Importation Of Sugar Unfortified With Vitamin A: Appeal Court Dismisses Suit Against SON

A file photo of a court gavel.
A file photo of a court gavel.


The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja recently dismissed the appeal filed by Sunshine Chemical Development Company Limited against the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) claiming that SON had acted in bad faith in rejecting the company’s application to import sugar unfortified with Vitamin A.

Dissatisfied with the ruling of Justice B. F. M. Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja that SON had merely acted pursuant to the lawful directives of its supervising Ministry and in accordance with the Vitamin-A Food Fortification Regulations of 2005, in denying the application of the said to import sugar unfortified with Vitamin A into the country. Sunshine Chemical Development Company Limited had gone to the Court of Appeal seeking to overturn the judgment.

The appellate court, in a decision by a 3-man panel of justices led by Justice Biobele Abraham Georgewil, held that SON acted neither in bad faith nor outside the scope and limits of its powers under the enabling statute, regulations and directives from its supervisory Ministry.

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The Court of Appeal also held that the company’s cause of action was undoubtedly and irredeemably statute barred by the virtue and operations of the provisions of Section 2(a) of the Public Officers Protection Act, LFN 2004. The case was dismissed for being statute barred.

The spokesperson of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, Mrs. Foluso Bolaji, explained that ”by virtue of the provisions of the Vitamin A Food Fortification Regulations of 2005, importation of sugar not fortified with Vitamin A without the leave of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment is prohibited”, she affirmed.

According to Mrs. Bolaji, in 2005, Sunshine Chemical Development Company Limited applied for an approval from the Standards Organisation of Nigeria for the importation of 7,500 metric tonnes of sugar unfortified with Vitamin A.

The company was duly informed of the Federal Government of Nigeria’s policy on sugar importation and advised that by the intervention of the Presidential Technical Committee on Sugar Importation, three companies were permitted to coordinate the importation of sugar unfortified with Vitamin A for manufacturing purposes with the condition that the final products will be fortified with Vitamin A.

She also explained that the request from the company was forwarded to the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, who confirmed the position of government and advised the company to re-route its request through any of the three companies approved by the Federal Government to coordinate such importation. Dissatisfied with the position, Sunshine Chemical Development Company Limited instituted a case against SON.

The SON spokesperson noted that the judgment of the Appeal Court has cemented the fact that SON as an organization is living up to its mandate of promoting standardization and quality assurance with the aim of protecting Nigeria and Nigerians from the adverse effect of substandard goods. She stressed that the organization works tirelessly to assist business owners improve their businesses through standardization within the ambit of the law.

Mrs. Bolaji went on to explain that SON has graduated from just being standards providers and regulator to being business facilitators in line with the Federal Government’s Ease of Doing Business initiative. She reiterated the commitment of the Director-General /Chief Executive of SON, Mallam Farouk Salim to supporting and encouraging local industries in an effort to revitalizing the nation’s economy.

Sugar Council Reads Riot Act To Operators

Sugar Council Reads Riot Act To OperatorsThe National Sugar Development Council has read the riot act to operators of the sugar backward integration programme.

The Council stated that starting from 2018, sugar allocation would be based on quantitative improvement in performance.

Sanctions are expected to be meted out to erring operators after close monitoring by the implementation council.

In addition, operators who fail to achieve the performance target for the year would be penalised.

The measure is expected to bring sanity to the implementation of the Sugar Backward Integration Programme and enhance the performance of operators.

Dangote: Refinery Is Good, But Agro-allied Is Game-changer

Dangote: Refinery Is Good, But Agro-allied Is Game-ChangerPresident of the Dangote Group, Mr Aliko Dangote, says his group of companies’ expansion into agro-allied local production of tomato, rice and sugar is the game-changer.

He also noted that the expansion is in line with the Federal Government’s focus on agriculture.

The Africa’s richest man said this on Monday while addressing journalists at the Nigerian Stock Exchange in Lagos State, south-west Nigeria.

He also closed the first trading day of the week, in company of top stock exchange executives, as well as Mr Femi Otedola and the NSE President, Mr Aigboje Aig-Imokhuede.

Mr Dangote, who celebrated his 60th birthday with the closing gong, gave an update on his ongoing 750,000 barrels per day refinery in Lagos.

