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UK announces new point based immigration and visa policy

The new system will treat European Union and non-European Union citizens equally.

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EU plans to impose visa restrictions on Nigeria

The UK government has announced a new set of immigration rules and visa policy with effect from January 1, 2021 after the Brexit transition period.

The details of the new system as announced by the British Home Secretary, Priti Patel, include special fast-track visa for healthcare workers, skilled workers, and international students and graduates, among others.

The new system, which will be points based, will treat European Union (EU) and non-European Union (non-EU) citizens equally. The aim is to attract people who can contribute to the UK’s economy, just as Irish citizens will continue to be able to enter and live in the UK as they do right now.

Visa applicants must also have job offers from a list of eligible occupations and speak English, to earn them at least 50 points.

READ ALSO: EU to invest in Nigeria’s automotive industry 

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The Visa application process can be made and paid for online as the applicant will be asked to provide his or her biometric information.

For the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss citizens, they will provide digital photos of their faces using smartphone app. They do not have to give fingerprints but will need to go to an overseas visa application centre to have pictures taken if it is for low volume routes.

For the non-EU citizens, they will continue to submit their fingerprints and photos at overseas visa application overseas.

For Skilled Workers, the points-based system will include a route for skilled workers who have job offers from an approved employer sponsors.

From January 2021, the job you’re offered will need to be at a required skill level of RQF3 or above (equivalent to A level). You’ll also need to be able to speak English and be paid salaries at the threshold of £25,600 or the going rate for your job, whichever is higher.

If you earn less than this – but no less than £20,480 – you may still be able to apply by trading points on specific characteristics against your salary; for example, if the job offer is in an occupation that is short of skilled workers, or you have a PhD relevant to the job.

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The Global Talent Scheme will be opened up for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens. It will also allow highly-skilled scientists and researchers into the UK without any job offer.

READ MORE: UPDATE: President Trump has been sued by MIT, Harvard over foreign students ban

International Students and Graduates

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Student visa routes will be opened up to EU, EEA and Swiss citizens. They will be able to apply for visas to study in the UK if they have been offered a place on a course, can speak, read, write and understand English and have enough money to support themselves and pay for their courses.

A new graduate immigration route will be available to international students who have completed degrees in the UK from summer 2021. They will be able to work, or look for work, in the UK at any skill level for up to 2 years, or 3 years if they are PhD graduates.

Visiting the UK

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and other non-visa nationals will not require any visa to enter the UK when visiting for up to 6 months. All migrants looking to enter the UK for other reasons (such as work or study) will need to apply for entry clearance in advance. Also, EU, EEA and Swiss citizens living in the UK before December 31, 2020, can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after June 30, 2021.

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READ ALSO: Outflux of skilled workers is a dent on the local labour market

Proving Immigration Status in the UK
EU Citizens

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens will use an online service to view their immigration status and to prove their status to others. Employers, landlords and public service providers will continue to accept EU citizens’ passports and identity cards as evidence of their immigration status until 30 June 2021.

Non-EU Citizens

Non-EU citizens can continue to use physical documents to prove their immigration status. Those with valid, current Biometric Residence Permits, Biometric Residence Cards or status granted under the EU Settlement Scheme can also prove their right to work to an employer using an online service.

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Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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Business

Guinness warehouse in Lagos on fire

The warehouse was said to be used in storing plastic crates.

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Just-in: Guinness warehouse in Lagos on fire

A warehouse that is reportedly owned by Guinness Nigeria Limited, along the WEMPCO Road, Ogba, has been gutted by fire.

The warehouse was said to be used in storing plastic crates.

READ MORE: Why Guinness is a stock to pick – RenCap 

Director-General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, explained that emergency responders, including the LASEMA response team and official of the state fire service, were on ground to salvage the situation, adding that the immediate cause of the fire could not be ascertained.

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He said, “On arrival at the scene of the incident at 0430am, it was observed that a warehouse storing plastic crates which appears to belong to the Guinness Nigeria Limited and used to store plastic crates, had been burnt.

“The immediate cause of the fire could not be determined. However, the agency’s responders and LASG Fire Service officials are on ground to carry out a dampening exercise to forestall any spread or secondary incident.”

READ ALSO: UPDATE: CAC headquarters in Abuja on fire

More details later…

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Business

NBC slams N5 million fine on Nigeria Info over Mailafia’s inciting comments

This was contained in a press statement which was issued by NBC on Thursday.

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NBC slams N5 million fine on Nigeria Info over Mailafia's inciting comments

The Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has slammed a fine of N5m on a radio station, Nigeria Info, over the recent claim by a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr Obadiah Mailafia.

Mailafia, in an interview in one of the radio station’s programmes, claimed that some of the repentant Boko Haram militants confessed that one of the northern governors is the commander of Boko Haram in Nigeria.

This was contained in a press statement which was issued by NBC on Thursday, August 13, 2020, titled, ‘’The National Broadcasting Commission fines Nigeria Info 99.3 for Unprofessional Broadcast’’.

READ ALSO: Power: Nigeria’s deal with Siemens – the birth of a new era?

