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Business

#EndSARS: Social media regulation would be used to punish critics of government – Amnesty International

AI has condemned social media regulation, stating that it could easily empower those in power to punish critics of government’s policies.

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Amnesty International has stated that the proposed social media regulation which has been supported by Ministers since the beginning of the #EndSARS protests would be used as a tool to punish critics of the government.

Amnesty International disclosed this on Monday morning via its official Twitter handle, as it warned that such regulation would be used to silence critics and also punish them.

“Social media regulation could easily empower those in power to punish critics of government’s policies and actions, and anyone who asks difficult questions could find themselves liable to incredibly harsh punishment,” AI tweeted.

AI went on to list other negative impacts of social media regulation. It said, in summary, with social media regulation;

  • Social media users will be punished for freely expressing their opinions.
  • Govt. can arbitrarly shut down the internet and limit access to social media.
  • Criticizing government will be punishable with penalties, including years in prison.

What you should know  

Nairametrics reported last week that the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, said the Federal Government has no plans of shutting down social media but must regulate it to prevent the spread of hate speech.

“However, we must regulate social media in a manner that it does not become a purveyor of fake news and hate speech.

‘We will not fold our arms to allow purveyors of fake news and hate speech to use the social media to destabilize the country,” he said.

The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare,  stated that social media regulation will have to go through due process in the National Assembly.

The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata, said the Federal Government’s plan to introduce regulation of social media after the #EndSARS protests are suspicious, as the social media space is already regulated.

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Business

President Buhari charges newly appointed Service Chiefs to secure the country

President Buhari has decorated the newly appointed Service Chiefs at the State House, Abuja.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has issued charges to the newly appointed Service Chiefs, ordering them to identify competent officers irrespective of seniority and paper qualifications and work with them to secure  Nigeria.

Buhari disclosed this at the State House in Abuja on Friday during the decoration of the Service Chiefs.

“I have charged the new Service Chiefs to keep in mind that the nation is looking to them for rapid relief. They must identify competent officers irrespective of seniority and paper qualifications, and work with them to secure this country,” President Buhari said.

“As I assured at our last security meeting, I have taken responsibility as C-in-C for them to go out into the fields and every part of the country, to ensure peace and security. I have accepted responsibility for all actions taken in fulfillment of the mandate to secure Nigeria,” he added.

What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported in January that President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed new Military Service Chiefs, and congratulated the outgoing Service Chiefs for efforts of “enduring peace to the country.”
  • The new service chiefs include Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff, Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff, Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff, Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.
  • Meanwhile, the Nigerian Senate endorsed the nomination of the past serving Military Service Chiefs as Non-career Ambassadors.

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Business

CBN says 3.8 million farmers benefitted from Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, disburses N554 bn

The CBN has revealed that 3.8 million farmers have so far benefited from its Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed that 3.8 million farmers have so far benefited from its Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).

The apex bank also said that N554.61 billion has so far been disbursed to the beneficiaries through the programme since its inception in 2015.

This disclosure was made by the CBN Director for Development Finance, Mr Yila Yusuf, during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday, March 5, in Abuja.

While commending President Muhammadu Buhari for taking the initiative to start the programme, Yusuf said the programme had done a lot to help farmers improve their yields and generate employment.

What the CBN Director for Development Finance is saying

Yusuf at the interview said, “We have to commend President  Buhari for putting the ABP in place. Over 3.8 million farmers have so far benefited from the programme. The multiplier effect on the economy is huge.

“The ABP has helped farmers improve their yields. For maize, we now do five metric tonnes per hectare and for rice, we’re improving from four metric tonnes to 10 metric tonnes per hectare.

“We will be trying out some Brazilian seeds that we will give to the anchors and their association,” he said.

He said the CBN was making efforts to keep prices stable and to ensure food security adding that the programme had contributed to food sufficiency during the global lockdown occasioned by COVID-19.

He said, “Apart from jobs that have been created, there is also productivity, which is important to CBN. We also look at how we can keep prices stable because food security is very important. A lot of countries went into protectionist mood due to COVID-19, if we did not have this programme we would be in serious trouble.’’

The CBN Director also said that as a way of encouraging more farmers into ABP, the apex bank no longer took cash from them as repayment for their loans.

He said, “We rate every single commodity they produce and guarantee the prices. This will encourage more farmers to enrol in the programme.’’

What you should know

  • The Anchors Borrowers Programme which was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 17, 2015, was intended to create a linkage between anchor companies involved in the processing and smallholder farmers of the required key agricultural commodities.
  • The thrust of the programme is the provision of farm inputs in cash and kind to smallholder farmers to boost production of these commodities, stabilize input supply to agro-processors and address the country’s negative balance of payments on food.
  • The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria Mr. Godwin Emefiele visited Kebbi State to mark a significant milestone achieved by the Anchors Borrowers Programme.

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