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Improve Regulatory Capacity, LCCI Urges CBN

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The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has said that due to the significant growth in Nigeria’s banking industry in recent times, that there was need for the apex regulatory body, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to also scale up its supervisory capacity.

This it said is necessary if the Central Bank would do its work of supervision well.

The Chamber, which spoke through Asiwaju Solomon Kayode Onafowokan, its President, said the accompanying sophistication in the operation of the bank, disversity and complexity of their operations require that the CBN also raises its bar of supervision.

According to him, the CBN should as a starting point, examine critically capacity issues within its operations while also ensure improvement of in- house capacity through training and related programmes.

He said the bank should also ensure recruitment of experienced hands from the industry; and engagement of consultants through outsourcing.

He observed an astronomical growth in the rate of credit, alongside rise in non-performing loans over the last five years, saying this has credited serious difficulties for banks in accessing assets used as collaterals for most of the non-performing loans.

He said it has created serious risk management for many banks, adding: “The legal processes involved in debt recovery are cumbersome, awkward and frustrating. The new CBN leadership, in collaboration with the National Assembly, should put in place enabling legislations to protect creditors from debtors who deliberately want to avoid repayment of loans. The CBN should be part of the courts that would deal swiftly with debt recovery issues, among other commercial disputes.”

He made reference to the current global financial meltdown, saying the huge exposure of Nigerian banks to the capital market and resultant adverse impact on asset quality was mainly a failure of risk management.

Onafowokan said the chamber is pleased to note that risk management is an area of core competence of the new governor of the CBN and that they were expecting him to bring this to bear on the quality and standards of risk management in the industry.

He said compliance with the best practice standards outlined in the Basle 11 Acord should be rigorously enforced for operators in the industry, and that the CBN should ensure full disclosure by banks with regard to their exposure and also full provisioning.

According to the LCCI President, this will help preserve the stability of the financial system, protect the depositors’ funds and safeguard the investments of the shareholders.

He said the pressure on the financial sector at times like this is quite high, and that the capital market window for the boosting of capital and liquidity is no longer as robust as it used to be.

He said given that investors’ confidences had dwindled considerably, there is need to create a conducive environment for market driven consolidation to create accommodation for the weak banks.

According to him, this would encourage voluntary mergers and acquisition which would result in stronger banking institutions and a more stable financial system.

“One of the major initiatives to lessen the impact of toxic assets on the financial system was the move to create asset management company to manage toxic assets. This has been in a drawing board for over five years. We appreciate that there should be an enabling legislation for this to happen. We urged the governor to work closely and quickly with the national assembly to fast-track the process for the creation of the asset management company to bring relief to banks which are burdened with loans” the LCCI President said.

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NHRC Receives Over 400 Sexual, Gender-Based Violence Reports In 11 Months

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The Bauchi State office of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has revealed that it received no fewer than 814 human rights complaints between January and November this year, out of which over 400 were on sexual and gender based violence.
The State Coordinator of the Commission, Barrister Dala Yachit, made the revelation at a one-day public lecture on “ICT as an instrument for enhancing national security and economic recovery”.
The lecture, organised by Youth and Civil Society Coalition for Development (YCSCD) in collaboration with the National Information Technology Agency, was held on Monday at for North-East states.
Responding to a comment made by the representative of the Bauchi State Commissioner of Police, Yachit said that crimes had to be fought within the ambits of the law, noting that the Police Act and the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015 were there to guide the police in the discharge of their work.
“In fighting crime, you must do that within the law. The (National) Human Rights Commission is not stopping the police from carrying out her lawful activities but you must do it in line with the law, what the Police Act says you can do and what you can’t do and what the Administration of Criminal Justice Act says.
“Even arrests, how do you arrest? You must tell a person why you are arresting him. You don’t handcuff, you don’t subject the person to inhuman treatment. Arrest someone in line with the law and treat him with dignity,” Yachit, who was the chairperson on the occasion, said.
The NHRC State Coordinator asserted that the police does not have to forcefully elicit information from a suspect, submitting that, “that information you want, if the law says don’t forcefully check someone’s phone and you do that, I can assure you, when you go to court, that evidence will be thrown out of the court because you did not access that document through the legal means.”
She informed that through the commission’s cordial working relationship, awareness and sensitisation, complaints against police personnel in the state had gradually reduced.
“For example, when we came in 2019, most people did not know much about human rights in Bauchi, we started in February and by the end of that year, we had just 72 complaints and out of those 72 complaints, over 50 were against police officers.
“Last year, it was the same thing, but because of the sensitisation and awareness to the people, as of Thursday last week, we had 814 human rights complaints, just in Bauchi and out of this, over 400 were on sexual and gender based violence.
“So, you can see the reduction of complaints against police officers and it is because of our working relationship and the awareness and sensitisation,” she said.
Yachit declared that every aspect of human life had to do with human rights, adding that ICT plays a vital role in human rights as it could not be removed from human rights.
She said “ICT opens doors and creates avenues for a lot of information. It is through ICT that we get to know what is going on regarding human rights.
“You can beam the searchlight on human rights abuses, you can get in touch with victims of human rights abuses. So, you can’t remove ICT from human rights.”
Speaking earlier, the National President of the group, Aminu Aminu in

