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Reps seek total implementation of Disability Act

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The House of Representatives has called for intensified efforts towards the implementation of the disability act by the state governments, and MDAs across the country.

The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Disability Matters Rep. Bashiru Dawodu, while briefing newsmen on Tuesday said denying individuals with disabilities access to public spaces is not only disrespectful but also undermines ongoing efforts to implement the Disability Act.

The lawmaker  strongly condemned the reported outright discrimination against persons with disabilities in the country.

“The Discrimination against People with Disabilities Prohibition Act 2018, passed by the National Assembly, aims to safeguard the rights of persons with disabilities.

“Recently, there have been distressing reports regarding the denial of access to Mr Adebola Daniel at a KFC outlet in the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

“This discriminatory incident, highlighted by Mr Daniel’s public account, sheds light on the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities in Nigeria;

Daniel is the physically challenged son of former Ogun State Governor and serving Senator, Gbenga Daniel.

Daniel, who uses a wheelchair, faced humiliation when he was allegedly refused entry to KFC’s outlet, with the manager stating, “No wheelchair allowed”.

Daniel had recounted his experience at the KFC’s outlet, in a series of tweets on March 27, lamenting his humiliating moment and emphasised the broader consequences of such discriminatory actions.

He said that the committee was duty bound to investigate the issue and other related matters.

“The case of Daniel is one in millions of other unreported cases of such abuses and injustices against people with disabilities.

“This will no longer be tolerated by the governments at all levels. Any establishments within shore of our country irrespective of owners’ status should take note. Enough is enough.

“Our committee is committed to engaging with communities to kick start the full implementation of the Disability Act.”

The lawmaker said, key provisions such as access to public buildings, employment quotas, and welfare promotion for persons with disabilities must be enforced to ensure their rights  were upheld.

Dawodu said the current focus of the lawmakers was to enhance the lives of persons with disability and prevent future incident like Daniel’s through robust implementation of the Disability Act.

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CIBN backs bank recapitalisation for enhanced economic growth

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The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) has expressed support for the planned recapitalisation exercise for banks in the country.

Ken Opara, President/Chairman of Council, CIBN, expressed this during the 2024 annual lecture of the institute on Tuesday in Lagos.

Opara said adequate liquidity within the banking system was fundamental to fostering sustainable economic growth and development.

He said that the recapitalisation would further help banks to deepen liquidity and guarantee access to credit needed for economic growth and prosperity.

He said that CIBN and the Nigeria Exchange Group (NGX) had formed collaborations toward building capacity for the recapitalisation of banks.

Opara added that the institute was also collaborating with Africa Guarantee Fund (AGF) for capacity building for SMEs, preparing them and building their capacity to access finance.

He called for more allocation of credit to the real sector, which was the foundation of the nation’s economic activities for increased liquidity.

Opara stressed the need for addressing challenges faced by the sector to enhance its competitiveness against foreign counterparts.

To resolve the challenges, he urged the government to improve further the ease of doing business and infrastructural development, such as power, roads, and rail networks.

The CIBN president also called for industrial centres where companies could co-habit and share common infrastructure,
harmonise and reduce the various taxes and levies, including locating them in a single hub.

He said the theme, “Improving Availability of Credit in the Nigerian Real Economy: The Critical Importance of Liquidity”, was timely to address current challenges in the nation.

“As we navigate the complexities of our current economic landscape, it has become increasingly evident that ensuring adequate liquidity within the banking system is fundamental to fostering sustainable economic growth and development.

“The real economy comprises the agriculture, manufacturing, construction, and services sectors and serves as the tangible foundation of the nation’s economic activity.

“These sectors collectively represent the intricate web of goods and services that drive economic growth, create employment opportunities, and enhance the overall standard of living.

“Despite the significant relevance of the real sector, access to credit for such key sectors compared to other climes is relatively low,” he said.

He said a survey conducted in more than 40 economies and released by Statista in 2024 revealed that nearly 141 trillion dollars worth of credit was lent to the real sector in advanced economies in the second quarter of 2022.

He added that the figures were twice as high as the volume of credit to the same sector in emerging markets.

He commended improvements in liquidity within Nigeria’s real sector but called for increased credit to sector, particularly agriculture.

“According to data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Net Domestic Credit stood at 66.4 trillion Naira as of December 2022, showcasing the substantial credit extended by financial institutions to the real sector of the economy.

