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Senate To Introduce Diaspora Voting

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Senate receives 19 more ministerial nominees

Last Updated on October 22, 2023 by Fellow Press

Ahead of the 2027 elections, the Senate is set to amend the Electoral Act to allow for diaspora voting, at least for presidential elections, to enable citizens to vote, especially those on essential service abroad, such as military, paramilitary, and other security personnel abroad, Embassy staff, and other citizens.

The Senate in a communiqué issued at the end of its retreat in Ikot Ikpene, Akwa-Ibom state also resolved to also, make electronic transmission of results mandatory from the next general elections in 2027, including the uploading of polling unit-level results and result sheets used at different levels of result collation.

Sunday PUNCH reports that in events preceding and after the election that brought President Bola Tinubu into power, there were a lot of agitations to allow Nigerians abroad to take part in the elections.

Also, a number of Nigerians called for the electronic transmission of results from the BVAS machine.

The Senate noted that it was necessary for the Independent National Electoral Commission should be unbundled to improve its efficiency and effectiveness in the preparation and conduct of elections.

The communiqué stated, “Relating to the use of technology in elections, remove the ambiguity evident in Section 64 of the EA22. Also, make electronic transmission of results mandatory from the next general elections in 2027, including the uploading of polling unit-level results and result sheets used at different levels of result collation.

“Introduce diaspora voting, at least for presidential elections, to enable citizens to vote, especially those on essential service abroad, such as military, paramilitary, and other security personnel abroad, Embassy staff, and other citizens.

“Relating to political parties; stipulate sanctions for failure to submit the register of party members not later than 30 days before the date of party primaries, congresses, or conventions in relation to Section 77(3) EA22, which the political parties have observed in the breach in the 2023 elections without penalty.”

The 10th Senate further noted that it was time to develop and enact a comprehensive national security strategy that outlines the nation’s security objectives, threats, and policy priorities.

The Red Chamber added that such a strategy can serve as a guiding framework for legislative action in the security sector.

The strategy it noted would, “Address the root causes of terrorism/banditry, which is often driven by poverty, inequality, and a lack of opportunity.

“Promote community policing and engagement to identify and prevent terrorist attacks. The government should also work with civil society organizations and local/ traditional communities to identify and address security concerns. “

The Senate added that it would, “ Establish independent oversight mechanisms for the security sector. These mechanisms can help to investigate allegations of abuse and corruption and to ensure that security forces are accountable to the law.”

The Senate further agreed that legislative engagement and oversight in Nigeria’s security sector can be significantly bolstered through comprehensive legislative reforms.

“These reforms are essential for ensuring that the legislative branch is equipped with the necessary tools and mechanisms to fulfill its critical role in security sector reform,” it explained.

The Senate concluded that “The periodic engagement of the National Assembly with the security chiefs for adequate briefing. There is a need for the Senate President and the Speaker, House of Representatives to be part of the weekly security briefing that goes to the President.”

In a bid to salvage the economic situation of the country, the Senate has proposed the enactment of an Emergency Economic Intervention Bill.

It explained that “This will address critical socio-economic issues concerning foreign exchange management, tackling inflation, stimulating economic growth, and creating more jobs.

“Enforce consequences for violations of any provisions of the law regarding monetary and fiscal matters.

“This will require amendments to the relevant laws to ensure effective oversight and enforcement of the consequences, as the case may be.”

Also agreed was the “need for legislation that clearly defines the taxing rights of the three levels of government.

“ Need for legislative intervention to promote the optimization of revenue from non-oil sources, especially in the solid mineral sector.”

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Accept FG offer above N60,000 as new minimum wage, Opeyemi Bamidele to labour

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The Senate Leader, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, APC, Ekiti Central has pleaded with the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and the Trade Union Congress, TUC
to accept whatever the federal government offered them above N60,000 as the new minimum wage.

Bamidele urged the NLC and TUC to toe the path of dialogue and peace in the negotiation of a new minimum wage, which the President had promised to send a bill to the National Assembly for this purpose.

