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NLC urges U. S. govt., allies to end economic sanctions against Cuba

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By Gistflash News

Aug 12, 2021

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged the U. S. Government and its allies to immediately end all economic sanctions and blockade against Cuba.

The NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba, said this on Thursday in Abuja in a statement entitled,”Give the Cubans a Break: Enough is Enough”.

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Wabba, who is also the President, International Trade Union Congress (ITUC) said the removal of the economic sanction was imperative to end the anti-government protest in Cuba and the pro-government counter rallies across the cities of Cuba in the past few weeks.

According to him, these rare protests and counter protest in Cuba are linked to the impact of the novel corona virus disease (COVID-19) in Cuba.

”Most hospitals in Cuba have run out of essential supplies. Many stores and supermarkets in Havana and other cities in Cuba have also run out of basic goods.

”The result is widespread lack, fear, panic, frustration and desperation among the general population. This is regrettable but quite avoidable.

”The horrendous landfall of COVID-19 in Cuba flew on the wings of six decades of economic blockade against the Cuban nation and its people by the government of the United States of America and her allies,”he said.

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He said it would be recalled that after the revolution that ushered in the Socialist government in Cuba in 1958, the U.S. government through laws passed by the United States Congress stifled the economy of Cuba.

He noted that in the 1990s, the government of the U.S. expanded the economic sanctions against the people of Cuba by introducing the Torricely Law and the Helms Burton law.

Wabba said these laws introduced an extraterritorial character to the economic blockade against Cuba by coercing other countries to refrain from doing business with Cuba.

He said that for nearly 60 years, the Cuban people had stoically shown resilience and have resisted the economic blockade against their country.

”Cuba despite the sanctions have made great progress in education and healthcare innovation and services. Successive Cuban governments have managed to maintain a reasonable level of public services.

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”But there is so much that a people can achieve amidst a debilitating blockade. COVID-19 which has brought many nations not experiencing prolonged economic sanctions to their knees has hit Cuba very hard.

”The will of a section of the Cuban people is currently broken, that is the intention of the sanctions.This is unfortunate.

”The most prominent tissue in the muscle of democracy is liberty and freedom to choose. Once freedom to choose is removed from the edifice of democracy, all that is left is a pile of sand.

”Cubans have a right to self-determination and choice of a political culture that will advance their social and economic aspirations. No nation can and should impose their own will on the Cubans,”he said.

According to him, the beauty of democracy is the availability of alternatives.

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He said that the Cuban people have chosen their alternative. Cubans have chosen their political path and it should should be respected.

Wabba however called on the U. S. and its allies to immediately rescind and remove all the economic sanctions and blockade against the people of Cuba.

He noted that these were the root of the current serious deterioration of living conditions in Cuba.

”Clearly, there is no morally defensible reason for the United States of America to sustain the six decades punishment against Cuba.

”It is gratifying that most Cubans continue to show faith in their government and in the political system they believe works for them.

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”The least the U. S. and its allies can do is to allow Cubans to decide their own fate. The people of Cuba certainly need a break from the cruel sanctions. Enough is enough,” he said.

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CBN Sells Polaris Bank To SCIL

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CBN Sells Polaris Bank To SCIL
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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced the completion of the sale of shares in Polaris Bank to Strategic Capital Investment Limited (SCIL), a new core investor.

In a statement signed by its Director, Corporate Communications Department, Osita Nwanisobi, the CBN said that SCIL has paid an upfront consideration of N50 billion to acquire 100% of the equity of Polaris Bank and has accepted the terms of the agreement,  including the full repayment of the sum of N1.305 trillion,  being the value of the bonds, which as part of its intervention, in 2018, to revoke the licence of the former Skye Bank Plc. and establish Polaris Bank to assume its assets and certain liabilities,  the banking industry regulator injected into Polaris through the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and is to be repaid over a 25-year period.

The statement reads: “The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) are pleased to announce the completion of a Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) for the acquisition of 100% of the equity in Polaris Bank by Strategic Capital Investment Limited (‘SCIL’).

“Polaris has been operating as a bridge bank since 2018 when the Central Bank of Nigeria intervened to revoke the licence of the former Skye Bank Plc. and established Polaris Bank to assume its assets and certain liabilities. As part of the CBN intervention, consideration bonds with a face value of N898 billion (future value of N1.305 trillion) was injected into the bridge bank through AMCON, to be repaid over a 25-year period.

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“These actions were taken to prevent the imminent collapse of the bank, enable its stabilisation and recovery, protect depositors’ fund, prevent job losses and preserve systemic financial stability. SCIL has paid an upfront consideration of N50 billion to acquire 100% of the equity of Polaris Bank and has accepted the terms of the agreement which include the full repayment of the sum of N1.305 trillion, being the consideration bonds injected.

“The CBN thus received an immediate return for the value it has created in Polaris Bank during the stabilisation period, as well as ensuring that all funds originally provided to support the intervention are recovered. The sale was coordinated by a Divestment Committee comprising representatives of the CBN and AMCON, and advised by legal and financial consultants. The Committee conducted a sale process by ‘private treaty’, as provided in Section 34(5) of the AMCON Act to avoid negative speculations, retain value and preserve financial system stability.

