Child Protection CREED 26:Our Child Protection policy must have as its source our peculiarities as a people since principles are universal and application is peculiar

Child Protection Policy is the fundamental to child protection anywhere children are found, homes, schools, places of worship etc. What is a child protection policy? It is a policy which documents the processes for child protection in a place where children are.

The Child Protection policy has two components. The first are the fundamental and foundational provisions while the second are peculiar provisions. The fundamental and foundational provisions focus on the four baskets of rights of the child as enshrined in the Child’s Rights Act, 2003. These provisions also cover the responsibilities of the child as stated in Sections 19 and 20 of the Child’s Rights Act, 2003. The peculiar provisions are products of in-house investigations, which an expert must carry out with the full cooperation of the institution of learning with an active participation of all stakeholders in the life of the child, including children.

It is my thinking that the Child Protection Policy in Africa must take into consideration the peculiarity and the culture of our people. Culture here refers to the values peculiar to a people. It speaks of their identity. The African culture is not opposed to child protection. As a matter of fact our philosophy supports child protection.

It is our thinking as African that a child must be taught to take responsibility for his protection. It therefore means the child apart from being taught his rights must be taught his responsibility, beginning from how to be responsible for his protection. Thus the Child’s Rights Act provides for the responsibilities of the child, which I have earlier shared in this program.

Please note that until our child protection policy finds its root in our cultural identity, it will not be user friendly to our people. If it is not user friendly to our people, it will not find their blessing and acceptance. If it does not find their blessing and acceptance, it will remain a document best for mere decoration.

Thank you for visiting. I urge you to Think the Child…Think Today…Think the Future…

NOTICE:
Our Child Protection Audio Library Comprising of 5 Audio CDs and 4 Handbooks are available for order and immediate delivery depending on your location. They are well-researched and widely-applauded materials, carefully and meticulously designed to bring to your CONSCIOUSNESS and CONSCIENCE the RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES of your children and EQUIP you with the INDISPENSABLE SKILLS to do all things in the BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD. Be on the side of your child Today…Be on the Side of the Future…Place Your Order NOW! @ 234-8186830275(SMS Only) or send an email, titled: ORDER to ask@taiwoakinlami.com. Thank you and Stay INSPIRED.

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CHILD Protection CREED 25: Except child protection is protected by a system, articulated in a policy by government and stakeholders, it is remains a mere discussion, which has no impact on the actual protection of the child.

Recently, I participated in a child protection mapping in Lagos State. It was a project sponsored by UNICEF, with the active support of the Lagos State Government, Hope Worldwide and USAID. The purpose of the mapping exercise, among others, is to review the existing social services available for child protection in Lagos State.

The mapping was facilitated by Child Frontiers. The thinking of the facilitating organisation is that except we establish and services a child protection system, it is impossible for us to effectively protect the child. I completely agree with them.

The world has moved beyond issue-based approach to child protection. The world is now thinking in terms of system. System refers to a group or combination of interrelated, interdependent, or interacting elements forming a collective entity. System here has three components: 1. Goal or set of goals; 2. Interdependence; 3. Balance.

Goal or set of goals speak of a well-articulated end, in total consideration of the needs of the child. Interdependence speaks of seamless cooperation between bodies established to see to child protection. It therefore means each body responsible for child protection in a Local Government Area or at the State level understands its terms of reference clearly. Besides, it means the establishing authority of the bodies has fully equipped the bodies to carry out their terms of reference. It means that except the bodies understand their terms of reference and they are fully equipped to carry out same, the principle of interdependence cannot work. Balance speaks of the fact that bodies responsible for child protection understand their boundaries. Understanding boundaries by bodies responsible for child protection creates balance and balance creates effectiveness. It helps parties to know when the bulk stops at their tables.

Thank you for visiting. I urge you to Think the Child…Think Today…Think the Future…

NOTICE:
Our Child Protection Audio Library Comprising of 5 Audio CDs and 4 Handbooks are available for order and immediate delivery depending on your location. They are well-researched and widely-applauded materials, carefully and meticulously designed to bring to your CONSCIOUSNESS and CONSCIENCE the RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES of your children and EQUIP you with the INDISPENSABLE SKILLS to do all things in the BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD. Be on the side of your child Today…Be on the Side of the Future…Place Your Order NOW! @ 234-8186830275(SMS Only) or send an email, titled: ORDER to ask@taiwoakinlami.com. Thank you and Stay INSPIRED.

Child Protection CREED 24: The treatment of children is a reflection of the disposition of the State to its citizen. A nation that has no respect for dignity of persons will not respect children’s rights.