The Senate Leader has reiterated the need for Nigerians to demonstrate more patriotic spirit and oneness in their daily activities as the nation journeys through its socio-political trajectory towards the promised land.

He made the call in an Eid-el-Kabir message by his Directorate of Media and Public Affairs on Sunday, just as he highlighted some achievements of the administration of President BolaTinubu.

Bamidele said, “The federal government has conceded to N60,000, which translates to a 100 percent increase. But both NLC and TUC turned down this offer, leading to a two-day industrial action.

“The federal government has promised to make more concessions in this respect. As the federal government reveals its new offer, I plead with the organised labour to accept it in the national interest. The economy will remain in this condition. Collectively, we are taking multi-pronged measures to reverse disturbing economic indicators.”has conceded to N60,000, which translates to a 100 percent increase. But both NLC and TUC turned down this offer, leading to a two-day industrial action.

“The federal government has promised to make more concessions in this respect. As the federal government reveals its new offer, I plead with the organised labour to accept it in the national interest. The economy will remain in this condition. Collectively, we are taking multi-pronged measures to reverse disturbing economic indicators.”

While identifying with all Muslim faithful nationwide, Bamidele who noted that Nigerians, regardless of religion and tribes, should team up with and rally support for the Tinubu administration to safely steer the ship of the nation into a successful end, emphasised that no nation could travel the journey of national rebirth alone without the unwavering support of its citizens not minding their political, cultural and social backgrounds and orientations.

He assured that the current administration would leave no stone unturned in alleviating the economic hardship being faced by the majority of Nigerians and re-offer them a sense of pride in their home country.

In the spirit of the season, the Senate Leader urged all Muslims to emulate love and good neighbourliness exemplified by Prophet Mohammed (SWAT) during his time and how he related very well with people of other faiths and nationalities.

Bamidele who appealed that the ongoing reengineering efforts of the Tinubu Administration could only yield democratic dividends in an atmosphere devoid of insecurity, but where lives and property are protected, said: “Just to mention a few among ongoing projects like the 700 kilometres Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, the establishment of N50 Billion Pulako Initiative and annual recruitment of 30,000 new police personnel are Key Performance Indicators of this government.

“Only recently, this government declared a state of emergency in agriculture and launched the National Agricultural Development Fund with N100 billion, in addition to the Dry Season Farming Initiative and the Green Imperative Programme to ensure food security across the land.

“All these and other components of the 8-point Renewed Hope Agenda require the patriotic support and prayers for their deliverables to multiply at the doorsteps of Nigerians in the remaining three years of the first term of this government.”

He further urged the Muslim faithful to use the season of Eid el-Kabir to pray for the leaders of the country for divine wisdom and understanding that can match the enormous tasks of leading the country especially at a time when economic realities are not favourable around the world.

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FG updates on UAE lifting visa ban on Nigeria

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The Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo, has revealed that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government will soon announce the date for lifting the visa ban that has been imposed on Nigerian travellers.

This information was shared during an interview with Otega Ogra, Senior Special Assistant to President Bola Tinubu, which is available on the official YouTube page of the State House of Nigeria.

Keyamo acknowledged that while a resolution was reached between President Bola Tinubu and UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan during President Tinubu’s working visit to the UAE in September 2023, additional processes were required before the ban could be officially lifted.

He said the processes have now been completed, paving the way for the imminent announcement from the UAE government.

“After that high-level meeting, Mr. President, credited to him, made things very easy for us all. We did our follow-ups as his ministers. We have done everything. We have resolved everything.

“Just wait for the announcement from the UAE government, and that announcement is imminent,” Keyamo stated.

The Minister further mentioned that he is aware of the specific date when the travel restriction will be lifted, but he emphasized that it is up to the UAE government to make the official announcement.

The lifting of the ban is expected to restore ease of travel for Nigerian citizens to the UAE, thereby enhancing bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries.

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