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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.

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)

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“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.

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.

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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.”

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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Atsu Davoh is building ways for Africans to easily acquire and spend cryptocurrency

Atsu Davoh has gone from failed projects to running one of Ghana’s most innovative startups.

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In recent times, the tech space in Africa has experienced immense growth, with the introduction of several key players and disruptors across various sectors. One sector that is also rising is the cryptocurrency space with Africa experiencing greater crypto ownership and trade volume.

The number of Bitcoins processed on a single day reached its highest value at the beginning of 2021, as more people displayed interest in the cryptocurrency. Due to its fast adoption, more fintech players have created platforms that have made trading with cryptocurrency easier. One of such players is Atsu Davoh who calls himself the “product guy.”

Atsu Davoh dropped out of college (Carleton College) in the United States and moved back to Ghana to help innovate on Africa’s financial infrastructure. Atsu first discovered Bitcoin in 2017 during the first boom when it became mainstream. Before then, he and his co-founder Samuel Baohen had been involved in many failed projects.

He developed a USSD system where people could buy bitcoin through their phone numbers, like tying crypto to phone numbers in a native way. This was one of the first iterations of Bitsika.

Atsu was invited to Join Binance Labs Incubator by Yele Bademosi where he got $150,000 after graduating from the incubator. Bitsika went on to raise around $900,000 from investors. This brought the total seed raised to $1,050,000.

This USSD system worked in Ghana but didn’t work in Nigeria. Atsu and his team then pivoted the platform to a donation crowdfunding platform, which allowed people living in other countries to send donations to African nationals in need of the funds before finally building it into a cross-border crypto remittance platform.

Bitsika users can deposit and remit money across multiple currencies using the app, with all monies deposited in Bitsika stored in USD credits or stable-coin.

Bitsika has over 50,000+ downloads on Playstore and processed nearly $40 million in 2020 with $18,872,474 in deposits, $17,890,807 in payouts (withdrawals), and $3,189,834 in internal peer-to-peer transfers.

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Despite a few unfavourable regulations surrounding cryptocurrency in Africa, the market has shown no signs of slowing down as more people are building products that will make trading seamless.

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Business

FG signs new Sustainable Development Goals agreement with UN

The Agreement is for new development cooperation with initiatives towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals set in the UN Agenda 2030.

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Xenophobia, FG reacts to inclusion of Nigeria on religious freedom blacklist by United States

The Nigerian Government has signed a deal with the United Nations to develop new cooperation towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, in a statement on Thursday after the agreement was signed with the United Nations Office for Project Services, UNOPS, represented by Ifeoma Charles.

The Minister said, “On behalf of the Nigerian Government, I signed an agreement with the UNOPS represented by Ifeoma Charles Multi-Country Office Rep. The Agreement is for a new development cooperation with initiatives towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals set in the UN Agenda 2030.”

What you should know 

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are:

No Poverty; Zero Hunger, Good Health, and Well-being; Quality Education; Gender Equality; Clean Water and Sanitation; Affordable and Clean Energy; Decent Work and Economic Growth; Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; Reducing Inequality; Sustainable Cities and Communities; Responsible Consumption and Production; Climate Action; Life Below Water; Life on Land; Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions; and Partnership for the Goals.

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