Press Release: Aftermath of Kano Round-Table, Senate Unfolds Plans to Tackle Drug Menace

Press Release

February 15, 2018

Aftermath of Kano Round-Table, Senate Unfolds Plans to Tackle Drug Menace

 

Arising from its roundtable conference on drug abuse in Kano last month, the Senate on Thursday unveiled a comprehensive framework aimed at providing effective leadership and governance for cases of mental health and substance abuse in the country.

 

The plans, according to a statement from the Media Office of the President of the Senate, include formulating, developing, and implementing national policies, strategies, programme, and regulations relating to mental health and substance abuse aimed at arresting the rising incidence.

 

The intervention also comprises a complex legislative framework for operations of law enforcement and other agencies towards reduction in the supply of illicit substances of abuse, and control of illicit psychoactive substances by passing a Mental Health and Substance Abuse Bill.

The Bill, when passed, will ensure that mental health is valued, promoted, and protected and that mental health conditions which often predispose vulnerable individuals to substance abuse and dependence, are treated.

 

The statement added that “sections of various legislations and policies that deal with Drug Control are being pulled together and harmonized into ONE drug Control Bill, with clear mandates for the various law enforcement and regulatory agencies like NDLEA, NAFDAC, Nigerian Police Force, etc, to develop framework for interagency cooperation towards Drug Control.

 

It will also ensure that prevention mechanisms, timely, affordable, high quality and culturally appropriate mental healthcare is made available to the public.

 

Besides, the Senate will also develop a coherent legislative and policy context to address both the control of drugs (Psychoactive Drugs), and Interventions for people that use drugs.

 

“We will also address the lack of clarity, and processes of agency roles and responsibilities and processes of interagency cooperation on multiple areas of overlap, towards the common objective of safeguarding the health and wellbeing of the Nigerian Public, while we look forward to the support and active participation of all well-meaning Nigerians”, the statement stated.

 

END

Media Office of the President of the Senate

 

Press Release: Saraki Reiterates Senate’s Commitment To Tackle Drug Abuse

Press Release 

February 14, 2018

Saraki Reiterates Senate’s Commitment To Tackle Drug Abuse

 

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has reiterated the resolve of the 8th Senate to tackle the menace of drug abuse in the country, even as he pledged that the Red Chamber will continue to ensure that women and children are respectfully treated both in the schools and work places.

 

Saraki spoke yesterday when he received a delegation from the Federation of Muslim Women’s Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), led by Amirah Hajia Halima Jubril, at the National Assembly.

 

According to a statement by the Special Assistant to the President of the Senate on Print Media, Chuks Okocha, Saraki reiterated the determination of the Senate to work towards the eradication of drug abuse among all segments of the society.

 

The President of the Senate narrated to the FOMWAN delegation how the Senate conducted a roundtable conference on drug abuse in the ancient city of Kano.

 

“We in the Senate have taken a position on the over-the-counter purchase of drugs and its implications on the society, especially women and children,” Saraki said. “This is of great concern to us and we have made our recommendations to the executive arm of government. We will ensure that we protect our women and children from the dangers of drug abuse,” he said.

 

Saraki also stated that the Senate will ensure and guarantee the rights of all Nigerians, especially women and children in their place of work and school.

 

“This Senate cares about the rights of all Nigerians, especially as it regards issues of discrimination. This Senate will ensure that everyone is fairly treated,” he said.

 

Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Hajia Jubril, called on the Senate to strengthen the laws on drug abuse as a means of mitigating the increasing trend of the menace of drug abuse.

 

“The Senate need to take decisive action through legislation to protect the rights of women and children,” she stated.

END

 

Signed

 

Chuks Okocha

Special Assistant (Print Media) to the President of the Senate 

Press Release: Saraki Mourns Gen. Shagaya

Press Release

February 12, 2018

Saraki Mourns Gen. Shagaya

 

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has expressed sadness over the death of a member of the sixth Senate and former Minister of Internal Affairs, Brigadier General John Nanzip Shagaya, on Sunday.

 

Saraki, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, described the late Shagaya as a “fine officer and gentleman” who during his lifetime, gave his all in the service of his country, both as a soldier and politician.

 

“Shagaya would be remembered for his meritorious service to the country and the West African sub-region as an active member of the Nigerian Armed Forces,” Saraki said. “He served this country in many capacities such as Minister, member of the Armed Forces Ruling Council and Chairman, Committee on Nigeria’s Membership of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

 

“He also served as a member, drafting committee of the main protocols for the Economic Community of West African States, member, National Boundary Commission and a Field Commander in the ECOMOG Peacekeeping Force in Liberia.

