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Oct 17, 2018

Nigerian Senate Takes Action On Illicit and Excessive Bank Charges

Today, 17th October, 2018, the Nigerian Senate passed a resolution calling on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to suspend the excessive ATM card maintenance charges being deducted from customers. This resolution came as part of a motion on the illicit and excessive bank charges on customers accounts, sponsored by Senator Olugbenga Ashafa (Lagos East, APC).

The Senate also called on commercial banks operating in the country to configure their machines to dispense up to N40,000 per withdrawal pending the outcome of the investigation by the Senate committees tasked with investigating the excessive and illicit bank charges.

Speaking on the Motion, the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki said: "This is a motion that affects the lives of every Nigerian — irrespective of what part of the country you come from or whatever political affiliation you might have. This is why we are here: to always defend and protect the interests of the Nigerian people."

The Senate President stated that the Senate must work to ensure that the Senate's resolutions on the excessive bank charges goes beyond the debate stage, so that whatever action the Upper Legislative Chamber takes, would come into effect.

"This Senate has done this many times before; when there was a hike in the mobile telecommunication data charges, we intervened and put an end to that. When there were discrepancies and increases in electricity prices, we also took action. We have done this on a number of similar cases. Therefore, on this, I want us to take effective resolutions," Saraki said.

Other Senators who contributed to the debate, called on banks to review their charges.

"The common man is also a victim," said Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, "Banks declare profits and you wonder where these profits are coming from — it's from the sweat of the common man. Let us come up with a law that puts banks on their toes."

"It won't be out of place to institute a committee that will call on the CBN to tell us what these charges are about. The Senate by fiat should abolish charges if they can't be verified," said Senator Bala Ibn Na'Allah.

"The Senate must take a serious stand on this issue. Nigerians are really suffering. The banking system is not encouraging. I had an issue, took it to the bank and was refunded but how many Nigerians can do this? The issue needs to be addressed," stated Senator Kabiru Gaya.

"For me, this is a major step that we are taking. This is because I introduced the first ATM machine that came into Nigeria over 25-years ago," the Senate President, Dr. Saraki told his colleagues, "Now, after 25-years, we should have grown out of these excessive charges and moved on. So, I believe that this something that we must address to create an environment that protects all Nigerians, because these kind of charges in this economy affects everyone."

The Senate further directed its Committees on Banking, Insurance & other Financial Institutions and Finance to conduct an investigation into the propriety of ATM card maintenance charges in comparison with international best practices and report back to the Senate.

The Senate also directed the aforementioned committees to invited the Governor of the CBN to appear before it to explain why the official charges as approved by the CBN are skewed in favour of the banking institutions as against the ordinary customers of the banks.

Finally, the Senate called on the Consumer Protection Council to look into the various complaints of excess and unnecessary charges by Nigerian Banks.

Oct 16, 2018

Bill Tracker: National Student Financial Aid Scheme Bill

If you are a Nigerian undergraduate studying in Nigeria or abroad, you might have at some point wondered why government scholarships and bursaries to students in tertiary institutions have all but dried up. Well, there is a reason why.

Upon assuming office, the Buhari-led administration pulled funding for many government scholarships and bursaries leaving many students distraught and unable to complete their studies. In 2017, the President of The Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, on the sidelines of the 137th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, met with Nigerian students in Russia to hear first-hand the plight of those whose scholarship funding had dried up. Most of them felt abandoned by Nigerian authorities and had become stranded; barely able to make ends meet.

Speaking with them, Dr Saraki noted that the feeling of abandonment must be quickly dissipated by working urgently to alleviate the difficulties faced by these students. According to him "we must look for ways to reestablish the pipelines and remove the bottlenecks, so that our students who went abroad with the promise and assurance of scholarship funding, will get their stipends as at when due" .

Back here in Nigeria, parents and guardians find that they cannot rely on government awarding scholarships or bursaries to students of public tertiary institutions as a means of supporting the education of their wards. It has become critical to come up with solutions to the problems of financial aid being faced by Nigerian students both locally and internationally.

It was in response to this that Senator Isah Misau (Bauchi Central) sponsored the Student Financial Aid Scheme Bill. The Bill seeks to provide for the granting of loans to eligible students at higher institutions and repeal the provisions of the Nigerian Education Bank Act 2004.

