Electoral Act Amendment won’t guarantee free polls – INEC

The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu yeaterday, said amending the Electoral Act without a commitment from stakeholders to do things differently, cannot guarantee free and fair elections.

Yakubu said this in an address delivered on his behalf by the INEC National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye at a three-day retreat of the Joint Technical Committee on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2020 which ended in Abuja on Sunday.

The INEC boss expressed gratitude to the Senate Committee on INEC and the House of Representatives Committee on Electoral Matters; for working together to produce a new legal framework for the conduct of elections.

He, however said, “It must be borne in mind that amending the electoral legal framework will not automatically guarantee or lead to improvement in the management and conduct of elections.

“The Constitution and the Electoral Act can only be effective through the action and inaction of the critical stakeholders in the electoral process.

“The Constitution and Electoral Act can enhance the electoral process if the electoral management body, political parties and the electoral actors, the security agencies, the media and civil society organisations, effectively play their roles.

“Nigeria’s democracy and electoral processes will become more robust if critical stakeholders in the process resolve to restore sovereignty to the people as the true determinant of the outcome.

“This renewed drive is timely and must be sustained and approached with a sense of history and urgency.

“The reform must be impactful and should be concluded by the first quarter of 2021.’’

The Attorney General of the Federation, and the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), in his address, pledged to work with the technical committee to ensure unhindered presidential assent to the bill.

Malami who was represented by the Special Assistant to the President on Justice Reform and International Relations Office, Mrs. Juliet Ibekaku-Nwagwu said, “I will continue to work more closely with the National Assembly to ensure that the bill is eventually passed as scheduled.”

The Chairman, Senate Committee on INEC, Kabiru Gaya, announced that, “We have received 24 written memorandum and verbal presentations from different interest groups. There is no doubt that we have more than enough valuable inputs from Nigerians for consideration.”
Also at the event, Head of Governance and Stability at the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office, Sam Waldock, has said, the United Kingdom has so far invested over £50m on Nigeria’s electoral processes since 2015.

He said, “The United Kingdom is a proud supporter of elections and democratic processes in Nigeria. In the last five years, the UK has invested over £50m into Nigeria’s democratic process.

“We recognise Nigeria as the largest democracy in Africa, and a leading member of the Commonwealth of nations.

“It will therefore be good to have a robust comprehensive system placed far ahead of the general election so that adequate preparations could be made.” Source: PUNCH

Currency in circulation reached N2.9tn in 2020 – CBN
Currency in circulation rose by N249bn from N2.66tn as of the end of November to N2.91tn in December 2020.
The data was obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria on Sunday.
The CIC rose from a figure of N2.49tn as of the end of October.
The CBN said as a result of its monetary policy actions, the reserve money grew moderately as of end-September 2020. In its third-quarter economic report, it stated that on a quarterly basis, reserve money grew by 2.5 per cent to N13.57tn at end-September 2020, compared with a growth of 30.4 per cent at end-June 2020.
At N11.14tn, liabilities to other depository corporations grew by 1.9 per cent, compared with the growth of 39.3 per cent at end-June 2020, while the currency component grew by 5.5 per cent, compared with 0.2 per cent at end-June 2020.
The corresponding factors were net foreign assets, which grew by 6.7 per cent as a result of the significant decline in the liabilities to non-residents; net claims on the central government; public financial corporations; and the private sector, which grew by 16.0 per cent, 30.8 per cent and 15.8 per cent, respectively.
Though average banking system liquidity moderated in Q3 2020, it remained above the bank’s benchmark of N313.8bn.
Industry net liquidity position closed at an average of N329.11bn in the third quarter of 2020, compared with the average of N372.77bn in the preceding quarter.
Liquidity in the system was moderated by provisioning and settlement of foreign exchange purchases, auctions of CBN bills, FGN bonds and Nigerian Treasury Bills, as well as Cash Reserve Ratio obligations.
The industry liquidity position was positively impacted by repayments of matured CBN bills, and Nigerian Treasury Bills, as well as fiscal disbursements to the three tiers of Government.
According to the CBN, currency in circulation is defined as currency outside the vaults of the central bank; that is, all legal tender currency in the hands of the general public and in the vaults of the Deposit Money Banks.
The CBN stated that it employed the “accounting/statistical/withdrawals and deposits approach” to compute the currency in circulation in Nigeria.
This approach involved tracking the movements in currency in circulation on a transaction by transaction basis.
That is, for every withdrawal made by a DMB at one of CBN’s branches, an increase in CIC is recorded, and for every deposit made by a DMB at one of CBN’s branches, a decrease in CIC is recorded
The transactions are all recorded in the CBN’s CIC account, and the balance on the account at any point in time represents the country’s currency in circulation.
According to the apex bank, analysis of the currency in circulation showed that a large and increasing proportion of the Nigerian currency outside the commercial banking system was held by the general public who hoard a lot of the new banknotes. Source: PUNCH

