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Daily Watch – FEC approves controversial language policy, Ramaphosa ‘violated oath’

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The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved a new national language policy for primary schools. The policy makes the mother tongue a compulsory medium of instruction from primary one to six. The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, revealed this while briefing State House correspondents shortly after this week’s Federal Executive Council meeting, chaired by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja. Adamu revealed that the mother tongue would be used exclusively for the first six years of education, after which it would be combined with the English language in Junior Secondary School. He said, “A memo on the national policy was approved by the council. So, Nigeria now has a national language policy, and the details will be given later by the ministry. “One of the highlights is that the government has now agreed that primary school instruction, for the first six years of learning, will be in the mother tongue.” The minister noted that the government knew that implementing the new policy would be difficult.

The World Bank has indicated that financial flows to Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries is slowing down though it will reach $53 billion in 2022, up from $50 billion in 2021. The bank, in its ‘Migration Development Brief 37’ released yesterday, noted that the growth rate in SSA remittances slowed to 5.2 percent when compared to 16.4 percent growth recorded in 2021. “Remittance flows to Sub-Saharan Africa surged 16.4 percent to $50 billion during 2021, the strongest increase since 2018. However, the region is exposed to the effects of the concurrent crises affecting the global economy in 2022,” the report said in part.  “Remittance gains are likely to be held to 5.2 percent in the year, an 11 percentage point fall off in growth from 2021. This is mainly due to the medium-intensity conflict (as well as regulatory change unfavourable to officially recorded flows) in Nigeria, the largest remittance-receiving country in SSA and eighth largest among low-and middle-income countries. The drop in remittances was initially expected to be sharper in 2021 but flows bounced back, helped again by countries with medium-intensity conflict, especially South Sudan,” it added. The World Bank projected a 3.9 percent growth rate in remittance flows to SSA countries in 2023, a 1.3 per cent decline from 2022.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says non-oil exporters repatriated $4.98 billion into the country in the first nine months of the year. CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele disclosed this during his keynote address at the second edition of the RT200 biannual non-oil export summit, held in Lagos on Tuesday. The summit is themed ‘RT200 Non-Oil Export Programme: The Journey So Far’. In February, CBN disclosed plans to pay a rebate of ₦65 to exporters for every $1 of goods sold to third parties through the investors and exporters (I&E) window. The N65 bonus is a benefit under the RT 200 non-oil export proceeds repatriation rebate scheme. Emefiele said the CBN also paid N81 billion rebate to exporters during the period under review. “So far, in the first three quarters of 2022, $4.987 billion have been repatriated into the country from non-oil exporters, which is higher than $4.190 billion repatriated in the whole of 2021,” he said. “Of this sum, $1.966 billion qualified for the rebate program but only $1.955 billion was sold at the I&E window. The CBN has also paid out N81 billion in rebates to hardworking Nigerian exporters. You could see the ₦81 billion that we have paid in three quarters.

An independent panel appointed by the speaker of South Africa’s parliament on Wednesday found preliminary evidence that President Cyril Ramaphosa violated his oath of office. These findings could lead to his eventual impeachment. The president immediately denied any wrongdoing. Ramaphosa has not been charged with any crimes. “I categorically deny that I have violated this oath in any way, and I similarly deny that I am guilty of any of the allegations made against me,” Ramaphosa said in a statement issued by the South African presidency. Ramaphosa is less than a month away from an elective conference that will decide if he gets to run for a second term on the governing African National Congress’s (ANC) ticket at the 2024 polls. The recommendations were made by a three-member panel set up to inquire if Ramaphosa should be impeached after millions of dollars in cash was allegedly stolen at his private farm. The chances of impeachment are slim given the ANC’s dominance of parliament, where it holds 230 seats, or nearly 60% of the total, and typically votes along party lines. Impeaching a president requires a two-thirds majority in the national assembly. In June, it emerged that an estimated $4 million was robbed at Ramaphosa’s farm in 2020, raising questions about how the billionaire president, who took to power on the promise to fight graft, acquired the cash and whether he declared it. Ramaphosa confirmed the robbery at his farm but has denied any claims of criminal conduct.

Source: SB Mintel