NIA-Logo in its efforts at
eradicating fake ECOWAS Brown Cards, the sub-regional Secretariat in Lome, Togo has standardized the operations of the scheme with the design of a new consensual brown card to be implemented from January 1, 2015.
A meeting of the scheme in the Togolese capital recently took critical look at the operation of the scheme and adopted measures to streamline the effective operation of the system in member countries.
According to the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) 2013-2014 yearly report, the scheme is modeled after the Green Card scheme in Europe, Pink Card in Central African sub-region and yellow card scheme in the Arab countries sub-region.
The report explained that in order to reduce the time for claims processing, an on line claims management software is being designed by the secretariat.
Some of the challenges confronting the ECOWAS Brown Card scheme, the report said, include the need to review the Brown Card protocol in line with current realities.
Besides, the National Bureau has continued to face challenges in Cross Border Claims Management, including delay in claims payment, issues with the police formation of some member countries, and inability to get motorists released especially in cases involving loss of life.
According to sources at NIA, “The major challenge facing the brown card system is that of fake holders, we have more fake brown cards in the system than the genuine ones. When we say that, we speak in terms of the Nigerian experience, because we have found that the way the Brown Card is treated varies from country to country within the sub-region. There are countries once you buy comprehensive insurance or third party, automatically they sell the Brown Card to you, so that everybody who get a certificate of insurance gets the Brown Card too, whether you want to travel or not.
“But in Nigeria, we do not sell unless you need it, that is only when you want to travel outside Nigeria that you come to buy the Brown Card, but unlike the ordinary motor certificate, which is not checked whether you want to take your vehicle across the frontiers, the Brown Card is part of the documents that they will check.”
Besides, most people do not know about the Brown Card until they get to the borders and they are so many touts around the borders that sell fake ECOWAS Brown Card to them to continue their journey.
Another challenge, the source said, is that of language barrier, adding, “the language barrier has not really enhance the issue of ECOWAS Brown Card, equally, we have had problems with the law enforcement agencies, even in Nigeria, when somebody comes from another country and is involved in an accident, despite our intervention from Nigerian National Bureau and explained the procedures and all that sometimes, the law enforcement agents do not co-operate with us they will insist on the foreigner paying before they release vehicles.
“These are the challenges we have had to face. Most Nigerians who are affluent and insure their cars properly don’t really like to travel by road, most Nigerian companies have not paid attention to it and it is only when your major client wants to travel, they come to you and we sell this document for them, but the vast majority of those who travel along the road regularly are those who patronize these touts for their third party certificates”.
Zoho Introduces Free Digital Invoice To Empower SMEs
Zoho Corporation, a global technology company yesterday announced its free online invoicing solution, ‘Zoho Invoice’ to further extend the company’s support for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
The Corporation’s Regional Manager, Africa, Mr Andrew Bourne, said in a statement that the company’s decision reinforced its support for the SME community and would allow business owners to simplify billing and payment processes.
According to him, digital invoice also helps companies receive payments faster.
According to reports that digital invoice makes life easier.
It replaces the tedious processing of paper invoices and manual processes, with an innovative, simple, automatic and secured method of conducting businesses.
Bourne said that Zoho Invoice’s revenue growth had rapidly increased, demonstrating the need for a comprehensive invoicing solution to aid businesses from any industry to shift from manual to digital.
According to him, due to the pandemic, SMEs have decided to modernise their invoicing processes at an accelerated rate.
“We launched Zoho Invoice in 2008, with the goal of providing a fully customisable invoicing solution for businesses of all sizes; since then we have grown to millions of users worldwide.
“Through the migration from paper-based invoicing to digital invoicing we have seen the need for simplified billing to fit the customised needs of the SME community.
“Our roots are centred around helping the SME community which has supported Zoho from the beginning, and we understand the challenges that SME’s have had to undergo that were onset from the global pandemic.
“We hope offering Zoho Invoice for free continues to help businesses rebuild and grow amongst challenging times that they face today and for the future,’’ he said.
Bourne said that to continue the company’s support of the SME community, Zoho Invoice was also offering advanced capabilities such as time tracking, auto recording of expenses and project billing,.
NCC To Strengthen Judicial Collaboration In Tackling Telecoms Challenges
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), in a bid to further protect telecoms infrastructure in the country, has restated its commitment to continue to strengthen collaboration with judicial institutions in Nigeria.
Director, Public Affairs, NCC,Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, made this known in a statement yesterday in Abuja.
The statement said that the Executive Vice-Chairman (EVC) of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, gave the assurance during a courtesy visit by a delegation of the Kano State Judiciary to the NCC’s Kano Zonal Office.
Danbatta said that the Commission was doing everything within its regulatory mandate to enforce compliance among licencses as well as collaborating with stakeholders to protect telecom infrastructure.
He expressed regrets that some individuals indulged in willful damage of telecom infrastructure, vandalism, telecoms facility theft, and fibre optics cuts, among other crimes.
He said the criminal conspired to degrade the quality of service (QoS) in the country and, since the NCC had no prosecutorial power, the need to strengthen collaboration with the judicial arm of the government at all levels became expedient.
