“Thunder fire you,” Fani-Kayode to Shekarau after he says Tinubu is gravely ill; Nigeria set to pass bill recognizing Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • “Thunder fire you,” Fani-Kayode to Shekarau after he says Tinubu is gravely ill
  • INEC warns politicians on plots to bypass BVAs in 2023 elections
  • Maritime workers threaten to shut down nation’s ports
  • Nigeria set to pass bill recognizing Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies
  • After doctors, mass exodus of teachers from Nigeria looms

Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss:

“Thunder fire you,” Fani-Kayode to Shekarau after he says Tinubu is gravely ill

A spokesperson for the All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential campaign council, Femi Fani-Kayode has lambasted a federal lawmaker, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau for claiming that the ruling party’s presidential flagbearer, Bola Tinubu is unfit to rule Nigeria.

Shekarau, a former Governor of Kano State during a press conference on Sunday, claimed that Tinubu is seriously sick and incapable to be the next President of Nigeria.

He said, “When we said @officialABAT is seriously sick or is unstable in his activities are we wrong? How can you vote for him as your number one citizen”?

Reacting to the claim that Tinubu is not physically fit for the top job, Fani-Kayode in a series of tweets on Monday described Shekarau as an irresponsible and deceitful person, saying thunder would fire the former governor.

He wrote, “Irresponsible & deceitful words from an irresponsible & deceitful man in an irresponsible & deceitful party.

“Thunder fire you Ibrahim. It is @atiku that is seriously sick & unstable & not Asiwaju. He is sick in body, spirit & soul.

“We don’t want a sick & conflicted half man/half woman “non-binary” President who spends all his time in Dubai. We want a real man like @officialABAT”.

INEC warns politicians on plots to bypass BVAs in 2023 elections

In advance of the elections in 2023, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) reiterated its belief in the Bimodal Voter Registration System’s (BVAS) efficacy.

Festus Okoye, the INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee, insisted that politicians who purchase Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) to rig the 2023 general elections are wasting their time. Okoye appeared on the Channels Television program Sunday Politics.

He declared: “I want to assure you that bypassing the BVAS by any politician would not happen; it is impossible.”

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and the Northern Elders’ Forum said last week that politicians are buying PVCs from poor voters to rig the elections.

Okoye, however, referred to the desperate politicians’ plan to rig the polls in their favor as “an impossibility” and called it so.

The INEC representative instructed security forces to find and prosecute politicians who were tampering with the PVCs in any region of the nation.

Okoye said: “Some politicians are very optimistic, they normally plan for the rainy day; they are still thinking that there is a possibility that they can beat the BVAS that we are going to use for voter accreditation and authentication but their exercise will be an exercise in futility.

“Anybody who is purchasing a permanent voters card is just engaging in an exercise in futility. The only thing any person can do is to make sure the voter does not vote on election day but for you to come to the polling unit on election day with a voter’s card belonging to someone else, and you attempt to vote with it, that is an impossibility, the BVAS will not capture your fingerprint.”

Maritime workers threaten to shut down nation’s ports

In order to prevent labor unrest, the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) called on the Federal Government yesterday to order the International Oil Companies (IOCs) to abide by Marine Notice 106 of 2014 and permit stevedoring businesses to deploy Dockworkers into their platforms.

All businesses and individuals involved in stevedoring work, such as dock labor employers and private operators of any work location, such as ports, jetties, onshore or offshore oil and gas or bonding terminals, inland container depots (ICDS), off dock terminals, dry ports, and platforms, are subject to the Government Marine Notice 106.

The cited Government Marine Notice 106 specifically states in paragraph 3 that “All operators of Ports, Jetties, Onshore or Offshore, Oil and Gas or Bonded Terminals, Inland Container Depots (ICDs), Offshore Dock Terminals, Dry Ports and Platforms, and other work locations are hereby given the notice to grant duly appointed Stevedoring Companies access to their premises to commence operations.”

The President-General of the MWUN, Prince Adeyanju Adewale, spoke at the Union’s National Executive Council, NEC, in Lagos and pleaded with the government to take immediate action to prevent a shutdown of port operations early in the New Year. He expressed regret that “the IOCs have refused to comply with said Government Marine Notice 106, since it was issued” in 2014.

He said “The International Oil Companies, 1OCs, have persistently disobeyed our extant stevedoring regulations that stipulate that they employ the services of stevedoring companies licensed by NPA to work in their Oil and gas platforms, this is in spite of our numerous engagements to get them to conform to our regulating labour laws and standard.

