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Tinubu Reduces Entourage On Foreign Trips To 20 Officials

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President Bola Tinubu on Tuesday approved “cost-cutting” measures that involve slashing, by 60%, official entourage on local and international travels.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, revealed this while briefing State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

Ngelale said the directive applied to the Offices of the President, Vice President, First Lady, Wife of the Vice President and all Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

He said, “President Bola Tinubu has approved that anywhere he travels within this country he will no longer accept or allow huge security delegations to be following him from Abuja, which attracts massive bills with respect to estacode and duty allowances from now on.

“He has approved a massive cost-cutting exercise that will cut across the entire Federal Government of Nigeria and the Offices of the President himself, the Vice President and the Office of the First Lady. It will be conducted in the following fashion.

“On international trips, the President has directed that no more than 20 individuals be allowed to travel with him. That number will be cut down to five in the case of the First Lady. Additionally, the number in the entourage on official international trips for the Vice President will be cut to five. The number that will be placed as a limit on the wife of the Vice President is also five.”

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This decision came five weeks after Nigerians criticised the Tinubu administration for participating in the United Nation’s annual climate summit, COP28, in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates with 1,114 delegates.

Although the Presidency said it sponsored only 422 delegates, reports say it spent N2.78bn on airfares and estacodes.

In their first seven months in office, Tinubu and Shettima visited 16 countries, collectively spending 91 days in foreign engagements, The PUNCH observed.

Checks revealed that Tinubu has so far visited Paris, France (twice); London, the United Kingdom; Bissau, Guinea-Bissau (twice); Nairobi, Kenya; Porto Norvo, Benin Republic; New Delhi, India; Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the United Arab Emirates; New York, the United States of America, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Berlin, German, spending 55 days.

Meanwhile, VP Shettima represented him in Italy, Russia, South Africa, Cuba, China and the US, logging 36 days abroad in 2023.

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While the Presidency defended these trips as vital for attracting foreign direct investment into Nigeria, critics question the economic impact, particularly the size of the entourage.

But the President’s spokesperson told journalists that Tinubu is “determined to bring total sanity and prudence to the management of the commonwealth of our people.

“Henceforth, the President is insistent that the notion of government wastage and the notion that government officials will be allowed to conduct their affairs in a way that is different from what we are asking of Nigerian citizens with respect to prudence and cost management, those days are over.

“The President is insistent that the prudence of government officials must reflect the prudence of the Nigerian citizens.”

Revealing more details about the directive, Ngelale said, “The President has approved a new limit of 25 staff members to accompany him on domestic trips.

“The Office of the First Lady is now limited to 10 staff members to accompany her on official trips within the country.

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“The Vice President will be limited to 15 members of staff on official trips within the country, while his wife will be limited to 10 members of staff on officials within the country.”

On the issue of the President travelling with an army of security personnel across states, Ngelale said henceforth, “the security outfits within states, be it police, the DSS or branches of the military, will frontline his protective detail when he travels to those states.” This also applies to the Office of the VP, the First Lady, and the VP’s wife.

He explained that the number of persons allowed to accompany each officer on international trips is less than those allowed on domestic trips because “international trips are far more expensive across the board.”

For the MDAs, Ngelale said ministers are now limited to four persons for foreign trips, while agency heads can only travel with two persons.

By this directive, every minister will be limited to having not more than four staff members going with them to any event anywhere in the world. In the case of CEOs of agencies, they will be limited to two staff going with them to anywhere in the world,” he explained.

Asked what sanctions await those who defy this directive, the presidential aide replied, “I believe we do not need to convince the officers of the Federal Government of Nigeria of the seriousness of the President with respect to how he will implement his directives.

“If there is anybody who feels that the directive of the President is not binding on them, who feels that the President will not uphold this directive in implementation and seeks to test it, they will do so at their peril.”

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Cough: What You Need To Know

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By Silver Yeibake

The cough reflex is a protective mechanism that helps to clear the airways of mucus, irritants, or foreign particles. When our airway is irritated, it sends a signal to the brain, which then triggers the muscles in our chest and abdomen to quickly expel air, clearing or removing the irritant. This reflex acts as a crucial defense mechanism for the respiratory system. “Cough is not a disease process.”

