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Paradigm Initiative Unhappy with Alleged Government’s Attempts to Clampdown on Online Newspapers

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By peter

Paradigm Initiative has expressed displeasure over alleged Federal Government’s secret attempts to block the domain names of several identified websites accused of threatening national security in Nigeria.

These attempts are an unacceptable violation of constitutionally and globally guaranteed rights of expression and information.

According to a report published in the Nigerian Tribune, the Federal Government is alleged to be currently carrying out this operation through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), ostensibly hiding behind Section 146 of the NCC Act 2003.

The section, which provides generally on the duties of a network licensee to assist the Commission in preserving national security and preventing the commission of a crime, must not be used by the Federal Government to intimidate online news providers and infringe on their rights.

According to Adeboye Adegoke, Paradigm Initiative’s Program Manager Magoyi (ICT Policy), “Section 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria expressly provides that every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including the freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference. Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides similarly that everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice”

While commenting on the development, Paradigm Initiative’s Director of Programs, Tope Ogundipe says that “whatever process is underway by the influence of the NCC and the NSA would result in a violation of the Constitution and should, therefore, be halted. The Federal Government should desist from covert acts as such and should instead release a list of such sites purportedly threatening national security and follow the due course of the law in handling this matter transparently.”

Mrs Ogundipe further states that in an already declining society which pays minimal regard to the freedom of expression and press freedom, a dangerous precedent would be set if the NCC goes ahead with this plan to restrict access to certain websites in the Nigerian Cyberspace.

While speaking further on the development, Program Manager, Magoyi (ICT Policy), Adeboye Adegoke said that, “The right to receive information and the right to give information is expressly codified in legal instruments recognized in Nigeria and so it would be sheer defiance by the NCC to attempt to make a derogation in such a manner”

Paradigm Initiative has noted the denial of this censorship plan by the Minister of Communications, Alhaji Adebayo Shittu, stating that he was not aware of any plan by the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) to gag online newspapers.

The Honourable Minister should go a step further to investigate this claim and make a commitment to press freedom and unhindered internet freedom. On its part, Paradigm Initiative will continue to monitor the development and will deploy every legitimate advocacy tools to get to the root of it in ensuring that fundamentally guaranteed rights of citizens are safeguarded.

Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University.

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Lagos to Benefit from £38m UK Mobile Development Programme

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Lagos State Government is to benefit from the United Kingdom’s thirty-eight million pounds extended programme on mobile for development in Nigeria, owing to its socio-economic and political significance as the commercial nerve centre of the country and sixth largest economy in Africa.

This was disclosed on Tuesday by the United Kingdom’s Minister of State for Africa at the Foreign Commonwealth Office who also doubles as Minister of State for Department for International Development, Harriett Baldwin during a courtesy visit on the Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos.

According to the Minister, the Mobile for development programme was to enable a lot of people access financial services through their mobile phones and buy things like solar system for their homes and businesses.

She added that owing to the significant impact of the programme on the people, the UK government was extending the programme to further affect positively the lives of other twenty-seven million people around the world, including many in Lagos, noting that the programme was exactly designed to absolutely impact the grassroots.

In addition, she said, the programme would enable women in the market to use the financial services by investing in solar fridges, solar freezers and something that would really help them in their homes in areas where they did not have access to reliable electricity.

According to her, it would also help everyone with the ambition to ensure that they were able buy health insurance and mobile financial services in the future, emphasizing that Lagos was very often at the cutting edge of some of this investment in technology which was why the UK Government was basing its science and technology centre in Lagos.

Describing Lagos as amazing and vibrant city, Baldwin noted that the UK government was willing to learn from some of the state’s innovation and share some of theirs.

Responding, the Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat assured the United kingdom team that Lagos State Government was set to collaborate with their government in any area that would be of immense benefit to the good people of the state.

While emphasizing that the programme was an extension, Hamzat stated that the state government would embark on sensitizing her citizens to understand the benefits of the programme and take advantage of it.

He added: “With the population advantage of Lagos, any developmental programme embarked upon would be of great benefits to the residents by empowering them. This would also be of imminence benefits to every Nigerian and foreigners based in the state.”

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Benin Industrial Park Secures $250m Investment

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Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo says an investor, Anchor Tenant, has committed about 250 million dollars to the development of Benin Enterprise and Industrial Park project.

Obaseki made this known when a World Bank Team led by Gloria Joseph-Raji, paid him courtesy visit on Tuesday in Benin.

He said that his administration had continued to make considerable progress on the Benin Enterprise and Industrial Park project. Obaseki said that the plan was to commence construction at the site before the end of the year.