I think it is a difficult task to respect the rights of children or any other group in a country, without deliberately locating it within the ambit of the national question. In my opinion, the national question speaks of the national vision and mission a nation is committed, which strict goals are the welfare and the security of the people, the entire citizenry.  The prosperity of the Nigerian child is determined by the prosperity of the nation. It therefore means that children’s rights cannot be considered in isolation of the state of the nation and the character of the state. To do so is to embrace mirage as the destination of a critical journey.

For example, if a nation does not have as its value, respect for the dignity of human person, you do not expect it to treat children differently. It is simply not in the character of the state to make a difference in the lives of the people, including children. The truth is that where a nation has no respect for the dignity of human person, the children feel the impact more, simply because they (children) are limited in their options, unlike adults.

My fear, as expressed above is real in Nigeria and Africa. It is common knowledge to everyone, who understands the essence of the state and governance that our country and continent are without national and continental visions. It follows automatically that since the country has no vision, it has no mission and therefore has no set of values to which it is committed as a nation. A nation’s birthing and understanding of her vision will determine her mission (strategy) and her mission will show her set of values she will need to conform to be in a position to operate her mission in her pursuit of her vision.  When a nation has articulated vision, it becomes the number one tool in the hands of the leader to meet the needs of the people and inspire confidence in them towards patriotism. Therefore everyone, the leader and the led, young and old, individual and corporate, private and public institutions strive to conform to the articulated vision.

In view of the foregoing, I think advocating that government and its agencies should promote and protect the interests of the Nigerian child, is asking for a hard thing. It is important to note that it takes inner commitment, deft diligence and uncommon faith to ask for a hard thing for an entity that does have the character to give it. I guess that is why the Yoruba proverb concludes, ‘the one, who chooses to eat the honey hidden in the stone, must not consider that damage that may be done to his axe.’

Thank you for visiting. I urge you to Think the Child…Think Today…Think the Future…

NOTICE:
Our Child Protection Audio Library Comprising of 5 Audio CDs and 4 Handbooks are available for order and immediate delivery depending on your location. They are well-researched and widely-applauded materials, carefully and meticulously designed to bring to your CONSCIOUSNESS and CONSCIENCE the RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES of your children and EQUIP you with the INDISPENSABLE SKILLS to do all things in the BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD. Be on the side of your child Today…Be on the Side of the Future…Place Your Order NOW! @ 234-8186830275(SMS Only) or send an email, titled: ORDER to ask@taiwoakinlami.com. Thank you and Stay INSPIRED.

Meeting the Law with our Businesses

This is another height. It is however higher than the mountain we had to dwell in the last two weeks. It is our first attempt at the second course of this table that was set before the public four weeks ago. It is heartening that we are making good progress into the mainstay of the vision of this column, which was clearly stated in our maiden edition.

Today, we want to consider the first contact (s) our businesses should have with the law. It is a contact, if properly facilitated under the right atmosphere will lead to a harmonious marriage between our businesses and the law.  The implication of this is that our businesses and the law will become one flesh to multiply and replenish our personal finances and national economy.

It is contracted in two ways:

  • Incorporation of Company
  • Registration of Business Name

For purpose of brevity, I choose to speak the rest of this piece in points:

Incorporation of Company

  • Company and Allied Matters Act governs everything about incorporation and Registration of Business name
  • CAMA established Corporate Affairs Commission (C.A.C).
  • The C.A.C has the power to incorporate Companies and register Business Names. It also has the power to conduct investigations into the affairs of any company where the interests of the shareholders and the public so demand.

Formation of a company

  • Two or more persons may form and incorporate a company having fulfilled the statutory requirements of the type of company they intend to incorporate.
  • Formation of company is the exclusive responsibility of a legal practitioner.

Types of Company

There are different types of company but the most relevant to SME is Private Company.

The following are the features of a private company

  1. Membership-Maximum of 50 excluding employees and employee shareholders.
  2. The minimum share capital of a private company is N10, 000.00
  3. It is a legal person that can own property, sue and be sued
  4. Memorandum and Article of Association guard its activities:  While Memo is the charter of the company and contains fundamental provisions, which among other things define and limit its powers; Article contains internal regulations for the management of the company.
  5. Private companies are entitled to pay tax under the federal taxation law
  • Prohibited names

a)    Identical with the name of a company, which is already registered or it nearly resembles that name as to calculate or deceive.

b)   Contains the word, ‘Chambers of Commerce’

c)    Capable of:

  1. Misleading as to the true nature or extent of its activities.
  2. It is undesirable or offensive
  3. Contrary to Public Policy

d)   Would violate any existing Trade Mark or Business name unless the consent of the owner of the Mark or Business name has been obtained.

e)    The use of the following words as a name is subject to the approval of C.A.C:

  1. Federal ii. National iii. Regional iv. State v. Government
  2. Any other name suggesting governmental patronage: Municipal, Chartered, Co-operative, Building Society, Group or Holding.

