Page 1


Advocates of restructuring of Nigeria are pursuing selfish agendas - Salvadorthe


We are groaning under NBET’s huge debt, says Ibom Power MD

?? CCNN, Sterling Bank, 20


others resilient as countdown to year-end begins p.43

Sunday 09 December 2018 Market & Commodities Monitor Brent Oil

5yr Bond


-0.07 15.27%


10yr Bond


-0.07 15.97%



20yr Bond

-0.03 15.65%

Electoral Bill imbroglio! Doubts, anxiety grow over 2019 elections

CHUKS OLUIGBO, OWEDE AGBAJILEKE & INIOBONG IWOK the Buhari administration’s sincerity towards 2011 and 2015 and guaranteeing a free, fair



Vol 1, No. 243 N300

he shadow of doubt and uncertainty hanging over the 2019 general election is growing longer following President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to withhold assent to the fourth version of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2018 transmitted to him by the National Assembly on November 7. With Nigeria inching ever closer to the elections, concerned stakeholders had long harped on the need for free, fair and credible polls, even as some had raised doubts about


guaranteeing a transparent process. In particular, the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had on several occasions raised questions as to whether the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which is believed to be loyal to the President and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), would be allowed to play the role of a neutral umpire in the forthcoming elections. As such, the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2018 was seen by many as a major step towards eliminating some of the impediments to transparent elections as experienced in

and credible process. The bill, if it becomes law, will, inter alia, make the use of smart card reader statutory as the only instrument of accreditation, thereby permanently eliminating the controversial Incident Form which employs analogue method of voter accreditation; make the backend result of the card reader an evidential tool for nullifying elections where infractions are perpetrated; ensure stiffer sanctions for erring officials of the INEC and media houses, and place a limit

P. 2


The road now taken: The Nigerian railway story

p. 32 and 33

Nigeria-Japan bilateral ties unlocking more trade and investments opportunities - Envoy

L-R: Nyesom Wike, Rivers State governor, welcoming Atiku Abubakar, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, to a meeting of PDP National Leaders in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, weekend.

Funeral businesses bloom amid economic crunch CHUKS OLUIGBO & CHINWE AGBEZE

p.34 and 35


ith many more Nigerians embarking on elaborate and often expensive funerals for their deceased rela-

tives, the number of businesses benefitting from death and burial ceremonies in the country has been on the increase. Latching on to the emerging opportunities therein, many funeral homes have also sprung

up across the country, providing formal services that include embalment and mortuary services, casket making, sale of caskets (local and imported), funeral planning and decor, general funeral services, hearse services,

band services, pall bearers, wreath ladies, lying-in-state, undertakers, private and public cemeteries, cremation, memorials and consultancy services,

p. 22



Sunday 09 December 2018


Doubts, anxiety grow over 2019 elections Continued from page 1 on election campaign expenses. But, dashing all hopes and expectations, Ita Enang, Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, on Friday announced to the nation that the President has, once again, declined assent to the bill. Buhari had previously withheld assent to three earlier versions of the proposed legislation in February, July and August this year. In a letter addressed to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and dated December 6, 2018, President Buhari said he declined assent to the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill principally because of his concern “that passing a new Electoral Act this far into the electoral process for the 2019 general election which commenced under the 2015 Electoral Act could create some uncertainty about the applicable legislation to govern the process”. “Any real or apparent change to the rules this close to the election may provide an opportunity for disruption and confusion in respect of which law governs the electoral process,” Buhari said in the two-page letter titled ‘Presidential Decision to Decline Assent to the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018’. Activities for the 2019 elections are already in top gear, with campaigns for the Presidential and National Assembly elections kicking off November 18, and the Governorship and State Assembly election campaigns commencing December 1. The President, therefore, requested the National Assembly, “in the best interest of the country and our democracy”, to “specifically state in the bill that the Electoral Act will come into effect and be applicable to elections commencing after the 2019 General Election”, while also recommending that drafting amendments be made in some sections of the bill amending the Principal Act. Doubts heighten While the President’s official correspondence to the National Assembly is expected to be read on the floor of both legislative chambers on Tuesday, the President’s refusal to sign the bill has already heightened the doubts about his administration’s willingness and readiness to conduct free, fair and credible elections in 2019, despite several assurances to the contrary. In a tweet, Friday, via his verified handle @atiku, Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of PDP, said, “Mr President, assurances that your administration will conduct a free, fair and credible elections cannot be taken seriously. For Nigerians and especially us in the opposition, you just missed an opportunity to walk the talk.” Ayo Kusamotu, a lawyer and public affairs analyst, told BDSUNDAY that the President’s refusal to sign the Electoral Bill could throw the electoral process into chaos and derail next year’s

L-R: Ken Onyeali Ikpe, Group CEO, Insight Redefini; Stuart Nicholson, brand partnership director, Publicis Media, and Ben West, strategy director, Zenith Media Worldwide, at Insight Redefini’s Publicis media training, recently.

elections. “It is important that the president signs the Electoral Bill into law if we want credible elections next year. If it is signed, all this incident forms errors and several lapses which affected and aided rigging in recent elections could be checked, because the PVC would be backed by law and so you can sue if it is not used in any polling booth,” Kusamotu said. Wale Ogunade, national president, Voters Awareness Initiative, said the entire scenario was a danger sign ahead of the elections, even as he blamed the politicisation of the passage of the bill for the current crisis. “That bill was supposed to have been amended and signed since April when the President sent it back to them, but they played politics with it. The bill has a clause that it must be signed at a stipulated time before the general elections. We are in a fix now and all this would only make the electoral process lose more credibility,” he said. Similarly, the Congress of United Political Parties (CUPP), in a statement by Imo Ugochinyere, its first national spokesperson, said Buhari’s decision not to sign the bill was an invitation to electoral anarchy. “President Buhari has expectedly failed again to take advantage of the rare opportunity of the Electoral Amendment Bill to write his name in gold as the President that signed the laws that guaranteed electoral credibility in Nigeria. But yet again, as usual of him, he failed to rise to the occasion, being blinded by ambition and the love of the perks of office,” CUPP said. What next for NASS? While questions continue to be asked regarding what options are available before the National Assembly, some experts say the National Assembly could invoke Section 58 (5) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). Some, however, have made an outright call to the legislative arm of government to override the President.

Section 58 (5) of the 1999 Constitution states that “Where the President withholds his assent and the bill is again passed by each House by two-thirds majority, the bill shall become law and the assent of the President shall not be required.” John Bayeisha, an Ilorin-based lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), called for calm among Nigerians, while urging the National Assembly to veto the bill into law since the President has refused to sign it. “We always like to generate unnecessary hype on issues in this country. The constitution is clear on this issue. If the President refuses to sign the Electoral Bill into law, the National Assembly is there; they can get two-third majority to veto him,” he said. Bayeisha added that there were existing amendments to existing legislation in the country since 2015, which could be used in conducting next year’s election. “There is an existing law which was used for the 2015 general elections and there have equally been amendments to the constitution of the country which can serve as an alternative. We are here because of politics between the two arms of government, but there are existing laws to use in the general elections. Right now we are in Abuja for the Osun State gubernatorial tribunal; this is what we are using. I think the issue would be sorted out before the 2019 general elections.” Agboola Dominic, chairman of PDP in Lagos State, berated Buhari for his refusal to sign the bill into law, warning that next year’s elections could be thrown into chaos. “I suppose the National Assembly knows what to do, they have passed the bill into law; if the president still insists on not signing it, they should not allow the APC derail the elections and mess up the whole process, they should veto him. It is like building a house without the right foundation. For now we may just be throwing the whole process into chaos and I see more confusion if this is not

resolved in time,” he said. Similarly, in a statement by Kola Ologbondiyan, its director of media and publicity, the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation (PPCO) called on the National Assembly to save Nigeria’s democracy and forestall an imminent electoral crisis by overriding the President’s veto, saying by refusing to sign the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, Buhari was pushing Nigeria to the brink. “It is unfortunate that Mr. President, in his desperation to hold on to power, has resorted to taking steps that are capable of destabilising our nation, just because the people are resolute in voting him out of office democratically,” the Council said. “It is also instructive to note that President Buhari is mortally afraid of the amendments because they essentially checked the All Progressives Congress (APC) rigging plans, including the use of underage and alien voters, vote-buying, alteration of results and manipulation of voter register for which the APC and the Buhari Presidency have been boasting of winning the 2019 elections,” it said. It urged political parties, other critical stakeholders and Nigerians in general to rise in the interest of the nation and demand the entrenching of rules and processes that will guarantee the conduct of free, fair and credible elections. In a report yesterday, Saturday PUNCH quoted some renowned Senior Advocates of Nigeria, including Olisa Agbakoba, Mike Ozekhome, Femi Falana and Ifedapo Adedipe, to have advised the National Assembly to evoke its constitutional powers to override the President’s assent in respect of the Electoral Act. “The 2018 Electoral Bill is clearly better than the 2010 (Electoral Act) as it removed all the constraints and challenges that marred the 2015 elections. So, retaining the weaknesses of the 2010 (Electoral Act) on whether the card reader and transmission of results electroni-

cally are allowed is going to make the 2019 elections a lot more difficult and challenging. So, I expect the Senate to override the presidential veto,” it quoted Agbakoba as saying. Falana recalled that he had warned relevant stakeholders to expedite the process of passing the new bill as passing a law within a period shorter than six months to the election had been prohibited under Article 2 of Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance of ECOWAS. Senate President Bukola Saraki, weekend, took a swipe at those who advised the President not to sign the bill into law, saying, “We have made amendments and amendments. Everything he (Buhari) has asked for, we have changed it four times so that he can sign. That is a dangerous precedent. He has the prerogative to sign or not to sign.” Saraki did not, however, say what action the Senate would take when it holds plenary on Tuesday. But Saturday PUNCH quoted Ben Murray-Bruce, vice chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, to have said the Senate would lobby members of the ruling APC in the chamber to veto the bill as the new electoral draft was very significant to the conduct and outcome of the 2019 elections. A tall order Some political commentators, however, believe this is a tall order. The only time the National Assembly overrode a President’s veto since the return to civil rule in 1999 was in the year 2000, during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, when lawmakers created the legislation establishing the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) without presidential assent. By the provision of Section 58 (5) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), 73 senators and 240 lawmakers in the House of Representatives are needed to override the President’s veto. But with the polarisation of the National Assembly along pro-Saraki and pro-Buhari groups, analysts say it is almost impossible to muster the number to override the President’s veto. “The polarisation of the National Assembly will make it difficult for lawmakers in both legislative chambers to invoke Section 58 (5) of the constitution. If they had the power to override him, they would have done so long ago. Recall that the House of Representatives had earlier failed in an attempt to override the President on the matter. Pro-Saraki cannot garner the required numbers to override the President’s veto,” a political commentator who does not want his name in print told BDSUNDAY. As lawmakers resume plenary on Tuesday, Nigerians wait with bated breath to see what direction the whole matter will go.

Sunday 09 December 2018




News 2019: FG forecloses Diaspora voting KEHINDE AKINTOLA, Abuja


bike Dabiri-Erewa, special assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, has ruled out the possibility of voting for Nigerians in the Diaspora in 2019. Dabiri-Erewa, who gave the insight in Abuja during an interactive session with Stanislas Kamazi, Rwanda High Commissioner to Nigeria, however assured that necessary efforts are ongoing to enable Nigerians in the Diaspora exercise their voting rights. “Nigerians abroad have the touch of the government; Nigerians in the Diaspora remit about $22 billion

annually. “But beyond the remittance, they also want to vote and efforts are being made to achieving that, though not in 2019; it is one of the things we hope that will happen in subsequent elections,” Dabiri-Erewa noted. The President’s aide stressed that those in the Diaspora were also interested in investing in the country and government was making investment environment conducive for that. “They want to invest in their owncountrysoweareproviding the structures to make that possible by working with othergovernmentagenciesto make that possible. “Government is also working on a data of those that

Abike Dabiri-Erewa

Stop luring voters into releasing PVCs to government agents, Makinde cautions APC

have returned; a lot of them are going into farming and they are not regretting investing in their country. “So, government is making sure that the Diasporas invest in their country to bring in their wealth of their experience and resources to develop the country. “We want to ensure that Nigerians in the Diaspora be the best as they always be,” she said. Dabiri-Erewa said that there were lots of lessons to learn from Rwanda Diaspora operation. The High Commissioner said there were lots of lessons to learn from Rwanda Diaspora policy which has been in operation for some years.

Akinremi Feyisipo, Ibadan


he ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State has been asked to desist from the alleged luring voters into releasing their voters cards to government agents. The gubernatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, who gave the advice said that the plot will not succeed because the people have seen through the alleged desperation of the ruling party. According to Makinde, “APC will equally fail in its connivance with the Oyo State Signage and advertisement agency to frustrate attempts to install billboards belonging to the opposition in the state.” Makinde handed down the warning in a release from his Campaign Organisation, signed by Dotun Oyelade, and made available to journalists in Ibadan that, “the imprint of Seyi Makinde is in the minds of the people and they will give him resounding victory during the March 2, gubernatorial election next year.

Reddington Hospital unveils new surgery, critical care centre


eddington Hospital, Lagos has unveiled a new and upgraded surgery and critical care facility. The centre, known as the Davidson Specialist Surgery and Critical Care Centre and named after Dr Neil

Davidson, founding medical director of the Reddington Hospital, was formally opened by Ms. Laure Beaufils, British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, in a ceremony on Thursday. The centre has been established to fill a perceived

need for high-quality surgery backed up by high-level critical care provision due to a lack of these services in Nigeria. “What is new in the approach of the Davidson Centre is the tight integration and teamwork be-


he Governing Council of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, has announced the appointment of a new ViceChancellor and two other principal officers. The new VC is Michael Ologunde, a renowned professor of Food Science. Th e c o u n c i l a ls o a p pointed Kayode Ogunleye

as registrar and Abayomi Okediji as bursar. According to a statement by the institution’s Public Relations Officer, Lekan Fadeyi, the newly appointed vice chancellor will take over the running of the institution from the incumbent, Prof. Adeniyi Gbadegesin, whose fiveyear tenure will end on Feb. 14, 2019. It said Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State and his Osun State counterpart, Adegboyega Oyetola,

had approved the appointments as recommended by the Dapo Afolabi-led governing council. It hinted that the position of the University Librarian would be filled soon. “The council at its 135th special meeting held last week had directed that the vacancy in the position be re-advertised while the process of appointing a new University Librarian be concluded on or before Jan. 25, 2019,” it said.

Olanipekun decries increasing number of Nigerian medical practitioners practising overseas YOMI AYELESO, Akure


renowned lawyer, Wole Olanipekun has lamented the rate at which registered Nigerian medical doctors leave the shores of the country to practise in foreign countries. He said the healthcare delivery system in Nigeria was collapsing and also in chaotic and appalling situation. Olanipekun stated this while delivering the 3rd Founder’s Day Lecture of the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo City with the theme; ‘Ethics, Law and Medicine as Foundation for National Development. ‘ The former president of

the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) pointed out that medical practice in the country was undergoing brain drain, adding that government at all levels are not recruiting doctors to take care of teeming patients across hospitals in the country. “In 2017, the chairman of Lagos branch of the NMA, Olumuyiwa Odusote revealed that about 40,000 of the 75,000 registered medical doctors in Nigeria were practising outside the country, with a rather disturbing caveat that 75 percent of those still in Nigeria were planning to leave,” he said. According to the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), “To compound the situation, there has been no major re-

of Surgery. Also speaking, Adeyemi Onabowale, Reddington Hospital CEO, said, “The theatre has been upgraded with an array of modern surgical suite technology and new state-of-the-art critical care equipment.”

Nnaji challenges women to fight, stop all violence against womenfolk

LAUTECH gets new VC, other principal officers Akinremi Feyisipo, Ibadan

tween surgery, anaesthesia and critical care which is crucial for optimal results following major surgery and treatment for major life-threatening conditions,” said Olutunde Lalude, Reddington’s Group Medical Director and Chief

cruitment of doctors, whether by the states or the Federal Government and even those recruited by them only consider their employment as a temporary fix, transitory event if you like, until they can conclude plans to emigrate to favourable climes.” Olanipekun noted that healthcare delivery system contributes to the national development of developed countries and improved their national revenue. He urged government at all levels to rescue the health sector by investing in it in order to discourage the increasing migration for treatment of different ailments by Nigerians, which he said is enhancing revenue in the foreign countries.

Regis Anukwuoji, Enugu


eace Nnaji, Enugu State commissioner for Gender Affairs and Social Development, has challenged the womenfolk to speak out and boldly, and fight to ensure that all forms of violence against them were stopped. Nnaji stated this at the occasion marking the 2018 International Day for the Eradication of Violence against women in Enugu organised by Enugu State Tamar Sexual Assault Referral Center (TamarSARC) in collaboration with Enugu State Ministries of Gender, Justice and Health. Nnaji advised the women

to go to their various communities and create awareness and report to Tamar SARC any form of abuse against women around them. “Don’t keep silence as Martin Luther King Jr said: ‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter’”, she said. The Commissioner explained that the state government under Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as a way of reducing, if not total eradication of violence against women, took over the running and management of Tamar SARC, a center designated to provide comprehensive free medical, psychosocial and legal services to victims of sexual abuse and by exten-

sion other forms of violence against women. She expressed surprise that women are not speaking out or accessing the services readily available for them at the Tarmar SARC, saying that women should avail themselves of the opportunity provided by the government to free themselves. Nnaji, who described violence as any act, behaviour or conduct that causes injury, harm, force or pain to another person, noted that it could also be emotional, physical, psychological, sexual, economical, culture, political or that it could be in the form of abuse, neglect or rejection from most powerful person or persons to a lesser one.

NAWOJ urges women to take interest in budget presentation Victoria Nnakaike, Lokoja


he Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) has asked women all over the country to pick interest in budget presentation to know how the nation resources are being managed. This was stated at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre in Lokoja during a 3-day workshop organised by NAWOJ, Kogi State chapter in collaboration with Norwegian Union of Journalists (NORSKJournalistleg) with the theme

‘Gender, equity and safety on gender sensitive reporting for women journalists’. Ifeyinwa Omowele, NAWOJ president, in her remarks said that the federal, state government and organisations have to provide crèche for nursing mothers to alleviate their problems during that critical stage of taking care of their children. “It is the duty of the federal and state governments to provide crèche at the secretariat for nursing mothers. Government needs to know that,” She said. Sh e e q u a l l y a d v i s e d women in any organisation

to come together, pick one of the offices and use it as a crèche and employ a nanny. Veronica Ogbole, one of the resource persons, stressed that one of the main objectives of the workshop was to make the female journalists see gender which is defined as a social role in the society in their reporting. Ogbole maintained that female journalists should take cognizance of gender policy if they want to report about gender. She equally disclosed that government hides under security vote to steal the country’s money.



Sunday 09 December 2018


Ikpeazu settles Abia PDP committee rift ...Suspended chairman reinstated UDOKA AGWU, Umuahia


ohnson Onuigbo, the Abia PDP chairman who was suspended by the State Working Committee (SWC) has been reinstated following a peace truce brokered by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, the leader of the party in the state. Onuigbo was suspended early last week by the entire members of the SWC in a communiqué signed by the 19- member SWC for alleged abuse of office, and his Deputy, P. C. Onyegbu took charge as the acting chairman of the party. But at the weekend, Governor Ikpeazu summoned the SWC members and brokered peace for the committee which led to the reinstatement of Onuigbo. The committee met on Monday (3/12/18) at the Finbarrs Road state headquarters of the party and after arising from the meeting the reinstated chairman briefed journalists, saying that what

happened last weekend was natural in every family. “What happened last week was natural. It happens in every family. It was misunderstanding in our family, PDP,” said Onuigbo. He further said: “The governor who is the leader of our party in Abia has made peace for us and party is back on track. There is no division in our party. We have been able to settle our differences amicably.” He said that now that the electioneering campaign is around the corner, the party should work hard since the opposition parties in the state are in disarray. “When they learnt of the problem in our party, they started rejoicing but thank God that the problem has been settled. We are going to work hard as usual to make sure we have a resounding victory come 2019,” he said. Matthew Ibe, the vice chairman of the party, Abia North who spoke on behalf of other members of SWC, confirmed that the rift had been settled amicably by Ikpeazu.

President of the Institute of Directors (IoD) Nigeria, Ahmed Rufa’i Mohammed (l) presenting the plaque of Fellow to Folusho Olaniyan while Emmanuel Ijewere (m) watches in admiration during the IoD night of investiture of new fellows in Lagos... recently

Alakija donates 250 bed-teaching ‘Building sustainable institutions as catalyst for Nigeria growth indices’ hospital to Osun University The IoD Nigeria has three This position was reached ing infrastructure in Nigeria Ngozi Okpalakunne


eaders in the country have been urged to ensure that Nigerians have access to qualitative medical services as only a healthy nation can be productive and prosperous. Making the appeal during the groundbreaking ceremony of a 250 bed- teaching hospital donated by Modupe and Folorunso Alakija to Osun State University during its convocation ceremony, Folorunso, who is also the chancellor of the university, noted that it is only when a nation is healthy that she will talk of development. According to her, “the donation of the hospital was born out of love for children,

mothers and humanity in general and for the advancement of medical education.” Alakija further said that the donation was also in fulfillment of the pledge made when she was appointed the chancellor by the former governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola. ‘’If you are to be relevant in your generation, you must be ready to acquire more skills and potentials and be prepared to develop such skills. You must figure out your purpose because your passion will lead you right into purpose. “Others can inspire you, but ultimately the only thing that empowers you is what lies within you and learning how to better utilise what you have been given,” she said.



s attempts to move away from failures of the past towards sustainable institution for growth, building strong institutions are considered to be the essential foundation for growth and sustainable development indices. The international community spends billions of dollars every year supporting efforts to build effective, inclusive and accountable government institutions in developing countries, with little impact being recorded owing to issues around good corporate governance. Hence, there is need for conscious efforts to provide rule of law, support economic growth and reduce poverty through basic service provision.

at the Institute of Directors (IoD) Nigeria 2018 Fellows’ night and investiture with the theme, ‘Building Sustainable Institutions’ held recently in Lagos. Oluwole Oshin, the group MD of Custodian Investment Plc said with proper governance, innovative and dynamic leadership, Nigeria will achieve its goals and objective as a nation. According to Oshin, the country will mitigate against risk with good governance, which in itself addresses the issues around sustainable institutions. “Sustainable institutions cannot be built around financial indices alone,” said Oshin. Oshin opined that the theme of investiture ‘Building Sustainable Institutions’ is timely in Nigeria’s journey to nation building, consider-

is 30 years behind. “Sustainable institutions are built around good governance. To build sustainable institution, both public and private sectors must be exposed to good governance,” said Oshin as he urged the directors to apply lessons of the past in adopting a long time planning and growth development model like China. AhmedRufaiMohammed, the president of the IoD Nigeria in his welcome address said the institute takes seriously issues of good governance as a leading business membership organisation (BMO) in Nigeria. According to Mohammed, IoD confers fellowship annually on members of the business communities who have distinguished themselves in various capacities.

membership categories, however members with minimum of ten years directorship experience and sustained membership of the institute for ten years are considered for upgrade to the fellowship status of the IoD. However, Moyo Ajekigbe and Oluremi Omotoso, both were conferred as distinguished fellows of the IoD Nigeria bringing the total number to 26 distinguished fellows of the institute. On the other hand, 17 candidates were conferred as fellows bringing the ranks of fellows to 345. Annually the IoD confers fellowship status on deserving members who have served the institute of varying capacities while making notable contribution to the business community.

persons with disabilities in all spheres of society. In 2017, Project Enable Africa, a Nigerian civic organisation that promotes the rights, empowerment and social inclusion of persons with disabilities established a disability-friendly digital hub in Lagos with funding from the U.S. government. To date, the hub has trained 20 young persons with disabilities in various

information and communication technology-based skills, and supports them through mentorship. Du r i n g t h e e v e n t , Project Enable Africa announced a second cohort that will be trained next year. Project Enable Africa is also the winner of the Google Impact Challenge Funds Competition in Nigeria and will receive an award of $250,000.

U.S. makes case for full inclusion of persons with disabilities Ngozi Umeakunne


he United States Consulate in Lagos has called for more concerted efforts to ensure the full inclusion of persons living with disabilities in every aspect of social, political, economic, and cultural life. Delivering remarks at a programme organised

by Project Enable Africa in commemoration of the 2018 International Day of Persons with Disabilities, U.S. Consulate Public Affairs Officer, Russell Brooks, reaffirmed the U.S. government’s support for the inclusion of persons with disabilities. Brooks explained that the United States, as part of its foreign policy, works to remove barriers and create

a world in which disabled people enjoy dignity and full inclusion. According to him, promoting disability rights is an integral part of the promotion of human rights. “In pursuing diplomacy that is inclusive and empowering of persons with disabilities, the United States opposes discrimination against persons with disabilities everywhere and

in all its forms. If we permit anyone in our society to be accorded less than their full human rights, we are all diminished as a result,” Brooks said. At the event, rights activist and President of Women Arise, Joe Okei-Odumakin, and Access Bank’s Head of Sustainability, Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, emphasised the importance of full and equal participation of

Sunday 09 December 2018




Mixed reactions trail Ekere’s manifesto CNN African Voices profiles 3 naturalists this weekend of new vision for Akwa Ibom




ixed reactions have continued to trail NsimaEkere’s manifesto of new vision for Akwa Ibom State which he launched in Uyo, to kick start his campaign as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in next year’s election. The new vision, which is anchored on five pillars of change include economic prosperity, infrastructure and rural development, education, health and social protection, as well as security, governance and institutional reforms. Ekere, who is also the managing director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), promised that he would launch a N20 million fund to raise a “critical mass of transformative entrepreneurs who will use creativity and innovation to grow the private sector and create wealth.” Other promises include launching a graduate farmers’ scheme and promoting the participation of 500 youths from each of the 31 local government areas or 15,500 per annum in farming and as extension agents as well as establishing the state

Nsima Ekere

health insurance scheme to cater for health needs of the people. The gubernatorial candidate also said he would design a social protection policy to cover the most vulnerable among the people including people living with disability, the aged, poor, widows and orphans. The APC governorship candidate who promised to declare a state of emergency in the education sector said if elected he would increase the support for students in tertiary institutions by raising student bursary from N5, 000 to N25, 000 per session while an annual award for the overall best performing secondary school in the state in public examinations would

be instituted. “We are totally committed to a dramatic increase in funding education from the current 1.6 percent of the state budget to a progressive increment towards meeting the UNESCO target of 25 percent by 2023,” he said. Specifically, Ekere promised that he would restore financial autonomy to local governments in the state. But reacting to the promises, analysts and observers described the manifesto as lacking in strategy on how the issues would be addressed while wondering why promises made should be taken seriously particularly the issue of financial autonomy to local governments as he promised.

he Globacomsponsored CNN Af r i c a n Vo i c e s , a magazine programme of the Cable News Network, this week profiles three Africans naturalists, who are believers in or adherents of naturalism, especially in the arts. The trio include Samson Ogbole, a Nigerian whose penchant to get something out of farm lands is both legendary and revolutionary; Junior Gabela, a South African ornithologist, who has an uncanny knowledge of flying creatures and guides birds for a living and Angus Paul, a Kenyan who has uncommon love for fishery and has turned fishing into a spectacular art. The swivel of Ogbole’s research revolves round his belief that the future of health can only be secured if it is built on agricultural practices that are healthy for the farmer, healthy for the consumer and healthy for the environment. His vision is to ensure that humans “eat right, live longer” as well as “ensure food is the drug we eat to live healthier and longer”. Ogbole’s firm “PS Nutrac” now grows crops without using soil. This feat

isachieved by deploying several technologies, including hydroponics (plants in water), aquaponics (using waste produce of fishes to feed plants) and aeroponics (plants growing in air) to ensure that crops are grown all year round and no longer seasonally. His intervention may just be the right step for agricultural development in Nigeria as he says that “plants grown without soil have higher phytochemicals and antioxidants compared to those grown in soil”. He says the crops are also healthier as there is reduced use of inorganic fertilizer, pesticides, fungicides or other agrochemicals on the crops. There are already aeroponics farms in Ibadan, Abuja, Umudike in Abia State and Araromi Ake in Ogun State. The second naturalist, Gabela, is a site guide for Amatikulu Nature Reserve, Nkandla Forest, Dlinza Forest, Eshowe, Mthunzini, Richards Bay, Ongoye Forest, and Umlalazi Nature Reserve in South Africa . He has a unique passion for birding and an uncanny knack of locating even the most hard to find species. He

has been a Birdlife South Africa accredited guide since 2005 and has been guiding since 2000, and at the same time working with the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) where he undertakes researches and participates in school outreach programmes. The third guest on the programme, Angus Paul, specialises in deep-sea fishing. He says that his aim in life had been to be a fisherman since his childhood on the North coast of Kenya where he was fortunate to have world-class bill fish fishing right on his doorstep. “It also helped that my family ran one of the few charter companies in the region at the time. There were no favours offered, and I did my training through the ranks like everyone else and became a skipper more than 30 years ago’’, he adds. Paul is known for catching the most Sailfish yearon-year and his sound reputation for getting his clients ‘on the fish’. He at present runs the family business bringing up his eldest son up through the ranks so that he could step into the father’s shoes in the art of fishing and sports-fishing.

