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Senator Barkiya insists bandits’ hideouts are known

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***As senate urges FG to send fighter jets to drive terrorists from hideouts

Apparently piqued by the unending nefarious activities of bandits and Kidnapers in Katsina State and other parts of the country, Senator Kabiru Barkiya (APCKatsina Central) on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday admitted the Government and the rest of them know where the bandits are hiding.
Senator Barkiya was contributing to a motion on urgent need for Federal Government to take drastic actions to bring to an end the act of Banditry and Kidnapping in Faskari Local Government Area in Katsina State where 38 members of the community were kidnapped on Sunday.
Barkiya in his emotion laden voice said, “I can say that enough is enough, what is happening is that we should not only continue to condemn but we must also have to do something very serious.
Directing his comments at the authorities he seemed to be telling the Federal Government to do the needful by giving a marching order to the military to bomb the bandits in their hideouts since they had already been declared as terrorists.
“We can not just sit down after declaring these bandits terrorists and then allow them to continue with all these kidnaping.
“We have to look at it critically, the security agents may be doing their best but for me they need to do another best, just look at 38 person’s, how can they just kidnap 38 persons after declaring these people as terrorists why can we just go and bomb them.
“Condemning, condemning everyday is not enough. I am saying we can not continue to condemn, ask NEMA to do one thing or the other, we have to definitely look at it and then do something more seriously. We know where they are, everybody knows where they are.”
Senator Bello Mandiya (Katsina South) who sponsored the motion in his lead debate said the act of banditry and Kidnapping have become a daily incidence now in Katsina with consequence of lost of lives, means of livelihood and displacement of communities
He indicated that last Sunday being 31st January 2022 gunmen struck in Faskari Local Government in Katsina State where 38 members of the community were kidnapped
“The federal Government has made Frantic effort in curbing the menace by setting up operation of Sharan Daji an inter agency task force to tackle cases of banditry cattle rustling and kidnapping in Katsina State .
He expressed concern that the continuous security challenges and related attacks by bandits on towns, villages and communities in Faskari Local Government Area have meted untold hardship on the people and have subjected the affected areas under serious survival threat.
“If this menace is not drastically and promptly addressed, the consequence is going to be huge on food sufficiency since the affected communities are mostly farmers.

He urge the Security Agencies to comb all known hide outs of the kidnappers in a bid to rescue the Thirty Eight (38) persons abducted by the gunmen in Ruwan Godiya

He urged the Federal Government to send enough military personnel and tighter jets to apprehend the bandits and restore normalcy in these areas,

Making his contribution to the motion senator Muhammed Adamu Aliero (Kebbi Central) said it is a national disgrace that this thing is happening on daily basis adding that something needs to be done urgently
He however asked that the security forces be encouraged or supported. “We have to ensure that every part of this country has enough security agents to take care of every place. If it is the issue of recruitment in the army we should do so.
“We have provided support to the security agents, Last year alone supplementary appropriation we approved over N865b and this year’s budget we have about N1.3trn and we are getting little in terms of the outcome.
“By now we are supposed to have a very peaceful country but unfortunately on daily bases we hear people being kidnapped, killed. Enough is enough, there is need for security agents to do whatever is humanly possible to curb this menace. It is a national disgrace and something needs to be done.”
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in his remarks said the repeated cases of kidnappings and killings makes it imperative for the military to “wake up” to protect Nigerians.
He wondered why full scale action was yet to be carried out by the military in spite of increased funding for security in the 2022 budget by the Executive and National Assembly.
He said, “The expectation of their Senate is that there is supposed to be a remarkable difference in success in terms of the fight against insurgence, banditry and militancy in Nigeria. 
“The military is getting better funding from the government and what we expect is to see an improvement in output.
“I know the resources are not enough, but recently for one and a half years, government has upscaled the level of funding for our military. 
“Secondly, when we declared the bandits as terrorists, my understanding was they are going to be dealt with ruthlessly now. I wonder whether that is the case.
“The military like some of our colleagues have said, need to wake up. We want to see a difference because we have made a difference in terms of funding.
“I know funding alone will not be enough, but funding can make a difference and we expect a difference in outcome. 
“Thirdly, we need to mobilise our citizens, because when a hundred people are kidnapped and abducted, they are not taken by aircrafts, they are taken by motor bikes, pass through the villages and possibly towns, how come do we then say that nobody has seen something?
“We need our citizens to be part and parcel of our security architecture. In fact, there’s no way we can achieve better security for this country without the participation of the citizens in the fight against Insecurity.” 
Accordingly, the Senate urged the Security Agencies to comb all known hide outs of the kidnappers in a bid to rescue the Thirty Eight (38) persons abducted by the gunmen in Ruwan Godiya.
It also called on the Federal Government to send enough military personnel and fighter jets to apprehend the bandits and restore normalcy in the affected areas

