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NAFDAC warns against ripening of fruits with carbide, says it’s harmful to human health

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has warned Nigerians against the consumption of fruits ripened by calcium carbide.

Mojisola Adeyeye, the director-general of NAFDAC, gave the warning in her keynote address on Thursday at the south-south zone media sensitisation workshop on the dangers of drug hawking and ripening of fruits with calcium carbide in Uyo, Akwa Ibom.

Calcium carbide is a greyish-black lump or crystalline chemical substance with a garlic-like odour. It is used to generate acetylene gas, as a reducing agent, and is used in steel manufacturing and metal cutting.

Adeyeye, who was represented by Leonard Omokpariola, director of chemical evaluation and research, said consuming such artificially ripened fruits could result in sleeping disorders, mouth ulcers, skin rashes, kidney problems and cancer.

She said calcium carbide is alkaline in nature and erodes the mucosal tissue in the abdominal region and disrupts intestinal functions.

The director-general said NAFDAC has commenced campaigns in the nooks and crannies of the country to eradicate the menace of using the chemical substance to ripen fruits.

“Consumption of fruits containing these impurities may cause cancer, heart, kidney and liver failure,” NAN Adyeye her as saying.

“They may also cause frequent thirst, irritation in mouth and nose, weakness, permanent skin damage, difficulty in swallowing, vomiting, skin ulcer and so on.

“Higher exposure may cause undesired fluid build-up in lungs (pulmonary oedema).

“Acetylene produced by calcium carbide affects the neurological system and reduces oxygen supply to the brain and further induces prolonged hypoxia.

“The impurities are hazardous to pregnant women and children and may lead to headache, dizziness, mood disturbances, mental confusion, memory loss, cerebral oedema (swelling in the brain caused by excessive fluids), sleepiness, and seizure.”

Adeyeye also appealed to Nigerians not to patronise drugs by hawkers.

She said the menace of drug hawking posed a serious challenge to the healthcare delivery system in the country, noting that NAFDAC has resolved to totally eradicate the illicit trade.

“Drug hawkers are also the major distributors and suppliers of narcotic medicines to criminal networks, including armed bandits, insurgents, kidnappers and armed robbers,” she said.

“Drug hawkers constitute a serious threat to our national security.”

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15 persons injured as BRT bus, truck collide in Lagos

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Fifteen people were injured in a road accident that involved three vehicles, including a BRT bus, at the Ojota bridge in Lagos.

Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, the permanent secretary at the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LESEMA), said in a statement on Friday that there were no casualties in the accident.

Oke-Osanyintolu noted that the accident involved a BRT bus, an articulated truck laden with a 40ft container, and an 18-seater commercial bus.

“The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, today received distress calls via the state’s toll-free emergency numbers 767/112 regarding a multiple road traffic accident at the abovementioned address,” the statement reads.

“Upon arrival at the scene, it was discovered that a BRT bus, registration number EXY-167XY, an articulated truck, registration number unknown, laden with a 40ft container, and an 18-seater commercial bus, registration number JJJ-439YG, were involved in an accident at the aforementioned location.

“Investigations by the agency’s LRT revealed that the articulated truck, while heading inward Ketu, suddenly lost control on motion, skidded off its lane, and collided with a BRT bus headed inward Ojota from the opposite direction.

The BRT subsequently skidded off its lane into the service lane and collided with the yellow commercial bus.”

“The BRT bus suffered significant damage to the front and rear ends. The tractor head of the truck was also damaged.

Fifteen people were injured. No critical injuries were sustained. No fatalities were recorded.

“The injured victims were transported to nearby hospitals for treatment, while four of the victims were attended to by the Agency’s Pre-Hospital Care Team alongside LASAMBUS at the incident scene. The road has been set free for vehicular activities.”

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Katsina Hisbah shuts New Palace Hotel for lodging underage girls

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The Katsina State Hisbah Board has ordered the immediate closure of New Palace Hotel, for allegedly lodging underaged girls.

Speaking with NAN, on Friday, Aminu Usman, the Hisbah commander general in the state, said the hotel has, by its action, violated an agreement earlier reached with hoteliers across the state.

He said during a collaborative meeting with hotel managers across the state, there was an agreement that no hotel would accommodate underage children.

“The hotel violated the board’s regulations by allowing underage girls to stay at the premises,” the Hisbah commander said.

“The board discovered that two underage girls were lodged in the same room during a recent inspection, which contravenes the hisbah laws.

“This is the second time such an offence was committed at the New Palace Hotel, inspite of previous warnings by the board and a promise by the hotel’s management to stop such incidents.

“Due to the hotel’s failure to comply with the board’s regulations and meet the stipulated conditions, we have decided to shut it down with immediate effect.

“We remain committed to enforcing reforms and instilling discipline that aligns with the religious and cultural values of the state under the rule of law to ensure lasting peace.”

On June 9, the ministry of women affairs issued a directive prohibiting underage girls from lodging in hotels.

Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye, minister of women affairs, said the move is part of the precautionary measures to halt human trafficking, especially of Nigerian girls.

The ban followed the rescue of over 10 teenage girls trafficked to Ghana.

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Security officers foil bank robbery attempt in Abuja

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The police and military have reportedly foiled an attempt to rob a bank in Abaji area council in the federal capital territory.

In a statement on Friday, Josephine Adeh, spokesperson of the FCT police command, said a group of about 15 men attempted to rob a First Bank branch in Abaji on Thursday.

Abaji is on the outskirts of the nation’s capital and shares a boundary with Lokoja, capital city of Kogi state.

Adeh said Benneth Igweh, FCT commissioner of police, was personally on ground to oversee the operation.

“In swift response to an armed robbery incident at First Bank PLC in Abaji on June 13, 2024, at about 5:00 PM, the FCT police, led by the commissioner of police, CP Benneth C. Igweh, psc, mni, himself, in a combined operation with the military, mobilized to scene and repelled the attack simultaneously carried out on both Abaji Divisional Police headquarters and first bank PLC in Abaji by a group of fifteen armed men who attacked with dynamites in attempt to rob the bank,” she said.

“One police operative and the gang leader were hit by a bullet during the gun duel, were rushed to the hospital, and the doctor on duty confirmed them dead, while others are still receiving treatment.

“While search operation is ongoing to apprehend fleeing suspects with bullet injuries, the commissioner of police FCT, CP Benneth C. Igweh, psc, mni, lauds the effectiveness of the combined operation and reaffirms the command’s unflinching commitment to ensuring that FCT remains inhabitable for criminals, noting that the safety of the residents of FCT is non-negotiable.”

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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