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Senate Passes Bill for Establishment of Real Estate Regulatory Council

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The Senate, on Wednesday, passed a Bill to establish the Real Estate Regulatory Council of Nigeria.

The passage of the Bill followed the consideration of a report by the Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service during plenary.

The report was presented by Sen. Nicholas Tofowomo (PDP-Ondo) on behalf of the Committee Chairman, Sen. Ibrahim Shekarau.

The Bill tagged, “Real Estate Regulatory Council of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2021 was sponsored by Sen. Aliyu Wamakko.

It was read for the first time on April 28 and scaled second reading on June 22.

The senator said that the establishment of the Real Estate Council of Nigeria would provide efficient, effective and transparent administration of the business of real estate development in Nigeria.

“The Council when established, would among others, curb fraudulent practices to ensure that the real estate business conforms with the National Building Code in Nigeria.

He said the Council will be responsible for prescribing minimum standards for the conduct of the businesses of real estate development across the country.

He recalled that the bill seeking to establish the Real Estate Council of Nigeria was passed by both chambers of the eighth National Assembly, but was not assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.

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The lawmaker further noted that the President’s decision to withhold assent to the Bill was as a result of certain observations raised by stakeholders at the time.

“Those observations have been taken care of in this report by the committee following the engagement with stakeholders to ensure that real estate business in Nigeria conforms with the Money Laundering Act 2011 (as amended).”

Meanwhile, two bills seeking to establish the Federal Orthopedic Hospital, Patigi, Kwara; and Federal University of Agriculture, Akure, Ondo, have passed second reading in the Senate.

The bills were sponsored by Sen. Sadiq Umar (APC-Kwara) and Sen. Patrick Akinyelure (PDP-Ondo)

The bills after scaling second reading were referred by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, who presided over plenary to the Committees on Health (Secondary and Tertiary); and Tertiary Institutions and TetFund for further legislative actions.

Both Committees were given four weeks to report back to the upper chamber.

Meanwhile, five bills passed first reading in the Senate including: National Assembly Budget and Research Office (Establishment) Bill, 2021 sponsored by Sen. Umar Sadiq (APC-Kwara).

POLITICS

PDP Congratulates IBB at 81

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has congratulated former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, on his 81st birthday.

The party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Debo Ologunagba, in Abuja on Wednesday, described Babangida as a courageous leader.

It also described him as a statesman and nationalist, who remained exceptionally loyal and committed to national unity, stability and economic development.

“He is an undiminished quintessence of development-oriented leadership, whose government laid solid foundation for infrastructural and policy development in key sectors of our economy.

“He remains a Pan-Nigerian leader and the PDP recognises and deeply appreciates his continuing role towards the growth and stability of our great Party and the nation at large, even in his retirement,” it read.

Ologunagba said the PDP celebrated Babangida on the auspicious occasion, and prayed to God to bless him with more years in good health.

He said that this would enable the nation to continue to benefit from his wealth of experience and wise counsel.

The spokesman said this was also important in the party’s mission to rescue, redirect and rebuild the nation..(NAN)

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Lagos Govt to Create Fit-for-purpose Education Model – Commissioner

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The Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, says the government is creating a fit-for-purpose education model for learners in the state.

Adefisayo said this on Wednesday in Ikeja, during a news briefing on 2022 Lagos State Education Summit.

She said that Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration had shown efforts and implemented various initiatives across the education sector to make available high-quality education accessible to all.

According to her, these strides can be scaled up with re-energised synergy between all stakeholders in the education sector.

She said that the summit was part of the strategies to harness resources as well as the best brains from across the world and deliver the desired quality education to learners.

The commissioner said that the summit, slated for Aug. 30 and Aug. 31, would explore ways to ensure sustainability in quality education in the state.

The theme of the summit is, ‘Creating a Sustainable Fit-For-Purpose Education Model’ while the sub-theme is ‘Prioritising Education in the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda and the 30-Year Lagos Development Plan’.

She said that participants, numbering about 5,300, would be expected to engage and co-create new ideas and solutions for the development of education in Lagos State and the country at large.

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”The summit seeks to explore a holistic approach toward education and lifelong learning from early childhood to higher education that is necessary for developing, re-skilling and enhancing an active population.

”We are expecting all stakeholders in the public and private education sectors in Lagos State.

“They include educators, school owners and administrators, parents, students, education researchers, NGOs, education consultants and private sector development partners.

”The summit will also afford the Federal Ministry of Education, other federal education agencies and state commissioners of education across the country an opportunity to co-share ideas for the development of education,” Adefisayo said.

She said that in order to allow for robust participation of all stakeholders, the summit would be hybrid allowing physical and online participation.

