Muhammed, Technical Head, Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, made the disclosure to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Sunday.

Mohammed said that the PSC had also mobilised all critical stakeholders including development partners for this important National Summit.

“We are heartened and encouraged by the support we have received so far from our development partners and the private sector.

“With just one day away from the commencement of this summit, which will help us to redefine our national COVID-19 response and build the health security framework for the country,” he added.

He, however, encouraged Nigerians and the international community to visit the website of this summit.

“There will be a virtual session that can be accessed by all. In order to register, you will log on to the website: https://2021.covid19summit.com.ng/.

“I want to thank all Nigerians, members of the diplomatic corps for their understanding of our procedures.

“Our international development partners, for providing technical and financial support, members of the press, for doing your work to ensure that we advance the cause of public health, and Nigeria remains a very safe environment,” he said.

NAN reports that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman PSC on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, had said that in preparation for the committee’s winding down, it would hold a COVID-19, summit in partnership with the Coalition of Development Partners in the country.

According to Mustapha, the theme of the summit will be: ‘Pushing through the Last Mile to End the Pandemic and Build Back Better’.

The sub-themes include: ‘Leadership And Governance In Pandemic Recovery And Reconstruction’ and ‘Nigeria’s Health-Security Framework For Effective Response To Global Health Security Threats’.

The SGF noted that the summit would be an august assemblage of key actors in the health, economic, security, and policy-making sectors of the country.

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Tragedy: Eight Children Found Dead In Abandoned Car In Lagos

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Tragedy struck in Badagry area of Lagos on Sunday as the bodies of eight children were evacuated from an abandoned car.

The tragic incident occurred at Adelayo Street, Jah-Micheal along Badagry Expressway.

The children were said to be playing in the abandoned car when they mistakenly locked themselves inside.

Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Lagos Police Command, Adekunle Ajisebutu confirmed the incident.

He said the eight children were said to have mistakenly locked themselves in an abandoned car while playing.

“Their bodies have been recovered and deposited at the Badagry General Hospital’s morgue for autopsy so as to determine the actual cause of death.

Notwithstanding the report made to the Police, the Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu, has ordered a thorough and speedy investigation into the circumstances surrounding their death.

“The CP also commiserates with the families of the victims,” he said.

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We Have Willpower To Tackle Illicit Drugs – Marwa

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Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Buba Marwa says the agency is determined to tackle illicit drugs in the country despite the myriads of challenges its operatives encounter occasionally.

In an excerpt from a piece published in the agency’s magazine, the NDLEA boss said he is confident that NDLEA now holds all the aces and stands a good chance of curbing the drug menace in the country.

Marwa who reeled out some of the recent feats attained by the agency, was optimistic that the NDLEA is going to bring drug prevalence figures down, even though at the moment they still remain at a worrisome number.

According to the NDLEA chief, June was a month of strategic development and significant developments for the agency included the launch of the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) initiative, the unveiling of the National Drug Control Master Plan (NDCMP 2021-2025) and the release of the Standard Policy and Practice Guidelines (SPPG) for the Agency’s counselling centres.

These he noted were in addition to the agency’s continuing blistering performance in terms of record arrest and conviction of drug traffickers and unprecedented seizures of consignments of assorted illicit substances.

Notwithstanding, Mr Marwa stressed that it is not yet ‘Uhuru’. He insisted that “the drug prevalence in Nigeria is worrisome, especially when compared with the global average”.

He said, “from the last UNODC/Ministry of Health survey in 2018, we now know that 14.3 million Nigerians, between the ages of 15 and 64, abuse drugs. The World Drug Report ranked Nigeria as the leading country in the abuse of cannabis. These statistics should worry Nigerians.”

The NDLEA CEO, however, assured that the statistics will change for the better, explaining that his optimism is founded on solid premises.

“We are now an intelligence-based organization, and the purpose of our strategies is to exterminate illicit drug supply or, at least, control it; while at the same time, we are ramping up our drug demand reduction efforts. With UNODC, we have launched a standard policy guideline for counselling for NDLEA counsellors. So, our strategies encapsulate prevention, treatment, and aftercare,” he declared.

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