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Lets come together to fight money laundering – ECOWAS urges Nigerian youths



Lets come together to fight money laundering – ECOWAS urges Nigerian youths

The Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) has called on Nigerian youths to get involved in combating money laundering and terrorism financing in the country.

GIABA, an agency of the ECOWAS, was established in 2000 to prevent and fight against international money laundering and terrorist financing in member states.

The Director-General of GIABA, Mr Edwin Harris, made the call on Monday at the 15th edition of the Open House Forum, organised for selected university students across the country in Port Harcourt.


The one-day forum had the theme: “The role of the youths in the fight against transnational organised crime.”

Harris was represented by Timothy Melaye, GIABA’s Country Head in Nigeria.

He said the group was concerned over the growing threat of money laundering and terrorism financing, and was working closely with law enforcement agencies to tackle the menace.

“In view of this, we organised this open house forum to sensitise the youths to their responsibilities and obligations under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Financing of Terrorism.

“The aim is to foster and strengthen partnership between GIABA and the youths in the fight against transnational organised crimes in West Africa.

“So, we are here to raise awareness on the need to protect the economies and financial systems of ECOWAS member states against the laundering of proceeds of crime,” he said.

Harris said that money laundering and terrorism financing posed serious threats to the peace, security and sustainable development of the region.

“Organised crime knows no border, and so, all nations must cooperate completely to deal with this threat.

“As future leaders, empowering the youths towards leadership positions requires concerted efforts at enhancing their understanding of the deleterious effects of crimes both at national and individual levels.

“We want participants to understand the harmful effects of these evils on the rule of law, political stability, democracy, economic development, prosperity and health of citizens,” he added.

The director-general said the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) adopted by 187 countries including Nigeria, followed 40 recommendations in the fight against the transnational organised crimes.

The Director, Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), Mr Modibbo Tukur, said that youths were major and critical actors in money laundering and financing of terrorism in the region.

According to him, youths must understand that organised crime does not pay in the long run.

“Going by the global, regional, sub-regional and national efforts at combating such crimes, the criminal does not have anywhere to run or hide for long before he/she is caught.

“So, it is in the best interest of the youth to avoid associations that may lead them to crime,” he advised.

On his part, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Prof. Owunari Georgewill, called on participants to become change agents, to enable the country to progress.

Lets come together to fight money laundering – ECOWAS urges Nigerian youths

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CCNE Applauds Supreme Court for Releasing Local Government Funds




CCNE Applauds Supreme Court for Releasing Local Government Funds

CCNE Applauds Supreme Court for Releasing Local Government Funds

The Concerned Citizens of North East (CCNE), a non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting good governance, transparency, and accountability, has welcomed a recent Supreme Court ruling mandating the immediate release of funds earmarked for local government areas (LGAs).

The was contained in a press statement signed by CCNE’s Secretary General Babangida Inuwa Muhammad, marks a significant victory for grassroots development and governance in the region.

The Supreme Court’s decision addresses longstanding issues of fund misallocation and diversion that have impeded local development efforts.

By upholding constitutional provisions ensuring direct allocation of funds to LGAs, the court has bolstered principles of transparency, accountability, and effective governance.

CCNE views this ruling as pivotal, asserting that it empowers local authorities and strengthens the foundation for sustainable development across communities.

“This landmark decision ensures that LGAs receive the financial resources necessary for development and governance, reinforcing transparency, accountability, and good governance principles,” stated CCNE in their press release.

The organization emphasized the ruling’s potential to revitalize local governance, enabling communities to better tackle their unique challenges through empowered local authorities. CCNE called upon relevant authorities to promptly implement the court’s decision, ensuring funds are utilized judiciously to benefit residents.

“We believe this judgment will enhance LGAs’ capacity to deliver essential services, improve infrastructure, and drive socio-economic development,” CCNE affirmed.

CCNE also urged local officials to transparently and efficiently allocate funds, prioritizing projects that directly benefit residents.

They pledged to monitor the judgment’s implementation closely, collaborating with stakeholders to promote accountability and good governance at all levels within the region.

“This ruling signifies a renewed commitment to decentralization and local governance, crucial for addressing community-specific challenges,” CCNE added.