“In the process, parties who had formally expressed an interest in acquiring Polaris Bank, subsequent to the CBN intervention in 2018, were invited to submit financial and technical proposals. Invitations to submit proposals were sent to 25 pre-qualified interested parties, out of which three parties eventually submitted final purchase proposals following technical evaluation. All submissions were subject to a rigorous transaction process from which SCIL emerged as the preferred bidder having presented the most comprehensive technical/financial purchase proposal as well as the highest rated growth plans for Polaris Bank.”

The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, was quoted in the statement as saying that: “This sale marks the completion of a landmark intervention in a strategic institution in the Nigerian banking sector by the CBN and AMCON. We commend the outgoing board and management for their vital role since the bridge bank was established; in stabilising the Bank’s operations, its balance sheet and implementing strong governance structures to address the issues that led to the intervention.

“This process has provided the CBN with an unprecedented opportunity to recover its intervention funds in full and promote financial stability and inclusive growth. We wish SCIL well as they implement growth plans to build the bank from the strong foundations that have been established.”

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Media Intelligence agency Marks Six years of Operation in Nigeria

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Media Intelligence agency Marks Six years of Operation in Nigeria.
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Media Intelligence agency Marks Six years of Operation in Nigeria.

P+ Measurement Services, Nigeria’s foremost Independent Public Relations measurement and evaluation agency, celebrates its sixth year of effective operation with qualitative offerings for its numerous clients, as it rebrands with a new business logo, website, and office to deepen penetration.

The leading company has in the past six years engendered the needed growth for its clients, and the rebranding is part of efforts aimed at sustaining its leading position in the sector, having worked with over 47 brands and 17 Public Relations agencies in Africa’s largest economy.

The logo with new colors depicts the innovation and creativity of the brand, as also shown on its new website with the agency service rate, to enable brands and agencies to make faster decisions in budgeting.

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As the only AMEC Member in Nigeria, P+ has strong partnerships with the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) and Reelforge Media Monitoring, the biggest media monitoring agency in the East African region, covering more than five countries.

Speaking on the company’s new development, the Chief Insights Officer, Philip Odiakose, said P+ is strongly positioned to effectively deliver on its offerings, with state-of-the-art structure, process and highly skilled media analysts in an exceptional and value-driven business model in line with global best practices.

“Our Measurement and Evaluation report is in-depth, robust, and flexible to accommodate valid metrics that brands desire to see reflected in their customized reports, and also based on the AMEC Standard in accordance with the Barcelona Principle 3.0. We deploy the P+MCA (media content analysis) methodology for media evaluation and analysis based on qualitative and quantitative metrics in analyzing media exposure,” Odiakose affirmed.

He said the new office would serve as a hub in the country and the West Africa sub-region, where the company will provide media monitoring, measurement, evaluation, and performance audit services for brands, media agencies, government  agencies and NGOs.

Also as part of its efficient services, the measurement and evaluation company introduced “Get-Reports,” a novel product that allows the purchase of PR performance audit reports in key sectors.

The “Get-Reports” product spans across different industries which includes the 22 Commercial Nigerian Banks PR Performance Audit Report, Top Nigerian Insurance PR Performance Audit Report, Top Nigerian Digital Banks PR Performance Audit Report, and Top Online Streaming Services PR Performance Audit Report.

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It’s not too late for NASS to revisit e-transmission of election results – SAN

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By Gistflash News

Sept 26, 2021

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mallam Yusuf Ali, says it is not to late for members of the  National Assembly to revisit the issue of  electronic transmission of election results to ensure credibility.
Ali, who made the remarks while speaking in an interview with newsmen on Sunday in Osogbo, said the more credible elections were, the less litigations they will attract.
The  News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports  that the Nigerian Senate had on July 16, passed the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021, after division among its members on the electronic transmission of results.

The clause 52(2) of the bill gives the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the discretion to determine when, where and how voting and transmission of results will be done.

The Senate had ruled out the possibility of having results transmitted electronically when it voted that the NCC, with the National Assembly’s approval, would determine whether INEC could transmit results electronically or not.

Similarly, the House of Representatives, on July 16, passed the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, maintaining the controversial Clause 52(2) as presented amidst protests, especially by members of the minority caucus.

After the passage of the bill, the Speaker, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, criticised the proposed electronic transmission of election results, saying it was not feasible in the country for now.

According to Ali, since INEC had assured that it had the capacity to transmit election ressults electronically, it should be allowed to do so.
“For me, it is not too late for the National Assembly to revisit the matter, since the INEC said it has the capacity to transmit election results electronically.
“The legislature should do that which will assist in ensuring credible elections,” he said.
Ali also urged politicians to desist from “do-or-die” politics, adding that the electoral system was too moneytised.
“One major problem with our politicians is this do-or-die politics and the moneytisation of the political process.
“That is why we see so many litigations in the political process. It is all because people see political offices as an avenue to run away from poverty and not for service.
“I have said it before, if you are given an assignment for two or four years and you do it diligently, you will not want a renewal, you will just want to go home,” he said.
NAN

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