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NDLEA Discovers 13 Million Tramadol Pills Worth N8.8 Billions of Naira in Lagos Mansion

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has discovered an expensive mansion in Lagos stashed with about 13 million tramadol pills with a street worth of N8.8 billion. 

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Tramadol

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has discovered an expensive mansion in Lagos stashed with about 13 million tramadol pills with a street worth of N8.8 billion. 

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency declared in a statement released in the early hour on Monday that about 13,451,466 tramadol pills were recovered in a blockbuster operation. 

According to the statement released by NDLEA spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, the mansion where the drugs were recovered belonged to a billionaire drug baron, Ugochukwu Nsofor Chukwukadibia, who was in custody.

Babafemi further stated that the mansion which was located in the Lekki area of Lagos State was not occupied by occupied humans. 

Part of the statement read “Following credible intelligence, NDLEA operatives on Friday 30th September stormed the Plot A45 Road 2 home of the 52-year-old billionaire drug kingpin. 

A search of the expansive mansion led to the discovery of 443 cartons of Tramadol Hydrochloride 225 mg, which contains 13, 451, 466 pills of the drug while some cartons were already burnt in a fire incident in the house the same day”. 

Babafemi added that Ugochukwu who hails from Ihiala local government area of Anambra state has been on the Agency’s watch list as one of those behind the tramadol drug cartel in Nigeria.

He also noted that Babafemi has about six mansions within the VGC one of which he uses to warehouse the tramadol consignment.

Investors King learnt that five exotic vehicles were also located in two of the mansions which include a bulletproof jeep. 

It would be recalled that in September 2022, the law enforcement agency busted a warehouse in a secluded estate in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State, where over N194 billion worth of cocaine were seized.

Me Babafemi said the illicit drugs, which were 1.8 tons (1,855 kilogrammes), were worth more than $278.2 million, an equivalent of N194.7 billion in street value. 

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Education

FG to Boost Internet Connection in OAU, Unilag, Unilorin, and 14 Other Institutions

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Broadband Penetration - Investors King

The federal government has approved a sum of N400 million each to boost internet connection in Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Lagos, University of Ilorin, and 14 other institutions across the country.

The approval which was disclosed by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, is aimed to increase broadband penetration in Nigeria. 

Investors King understands that this is in addition to the agreement which the ministry sighed with top tech company, Microsoft to train 5 million Nigerians on high-demand digital skills. 

Speaking during the award of the contracts letters in Abuja, Pantami noted that Nigeria is on course to achieve 70 percent broadband penetration by 2025. 

While highlighting the benefits of the broadband project to include improving the quality of education and overall growth of the beneficiary institutions, the minister stated that three higher institutions were selected from each geo-political zone of the country.

On the list of beneficiary institutions include Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; University of Lagos and University of Ilorin, University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Federal University of Technology, Owerri; Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka; University of Calabar; University of Benin; and the University of Port Harcourt.

Others are Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; Bayero University, Kano; Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University, Katsina; Borno State University; Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi; Gombe State University; Federal University of Technology, Minna; University of Ilorin; University of Abuja; and College of Education (Special), Ibadan.

In the same development, Pantami added that 20 markets, 3 each from the six geo-political zones will also benefit from the broadband projects. 

The markets include the famous computer village In Lagos, the highly patronised Wuse market in Abuja; Bodija Market in Ibadan, Kantin Kwari Market, Kano; Central Market, Lafia, Nasarawa State; Mandate Market, Ilorin; Jos Main Market, Plateau State; Jimeta Central Market, Yola; New Market, Gombe.

Others are Oja Oba, Akure, Ondo State; Kuto, Abeokuta, Ogun State; Ariaria International Market, Aba, Abia State; International Modern Market, Owerri, Imo State; Main Market, Onitsha, Anambra State; Watt Market, Calabar, Cross River; Oba Market, Benin, Edo State; and Swali Market, Yenegoa, Bayelsa State.

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Travel

Passengers Groan as Air Tickets Increase by More than 100%

The price of Jet A1 which was N200 in December 2021 is currently sold at N800 per liter

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Arik Airplane - Investors King

Travelers have lamented the arbitrary increase in air tickets. The increase which has now caused one-way tickets from Abuja to Lagos to rise above N150,00 has been blamed on the scarcity of aviation fuel also known as Jet A1. 

The price of Jet A1 which was N200 in December 2021 is currently sold at N800 per liter. The increase is mostly due to scarcity and the rise in foreign exchange.

A check by Investors King on the booking pages of some domestic airlines shows that a one-way trip from Abuja to Lago on Air peace Airlines costs between 65,000 to 150,000 depending on the flight schedule. 

On Air peace, Lagos to Anambra on 23rd of December  2023, goes for N150,000.

Similarly, while a lot of near-date seats have been sold out on MaxAir, medium-distance date ranges between N65,000 to 80,000 nairas.

The same thing goes for Dana Airlines. A check on Dana Airlines shows between N66,000 to N85,000 from Abuja to Lagos on an economy ticket. 

According to some industry experts, other factors that are driving the price of air tickets include the demand that often comes with the yuletide period.

Looking at the available seats, it is obvious that many people had already booked seats ahead of the festive period. Additionally, the demand for air tickets was also driven by the political season. 

Investors King understands that campaign activities often drive the demand for air tickets as politicians and their supporters move from one state to the other. 

Furthermore, the Nigerian aviation industry is faced with high operating costs, taxes, and surcharges. 

Airlines also have to pay for landing costs and multiple aviation agencies’ charges among others. 

It will be recalled that in February 2022, Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) pegged one-way ticket fares to a minimum of N50,000 amid the scarcity and sharp rise in the price of aviation fuel. 

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Education

FG Hints at Alternative Funding For Tertiary Education to Address Academic Challenges

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The Federal Government has mulled the need to explore alternative means of funding for tertiary education in Nigeria amid academic disruption caused by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU)

Investors King reported that academic activities in public universities in Nigeria were disrupted for about eight months. 

Speaking at a public event organised by the House of Representatives, the Minister for Works and Former Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola noted that alternative funding seems to be the only forward-looking way to fund tertiary education in Nigeria. 

While acknowledging that tertiary education needs collective funding from all levels of government, he however highlights areas where the universities and polytechnics could generate funds to include printing press and consultancy services. 

“University consultancy services, data provision, poll results, value data, and printing press are value proposals of alternatives for tertiary Institutions,” he said. 

Fashola also disapproved of the autonomy sought by lecturers in tertiary education. He noted that it is a big issue that needs to be addressed going forward. 

Also speaking at the event is the Director General of the budget office of the federation, Benjamin Akabueze. 

Akabueze who aligned himself with the position of the minister noted that the current system of funding can not feed the tertiary education sector. 

‘There has to be sustainable funding of tertiary education. We can’t continue with the current system because it is not working and not sustainable.” he stated. 

Nonetheless, the event also witnessed opposing opinions, particularly from Professor Uduak Ekpo. A professor of education at the University of Calabar

Ekpo disagrees with the earlier position established by both Fashola and Akabueze. He noted that if lecturers are saddled with the responsibility of funding, it will affect the quality of education and research. 

He concluded that the funding might still not be successful noting that lectures are better off in the classrooms or labs. 

On his part, the President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke bemoaned any idea to increase the fee paid by students in search of alternative funding. He noted that with the level of poverty and the state of the economy, many students will not be able to afford any increase.

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