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The 3 legal arguments Femi Falana used to blow Baru’s defense apart

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In what is the latest in the series of controversies in the Buhari administration, the Kachikwu vs. Baru dispute has exploded into a very messy battle with everyone taking sides. Earlier today, Nairametrics reported that the NNPC came to the defense of its Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baru by alleging that an ill Muhammadu Buhari who had handed over presidential powers to Osinbajo gave the final approval for the controversial contracts. Popular human rights lawyer and activist, Femi Falana has however released a statement in which he blows Baru’s defense apart. Here are the 3 major arguments from the standpoint of the law.

  1. Section 6 (c) of the NNPC Act which vests the Board of the NNPC (of which Kachikwu is Chairman) with the exclusive power to “enter into contracts or partnerships with any company, firm or person which in the opinion of the Corporation will facilitate the discharge of the said duties under [the NNPC] Act.” (Thus, Baru’s claim that the NNPC does not need to consult the Board before awarding contracts is not legal).
  2. The Public Procurement Act (PPA) states that the competent authorities that have the final say in the award of contracts and disposal of public assets under the current political dispensation are the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) and National Council of Public Procurement (NCPP). (Since neither is chaired by the President, Baru’s claim to have followed due process by seeking Presidential assent is not legal)
  3. There is no conflict whatsoever between the provisions of the NNPC Act and the PPA to justify the usurpation of the powers of the NNPC Board by the Tenders Board of the NNPC headed by the GMD (Baru). (Baru’s claim that he does not need approval from the NNPC Board  headed by Kachikwu is not legal).

It will be interesting to note in coming days if and how the President will react to these allegations as well as their implications on submission to the rule of law in Nigeria.

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Patricia

Chacha Wabara-Ogbobine is a Legal practitioner with over 9years post call experience. A research Consultant, professional writer and a blogger at heart,owner of four thriving websites with well over 10years of experience. Totally in love with keeping fit and coaching weight loss enthusiasts. I love my quiet time, being with my kids, watching TV series for hours on end.

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Corporate Press Releases

NSE simplifies investing in the capital market with comic book

StockTown is dedicated to providing financial literacy education to Nigerians.

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The proliferation of dubious investment schemes that often result in loss of money by unsuspecting members of the public continues to make the role of financial literacy imperative. To play its part, Nigeria’s leading bourse, The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE or The Exchange) has issued the second edition of its comic, StockTown, dedicated to providing financial literacy education to Nigerians.

The comic, available in digital format on a dedicated website at www.nse-stocktown.com builds on The Exchange’s advocacy for safe and trusted investment schemes.

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The story picks up from the first edition, following the life of Mora Johnson as she seeks to liberate her family from their financial struggles by investing in the capital market. This second edition highlights some major lessons for potential and existing investors including the need for vigilance in avoiding Ponzi schemes and unregulated investments, whilst advising prospective investors to seek proper guidance before making investment decisions. Readers can look forward to a simplified explanation of the history of the capital market, its evolution over the years, and how anyone can start making investments today in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section of StockTown.

Commenting on the importance of this comic book, Head, Corporate Communications, NSE, Olumide Orojimi said, “Investor Education is a priority for us at The Exchange. We have identified the need to empower individuals across all levels to make good financial decisions and better their lives now and in the future. As the investment landscape continues to evolve to accommodate more retail participants, we are excited to leverage new and existing platforms to present investment products and processes in ways that are both appealing and easy to understand, particularly in this new normal. We hope that StockTown becomes a widely-read resource for potential and existing investors, the financially excluded, millennials and the larger public.”

StockTown is just one of the many ways NSE demonstrates its strong commitment to promoting financial literacy in Nigeria. Even amidst the Coronavirus pandemic and the temporary closure of The Exchange’s facilities, NSE continues to host virtual financial literacy workshops with students and young upwardly mobile professionals. Furthermore, The Exchange has hosted several webinars on various products including Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), Green Bonds, and Securities Lending to provide more information to the market on available securities and how to trade them.

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It should also be recalled that NSE is a member of the Financial Literacy Technical Committee of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); as well as the National Finance Inclusion Steering Committee led by the Central Bank of Nigeria with a mandate to reduce the level of financial exclusion in Nigeria to 20%.

