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Nipost, Courier Operators Bicker over New Fees

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Courier Operators have reaffirmed their opposition to moves by Nigerian Postal Service (Nipost) to increase licensing fees and urged Nipost which is both regulator and operator to clear the ambiguity surrounding its existence.

But Mallam Ibrahim Mori Baba, postmaster general and chief executive of Nipost said that the new tariff regime is aimed at checking capital flight and restoring sanity in the industry.

Nipost reportedly announced a new tariff regime requiring operators to pay as much as N10 million for a license beginning from January 2013.

Under the new regime, a new operator is to pay N3 million for a nationwide license up from N1 million while international operations will attract N10 million from previous N1 million.

Nipost also increased its renewal license fees from N250,000 for nationwide operations to N750,000 while international operations is put at N3 million from N250,000.

Toyin Olufade, president, Association of Nigeria Courier Operators (ANCO) warned that the industry will suffer a major setback if Nipost goes ahead with the new fees.

He said that most indigenous operators are not finding it ease with the present fees and a myriad of other operational challenges.

Olufade said that Nipost should have consulted widely and described the move as ‘out of play’.

Nodding in agreement, Henrietta Onwujei-Okonkwuo, vice president, said there were better ways to sanitize the industry.
 

“Even if it is meant to prune down number of companies in the industry this cannot be the best approach,” she said

Onwujei-Okonkwuo warned that the aftermath effect that would include, “dearth of companies, retrenchment of workers, increase in number of illegal operators and the pressure it will release on the society”.

“Since the capital market started having one problem or the other, some companies are forced to either close down or tighten up their belts, so how are they going to pay the new fees?” she asked

But the postmaster general said the new regime is aimed at restoring sanity and checking the excesses of some international courier operators in the country.

Mori Baba insisted that postal sector must grow in its contribution to the transformation agenda of the present government.

According to him, Nipost categorized the fees, knowing well that the financial muscles of the international hands of the industry are not same with the domestic operators.


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Hate Speech Fine Increased to N5m to Avoid Destabilization of Nigeria- FG

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The federal government increased the fine for hate speech from N500,000 to N5 million in the amended National Broadcasting Code, deter people deliberately violating the provision “to destabilise the country”, according to Alhaji Lai Mohammed, minister of Information and Culture.

Hate Speech Fine Increased to N5m to Avoid Destabilization of Nigeria- FG

Mohammed, gave the explanation on Friday when he featured on a TVC live programme, “This Morning” said that “What motivated the amendment was that when the fine was N500,000, we saw the provision being violated at will because the amount was very easy to pay,”

The minister had while unveiling the reviewed Nigeria Broadcasting Code earlier on Tuesday in Lagos disclosed that the fine for hate speech had been increased to N5million.

He explained that the amendments were necessitated by a presidential directive for an inquiry into the regulatory role of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the conduct of broadcast stations before, during, and after the elections.

The minister explained that some desperate people, who know that their broadcast content contains hate speech, will insist that the broadcast stations should air it while they bear the cost of the fine.

He noted that those attacking the government over the increase, must remember that hate speech had destroyed many countries.

He recalled that Rwanda lost 800,000 lives to hate speech while Bosnia and Cambodia equally lost thousands of lives to the menace.

Mohammed said that Nigeria is not the only country imposing sanction on hate speech, adding that some nations have more stringent provisions.

“Chad has today slowed down the speed of its internet service to slow down the growth of hate speech.

“Iceland has a provision in its penal code against hate speech and the punishment is up to five years in jail.

“The sanction in Norway is up to two years imprisonment while South Africa separated hate speech from the protection their citizens can get from the constitution,” he said.

The minister said that hate speech is not new but the social media and its wildfire capacity to spread information made it to be more problematic.

He, therefore, reiterated the resolve of the government to regulate the social media without stifling the freedom of speech

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), senior lawyers and human rights groups on Tuesday took a swipe at the Federal Government for raising the fine for hate speech from N500,000 to N5m.

 


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Pantami Seeks Shift to Skill, not Certificate  to Boost Digital Economy

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Dr Isa Pantami, minister of Communications and Digital Economy, has advocated for shifting of focus from certificate to skills education for the actualisation of Nigeria’s digital economic drive.

Pantami Seeks Shift to Skill, not Certificate  to Boost Digital Economy

Dr Isa Ibrahim Pantami

Pantami made the call at the Graduation Lecture of the National Defence Collage Course 28, titled; “Digital Economy and National Development in Nigeria”, on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said that digital literacy and skills was one of the pillars outlined for the development of the digital economy of Nigeria in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS).

The minister added that emphasis on certificate must be reduced in engaging labour force, urging that focus should be shifted to skills if the nation must catch up with development.

He said that many developed and developing countries such as China, United States and Morocco had shifted attention to skills rather than certificate, adding that many of them had established skills centres.

According to him, certificate is important but secondary to skill and that is why we must pay attention to skills in our journey to digital economy.

