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•Makes Case For Controlled Cultivation Of Plant For Medical Use

•As Legislators, Pharmacists, Investors, Medical Personnel, Others Hold Round Table Discussion on Benefits, Opportunities of Cannabis Plant, CBD Oil

Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has said controlled cultivation of the cannabis plant for medical usage and exportation will generate several billions of dollars and provide thousands of jobs for the teeming youths.

Governor Akeredolu said the global market of Medicinal cannabis in 2019 was put at 52.8 billion Dollars.

He added that the market forecast is an average of 14.5% increase from year 2020 to reach 103.9 billion dollars by 2024.

Arakunrin Akeredolu charged stakeholders on the need to break the barrier of misconception occasioned by ignorance and ill-information on cannabis plant and CBD oil in the country.

The Governor said what is important is the need to have controlled cultivation of the cannabis plant for medical usage and exportation.

Governor Akeredolu spoke at a Stakeholders Round Table Discussions on “The Benefits and Opportunities of Cannabis Plant and CBD Oil in Nigeria – Research, Legislation, License, Medicine, Agro-Economy, Empowerment, IGR and Trade Exchange”.

The event was held on Monday at the International Culture and Event Centre (DOME).

Those who spoke at the event include Chairman, House Committee on Public Affairs & Media, Hon. Okezie Kalu; Chairman House Committee on Diaspora, Hon. Tolu Akande-Sadipe; member, House of Representatives, Hon. Mariam Onuoha; representative of National President of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Dr. Lolu  Ojo; National Chairman, Association of Community Pharmaceutical of Nigeria, Dr Samuel Adekola

Others are Prof. Agbaje Gideon Olubunmi, Ladi Sojode Esq, Yinka Arasi Esq, Mr. Abiodun Adewumi, J.B Wechsler, NUJ Ondo Council, Ministry of Natural Resources, Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Health.

The Governor said the cannabis plant has tremendous therapeutic value, stressing that it is being used to treat cancer, epilepsy and so many other ailments.

Governor Akeredolu noted that the country has not succeeded in stopping the cultivation and misuse of Cannabis by prohibiting it.

He, however, said controlled cultivation of the plant for medical usage will reduce its availability in the underworld market, adding that cultivators would like to sell in a more financially-rewarding markets.

The Governor urged the stakeholders to come up with a communique that will be useful for all arms of government and the private organisations so that informed decisions will be taken.

He said: “We need to save our forests from further plundering by Cannabis cultivators. Climate change phenomenon is a reality with devastating effect on our ecology or environment.

“This approach will reduce the availability of Cannabis in the underworld market because cultivators would like to sell in a more financially-rewarding markets. That is talking about industrial and medical market.

“We must put in place machinery to break the barrier of misconception occasioned by ignorance, pedestrian thoughts, and ill-information. We must come up with communique that will be useful for all arms of government and the private organisations so that we can all take better decisions.”

Governor Akeredolu charged journalists to avoid sensational reporting but only inform and educate the people on the benefits of medical cannabis.

He also appealed to the National Assembly members, the NDLEA and Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria as well as research universities to have a second and deeper thought on the issue.

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Tinubu Presents His First Budget As President On Wednesday



President Bola Ahmed Tinubu


President Bola Tinubu will present the 2024 budget to the National Assembly on Wednesday.

This is according to a memo dated November 27, 2023, signed by the federal legislature’s Secretary of Human Resources and Staff Development, Shuaibu Maina Birma, on behalf of the Clerk to the National Assembly.

“I am directed to inform you that the 2024 Budget would be presented by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at the Joint Session of the Senate and the House of Representatives on Wednesday, 29th November, 2023,” it read.

Meanwhile, the Federal Executive Council has approved a 2024 budget of N27.5 trillion.

This followed the review of the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework earlier passed by the National Assembly which benchmarked the exchange rate at N700 to $1 and crude oil price at $73.96 cent per barrel.

Briefing State House Correspondents shortly after the Federal Executive Council meeting at the Presidential Villa, the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Bagudu, said it revised the MTEF and the Fiscal Policy to use an exchange rate of N750 to $1 and also a benchmark crude oil reference price of $77.96 per barrel.

According to Bagudu, the FEC also approved an Appropriation Bill for 2024 with an aggregate expenditure of N27.5 trillion, an increase of over N1.5 trillion from the previously estimated.

He also noted that using the old reference prices, the forecast revenue is now N18.2 trillion which is higher than the 2023 revenue, including that provided in the two supplementary budgets, in which the deficit is lower than that of 2023.