The Senate in it’s resolution urged the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, send fighter jets to flush out terrorists in their hideouts who are behind the kidnappings and killings of Nigerians.

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Security

CBN backpedals, Withdraws Circular On Cybersecurity Levy

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The circular the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued to all commercial banks on May 6, 2024, directing them to implement a compulsory withdrawal of 0.05 per cent from every electronic transaction as cybersecurity levy has been withdrawn
The directive for collection of the levy led to a nationwide uproar when the central bank introduced the policy last week.
The Presidency however, heeded the warning from various quarters, succumbed and immediately suspended the implementation of the Cybersecurity Levy.
In a withdrawal circular that was issued by the CBN on Sunday night, it directed the banks not to go ahead with the initial directive, in line with the presidential directive. The apex bank authorities claimed it’s a sign that the present administration was a listening one that prioritises public good.

“Further to this, please be advised that the above referenced circular is hereby withdrawn,” CBN director in charge of payments system, Chibuzo Efobi, and the director, financial policy and regulation, Haruna Mustapha, said in the circular, adding that all banks should “Please be guided accordingly.”

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Kogi: Police Confirm Rescue Of 7 More CUSTECH Students

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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

Nigeria Police, Kogi State Command has announced the rescue of seven more students of Confluence University of Science Secondary Technology (CUSTECH) kidnapped by hoodlums on Thursday, May 9.

Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) SP William Ovye Aya, made the announcement in a press statement on Thursday in Lokoja.

He said that feat was achieved through the intervention of Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun who ordered the deployment of the Air Component of Police Security Apparatus made up of a Helicopter Crew.

The deployment, he said was in furtherance of the ongoing Rescue Operation and to sustain the onslaught to rescue all the kidnapped students.

He said that the Air Component deployed to Kogi State on Tuesday 14th May, 2024 was made up of Helicopter Crew specially trained for Aerial Surveillance, Monitoring Team as well as Technical Intelligence Unit (TIU).

“The reinforcement is in response to IGP’s unwavering passion about protecting lives and property of all Nigerians especially the safety of our children in various schools in the country”, Aya said.

With the new development which Aya ascribed to the diligence and indomitable spirit of all the combined team, 27 students have so far been rescued from the kidnappers as a total of 20 students were earlier rescued.

“Be it noted that it is not over until it is over” so we should not rest on our Oars, instead all hands must be on deck to ensure all are safely rescued and perpetrators brought to deserved justice”, the PPRO declared.

He stated that Kogi State Government as well as the University Community were satisfied with the Rescue Operations so far.

“The State Government has commended the indubitable, unassailable level of cooperation, collaboration and synergy amongst the Security Agencies, Local Vigilantes and Hunters in the State”, he enthused.

According to Aya, the Commissioner of Police, CP Bethrand Onuoha has seized this occasion to thank and appreciate the Inspector-General of Police for the deployment of the Air Component.

The CP, he said, also commended the Security Personnel, and Vigilantes/Hunters for their “show of unprecedented and undiluted patriotism and altruism, and to the good people of Kogi State as well as the vibrant Press for their show of concern and empathy.”

