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Updated: 1 hour 27 min ago

Nigerian Woman Wins Top Engineering Award In Scotland

4 hours 54 min ago


 

A Nigerian, Zahrah Ibrahim, who is a doctorate student at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, has won the prestigious European Drilling Engineering Association Innovation award.

In a post on Facebook, the university said Zahrah won the award for her immense achievement in engineering.

The award also comes with a €5,000 cash prize with paid travel and accommodation.

The post reads, "The School of Engineering would like to congratulate PhD student Zahrah Ibrahim, who was selected as winner of the inaugural European Drilling Engineering Association Drilling Engineering Innovation award, which comes with €5,000 cash prize and attendance at 2 DEA(e) meetings with paid travel and accommodation expenses.

“All applications were reviewed based on their innovation, relevance to the DEA(e) and impact to the industry and the steering committee agreed that Zahrah’s presentation scored high in all three categories.” 

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Man Jailed For Drugging, Robbing Victim

4 hours 56 min ago


 

Magistrate I.A Osayande of an Oredo Magistrate Court in Edo State has jailed a 39-year old man identified as David Onyema for drugging and robbing his victim.

The victim, Egbon Khalim, was said to have been drugged at the Iyare Motor Park in Benin City, the capital, on May 25, 2019.

According to police prosecutor, Patrick Agbonifo, the convict pretended to make friends with the victim but gave him food laced with drug.

He further said goods worth N715,000 were stolen from the victim after he fell asleep.

Magistrate Osayande sentenced Onyema to 44-month imprisonment without an option of fine.

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Nigeria Drops One Place In Latest FIFA Ranking, Now 34th In The World

4 hours 59 min ago


 

Nigeria has dropped one spot in the FIFA ranking for September, placing 34th in the world.

In the ranking table on FIFA’s website on Thursday, Nigeria garnered 1, 482 points in the month under review as against 1,481 it had in August.

However, in spite of the drop by a spot, Nigeria still occupies third position on the continent behind Senegal and Tunisia who have 1,546 and 1,493 respectively.

On the global scene, Belgium remains top of the ranking after an action-packed number of weeks in international football.

In the period under review, 78 friendlies, 74 continental qualifiers and 60 FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifiers took place.

Although the teams in the top 10 remain unchanged, there have been some movements.

France (second, up 1) and Brazil (third, down 1) have traded places, while Spain (seventh, up 2) are the top 10’s biggest movers.

The Cayman Islands (193rd, up 11) and Grenada (160th, up 13) are the joint-biggest climbers by points, reaping the rewards after their successful showing in the CONCACAF Nations League.

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Husband Sues Wife For Photographing Him Without Permission

5 hours 5 min ago


A 33-year-old woman, Adeola, who allegedly took photographs of her husband without his permission, was on Thursday docked before an Ogudu Chief Magistrates’ Court, Lagos.

Adeola is facing charges of causing a breach of peace and disorderliness, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.

Prosecutor, Donjour Perezi, said that the defendant committed the offences on May 23 in the court premises.

Perezi told the court that Adeola, who had sued her husband, Alexander over a different matter on May 23, instructed one Olusegun to take his photograph in the court premises.

The prosecutor said that the offences contravened Sections 168 (1) (d) and 412 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015 (Revised).

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Chief Magistrate Ejiro Kubeinje granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N100, 000 with two sureties in like sum.

Kubeinje said that one of the sureties must be a clergyman, a community leader or a traditional titleholder.

He adjourned the case until October 2 for mention.

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JAMB Suspends 13 CBT Centres In Nasarawa

5 hours 7 min ago


 

The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board said it has suspended no fewer than 13 centres out of 32 it was using for the conduct of its examinations in Nasarawa State.

Registrar of JAMB, Prof Ishaq Oloyede, revealed this while signing a Memorandum of Understanding for equipping three Computer-Based Test Centres with the Nasarawa State Government at Government House, Lafia, on Thursday.

Oloyede, who was represented by the Director, Information Technology Service Department, Mr Fabian Okoro, said the aim of suspending the 13 centres in the state was as a result of not meeting specified standards, adding that the signing of the MoU with the state government would allow the examination exercise to be carried out smoothly without any hiccups.

Speaking at the meeting, Nasarawa State governor, Abdullahi Sule, said, “I commend former governor and now senator, Umaru Al-Makura, who built the centres; and Registrar of JAMB, Prof Ishaq Oloyede, for his support towards equipping the three centres.

