Lekan Paul

Understanding COVID-19 A Traditional African Medicine Approach, By Walid Moukarim

Introduction

In African traditional medical science, disease is as a result of imbalance in the naturally existing temperament of the mind, system, organs and/or tissues of the human body.

This temperament theory is the reference to understanding the level of heat and cold naturally existing in a living creature and nonliving objects. This is where treatment and management of ailments are hinged.

Looking at the current pandemic caused by the corona virus, from the perspective of the African traditional medicine practitioner we can classify the ailment caused by it as Mura mai Mashako [an exact Medical name might not come easy as this embodies the whole course of the ailment – from what is seen as a common cold to acute pneumonia.]

Mura is generally anything from a mild cold with runny nose to some serious upper respiratory ailment like bronchitis and pneumonia, depending on the suffix attached to it.

In so much as the world has maintained the use Covid-19 and not named an ailment, is in its self Zafi and a cause of the fear and panic around this pandemic.

This is a summary to bring to fore the possibilities in treating this and other ailments we are plagued with.

Sababi (Cause)

From what we have been told and reports of the manifestation of the ailment and symptoms, we see the cause as Zafi Mai Danshi (Heat with Dampness or Damp Heat)

Gabban farko da ya shafa [parts of the body first affected]

Hanchi da Makogaro (Nose [Sinuses] and Throat), these have a temperament of Sanyi mai Danshi (Cold with Dampness).

This explains why the causative pathogen incubates for a period of time until the heat level changes to Zafi kenkeshesshe (Heat with Dryness, Hot Dry or Dry Heat). As the pathogen approaches this state, it causes discomforts which could include itching, swelling and pain in the sinus and throat area.

At this point, the pathogen having become Zafi Kenkeshesshe (Dry Heat) is set to cause relatively serious damage to the lungs and digestive tract which are both cold and damp in temperament, this explains why all of a sudden, the host becomes very sick.

Gabbobin da zai sake shafa (secondary organs it will affect)

Here, we are dealing with Mura mai Masahko and Basir Syndrome (a combination of upper respiratory tract infections and unhealthy colon disease at the same time).

These preventive and Treatment protocols are based on The Temperamental Theory, The Understanding of the Body, Sickness and Medicine in the eyes of the African Traditional Medicine Practitioner, using whole plant, other material and actions for treatment and not based on Herbal medicine or active ingredients theory.

Kariya (Prevention)

Kara karfin garguwan jiki ta hanyan abunch da iyaiyan itache, improving the bodies immunity through food and fruits.

The herbs with appropriate temperament that are used in the treatment of Mura mai sababin zafi when used as tea or a decoction would help in the prevention and initial treatment of suspected cases.

Sirache (Steaming) with herbs that carry the correct temperament will also be of immense value to treatment and recovery.

Keeping warm and exposing self to the morning and evening sun, this helps in body immunity.

Magani (Treament)

This will depend on the stage of the ailment, as there has to be a temperamental balance of the herbs used to match the stage and organs most affected.

The herbs and their combination will depend on the stage and symptoms of the patient, this will also be varied to match the body type [Hawa’i, Turabi, Ma’i, Nari]

The general health history of the patient will be of importance here, with reference to some of the following.

Allergies, Hawan Jin [Hypertensive], Chiwon Sugar [Diabetic], Shawara [Hepatitis], Basir [unhealthy Colon], and more as these will inform the combination of herbs.

Traditional Medicine Practitioners [TMPs] using the temperamental theory would use a wide variety of leaves, tree barks and roots in single or multiple herb combinations to achieve the same results.

This was the Chinese approach and method.  https://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/2010-acupuncture-and-herbs-covid-19-coronavirus-findings

We are open to questions.

  • Walid S. Moukarim
  • BAIS, Higher Dip Hijama Therapy, Dip ATMP, Proficiency Certificate TCM
  • TMP, IPHM2305. MITBCCT 1234/1912/2401
  • @walidsmoukaim – facebook
  • @ShifahHolisticC – twitter
  • @shifahhhc1 – Instagram
  • Shifah Holistic Health Care – shifahhhc@gmail.com
  • Tel: +2348099331855
  • ©18-03-2020
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GMO: Experts Seek More Safety Response From Government

The Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Mr. Nnimmo Bassey has faulted the federal government on the establishment of National Biotechnology Development Agency, before setting up a biosafety agency.

The Federal government had in April 2001 approved the establishment of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA). The Agency was established under the aegis of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology to implement the policy that is aimed at promoting, coordinating, and setting research and development priority in biotechnology for Nigeria.

At a stakeholders’ Conference on “Agricultural Technofixes And The State of Biosafety In Nigeria,” in Abuja on Monday, Mr. Bassey argued that the establishment of NABDA before a biosafety agency is a disaster waiting to happen. According to him, NABDA may have been compromised in discharging its duties due to the incessant influx of Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) foods in the market.

GMO is an organism that has had its DNA altered or modified in some way through genetic engineering.

“Nigeria took the wrong step by setting up a biotechnology promoting agency before setting up a biosafety agency. By the reason of the promoter midwifing the biosafety agency and consolidating this scenario by law, separating the two has become a herculean task,” Bassey explained.