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Hospitality & Travel

5th evacuation flight for Nigerians in the US scheduled for July 31; see details

The evacuees are to forward the details of tickets and contact addresses of their next of kin.

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5th evacuation flight for Nigerians in the US scheduled for July 31; see details

The Federal Government has approved the 5th Evacuation flight for Nigerians stranded in the United States of America, for July 31.

According to a tweet from the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, the Ethiopian airline, flight number ET547 will leave George Bush international airport Houston, Texas on Friday 31, July 2020 by 16:00 hours and arrive Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos on Saturday 1st August 2020 by 20:00 hours.

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An official statement released by the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Atlanta, Georgia in collaboration with other Nigerian missions in the United States of America, states that Nigerians registered with any of the three Nigerian missions in the USA, and interested in boarding the flight, can purchase their one-way tickets.

“The airfare is $1,500 for economy class and $3,000 for business class for adult/child fare, including all taxes, with the usual percentage reduction for infants under 2 years,” it read.

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In addition, the intending evacuees are also expected to forward the details of purchased tickets together with the contact address of their next of kin in Nigeria to the consulate.

READ MORE: FG states international passengers to arrive 5 hours before departure, discloses other protocols

In line with the protocols announced by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, all of the returnees are to present a negative COVID-19 test result (not older than 14 days), and undergo a temperature check before boarding the evacuation flight, and upon arriving Nigeria, are expected to proceed on a 14-day self-isolation.

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In the last couple of months, the federal government, through the ministry of foreign affairs has evacuated hundreds of stranded Nigerians from different countries including the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Egypt, Malaysia, and Thailand.

The returnees bear the cost of their flight tickets and are expected to self-isolate for two weeks, upon their return to Nigeria. Returnees, who receive a clean bill of health after the isolation, are given their passports and allowed to go home.

 

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Tech News

Global digital population hits 4.5 billion

About 4.57 billion people were active users of the internet in April 2020.

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With Covid-19 confining within the four walls of their rooms and home, the internet becomes and is becoming a ready resource or platform for commercial and noncommercial interactions.  The implication of this is that more and more people are becoming prone to using the internet. That also has an impact on the global digital population. According to information from Statistica, about 4.57 billion people were active users of the internet in April 2020. This represents 59% of global population.

Among the global internet users, China, India and the United States of America recorded more internet users than the rest of the countries.  As Covid-19 makes it more obvious that much can be done through the internet without any physical presence, the current global online penetration rate of 59% will increase in no distant time. Places like Northern Europe are almost there with a 95% internet penetration rate, Other countries with high internet penetration rates include the United Arab Emirate (UAE), Denmark, and South Korea. Ironically, the next-door neighbour to South Korea, North Korea has almost zero internet penetration rate.

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Qua Vadis Nigeria:  Nigeria as a country and Nigerians as a people have not been doing too badly when it comes to the issue of digital population. According to available data from the National Bureau of Statistics, active internet users/subscribers total 136,203,231  as at the end of Q1 2020. That represents almost 51% of the entire population. Compared to a similar period a year ago, Nigeria recorded an increase in internet penetration rate of 17.1% on year on year basis and 8.03% increase on a quarter to date basis.

State-wide digital population: Lagos state has the greatest number of internet users in Nigeria, with slightly over 17 million users, followed by Kano state with 8.3 million users and then Ogun state with 8.03 internet users. The state with the least internet penetration is Bayelsa state where only 985 thousand people were connected to the internet as at Q1 2020.

MTN remains the carrier with the largest number of subscribers as 57.3 million internet subscribers in Nigeria are with MTN, while AIRTEL came second with 36.8 million subscribers but closely followed by GLO with 33.9 million subscribers. All those three benefits from 9Mobile, whose loss of a few of its subscribers added to the subscription growth of the bigger market players.

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Voice subscription: A lot more Nigerians are using their phones for voice services, though. According to the same data from the National Bureau of Statistics, 189, 282,796 Nigerians have voice subscriptions in Q1 2020.  This implies that about 54 million Nigerians have phones that are not internet-enabled. With Covid-19 and the need for students in the tertiary and secondary schools being required to do some or most of their assignments on the internet, that number will change very soon.

Patricia
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