The Management of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) said on Thursday that its registration portal would remain open in spite of the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic until new entrants complete their admission procedures.
A statement issued on Thursday by Mr Ibrahim Sheme, Director of Media and Publicity, NOUN, stated that the university’s portal remained open contrary to reports in the social media that it had been shut.
Sheme said the negative reports peddled by some “idle minds” had hampered efforts by students and candidates to complete their registration.
“The portal of the university remains open; however, management wishes to indicate that students and candidates seeking admission will definitely encounter a hitch in the second leg of registration process which has nothing to do with the university portal.
“There are two steps in completing registration at NOUN. The first is the one on the university portal and the second is the one at the study centre of one’s choice.
“Whilst the first can be successfully done from any location, a student or candidate for admission is required to go to his or her chosen study centre to complete the registration.
“Understandably, it has become impossible to finish one’s registration in the second and final leg due to the ongoing lockdown occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic.
“However, students should take note that if one has not been able to complete one’s registration in this semester, he or she can do so in the next semester.
“This shows that we are flexible, unlike the conventional universities.
The university management urged NOUN students to strictly adhere to the stay-at-home order and other safety protocols in order to curtail the spread of the virus and also stay alive to continue with their educational pursuits after lockdown.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
Deregistration: INEC asks court to dismiss 31 political parties’ application
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday, prayed a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to strike out the prayers of deregistered 31 political parties, saying “their application is frivolous.”
Counsel to INEC, Alhassan Umar, SAN, told Justice Anwuli Chikere at the hearing of the substantive suit challenging the deregistration of political parties.
However, in a motion on notice with suit number: FHC//ABJ/ CS/444/19 between Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD) and 32 others Vs. Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and INEC (1st and 2nd respondents respectively) the applicants approached the court for restraining order.
Although 33 political parties filed the matter in court, two of the parties; Labour Party (LP) and African Democratic Congress (ADC) were later dropped from the suit because the parties were not deregistered by INEC.
At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, Chinedu Obienu announced his appearance for the party seeking to be joined in the suit.
“We have a motion on notice dated and filed on March 4, praying for the order of this honourable court joining the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN) as a plaintiff which was purportedly deregistered on the 6th day of February, 2020, by the 2nd defendant.
“The prayers of the plaintiffs are the same with the prayers of the applicant and we do this so that there will be no multiplicity of suit.
“We have a 34-paragraph affidavit and 10 exhibits. We have filed a written address for this motion and we urge this court to grant this application in the interest of justice to join others against the 2nd defendant,” he said.
The lawyer told the court that the plaintiffs and the defendant had been served with their motion.
When Edun told the court of his intention to take his application on order of interim injunction granted by the court on Feb. 17, restraining INEC from deregistering the parties pending the determination of the matter, Justice Chikere turned down the request, saying: “We are going to substantive suit today.”
According to Edun, the order was to undo what the 2nd defendant has done.
The judge said though she understood the argument of the lawyer, “I cannot treat interlocutory injunction and substantive suit together. Let us go to the substantive suit and address the matter.”
Chikere stated further that part of her ruling on Feb. 17 was to take the substantive suit.
“My Lord, there are five issues for determination and we are asking for seven reliefs as it appears on the amended originating summon.
“My Lord, we also have a 45-paragraph affidavit in support and we adopt the written address attached,” he said.
According to him, we are not saying that the 2nd defendant (INEC) has no power to deregister; our contention is that this power has not accrued.
He said the political parties had not breached the sections of the law that allowed for the deregistration of a party after all governorship, chairmanship and counsellorship elections must have been heard.
On his part, Umar said INEC filed a counter affidavit to the amended originating summons.
The lawyer, who described the further affidavit and written address of the plaintiffs as “incompetent,” told the court to discountenance the applications.
He said by virtue of Order 13 Rule 50 of the court which gave them 14 days to respond to a counter affidavit, he urged the court to discountenance the application.
“Your learned brother, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, has settled this issues in a very recent decision,” he said.
He said that Justice Taiwo overruled the NUP in its argument that the power of the electoral umpire to deregister them was not exercisable.
He said that there was no provision in the constitution for INEC to communicate its intention to any political party that did not meet the requirements.
“My Lord, their applications are frivolous and lack merit. They have no material at all.
“We urge this honourable court to dismiss the application. It is a distraction to the electoral process,” Umar remarked.
“Once your own is granted, ours too should be granted,” he stated.
The affected parties are Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD) Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP) All Blending Party (ABP) All Grand Alliance Party (AGAP) Better Nigeria Progressive Party (BNPP) Democratic People’s Congress (DPC) Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) and Green Party of Nigeria (GPN) among others.
Kwara Govt tasks association on essence of registration
The Kwara Government has advised development unions and associations to register themselves with relevant authorities to enable such groups have legitimacy.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government Affairs, Alhaji AbdulRasak Alabere, gave the advice on Tuesday in Ilorin.
The scribe spoke while receiving officials and members of the Amule Lele Development Association who visited to felicitate with him over his appointment.