Delta ‘unsung heroes’ honoured for impacting on rural communities Mercy Enoch, Asaba


ost Nigerians render services that impact positively on their rural communities but such persons are hardly recognised and celebrated because they are not popular in the society. This is the fate of Ernest Ogbedo, a medical doctor and seven other Deltans who the Delta State Economic Summit Group (DESG), described as “unsung heroes”. Ogbedo has embarked on the huge task of fighting blindness by moving into rural communities rather than staying in township like his medical colleagues. The result is that this year 2018 alone, he has carried out free eye treatment on over 24,000 people, gave out glasses to over 17,000 people and carried out surgeries on over 2,500 persons in Delta, Anambra, Edo, Enugu, and Imo States through Restore Sight Africa Initiative, a non-governmental organisation founded by him. DESG, through its machinery was able to recognise him and seven other Deltans for their services to humanity.

Ernest Ogbedo, one of the unsung heroes now an award winner.

The DESG during its recent“UnsungHeroesAward” held in Asaba, Delta State capital, said it was celebrating their socio-economic contributions to the society as well as reward them for their services. Among the eight persons nominated for the award, four emerged winner, including Ogbedo. The award categories included Young Achievers – dedicated to youth impacting youth, Community Development – making a difference through developmental projects, Enterprise Development – impacting the community through development enterprise, Education – building capacity, building lives, Public Service – true heart of service.

The four winners were Ediri Obada (development category), Fedelia Oyemike and Ernest Ogbedo (community development), and Regina Ofigho (public service category). All the nominees were given certificate while the winners were presented with award plague and a token of money each from DESG as the group declared that the era in which individuals that contribute significantly to their local communities but go unnoticed, has gone In his speech, the Director-

General of DESG, Chukwuka Monye, said they came out with the award to recognise and celebrate those who contribute significantly to the society but are not popular. “Those that actually affect lives are most of the times not the popular people. So, we said, today, we are going to start from the nominees to the awardees to ensure that that grandmother in the village that is not recognized is recognized”. Speaking also, Kingsley Emu, the state’s Commissioner of Economic Planning,

said, “This is one innovation I have seen the private sector come up with, without any atom of support from the state government”. He observed that the issue of reward and motivation had remained a key issue but regretted that those who are appreciated in the society today are millionaires. He however urged Deltans not to relent in their services to develop their local areas as he assured them, “If no one sees you, just rest assured that DESG will find you”.

Kingsley Emu, Delta State Commissioner of Economic Planning (center), flanked by the “Unsung Heroes” awardees.

Shimite Bello, the Executive Secretary of the Delta State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises DevelopmentAgency(DEMSMA),in her congratulatory message, commended the DESG for coming up with the award while encouraging both the nominees and the winners of the award to do more for the society. All the nominees and the awardees were given opportunity to speak at the occasion. They were all elated at the gesture done them and promised to do more. Ogbedo as one of the winners told BDSUNDAY that he was just doing his work and never knew that somebody somewhere was watching. Just like other awardees, he said the award has spurred him to get more committed to the prevention of blindness through the medical missions to the poor rural and urban communities. DESG is a non-profit, non partisan private sector led think-tank and advocacy group organised to contribute to the socio-economic development of the state. More unpopular Deltans are expected to qualify for this award in the coming year following the group’s commitment to this task.



Sunday 09 December 2018


Group faults NASS bill on donkey, says Nigeria loses $2bn annually to smuggling Innocent Odoh, Abuja


ollowing the bill to prohibit the killing and exportation of donkeys or their carcasses, which has passed a second reading in the House of Representatives in November, the Donkey Skin Processors, Marketers and Exporters Association of Nigeria (DSPMEAN), has faulted the bill stressing that it was done in ignorance and capable of killing the local investors in the donkey business, who have committed enormous resources to breed, market and export donkeys. National Vice Chairman of the Association, Ifeanyi Dike, told a media parley in Abuja that rather than initiate a bill to ban exportation of donkeys, the government should be more proactive to regulate the industry and stop the smuggling which has sabotaged the business, that should have created a multibillion investment to Nigeria especially in this time of low oil prices. Dike pointed out that between 2012 and 2018, Nigeria has cumulatively lost in revenue over $2 billion annually totaling over $7 billion in six years to the smuggling

Ifeanyi Dike

of donkey parts to other countries especially China. He explained that with modern technology; donkey business has the potential to deepen the efforts being made to diversify the economy and add value to the economy of Nigeria with the multiplier effects. The bill sponsored by Garba Muhammed (APC-Kaduna), seeks

to address the threat of donkeys going into extinction, and to preserve its aesthetic, ecological, historical, recreational and scientific values to the nation. Muhammed said it was necessary that donkeys were preserved for use particularly for transportation, among other uses. “Recently, the donkey population has severely reduced. The reason ascribed to this development, like in many countries of West African sub-region, is large scale exports to China. “In China, where the donkey population has also nosedived, the demand for donkeys is extremely high because gelatine made from donkey skin is highly priced as a nutritional tonic which nourishes the blood and boosts the immune system,” he said. The bill, therefore, recommends a penalty of 10 years imprisonment for offences committed. Dike however, said that his association has all the modern technological equipment to breed, process market and export donkey skin in a manner that will dispel the fear of extinction as suggested by the bill. He added that the menace of smuggling is caused by inadequate regulations even as he called on government to make the busi-

ness very viable by setting rule for ranching of donkeys and also stop the indiscriminate slaughtering of donkeys by unauthorized persons to avoid extinction. He said that their factory has met all the standards required by the government to breed donkeys and they have written to the quarantine and submitted a profile of their Nigerian investor to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Audu Ogbe. He said further that the Vertinary unit of government has inspected their factory and saw their ranch which was certified okay. Dike lamented that the lawmakers did not consult the stakeholders in the industry before initiating such a bill, which he said will kill the business of local investors. “We need to be protected. I don’t know where we got the analogue system of complete ban when there is an economic value. “We are not very comfortable with that bill because we were not consulted to ventilate our own side so that there will be a comprehensive policy. The bill is counterproductive and ignorant of the potentials of donkey to add to our GDP and to act as catalyst to building our local economy,” he said.

Committee spends N300m on disaster victims across zones Regis Anukwuoji, Enugu


ver N300 million has been spent by the Presidential committee on Flood and Rehabilita-

tion (PCFRR) to procure assorted relief materials distributed to disaster victims across the six geo-political zones of the country through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). The committee, which has Aliyu

Dangote and Human Rights Lawyer, Olisa Agbakoba as co-chairmen, was set up by ex-president Goodluck Jonathan to take care of victims of the 2012 devastating flood disasters across the nation. A member of the committee,

Shabnam Rawal,MD Informa Exhibitions UAE (left); Michel Deelen, head of Royal Netherlands mission in Lagos; Folusho Olaniyan, programme director, Agrainnovate West Africa, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, his wife, Bisi Fayemi, and Sarah Alade, a former deputy governor of Central Bank, during the tape-cutting at the opening ceremony of Agrainnovate West Africa 2018 at Landmark Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos .... recently.

Owoicho John, who spoke on behalf of the Co-chairmen, said that since the Committee was put in place, it has been assisting and partnering with NEMA in providing relief materials to victims of disasters in parts of the country, with a view to cushioning the effect of such tragedy that befalls citizens. He disclosed this during the inspection and formal presentation of assorted relief materials valued at several millions of naira, to NEMA for onward distribution to disaster victims in South-East Nigeria. Owoicho had also urged the agency to ensure that the items get to the targeted audience so as to help in ameliorating their suffering caused by the disaster. According to him, the 1,427 bags of cement was to assist the victims in rebuilding their damaged homes. He pointed out that the zonal presentation exercise began in the federal capital territory recently, from where it was moved to Port Harcourt, the River state capital, for South- South Nigeria, “and today, here we are in Enugu for the SouthEast zone. Receiving the items, Director - General of NEMA, Mustapha Maihaja, represented by its South East zonal Coordintor, Walson Brandon, had expressed appreciation to the presidential committee for the gesture.

Institute to hold maiden annual conference, inducts members,


he Institute of Human Resources and Strategic Management, IHRSM, has concluded plans to host its inaugural annual conference on the 15th of December, 2018 at Golf View Hotel, Ikeja GRA, Lagos. The institute will also induct new members as well as confer

fellowship on some members at the conference slated for 12 noon. The conference which is themed, “Aligning Human Resources and Strategic Management for Organisational Optimal Performance,” will have Professor Sola Fajana of University of Lagos as the keynote speaker.

A statement made available to our medium by Abel Minna, the registrar /CEO of the Institute of Human Resources and Strategic Management disclosed that at the conference, the Institute would be celebrating professional excellence in Human Resources and Strategic Management by

conferring the IHRSM Achievement Awards to National Youth Service Corps, NYSC participants who possess stellar academic achievements and demonstrate exceptional leadership qualities, alongside strong community involvement amongst other activities.

‘Officers with integrity can make community policing effective’ UDOKA AGWU, Umuahia.


ames Uchegbuo, presidentgeneral of Ahuwa Oboro Autonomous community in Ikwuano Local Government Area of Abia State, has said that community policing could be more effective if police officers with integrity are saddled with such responsibility. Uchegbuo stated this in Umuahia while reacting to the maiden press briefing by the Abia State Commissioner of Police, Chris Okey Ezike who said promoting community policing and partnership through building positive bridges between the police, traditional rulers, local government administrators, student groups, professional bodies, traders and private sector organisations, NGOs and the media would be one of the major focus of the command. Uchegbuo, while addressing some journalists in this direction, pointed out that once it comes to community policing, the morality of the police officers managing the information gathered from informants effectively to achieve the desired result becomes an issue. “The integrity of the police officers in charge matters, when it comes to community policing and security information management,” he observed. “That is why in developed countries of the world, the government/ top management of security agencies go through the genetic history of the officer’s family. Those who have inferior genetic chemistry are not allowed to head certain departments, because a person that comes from a loquacious family cannot change overnight,” he said. According to him, “In a developed country, when it comes to who handles some sensitive positions in police, the management will go for the officer’s data and not paper (certificate) qualification”. The community leader noted that earlier, people thought that it was only the young police officers who mismanaged information given to them, adding that presently, even some senior police officers mismanage information, thereby frustrating the vital objectives expected from such information as one would have wished. Uchegbuo insisted that the issue of terrorism could be stopped and destroyed through community policing if the agencies involved could be upright in their dealings with the community members. “If the people are allowed to do the needful and the police officers who receive the information can put it into proper use, no matter who is involved, then community policing will be a success. “Police officers should get themselves isolated from politics, to achieve community policing, because political affiliation and social class system are major clog in the wheel for community policing to thrive. Some police officers often turn information upside down when it has to do with people who matter in the society,” he said.

Sunday 09 December 2018



News Union Bank’s seminars’ aim to equip entrepreneurs with relevant skills

Israeli Forces begin ‘Operation Northern Shield’ against Hezbollah cross-border assaults

…Takes empowerment to Abia, Kano, Oyo, Kaduna, others

Innocent Odoh, Abuja


Ngozi Okpalakunne


n order to provide practical information and guidance on how to address typical challenges faced by small businesses in Nigeria, Union Bank recently held series of seminars for entrepreneurs across the country. The seminar, which came under the theme: ‘Managing a successful small business’, took place at Aba, Lagos, Anambra, Kano, Kaduna, Abuja and Oyo. Speaking on the Bank’s focus on providing support for SMEs, Union Bank’s Head of Retail Segments, Paul Aseme highlighted the role of SMEs in boosting a nation’s economy. “Union Bank has been known for its contribution to the growth of Nigerian businesses. Recognising the role of SMEs in driving Nigeria’s economic growth, these seminars were organised to equip business owners with the knowledge and skills they require to establish strong foundation for their business, widen their expo-

R-L: Pastor Idowu Iluyomade, special assistant to the General Overseer of Redeemed Christian Church on CSR/Pastor, Regional 20, Redeemed Christian Church of God, (RCCG); Pastor Trevor Akindele, pastor, RCCG, City of David/member, advisory council, and Olusegun Agboola, RCCG City of David, His Love Foundation, head of communications, at a press conference on the church’s plan to feed 50 million people in 197 countries in December 2018 held at Radisson Blu Hotel VI, Lagos.

sure and expand their business connections,” Aseme said. The workshops included modules on sales and marketing, governance, succession planning and capacity building. In addition, attendees were equipped with rele-

vant digital marketing and accounting skills to enable them compete favourably in the Nigerian marketplace. Some participants who attended the seminars lauded the organisers for the free training which they stated is sure to boost their businesses and the SME sector

PANDEF worries over wrong deployment of security personnel by FG ANIEFIOK UDONQUAK, Uyo


he Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), an umbrella group in the oil producing region of the country, has expressed deep concerns over the wrong deployment of security personnel by the Federal Government targeting members of the opposition parties. They accuse the police of working against the maintenance of peace and order in the country in states of the federation where the opposition party is in office. Speaking during a consultative meeting of the forum in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital weekend, National leader Pan-Niger Del-

ta Forum (PANDEF) Edwin Clark, said he was worried at the increasing trend of desecrating national institutions, particularly the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Police Force in using them for political gains. Represented by the deputy National Chairman of PANDEF, Francis Doukpola, he regretted that the Nigeria Police have been negatively used in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and other South-south states for political reasons in recent weeks. According to Clark, “More and more, certain persons in the political class have continued to drag the police to become surrogates in achieving their nefarious political ends. That is why in a place like BayelsaState, eight Com-

missioners of Police have been posted and reposted in a matter of three months.” “Here in Akwa Ibom State, we have continued to see the role which the police are playing in being overtly partisan. In Ekiti and Osun elections, we saw how men of the Nigeria Police were being openly used to intimidate political opponents and in some cases, directly perpetrating acts which are by all standards violation of every existing electoral laws. “Coming to our Niger Delta, we have collectively worked to bring peace to this troubled region. It was that our effort that made the Niger Delta Avengers to declare a cease fire in September 2016.

as a whole. Union Bank’s SME support scheme also includes the provision of access to market, a conducive banking climate for investment and, easy access to finance for working capital through loan products that include non-collateral loans.

n the early hours of the morning of the 4th of December 2018, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) launched an operation called ‘Operation Northern Shield’ to locate and neutralise cross-border assault tunnels penetrating Israeli territory from Lebanon. A statement issued on Thursday by the Press Officer of the Embassy of Israel to Nigeria, Zanswat Bowsan, made available to BDSUNDAY said these tunnels were built by the internationally designated terror organisation, Hezbollah. “The construction of these tunnels, built by Hezbollah and funded by Iran-alongside the ongoing efforts to transfer arms, convert inaccurate projectiles into precisionguided missiles and manufacture precision-guided missiles in Lebanon- is a flagrant violation of Israel’s sovereignty and marks yet another stage

Delta Community in high spirit over huge harvest despite flood in the state Mercy Enoch, Asaba


hough several communities of Delta State were ravaged by flood which claimed their properties and farmlands even lives, resulting in their counting huge losses even as the flood receded, there are however, communities that were not affected by flood, thus enabling their land to yield great proceeds this harvest season. Ejeme Aniogor Community in Aniocha Local

Government Area of the state, is one the communities that were not affected. The people of this community, otherwise, called Ejeme Aniogor Kingdom, are therefore in high spirit, thanking God for great proceeds as they harvest crops from their farms. According to them, it is a thing of joy to them and worthy of celebration that no one among them suffered loss in the course of the year as their community was not affected by flood or any other natural disaster.

‘Engineers should develop skills to enhance technology development’


a g o s S t a t e Commissioner for Works and Housing, Ade Akinsanya has called on professional engineers to continuously develop their skills so as to contribute their quota to the enhancement of the profession as well as the development of technology in the country.

Akinsanya, who made the call recently in Lagos, during the investiture of Funmi Akigbagbohun as the 13th chairman of the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), Ikeja branch, affirmed that engineers possessed specialised knowledge which they must maintain and expand throughout their careers.

Speaking on ‘Enhancement and empowerment of engineering professionalism’, the commissioner stressed the need for the Council of Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) as well as NSE to inculcate the importance of professional conduct in fulfilling the obligation of engineers to the public, clients, the profession and themselves.

of Hezbollah’s ongoing effort to expand its military build-up and further destabilise the already volatile region. “Hezbollah, the Iranian proxy in Lebanon is advancing an Iranian agenda to turn Lebanon into a launching pad for attacks that threaten lives of innocent Israelis while endangering Lebanon and its citizens,” the statement said. The tunnel project according to the statement constitutes an ongoing blatant violation of Security Council Resolutions and the State of Israel holds the Government of Lebanon responsible for these violations. “Israel is conducting defensive engineering measures south of the Blue Line in Israeli territory. This operation is intended to neutralise the cross- border assault tunnels emanating from Lebanese territory. While Israel is not interested in any escalation, it will take all necessary measures to defend its sovereignty and its citizens,” the statement said.

Delta Community, Ejeme Aniogor in high spirit over bountiful harvest.

Ejeme Aniogor is an agrarian town that has large expanse of land. The town is known for its rich agricultural heritage as it is a place where the oil palm revolution called the Tree Crop Unit (TCU) began a long time ago. From this town, oil palm nursery gets to other part of the state, making Delta to be a state rich in oil palm production. Speaking to BDSUNDAY following the New Yam Festival of the community recently, the Ejeme Aniogor traditional ruler, Anthony Onwelikwu Ogboli, described the year’s harvest as very nice and beautiful. “The harvest is nice and beautiful and you can see it in the way the people are rejoicing. We are not in pain; we are celebrating because God made it possible for everybody to be happy. There was no person that said he lagged behind. Whatever they planted yielded something for them; even myself, I am saying that it (the year’s harvest) was success all through. Most people who celebrate new yam festivals do so around July and August when the first set of fruits are harvested.



Sunday 09 December 2018

CRIME WATCH Command deploys 500 policemen to Lagos Island


he Lagos State Police Command has deployed additional 500 policemen to control traffic and crime on Lagos Island with special focus on Apongbon, TBS, Eko Hotels and environs. This was done to boost the number of personnel already at various points in the area, CSP Chike Oti, Lagos State police spokesman, explained. “The deployment was necessitated by the following events coming up on the Island which includes: The Experience, Adekunle Gold Concert and the Davido Concert,” CSP Oti said. “Also factored in the strategy are people who would be embarking on religious pilgrimage to RCCG Holy Ghost Congress at Redeem Camp and Shiloh at the Winners’ Chapel.” Expectedly, the aforementioned events will lead to surge in vehicular and human traffic thereby bringing additional pressure to the already strained traffic situation in the commercial city resulting in gridlock. “To ameliorate the foreseen situation, the state

Chike Oti

Commissioner of Police, CP Edgal Imohimi directed that five hundred policemen be posted to Lagos Island to boost the number of men already on ground in order to prevent crime and ensure

smooth flow of traffic,” the police spokesman said. “The CP warns criminals who might want to take advantage of the upcoming events to stay away from the Island and indeed the

state as anyone caught will be summarily dealt with.” Continuing, CSP Oti said, “The commissioner enjoins Lagosians to report suspicious characters and movements to the police through the following toll free emergency numbers 112 and 767.” Also available for complaints are the following Citizen Complaint Hot Centre lines: 1. 08067945296 2. 08063025274 3. 08063104759 4. 08113615350 5. 08113683077 6. 08096283148 7.08096283173 8. 08089781657 9. 08126404930 10. 08081426895 “In addition to the policemen deployed for this purpose, the Command will be collaborating with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), LASTMA and other relevant traffic management agencies to ensure smooth flow of traffic in the state,” CSP Oti said. “He assures of peaceful yuletide season and enjoins Lagosians to enjoy moderately during the festive period.”

No boat mishap on Lagos waters - CP


dgal Imohimi, Lagos State commissioner of Po l i c e , h a s d e bunked the news making the rounds that 48 persons died on a boat in Lagos. Ac c o r d i n g t o C S P Chike Oti, police public relations officer, the commissioner’s attention was drawn to the pictures being circulated on the social media that 48 persons who went on boat cruise lost their lives when their vessel capsized. “The authorities of the Command will like to state that there was no boat accident on Lagos waterways in which 48

persons died,” said CSP Oti. “No family has reported losing a member who left home for a boat party or cruise as falsely depicted with the pictures of unknown persons being circulated on the social media,” he said. Continuing, he said: “The Command wishes to advise members of the public to be wary of news emanating from the internet as most of them are tissues of lies uploaded by mischief makers to upset their minds. “He calls on the media to always cross check with the Command before disseminating such information.”

Dead LASTMA official to be dismissed posthumously

E Police to arrest political vandals


dgal Imohimi, Lagos State commissioner of Police, has directed the deputy commissioner in charge of State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Panti Yaba, to set up a monitoring team and arrest anyone seen vandalising or defacing campaign posters or boards. Th e c o m m i s s i o n e r had received a complaint which prompted this action, according to CSP Chike Oti, police public relations officer. “The Commissioner of Police, received a complaint on December 1, 2018 at about 9.15am,

from Jimi Agbaje, the PDP governorship candidate in Lagos, that his campaign boards were vandalised and removed by unknown persons,” said CSP Oti. “ Th e c o m p l a i n a n t went further to post his concern on the social media alleging the vandalisation and removal of the aforementioned items.” CSP Oti said the Commissioner has directed that invitation letters be sent to state chairmen of all political parties in the state, their flag bearers, INEC and other stakeholders for a meeting. “ Th i s i s t o f u r t h e r

drive home the fact that there is no alternative to peace and the need for all political parties, their candidates and supporters to shun acts capable of breaching the public peace,” the police spokesman said. “Constrained by limited manpower, there is no way the Command could post policemen to cover all campaign posters in the state but the much it can do, is to adopt the Aberdeen System in protecting campaign adverts and to solicit the cooperation of all and sundry in ensuring the maintenance of law and order”.

dgal Imohimi, Lagos State commissioner of police, has given instructions for Olakunle Olonade, a police inspector attached to FSARS, Ikeja to be tried posthumously in Orderly and be recommended for dismissal from the Force. Olonade, while driving along Iyana-Ipaja road, was contravened on November 28, 2018 at 6pm for driving against traffic by Rotimi Adeyemi, a LASTMA official, at Ipaja roundabout, according to CSP Chike Oti, Lagos State police spokesman. Olonade was said to be driving a Toyota Highlander SUV, with registration number LSR 277 BJ. “The two men vehemently disagreed with each other. However, during the altercation, the said Inspector Olukunle Olonade allegedly shot the LASTMA officer to death,” CSP Oti s a i d . “ C o n s e q u e n t l y,

irate mob, who thought that the shooter was an armed hoodlum because he was in mufti, descended on him and beat him to stupor,” he said. Although he was later rescued by teams of policemen drafted to the scene, CSP Oti said he later gave up the ghost while being rushed to hospital for treatment.

“The serial number of the pistol recovered at the scene was checked in the system and it revealed the bearer as Inspector Olukunle Olonade attached to FSARS Ikeja ,” said the police spokesman. “The corpses of the deceased were evacuated to the morgue for autopsy.”

Sunday 09 December 2018



CRIME WATCH Customs arrests 10, seizes N113m contraband goods in Oyo, Osun



yo/Osun area command of Nigeria Cu s t o m s Service (NCS) arrested ten suspected smugglers with some prohibited items into the c o u n t r y t h r o u g h Oy o and Osun States in the last eleven months. The new Comptroller of the command, Abdullahi Argungun, who disc l o s e d t h i s i n Ib a d a n , said the suspects are awaiting trials in vario us co u r t s w i t h i n th e state. He explained that most of the contraband goods were conveyed in commercial buses and cars meant for transportation of people and goods but were converted to perpetrate the dastardly act. Argungun however, disclosed that the command made a seizure of contraband goods with duty paid value of N113.843 million

between October and November. He listed the seized goods to include eight used vehicles with duty paid value of N20,180,876.39, 3,010 (50kg) bags of foreign parboiled rice valued at N50,556,678.25, and 600 (25 litres) kegs of vegetable oil valued at N13,537,125.00. Others were canabis sativa (Ind i a n H e m p) v a l u e d

at N6,999,776.59, 25 bales of second hand clothing valued N6,443,671.50, 33 means of conveyance valued N16,125,291.97 He also revealed that the command generated the sum of N21.954 billion revenue between January and November this year. This represents 90.4 percent of the N24.8 billion revenue target for the command in

2018. As the command garnered N17.6 billion as revenue between January and Decemb e r, 2 0 1 7 , A r g u n g u n said he was optimistic that the command would surpass the target set in 2018 before the year runs out. Emphasizing that the revenue collection was remarkable, he noted that the achievements were made possible

by continued support and encouragement of Comptroller General Col. Hameed Ali Ibrahim (rtd) who had continued to motivate and support the officers through provision of brand new patrol vehicles. The command’s boss however said the federal government’s efforts in reviving the nation’s economy through local industries and strengthening security, especially at the nation borders were of utmost priority to the service. “The command would do everything humanly possible in accordance with the law to actualise the goals set by the government in this regard. He stressed the need to restrategise and reinvigorate the operations by utilising modern anti-smuggling techniques in accordance with international best practice in order to achieve laudable goals of the anti-smuggling campaign

of the Nigeria Customs Service. “The law that prohibits the importation of rice and used vehicles through nation’s border is not new, so those who claim ignorance of the ban have no excuse. “Furthermore, due to the recent huge seizure of illicit drugs at the sea ports, it becomes necessary for us to intensify our efforts against illicit drug trafficking through the nation borders with a view to checkmating the influx of illicit drugs through our territorial boundaries,” he added. “The command would not relent in its efforts to justify the CGC’s huge investment in the anti-smuggling campaign, he enjoined the patriotic citizens who engage in legitimate business “not to entertain any fear, for t h e Ni g e r i a Cu s t o m s Service is only concerned about bringing those who flout extant Customs and Excise law and regulation to book

Two children allegedly kidnapped by housemaid, found

T Benue guber aspirant warns against violence, thuggery BENJAMIN AGESAN, Makurdi


enue State gubernatorial candidate on the platform of the Pe o p l e ’s Re d e m p t i o n Pa r t y ( P R P ) , Fr e d e r ick Ikyaan has warned against politics of violence, assassination and thuggery in the state. Ikyaan sounded the warning during a send forth party organised in his honour by his church members at NKST Church, High Level Makurdi. He explained that politics is being looked upon as a dirty game which it is not, but that the manner in which people play it is what should be referred to as deity. According to him, “Violence, assassination

and thuggery are the acts that make people to consider politics as a dirty game as such, I will never give room for it during and after my aspiration.” The pastor in charge o f N KST Hi g h Le v e l thanked his church members for honoring him, promised to transform Benue State if given the mandate. The politician, who advised prospective electorate against selling their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) “for whatsoever reason”, said: “The most permanent thing in life is change, as such, the people of the state should develop the ideology of change for the betterment of their dear state.”

wo children allegedly kidnapped by their housemaid, one Busayo were found close to seme border, Benin republic of Sunday. The children, a 6-yearold boy and 3-year-old girl belonging to Mr. and Mrs. Aneru Mutana of Gbagada in Lagos, were said to have been kidnapped on November

26, 2018. Ac c o r d i n g t o C S P Chike Oti, Lagos State police spokesman, the mother of the children had on November 11, 2018, instructed the housemaid, Busayo to pick the children from school as she was unable to do so she to the nature of her job. “Unfortunately for the madam, the househelp

had carefully planned how to kidnap her children, and executed her wicked plan effortlessly because she is known to the school authorities and familiar with the children,” the police spokesman said. Investigation, CSP Oti said has revealed that Busayo is a member of a Kidnap syndicate who gives her out as househelp to

unsuspecting parents. “When she finally lands the job, she warms her way into the children’s heart and wins the trust of her employers. Once she gets to this stage, she bares her fangs,” said CSP Oti. “The Commissioner of Police, CP Edgal Imohimi warns households interested in engaging the services of domestic servants to beware of whom they are dealing with.” He reiterated his earlier warning that employers ought to carry out background checks on persons they bring to their homes and profile them in order to make investigation easy for the police should the need arise. “The Command reasonably believes that Busayo may not be her real name. However, it wishes that Nigerians should take cognisance of her face and alert the nearest police formation of her location and if possible arrest and hand her over to the police,” CSP Oti added.