“The CP will continue to solicit the cooperation, collaboration and solidarity of the good people of Confluence State with the Police and other Security Agencies.

“Together, we shall ensure adequate Security of life and property of law-abiding citizens in the State”, he assured. (Ends)

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Senate backs FG, CBN over controversial Cybersecurity levy

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***Insists, it is NASS creation to safeguard economy, country against insecurity

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Senator Shehu Umar Buba, has allay the fears being entertained by Nigerians over the proposed implementation of the Cybersecurity levy by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

While giving tacit support to the Federal Government on the levy that has created bad blood among Nigerians against the Tinubu administration Senator Buba said th levy is provided for in the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (Amendment) Act, 2024.

He clarified that the levy is not punitive as it has numerous exemptions to protect and relieve ordinary citizens, particularly the poor.

According to him, the exemptions include salary payments, intra-account transfers, loan disbursements and repayments, and other financial transactions.

Senator Buba said the amendments to the Cybercrimes Act were collaborative effort with the National Assembly’s ICT and Cyber Security Committee. Explaining further he said committee also underwent a transparent public hearing process, receiving contributions from various stakeholders.
“Both chambers of the National Assembly unanimously passed it before President Bola Ahmed Tinubu signed it into law.

Senator Umar reiterated the fact that the provisions for the cybersecurity levy have been in place since 2015 but were delayed due to unclear interpretations and applications.

“The Cybercrimes Act of 2015 has provisions for imposing a cybersecurity levy since its enactment, but the vagueness of Section 44 led to different interpretations until the 2024 amendments. The levy is 0.5%, equivalent to half a per cent of the value of all electronic transactions by businesses specified in the Second Schedule to the Act.

“The amendments addressed crucial gaps in the Act and empowered the nation to implement the National Cybersecurity Programme effectively. They also seek to realign and empower the country to combat the inadequate funding and disruptive effects of cyber threats on national security and critical economic infrastructures,” he said.

Senator Umar underscored the criticality of the cybersecurity levy’s implementation, stating that its prudent utilisation will bolster the nation’s capacity to evaluate, execute, upgrade, and fortify the security of national critical economic infrastructure, thereby safeguarding the nation’s cyberspace.

The chairman commended the Office of the National Security Adviser and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for initiating the operationalising the cybersecurity levy, highlighting its benefits far outweigh its drawbacks.

He expressed appreciation to the leaders and representatives of MDAs at the federal and state levels, as well as to all stakeholders who contributed to this effort’s success.

While maintaining that the Committee’s mandate is to create laws that align with the aspirations of Nigerians, he appealed for public support, assuring that the policy will yield maximum benefits for citizens in the shortest possible time.

Following the enactment of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (Amendment) Act 2024 and under the provision of Section 44 (2)(a) of the Act, a levy of 0.5 per cent (0.005) equivalent to half per cent of all electronic transactions value by the business specified in the Second Schedule of the Act is to be remitted to the National Cybersecurity Fund, which the Office of the National Security Adviser shall administer.

Though the announcement created controversy, the circular exempted some transactions from cybercrime levy.

The exemptions included loan disbursements and repayments, salary payments, intra-account transfers within the same bank or between different banks for the same customer, intra-bank transfers between customers of the same bank, and Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) instructions to their correspondent banks.

The exemption also applies to interbank placements, banks’ transfers to CBN and vice versa, inter-branch transfers within a bank, cheque clearing and settlements, and Letters of Credit (LCs).

Others include banks’ recapitalisation-related funding only bulk funds movement from collection accounts; savings and deposits including transactions involving long-term investments such as treasury bills, bonds; and commercial papers; government social welfare programmes transactions, e.g. pension payments; non-profit and charitable transactions including donations to registered non-profit organisations or charities; educational institutions transactions, including tuition payments and other transaction involving schools, universities, or other academic institutions.

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