From 31 July to 3 August 2022, the DPD RI secretariat led by DPR RI Secretary General, Mr. Dr. Rahman Hadi, undertook a comparative study visit to the Parliament of South Africa in Cape Town. Members of the delegation consisted of Dr. Mesranian, M.Dev.Plg, Chief of the Second Trial Office; Hartawan, S.IP, Chief of the Finance Office; Mahyu Darma, SH, MH, Head of the Office of Protocol and Media; Nurul Husna, S.Si and Rehan Febri Herdamanu, ST, DPD Secretariat.The DPD RI Secretariat Benchmarking Visit to the South African Parliament was to (1) ascertain the mechanism and administration of the South African Parliamentary Secretariat to support the functions of the local members of the DPD (National Council of Provinces); (2) know the trial mechanism in the South African parliament; (3) know the pattern of financial responsibility of each DPD member.The issues discussed at the DPD RI delegation meeting with the South African parliament secretariat were: 1.1 The South African Parliament building suffered a fire accident in early January 2022.The Parliament building has not been renovated to date.Members of parliament use part of the space in the secretariat of parliament for daily tasks.Along with the current conditions of the pandemic, the role of the secretariat in dealing with South African parliamentarians and administrative tasks was affected.1.2 The members of the South African DPD are 90 people who come from nine provinces in South Africa.Each province consists of 10 members of the DPD (National Council of Provinces).The minister (assistant to the president) also remains a member of parliament.1.3 The House of Parliament consists of a combination of 400 members of parliament (National Assembly) and 90 members of the DPD (National Council of Provinces).1.4 The South African Parliamentary Secretariat is a joint secretariat intended to support the work of the members of the DPR (National Assembly) and the members of the DPD (National Council of Provinces).Unlike in Indonesia, the members of the parliamentary secretariat in South Africa are not state officials.1.5 All trials are open to the public, except for intelligence and broadcast via social media platforms.The public can also attend the trial in person by first submitting an online form.The activities went well.The Secretary General of DPD RI expressed his appreciation for the acceptance of the South African parliamentary secretariat and invited them to come to Indonesia.The delegation received comprehensive data and information related to the functions and duties of the South African Parliamentary Secretariat to support the work and functions of the members of the DPD.The delegation exchanged information and deepened material with the secretariat of the South African parliament and visited the South African parliament on the last day.
Senegalese President Macky Sall’s coalition lost its absolute majority in parliament but finished first by a narrow margin in parliamentary polls, official results showed Thursday.
His coalition won 82 seats of the National Assembly’s 165, while the opposition alliance nabbed 80 in total in the election on Sunday, the national commission in charge of counting votes said.
Three other seats were won by three small coalitions, that could serve as kingmakers.
It is the first time since the historically stable West African country’s independence in 1960 that the ruling party’s camp has lost its absolute majority and will have to rely on other forces in parliament to pass legislation.
In the previous legislative election in 2017, the president’s coalition, which includes his party Alliance for the Republic (APR) and other parties, won 125 seats.
Opposition parties had already begun gaining momentum in municipal elections in January, when they won major cities including the capital Dakar, Ziguinchor in the south and Thies in the west.
For Sunday’s vote, the main opposition coalition, Yewwi Askan Wi (which means “Liberate the People” in Wolof), formed an alliance with the Wallu Senegal (“Save Senegal”) coalition, led by former president Abdoulaye Wade.They won 56 and 24 seats, respectively.
Yewwi Askan Wi’s highest-profile member, Ousmane Sonko, came third in the 2019 presidential election.
He was prevented from running in Sunday’s vote over a technicality.
The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has said that it recorded over N60 billion decline in revenue available for its operations.
The Executive Secretary of the Fund, Mr Sonny Echono, said this on Thursday in Abuja.
This was when members of the House of Representatives Committee on Tertiary Education and Services, led by Rep. Aminu Suleiman, paid an oversight visit to the fund’s office.
Echono, while speaking on the operations of the Fund and the state of finances, especially from 2017 to date, said 2021 collection was what the fund used to operate in 2022. “We witness a steady rise in collections under the education tax but unfortunately for the 2021 there was a sharp drop and that left us in a very dare position.