The EVC said that the recently-concluded NCC’s Judges Workshop held in Abuja, was a very important initiative of the Commission to continuously collaborate with members of the judicial arm of government.
He said that it was a good avenue toward updating the judiciary with the trends and regulatory dynamism of the sector with a view to improving their knowledge for effective dispensation of justice.
“NCC does not have prosecutorial power in criminal acts committed by the citizens and licencses which are inimical to the progress of the sector.
“We appreciate the ways and manners such criminal cases are being dispensed by the judiciary.
“This is a testimony to the kind cooperation NCC has been enjoying from the judiciary,” he said.
“The Commission will never fold its arms while unscrupulous citizens cause havoc on telecommunications infrastructure since that affects the quality of service innocent citizens enjoy.
“Therein lies the importance of the judiciary in the work that we have been assigned by the government to do.
“We very much appreciate this cooperation with the judiciary and we are committed to ensure that the cooperation grows stronger and stronger going forward,” the statement said.
The Chief Registrar of Kano State High Court of Justice, Alhaji Abdullahi Ado Bayero, who led the delegation, commended the efforts of NCC in fast-tracking digital transformation of governance and other sectors of the economy.
Bayero said that Judiciary, as a whole, had recognised the necessity and inevitability of digital justice system as well as full integration of ICT-based court system in the administration of justice.
He said that this position was well entrenched in the National Judiciary Information Technology Policy (NJITP), 2021, and was consistent with the NCC’s objective and strategic intervention to advance ICT knowledge and training for various public institutions in Nigeria.
“It is in line with the above that the Kano State Judiciary is determined to explore all necessary avenues and opportunities to integrate ICT-based court systems as well as digitised justice delivery systems.
“This is for efficient and effective administration of justice in the state and we request NCC’s intervention in this regard,” he said.
Some Nigerians In Diaspora Still Rely On Fake News About Nigeria, FG Laments
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has insisted that some Nigerians in Diaspora still rely on platforms that peddle fake news and misinformation about Nigeria.
Mohammed also said that secessionist groups that are campaigning around the world for their causes have identified some Nigerians in Diaspora to propagate their fake narratives about the country.
The minister stated this when he received members of Nigerians in the Diaspora Organization (NIDO), UK Chapter, in Abuja, yesterday.He urged NIDO to seize the Initiative from those who are bent on painting Nigeria bad in the comity of nations, especially in the area of insecurity.
The minister also implored the organization to leverage its contacts in government circles, parliamentary groups and global think tanks in world capitals to help change the narrative and sweep the carpet off the feet of secessionist groups, insurgents and anarchists who are bent on pushing false narratives to portray Nigeria in a bad light.
Mohammed said, “I want to commend your patriotism and steadfastness, especially for this Initiative, which is aimed at shining a positive light on Nigeria, celebrating the country and contributing towards a better Nigeria. This is what patriots do, not badmouthing their country around the world.
“The Buhari administration considers Nigerians in Diaspora as critical stakeholders in the Nigerian project, hence has done the unprecedented by establishing the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), which has been doing a good job in coordinating and providing an organized system of collaborations of Nigerians in Diaspora.
“Thanks to the commission, issues affecting Nigerians in Diaspora have been receiving prompt attention. NIDCOM has also ensured that Nigerian in Diaspora are well informed about the activities of the government. It is therefore alarming and disappointing that some Nigerians in Diaspora still rely on platforms that peddle fake news and misinformation about Nigeria.
“Also, each time Mr. President travels outside the country, he has made the engagement with Nigerians in his host country a regular affair, just as we at the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture have always ensured that we interact with Nigerians when we travel outside the country for official purposes. Unfortunately, the avoidable division among Nigerians in Diaspora in some countries has hampered such engagements. But we will not relent in seeking out and engaging with patriotic Nigerians in Diaspora.
“It is in recognition of the relevance of Nigerians in Diaspora that the secessionist groups that are campaigning around the world for their causes have identified and are effectively using some of them (Nigerians in Diaspora) to propagate their fake narratives about the country, in addition to relying on their financial contributions to fund their nefarious activities. This is disheartening.
“I, therefore, want to use this opportunity to appeal to NIDO to seize the Initiative from those who are bent on painting Nigeria bad in the comity of nations. Yes, we have challenges, especially in the area of insecurity. But this administration has not only acknowledged these challenges, it is earnestly tackling them. I am bold to say that no government in the history of this country has done so much with so little.
“Instead of contributing their own quota to these efforts, all you hear from a section of Nigerians in the Diaspora and their allies back home are fake narratives and untrue allegations of religious persecution, political marginalization, human rights abuses, etc. These are baseless and false.
“As an organized and well connected group, I implore NIDO to leverage its contacts in government circles, parliamentary groups and global think tanks in world capitals to help change the narrative and sweep the carpet off the feet of secessionist groups, insurgents and anarchists who are bent on pushing false narratives to portray Nigeria in bad light. I have no doubt that you will take this call seriously and do everything in your power to change the narrative for the better.
“On our part as government, we are currently re-engineering and ramping up our diplomatic efforts to counter and reverse the narrative, in addition to countering pervasive anti-government propaganda.”
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