“This will alleviate the suffering of students of the state who have been travelling to centres outside the state to sit for the examination.”

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BREAKING: Suspend New Charges On Transaction, Lawmakers Tell CBN

5 hours 45 min ago


The House of Representatives has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria to immediately suspend the new charges placed on Nigerians under its new cashless policy.

The apex bank had announced an increase in charges on withdrawals and deposits exceeding N500,000.

But in a plenary session on Thursday, the lower legislative chamber ordered the apex bank to suspend the policy until appropriate consultations were made.

A tweet on the official Twitter handle of the House of Representatives reads, “The @HouseNGR has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria to suspend its recent directive to banks on cashless policy, which seeks to have individuals and corporate organisations charged for deposits and withdrawals respectively.

“The suspension is until appropriate and comprehensive consultations are made and the outcome of the interface of the House on the matter is concluded.”

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N614bn Bailout: Nigerian Governors Give Condition For Loan Repayment

6 hours 4 min ago


Less than two weeks to the commencement of deductions from monthly allocations to states by the Nigerian Government, governors across the country have given a condition for the repayment of the N614bn bailout loan.

The governors, at a meeting of the Nigerian Governors Forum in Abuja on Wednesday, said that they repay the loan only if the bailout support is reconciled with debts that the Federal Government allegedly owes states.

Recall that in 2017, the Nigerian Government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria, gave the conditional budget support facility to 35 states across the country to enable them pay salaries and pension of retirees.

But with the expiration of the grace period last week, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari announced that it will in the next two weeks commence the deduction from statutory allocations to the states.

Chairman of the NGF, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, said, “If you borrow, you pay. Governors have never been averse to payment of loans that we took under legal environment and we don’t want a situation that our banking system and financial system will be in any jeopardy.

“However, governors believe that just as we are ready to pay, we also have a duty to ensure reconciliation of account as far as money owed to states may be concerned. That is the process that is ongoing.”

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Army Personnel Seal Action Against Hunger Office In Maiduguri

6 hours 25 min ago


Personnel of the Nigerian Army have sealed the Maiduguri, Borno office of Action Against Hunger, an international non-governmental organisation working in the state.

According to a report by Premium Times, the soldiers sealed the property on Wednesday night.

Some staff of the organisation disclosed that on Thursday morning they were prevented from gaining entry into the place by the soldiers.

“We really don’t know what is happening but no one is allowed to go near the gate and even the soldiers won’t talk to anyone,” one staff said.

Spokesperson for the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Ado Isa, did not respond to telephone calls and text message.

The same message was not responded to by Ayodele Famuyiwa, a group captain, who coordinates communications for Operation Lafiya Dole Theatre Command.

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Nigeria Seeks $2.5bn Loan From World Bank

6 hours 37 min ago


The Nigerian Government has approached the World Bank for a loan of $2.5bn.

World Bank’s Vice President for Africa, Hafez Ghanem, disclosed that they were in talks with the Nigerian government for the concessionary loan.

He further revealed that Nigeria had received $2.4bn from the global financial institution in 2018.

He said, “We’re talking about a new set of programmes of about the same amount, it should be about $2.5bn.

“It’s important to resolve the problems of the power sector in Nigeria to bring in more investments because you need to bring down the cost of power to make the economy more competitive for the development of industries.

“Nigeria has a comparative advantage in that area because of the youth, a majority of the population is young. So if we want to create jobs, we need to invest much more in the digital economy.”

Ghanem said the World Bank would support Nigeria’s digital transformation because of its potential ability to transform other areas of the economy including industry, agriculture and services, according to a report by Bloomberg.

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My Generation Too Weak, Cowardly To Fight For Nigeria, Says Don Jazzy

6 hours 54 min ago


Musician and producer, Don Jazzy, has blamed youths across Nigeria for failing to fight for a better country and accepting the status quo.

In a post on Twitter on Thursday, the record label owner said he wondered why young Nigerians were reluctant to take up positions of leadership to change the fortunes of the country.

He said, “I believe my generation has been weak and almost equally at fault for the state Nigeria is in today.

“We have been too weak and cowardly to challenge our fathers at the age they built the courage and decided to fight theirs. Not everyone, but I for one have been idle on d fence.

"The world's top 10 youngest heads of government/state are all below 40 years. I also noticed many of them are heading parliamentary and monarchy governments.

