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Group Begins Campaign to Stop Underage Drinking in Calabar



BSG Calabar Underage Drinking

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

An initiative aimed at breaking the culture of underage drinking and reducing alcohol-related harm among underage persons in Nigeria has been launched in Calabar, Cross River State.

The scheme tagged SMASHED Project was unveiled last Tuesday by the Beer Sectoral Group (BSG) of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) in collaboration with the Cross River State Ministry of Quality Education.

“We are pleased to collaborate with the BSG on the SMASHED Project in Cross River State, as a public-private sector partnership on social responsibility.

“Partnerships of this nature are crucial, as the government and private sector have a better chance of achieving their shared objectives when they work together,” the Governor of Cross River State, Mr Ben Ayade, said at the launch.

“There is no gainsaying that the private sector comes with significant insights. In this case, the BSG has extensive experience in social advocacy against harmful consumption of alcohol, such as the SMASHED Project and the BSG’s campaign against drink-drinking, to mention a few,” the Deputy Governor, Mr Ivara Esu, who represented his boss, said.

He added that, “The Government of Cross River state is keen to build on such industry insights and have them applied for the benefits of the good people of our state.”

He commended the group for its efforts in tackling the issue of underage drinking through such a credible and impactful platform, noting that it remains an avenue for positive social impact others organisations can emulate, citing the initiative as a highly effective means to influence the decision-making in teenagers with regards to underage drinking.

In his address, the Chairman of BSG, Mr Jordi Borrut Bel, stated that part of the initiative’s focus is to help teenagers build confidence in the face of peer pressure as it is considered one of the causes of underage drinking globally.

“The SMASHED Project is a global campaign against underage drinking, aimed at educating and enlightening adolescents on the dangers of underage drinking and ways to prevent and avoid it.

“With this project, parents are also engaged as this enables them understand the vulnerability of the teenage years and how to sensitize their children on the dangers of underage drinking.”

“This is in addition to being encouraged to help preclude their underage children from consuming alcohol by being better role models and talking to them about how to overcome peer pressure during their formative years,” he added.

Mr Borrut Bel reiterated BSG’s commitment to campaigning against the harmful use of alcohol, saying that its members will continue to enlighten the public on the inimical effects of abuse.

“The campaign against underage drinking is only a part of a broader aspect of the discourse on the harmful use of alcohol, which the BSG and its members continue to advocate against. The key notion here is that the dangers associated with alcohol consumption arise from the harmful use of alcohol,” he added.

Conceived in 2004, the SMASHED Project has engaged over one million students internationally and has been delivered in 25 countries around the world. In Africa, SMASHED has been delivered in Cameroun, Ethiopia and Nigeria.

The SMASHED Project was introduced in Nigeria in 2018 and has so far been delivered in Lagos, Abuja FCT, Ogun, Edo, Enugu, Anambra and Delta states, covering over 100 different localities, both urban and rural.

The initiative has reached about 35,000 students in over 170 public and private schools and has enjoyed the immense cooperation of the State Ministries of Education, principals, teachers, guidance counsellors and students.

The BSG plans to continue to deliver SMASHED on an annual basis, with a focus on reaching a minimum of 12,000 students across 60 schools in 3 states in 2021 alone (referring to Cross River, Delta and Oyo states).

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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NLC, TUC Suspend Wednesday’s Nationwide Strike



NLC TUC strike

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The planned nationwide strike action earlier fixed for Wednesday, June 7, 2023, by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has been suspended by the unions.

The labour unions suspended the industrial action on Monday night after a meeting with the federal government at the Presidential Villa.

Nigerian workers had planned to stay away from work to protest the announcement of the removal of fuel subsidy by President Bola Tinubu during his inaugural speech last Monday.

Recall that earlier yesterday, the central government obtained an interim order from the National Industrial Court to stop the industrial action by the labour organisations on the argument that the strike could paralyse the country.

Justice O.Y. Anuwe restrained the NLC and the TUC from the action pending the determination of the motion of notice, which was fixed for a hearing on June 19, 2023.

Later in the day, the labour unions and the federal government held a meeting, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who has been appointed as the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, informed newsmen last night that a committee would be set up to discuss ways to resolve the issues amicably.

“The federal government, the TUC and the NLC would review World Bank Financed Cash transfer scheme and propose the inclusion of low-income earners in the programme.