 

“As a politician, he was elected to represent Plateau South Senatorial District in the 6th Senate where he contributed to various legislations aimed at enhancing the nation’s democracy. He was the Chairman, Governing Board of National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru in Jos,” he stated.

 

President of the Senate commiserated with the immediate family of the deceased and the government and people of Plateau State over the irreparable loss, while calling on the Federal Government to immortalize the late army General.

 

He prayed God to grant the soul of the departed eternal rest and his family and loved ones the fortitude to bear the loss.

 

END

 

Yusuph Olaniyonu

Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, to the President of the Senate

 

Press Release: Saraki Condoles With Buhari Over Death of Two Family Members

Press Release 

February 11, 2018

 

Saraki Condoles With Buhari Over Death of Two Family Members

 

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has commiserated with President Muhammadu Buhari over the death of two members of his extended family – Hajiya Halima Dauda and Hajiya Ai’sha Alhaji Mamman.

 

Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, also condoled with Buhari’s Uncle, Mallam Mamman Daura over the death of his younger sister.

 

“My family and I share with Mr. President and his entire family this moment of grief,” Saraki said. “I urge Mr. President to be heartened and see the twin death as the will of Almighty Allah.”

 

“The death of a family member is often traumatic. It is much more unbearable when one loses two family members at short interval. May God grant Mr. President and his entire family the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss,”

 

Saraki also prayed that Allah should grant the souls of the departed places among the righteous ones in Aljannah Firdaus.

 

END

 

Yusuph Olaniyonu 

Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, to the President of the Senate

 

Press Release: NSA, Top Security Chiefs to Address Security Summit’s Day 2

Press Release 

February 11, 2018

 

NSA, Top Security Chiefs to Address Security Summit’s Day 2

 

The Summit on National Security being organized by the National Assembly in collaboration with the Executive will on Monday receive presentations from heads of military and para-military organizations in the country including the National Security Adviser (NSA) and other Service Chiefs.

 

Also expected at the Day-Two of the summit are traditional rulers, cultural groups and religious leaders who are expected to give their grassroots perspective on the security situation in the country and how to permanently address the crisis.

 

Top security chiefs expected to make presentations and discuss the theme: “Managing Internal Security Threats” include: The National Security Adviser, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, Comptroller General, Nigeria Immigration Service and and the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.

 

The two-day Dialogue which was declared opened by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, last Thursday, was convened to enable the legislature and the executive put heads together, share ideas and map out strategies on how to combat the increasing threats to the peace and security of the country.

 

END

 

Media Office of the President of the Senate

 

Press Release: Saraki Urges Assembly Clerks To Be Accountable, Transparent

Press Release
February 9, 2018

Saraki Urges Assembly Clerks To Be Accountable, Transparent

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Friday, urged Clerks to the National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly, to live above board in order to strengthen the legislature and restore confidence in the institution.

Saraki who gave the charge in his remarks while declaring open the 9th Meeting of Clerks to National and State Houses of Assembly in Abuja, also reiterated that the strength of the nation’s democracy lies in the legislature.

He stated that for the legislature to live up to its mandate, its administrators and staff must be fearless, accountable and transparent.

He pledged that the leadership of the 8th National Assembly will continue to ensure that adequate funding is made available to train and build the capacity of staff.

Saraki, according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, in Abuja, said: “I strongly believe that the strength of democracy lies in the legislature, If we all agree with that, it then means that to strengthen our democracy as a country, we must strengthen the legislature.

“The question is: Where is the strength of the legislature? I strongly believe that that strength is not in us that are elected per se but more in you the administrators of the legislature.

“I have no doubt at all that we must strengthen your capacity. We must invest in you. We must invest in the administration. More importantly, the truth is it is a job that you must be fearless.

“It is not easy to look at a governor, the Honorable Speaker or the Senate President and tell them this is what you should do because if you don’t do this we cannot strengthen our democracy. The turnover of parliamentarians will always be high. It will take a long time. The only constant is you the administrators. So you must be fearless.,” he said.

He added that the present leadership of the National Assembly is committed to strengthen and reposition the legislature in the country.

“If we want to win the trust of Nigerians, we ourselves need to do the right thing. I believe that if we are going to be the custodian of our democracy, we must set standards for ourselves that we can be proud of.