The Student Financial Aid Scheme Bill went for the first reading in the National Assembly on the 20th of October, 2015 and second reading on the 15th of November, 2017. Lending support to the bill, Senator Sam Egwu (Ebonyi South) recalled that he benefited from scholarship in the old Anambra state and that the scheme would help indigent students studying in higher institutions.

The function of the bill shall be to:

- Develop criteria and conditions for the granting of loans and bursaries to eligible students in consultation with the Minister of education.

 - Raise funds in  accordance to section 13 (1) of the bill.

  - Recover loans
    - Maintain and analyze a database and undertake research for the better utilization of financial resources
- Advise the Minister on matters relating to student financial aid
- Perform other functions assigned to it by this Act or by the Minister.

The power of the scheme includes the power to:

 -  Promote and control staff as may appear to the scheme necessary and expedient
- Dismiss, terminate, consider the resignation or withdrawal of appointment and exercise disciplinary control over the staff of the scheme, other than the Director-General.

The Student Financial Aid Scheme Bill shall maintain a fund which will consist of:

 - Money appropriated by the National Assembly
- Foreign aid and assistance from bilateral and multilateral governments and agencies;
- Interests repaid or repayable by borrowers
- Any other assets that may from time to time accrue to the scheme.

The Bill as of now has been referred to the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND.


Duty Of Police Is Not To Recover Debts

In the case of A.C (O.A.O) Nig Ltd V. Umanah (2013) 4 NWLR (Pt 1344) Page 323 the Court of Appeal held that:

"The statutory duties of the police under the Police Act is to maintain peace, law and order in the society. Debt collection or loan recovery is not within the purview of the statutory duties and powers of the police".

Learn and Share

Happy World Food Day

Millions of Nigerians are currently facing food shortages and many more cannot afford to feed their families adequately. 

As we all celebrate World Food Day, lets remember to be a blessing to others. 

#worldfoodday #worldfood

Oct 15, 2018

Constitutional Requirements For Aspiring To The Office Of The Nigerian President

This article was first published on 17/10/2014; however due to the Constitutional Amendment signed by President Buhari on the #Nottoyoungtorunbill, it is necessary that we amend the post to reflect the necessary reforms.

General elections in Nigeria are fast approaching, political parties, candidates, party thugs agents, INEC and the whole country is immensely interested in how events at the elections will play out.

Oct 14, 2018

Legality Of Buhari's Travel Ban On Nigerian Citizens

Over the course of the past week, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari approved travelling restriction on no fewer than 50 high profile persons directly affected in investigations by security agencies in the country. By this, the persons cannot travel out of Nigeria pending the determination of their cases. Furthermore, the presidency states that the measure is part of the implementation of Executive Order Number 6, which seeks to ensure “that all assets within a minimum value of N50 million or equivalent, subject to investigation or litigation are protected from dissipation by employing all available lawful means, pending the final determination of any corruption-related matter.” The Presidency seeks to support this directive with the recent decision of the Federal High Court which supports the powers of the president to make the Executive Order in the first place. You may view the provisions of Executive Order, No. 6, here.

Oct 12, 2018

We Must Consider The Importance Of Legislative Bills Not Assented To By The President

Over the course of the past 4 (four) years, the 8th Nigerian Senate has outperformed all others before it. Having passed over 200 bills and counting, it is safe to say members of the incoming 9th Assembly will have their work cut out for them and big shoes to fill. 

Have an amazing weekend filled with love and laughter from everyone at Legalnaija 

Oct 11, 2018

IP ABC—Use of a popular Ankara pattern in a design. Are we liable for copyright infringement? | Infusion Lawyers

Question - 
I am Bode Balogun, a creative artist and CEO of Bright Prints Media, a new startup that specializes in 2D & 3D arts and textile prints in Osun State.

Two months ago, I was contracted by Segun Saka, a staunch supporter of a governorship aspirant in the state to design and make materials for the purpose of boosting the aspirant’s electoral campaign. According to Mr Saka, this design would be a customized Ankara with blue, green, and yellow colour themes, having the portrait of the aspirant in black and white, with a stripe around the circle bearing the party motto above the portrait and the candidate’s name below it. This design is a popular concept used in Nigerian political, religious, and traditional events.My company made over 100,000 yards of the textile to the specification and delight of our client. As campaigns intensified with each passing day, we printed more textiles for our clients. 

Celebrating the awesomeness of our girls and young women on this #DayofTheGirl⁠ ⁠ .... You all rock πŸ˜πŸ‘πŸ’πŸŒΈπŸŒž⭐️πŸ’«πŸ’₯