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Why our Act is under review for Buhari’s assent before end of 9th Assembly — NDIC

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By Moses Adeniyi

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has said it is working assiduously to ensure the review of the Act governing its operation is finalised before the end of the 9th Assembly to enable President Muhammadu Buhari assent to the bill for effect into law before leaving office.

The Commission noted that the Act which was last reviewed about 17 years back is due for review bearing in mind new dynamics in the financial system.

According to the Managing Director, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Mr. Bello Hassan, the review is important to enable the Corporation effectively carry out its function of protecting interests of depositors of financial institutions, while building the confidence of financial stability in the Country.

Bello who spoke at an editors forum to brief media chiefs on the activities of the Corporation, said as a core safety net within the financial system, it is important that the bill be given expeditious attention to meet up with the demands of the financial system which the 2006 Act finds difficult to catch up with.

“Deposit Insurance is one of the critical services required for more financial stability. It is one of the core safety net within the financial system, so that more people would begin to have more confidence into the banking system and get formally on-boarded.

“Deposit Insurance is to ensure that a depositor does not lose his deposit in the event that a bank is liquidated. Because if a bank is liquidated, in most cases you discover that it has more liabilities than assets, so which means potentially depositors are going to lose money and that is why deposit insurance must be taken to ensure they don’t lose (their) money.

“The last time the NDIC ACT was reviewed and enacted was in 2006 and you will agree with me that the financial system has undergone tremendous changes since then and even there is a need for us to get that Act updated.

“Let me admit that we enjoy tremendous support from the National Assembly and I’m optimistic that before this 9th Assembly runs down, we will be able to push through this so that the President can assent to that bill

“There are a lot changes which are being proposed and we believe by the time the Act is passed, it will strengthen NDIC and make it to be able to operate more effectively to deliver on its core mandate,” he said.

According to the Corporation, the bill under review would introduce into the NDIC Act, new provisions that would address some challenges of the Corporation, some of which were listed to include judicial misleading verdicts, such as those bordering on distinguishing NDIC assets against that of financial institutions; protracted legal actions; delayed resolutions among others.

Responding to questions if the current difficulties customers are facing to make withdrawals due to the naira redesign wouldn’t affect confidence in the banking system, Bello said, “You take your deposit to banks because you know banks are regulated and you have the confidence that when you go there tomorrow, you get the money.

“What is happening now is not that your money is lost, but it is just there are some challenges associated with these redesign and I believe they have given assurance that they are doing everything possible to make sure that all these challenges are eliminated. I don’t think that should shake anybody’s confidence.”

Presenting a paper at the 2022 NDIC Editors Forum, themed, “Deposit Insurance System (DIS) and Financial System Stability,” NDIC Director, Claims Resolution Department, Mr. Kazeem Sule, said the NDIC bill under review would further address certain challenges the Corporation is currently facing, such as low level of awareness of the Corporation’s mandate; poor record keeping in most financial institutions affecting liquidation processes, recovery of assets to prove status of debtors, and affecting litigations.

“That is why we have had a number of amendments in our bill so that we can be effective in the performance of our role.

“We are continuously engaging the National Assembly to let them know what we do from time to time so that they can understand and when the time comes, they can pass the bill as soon as possible,” he said.

Noting what he described as “error of judgement,” he clarified that the assets of a failed bank is different from those of the Corporation, saying there is a difference between the Corporation as a liquidator and as a conservator.

On cases of judgements against the assets of the Corporation and its roles of managing the assets of a failed bank, he said, “as a conservator, the Corporation reserves the assets of a failed institution, manages it and sells the assets to be able to settle the depositors” who are claimants of failed financial institutions, while as liquidators, it administers the winding-up process of an institution to meet up liquidation expectations.

Lamenting issue of media war, he said, “We also have the issue of negative press, we remember there were a number of sponsored campaign against the Corporation from promoters of banks creating doubt in minds of the public on the effective role which the Corporation plays in protecting them.”

He disclosed further that internally, the Corporation has deployed some deposit insurance technologies to aid resolution of failed institutions among others, while increasing public awareness to build financial stability confidence.

On misleading judicial verdicts, he disclosed  that the Corporation has gone ahead to have enlightenment courses with judicial stakeholders on its roles in the industry.

