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Pope Francis calls for global regulations on artificial intelligence to safeguard humanity’s future

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Pope Francis calls for global regulations on artificial intelligence to safeguard humanity's future

In a powerful message delivered during the 57th edition of World Day of Peace, Pope Francis urged leaders worldwide to advocate for the regulation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to ensure its responsible use and prevent potential threats to humanity. The Pontiff, known for his universal peace advocacy, delivered this vital message during a Mass celebrating the 2024 new year and honoring Holy Mary, who holds the esteemed title of Queen of Peace.

 

The theme of the Papal message was aptly titled “Artificial Intelligence and Peace,” highlighting the Pope’s concern for the ethical use of technology in today’s rapidly advancing world. Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins, the Lagos Catholic Archbishop, conveyed the message to the faithful during a Mass held at the Holy Cross Cathedral Lagos, emphasizing the urgency of addressing the ethical implications of AI.

 

Pope Francis, considering the new year as a time of grace bestowed by the Lord, extended his wishes for peace to God’s people, leaders of nations, heads of states and governments, religious leaders, civil society, and all individuals of our time. He called upon leaders to take prompt action in regulating the use of AI, citing the scriptures that acknowledge God’s endowment of spirit upon human beings to acquire skills and understanding.

 

Highlighting the dignity inherent in human intelligence as an expression of the Creator’s design, Pope Francis emphasized that when humans, aided by technology, strive to make the Earth a dwelling worthy of all humanity, they fulfill God’s plan. However, he cautioned that advancements in science and technology, particularly in the realm of AI, bring with them unprecedented control over reality, posing potential risks to humanity.

 

Expressing concern over the uncontrolled use of artificial intelligence, the Pope warned that it could destabilize the world in various facets. He stressed the critical role of regulation in harnessing AI for the promotion of humanity, peace, commerce, agriculture, and the prevention of wars in society. Conversely, Pope Francis cautioned that the abuse of AI could endanger peace, commerce, agriculture, and engulf the world in unforeseen challenges.

 

The Pope elucidated that artificial intelligence encompasses a diverse range of realities, and its development cannot be presumed to be inherently beneficial to humanity and global peace. Positive outcomes, he asserted, would only be achieved if humanity acts responsibly and upholds fundamental values such as inclusion, transparency, security, equity, privacy, and reliability.

 

In a call to action, Pope Francis hoped that his message would inspire global efforts to ensure the responsible development of AI, serving the cause of human fraternity and peace. He emphasized that the responsibility to regulate AI is not confined to a select few but rests upon the entire human family.

 

Defining peace as the fruit of recognizing and welcoming others in their inalienable dignity, Pope Francis underscored the importance of cooperation and commitment in seeking the integral development of all individuals and peoples. He concluded with a prayer that the rapid development of AI in the new year would not exacerbate existing inequalities and injustices prevalent in the contemporary world.

 

As the Pope’s message reverberates globally, it sparks crucial conversations about the ethical use of AI, prompting leaders, policymakers, and the broader human community to collectively shape a future where technological advancements align with the values of peace, inclusion, and human dignity.

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Nigeria Customs Service declares war on illegal grain exports, promises support for food security

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Nigeria Customs Service declares war on illegal grain exports, promises support for food security

Nigeria Customs Service declares war on illegal grain exports, promises support for food security

 

In a bid to safeguard Nigeria’s food security and combat the illicit exportation of grains to other African nations, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has vowed to ramp up its efforts to curb this menace. Ify Ogbudu, the Zonal Coordinator of Zone B of the service, made this declaration during a courtesy visit to the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, at his palace.

During the visit, Ogbudu reiterated the NCS’s commitment to curbing the illegal exportation of Nigeria’s grains. She emphasized the importance of ensuring that the 42,000 metric tons of grains approved for distribution by the Federal Government reach those in need, as directed. Ogbudu sought the emir’s support in this critical endeavor, underscoring the pivotal role of the Customs Service in advancing the government’s agenda for poverty alleviation and food security.

In response, the Emir of Kano expressed gratitude for the Customs Service’s dedication to safeguarding Nigeria’s economic integrity, despite facing numerous challenges. He commended Customs officers for their diligence and urged them to exhibit compassion towards local traders who may inadvertently engage in illegal activities due to ignorance.

NAN reports that the emir emphasized the significance of enlightenment and community engagement in stemming the tide of illicit activities. He pledged the emirate’s full support in facilitating legitimate trade and commended the progress made in reducing disputes between traders and customs officials through stakeholder engagements.

Furthermore, the emir lauded the ongoing enlightenment initiatives aimed at supporting local traders and businessmen in conducting lawful trade activities. This collaborative effort between the Nigeria Customs Service and local authorities signals a concerted push toward ensuring food security and economic stability in Nigeria.