Kindly note the beautifully coordinated steps involved in the action we know as cough:

1. Irritatant detection: The first step in the cough reflex is the detection of an irritant in the airways, such as dust, smoke, or mucus by special protein complexes called irritants receptors (for convenience) which convert the sensation into an electrical impulse.

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2. Signal Transmission: The receptors in the airway send the signals along nerves to the brain, specifically to a part called *”the cough center”* located in the medulla oblongata, a part of the brainstem.

3. Signal Processing: The brain processes these signals and responds by sending nerve impulses back to the muscles involved in the coughing process.

4. Muscle Contraction: The diaphragm, abdominal muscles, and muscles in the chest wall contract, increasing the pressure in the chest and forcing air out of the lungs at a high speed, making the sound that is characteristic of cough.

5. Expelling Irritant: The forceful release of air clears the airway, expelling/removing the irritant and helping to protect the respiratory system.

The above steps are designed to occur repeatedly until the irritant is removed from the airways or respiratory system or drugs are given to suppress this important protective function.

Although taking cough medication for relief as first aid is usual, it is best to identify and address the cause as soon as possible. Seek medical attention if 2 to 3 days of therapy do not give improvement or the symptom worsened rapidly.

Dr. Yeibake, Weriwoyingipre Silver, a
Senior Registrar, Faculty Of Pediatrics, West Africa College of Physician (WACP), writes from Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

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Aiyedatiwa Declares Public Holidays In Ondo To Honour Late Akeredolu

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Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo state, has declared Thursday, 22nd and Friday, 23rd of February 2024 as public holidays in the state to honour the late governor Rotimi Akeredolu.

The two work-free days, according to the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Ebenezer Adeniyan, in Akure, will allow the people of the State to participate in the burial activities of the former Governor.

Recall that the burial activities of the late governor Akeredolu started last Thursday.

READ ALSO: Funeral Arrangements For Akeredolu Commences Today

Other activities include Ajabue( traditional rites) slated for Owo, on Wednesday, a special court session, at the Ondo State High Court Headquarters,
Hospital Road, Akure, by 10am

The lying in State and Commendation Service, will hold same day at the Akure Township Stadium, by 1pm, Evening of Tributes, at St Andrews Church,
Imola Street, Owo, from 4pm – 7pm

On Thursday, February 22 (Public holiday), a service of songs holds at St Andrews Cathedral, Imola Street,
Owo, by 4 pm.

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The wake-keep, will hold at Maranatha Villa, Owo, by 8pm while a candlelight Procession & World Gyration by the Kegites Club, holds at 8pm till Dawn

On Friday, February 23 (Public holiday), the Funeral Service will take place at St Andrews Church, Imola Street, Owo by10 am, Interment follows immediately after the burial service at the burial site, Owo, (Strictly for immediate family) while reception follows at Mydas Hotel and Resort, Ikare Road, Owo by 1pm.

Akeredolu Memorial Friendly football match, will take place at the Akure Township Stadium, Akure, by 3 pm on Saturday, February 24, 2024.

The thanksgiving Service holds at St Andrews Church, Imola Street, Owo, by 10 am.

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JUST IN: Tinubu Appoints New CEO Of Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit

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President Bola Tinubu on Tuesday approved the appointment of Hafsat Bakari as the Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, pending her confirmation by the Senate.

Bakari replaces Modibbo Tukur who was relieved of his job by Tinubu in June 2023.

The appointment was contained in a statement by Tinubu’s Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity), Ajuri Ngelale.

Bakari was described as a lawyer and financial intelligence expert with years of experience in anti-money laundering, counter-terrorism financing, and counter-proliferation financing.

READ ALSO: Obasanjo Advocates Law To Curb Organ Trafficking

Before her appointment as the Chief Executive Officer of the NFIU, she served as Deputy Director at the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, and was at different times the Head of the General Services Unit; Head of the Strategy and Reorientation Unit, and Head of the Board Secretariat of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The statement added that Tinubu, “anticipates that Ms. Bakare will bring her wealth of experience and expertise to full discharge in this critical role, especially in view of his administration’s war against illicit financial flows and other sharp practices currently prevalent in segments of the nation’s foreign exchange markets”

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