9ice, Skales Others Drop New Visuals

VisualsSinger, 9ice has released visuals to his song titled ‘sugar’, which was produced by Puffy Tee.

The video was directed by Godfather productions.

Similarly, Basline artiste, Skales has released a video for the Ganja beats produced rap track ‘Fara We Mi’ off his debut ‘Man of the Year’ album.

The video was shot in Lagos, southwest Nigeria by Unlimited LA and Skales is set to drop the first single off his sophomore album soon.

Grafton records act, Mr 2kay has just released a new single ‘Count It All Joy’ off his new EP of the same title produced by Orbeat.

Following the release of her new single, Aina More has released the visuals for ‘Afrikan Lady’.

The video which was filmed in London showed More depicting her interpretation of the modern Afrikan lady.

Only Divine Intervention, Fervent Prayers Can Deliver Nigeria – El-Rufai

el-rufaiKaduna State Governor, Nasiru El-Rufai, has said that only divine intervention and fervent prayers can deliver Nigeria from its present socio-economic challenges.

El-Rufai made the remark when he received the leadership of the state chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Jamatu Nasril Islam (JNI), who paid him a courtesy visit in Kaduna.

He said the insecurity, dwindling economy, lack of jobs and general despair among the populace would require extraordinary efforts and God’s intervention to surmount.

Freedom Of Worship

The governor also announced that the government could no longer provide  welfare packages to Muslims across the state for this year’s  fasting, because the state was facing financial difficulties.

He said: “I have also been made to understand that, this Ramadan period, we are supposed to have started sharing rice, milk and sugar, but we will not do that.‎ One, the government is not supposed to be involved in religious activities. Two, the government is broke.

“So we solicit for your prayers to be able to stabilise the situation and we hope that things will improve”.

According to him, the decision was taken because the last administration of the Peoples Democratic Party allegedly left the state broke.

“The state is in dire need of finance to survive at the moment,” he said.

In their separate remarks, the Kaduna state CAN chairman, Bishop George Dodo and the state JNI Secretary General, Malam Ibrahim Kufaina, said the visit was to congratulate the Governor on his victory in the last governorship election and also pray for his success.

They advised the administration to focus on security, job creation and resuscitation of industries, in order to “make life meaningful to the people”.

The clerics also urged the government to ensure freedom of worship and protection of worship centres.

158 Boko Haram Abductees Reunite With Families

AbducteesAbout 158 abductees held hostage by the Boko Haram militants in Yobe State have reunited with their family members.

The abductees, comprising women and children, were abducted in Katarko town of Gujba Local Government Area of the state.

After their release, the abductees have gone through some psychological and trauma reforms in the hands of security agents before they were eventually released to the state government.

Presenting the victims to their family members, the Chairman of the State Committee on Rehabilitation and Resettlement of Insurgency Victims, Barrister Ahmed Goneri, said that the 158 victims include 62 adults while the remaining 96 are children and were abducted late last year after the attack carried out by the insurgents in Katarko town.

According to Barrister Ahmed, 15 of the 62 adults had become widows because of the attack on the town.

The Chairman said that the adults would be given two bags of rice, sugar, cartons of noodles and a bag of salt as well.

Mr Ahmed also revealed that those identified as widows in the attack would be given N50,000 support, while others would be given N30,000 stressing that such money would help them start up life after the attack.

He praised the Yobe State Government for the gesture and thanked security agents for all the measures taken towards ensuring the abductees are healthy.

The Chairman of Gujba Local Government, Kyari Batarama, also appreciated support from various quarters towards the recovery of those abducted. He called for sustained security measures towards capturing the towns still under the control of insurgents.

Abdulrahaman Dauda, who discovered the released detainees in Kasaisa village, outskirts of Damaturu, said that they were in a serious state of trauma when he saw them, thanking God that he had seen his abducted family members.

He expressed hope that the remaining people being held captive would also be released by the abductors.

One of the victims, Hauwa Mohammed, said, ”They did not maltreat us since whisking us away for three weeks. We had enough food and drinks all through our stay in captivity.

“Any time they enter our apartment to preach their ideologies to us, they ask us to avoid looking at them. They will always criticise us as pagans. When they were releasing us, they asked us to prepare and join those pagans in the town.

