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Tinubu Assures AU Leaders of Nigeria’s readiness to Host African Central Bank

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President Bola Tinubu has spoken about Nigeria’s readiness to host the African Central Bank in line with the vision of the Abuja Treaty.

Addressing African leaders on Saturday, February 17, at the 37th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the President said his administration will engage the African Union Commission in collaboration with member states to ensure that the bank begins operation as scheduled in 2028.

He said: “As a continent and as individual nations, we face strong headwinds and difficult hurdles threatening to complicate our mission to bring qualitative democratic governance and economic development to our people. Many of these obstacles, such as climate change and unfair patterns of global trade, are largely not of our making. However, some of the pitfalls, including coup-birthed autocracies and the deleterious tinkering with constitutional tenure provisions, are developmental cancers we as Africans are giving to ourselves”.

Commenting on the military takeovers in the Republics of Guinea, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, and the exit of three of these nations from ECOWAS, the President said disagreements over the unconstitutional changes of government should not mean a permanent rupture of the abiding lines of regional affinity and cooperation.

“The drive for a peaceful, strong, and united West Africa is bigger than any one person or group of people. The bonds of history, culture, commerce, geography, and brotherhood hold deep meaning for our people. Thus, out of the dust and fog of misunderstanding and acrimony, we must seize the chance to create a new people-centric era of trust and accord.

“To all who care to listen, I declare that if you come to the table to discuss important matters in good faith, you will find Nigeria and ECOWAS already sitting there waiting to greet you as the brother that you are”.

“In helping to achieve the Agenda 2063 objective of a peaceful, united and prosperous Africa, I consider African education, not only in the narrow context of the benign use of science and technology to improve the material standards of our people, but also in the nuanced appreciation of the fact that Africa must also become better educated in the humane art of democratic practice, diplomacy, and conflict resolution without violence.

“This year’s theme encourages us to remodel our educational systems to fit these goals. In Nigeria, my administration is devoting ample resources to education at all levels. From redesigning our school feeding programmes and academic curricula to making ourselves an Information and Communication Technology hub, through which we shall bring more youths into the classroom and furnish them with the tools required to flourish in the global economy of the 21st century,” he said.


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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University. Dear Reader, Your support matters. But we believe that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. That is why, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and finance and how they affect lives. Our incisive and analytical view of how technology news affects the daily life help individuals and organizations make up their minds. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Kindly support our effort to deliver technology and finance journalism to everyone in the world. Donate as little as N1,000. Bank transfers can be made to: UBA Plc 1017156876 Communication Week Media Ltd

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Students Loans’ Beneficiaries to Start Repayment 2 Years after Graduation-  NELFUND:

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Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) has said that students in tertiary institutions and approved vocational centres would start repayment of the loan two years after graduation.

Students Loans’ Beneficiaries to Start Repayment 2 Years after Graduation-  NELFUND:

However, NELFUND management specifically stated that the repayment of the loan would commence if the students secured a job or went into business.

Mr. Akintunde Sawyerr, managing director, NELFUND, said the Act specify a moratorium of two years after graduation for the students to begin repayment of the loan.

Sawyerr said if the students start work, his employer would be expected to remit 10 percent into NELFUND dedicated account.

He added: “The loan does not have a specified repayment tenure. It makes it easy for students to apply for the loan. NELFUND would pay according to the documents provided by the institutions. We cannot put tenure on the loan; some will die, drop out, ‘Japa’ or refuse to pay. While those who went into business would pay into same account.

“It is a revolving a loan. We will not put students under pressure to get the loan and we are not going to state a tenure because it is not a commercial loan.’’

According to him, the loan is meant for students in public universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and vocational institutes, who apply via NELFUND portal and are expected to present their JAMB admission letter, NIN and BVN.

He explained that non-students would not have access to the loan and that NELFUND has put the necessary machinery in place to ensure that beneficiaries can be reached when the need arises.

His words: “We are using technology to run the new system. The process of application is online through our dedicated portal and we are limiting human contact as much as possible. Once you have a Bank Verification Number (BVN) and National Identification Number (NIN), which are parts of the requirements, we will have access to your data and all your accounts. This will also help us to know if you are qualified or not,” Sawyerr stated.

The MD disclosed that students already in institution are eligible to apply for the loan at any level of their study and must be at the beginning of each academic session.

He noted that such students would have to provide their admission and matriculation details in addition to BVN and NIN.

Sawyerr added that about 1.2 million Nigerian students in tertiary institutions and government-recognized vocational centres would be among the first batch of beneficiaries and that the figure would increase as time goes on.

The NELFUND boss disclosed that the scheme would be funded from one per cent of the total annual revenue by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), which would amount to N194 billion if the agency meets its projection.

Sawyerr observed that the loan would be paid in two segments, the first, being the school fees, which would be paid directly to the institutions while stipend would be paid into students’ account for their day-to-day upkeep.

He added that the amount individual students would access varies because of the course of study, school fees and geographical location of the institutions.

“You don’t start paying back the loan until two years after your National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme and you have secured a job or business. A beneficiary can defer repayment if he has not secured a job, but if after due diligence, he/she defaulted, then the student becomes a criminal and we will work with government agency that can help us get the money back, for example, EFCC, ICPC,” Sawyerr stated.


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GPA Raises Alarm, Says Malaria Vaccine Can Cause Meningitis

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Global Prolife Alliance (GPA), global health organization, has told the National Assembly that the intended malaria vaccine currently proposed by Bill Gates, American billionaire, for Nigeria can trigger meningitis in the populace.

GPA Raises Alarm, Says Malaria Vaccine Can Cause Meningitis

Dr. Philip Njemanze, chairman of GPA, gave the warning in a statement released to newsmen in Owerri, the Imo state capital.

Njemanze, known for being pro-health in the Catholic church, charged the national assembly not to be in a hurry to succumb to the pressure of the bill currently before the house.

He said the vaccine may trigger the deaths of millions of Nigerian children prone to cerebral meningitis, especially in the northern part of the country.

Part of the letter read “Among the side effects is a tenfold increase in cerebral meningitis. Nigeria is endemic for cerebral meningitis. A tenfold increase could cause the deaths of millions of children, especially in northern Nigeria.

“Please intervene and call for a public hearing, for an open public discussion on the pros and cons with expert opinions from both sides. This will help the Nigerian people to be better informed about granting or withholding consent for the vaccination.

“Your intervention could save millions of lives, especially in northern Nigeria, where meningitis is most endemic, particularly at this time of serious insecurity,” Njemanze warned.

 

 


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NERC Cedes Regulatory Oversight of Enugu Electricity Market to State Government Agency

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has ceded the regulatory oversight of the Enugu electricity market to the Enugu Electricity Regulatory Commission (EERC), which is owned by the state government with effect from May 1, 2024.

This is the first-ever transfer of regulatory powers from the NERC to a state government electricity regulator.

“On completion of the Transfers under subsections (2) and (3), whichever occurs later in time, the Commission shall have no further regulatory responsibility whatsoever for electricity market activities carried on entirely within the State to which regulatory responsibility has been transferred and for which the Additional Successor Company has been incorporated and conferred with assets, liabilities, employees, rights and obligations,” NERC said in a statement signed by Sanusi Garba and Dafe Akpeneye.


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