He spe ifically tasked them to get registered with the ministry’s Chieftaincy Affairs Community Development.
Alabere said if they register they would be able to carry out activities beneficial to the people of the state and beyond.
The permanent secretary thanked them for the visit and presentation of gift, promising to continue to identify with them in their activities.
Earlier, the Chairman of the association, Alhaji Yinusa Saka, said the courtesy call was to congratulate him over his appointment and pray for his successful tenure.
The chairman expressed gratitude to Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for appointing their son.
Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)
COVID-19: NIS extends suspension of passport processing , migrants e-registration
The Comptroller General, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mr Muhammad Babandede, has ordered the extension of the temporary suspension of processing of passport and migrant e-registration from the 23rd April to 23rd May.
Babandede gave the order in a statement by the Service Public Relations Officer (SPEO), Mr Sunday James, on Thursday in Abuja.
He said that the order came in pursuance of the government’s directives on restrictions on international flight and closure of land borders.
“The measures adopted by the Government to restrict movement and curb the spread of COVID-19 is still enforced.
“This order is in view of the Federal Government further extension in order to give the situation the deserved attention and approach, considering the successes achieved and the need to drastically reduce the spread.
“Meanwhile, the Service is taking advantage of this period to process all pending passport cases and the public will be duly informed when they are ready for collection at the expiration of the restriction order,” Babandede said.
The Comptroller General said the Service regrets any inconvenience caused the general public.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Felix Ajide (NAN)
Immigration suspends e-registration, passport issuance in Jigawa
The Jigawa Command of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), has suspended the migrants e-registration and issuance of passport as part of measures to curb spread of Coronavirus in the state.
Mr Isma’il Abba, the NIS Comptroller in the state, made this known while fielding questions from newsmen in Dutse on Monday.
Abba said with the current outbreak and spread of COVID-19, people were directed to restrict their movements, avoid crowd and observe social distance in order not contract the disease.
“Migrants e-registration and passport issuance were all suspended in the state as a result of the coronavirus.
“And for this and the directive by the government for people to stay at home, that means if the NIS will continue to register the migrants and issue passport, there will definitely be crowd.
“So that was why we temporarily suspended service pending further directives by the government,” Abba said.
He explained that the command was doing its best to ensure enforcement of various social restriction orders in collaboration with other security agencies as directed by both federal and state governments in an effort to curtail the spread of the disease.
The comptroller further urged residents in the state to continue to be law-abiding and vigilant.
Nigeria News Agency , reports the Jigawa government had on the March 27, closed its borders with neighboring states of Bauchi, Kano, Katsina and Yobe as part of measures to curtail the spread of the disease.
Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Ekemini Ladejobi
COVID-19: SEC suspends capital market operators registration
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has suspended the registration of prospective capital market operators till further notice.
The commission also introduced electronic filing and processing of applications by Capital Market Operators (CMOs) in response to the effect of COVID-19.
A statement by Mrs Efe Ebelo, the Head, Corporate Communications of SEC, in Abuja on Tuesday, said the interim market-focused adjustments would mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on capital market operations.
Ebelo said the commission had also extended its deadline on 2019 annual reports and Q1 2020 reports as well as postponed the Q1 Capital Market Committee meeting earlier scheduled for April 23.
”SEC in furtherance of its role as the apex regulator of the Nigerian capital market has issued an advisory that would mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on capital market operations.
”It is important to note that the foregoing guidelines are not exhaustive.
”It represents an outline of immediate actions the commission considers necessary to sustain the actualisation of its regulatory mandate and maintain the integrity of the Nigerian capital market during this challenging period.
”Accordingly, the commission will continue to issue updates to market stakeholders as appropriate.
”The commission will also continue to closely coordinate with other financial regulators and government authorities,” she said.
Ebelo said that the commission advised public companies to take appropriate precautionary measures as recommended by the Federal and State Governments and the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to ensure the safety of shareholders.
She noted that the commission enjoined all capital market stakeholders to adhere to all recent directives on safety and social distancing.
Ebelo said the commission would therefore focus on ensuring that the continuity of its operations; monitoring market functions and systemic risks; providing regulatory flexibility, guidance to issuers and relevant enforcement actions.
Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Ekemini Ladejobi
Immigration suspends passport processing, migrant e-registration
Immigration suspends passport processing, migrant e-registration: The Nigeria Immigration Service has suspended the processing of passport and migrant e-Registration across its offices.
This was due to the current outbreak and spread of COVID-19, which has became a global issue that deserves urgent attention and approach.
The Comptroller General of Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, disclosed this in a statement by Mr Sunday James, the Service Public Relations Officer, on Monday in Abuja.
“The service has accordingly directed for the temporary suspension of processing of passport and Migrant e-Registration effective 23rd March – 23rd April, 2020 in line with government’s directives on Restrictions on International Flight.”
Babandede said that the Service would use the period to process all pending passport cases, adding that the public would be informed when they are ready for collection.
He added that the Service regrets any inconvenience caused the public within this period and assured Nigerians of its continued service delivery.