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Oronsaye report: Group appeals to FG to urgently disband Agency

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By Matthew Denis

Concerned Plant Quarantine professionals has appealed to the Federal Government to as a matter of urgently disband Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (N.A.Q.S) an agency under the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.

This is contained in a Communique signed by the Chairman of the professionals, Alhaji Jaiyeola Olaniran and Secretary, Sallah Ibrahim and made available to journalists on Wednesday.

The communique read, “The plant Quarantine Service is made up of inspectors who are trained Agronomists and plant pathologists who are specifically trained and certified to identify pests and diseases of plants and plants products of exotic origin on international trade.

“Therefore, they are professionally incompatible with veterinary Doctors who deals with Animals diseases and fisheries who look after fishes.

“The bulk of operational activities in the organization are being carried out by the plant Quarantine inspectors issuing import permit to prospective plants importers and phytosanitary certificate to plant products exporters to meet standard on international trade.”

According to the communique all the physical structures that are currently been used for operations, trainings and research belongs to the plant Quarantine Service component of the agency adding that other harmonising professionals units had none.

“With the reverse salary structure in the agency the veterinary doctors are collecting salaries that are threefold to the other professionals colleagues in the agency. This is because they enter the service on GL12 while others enter with GL8 as they are claiming superiority thereby placing themselves in all the stations nationwide despite not having the technical know-how at the agency.”

The statement revealed that the lumping together of veterinary Doctors, Animal Husbandry, fisheries with plant Quarantine Service units were responsible for the rejection of 102 corps by the European Union countries from Nigeria since 2008 till date because these other professionals colleagues impersonate as plant Quarantine inspectors at the point of exits and thereby certified these corps to pass clearance checks without specified protocols of clean health condition on international trade which is done mostly for pecuniary reasons.

“All the infrastructures at the post-entry unit of the plants quarantine services which serves as the engine room where laboratory findings are carried out on plants and plants products for exports and imports are completely deserted and non-existent.

The professionals requested that it’s out of place for veterinary Doctors to be presiding over plants activities as it’s presently constituted in NAQS as the staff members who are Agronomists and pathologists are seriously finding it uncomfortable to work with them.

It stressed that corps are more on the traffic on the international trade and plant Quarantine inspectors are custodians of International standards with specific rules and regulations that guides these trade .

“The agency is relatively four years therefore it’s operating on wastages and continuously increasing burden on cost of governance for the present administration. We plead in the overall national interest for the disbandment of NAQS.”

It further added, “We request that square peg should be in square holes as all the component professionals that are currently constituted in the agency should be reassigned to their parents departments in the Agriculture ministry for optimum functioning.

“The plants quarantine services does not need an agency to operate but a full fledged department in the ministry.”

Several attempts to get the reactions of the agency in question to respond proved abortive at the time of filing this report.

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2024 Lagos Leather Fair set to elevate African Leather ecosystem

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By Omolola Dede Adeyanju

Lagos Leather Fair, an annual showcase of Africa’s Leather Industry, has announced the launch of its 2024 fair with the theme “Levelling Up” to spur on the growth being made across the African Leather ecosystem.

This was expressed through a press release made available to newsmen, according to the press release, in this seventh installment, the fair will gather leather enthusiasts, designers, manufacturers, suppliers, and industry partners from across the globe to deliver a carefully curated experience that spotlights the diversity of African culture, creativity, and craftsmanship.

Alongside its partners and sponsors, this year’s LLF will engage attendees with conversations and initiatives that aim to advance the leather ecosystem. These include improving socioeconomic impact, adopting sustainable and innovative practices, enhancing industry competition and global partnerships, and improving supply chain efficiency within the industry.

Spearheaded by Femi Olayebi, Lagos Leather Fair, stands as the third largest leather fair in Africa, following its South African and Ethiopian counterparts in delivering distinct value across the continent. From the 29th to the 30th of June, at the Balmoral Convention Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, the event will feature workshops, masterclasses, awards, exhibitions of talented leather designers and artists, investor pitches from emerging designers (Pitch-A-Leather-Biz), a runway presentation styled by Toyin Ogundadegbe, The Style Infidel, as well as a special immersive leather installation – Beyond the Hide – curated by Kanyinsade Ademuson, founder of the architectural firm, Seventh Space.