10 Inside Lagos


Sunday 09 December 2018

LASCOPA takes battle against fake, expired products to Festac Town



he battle against fake, adulterated and expired products and consumables is assuming an aggressive dimension in Lagos, as the Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA), on Thursday, destroyed expired products retrieved from a multi-chain retail outlet in Festac Town, within the Amuwo Odofin local government area of the state. Kemi Olugbode, the general manager of LASCOPA, told Inside Lagos, after the enforcement that there was no going back on the mandate given her agency by the government to ensure that only wholesome products are sold to Lagosians. Olugbode said that the regular monitoring and inspection of shops was towards the fulfillment of that mandate and meant to ensure that consumers making purchases from such outlets have value for their hard earned money. According to the general manager, the monitoring and consumer education teams of the agency have fully commenced aggressive enlightenment of consumers and traders to ensure that products on display

Enforcement team of LASCOPA removing expired products on display from a multi-chain store in Festac Town.

in supermarkets, local markets and other stores across the state are not hazardous. She said that LASCOPA would be taking the exercise to the inter- lands of Epe and Badagry to sensitise the people on the dangers of displaying and selling unwholesome products to consumers Olugbode said that the move became imperative as the agency had discovered that some supermarkets and retail shops still display consumable prod-

ucts without vital details such as expiry date, best before date, production date, batch number and other details needed by a consumer before making his or her purchases. While emphasising the need for consumers to ensure careful examination of information and other vital details on products, before making purchases, she urged them to log their complaints with LASCOPA whenever their rights are infringed upon.

Estimated billing: Lagos senator criticizes Discos ….says exploitation of Nigerians must stop


he senator representing Lagos West in the upper legislative chamber, Solomon Adeola Olamilekan, has criticized Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) over what he called excessive exploitation of Nigerians through estimated billing. Olamilekan, popularly called Yayi, says the continued billing of electricity consumers based on estimation as against metering, is criminally, describing the act as the ‘greatest fraud ‘being committed against the Nigerian masses. The senator, who stated this during a session with the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State council, on Saturday, lamented what he termed ‘open fraud’ against Nigerians, even when the privatisation agreement signed by the Discos, provides for them to meter their customers within six months of operations.

Olamilekan, who also decried the 2011 power sector privatisation exercise as fraught with irregularities and not driven by national interest, said no Nigerian was spared the ordeal, as both homes and offices were billed at the discretion of the electricity distributors, a situation he said was unacceptable. He said as a victim himself, he felt the pain as much as ordinary Nigerian, stressing that it was time all electricity consumers rallied round to stop the Discos. He vowed to open a fresh debate on the issue in the senate and galvanize colleague senators across the country towards a legislation that will compel the Discos to distribute meters to every household. The senator, who claimed to sponsor a total of 15 bills, two of which have been signed into law, in his first outing in the senate, encouraged Nigerians to collectively resolve to stop

the fraud by refusing to pay bills that are based on estimation, adding that the fight to stop the Discos must be a joint responsibility. Recall that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) also recently directed all Discos across the country to carry out customer enumeration of customers in their domains from March 31, 2019. Moses Arigu, NERC’s consumer affairs commissioner, who issued the directive, said that the exercise was very important for the customers and one of great benefits that could improve metering and address consumers’ complaints. “ Ma j o r i t y o f t h e s e c o m plaints have been on voltage and billing issues. The commission notes the recurring complaints on estimated billing which is mainly due to low metering status in the sector,” Arigu said.

Speaking further, she said this would not only help consumers get value for their money, but also guarantee their protection and safety from hazardous products Olugbode called on producers of consumable products to ensure that the required vital information for consumer education is boldly written not only on the package but also on the products. She also charged owners of supermarkets to ensure they furnish consumers with ade-

quate information about the various products on display in their shelves to enable them make informed decision before making purchases. The GM said since inception in March 2017, LASCOPA has received various complaints from consumers pertaining to general merchandise, services, insurance, banks, aviation and contracts among others and ensured amicable resolutions. She assured that the agency would continue to promote the rights of consumers, protect them against hazardous and sub-standard products through regular public enlightenment. The monitoring and enforcement team of the agency led by an assistant director, Dele Badejo had earlier served an abatement notice on one of the outlets of a multichain store in Festac Town. The team acted on a complaint made by a consumer who purchased an expired product from the outlet. LASCOPA had warned the outlet to remove such products. On a second visit, the team noticed that the outlet had complied by removing the products from the shelves and insisted that the representatives of the agency must be physically present when the products would be finally destroyed.

Lagos disburses N476m to families of deceased staff



agos State government has disbursed N476 million as insurance benefits to beneficiaries of deceased staff of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and Local Councils. The presentation of the cheques was made at the Governor’s Office, Alausa, through LASACO Assurance Plc, and Haggai Broker to a total of 189 beneficiaries of which 117 were from the councils and 73 from SUBEB. This is the second phase that has been disbursed this year after the first in May. Muslim Folami, commissioner for local government and community affairs, said the exercise was an attempt to ensure that families of deceased staff are supported. “Let me assure everyone that the present administration will not hesitate to do her civic rights

on every members of her workforce because the administration has the interest of everyone at heart,” Folami said. He assured that Lagos State would always ensure that benefits of deceased staff are paid directly to their beneficiaries. Folami said with the exercise, an appreciable number of beneficiaries have received their money as and when due. Fola Padonu, the permanent secretary of the ministry, advised the dependants to utilise the benefits on the immediate families of the dead. Rasaq Abiodun, deputy managing director, Technical, LASACO, who read out the details of the insurance premium, also admonished the beneficiaries to ensure the money is judiciously used. Adegboye Damilola , who spoke on behalf of other beneficiaries, appreciated the state government for the gesture, despite the death of their bread winners.

Gridlock: CP deploys additional 500 policemen to L/Island


n a renewed effort to curtail criminal activities and minimise gridlock, the Lagos State police command has deployed additional 500 policemen to various routes on the Lagos Island with special focus on Apogbon, Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Eko Hotels and environs. The command, in a statement by Chike Oti, its public relations

officer, said the deployment was to boost the number of personnel already at various points in the area. According to Oti, in addition to beefing up security and boosting the confidence of the residents ahead the yuletide, the deployment was also necessitated by the series of events on the island including ‘The Experience’ and Adekunle Gold Concert, which held this weekend.

“Also factored in the strategy are people who would be embarking on religious pilgrimage to RCCG Holy Ghost Congress at Redeem Camp and Shiloh at the Winners’ Chapel,” said Oti. He said these events were expected to bring about an upsurge in vehicular and human traffic thereby bringing additional pressure to the already strained traffic

situation in the commercial city resulting in gridlock. He quoted the Imohimi Edgal, the Commissioner of Police (CP) in charge of the Lagos command, as warning criminals to stay away from the island and any part of the state as anyone caught would be summarily dealt with. He also urged Lagosians to report suspicious characters and

movements to the police through the following toll free emergency numbers 112 and 767. Also available for complaints, the CP listed include the following citizen complaint hot centre lines: 08067945296; 08063025274; 08063104759; 08113615350; 08113683077; 08096283148; 08096283173; 08089781657; 08126404930; 08081426895.

Sunday 09 December 2018


(L-R) Publicity Secretary Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria ( APWEN Lagos chapter) Atinuke Owolabi, Bishop of Ijebu South/West Diocese, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Rt.Revd Babatunde Ogunbanwo, National executive member Nigeria Society of Engineers Ibitoye Kilomodemo, past President of APWEN. Joanna Olu Maduka, Chairman NSE ikeja branch Funmi Akingbagbohun , and Chairman APWEN Lagos Chapter Laolu Adedapo –Aisida, at the event.

L-R : fomer senate president, Adolphus Nwabara; governor Okezie Ikpeazu and President Muhammadu Buahri and others during a meeting of the President with  delegation and Leaders from South East and Host Communities where the Definitive Agreement between the Nigeria Special Economic Zone Investment Company and Enyimba City Development Company was



L-R: American Gospel Singer, Donnie McClurkin; Co-Pastor of House on The Rock Church, Ifeanyi Adefarasin; Snr. Pastor of all House on the Rock Churches and Convener of The Experience, Paul Adefarasin; American SingerSongwriter, Don Moen and Nigerian Gospel Artiste, Nathaniel Bassey at The Experience Lagos Press Conference at Eko Hotels, Lagos.

The Lord’s Worshippers Assembly annual conference theme ‘The most high God’held in Lagos’

.L-R: Rev Athan Nwogbe, his wife, Bunmi Nwogbe, General Overseer The Lord’s Worshippers Assembly, Rev Callistus Nkwo, his wife, Rev (Mrs) Helen Nkwo, and Guest Minister, Rev Sunkanmi Obisesan, during The Lord’s Worshippers Assembly annual worshippers conference with the theme ‘The most high God’ held at Addo road Ajah in Lagos.

L-R: Stephane Beuvelet,acting managing director, 9mobile; Oluwatoyin Obafemi, winner, L-R: South West Coordinator, Buhari Support Group (BSO), Prince Felix Awofisayo;  Chairman, 9mobile Photography Competition, and Modupe Thani, head, sponsorship and experience, Muhammad Abubarka and Coordinator of the group, Rivers State, Chief Jerry Johnson,  during 9mobile, at the presentation ceremony to finalists of the 2018 Competition in Lagos. the Inauguration of BSO  South West Zone in Ibadan  on Friday (7/12/18). NAN

L-R: Stephen Lawson; Abdul-Rahman Lekki, director, OTCI, Lagos State; Kayode Olubiyi, Vice-Chairman, CeBIH; Toyin Anjous, director of Innovation, OTCI, Lagos State; Toba Otusanya, director-general, Office of Transformation, Creativity and innovation (OTCI), Lagos State, and Stanley Jacob, chairman, CeBIH, at the annual CeBIH Dinner and Gala Nite in Abeokuta

Osolo of Isolo, Oba. Kabiru Adelaja Agbabiaka (middle); flanked by Lagos State APC governorship candidate, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu (left) and his deputy governorship candidate Kadir Obafemi Hamzat, durng the fomal endorsement of Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, by the obas and chiefs of Aworis division, at the Palace of Isolo, in Isolo, Lagos.




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Before Super Falcons become a spent force



Bashir Ibrahim Hassan


Sunday 09 December 2018

Tayo Ogunbiyi Ogunbiyi is of the Lagos State Ministry of Information & Strategy, Alausa, Ikeja


fter playing out a pulsating 120 minutes goalless draw against the Bayana Ba y a n a o f So u t h Africa, Nigerian senior female soccer team, the Super Falcons, successfully defended the title they won in Cameroon, in 2016, at the Ohene Djan Stadium in Accra, Ghana.4-3 on penalties. With the latest victory, the Super Falcons have won the coveted Africa Women Nations Cup (AWCON) title for the 12th time, thus becoming the most successful women soccer team in the continent. It is, however, important to state that the Super Falcons were not really at the best of form throughout the competition. Apart from the match against the whipping ladies of the tournament, Equatorial Guinea, which they trounced by 6-0, the Super Falcons were not really convincing all through the tournament. The team, which had initially lost its opening match 1-0 to the Bayana Bayana, could only manage to beat the Cameroonians via

penalty kicks during the semi final. Considering the fact that the Bayana Bayana successfully held the Falcons for 120 minutes at the final, it could be rightly concluded that the wide gap between them and the rest of Africa is now quite smaller. With their sterling and gallant performances at the recently concluded AWCON in Ghana, it is quite apparent that other African countries such as South Africa, Cameroun, Mali, Ghana and a host of others are, no doubt, waiting in the wing to end the Falcons’ continuous dominance in Africa. In order to ensure that the Falcons continue to remain the continent’s women soccer super power, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and other stakeholders need to quickly disregard the current victory and plan ahead for the World championship as well as the next edition of AWCON in Congo. In achieving constant victory in football or any other sporting event for that matter, effective and adequate preparation is quite vital. While it is true that the Super Falcons are champions of Africa yet again, the last tournament must serve as a warning sign that they are no longer as invincible as they used to be in the continent. The usual Nigerian lackadaisical attitude towards preparation for major sporting tournaments was a key factor in the Falcons not too compelling display in Ghana. Prior to the competition, the team was

not given a befitting preparation required for such a highly competitive tournament. Equally important is the fact that a lot still needs to be done towards improving Women Football in the country. In this regards, there is an urgent need to overhaul the National Women Football League in the country. It is only in doing this that we can be assured of regular discovery of budding female soccer talents across the country. Women soccer talents, no doubt, abound in the country, but there must be a strategic and holistic plan by the appropriate authorities to fully take advantage of this. It is, thus, imperative that we make renewed efforts to invest in women’s football, especially at the grassroots. All over the world, the bulk of those who take to sports are discovered at the grassroots where sports and entertainments are seen as possible way of escape from the ravaging grip of poverty. Ajegunle, a prominent Lagos masses suburb, is renowned to be a famous breeding ground of potential athletes in the country. A reasonable number of Nigerian most successful sporting stars were discovered in Ajegunle. You can imagine how many Ajegunles exist across the country and how many budding sporting talents in such places are wasting away as a result of lack of exposure. It is in view of this that the Lagos State government is currently working hard to revive

sports at the grassroots across the State. Having observed the lacuna in grassroots sport development, Lagos State Sports Commission has rolled out plans with special focus on School Sports as the driver covering both the primary and secondary schools. Parts of the visions is to fill the gap, drawing from the participation of Lagos active youths and developing a structured and well articulated training contents for different sports in the State. Perhaps, more importantly, the NFF, in particular, needs to come up with creative strategies that would ensure that all the Falcons are as equally effectively taken care of as the Super Eagles. The pedigree of the Super Falcons as a winning brand should be effectively harnessed to rake up good sponsorship deals for the team. There are so many local and international corporate organisations, especially with gender related products and services that would be willing to leverage on the Falcons success. All the NFF needs to do is to be better organized, transparent and pro active. Going cup in hands, all the time, to beg for fund each time our national teams are on assignment is, to say the least, unprofessional and demeaning. The NFF must stop it! Ogunbiyi is of the Ministry of Information and Strategy, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos.

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Sunday 02 December 2018




Minority historiography: Archetypal Dominic Osademe CHIGACHI EKE Email:


wo reliable sources confirm the Biafra-Nigeria war, 1967-1970, as a struggle for minority oil fields. The first is Captain August Okpe, pioneer pilot of Nigerian Air Force, Chief Pilot of Tactical Air Command, TAC, Biafran Air Force and Chief Pilot of Nigerian Airways. In ‘The Last Flight,’ (www.thelastflightbook. com), Captain Okpe is frank, “Almighty oil had been fanning the embers of the war right from the beginning and considering that it is the main source of hard currency for Nigeria to purchase the armoured vehicles and planes, it commanded priority” The second is Professor Lawrence Baraebibai Ekpebu. In recently published ‘My Reflections on Chief Olusegun Obasanjo,’ he observes that “America, under Richard Nixon, was prepared to recognise Biafra if Col. Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu could hold Port Harcourt, the oil capital of Nigeria” (Business Day Sunday, March 25). One aspect of that oil war not adequately covered, as doing so would make nonsense of the official hyperbole, was minority supreme sacrifice. If minority diplomats, namely, Ambassadors Joe TF Iyala, BA Clark and General George Kurubo won the war for General Yakubu Gowon; it is also true that minority men-of-war like the Finima-born ace pilots Captains Ibikare Allwell-Brown and Bara Allwell-Brown, Victor Akan, etc, placed their ingenuity at Ojukwu’s disposal. Diplomatically, Ojukwu’s spokespersons convinced America that the war was a jihad by the Muslim North against the Christian Eastern Region. President Nixon’s wife was already on the street collecting alms for dying Biafran babies, according to Professor Ekpebu, when the Ijaw-born Iyala, Gowon’s ambassador to America, deftly turned the table. He countered that the war had nothing to do with religion because members of his own Ijaw ethnic group of the former Eastern Region were also Christians even though they supported Gowon. His argument completely defanged Ojukwu. At the United Nations (UN), Ojukwu’s diplomats again convinced the General Assembly to vote on the Biafra/Nigeria conflict as an international one between two countries. But the Ijaw-born Clark who was Gowon’s ambassador to the UN reversed this, arguing that the crisis was purely domestic. He

Domicic Ozegbe Osademe

warned the UN not to dabble into Nigeria’s internal matters. The world body backed off leaving Ojukwu to his fate. In Russia, the Ijaw-born Kurubowho who was Gowon’s ambassador won a bigger diplomatic victory convincing his host that the war was all about the contestations for minority vast oil fields. The powers that supported Gowon would get a share of the cake when victory was won. Russia simply shipped Gowon its latest Mig fighters. Kindly note: America, the UN and Russia supported Gowon because he was defended by minority Ijaws of former Eastern Region. Hausa/Fulani and Yoruba diplomats could not have done this with the Mark of Cain on them. Militarily, Captain Ibikare Allwell-Brown was to Ojukwu what Major Isaac Jasper Boro was to Gowon. He actually flew Biafra’s last hostile flight when he and Captain Adindu Njoku left Uga Airport in a two-plane convoy to bomb an ordnance depot at Ughelli on 7th January 1970, five days shy of Biafra’s surrender, according to Captain Okpe who was his boss in the TAC. It was a mission that claimed his life because their planes were shot out of the sky on the return trip. Njoku survived but Ibikare died. The only minority thinker to ever recognise Ibikare as a true Africanhero is Dr. Felix Tuodolo, who in 2017 listed him as deserving a befitting place in the pantheon of Ijaw greats. Tuodolo also made an observation worth repeating here, “Two Ijaws were dragged into two opposing armies to slaughter each other. Ibikare was a civilian pilot but Ojukwu put him

Celestine Ochili Odili and First Wife Mary Odoziaku Odili

in the cockpit of a bomber for military duties; just as Gowon took Boro from the death row to the war front. The Ibikare-Boro tragedy also played out among other Niger Delta minorities where youths from the same ethnic group took up arms against one another as Biafrans Vs Nigerians and PDP Vs APC. That has always been our sad tale since independence.” Another aspect of the war not adequately addressed, being our focus here as it tells the story of our hero Dominic Ozegbe Osademe, was the perceived minority guilt in the eyes of hostile majorities. In handling this topic, we make haste to declare that self-determination is not the exclusive property of the majority. There is no reason why the majority should feel threatened, or betrayed, by minority aspiration. Anyone thinking that the minorities of Niger Delta are contented with the shackles reserved for them by the predatory majorities is missing the plot. Professor Ekpebu hinted on this in his thoroughly researched and highly recommended ‘Nigeria: Averting Paradox of Development.’ He warned that in the First Republic, there was a “negative consensus” among Nnamdi Azikiwe (leader of majority Igbo of Eastern Region), Obafemi Awolowo (leader of majority Yoruba of Western Region) and Ahmadu Bello (leader of majority Hausa/ Fulani of Northern Region) to liberate their regional minorities through state creation. Our founding fathers fully well knew that their minorities desired equity but were unwilling to make concession. Azikiwe supported state creation for Northern and Western minorities;

but never for his own Eastern minorities. Awolowo supported state creation for Eastern and Northern, but never for his own Western, minorities. And Bello was for state creation for Eastern and Western, but not for Northern, minorities. While the fate of millions of minorities hung in the balance, Azikiwe, Awolowo and Bello played hide and seek. Then one evening, Boro said enough is enough. “Year after year, we were clenched in tyrannical chains and led through a dark alley of perpetual political and social deprivation. Strangers in our own country! Inevitably, therefore, the day would have to come to fight for our long denied right to self-determination”, Major Isaac Jasper Adaka-Boro noted in ‘The Twelve-Day Revolution.’ Anyone engaging the civil war by de-emphasising oil is simply misinforming himself. Was the second Oil War of 2009 fought for One Nigeria or to consolidate the hold on the same minority oil fields that pitted Ojukwu against Gowon? Dominic (Bull Elephant) Osademe Osademe, 1918-1968, was a principled pacifist from the Ndoni minority ethnic group. In other words, he was the direct opposite of the combatant Ibikare and Boro as he remained neutral in the war. On 24th May 1968, Port Harcourt fell to Nigerian soldiers. Osademe quietly escaped the burning city with his family to his native Umuonyema village in Ndoni, Mid-Western State. At Umuonyema, he went down with ill health and decided to move in with his larger-thanlife father-in-law, Chief Celestine Odili, the Ochili of Ndoni. Then

on 27th November Ndoni also fell. When the gun smoke finally cleared, Osademe and his fatherin-law lay side by side in pools of their own blood. Their gruesome murders were symptomatic of the un-win situation Niger Delta minorities found themselves. Before the war, Osademe had attained unassailable feats as family man, community leader and philanthropist. As the Port Harcourt manager of Compagnie Francaise L’Afrique Occidental (French Company for West Africa), CFAO, he helped many youths in securing vacation and permanent jobs. This for a man who rose from less than lucky background having lost his father early in life. His greatest asset was his fighting spirit that earned him the sobriquet, “Omeka Enyinwaogaranya,” (The One that Acts like Bull Elephant, Son of the Aristocrat). The Bull Elephant was married to beautiful Regina, daughter of Chief Odili who was also the biological father of former Governor Peter Odili. Osademe was smart enough not to rely wholly on his killermuscles. It was a make of ingenuity that he knew exactly at what point to quit the traditional way of life that involved hand-tohand wrestling, hard labour and sheer struggle; and cross over to modernism. That was how he got certifications in bookkeeping, principles of account, shorthand and secretarial studies through correspondence courses with the London City and Guild and Chamber of Commerce. Our unanimous judgment this 2018, marking the 50th anniversary of Osademe’s murder and 100th of his birth, therefore, is that the Biafra/Nigeria conflict that claimed his life and that of his highly revered father-in-law was purposeless. It achieved nothing except to create overnight billionaires, bare knuckle oppression, minority exclusion and endless pogroms. That carnage was indeed a war of solidity fought to solidify the very conditions that gave rise to it in the first place, to paraphrase Professor Wole Soyinka’s autobiographical ‘The Man Died.’ In the words of Franz Fanon, those who forget their past mistakes are liable to repeat them. Forty-eight years, 1970-2018, after the war, Nigeria is more polarised and primed for another full-scale violence. Already, the body count is staggering and the world looks upon Nigeria with foreboding. Our leaders must do things differently to pull us back from the abyss as the flood of refugees, in the event of another civil war, will simply overwhelm the entire ECOWAS region.



Sunday 09 December 2018

Politics 2019: APC, Oshiomhole, reconciliation and fresh wounds Zebulon Agomuo


he All Progressives Congress (APC) seems to behave as if it was not conscious of the import of the coming election. If elections are still a function of numbers, one wonders what the party thinks about the emerging fresh wounds being inflicted on members amid reconciliation drive, and gale of defections from its fold arising from its own obvious and deliberate actions and inactions. Several months before the congresses, precisely on February 16, President Muhammadu Buhari had appointed Bola Ahmed Tinubu, national leader, as the head of the APC reconciliation team. He was to lead “the consultation, reconciliation and confidence building team as a measure towards improving cohesion” within the party. But the team did not record much success, as some of the aggrieved members were said to have expressed reservation in the team, particularly with Tinubu as its head. At that time, it was alleged that the politician needed to be reconciled himself, being at the centre of some of the impasse. Following the rancorous primaries in many states across the country, the leadership of the party on November 21 raised fresh reconciliation committees for the six geo-political zones. While inaugurating the committees, Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the party, said committee members were expected to help the party’s national leadership to “find an in-house solution to the acrimony that followed the party’s primary elections”. He added that members of the committees were also to maintain peace and ensure internal harmony within the APC family before the elections. He further said that the essence of the committees was to bring about lasting peace in the party ahead of the 2019 general elections. “Help reconcile those who are aggrieved for whatever reasons; do everything that will help in your wisdom to bring peace in your zone,” Oshiomhole had instructed the panels. Before the inauguration, Oshiomhole had on November 5 lashed out at Governors Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, Rochas Okorocha of Imo and Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State over their position on the outcome of the APC primaries in their respective states. “At the heart of this challenge is the trauma of going through change. If you know of any addict, such as those who are addicted to alcohol or to drugs, there is what we call ‘withdrawal symptom’ when they cannot see it (drugs) and you try to stop them from that habit they have been addicted to,” Oshiomhole said. “If Governor Rochas chose to relocate to the Villa and use the grounds of Villa to try to intimidate me to create a dynasty, I won’t accept it. I will uphold the truth in the best interest of the APC members and indeed of the APC people

Adams Oshiomhole

in Imo State. The truth does not require a supporters’ club to stand, it has its own legs, and it can stand,” he said. In the case of Ogun State, the APC national chairman said the state governor was trying to act like an emperor. He said the APC under his leadership did not have a place for emperors. He accused the governor of attempting to lord it over the majority of party members in the state by brazenly imposing candidates for virtually all elective positions in the state. Analysts believe that this choice of words may have provoked the aggrieved governors the more. One would have thought that having put some panels in place to bring the angry and offended members back to the fold, he would allow the peace talks to sink. But the former Edo State governor was on the firing line again on Wednesday, December 5, attacking Okorocha and Amosun, and describing them as prodigal sons. “Our popularity in Imo and Ogun States is higher. What you don’t know and Nigerians always make me surprise by thinking that once you are a governor, you have electoral value. Yes, we have overwhelming majority of the APC governors with electoral value but we also have others without electoral values, who are pectoral liabilities,” he said. “I can concretely tell you today that in Imo State, APC will win more votes. As I said, it is about numbers and my focus is on the ordinary Imo electorate because the governor, his Commissioner for Happiness and the son-in-law have only one vote on that day. But those mechanics, market women, school teachers and workers whose salaries are unpaid for years that have the same weight of votes. “Also, in Ogun State, don’t forget that the vice president is from Ogun State. We cannot focus on one person and not on the other. Ogun is one of the most enlightened states in the country and that is where Chief Awolowo came from. They have a huge history and it is not a political kingdom headed by one person.

“I believe that if they (governors) were looking for reconciliation or truth, they would not have done what they did (allowing their aides to defect). They already have the mindset that once they don’t get their governor in, nothing is right, it is how democracy works. “Overall, APC is a stronger party now but we should not focus only on APC. Talking of Ogun State, the PDP has two governorship candidates and two deputy governors running yet as we speak, the APC has only one in the person of Dapo Abiodun. “When a child ran out of his father’s house to bear a new name according to history and the Bible, he returned when the weather thoroughly beats him as a prodigal son. That is why APC has prodigal sons. Those who think that their political future is tied to that are poor students of history. “We are not thinking of sanctioning them because the real sanction will come from the electorate but as for if any rules of the party has been breached, they are the things we will have to look at. It is not my function. What should be the real headline is that we will deliver Dapo Abiodun in Ogun State and Hope Uzodinma in Imo State,” he further said. Oshiomhole’s latest diatribe seemed to have been sparked by recent developments in Imo and Ogun States. A few days ago, Uche Nwosu, a former Chief of Staff to Okorocha, defected from APC to the Action Alliance (AA) to pursue his political ambition to be the next state governor. Nwosu claimed that the APC forced him out. “Injustice, impunity, and lack of respect for party’s constitution forced me out of the All Progressives Congress,” he said. Sam Onwuemeodo, who spoke on behalf of Nwosu, said: “He is an adult. After he won the election and they (APC) denied him and gave it to somebody, who did not even participate in the primary election then what do you expect him to do, he is an adult. He must go somewhere else to pursue his ambition.”

Onwuemeodo also said that although the faction of the APC sympathetic to Okorocha would vote for Nwosu, “We are going to work with APC to deliver Imo State to President Muhammadu Buhari. We will deliver Governor Rochas Okorocha as senator because Action Alliance has no senatorial candidate in Orlu zone.” Okorocha was quoted as saying, “I have no problem with President Muhammadu Buhari. My headache is the national chairman of APC. It is a divine project and we are ready for the election. It is an inter-party marriage between AA and APC in Imo State.” Igbokwe Raphael Nnanna , representing Ahiazu Mbaise/Ezinihitte in the House of Representatives, cited the crises in Imo, Zamfara, Rivers and Ogun State, alleging that the APC “deliberately” breached the Electoral Act, the 1999 Constitution, the electoral guideline and its own constitution in deciding who would become a candidate. “In Imo State, are we saying that a man who introduced this party should not have a say in its affairs? Governor Rochas Okorocha brought APC to the South-East at a time they were calling it Hausa party. Some of these decisions will be thrown out by the Judiciary. We had better be careful because I fear for us, I fear for 2019,” Nnanna said. In Ogun State, Adekunle Akinlade, the preferred candidate of Amosun, who lost the gubernatorial ticket to Dapo Abiodun, dumped the party for Allied People’s Movement (APM) to prosecute his ambition. In reaction to Akinlade’s exit, Amosun, said: “I am not going to stop him; everything I have, I will use to support him. Let them try whatever they want to try, we also have our strategies and I am not going to hide behind one finger. “I remain in APC because that’s what those people want, they want us to leave APC but they are joking. I will stay in APC to ensure that Buhari wins in Ogun State and to let them know that they can’t subvert the will of the state. “Every day, I will campaign for President Muhammadu Buhari, we will do everything possible to ensure Buhari wins massively in Ogun, but they should not miss it. I, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun, will not support anyone they are bringing.” Although the APC is pursuing reconciliation, it is at the same time fanning the embers of acrimony. Observers are of the opinion that Oshiomhole’s attitude does not portray him as a good leader and seems not to be helping the cause of a party struggling to return to power in 2019. “By virtue of his position in the party, he is the father of all. What manner of a father would consistently pour fuel inside a raging fire in his house? Only a hireling abandons his sheep when the wolf comes. Oshiomhole is behaving more like a hireling than a true shepherd in APC. The timing is wrong and to me, he is just destroying the party. The reputation of the party has gone very low since he assumed office as the national chairman, he has to check it,” a pundit said, asking not to be named.