“For example, from N154 billion in 2017, the tax collection rose steadily to N257 billion over the years.
“So by 2020, we’ve got N257 billion; but unfortunately, 2021 collection, which is what we use to operate this year, dropped sharply to N189 billion.
“So over N60 billion drop revenue or resources available to TETfund, and the way we operate, 2021 collections are used for 2022 operations,” he said.
Echono said that given the president’s commitment on increased funding for education with the support of the National Assembly, the tax rate for 2021 was increased from two per cent to 2.5 per cent.
He expressed optimism that before the end of the administration it would increase to three per cents, as a commitment the President gave the global community via the Global Partnership for Education.
Echono further commended the level of support and cooperation the fund had enjoyed from the committee and the National Assembly, while seeking its support in effecting the amendment of the fund’s Act. “This is a major area that we will be seeking the support of the National Assembly in terms of legislation.
“The other aspect is the fact that in this oversight, we also want to open our activities more to independent assessment and evaluation on our behalf.
“So, we have designed a monitoring and evaluation.
“That will be involving key stakeholders, like the National Assembly, even the staff unions in our tertiary institutions, to join us to independently look at some of the things that we are doing,” he said.
Responding, Rep. Suleiman assured the fund of its continued support and cooperation to ensure that the system continued to work stronger.
“We congratulate you and we assure you of our support, without prejudice to the fact that sometimes we can agree to disagree.
“I have no doubt that our relationship will continue here.
The essence is for us to better the system.
” Suleiman said the visit was a legislative requirement on any legislature through various committees that a minimum of an oversight must be conducted and the periodic report submitted to the house.
He directed TETFund to mandate state institutions benefiting from its interventions to submit reports of their operations within three weeks.
“For about four or five months we have written to the fund asking it to invite the attention of state institutions that are benefiting from the Tetfund operations.
“They are to send to the committee their statements of operations as they relate to what they have been getting from TETFund. “We do not know whether it is TETfund that has not communicated to the institutions or they have not followed up on all, or the institutions felt that as state institutions and they are not responsible to us.
“If they don’t, you should stop funding them because they cannot collect public fund and refuse to account for it: impossible, they have to account,” he said.
Mr Princewill Okorie, National Coordinator, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Electricity Consumers Protection Advocacy Group, has called on the National Assembly (NASS) to include electricity consumers’ right in bill.
He made the call in Abuja on Thursday at the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) version of the FCT Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Electricity Consumers Protection Advocacy programme.
Okorie, who is also the National President, Association for Public Policy Analysis (APPA), appealed to NASS to include electricity consumer’s right in the new Electricity Bill it is about to pass.
“I call on the National Assembly that is about to approve a new Electricity Bill, 2022, to look into the matter seriously because it bothers on economic and safety of Nigerians.
“It will be contradictory for us to prosecute, try and punish those who individually steal from other citizens and use bureaucracy or law to protect corporate organisations,” he said.
According to him, the overall objective of the national MSME electricity consumer protection advocacy programme is to intervene through advocacy and capacity building programmes for business membership organisations.
“It is with a view to exposing them to the provisions of consumer protection component of Electric Power Sector Reform Act, 2005,” he said.
Okorie said that in order to address the issue of electricity consumers’ right, the theme of the event “Developing Grassroots Based Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) through Electricity Consumer Protection Education” was selected.
He said in order to resolve the issues properly, relevant stakeholders made presentations on various topics.
He said that in addition, a book titled: “Basic challenges of Safety and Quality Standards in Electricity sector’’ was published.
On his part, Mr Oluwale Fasanya, Director-General of Small, Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), said that the theme of the programme was apt as it involved MSME at the grassroots.
Fasanya, represented by Mrs Mary Kolawole, Manager, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) SMEDAN, said that the programme was an opportunity for electricity consumers to be aware of their rights and obligations.
In her Keynote Address, Mrs Janet Odo, Assistant Director, Consumer Education, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), said that the commission recognised the valuable role played by the MSME in nation’s economy.
Odo said that the MSMEs were number one driver of the economy by providing jobs to many and had also been the source of livelihood to many households.
She said that the commission also recognised the challenges of power supply faced by FCT residents, especially its impact on micro, small and medium enterprises.
“Not only is the supply inadequate, but also many are groaning under the burden of excessive billing or tariff.