“My question: Is it a Herculean task for youths to be elected to rule in a unitary/presidential government?”

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Instagram To Remove Miracle Weight Loss Posts

7 hours 2 min ago


Social media platform, Instagram, has said that it will start taking down posts advertising miracle weight loss products.

Under the new policy, posts about dieting and cosmetics will be hidden from persons under 18 years old.

“We want Instagram to be a positive place for everyone that uses it and this policy is part of our ongoing work to reduce the pressure that people can sometimes feel as a result of the social media,” Instagram’s Public Policy Manager, Emma Collins, said.

She also noted that advice was sought from experts in the field of social media policy.

The BBC reports that unrealistic "get thin quick" promotions will be taken down and young people will be restricted from viewing some posts related to dieting and cosmetic surgery if they have an incentive to buy.

The new media policy will also see Users having access to report posts they think violate the policy. Instagram will then review the complaints to decide whether they need to be restricted or taken down.

As at November 2018, Nigeria had 6.68million of its citizens on Instagram.

Products like slimming tea, green coffee beans and aphrodisiacs get healthy inches of space on Nigerian news and social media platforms.

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Buhari To Attend UNGA In New York Amidst Insecurity, Human Rights Violations In Nigeria

7 hours 14 min ago


President Muhammadu Buhari addresses the 72nd UN General Assembly

President Muhammadu Buhari addresses the 72nd UN General Assembly

President Muhammadu Buhari is set to participate in the United Nations General Assembly's 74th Session in New York, United States, amidst insecurity and gross human rights under his administration.

More than five human rights activists including pro-democracy campaigner, Omoyele Sowore, have been detained by the Buhari’s regime since January 2019.

In a post on Twitter on Thursday, the Presidency said Buhari will speak at the gathering of world leaders to address silent global issues.

The tweet reads, “President Buhari will depart Abuja Sunday for New York, United States, to participate in the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly which opened on September 17.

“President Buhari is scheduled as number five speaker on the first day of the debates – another plus for Nigeria as most world leaders will be listening in the General Assembly while the global audience watches on live television.

“President Buhari is expected to underscore his administration’s commitment to building on the achievements of its three-point agenda following the renewal of his electoral mandate by majority of Nigerians.

“He will also reaffirm Nigeria’s position on salient global issues.”

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Buhari Pleased With South Africa’s Response To Xenophobia, Envoy Tells Ramaphosa

7 hours 23 min ago


 

An envoy sent by South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, to hold talks with President Muhammadu Buhari in the wake of the latest xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in the former apartheid nation, has said told President of that country that Buhari was pleased with the way South Africa dealt with the problem. President Ramaphosa said this during his address to a special joint sitting of parliament, according to a report by SABC. He said, “I spoke with former minister, Jeff Radebe, who told me he was well received by the President of Nigeria, Muhammed Buhari, who expressed a great respect for the effort we are taking to deal with this matter. “But he also confirmed that he will be coming for a state visit in our country not withstanding what has happened and I really appreciated that.” Ramaphosa said there was a need to create laws that will regulate how foreign nationals operate their businesses in South Africa, adding that such would help in preventing conflict with locals. He added, “We should consider as many countries have, the regulations that will regulate how people from other nations can operate businesses, how they can participate in businesses within the small and medium enterprises.”

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Youth Council Condemns Bobrisky, Accuses Him Of Promoting Immorality

7 hours 27 min ago


 

The National Youths Council of Nigeria has condemned Idris Okuneye popularly known as Bobrisky for promoting immoral acts in the society.

The group expressed their view during a protest in Abuja on Wednesday organised in conjunction with the National Council for Arts and Culture, joining the likes of Women Society, and the Christian Association of Nigeria that had openly condemned Bobrisky and all that he represents.

Speaking during the protest, Vice President, North-Central of NYCN, Comrade Mukhtar, described homosexuality as ungodly and unhealthy for Nigeria’s young people.

He said, “The NYCN regards Bobrisky as a unguided element. We believe he is a man and not a woman.

“For national interest, we call on Nigerian youths and comrades of like minds to without fear or favour kick out Bobrisky and his likes wherever they come across them.

“Nigeria is not a place for LGBT and we shall fight this to the end.”

The youth group called on police authorities and other security agencies to stop the activities of Bobrisky and others in the society.

Saluting the courage of the protesting youths, NCAC Director-General, Otunba Segun Runsewe, said Nigeria’s respected cultural values must not be eroded by unguided elements like Bobrisky, adding that the agency will continue to work with other stakeholders to preserve Nigeria’s rich culture.

