Wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, has urged the public to desist from discriminating against persons living with HIV.
She made the call in Ikeja, at the 2016 World Aids Day commemoration with adolescents living with HIV, organized by the Lagos State Aids Control Agency (LSACA) in collaboration with Positive Action for Treatment Access (PATA).
She noted that since HIV was not contracted through physical contacts like hand-shaking or hugging, it was unnecessary to deliberately avoid people with the challenge.
She said, “I urge Lagos State Aids Control Agency to continue to sensitize the public, on the negative impact of discrimination against people living with HIV and AIDS. All relevant government agencies should also work in synergy, to address issues that relate to stigma and discrimination against those persons.”
Mrs. Ambode who commended LSACA and PATA for a two-week camping recently organized for young adolescents living with HIV, advised the beneficiaries to follow expert advice, medical instructions, and to apply good discretion in their social interactions.
In his opening remarks, chief executive officer of LSACA, Dr. Olusheyi Temowo, advised that all Lagosians should know their HIV status, stressing that the infection was not a death sentence.
Corroborating him, the representative of United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDs (UNAIDS), Dr. Olubunmi Asa disclosed that the business of kicking out HIV was everyone’s business.
She disclosed further that though the level of awareness was high on the scourge, the task of eliminating it completely was not over, but with concerted effort, it could be achieved.
Also speaking, the Programme Manager of PATA, Mr. Francis Umoh lamented that much of the social and psychological needs of the young adolescents living with HIV were not met, stressing that they should be embraced and not isolated, and medication made available to them.
Special Adviser to the governor on Health, Dr. Olufemi Onanuga, assured the adolescents living with the challenge, that they would not be abandoned by the state government.
The public hearing of the senate committee on Customs, Excise & Tariff on the draft Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) 2016, was held on Monday, 5th of December 2016, at the Committee Room 231, Senate building – National Assembly, Abuja.
Declaring the hearing opened, the Senate President – Dr Olubukola Saraki said that the public hearing was essentially to gather information from especially stakeholders, for relevant inputs into the framing of the bill that is expected to be favorable to almost all the stakeholders.
Chairman of the committee, Senator Hope Uzodimma outlined the mandate of the of the committee which is primarily is to enact a bill capable of enhancing revenue generation, block leakages, ensure compliance to trade regulations/policies, punish defaulters, ensure good welfare packages for Customs personnel, etc.
Senator Samuel Anyanwu – the vice chairman of the committee, gave the vote of thanks, thanking the Senate President for finding time to declare opening the public hearing and those who were able to make the public hearing, wishing everyone a fruitful deliberation.
Immediately after the senate President took leave of the public hearing, the business of the day-Chaired by the Vice Chairman, Senator Anyanwu commenced with the invitation of stakeholders, to make their presentations in 5 mins each.
But when the National President of ANLCA – Prince Olayiwola Shittu was invited to make ANLCA’s presentation, he spent close to 35mins pointing out some areas of contention in the draft CEMA and what the association would like included in or expunged from the draft bill..
ANLCA posited, just like several others before, that CGC should not chair the Customs Board but the Minister of finance, as it is in several customs administrations outside Nigeria. Similarly, the operation of the single window should be domiciled with the Federal Ministry of Finance.
He also spoke extensively about the touting in the ports, recognition of licensed Customs Agents as Customs brokers (international nomenclature), a guaranteed membership of ANLCA on the Customs Board as the immediate constituency, a CEMA restricting the practice of customs brokerage to Nigerians alone, e.t.c.
Report & Photos by Joe Sanni-SSA media to the National President of ANLCA