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Nigeria records 621,035 drug seizures/arrests in 2019, up from 9,831 in 2018

The report showed that the highest numbers of cases were reported in the North Central region.

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Nigeria’s total number of reported drug seizures/arrests in 2019 increased by over 1000% to 621,035.46, compared to just 9,831 in 2018. This is according to the latest report on Drug Seizures and Arrest by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS.

The report showed that the highest numbers of cases were reported in the North Central region, standing at 517,711.69 as against just 1,311 in 2018.

The South West came in second place with just 44,744.13 in 2019, compared to 1,260 in 2018.

The South South recorded 28,885.85 in 2019 compared to 1,821 in 2018.

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The South East recorded 13,234.48 in 2019 compared to 1,022 in 2018.

The North West recorded 11,968.50 in 2019 compared to 2,809 in 2018.

Also, the North East had the lowest record of drug cases at 4,490.81 compared to 1,608 on 2018.

Further breakdown of the report showed that men were nearly ten times more likely to be arrested for drug trafficking in 2019, with 8,571 by the State and Special Area Command compared to just 908 women.

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The NBS report revealed that total number of narcotics drug seizures by the State and Special Area Command was 612,547.89kg compared to 163,684.44kg in 2018.

Total Number of prosecutions by the State and Special Area Command was 9,418 in 2019, which was less than the 2018 figure of 9,779. However, the convictions rate was just 1,120 in 2019 compared to 1,220 in 2018.

For counseling concluded in the 2018/2019 period, the number was just 397, compared to 440 in 2018.

In 2019, a study by the NBS and Center for Research and Information on Substance Abuse with technical support from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), revealed that 14.3 million Nigerians reported usage of psychoactive drug substances which stands at nearly 15% of the adult population, compared to the global average of 5.6%.

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Business

CBN has disbursed N14.35 billion to DisCos for meter procurement – FG

The CBN has disbursed a total of N14.35 billion to DisCos to cover the procurement of meters.

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Electricity, Buhari moves against Discos and agents that collect money for prepaid meters

The Federal Government has announced that the Central Bank of Nigeria has disbursed a total of N14.35 billion to DisCos to cover the procurement of 263,860 meters under the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP).

This was disclosed in a statement by the FG on Thursday.

READ: Electricity: FG approves one year waiver of import levy on meters

“According to the CBN, the facility disbursed is a loan that must be repaid by the DisCos on the basis of the previously agreed amortisation schedule. The repayment is to be deducted from payments made by consumers into the DisCos accounts with Deposit Money Banks (DMBs),” the Federal Government added.

The maximum tenor of the facility is 10 years but not exceeding 2030, while the moratorium on the principal amount is for a period not exceeding 24 months from the date of loan disbursement.

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READ: Peavey discusses the problems and opportunities of Nigeria’s meter asset provider regulation 

What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported in November 2020 that President Muhammadu Buhari had moved to make funding available for DisCos immediately, in a bid to roll out 1,000,000 meters in the first phase, of the Mass Meter Programme.
  • The Ministry of Power said that the mass metering initiative of the Federal Government was paying off as one of the most ambitious packages in history.
  • The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) revealed that one million meter units were earmarked for the initial phase of the implementation of the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) with Ikeja Disco (IKEDC) topping the list with the approved meter allocation of 106,701 units (10.7%). Others were IBEDC with 103,997 units (10.4%), AEDC with 101,186 units (10.1%). PHEDC got the least of 77,070 units (7.7%).

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: Buhari approves N6.45 billion to set up 38 oxygen production plants

President Buhari has approved the sum of N6.45 billion for the set-up of 38 oxygen production plants across the country.

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Buhari sacks DG National Directorate of Employment, Nasiru Argungu

President Muhammadu Buhari has announced his approval of N6.45 billion for the set-up of 38 oxygen production plants across the country, in a bid to contain the second wave of Covid-19.

The President disclosed this in a statement on Thursday evening after the first National Economic Council meeting of the year presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, with State Governors, Federal Capital Territory Minister, Central Bank Governor, and other senior government officials in attendance.

READ: Covid-19: FG directs universities to suspend academic activities till further notice

“As part of efforts to contain the second wave of Covid-19, we’re setting up new oxygen production plants in 38 locations across Nigeria—to enhance the management of patients in need of oxygen.

“I have equally approved funding for the rehabilitation of oxygen plants in 5 hospitals,” Buhari said.

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The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed said the President said the fund’s release was necessitated by the rising cases of Covid-19 in the country with patients needing oxygen.

READ: Toyota suspends operations in China over Coronavirus outbreak 

What you should know 

  • Recall Nairametrics reported that the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, warned that the rising second wave of the pandemic in Lagos had seen the demand for oxygen rise 5 times from 70 six-liter cylinders per day to 350 six-liter cylinders at Yaba Mainland Hospital alone.
  • He added that the state government had the decentralized provision of oxygen and other services needed for Covid-19 patients, citing the provision of oxygen kiosks.

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Economy & Politics

FG says Excess Crude Account balance now stands at $72.4 million

The Federal Ministry of Finance has told the NEC that the Excess Crude Account (ECA) now stands at $72.4 million as at January 20, 2021.

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The Federal Government has announced that Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account (ECA) balance as at 20th January 2021 is $72,411,197.80.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed at the first National Economic Council meeting of the year presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, with State Governors, Federal Capital Territory Minister, Central Bank Governor and other senior government officials in attendance.

READ: Nigeria’s growing current account deficit fans devaluation flames 

The FG said, “the ECA balance as at 20th January, 2021, $72,411,197.80; Stabilization Account, balance as at 19th January, 2021, N28, 800, 711,295.37; Natural Resources Development Fund Account, balance as at 19th January 2021, N95, 830,729,470.82.”

READ: Nigerians spend $9.01 billion on foreign travels in 2019 

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What you should know

  • In August 2015, during the early days of the Buhari administration, the ECA stood at $2.2 billion. It was $3.6 billion in February 2014, one of the highest balances on record.
  • According to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s annual report for 2018, Nigeria’s excess crude account fell from $2.45 billion in 2017 to $480 million as of December 2018.
  • In 2019, Nairametrics reported Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account had dropped to $480 million. This is as controversy continued to trail the $1 billion military spendings which was withdrawn from Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account.
  • Nairametrics reported in July 2020 that the  ECA had fallen by about 98% within the last 5 years to $72 million.
  • Nigeria has two Sovereign Wealth Funds: the Excess Crude Account and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA). Note that these two are funded by the savings earned when oil prices are at their peak.

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