“What you can expect from the Honorable Speaker and myself, is that we will do whatever we can to provide you that independence. I believe that we need to provide you more funding for training to ensure that you improve your capacity and by so doing we will strengthen the legislative arm of government.” Saraki stated.

END

Signed

Sanni Onogu
Chief Press Secretary to the President of the Senate

Press Release: Saraki Mourns Veteran Broadcaster, Baba-Ahmed

Press Release

February 9, 2018

Saraki Mourns Veteran Broadcaster, Baba-Ahmed

Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has described the death of veteran broadcaster, Mahmoon Baba-Ahmed, as not only a loss to the journalism profession but to the entire nation.

Saraki, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said the late ace broadcaster, writer and media manager had contributed immensely to the growth of journalism profession not only in the North but the entire nation.

The President of the Senate described late Mahmoon, who is an elder brother to his Chief of Staff, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, as fearless and courageous.

He recalled how he risked his life to report live the Maitatsine crises in the 80’s from the battle front.

“As a journalist and writer, he exhibited courage in reporting and presenting issues, no matter whose ox is gored. With his death, the journalism profession has surely lost one of its shining and exemplary stars,” Saraki said.

He commisserated with the family of the deceased, particularly his Chief of Staff, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, Zaria emirate, people and government of Kaduna state, while praying God to grant the soul of the deceased Aljannah Firdaus.

END

Signed:

Yusuph Olaniyonu

Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President of the Senate

CHAN 2018: Saraki Lauds Super Eagles….Says Learn From Setback

CHAN 2018: Saraki Lauds Super Eagles….Says Learn From Setback

Despite the inability of the home-based Super Eagles to lift the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) cup, the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Monday, applauded the lads for playing in the finals of the championship held in Morocco.

Saraki, in a statement signed by his Media Office, stated that all Nigerians will remain proud of their performance in Morocco even though the boys failed to convert their numerous chances during the game against the Atlas Lions of Morocco in Casablanca on Sunday.

He stated that even though the expected victory eluded the country, the home based Eagles in particular and the country in general has a lot to learn from the experience.

“The whole nation is proud of the level of success recorded by our players and their coaching staff during the just concluded CHAN,” Saraki said. “I believe that with early preparations, focus and determination, the team and its handlers can bounce back from this setback to rule the continent in future competitions.”

He reiterated the commitment of the 8th Senate in particular and the National Assembly in general, to prioritise sports development in the country through necessary legislation, advocacy and timely oversight duties to ensure that funds appropriated for sports’ development are transparently utilized by the respective agencies.

END

Media Office of the President of the Senate

Press Release: Saraki: Education Reforms Key To Africa’s Development

Press Release
February 4, 2018

Saraki: Education Reforms Key To Africa’s Development

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has urged African leaders to shift emphasis from the current theoretical system of impacting knowledge in her education system to practical skills based approach in order to radically turn around the fortunes of the continent.

Saraki made the call while delivering a keynote address at the 2018 Georgetown Africa Business Conference in Washington DC, United States of America. The conference was hosted by the Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business in conjunction with the Walsh School of Foreign Service’s African Studies Programme.

Saraki, according to a statement by his Chef Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, said that the much talked about rapid industrialization of the continent will remain a mirage if her leaders fail to adopt modern trends in vocational and technical education.

He stated that, even though Africa is blessed with a large youth population, the continent cannot benefit without making the them useful, innovative and productive in line with global trends.

Speaking on the topic: “The African Value Chain: Harnessing Local Talent and Opportunity,” Saraki said: “African governments must provide an enabling environment for the nurturing of raw talent. Our education system ought to move away from a theory based approach and paper certification to inculcating practical skills that support apprenticeship and boosts innovation and industry.

“This is the place of Vocational and Technical education which provides that the youth inculcate practical skills that will not only make them employable but will also help the continent in building an army of job providers,” he said.

He made a passionate appeal for quality higher education and the creation of the right conditions and opportunities for entrepreneurship and employment in both Nigeria and Africa – while urging the world to take note that truly, Africa has come of age.

“All these would challenge us to plan and implement far reaching reform, especially in the higher education sub-sector, so as to ensure that our youths are market ready in the entire value chain of identified economic drivers; agriculture, construction, ICT, entertainment, sports and fashion industries,” he said.

He noted that while Africa was presently home to about 1.3 billion people and her population is expected to double by 2050, it is well endowed with a large youth population which means a huge market in terms of consumption, services and labor.