Sunday 09 December 2018



Politics Akpabio: Tribute to the Architect of modern Akwa Ibom @56

W Emma Umohinyang

hen the current political dispensation started in 1999, nobody had the fore knowledge that a young man with the name Godswill Obot Akpabio would be among the stars that would later dominate the political firmament of the nation. Even when Akpabio made his entry into Akwa Ibom State government courtesy of Obong Victor Attah who brought him into his administration, everything appeared normal as he gradually learnt the rope of government business. Having seen it all as a participant observer, Akpabio felt the state could be fare better with somebody with the right acumen and political sagacity at the helm of affairs. Against the wish of the powers – that - be at the time, he took up the gauntlet and embarked on what some saw as daring the lion in its dens and won convincingly despite the fact that Obong Attah had a preferred candidate. Akpabio would no doubt be thanking his stars today for taking that long, tortuous road to take his people to where they truly belong. Though the state was founded by the Military government of Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, on September 23, 1987, it only came to national and international consciousness, under the Akpabio Administration whose government is credited with “uncommon transformation” The “Uncommon transformation” tag is not for nothing as Akpabio completely changed the narrative in a state which was in dire need of a leader to tap its human and material resources for the good of its people. This was because before the coming of his administration, illiteracy and poverty stared the people in the face, such that many of her indigenes took up menial jobs, especially cooks in such big cities as Lagos and Abuja.


The future also appeared rather bleak for children in the state, many of whom were either in the farms assisting their parents or on the streets hawking during school hours. The coming of Akpabio however, changed the story as he took the bull by the horn by coming up with strategic policies to confront the problem. Not only did he make education free and compulsory, he ensured training and re– training and better package for teachers for improved productivity. He equally joined forces with the State House of Assembly by enacting a law that forbade children from trading during school hours, even as there were stiff penalties for parents of children who flouted the law. This strategy was to have multiplier effects never envisaged by Akpabio as private schools in the state bore the brunt with increased enrolment in public schools. Even Akwa Ibom exports outside the

state who worked as cooks came back home to enjoy the unprecedented lease of life in the education sector. Unlike those days, when public schools were associated with ramshackle structures, Akwa Ibom schools became a beauty to behold as structures comparable to what obtains in other climes surfaced across the state. The story was the same across all critical sectors, as the state, attracted global applause for making giant strides in infrastructural development within a very short period. Indeed, Akwa Ibom under Akpabio’s leadership became the poster state for his then party as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) reaped political capital from the advancements made by the state. For effect, Akpabio went for the best human and material resources, no matter where they were in his bid to develop the state. Curiously, the administration was the 9th in the row of administrations that had governed the state, earning the appellation “miracle of the South-South” One of the biggest lessons that Nigeria can indeed learn from Akpabio is the capacity to use tourism to attract investments as no first time visitor to Akwa Ibom would not jump at the opportunity to visit the state a second time in view of her tourist attraction. How would anyone not marvel at the beautiful network of roads and bridges dotting the state’s landscape especially Uyo, the state capital? Akwa Ibom is one of the few state that can boast of an anti flooding strategic plans which no doubt helps the state in battling climatic challenges. My recent visit to Katowice, Poland for a UN convention on climate change shows Akpabio as a man who saw tomorrow in view of the giant steps taking to tackled climatic conditions of the state. Uyo, the state capital today boasts of 13.8 billion naira underground drainage

channel to stem challenges posed by flood and erosion. The Akpabio magic is replicated in other critical sectors including health, agriculture transportation housing and more. For a man who has done so much for his people, it is little wonder that he holds the ace as far the politics of the state is concerned . In fact, in Akwa Ibom the politician’s mood determines the political temperature of the state. It was therefore unsurprising that the PDP in the state went into disarray immediately Akpabio moved to the All Progressives Congress (APC) a few months ago. The simple truth is that Akpabio was PDP and PDP was Akpabio, so when he left the party, the gnashing of teeth that followed was expected. The initial bravado from the state government has since subsided with the mass resignation that followed the Akpabio’s movement to APC. With the Kick - off of political campaigns, it is doubtful if any serious politician will be left In the PDP in the days ahead. This is because Akpabio has never failed to prove his mettle wherever he finds himself. Those who initially said he lacked the experience to lead the PDP as former minority leader later saw the political sagacity he displayed as the mouth piece of the opposition. Within the period he has represented the people in the red chamber, Akpabio has scored another first. It is on record that he has attracted projects worth over N20 billion to the senatorial district, which is unprecedented in the history of the state. This has brought to the fore, the fact that the senator is not a man who occupies public office for personal aggrandisement. As he marks his 56th birthday tomorrow, I join millions of his admirers across the world in saying happy birthday to you, Sir. Umohinyang, a social commentator wrote in from Katowice, Poland.

2019: Buhari Youth Campaign Group consolidating across six geopolitical zones - Ume-Ezeoke


hineme Edwin Ume-Ezeoke, deputy national coordinator south, of I Stand with Buhari Movement (ISWB), has said the movement is consolidating and widening its spread to ensure land slide victory for President Muhammadu Buhari in the forthcoming presidential election. Ume-Ezeoke, who expressed optimism in the victory of Buhari based on his outstanding performance in the last three years, said Nigerian youths deserve better place in leadership and should be given the right tools to build their capacities so as to contribute to national development. The former special adviser to the late president Umaru Musa Yar’Adua told journalists that Nigeria is gradually returning to greatness as the current administration has committed itself to deal with those vices that had over time crippled socioeconomic advancement of the country. Speaking on the Movement’s approach to create more awareness across the major zones in the country, he said their strategy is purely issue-based and devoid of propaganda as achievements of the present

administration can be felt at all levels. “Our approach is based on facts and it is important we make the people see the truth corruption had been the bane of development and this is what Buhari administration prides itself by courageously fighting the monster and we have to educate our people that there is danger in voting those who do not have the boldness to deliver Nigeria from clutches bad governance”, he stated. According to him, “the movement has been in the forefront of grassrootsoriented sensitisation, mobilisation and empowerment of Nigerian youths across all the geopolitical zones for greater nation building. From inception, the vision has always been to stand as a backbone to ensure adequate support for this administration through the propagation of the mission and vision of President Muhammadu Buhari for Nigeria by ensuring that everyone of remain actively engaged in defending the core ideals of Buharism which includes standing for honour and integrity in all we do.

Ume-Ezeoke said: “Nigeria cannot afford to slide into under development again and voter education is imperative to ensure voters are not hoodwinked by unrealistic electoral promises.” He recalled that over the past three years “this administration has shown without a single doubt that they mean well for the future of Nigeria through the concentrated huge investments so far made in developing infrastructure and youth’s empowerment, coupled with the determined onslaught against corruption which has seen us regain our respect among the comity of nations.” Nigeria, he noted, has never had it this good after decades of impunity and outright looting of our commonwealth and because we know that it can only get better from here and it is also our mandate as a group to ensure that vigilance is kept so that absolutely nothing can bring back these thieves to power in Nigeria. He said the Movement has taken steps to consolidate its youth mobilisation and voter education by inaugurating 774 local government coordinators for all the local

government councils in Nigeria, with the aim to take the message of Buharism into every home in Nigeria and to raise a new generation of patriotic Nigerians from the grassroots. These coordinators have likewise inaugurated coordinators for the various wards and polling units in their local government councils and with the established networks we are working to ensure that 2019 general elections is a resounding victory for president Buhari and APC. He said that it is in pursuant of these ideals that the Movement is constantly expanding its fellowship base and enlightening volunteers on the essence for Nigerians to see leadership continuity as a tool for consolidating the gains in the fight against corruption, a programme it alao wish to replicate across the major zones and cities in Nigeria. Ume-Ezeoke said under the chairmanship of Sir Mike Okiro, a respected elder statesman the Movement is properly guided to deliver on its mandate of ensuring re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari.



Sunday 09 December 2018


Wike moves to nail two Rivers APC chieftains …As PH high court issues double bench warrant for Chidi Lloyd, another soon for Flag-Ojukaye … APC says plot thickens to rope in chieftains with violence charges


Ignatius Chukwu

he protracted battle that started even before the 2015 elections to put behind bars two prominent leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State has taken a new but dangerous turn for the APC chieftains. The battle in Rivers State House of Assembly in the later days in office of the Governor Chibuike Amaechi led to arrest of the then majority leader, Chidi Lloyd on charges of attempted murder by the federally controlled police. The Amaechi state government exercised its powers and entered non-prosqui. When Governor Nyesom Wike took over power in Rivers State, they reinstated the case, but the federally-controlled police now seem to be uninterested. The battle has raged on. Pressing on, the Wike administration has secured two bench warrants for Lloyd to be put in prison till next hearing from the High Court 19 in Port Harcourt. The judge, Chinwendu Nwogu issued the two bench warrants on Thursday following the absence of Lloyd and his counsels at the court. The court ordered that Lloyd should be detained at the Port Harcourt Federal Prisons till the next adjourned dates which have been fixed in January 2019 for a case of attempted murder trial. Lloyd had gone on appeal against the trial. The judge was however, angry that the embattled former majority leader was expected to take his plea in two separate cases on Thursday. The matter was adjourned to 10th January, 2019 for the Police to produce Lloyd to take his plea.


Another APC chieftain Flag Ojukaye Amachree, then the opposition stalwart in Degema area, and now APC state chairman who was stopped by court order, may soon be on bench warrant, too. Amachree, who had posed a big obstacle to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015, and who was detained for long until the APC captured power at the centre, faces fresh

efforts to get him into detention. Amachree was also not in court on Thursday and the Rivers State Government moved for him to take his plea in his second murder trial before Joy N. Akpughunum. Following the absence of Amachree to take his plea on his second murder charge, the Court adjourned to January 24, 2018, for the Rivers APC chairman to

take his plea. In a related development, the APC in Rivers State said it has uncovered an ongoing plot by the state government to blackmail Lloyd and Flag-Amachree. “The plot which was hatched and being perfected in the office of the Chief of Staff involves the printing of APC logo on T-shirts and handing same to select Neighbourhood Watch recruits who will go to carry out protests and violence in some predetermined local government areas to give the impression that such protests are being carried out by APC youths over the ongoing persecution of Lloyd and Flag-Amachree by the Rivers State Government under Nyesom Wike. “The ultimate objective of the plot is to inundate the local, national and international media with the false information purporting same to be the handiwork of APC. The governor and his people will then draw the attention of the public especially that of the diplomatic and international communities to a purported spate of violence by the APC in order to give the party and the Federal Government a bad name.” The APC said it has no reason to embark on any exercise that would engender violence in Rivers State. “Any matters concerning Lloyd Flag-Amachree and indeed any other member of APC remain matters that will in due time be dispensed with by the court of law and not by any other means irrespective of the obvious sinister intentions of those behind such matters.” The APC urged the Commissioner of Police in the state, the Inspector-General of Police, and other security agencies to take particular notice of what is unraveling at the behest of state governor and act accordingly.

2019: INEC must learn from history to succeed Ayo Oyoze-Baje


he surging tide of fears and apprehensions by concerned citizens with regards to the possibility of the Prof. Mahmood Yakubu-led Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct free, fair and credible elections come 2019 cannot be swept aside with a wave of the hand. The reasons are both profound and obvious. Firstly, if the contentious electoral shenanigans that played out, with allegations of vote buying in Ekiti governorship poll and subsequently the use of might-is- right in the re-run governorship election in Osun State are anything to go by, the fears are as real as the wavy lines on our palms. In fact, not a few of the local and international observers, who monitored that election, decried the deployment of the crude instruments of intimidation, hooliganism and outright disfranchisement of some eligible voters. According to the Southwest leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) about 4,387 votes were allegedly removed from the total ballots polled by the party. But that is just part of the cloud of doubts hovering over the next set of elections. For instance, the use of Trader-Moni coming at the eve of the general election, as a social intervention fund for the long-neglected marketers is suspicious.

Worsening the allegation is the request for the numbers of the beneficiaries’ Permanent Voter Card (PVC). This raises some fundamental questions. What is the PVC number for, one cannot but ask? Also, why should pupils in some public primary schools in Kaduna state be requested to fill forms stating similar PVC numbers? How do we also explain or even rationalize the presence of the top Army Chiefs as the incumbent President Buhari presented his manifesto tagged the ‘Next Level’ in November? That is not all. Why should the National chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus allege before the European Union (EU), United States (US) and other international agencies that INEC has perfected a rigging arrangement through manipulated card readers and special election result sheets doctored to favour the APC? Is this a possibility? According to INEC’s director of Information and Voter Education, Oluwole Osaze Uzzi, the PDP might be lacking the knowledge of how the Smart Card Readers (SCR) works. It cannot be preloaded. Lest we forget, back in 2015 the then opposition party, the APC was alleged by the Directorate of the State Secret Service, DSS to be attempting to clone some electoral materials. But the party described it all as some hogwash, as it accused INEC of a deliberate manipulation of the process to favour the then ruling political party, the PDP. INEC denied such and as fate would

have it, PDP lost the presidential contest. Nonetheless, at the heart of heightened tension prelude to the general elections is the desperation for political power. This is coming from both the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC to hang on to it by all means possible as well as the PDP, championed by the Atiku Abubakar, its presidential candidate vowing to push his rival out by all the constitutional methods at its disposal. The onus therefore, lies squarely on the shoulders of INEC to discharge its statutory functions to the nation without fear or favour to meet international standards. This is well spelt out in Section15, Part 1of the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution (as Amended). So it is in Section 2 of the Electoral Act 2010.The subsisting laws empower INEC to conduct elections into elective political offices. These include executive offices such as that of the president, vice president, governors and their deputy. Also listed are elections into legislative offices such as the Senate and House of Representatives. INEC has the capacity to score the bull’s eye. It is on record for instance, that specifically in June 1993 the then National Electoral Commission of Nigeria under the Chairmanship of Prof. Humphrey Nwosu gave Nigeria such widely adjudged credible elections. The Commission used the Option A4 voting system and Open Ballot System. Most unfortunately, that mile-

stone election which should have served as a template for subsequent ones was crudely annulled by the IBB-led military junta in power. The rest, as they say is history. The million-Naira question remains and reverberates. Can we have such free, fair and credible elections in 2019? According to a political analyst, Boladale Adekoya in a media chat the signs are not looking bright because there is a general distrust. “Most importantly, there is that feeling that those within the presidency will do everything to hold on to power, most especially with the help of security agencies. So largely, I think the fear of PDP is tangible and should serve as a form of caution to the present INEC Chairman to ensure he doesn’t become partisan while putting to check the elements that played out in Osun State.” This runs against the assurance repeatedly given by President Buhari both to the country and the international community that all would be well. For me, we should give INEC and Mister President the benefit of doubt. Even then we should learn from the hands of history. So, where did we get it wrong? Put in its proper perspective, while Prof. Maurice Iwu held sway, electoral anomalies such as under-aged voting in parts of the north, multiple registration, non-serialisation of ballot papers as well as deliberate delay in the display of the voter register took the centre stage especially in the 2007 polls.

Sunday 09 December 2018



Politics APC, a winning machine ready to crush any opposition on its way in Akwa-Ibom - Ekere Nsima Ekere, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa-Ibom State for the 2019 general and managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), was recently at the Party’s National Secretariat. He spoke with journalists on developments in Akwa-Ibom APC; JAMES KWEN was there. Excerpts: What is the position of the primary and reconciliation moves in the Akwa- Ibom State? kwa-Ibom State All Progressives Congress (APC) is one as we speak. We are a one-united family and ready for the general election, fully reconciled. All the four governorship aspirants who contested the primary are all united behind me. In the last two weeks, all other aspirants that did not make it have individually organised rally in their various constituencies to endorse my candidature. They have brought their campaign organisations to be collapsed into mine and we have one big APC family. We have totally put the primary behind us. We are now looking forward to the general election and we are fully mobilised, ready to take on the general election. You know that after the 2015 general election, every elected person in the state except one State House of Assembly seat were totally People’s Democratic Party(PDP) members. We have done a lot of work to deepen the APC family and the APC mantra. I can confirm today that we have built the APC into an election-winning machine and a machine that is ready to crush any opposition that comes our way during the election. Of the three senators in the state, two of them are today APC even though they were originally PDP. Of the 10 members of the House of Representatives who were elected on the PDP platform, three of them are today in APC. Of the 26 members of the state House of Assembly, five of them are now in APC. This is just for the elective offices. You find out that Commissioners in the present PDP government have resigned from their offices, decamped from the other party into the APC. We have lost count of Personal Aides of the Governor who have resigned their appointments from the other party and are now in the APC. If you look at the political class, you will discover that the entire classes are lined up behind the APC because we have deepened the APC philosophy in the state. The people of the state have been bought into the philosophy; they are ready for change championed by the President and are willing to support the APC during the next general election. If you listen to the politicians in the other party in the state speaking and saying that the PDP is like a religion in Akwa Ibom state, we laugh because they are living in the past. They are people who are living in yesterday. The beauty is that, we were all in the other party. I was Deputy Governor of the state in the other party. The immediate past Governor, Deputy Governor, and Secretary to the State Government were all in the other party and now, they are in the APC. These are people of note who used to make the other party strong and now are in APC and so, when they say PDP is like a religion in the state, we just laugh at them. Come next general election, they will wake up from their slumber and they will realise that the state has moved and now fully APC because the state has embraced change.

leader in the state and he will definitely work for all APC candidates in the election.


What were your reasons for leaving the PDP in the first place? That was a decision that was taken after the 2015 primaries; lack of internal democracy and respect for its own laws. If a political party can come up and say these are its own guidelines for the conduct of its primaries and flout the same guidelines. You can see there is no internal democracy in the party and you cannot hold them accountable for anything. We discovered that our interest could not be protected by that party and so, we left after the December 2014 primaries of PDP. I led 22 other aspirants and formed a group called G-22. All the aspirants, except the one that emerged winner and the present governor came together to form G-22 against the injustice that was meted out by the party on all other aspirants. That was what forced me and some other aspirants to leave the PDP and embrace the change that the APC promised. I am happy I took that decision and we are justified now. We can turn back now with the benefit of hindsight and say we took the right decision. If faced with similar circumstances tomorrow, I will still take that same decision. Ekere

How true is the allegation that there has been a use of force to attempt to remove Governor Udom Emmanuel? For any Nigerian who knows President Muhammadu Buhari will know that he is not the kind of person that will use the apparatus of government against any individual or in favour of a particular political party. As a matter of fact, you are aware that some members of the APC are already complaining that we are in government, but not in power which is reference to the fact that ordinarily, the way the ruling party in the past used to employ the apparatus of government to intimidate opposition parties is not happening now. So, I wonder why anybody would wake up and say that is happening in Akwa Ibom State. That is totally false and no truth in such assertion. It is a matter of crying wolf. In fact, if there is someone who is intolerant to the opposition, anybody desirous of not allowing the citizens to find their political bearing, it is the intolerant government in the state. This is a government that does not even allow opposition candidates in the APC to erect billboards in the state. A few weeks ago, when I rolled out my outdoor campaigns all over the state, the following day, the government sent thugs and miscreant to pull down the bill boards and that of the President. The next day, the state Ministry of Environment issued a statement that whoever wants to erect billboards across the state must come and get clearance from the governor. You can see the level of intolerance and yet, they are the people crying wolf. We have facilities of the state govern-

ment like the stadium that does not belong to anybody or political parties were denied us when we wanted to use them. When the other party wants to use the same facilities, they will allow them, but come up with excuses when we want to use them. We had solemn assembly last Sunday to flag off our campaigns and wanted to use the stadium, but they came up with flimsy excuses. These are the same people that will be complaining that government wants to use the apparatus of office against them. There is absolutely no truth in this claim. It is the PDP government in Akwa-Ibom that is using the apparatus of government against the APC and we shall resist it. We have told them that no amount of intimidation and lies will stop the people from voting out the PDP and allowing change in the state. Having been forced to resign as Deputy Governor under Godswill Akpabio, how sure are you of his support to your candidacy? I resigned from office on personal reasons. Before the last primaries, the former governor joined the party at the end of August and the primary was in early October and well before the primary, he was my number one supporter, going round the state campaigning for me to emerge candidate of the party. I can assure you that Chief Godswill Akpabio and his entire political structure is solidly working for the APC and all our candidates in the next general election not only in Akwa Ibom but all over the country. So, he is not the kind of person that will be working for the APC and the President on one side and working against other candidates of the party. He is totally an APC man, a loyal party

Why do you think PDP cannot come back to power in the state? Like I said earlier, we were all PDP members. The governor then, Godswill Akpabio, was also PDP, the Deputy Governor and SSG were all PDP and all of them are in the APC today. All the political actors then who made the PDP have all left and 90 percent are now in the APC. These were the people that usually make things happen. So do I need to tell you that there is any way PDP can win in Akwa Ibom? They don’t even have the men and resources. The only thing they have is the money that the governor is throwing around. That is why you are having defection on a daily basis in the state to join the APC; even government officials are resigning from the government and the party to join us in the APC. Do I still need to tell you that we will win? Let me add that the number one responsibility of government is security of lives. The state is usually a very peaceful state. I can tell you that today, in three local government areas in the state; the people are not able to sleep at night. They have been over taken by cultists and there is lot of insecurity and yet, the governor is scoring himself 100 percent in security. So, you can see that the people of the state have totally lost confidence in this government. Even the basic assets this government inherited, they are not able to maintain them. From the airport into the town, we used to have street lights. Those lights don’t even work now. We have one of the best hotels in this country. Go there now and see. So many things he inherited are not being maintained and nothing has been added. That is why people are unanimous interjecting him and his government. That is why APC will soon become a religion in the state.



Sunday 09 December 2018

Politics 2019 and the ‘power of zero’ Zebulon Agomuo


ncreasingly, Nigeria’s election has been compromised. Ever than before, individuals, and groups are raising concerns over the shambolic elections in Nigeria. William Penn Adair Rogers (18791935) American humorist says: “The more you read and observe about this politics thing, the more you’ve got to admit that each party’s worse than the other. The one that’s out always looks the best!” Nowhere in the world are elections 100 percent free and fair, but the degree of manipulation ranges from one country to the other and from one continent to the others. All political parties are guilty of this. A former Chief of Staff to Richard Nixon (former president of America) said what matters in America is not vote, but those who count it. In the same view, Joseph Stalin, a former secretary-general of the Communist Party of Soviet Union, was quoted as saying: “It isn’t the people who vote that count. It is the people that count the votes.” William Marcy Tweed of Tammany Hall fame was also quoted as saying something rougher. “As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it?” What that implies is that the government in power, to a large extent, counts the votes and determines the figure to announce! Manipulations to win elections are lower in countries where the overriding motivation is service. It is not so in other countries where people see electoral victory as a meal ticket or an end to poverty. In Europe and America for instance, where many citizens are politically aware and where democracy makes a lot of sense, a lot of things are put into consideration before a vote is cast for a politician. It is not so in third world countries where greater number of the populace live in abject poverty. And the voting masses willingly give themselves in for crumbs and freebies in exchange for their votes. Since, the return of Nigeria to civil rule in 1999, except the election that was held that very year, others thereafter have been tagged non-transparent, rigged, manipulated or compromised, meaning that the elections were neither free nor fair. The situation was worse during the 2007 general election that brought into power, the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. It was so bad that Yar’Adua himself acknowledged in public that “my election was not free and fair.” In the days when the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) held sway at the centre, some power brokers in the fold at that time delighted themselves in the mantra, “There is no vacancy in Aso Rock.” That was rooted in their ability to manipulate figures to their advantage. The late Tony Anenih was reputed to ensuring victory for PDP by “doing one or two things during elections”, hence the confidence the party exuded. The late Anenih was so tilting the scale of victory towards the PDP that he was given a sobriquet, “Mr. Fix It”. While he lasted as a vibrant party man and political juggernaut in the PDP, he played his card “well”.

Mahmood Yakubu

Pundits say that the secret behind the PDP victories at that time was in the “power of zero.” They allege that the then ruling party knew how to employ that to arrive at victory, even in places where they would ordinarily not clinch victory. That was when it was convenient for the party to brag that it would occupy the nation’s power stool for 60 unbroken years. But in 2015, “the counsel of Ahithophel” was “turned into foolishness”. Today, probably bitten by the same bug of over-confidence, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is making the same boastful claim of everlasting inheritance of Nigeria. Lasisi Olagunju, in a published article in the Nigerian Tribune of Monday 3 December 2018, quoted Bola Ahmed Tinubu, national leader of the APC, as saying in Osogbo, during the recent inauguration of the new administration in Osun State, that APC has conquered the South West, forever. Olagunju said: “The victorious big boss (Tinubu) spoke on behalf of a future that belongs to no one. He declared that his tendency had prevailed forever, and never again would another party defeat his APC in Yoruba land.” He quoted Tinubu as saying that “There is no room for any other party in the South West.” “He vowed and was sure nothing would change his verdict a million years from now. That is how a Mafia don, a ‘boss of all bosses’ should talk. All Capos think they see and own tomorrow,” Olagunju said. Like the PDP in the days when it could easily fix anything including election results, the APC probably believes everything is now under its feet. It has every reason to think so, seeing

that with what analysts, described as the “power of zero” the broom party wrested power from the PDP’s grip in Ekiti State in the month of July. Two months later, in Osun State, it re-enacted the feat by allegedly adding additional zero(s). Although the ruling party is massively hit by an internal crisis arising from the troubled primaries in some states across the country; despite the fact that a huge number of aggrieved members have dumped the party, and even as confidence is waning in the leadership of the party, it still believes, so strongly, that it has the key to victory next year. Pundits have said that the 2019 general election may witness the employment of numerous “zeros” in a bid to run away with victory. According to them, the “power of zero” is a rigging method; a manipulation of total votes cast by simply adding a zero or a multiple of it, depending on the situation that arises, to knock off a powerful contender, who probably may be coasting home to victory.

The victorious big boss (Tinubu) spoke on behalf of a future that belongs to no one. He declared that his tendency had prevailed forever, and never again would another party defeat his APC in Yoruba land

In 2015, although the likes of Anenih, were alive and kicking, they could not fix anything to make the PDP remain in power. Hence, President Goodluck Jonathan threw in the towel even when the result of the poll was yet to be made public. With the combination of many factors, including the level of sensitisation of the masses on the need for them to protect their votes; the willingness on the part of many more Nigerians to participate in the voting process next year, and the determination of the electorate to ensure that the “dog and baboon soak in their own blood” if the election is rigged by anybody, it could be said that the “power of zero” may not work this time around. In politics, rigging is done after the balloting, during collation. This is the time the “power of zero” works. It is not always possible without the connivance of party agents who look the other way after accepting bribe money to that effect. Russell Wayne Baker, an American columnist, said: “The dirty work at political conventions is almost always done in the grim hours between midnight and dawn. Hangmen and politicians work best when the human spirit is at its lowest.” Politics is never a holy game. Mikhail Aleksandrovich Bakunin (1814 -76), Russian revolutionary, said: “Even in the purest democracies, such as the United States and Switzerland, a privileged minority stands against the vast enslaved majority.” In a related quote, Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914) American writer said: “Politics is strife of interests masquerading as a context of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.” When you talk about the ceaseless unrest in many parts of Africa, the root cause is politics. Political leaders in these countries have always perpetrated their evil policies against the people and they do everything to perpetuate themselves in power. Rigging has always been their stock-in-trade. Pundits say that rigging in 2019 may not be as easy as Nigerians have become conscious about their role in election process. “I see a situation where those planning to rig may find out they have no opportunity to do so. If it is vote-buying, the noise that has been made about it, I think is enough to put every voter at alert and the danger of accepting N4,000 or N5,000 today and mortgaging your future. Again, unlike when people manipulated figures at the polling units, this time around, voters will be willing to wait until they hear the result and they video everything and post on the social media. I also want to believe that the situation in Ekiti and Osun will not repeat itself because since the election is taking place same day and time, the security agents will be deployed to various places to keep the peace. There will be no case of flooding a state with soldiers, policemen and other paramilitary personnel for the purpose of intimidating opponents in order to “capture” such a state. “So, it is going to be a little bit difficult; except they decide to announce an outright false result; and then, the INEC would have the world to content with in that case. But mind you, nothing is sacrosanct,” a pundit, who craved anonymity, said.