He added further that NABDA and the regulatory National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) lack capacity to handle technicalities in both the mainstream and new fields of extreme technofixes. The way forward to making things right in the biosafety field according to him “will be through legislation and through having a biosafety agency that is neutral, regards the opinion of citizens and accepts the basic biosafety plan if precautionary principle.”

Earlier, the Minister of State for Environment, SSharon Ikeazo, in her remarks, noted that the federal government in its effort to ensure international best practices in the application of modern biotechnology has put in place the necessary legal and policy instruments to guide its development and use.

He explained that the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) was established in 2015, to provide regulatory framework for safety measures in the application of modern biotechnology in Nigeria with a view to prevent any adverse on human health, animal and the environment.

“Few years after the establishment of NBMA, the agency has issued permits for trials, commercial release and importation for processing of various genetically modified crops, ranging from those modified to confer insect or pest resistance to those modified to withstand harsh environmental conditions such as drought and those bio-fortified with various minerals and vitamins,” the Minister said.

The Minister in his speech pressed on that “each of these permits was issued after carrying out a mandatory environmental impact assessment of the potential risk the GMO poses to human health, animal or the environment in Nigeria.”

However, experts at the conference argued that GMO food is not safe for human consumption and government should look inward and advocate for more organic processed food.

“The manipulation of genetic makeup of living organisms to engineer crops to make them act as pesticides is a call for pandemic like the country is currently experiencing. When toxic herbicides are produced to kill all other crops except the ones genetically engineered to withstand them, nature responds by offering super weeds,” Bassey noted.

Tutfeng, an expert in the Biosafety sector posited that he current adoption of GMO is causing more havoc in the agricultural sector and exposing farmers to severe health challenge

His words: “The onus rest on the regulators to do the right thing. They need to tell us what they are doing. When it comes to labelling, it is difficult. We need to take some time and read some of these things. For others like beans and other commodities we may have to be more careful when buying them.

We need to keep engaging the farmers on why they should discard GMO. Our laws do not protect us from genetically modified products and we don’t have capacity to contain the unforeseen contingencies that come with it. Some of the GMO promoters are the ones writing our laws.”

A participant at the conference advised that “the first caution is for everyone to make up his or her mind to apply information that are scientifically sound and socially correct. The promoters of GMO do it for financial gain and not in the interest of the society. We should not take everything that comes to us free.”

“Promoters of GMO claim that what they are coming with is scientific and clinically proven which is untrue. You must be very diligent in checking what you eat and in buying your food,” another participant added.

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COVID-19 Lock Down And Home Stay, By Walid Moukarim

So here we are coming to terms with the realities on ground, that there are many aliments larger and more potent than this “Flu Like” ailment with the pathogen COVID-19 is not news, However COVID-19 has taken the day and brought the high and mighty to their knees.

So what can we do

What we should do is Objectively see this in all the possible lights, lenses and filters we can see through.

Holistic health calls for the treatment of Mind, Body and Soul to successfully manage and recover from any ailment.

For the mind and soul, we have our user manuals equipped with maintenance, trouble shooting and repair guides; The Quran, The Hadith, The Bible and a host of other religious books.

Unfortunately these guides have been greatly discarded and used minimally, there is an Urgent need to visit these manuals that we may operate at our prime.

As for the relationship between the mind, body and soul, we will look at it another day, for now it will surface to say there is nothing but falsehood after the truth, more so “wanda bai ji bari zai a ji woho” (Hausa proverb)

Now that we have our kids home, with limited socializing and interactions, it is time for us to look inward to making the best of a bad situation in anticipation of brighter days to come.

First build our body’s immunity

Eat right and smart, greens, fruits and traditionally known healthy foods.

Eating right and smart means looking at the functionality of foods first before we look at ease of preparation.

I would recommend soups like Okazi, Ugu, Kuka, Miyan Zogale, Miyan Karkashi, soups using Bitter leaf, Sweet Potato leaf and so on, these should go with the likes of tuwon Dawa, Tuwon Gero, Pounded Yam, and so on. Tailor to your locality.

If you are a rice person then add salads to your meals, your salads should have greens of choice [lettuce, cress, parsley, Mint (na’na), celery, ++] and be generous with onions and tomato

Encourage your children to eat steamed Spinach [Alaifo]

Spice your tea or other beverages with Cloves, Masora (black peper), Ginger, Fennel, Coriander, bay leaf, Sage, others of choice, you can use

Secondly

Maintain good hygiene, keep hands clean, cover your mouth them in combination.

when you yawn (use back of right hand, back of left hand or in of right hand, Never use in of left hand).

Shield your nose when you sneeze, Do Not try to stop your sneeze the result could be lethal. 

Avoid body contact unless necessary.

Thirdly

Quality time, you have been availed that time you never had to now spend with your wife, your wives, your husband and your kids, use it wisely!

Play with your kids, rekindle with your spouse, do homework, cook together, build closeness, rest your phones and pray together.

THIS IS NOT A SCORE SETTING TIME, IT IS A LET’S MAKE IT BETTER TIME

Fourthly

Reach out to help the needy, this might just be our last chance, while we are limited in movement we should not limit our kindness and generosity.

