Sharia: Niger Revokes Licenses of Liquor Dealers

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• State govt unhappy with political appointees

Laleye Dipo in Minna

Niger State Government has revoked all the licences issued to liquor dealers in the state.

The state Liquor Licensing Board, the body charged with the responsibility of regulating the sale and consumption of alcohol, announced this in a statement signed by its Chairman, Malam Muhammad Shafii.

In the statement made available to journalists in Minna yesterday, Shafii said any liquor vendor caught contravening the order would not only be arrested, but would be prosecuted.

The statement asked law enforcement agents to implement the directive by arresting and prosecuting offenders.

To give vent to the new policy, two major liquor dealers in the state were arrested over the weekend and would be charged to court soon.

In the same manner, operatives of the board also recently seized and destroyed N28million worth of assorted liquor in Minna, the state capital.

Meanwhile, the state government has expressed serious disappointment with the activities of some of its appointees, saying they are not performing optimally.

The government also blamed the appointees for the negative image the administration had received from the public recently.

The state acting Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Ketso, chastised the appointees at an interactive session he had with them at the government house at the weekend.

The deputy governor told the appointees that the state government had done a lot in the areas of education, health, road construction, agriculture and human development which were not known to the public, and therefore blamed them for the gap.

According to him, “The government is not happy with the report it is receiving from people regarding the administration, as such people must be educated and well informed about the good policies and programmes of the state government.”
Ketso also told the appointees to “always put the interest of the state and government above any other personal interest in the discharge of your duties.”

However, the state government in 2000 introduced the Sharia legal system in the state under which sale and consumption of alcohol and related beverages in restricted areas of major town and cities in the state were prohibited.

Under the law, sale and consumption of alcohol were restricted to eight kilometres from each of the city centre.