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Cross River schools slammed for collecting illegal fees from schoolchildren

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Ben Ayade

Governor Ben Ayade’s Cross River government and parents have slammed public schools in Calabar for forcing schoolchildren to pay illegal fees.

According to the state government, education in public primary schools is free.

Reacting to complaints by parents that schoolchildren were sent home for not paying some fees, Castro Ezama, Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, said such payments were illegal.

The public schools had lamented the state government’s inability to provide chalks, and other necessities forced them to collect fees.

This was in spite state government’s declaration that primary education in public schools was free and compulsory.

“The headteachers may tell you that they collect these monies and send them to zonal heads and also for the provision of some necessities like registers and diaries. These things are provided by the government on demand,” disclosed Mr Ezama. “Parents leave their kids in schools and go to work and their businesses, and you are sending them back home to go and do what?”

He added, “We cannot be sending children home from schools when we are still struggling to reduce the number of out-of-school children in the state occasioned by communal clashes.”

Emmanuel Okon, a parent, disclosed that public schools in Calabar charged different extra fees.

Another parent, Joseph Bassey, stated, “My son attends State Housing Primary School, Calabar, and on the day of enrolment, I asked the administrator why they collect school fees when it is free.’’

(NAN)

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CBN reduces charges on electronic transactions

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Godwin Emefiele2

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced a downward review of charges for electronic banking transactions in its revised guidelines to charges by banks, other financial institutions and non-bank financial institutions.

A circular by Chibuzor Efobi, for the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, stated that the review was in response to “further evolution in the financial industry in the last few years.”

The apex bank stated that the new guide included review of other bank charges to align with market developments.

It stated that it also comprised inclusion of new sections on accountability/responsibility and a sanction regime to directly address instances of excess unapproved, (arbitrary) charges.

It added that the revised guidelines took effect from January 1.

The CBN has the mandate to issue the guide to bank charges. The guide provides a basis for the application of charges on various products and services offered by banks and other regulated institutions under the purview of the apex bank.

The guide was first released in 2004 and revised in 2013 and 2017 due to market developments such as new innovations in products and channels, as well as new industry participants.

(NAN)

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Kwara assembly passes N189.4 billion 2022 budget

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The Kwara House of Assembly on Thursday passed the state’s 2022 Appropriation bill of N189.4 billion. 

The appropriation bill was passed after the House considered and adopted the report of House Committee on Finance and Appropriation during Tuesday’s plenary.

The report, which was presented by the Chairman of the Committee, lbrahim Ambali (APC, Owode-Onire), enjoyed the support of all members at the plenary

Some lawmakers in their contributions described the budget as ambitious and urged the executive to ensure swift implementation.

The appropriation bill was later read for the third time by the Clerk of House, Haleemah Kperogi, prior to its passage.

In his remark, the Speaker, Yakubu Danlaadi, reaffirmed the determination of the House towards effective lawmaking in the state.

“With today’s passage of the 2022 Kwara budget, the capital expenditure is 56 per cent of the total budget size, while the remaining 44 per cent is for Recurrent Expenditure,” the Speaker said.

Mr Danlaadi promised that the House would intensify on its oversight function’s to ensure proper implementation of the budget.

The speaker applauded Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq for making provision for consequential adjustments of N39,000 minimum wage from grade level seven to seventeen in this year’s budge.

Mr Danlaadi later directed the Clerk of the House, Ms Kperogi, to prepare a clean copy of the Bill for Governor’s assent.

(NAN)

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Man to sweep Bauchi stadium for three months for embezzlement

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The Chief Magistrate Court 4 sitting in Bauchi on Thursday sentenced 40-year-old Abraham Owen to punishment of sweeping the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium for three months. 

Mr Owen was found guilty of misappropriating N145,000 belonging to the Alfijir Wisdom Academy, Bauchi, where he served from 2017 to 2019 as the school headmaster.

The plaintiff, Fatima Shuaibu of the Kafin Tafawa Bayara filed the suit on June 2, 2020 against Mr Owen on a three-count charge of cheating, breach of trust and misappropriation.

The presiding judge, Sadiya Salihu, said after discreet investigations the accused person was found guilty of the offense and ordered him to pay N130,000 and N20,000 as compensation to the plaintiff. 

The trial judge said the judgment was based on sections 305 and 78 of  the penal code law of Bauchi state. 

The court averred that the non-custodial sentence was to enable the defendant to raise the said amount since he had been disengaged from the school’s employment and had lost his means of livelihood. 

The court ordered that the daily labour be carried out under the supervision of a non custodial officer, who should report back to the court on March 22, 2022.

(NAN)

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