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Senate Seeks Nigeria’s Inclusion In $147billion Global Bitumen Market 



Senate in Session


…passes Bitmen Development Commission Bill  for second reading 

The Senate Thursday made legislative move of including Nigeria in the $147billion global bitumen market with passage for second reading , a bill seeking for establishment of Bitumen Development Commission  .

Nigeria as stated in the bill sponsored by Senator Jimoh Ibrahim ( APC  Ondo South) , has quantum of 5.9trillion barrels ( 938billion m³) of global in – place Bitumen and heavy oil resources , second to Venezuela .

He specifically informed the Senate that more than 80% of the resources are found in Canada , United States of America , Venezuela and Nigeria .

But lamented that while other countries blessed with the Natural resources are exploiting it through required legislations or legal frameworks , Nigeria’ has no legal framework for such exploration with attendant untapped opportunities and huge market loss .

Therefore according to him, ” the  objectives of the Bill includes: the need to develop a legal framework for the regulation of the Bitumen development in Nigeria;  to prevent unconventional sources from taking advantage of research-enhanced applications over other competitors; and to lead innovation and resource-based strategy in the development of bitumen in Nigeria.

“The Bill will also ensure effective utilisation of over 38 billion reserve of bitumen in Nigeria; and to promote economic diversification policy of the Federal Government”.

He added that the Bill among other reasons, seeks to  restrict the activities of the commission to its regulatory and cordinating functioons , specifically  as it relates to the Develooment of Bitumen in Nigeria .

Ondo State alone according to him , has the highest deposit in Africa with an estimated value of $42billion which are aside from depisits in Ogun State , Edo , Lagos  and Akwa- Ibom States .

” The proposed Bitumen Development Commission when established , would fastrack the development of Bitumen in Nigeria , make her a key player in the $147billion global market and  create instant 12, 000 jobs for Nigerians .

” It would also help Government at various levels to put in place asphalted roads in various communities .

” Out of the 200, 000 kilometres of roads in  Nigeria , only 20, 000 are asphalted even with imported Bitumen which is not good and being addressed with the  proposed commission” he said .

Many of the Senators who contributed to debate on the bill , concurred with Jimoh Ibrahim’s submissions , making the Senate as put to voice votes by its President , Godswill Akpabio , passed it for second reading .

Akpabio who commended Senator Jimoh Ibrahim for sponsorship of the development – driven bill, mandated the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals to make further legislative inputs on it and report back in a month’s time .

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Barau Offsets  Postgraduate Student’s Cancer Treatment Bills 



Deputy President of the Senate, Jibrin Barau

The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Barau Jibrin, has paid the medical and surgery bills of Abdurrabah Idris Yahaya, a 30-year-old Kano State indigene and M.Sc. student who has been battling cancer.

Abdurrabah, a resident of Bankaura/S.Doka area of Ungogo Local Government of Kano State, who had been receiving treatment from home, went viral on social media, seeking assistance following medical doctors’ advice that he undergo surgery.

Worried by Abdurrabah’s situation and the urgency of the doctors’ advice, the Deputy Senate President sent a delegation with the sum of N1.45 million to offset his medical and surgery bills.

Represented by his Chief of Staff, Professor Muhammad Ibn Abdullahi, Senator Barau expressed concern over the health condition of the student who is a beneficiary of his Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme.

While urging the patient and his family to remain prayerful, as every illness is the will of Allah, Senator Barau prayed for the quick recovery of the student.

“The Deputy President of the Senate is deeply worried since he heard about the situation of this young, talented man’s health. As such, he sent us the sum of N1,450,000 as required by the doctors for his surgery.

“Strengthen your faith in Almighty God, Abdurrabah will be okay by the grace of Allah,” he said.

He reiterated the commitment of Senator Barau to supporting people in education, health, and other areas for the development of society irrespective of their constituents, region, or state.

While appreciating the Senator, the mother of the patient, Malama Halima Haruna, who could not hold back her tears, said she had no words other than prayers for the Senator.

Speaking on her behalf, Abdurrabah’s elder sister, Nafisa Idris Yahaya, said they had been pleading for support from people, but Senator Barau has, by his financial assistance, wiped away their tears.

“We received the sum of N1,450,000 from the Deputy President of the Senate. In the past, Senator Barau had paid for his scholarship for a master’s degree. Here he is again, assisting our family. We have been looking for where to get money for the surgery, but today is our happiest day. We appreciate him for this. May Almighty Allah reward him abundantly,” she said.


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