Lastly

Some General Preparations for Prevention and Treatment of Suspected Cases. These are tailored to work based on the temperamental theory as understood by the Traditional African Medicine Practitioner

Sirache

  1. Ganyen Tulare (Eucalyptus leaf)
  2. Tyme and Lemon Grass

Kurkura (Gargle)

  1. Decoction made from Na’na (Mint Leaf)
  2. Decoction made from Ganyen Tulare
  3. Decoction made from Ginger and Cloves

Sha

  1. Kurkur (Tumeric), Chitta (Ginger), Tafranuwa (Garlic), Albasa (Onion) make smooth paste add honey and doses 2 tablespoon per adult and 1 per child 12 years and below. Mix ratio 1/2:1:2:1
  2. Rosemary, Mint, Fannel make decoction mix ratio 25 leaves: Hand full: 2 tea spoon to 50cl of water bring to boil, simmer for 3 mins, cool and drink 25cl x 2 daily, 12.5cl for under 12
  3. Black Seed, Olive leaves make decoction, mix ratio 2 teaspoon: 15 leaves to 50cl of water, bring to boil, let simmer for 5 mins, cool and drink, 25cl x 2 daily for adults, 12.5cl for under 12

THESE DOSES MAY VARY WITH ACUTENESS OF AILMENT and BODY TYPE

These will treat a variety of respiratory tract ailments.

Traditional Medicine Practitioners [TMPs] using the temperamental theory would use a wide variety of leaves, tree barks and roots in single or multiple herb combinations to achieve the same results.

Always Consult!

  • Walid S. Moukarim
  • BAIS, Higher Dip Hijama Therapy  Dip ATMP, Proficiency Certificate TCM
  • TMP, IPHM2305. MITBCCT 1234/1912/2401
  • @walidsmoukaim – facebook
  • @ShifahHolisticC – twitter
  • Shifah Holistic Health Care – shifahhhc@gmail.com
  • Tel: +2348099331855
  • ©22-03-2020
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When Aradu Came Passing By, Walid Moukarim

What if this is it, the last few days of life on earth?

Who would you give all that stashed wealth to, when everyone is seeking Allah and running away from the worldly possessions?

Are you trying to make that last deal, that last catch, that last do or are you reflecting on your life, your relationship with Allah, your missed prayers, missed fasts, the times you willingly and willfully caused pain to others?

Are you looking to make peace with all you have crossed and seek peace with Allah or you believe this is not for you and you are above it?

We have been told so many times be good, be kind and be generous, do not steal, do not this and do not that but we turned a deaf ear.

So what if it is that Allah is angry with us and in His mercy has sent this as a warning to bring us back to HIS Commandments?

What if this is an answer to all prayers of the oppressed that have sort for the oppressors be brought to book?

And yes, we are all guilty by omission and commission for all the transgressions.

We have outdone Sodom and Gomora, we have made lawful all Allah has made unlawful for us.

We live a life devoid of Allah, from cults that thrive on the blood of babies to homosexuals with arrogance, from wife swappers to fornicators tagged commercial sex workers.

We call the name of the Lord in vain, lie and do not keep trust when given to us, we oppress and cause pain to those we should be kind to.

We refused to listen and now the Laws of Allah are being forced on us, and yes, no one is calling it Islamization.

No more  parties, Owambe or otherwise, we now follow ques and don’t cramp close, we give distance, we cover our mouths when you yawn or cough, we shield our nose when you sneeze, when we are sick we self-quarantine, we do not visit the prayer areas when we have a contagious disease and so much more.

We have these spelt out in the Hadith and Sharia, did we listen, did we act on it? No!

So we the mighty and powerful, the assumed alfa and omega have to come to terms that we are nothing and have no significant value in the scheme of things.

We who have left our people with very poorly equipped hospitals are now confined to those hospitals.

We who will only travel by air are now limited to the roads we forgot to fix.

As for schools and our educational system it is sad that those who benefitted from a top class public education system failed themselves and the country.

Scandal after scandal we have been living with no one bold enough to take corrective steps without being vindictive or biased.

Now just one little virus far smaller than the mosquito that causes us what we thought was discomfort has gotten the whole world in a state of “la hauwla wa la quwata” [there is no GOD but Allah].

Of the many things that Allah could shake us with, No tsunami, No Asteroid, Not even nuclear war our large headed leaders have so often threatened us with, Allah just sent one out of many viruses and a tiny little one at that.

One tiny little virus has Everyone in confusion.

I pray that the dead find peace and that those responsible for the failures of the systems that should have prevented this find it in themselves to seek forgiveness from Allah.

I pray this becomes a unifying point, not only for us Nigerians but the world in general. That we stop preaching hate in any form, that we seek each other’s forgiveness and turn a new leaf.

I pray we learn and understand that like Kidnappers, Armed and Pen Robbers, COVID-19 is not bothered if you are Hausa, Yoruba or Ibo, Herdsman or Red Neck, Young or Old, Rich or Poor.

I pray we all survive this and live to tell the story of when Aradu came passing by, living a Godly life, doing what is right before Allah and forbidding that which is wrong.

If we don’t make it, then I pray we exit in a state of high Iman, in a state of repentance and helping our neighbors, the poor and needy.

