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Presidency confers power on ICPC to probe government ministries and agencies

The ICPC would partner with PEBEC to improve the country’s business climate and secure reforms through criminal investigation and prosecution of public complaints.

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Presidency confers power on ICPC to probe government ministries and agencies

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) would partner with the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) to improve the country’s business climate and secure reforms through criminal investigation and prosecution of public complaints.

The Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo disclosed this in a PEBEC meeting held at the Presidential Villa Abuja.

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

According to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, Prof. Osinbajo made known that the ICPC would now be in charge of prosecution.

What it means: This means that complaints from Nigerians regarding activities and practices in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) bordering on suspected corruption and deliberate stalling of reform efforts are gotten, would be referred immediately from the REPORTGOV.NG portal of PEBEC to the ICPC for investigation and prosecution.

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The need to collaborate: The need for PEBEC to collaborate with ICPC had come up due to the many complaints and feedbacks gotten on the REPORTGOV.NG portal.

The Special Adviser to the President, Ease of Doing Business, and PEBEC Secretary, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole said that there was no better time to reform the public system in order to resolve the corruption issues.

[READ MORE: Presidential committee wants alcohol adverts banned to reduce consumption)

“So we started the conversation with the ICPC, which saw the value in our request that they take up those corruption-tainted complaints that come out of the portal. Between November 2018 and January 2019, a total of 1,966 complaints were received on the portal, of which 1,892 were resolved, representing 96.2 per cent success rate,” Oduwole said.

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Speaking further, Prof Osinbajo said the direct connection between the agencies would help in achieving the Federal Government’s reform agenda, especially regarding all government MDAs regulating business environment responsibilities.

Here’s Nigeria’s action plan to improve ease of doing business in the country

Jumoke Oduwole

Osinbajo’s words: “There is a lot of talk about high-level corruption and some public officials stealing money, etc; but I think for average Nigerians, the point of contact is really this sort of approvals for ID cards, for passports, customs, officials, police, and so on.

“I think that if this collaboration is robust enough, we will be able to kill two birds with one stone; first is improving our Ease of Doing Business, second is our anti-corruption ranking internationally because some of the rankings is a perception index. So, people are simply asked, what is your perception about corruption in Nigeria?

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 “So, if we work on these issues, we can really do a lot in terms of improving the image of the country, not just in the Ease of Doing Business rankings, but also in terms of the perception of corruption.”

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Chidinma holds a degree in Mass communication from Caleb University Lagos and a Masters in view in Public Relations. She strongly believes in self development which has made her volunteer with an NGO on girl child development. She loves writing, reading and travelling. You may contact her via - [email protected]

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Energy

First cargo of Nigeria’s newest crude grade, Ayala, to arrive Europe

The first export cargo of Nigeria’s newest crude grade, Anyala, is reported to be on its way to Northwest Europe.

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Oil tanker volumes dropped by 18.6% Year-Over-Year in July - Lloyd’s List Intelligence, First cargo of Nigeria’s newest crude grade, Ayala, to arrive Europe

The first export cargo of Nigeria’s newest crude grade, Anyala, is reported to be on its way to Northwest Europe.

According to a report from S&P Global Platts, while quoting trading and shipping sources, the cargo is likely to travel from Fos-sur-Mer to the Cressier refinery in Switzerland through the SPSE pipeline.

It reported that Data Intelligence firm, Kpler, said the Aframax Minerva Clara loaded a 700,000 barrel stem of Anyala crude from the Abigail-Joseph floating production, storage, and offloading vessel on January 10 with the tanker on its way to the Fos-sur-Mer terminal, located at France’s Mediterranean port of Marseille.

The report also said that trading house Vitol had chartered this tanker, as it has a stake in indigenous producer FIRST E&P, which is the operator of the Anyala West oil fields, located in the shallow waters of the Niger Delta.

This is as a market source said the cargo is likely to travel from Fos-sur-Mer to the 68,000 b/d Cressier refinery in Switzerland, which is operated by Varo Energy, through the SPSE pipeline.

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Varo Energy is a joint venture between Vitol, private equity fund, the Carlyle Group, and private investment fund Reggeborgh.

What you should know

  • The new crude is from Nigeria’s shallow-water Anyala West oil fields in the Niger Delta, which struck first oil in November. Anyala is the country’s newest oil development since the start-up of the giant Egina field in late-2018.
  • Anyala has been labeled a medium sweet crude grade, similar in quality to Nigeria’s flagship crude Bonny Light and when refined, Anyala will produce a high yield of middle distillates, making it attractive to both simple and complex refineries.
  • It is also reported that a second cargo will load in March, with some Asian refiners already showing buying interest.

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Around the World

Donald Trump and Joe Biden clash over plans to lift travel ban on UK, EU, Brazil

Joe Biden’s incoming administration has dismissed plans by President Donald Trump to lift the coronavirus-related travel bans for non-American citizens.

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The incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden has dismissed plans by the outgoing President, Donald Trump to lift the coronavirus-related travel bans for non-American citizens arriving from the European Union, the U.K. and Brazil, which means the curbs will stay in effect.