“Being aware that every penny inputted into the business affects overall turnover, the commission is working hard to ensure that the consumer gets value for every electricity product paid for.
“But the question remains “how can one accurately measure consumption to know whether it is under payment or over payment of ?
’’ “This is where consumer education comes in,” he added.
The National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA), says it will continue to give small businesses (start-up) in the Lagos ecosystem the needed support to boost the nation’s economy.
A statement by the agency’s Director, Public Affairs, Hajia Hadizar Uma, on Thursday in Lagos quoted Mr Kashifu Inuwa, the agency’s Director-General as given the pledge at a meeting with stakeholders in the ecosystem.
The meeting included officials from Microsoft, MasterCard, Norebase, among others.
Inuwa noted that this was important in view of the fact that Lagos State had maintain itself as a viable community with the strongest unicorn of innovation in the nation.
He said that the meeting was one of the ways to engender trust between the government and the ecosystem.
“We cannot succeed in isolation; we need each other to succeed.
Innovation is not distributed evenly across the world.
Innovation and digital economy is about humans.
“A company is as good as its next product and its products are as good as the person or people who make them.
This underscores the relevance of talents.
“If you do not have the requisite skills and talents, then it is no deal,” he said.
He shared his thoughts on different issues bordering on investments, partnerships, commercialisation of innovations, enabling policies and acquisition of relevant skills as well as trainings.
He said that the ICT sector was dynamic and everyone must move with its pace so as not to play catch ups or get left far behind.
According to him, we must disrupt the way we do things and bring to bear professionalism and innovations that will solve indigenous problems and have global impact.
Inuwa said NITDA, under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, would address most of the issues deliberated during the meeting.
He said that on the Start-up Bill, most of the concerns raised would soon be rested, given the recent passage of the Bill for assent by the National Assembly.
Inuwa said that the meeting was part of NITDA’s stride towards making Nigeria a talent hub for Africa and possibly the digital world.
The East African Standby Force (EASF) announces the deployment of its Election Observation Mission (EOM) for the general elections in the Republic of Kenya.
His Excellency Ambassador Claude Morel has been appointed Head of Mission.
The East African Standby Force Election Observation Mission (EASF-EOM) will be based in Nairobi and the mission will comprise twenty observers from ten countries in the eastern region, including Seychelles.
General elections in Kenya will be held on August 9, where Kenyan voters will elect the president and vice president, county governors and running mates, members of the Senate, representatives of the National Assembly and members of the County Assemblies.
Voting will take place at an estimated 46,232 polling stations across the country.
The EOM-EASF assessment will be based on the relevant provisions of the 2012 AU African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, other relevant international instruments on election observation, as well as the national legal framework governing elections in Kenya.
EASF asks all candidates and political leaders to maintain respect and tolerance throughout the electoral process, to respect human rights and the divergence of opinions.
The Head of Mission, Ambassador Morel, is expected to meet with relevant stakeholders involved in the electoral process in Kenya.
The EASF was the only observation mission deployed during the Seychelles general elections in 2020.
A preliminary report on the evaluation and conduct of the elections is expected to be published on 10 August 2022.
Leaders of some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have lauded the Federal Government for appointing Dr Salisu Dahiru as pioneer Director-General of the National Council on Climate Change.
The CSOs, in a statement made available to journalists on Wednesday, also expressed their delight that the Federal Government considered their calls for the implementation of the Climate Change Act. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that in recent weeks the campaigners were persistent in their demands.
The CSOs leaders and participants at a virtual workshop in July, had expressed the need for the federal government to establish the National Council on Climate Change.
Their call was made in order to boost implementation of the Nigeria Climate Change Act, which was signed into law in November 2021 by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Amid calls by youth groups for the commencement of the law’s implementation, the workshop was followed by the submission of a petition signed by 64 groups to relevant government agencies.
The campaigners, who urged government to immediately implement the climate law, also expressed their dismay over the delay by the government in implementing the core provisions of the Act. However, government took a major decision to signpost the beginning of the implementation of the Climate Change Act with the appointment of Dr. Salisu Dahiru as pioneer Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of the National Council on Climate Change.