“This figure experienced a significant surge to 96.1 trillion Naira by December 2023, highlighting the tremendous potential for growth and development in the real sector,” he said.

He listed credit volume allocated to the key sectors, saying the Agricultural sector had N5.8 trillion representing about six per cent of the total credit.

He said the manufacturing sector had N19.7 trillion, representing approximately 21 per cent of the total credit, while the services sector had N36 trillion, representing 37.4 per cent of the total credit.

“I humbly propose that we consider offering more credit to these key sectors and particularly the agriculture sector.

“It is for this reason, ladies and gentlemen, that the recapitalisation exercise is a welcome development.

“The recently announced upward review of the Minimum Capital Requirements of Nigeria by the Central Bank of Nigeria would further empower banks to extend more credit to the economy’s productive sectors,” he said.

The Guest Speaker, Prof. Graham Penn, speaking on the theme, explained how other developed countries were leveraging on credit and the need for Nigeria to increase liquidity for economic prosperity.

Penn, a professor of International Finance Law at University College London, listed challenges and measures Nigerian banks, regulators and businesses could adopt to implement laws and regulations to facilitate true sale securitisation.

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NERC transfers regulatory oversight of electricity market in Ekiti to state govt

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), says it has transfered regulatory oversight of electricity market in Ekiti State to the state Electricity Regulatory Bureau (EERB).
The commission said this in a statement posted on its website in Abuja on Tuesday.
The commission said the transfer was in compliance with the amended Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN) and the Electricity Act 2023 (Amended).
The statement recalled that with the  Electricity Act (EA) 2023, the commission retains the role as central regulator with regulatory oversight on the inter-state and international generation, transmission, supply, trading and system operations.
According to the statement, the Act also mandates any state that intends to establish and regulate intrastate electricity markets to deliver a formal notification of its processes.
The statement also said that the state had to request NERC to transfer regulatory authority over electricity operations in the state to the state regulator.
”Based on this, the government of Ekiti complied with the conditions precedent in the laws, duly notified NERC and requested for the transfer of regulatory oversight of the intrastate electricity market in Ekiti.
”The commission in the Order made the following provisions: direct Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) and Ibadan Electricity Distribution (IBEDC) Company to incorporate a subsidiary (BEDC SubCo and IBEDC SubCo).
”The two distribution companies are to assume responsibilities for intrastate supply and distribution of electricity in Ekiti State from BEDC and IBEDC.
”BEDC and IBEDC shall complete the incorporation of BEDC SubCo and IBEDC SubCo within 60 days from April 22.
”The sub companies shall apply for and obtain licences for the intrastate supply and distribution of electricity from EERB, among other directives,”it said
The commission said that all transfers envisaged by the Order shall be completed by October 22.
 NERC had also transfered regulatory oversight of the Enugu electricity market to the State Electricity Regulatory Commission.
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Minister summons Lead British Int. School over bullying allegation

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The Federal Ministry of Education on Tuesday summoned Lead British International School, Abuja over an alarming viral online video regarding alleged bullying incidents at the school.
At the meeting held in Abuja, the Minister of State for Education, Dr Yusuf Sununu, emphasised government’s steadfast stance against any form of harassment or intimidation within educational institutions.
The delegation from the school to the meeting was led by Mr Abraham Ogunkanmbi, Head of School.
Sununu expressed deep concern over the circulated video.and assured that government would take decisive actions to forestall reoccurrence in any institution of learning.
The minister appointed a seven-member committee to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the documented incidents.
The committee’s mandate, he said, was to investigate the events as depicted in the videos and come up with expanded investigation to other schools, using Lead British International School as a case study, to address broader social vices.
Sununu underscored the importance of establishing stronger bonds between school authorities and students.
He said such bond would facilitate immediate responses to similar incidents in the future., emphasising the critical role of communication in resolving such issues.
The minister assured Nigerian of the government’s commitment to ensuring safety and protecting the rights of all students.
He, also reiterated the seriousness of the  ministry in addressing and eradicating vices within the education sector.
Contribution, the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Didi Walson-Jack, inquired about the existence of an anonymous suggestion box at the school, where students could lodge their complaints discreetly.
Speaking on behalf of the delegation, Ogunkanmbi said the school had launched investigations into the unfortunate incidence.
He assured the ministry that appropriate measures would be taken in response to the incidents, including disciplinary actions in accordance with the school’d policies.
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