.     Registration of Business Name

Advantages

  • Cheap: it is not as expensive as incorporation
  • Flexible: it is in fact created with small businesses in mind and it is done within one week.
  • Decentralized: while incorporation can only be done in Abuja, registration of business name can be done in the state office of C.A.C closest to you.

Names that can be registered

  1.  Firm-names other than true surnames and true forename of the partners.
  2. If both names are not true surnames
  3. Where an individual is trading with his true surname without any addition other than true forenames or the initials

Exceptions

  • An addition that indicates that the business is carried on in succession of the former owner of the business
  • Where two or more individual partners bear the same surname and there the addition of an “s” at the end of the surname
  • The business is carried on by a receiver or manager appointed by the court
  • “And” will not render a name registrable if it copulates surnames.

Prohibited Names

  • Similar to incorporation

Time of Registration

  • Application of registration is to be submitted to the Registrar within 28 days of commencement of business.
  • Certificate to be displayed conspicuously at the principal place of office

Default of Registration

  • Penal Sanction Section 667

“If any firm or individual required under this Decree to be registered … fails to comply with the provisions… every partner in the firm or the individual shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of 50 for every day during which the default continues, and the court shall order a statement of the required particulars to be furnished to the Registrar within such time as may be specified in the order…”

  • Civil Remedies

a)    Bar to action to enforce partnership rights

b)   Effect on contract: Not void but unenforceable. However an application can be brought before a High Court in which any such contract would otherwise be enforceable for relief from the disability.

Effect of Registration

  1. It apprises the public of the true identity of the person(s), who trade under the name
  2. Registration gives priority to use of name even against registered companies.
  3. Registration does not confer legitimacy on a prohibited name
  4. Not proof of partnership.
  5. With the certificate of registration of business name you can open a current account for your business.
  6. Registration of business name does not make your business a legal person that is capable of owning property and being suing or sued
  7. When your business name is registered, your business is not entitled to pay tax under the federal taxation law. But this is without prejudice to the fact that we have a responsibility to pay tax as individuals.

NOTES

  • Annual Returns: to be delivered not later than 30th June each year except the calendar year in which the name was registered
  • Removal from register

a)    On notice by proprietors within 3 months of cessation of business.

I hope we have not had a boring day. The purposes of intimating us with the foregoing straight facts are only two:

  • Many of us have not registered our businesses with the law, which limits our opportunities.
  • Some of us, whose businesses are registered or incorporated, do not know the implications.

Let me promise you as we close that next week will surely be juicier. Shalom!

Child Protection CREED 23: The Child must be taught to know the difference between MISTAKE and FOOLISHNESS and how to RELATE to both.

Mistake is a proof of the child’s HUMANITY. Mistake here refers to error of judgement. It must be met with encouragement and not embarrassment or harassment. When a child’s mistake is met with embarrassment or harassment, the child is robbed of his humanity. Once a child is robbed of his humanity, he is dehumanised and except by divine intervention, he may never get his humanity back. 

Custodians must understand when a child has made a mistake and when he is displaying foolishness. The ability of custodians to differentiate between both and help the child to do same makes a lot of positive difference in the life of the child.

We must help the child to understand that foolishness is a SCOURGE to the child’s DESTINY. It must be flushed out. To be foolish is to show lack of sense, lacking forethought or caution. It is to be weak-minded and simple. As I have stated before, these are not attributes of childhood. The child must be helped to gain mastery over foolishness through the instrumentality of discipline.

According to Dr. James Dobson, when a child is deliberately disobedient and rebellious, its results in an important contest the parents cannot afford to lose in the best interest of the child. Mistake is when a child is involved in an accident like spilling water or milk or dropping something on the floor or breaking the plates or related matters. No child should be subjected to any disciplinary measures for the foregoing.