Sunday 09 December 2018




Advocates of restructuring of Nigeria are pursuing selfish agendas - Salvador Moshood Salvador former member of House of representatives, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Director of Campaign Lagos South West for the 2019 re-election bid of incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari. In this interview with INOBONG IWOK, he talks about the 2019 general elections, the chances of Buhari, among several other issues in the polity. Excerpts:


he PDP in their campaign in Sokoto said that they will give Nigerians three square meal and eradicate poverty if Atiku is elected, how do you react to that? PDP knows they have nothing to offer Nigerians. They are saying Nigerians will eat three square meals a day, which they did not give us when they were in power for 16 years. Which meal are they now talking about? It is all deceit, I can tell you that. You can see that they are shying away from talking about fighting corruption. They refuse to talk because they know it was their major problem when they were in office stealing money. If Nigerians becomes gullible and put themselves in trouble again they would know that corruption is the main problem of the country. If they get back to power, what would happen is that the PDP will continue to loot the whole money of this country. You can see that Buhari has blocked the sources from where our money is stolen out of the country, and they are not happy with that. When they come back, they can start looting our money and take it outside the country, the dollar would now become toilet paper, during the time when they were in power, there was free flow of dollar outside the country, I bought dollar for N600 naira and today it is now stable for N360 in the last two and half years it is stable. Nigerians should stop listening to unserious people; if you say you want to give me food, tell me how you are going to cook it. If I tell you I am aspiring to the next level, I will tell you how the dollar would start going down and it would go down because we have stop importing rice. Rice is now in the contra band list; this administration is encouraging people who are producing rice. I was in the market where they were selling clothes and I tell you the China ones were cheaper, while the local ones were expensive. There is the view that the large crowd at the PDP rally is a sign of Atiku’s popularity? Do you believe the people you saw in that rally are members of the PDP? They cannot say that because as we all know

House and the Cocoa House is a property of Odua investment. Let them tell us where the money is going to. Thirdly, about 50 percent of all these Afenifere elders are using the Western House as their offices in the past 50 years without paying any money for rent. How can anybody be more corrupt than that? They are using corruption to fool Nigerians. Nigerians should ask him how he is going to do it. Can Atiku beat his chest and say he would restructure the country? It is not possible, he cannot do it. It is the work of the National Assembly to have a sovereignty national conference which would resolve to have a referendum. But when we talk of referendum, there is no northern state which will support such a move. So when you don’t have the vote it is your voters’ card that would be used for the referendum. For now the North West has 18.9 million registered voters; North East has 10 million, making 28 million, and North Central have 7. 5million. Compare these to South East who have 7 million. Southwest 14 .2 million and South-south has 9. 9 million, and you know the Southwest is for APC. How is it possible for Atiku to become president? It is not possible for them to have restruc-

Muyiwa Fafowora

Moshood Salvador the people were a rented crowd. PDP has disappointed people like us several times and that is why people are leaving them. They can say that, but we know they are bringing Nigerians across the state to the rally, they are all members of PDP and not members of the public. So what do you expect when a PDP man is doing something it is normal for members to attend; it does not say how popular he is. People are making a mistake. When you put 10,000 people in a small place, and don’t forget these people are not sitting but standing you would just be seeing their heads. So if they are sitting they may not be more than 5,000 people, when you are talking of winning election, you need thousands of votes, they are deceiving themselves. Afenifere says they would not back any presidential candidate who does not support the clamour for restructuring of the country? Afenifere has lost relevance

and face in this part of the country; in Yoruba we respect age; we don’t talk to elders anyhow, but the people representing Afenifere should know they are not speaking for the people. Who put them there as our representatives? They are member of a socio-cultural group, they are just a small association; I am the treasurer of Yoruba Unity Forum. We are not in support of what they are talking about. Which restructuring? We should stop all these agitations and look for another word to use and get the same answer. What Awolowo did is better than this clamour for restructuring. It gave birth to Odua Investment Company. Why can’t Yoruba states do same to get what they want. Why are they dancing to the tune of some people that want Nigeria to break up? That is why you cannot see them talking about corruption. Where is the proceed from Odua investment company? They can’t say anything about it. The Western

We have never had it good in Yoruba land. The key ministries in the present government you need to check, it out have been given to Yorubas. If Atiku is elected president the South West would get nothing

turing. You need to sit down and talk of the priority need of your people. I am one of the people planning for APC, and I am about 60 years now. I am thinking of my children. What we need in the South West we are working towards that. So the clamour for restructuring by the elite is for their selfish interest? It is because they are collecting money from some people. Let them come and tell us what they did with the money they collected from Awolowo. They should come and tell us what they have achieved in the last twenty years; it is only Awolowo that had credibility, culture and trust and he was different from all Yoruba leaders. The trouble with Nigeria is not about restructuring, even if it is, restructuring is impossible now? Where were they when Obasanjo was the president? Why couldn’t they propose restructuring? Falae came out and said he wanted to be president. Did he talk about it? All they were talking about was money. Adebanjo was one of the national leaders of AD. Why did he did not talk about it then, all they were talking about wa how to share money. Afenifere leaders are just making mouth. They have been paid. It is shameful we are seeing this in Yoruba land; we have a few upright elders and we would not encourage this. They have been doing this in the past, and we will not allow them because of our children. So these old men are running up and down because they have collected money from these people. We have never had it good in Yoruba land. The key ministries in the present government you need to check, it out have been given to Yorubas. If Atiku is elected president the South West would get nothing. There is the perception by some section of Nigerians that APC is planning to rig the election? It is always the language of losers. Well, it happened in America when Tump won and he is still ruling. Our party will campaign. We are not in competition with losers. We have our way of getting things done. We are planning and strategising, and very soon we are going to start our campaign.



Sunday 09 December 2018


Campaigns: Atiku waxes strong as Nigerians await Buhari Innocent Odoh, Abuja


n Monday, December 3, former Vice President and the Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general election, Atiku Abubakar, in his quest to unseat the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress(APC), commenced the first leg of campaigns, which took off in the historic city of Sokoto, seat of the Caliphate. The Sokoto campaign is the regional rally for the North West just as Atiku and his supporters also stormed Illorin, the Kwara state capital on Wednesday for the North Central regional rally and Ibadan the regional and political capital of the South West on Thursday. And in all these rallies, Atiku has attracted mammoth crowds which trooped out in solidarity with the PDP candidate. The former Vice President will visit the South East, South –South and the North East regions for the last lap of his regional campaigns before he will embark on state by state campaigns in the second week of January 2019. Beginning the campaigns in Sokoto was seen by pundits as Atiku’s quest for strategic symbolisms as Sokoto, the seat of the illustrious Caliphate and the bastion of Fulani Power in Nigeria, signals the battle for the political soul of Nigeria between the two leading candidates, President Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku, both Fulani and also both Muslims. Atiku had on Monday November 19, taken to social media to launch his policy document attracting thousands of supporters. When the governor of Sokoto state, Waziri Tambuwal defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the PDP, the permutations from the seat of the Caliphate, traditionally one of the strong holds of President Muhammadu Buhari, probably shifted in favour of the PDP candidate. Sokoto and the entire North West are strategic because that is where most of the registered number of voters (19 million) is recorded according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Atiku was said to have won the hearts of the people in Sokoto judging by the mammoth crowd that graced the campaign. The politically virile people of the ancient city BusinessDay gathered are currently toeing the line of their elite who appears to have


become fed up with the Buhari’s ‘change,’ they claimed inexplicably unleashed massive hunger, unemployment and deprivation in the land. Speaking to BusinessDay on Friday, the National Chairman of the National Conscience Party (NCP), who is also the Presidential candidate of the party, Tanko Yunusa, stressed that the difficulties in the country would surely sway the votes of the people to Atiku, who on Wednesday was adopted as the consensus candidate of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP). He said that Atiku’s symbolic strategy has demonstrated his ability to sway support in areas perceive to be his weak zone, where the people have displayed unprecedented level of acceptance for the former Vice President. Yunusa , a member of the CUPP, said “in terms of campaigning, where you are being accused of weakness and you show strength there, it will show that you have actually overcome that particular weakness, I think that is what Atiku has shown. Atiku’s strategy is strengthening our alliance and we are mobilising around the nation to let everybody know where we are headed. We are working towards a collective good and everybody must work together. Before in Kano for example when you go to a campaign ground like this, the next thing you hear consciously or unconsciously is “Sai Buhari’ but now it is no longer like that. That means


there is something different going on,” he said. Also speaking to BusinessDay on Friday, the National Chairman of the Action Alliance, Kenneth Udeze, who is also a member of the CUPP, said “it was a very good political strategy for our consensus presidential candidate of the CUPP. We sat down and articulated and did some political permutations and agreed that is where we are going to start from in order to dislodge the so-called belief that the Buhari has dominance of voters from there. So I believe it is very good move by Atiku to make sure that the votes from that region if not divided but to make sure that 70% of the votes come to our consensus candidate. “You can’t rule out the fact that some of the Fulani will vote Buhari in 2019 but the fact is that it is only the core illiterates Fulani that don’t read the social media and don’t know what is happening that will vote Buhari. With what is happening in Nigeria today, the Fulani elite and those that are lettered and their people have rejected Buhari because has caused division in the country on ethnic and religious lines. Even the Fulani are also suffering it more that is why I am sure they will give support to Atiku coupled with the support we are going to give him in the South East, South -South and South West, I doubt how we cannot win this election,” he said. But Speaking to BusinessDay

on Friday, the spokesman of the President Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation, Festus Keyamo(SAN), insists that Atiku is no match to Buhari in any contest, adding that PDP campaign rally in Sokoto was a regional rally that attracted seven states of the North West. He dismissed the so-called crowd as “unenthusiastic,” adding that even when Atiku and the PDP shouted “Nigeria, Nigeria,” which he said is normally the signature tone of Buhari, nobody responded. “If seven states from the North West and their supporters could fill only one arena in the North West then you should know that the elections are over. I can tell you that Buhari’s crowd in Sokoto alone is such that he cannot even find his way from the airport to the venue not to talk of 7 states. The total number of people in the PDP rally in Sokoto if we even give them 10,000, the total number of registered voters in the north west is 19 million. So if the PDP want to take 10,000 people out of 19 million we are happy to give them. “If the President begins to roll out his campaign you will see what will happen. The president in many areas of the North West never went to campaign. He only went to commiserate with them over flood disasters, and the roads will be blocked on a condolence visit not to talk of a political rally,” he said. On the alleged polarization of

the Fulani allegedly caused by Buhari’s handling of the herdsmen crisis, which pitched the Fulani against other ethnic groups in the country, Keyamo noted that such insinuation only exists in the imagination of the PDP as there is no such narrative in the North West. “The polarization is happening in PDP headquarters alone; there is no scientific basis for that kind of analysis. There is no such narrative in the streets in the north. The northerners don’t trust Atiku, they don’t like him, they know that he has never helped them and they know that he cannot be compared with the President in terms of personal integrity and honesty. “Let me give you an example, since 2007, Atiku has been jumping from one major party to the other looking for ticket because he knows that he cannot roll on his own steam. He was jumping from PDP to ACN to APC; he has always been looking for a soft landing where he can get the ticket of a big party to contest. “The President is the only politician since 1999 till now that pulled out of a political party because of disagreement and formed his own party and 12 million Nigerians followed him. I dare Atiku to try that,” he said. Meanwhile Nigerians eagerly await the flag off of President Buhari’s campaign, which Keyamo said will commence in a couple of days. He stressed that Nigerians will see the mother of all campaigns.

BDLife Sunday 09 December 2018



ARTS OffDuty RealGist C002D5556


Meet the new star on the opera stage



Sunday 09 December 2018


In business of the dead CHUKS OLUIGBO & CHINWE AGBEZE


et another tear drops from her eyes onto the paper in her hand. She looks away from the paper, wipes her eyes with the back of her hand, stares blankly at the paper again and heaves a sigh. Nwadimma Kanu has been in this mood since her late husband’s relatives met and drew up a list of things needed to give their late brother “a befitting burial”. She is pained by the sudden death of her beloved husband, in an auto crash, after only six years of marriage, leaving behind two promising children who will now have to face an uncertain future without the family’s breadwinner, but the major source of her current heartbreak is the cost that her husband’s relatives have imposed upon her for her husband’s funeral. The list that they have drawn up includes mortuary services, casket, ambulance services, decoration of venue for lying-in-state, undertakers, DJ services, live band, printing of burial programme, posters, banners, two different types of T-shirts for immediate family members and relatives, photo and video coverage, two different uniforms for outing service and for mourning, aso-ebi clothes for extended family and friends, renting of canopies, tables and chairs, bags of rice, cows, cartons of beer, crates of malt, crates of minerals, packs of bottled water, bags of sachet water for refreshment, catering services, and many more. There is her husband’s uncompleted one-storey building in the village to be completed and painted before the burial, and there is also a demand for two live cows, one each for her husband’s kinsmen and his maternal people. She looks at the list again and breaks into uncontrollable tears. But while Nwadimma is weeping out her heart, a number of businesses are warming up in anticipation, certain that she would come seeking their services in due season. Not a few Nigerians find themselves in Nwadimma’s shoes today. Expensive funeral services is the order of the day, it doesn’t matter whether the deceased left even a pin behind. Indeed, time was when families just buried their late relatives within a maximum of a day or two, without the fanfare that is associated with funeral services today. In those days, no one cared so much about preserving corpses in mortuaries. Most families embalmed the remains of deceased relatives at home the traditional method using dry gin, just to preserve them for a day or two before burial, and then, they went to a nearby carpenter or coffin-maker for a befitting coffin. Burial ceremonies were often less expensive, except in cases where the deceased was a titled man or a traditional king whose burial involved several expensive ceremonies, or where

Pics courtesy of MIC Funeral Homes, Lagos

the deceased attained very ripe old age with numerous well-to-do children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren who may then decide to celebrate the exit of their patriarch or matriarch in a flamboyant style. Then, out of the blues, everything changed. As funeral ceremonies became increasingly flamboyant, it became clear that there was money to be made. Consequently, the number of businesses benefitting from death and burial ceremonies in Nigeria increased accordingly. More mortuaries sprang up, not just in major hospitals but also privately-owned, casket makers upped their game and began to make more beautiful designs that sometimes made one desire death, ambulance service providers discarded the jalopies and ordered high profile jeeps and executive cars. Decorators improved on their trade, printers learnt direct image (DI) printing that guaranteed sharper results, DJs and live bands equipped themselves with trending songs, and all other providers of services required at funerals generally upped their game. And then, there are also professional mourners who charge fees to cry at funerals where family members of the deceased appear too busy to call up tears. Sadly, sometimes the deceased who is getting this expensive funeral may have died of negligence. Such scenario is aptly captured in “Died

Wretched”, a 1998 classic Nollywood movie produced and directed by Kenneth Nnebue, the prolific producer of “Living in Bondage”, which birthed Nollywood as it is today. In the movie, Lucas (Tom Njemanze) trains his nephew Chris (Tony Umez) through secondary school, at one point having to sell his last portion of land to save him from jail. Years later, Chris becomes a wealthy businessman and marries Sarah (Eucharia Anunobi), while Lucas becomes so poor that taking care of his wife and five children becomes a struggle. Chris refuses to help his uncle in his time of need, but when Lucas dies, he organizes an expensive burial for him, with a N2.5 million casket and a N250,000 gold wristwatch. Ogbonna Ohia, an Abia State indigene who just buried his stepsister who died a spinster, for instance, made available the following list of planned expenditure to BDSUNDAY ahead of the burial: mortuary bill – N50,000; casket – N30,000; ambulance – N10,000; decoration – N10,000; DJ – N10,000; 2 bags of rice – N32,000; 10 crates of malt –N25,000; 10 crates of beer – N29,000; 5 crates of mineral –N6,000; cow leg – N60,000; 6 canopies – N10,000; 5 tables – N1,000; 200 chairs – N10, 000; bottle water and sachet water – ?; programme/poster/banner – N35,000; food –N180,000; transport – N12,000; T-shirt – N20,000; total – N560,000.

“This is just an estimate. The final expenditure could be more. And it is this mild because she was not married,” Ohia said. Spread of funeral homes Latching on to the emerging opportunities in the funeral services business, and seeing that many rich families would rather outsource the burial of their deceased relative, as is done in other climes, many funeral homes sprung up across the country. Most of these funeral homes provide some or all of the following services: embalment and mortuary services, casket making, sale of caskets (local and imported), funeral planning and decor, general funeral services, hearse services, band services, pall bearers, wreath ladies, lying-in-state, undertakers, private and public cemeteries, cremation, memorials and consultancy services, and many more. A Google search of funeral homes in Nigeria threw up several in Lagos and other parts of the country. Some of the funeral homes are MIC Funeral Services Ltd, located on Lagos Island, Lagos; DC Heavenly Gate Funeral Home in Owode, Osun State; Ebony Funeral Services on Lagos Island, Lagos; Heavensgate Funerals in Port Harcourt, Rivers State; Heavens Caskets & Funeral Undertakers located at Mushin, Lagos; Lasting Journeys Group on Lagos Island, Lagos; APAMS Funeral Services Ltd., regarded as the king of funeral undertakers East of the Niger, which has its head office in Onitsha, Anambra State, branches across the South-East and making inroads into the South-South, and TOS Funeral Services, with offices in Gbagada, Ikeja, Alausa, and Yaba, all in Lagos, which has the motto “caring for the living and the dead”. Others include Akas Funeral in Nsukka, Enugu State; Abundance Peace Caskets in Ibadan North, Oyo State; Western Funeral and Cemetery Services in Ikorodu, Lagos; Funeral Lady Palace in Ikoyi, Lagos; First Narrow Gate Funeral Services, Alimosho, Lagos; OS FUNERAL SERVICES on Lagos Island, Lagos; Great Wonder Band, Ikere, Ekiti State; Ochieze Royal Casket, Port Harcourt, Rivers State; Rock of Ages Funeral Services, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State; Ultimate Funeral Undertakers, Ibadan, Oyo

Sunday 09 December 2018



Life&Living State, and many more. Apart from the regular services, Omega Funeral Home, located at Ojodu-Berger, Lagos, adds “body recovery, post-mortem, exhumation, preparation and documentation” to its list of services. BDSUNDAY visited MIC Funeral Homes, one of the foremost funeral homes in Lagos, which says it has been in operation since 1946. Our checks show that MIC Funeral Homes offers a wide range of services that include removal of corpse/repatriation, mortuary facilities, casket sales, hearse services, pall bearers, mobile band, flower girls, flower and wreath, lying-in-state/viewing, burial plot, headstone/ marble, photography and video recording, cremation, encasement, obituary announcement, provision of security personnel and music jazz band. Our correspondent, who posed like someone who had just lost a beloved relative, asked for the cost of an assortment of caskets and a list was emailed to her by a staff of the funeral home. The list shows that for local caskets, there are the two-step flat top shape with fixed bar handle at N275,000, a semi dome shape casket with fixed bar handle at N350,000, a round top shape casket with fixed bar at N350,000, a regular dome shape casket with fixed bar handle at N350,000, a Pavarotti dome shape casket at N375,000, and a regular dome shape casket with swing bar handle at N600,000. Furthermore, a Pavarotti regular dome shape casket with swing bar handle sells for N475,000, royal dome shape casket with swing bar handle in gold colour costs N650,000, royal dome shape casket with swing bar handle white and gold costs N600,000, semi dome shape casket with swing bar handle in gold colour at N375,000, and a Pavarotti hollard dome shape casket with swing bar handle at N550,000. Imported caskets are far more expensive. According a list of different types of imported caskets and their prices emailed to our correspondent, Athena imported steel casket comes at the cost of N2.15 million; Amethyst imported steel casket costs N2.7 million; midnight silver imported steel casket costs N2.4 million; carnation mist imported steel casket costs N2.1 million; blue mist imported steel casket costs N2.95 million; millennium imported steel casket (stainless steel with gold plated hardware) costs N8.95 million; Promethean imported steel casket (highly polished solid bronze, 14k gold hardware) costs N13.85 million; sunshine imported steel casket costs N1.65 million; classic gold imported steel casket costs N7.225 million; star quartz imported steel casket costs N4.8 million, while Aegean copper imported steel casket costs N4.2 million. For its pall bearers, band boys, flower girls and management services, a source at MIC said it depends on location. When our correspondent said she was from Imo State, she was informed that the services of pall bearers cost N150,000 per day in Imo State, mobile band N150,000 per day, 2 wreath bearers (flower girls) N40,000 per day, and transportation, handling and management fee N250,000. And there are different types of hearse services and prices. For instance, R Class 4matic Benz in black and wine colour costs N550,000 per day, white stretch Limo costs N685,000 per day, while see-through (show glass) Benz costs N700,000 per day. “We have 10 funerals to cover tomorrow [Thursday] morning and Friday in different parts of the country,” Abraham, a staff at MIC Funeral Homes, told our correspondent on Wednesday. “Last week, we covered about 11 funerals in different locations.” A quick run through MIC Funeral Homes’ website shows photos from some of the funerals it handled in the past. Some of its recent jobs include the funerals of Chief Molade Okoya Thomas, OJB Jezreel, Alex Ibru, Olorogun Felix Ovuodoroye Ibru, Dr Taiwo Ogunmola, Dr Adebisi Olatunji Senbanjo, Chief Mrs O. A. Abosede Okoya Thomas, among others.

As funeral ceremonies became increasingly flamboyant, it became clear that there was money to be made. Consequently, the number of businesses benefitting from death and burial ceremonies in Nigeria increased accordingly A visit to Kafsan Nigeria Enterprise showed cheaper prices. Dome casket with steel handles costs N250,000, Dark Matt dome swing handles costs N250,000, Matt polish flat top with bar handle costs N60,000, round top show white with bar handle costs N75,000, while Matt polish next level costs N80,000, our correspondent learnt. Similarly, for hearse services, Mercedes Benz 4 Matic costs N350,000 (if required to travel a day before the burial); Volvo costs N120,000 (for drop and go on the same day), and N150,000 (if required to stay till the next day). But the prices come even cheaper at Merciful Funeral Services. Here, the price of casket ranges between N50,000 and N300,000, whereas the cost of ambulance services varies depending on distance. For instance, BDSUNDAY learnt that the cost of transporting a corpse from Lagos to Owerri, Imo State, is N60,000, Akwa Ibom is N80,000, while Anambra State is N50,000. BDSUNDAY also checked out some mortuaries in Lagos to ascertain the cost of their services. At the Lekan Ogunsola Memorial House located at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), where our correspondent went to make enquiries posing as someone who has lost a dear relative, it was learnt that to deposit a corpse in the mortuary requires registration of N1,000. Embalmment costs N50,000 for corpses brought in from outside the hospital and N45,000 for those that dies in the hospital. The fee could be more depending on the state of the corpse when it is brought in and the cause of death, BDSUNDAY also learnt. Washing and dressing of the corpse comes at the cost of N5,000, daily storage costs N100, while the sum of N5,000 is charged for final dressing of the corpse on the day the relatives wants to pick it up for burial. In other words, it would The pricing at Isolo General Hospital Mortuary in Lagos is slightly different. Here, embalmment costs between N40,000 and N80,000 depending on the size of the corpse. The mortuary charges N5,000 for washing and dressing of corpse, while daily storage of the corpse costs N1,000. Even though this is not official, BDSUNDAY learnt that in order to ensure that the corpse of one’s relative is treated nicely and taken adequate care of, one may need to tip those that will take care of the corpse with N2,000 or more so they can do their job dedicatedly. At the Anatomic and Molecular Pathology Department Mortuary of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), our findings show registration is N5,000 (apart from in-house corpse), embalmment costs a minimum of N50,000, while autopsy service comes at the cost of N100,000. Furthermore, it costs N1,000 per day to keep a corpse in the mortuary for the first 30 days, N2,000 per day after one month (31-90 days), and N5,000 per day from the 91st day until the body leaves for burial. Clearance before taking

away the corpse for burial costs N5,000, and the unit must be notified and clearance done two days prior to collection of corpse, while the use of the auditorium attracts a cost of N25,000. Funeral insurance plans The import of what is happening in the funeral services market is not lost on insurance companies. As such, some insurance companies have come up with plans that provide families with funds to take of burial expenses of their loved ones. Leadway Assurance, for instance, has the Family Benefit Plan and Family Benefit Plan Plus, “a risk management initiative which ensures its policyholders freedom from sudden and unexpected financial difficulties resulting from the death of an older loved one and funeral costs that follow”. Whereas both plans allow the policy holder

to have a befitting burial for loved ones, covering funeral expenses for about six people including demised loved ones, the Family Benefit Plan Plus (FBPP) goes ahead to cater for the welfare of the family of the deceased by providing monetary compensation beyond the funeral costs, according to an article, “How to worry less about funeral expenses”, found on the company’s website. Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc has a similar product, Mutual Dignity Plan (MDP), a funeral insurance cover that provides lump sum payment to the policy owner or nominated beneficiary upon death of any life assured. Some other insurance companies have also come up with similar plans aimed to assist families to handle the funeral expenses of loved ones without breaking the bank. In the end, it is good business for the insurance company and a cushion for the deceased’s family.



Sunday 09 December 2018


Gifting with convenience this Christmas season


who you are giving. However, in Nigeria, the most shared Christmas gifts include rice, oil, hampers and promotional/customised gifts. Whatever the gifts you are giving, the most important things is for you to personalise it.

Convenient Christmas Gifting eCommerce has already disrupted the way Nigerians make their purchases. Across the country, you will find not only millennials but also digital immigrants ordering items on online shopping malls. Corporate gifting is not an exception here as organisations can outsource their gifting plans to an eCommerce companies. Jumia recently announced its new service of assisting people with the choice of product, discount requests, and ensuring availability and delivery. This will enable organisations to focus on offering sterling services to client and customers during the whole yuletide.

Tips for giving the best Christmas gifts Choosing effective and impactful corporate gifts for your clients and customers is not as difficult as many believe. Just follow these few tips and get the best gifts. - Don’t buy gifts that will end up in the trash: Most companies have the basics handled. The world has gone digital, and your clients don’t need a calendar to put on the wall near their desk. Unless they are a car enthusiast and you gave them images of their favourite automobiles, it’s not likely that they’ll hang your company calendar next to their desktop. - Personalise it: You should try to include your business name on your corporate gift. There are no problems with a branded gift so long as it is tactful and provides value at home or in the office. - Do think of something your client will appreciate: Be thoughtful. Developing a rapport with your clients is important throughout the year. Use the holidays as an opportunity to let them know you were listening.

ecember is here and a good number of people love the last month of the year regardless of their religious beliefs. This is because there will be quite a handful of holidays, a lot of giving, gifting and sharing not only by individuals but also by corporate organisations and the ambience will be celebratory. Interestingly, gifting has become a trend for the yuletide to show appreciation to clients, loyal customers as well as groom or nurture relationships for the upcoming year. And corporate organisations and individuals are constantly searching for affordable and convenient ways to gift without breaking the bank.