Looking ahead, CCNE reiterated its commitment to advocating for the rights and welfare of Northeastern communities, ensuring local authorities are equipped to drive sustainable development.

They affirmed their ongoing role in safeguarding community interests and fostering an environment conducive to transparent and effective governance.

However, CCNE’s support for the Supreme Court’s decision reflects a broader commitment to advancing accountable governance and empowering local communities.

By championing the efficient use of allocated funds and advocating for sustained development efforts, CCNE aims to foster a region where grassroots needs are met and local governance thrives.

CCNE Applauds Supreme Court for Releasing Local Government Funds

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Minimum Wage: Private sector committed to N57,000 – NECA



Minimum Wage: Private sector committed to N57,000 - NECA

Minimum Wage: Private sector committed to N57,000 – NECA

The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), says the private sector remains committed to the N57,000 earlier proposed at the Tripartite Committee meeting on National Minimum Wage.

NECA’s Director-General, Mr Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, in a statement on Sunday, said the amount represented 90 per cent increase in the national minimum wage.

Oyerinde said that this was notwithstanding ongoing challenges, made worst by rising interest rates, astronomical logistics cost, increasing energy tariff and multiple taxes, levies and fees.

“With organised businesses declaring over one trillion naira in combined losses and many shutting down their businesses for different reasons, while others are relocating to other climes, the ability to pay the prevailing N30,000 was already compromised.

“It will be practically impossible to guarantee enterprise sustainability and job security with the current demands of organised labour,’’ he said.

The director-general, however, said that NECA would continue to support the welfare of workers and the protection of their jobs, which could only be guaranteed by the survival of the enterprise.

Following negotiations on the national minimum wage, he urged the tripartite committee to prioritise job creation and job security.

Oyerinde said that the call was in view of the worrisome and increasing rate of unemployment in the country.

According to him, the committee should refocus its effort on protecting jobs, boost the capacity of the private sector to create more jobs and ensure sustainability and ability to pay.

He said that productivity should be a key driver of higher wages.

“According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the combined rate of unemployment and time-related underemployment as a share of the labour force population (LU2) increased to 17.3 per cent in Q3 2023 from 15.5 per cent in Q2 2023.

“In specific terms, the unemployment rate increased significantly in Q3 2023 at 5.0 per cent.

“With these figures, more efforts should be concentrated on keeping more people in employment, while government continues to implement its planned interventions in transportation, food security and general macro-economic stability,” Oyerinde said.

Minimum Wage: Private sector committed to N57,000 – NECA

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Reps seek free medicare for pregnant women



Reps seek free medicare for pregnant women

Reps seek free medicare for pregnant women

The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to mandate public healthcare institutions to provide free medical treatment for pregnant women during and after delivery.

The call was sequel to the adoption of a motion by Rep. Mohammed Shehu (PDP-Bauchi) at plenary on Wednesday.

They also urged the ministry to implement routine checks to ensure continuity, compliance by medical personnel, and sustainability of childbirth processes.

Moving the motion, Shehu said that the government established public healthcare institutions to provide medical services to humanity.

He added that drugs were supplied to the institutions and equipped with modern medical facilities and charged with the responsibility of handling healthcare-related matters.

Shehu said though healthcare services were not restricted to pregnant women, efforts to encourage free treatment for expectant mothers have not been fully realised.

He said that giving the fertility statistics in the country, there was need for free medical treatment for pregnant women to boost the country’s fertility rate.

“Nigeria is grappling with high disease rates, resulting in an annual maternal mortality rate of expectant mothers and children due to pregnancy complications and the polio virus.

“Further aware that government requires public healthcare institutions to have medical professionals, give adequate attention to patients, including pregnant women, during childbirth to address complications and find permanent solutions.

“There is a need for the government to prioritise policy actions aimed at improving healthcare delivery systems, particularly for pregnant women, to alleviate their hardships and boost their confidence,” he said.

In his ruling, the Deputy Speaker, Rep. Benjamin Kalu mandated the Committee on Healthcare Services and Healthcare Institutions to liaise with the Minister of Health and Social Welfare to ensure compliance.

The committee is to report back within four weeks for further legislative action.

Reps seek free medicare for pregnant women

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