Thank you for visiting. I charge you to Think the Child…Think Today…Think the Future…

NOTICE:
Our Child Protection Audio Library Comprising of 5 Audio CDs and 4 Handbooks are available for order and immediate delivery depending on your location. They are well-researched and widely-applauded materials, carefully and meticulously designed to bring to your CONSCIOUSNESS and CONSCIENCE the RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES of your children and EQUIP you with the INDISPENSABLE SKILLS to do all things in the BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD. Be on the side of your child Today…Be on the Side of the Future…Place Your Order NOW! @ 234-8186830275(SMS Only) or send an email, titled: ORDER to ask@taiwoakinlami.com. Thank you and Stay INSPIRED.

Child Protection CREED 22: Respect the child always that he may respect himself, respect you and others and defend his dignity of human person

Childhood must never be the reason for disrespect. Children are therefore to be respected by the custodians.

What do I mean by respect? Respect means showing regard and appreciation for the worth of someone.  It means honour and esteem. The worth of the child does not increase with age. The child is born with all of his worth. What increases with age is the child’s consciousness of his worth. This growth in his consciousness of his worth is the responsibility of the child’s custodians. They either grow the consciousness or destroy same. Their tool for growing or destroying the child’s consciousness of his worth is respect or disrespect. In other words, respects for the child from the custodians build the child’s consciousness of his worth. Disrespect for the child destroys the child’s consciousness of his worth.

When a child is not respected it has three implications on the child. The third is that the child will have no respect for himself. The second is that the child will not have respect for his custodians. The third is that the child does not demand respect from others or defend his worth.  

In rounding up this creed, permit me to share with you Zig Ziglar’s thoughts what happens when we do not teach our children manners. Please permit me to also say that respect is expressed through manners. As I have tried to show here respect is best taught by how we treat the child.

ZIG ZIGLAR Submits on Manners:

Psychiatrist Smiley Blanton says that roughly 80% of all of the counseling he does is the direct result of parents not having taught their children manners.  He emphasizes that he is talking about more than table manners; he’s talking about the whole spectrum of deportment and civility.  That’s significant because the record indicates that most top executives in any field of endeavor are courteous, thoughtful people… old-fashioned courtesies, including, “Yes, Sir,” “Yes, Ma’am,” “Thank you,” “Please,” and other expressions of good civility and deportment… Just in case you’re thinking, “But that’s old-fashioned and people don’t do those things any more,” of course, you’re right in both cases—which is the reason why the people who do take that approach stand out like beacons in the dark as they move to the top.  Think about it.  Be courteous yourself.  Teach your children to be courteous and I’ll SEE all of you AT THE TOP!’

Thank you for visiting. I charge you, Think the Child…Think Today…Think the Future…Have an INSPIRED Day

LAWpreneurship™: Dealing With the Fundamental Issues (2)

We are still on this mountain called, issues before issues. We arrived here last week and the fact that it a major stopover in our journey to the land of business exploits thorough proper legal counsel; we are here spending another week. Well it is a cozy harbor; to this much, those who hanged out with us last week can testify. If you do or don’t, one fact remains incontestable about our stay here today, we are in for a better time than last week.

Last week we considered it safe to drop the pen after we had examined the credentials of an expert. Without further preambles, we proceed today to discuss the reasons why we, as SME operators need the services of these experts, whose credentials we scrutinized last week.  Note that we are going to be focusing on the legal practitioner as an expert that you cannot do without.

Now, don’t think we about to start making a case for experts or lawyers. No! Not all. The truth is that this column is neither for lawyers nor experts. It is for you. The mission here is to make a case for you.  We need to labour in this clarification because we don’t want your perception to be wrong. Because once your perception is wrong, you can never be impacted and our joy is only full when you are fully impacted.

Going straight to the issue: why do we need a lawyer or any expert’s advice? Let us quickly run through the following six points in finding satisfactory answers to the question asked:

1. A sign of vigilance:

We live in a selfish world where people don’t do business according to the dictates of their conscience but at the expense of the other person’s ignorance. Our consciousness of this fact helps us to be vigilant in our business dealings. And since we cannot see beyond our knowledge, we may need trained eyes to help us out. Where we pretend to see beyond our knowledge, we may have set a snowball rolling and when we do that, we only know the beginning, the end is never predictable. Did I hear the wise ones say, ‘a stitch in time saves nine.” Well that is a perfect wisdom key for this situation.

2. A viable antidote to lack of integrity in business:

Our nation Nigeria is plagued with the lack of integrity virus. For many business people integrity is not a prerequisite in business dealings. As a SME businessperson, who intent to do business on the platform of integrity we must protect ourselves against the bug of perfidy in business and one of the ways to do that is to ensure that our transactions are documented under the watchful and informed eyes of experts, particularly lawyers.