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Ondo Speaker Arraigned Over Fraud Allegations

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The Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Bamidele Oleyelogun, was yesterday arraigned over allegations of fraud.
Oleyelogun, who appeared at the High Court sitting at the Olokuta Correctional Centre, Akure, the state capital, was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Meanwhile, the trial was stalled following the absence of counsels to the anti-graft agency.
In March 2021, the EFCC had detained the Speaker over petitions regarding his involvement in an alleged N2.4 million seminar fraud that rocked the assembly.
Also invited and detained alongside the Speaker by the EFCC were the lawmaker representing Akoko South West I in the House, Felemu Bankole; the former Clerk of the Assembly, Mr. Bode Adeyelu; and three other staff.
Speaking with newsmen on phone, counsel to EFCC, Dibang Frederick, disclosed that another date of adjournment had been picked for the arraignment of Oleyelogun in order for the legal team to be fully prepared.
According to Dibang, charges against the Speaker will be made available during the next adjournment date.
Meanwhile, officials of the Olokuta Correctional Centre barred journalists from entering the court premises.

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Nigeria Can’t Survive Another Four Years Of APC, PDP Warns

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Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, has described the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as a rickety vehicle that cannot take Nigeria to any destination.
Speaking at the PDP retreat in Abuja, yesterday, the Sokoto State governor accused the APC of destroying the nation’s economy.
Tambuwal said Nigeria cannot survive another four years under an APC-led Federal Government.
“Can Nigeria survive another four years of APC? The answer is a resounding NO. It is too frightening to contemplate,” he said.
The governor stated that it is time to rescue and rebuild Nigeria.
He said: “A rickety vehicle cannot take Nigeria to its destination as the nation with possibilities for greatness and progress. PDP is now once again a well-oiled, serviced vehicle that will midwife the Nigeria of our dreams.
“It is, indeed, time to Rescue and Rebuild Nigeria. Nigeria is in an urgent need for a surgical operation. Nigeria is in a permanent emergency.
“We all know what the problems are. They are man-made. And is, therefore, resolvable. It requires a focused, determined, knowledgeable and patriotic organisation of like minds to build the critical mass necessary for a great leap forward. Yes, it requires leadership, with vision and discipline.”
The former speaker of the House of Representatives stated that Nigeria is suffering from the crisis of governance.
According to him, “We suffer from a crisis of governance. The unity of Nigeria is facing unprecedented challenges. Life in Nigeria is increasingly becoming brutish and short as insecurity ravages the land. Poverty is the forte of the ordinary Nigerian. The health and education of our people has not improved.
“Our people are in want. The economy is in dire straits with the exchange rate now about N540 to a Dollar from the N150 to a Dollar when PDP left office. Prices of food stuff and essential commodities are unsustainable. Clearly beyond the reach of the average Nigerian.
“Between 35 to 40% of Nigerians are unemployed. And women and youths bear the main brunt. Bandits, kidnappers, terrorists are having a field day almost unchallenged. Our children are not safe even in their schools.
“Corruption still stalks the land. Nepotism, ethnic and religious bigotry reign supreme in today’s APC’s Nigeria. Our infrastructure is still comatose.
“Trust and hope in Nigeria is at its lowest. Our lamentations can go on, ad infinitum. But the test of leadership is the ability to solve problems. What solutions will PDP offer? What is the way forward?”
Tambuwal stated that the PDP is ready to change the fortunes of the country.
“Well, this is why we have gathered here, to brainstorm and offer policy options for Nigeria. We cannot only criticise; we must provide workable solutions and clear policy alternatives. This will be presented to the Nigerian people. A sharp contrast must be drawn with the ruling incompetent and rudderless APC administration.
“PDP has shown that it has learnt its lessons. It is ready for power in 2023 to provide hope where ineptitude currently exists.
“Where APC thrives in excuses, PDP will take responsibility. Where APC thrives in propaganda and deceit, PDP will be transparent with Nigerians. Whereas APC government thrives in insecurity, PDP will secure Nigeria. Whereas APC presides over Nigeria as the poverty capital of the world, PDP will make Nigeria prosperous. APC has wrecked our economy, but PDP will salvage it. Where APC focuses on selective anti-corruption fight, PDP will fight corruption with appropriate institutional reforms,” he said.
The governor stated that Nigeria must embrace restructuring to survive.
“It must restructure its polity, economy, security and ways of doing things. It must embrace relative autonomy and decentralisation of power. This will unleash the energies of our people, especially, the young. It is time to allow Nigeria blossom. It is doable with all hands on deck.
“We must embrace innovation and technology as a way of life. Technology will solve the youth unemployment time tomb. Technology will improve our agriculture, health, industralisation, education and indeed, it has implications and impacts on all facets of our lives. It is in this respect that we continue to condemn the twitter ban as a retrogressive action that should never have happened,” he said.

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