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Deputy Governor In Trouble For Transferring COVID-19 Fund To A Woman’s Account

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A Deputy governor in one of the states is in trouble for not coordinating the COVID-19 containment campaign well.

Following the release of a N250 million vote for the purchase of basic items to curtail the pandemic, His Excellency wasted no time in transferring the cash to a woman’s account.

The state is still waiting for the supply of the essential medical supplies.

The attitude of the deputy governor has forced the state to lag behind in anti-COVID-19 campaign.

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Crime

FG Set To Fight Kidnapping With CCTV Cameras On Highways

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Kidnapping: We Will Install CCTV Cameras On All Major Highways, Says Minister Of Police Affairs

The Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Dingyadi says efforts are to install Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras on all major highways across the country to curb the rising cases of kidnapping.

Dingyadi who disclosed this in an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily said President Muhammadu Buhari has given the approval for the project and the Federal Government has entered into an agreement with NPS Technology Company to re-fix the abandoned CCTV project.

“We are moving forward, like you are aware, the 470million CCTV project that has been abandoned. Mr President has now given us the go-ahead to resuscitate the project and we have already entered into a concession agreement with NPS technologies. They are there trying to re-fix the entire system to resuscitate it.

“By the time this system is put in place, we will have a lot of technology to manage this crisis – particularly this issue of kidnapping. We will go a long to ensure that we reduce the number of kidnappings in this country,”
 the Minister said.

When asked if the CCTV will be in only major cities like Abuja, the Minister said, “The CCTV is going to be on all the major highways in all the states of the Federation, it is everywhere in this country.”

Dingyadi said the company in charge of the CCTV project is already purchasing the needed equipment for the project.

Speaking concerning the challenges, he said they are aware of the challenges involved in achieving the projects and they are tackling them headlong

“That is what we are doing now, we are facing the challenges, we are trying to resuscitate it. This company is already going into action to ensure that they purchase the needed equipment.

He added that the project will be accomplished based on public and private partnerships.

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Business

Crypto Ban: Northern Senators Support CBN, Southern Senators Oppose

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The recent ban on cryptocurrency transactions via Nigerian bank accounts has divided opinions among Nigerian senators.

The Central Bank had directed deposit money banks and other financial institutions to deactivate all customers’ accounts used for transacting all forms of virtual currencies.

The CBN hinged its decision on claims that fraudulent transactions were being carried out via cryptocurrency dealings, thereby weakening the Naira. It also alleged that the exchange could be used to funnel illicit funding for terrorism and other threats to national security.

Debating the development on Thursday at plenary, Senator Tokunbo Abiru, a former bank chief executive from Lagos, says he does not see the ban as the solution to the highlighted threats but suggested a public hearing be held with stakeholders.

“The last five years, we have had people changing crypto-currencies to over 500 million dollars. It is good to ban because of the challenges it has presented; in reality, banning it doesn’t take it away,”
 Mr. Abiru said.

“Even our Security Exchange Commission (SEC) also recognised crypto-currency as a financial asset they need to regulate. What we should do is to invite the major stakeholders to a public hearing.”

Adding his voice, Senator Solomon Adeola (Lagos West) opined that rather than the outright ban on crypto-currency by the banks regulator, regulation of the market would be a better option.

In his words: “I am strongly against the outright ban of this medium of exchange by the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN). What the CBN should be telling Nigerians are the regulations put in place to regulate the activities of the operators.”

“All over the world, these cryptocurrencies are regulated. The operators of this so-called currency are everywhere. I would indulge this senate to allow the regulators also to be invited so that they can also tell the committees their own position concerning the operation of cryptocurrency in Nigeria,” Mr. Adeola concluded.

Senator Biodun Olujimi, apparently against the ban, noted that the youth have gained so much from the business of bitcoin, hence, advised the CBN and the government to iron out ways for cryptocurrency to work for the country while also taking step to prevent fraudulent people from gaining access.

Ms. Olujimi said, “We didn’t create cryptocurrency and so we cannot kill it and cannot refuse to ensure it works for us. These children are doing great business with it and they are getting results and Nigeria cannot immune itself from this sort of business.”

“What we can do is to ensure bad people must not use it. This motion is most important to us. The time has come for us to harmonise all the issues concerning cryptocurrency,”
 the senator added.

However, in a swift opposition, Senator Sani Musa (Niger) believes the directive is necessary due to the clandestine nature of the medium of transaction which makes it almost impossible to regulate while seeing it as a threat to Nigeria’s weak economy and the fragile Naira.

“Cryptocurrency has become a worldwide transaction of which you cannot even identify who owns what. The technology is so strong that I don’t see the kind of regulation that we can do. Bitcoin has made our currency almost useless or valueless,”
 Mr. Sani lamented.

In addition, he said: “If we have an economy that is very weak, and cannot regulate cryptocurrency in Nigeria, then I don’t know how our economy would be in the next seven years.”

The senate then mandated its committees on banking, insurance and other financial institutions, ICT and cybercrime, and capital market to invite the CBN governor for briefing on the opportunities and threats of the cryptocurrency on the nation’s economy and security and to report back findings within two weeks.

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Awarness

We’ve Licensed Telcos To Provide NIN – NIMC

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Telecommunications companies have been licensed to register people who do not have National Identity Numbers so as to reduce the large crowds at the offices of the National Identity Management Commission , the NIMC has said .
Director – General, NIMC, Aliyu Aziz, said some other private and public organisations had also been licensed by the commission to provide NINs in order to address the crowds at commission’ s offices .
This came as workers of the commission told our correspondent on Tuesday that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy , Isa Pantami , had constituted a committee to address the demands of NIMC employees.NIMC workers had downed tools on January 7, 2021 in protest against the poor welfare issues at the commission, but their strike was suspended after the intervention of the minister.
Responding to an enquiry as regards measures taken by NIMC with respect to complains by citizens and the crowds at the commission’ s offices, Aziz said mobile network operators had been empowered to also give the identity numbers .“ We have licensed private and public sector organisations including telcos ( telecommunications companies) so as to create more centres, ” he stated in a WhatsApp message to our correspondent.On December 15, 2020, the Federal Government declared that after December 30, 2020 , all SIMs that were not registered with valid NINs on the network of telecommunications companies would be blocked .It later extended the December 30, 2020 deadline following widespread opposition against the earlier announcement and gave three weeks’ extension for subscribers with NIN from December 30, 2020 to January 19, 2021 .It also gave six weeks’ extension for subscribers without NIN from December 30 , 2020 to February 9, 2021, but many organisations had called for further deadline extension or outright suspension of the NIN registration process due to the large crowds who had yet to have their NINs .On the meeting between NIMC workers and the communication minister, the President, Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, NIMC Unit, Asekokhai Lucky, said some resolutions were reached.He said the minister told the union that some of the demands being presented by the workers were new to him, as he only took over the supervisory role of NIMC in October 2020.“So what he (Pantami) did was to set up a seven-man committee to work on the issues and submit a report to him in two weeks’ time,” Lucky stated.Lucky said the 21-day ultimatum earlier issued the management of NIMC was still in force, although there had been calls for the union to step down the ultimatum.

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