Reps, minister disagree over plan to regulate social media - Newstrends
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Reps, minister disagree over plan to regulate social media



The House of Representatives has frowned on the idea of regulating the social media being considered by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.

The Chairman, House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values, Odebunmi Olusegun and a member of the House, Emmanuel Oghene, said any clampdown on the social media could be counterproductive.

They gave the warning when the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, appeared before the committed for the 2021 budget defence.

The minister, while responding to questions from members of the committee, had said the next war to be fought in the country would be against the social media, in a veiled reference to the outcome of #EndSARS protests.

He stressed the need to have a policy to regulate the social media and check fake news and misinformation.

Odebunmi, however, warned against controlling the use of the social media and urged the Federal Government to rather search for the technology to work with what was currently being used in the social media world.

“Social media has come to stay. What the government should do is to look for technology that will work together with what is in the space.”

Oghene also said it was wrong to always look at the negative sides of social media at all times without mentioning the good side.

He said it was social media that called the attention of government to looting of COVID-19 items in some places, adding that there was a time some boys were digging the road but got caught because the social media captured it.

Oghene said, “I want to appeal that we should not overdo it because it will harm us. China is not a good example because it is a communist country. Nigeria has always been free, we are a democratic country.

“Let us look at other democracies and see what they have done with their social media. This technology is already here. It is not going to go away.

“We should have enough laws in our law books to deal with social media. If people post things that are not correct, they can be taken to court.

“If the laws are not enough, bring a bill and the National Assembly will pass it into law. If you shut down the social media, democracy will be greatly hampered.”

The minister had earlier said, “We are sitting on a time bomb on this issue of fake news. Unfortunately, we have no national policy on social media and we need one.

“When we went to China, we could not get Google, Facebook, and Instagram. You could not even use your email in China because they made sure it is censored and well regulated.”

He added that the nation would need a technology and resources through a media policy to dominate its social media.

The minister said, “The recent #EndSARS war was fought on social media. They mobilised using social media. The war today revolves around two things. Smartphones and data and these young men don’t even watch television or listen to the radio or read newspapers.

“You will be shocked that when you start arguing with your children, they will be quoting the social media. So, we need a social media policy in Nigeria and we need to empower the various agencies and we need the technology to be able to regulate the social media.”


2024 Hajj: NAHCON reviews guidelines on accommodation, catering services



Acting Chairman, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, (NAHCON) Malam Jalal Ahmad Arabi

2024 Hajj: NAHCON reviews guidelines on accommodation, catering services

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has constituted a Committee to review guidelines on Accommodation and Catering services to enhance service delivery during the upcoming 2024 Hajj.

Acting Chairman of the Commission, Jalal Arabi, said the review would improve performance of service providers for the benefit of Nigerian pilgrims.

Arabi, who said the committee was not a new innovation, noted that it was another way to tinker with the existing mechanism in order to deliver better results.

”What we are doing now is not to introduce rocket science but just to improve on the way we are doing things.

”Like it happens in some other parts of the world, we need to be dynamic. As it is the global practice, we have to improve in our ways, to be in conformity with the international best practices” Arabi stated.

The Chairman urged the committee to approach the assignment with an open mind and a keen sense of responsibility.


According to him, the report of the committee will have great promise in influencing how the Commission will implement the 2023  accommodation and catering services in Saudi Arabia.

“As experienced staff, I have no doubt that you will carry out the assignment with utmost good faith.

”You also have the leeway to expand beyond the scope of reference, so that whatever recommendation/suggestion you proffer will enrich our knowledge as well as the betterment of the commission” Arabi added.

Responding on behalf of the committee members, Dr Aliyu Tanko, thanked the Chairman for the opportunity accorded them to serve.

Aliyu, who stated that though the task seemed daunting, still, expressed the hope and confidence in members to carry out the assignment in the best possible ways.

He said  there is an inter relationship between the assignment and the outcome of the 2024 Hajj.

Aliyu restated: ”It is a daunting task, no doubt, because whatever we do will impact on the result of the 2024 Hajj either positively or negatively. But our prayer is that our report will bear positive fruits”.

