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Jega Seeks Consolidation of Electoral Reform Processes

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Former Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),  Prof. Attahiru Jega has called for consolidation of electoral reform processes to deepen electoral democracy and to avoid a slide back to not too credible elections in Nigeria.

Jega made the call in Abuja at a policy roundtable on eletions in Nigeria.

Jega noted that although the 2019 elections had come and gone, there were widespread recognition that a lot more needed to be done to consolidate the reform processes.

“A continuous process of credible electoral reforms is required for countries striving to deepen and consolidate their democracy.

“Indeed, it is highly essential for countries, such as Nigeria, with a history of poorly conducted elections where efforts are being made to restore integrity to the electoral process,’’ Jega said.

He said that sustained electoral integrity was correlated to democratic consolidation, stability and legitimacy of government as well as desirable good governance.

The former INEC chairman said that since 2011, INEC had striven to ensure greater integrity in the preparation and conduct of elections in Nigeria.

He said that the bar of the credibility of Nigerian elections had hence been raised and with the raising of the bar, expectations were also raised for remarkable incremental positive changes in subsequent elections.

Jega said that it was paramount to address the issues on electoral reforms with all level of seriousness as a nation.

Jega said that it was pertinent to begin to discuss and explore additional ways and means of generating ideas and recommendations for continuous improvement of Nigerian electoral processes and for subsequent elections.

He noted that the earlier the processes began, the better the input that would be made to lNEC’s planning and preparations.(NAN)

Education

GJF 2024 Democracy Dialogue Calls on African Leaders to Prioritize Education.

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Goodluck Ebele Jonathan
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From Mike Tayese, Yenagoa

Stakeholders has called on African leaders to prioritize functional education and effective leadership toward achieving growth and development for the African continent.

This was handed down at this year 2024 Goodluck Jonathan Foundation (GJF) Democracy Dialogue held in Benin, Edo State capital.

Participants at the dialogue comprised foremost African leaders, academics, development experts, politicians, civil society groups, traditional rulers and students spoke on the need for African leaders to develop innovative educational policies that will help guarantee growth and sustainable development.

According to a press statement by the Communications Officer Goodluck Jonathan Foundation, Wealth Dickson Ominabo and made available to Daily Asset via email said, some of the dignitaries at the event were the former President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, former president of Niger, Thomas Boni Yayi, former president of Nigeria and Chairman of Goodluck Jonathan Foundation, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan,   former Vice President of Zambia, Dr Mumba Nevers Sekwila and former vice president of Nigeria, Arch Namadi Sambo.

Others include, governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki,  former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Shri Balasubramanian, Director UNDP Sub-regional Hub for West Africa, Njoya Tikum,  Acting Executive Secretary National Universities Commission (NUC), Chris Maiyaki and deputy governors of Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta, Edo, and  Bauchi.

Chairman of the occasion and former President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta in his remarks called on African leaders and policymakers to develop strategies and policies that will set the continent on a winning trajectory.

His words: “As African leaders gathered here today, let us take up this task with the seriousness that it deserves to the leaders of tomorrow.

“As a continent, we must look at our curricula in comparison with the changing global needs and embrace an education system that aims to foster critical thinking, innovation and creativity as this will bolster the continent to immeasurable heights.

“It is our task as leaders of this great continent, to empower our youth with the tools that will shape and prepare them to be great and active participants in the global economy.

“We must therefore intentionally invest in education to ensure inclusivity, diversity and equal opportunity for all our children. This will help foster a conducive environment for innovation and growth.”

Keynote speaker at the dialogue Prof Olubayi Olubayi in his address called on governments around the continent to rethink their educational policies to foster growth and guarantee inclusivity.

He said :  “Each country that wants to succeed must provide education for 80% of its population that is of average ability, but it must also, at the same time, provide education for the other 20% that is exceptionally highly gifted and highly talented. This is the better meaning of inclusion. Education for the 80% and education for the 20% in institutions that maintain symbiotic collaborations.

“The open secret is that for a country to have a genuine functional education it must have a two-sided strategy that is based on the pareto principle of 80/20.

“Our current school systems will continue to educate the 80% who are the majority.

“If we care for Africa’s future, If we care for our grandchildren, If we care for our dignity as human beings, If we care at all, we must ensure functional education within our home regions and countries.

