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Group seeks introduction of online voting for speed, credibility

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Polling Units Ambassadors of Nigeria (PUAN), a non-partisan organisation and its partners have called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to introduce online voting in subsequent elections to reduce human interference and enhance the credibility of the elections.

 

Mr Sulieman Dabas, the leader of the group known as the Ambassador General of PUAN said this while addressing a news conference on the aftermath of the Presidential and National Assembly elections as observed by the group.

 

”Voters can vote easily from any device which makes the entire voting process simple and more transparentm” he said.

He commended Nigerians for coming out en mass to exercise their franchise and for contributing to change the political trajectory of the country .

The ambassador od the group pleaded with Nigerians at home and abroad to use all available means as provided by the law to seek redress for their grievances.

He also called on stakeholders in the electoral process to talk to their supporters and agents to remain calm and ensure peace prevails in Nigeria.

He said that the group identified some of the challenges experienced during the elections to include, inability of Nigeria’s electoral umpire the Independent National Electoral Commission( INEC) to upload election results at some polling Units.

“Yes polling PUAN stands for the use of technology by INEC because we believe that election result cannot be rigged at the polling unit, the chances are very slim.

“Our election result collation centres were the challenge but we hope that all of this will be addressed by INEC.

“We have individually and collectively put so much effort for the success of the Implementation of the Electoral Act 2022. Let us for look answers from the commission after this very major national exercise.

“We must find a professional and global acceptable standard or practise to address our grievance which is already provided by the Nigeria constitution and the Electoral Act 2022,”he said

Dabas said the nation had already lost some young people due to violence and called on youths to shun social vices adding that “elections will always come and go, but we the people will remain.”

He said that other PUAN partners in attendance were :Dr Abdulahi Isa of the Gamji of Gamji Foundation and Non-Governmental Association for Literacy Support Services, (NOGALSS )represented by Prince Kure.

Others are Centre for Grassroots Development and Crime prevention( CGDCP),Ms Maureen Chinwe, Hayiya Farida Sada of Federation of Muslim Women’s Association of Nigeria(FOMWAN),.

Also in attendance were Akam Asindi, Society for a United Africa, Dr. Patrick Attah a Political Analysis and the Secretary General, PUAN Ambassador Prince Osa-Osaghae.

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Breaking news: Minimum Wage: Labour rejects FG’s N54,000 offer

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The organised labour has rejected the Federal Government N54,000 new minimum wage proposal.

 

According to reliable source, the meeting on the ongoing negotiations on new minimum wage has been adjourned till Wednesday after the organised labour.

 

Media report has it that the Federal Government upped its offer from its earlier proposed N48,000 to N54,000.

Tuesday’s meeting came as a result of the walkout staged by members of the organised labour following the proposal of N48,000 as minimum wage by the Federal Government during last week’s meeting.

During that meeting, the OPS had also proposed N54,000 while labour insisted on its N615,000 living wage demand.

Our correspondent who spoke to sources who attended the follow-up meeting on Tuesday learnt that the Federal Government upped its offer from N48,000 to N54,000.

“Well, during the meeting, the government increased its offer from N48,000 to N54,000. However, labour rejected that offer and the meeting has been adjourned till Wednesday,” a source who asked not to be named said.

When asked if the government’s side was showing any sign of seriousness, the labour leader said, “No seriousness at all. Even state governors did not show up. Those who represented them, like Bauchi and Niger states, did not have the mandates to speak on their behalf.

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EFCC bars dollar transactions, orders embassies to charge in naira

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has barred foreign missions based in Nigeria from transacting in foreign currencies and mandated them to use Naira in their financial businesses.

 

The EFCC has also mandated Nigerian foreign missions domiciled abroad to accept Naira in their financial businesses.

 

The anti-graft agency said the move is to tackle the dollarisation of the Nigerian economy and the degradation of the naira

The Commission, therefore, asked the government to stop foreign missions in Nigeria from charging visa and other consular services in foreign denominations.

The EFCC gave the advisory in a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Yusuf Tuggar, for onward transmission to all foreign missions in the country.

In the letter, the EFCC said it issued the advisory because the practice of paying for consular services in dollars was in conflict with extant laws and financial regulations in Nigeria.

In a letter dated April 5, 2024, which was addressed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, titled: “EFCC Advisory to Foreign Missions against Invoicing in US Dollar,” the EFCC Chairman, Ola Olukoyede expressed dismay over the invoicing of consular services in Nigeria by foreign missions in dollars.

The EFCC cited Section 20(1) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007, which makes currencies issued by the apex bank the only legal tender in Nigeria.

The letter read, “I present to you the compliments of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and wish to notify you about the commission’s observation, with dismay, regarding the unhealthy practice by some foreign missions to invoice consular services to Nigerians and other foreign nationals in the country in United States dollar ($).

“It states that ‘the currency notes issued by the Bank shall be the legal tender in Nigeria on their face value for the payment of any amount’.

“This presupposes that any transaction in currencies other than the naira anywhere in Nigeria contravenes the law and is, therefore, illegal.”

The commission further stated that the rejection of the naira for consular services in Nigeria by certain missions, along with non-compliance with foreign exchange regulations in determining service costs, is not just unlawful but also undermines the nation’s sovereignty embodied in its official currency.

The letter continues: “This trend can no longer be tolerated, especially in a volatile economic environment where the country’s macroeconomic policies are constantly under attack by all manner of state and non-state actors.

“In light of the above, you may wish to convey the commission’s displeasure to all missions in Nigeria and restate Nigeria’s desire for their operations not to conflict with extant laws and regulations in the country.”

Diplomatic sources said yesterday, May 10, that some embassies were wondering whether the EFCC’s advisory represented the position of the Federal Government.

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