Recall that the police in Lagos on August 31 shut a venue where a lavish birthday party was to be held for Bobrisky.

Bobrisky, who clocked 28 on that day, had slated the celebration for two locations in Lagos but following wide criticism by members of the public, the police moved in to arrest the situation.

Ever since that period, he has come under constant scrutiny by prominent individuals and groups in the country, who believe he is a bad influence on young Nigerians.

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P&ID Accuses Nigerian Government Of Illegally Detaining Individuals Associated With It

8 hours 21 min ago


Process and Industrial Development Limited has accused the Nigerian Government of illegally detaining individuals associated with it in a bid to forcefully get information from them.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had charged two representatives of the company on tax evasion and fraud.

Andrew Stafford Q.C. of Kobre and Kim, who spoke on behalf of P&ID, said the detention and trial is illegal, adding that the Nigerian Government was trying to provoke the implementation of the $9.6bn damages issued against the country.

Stafford said, “The Nigerian Government, through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, is carrying out a targeted campaign of detention aimed at individuals associated with P&ID and the $9.6bn arbitration award P&ID won against Nigeria.

“The detentions are illegal and appear to be aimed at coercing false testimony to support Nigeria’s claim that P&ID’s award is a fraud.

“Nigeria’s Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami, has acknowledged that his aim is to provoke global opposition against P&ID by undertaking these attacks. 

“P&ID calls on the Nigerian Government to accept its responsibilities under the law and to cease the unlawful detentions.”

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Lessons From 2020 Times Higher Education Rankings By Olabisi Deji-Folutile

8 hours 23 min ago


What could be considered as a form of cheering report came the way of Nigeria last week as The Times Higher Education released its latest World Universities Rankings for 2020. Four Nigerian universities made the list of top 1,000 institutions in the world with two of them placed within the bracket of 400-600. This is Nigeria’s best outing in the globally recognised education rankings that started in 2004.

Covenant University leads the universities in Nigeria, occupying a space among the top 400 universities in the world. The University of Ibadan, Nigeria’s premier university, follows, being among the top 501-600 universities globally. Both the University of Lagos and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, made the list of top 1,000 universities in the world. Not only that, Covenant University was ranked fifth among the top 15 universities in Africa while the University of Ibadan occupied the eighth position in Africa.  

The Vice Chancellor of UI, Prof Idowu Olayinka, was so excited about this development that almost immediately the World University Rankings 2020 was released at Zurich, Switzerland, last week Wednesday, he  personally signed a statement thanking its proprietor, the Federal Government, governing council, senate, the university’s alumni, students and lecturers for the impressive outing. The VC noted that it was the university’s best ranking since the Times world universities rankings started in 2004. 

Looking at how countries all over the world are strengthening their positions in the world university ranking, there is no doubt thatNigeria’s overall performance in this global exercise is abysmally poor. A mere four universities making a global list in a country where there are 170 universities is really nothing to write home about. Some countries have as many as 100 universities on the ranking table. For example, 60 of the top 200 universities in the world come from the United States, 10 of them coming from the state of California alone. The United Kingdom has 28 institutions in the top 200 and 100 in total throughout the ranking. Notably, China and Asian countries are also becoming increasingly powerful among the top notch universities in the world.

China and Asia in general are competing with Europe and the United States in terms of representation in the top league table. According to Ellie Bothwell, Times Higher Education  rankings editor, “Asia now has twice as many ranked universities as North America and is less than 100 institutions behind Europe – although Europe has far more representatives in the top 200”. 

Eighty-one institutions, for instance, were ranked in mainland China, placing it in the fourth position on the table after the US, Japan (110) and the UK (100). China had nine more universities in this year’s figure than last year’s outing. In all, mainland China is the joint sixth most represented country in the top 200 – tied with Canada and Switzerland – and the fourth most represented countries in the entire list.   

Moreover, China’s top two institutions – Tsinghua University and Peking University – occupy the 23rd and 24th positions on the global ranking table respectively. Surprisingly too, Iran has overtaken Australia, France, Russia and Taiwan with 40 universities ranked and is now among the top 10 most represented countries. Brazil also has 46 institutions on the table overtaking   Italy and Spain.