“If we care at all, we must find a way to ensure that each African nation or state establishes at least ONE highly selective world-class university that will be the primary source and catalyst for effective leadership, innovation, technology, growth and development.”

Speaking further he said: we must each return to our villages or towns working or local government areas or counties or districts and start the sacrifice and hard work of mobilizing resources to set up the first highly selective world-class primary or secondary school as a centre of excellence for the free education of the less than 20% of the population of our children that is most gifted and most talented.

Speaking on the importance of the theme of this year’s dialogue, Functional Education and Effective Leadership as a Panacea to Growth and Development, the Executive Director of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation, Ann Iyonu noted that functional education and effective political leadership are interconnected goals that require concerted efforts from governments, civil society, and the private sector.

She said: “Functional education can empower citizens to actively participate in the political process, hold their leaders accountable, and contribute to the socio-economic development of their countries.

“Conversely, effective political leadership can create an enabling environment for education reform, investment in human capital, and the creation of opportunities for all citizens to thrive.”


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POLITICS

CSOs Back Shippers Council Regulatory Bill

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The Coalition of Civil Society Groups in Nigeria for Promotion of Accountability and Transparency in Governance (CCSGNPATG) have thrown their weight behind the proposed Nigeria Shippers Council Regulatory Agency.

Mr Monday Ndubisi, the leader of the coalition which comprises 45 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), said this at a press conference in Abuja on Monday.

He hailed the Committee on Shipping Services for its inclusivity and commended the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola for getting it right with the Shipping Council Regulatory bill.

Ndubisi commended the committee for giving stakeholders the platform to make inputs to the bill at a public hearing.

“The legislation aims at empowering the Nigerian Shippers Council to effectively regulate the shipping industry, protect the interests of shippers, and promote economic growth.

“The Bill for an Act to Repeal the Nigeria Shippers’ Council Act, and enact the Shipping and Port Economic Regulatory Agency Bill and related matter has passed second reading in the House of Representatives.

“This bill will bring much-needed transparency, accountability, and efficiency to the sector while strengthening the Shippers Council’s regulatory powers,” he said.

Ndubuisi further added that it would also reduce costs, increase competition, and improve service delivery.

He said that the passage of the bill would have a positive impact on the Nigerian economy and the lives of citizens.

“Our coalition is pleased to note that 99 per cent of the opinions expressed at the public hearing are in favour of the bill as presented.

“We also note that a few amendments were suggested, which the House Committee on Shipping Services, ably led Rep. Abdulsamad Dansuki, has promised to take note of,’’ he said.

He said that such an accommodating disposition was what the electorates expected of the lawmakers, adding that they are looking forward to the House to sustain this trend. (NAN)

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ALGON Seeks 4-year Tenure for LG Officials

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The Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), has called for the adoption of a unified four-year  tenure for elected local government officials in the country.

Alh. Aminu Muazu-Maifata, National President of ALGON made the call in an interview with  newsmen on Monday in Lafia.

Muazu-Maifata said that the move would ensure good governance and quality representation at the grassroots levels.

The president called on the National Assembly to urgently amend the nation’s  constitution to unify the tenure of local government officials  across the country.

“The tenure of local government officials should be made four years to enable us deliver on our campaign promises to the electorate.

”It is unfortunate that thr tenure of local government officials in some states is even one or two years.

”So, I wonder how these officials will deliver good governance within such a short period,”he lamented.

On the N62, 000 minimum wage proposed by the Federal Government, the ALGON boss called on the federal government to increase the monthly allocations of the 774 local government areas in the country.

He maintained that the move would enable the councils to pay the new minimum wage when it finally becomes a law.

Muazu-Maifata, who is the Chairman of Lafia local government area of Nasarawa Sate, however, lauded Gov. Abdullahi Sule for granting autonmy to all the councils in the state.

He called on other governors to emulate Sule toward the overall development of the country, particularly the grassroots.

On the security of Lafia, he explained that the partial curfew imposed in the locality as a measure to tackle the increasing rate of kidnaping and other crimes within the state capital.

“We restricted the movement of motorcycles between 6p.m. and 6:00 a.m. and tricycles between 8p.m. and 6a.m.

“This is because security reports has it that criminal gangs are using these two means of transportation to perpetrate crimes and operate between the restricted hours,” he explained.

Muazu-Maifata, however, said that the security situation in Lafia has improved, adding better strategies would be adopted toward the safety of lives and property. (NAN)

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