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I’m not in support of the anti-social media bill – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, distanced himself from the proposed Social Media Bill currently being debated in the Senate seeking to restrict Nigerians from “criticizing” political and public office holders.

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This is just as the United Nations is considering the petition filed by rights group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), against the bill

The President speaking through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, stated that the principle of the bill was inconsistent with democratic ideals of free speech enshrined in the constitution of the land.

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He added that he had sworn to protect and uphold the dictates of the constitution and would not in anyway go against it.

President Buhari, however, stated that he was “not averse to lawful regulation, so long as that is done within the ambit of the constitution” which he swore to uphold, noting that free speech was central to democratic societies anywhere in the world.

“The President won’t assent to any legislation that may be inconsistent with the constitution of Nigeria,” he said.

He further explained that without free speech, elected representatives won’t be able to gauge public feelings and moods about governance issues.

“As a key component of democratic principles are so emotionally attached to free speech that they would defend it with all their might,” he said.

Shehu explained that President Buhari was fully aware of the public reservations about the proposed legislation but assured that there was no cause for alarm “because the Senate is a democratic Senate.

The bill, however, has passed second reading in the Senate.

UN hears petition on the bill

Meanwhile, the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Mr. David Kaye is considering the urgent appeal against the bill

In a statement, yesterday, by SERAP executive director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, the organisation said: “SERAP can confirm that the Office of the Special Rapporteur is now considering our petition. We have received communication from Marcelo Daher at the Office of the Special Rapporteur to this effect. The Special Rapporteur has also requested a copy of the bill, which SERAP has promptly sent to Marcelo Daher.

“SERAP appreciates the prompt attention to this matter by the Office of the Special Rapporteur. We urge the UN to pursue this matter to a satisfactory conclusion by ensuring that the Nigerian Senate is not allowed to strangulate media freedom and social media in the country,” the group said.

According to the group, “the only option for the Senate now is to withdraw this obnoxious bill without further delay and end this international embarrassment. SERAP will be prepared to withdraw the petition at the UN if the Senate can follow this honourable path.”

SERAP, last week, sent an urgent appeal to Mr. David Kaye requesting him to “use your good offices and position to urgently request the National Assembly of Nigeria, specifically the Senate, to withdraw a bill which if passed into law would undermine the internationally recognized right to freedom of expression and press freedom on the internet in the country.”

 

The urgent appeal

Mr Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, was copied in the urgent appeal.

In the urgent appeal, the organisation expressed serious concerns “that the National Assembly of Nigeria will any moment from now pass a bill to jail for two years and fine anybody or group of persons who send any alleged false text message or post false message on the social media against another person.

“SERAP is concerned that rather than increasing universal and inclusive access to the Internet for all Nigerians, the National Assembly of Nigeria is working to undermine access of citizens to the Internet. Yet, freedom of expression entails the ability to both speak and receive information, including through the social media and other generated content services such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and chat applications.

“By initiating this bill, the National Assembly is impermissibly restricting the ability of the citizens to use these tools to communicate, connect, and seek independent sources of information.

“SERAP also contends that the bill will restrain access to Internet and social media, curtail the freedom of the press, and online content in illegitimate, disproportionate, or otherwise unlawful and abusive ways. The real targets of the bill are social media and human rights defenders that might be critical of government policies or report on corruption involving high ranking government officials.

“International law provides that any restriction to rights online must be provided in law, pursuant to a legitimate aim, and limited to only what is necessary and proportionate. SERAP believes that the bill falls far short of international requirements of legitimacy, necessity and proportionality.

“The bill will also have chilling effect on freedom of expression in the country, as it will create an atmosphere of fear among bloggers and online activists who may not post critical commentary on Facebook or other social media platforms for fear of being sent to jail.”

 

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Sahara weekly online is published by First Sahara weekly international. contact saharaweekly@yahoo.com

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FIRSTBANK’S FIRSTADVANCE – FINANCIAL EMPOWERMENT FOR GOOD REASONS

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FIRSTBANK’S FIRSTADVANCE – FINANCIAL EMPOWERMENT FOR GOOD REASONS

Ade is a hardworking father in Lagos. Recently, fate dealt him a heavy blow when his young son, Tunde, fell scarily ill. Tunde’s illness struck suddenly, sending shockwaves through Ade’s world. As he watched his son grow weaker on a hospital bed with each passing hour, Ade felt an overwhelming sense of helplessness. The medical bills pushed to him only added to his despair, threatening to drown him. Ade found himself grappling not only with the fear of losing his beloved son but also with the burden of financial strain.