Walid Shawkey Moukarim

@wsm4you  – twitter

@walidsmoukaim – facebook

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Insurgents Now Waging War Through Cyber Attacks, Expert Warns

An Israeli cyber security expert based in Nigeria, Ran Feit, has revealed that the cyber space is now the new warfront for Boko Haram and other insurgents all over the world.
Feit, however, urged the Nigerian government to begin to set aside budget to protect it Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) against such attacks.
Speaking with newsmen at the weekend in Abuja, when the Federal University of Technology Minna sent 70 students led by Dr. Idris Ismaila, Head of Department Cyber Security Science, to CyberDome’s Security Operation Center to see in real time how CyberDome Professionals respond to and handle cyber-incidents, Feit who is the head of firm said his organisation has collaborated with Federal University of Technology, Minna to ensure a bridge in the academia-industry gap in the area of cybersecurity.

“The terrorist today are using cyber; the future wars won’t be with weapons but through the cyber. You can see all around the world, energy, water pumps and power plants shutdown suddenly; think about it! If you don’t have water you don’t have energy and you don’t need to fire a bullet to finish a country.
“When we wanted to do something about cyber security in Nigeria a few years ago but they said there was no budget for such or we should do something cheap but we are coming from Israel although most of our employees are brilliant young Nigerian guys and all the time I am amazed at how clever they are.

“In Israel cyber security is something that is deep in our budget and we have invested Billions of dollars to defend ourselves and we thought as Nigeria being the largest economy in Africa and one of the biggest or maybe the biggest in Africa we thought maybe this is something we need to be here.
“More than two years ago when no one talked about cyber in Nigeria, we went to different organizations, we explained to them what is the difference between security and cyber and everybody thinks antivirus and firewall is enough.

“Those tools for security are old and not relevant anymore and new tools have been introduced to the market used for fighting cyber. So we established this centre which we also have academy classes; we saw organisations and explained why we need to let them know the threat and I can tell you in the last year the awareness for cyber is much higher than two years ago here in Nigeria.”
Speaking on the need to raise budget against cyber attack, Feit said: “In Switzerland it is the main yearly economic summit which put cyber as the fifth threat in the world after climate and other things; cyber today is the fifth threats in the world, think about it! Everybody is talking with us but the problem is there is lack of budget which is not prioritized.

“We believe that a small percentage needs to be allocated to what the world and not us said this is one of the major threats.”

When asked to explain how terrorists could possibly attack a Nation through Cyber, Feit said: “This is not my field, we are providing defence but we believe we have seen other places in the world terrorists using social media like ISIS, using the social media in a clever way and they also have smart guys also working for them who know how to do cyberattacks and don’t think that they are not using it.
“It will be unwise to think they are not using it but 90 percent of the threats are economic and I believe everyone sometime suffer some kind of cyberattack through some leakage or through some fishing email to get his/her information from the bank into his/her account or through the cellular or leaks of some sort of private information.

“If you have more than 2,000 details of people in your database you need to carry out some actions to protect those details which you don’t want them to leak and there are so many leaks in Nigeria’s details outside including finance and so on. There is a lot of things to be done.”
Also speaking, a cyber security activist, Ayobami Akanji, urged the government to act act swiftly on cyber security in the country.

“As a matter policy and urgency the government is looking towards digital economy. We have a ministry of digital economy and communications, so it has to be a policy trust of the federal government to ensure that all critical agencies that are holding the pillars of national security infrastructures need to double up on the cyber security investment because the world economic forum noted that cyber security is the fifth most important global threat in the world and Nigeria is fighting insurgency and the insurgents are also very smart.

“The insurgents are using technology to advance their causes, so government as a matter of priority for national security should invest seriously into these sub-sectors.
“I think last year the federal government launched national security strategy and amongst the infrastructures we have someone from cyber security and as minister of digital communication who is very committed in the person of Dr. Ali Isa Pantami. We expect him to double his effort and ensure that the government and critical sub unit of government will invest into this sector.”

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Nasir El-Rufai At 60: On The Mission To Fully Restore Kaduna’s Glory, By Olalekan Paul

The bravery to imagine and the will to get things done has been the motivating force behind Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, the Executive Governor of Kaduna State. No wonder we can see his giant strides in infrastructure, health, security, economy, education, and human development.

On May 29, 2015, El-Rufai was sworn in as the 22nd governor of Kaduna State, since then, he has been the centrepiece that connects governance with the people first by announcing a pay cut and donating 50 percent of his salary and allowance in a time of austerity which was witnessed by all.

Conscious of his campaign promises to the good people of Kaduna State, Governor El-Rufai has persistently pushed barriers and ushered in well-articulated economic and programmes geared towards setting the state on the path of development.  This include working with team of young and vibrant committed people to put necessary structures in place and implement policies necessary for the smooth running of governmental operations which in turn benefit lives and consolidate on the atmosphere for economic development generally.

