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UNICEF lauds Kebbi Govt for signing Child Rights Act 

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The United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) has commended Kebbi State Government for enacting Child Protection Law and urged its full implementation.

UNICEF Country representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins, disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists in Birnin Kebbi, the capital on Monday.

Kenji State Governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu signed the Child Protection Bill into law at a weekly Executive Council Meeting held at the Council Chambers of Government House, Birnin Kebbi recently.

Similarly, the Governor signed into law, the Prohibition of Violence Against Individuals Bill during the weekly Executive Council Meeting.

Hawkins said by signing the law, the Kebbi State Government became the 31st State to domesticate the Nigeria Child Rights Act (CRA) passed by Nigeria’s National Assembly in 2003.

The country representative said UNICEF today congratulated the Kebbi State Government on signing into law, the State’s Child Rights Bill passed by the State House of Assembly.

He called on the State Government to allocate and release adequate resources and put in place mechanisms for full implementation of the law to grant children the rights enshrined in it.

“We congratulate the government and people of Kebbi State on this momentous achievement. By providing legislation that protects the rights of its children, Kebbi State has taken the right decision to provide its children the enabling environment to thrive and reach their full potential.

“Putting in place this law is good but just the first step. The Kebbi State Government must take the next important step by putting in place structures and allocating resources for its full implementation.

“UNICEF urges that the law be gazetted without delay,” Hawkins noted.

He said on its part, UNICEF would continue to collaborate with Kebbi State Government on interventions that contribute to the fulfillment of the rights of children, including the implementation of the Kebbi State Child Rights Law.

Hawkins admonished other states that were yet to domesticate the Nigeria Child Rights Act to do so without any further delay.

He recalled that in 2003, Nigeria’s National Assembly enacted the Child Rights Act (CRA), which derives from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to which Nigeria is a signatory and all of Nigeria’s 36 States are expected to domesticate the law.

Hawkins, however, said that not all states of the federation domesticated the law.

The country rep. added, “By signing the Child Rights Bill into law, Kebbi state has joined the group of states which have a legislative framework through the domestication of the Nigeria Child Rights Act.

“31 States have so far enacted the state equivalents of the Child Rights Act. Five (5) States are yet to domesticate the law: Adamwa, Bauchi, Gombe, Kano and Zamfara.

“To contribute to the fulfilment of children’s rights in Nigeria, UNICEF, in collaboration with partners, has been supporting government at the State and Federal levels to put in place laws and policies which address child rights issues, and the Kebbi State Child Protection Law is one of the results of such efforts.”

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3 injured as 2 armed drones from Lebanon explode in Israel

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Two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Lebanon carrying explosives exploded in northern Israel on Tuesday, lightly injuring three people, Israeli authorities said, amid heightened tensions between Israel and Iran and its allies.

The Israeli military said in a statement that the armed drones crossed from Lebanon into Israeli territory and exploded in the area of Beit Hillel in the Galilee.

Three people sustained light injuries, Israel’s state-owned Kan reported.

The drones did not trigger air raid sirens, and the military said the incident was under review.

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CBN expresses commitment to harnessing digital technologies

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The Central Bank of Nigeria says it is committed to harnessing the power of digital technologies to enhance financial inclusion.

Mr Yemi Cardoso, CBN Governor, said this on Tuesday in Abuja, during a strategic institutions tour by participants of Senior Executive Course 46 of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS).

Cardoso, who was represented by Dr Bala Bello, Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, said that digital technologies would also boost productivity and create an enabling environment for innovation and entrepreneurship to thrive.

According to him, the apex bank has already deployed robust digital technologies in driving most of its processes towards achieving optimal performance.

He said that NIPSS, as a foremost national policy think-tank, had made invaluable contributions to the socio-political and macroeconomic development of Nigeria.

“We are, therefore, not surprised at the apt and relevant choice of your research theme.

“The CBN and NIPSS have had a long-standing and robust working relationship since the establishment of the institute. This has culminated into positive mutual benefits for the two institutions.

“The CBN, on the one hand, has provided infrastructural support to the institute through construction of an auditorium and a hostel, in addition to the provision of technical support.

“On the other hand, NIPSS has supported the technical capacity of the CBN through the training of some personnel both at senior executive course level and intermediate course cadre,” he said.

The Director-General of NIPSS, Prof. Ayo Omotayo, said that the study visiting would be representing the institute in getting information from operators of the apex bank on the relevance of digital technology to developing jobs for Nigerian youths.

According to Omotayo, a lot of progress has been made globally in using digital systems to run the economy.

“The more of our activities that we can put in digital format, the more we get the opportunity of providing employment access to a whole lot of the 120 million active Nigerians.

“We at NIPSS always knock at the frontiers of knowledge, checking what is going to happen in the immediate future.

“We are working towards a system where we believe that almost every service can be delivered digitally,” he said.

The Acting Director, Monetary Policy Department of the CBN, Dr Lafi Bala Keffi, commended the NIPSS study group for its interest in the apex bank.

She urged the participants to explore the time-tested culture of NIPSS, which is to diagnose national, profer practical solutions and recommend ways of making such solutions realisable.

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NCAA suspends licences of 3 private jet owners

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Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has suspended licences of three Permit for Non-Commercial Flight (PNCF), otherwise known as private jet owners, over alleged failure to comply with regulatory requirements.

Acting Director-General of NCAA, Capt. Chris Najomo, disclosed this to newsmen on Tuesday in Lagos.

Najomo said that after issuing a stern warning to the PNCFs in March, the authority deployed its men to monitor activities of private jet owners at airport terminals across the country.

He said that consequent upon the heightened surveillance, three private operators were found to have violated the annexure provisions of their PNCF and Part 9114 of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations, 2023.

Najomo further stated that NCAA would be carrying out a re-evaluation of regulatory requirements compliance of all PNCFs owners within the next 72 hours.

This, he said, this was in line with the authority’s zero tolerance for violations of regulations.

“In line with our zero tolerance for violation of regulations, the authority has suspended the PNCF of these operators.

“To further sanitise the general aviation sector, I have directed that a re-evaluation of all holders of PNCF be carried out on or before April 19, to ascertain compliance with regulatory requirements.

“All PNCF holders will be required to submit relevant documents to the authority within the next 72 hours,” he said.
Najomo recalled that in 2023, the use of private jets for commercial purposes had gotten the attention of the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr Festus Keyamo (SAN), who issued marching orders for cessation of such acts.

He said that in March, NCAA issued a stern warning to holders of the permit for non-commercial flights, PNCF, against engaging in the carriage of passenger cargo or mail for hire and reward.

Najomo said that the riot act was also directed at existing Air Operator Certificate (AOC) holders who utilised aircraft listed on their PNCF for commercial charter operations.

“It must be emphasised that only the aircraft listed in the Operation Specifications of the AOC are authorised to be used in the provision of such charter services.

“Any of those AOC holders who wish to use the aircraft for charter operations must apply to the NCAA to delist the affected aircraft from the PNCF and include it into the AOC operations specification.

“NCAA wishes to reiterate to the travelling public not to patronise any airline charter operator who does not hold a valid AOC issued by the NCAA, when they wish to procure charter operation services,” he said.

The NCAA boss, thereafter, encouraged legitimate players in the aviation industry to promptly report such illegal activities to the authority for necessary action.

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