2024 Hajj: NAHCON reviews guidelines on accommodation, catering services

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Reps committee orders arrest of CBN Gov, AGF, 17 others



Accountant General of the Federation, Mrs Oluwatoyin Madein, Central Bank Governor, Olayemi Cardoso

Reps committee orders arrest of CBN Gov, AGF, 17 others

The House of Representatives Public Petition Committee has issued an arrest warrant for the Central Bank Governor, Mr Olayemi Cardoso, the Accountant General of the Federation, Mrs Oluwatoyin Madein, and 17 others for failing to appear before it to answer questions about their activities.

This came after Rep. Fred Agbedi (PDP-Bayelsa) proposed a motion at the committee hearing on Tuesday.

Moving the motion, Agbedi stated that the arrest warrant was unavoidable due to the attitude of the invitees.

He stated that the parliament operated on a timetable and that the CEOs were asked four times but did not react.

He said that the CEOs should be brought to appear before the committee by the Inspector General of Police through a warrant of arrest after due diligence by the Speaker, Rep. Tajudeen Abbas.

In his ruling, the Chairman of the committee, Rep. Michael Irom (APC-Cross River) said that the I-G should ensure the CEOs were brought before the committee on Dec. 14.

Earlier, the petitioner, Mr Fidelis Uzowanem, said that the petition was anchored on the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) report of 2021.

He said that the report was a summary of the transactions in the oil and gas industry for 2021 which NEITI could to be challenged.

“We took up the challenge to examine the report and discovered that what NEITI put together is a report is only consolidation of fraud that has been going on in the oil and gas industry.

“It dates back to 2016 because we have been following and we put up a petition to this committee to examine what has happened.


“The 2024 budget of 27.5 trillion that has been proposed can be confidently be funded from the recoverable amount that we identified in the NEITI report.

“It is basically a concealment of illegal transactions that took place in NNPCL, they have been in sync with some oil companies where some companies that did not produce crude were paid cash core, an amount paid for crude oil production,” he said.

He added: “We also found that the cash core payment was use as a channel for laundering funds by NNPCL and we found out that NEITI was able to conceal it in its report.

“In 2021 NEITI reported that Total Exploration and Production Nigeria-Ltd was paid 168 million dollars but examination of submission by the company shows that it received 292 million dollars.

“In other words, 124 million dollars was laundered by NNPCL through Total because monies that have been officially paid to Total could not have been concealed if it were not meant for fraudulent purposes.

“Also for Chevron, the dollar payment NEITI puts forward in its report was 76 million dollars but document emanating from Chevron showed that they received as much as 267 million dollars.”

“In other words, 191 million was laundered under the cover of Chevron and NEITI concealed that; also, Nigeria Agip Company received 188milliom dollars but none of it was reported by NEITI”.

Some of those to be arrested were the Chief Executive Officer, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), that of Ethiop Eastern Exploration and Production Company Ltd, as well as the CEO of the Western Africa Exploration and Production.

Reps committee orders arrest of CBN Gov, AGF, 17 others


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Senate gives NPA 48hrs ultimatum to produce unaccounted $1.8bn



Senate gives NPA 48hrs ultimatum to produce unaccounted $1.8bn

Senate Committee on Public Accounts has issued a 48 hours ultimatum to the management of the Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA to provide answers into the over $1.8billion unaccounted for, in the purse of the Authority.

It also threatened to “use all instruments available by law to bring the management of NPA to order” if it violates the ultimatum.

Chairman of the committee, Senator Ahmed Wadada Aliyu while briefing journalists on Tuesday at the National Assembly, disclosed that the NPA management has been unable to clarify on the whereabouts of $ 852, 930, 730, $ 1, 878, 509, 057 belonging to the agency.

Senator Aliyu also berated the Managing Director of the NPA over alleged refusal to appear before the panel, adding that his representative was nowhere to be found when it was time for the interface.


He said: “Nobody is above the law, or would be allowed to take the institution of the National Assembly for granted. We are the people’s parliament. We are here on the mandate of the people, and we will not take disrespect from anybody.”

The committee chairman further revealed that the management of the NPA would not furnish details on $68 million covering “outstanding estate rents, shipping bills, service boats, among others.”

Senator Aliyu added that the status of long standing debts and debtors form part of the issues that the management is expected to answer.

Others, according to him, are Lagos Channel management, Bonny Channel management, Calabar Channel management.

Meanwhile, the panel had interface with the management of the National Commission for Colleges of Education, NCCE; Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office, NMCO, and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), respectively.

Senate gives NPA 48hrs ultimatum to produce unaccounted $1.8bn

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