Alternatively, organisations can sign up to Jumia Corporate in which they will get support/dedicated account manager, fast shipping nationwide, electronic invoicing,

exclusive offers (employee incentive solutions, rewards solutions), effective return policy, access to express delivery options and largest assortment of products in Nigeria

with over 2,000,000 products. Gifts for Christmas Christmas gifts can either be traditional or modern depending on

Best ways to prevent pimples and keep your skin smooth IFEOMA OKEKE


t could sometimes be frustrating to look all dressed up for an occasion and still feel very uncomfortable because you have to deal with the ‘but’ factor ‘PIMPLES’. This could shift attention of people away from your lovely apparel to the rough looking face that could sometimes be irritating, especially having the big, ripe pimples. However, there are many things a person can do to prevent pimples and other forms of acne, including: Wash the face twice daily Washing the face twice a day and not popping pimples will help to improve skin appearance. Acne is rarely the result of a dirty face, contrary to popular belief. However, it is important to remove excess dirt and oil from the skin by washing regularly. Many people prefer to use a mild cleanser and warm water. Applying an oil-free moisturizer after washing can keep the skin from becoming too dry. Over-washing the face may cause the skin to become dry, which can aggravate pimples. Refrain from harsh scrubbing Some people scrub the skin with rough cloth pads or washcloths. This

can irritate the skin and cause inflammation, making acne breakouts worse. Applying a gentle cleanser with clean hands or a soft brush intended for use on the face can help to prevent pimples. Keep hair clean If excess oil in the hair travels to the skin, it can worsen acne. Regularly washing the hair may stop acne from developing, especially close to the hairline. Also, refrain from getting products such as hair gel or spray on the face. These can also clog pores and lead to breakouts. Refrain from popping or picking

at pimples It may be tempting to squeeze a pimple, but this usually results in inflammation and scarring. To reduce the appearance of blemishes, use a topical treatment instead. They may take some time to work, but they can also prevent new pimples from forming. Apply topical treatments Over-the-counter treatments, such as creams or serums, can reduce breakouts, particularly when they tend to occur in certain areas. Consider topical retinoids Topical retinoids are products con-

taining medicines derived from vitamin A, and dermatologists prescribe them to manage and prevent acne. These treatments can also get rid of excess dead skin cells and reduce inflammation. Most topical retinoids are only available with by prescription, including tretinoin (Retin-A, Renova), and tazarotene (Tazorac). However, one retinoid medication, adapalene (Differin), is available for purchase online or over the counter. Talk to a dermatologist about antibiotics Topical antibiotics can fight an overgrowth of acne bacteria in the skin. Examples of antibiotics that treat this inflammatory acne include erythromycin and clindamycin, which are available by prescription. A person can identify inflammatory acne by its very red, irritated appearance. It can also be painful. Talk to a doctor about hormone pills Hormonal birth control pills are sometimes prescribed to prevent acne. Birth control pills can help to prevent acne, by helping to regulate the hormones that may make acne worse. However, these pills carry risks, so it is essential to review the benefits and side effects before making a decision. Spironolactone, a medication of-

ten used to treat high blood pressure, may also help in cases of severe acne. However, spironolactone has many possible side effects, so it is best to speak to a doctor. Cut back on foods linked to acne Doctors are not certain of the connection between foods and acne. However, a growing body of research suggests that some foods may trigger acne in certain patients. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, foods with a high glycemic index may increase the risk of developing acne or make acne worse. These potentially problematic foods are sugary and high in carbohydrates. Some examples include cookies, cakes and pies. Dairy products, especially skim milk, may also increase a person’s risk of developing acne. A person may want to cut back on a particular food group, to see if their skin improves. Wear sunscreen when going outdoors Too much sun has many damaging effects on the skin. Sunburn can also lead to an overproduction of oils that make acne worse. Using oil-free sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15 may help to prevent sunburns and exacerbated acne.

Sunday 09 December 2018



Arts Meet the new star on the opera stage OBINNA EMELIKE


f you love seeing an enthralling recital or live classical concert, there is a new sensation on stage. Agatha Ibeazor is truly bringing new vibes on the opera stage. Whenever on stage, the youthful talent thrills her audience with her angelic coloratura soprano. Ironically, when over 90 percent of upcoming female music artistes prefer to ply their craft in the popular hip pop genre, Agatha reaches out to mature listeners and minds with her soprano performances. If you saw her performance at the Abuja Metropolitan Music Society concert recently, you will appreciate her creative ingenuity and carriage. Agatha, who cut her teeth on classical genre at Music Society of Nigeria (MUSON) Scholars programme, has taken over the opera stage like a colossus. But the intrigue is that she has mastered the seemingly difficult genre of music at a tender age. In less than five years, she has several performances to her credit in Nigeria and abroad, as well as, several awards including the Quistorff Aria Competition, National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition held in Kansas City, USA, among others. In February 2016, Agatha was afforded the opportunity to sing in the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York as a soloist with the UCM concert choir. This was a dream come true for her. “For as long as I can remember, I have dreamt of performing in this hall”, she confesses. Of course, the opera queen is both beauty and brain. She graduated with honors and was the first African to have her name on the honours board ofTruman State University, United States of America.

She is currently pursuing her PhD in vocal music at the West Virginia University (WVU) where she received a W.E.B Dubois research fellowship; a fellowship that is only open to African American/Black graduate students that are exceptional with excellent grades. She is among a few creatives who are still focused on attaining the highest level in their educational standard. In line with that ambition, Agatha is reluctant at signing contracts with major opera houses in the US or Europe because she is an academic.”I want to get the highest level of qualification in education before touring the world as an international opera singer”, she assures. Explaining her firm resolve on getting the highest level in

academia, she says, “This would equip me to be able to make the kind of impact I would like to make in Nigeria. Education first, stage appearances and signing contracts in opera houses would come later”. However, she has been very active with the opera theatre of each school she had attended, including her current school of WVU, singing lead roles in different operas, which include: Lucy in The Telephone, Euridice in Orfeo ed Euridice, Laetitia in The Old Maid and the Thief, Serafina in Il campanello di note, Queen Dido in Dido and Aeneas, among others. Though not highly impressed with the patronage of classical music in Nigeria, the young talent believes that classical music landscape can be revamped.

“I think classical music in Nigeria needs a larger audience. The potential for Nigerian classical musicians being acknowledged as top artistes in this field is very promising and with more awareness, we can be unstoppable”. As well, she seeks to catch younger classical music talents in Nigeria. “Whenever I visit Nigeria, I announce on my Facebook page about giving master classes to the young classical musicians at the Muson Center. I talk to them about different careers in music and even scholarship opportunities in the United States. These visits are very dear to my heart as there are an overwhelming number of undiscovered potentials in Nigeria. The aim of these master classes is to encourage these young people and show them by example that it is possible to achieve their dreams and that if I could make it, they too can make it. The road may be long, but it is surely doable. She is also looking for ways to recreate classical music to draw youthful patronage. One of such ways is collaboration with other artistes and fusion of classical and other genres that will create awareness for classical music in Nigeria. “My plans are to record and collaborate with Nigerian pop musicians - some kind of fusion of classical music and Nigerian pop music – and I am so excited about this. Nigerian pop music is so beautiful, and it gains momentum each day. A collaboration is an efficient way to get classical music

into the hearts of Nigerians. Hopefully after this, when Nigerians get used to me and my style of music, I can then record some classical albums in Nigeria”. Agatha is a grateful soul. She gives credit to MTN Foundation for kick starting her blossoming music career with a scholarship at MUSON to study music. “Receiving an education from MUSON and being sponsored by the MTN Foundation is the one of the greatest things that happened to my career and for now, that is my strongest link with these two organisations”, she says in appreciation. Like Oliver Twist, she wants more. This time, not another scholarship but better relationship. She is proposing an annual recitals or concerts in MUSON where the MTN Foundation can showcase a product of theirs and keep track of the successes of the students that they have helped, not just in Nigeria but in the world. “I owe a lot of my success to these two organisations and would like a better relationship with them. Perhaps an annual concert could be a start of a more solid relationship”, she says. She is also looking forwarding to entertain again with angelic coloratura soprano this December in Nigeria, especially at the Abuja Metropolitan Music Society concert and MUSON Centre, Lagos. Visit to see her, as her performances are sure to be among the highlights of your outings this festive season.



Sunday 09 December 2018

Arts Day Hero Fiesta entertained ‘Heronaires’


he venue was the Chuba Ikpeazu Stadium in Onitsha, Anambra State and the night began on an explosive note. Popular South-East based Disc Jockey, DJ Alonso, was on the wheels of steel and rocked it with so much gusto, setting the tone for the evening. He whipped the crowd into such a frenzy that the elevated tarp on the VIP section vibrated, while dishing out great music as a warm up to the fourth edition of the hitherto annual music extravaganza, Hero fiesta four. This year’s edition was tagged ‘The Bridge Edition’ and aptly so because it identifies with the major landmark that typifies the South East, epitomized by the Niger Bridge. It also signified the bridging of the last fiesta, which held in 2014 and the current edition. All over the world, music has always been a universal language appreciated by all. It connects people, unifying diverse culture and experiences. Multinational organisations have been known to use music as a tool in connecting with their customers as well as giving them the ultimate brand experience. This is why the Super Bowl, for instance, in the United States of America, is very popular for using superstar artists for its halftime entertainment shows. According to Nielsen data, a US-based research company, over 113 million viewers tuned in to watch the show in 2017, making it the most watched television sporting show in the world. Taking a cue from this, International Breweries Plc, makers of Hero Larger beer and a proud member of the ABInbev family, has also successfully connected with its customers, giving them even more value

for their money, since 2012 when it began the Hero Fiesta music concert, which featured popular Nigerian artists that thrilled the crowd. Frank De Don, a microphone maestro and compere for the show, displayed so much energy on stage and occasionally appreciated the enthusiastic crowd by gifting them souvenirs like music CDs, wrist chains, rings, among other gifts. It promised to be a night of great fun. The performance line-up was made up of superstar artists like Rudeboy, Omawunmi, Timaya, Duncan Mighty, HarrySong, Zoro, Victor AD, Slow Dog, Reekado Banks and a host of upcoming artists who also displayed their music skills. As is traditional with the brand, it provides a platform in support of aspirations, encouraging all to ‘Go Be the Hero’ in whatever they do. To this end, prior to the music fiesta, it organized an open mic tagged ‘Making of Heroes’ where young people displayed their musical talents. A few of them were selected as opening acts for the bigger stars on the day of the fiesta. After a rapturous display

by DJ Alonso, popular SouthEastern on air personality and DJ, DJ Tricia, took over and dished out a number of afro pop and afro-highlife tunes made popular by the likes of Flavour, Zoro, Slow Dog, etc. The stage was set for an explosive night and fans were not disappointed. The first performance by M’Prof, was a memorable one as he took the crowd to another level of excitement. The energy was high as he showed potentials of being the next rated artists across the country. He was followed by Real P, Twister, Tinted and a host of other budding acts who also displayed their musical talents. A trip down memory lane reveals why Hero became such a popular brand in the region. When it was launched into the Nigerian market in August 2012, it gradually endeared itself to customers majorly in the Eastern part of the country who christened it ‘Oh Mpa’, as a mark of respect. Mpa is usually the respectful yet endearing way a father is called. In addition to it being well loved, Hero recently became the first beer to be

Asa returns on stage at Spice TV Lifestyle Honours


igerian international singer, Asa brought the house down at the maiden edition of the Spice TV Lifestyle Honours. Opening her set with the single ‘Fire on the Mountain’ from her self-titled debut album, the audience warmed up to her as models donning pieces from the designer, Torlowei, walked the runway. Asa whose last performance in the country was 18 months ago threw all in the ring to make the night memorable for guests. Eliciting gasps from the audience as she removed her jacket to reveal a sexy sequined black top worn over pants, she launched into a medley, performing most of her hit tracks including ‘Jailer’, ‘Bibanke’, ‘The Way I Feel’, and ‘Moving On’. At one point, she kicked

off her shoes after regaling the audience with tales how she made a similar display at a concert in Paris, but am audience member took one of the shoes home. To forestall a repeat, she asked her team members to keep her shoes safe. However, the highlight of the night was when a smitten fan took the bold step to propose to the singer on stage. Asa while performing her last song for the night ‘Bamidele’ teased the audience with a freestyle melody ‘I like you Asa, I want you Asa, but you won’t marry me.’ Taking a cue from her lyrics, the young man climbed the stage, went down on one knee and asked Asa to marry him. Not fazed by his boldness, Asa held him up and teased him with seductive moves that got the audience screaming wildly. She danced with him, and at a

point, bent over as if she was going to twerk for him, all along flashing beautiful smiles at the audience members who were wowed by her moves. The fan may not have been to heaven but on that stage, having Asa leaning on his body, he definitely had a taste of heaven. When the singer hugged him, he held her tightly and seemed not in a hurry to let go. This display brought a climactic end to the maiden edition of the awards. The Spice TV Lifestyle Honours was conceptualised to celebrate and reward African fashion icons and brands. Powered by XCHANGE, a consortium of event promoters led by Tajudeen Adepetu, the event attracted fashionistas across the continent to the Eko Convention Centre of Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

knighted as a red cap chief with the title ‘Dike Mba Nile’ a well-deserved reverence for the brand. Slow Dog’s performance was expectedly exhilarating as the crowd sang along some of his hit songs including ‘Nwanne Waa’, ‘What’s My Name’, among other hits. HarrySong did not disappoint with a performance so thrilling that he ended up giving a fan his warm cap, shirt, shoes, belt and even his expensive ring. Song like ‘After the reggae play the blues’, ‘Arabanko’ ‘Happiness’, among others, literarily tore the roof off the stage. Omwunmi came as a colossus and performed like the star that she is. She came on stage with her band and sang like she was giving her last performance on earth. Hits like ‘Megbele’, ‘If you ask me,’ Belle’ rent the air as everyone sang along with her. Not only did she thrill the crowd with her dance steps, she also engaged them when she brought a boy and girl on stage to likewise entertain the crowd. In connecting with her fans, Omawunmi walked into the crowd but had to quickly return to the stage to prevent

her massive wig from being pulled off by excited fans. O m a w u n m i ’s p e r f o r mance was closely followed by Reekado Banks, whose entry song ‘Easy’ made the crowd go wild. He sang back to back, ‘Oluwa ni,’ ‘Katapot’, among other songs and acknowledged the love from the crowd. Another world class performance was by Rudeboy who like Omawunmi, came on stage with his band and thrilled the crowd. His entry elicited jubilant screams as fans scrambled to touch him on stage but were pushed back by security. Rudeboy, the one half of defunct PSquare group performed most of his solo songs from ‘Nkemji keke,’ Reality’ Call Heaven’ and a few songs from his PSquare days. Everyone agreed that his performance and that of Omawumi were the best of the night. Like other performers before him, Rudeboy gave a lucky fan his timberland boots and threw his shirt into the crowd, eliciting screams from female fans. Zoro is an energetic performer whose brand of music is quite appreciated in the SouthEastern and South-Southern part of the country. He was introduced on stage by Nollywood actor, Harry B, who rhymed the introduction to the delight of the crowd. Zoro’s ‘Ogene’ Mbada’ ‘Echolac’ among other hits, were so energetic that the crowd screamed for an encore anytime he wanted to exit the stage. In addition to having the legendry Nkem Owoh, aka, Osuofia and Harry B dance on stage, Zoro thrilled the crowd with Ijele masquerades and other acrobatic dancers who displayed so much dexterity with their dance steps. Duncan Mighty, aka, Port

Harcourt first born, gave no less a performance. Songs like ‘Port Harcourt son,’ ‘Obiauju,’ ‘Lova Lova,’ among other big time hits, blew the crowd as they chanted and sang along with the crooner, after which he appreciated the crowd by throwing some souvenirs to them. Highlight of the night was the performance by the Eberipapa one of Bayelsa himself, Timaya. Throughout his performance, the crowd happily hand the songs, without the background music, indicating how much his songs were loved and how well they could sing it. Timaya, who was awed at the amount of love coming from the crowd, kept thanking them for the love. Songs like ‘Dem mama,’ ‘Ukwu’ ‘Sanko,’ among others, were used to thrill the crowd. The night ended on a positive note as 17 customers were rewarded with one million naira each, for their patronage in the Hero National Consumer Promo awards. The excited customers, who received their dummy cheques, praised Hero for their good fortunes and thanked them for the recognition. According to Ugwuanyi Onyebuchi Emmanuel, one of the N1 million naira winners, “this is a brand that has never failed in rewarding us for our loyalty whether it is with the music fiesta or by this promo and we are sincerely grateful for their presence in the South East.” Through music, IB Plc has been able to foster a stronger connection with its customers and has done so now for four years. Unlike other brands that would rather host such concerts in cities like Lagos and Abuja, Onitsha was favoured in order to bring it closer to the people and the turn out at the stadium showed the gesture was well appreciated.

Nigeria opens its doors to visitors with Flytime music festival


fricaishometomillions of visitors annually, as a result of her rich and diverse socio-cultural heritage. Due to her friendly and accommodating spirit alongside the immense industrial potential, the number of tourists that visit the continent increases every year. As well, Nigeria has the largest economy on the continent, and is the most populous black nation on earth. The country is blessed with a wide array of ethnic groups, languages, cuisines and beautiful ancestry. Tourism in Nigeria is one of the sectors that had long been relegated to the background, owing to the fact that it lacks the capacity to be as lucrative as the oil sector. On the other hand, the total contribution of Travel & Tourism includes the increase of job creation, spending in the local community, diversification, infrastructuraldevelopmentandsocial

& environmental advantages. Lagos, the commercial hub of Nigeria, is home to perhaps the most vibrant entertainment industry in Africa. With numerous activities to celebrate art and culture, Lagos State plays host to a plethora of events such as musical concerts, fashion shows, stage plays and art exhibitions to mention a few. For 13 years Pepsi Rhythm Unplugged has recorded sold out concerts back to back and this year, renowned entertainment powerhouse Flytime Promotions introduces the Flytime Music Festival to spice up Christmas in Lagos. From December 21-23, 2018, the festival will host three major concerts scheduled over three days with the biggest artistes from around the globe at the prestigious Eko Hotel. The first day of the festival will feature the Pepsi Rhythm Unplugged, featuring Grammy

award winner Bobby Brown while Bell Biv Divoe will take the stage on the second day until the end of the festival in grand style. The third day will feature Olamide Live. These events promise to bring world class entertainment to all in attendance. The Flytime Music Festival, is the brain-child of Cecil Hammond with a dream of expanding the entertainment and leisure scene in Nigeria. The events will attract tourists from all around the world to witness concerts curated in a new dimension. With over 13 years of entertainment and media management under his belt, Hammond has worked with both local and foreign artistes to build Flytime Promotions into one of the most formidable entertainment companies in Nigeria. With longstanding corporate and entertainment industry connections, the festival is set to be the talk of December.

Sunday 09 December 2018



Entertainment Up North, celebrating northern Nigeria’s rich culture



nakle Films and Inkblot Production’s Up North is a cultural phenomenon that has sparked conversations on social media. The conversations have evolved from the struggles and fun times in NYSC camp to the rare representation and groundbreaking celebration of the North. With an all-star collection of majorly Northern talents, Up North directed by Tope Oshin (Shuga, New Money) is more than the latest December film of 2018; it is a captivating story about the North’s talent, love, coming of age and a can-do spirit, says press statement made available to BusinessDay. Shot in Lagos and Bauchi, Up North features Northern actors like Rahama Sadau, Sani Muazu, Saeed Mohammed, Amal Umar, Ruth Waziri and Nafisat Butu. It is not just the combination of Northern actors that makes an impact; Up North’s costume direction is one that will leave an impression that will last a lifetime. “I have always wanted to tell

visual stories, I had written the outline for UP North in 2015, I knew this was the project I wanted to start my feature film journey with, and it had to be done well and for me, aside the location, the costume was key, and that carried a heavy price tag” says Executive Producer Editi Effiong The film also highlights the culture and tourism aspect of

Northern Nigeria. Stunning scenes showcasing the beauty and splendour of the North such as scenes shot at the iconic Gobi Lake and at the Durbar festival, an annual festival that marks the end of Ramadan. Effiong continues, “Bauchi is beautiful, it is like a second home, I kept returning after my first visit because of the beauty. The Durbar is one of the most cultural

displays I have ever seen. If you have never been to a Durbar, we’re bringing a Durbar to you” Up North opens in cinemas on December 28, but before then, the producers will gather a select audience that consists of the film’s cast and crew, Nollywood stakeholders and the Media for a grand premiere they have tagged “The Grand Durbar” on December 16, 2018.

‘Turn up’ MC Tee A thrills guests at corporate Tyme Out


ce comedian and compere, Tee A, is not new to the business of entertaining Nigerians with over 20 years of bringing smiles to the faces of his audience. On December 2, 2018 the comic treated his fans and entertainment lovers to yet another exciting edition of his corporate Tyme Out series. The event which took place at Lagos Continental Hotel, was the 6th edition of the comic show and the MC/Compere definitely upped the ante this year with a diverse all-star lineup of performances, from the iconic disc jockey, DJ Jimmy Jatt on the wheels of steel to rap legend, MI Abaga, gospel songstress, Tope Alabi, to the “alternative soul” singer Bez amongst others, the show did not miss any flavour of music. The crowd was elated to see GT the Guitarman perform live after his hiatus from the music scene. Not easily to be forgotten is the hilarious comedy skits with Tee A, Princess, Frank Donga and MC Abbey that had everyone’s rib cracking. Not only were the artistes Alist, but ‘Corporate Tyme Out’ also had in attendance eminent personalities. Present was the former first lady of Lagos State, Dame Abimbola Fashola, CEO, Smooth Promotions, Ayo Animashaun, Teju Baby Face, Osas ighodaro amongst others.

Again, Star Lager partners LASG on 2018 ‘One Lagos Fiesta’


tar Lager Beer has revealed plans to round up the year in conjunction with the Lagos State government at its flagship yuletide revue, One Lagos Fiesta, scheduled to hold from December 24 to the early hours of January 1, 2019. In an exciting unveil, the Lagos State government on Monday disclosed that artistes cutting across all genres would be performing at this year’s One Lagos Fiesta with support from Nigeria’s foremost beer brand, Star Lager. The eight-day, non-stop celebration will hold in five different designated locations in Lagos simultaneously and will feature not

just artistes but dance groups and cultural performances. The 2018 OLF, as it is fondly called, will have the beer brand on-ground to provide attendees non-stop refreshments throughout the week-long event. Speaking on why the brand chose to be present at OLF for the second time, Wasiu Abiola, head, media digital & sponsorships, said, “Star Lager Beer is consumerfocused, and a listening brand. We know how passionate Nigerians are about festivities and that is why we are supporting One Lagos Fiesta. We share in this excitement and we will be pulling out all the stops to ensure our consumers

have a great time all through the eight days.” Star’s inclusion does not come as a shock as the brand has, over the years, been present and supportive of the annual year end felicitations. Abiola expressed the brand’s commitment to bringing the best experience to thousands of Star Lager Beer consumers who will be visiting the locations across the State. With a long history of supporting the consumers’ passion, Star continues to create premium experiences as it has done with its very successful consumer activation programs like; ‘Star Fan Parks’ and ‘Star The Fusion’ among others.

Alex Okosi and Eddie Dopu

MTV Africa, Eddie Ndopu to make historic voyage into space


TV has revealed it will join forces with awardwinning activist and humanitarian, Eddie Ndopu, to follow his monumental voyage as the first physically disabled person to travel into space. Ndopu is leading a groundbreaking campaign to deliver a powerful message to the UN General Assembly on behalf of young people everywhere who have ever felt excluded by society. The announcement was made ahead of International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3. The untitled project will begin production in 2019. Ndopu, from South Africa, was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy at birth and given a lifespan of five years. He is now 27 years old. With an advocacy career that spans over a decade pioneering for rights of disabled young people around

the world, and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Oxford University, he has defied all odds and currently has his sights set on making history in outer space. “As we pay tribute to Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday, I can’t help but think of his profoundly powerful words: ‘It always seems impossible until it is done.’ With the help of MTV, my campaign to become the first physically disabled person to travel into space is about showing the world that with a lot of heart and a bit of human ingenuity, anything is possible,” said Ndopu. MTV will document everything from Ndopu enlisting an aerospace company to facilitate the flight, to his innermost thoughts as he gets closer to lift off, and finally, his celestial journey and message to world leaders.


Bliss with Nonye Ben-Nwankwo


Sunday 09 December 2018

Email: Phone number (SMS only) 08057511893

I’ve been single for seven years – Mr. Macaroni


ebo Adedayo may not be a known name in the movie industry but when Mr. Macaroni is mentioned, not just a few are conversant with it as it is gradually becoming a household name especially to those who love watching Nigerian movies. The actor who has been in the movie industry for just a couple of years, has metamorphosed to becoming a notable face almost leaving behind those who were there before him. In a chat with Bliss recently, the budding actor revealed how he came about his alias which has gradually taken over his real name. “I was on set of sitcom, Face to Face some time ago and the role wasn’t a big one. At times, they don’t even have names for such characters. The director just said I should give myself a name. Somehow Mr Macaroni came to my mind. It could be because I used to sing Mr. Macaroni song a lot. It was one of my favourite nursery school rhymes. Even at that, I didn’t put much importance to it until I got to school and somebody called me Mr Macaroni. That was how the name got stuck.” Mr. Macaroni said acting has been his passion right from when he was a kid and he didn’t have in mind of doing another thing. “I have always wanted to be an actor. When I was small, I would mimic Pastor Chris word for word and I would just act like him. I was in Drama group when I was in secondary school. I knew I wanted to be an actor.” However, even as acting was his childhood dream, when it was time to attend tertiary institution, Mr. Macaroni chose to study  Law. “ I am not a conformist, I challenge the rules especially rules that are not progressive. I always believe that in every organisation, the people ought to always say if they are comfortable or not. But I noticed that authorities always have a way of imposing things on you. I always want to stand up for people and that was what gave birth to my desire of wanting to be a lawyer.” However, his hope of becoming a lawyer was dashed midway. “I was a radical Law student at Afe Babalola University Ado Ekiti.  I had a lot of issues with authorities. I led a protest in school where we demanded from the school authorities to tell us why our school was in session yet NUC was telling us that the course was not accredited in the school and anybody studying it did so at his own risk. But even after the protest, nothing came out of it, so most of us left the school at that time.” But that wasn’t the only time or school Debo showcased his ‘radicalism’. “I left for North American University in Cotonu to continue the Law but I didn’t finish. I had an issue with one of the lecturers there. I came home and I just decided to stop school. I felt this school thing wasn’t for me. So I decided to go into what I have always loved and that is acting.” But then, after a few months, Debo said he had to talk to himself and decided he wasn’t going to be the odd man out in his family. “I decided to go back to school but not to study Law. I had lost interest. I decided to study Theatre


ip Hop artiste, Vector Tha viper and actress, Juliet Ibrahim, are actually having a great time of their lives especially since Hype and Steam, the UK based, high-street fashion brand, announced the duo as their brand ambassadors.  Speaking during the announcement, Brand Manager, Hype and Steam, Anju Kamlani said, “We are extremely privileged to have two wonderful African voices, Juliet Ibrahim and Vector as part of our brand. They both exemplify the attributes of the Hype and Steam brand - young, stylish, sexy, innovative and consistent. We believe that their love of fashion and style will help customers to connect with our brand.”  In her own remarks, the pretty actress, Juliet said “We are excited about being part of the Hype and Steam family, especially in witnessing its fascinating growth in

Nigeria. This is an iconic brand and we look towards a long and fulfilling association”. Founded in the United Kingdom, Hype and Steam was launched in Lagos with a runway show and an exclusive after party, showcasing the brand’s latest collection of trendy, quality clothing items and accessories at affordable rates.

Rudeboy, Timaya, others thrill at Hero Larger Fiesta Arts. I eventually went to Reedemers University, which was my last stop.” However, Debo had issues with the school which story also went viral back then. “I had issues in the school. I ran for president of the students’ association. I even ran unopposed. I tried to agree with the authorities of the school. I think the black race don’t want to be criticised. I had written my final year exams and I was literarily done with the school. I was just awaiting convocation. Some things already happened in the school. The issue was settled out of the court. I apologised to the school and that one passed. At least I have my certificate now.” Now that he known, expectedly, women would be flocking around him.  Debo admitted his love for women but said he is single. “I am not a fine boy. But then, I have one or two people who say hi to me. Naturally, I love women. But the truth is that I am not in any relationship. I just try to be friends with everybody. It is by choice that I am not in a relationship. I have been single for more than seven years now. People don’t understand what love is. It takes extra dedication, commitment and loyalty. The moment you agree to be somebody’s partner, you have to be ready to share everything with the person. If you are not ready for such commitment, then why go into it?”