Canon Helps Redefine the Limits at CES® 2021
Canon U.S.A., Inc., has thrived by creating innovative consumer electronics and solutions that bring mutual benefits to consumers, businesses and industries.
2021 presents a year of hope and opportunity, following a year of unprecedented limitations. At CES 2021, Canon is premiering an interactive digital experience through five unexpected experiences and innovation cornerstones to celebrate how people can use Canon products and solutions to help redefine the limits they face. Attendees can be inspired to transcend limits by capturing the marvels of space, the splendor of wildlife, and the nostalgia of a lost iconic sports setting.

“2020 was a year filled with limits. We were all faced with looking at our daily lives and figuring out the best paths to complete our professional work and responsibilities to our families,” said Kazuto Ogawa, president and CEO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “As we catapult into 2021, we are presented with a unique opportunity to redefine our limits. At CES, Canon is excited to share how our technologies, solutions and products can inspire and offer a chance to collaborate on a better future.”

Canon’s five-cornerstone immersive experience at CES 2021 consists of the following:

Canon Redefines How We See Our Planet
CES attendees can join astronaut Marsha Ivins in a recreation of space to discover Canon’s compact imaging satellites, the CE-SAT-1 and 2B, and see how these cost-efficient, high-resolution satellites are making space imaging more accessible. As attendees navigate different locations around the world, using high-resolution images from the CE-SAT-1, they can take their own snapshots and save their favorites as backgrounds for their compatible mobile device. In addition to lending her voice to the experience, astronaut Marsha Ivins is also taking part in a pre-recorded Canon hosted panel discussion, accessible through the cornerstone, with fellow astronaut and filmmaker Colonel Terry Virts, where they’ll discuss the profound impact space imaging has on humanity and our planet.

Canon Redefines How We Experience Sports & Entertainment
In 2020, fans were forced to watch sports and entertainment from their screens. Now, Canon’s Volumetric Video System is set to change the ways we experience our favorite events and sports, by allowing us to view the action from unlimited angles. To showcase the capabilities of Canon’s Volumetric Video Studio in Kawasaki, Canon is bringing CES visitors back to Love Park, the legendary Philadelphia skateboarding haven, to witness up-and-coming skateboarders Yuto Watanabe and Kyonosuke Yamashita skate this long-lost location. Together with world-renowned skateboarding photographer and new Canon Explorer of Light Atiba Jefferson, the skateboarding action at Love Park was resurrected and captured in a way that has never been seen before to highlight how we redefine the viewing experience of sports and entertainment.

Canon Redefines the Way We Capture Life
During such an unparalleled year, it has been harder for people to connect with the critical wildlife and natural ecosystems that are continuing to disappear around us. Canon Explorer of Light and renowned wildlife photographer Charles Glatzer traveled to snowy Yellowstone National Park with his EOS R5 camera to photograph the famous Yellowstone wolves to showcase how the monitoring of the wolves has helped preserve the national park and its valuable inhabitants. Through this multi-level interactive experience, attendees will be able to join Charles on this trip and take control of an EOS R5 camera themselves using some of the mirrorless camera’s most remarkable features, such as animal detection and the coordinated in-body stabilization.

The experience also highlights Canon printers through a stunning wildlife photo gallery featuring some of Charles’s best Yellowstone imagery that can be purchased* as high-quality prints, printed on the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 and the imagePROGRAF PRO-4100. Other products from the current Canon line-up, including the Colorado 1640 and Colorado 1650 printers, are also featured in an additional product gallery for attendees to experience.

Canon Redefines How We Work Together
In 2020 the whole world experienced the limits of hybrid and remote work environments. Canon, with software tools such as the EOS Webcam Utility and the upcoming AMLOS Camera System, is redefining how we see, engage and interact with each other through gesture-based imaging technology. While currently scheduled to be released later in 2021, attendees can already experience a sample of the AMLOS Camera System during an interactive video and audio adventure, where they become Secret Agent Magnolia and use the system to collaborate with a field operative during an exciting intelligence mission. All in a day’s (virtual) work.

Canon Redefines the Way we Shape the Future
Canon is driven by its Kyosei philosophy – to collaborate with others to help create a harmonious planet. Today, Canon is using its long-standing manufacturing and technology expertise to help redefine energy, healthcare, food, transportation, and recycling through its Innovation Lab in Virginia. Through an interactive timeline, attendees can peek behind the curtain and learn how Canon is collaborating with Tufts University and Mori to scale aqueous silks in order to tackle food waste and plastic pollution. One of the many innovation stories in which Canon is scaling emerging technologies to benefit the world.