The commissioner said that all participants would register via the link which had been provided on www.lagoseducationsummit.com

She said that the on-sight arrangement would accommodate about 300 participants in-person, while over 5,000 would participate online.

According to her, the summit aims for discussion that will lead to change in paradigm in teaching and learning.

She said that such was important as recent studies had reflected challenges relating to productive value of young people coming out of education institutions.

In her remarks, the Chairman, Teaching Service Commission, Lagos State, Mrs Elizabeth Ariyo, said that having examined the present situation in the state, the need for a paradigm shift was pertinent.

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Ariyo said that a change could not be expected by sticking to the prevailing teaching and learning orientation. (NAN)

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POLITICS

2023: Observations from Kenyan Election Show INEC needs to Review Voting Hours-CODE

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Connected Development (CODE),a Civil Society Organisation says observations from the just concluded Kenya election have revealed the need for the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) to adjust its voting hours for 2023 poll.

Mr Emmanuel Njoku, Director, Democracy and Governance, CODE said this at the official launch of CODE’s annual report that detailed its various interventions and effort to institutionalise accountability and transparency in governance across Africa.

Njoku said that INEC’s review of voting hours was recommended because if not done, more than 30 million citizens could be disenfranchised in the 2023 General Elections .

He said that this was because Kenya used the same Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) device and also transmitted its results electronically just like Nigeria and the process was practically the same as the only difference was in the numbers.

He added that CODE was in Kenya to observe the election and to also see how the device would work so as to prepare for Nigeria’s election in 2023.

“Kenya’s voter register is just 22.1 million and the voter turnout was 65 per cent, which was about 14 million votes, in Nigeria we are expecting around 45 per cent voter turnout which is close to 40 million people.

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“Yet Kenyan polls open as early as 6am and close by 5pm that is 11 hours for a voter register of just under 2.1 million what that means is that everybody gets to vote.

“ However, people in Nigeria with higher voters’ polls open for just six hours from 8:30 and closes by 2:30pm that is just six hours for a voter register of 95 million people.

“With the BVAS, it takes a person two minutes to accredit and voting , mathematically, if it takes one person two minutes to go through the process to vote, it means in an hour, it will take just about 30 persons to vote,” he said.
Njoku added: “This is because if we go ahead with what we have, which is just six hours for 95 million persons to be able to get to vote, we may end up seeing close to 30 million Nigerians being disenfranchised in the 2023.
“Going forward, if Kenya with a voter register of 22 million persons allows 11 hours for citizens to vote, INEC needs also to expand its voting time.”
Mr Hamzat Lawal, the Chief Executive Officer, CODE, said that the report launched revealed CODE’s activities of holding public officials accountable and demanding that they keep their promises to their constituents by expediting timely interventions.

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Lawal said that in 2021, with support from Ford Foundation, CODE supported local leaders in Rivers grassroots in a campaign borne out of the need to combat pervasive corruption, poor accountability, and the negligence of community development.

He said that this have been amounting to years of under-development, exposure to hazardous health risks due to oil substance leakages into water supplies and the sheer impact of these on livelihoods and the quality of life.

He said that CODE visited 19 project sites in 10 communities in nine LGAs and as a result ,so many abandoned projects were completed.

Lawal added that the World Bank has approved a 150million dollar credit for the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE), to improve secondary education opportunities in the country.

He said that the AGILE project which was being carried out in 7 states would be implemented by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with Connected Development CODE, a Non-Governmental Organisation.

He said that the seven states were Kano, Kebbi, Kaduna, Kastina, Borno, Plateau and Ekiti State.

He stated that the AGILE PROJECT was expected to be a platform for girls health education, gender based violence awareness, and prevention as well as life skills, for a period of 5 years

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“We also tracked N1.167 billion worth of constituency projects in 30 communities across 3 senatorial zones of Kaduna State under Deepening Citizens’ Interest in Government Spending and Addressing Accompanying Corrupt Practices ( DESPAAC).

“We trained 53 students in Anti-Corruption, Transparency, and Accountability under the Power Of Voices Partnership Fair For All Project In Oil Regions.

“CODE also initiated and revived integrity and anti-corruption clubs in 30 schools across FCT, Cross River, Delta, and Rivers states,” he said.

Lawal said that CODE assessed the readiness of 90 Primary Health Centres(PHCs) to receive, store and effectively administer vaccines with the purpose of equally driving quality standardisation of PHCs across the six geopolitical via follow the money project among others .

Also speaking ,Mr Ani Nwachukwu ,Research and Policy, CODE, said that there was need to address the security situation in the country especially at the grassroots otherwise it would affect the 2023 General Elections.

Nwachikwu said that CODE was implementing a national security watch projects that looked at analysing security breakdowns across the federation.
“We are unveiling the first edition for the monthly security dossier,” he said. (NAN)

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