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AfCFTA: MAN Urges Stakeholders To Address Vital Issues

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The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has called on stakeholders of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to address vital issues during negotiations to ensure that the overall goal is achieved by the continent.
MAN President, Mr Mansur Ahmed made the call yesterday at the opening ceremony of a two-day African Continental Free Trade Area National Forum, in Lagos.
The event is themed, “Effective Implementation for Industrialisation and Inclusive Economic Development in Nigeria.’
Ahmed said the key issues included technical and political challenges that must be resolved.
According to him, it is important that Nigeria benefits and ensures  she meets the targeted seven per cent economic growth rate expected to take about 100 million people out of poverty.
“President Buhari is committed to lifting 100 million people out of poverty in the next 10 years; how can we ensure that the AfCFTA leads us towards that journey?,” he said.
Ahmed said the critical dimensions that must be addressed during conversations concerning the AfCFTA should include policies and regulations, rules and conduct of the players.
“The way we merge the processes, the agreements, regulations, institutions and how these work together to ensure that the game is being played in accordance with the rules and expectations.
“The issues need to be defined in a way that we see the complexities; technical and political, to ensure clarity.
“All these must be formulated in a way that all stakeholders understand their roles and obligations and therefore play according to the rules,’’the MAN president said.
Ahmed said that all negotiators were not of the same capacity and inclination, which would require harmonisation on a regional level to resolve issues such as market offer and collaboration.
He urged stakeholders to view the negotiations with a sense of collaboration and not allow any player deemed as too powerful to dominate.
“We must look at the interest of the group as a whole and the interest of the region, and what provides the best long term and sustainable interest of the region.
“There must be a strong commitment by our governments, various institutions and private sector groups to look beyond the norms and look at the goal for the region and continent,’’he said.

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FRSC To Clampdown On Traffic Offenders In Rivers

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has threatened to clampdown on all those that disregard road traffic rules, particularly those that make phone calls while driving  and one-way drive.
FRSC says that making phone calls while driving is a very serious offence, and that those that will be caught from now will be arrested and made to go for Psychological Examination.
The Rivers State Sector Commander of FRSC, Salisu Umaru, who made this known in a media interaction in Port Harcourt Monday, noted that the command was not happy with the way some people disobeyed  traffic signs and laws.
According to him, the sector is embarking on the ‘ember’ months enlightenment and enforcement campaign where all the machineries of FRSC will be fully mobilised to work.
“I don’t like the way some people drive in Rivers state. You see people driving one-way, not obeying traffic signs and laws, making phone calls while driving.
“ We want to stop these things in Rivers state. We will arrest and send offenders on psychology examination to ascertain why they do such things.
“ Psychological examination is not the same thing as Psychiatric examination. We are to do preventive enforcement on all Nigerian roads, whether federal or state.
“FRSC is not all about enforcement, but we do corrections.There are times we caution offenders without booking them, and that is official for us”, Umaru said. On why the FRSC made serious checks on vehicle plate numbers, the sector boss explained that the purpose was purely for security, to check criminal activities on vehicle procurement, and also those that used them for crime.
The FRSC sector boss also said that his corps were coming up with some help areas where people that have one problem or the other on the road could be attended to, with ambulance stationed there.
He said that the state government has been notified of the intentions, which according to him, was geared towards safety of lives on the road.

 

By: Corlins Walter

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NIMASA, BPSR Partner On Maritime Transformation

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The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) are currently in talks on how to implement transformational initiatives in the maritime sector.
Speaking in Abuja during a visit to the Bureau, NIMASA’s Director General, Dr Bashir Jamoh, emphasised the importance of efficient and effective public service to Nigeria’s economic prosperity, adding that the agency is committed to collaborate with the ongoing initiative.
Jamoh, who was represented by the agency’s Director, Reform Coordination and Strategic Management, Dr Kabir Murnai, said the partnership would be focused on reform initiatives and development research.
According to him, a sustainable relationship between the two Federal Government agencies was essential for capacity development.
He stated: “We are here to see how we can connect with BPSR in order to clearly understand and key into government’s specific priorities, while still pursuing the respective mandates and goals of NIMASA.
“We desire advisory and technical support services for change management teams, to engender an environment of learning within NIMASA”.
Similarly, Director of BPSR, Mr Dasuki Ibrahim Arabi, pledged the Bureau’s commitment to the collaborative agreement for the mutual benefit of the two agencies.

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LCCI Pushes For Immediate Implementation Of CAMA 2020

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Amidst the controversies surrounding the new Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) is now pressing for urgent gazetting of the law, saying delay in gazzetting the law  is creating uncertainties in business decision.
Director General, LCCI, Dr Muda Yusuf, in a statement made available to The Tide yesterday, noted that the delay in gazetting the law is yet another example of how bureaucratic bottlenecks are allowed to impede economic progress.
It would be recalled that CAMA 2020 was assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari over a month ago, following which several groups alleged that certain sections of the new law were draconian and could precipitate unwholesome take-over of private entities by the government.
But Yusuf stated: “The legislation and the subsequent assent were widely applauded by the business community”, lamenting that six weeks after the legislation’s presidential assent, it is yet to be gazetted”.
He stated further that, “The implication of this is that the formal copy of the law is not yet available to the public and therefore the law cannot be operationalised. This is yet another example of how bureaucratic bottlenecks could impede the progress of an economy.
“Ordinarily, and in line with the ongoing digital revolution and the E- Government agenda of government, the law should have been uploaded on the Federal Government and National Assembly websites hours after the assent by the President.
“Being a major business legislation, the non-availability of the gazetted copy of CAMA 2020 has stalled many activities in the business environment. These are activities anchored on the new legislation.
“Additionally, the regulations that ought to be issued by the Corporate Affairs Commission on account of the new legislation have equally been stalled because there is no formal document to act upon.
“The situation has created enormous uncertainty in business decisions which require the legislative anchor of CAMA 2020 to progress. As it were, a legislative vacuum has been created. The CAMA 1990 has been repealed, CAMA 2020 is yet to be gazetted , six weeks after assent.
“It is important that the bureaucracy works in tandem with the new normal of leveraging technology so that the desired outcomes of reforms can be achieved, and expeditiously too.
“The implementation of the e-Government programmes should be accelerated to make the public service smarter, efficient and cost effective.
“Given the current wave of digital revolution sweeping across the public and private sectors, the role of the Federal Government Press in the dissemination of official legislations and other publications is at risk of diminishing relevance.
“It has become imperative for electronic copies of official publications to be promptly disseminated to the public to ensure swift activation and access to the benefits and values which such publications offer for the economy and the society”.

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