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz
Afreximbank annual meeting 2020 opens for registration
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) says registration for the 2020 Afreximbank Annual Meeting (AAM) is open to stakeholders.
Banking industry professionals, trade and trade finance practitioners, and other parties involved in economic development from across Africa and beyond are expected to register their participation.
This is contained in a statement issued on Wednesday by the spokesman of Afreximbank, Mr Amadou Sall, and made available to the Nigeria News Agency in Abuja.
It said the conference would hold in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
Sall said the forum themed “Youth, Trade and Development”, would feature a host of high-level speakers in plenaries and side events from June 10 to 13 at the Sharm El Sheikh International Congress Center.
“Business, political leaders and have been ranked among the most important gatherings of economic decision-makers in Africa.”
Prof. Benedict Oramah, the President of Afreximbank, said recognition of critical role that Africa’s evolving demographics would play in the coming decades, AAM2020 would also focus on the theme.
“We will assess the challenges and opportunities presented by Africa as the world’s youngest continent and home to 90 per cent of the global youth market, with 19 of the world’s 20 youngest countries.
“We will explore how Africa can create dividends from this potential huge advantage, how we should educate our young, develop the most relevant training programmes for them, and what Africa should be doing right now,” he said.
NAN recalls that the Afreximbank’s last Annual Meeting took place in Moscow in June 2019.
Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola
Bill to make birth, death registrations free passes 2nd reading in Reps
A Bill for an Act to amend the Births and Deaths Act, to eliminate requirement for payment of fees for registration of births and deaths in Nigeria has passed second reading at the House of Representatives.
The bill which was sponsored by Rep.
Sergius Ogun and Rep. Ademorin Kuye also seeks to
review upwards fine prescribed for violating provisions of the Act.
Leading the debate on Wednesday, Ogun said that bill had 11 clauses and that the objectives included removal of limitations on birth registration and to encourage citizens to register births of their children and that of dead persons.
The Rep said when passed into law, the bill will enable the National Population Commission to keep accurate data with regards to the nation’s population.
“It will give effect to the provisions of section 15 of the Act which provides that
the registrar shall upon registering a birth deliver to the informant,
free of charge, a certificate of birth
provided that no such certificate shall be issued in case of a stillborn birth,” he sai
Contributing to the debate, Kuye said that the bill, when passed will make it mandatory for parents, Pastors and Imams to register any child before naming ceremony was done.
The lawmaker said that there would be penalties for any one found violating the law to serve as deterrent to others.
Kuye said that the bill would help the country to have a better understanding of its population based on gender to make for more effective planning.
In his ruling, the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila referred the bill to the Committee on Population for further legislative action.
Edited By: Ali Baba-Inuwa
NECO to sanction schools charging above N9,850 for registration
The National Examinations Council (NECO), has vowed to sanction schools charging above the government-approved fee of N9,850 as registration fee for the 2020 Senior School Certificate Examination.
Dr Abubakar Gana, Acting Registrar, NECO, said this on Wednesday when the House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education and Services paid an oversight visit to the Council’s liaison office in Abuja.
The committee had earlier made the observation that some schools were charging between N19,000 and N20,000 as registration fee for the examination.
Gana He said that the exam body had written to commissioners of education of the 36 states and the FCT, notifying them of the extortion going on in their schools against the directive of the Federal Government.
The NECO boss added that the exam body would continue to play an active role in ensuring that candidates were not defrauded while pursuing their education.
He said the council would engage members of the committee to monitor its examination and report any infraction to guide the council on appropriate actions to be taken.
“Not quite a month, we wrote to all the commissioners of education, highlighting that some schools, both public and private, are overcharging candidates.
“While the NECO fee itself is N9, 850, some are even charging N20, 000 in the name of administrative charges.
“Most of these schools are miracle centres, and what they do there is that they perpetrate malpractice.
“Candidates who are lazy and do not have confidence can go to the extent of paying N50, 000 to register so they can have their way.
“We are on it. You too have a very critical role to play.
“We will make sure that in all our activities, we would make you part of the monitoring team so you can see what is happening and at your own convenience, write a report to us,” he said.
Gana also appealed to the National Assembly for a review of NECO’s budget, lamenting that the exam body had not embarked on any capital project for the past three years.
He said apart from conducting examination, NECO was finding it difficult to execute any project due to low allocation to the agency.
He said in 2018, it was budgeted that the council would purchase 18 Hilux pickups, but only N7 million was released for that purpose; and which was not even sufficient to purchase one.
In his response, Prof Julius Ihovbere, Chairman, House Committee on Basic Education and Services, said the committee had a lot of confidence in NECO and those managing the agency.
Ihovbere said feedback from his constituency suggested that NECO was doing exceptionally well.
“We believe you are playing a very great role; the only way to better appreciate it is to imagine a Nigeria without NECO,” he said.
According to him, the limitations NECO faces is not from the inability of the council to deliver, but it is because of the challenges confronting the exam body.
He expressed confidence that both the Senate and the House of Representatives, would approve a review of NECO’s budget to enable it execute its mandate effectively.
Edited By: Nyisom Fiyigon Dore
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