“Over the years, hosting the Lagos Leather Fair has filled us with purpose to do more and advance the African leather industry,” says Femi Olayebi, Founder of LLF. “LLF is a celebration of the potential being achieved through locally sourced craftmanship and this year, we are partnering with extremely talented individuals to create an engaging experience that invites participants and attendees to join us on that journey. We are very thankful to our sponsors and collaborators for helping us curate this valuable tradition that continues to elevate the African leather ecosystem.”

During the fair, expert-led sessions will enlighten attendees on a range of niche topics, from brand positioning and visibility, sourcing and manufacturing solutions, to the art of photography and the power of leveraging AI tools across the value chain. Additionally, innovation and creativity will be recognised through the LLF Awards where designers’ efforts will be awarded across the following categories: Most Innovative Designer Award, Trailblazer Award, Brand Excellence Award, Best Booth Design Award, Best Emerging Designer Award, and Best Curated Instagram Page.

Welcoming over 3,500 attendees in its previous edition, each year, LLF creates a unique and dynamic experience that showcases the talent of leather creatives, and diverse forms of African leather products.

For more information about the Lagos Leather Fair, visit www.thelagosleatherfair.com or www.instagram.com/lagosleatherfair/.

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Bridging the digital divide: Wale Ghazal’s journey in technology and media innovation

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In an exclusive interview with Nigerian NewsDirect, Quadri ‘Wale Ghazal, a rising star in the world of IT and Media Innovation, shares his inspiring journey from his early days in Lagos to becoming a sought-after professional in his field. Born and raised in the vibrant city of Lagos, Nigeria, Ghazal’s childhood played a significant role in shaping his character and values. He began his academic journey at Saint Joseph Secondary School, where he excelled in his studies and developed a keen interest in science and technology.

Ghazal’s thirst for knowledge led him to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Physics at the University of Ibadan, a B.Tech in Computer Science from the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), and an MSc in Cybersecurity from the University of the West of Scotland. His diverse academic background positioned him as a well-rounded and highly skilled professional in the IT and Media Innovation space.

Ghazal’s passion for IT was sparked during his time as an errand boy at a local computer school. Fascinated by the potential of technology, he began experimenting with system components and graphic design. His growing expertise led him to repair computers for friends and acquaintances and secure an internship at the University of Ibadan ICT unit. These early experiences laid the foundation for his future success in the IT industry.

Throughout his career, Ghazal has been involved in groundbreaking projects and collaborations with renowned organisations such as Google, Yahoo, WordPress, CompTIA, Microsoft, IBM, Kaspersky, Cisco, and Linux. He has also worked with publications like Encomium Magazine and BeaconX Magazine, exploring the impact of technology on Nigerian society.

Driven by his entrepreneurial spirit and desire to make a difference, Ghazal founded ArtinudaFX, specialising in branding projects and IT consultations for academic institutions and universities. Following the success of ArtinudaFX, he took on the role of Publisher at Pan-African University Press in Nigeria, participating in high-profile projects and collaborating with Professor ToyinFalola on the TFInterviews Series.

Recognising the importance of continuous learning and growth, Ghazal made a strategic decision to transition from being a multi-faceted professional to a specialised expert in Networking and Systems Security Solutions. His current work with the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom involves leveraging his expertise in IT systems, cybersecurity, and data management to support the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Services’ critical infrastructure.

Ghazal has recently been selected to spearhead the “Immersive Nigerian Cultural Heritage Experience Through Media Technology” project, which aims to create a platform that showcases the richness and diversity of Nigerian culture to a global audience. This project targets the Nigerian diaspora as well as UK and European audiences, promoting tourism, economic growth, and fostering a greater sense of understanding and unity between nations.

Looking to the future, Ghazal is committed to using technology for social good, bridging the digital divide, and empowering communities. He envisions a world where technology is a means of empowering people and communities, and he is dedicated to working with like-minded individuals and organisations to create solutions with lasting impact.

When asked what advice he would give to young people interested in pursuing a career in technology and media innovation, Ghazal urges them to follow their passion, work hard, learn continuously, and surround themselves with mentors and collaborators who can help them grow.

Wale Ghazal’s journey is a testament to the power of perseverance, hard work, and an unwavering commitment to using technology for good. With leaders like him at the forefront of the technology and media innovation landscape, the future looks bright indeed.

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