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Desperate, Ade turned to FirstAdvance, a lifeline in his time of need. With its swift and convenient loan service, Ade was able to access the funds he so desperately required to pay for Tunde’s medical bills. Amid his darkest hour, FirstAdvance offered that lifeline, the ray of light that pierced through his despair.

Slowly but surely, Tunde improved; his emaciated body grew stronger with each passing day. And as he watched his son’s health gradually return, Ade knew that FirstAdvance had not only helped save Tunde’s life but had also given him permanent hope in times of financial challenges.

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In diverse situations of need, a growing number of FirstBank account holders are finding solace in FirstAdvance, and for good reason – financial empowerment.

In the dynamic landscape of finance, digital lending has emerged as a vital tool for economic empowerment, especially in developing economies. Recognising this, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, a pioneer in financial inclusion services, has introduced FirstAdvance, a groundbreaking digital lending solution aimed at providing convenient and swift access to cash for salary earners awaiting payment of their salaries.

FirstAdvance caters to the needs of salary earners whose accounts are domiciled with FirstBank and have received regular salaries for the past two months or more. This innovative product ensures quick access to funds with maximum amounts varying based on the chosen variant. For the 30-day variant, customers can access up to 50% of their net monthly income, with a maximum limit of N1,000,000, while the 3-month variant allows for up to N2,000,000, subject to 75% of the net monthly salary.

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The process of availing FirstAdvance is seamless and can be initiated via the bank’s digital channels, either by dialing *894*11# and selecting FirstAdvance on USSD or through the user-friendly FirstMobile App. What sets FirstAdvance apart is its user-centric features such as:

Swift Processing: With FirstAdvance, obtaining a loan is as quick as a minute, ensuring timely assistance during financial emergencies.

Flexible Tenor: Customers can choose between a 30-day or 3-month repayment period, aligning with their pay cycle for added convenience.

Transparent Fees: FirstBank ensures transparency by collecting all fees, including interest rates, upfront upon loan disbursement, empowering customers with clarity and predictability in their financial transactions.

Automated Risk Acceptance: The Risk Acceptance Criteria for FirstAdvance is automated, streamlining the process and ensuring fair assessment without unnecessary delays.

Continuous Support: Beyond FirstAdvance, FirstBank extends its support to customers across all income bands with offers like Personal Loan Against Salary (PLAS), providing long-term loan solutions with convenient repayment plans of up to 60 months. The maximum amount a customer can get on PLAS is N100m.

Since its inception, FirstAdvance has witnessed remarkable success, with over 450 thousand unique customers benefiting from over 9.4 million successful transactions, totaling over 225 billion naira in disbursed loans.

Although digital lending has become ubiquitous, FirstAdvance stands out to be among the most competitive in the industry.

In an era marked by digital transformation, FirstBank remains at the forefront, leveraging technology to deepen financial inclusion and empower individuals and households across Nigeria. Whether it’s addressing immediate financial needs or providing long-term financial solutions, FirstBank continues to be a trusted partner in the journey toward economic prosperity.

For salary account holders with FirstBank seeking quick and hassle-free access to loans, FirstAdvance stands as a reliable solution. Dial *894*11# or initiate your loan request via the FirstMobile App today and transform your financial goals into reality with FirstBank.

In times like these, when inflation is eroding Nigerians’ wealth daily, there will always be an increasing need for that lifeline. FirstAdvance, powered by FirstBank, stands ready to continually meet its customers’ financial needs during that time of need, literally within one minute.

Culled from Nairametrics.

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AltClub Changes Travel Experience At Lagos Airport

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AltClub Changes Travel Experience At Lagos Airport

AltClub Changes Travel Experience At Lagos Airport

 

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Travelers at Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal 2 (MMA2) can now enjoy a new level of comfort and convenience with the launch of Altclub by The Alternative Bank.

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AltClub Changes Travel Experience At Lagos Airport

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The innovative premium space offers a luxurious retreat where passengers can relax and recharge before their flights, while also catering to their basic banking needs.

Altclub, an arm of The Alternative Bank’s digital travel financing product, Alttravel, is dedicated to enhancing travel accessibility and ease for Nigerians.

Alttravel operates a “Travel Now, Pay Later” system, eliminating the need for upfront payments and offering maximum flexibility. With zero initial deposit and impressively low mark-up rates over a flexible six-month tenor, travelers can achieve their travel goals with financial peace of mind.

Mohammed Yunusa, Director of Digital Business and Innovations at The Alternative Bank, highlighted the significance of Altclub at the launch event. “Altclub isn’t just a lounge; it’s a sanctuary of comfort and convenience,” Yunusa stated. “Gone are the days of sacrificing relaxation for travel formalities. Our lounge offers a luxurious space where travelers can unwind and rejuvenate before their flights, free from the typical travel stress.”