The sustainable impact of El-Rufai polices can be largely seen in the following sectors:

INFRASTRUCTURE

Infrastructure is the backbone upon which every economy thrives as it creates the environment needed for the economic activities to bloom. Early in his administration, Governor El-Rufai contracted Bain and Company to review all inherited and ongoing capital projects in the state with a view to developing a prioritization mechanism for future ventures. Among its truly shocking findings was the fact that N87.5 billion existed in outstanding contractual obligations. To set things right, Governor El-Rufai embarked on an urbanization agenda by committing N108 billion of its 2016 budget to capital expenditure and in 2017, committed another N130 billion into infrastructure. Contractors have now returned to abandoned sites and delivered on many road projects in the state.

In its apt response to traffic gridlock in the State capital, the administration of El-Rufai implemented measures which include dualization of strategic roads, repairs to dilapidated roads and the introduction of a bus rapid transport (BRT). The BRT now has an exclusive lane such that it can operate even at times when traffic is the most congested.

Of recent is the commissioning of Sokoto Road which left many marvelled with the beautiful design and easy accessibility. More so, on Friday February 14, the state government launched a thirty-two year infrastructure development plan in its relentless efforts to make the state business friendly, and an investment hub for investors.

HEALTH

Upon assumption of office, Governor El-Rufai has upgraded 255 primary health centres, 23 rural hospitals, and various general hospitals with support from Dangote, alongside Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The state government has also strengthened the public healthcare system by recruiting more than 500 midwives to improve its institutional capacity as well as ensure safer pregnancies and reduce maternal mortality. Dialysis continues to be subsidised for the benefit of citizens dealing with renal challenges. Routine immunisation of infants remains ongoing, ante-natal and post-natal treatment for pregnant women and children below five years of age is free in public hospitals.

SECURITY

Nasir El-Rufai is not relenting in his commitment to protect lives and properties of the citizens of Kaduna State. In 2019, the state government doled out 85 vehicles to security agencies in the state as part of measures to tackle rising cases of banditry and kidnappings. The state government has also acquired and put at the disposal of the security agencies, a technology that can assist the state to fight against insecurity. Accordingly, is the establishment of the Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs to focus and coordinate the state’s efforts and cooperate with the security agencies. Peace has returned to all troubled areas while residents and visitors are now conducting their businesses in a safe and calm environment.

EDUCATION

Remarkably, Governor El-Rufai’s administration is keen on providing education for everyone especially the girl-child. In his first term, he announced free, compulsory universal basic education for every child in the state. The State Government in its pursuit to see that every child gets basic education and tackle truancy, launched “Edu-Marshalls” to arrest and forcefully take any Child found on the street Hawking during School hour.

The state government also tighten its policy on education by redeploying school teachers to rural areas and supported them with incentives. This has clearly improved the quality of learning across the state.

The El-Rufai administration, in its 2020 Budget, committed N42 billion to education. The state government has embarked on several interventions which includes investments in improving infrastructures, improving quality of the teachers. So far, the state government has recruited 25, 000 qualified teachers and renovated about 700 schools. These renovations are complete with the provision of solar-powered bore holes and cubicle toilet blocks. The aim is to expand class sizes to the extent that they cater for school enrollment rates which have soared from about 1 million pupils in 2015 to over 1.8 million currently.

Plans are also ongoing to move Kaduna State University from the current site to its permanent site along Zaria road; the ongoing construction of six science secondary schools is almost completed, with the transforming of 16 secondary schools into boarding schools.

TRANSPORTATION

In transportation, visible infrastructure abound in this critical area such as roads and bridges, including ongoing and completed projects as well as ongoing construction of modern bus stops in the state capital and many other communities.

ECONOMY

As at 2014, most industries in Kaduna State had closed shop; a state of nine million people was now referred to as a ‘civil service state’ and became a mockery of its own.

However, that has changed!

The administration of ElRufai has brought about a turn-around in the economic activities of the state. Business activities have now returned to the city of Kaduna and other major towns. Coming in from Abuja, one can’t help but notice the large Olam Poultry and Feed Mill, a 350-million dollar investment – the largest in Sub-Saharan Africa located in Chikun Local Government Area. Olam’s neighborhood has also just been announced as the home of the new Dangote Peugeot plant.

Going through Kakuri, one will also be confronted by the new 200 million dollars Mahindra Tractor Assembly Plant with a capacity of 3,000 tractors per year.

The administration of El-Rufai is also positively impacting the lives of farmers in the state. The State, in collaboration with the World Bank, has trained over 10,000 farmers on boosting agricultural production.

Across the street from Mahindra is Blue Camel Energy, a renewable energy production plant and training academy. More importantly is KADSTEP, a state-sponsored entrepreneurship programme run by Kaduna Business School, had graduated over 3,000 young businessmen and women hungry for opportunities.

The administration of El-Rufai is also positively impacting the lives of farmers in the state. The State, in collaboration with the World Bank, has trained over 10,000 farmers on boosting agricultural production.

In partnership with the World Bank, Kaduna State would soon launch, ‘Click-On-Kaduna’ – a digital jobs platform with ambition of creating Nigeria’s Silicon Valley.

With the above highlight on El-Rufai’s achievements, it can be boldly said that Governor El-Rufai value system is enshrined in human capital development. This is a man who has shown exemplary leadership and not on gender or ethnicity. With this belief, he is walking the talk on his campaign promises. Governor El-Rufai is about empowering the right people to deliver and make things happen in their respective offices.

