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UN Appoints NAPTIP’s DG Into UNODC Board 

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The United Nation’s General Assembly (UNGA), has appointed Mrs Julie Okah-Donli, the Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), to the board of trustees for United Nations Office on Drug and Crimes (UNODC).
Okah-Donli’s appointment is contained in a statement issued to newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja by Mr Vincent Adekoye, an officer in NAPTIP’s press and public relations unit.
The statement said that Okah-Donli’s appointment was announced by the UN Secretary-General alongside other eminent persons from the Philippines, Armenia, Belgium and Panama.
According to the statement, the NAPTIP DG’s appointment guaranteed her membership of the board of trustees for the United Nations Office on Drug and Crimes (UNODC).
It added that her responsibility would be to manage the funds meant for the protection of trafficking victims, especially for women and children.
It explained that all the appointees were all given the assignment of managing the UN voluntary trust fund, which pools resources from International donors for the protection and assistance to trafficking victims with full respect to their human rights.
The statement noted that the appointment was on an ad-hoc and non remunerated basis, adding that this latest one came on the heels of a similar appointment for the DG sometime in July 2019, by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
It said that Okah-Donli had also been appointed in 2019 by the UNESCO as a member of the project advisory committee on empowering young people in Africa through media and communication on irregular migrations.
UN organ’s statement said that “the general assembly established the UN voluntary trust fund for victims of trafficking, to provide humanitarian, legal and financial aid to victims of trafficking in person.
“As determined by the General Assembly, the board is composed of five experts with relevant experience in the field of trafficking in persons who are appointed on the basis of fair equitable geographical distribution.
“Also in consultation with member states and the Executive Director of UNODC.”
It listed other members on the UN assignment as, Ms Maria Susana V. Ople, Director of the Blas F. Ople Policy Centre, Philippines, Dr Victoria Avakova, Health and Anti-trafficking Project Coordinator at UMCOR-NGO, Armenia.
Others were Ms Be Inge be Vervotte, former Belgian Minister for Civil Service and Public Enterprises, Belgium, and Mr Alexis Bethancourt Yau, Panamanian Minister of Public Security, Panama.
It said the five new members would serve a three-year term and provide strategic advice to UNODC trust fund secretariat in the management of the fund.
According to the statement, since the inception of the fund 10 years ago, the UN voluntary trust fund has awarded 4.6 million US dollars as a grant to almost 90 NGO projects, directly assisting more than 3,500 victims of human trafficking per year, from around the world.
The statement added that Okah-Donli had continued to give Nigeria positive visibility across the world as champion and advocate of child protection and trafficking free world, thereby earning numerous awards and honours globally.
Meanwhile, the NAPTIP DG had described her appointment as a pleasant surprise.
“I am overwhelmed by this appointment, I want to sincerely thank President Muhammadu Buhari for his firm support to NAPTIP and the institutional policies put in place to support the agency.
“I also appreciate the support of my supervising Minister, Hajia Sadiya Umar-Farouk, and also Directors and officers of NAPTIP for their unflinching support and cooperation.
“I will surely do my best to rate Nigeria high in this global assignment,” Okah-Donli said.

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NERC: Over 1m Electricity Consumers Have Received Prepaid Meters

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Reps Ask FG To Implement Pay-per-view Model For Satellite TV

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The house of representatives has asked the federal government to implement the pay-per-view model for satellite TV subscribers, to encourage “healthy competition” in the broadcast industry.

The lower legislative chamber passed the resolution on Wednesday, following the adoption of a report on the increment of tariffs by broadcast digital satellite service providers.

This was after Unyime Idem, chairman of the ad hoc committee, moved a motion that the report be considered.

“That the house do consider the report of the ad hoc committee on non-implementation of pay–as–you–go and sudden increment of tariffs plan by broadcast digital satellite service providers,” he said.

In March 2020, the house set up the ad hoc committee to probe complaints about high tariffs by broadcast digital satellite service providers.

At the investigative hearing in June 2020, the panel specifically tackled the Digital Satellite Television (DSTV), a South Africa-based company owned by MultiChoice, for high tariffs and restricting Nigerian customers to prepaid plans.

But during plenary session on Wednesday, the lower legislative chamber said the “visible absence of competitors in the industry was tacit approval of monopoly of the industry by the present operators”.

In their resolution, the lawmakers called for “expedited action on implementing the content of the National Broadcasting Code and the Nigeria information Policy of 2014 that would trigger healthy competition in the industry”.

“The entertainment industry has a wider spectrum with limitless opportunities for the teeming youths. The visible absence of competitors in the industry was tacit approval of monopoly of the industry by the present operators,” the house said.

“Timely application of these government regulatory intervention measures already articulated will revolutionise the
industry and meet the people’s yearnings on pay-as-you-go, pay-per-view and price reduction.

“Our extant laws that moderate operations in the industry is to be fine-tuned to meet the 21st century regulatory laws of the industry that is dynamic as the entertainment industry.

“The commission that has the power to license and regulate the activities of service providers must, as well, have the power to moderate in the protection of consumers. There is little or nothing a regulator can do if he is handicapped by laws that are not properly tailored to the needs of the society.”

The lawmakers added that “uncontrollable” market forces are responsible for the hike in the tariff.

“The recent increment of VAT by 2.5% by the Financial Amendment Act of 13th January, 2020, the fluctuating
foreign exchange rate in the country that affects the cost of content, broadcast equipment, experienced hire and technical infrastructure increase, increase in bouquets for a wider choice,
inflation on the cost of production and need to maintain workforce not throwing many young men and women who are gainfully employed by pay-tv into the labour market were some
necessary indices for price hike,” they added.

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FG To Regulate, Monetise Posting Of Police Officers As Escorts, Guards

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The federal executive council (FEC) on Wednesday approved the formation of the Special Police Services to regulate and monetise posting of officers as escorts and guards.

Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, said the new unit will formalise the deployment of police officers as escorts to VIPs and as guards to big corporations.

Speaking after the FEC meeting in Abuja, he said the approval was in the interest of transparency and accountability.

He said: “The minister of police affairs also had an important scheme which was approved at federal executive council meeting.

“It is the deployment of what they call Special Police Services. And this is about a new system that will formalise what has existed with us all the time.

“You know police provide escort and guard for big corporations, banks, and so on. Now, in the interest of transparency and accountability, the government is formalising this relationship. And there will be an introduction of tariffs and billing schemes. This will be using PPP (public private partnership) arrangement.

“The police projected the use of consultant that will help them to manage this. Part of the revenue will go to federal government. Part of it will go to the police. Part of it will go into police allowances. And part will go to consultants as their own fees.

“This is something that has been going on for many years. And it has happened virtually in all countries of the world. In our own case, it has remained largely, people will say, undocumented or non-formalised. Government is concerned about leakages in revenue and incomes which should be blocked.”

Shehu also said contracts worth N754,048,161 were approved for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for capital projects.

He said: “These are mainly for the supply of communications at the command and control centre. This is to enable EFCC comply with modern day investigative techniques, improve its operational efficiency, and support the administration of criminal justice system in the country.

“So, these are basically defensive and offensive cyber-security systems.”

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