In addition to offering a tranquil environment for relaxation, Altclub provides a range of amenities to cater to travelers’ needs, including refreshments, high-speed Wi-Fi, and charging stations for electronic devices. Yunusa added that Concierge services are also available to assist with travel arrangements, ensuring guests have everything they need for a comfortable journey.

Joining Yunusa in addressing the guests, Korede Demola-Adeniyi, Executive Director of Sales at The Alternative Bank, elaborated on the lounge’s accessibility. ”

Altclub is exclusively available to The Alternative Bank customers, showcasing our commitment to their comfort and convenience. Present your boarding pass and proof of Altbank membership at the entrance, and our dedicated staff will ensure a seamless and enjoyable pre-flight experience.”

Korede emphasised the unique opportunity for travelers to plan their next trip directly from the lounge. “Through Alttravel, our digital travel financing product, customers can explore various destinations and book flights with flexible financing options. Altclub provides a convenient platform for travelers to access financing and make their travel aspirations a reality, reinforcing our dedication to enhancing the travel experience for our valued customers.”

Altclub is committed to offering an inclusive and welcoming environment for all travelers, whether on business or a leisure getaway.

The grand opening of Altclub on May 22, 2024, was attended by prominent figures from the travel industry and local dignitaries, highlighting the importance of this milestone in enhancing the travel experience for passengers at MMA2 Airport.

About The Alternative Bank:
The Alternative Bank commenced its journey in January 2014 with a vision to create a dynamic banking experience that respects individuality and speaks the language of its customers. In July 2023, the Central Bank of Nigeria issued a Banking License to The Alternative Bank, enabling it to operate as a fully-fledged, standalone bank. Guided by its Advisory Committee of Experts (ACE), The Alternative Bank ensures all its operations align with the ethics of Non-Interest Banking.

//Ends

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PCRC Decorates Aare Adetola Emmanuelking and Wife Yeye Aderonke as Golden Grand National Patron/Matron, Marks 40th Anniversary

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PCRC Decorates Aare Adetola Emmanuelking and Wife Yeye Aderonke as Golden Grand National Patron/Matron, Marks 40th Anniversary

The Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC) has decorated Aare Adetola Emmanuelking, Chairman/CEO of Adron Homes, and his wife, Yeye Aderonke Emmanuelking, as the Golden Grand National Patron and Grand National Matron for women and youth committees of PCRC in Nigeria and diaspora. This prestigious honor was bestowed upon them during the PCRC’s 40th anniversary celebration, held in Lagos.

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The ceremony, which took place in Lagos, was attended by National PCRC chairman, Alhaji Mogaji Ibrahim-Olaniyan and other members of the committee, dignitaries, community leaders, and members of the Nigerian Police Force. The PCRC’s decision to honor the Emmanuelkings highlights their unwavering commitment to community development and their substantial support for initiatives aimed at enhancing public safety and fostering cooperation between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

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PCRC Decorates Aare Adetola Emmanuelking and Wife Yeye Aderonke as Golden Grand National Patron/Matron, Marks 40th Anniversary

 

In his acceptance speech, Aare Adetola Emmanuelking expressed his profound gratitude for the recognition, stating, “This honor is not just for me and my wife but for every Nigerian who believes in the power of community and the importance of working together with our police force to create a safer and more harmonious society.”

In her reaction to the honor, Yeye Aderonke Emmanuelking emphasized the role of women and families in fostering community spirit and resilience. She noted, “Our communities thrive when we all play our part. As National Grand Patrons, we are committed to promoting initiatives that bring the police and the people closer together, ensuring mutual trust and cooperation.”

It will be recalled that the PCRC, established in 1984, by the then IGP, Etim Inyang has played a crucial role in bridging the gap between the Nigerian Police Force and local communities. Over the past four decades, the committee has launched numerous programs aimed at improving communication, trust, and mutual respect. This 40th-anniversary celebration not only commemorated the PCRC’s achievements but also set the stage for future endeavors to strengthen community policing.

The National PCRC chairman, Alhaji Mogaji Ibrahim-Olaniyan, praised the Emmanuelkings for their exceptional support and dedication. He remarked, “The Emmanuelkings have shown exemplary commitment to the ideals of the PCRC. Their leadership and philanthropic efforts have significantly contributed to the enhancement of community policing in Nigeria. Their new roles as National Grand Patrons will undoubtedly inspire further progress in our collective efforts to maintain peace and security.”

The chairman further stated that the decoration of Aare Adetola Emmanuelking and Yeye Aderonke Emmanuelking as National Grand Patrons stands as a testament to the power of community partnership and the enduring impact of dedicated civic leadership.

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