All of this indicates that Nigeria still has a long way to go for it to be truly of relevance in global education rankings. However, considering that both Covenant University and UI rose from their 2019 positions of between 600 and 800 respectively to within 400 and 600 this year shows that Nigeria is making progress, howbeit slow. That notwithstanding, it is a marked improvement that should not be ignored, judging from where Nigeria is coming from. Some 15 years back, none of the universities in the country was listed among the top 1,000 in the world.  

Also, we should not lose sight of the fact that Covenant University, according to the current Times ranking, is in the same league as the University of Alabama, US; Bournemouth University, UK; University of Cyprus; City University of London, UK; and the University of Houston, US, to mention just a few. Covenant is also above Aston University, UK; Carleton University, Canada; China Medical University, Taiwan; Lincoln University, New Zealand; Louisiana State University; Northern Arizona University, US; Cairo University, Egypt; University of Brighton, UK; Coventry University, UK; and De Montfort University, UK, among others. It is pertinent to note that these are some of the universities highly patronised by Nigerians. 

The University of Ibadan is likewise in the same league with the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom;  Coventry University, UK; University of Brighton, UK;  University of Dayton, US;University of Delhi, India; De Montfort University UK; Eastern Mediterranean University, Northern Cyprus;  and Chang  Gung University in Taiwan among many others. 

The Times Higher EducationWorld University Rankings is believed to be trusted worldwide by lecturers, students, governments and industry experts. It judges universities across all their core missions: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook using 13 performance indicators to arrive at its conclusions. The performance indicators are grouped into five areas namely teaching(the learning environment); research(volume, income and reputation); citations(research influence); internationaloutlook(staff, students and research); andindustry income (knowledge transfer). Calculations of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings are usually independently audited by professional services firm in order to subject them to full and independent scrutiny. Over 1,400 universities across 92 countries were sampled for this year’s rankings.  

The single fact that two Nigerian universities are among the first 600 in the world is proof of the possibilities that abound in the nation’s higher education sector. If government and other stakeholders concerned with the job of running higher institutions in this country can live up to expectation and show more commitment to providing world standard education, much more could be achieved. The few universities rated in Nigeria could have probably done better than they did if they had better international outlook. 

International outlook is a reflection of the number of international staff and students and research with global outlook from any university ranked. But, how many people would want their children to come and study in a country where what you hear on constant basis are reports of insecurity, kidnapping, cattle all over classrooms and other negative vibes?  

Whereas Covenant University is rated as the best in Nigeria, its rating on international outlook on the ranking table is zero for the reason that there are no international students. The University of Ibadan had a one per cent score. Meanwhile, universities abroad that are lower in ranking to both Covenant and UI have better international outlook. For example, both UI and Covenant were ranked above the University of Johannesburg in South Africa but the university has nine per cent international students,University of Bradford, UK, has 28 per cent; University of Brighton, UK, 22 per cent; Coventry University, 45 per cent; University of Dayton, US, 13 per cent; De Montfort University, UK, 25 per cent; Eastern Mediterranean University, Northern Cyprus, 84 per cent; Kingston University, UK, 36 per cent; University of Pretoria in South Africa, eight  per cent; and  University of Indonesia, eight  per cent. 

It won’t come as a surprise if Nigerians constitute the bulk of the international students being paraded by these institutions. After all, there are reports in public domain suggesting that Nigerians spend N1trn yearly on university education abroad. Certainly, no one can blame anybody for choosing to give their children quality education in any part of the world. Besides, it is the responsibility of those managing Nigerian educational systems to make our institutions competitive and attractive to people in every part of the world. Nigerians go to study abroad because these institutions are well marketed and they meet the aspirations of the prospective students. Nigeria should equally sell its institutions to the world. Imagine the transformation that would have been in our educational institutions if the bulk of the N1trn spent annually on university education abroad is invested in Nigeria.  

Obviously, China didn’t just arrive at where it is today by mere wishful thinking. China spent nearly 4.3trn Yuan ($675.3bn) on education alone in 2017. That is almost Nigeria’s entire budget. Its investment in compulsory education in the same year was 1.94trn Yuan. Chinese children receive nine years of real compulsory education, not the kind that Nigeria claims to provide where over 10million children are officially out of school. Serious-minded countries don’t pay lip service to matters as important as education. 

Our universities should be driven by vision. What goals is the Federal Government setting for its universities to which they can commit resources for actualisation? What about our state governments towards their own universities? Let us remember that many state-owned universities made it into the current global-ranking table. 