Governor El-Rufai is setting the pace in the definition of true leadership by establishing policies that are masses oriented and beneficial to the general public. When the shoves come to push, El-Rufai, I can say is a hardworking and committed political leader.

Happy 60th Birthday Malam!

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Six Top Quotes From Muhammad Nami’s Speech At The 2020 FIRS Corporate Retreat

The Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Alh. Muhammad Nami is presiding over the 2020 FIRS Corporate Plan Retreat at the Transcorp Hilton Abuja with participants and guests from all works of the Nigerian society.

The discussions here will weigh on the importance and role of the FIRS in fulfilling their mandate and achieving a prosperous Nigeria.

While speaking at the retreat, Muhammad Nami highlighted the plans of the FIRS in the coming year, the new administration and its commitment to the service and also how it intends to reach its N8.5Trillion target

Here are 6 quotes from the points made by the FIRS Executive Chairman, Muhammad Nami:

1 – “Since I assumed office as the Executive Chairman, we have revised the organizational structure of the Service to reflect Management aspirations, reviewed TCC’s administration process and issuance programme to general public, reviewed and redesigned tax audit and investigation functions. Currently, we are reviewing all lien cases with a view to closing them and introducing new enforcement strategies.”

2 – “ “FIRS plays a strategic role in the nation’s political economy, including supporting the actualization of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s commitment of moving the country up on the Ease of Doing Business Ranking, taking 100 million Nigerians out of poverty over the next 10 years and rebuilding Nigeria’s critical infrastructure by generating sufficient revenue through expanding the tax net and efficient service delivery.”

3 – “The repositioning of the Service would be anchored on four cardinal pillars:
– Rebuilding FIRS’ Institutional Framework
– Robust Collaboration with Stakeholders
– Building a Customer (Taxpayer)-Centric Institution
– Data-Centric Institution.”

4 – “We have initiated several reform projects with a view to reversing our current under- performance level to a more acceptable one. We have agreed with my team that in the next four years we will improve our performance on a long term and sustainable basis. We have given ourselves a minimum target of $5million staff-to-revenue ratio and 10% tax-to-GDP ratio over the next four years.”

5 – “For the year 2020, we have a target of =N=8.5trillion which is slightly lower than the 2019 target by =N=300billion. … Looking at our performance in the recent past, one may look at the 2020 target as ambitious, but I can assure you that it is achievable especially with the ongoing reforms and business process re-engineering that are taking place in the Service.”

6 – “… if we are able to detect and block tax avoidance schemes by Multinational Corporations, that will also go a long way to improve our tax revenue collection..”

Many who are attending the 3 Day retreat – from policy makers, journalists, legislators, Finance sector experts among others – have described both Nami and the new FIRS as apt, delivery focused, vibrant, and dependable.

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USAID, United Bank For Africa Sign Memorandum Of Understanding

U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Prosper Africa initiative is partnering with the United Bank for Africa (UBA) to increase two-way trade and investment between the United States and the nations of Africa.   This partnership ensures businesses are equipped with the technical and financial tools they need to enter into new trading and investment relationships in Africa and the United States.  

USAID will provide technical assistance and advisory services to prospective businesses through its Trade and Investment Hubs, and will connect UBA with African Diaspora business groups working across the United States.  The MOU enables UBA, the only sub-Saharan African bank licensed to operate in the United States, to expand access its reach and extend financing to American companies in the United States looking to do business with African nations.

Recognizing tremendous growth opportunities, USAID and UBA are collaborating to advance Prosper Africa’s goal of substantially increasing two-way trade between Africa and the United States. By working together, they will extend financing and technical assistance to businesses that will strengthen the American economy, grow African economies, and create jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.

The two institutions entered into this agreement as part of the opening ceremony of the Tunisia Prosper Africa Conference, co-organized by the U.S. Embassy in Tunis and the American Chamber of Commerce of Tunisia. The event facilitated U.S. and African business-to-business connections and featured remarks by key representatives from the U.S. Government and the U.S. and African private sector.

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Polaris Bank Commences Agency Banking Solution…Unveils “SurePadi”

As part of its digital banking strategy, Polaris Bank recently introduced its Agency Banking Solution to serve as a vehicle to reach the unbanked and underbanked, as well as deepen financial inclusion across Nigeria.

The Polaris Agency banking solution known as “SurePadi” is designed to provide convenient and easy access to funds and other banking services in far-flung neighbourhoods, through partnerships with existing and new retail outlets. Research shows that lack of accessible financial service points is a key factor responsible for Nigeria’s high financial exclusion rate.

According to the Chief Digital Officer of Polaris Bank, Mr. Dele Adeyinka, “The introduction of SurePadi is in line with our plan to deepen financial inclusion by serving the huge unbanked and underbanked population especially in locations where basic banking services are far from reach.”

Mr. Adeyinka further stated that: “With Nigeria’s financial exclusion rate currently at 36.8 percent according to CBN, the goal of achieving 20 percent this year to close the exclusion gap of 16.8 percent is also a factor driving our SurePadi Banking Solution.”

“The SurePadi banking solution is also one of the ways we are helping to reduce unemployment in the country because when you sign up an agent, one of the benefits is that it provides a means of earning additional disposable income,” he added.