Winning AFRIMA dream come true – Praiz


Vector, Juliet Ibrahim become Hype and Steam Brand Ambassadors

ultiple award winning artiste, Praiz, couldn’t just hold back his emotions last weekend during the All Africa Music Awards held in Ghana as he was announced the winner in the category that he was nominated. The X3M Music artiste won the Best Artiste in African R&B and Soul with his song, Champagne and Flowers. The incredible talent beat other notable acts all over Africa, including Nigeria’s Banky W, to clinch the award. And of course, the international award winner couldn’t hide his excitement as he said the award was a dream come true. “I feel so excited that I won. It is just like a dream come true. I really want to thank all my fans who voted for me. I dedicate the award to my team in X3M, Steve Babaeko, Wale and so many others who have been there for me. I cannot also forget my producer. I love you guys,” he said in an emotion-laden voice.


xpectedly, when the likes of Timaya, Harrysong, Du n c a n Mi g h t y a n d Rudeboy perform at a concert, the show is sure to be a banger! And that was exactly what happened recently at the Chuba Ikpeazu Stadium in Onitsha, Anambra State when these popular Nigerian music artistes took to the stage to thrill the crowd at the fourth edition of the Hero Lager fiesta. The stadium was filled to its capacity with fans who were dying to see these notable artistes. And they weren’t disappointed as the artistes were on fire! They dished out hit after hit back to back to the excitement of the fans who grooved all evening with them As a brand that has always represented the South East of Nigeria, the music fiesta themed the Bridge Edition, was aimed at identifying and elevating major landmarks that typifies South East which the Niger Bridge epitomizes. Speaking at the event, Marketing Director, International Breweries, Plc., Mrs. Tolu Adedeji said every year, the Hero fiesta attracts thousands of

fans who are loyal to the brand and appreciate what it stands for. “We made the decision to make Onitsha the venue of our annual fiesta as a way of appreciating the acceptance and the loyalty enjoyed by Hero Lager beer and it gets bigger and better with each passing year. We hope to continue bringing so much value to our customers and maintaining the good relationship,” Adedeji said. In addition to the fiesta, more winners emerged in the HEROnaire mega promo, a reward scheme that offers consumers above the legal drinking age with N1 million for eight weeks over the next two months. “Hero Lager is always glad to put a smile on the faces of its consumers and we are looking forward to rewarding even more consumers across the country, giving people the opportunity to win big and become HEROnaires,” said Sales Director, International Breweries Plc., Mr. Godwin Oche. Hero fiesta is an annual music extravaganza put together by International Breweries to celebrate its customers for their patronage and loyalty.

Sunday 09 December 2018



VoxPop Do you think the youth can win the presidency in February 2019? Jonathan Aderoju & Gbemi Faminu


n the Nigerian electoral process, the youth have always taken the back seat. Since the return of the country to civil rule in 1999, the older generation has continued to dominate the political scene. The much-talked about youth empowerment in politics has never worked. In an apparent move to end the ugly situation, some youths took it upon themselves to sponsor the “NotTooYoungTo Run” bill that was signed into law on 31st of May 2018 by President Muhammadu Buhari. Over the years, the Nigerian youth has been used as cannon fodder by politicians. They are recruited as thugs and for ballotsnatching activities. According to a practising lawyer, “Political elite mobilise unemployed youths, often along ethnic, religious and party affiliations, as vital violent arsenals. The youths are induced to threaten or unleash violence as a means to achieve electoral and political success. More often than not political violence is paid for, used as a tool by prominent Nigerians to bolster their own political and financial positions. Electoral violence in Nigeria is induced by financial, ethnic or religious considerations. Also, the lack of

Ibukun Olubiyi Caterer


i t h t h e s u p p or t from other youths I think they have an upper hand to win the election, considering the fact that the youth make up over 60 percent of the population in Nigeria.

Ronke Olubokun Social worker


think they have the chance to win, after analysing the previous leaders they haven’t actually brought to the table anything tangible. I think it’s time for us the leaders of tomorrow to stand to the challenges in Nigeria and make the place better for all of us.

Odogwu Sunday Engineer


don’t think they have the chance to win, if they had wanted to win this election by now they should have started

A cross section of young voters

adequate knowledge or information on politics, particularly electoral processes, coupled with low level of education, the high level of deprivation and impoverishment of the Nigerian youths force many to take the readily available ‘job opportunity’. The elite are responsible for recruiting and arming the youths with firearms as political

thugs to manipulate electoral outcomes, kidnap or kill political opponents, threaten and intimidate the electorate, destroy lives and property, as well as destroy electoral processes. The Nigerian National Youth Policy (2009) defines youths as those between the ages of 18 - 35 years. Contrary to the global trend, it excludes those 15

– 17. Nigeria’s total population is 195,562,603 and Nigeria youths are estimated as 60percent of the Nigeria population that is 117,337,561.80 according to world meters. Nigeria Population (1950 2018) in 2018 according to data gotten from Nigeria population commission which was last updated on their website. Youth popula-

creating serious awareness not just on social media but on the streets so that people can know them and access them well. And I really don’t think they have the experience to lead a country of over 200 million people.

without being involved with politics to learn, just wake up one day and say they want to rule Nigeria, even the youthful President of France held some positions before he became president of France.

Mercy Adeyanju

Olutayo Odogwu Sunday Adegbite Photographer Engineer


don’t think they have the chance to win, if they had wanted to win this election by now they should have started creating serious awareness not just on social media but on the streets so that people can know them and access them well. And I really don’t think they have the experience to lead a country of over 200 million people.

Tosin Ayeobasanmi Fashion Designer


don’t think they have the chance to win, because from inception it has been the old people recycling themselves over and over, and these youths


f Nigeria can conduct a free and fair election, and let voters choose their preferred candidate without placing them on any condition, I believe the youth have a chance to win the elections because people have learnt the hard way and are wiser to make more informed decisions to ensure a better life for them. A good observation of some of the contesting youth plans and prospects will show that they are ready to work and they already have plans on how it will work, so it is up to the electoral body to do what is right and I know that the youth will have a chance come February 2019.

Customer service agent


onsidering the publicity going on presently regarding the upcoming elections, I doubt if any of the youth aspirants will be able to win. it is already known that in Nigeria we have only 3 parties in Nigeria, the ruling party which is the All Progressives Congress (APC), the main opposition party People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and other parties, and Nigerians are not ready to diversify or explore new options. For 16 years PDP ruled Nigeria and eventually only APC was strong enough to beat them in 2015, there is no question about it, and youths have a long way to go before winning an election especially the presidential election in Nigeria. There is no chance for them, because even if citizens want to vote for them, rigging of elections will not allow them win.

Obi Stanley, Auditor


efore any youth can win an election in Nigeria , it

tion was estimated at 61,306,413 which represent 31.7percent of the total population. This is one of the highest percentages of youth in any country. The Bill is an amendment of Section 65 (1), 106(b), 131 (b), 177 (b) of the 1999 constitution. Prior to the amendment, the Constitution states that anyone vying for a seat at the National Assembly must attain the age of 35 years for Senate and 30 years for House of Representatives; section 106 (b) stipulated that a candidate must attain the age of 30yrs before contesting for a seat at the state House of Assembly; Section 131 (b) the age of 40 years for candidates vying for the office of the President; while Section 177(b) Age of governorship candidates as for 35 years. But with the current happening in the political environment now, where it seems that we have 2 major aspirants beginning to forget that there are also some youths who are aspiring to become the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The likes of Omoyele Sowore, Fela Durutoye amongst other aspiring youths are still keeping the dream of becoming Nigeria’s president in 2019. BDSUNDAY spoke to some youths about their views on the 2019 elections in relation to the timing for the generational power shift this time around. is advisable for that youth to join the main parties in Nigeria, otherwise they will not stand a chance and it is also advisable for them to start from the grass root politics and not high position like the presidency in order to increase their chances of winning and recognition. They also need to gather the necessary experience and they should be well equipped to fight oppositions.

Patricia Eze Chef

depends on some factors Iingtsuch as position they are vyfor and they platform they are contesting on, if it is for the presidential position they have very slim chances of winning because out of 100 eligible voters, 40 percent are supporting the ruling party, 40 percent are supporting PDP and the remaining 20 percent are shared among all the other political parties. Also, it is advisable for the youth to join already known political parties so that they can perch on the strength of such parties.


Off Duty With


Sunday 09 December 2018

Bolatito Adebola Mobile: 08053859391, email - twitter - @iambolatito

Oil Baron, Dapo Abiodun, gradually proving pundits wrong Radiant Funmi Oyetunji


sabusinessmanof strong pedigree in the oil and gas sector, many had felt he was navigating a not too familiar terrain when he started showing his interest in governing his home state years back. Today, after many failed attempts to secure the governorship ticket, the truth has now dawned on many that Otunba Dapo Abiodun, the Heyden Petroleum boss, may just be the right person to take the state to the very next level; and this is in spite of the hostile and stiff opposition from the incumbent governor. As you read this, the big wigs and political stakeholders in

the state and even outside, are queuing behind him as the next governor of the state, believing that he will bring his rich business acumen to bear positively on the fortunes of

the state. His political platform, the All Progressives Congress, APC, is also leaving no stone unturned to ensure his soft-landing at the state house, come 2019.

That apart, the Dapo Abiodun Alliance Group, DAAG, a coterie of young business professionals, academics and entrepreneurs are pulling all the strings to manifest the arrowhead of the group, and aligning with his political dream and steadily giving him a solid support in his quest as the next governor of the Gateway State, Ogun. His moving train is now the only one to derail in the state and no one can deny that presently and this businessman par excellence, at a recent parley with party faithful, pledged to bring more industrialization and infrastructure to the state, if given the mandate.

Folake Ani-Mumuney still proactive at 50


o add a year in good health, fortune and sound mind is always a thing of joy, and such days are never left unmarked or uncelebrated by those who are privileged to witness this unique day. This is exactly how the marketing and corporate communications guru and diva, Mrs Folake Ani-Mumuney has been feeling since she turned 50. The first female ADVAN President and First Bank topshot , Folake Ani-Mumeny is the lady who made waves in the UK, working as the first black woman in a top management position in the British Airways, charged sensitive marketing functions in Europe and Africa. She holds several management certificates and belongs to many professional bodies. She also has degrees in Philosophy and

Law, and a Diploma in Business Computing Systems Analysis and Design. With her impressive profile, Folake can be described as a marketer; a strategist; and a business analyst but the best simple way to describe her is to call her ‘solutions provider’ and this is what she has been doing unending since she passed out from the University of Lagos in flying colours many years back. Now at the golden age of 50, workaholic and industrious Folake, seems not done and unrelenting in her desire and mission to take her job professional and career-wise to the next higher level in spite of her gender; and she is doing this with all vigour and resilience to make her organization, First Bank

remains the numero uno in Nigeria and even in the continent of Africa. Virtuous Folake Ani-Mumuney is a perfect example and role model for younger women coming in her track.

Shade Okoya’s entrepreneurial skills


or many women in the ambience of wealth and comfort, they will just easily recline and be wallowing in such comfort zone. But for the delectable and charming Chief (Mrs.) Folashade Okoya, wife of billionaire industrialist, Aare Razaq Akanni Okoya, she is not one to take any chances by sitting down at home and enjoying the goodies of her husband. At her husband’s vast blue-chip Eleganza Industries located in Ajah, Lekki, Lagos, and hazel-eyed Shade superintend and officiously manages the multi-dimen-

sional chain of companies, even with foreigners under her able leadership. Perhaps,

this is what makes her doting spouse, RAO, to always feel proud of her and moves about with her to many official and social functions within and outside Nigeria. Being a woman of many parts, beautiful, brilliant, industrious, hard working and very resourceful individual, whose entrepreneurial spirit is compared to none, with four grown-up children, Sade has a physique that can compete favorably with supermodels and does not betray this in any of her gorgeous outings, while her girlish looks and fashion statement could

The undeterred Ayodeji Karim


o doubt, billionaire businessman and Managing Director of Costain West Africa, Ayodeji Karim, has made a name for himself in Nigeria and even beyond. His antecedents over the years precede him anywhere he goes and he is considered one of the most visionary corporate leaders in the country, with several awards in his kitty. But the Ibadan, Oyo State-born businessman was given a baptism of fire recently when he made known his intention to contest the

number one job of the state, through the ruling party in his state, APC. The top-notch businessman was however shown that the business climate is a different ball game

from the murky waters of Nigerian political turf, as he was quickly forced out of the race after he had been literally milked dry. In spite of this, the effervescent and astute corporate giant was able to pick pieces of his life and immediately went back to his job, which suffered a big setback during his political foray, even though, he is still undaunted about his political ambition at a later and more auspicious time. Ayo Karim had his primary education at St. Georges

make many young girls go green with envy. This stylish lady is the Deputy Managing Director, Eleganza Industrial City Ltd. and by virtue of this position, she is responsible for the day to day management of this company, which started operation in the year 2012. It is for her great sense of hard work, creativity, and ingenuity in running this impressive company that has over 1,000 workers,thatShadeOkoyaisalways being honoured, awarded and recognized by many organizations. She is indeed a virtuous woman of impeccable character with valour.

Boys’ School, Falomo, Ikoyi Lagos, secondary education at the Metropolitan College, Isolo, Lagos before proceeding to South Thames College, Wandsworth, London, where he bagged his National Diploma in Electro/ Mechanical Sciences. He is also a graduate of Materials Engineering and Engineering Design/Manufacturing from the University of Wales, Swansea, UK and he has a record of increasing operational efficiencies, reducing bottlenecks and downtime through Time Quality Management, (TQM).

and her elocution


he possesses an aura that is out of this world. Coming from the financial sector to becoming an estate developer, public speaker and author, Funmi Oyetunji radiates what can be encapsulated as a completely virtuous woman. The founder of the first indigenous shopping centre, Canaan Mall in Lekki, Lagos, not too long ago, spoke at an event in Lagos, on ‘how one can live a purposeful life.’ Interestingly, her main purpose in life, which she found out after 50 years, was to chair a foundation that touches life, which she has since put in place and still flourishing. At 61, eloquent Funmi Oyetunji is a bundle of brain, brawn and beauty. Her late father, an equally proactive entrepreneur, was the owner of a popular 2-star hotel; Lasal Hotel, along MM Airport Road, among other flourishing businesses, which industrious Funmi now manages diligently and efficiently. And it must be from her father that she got her entrepreneurial acumen. Getting to the peak of her career did not happen overnight as well-focused

Funmi Oyetunji toiled and sweated for years obtaining her first degree from the UNN in 1977 at age 20 and the ACCA qualification in the United Kingdom in 1981. Her career spans 35 years with top firms of Coopers & Lybrand, Z. O. Ososanya & Co and the London office of KPMG, which saw her attending Leadership and Board Effectiveness programs at Harvard Business School, INSEAD in France and IMD in Switzerland. She also taught Finance on the executive programs of the Lagos Business School. Mrs. Oyetunji serves on a number of boards including Ecobank Nigeria where she chairs the Risk Committee, Prestige Insurance, and American Tower Corporation.

The undaunted Lagos businesswoman, Funke Osibodu


nterprising Mrs. Funke Osibodu, is one person that cannot easily be relegated when it comes to corporate issues that are knotty and very volatile. Contrary to the recent travails surrounding her as the head honcho of the multi-million naira power company, BEDC, the mercurial businesswoman has remained undaunted, even in the face of stiff opposition to his exalted office. Many say that the financial expert is not having the best of time as the leader of her company, but the industrious and well-composed ex-banker is not agreeable with the many allegations levelled against her, even as there are still mounting pressures from within and outside the company to upstage her, but she was only being intimidated and haunted for no just cause, but not far from envy

and petty jealousy. For the record, before now, Funke had served as the CEO and later a director of the holding company of Ecobank Nigeria until she left in 2006. Then she was appointed MD/CEO of Union Bank, from where she eventually left to take up the BEDC job.Shecametolimelightwhen there was a shake-up in the Nigerian banking industry when five bank CEOs were ignominiously dismissed in 2009, and five replacements were named by the Central Bank of Nigeria. She was, during that banking Tsunami accordingly and meritoriously too, chosen to lead the Union Bank of Nigeria. After she left the bank, she entered the power industry as the Chief Executive Officer of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company, BEDC, where her husband, Victor Osibodu, is the Chairman.

Sunday 09 December 2018



Feature ‘I fear of what will happen soon if we don’t quickly get our oil/gas right’


hen deeply knowledgeable and intelligent men begin to shiver in fears over a matter where others see no danger, then, disaster is around the corner. After all, horses and donkeys were said to be the first to flee at the approach of the first tsunami years ago in the US when humans were frolicking and making merry around the beaches, until disaster struck. This seems to be the situation Nigeria finds itself; where deeply knowledgeable experts in the oil and gas industry such as Brown Ogbeifun begin to feel fear while most other Nigerians haggle over political control, scooping petrodollars and feeling safe. Nigeria is said to have lost over $200billion for foot-dragging in its proposed oil reforms (PIB) for almost 20 years. Now, another malady is about to wreck the ship of nation. Ogbeifun has gone round the oil and gas industry and for many years sat astride the PENGASSAN leadership summit in Nigeria as president the Petroleum and Gas Workers Association of Nigeria. Today, he is a consultant on the hydrocarbon industry and a campaigner for reforms in the oil/gas industry. He is one of the brains behind the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) that has suffered almost two decades of standstill in the National Assembly and he has joined forces to push for reforms, sanity in the oil industry, and community equity to help bring stability. Ogbeifun stormed Port Harcourt on November 13, 2018, with experts on war against corruption in the oil/ gas industry with a one day workshop to groom traditional rulers and community leaders on recognising what corruption has done in the oil industry and how to domesticate the power to say ‘no’ to this on the hands of the community people. In an exclusive interview with BDSUNDAY, Ogbeifun raised strident alarms, saying Nigeria has delayed oil/gas reforms for too long and that danger loomed ahead if nothing was done, now. Explaining why he is persistently stretching so much to stop the decay and rot in the oil industry many years after he had retired

Brown Ogbeifun

as PENGASSAN leader, the comrade said: “I fear of what may happen tomorrow to all of us, if we do not take immediate step. How do I mean? If you are a multimillionaire where everybody is poor, you are as poor as the poorest man in that community. It means that a time will come (people may not see it, I do not wish we come to that extent) when people are going to rise up against the bourgeois in this society.” Explaining, the expert said: “I keep telling my children that I have lived my life. If I had wanted to do things the way people wanted me to, I would have been a multi-millionaire today. I left the PENGASSAN House (leadership) in 2005, yet, I am still engaged in the system by people who think I have the integrity for them to latch on. That to me is a legacy that no man can take away. It is also very instructive to note that it is not as if I am begging for bread but there is need to stop this disaster looming

not far ahead”. When what the former PENGASSAN boss dreads happens; “It will not matter that time whether you had only a bicycle or Keke Napep, the oppressed people would think that anybody that was not like them (trekking) must have made money from somewhere and is an enemy. They would begin to clobber and kill people. I do not want it to get there but it is where we seem to be headed. It is better therefore to raise a voice and create the critical mass of people that would begin to say, look, never again can we do this. If we continue to run the system we are running like this, what would be the future of my grandchildren? I might have gone but what would be the future of my great grand children?” He said many may ask why he was worried about the future generation, but he provided quick answer: “I worry because in my time, I went to school in comfort, but today people go to school in anger and

frustration. They are going to be hostile and if care is not taken, they will take up arms. I don’t think that is the society we want to build, and that is why in our own little corner, we are engaging people to join in the fight against corruption; corruption that can gravitate and cause poverty. People are taking the money meant for the commonwealth. You kill an armed robber because he has stolen a phone, but there are pen-robbers that steal an entire destiny and kill masses. They loot funds for roads and abandon them to become death-traps and many Nigerians are dieing by this, yet, these people walk the streets and we celebrate them. That is why we must ensure that never again can we climb to this level where people will steal our money and will not build the projects. They steal the money in education and our education system crashes; same in health, and medical tourism flees the nation to other places. If we

pool all this looted money together, it will transform Nigeria. That is why we are begging people to join this campaign. My objective is; if history is written in decades to come and I am still alive, my name will be written as one of those that worked to bring this reform.” On what happened at the advocacy workshop at Golden Tulip in Port Harcourt, venue of the strategic workshop which featured a seasoned researcher and lecturer at the Niger Delta University (NDU), Dr Zibima Tubodenyefa, the former PENGASSAN president said; “I do hope and think that because of the audience today which of course encompass the traditional rulers, the leaders of ethnic nationalities, NGOs, and more, would begin to mobilize for action. This is because these people have over the years said the Niger Delta deserved a better stake in the affairs of the nation, especially when it comes to developmental processes. They will begin to mobililse, not by violence of agitations that may cause ripples in the system as 2019 approaches, but by constructive engagement, collaborations with the oil and gas actors and governments even with members of the host communities to see what can be done to tackle the issue of corruption. That was why we came into Port Harcourt. It is to tackle the issue of corruption as it affects the oil and gas industry.” The approach, according to him, is not to accuse any player but that he knew that the reasons why there is projects stalling in the Niger Delta is because of corruption. “In class today, you saw the example of Gelegele community for instance where a project that started during the era of Shehu Shagari over the decades but has now come to fruition. Why? We had conflict generated around the name, the project, etc. We had those who had turned the conflict into an enterprise. We really need a situation where we have to re-orientate ourselves and shift from rent-seeking character at all levels so that our communities can reap from the fruits of oil and gas like countries like Norway and Saudi Arabia have benefited. “We do hope that with

this new coalition, new partners would be able to start engaging people on the need to see the interest of the common man within the community over and above their own interest. In this case, you do not fight to become the leader of the people because of your gains but because of what you are going to do. That is a new orientation and it is going to take some time to achieve; but I am an optimist once we set our minds on something.” On how the community people would be expected to fight against corruption successfully in the face of external forces in the corruption equation, Ogbeifun said: “That’s a very pertinent question and I want to thank you for it. I will answer in two ways. If I know something is impacting me and development is eluding my community because of divide-and-rule and because of corruptive tendencies, I will tell you, look, instead of the money you are using to cause discontent in the society, put that money back into your coffers for you to execute the project.” He went on: “Most investors want stability. Investors that have credibility that are even external to the communities run away because of some of the rents that we seek from them. So, if organizations know that if I go to community ‘A’ and they do not accept rent but demand for execution on specifications, meeting timelines, employing their people, and do not take your money, they would change their approach. Those who are external to the communities have found it easy to manipulate them because of what is happening.” He however said some things were beginning to happen. “I read about a contractor being quizzed by the EFCC for abandoning a particular project. If that is beginning to happen, then hope is near. One of the recommendations here today is that those who abandon projects should be punished. Once that begins to happen, no contractor would toy with the people.” The Edo-born exert noted an example. “When the Oba of Benin returned and was made king, the first thing he did was to abolish extorting those coming to build projects. What it means was that investors began to flock to Edo State because they knew they no longer had constraints in accessing land. That is a traditional ruler. Once people begin to see influx of investors, other communities would stir. They would say, if it is succeeding in Edo State, it will happen here. So, there are roles they can begin to play.”



Sunday 09 December 2018


The road now taken: The Nigerian railway story ODINAKA ANUDU


t is a Sunday afternoon at Rigasa train station in Kaduna, North-Western Nigeria. The station is bursting at the seams. Hundreds of passengers are waiting to purchase tickets for an Abuja-bound coach. Workers usually come to Kaduna on Fridays to spend time with their families and friends and go back to Nigeria’s capital on Sundays. Many of them are civil servants who must report to their offices on Monday. There are two ticket categories: the executive and the standard. The executive class, which is mainly for the rich and popular, costs N3, 000 ($8.3), while the standard class, mainly for the lower middle-class and those in the lower rung of the economic ladder, goes for N1,500 ($4.2). At the moment, the cost of the standard class is equivalent to that of commercial buses, but passengers prefer coaches for obvious reasons. One is the poor security situation along the land route. In May this year, 87 passengers were killed along Kaduna-Abuja road by marauding kidnappers and armed bandits. In July, four passengers were killed and others kidnapped along this route. This has been a recurring decimal in the last four years, and using the road is becoming increasingly dangerous. Two, it is faster to travel by train than by road. It takes approximately one hour and thirty minutes to get to Abuja by train. The same movement by road takes two hours and thirty minutes. It is 3.03 pm and boarding

Passengers setting down from a coach in Kaduna has commenced. Passengers are hurrying into the coach with the speed of light. Sleeping pill Eleven minutes after boarding, the coach departs. And arguments begin. It is political season and passengers are relishing the contest between two biggest contenders—candidate of the opposition People’s Democratic Party and the current president from the ruling All Progressives Party, who is also flying his party’s flag. This is understandable as the passengers are mostly Abuja-based civil servants who believe that the office of the president directly affects their future.

Passengers setting down from a coach in Kaduna

Like in a Nollywood movie, silence suddenly pervades the coach. It is forty-two minutes after departure and many passengers are already dozing off, hitting their heads against each other’s. “The railway is like a sleeping pill,” says John Magudu, a civil servant. “You relax and sleep off once you are in,” he explains. “You sleep with your two eyes closed here, but you cannot do that if you are using that road,” he says, shaking his head furiously. Samuel Indimi is also a passenger on the standard section. “I am hypertensive and the insecurity situation at KadunaAbuja road cannot help my heart at all,” Indimi, a civil servant, says. Businesses feel the impact The railway is not just a good means of transportation. It is also a major business driver. On board, two young ladies in their early 20s sell snacks and soft drinks. A piece of meat pie snack costs N300 ($0.83). Outside the train, it costs half the price. A bottle of Pepsi and Coca-Cola soft drinks go for N200($0.55). It is N100 (0.27) in most shops outside the coach. But passengers care less. From my observation, the ladies are able to sell about 40 pieces of snack and 33 bottles of soft drinks. The rail is also aiding movement of goods from Kaduna to Abuja or vice versa. Sanusi Monguno moves at least five

baskets of onions from Kaduna to Abuja every two days via rail and he makes at least N4, 000 ($11.11) each day, bar expenses. Monguno confirms to me that this was not the case before the railway resumed operations, as he often experienced theft, delays and exorbitant charges while moving his goods by road. “I buy onions here and supply them in baskets in Jikwoi, Karu and other parts of Abuja. It is cheaper in Kaduna but expensive in Abuja,” Monguno discloses. The Rigasa community is also feeling the buzz. Rigasa stretches from Arewa, Mashi, Sabon Gari to Makeran. It has over one million inhabitants, making it a politically important community. Many residents believe that once a contestant garners high votes in Rigasa in an election, they are as good as winning. This community is now seeing new opportunities in various sectors of its economy. Real estate players are smiling to the bank, with land speculators raising prices five-fold. One plot of land used to go for N300,000 ($833) in the town before the train station started operations two years ago. Today, a plot of land sells at N2 million ($5,556) and there are chances that the price will be higher in the years to come. A new set of real estate investors are already in town, buying up land from Rigasa natives.