Consequently, we are compelled to use this occasion to call on the government to compel these IOCs to respect our sovereign laws in accordance with global standards in other to prevent disruptions in service delivery in these formations whether offshore or onshore. We have been on this issue for more than four years. We are aware that some of the IOCs have complied, while others have not. We cannot continue like this. We are being pushed to the wall. It is important we are not compelled to begin the New Year with industrial unrest.” 

Prince Adewale also noted that “Arising from the insecurity in our nation’s seaport concerning the unauthorised persons accessing the vessels that berth in our nation’s seaport (stowaways), illicit cargo, etc coming into our seaport in the absence of Tally clerks and on board ship gangway men that are statutorily assigned to man security on board vessels, we humbly wish to call for the resuscitation of the Pool system in all ports to checkmate influx of illegal persons into the port and prevent under declaration of tonnage/cargo that comes into our ports.”

Nigeria set to pass bill recognizing Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies

A law recognizing the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a way to stay up with “global standards” will reportedly soon be passed by the Nigerian government.

Following an interview with the chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Markets, Babangida Ibrahim, Punch Newspapers, a Nigerian publication, broke the news on December 18.

According to the report, the local Securities and Exchange Commission would be able to “recognize bitcoin and other digital monies as capital for investment” if the Investments and Securities Act 2007 (Amendment) Bill were to become law.

Ibrahim emphasized the significance of Nigeria staying current with capital market trends and developments:

“Like I said earlier during the second reading, we need an efficient and vibrant capital market in Nigeria. For us to do that, we have to be up to date [with] global practices.”

The allegation comes nearly 24 months after Nigeria outlawed cryptocurrency trading in February 2021, when the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) ordered local cryptocurrency exchanges and service providers to halt operations and ordered banks to shut the accounts of anyone found trading cryptocurrency.

Ibrahim, who presided over Nigeria from 1985 to 1993, is adamant that the law’s passage does not represent a reversal of the ban but rather a secondary examination of the CBN’s authority:

“It is not about [the] lifting of the ban, we are looking at the legality: what is legal and what is within the framework of our operations in Nigeria.”

“When cryptocurrency was initially banned in Nigeria, the CBN discovered that most of these investors don’t even use local accounts. So, they are not within the jurisdiction of the CBN. Because they are not using local accounts, there is no way the CBN can check them,” he explained.

The 2007 Investments and Securities Act of Nigeria will be modified if the legislation is approved.

The bill will specify the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) and Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) (Nigeria) regulatory functions on topics connected to digital currencies in addition to giving legal recognition to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, according to the article.

The eNaira, the digital currency issued by Nigeria’s central bank, has received little to no attention from Nigerians and only has a 0.5% adoption rate as of October, 12 months after its inception.

As usage grew after the ban in February 2021, the Nigerian government’s earlier efforts to suppress cryptocurrency activities may have also been fruitless.

Nigerians only behind the United States in Bitcoin trade volume from January to August of last year, and at that time, they were more likely to google “Bitcoin” than people from any other nation.

An April research report by CoinGecko revealed that Nigerian citizens were the most interested in cryptocurrencies. The intrigue is not surprising given that Nigerians are still trying to combat extreme inflation and a depressed economy.

In September, Nigeria began preliminary negotiations with cryptocurrency exchange Binance to create a crypto-friendly economic zone that will assist local blockchain and cryptocurrency firms.

After doctors, mass exodus of teachers from Nigeria looms

The United Kingdom will start hiring skilled Nigerian teachers in February of next year, beginning a trend that might soon be seen in the education sector as Nigeria struggles with the large exodus of medical professionals to Europe and North America.

Out of a pool of 1.5 million, 350,000 Nigerian instructors are currently qualified for such positions.

Already, there are conflicting opinions on the move. Some critics claim that the UK was merely searching for cheap labor to hire, while others argue that it shouldn’t be viewed as another form of brain-drain.

From February 1, 2023, teachers who have been certified and evaluated as qualified by the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, TRCN, will not be required to take qualifying courses with the Teaching Regulation Agency, TRA, and would instead receive Qualified Teaching Status, or QTS, in England.

The QTS is the English equivalent of the TRCN’s teaching license in Nigeria.

The UK anticipates teachers in Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Singapore, South Africa, Ukraine, and Zimbabwe to benefit from the new policy.

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