“We thank God that we have reunited with our family members after three weeks of being in captivity.”

World food prices fall in May: UN’s FAO

World food prices dropped in May for a second month in a row, hit by steep falls in dairy products, sugar and other commodities, and are likely to fall further in the coming months, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said on Thursday.

Food prices grabbed attention of the world leaders after their spike to record highs in February 2011 helped fuel the protests known as the Arab Spring in the Middle East and North Africa. Food prices have fallen since.

Improvement in the security of food supplies amid the economic downturn was high on the agenda of a summit of leaders of the G8 industrial powers last month.

The FAO Food Price Index, which measures monthly price changes for a food basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar, averaged 204 points in May, down from 213 points in April, the FAO said in its monthly index update.

“We were expecting a decline in May, the surprise is the extent of it, which showed that markets for oils and fats, dairy products and sugar all had to make sharp downward adjustments,” Abdolreza Abbassian, FAO’s senior economist and grain analyst, told Reuters.

In May, an improved outlook for crops in some major producing countries, a strengthening U.S. dollar, which hits competitiveness of dollar-denominated commodities, and growing concerns about Europe’s debt crisis pushed prices down.

“We’re in a situation where supplies have improved and we’ve had quite a big spillover from other markets which were all down,” Abbassian said.

The steep price drop in May meant that even if further declines were seen in June, they would probably be less marked, he added.

The index was driven down by a 12 percent fall in dairy prices, a 9 percent drop in sugar and a 7 percent decline in oils and fats.


Sugar can make you dumb – Scientists

Eating too much sugar can eat away at your brainpower, according to US scientists who published a study Tuesday showing how a steady diet of high-fructose corn syrup sapped lab rats’ memories.

“Because insulin can penetrate the blood-brain barrier, the hormone may signal neurons to trigger reactions that disrupt learning and cause memory loss,”  said Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
According to him, eating too much fructose could interfere with insulin’s ability to regulate how cells use and store sugar, which is necessary for processing thoughts and emotions.

“Insulin is important in the body for controlling blood sugar, but it may play a different role in the brain, where insulin appears to disturb memory and learning,” Gomez-Pinilla said.

“Our study shows that a high-fructose diet harms the brain as well as the body. This is something new.”

High-fructose corn syrup is commonly found in soda, condiments, applesauce, baby food and other processed snacks.

While the study did not say what the equivalent might be for a human to consume as much high-fructose corn syrup as the rats did, researchers said it provides some evidence that metabolic syndrome can affect the mind as well as the body.

“Our findings illustrate that what you eat affects how you think,” said Gomez-Pinilla.

“Eating a high-fructose diet over the long term alters your brain’s ability to learn and remember information. But adding omega-3 fatty acids to your meals can help minimize the damage.”

4 sweet ways to reduce your sugar intake level

Most of us are guilty when it comes to sugar intake and this is how? We know that sugar increases our risks for weight gain and chronic illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes, yet we still go ahead to consume foods and drinks that contain the sweet stuff.

The truth is, one can almost not live without sugar besides, it is not advisable to live a sweet-less life but here are four tips to reduce your sugar intake while still satisfying your daily sweet tooth.

Opt for low- or no-sugar food products
Most of your favorite sugary foods and drinks have a reduced-sugar or sugar-free counterpart that tastes just as sweet as the original. In many cases, the lower-sugar alternatives are also lower in calories, so all you need do is to check out the labels of the food products before you puchase them.

Replace regular soft drinks with diet versions
If you simply can not get over your cola habit, opt for diet soft drinks. You’ll instantly reduce your sugar intake, as well as your calorie intake.

Dilute fruit juice with water
When choosing a fruit juice, stick with 100 percent fruit juices since many juice drinks are more sugar-water than fruit juice. Even better, dilute your fruit juices with water. Doing this helps to maintain the same sweet taste but for less sugar and fewer calories.

Go for fruits
The most nutritious way to reduce your sugar intake is to grab a piece of fresh fruit when your sweet tooth beckons. You can also serve yourself smaller portions of baked goods or desserts and sweeten them up with fresh fruit rather than going for chocolates or the likes.