Managing Directors of three commercial banks who resigned from the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) ‘provided’ further comments explaining the reason for their actions.
The bank managing directors who resigned include Kennedy Uzoka, the MD/CEO of UBA Plc, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, the CEO of Sterling Bank, and First Bank CEO, Mr. Adesola Adeduntan all resigned from the board of the NESG Board on Wednesday.
According to media reports, one of the CEOs explained why they resigned from the Board of the NESG.
“Given that we have such full access, how can we turn around and issue a statement criticising policies that we are part of the consultative process? If we have concerns we have full access and platforms to share them with policy makers. How would the NESG issue such a statement without the input of Board members?”
Another also cited the comments made by Prof. Konyin Ajayi (SAN), who had explained to board members of the NESG that the alleged immunity clause provisions were “misplaced” as it was included in the laws like that of the NDIC Act, CBN Act, and AMCON Act.
“Despite that, they went ahead to issue the statement, which means that they have other motives, beyond their concern for public policy…And publishers who are members of the board of the NESG must not be allowed to abuse their position in getting board issues at the NESG published, without disclosing that they are participants and the co-authors of the NESG statement. In issuing that statement without consultations with the board, the NESG left my continuing participation untenable resulting in my resignation.”
Battle of the optics
As the war of words ensues between the CBN and NESG, it appears both parties of moved towards courting public opinion to justify their actions and reactions. Businessday Published an article on Thursday claiming support from people who have called to show support to their publication amidst a barrage of “attacks” from the CBN.
The resignation of the Bank CEOs is also seen by some critics as a sign of pressure from their regulator to take sides in the ongoing melee. Curiously, none of the Bank CEOs quoted above explaining the reason for their resignation agreed to be mentioned by name. A Businessday article published on Thursday also alleged that the bank CEOs were forced to resign in an article published on Thursday only to take the article down hours later.
While staunch critics of the CBN will more likely continue to support the NESG and Businessday, the CBN is likely to push on with the narratives that the NESG erred in alleging that the immunity clause was promoted to protect the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele.
Bottom line: Stating that the CBN Governor pushed for an immunity clause in the proposed BOFIA Bill appears to be out of sync with reality as evidence suggests this is a clause that already exists in the current CBN Act and other similar regulator organizations. Why this is even a contentious matter between NESG and the CBN is worrying considering the need for larger cooperation as the economy faces its largest downturn ever.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 30th of October 2020, 170 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 62,691 confirmed cases.
On the 30th of October 2020, 170 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 3,008 samples across the country.
To date, 62,521 cases have been confirmed, 58,249 cases have been discharged and 1,141 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 620,758 tests have been carried out as of October 30th, 2020 compared to 617,750 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 30th October 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 62,691
- Total Number Discharged – 58,430
- Total Deaths – 1,144
- Total Tests Carried out – 620,758
According to the NCDC, the 170 new cases were reported from 11 states- Lagos (106), FCT (25), Oyo (14), Edo (7), Kaduna (7), Ogun (4), Bauchi (2), Benue (2), Kano (1), Osun (1), Rivers (1)
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 21,212, followed by Abuja (6,053), Plateau (3,630), Oyo (3,447), Rivers (2,810), Edo (2,664), Kaduna (2,648), Ogun (2,031), Delta (1,814), Kano (1,747), Ondo (1,666), Enugu (1,314), Kwara (1,069), Ebonyi (1,049), Katsina (952), Osun (926), Abia (898), Gombe (883). Borno (745), and Bauchi (713).
Imo State has recorded 616 cases, Benue (493), Nasarawa (482), Bayelsa (412), Ekiti (332), Jigawa (325), Akwa Ibom (295), Anambra (277), Niger (274), Adamawa (257), Sokoto (165), Taraba (146), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Yobe (82), Zamfara (79), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
BREAKING: Lagos relaxes curfew further, now from 10pm to 6am
The Lagos state government has announced a further relaxation of the earlier imposed curfew to be effective from 10 pm to 6 am.
The Lagos state government, on Friday, October 30, 2020, announced a further relaxation of the curfew imposed after the outbreak of violence across the state following the #EndSARS protest against police brutality and extra-judicial killings from 10 pm to 6 am.
This is against the curfew from 8 pm to 6 am that is currently in operation.