“We have made considerable progress on our industrial park as we touched on an anchor tenant who has committed close to 250 million dollars for their operation.

“This has been confirmed. As I speak, we have two others from China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and we are working closely to get a commitment from them,” he said.

Obaseki said his administration was focussed on building conducive business environment to scale up investment and create more job opportunities in the state.

The governor said that the state government was concentrating on key elements to improve ease-of-doing-business in the state by improving land reforms, law and order, streamlining the state revenue service and human capital development.

He said: “We have received support from the Universal Basic Education Fund to build a digital laboratory at the College of Education in Abudu, and we will work with you to build human capacity.

“The law for restructuring the College of Education is before the parliament and will be considered soon.

“Procurement for laboratory equipment for the Government Science and Technical College (GSTC) has been completed and will be ready for use by the last quarter of the year.

“We have identified three other technical colleges in Isi, Irrua and Igarra for similar projects.”

Joseph-Raji said the visit was planned as a follow-up to the earlier one by the Team in January 2019. Leader of the World Bank delegation said: “Our overall objective is to support your government to boost jobs creation for youths in the state.

“We settled on supporting your administration to build a conducive environment for the private sector to thrive.

“The private sector creates the jobs, but government ensures an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.”

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Vice-Chancellor tasks students to imbibe patience, fear of God in their Future endeavours

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L-R Rep. of the Chairman, CKA Board of Trustees, Dr. Mrs Joke Coker; Guest speaker, Vice Chancellor, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Prof. Olatunji Olatunde; Head of School, Ms. Abiola Lamikanra, at the City of Knowledge Academy Graduation Ceremony, held recently in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State
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Professor Ganiyu Olatunde, Vice Chancellor of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State has charged the graduating students of the City of Knowledge Academy (CKA), Ijebu Ode, also in Ogun State to imbibe patience and the fear of God in their future endeavours. He made the call at the 6th Honours’ Day Ceremony of the school, held on 11 July, 2019.

 

In his remarks, the university don, who was the guest speaker at the event, advised the out-going students of the school, to build their leadership potentials by being creative, innovative, actionable, accountable and maintaining self-discipline, attributes that, according to him, would enable them achieve success in their chosen careers.

 

“As you prepare to face the challenges on your journey to greatness, I greatly implore you to exhibit patience, be prayerful and have the fear God in all your dealings,” Professor Olatunde advised the graduating students of the school.

 

Earlier in her address, the Head of School, Ms. Abiola Lamikanra informed the audience that the Honours’ Day Ceremony is aimed at showcasing the best of the City of Knowledge Academy (CKA) as well as celebrating the students who have distinguished themselves during the outgoing school year.

 

According to her: “Today we celebrate not just the Year 12 students who leave the school, but also the students who have excelled in various areas of school life. Today we showcase the best of CKA, founded on the three ethical pillars of Culture, Character and Confidence.”

 

She extolled the Class of 2019 saying, “judging by their results in a couple of external examinations and all the activities they have engaged in over the years, I am assured that they are all confident in their interactions with their juniors, peers, adults and the public and I am emboldened to say that their character will stand the test of time.”

 

Lamikanra said one of the students of the school, Zainab Lawal, who took the IGCSE examinations passed with 3A*s, 4As, 1 B & 1C, and also scored 293 in the Joint Matriculation Examinations, organized by JAMB.

 

The high points of the day were the presentation of awards and certificates to deserving students who excelled in the various academic and extra-curricular activities of the school in the last academic session. Among the honorees are Zainab Lawal, the Valedictorian of the Class of 2019 and the out-going Head Girl who bagged the Best Graduating Student award with a GPA of 4.2 and has also been offered admission by two colleges in the USA.

 

Others are Sidikat Olajuwon who bagged nine awards including the Best Student in Her Year, Best Behaved Student in the School, Best in Science, Best in Physics and Best in Art awards. Also, Omasirichi Tasie-Amadi, a 13-year-old Year 9 student, went home with the prize of the year as the best overall student with a cumulative grade point of 4.3. She was also named, the best student in the Languages Department and is known for her prowess in playing the clarinet.

 

Established in 2013, City of Knowledge Academy (CKA) is a co-educational secondary institution aimed at providing excellent academic and leadership training for young minds. The institution is an outstanding boost to the nation’s quest for academic excellence, providing invaluable opportunities in a safe and secure environment for the holistic development of the child.

 

The ever vibrant and robust School Orchestra thrilled and entertained the audience made of   guests, parents and the friends of the School and earned the admiration of the Guest Speaker who extended an invitation to the group to perform at a University function in the coming school year.  The CKA Dance group thoroughly entertained the audience with a Zulu dance to cap it all!

 

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