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BATN urges fair, balanced regulation of the tobacco industry.



British American Tobacco Nigeria (BATN) has called on Senators and other industry

stakeholders to work towards better and balanced regulation of the tobacco industry, for

the benefit of all stakeholders. This can only be achieved if the bill on regulating the tobacco

industry that is currently being debated by the National Assembly takes into consideration the

views of all stakeholders with the ultimate aim of drafting a bill that is effective and workable

said Freddy Messanvi, Director, Corporate and Regulatory Affairs, BAT West Africa.

Speaking at the Tobacco Control Bill Public Hearing organised by the Committee on Health of

the Senate at the National Assembly, Abuja, October 15, 2014, Messanvi said that a balanced

tobacco legislation will drive the attainment of the aims and objectives of the bill. “Drafting

a bill that will not make matters worse but will be workable, based on fact and evidence

whilst achieving the aims for which it was set should be the focus as these bills are now being

considered” said Messanvi, adding that “a legitimate tobacco industry that is well regulated has

more benefits than one that is left in the hands of smugglers who are faceless and who have

little or no stake in the country.”

An overly stringent legislation that hamstrings legitimate producers from operating in the

country will only lead to opening up the country to illegal trading of tobacco in the country

such as is happening in other countries. Such a scenario, said Messanvi, has dire consequences

as the quality of tobacco products will be compromised and there will be a fall in government

revenue and increase in the rate of smuggling with public health objectives not achieved.

“We are unabashedly protective of the industry because it is not only about the cigarettes that

we see, but also about economic development engendered by legitimate businesses such as

BATN and its entire industry chain which includes farmers, retailers, among others,” he said.

Very stringent regulations will make production in Nigeria unattractive. Although demand of

cigarettes will not abate, this will however be met by the illegal sources and more importation

of cigarettes. “Jobs created will go elsewhere, and the market made more attractive for

smugglers,” added Messanvi.

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Protesters canvassing for fair and balanced tobacco regulation, prior to the commencement of the Public Hearing on the Tobacco Control Bill, organised by the Senate Committee on Health, at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja, on Wednesday.


It is believed that the issue of illegal trade remains one of major concern. If the bill is passed

and creates loopholes which smugglers can take advantage of, then the work done by different

regulatory agencies to bring illicit trade levels down will be completely lost.

Messanvi said that “the concern of the bill to safeguard public health can only be realised if

we have a workable regulation that will not in any form encourage illegal trading of tobacco

product to thrive.”

The Tobacco Control Bill seeks to amongst other things provide for the regulation of the

production, importation, advertising, promoting, sponsorship, distribution, sale and public

space smoking areas.

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News and Report

House Of Representatives Issues Warrant Of Arrest On Central Bank Governor, Cardoso, Accountant-General, 17 Others




The House of Representatives’ Committee on Public Petitions has asked for a warrant of arrest to be issued on the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Olayemi Cardoso, the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Oluwatoyin Madein, and 17 others over refusal to appear before it to answer questions on their operations.

It was gathered that the issuance of the arrest warrant was sequel to the adoption of a motion moved by Fred Agbedi, representing Ekeremo/Sagbama Federal Constituency of Bayelsa State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the committee’s hearing on Tuesday.

Agbedi, while moving the motion, said that the arrest warrant had become imperative following the attitude of the invitees, adding that the parliament worked with time and the CEOs had been invited four times but failed to respond to the invitations.

Agbedi said that the CBN Governor, the AGF and the rest of the invitees should be brought to appear before the committee by the Inspector General of Police through a warrant of arrest after due diligence by the House Speaker, Rep Tajudeen Abbas.

The Chairman of the Committee, Micheal Irom (APC-Cross River), in his ruling said that the Inspector-General of Police should ensure the invitees were brought before the committee on December 14.
It was gathered that the petitioner, Fidelis Uzowanem, had earlier said that the petition was anchored on the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) 2021 report.

Irom said, “We took up the challenge to examine the report and discovered that what NEITI put together as a report is only consolidation of fraud that has been going on in the oil and gas industry.

“It dates back to 2016 because we have been following and we put up a petition to this committee to examine what has happened.

“The 2024 budget of 27.5 trillion that has been proposed can be confidently funded from the recoverable amount that we identified in the NEITI report.

“It is basically a concealment of illegal transactions that took place in NNPCL; they have been in a sink with some oil companies where some companies that did not produce crude were paid cash core, an amount paid for crude oil production.”


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FCTA uncovers illegal oil refining warehouse in Abuja




In continuation of the city cleaning exercise, Authorities of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) with operatives of security personnel have uncovered an illegal oil refining warehouse in Mabushi, opposite Mobile filling station on Ahmadu Bello way in Abuja.


The Director, Department of Development Control, FCTA, Mukhtar Galadima after the operation on Thursday, said the illegal refining site was discovered during the continuation of the city cleaning exercise.


According to him, about three to four plot of lands designated for commercial purposes have been converted to an area where oil and diesel are being adulterated and circulated to other parts of the city.


Galadima explained that the city sanitation task force will look into the provision of the law and make necessary recommendations to the FCT Administration for further actions on the plots used for the activity.


He said there was no arrest but the items used in carrying out the illegal refining have been impounded.


Galadima said, “During the continuation of our city sanitation exercise in Mabushi opposite Mobile filling station on Ahmadu way, we discovered an illegal refining site where oil and diesel are being adulterated, we have done the needful by moving the items to Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.


“From what we have seen so far, about three or four pilot of lands designated for commercial purposes have been converted to unapproved activities, which we believe the owners are fully aware, there will be consequences.


“We are going to look at the provision of the law and make necessary recommendations to the FCT Administration”


He said the administration will continue to go tough on activities being carried out without government approval,  especially revocation of the titles.


Collaborating, Head, operations FCT Directorate of Road Traffic Service (DRTS), Deborah Osho said the city management team during the exercise also discovered that most of the areas in the Nation’s capital have been converted to illegal car mart and motor parks.


She disclosed that fifteen vehicles have so far been impounded since the operation commenced about two days.

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Central Bank To Freeze Accounts Without BVN, NIN From April 2024




The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said on Friday that it will freeze accounts without a Bank Verification Number (BVN) or National Identification Number (NIN) from April 2024.

This is according to a Friday circular by the apex bank which said a BVN or NIN verification will be “conducted shortly”.

It also said all BVN or NIN attached to accounts/wallets must be electronically revalidated by January 31, 2024, according to the circular by the CBN Director of Payments System Management Department Chibuzo Efobi, and the Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department Haruna Mustapha.

More details later….


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