Nigerian universities would be living under an illusion if they think that they can continue to operate the way they are and get the desired recognition in world rankings. It is for this reason that they should devise means of marketing themselves to the world. They need to create a world class learning environment if they ever want to be taken seriously in the comity of well-rated universities in the world. They definitely need a global outlook.  

By the way, Covenant University is just 17 years old and it is leading in Nigeria. What is it doing differently? The old universities should get off their high horse and learn from CU. As far back as 2014, the Living Faith Church, according to Bishop David Oyedepo, budgeted billions of naira towards the development of Covenant University. The vision of the university is to be one of the top 10 universities in the world by 2020. We might think this is an unrealistic aspiration but going by its current outing, it may just be on its way.  

Olabisi Deji-Folutile is a member of the Nigerian Guild of Editors. Email bisideji@yahoo.co.uk

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Central Bank Of Nigeria To Increase Charges On PoS Transaction

10 hours 7 sec ago


The Central Bank of Nigeria has directed the strict implementation of Merchant Service Charge, which would impose more charges on all point of sale (PoS) transactions.

This is coming few days after the apex bank announced new charges on withdrawal and deposit of funds above N500,000.

The directive on the 'Unbundling of Merchant Settlement Amounts' was contained in the CBN circular to banks, processors and switches, titled: 'Review of Process for Merchants Collections on Electronic Transactions', The Nation reports.

According to the CBN, the new policy stipulates 'Stamp Duties Payment' on individual transactions that occur on PoS, rather than previous plans where charges occurred on aggregate transactions.

The circular signed by CBN Director, Payments System Management Department, Sam Okojere, authorised banks to unbundle merchant settlement amounts and charge applicable taxes and duties on individual transactions as stipulated by regulators.

The merchant service charge was also reviewed downward from 0.75 percent (capped at N1,200) to 0.50 percent (capped at N1,000).

The CBN and Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) are working closely, including setting emittance processes that ensure the stamp duty charges for PoS is collected.

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Join Protest, Demand Release Of Sowore - Dr Damages Tells Nigerians In Diaspora

10 hours 22 min ago


Dr. Damages

Dr. Damages Sahara Reporters Media

Rudolf Okonkwo, host of a weekly satirical online television show, Dr Damages Show, has called on Nigerians living in diaspora to join the global action to demand the release of Omoyele Sowore.

Sowore was arrested by the Department of State Services on August 3, 2019, for spearheading the #RevolutionNow protest aimed at making the Nigerian government provide basic amenities, welfare and social needs for the people.

The Nigerian government and the DSS claimed that Sowore met with foreign countries and individuals to overthrow the President Muhammadu Buhari regime.

Dr Damages, in a new video, called on Nigerians living outside the country, especially New York, to join the rest of the world in urging President Buhari of Nigeria to free the activist.

He said, “If you live in New York and want to join a protest at the United Nations and Nigerian Embassy to press for Sowore’s release, please come out on September 19 and 24.

“There are also global protests happening all over the world. You may not like Sowore but that does not mean you should fold your arms and watch as the government locks up a citizen on the basis of fake and unsubstantiated information.”

Supporters of Sowore had planned a protest for today (Thursday) and September 24 at the Nigerian consulate in the US and United Nations, respectively.

Video of Buhari, Free Sowore now Buhari, Free Sowore now Buhari, Free Sowore now

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Buhari Regime Undermining Press Freedom, Democracy In Nigeria -CWPPF

10 hours 27 min ago


Police preventing journalists from covering the trial

The Coalition for Whistleblowers Protection and Press Freedom (CWPPF) in Nigeria says it is alarmed by the rapidly deteriorating press freedom in the country as occasioned by unrelenting attacks on Nigerian journalists and media institutions.

In a statement issued today (Thursday), the coalition said it worried by the cynical way the judiciary had been co-opted into acting against journalists.

"Indeed, it has never been this bad since the return of the country to democratic rule. This trend must be halted. 

"The office of Civic Media Lab, which houses SaharaReporters, was invaded and cordoned off ostensibly on the account of the planned protest over the unjust incarceration of the founder, Mr. Omoyele Sowore. This meant that journalists, other media professionals as well as non-media staff of the organisation were barred from performing their legitimate duty."

The coalition cited another example of the latest rash of attacks involving Mary Ekere, a journalist working with The Post, a local news platform in Akwa Ibom State and covering the state house of assembly. 