Consequently, Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke, the President of the Society for Planet and Prosperity (SPP), said he was delighted that the government has listened to the message sent by leaders of Nigerian CSOs and NGOs to urgently implement the Climate Change Act. Okereke is also the Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Development (CCCD) at Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Abakaliki, Ebonyi.
Okereke led the Technical Committee set up by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, to review the bill.
Also Nnaemeka Oruh, National Coordinator, Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE), Nigeria, lauded what he called coordinated campaign by stakeholders on the matter.
“I would say that the coordinated campaigns by civil society, the media, youth advocates, the international community especially the British High Commission, and of course by the National Assembly especially Rep. Sam Onuigbo, played a critical role in this.
“This is a win for Nigeria and an important step” he said.
Dr Mina Ogbanga of the Centre for Development Support Initiatives (CEDSI Nigeria), described the development as `a strong step in the right direction’.
Ogbanga acknowledged the step as one that would cascade our climate change ambitions unto actualisation.
She said that “the strategic advocacy of civil societies contributed in no small way to the government taking this step.
“As an organisation, we have continuously called for the implementation of the Climate Change Act as part of Nigeria’s contribution to safeguarding its citizens against the harsh realities of climate change impact.
“It is our hope that the composition of the National Council will meet all best practice standards to accomplish this very strategic step,” she said.
Abdulhamid Hamid, the Chief Executive Officer, Global Environmental and Climate Conservation Initiative (GECCI), said that the call for the government to implement the Climate Change Act “was very effective”.
He said: “We now know that the government is taking it seriously.
Therefore, with this good development on the appointed DG of the Council, we are still expecting for its urgent implementation.
“The Climate Change Act also includes provisions for members of the public and private sectors, as well as civil society, women, youth, and people with disabilities.
“It empowers the Council with significant powers to coordinate national climate actions, administer the newly established Climate Change Fund, mobilise resources to support climate actions, and collaborate with the Nigerian Sovereign Green Bond in meeting Nigeria’s NDC.
“The Climate Change Fund is envisioned as a financing mechanism for prioritised climate actions and interventions.
“The promotion and adoption of nature-based solutions to reduce GHG emissions and mitigate climate change is encouraged.
“The terms of the agency’s being given funds to start implementing work, and all those involved in the act should be called to be included in the implementation work that will begin as the law provides.
” Similarly, David Terungwa, Founder and Executive Director of the Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEP), said that the delay in the implementation of the Act was uncalled for.
He said: “While we commend the appointment of the Director General, it is important to state that the long delay in the implementation of the Climate Change Act was not necessary.
“Considering its importance it took a push and campaigns by civil society organisations and other stakeholders before the appointment of the Director General.
“Now that we officially have less than seven years to act to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius (1.5°C), as agreed in the 2015 Paris Agreement, urgent action is required more than ever before to deal with the increasing risks of climate change across the globe.
President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Climate Change Bill into law in November 2021. The Act reaffirms the federal government’s aim to cut current emissions by 50 per cent by 2050 and achieve net zero emissions as early as possible in the second half of the century (net zero target for 2050 to 2070).
S. Senate votes to approve Sweden, Finland joining NATO U.
S. Senate votes to approve Sweden, Finland joining NATO NATO, Aug. 4, 2022 The U.
S. Senate voted overwhelmingly to approve the accession of Sweden and Finland to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) on Wednesday, with the resolution gaining the support of 95 senators.
The single dissenting vote came from Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, who argued that there should be less focus on security in Europe and much more on the threat from China.
S. President Joe Biden has strongly backed the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO, and referred the matter to the senate for consideration in July. The vote in Washington followed a vote in France’s National Assembly earlier on Wednesday, in which 209 deputies voted in favour of Swedish and Finnish membership, while 46 voted against.
The senate, the second chamber of the French parliament, voted to approve the accession a fortnight ago.
Sweden and Finland applied to join the Western defence alliance in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Until now, the two countries have been close partners, but not members, of NATO.
Before the accession protocols can enter into force, they must be ratified by all 30 NATO member states, two-thirds of which have already given their approval for the new members.
Chief Adebayo Adelabu, a former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has emerged as the governorship candidate of Accord party in Oyo State.