Agency banking service is a convenient way of providing limited banking services to customers through the use of Agents who usually are non-traditional bankers or banking businesses.

Services offered by SurePadi include; account opening, funds transfer, deposit funds; cash withdrawals, bills payment, airtime top up amongst other services. SurePadi Agents earn additional income in addition to improved status in the community through brand affiliation with Polaris Bank.

Customers on the other hand will enjoy the convenience and ease that comes with the service, plus low cost of transacting as they are able to save the cost of transportation to banks; they are also able to  access funds  anytime of the day, beyond banking hours (weekends and public holidays).

A SurePadi Agent can be a registered business such as Limited Liability Company, sole proprietorship, partnership, cooperative society, a large retail distribution network, petrol filling stations (Preferably one with a Supermarket or Store) and dealers in FMCG. In addition, unregistered businesses or individuals including supermarkets, retail outlets, and distributors of mobile network operators, business centers, boutiques, provision shops, and sport viewing centers also qualify to be a SurePadi Agents.

Customers wishing to become Polaris SurePadi Agents, are advised to visit the nearest Polaris Bank branch with a passport photograph and a valid means of identification: driver’s license; national identity card, International passport or voters’ card and utility bill (Not less than three (3) months from time of presentation).

Polaris Bank is a future-determining Bank committed to the delivery of industry-defining products, and services, across all the sectors of the Nigerian economy.

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Aisha Buhari opens Abuja 2020 Para Powerlifting World Cup

First Lady, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Mrs. Aisha Buhari has drawn attention to the plight of retired para powerlifters and other athletes in Nigeria, many of whom retire into hardship after having served their country superlatively. She made this call during the opening ceremony of the Abuja 2020 Para Powerlifting World Cup, on Tuesday, 4th February, 2020 at the International Conference Center.

Mrs. Buhari said, “I have since observed the contribution of these athletes in reshaping the image of Nigeria with immense significance and the Country owes them a debt of gratitude. She called on the nation to start repaying this debt by ensuring they are well taken care of in their time of need.
“It is in this light, that my foundation, the Aisha Buhari Foundation and other developmental partners will soon unveil a program that will aim to make retired athletes welfare a great priority. I also believe that it was these athletes dedication to hardwork and discipline that won the Country the hosting rights for this competition, being a qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games” She said.

Speaking on her involvement, the First Lady said her interest in the wellbeing of the underprivileged led to establishing the Aisha Buhari Foundation and Future Assured and her acceptance to be grand patron of the event.

She congratulated the organizers of the event and called on Nigerians to support team Nigeria, otherwise known as “the unstoppables”. She also welcomed teams from other countries and encouraged them to enjoy their stay in Nigeria.

Deputy Governor of Enugu State, Hon. Cecelia Ezeilo, said she had always been a sports enthusiast and that is why she accepted to be the grant matron of the Para Powerlifting Team and felt a sense of duty to organize a fund raising for the event, which turned out successful. She called on the organizers to ensure successful conduct of the event.

Hon. Minister of Sports, Mr. Sunday Akin Dare said the Para Powerlifting World Cup is significant to Nigeria as it provided the opportunity to implement several related events including a referee training, coaches training, loaders course and anti-doping seminar. He wished the athletes success in the competition. He thanked the first lady for the show of support to the competition, and extraordinary passion for sports in general.
Hon. Minister of State, FCT, who was represented by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr. Chijeaka Ohaa reiterated the commitment of the FCT Administration towards the successful hosting of the world cup as it provides an opportunity to showcase the tourism potential of the Country.
Others who spoke at the occasion include the President, Nigeria Para Powerlifting Federation, Mrs. Queen Uboh Idris, who welcomed members of the international Paralympic Committee and all the countries contingents. She stated that Nigeria was ready for the competition and will not only host but will host well. She also expressed gratitude to the first lady for all the support she has given as grand patron to the competition and as a Mother of the Nation.
Part of the highlights of the event was the presentation of sporting kits to team Nigeria by the Executive Secretary, National Lottery Trust Fund, Dr. Bello Maigari.

The opening ceremony was attended by Ghana, Cote d’ivoire, Mali, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Egypt, Italy, Libya, Brazil, Georgia, Kenya, Benin Republic, and Nigeria.
The First Lady was accompanied to the opening ceremony by Wife of the Vice President, Her Excellency, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo and several wives of the State Governors among others.

Aliyu Abdullah
Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity
(Office of the First Lady)
January 5th, 2020

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Two Takeaways From Nami’s ATAF Speech, By Muhammad Gulani

Muhammad Nami, a well-trained Tax, Accounting and Management professional with three decades of practical working experience in Auditing and Tax Management was appointed months ago to head Nigeria’s tax collection unit: The Federal Inland Revenue Service.

Mr. Nami’s vast experience brought him onboard working with the Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Stolen Assets in November, 2017 as inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Here are Two Takeaways from his speech today where he spoke on the theme: “The Taxation of the Informal Sector in Africa” during the 9th African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) Country Correspondents Conference:

1 – That while the Informal sector is driving about 21 to 70 percent of the GDP of African countries and also accounts for between 30 to 90 percent of employment in the region, it is one of the most difficult sectors to tax.