“The digital literacy and skills pillar recognises the fact that citizens are the greatest assets in any economy, including the digital economy. It will support the development of a large pool of digitally literate and digitally skilled citizens.

“We recently provided a platform, the DigitalNigeria.gov.ng platform, to enable Nigerians receive training in diverse digital skills. Over 36,000 Nigerians have enrolled on the platform since the 2nd of April, 2020.

“We are championing a paradigm change that lays emphasis on skills, in preference to merely having degrees without skills.

“The National Defence College is an institution that supports the development of skills and there are many digital techniques that can support the great work that you are doing here,’’ he said.

Pantami stated that the digital economy was a prime catalyst for development, adding that in less than one year, government’s modest efforts had already yielded remarkable results.

According to him, the recent first quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that ICT contributed an unprecedented 14.07 per cent to Nigeria’s total real GDP.

The minister further disclosed that the national security architecture must key into the digital revolution in tackling the prevailing security challenge using digital technology.

He explained that emerging technologies came with different solutions to security challenges of every nation such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, robotic technology, drone and many more.

“These are some of the emerging technologies that will go a long way in promoting security of nations. The security officials are in better position to look into and see how to customize them and make use of them.”

Also, , Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi, minister of Defence, said the Federal Government had taken steps to adopt, adapt and internalise the digital economy in a functional manner.

Magashi, who was represented by Alhaji Sabiu Zakari, permanent secretary, said it was important that security and defence establishments show more than a cursory interest in the digital economy.

He added that the adaptation of digital economy could result in increased cybercrimes thus undermining national security.

“I wish to commend the Commandant, staff and the entire College community for their collective efforts in pursuing the ideals of the College.

“In particular, I commend you for organising the graduation lecture, which was exciting, educative and would be helpful to the economic and security needs of the Nigerian nation,’’ he said.

Earlier, Rear Adm. Markson Kadiri, commandant of the collage, , said the lecture had become a key component of the training programme of the College and a major highlight of its annual graduation ceremonies.

Kadiri said that a total of 107 participants had successfully completed the course comprising 67 officers of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, seven Senior Police Officers and 15 participants from key Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

Others according to him, include 18 senior military officers from the Armed Forces of friendly nations.

“A large part of the Course was conducted online, after the general lockdown associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Course was conducted under the theme “Economic Diversification and National Development in Nigeria”. Economic diversification is a broad based strategy designed to cause positive and multi-sectoral economic growth and development,’’ he said.

 


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Top 5 Comedy Channels on YouTube in Nigeria

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A good dose of laughter boosts the immune system scientists agree. And in between the daily hustle, laughter is a good outlet for releasing stress. Nigerian comedians have latched on the cracks in our cultural diversity and day-to-day interactions to create authentic and engaging content that is gaining popularity amongst local audiences. Here are the top five Nigerian comedy channels on YouTube you should check out.

Mark Angel Comedy

Mark Angel Comedy has over six million subscribers and more than a billion views. The channel has delivered undiluted comedy to its audience since 2013, making Emanuella into one of Nigeria’s favourite characters. Emanuella is joined by Chukwuemeka, Denilson Igwe and Success as they get caught up in scenarios that reveal their ridiculousness and wittiness.

Nigeria Comedy Skit

Comedy skits have become a trend. Nigeria Comedy Skit collates skits from Nollywood movies and other Nigerian comedians who share content on the internet. Most of the videos on the channel are from Nollywood comedy stars, Aki and PawPaw but it also features videos from Sirbalo Clinic, Baba de Baba, Aboki 4 Christ and others. With over 150 million views, the videos on this channel are clearly leaving Nigerians laughing.

AY Comedian

AY Comedian is the official YouTube channel of Ayodeji Richard Makun, also known as AY, one of Nigeria’s top comedians. His channel has over 120 million views with more than 600 000 subscribers and features hilarious videos from previous AY shows, AY skits with popular celebrities, AY Crib Sitcom and more. AY is particularly known for the “Who wants to be a Billionaire” skits where Akpos uses warri pidgin language to anchor a parody of the “Who wants to be a millionaire” show.

Official Broda Shaggi

Broda Shggi is referred to as Nigeria’s number one fine boy “agebero”. The “Oya Hit Me” comedian has over 500 000 subscribers and over 90 million views on his YouTube Channel,  Official Broda Shaggi. To get an idea of how funny he is, check out Big Brother Naija’s Mercy Lambo slapping Broda Shaggi, when Broda Shaggi finally kissed DJ Cuppied or if you need to know what Broda Shaggi looks for in a woman. His goofy videos will leave you hooting with laughter. You can also watch musical videos too.

Yawa Skits

Yawa Skits is a comedy series about survival.  The channel has over 300, 000 subscribers and above 30 million views. The videos are based on the Kalistus daily struggle to earn a living by all means. Check out The Impersonator, The Accidental Drug Dealer and Bus Runz for a good laugh.


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