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How security law can spur growth of professional sector

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Security firms are known to charge clients a
Security firms are known to charge clients a premium but pay their guards a pittance. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Private Security Regulations under the Private Security Regulation Act of 2016 could be out within the next two months paving the way for the operationalization of the Act and the Authority. This would give the industry about six months to comply once the regulations are gazetted. Mr. Fazul Mahamed, the Authority’s CEO, announced this in a recent industry meeting that focused on how the new regulatory regime would impact once application begun.

Priority will be the registration required for licensing and compliance for all private security providers. While the Act already provides some requirements, it became clear during the recent meeting there will be more requirements for registration and compliance in the new regulations.

There will be a six-month period to allow the industry to comply, there after all individuals and companies not registered would be prohibited from practice as is stipulated in the Act. For the industry key will be the need to get rid of quacks, tackle the undercutting and undermining practice, push for payment of invoices especially by government bodies and a need to segment the industry.

There was also the request to look at the taxation regime for the industry, that is seen to provide an aspect of public service as well as the need to train the right people for the right jobs.

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The issue of wages paid has remained a pertinent issue in the industry. There are calls to set a basic pay for all at the recommended minimum wage. The industry employees were represented by Kenya National Private Security Workers’ Union, who noted that security officers working at certain government agencies are paid less than the minimum wage in clear violation of laws.

There are also calls to provide certified training and provide pay slips. Security firms are known to charge clients a premium but pay their guards a pittance. This has seen a lot of disgruntled in the industry with recommendations made for the Authority to reprimand them.

It is key to address these issues to raise industry standards including the basic entry requirements, training and certification of the manpower.

The entire workforce, both corporate and manpower would have to undergo basic training prior to registration. The Authority would set a standard curriculum from a consultative process with relevant government agencies and industry.

It will then train all trainers on the new curriculum who would go on to train the workforce in their companies. All employees would then be assessed by the Authority in a standard test and certificates issued.

The issue of providing firearms has taken a progressive approach with only the cash in transit, VIP Protection and Security of critical commercial premises being under private security allowed to have armed protection.

The idea of having every guard with a gun is a misrepresentation of the idea which would see a multi-agency approach and framework for deployment.

A comparative study with the National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA) was made in reference to an industry whose regulation was previously under various government departments but has now come under an umbrella body.

NKAARI MARTIN, Director, The Security Academy.

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World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021

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World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.

“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.

He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.

The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.

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People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.

For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.

Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.

“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.

ALSO READ:Global Economy Plunges into Worst Recession – World Bank

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Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans

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The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.

“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”

According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.

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Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans

The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.

Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.

Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.

SEE ALSO: Central Bank Unveils Measures to Tame Unregulated Digital Lenders

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Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets

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NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options. 

This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.

The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.

The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.

The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).

The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.

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The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour;  Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).

The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.

Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”

He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.

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