For example, a young model entered into a contract with a company. The contract was that his pictures would appear on their billboard. He discovered that the picture was used for other purposes. He did not need to fight. He merely contacted his lawyers and he was duly compensated. Why? Simply because the contract was properly documented under the supervision of his lawyer.

3. Aiding the need to keep records straight:

When you employ the services of an expert, it helps you to keep different kinds of records. For example if you engage the service of an accountant, you keep standard financial records; when you use a lawyer all documents of business transactions are kept properly.

4. Promoting image making and prestige:

Perception is very important in business, particular to SME. This is call packaging and image making. It talks about the impression we give clients of ourselves. And you know that as Small Businesses, we have a lot of point to prove.  We live in a country where perception is very important. Once you are discussing with a client and you introduce the subject of a lawyer it introduces respect. It gives your business a corporate outlook, which is the language the some of the people you are dealing with understand perfectly. This may sound funny, but the reality is, a principle does not need to sound logical for it to before its veracity is established.  Don’t forget we are in Africa where the basis for respect can be sometimes ludicrous.

5. It introduces caution:

When you introduce the issue of legal or experts’ advice, healthy caution is introduced. Those who are dealing with you become aware that they cannot ride roughshod on your rights as a businessperson.

6. It gives you the full view, knowledge and proper legal implication of the transaction at hand, which promotes proper and realistic business dealings.

Having established the reasons why we cannot do without experts’ advice as small businesses, we have almost come to the end of these preliminary issues, but just before that I beg to address one more issue. What is this issue that will keep us on this mountain for few more minutes? It is our inability to stick to experts’ advice even when, we have accessed them. For the purpose of brevity, I choose to speak in points, viz:

  1. Pressure:

Pressure either from within or without will stop us from reaping the benefits of experts’ advice. What is pressure within? This is a self-inflicted agitation imposed by lack of confidence in one’s services or products. When a businessperson becomes a victim of the foregoing, his decisions are propelled by fear and not an adherence to the due process of decision-making in business. External forces, that is, our clients, exert pressure without. It is an effort aimed at getting us to make permanent decision without an opportunity to consider all the factors. The first check against falling victims of pressure in business decision-making is to deliberately think of what you can lose if you don’t follow the due process, which may include experts’ advice.

We are pressured most of the time into unwise decisions when we are dealing with influential client, who may be bigger than us. Now, to be free from pressure, you must guide against what I call, ‘the rain-beating chicken mentality.’ What is the ‘rain-beating chicken mentality?’ Three things characterize the life a rain-beating chicken. The first thing is that it is sickly, it’s fearful and the most significant one is that it is obvious to everybody that it needs help. We cannot avoid presenting ourselves as the weeping child of the marketplace. When we present ourselves a weeping child, we become the whipping child. We must understand that we have rights and obligations. We are in the marketplace because we have identified a need. So we are valuable. And we cannot behave less. To behave or carry ourselves less is to be taken for granted and pressured out of business. Make it therefore a rule of thumb never to make a business decision under pressure.

  1. Lack to personal integrity and courage.

Now the strength of any expert’s advice is a readiness of the recipient to follow it to the letter. There is no point going for expert’s advice if we know that we will not follow it. Now, no one can follow an expert’s advice through except by the power of courage, discipline and integrity. It is one thing to know what to do. It is another to have the moral courage and strength of character to follow it when the ships are down. Many things stare at us in the face when we want to apply principles. One of which is the fear of losing a contract or how to get another I we lose the one at hand insisting on principle.

  1. There is always this unfounded and superstitious African belief that business dealing will not always go sore. The reasons for that conclusion are always two for two categories of businessmen and women:
    1. The mentally lazy and ignorant African Business man and woman, who believe things cannot just go wrong. When you probe into the basis of such assurance, they can’t give facts, either puerile or sound. They forget that business functions by facts and not by fictions. If not so, why do we carry out market research, feasibility studies etc? The question we ask such people is this, does a business deal, which is going to generate problem, have special features or colors?  Like a tragic day, business deals that will generate problems do not have special features.
    2. Religious zealots, who have zeal without knowledge. They say stuffs like ‘nothing will go wrong because I believe in God.’ They simply equate foolishness with faith. Faith in God is a principle that has tenets and except you are committed to the tenets you are not applying faith.

In rounding off these issues before the issues, I ask the question, where are these experts that we need as small businesses? Considering our purse, they are our friends, our neighbors, our family members, old classmates, mentors etc. who recognize the state of our business and will charge us little or nothing for standard advice and are ready to grow with us.

We see next week as we begin to explore the deeper matters of the law as they affect small businesses. Shalom.