The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the International Chamber of Commerce Nigeria (ICC) have concluded plans to hold a sensitisation seminar on the revised version of the Uniform Rules for Demand Guarantees.
ICC rules are globally accepted in the fields of banking, customs, marketing, advertising and trade finance.
Consisting of 35 articles, the URDG rules set out the liabilities and responsibilities of the parties at each key stage of the lifecycle of the guarantee. The changes include innovative treatments of payment contingencies and more precise language for determining whether a presentation made under a guarantee or counter-guarantee, whether paper-based or electronic, is a complying presentation. These changes are expected to curb the rate of rejection of demands and increase the certainty of the instrument.
The sensitisation seminar is scheduled for early June in Lagos.
The URDG has gained increasing worldwide acceptance over the years. According to ICC Nigeria, URDG essentially applies to hundreds of billions of dollars of demand guarantees in monetary and performance obligations in a wide array of international and domestic contracts.
The revised URDG rules are the latest example of ICC‘s leadership in writing the rules that govern about $14 trillion of international trade. This new URDG is clearer, more precise, comprehensive, offering the fairest balance in an innovative way to the parties and competing interests
Internationally, the revised edition of the URDG, including model forms, is expected to enter into force on July1, 2010. According to a statement by ICC Nigeria in Lagos on Thursday, the seminar on the new 758 URDG, to be facilitated by renowned international and local experts, has been planned to “provide sensitisation opportunity for key stakeholders, like the authorised dealers, international operations and trade exchange executives, bankers, lawyers, audit and risk management officials.”
The URDG rules have also been endorsed by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law and national lawmakers have used them as a model for independent guarantee statutes.
The statement by the Secretary General, ICC Nigeria, Mrs. Olubunmi Osuntuyi, read, “Since its founding in 1919, ICC has been writing rules to facilitate cross-border trade and investment. ICC rules are globally accepted in the fields of banking, customs, marketing, advertising and trade finance.”
In international sales, whereas a documentary credit assures the exporter of being paid upon the presentation of complying documentation showing that shipment is made, a demand guarantee provides protection to the importer against non-performance, or late or defective performance, by the exporter. The revision of the URDG spanned two and a half years, and was a cooperative effort by ICC‘s Banking Commission and its Commission on Commercial Law and Practice, which are made up of representatives from banks, companies and law firms worldwide. The revision was conducted under the stewardship of the ICC Task Force on Guarantees, a standing body of experts from 26 countries.
FOI Act Implementation Bothers BPST Boss
The Director-General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Dr Dasuki Arabi, has expressed regrets that the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has remained very low since the law was enacted.
The BPSR boss made the observation during a workshop held on Wednesday in Abuja on the appraisal of Freedom of Information Act.
Arabi said the Act was meant to entrench transparency and openness in governance through improved compliance to annual reporting obligations of public institutions.
“It is also expected to guide and improve compliance of public institutions in proactive disclosure of mandatory publication requirements, as well as empower citizens, the right to access information held by the state.
“Regrettably, since the introduction of the FOI Act, it is evident that the level of compliance among public institutions still remains low.
“While the level of engagement by citizens still remains insignificant and in some cases fraught with misunderstanding between the State and Non-State actors,” he added.
Arabi, therefore, said that the workshop was to resolve some of the grey areas around FOI, as well as foster a harmonious relationship between the State and Non-State actors towards the implementation of the Act.
He said good governance and transparency would only thrive in the country when citizens access to Information is assured.
The DG emphasised that the FOIA provided platform for inclusiveness that sought to hold leaders to account and feed into the decision making process.
Arabi said that the Bureau had worked assiduously towards the implementation of the Act and was making efforts to ensure that it was institutionalized across the public sector.
He said that the interventions were in the areas of training public service workers and development of feedback mechanism through which a portal for application and responses for FOI request were deployed.
Others, he said, are score-card for ranking the performances of websites of public institutions using specific benchmarks, including FOI portal.
“Creating platforms for citizens engagement with Civil Societies Organizations on topical issues of government through the BPSR flagship programmes such as the monthly Lunchtime Seminar series,” he added.
Arabi said that the Bureau had also deployed information technology to provide innovative means to improve record keeping and management using intranet and Electronic Data Management Systems.
He continued that they were working in conjunction with the Nigeria Economic Summit Group to gauge the perception of citizens on public policies.
In her remarks, the National Coordinator, Open Government Partnership (OGP), Nigeria, Dr Gloria Ahmed, said making information open was a hallmark of democracy and a basic human right.
She said that the FOIA has given citizens the opportunity to access information as regards government policies and reforms.
FCTA Harmonises Mobile Adverts, Haulage System Against Double Taxation
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Department of Outdoor Advertisement and Signage (DOAS), has launched the FCT/State Mobile Advertisement and Haulage permits for 2023 financial year.
Permanent Secretary, FCTA, Mr Olusade Adesola, while launching the system sought the cooperation of the business owners in the FCT, in order to achieve the objective of the initiative.
Adesola said the move was part of efforts to facilitate the ease of doing business drive in the nation’s capital.
He commended DOAS for the initiative. aimed at improving institutional cooperation and partnerships with the critical stakeholders.
Adesola warned: “FCTA would no longer tolerate acts of thuggery in the collection of taxes, as there are better ways of doing such, which will ensure the attainment of ease of doing business.”
He commended the leadership of Area Councils for resolving to synergise with DOAS to streamline the system.
The Permanent Secretary said the proliferation of collection authorities for mobile advertisements had led to serious loss of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the FCT.
Earlier, the Executive Chairman, Kwali Area Council, Danladi Chiya, said although Area Councils have the constitutional right to collect such advertisements, they have no issue with FCTA over the establishment and mandate of DOAS.
LASG Begins Vehicle Parking Lanes Demacation
The Lagos State Parking Authority (LASPA) has revealed it will today commence creating additional Vehicle Parking Lanes in some selected locations across the State.
The Authority stated that all efforts have been geared towards improving the parking system of the State.
Speaking on the planned initiative on Friday in Ikeja, the General Manager of LASPA, Mrs. Adebisi Adelabu, stated that the vehicle parking lane mark exercise, which will begin with designated streets within Surulere, Ikoyi, Lekki, Obalende, Ikeja and Victoria Island axis of the State, is a step towards improving street parking from 2023.
Adelabu noted that the Parking Lane Markings will further guide motorists and pedestrians on appropriate parking regulations and spaces, minimise indiscriminate parking, confusion and uncertainty, while conveying a range of information to residents on parking procedures within each specified environment.
According to her, the lane markings will also include special consideration for people living with disabilities and signposts for parking directives, among other features.
The General Manager, however, solicited the understanding of residents within the locations who might be affected by any inconvenience the process might cause, assuring that the government is working rigorously in regulating and improving the parking culture as part of its Traffic Management and Transportation Agenda to ensure parking is convenient, safe and secure across the state.
Recall that the Authority had recently unveiled plans to begin full implementation of parking policy in the second quarter of 2023 and has continued to sensitise the public on the need to embrace the parking culture.
By; Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos
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