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Ogun seals unaccredited nursing department at Harvarde College, leaving students in limbo

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Ogun seals unaccredited nursing department at Harvarde College, leaving students in limbo

Ogun seals unaccredited nursing department at Harvarde College, leaving students in limbo

 

 

In a sweeping enforcement action, authorities in Ogun State have shuttered the Nursing Department of Harvarde College of Science Business and Management Studies in Abeokuta. The crackdown, led by officials from the Ogun Ministry of Health and the State Nursing and Midwifery Committee, comes in response to the college’s operation of an unaccredited nursing programme.

Dr. Kayode Oladehinde, the Permanent Secretary of the Ogun Ministry of Health, underscored the severity of the situation, highlighting that the private institution had been offering a degree programme in Nursing Sciences without accreditation from the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN). This unauthorized operation, spanning six years, posed a significant threat to public health and perpetuated quackery within the nursing profession.

NAN reports that during the enforcement exercise, Oladehinde, represented by Acting Director of Nursing Services, Serifat Aminu, emphasized the grave implications of pursuing a nursing degree from an institution lacking NMCN accreditation. Such degrees, he asserted, hold little to no value, rendering graduates ineligible to obtain a valid license to practice nursing in Nigeria or internationally.

“We have discovered that many institutions, including Harvarde College, offer nursing degrees to unsuspecting students,” stated Oladehinde. “Our mission is to clamp down on such institutions because they end up producing quacks in the nursing profession. This is dangerous for society. Unfortunately, most students are unaware that their time is being wasted.”

Oladehinde urged prospective nursing students and their parents to exercise caution and diligence in selecting educational institutions. He advised thorough research, including consulting the NMCN website for a list of accredited institutions, as the regulatory body updates the list annually. Additionally, he cautioned against falling prey to false claims made by unaccredited institutions, reaffirming the government’s commitment to combating quackery in nursing education and practice.

In response to the enforcement action, a 300-level student, speaking anonymously, expressed shock and dismay over the lack of accreditation at Harvarde College. The student lamented the financial investment made by her parents on her behalf, underscoring the personal toll of the college’s deceptive practices.

The closure of Harvarde College’s Nursing Department leaves students in a state of uncertainty, grappling with the realization that their academic pursuits may have been in vain. As authorities continue to crack down on unaccredited institutions, the incident serves as a sobering reminder of the importance of regulatory oversight in safeguarding the integrity of professional education and protecting public health.

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Tinubu names Lawyer Hafsat Bakari as acting Head of NFIU

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Tinubu names Lawyer Hafsat Bakari as acting Head of NFIU

Tinubu names Lawyer Hafsat Bakari as acting Head of NFIU

 

In a significant development, President Bola Tinubu has appointed Hafsat Abubakar Bakari as the Acting Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), succeeding Modibbo Hamman-Tukur. This decision, announced by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, underscores Tinubu’s commitment to enhancing financial intelligence and combating illicit financial activities in Nigeria.

Hafsat Abubakar Bakari, a seasoned lawyer and financial intelligence expert, brings a wealth of experience to her new role at the helm of the NFIU. Having previously served as Deputy Director within the NFIU, Bakari’s appointment signals a strategic move to leverage her expertise in areas such as anti-money laundering, counter-terrorism financing, and counter-proliferation financing.

NAN reports that, Ngelale highlighted Bakari’s distinguished career trajectory, noting her tenure in various leadership positions within the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Bakari’s roles included heading the General Services Unit, leading the Strategy and Reorientation Unit, and overseeing the Board Secretariat. Her multifaceted experience within the EFCC equips her with a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies of financial crime investigation and enforcement.

Emphasizing the significance of Bakari’s appointment, Ngelale expressed confidence in her ability to navigate the complex landscape of illicit financial flows and other nefarious activities plaguing Nigeria’s foreign exchange markets. Tinubu’s administration remains steadfast in its commitment to curbing financial crimes and fostering transparency and accountability within the financial sector.

While Bakari assumes her new responsibilities in an acting capacity, her nomination is subject to confirmation by the Senate. Nevertheless, her track record and expertise position her as a capable leader poised to advance the mandate of the NFIU and bolster the government’s efforts to combat financial crimes effectively.

As Nigeria grapples with the challenges posed by illicit financial flows and economic malpractice, Bakari’s appointment signifies a proactive step towards strengthening the nation’s financial intelligence framework. Her leadership is expected to enhance coordination between relevant stakeholders and facilitate the implementation of robust measures to safeguard Nigeria’s financial integrity.

In accepting this critical role, Bakari is poised to leverage her expertise to tackle emerging threats in the financial landscape and uphold the principles of accountability, transparency, and integrity. Her appointment aligns with Tinubu’s vision for a more resilient and prosperous Nigeria, free from the scourge of financial crimes and illicit activities.

As Bakari assumes her duties at the helm of the NFIU, stakeholders anticipate her strategic leadership and unwavering commitment to driving positive change in Nigeria’s financial ecosystem. With her appointment, the nation embarks on a new chapter in its fight against financial crimes, signaling a renewed resolve to safeguard Nigeria’s economic interests and promote sustainable development.

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