“The federal government, the TUC and the NLC to revive the CNG conversion programme earlier agreed with Labour centres in 2021 and work out detailed implementation and timing.

“The labour centres and the federal government to review issues hindering effective delivery in the education sector and propose solutions for implementation.

“The labour centres and the federal government to review and establish the framework for completion of the rehabilitation of the nation’s refineries.

“The federal government to provide a framework for maintaining roads and expanding rail networks across the country.

“The joint committee will assess all other demands submitted by the TUC to the federal government,” a communique issued at the end of the meeting said.

Business Post reports that after the NLC and the TUC agreed to “suspend the notice of strike forthwith to enable further consultations,” they fixed June 19 to reconvene a meeting with the government “to agree on an implementation framework.”

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Subsidy Removal: Court Stops Proposed Nationwide Strike by NLC, TUC



Nigerian Labour Congress NLC

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The proposed nationwide strike to kick against the removal of fuel subsidy by the federal government may suffer a setback as the National Industrial Court (NIC) has restrained the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) from going on with the action.

In a ruling on an interim order sought by the federal government on Monday in Abuja, Justice O. Y. Anuwe ordered the unions to stop the strike pending the determination of a suit filed by the government.

The judge directed the government to serve the NLC and the TUC the interim order and the substantive suit marked NICN/ABJ/158/2023, fixing June 19, 2023, for hearing of the matter.

“The defendants/respondents are hereby restrained from embarking on the planned Industrial Action/or strike of any nature, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice dated 5th June 2023.

“It is ordered that the defendant/ respondents be immediately served with the originating processes in this suit, the motion on notice, and the order of this court hereby made.

“The motion on notice is hereby fixed for hearing on 19th June 2023. Hearing notices to that effect shall be served on the defendants/respondents along with the other processes,” Justice Anuwe ruled.

Business Post reports that the Federal Ministry of Justice filed an ex-parte motion to stop the planned industrial action by the labour unions, arguing that the strike was capable of disrupting economic activities, the health sector and the educational sector.

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Momentum Gathers for Second Adire Lagos Experience



Adire Lagos Experience

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Stakeholders in the Nigerian textile industry are getting prepared for the second Adire Lagos Experience organised by Ecobank Nigeria Limited.

Momentum is gathering for this event slated for June 9 to 11, 2023, because the first edition, held at the ultra-modern Ecobank Pan African Centre (EPAC) complex in Victoria Island, was the talk of the town.

Participants used the occasion to network and get the latest designs in the local adire fabric.

Ecobank has assured that this year’s programme would be bigger as those expected are top government officials from  Lagos, Ogun and other neighbouring states, the CEO of Adire Oodua Textile Hub and wife of Ooni of Ife, Mrs Ronke Ogunwusi; the CEO of Dye Lab, Ms Joke Ladoja; the Creative Director, Afume Global Concepts, Mrs Funmi Sosanya; and the CEO, Aga Culture & Upbeat, Moyo Ogunseinde, among others.

The event is being partnered with the National Union Textile Garment Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (Adire Sector) and will involve the exhibition of new designs of the fabric.

The Head of Consumer Banking at Ecobank, Mrs Korede Demola-Adeniyi, said the exhibition is part of the bank’s contribution to boosting the nation’s tourism, culture and creative industry using Adire as a key driver, adding that, high profile exhibitors, vendors, dignitaries from different parts of the world have indicated interest to be part of the event.

“The bank was encouraged by the success of the maiden edition last year.  It is in line with our brand promise as a Pan-African Institution to promote culture and boost tourism on the continent.

“We expect topflight exhibitors, expatriates, influencers, dignitaries from all walks of life and members of the public at the three days event,” she said.

Mrs Demola-Adeniyi stated that the event would feature a series of masterclasses and exhibitions, as well as networking opportunities with entrepreneurs, shoppers and everyone interested in the making or trading of Adire, adding that the bank has provided a cosy ambience with utmost serenity to make participants feel comfortable and safe.

She added that, “Participation is free, and you are welcome to invite family and friends to come over to witness the beautiful event.

“This exhibition also presents an opportunity not only to sell and buy products but to experience the luxuriance in our culture.

“In addition to the wonderful display of Adire clothing and products, there will be masterclasses on Adire production, picture-perfect moments, and music to vibe.”

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