Ekere was arrested on the 16 September 2019 for taking pictures of officials of the Akwa Ibom government task force who were conducting a raid on a popular recreational spot, Ibom Plaza, in Uyo, the state capital.

She was consequently molested, arrested, charged to court and detained.

Ekere was released after two nights in jail.

The group said further, "There is the case of Agba Jalingo, a journalist and publisher of Cross River Watch, who was initially hounded for criticising the state governor and who after being apprehended was slammed with terrorism charges under which he is now being held, while his health deteriorates. 

"His, indeed constitutes a vivid example of abuse of laws using trumped-up criminal offences to suppress the press for holding the government accountable. 

"Since his arrest on 26 August, 2019, he has been charged with “acts of treason, treasonable felony, and threatening through various publications on crossriverwatch.com and social media, using malicious publications, and instigating the people of Nigeria to stage protest for the removal of the Governor of Cross River State.”

The statement also recalled Tony Okafor, a Punch correspondent, who was harassed over the newspaper’s reports on a suspended senior lecturer at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Dr Peter Ekemezie. 

The reporter was picked up by policemen at aroma junction, a meeting point for journalists in Awka.

More recently, Femi Adeshina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, issued a verbal threat against a State House correspondent, John Ameh (Punch Newspapers). 

"All these attacks have occurred in just one month of September. The Press Attack Tracker has recorded 70 attacks on the media in 2019 alone, the implication of which is that an average of two journalists have experienced some form of attack every week since January 2019. 

"This figure is baffling and highly reprehensible and it would come as no surprise at all if Nigeria falls even further down in the  Press Freedom Index for 2019.

"The government, security agencies and quasi military forces at all levels are complicit in this increment of press suppression, with their posture suggesting lack of concern for democratic values, fundamental human rights and the primacy of the constitution," the statement said.  

It added, "If anything, the state of press freedom is indicative of a country walking backwards and dancing dangerously on the precipice of a dictatorship with zero tolerance for dissent.

"The Coalition for Whistleblowers Protection and Press Freedom (CWPPF) calls on the federal government of Nigeria to take a stand for press freedom, and by implication democracy, by unambiguously condemning these attacks against journalists and pursuing the course of justice for the journalists who have been unjustly victimized. 

"CWPPF also calls on members of the National Assembly – the Nigerian federal parliament - to undertake a review of press laws in Nigeria and amend or outrightly repeal those that are anti-press freedom while constituting relics of the military era."

The coalition reiterated that for democracy to survive in Nigeria, it needed a strong.

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El-Rufai Vs Kaduna Traders: Showdown Brewing As Traders Reject Plan To Expand Markets

11 hours 13 min ago


Traders in Kaduna State have rejected the announcement by Governor Nasir el-Rufai to expand some markets in the state.

El-Rufai had in a media chat said that some markets in the state have been listed for expansion which includes Kasuwar Barchi, Sabon Gari and Central markets (Shaikh Gumi).

He also said that while some markets will be moved, new ones will be built.

“These markets need expansion and we are going to expand them. We also intend to build new markets in neighbourhood communities like shopping malls where people will go and rent shops‎.

“From here we will also move to Zaria and Kafanchan towns to build new markets. We just have to develop the state,” he said.

Rejecting the plans, the traders in the markets who spoke with Arewa Trust Weekly, said the governor is making move to eject them from the markets while also adding that the governor would not provide an alternative for them.

Jafaru Madobi labeled the expansion as ‘wickedness’ saying that traders are pleading with God to change the mind of the governor.

He said: “This to us is wickedness because as I speak we are all worried and confused. We all know that by the time the market is demolished many of us will not be given another shop. For me what we need is capital from the governor not market expansion.”

Usman Mani, a secondhand cloth seller, said that traders in the markets highlighted for demolition do not have the financial capability to rent shops and stalls in the new markets after reconstruction by the government.

He said, “We are worried since the pronouncement by the governor because there is no alternative provided to us. Where does he want us to go because majority of us cannot afford the kind of money to rent the new shops after the expansion?

“We also expected to hear him talk about paying compensation for our shops to be demolished but he didn’t say anything in that regard. So as far as I’m concerned these expansions will only lead to unemployment rather than providing jobs because by the time he forces us to leave many will be out of business.”

Sani Muhammad, a tailor in the market, said the special prayers were conducted in some mosques within the market against the plan.

“There were special prayers against the plan because many of us are worried about the expansion. We are worried due to lack of alternative for traders if the expansion begins,” he said.

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