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Nigeria: Lawmakers reject bill, insist public officers’ children can study abroad

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The House of Representatives which is the lower chamber of Nigeria’s bicameral National Assembly has again rejected a bill to prohibit public officials from sending their children and wards to schools abroad without approval of Minister of Education. The bill was sponsored by Sergius Ogun, a member of the main opposition in the country – People’s Democratic Party (PDP) representing Esan North-East federal constituency of Edo. Ogun had introduced a similar bill in the 8th Assembly, but the lawmakers rejected the bill.Mr Ogun argued that the bill will help to address the fallen standard in Nigerian public schools.“This bill is proposed against the background of fallen standards in our educational system and the need to bring the sector up to speed with global best standards.”“Unfortunately, as a result of the inability of the government to provide quality education in its public educational institutions, Nigerians have resorted to private schools and foreign schools for their education,” he said.Some members of the house argued that not all public officers control public funds and should not be prevented from giving their children the best education that they can afford.Nicholas Ossai from Delta State said the bill violates the individual rights of Nigerians. He requested that the bill should be withdrawn. “This bill when passed into law will engender the actualization of the provisions of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, to which Nigeria is a party”.The rejected bill also proposed that the Minister of Education shall conduct investigation to verify the authenticity of the documents submitted for approval. It also provides a fine of N1 million or three years’ imprisonment for breach of the law.The bill also highlights that “a public officer shall not send his ward or children oversea for studies without declaration of interest subject to approval.”“A public officer declaring interest in sending his ward or child abroad for further studies shall submit the following documents for consideration:Meanwhile, Lecturers in Nigerian universities under the umbrella of The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on 15, February commenced a four-week strike over failure of the Nigeria government to meet an agreement that dates back to 2009.

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Somaliland electoral body, SLNEC, postpones presidential election. Here’s why

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Somaliland has postponed its presidential elections to next year from its initial scheduled date in November.

The region’s electoral body, Somaliland National Electoral Commission (SLNEC) made the revelation on Saturday.

The poll will now be held in nine months from October – or next July – because the currently scheduled date of Nov. 13 “is not viable due to time, technical and financial constraints,” SLNEC tweeted on Saturday.

 

There were deadly protests in the region in August with demonstrators demanding elections be held in November when President Abdi’s term will end.

The protest came out amid suspicions President Muse Bihi Abdi wanted to delay the poll and extend his term.

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Chad pushes for Africa’s permanent seat at UN’s Security Council

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Chad, a country in Central Africa is pushing for a representation of the continent in the United Nations Security Council as a permanent member.

Chad’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Awatif El Tidjani Ahmed Koiboro, on Friday said Africa’s inclusion into the Security Council would “correct a historic injustice” and help countries in the G5 Sahel.

“On the reform of the Security Council, the body responsible for peace and international security, Chad once again urges member states to move from rhetoric to action in order to achieve the said reform and correct the historic injustice towards the African continent, which excludes it from full and equal participation in this body.” She said.

“Regarding the internal situation of the G5 Sahel, which recorded the departure of the sister Republic of Mali, we regret this withdrawal,” said Mss Koiboro.

“Because Mali is a founding member of this organization. It has its place by our side.

“We will not be able to defeat terrorism, stabilize and develop the Sahel, without a common fight and pooling of resources.

“We hope that our Malian brothers will reconsider their decision and rejoin our common organization. The door of the G5 Sahel is always wide open to welcome them.

The push for a permanent seat at the UNSC has lasted for some time, countries like South Africa and specifically Nigeria have already demanded two permanent seats be allocated on the UN Security Council to Africa. How soon will the seat come?

The Security Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. It has 15 Members, and each Member has one vote. Under the Charter of the United Nations, all Member States are obligated to comply with Council decisions.

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