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Gani Adams slams senate over bill against social media, others

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The National Coordinator of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Otunba Adams, has condemned the Senate for seeking to introduce a bill aimed making it an offence to publish any petition or complaint against a public officer without being supported with a sworn affidavit.
The bill, entitled ‘An act to prohibit frivolous petitions and other matters connected therewith’, Adams said is dangerous for the nation’s nascent democracy.
Addressing newsmen in his office yesterday in Lagos, Adams described the bill as the same with the obnoxious military Decree 4 of 1984, saying the trend is worrisome.
According to Adams, with the introduction of the bill, the Senate is plotting a coup against the media in order to gag it.
“I see this as a coup against the media, which by extension, is a coup against the people.
It is disturbing that the same senate that got its mandate from the people is now seeking to gag them.
I fear that something terrible is really wrong,” Adams said.
Adams wondered if it was a coincidence that in less than six months into the life of the present administration, the senate is seeking to introduce such bill, adding that it is curious that a bill to gag the media, which he said is the life wire of any democracy, is about to find its way into the country at this moment.
“In 1984, during the administration of General Muhhamadu Buhari, the Decree 4 was introduced and journalists were jailed for doing their job of writing.
It is curious that a similar bill is being planned by the senate now that Buhari is a civilian president.

The media is the life wire of democracy, and any attempt to gag it spells doom for our nascent democracy.”
The OPC leader said the introduction of the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill was expected to bring sanity into the system, with the belief that public officers would be wary of getting involved in any fraudulent activity, saying the introduction of the new bill may mean a free reign for public officers to deep their hands into the nation’s coffers, knowing that nobody is watching them.
While stating that he condemns attempt by anybody to defame public office holders, Adams added that such public officer can approach the law courts to seek redress in case of any false publication against him or her.
“I am not encouraging people to defame anybody. Rather, I am appealing to media practitioners in the country to do their job with every sense of responsibility and to see themselves as the pillar on which our democracy rests.
“I also believe that the courts is the last hope of the common man.
Therefore, I will advise that instead of seeking to gag the media let anybody who feels defamed by another person approach the court for redress.
I think that is a better way of strengthening our democracy.”
He, however, appealed to President Buhari not to bow to pressure from corrupt politicians to sign the bill into law, saying the people of the country are eagerly looking forward to the president’s promise to make democracy stronger.

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Union Bank, WACOT Rice Kick Off Financial Inclusion Drive for Smallholder Farmers in Kebbi

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As part of Union Bank’s commitment to driving financial inclusion in Nigeria, the Bank has partnered with WACOT Rice Limited – a rice processing company, to financially include 6,000 local farmers including youth and women in Kebbi State.
The Kebbi Financial Inclusion Drive (KFID) which will cover four Local Government Areas – Argungu, Augie, Suru, and Dandi – is a critical part of WACOT’s Argungu Outgrower Expansion Project funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) West Africa Trade Hub. This program is set to resolve the overwhelming financial inclusion deficit within rural communities in Kebbi.
The financial inclusion initiative is being implemented with technical support from National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), to help the farmers acquire the relevant documentation and identification required to open bank accounts.
Union Bank will facilitate account opening and expand its agency banking network to cover the areas while supporting its agents on ground with digital banking solutions to enable seamless transacting and account management.
Farouk Gumel, Chairman WACOT and Board Chair, Union Bank was on ground in Kebbi State to kick-off the drive and paid a visit to the Kebbi state Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu to discuss expanding the programme state-wide.
In his recent keynote address at the recently concluded and  Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Conference, Mr. Gumel said:
 “As we work towards achieving financial inclusion to reach the unbanked, we must commit the same resources and investments to rural-local customers as we have done to urban-global clients to help create the growth that will lift us all to collective prosperity.”
WACOT Rice is a subsidiary of TGI Group. TGI Group, through another of its subsidiary Titan Trust Bank, recently acquired Union Bank in a landmark transaction which was announced in 2021.

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FIRSTBANK PARTNERS VERVE INTERNATIONAL, MAKES CUSTOMERS MILLIONAIRES IN THE FIRSTBANK VERVE CARD PROMO

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In partnership with FirstBank – Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider – Verve International, Africa’s leading payment technology and card business, has launched its third National Consumer promo designed to reward users of FirstBank verve card with exciting gifts and cash prizes to appreciate their patronage and use of the card to carry-out their electronic banking transactions.

The ongoing 2-month promo will end on 30 October 2022 as 20 customers (10 customers per month) with the highest transaction count during the promo will be made millionaires, winning the sum of N1 million each. Also, N20,000 will be won by 25 customers monthly.

On the other hand, 2620 FirstBank verve cardholders that double their transactions every week, stand a chance to enjoy 10% cashback capped at N2,000 per customer.

Speaking on the promo Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products, FirstBank said “we appreciate our partnership with Verve Card through the years; a partnership of empowerment and opportunities which include growing the economy, supporting new businesses and preventing unemployment. FirstBank verve card holders are encouraged to keep using their cards as it is a card offering that promotes safe, convenient and rewarding digital banking experience with 20 customers standing a chance to be millionaires at the end of the promo.”

Verve card is a secure debit card that allows cardholders to conveniently meet their daily financial needs such as payment for goods and services, airtime recharge, bill payments, funds transfer, etc. Verve card is accepted across all ATMs, POS, Web and Mobile Platforms in Nigeria.

The promo is also opened to new verve cardholders as non-verve cardholders are encouraged to visit the nearest FirstBank branch today to pick up a Verve card and start getting rewarded!

Only recently, FirstBank – in partnership with Verve – rewarded over 2601 FirstBank verve cardholders with various prizes; including N20,000 cash prize, N10,000 cash prize, N10,000 worth of airtime; power generating sets, refrigerator, cooking gas, smart TV and the grand prize of a brand-new car to a lucky winner.

 

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Federal Government Orders University Vice-Chancellors To Reopen Schools, Begin Lectures Amid 7 Months Lecturers’ Strike

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The government issued the directive through the National Universities Commission (NUC), and a letter signed by its Director, Finance and Accounts, Sam Onazi, on behalf of the Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Abubakar Rasheed.

The Nigerian government has directed vice-chancellors to re-open universities and allow students to resume lectures immediately.

The government issued the directive through the National Universities Commission (NUC), and a letter signed by its Director, Finance and Accounts, Sam Onazi, on behalf of the Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Abubakar Rasheed.

 

The letter which The PUNCH obtained on Monday, was reportedly addressed to all vice-chancellors; Pro-Chancellors and chairmen of governing councils of federal universities.

 

“Ensure that ASUU members immediately resume/commence lectures; Restore the daily activities and routines of the various University campuses,” the letter partly reads.

We had reported that the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), on Wednesday, September 21, 2022, ordered the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off its ongoing nationwide strike.

 

It reported that the umbrella body of the lecturers in public universities had declared a warning strike on February 14, to force the Nigerian Government to implement agreements it earlier signed with the union.

 

The agreement stipulated how university education would be funded for better improvement.

 

The strike has since rolled over and is now in its seventh month following the government’s failure to implement all the agreements.

 

Several meetings between ASUU and the Federal Government have ended in a deadlock.

 

Consequently, the Federal Government went to court to challenge the strike.

 

The government through its counsel, James Igwe, prayed the court for an interlocutory injunction restraining ASUU from taking further steps as regards the strike, pending the determination of the substantive suit.

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