Corruption: Reps Consider Whistleblower Protection Agency Bill
A Bill for a law to protect those who make public disclosures of cases of corruption and insecurity from attacks has been listed for consideration by the House of Representatives, this week.
The Bill is short-titled, “Public Interest Disclosure and Protection Bill, 2020”.
It is sponsored by Rep. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha.
The piece of legislation seeks to repeal “The Public Complaints Commission Act and Enact the Public Interest Disclosure and Complaints Commission; Provide a Framework for Making Disclosure and Protection of Discloser and for Related Matters”.
The objectives of the Bill, are to in its Section 1(a), “Provide a legal and institutional framework for the regulation and management of public interest disclosure and protection of discloser”; and “encourage and facilitate disclosure of wrongful or unlawful activities which directly or indirectly impact the administration and management of public office or authority”.
It is also to, “Make adequate provisions for the protection of s person making a public disclosure, including persons in employment in the public service, public service contractors, whistleblowers and informants from reprisals or other adverse consequences”.
According to the Bill, it is to, “Ensure that information disclosing wrongful or unlawful activities received from persons referred to in paragraph (c) of this subsection, is properly assessed, investigated and dealt with” and “establish an appropriate framework for rewarding or protecting, as the case may be, persons making public interest disclosures”.
The Bill also wants to establish “An appropriate framework for rewarding or protecting, as the case may be, persons making public interest disclosures, ensure adequate consideration is given to the rights of persons who make public interest disclosures and public interest disclosure protection programme established under this Act”.
The Bill also seeks to bar ahead of the commission, from disclosing the identity of the whistleblower, under any condition.
The proposed law is expected to be presented for consideration, this week.
OYO SUBEB Monitors 2nd Term Unified Exams
Chairman, Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Dr Nureni Aderemi, has announced the commencement of the board’s monitoring of the second term unified examination in all public primary schools across Oyo State.
Adeniran made this known while inspecting schools in Ibadan North-East Local Government area of the state, Wednesday.
He said the motive behind the examination exercise was to ensure simultaneous participation of all schools in the examination process.
The chairman appealed to school head teachers to ensure adherence to the time-table given to them by the State Government.
He expressed satisfaction with the level of preparedness of schools and students describing it as ‘quite impresive’.
Adeniran, who said the conduct was smooth, added that efforts and arrangements put in place by the State Government in printing unified question-papers for all schools in the state would ensure better performance of pupils.
According to him, the introduction of a unified examination time-table and questions was to give better credence to the exercise.
He further commended the schools and pupils for their adherence to the examination instructions.
The board’s monitoring team visited schools in Ibadan North; Ibarapa; Ibadan North-West, Ibadan South-West and Ibadan South-East Local Government areas.
VC Advocates Grantsmanship As Condition For Promotion
Vice Chancellor, University of Ilorin UNILORIN) Professor Wahab Egbewole, has advocated a restructure of the university system in Nigeria where grantsmanship will be recognised in promotion guidelines.
Egbewole made the suggestion when he received a team of facilitators of the Train The Trainers’ (TTT) workshop on ‘Research Proposal Writing and Grant Management’ in Ilorin, midweek.
Egbewole, who is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN)), identified fundable research grants as one of the problems that researchers in Nigeria are battling with.
The Vice Chancellor lamented that some professors in Nigeria did not know how to write research proposals that can attract so much funding.
According to him, this is where the universities have to focus their attention, while expressing optimism that the workshop initiated by TETFund would facilitate the required enablers.
He, therefore, urged the organisers to put up some measurable indices to evaluate the success or otherwise of what has been invested in the training.
He also encouraged researchers to redirect their energy to publications that are impactful to the society and address local challenges instead of publications that are left to decay on the shelf.
The vice chancellor said that UNILORIN would also organise a similar workshop that would accommodate more staff.
Earlier, TETFund TTT team facilitator, Mr Nuhu Ogirima, said the significance of the workshop was to conduct a stepping down of knowledge earlier acquired by the facilitators on fundable research.
Ogirima explained that Nigeria is struggling among the developing nations because most of the policies of the government are not based on research from academia, which makes them unacceptable by the people.
He observed that there is no difference between academic writing, writing for promotion, writing to impact policy and writing to galvanise the economy.
“TETFund has taken a giant stride towards getting cutting edge research sponsored towards advancing the nation”, he said.
FG Begins Registration Of Medical Laboratories
The Federal Government has begun an online registration of medical laboratories in Nigeria to enhance service delivery.
The Registrar, Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria, Dr Tosan Erhabor, made this known in Abuja, recently at a meeting with stakeholders and the agency’s consultants on automation led by Prof. Effiong Akpan of the University of Calabar.
He called on stakeholders to avail themselves of the great opportunities offered by the new framework to enhance service delivery.
Erhabor said the registration would scale up efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, speed of service delivery, and data collation and management.
According to him, the purpose of the meeting was to enable stakeholders to witness firsthand and possibly critique the ongoing digitalisation of the medical laboratory registration process.
“This is the latest in the series of council processes to be moved from the manual to the digital platform.
“In spite of our meagre resources, the council has successfully transformed other processes including Licensure, Examination, Indexing, Accreditation Service, and External Quality Assurance and now the registration of medical laboratories”, he said.
Erhabor urged medical laboratory proprietors to continue working with the council to enhance service delivery.
He said proprietors would henceforth be able to register their laboratories seamlessly and from their preferred locations without the need to visit the council’s headquarters in Abuja.
“I am pleased to note that automation has raised our profile among stakeholders, and we must commend the consultants for a job well done”, he said.
Responding, Akpan lauded the council management for scaling up hitherto manual processes into the digital environment to enhance service delivery despite the prevailing economic challenges.
“My team and I are proud to be associated with the council and we encourage other agencies should emulate you in this respect”, he said.
Akpan expressed confidence that the stakeholders would also be proud of the council’s efforts.
Recall that in September 2022, the Federal Government threatened to shut down unregistered medical laboratories in the country.
The council was warned not to relent or rest on its oars in the discharge of its statutory duties.
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