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Philip Morris International Utterly Dishonest About Ending Cigarettes Sales – CAPPA



Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) has urged the Nigerian government to be cautious and have nothing to do with tobacco industry recommendations on so-called harmless alternatives to cigarettes.

CAPPA’s call is coming on the heels of last week’s letter from the Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance (NTCA) asking the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to discountenance a draft Policy on Conventional Tobacco and Non-Combusted Alternatives to Cigarettes which the tobacco industry allegedly sent to the ministry for consideration.

PMI’s Sub-Saharan Africa Managing Director, Bahman Safakish also granted an interview last week where he revealed that the company was not ready to stop manufacturing of cigarettes because, “ending cigarette sales would automatically create a niche market for competitors and illicit traders who do not appreciate the need to replace the combustible hazardous smoking with the electronic vapour-producing device”

In a statement issued in Lagos, CAPPA Director of Programmes, Philip Jakpor stated that the media hype on so-called safe alternatives to cigarettes and the draft policy recommendation promoting the idea are orchestrated to mislead the public and policy makers, and ultimately undermine the implementation of the National Tobacco Control Act 2015 and its Regulations 2019.

CAPPA’s Executive Director, Akinbode Oluwafemi said:

“PMI does not fail to amaze us with their drama and half-truths. In one breath it claims it is transitioning to the much-discredited so-called less harmful alternatives; in another breath we hear it is raking in billions of dollars from the manufacturing of cigarettes. Then before we could catch our breath, the company is making recommendations to legislate tobacco control. Is that not ironic?”

Oluwafemi explained that at a time when the public health community is worried about delay in the implementation of the NTC Act and its Regulations, the tobacco industry is still busy scheming and scripting how to ensure Nigeria remains in the firm choke-hold of the tobacco addiction and death.

The CAPPA boss cautioned that the Nigerian government should not fall for the bait of PMI and other tobacco entities advancing policies for alternatives to cigarettes.

He suggested instead, that Nigeria should begin immediate implementation of the NTC Act and Regulations and also emulate countries who have banned e-cigarettes such as Brazil, Brunei, Cambodia, Ethiopia, The Gambia, India, Iran, Lebanon, Macau, Mauritius, Singapore, and Uganda, among others.

“The time for diversionary tactics is over. We must act decisively to block all loopholes that the industry exploits and will exploit to thwart or delay implementation of the NTC Act and Regulations.

“We cannot continue to gamble with the lives of the youth who are made vulnerable by the day as PMI and other tobacco entities unveil new schemes to remain in the business of grabbing their lungs. Now is the time for the Nigerian government to discountenance industry scripted recommendations. Now is the time to side with public health”, Oluwafemi insisted.





Days after, sending out an earlier letter to the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed prohibition the importation of sugar from free trade zones, in Nigeria, the Minister of Trade Industries and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo has backtracked and reversed himself.


Adebayo, acting on a controversial petition written to him by the Chairman Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote and Chairman, Flour Mills of Nigeria PLC, Mr John Coumatros had written a letter which he copied the Managing  Director Nigeria Ports Authority, Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service as well as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation prohibiting the importation of sugar from the country’s Free Trade Zones. This move was targeted at BUA sugar refinery as well as investments.


Recall that BUA Group Chairman, Samad Rabiu had reacted to the petition by revealing that his investments in sugar, especially the Port Harcourt project did not pose any threat to the country’s sugar policy. According to Samad Rabiu, his was project  indeed, meant to checkmate arbitrary increase in prices and which will ultimately benefit the ordinary Nigerian on the street.





Curiously, some agencies of the Federal Government especially  the NPA, had acted on the Minister’s directive by directing all Terminal  operators to ensure strict compliance with the Minister’s order, despite a court injunction refraining not only the Ministry but all government agencies from disturbing it’s operations pending the determination of a suit filed by BUA group.


The move to disrupt BUA’s activities depsite the injunction clearly embarrassed the government, hence Adebayo’s quick reversal of his earlier stance and letter to the Finance Minister directing that the action be stopped.


As for Hadiza Bala Usman who was in a hurry to overlook the court order, she has since been suspended from office as the Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority while an Acting CEO has been appointed in person of Mohammed Koko, the erstwhile Executive Director, Finance and Administration.

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During the 8-year reign of former Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State , there is hardly a week the state is not in the news for either killings of scores of Zamfarans or kidnapping of them in large numbers. So bad it was during his tenure that the only presence of security is the escort services provided by security agents for workers on Yari’s farm.


It is despicable and rather unfortunate that a man who is battling to clear his name from many allegations of fraud and unprecedented corruption in Zamfara is seen flying around in a Nigerian Airforce Jet.


Mungono’s lackluster performance to rejig the security architecture which has led to breakdown of law and order has portrayed the Presidency in bad light as failing in its duty to provide security and welfare of its citizenry.


The approval of the use of NAF jet by Abdulaziz Yari which allegedly came from the office of the National Security Adviser further lent credence to the claims among Nigerians that the APC-led government is not serious about fighting corruption and insecurity.



Assuming without conceding that Yari facilitated the use of the aircraft on his own, one wonders an emergency situation that would warrant a former governor enjoying such luxury even when the allegations of corrupt enrichment is still hanging on his neck.



The National Security Adviser has yet again confirm the call for his removal over incompetence and that the reason for his call and advise for the declaration for a “No fly Zone” in Zamfara is unprofessional, partisan and may not be to secure the country as he would want people to believe.


By Hamid Shinkafi

Public affair analyst

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Rural Resident Expresses Satisfaction On Jumia Service Delivery




At the current pace, there’s no denying the improved fortune of eCommerce in Africa. Even the most ardent doubters of eCommerce viability on the continent will accept that the online shopping business is gaining momentum on the continent, contrary to their forecast and expectations.


Major African markets like Nigeria and Kenya are improving their internet penetration while the number of mobile phone users is rising exponentially. This, in turn, is boosting the online market entrants in urban locations and gradually rubbing off on rural settlements.


As a result, the conversation around eCommerce in a major market like Nigeria has gravitated from doubts on feasibility and acceptance to quality of service delivery, customers expectations and satisfaction. With at least 87 e-commerce platforms in Nigeria, the online shopping community is increasing by the day with innovation and bespoke approaches to address the challenges of the market and meet customers expectations.


In the thick of this, some customers are already having a glimpse of what eCommerce offers at its peak, thanks to the effort of key market players. Iteshi Prince Izuchukwu, a businessman based in Rivers State said he likes shopping online because of the price slash. Based on his experience with several online shopping platforms, he was quick to acknowledge the extra effort of Africa’s market leader on its quality of service delivery. “Things I order include Television, Wristwatches and others. When I buy these items on Jumia, they deliver on time and in good condition,” he stated.


In today’s market where customers demand value for every penny spent, a well thought out packaging that meets the aesthetic taste of the customers can spell a huge impact on the eCommerce business. It can help reduce the volume and cost of return, foster customer loyalty and put the brand in the face of prospects. “I always feel happy when what I ordered is being delivered to me. And as a businessman, I want value for money which I can say I am getting on a platform like Jumia,” Izuchukwu said.


With continuous effort by eCommerce brands to meet customers’ quality, timely and packaging expectations in their service delivery, testimonials like this will go a long way in getting more people onboard the online shopping train.

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