The NBC expressed its displeasure at the radio station for providing its platform to be used to promote unverifiable and inciting views that can lead to crime and public disorder.

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The NBC’s statement reads, ”The National Broadcasting Commission has noted with grave concern, the unprofessional conduct of Nigeria Info 99.3FM, Lagos, in the handling of the Programme, “Morning Cross Fire”, aired on August 10, 2020, between 8.30 am and 9.00 am. The station provided its platform for the guest, Dr Mailafia Obadiah, to promote unverifiable and inciting views that could encourage or incite to crime and lead to public disorder.”

READ MORE: NBC Code: Why video streaming platforms say ‘No’

”The Commission, again, wishes to reiterate that Broadcasters hold Licenses in trust for the people. Therefore, no Broadcast Station should be used, to promote personal or sectional interests at the expense of the people.

NBC noted that Dr Obadiah’s comments on the Southern Kaduna crisis, were devoid of facts and the broadcast of such by Nigeria Info 99.3 violates some sections of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code which include;

  • No broadcast shall encourage or incite to crime, lead to public disorder or hate, be repugnant to public feelings or contain an offensive reference to any person or organisation, alive or dead or generally be disrespectful to human dignity;
  • Broadcasting shall promote human dignity, therefore, hate speech is prohibited;
  • The broadcaster shall ensure that any information given in a programme, in whatever form, is accurate;
  • The Broadcaster shall ensure that all sides to any issue of public interest are equitably presented for fairness and balance;
  • The broadcaster shall ensure that language or scene likely to encourage or incite to crime, or lead to disorder, is not broadcast;
  • No programme contains anything which amounts to subversion of constituted authority or compromises the unity or corporate existence of Nigeria as a sovereign state;
  • The Broadcaster shall not transmit divisive materials that may threaten or compromise the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a sovereign state.

The NBC further states, ”Consequent on these provisions and in line with the amendment of the 6th edition of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, Nigeria Info 99.3FM Lagos, has been fined the sum of N5,000,000.00 (Five Million Naira), only. This is expected to serve as a deterrent to all other broadcast stations in Nigeria who are quick to provide a platform for subversive rhetorics and the expositions of spurious and unverifiable claims, to desist from such.”

The NBC also stated that it will not hesitate to suspend the license of broadcast stations that continue to breach to breach the broadcast code.

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Ride-hailing: Uber says industry guidelines are inconsistent, unclear

The new regulatory framework by the State government is expected to take effect from August 20, 2020.

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Ride-hailing: Uber says industry guidelines are inconsistent, unclear, Tax Remittance: LIRS to integrate PID module into TIN, LASAA, COVID-19: Lagos state has recorded no deaths

Few days after the Lagos State Government announced a new guideline designed for ride-hailing operations in the state, one of the major operators, Uber, has picked holes in the guideline.

While the ride-hailing firm admitted that it is the responsibility of the government to regulate the industry and ensure operational allignment, it stated that such regulations are expected to support innovative technology ideas that fit the 21st-century businesses.

This was disclosed by a spokesperson for Uber, who replied Nairametrics’ emailed enquiry but pleaded anonymity.

READ MORE: 4 key points in the new Lagos 2020 Land Use Charge

The Backstory: Under the new regulatory framework by the state which will take effect from August 20, 2020, ride-sharing companies would be required to pay the Lagos State Government a 10% service tax on each transaction. Part of the framework said:

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“Operators must also pay a provisional license of N10,000,000.00 for every 1000 cars in their unit and N25,000,000.00 for every unit above 1000 cars.

“Annual renewal of the license would cost N5,000,000.00 for every unit of 1000 cars and N10,000,000.00 for units with over a thousand cars in operations.”

READ MORE: Lagos sets up N1 billion seed capital for hospitality sector, rolls out optical fibre across the state

The Lagos State Government also demands access to operational database for any ride-sharing company operating in the state.

Under section 3.11 of the guidelines, Lagos State also proposes that vehicle owners must, amongst other things:

State of Vehicles to use: Where the vehicle is not new, the vehicle must be within the first three (3) years of its manufacture as specified by the manufacturer.

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In their response, Uber’s spokesperson said:

“We have always been willing to engage with governments on regulations to ensure our operations align with best practices locally and internationally, as we believe regulations need to support innovative technology ideas that fit 21st-century businesses.

“The current proposed regulations are inconsistent and unclear. We are working to better understand how they will impact the future of our business and network of driver-partners. We will give an update in due course.”

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What it means: If the guideline is implemented, riders may have to pay more for services rendered by the ride-hailing firms, as the companies may increase the fares to keep their heads above water.

On the type of vehicles allowed to operate by the guideline, several drivers and car owners may be frustrated out of business, a development that may push up the unemployment rate in the state.

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Note that most of the operators currently allow vehicles manufactured as late as 2004 in their fleets. But with the new directive, any vehicle manufactured earlier than 2017 would not be allowed to operate in the state.

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This means drivers that would be frustrated out of business will join the teeming unemployed residents in the state at a time the nation’s economy is expected to contract in 2020.

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