This was disclosed in a series of tweet posts by the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotosho, on his official Twitter handle.
The Lagos State Government has announced a further relaxation of the curfew imposed after the breakdown of law and order, following the hijack of the peaceful #EndSARS protests.The curfew will now be from 10pm till 6am. #HealingLagos #ForAGreaterLagos
— Gbenga Omotoso (@gbenga_omo) October 30, 2020
The commissioner said that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu praises Lagosians for observing the curfew which is expected to restore normalcy in our communities. He urges all Lagosians to go about their businesses in peace, even as they shun actions that can threaten our unity.
The statement from Omotosho partly reads, ‘’The Lagos State Government has announced a further relaxation of the curfew imposed after the breakdown of law and order, following the hijack of the peaceful #EndSARS protests. The curfew will now be from 10 pm to 6 am.’’
The statement also said that the Governor advised purveyors of fake news to stop causing disaffection among Lagosians, who are well known for being peace-loving and friendly.
Nairametrics had about a week ago, reported the easing of 24-hour curfew which was earlier imposed by the Lagos State Government from 6 pm to 8 am. This was announced by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, during a press briefing at State House Marina, after a tour of the state to inspect the level of destruction of the public and private asset during the #EndSARS protests that later turned violent.
This action suggests a move towards a return to normalcy as businesses try to get back to full activities after the 2 weeks of protests that brought economic activities in the state to a halt. This also coincides with the approval for all markets to open every day of the week by the Lagos state government.
Nigerian women need over 50% representation in government by 2023
In Nigeria, there is still a need for Nigerian women to have up to 50% representation in government.
Women are taking part in the governance and nation-building of their countries. In October 2019, the global participation rate of women at the national level was 24.5% compared to 8% in 2013 which is quite reassuring. However, in Nigeria, there is still a need for Nigerian women to have up to 50% representation in government.
The reason more women are needed in governance is that they have the expertise to aid in achieving a stronger and vibrant democracy. According to Mr Ban Ki-moon, the former Secretary-General of the United Nation, “When we empower women, we empower communities and nations and the entire human communities.”
A good number of women in Nigeria have made a significant impact on governance and nation-building. Historically, once women come together, they can make things happen because they understand their issues and can articulate them from a point of succinct comprehension.
Mrs. Fumilayo Ramson-Kuti was an activist and a political campaigner – 30 years ago, when there was a tax levy on women in Egba land, she coordinated a women’s union group after a long tussle with the colonial administration and traditional rulers.
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is another prominent woman in the global space. She served as Nigeria’s Finance Minister and also as Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister. Currently, she is on the verge of becoming the first female and the first African Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Asides from these two, a lot of women are making waves in society – not only in politics but also in managerial positions and businesses.
Factors that hinder women’s participation in politics
In 2016, there was a study by McKinsey that revealed that only 5% of women are CEOs of companies, 22% cabinet members, while 24% are elected to official positions in Africa.
More so, in the last election 2019 in Nigeria, there were up to 3000 women candidates across all the parties. However, only 64 women were elected and appointed into political offices. Looking at the figures, there is a clear indication that it is very low and needs to be addressed as the 2023 election approaches.
Here are the major challenges affecting women’s involvement in politics in Nigeria.
- Godfathers: In politics, godfatherism is a very big role. For women who are not able to build that network, it becomes a very big issue for them. To avert that, women are advised to create their own network in politics – support one another and assist each other in climbing the ladder, especially for those who are already in government.
- Raising funds: Election campaigns are very expensive to participate in.
- Religious factor/Traditional factors: A lot of people still feel women should be seen and not heard, because they are under a man and should be submissive. Cultural & religious barriers still exists, and it prohibits women from fully contributing to governance. The emergence of women as leaders does not need to subjugate their cultural and religious identities. Men & Women need to understand that it is only through joint decision-making and cooperation, that the society can thrive.
Here are what women can do to thrive in politics
For women to have 50% representation in government, here are what is needed.
- Those already elected must see themselves as a springboard and position themselves strategically, so they can increase the number of women in political offices. It is also important for women to leverage technology and use social media to enable them to build a community of women leaders/activists.
- Having already announced the date for 2023 election, it is imperative that women start preparing themselves ahead of the election and strategize on how to get more women elected to the government.
- Finally, having a skill is very crucial for women who want to be community leaders.