He added: “However, for Africa to benefit from the demographic dividends that a massive youth population offers, we must make the right investments in quality higher education and create the right conditions and opportunities for entrepreneurship and employment. No African country can do this alone.

“A large market is only useful when the people have the necessary purchasing power; and a huge population is only an asset when it is productive. My country, Nigeria, is already a population powerhouse, the largest in Africa and the seventh in the world,” he said.

He told the audience that the wrong perception of Africa by the West as a jungle inhabited by despots beginning to change due to the positive developments across the continent.

“Our gathering is in some way a reflection of the changing attitudes towards the continent. It used to be the case that when those in the West thought of Africa, all they conjured up were images of conflicts, epidemics and despots.

“While we still have reports of conflicts and outbreak of disease on CNN, BBC and Al-Jazeera, we also now have programs like ‘Inside Africa’, ‘African Voices’, ‘Marketplace Africa’, and ‘Africa Business Report’– that showcase entrepreneurial acuity, talent and innovation,” the President of the Senate stated.

Such positive development according to Saraki is presently being felt across the world through movies produced by Nollywood and the nation’s young and talented musicians that have taken the world by storm.

He said: “Another sector that provides value addition and comparative advantage is the Entertainment industry, which has grown tremendously over the last 20 years… Nigerian musician, Wizkid, recently sold out in London’s prestigious Royal Albert Hall, and is much sought after for collaboration with major American Music artists.

“Whilst interacting with Wizkid recently, he told me he ‘filled a stadium of 40,000’ in Gabon a French-speaking country where they didn’t understand a word of his lyrics; and he himself was astonished.

“The Shoki dance movement went from the back streets of Lagos to galactic heights in the music video of U.S. Hip-Hop artist, Missy Elliot. I remember in my younger days, if you went to a disco party in Nigeria, the deejay would play 100 per cent American RnB like Shalamar, The Whispers and Earth Wind and Fire.

“Now, no such thing. Nigerian musicians like Davido and Phyno are all the rage. I would never have thought in my lifetime that I would see this happen. We have come full circle,” he said.

He said that the same feat can be said of Nollywood, which is the second largest movie industry in the world; and another bold example of people creating a value chain as though from nothing in Africa.

“When the first video feature in what would become known as Nollywood, a film called ‘Living in Bondage’ was released in the mid-90s, few could have imagined the huge industry it would spawn, but here we are today.

“Nollywood stars are known the world over, and the industry employs thousands of Nigerians. So influential are these stars that, when news spread recently a major Nollywood star had been cast in a small role in a Hollywood film, Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, Nigerians went wild.

“It turned out to be fake news, but maybe we are on to something. Marvel Studios, if you are listening, if you want an audience of millions in Africa for your upcoming film, then there is a casting decision you need to make,” he said.

He observed that the tech start-ups in Lagos not only weathered the recession unscathed, they are presently attracting major seed funding, driving business growth and are impacting in every value chain imaginable, from agriculture to blood banks.

“We cannot say it enough that Nigeria has some of the most talented, hardworking and innovative young people in the world,” Saraki said. “This much was attested to by Mark Zuckerberg when he visited Nigeria some time ago. He said: ‘I was highly impressed by the talent of the youths in the Co-Creation Hub in Yaba. I was blown away by their talent and the level of energy.’

“Something tells me we have not even scratched the surface of what the movie industry alone can contribute to the economy of Nigeria and the entire African continent,” he said.

END

Sanni Onogu
Chief Press Secretary to the President of the Senate

Press Release: Saraki Delivers Lecture in Washington on Saturday

Press Release
February 1, 2018

Saraki Delivers Lecture in Washington on Saturday

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, will on Saturday, February 3, participate and deliver a lecture at the 2018 Georgetown Africa Business Conference in Washington DC, United States of America (USA).

The conference is being hosted by Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business in conjunction with the Walsh School of Foreign Service’s African Studies Program.

According to the organizers, “the purpose of the event is to showcase the growth and impact of the private sector across the African continent and facilitate a discussion on opportunities to continue this success with a particular focus on the role of governance in economic growth.”

Apart from presenting the Keynote Address at the Conference, the Senate President is also to partake as an audience member during the panel discussion, attend the Master Class of the Special Breakout Session and the Networking Lunch.

Saraki is being accompanied to the event by Chairman, Senate Committee on Primary Healthcare and Communicable Diseases, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa and his colleague on the Committee on Local Content, Senator Olamilekan Adeola.

END

Senate President’s Media Office