This follows the announcement from Trump in the White House on Monday that the bans could be lifted because of the administration’s last week’s decision to require international travellers to present either the results of a negative recent coronavirus test or evidence that they had already recovered from the disease. The change would go into effect starting Jan. 26, six days after Biden takes office.

However, the announcement by Donald Trump was rejected as Joe Biden’s Spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, in a tweet post, disclosed that the incoming administration plans to block the outgoing US President’s move according to a report from Bloomberg.

What Joe Biden’s spokeswoman is saying

  • Psaki in her statement, tweeted, “On the advice of our medical team, the Administration does not intend to lift these restrictions on 1/26. In fact, we plan to strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19.’

She said that with the worsening pandemic and more contagious variant emerging globally, this is not the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel.

What President Donald Trump has said

Trump, in a White House announcement, had pointed out that the international travel restrictions could be eased safely.

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  • Trump in a proclamation said, “This action is the best way to continue protecting Americans from Covid-19 while enabling travel to resume safely. Under his plan, travel bans would remain in place for China and Iran, the White House said, citing their “lack of cooperation” with the U.S. in fighting the virus.’’

The recent decision by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to require a negative Covid-19 test for people arriving in the U.S. from other countries was not directly linked to the travel ban but was seen as a way to impose safety restrictions that would allow for a resumption of travel.

Despite the surge in Covid-19 infections, experts conclude that allowing people into this country from other nations wouldn’t pose a significant risk, especially with new testing requirements.

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that President Donald Trump had initially announced the restrictions on March 11 in the early days of the pandemic on nearly all non-US citizens who had travelled to 28 EU countries, China and Iran, as part of the bid to curb the spread of the virus.
  • Brazil was later included in the travel ban on May 25 and applies to any foreign nationals who had been in any of those nations within the previous 14 days.

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Corporate Press Releases

Tizeti rolls out high-speed 4G LTE in Edo with N4000/month broadband service

Tizeti is rolling out its 4G LTE network in Edo State, with monthly fixed broadband costs pegged at four thousand Naira ($8).

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As part of its commitment to ensuring access to affordable broadband connectivity in Africa’s underserved populations, Tizeti, West Africa’s pioneer solar-based internet service provider is rolling out its 4G LTE network in Edo State, with monthly fixed broadband costs pegged at four thousand Naira ($8). With this move, millions of people in Edo State previously outside the broadband envelope can now take advantage of high-speed broadband internet from Tizeti.

Announcing the rollout of its new low-cost unlimited 4G services in Edo, the Chief Executive Officer of Tizeti, Kendall Ananyi, said that this 4G broadband internet will empower more Nigerians in Edo State, stimulate economic activities and provide unlimited access to affordable and reliable broadband services as well as complement the Edo State Government’s efforts in driving investment promotion and building a robust technology ecosystem in the state.

“Rolling out 4G LTE broadband internet in Edo at the cheapest fixed broadband prices in Nigeria, and possibly Africa, is a strategic decision for us. We have been building brand-new, solar-powered, 4G-capable towers in Edo, starting with Benin City, which leverages Edo State’s expansive fiber-network built by some of our partners, MainOne and Facebook. Edo State has a large population of vibrant, young people and a high number of higher institutions, which provides a foundation for a robust and thriving ecosystem to enable digital leadership. And the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, is implementing reforms in investment promotion and determination to build a robust technology ecosystem in the state, with an agenda that prioritizes Information Communication Technology (ICT)-compliant pedagogy in primary schools, improves digital skills for students and graduates and revamps technical education to increase productivity. This has created a perfect environment for us to roll out our low-cost broadband service, starting in Edo State, but with plans to expand across the country over the next few months,” Ananyi said.

Corroborating Ananyi, Tizeti’s Chief Operating Officer, Ifeanyi Okonkwo, states, “The launch in Edo State is personal to us as founders of Tizeti because we are alumni of the University of Benin. At 4,000 Naira monthly costs with a one-off installation cost of 4,000 Naira, we believe the plan is affordable, especially to undergraduate students. This provides a huge opportunity for people in Edo to benefit from unlimited broadband internet for use in online learning, eCommerce and entertainment, especially interactive games, video consumption, and music”.

Interested users in  Edo State can pre-sign up at https://wifi.com.ng/edostate/; installations are expected to commence in Benin City on April 1st, 2021.

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For many countries in Africa, there is still a huge digital divide. This boundary between connected and unconnected translates into clear consequences for employment, education, family and social life, and access to information. According to the World Wide Web Foundation, ensuring fast internet in Africa will enable billions more to come online, and to take advantage of the life-changing socio-economic opportunities that access to the Internet provides. Companies like Tizeti are playing a significant role in addressing the digital infrastructure deficits in Africa with innovative technology and capabilities, to improve development outcomes for millions of people.

Tizeti currently has 1.7 million unique users, with broadband services which include a new Skype-like personal and business enterprise communications service — WiFiCall.ng, and access to video streaming sites and services.

About Tizeti

Tizeti is a fast-growing Wireless Internet service provider in Lagos, Nigeria, delivering high-speed unlimited Wi-Fi Internet access to residential and business customers using wide-area Wi-Fi. Its services are available in Lagos, Ogun, and Rivers State. It is also expanding rapidly to other African countries as it has been successfully launched in Accra and Tema, Ghana.

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