Adelabu emerged the party’s candidate on Wednesday at an affirmation congress of the party held at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium in Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that this development put to rest the speculations over Adelabu’s next political move after defecting to the party from the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Adelabu emerged the candidate of the party after Mr Ayodele Oyajide withdrew his candidature as the party’s governorship flagbearer.
NAN reports that the event was attended by the party’s national executives led by its Chairman, Alhaji Mohammed Nalado and a delegation of INEC led by the State Administrative Secretary, Mr Biodun Amosu.
The event was also attended by the party’s National Assembly candidates, Rep. Shina Peller (Oyo North); Kolapo Kola-Daisi (Oyo South); Nurudeen Faozey(Oyo Central); Mr Ayodeji Abass-Aleshinloye and Chief Rotimi Ajanaku.
In his remarks, Nalado, urged members of the party to embrace peace and support all the party’s candidates in the 2023 general election.
While handing over the party’s flag to Adelabu, he said that the party was ready to provide the desired alternative in governance.
Also, Prince Kolade Ojo, the State Chairman of the party, urged the people of the state to remain calm, assuring them that the state would experience the best of governance under Adelabu.
Ojo advised the party members to continue mobilising support for the victory of all the party’s candidates in the 2023 general election.
Commenting, Adelabu said that they were prepared to teach the people what democracy and good governance entails.
He called on the people of the state to support him and other candidates of Accord party, promising to take the state to the desired heights.
Adelabu said that victory was sure for all the party’s candidate in 2023, urging members to embark on house-to-house and door-to-door mobilisation.
Peller said that the Accord remained the party to beat in the 2023 general election, adding that they were prepared for victory.
The Naira on Tuesday depreciated against the dollar at the Investors and Exporters window, exchanging at N430.67. The figure represented a decrease of 0.42 per cent compared with the N428.88 it exchanged for the dollar on Monday.
The open indicative rate closed at N427.75 to the dollar on Tuesday.
An exchange rate of N444 to the dollar was the highest rate recorded within the day’s trading before it settled at N430.67 The Naira sold for as low as N415 to the dollar within the day’s trading.
A total of 158.68 million dollars was traded in foreign exchange at the official Investors and Exporters’ window on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, some financial experts have described as ‘worrisome’ the unwholesome depreciation of the nation’s currency.
The experts who expressed their concern in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, urged the Federal Government to save the local currency by addressing the rising inflation and other causative factors.
The experts said that the persistent fall experienced by the nation’s currency due to the rising inflation had reduced its purchasing power and made people to lose confidence in the domestic currency.
Uche Uwaleke, a Professor of Capital Market, urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to deal with the inflation challenge driven largely by cost-push factors.
Uwaleke urged the apex bank to ensure increased power supply through decentralisation and encouraging mini and off-grids solutions.
“Ensuring availability of petroleum products by decentralising refining, encouraging modular refineries and privatising government refineries.
This will reduce the huge foreign exchange that is spent on fuel imports,” he said.
Uwaleke also enjoined the apex bank to scale up its development finance interventions in agriculture and MSMEs after a thorough evaluation of existing ones in order to boost non-oil exports.
He urged the CBN to work with other stakeholders such as the Nigeria Ports Authority and customs, among others to accelerate the implementation of the RT $200 billion programme.
He said: “Given that the surge in demand is largely speculative, the CBN can quickly restore confidence and allay fears by increasing the level of interventions in the foreign exchange market in view of the relatively huge external reserves (about $40 billion) at its disposal.
” He enjoined the National Assembly to make a law that would prohibit public office holders from sending their abroad for education in order to conserve foreign exchange.
Also, Sheriffdeen Tella, a Professor of Economics at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun, said to salvage the local currency, “we have to stop payment for imports till we are sure of what we are paying for.
“Nobody should be allowed to pay for local items in foreign currencies like paying local footballers in dollars for winning local leagues,” Tella said.
Ndubisi Nwokoma, Director, Centre for Economic Policy Analysis and Research (CEPAR), stressed the need to minimise political interference in the allocation of foreign exchange and deal directly with the end-users to address the free fall of the Naira.
Nwokoma said that government must address the issue of oil theft by ensuring that all oil export proceeds were remitted to the CBN.
He also stressed the need to stimulate non-oil exports and discourage use of dollars in electioneering.