“… the sector remains one of the most difficult sectors to tax, with most of the businesses operating in the sector concealing their activities from the Tax Authorities. Such businesses also operate on a cash basis and maintain poor or no accounting records. Most of the businesses in the sector are also small and fragmented making it inefficient for the revenue administrations to enforce compliance. “

2 – That while it is not politically popular to tax the informal sector, this must be done if Africa is to reduce its budget deficit

“Taxing the informal sector is viewed as politically unpopular and politicians are unwilling to risk losing the high number of votes represented in the sector. This is because politicians usually promise informal workers protection from taxation in exchange for their votes…If Africa is to reduce its budget deficits and increase revenue mobilization, it must widen its tax base and the informal sector provides an opportunity to do so”

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Buhari: Pastor Andimi’s Faith Should Inspire All Nigerians

President of Nigeria eulogizes Brethren leader executed by Boko Haram, and criticizes terrorist efforts to divide Christians and Muslims in Africa’s most populous state.

MUHAMMADU BUHARI
Nigerians everywhere, those of belief and those of none, are mourning the death of pastor Lawan Andimi, taken from us by Boko Haram for his refusal to denounce his Christian faith.

I did not know Pastor Andimi personally. Yet Nigerians and I both know him and his church by their works: healing, caring, feeding and educating, particularly in the northeastern regions of my country—in those areas threatened for too long by terrorists. Every day, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN) places itself there bravely where the brotherhood of man is most in need of sustenance.

Pastor Andimi’s ministry was located only 60 miles from the town of Chibok, from where in 2014 the world witnessed the shocking kidnapping of 267 schoolgirls. That even one individual—this time a man of the church—could still be taken by the terror group seven years later might be viewed as evidence the terrorists are fully functional, and undefeated. But it is not.

Since I was first elected to office in 2015, 107 of the Chibok girls have been freed. Today we seek the others. Boko Haram are no longer one, unified threat, but fractured into several rivals. These splinters are themselves degraded: reduced to criminal acts which—nonetheless no less cruel—target smaller and smaller numbers of the innocent. We owe thanks to the Nigerian defense forces, bolstered by our partnership with the British, American militaries and other countries that we are winning this struggle in the field.

But we may not, yet, be completely winning the battle for the truth. Christianity in Nigeria is not—as some seem intent on believing—contracting under pressure, but expanding and growing in numbers approaching half of our population today. Nor is it the case that Boko Haram is primarily targeting Christians: not all of the Chibok schoolgirls were Christians; some were Muslims, and were so at the point at which they were taken by the terrorists. Indeed, it is the reality that some 90 per cent of all Boko Haram’s victims have been Muslims: they include a copycat abduction of over 100 Muslim schoolgirls, along with their single Christian classmate; shootings inside mosques; and the murder of two prominent imams. Perhaps it makes for a better story should these truths, and more, be ignored in the telling.

It is a simple fact that these now-failing terrorists have targeted the vulnerable, the religious, the non-religious, the young, and the old without discrimination. And at this point, when they are fractured, we cannot allow them to divide good Christians and good Muslims from those things that bind us all in the sight of God: faith, family, forgiveness, fidelity, and friendship to each other.

Yet sadly, there is a tiny, if vocal, minority of religious leaders—both Muslim and Christian—who appear more than prepared to take their bait and blame the opposite religious side. The terrorists today attempt to build invisible walls between us. They have failed in their territorial ambitions, so now instead they seek to divide our state of mind, by prying us from one from another—to set one religion seemingly implacably against the other.

Translated into English, Boko Haram means “Western teachings are sinful.” They claim as “proof” passages of the Quran which state that Muslims should fight “pagans” to be justification for attacks on Christians and those Muslims who hold no truck with them. They are debased by their wilful misreading of scripture—at least those of them who are able to read at all.

Of course, there is much of Christianity and Islam—both in teaching and practice—that are not the same. Were that not so, there would be no need for the separateness of the two religions. Yet though these unread terrorists seem not to know it, there is much between our two faiths—both the word and the scripture—that run in parallel.

For the Bible teaches, “Each one must give as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion” (2 Cor. 9:7), while the Quran states: “There is no compulsion in religion” (2:256). Similarly, the Bible states:

“For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror” (James 1:23). The Quran concurs: “Those who believe and do good works, theirs will be forgiveness and a great reward” (35:7).

I call on Nigeria’s faith leaders, and Nigerians everywhere, to take these words of concord—and the many more that exist—to their hearts and their deeds. Just as my government, and our international partners, quicken our campaign to defeat Boko Haram within and without our borders, we must turn our minds to the future. There is no place in Nigeria for those who seek to divide us by religion, who compel others to change their faith forcibly, or try to convince others that by so doing, they are doing good.

Rather, we might all learn from the faith and works of Pastor Andimi. There seems little doubt he acted selflessly in so many regards—giving alms and prayers to both Christians and Muslims who suffered at the hands of the terrorists. And he passed from us, rightly refusing to renounce his faith that was not for his captors to take, any more than his life. His belief and his deeds are a lesson and an inspiration to all of us.

Muhammadu Buhari is President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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