Shuaib Alhaya, who owns a small shop close to the train station in Rigasa, tells me that the cost of land in the community will rise twice or three times by mid-2019. Alhaya’s projection is predicated on what he hears from villagers who are determined to raise the selling price of land. “You can also buy land now and start erecting shops. Many people will be willing to rent your shops next year,” the 38-year-old Alhaya advises me. Dankwambo Ahmed, one of the residents of the community, is using four plots of land he inherited from his father as a car park. Train passengers leave their cars under his custody, paying N1,500 ($4.2) for the whole day. “If I had more plots of land, I would expand to accommodate more cars,” Ahmed says. For small businesses, the railway has brought relief. At a corner outside the Rigasa station is situated a string of small businesses selling food items and providing skeletal services. I found a couple sampling locally-made leather slippers. They are cobblers and shoemakers. At least four shops sell food. These are not the city-type joints but they serve noodles and rice within the shortest possible time. A plate of noodles costs N300. The same goes for rice. The cab drivers are also having a field day. Fares have risen two-fold as passengers pay as much as N5, 000 ($13.9) from Rigasa train station to the city. A taxi driver Danladi Umar says cab drivers charge high fares because they spend more money on car maintenance than those shuttling the city. “We serve mainly the rich and the upper middle-class, who often demand ‘clean’ cars. We give them good cars but let them pay,” he says. The railway story The Abuja-Kaduna standard gauge railway was built by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and it covers a distance of 186.5 km. The railway has nine stations, including Rijana, Dutse, Kakau, Rigasa, among others. It is designed to have a speed of 150 km per hour, linking the capital city Abuja and the north-western state of Kaduna. The construction of the AbujaKaduna rail line, which stretches from Idu to Rigasa, began in February 2011 and was 85 percent completed by December 2014. It was eventually commissioned in June 2016. It is estimated that CECC and Nigeria’s

Sunday 09 December 2018



Feature The road now taken: The Nigerian railway story federal government spent $874 million on the project. In 2014, it was rated by KPMG, one of the leading consulting firms in the world, as among the global top 100 world-class infrastructure projects. It’s rail renaissance The government of Nigeria seems to have seen the light after the success of Abuja-Kaduna railway. Today, the CCECC is working on the Lagos-Ibadan railway, a standard gauge line spanning 2,733 kilometres. Its cost is estimated at $1.5 billion. The government expects that the rail will be ready in February 2019. The Lagos-Ibadan road is the busiest road in Nigeria, connecting the South-East and the South-South Nigeria to the South-West. It is also connects Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, to Ibadan, which is easily the country’s largest city in the country by land area. The road is under severe pressure from vehicles and trucks, and analysts believe that a rail line will ease the pressure and ensure smooth-free movement. Next on the line is LagosKano standard gauge, starting from the Atlantic Ocean port of Lagos to Kano, near the Niger border. The railway will run parallel to the British-built Cape gauge line, which has a lower design capacity. The total cost of the rail is $7.6 billion and it transverses Ibadan, Ilorin, Minna and Kano. “This is what Nigeria needs now to achieve industrial revolution,” says Sadam Musa, a native of Kano. “If you have rail renaissance, you will have industrial revolution. Both have a link. Large-scale manufacturers are interested in seeing the railway work again. They want their goods moved from one location to another at cheaper rates,” Musa, who works for a cement manufacturing company, elucidates. More so, Abuja light rail has already taken off. It started 11 years ago and was commissioned in July 2018. Transportation experts say it is the first rapid transit in the country and in West Africa and second such system in sub-Saharan Africa after Addis Ababa Light Rail. It connects Abuja to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport and then to the station in Idu. It cost $840 million to complete, and connects Abuja with satellite towns such as Nyanya, Kubwa, Mararaba and Lugbe. “Transportation is the live wire of any city. I am very optimistic that a modern rail service would bring about a boost to the FCT economy and greatly enhance social life. I am aware that what we have on ground today are coaches meant to provide skeletal ser-

vices as we await the main set of the rolling stock for full operations,”Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s president, said at the commissioning. It’s China’s money The CCECC is handling most of Nigeria’s railway reconstruction because much of the money is provided by China. In February 2017, the federal government secured $7.5 billion loan from China for the construction of Lagos-Kano standard rail gauge. The amount was part of the $30 billion loan the federal government sought to take and which was approved by the National Assembly. Chibuike Amaechi, minister of transportation, said that $1. 4 billion of the loan was for the construction of the rail gauge from Lagos to Ibadan, while $6.1 billion would be used on Ibadan–Ilorin–Minna-Kaduna– Kano line. “Does it matter if the money is coming from China or heaven?” asks Ike Ibeabuchi, managing director of MD Services Limited. A Nigerian, Basil Edem, disagrees, saying that China is re-colonising Nigeria and the rest of Africa, providing cash to the continent but using the continent as an outlet for its substandard products. However, Musa Yusuf, director-general of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), says that the substandard products are actually being imported by Africans and not the Chinese. R a i l w a y s re n a i s s a n c e across Africa Nigeria is not the only country on the continent where railway renaissance is happening. Kenya concluded its $3.8 billion railway project, the largest infrastructure project since independence in 2017. Like the Nigerian case, the rail line was built by China and

was 90 percent financed by the country. The 300-miles rail connects the port city of Mombasa to the capital of Nairobi and it helps to move persons and goods across cities in Kenya. In 2016, Ethiopia and Djibouti had launched the first fully electrified cross-border railway line in Africa. It links Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, to the Red Sea port of Djibouti and it is a stretch of more than 750km. Like Nigerian and Kenyan situations, this $3.4bn project was also funded by China. “In Ethiopia currently if you want to bring your container from Hong Kong to Djibouti it will take you maybe two, three weeks. But it will take you more than that to take it from Djibouti to Addis Ababa. It will now take us one day or more,” Getachew Betru, chief executive of Ethiopia Railways, was quoted by BBC as saying. South Africa has a relatively developed railway system. I recently boarded a Pretoria-

bound train in Rosebank, north of central Johannesburg, economic capital of South Africa. I saw workers and traders throng the train station in numbers, a testament of the impact it is having on the people. “I rarely drive these days when I am coming to Johannesburg,” John Bailey, a journalist, who lives in Pretoria, told me. Africa is increasingly being connected by rail, with countries such as Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, Angola, Malawi, Lesotho and Zambia all in the game. A ‘crying’ situation Nigeria’s transport system is totally in a shambles. The roads are in constant state of repair owing to pressure by long vehicles and containercarrying trucks. Apart from the ongoing projects and the completed Abuja-Kaduna rail, the railways across the country have been converted into trading hubs. With a population of 198 million people, Africa’s most populous country heavily relies on road transport,

Ongoing work on Lagos-Ibadan rail

with water and air transport increasingly unsafe. About 11.7 million vehicles ply Nigerian roads every day, according to official statistics from the Federal Road Safety Commission. Due to the absence of a functional rail system in Lagos, 5,000 trucks seek access to Apapa (Lagos) every day. Apapa hosts Nigeria’s two biggest land ports and generates N4 billion ($11.1 million) to N6 billion ($16.7 million) each day. Consequently, the country loses N600 billion ($1.67 billion) in customs revenue, $10 billion in non-oil export sector and N2.5 trillion ($6.94 billion) in corporate earnings across various sectors on annual basis due to the poor state of Nigerian ports, according to a report by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Worse still, 25 percent of cashew nuts exported from Lagos to Vietnam in 2017 went bad or were downgraded owing to delays at Lagos ports. Similarly, only 10 percent of cargoes were cleared within the set timeline of 48 hours while the majority of cargoes took between five and 14 days to clear, according to the report. The GE Equation To solve the Apapa challenge, General Electric (GE), an American infrastructure multinational, entered into an arrangement with the Nigerian government for the take-off of the interim phase of a narrow gauge rail which terminates in Apapa port terminal. The Nigerian government wasted two and a half years without achieving anything out of this arrangement. In November 2018, GE sold its transport section and terminated this allimport Nigerian contract. “Except we have another ‘China’, the challenge of traffic jams in Apapa and the whole of Lagos will continue to worsen,” a businessman in Apapa says. Not always like this It has not always been like this. The British government had given Nigeria a railway from Lagos Colony to Ibadan in March 1896. The government of Northern Nigeria also built a railway between 1907 and 1911. After coal was discovered at Udi, Enugu State, the Eastern Railway was built to Port Harcourt between 1913 and 1916, according to Wikipedia. This railway was extended to Kaduna, connecting the Eastern Railway to the Lagos–Kano Railway. It was further extended to its Maiduguri between 1958 and 1964. But after the oil boom of the 1970s, decline started setting in until 2000 when railways in the country went into extinction. But the story is changing, with the Nigerian seeing the increasing need for railways.



Sunday 11 February 2018

Interview Nigeria-Japan bilateral ties unlocking more trade and investments opportunities - Envoy The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Yutaka Kikuta, affirms that the cordial bilateral ties between his country and Nigeria have enabled both countries to unlock the trade and investments potentials in Nigeria, adding that Nigeria attracts more Japanese companies now because of its enormous potentials. In this interview with INNOCENT ODOH, the envoy also reels out the enormous assistance of his country in infrastructure, education, agriculture and health development of Nigeria even as he asks Nigeria to improve on the ease of doing business. He also urges Nigeria to participate fully in next year’s 7th edition of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Japan. Excerpts: Kikuta


hat has been your experience so far in Nigeria?

I came here in May and in October I had the opportunity and honour to present my credentials from the Emperor of Japan to President Muhammadu Buhari. So, I have been around for six months in this country and I will like to say that Nigerian people are good unlike what I heard in Tokyo before I came here. In Japan, there is a very little knowledge about Nigeria but since my arrival I discovered that Nigerian people have great potentials, they are nice people and they are sincere. I see the great potential of Nigeria and I feel that there is a lot Japan can do to assist in the development of Nigeria. So I would like to convey the good image of Nigeria to Japan and to extend Japanese activities, Japanese commitment to the development of this country and the African continent. Today, my message to you is twofold. First, I would like to increase the interest of the Nigerian people about Japan so my embassy is quite active in doing so. The second message is that Nigeria should seize or grab this opportunity because I feel that Nigeria’s new momentum is happening. I mean the Japanese business interest is increasing in Nigeria because we understand the potentials of this country. However, there are challenges but I ask the Nigerian people and government to grab this opportunity. Why the upsurge in Japanese interest in Nigeria? Japan is very interested in Nigeria because African continent is very important in the future, it has huge potentials and I would say it is the last frontier for the development of the international community. Many countries including Japan, China, and European countries are paying close attention to the development of African countries and Nigeria is the biggest country in Africa. The GDP growth ratio is so impressive and African continent is blessed with abundant resources. Nigeria has 17percent of the total GDPof African continent and about 25percent of the GDP of sub-saharan Africa and Nigeria already is the top largest economy in Africa. Economic growth forecast has projected Nigeria to become the 14th largest economy in the world by 2050. When it comes to population, Nigeria will become the third largest

Yutaka Kikuta

in the world by 2050. At the same time, Nigeria has challenges of insecurity, corruption and not too good economy. I hope in the near future Nigeria’s security will improve. On corruption, the Nigeria side should do something about this and if we can assist we will be happy to do so but basically this is a domes-

Nigeria’s Trade Volume to Japan is about $839 million while Japan’s Trade Volume to Nigeria is about $318 million. We import natural gas from Nigeria not crude oil, and from Japan, Nigeria imports automobile and electric appliances. We also import a lot of sesame seeds from Nigeria and we exports mackerels to Nigeria

tic problem. On economic growth, as you know Nigeria entered recession but it is picking up. So beside these three challenges I would say that population is another big challenge Nigeria will face in the future. It can be an advantage called ‘population bonus’ but at the same time if you fail to manage the population mostly of young people, it can be a huge problem. 60 percent of the Nigerian population is made of young people. So it is encouraging but the question is how to give them jobs and good food. So, here I believe that Japanese business circle, Japanese government can do a lot to assist. So, we are giving a lot of development assistance as well as private business activities. Kikuta For official assistance, we help to assist people to help themselves. We don’t give fish, but we teach how to catch fish that is the philosophy in Japan. The Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) is based on this philosophy and we attach serious importance to Africa’s sense of ownership and sense of commitment. TICAD is not

one shop donor conference to the recipient country, or about money and commodities, but to bring African leaders to Tokyo and let them discus among themselves about the future of African development and get involved in many international organisations like the UNDP, the European countries and China. So TICAD is open, inclusive and continuous process. I don’t call TICAD a conference I call TICAD a process. As you may know TICAD 6 was held in Nairobi in 2016and in October this year we had TICAD Ministerial meeting in Tokyo to review the progress of commitment we made with the African countries and international community and then talked about next year’s summit agenda. So we made a commitment, we reviewed the progress of the commitment and the implementation of the commitment. So next year’s summit in Yokohama will be the Seventh TICAD. As you may know in TICAD 6 we made a commitment of 30 billion dollars and we have the Africa Business and Education (ABE)initiative to help develop the skill and education of Africans as well as opportunities for them to work in prominent Japanese companies. So, Japan is proudly number three in terms of assistance to Nigeria. Over $1.4 billion of development cooperation have been made in Nigeria and over 6,000 Nigerians have benefited from trainings from Japan. Japan has provided a lot of loans, assistance, grants and technical cooperation. In infrastructure, electricity sector is very important. More than 30percent of electricity production facilities in this country is provided by Japanese companies. Some of the Japanese companies are very active in providing not only power generation facilities but their distribution networks. The three pillars of Japanese assistance policies towards Nigeria include; Infrastructure, health and north east support. Do you know that every state of Nigeria has Japanese ambulance? I attended the handover ceremony after my arrival and we provided one or two ambulances to every state in Nigeria distributed by the Minister of Health. We also support social stability and displaced people, emergency humanitarian assistance as well as the empowerment of young farmers, women and youth so that they can have sustainable self -development. I visited Adamawa state to give them some products before the rainy season. There is also the Japanese Pana-

Sunday 09 September 2018



Interview sonic sola lantern that we provide so that very poor families can have their light during the night. About 900 Panasonic solar lanterns were distributed to conflict-affected communities in Nigeria. So solar panel with batteries can bring them light at night. So what is the level of trade and investment between Nigeria and Japan? On trade and investment relations, one thing I want the Nigerian people to be aware of is the fact that Nigeria always has favourable trade balance against Japan. According to the 2016 Trade Statistics of Japan, Nigeria’s Trade Volume to Japan is about $839 million while Japan’s Trade Volume to Nigeria is about $318 million. We import natural gas from Nigeria not crude oil, and from Japan, Nigeria imports automobile and electric appliances. We also import a lot of sesame seeds from Nigeria and we exports mackerels to Nigeria. Nigeria has enjoyed more favourable balance of trade especially in 1994/95 because of the great earthquake in Japan. We suffered a lot from tsunami and the nuclear plants explosion so at that time all the nuclear power plants had been stopped in Japan. So we needed to secure energy that is why we imported a lot of natural gas from Nigeria. On Investment, this year, Nigeria’s economy is not so good so the number has not increased but as the economy is picking up, the number of Japanese companies is also picking up, so it is in upward trend right now. Some of the Japanese companies which come to Nigeria like Sony, Yamaha, Sontori all big Japanese companies are actually expanding their businesses in Nigeria. There are also small, medium or specialized Japanese companies coming to Nigeria. You remember Ajinomoto one of the leading processed food manufacturers in the world is in Nigeria. There is also Kansai paint, which functions as mosquito repellant. So if you paint your house with Kansai paint, your house will become mosquito- free. It is very simple and beneficial and very interesting. There are glass companies and sewing machines. So, Nigeria is a very good place for start -up businesses. But in order to create more Japanese investments, you need to improve the ease of doing business. Regrettably your rank dropped by one this year from 145 to 146. President Buhari has shown commitment in improving Nigeria’s ease of doing business and I really hope it will attract more Japanese investments. And for me as the ambassador helping to bring more Japanese companies to Nigeria is for the future of Nigeria. Japanese companies not only bring the money but also bring about job creation, technology transfer and disciplined work ethics. So, Japanese companies are very happy to work together with Nigerian local staff putting a lot of investment in their human resources development and capacity building is what the Japanese companies are doing. Education is very important and education is where Japan has the strengths. So we provide a lot of education assistance, and a lot of scholarship. And through the Japan

Nigeria-Japan bilateral ties unlocking more trade and investments opportunities - Envoy

Yutaka Kikuta

International Cooperation Agency (JICA), we have invited Nigerian people to train in Japan as well as send JICA experts to Nigeria. We have experts in Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment. The African Business Education (ABE) Initiative provides not just education in the universities but also opportunities to work in excellent Japanese companies. We have committed this ABE initiative to the TICAD process and in the last edition of TICAD; we announced a kind of extension. This is a good example of educational assistance. The Japanese companies that do business in Nigeria for instance, Honda, Toyoto, Yamaha and others, do they have existing plants in Nigeria where they produce those products here? Already Honda has assembling parts to produce cars and motorcycles. There is Honda cars being assembled in Nigeria. And JT, a Japanese tobacco company has another factory in Ibadan. Some other companies produce trucks in Nigeria. So there are some I would say, but there is the need for more. In that context one thing you can do is increase the ease of doing business environment. The other thing is that now that government to government is negotiating their investment agreement to protect their investment, we do hope that in the negotiation there will be some kind of creative and innovative compromise that will satisfy both countries so that investment coming from Japan would have protection in the country and not the protection of infant industries and the prevention of investment coming from Japan. There is also the need for Nigeria to improve its local production of parts needed by some Japanese companies. For example in order to have Toyota factory in Nigeria, they need excellent and quality parts

providers in Nigeria. The Nigerian side must have a high level of local content quality of parts before Toyota can come in. So, if Nigeria does not have those parts providers in Nigeria Toyota cannot come. Nigeria is crying for infrastructure such as road, electricity, rail among others. Under the platform of Sixth TICAD Japan pledged 30 billion for Africa. We want to know if Nigeria has been able to leverage on that pledge that you have made. How much of that fund has Nigeria been able to access? That is why I said that I want Nigeria to have more interest about the TICAD process. The commitment was made for the African continent as a whole and not specific countries. So I would say that it’s a kind of competition for African countries on how much assistance and how much cooperation each country in Africa can develop together with Japan and other international organisations. As I said President Buhari attended the last TICAD 6 summit meeting in Nairobi, Kenya and in the past former President Obasanjo attended the TICAD 3. So I very much hope that Nigeria will show great presence in the next year’s summit in Yokoma, so that Nigeria can have discussion on how to increase their cooperation with Japan. So in the next year August summit, Nigeria has plenty time to attend and get more benefit. In the last Ministerial Meeting of TICAD, there was some sort of warning about the growing debt profile of Nigeria and other African countries. Is there any way Japan can help Africa stop falling into this debt through the TICAD mechanism? Reducing debt or accumulating debt is a touchy question. In the past, Nigeria requested the liquidation of its debts against Japan and

we agreed and once liquidated it becomes difficult for Japan to extend a new commitment to a recipient, to get new loans from Japan. After the World War2, we borrowed a lot of money from the World Bank and we developed our country so that we can pay back the debt to the World Bank. It was in the 1980s that we fully paid back our debts to the World Bank. So debt reduction, debt liquidation is a touchy question. However, I will say that the Nigerian government is more aware of its debt programme and as the Japanese Foreign Minister, Taro Kono, said at the Ministerial Meeting countries should be careful in their debt management. So, if there is any way that we can help in terms of the Japanese Yen loan, we have the most gracious terms compared with other schemes. Japanese Yen loan ratio is very small and we have another kind of Japanoriented mechanism in which there is an increased relationship with Japanese companies. It has to do with low ratio interest as well as connection with Japanese companies’ transfer of technology. So you might make use of this mechanism if you are qualified. Another one is that the Japanese companies have good technologies to make for efficient project. Like you said electricity is very important and when it comes to distribution of electricity products Japanese companies have the technology to deliver electricity with less loss of transmission. In water sewage we have sent Japanese experts to Abuja and because of their technical advice, Abuja facilities have very much improved. We have not heard much of the Japanese companies involved in road and rail construction in Nigeria. So why is Japan not found in these areas? Infrastructure is one of the three main pillars of assistance to Nigeria. In this field we have done a lot on electricity production transmission facilities and we are delivering a lot on agriculture. But when it comes to transportation you are right to say that we carry out fewer number of projects like rail, road. This is because even though we give Yen loan assistance to the government of Nigeria, the actual procurement of companies engaged in the projects is an international competitive bid where lower price bidding companies usually get the contract. And when lower price bidding companies got the contract, it is quite difficult to get Japanese companies participation in these projects. Is there any likelihood that the Japanese government will increase the funding from 30 billion dollars for TICAD next year? It all depends on the international donors and the commitment of the African countries. I don’t know about the official development but what I would say is that next year’s summit will be business-orientated. It is going to be a big TICAD, not only for official assistance but the businessto- business relationship.



Sunday 09 December 2018

Interview ‘We are committed to tackling high incidence of gender-based violence in Nigeria’ Kemi Dasilva is a specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist with a medical back-ground that extends to Public Health. In December 2016, she established the Women at Risk International Foundation, (WARIF) a non-profit organisation to address the high incidence of rape, sexual violence, and trafficking of young girls and women in Nigeria and across Africa. In this interview with DESMOND OKON, she talks about the Gatekeepers Project, an initiative through which five hundred Traditional Birth Attendants, (TBAs) and a hundred law enforcement agents were trained on gender based violence.


ould you give an insight into the Gate-keepers project?

The first cycle of the WARIF Gate-keepers Project took place in 2017 and was funded by a grant from the ACT Foundation where the first 500 birth attendants from 15 Local Government Areas across Lagos State, were trained and assessed on the identification of signs of gender-based violence, the difference between rape and sexual assault, provision of first responder confidential counselling to survivors, and reporting sexual violence to WARIF. The second cycle which was recently launched with the training of 500 more traditional birth attendants (TBAs) was expanded with the training of 100 law enforcement agents over ten local government areas across the rural outskirts of Lagos State. This second cycle, with the expansion to include this other ‘gate-keepers’ in the community– the Police Force, will have a much more significant impact and further enforce the organisation’s commitment to tackling the incidence of gender-based violence. May we know what led to the project? The rural population in Nigeria is reported at 51.4 percent (according to the 2016 World Bank Report) which accounts for slightly more than half of our total population; 50 percent of who are women. Recognising this fact and the urgent need to address the issue of Gender Based Violence (GBV) on a grass-root level in rural and peri-rural communities led WARIF into designing and implementing this project. What are the objectives of this initiative? The objective of the project is to reduce the incidence of gender-based violence in additional target communities

Dr. DaSilva-Ibru

by 30 percent within a ninemonth period. WARIF’s ethos is to ensure that no woman is left behind as we address the problem and seek zero tolerance towards sexual violence in all communities. What have been the response and level of achievements so far? This approach to tackling the issues of rape and sexual violence on a community level in rural and peri-rural areas has had a significant positive impact on the awareness of traditional birth attendants towards the signs and prevention of GBV; as no previous training has ever been recorded to have been offered

to them in handling these issues prior to the WARIF Gate Keepers Project. The WARIF Gate Keepers Project to date has been one of its kind in this regard. Some of the project’s

This sacred trust between this community leader and the women in their communities plays a critical role in dealing with the sensitive issue of rape and sexual violence

achievements to date include: 15 Local Government Areas have been reached, 500 TBAs were trained, over 150 cases of gender-based violence were reported, and three rape cases are currently undergoing persecution. Why did you select Traditional Birth Attendants for this training? A traditional birth attendant is typically a pregnancy and childbirth care provider. Also providing other primary healthcare needs and addressing specific female concerns that affect young girls and women in their communities. Though not formally trained, most TBAs serve in this capacity and are recognized as well respected ‘Gatekeepers’ in their communities. They are highly regarded and are custodians of all issues and concerns surrounding young girls and women, including gender-based violence and rape. TBAs belong to the same community as many of these women, understanding their culture, speaking the same language and usually have a personal relationship with the women. This sacred trust between this community leader and the women in their communities plays a critical role in dealing with the sensitive issue of rape and sexual violence. Identifying this important fact, and recognizing the critical role these TBAs play in their community was the key factor in our decision in selecting them as the Gate-keepers in the communities to train. Talking about funds as an NGO, how is the project currently being funded? The project is funded by the Aspire Coronation Trust (ACT) Foundation. We are very excited to be working with the ACT Foundation again on cycle 2 following their sponsorship of the first cycle in 2017. As an NGO, what is the impact of the initiative on your overall vision?

This initiative will have a tremendous impact on the vision of the organization which is to eradicate gender-based violence and live in a society free of rape of sexual violence. By addressing this issue on a community level in rural areas where over 50 percent of the population still resides, it will certainly make a huge difference to the high incidence of this problem and help achieve this vision. What are the benefits of the WARIF Community Gatekeepers Project 2.0 over the first cycle in these communities across Lagos? Incorporating the police training program to this cycle of the Gate-keepers project will ensure that police officers in the local government areas are aware and sensitised to the needs of the women in their communities and the significant role played by the TBAs in reporting these cases to them. This will not only create a working relationship between the traditional midwives and the policemen but will also improve on the relations between the police force and the community at large –especially the women who will have an increased sense of security and trust for these new Gate-keepers which is at present missing. This approach is an innovative and a timely one in many of these communities as the first point of call is the police station when there is an issue of rape. However, very few of these police stations have a unit trained to handle cases of gender based violence, and as a result most cases of sexual violence inadequately reported, the survivor’s needs are not met and perpetrator goes unpunished. All cases seen and reported by both “Gate-keepers” will be referred to the WARIF Centre where affected women can receive the necessary medical care and counselling and have their social welfare needs met.

Sunday 09 December 2018



Interview We are groaning under NBET’s huge debt, says Ibom Power MD Meyen Etukudo is the managing director of Ibom Power Company,an electricity generating firm wholly owned by the Akwa Ibom State Government. Prior to his appointment, he was the assistant general manager (AGM) 330KV lines at the Transmission Company of Nigeria. In this interview with ANIEFIOK UDONQUAK, he brings to a sharp focus the challenges in the power sector and how supply can be improved upon in the country.


ow has it been in the last two years since you assumed office as the Managing Director of Ibom

Power? As the Managing Director of Ibom power, when I took over on Monday the 1st day of August 2016, Ibom power owed over N10billion. Today, we have reduced the debt to about N4billion else a group of creditors led by Diamond bank would have sealed up Ibom power. We owed Diamond bank about N6.88billion. Governor Udom Emmanuel intervened for the interest to be waived and the debt was reduced to N2.53billion. We have paid about N900million to Diamond bank. Accugas, the gas supplier was owed N2.26billion as at today we have paid N1.3billion to Accugas. Afrexim bank was owed $11.6million. The case was in a London court. As at today we have paid $2.37million to Afrexim. We have withdrawn the case from London to Cairo where the bank is based. We owed Access Bank N202million. We negotiated for some part of the interest to be waived which reduced the debt to about $175million. We have paid off the N175million owed to Access bank. We owed so much but no one knew. The Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) for our 115megawatts Unit 3 was due at 26,000hours but it was not done until last year when it reached about 36,000hours that we were able to perform the task. It cost Ibom power $3.5million. a lot of things went wrong. Some people were owed since 2008; we had to pay them off. About 84 labourers were owed which summed up to N3.4million, we paid them last year. Some supplies and contractors were owed about N11.5million, we just paid them off. We thank God today with the support of the Governor we have been able to turn around the situation at Ibom power. There have been reports of generating companies being owed by the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET) how is Ibom Power faring in this regard. The Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) is made up of the gas supplier, the generation companies (Gencos) which are about twenty-six (26) in the country, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) - the only government owned company in the power sector, and there are eleven (11) distribution companies (Discos) in the country. We also have the

they produce. What is the fundamental problem impeding power supply in Nigeria? In the 80s, there was relative steady power supply in Nigeria. The problem is that as the population increase, there is no corresponding infrastructure development in the power sector to meet the increase in population. For instance, here in Uyo, people are building houses and expanding into several communities with no commensurate electricity infrastructure to meet this new expansion. When I resumed as the Special Assistant (SA) on power to the Governor on the 1st of September 2015, the first assignment the Governor gave me was the construction of the 33/11kV, 2 x 15MVA substation at four-lane in Uyo. Governor Udom Emmanuel saw the need for investment in power infrastructure to meet the growing electricity demand in the state. The substation has improved quality and steady power supply to parts of Uyo. There are plans to provide a similar substation at the stadium axis to improve power supply in that area. These ordinarily should be the responsibility of the distribution company, PHEDC. Since PHEDC refused to carry out their responsibility, the Governor stepped in to provide power infrastructure in the state. Even the metering solutions company was not supposed to be in Akwa Ibom state, the Governor

Meyen Etukudo

regulator the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), these all form the NESI. Ibom power may generate electricity worth N1billion and the invoice is sent to the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET) which is the off taker. It is NBET that pays for the electricity we produce at Ibom power. Since I came here in August 2016, we have never been paid 30% of our monthly invoice. The highest I have received is about 26%, we have received 8% at a very bad point. This simply means if N1billion is invoiced for the month and you are paid about 22% that is about 200million. The balance of about 800million is regarded as legacy debt. The reason NBET pays so low is that according to them, Discos do not remit sufficient revenue. Discos are expected to remit at least 75% of their revenue collection while the remaining 25% ought to be used for operations and administration costs. The situation is so bad that if a disco remits N300million out of N1.5bn, it is considered an achievement. The discos blame

their dismal performance on the non-payment of electricity bills by the electricity consumers. The consumers attribute the nonpayment of bills to ‘crazy bills’ from the discos through estimated billing. The Gencos are the worst hit by this situation the reason being that the gas company must be paid, plant maintenance must be done. That is how it has been. The legacy debt for Ibom power stands at about N9billion. If we are paid this legacy debt, we will easily pay-off our existing debts. How do you think this current situation will affect investors’ confidence in the power sector? Investors coming into the power sector understand the situation. For instance, one of the new investors, Azura power plant was able to negotiate a favourable agreement such that they get paid for what they generate. It is not all that bad. It depends on the negotiating power. Another new investor is Qua Iboe Power Plant (QIPP); they are also negotiating with the Federal Government to receive full payment for the electricity

These ordinarily should be the responsibility of the distribution company, PHEDC. Since PHEDC refused to carry out their responsibility, the Governor stepped in to provide power infrastructure in the state

convinced the investors to locate the company in Akwa Ibom State. For a Governor to step into the construction of 132/33kV, 2 x 60MVA substation at Ekim which is supposed to be a strictly TCN affair, he understands that with the increase in population there should be commensurate investment in power infrastructure to ensure steady and quality power supply. Is there no way the government can make Discos to be responsive to their role in the power sector? The media as the fourth estate of the realm can help citizens to call out Discos to their responsibility. What Akwa Ibom State Government is doing is to implement ‘Power for All’. Under this programme, the state government is supposed to guarantee a loan of about N13bn to make sure that every Akwa Ibom residents have prepaid meters. In spite of the investment by the state government in the power sector, why is there no constant power supply in the state? At Ibom power, we are constantly generating electricity, as we speak now we are producing about 75megawatts (mw) based on the report I received an hour ago. If the power is distributed in Akwa Ibom State, we should have steady power supply. TCN wheels the power from Ikot Abasi to Eket which is a load centre, Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) hardly picks even 1mw to be distributed in Eket. Their excuse is that bills are not paid. The power is equally transmitted from Eket to Uyo, Uyo has 3 x 60MVA transformers which is about 144mw, the entire Akwa Ibom state cannot consume 144mw. Even the day the Governor commissioned the 60MVA transformer at Afaha Ube in Uyo; PHEDC only picked 22mw from a transformer that has 144mw capacity. If you ask them, they will say people are not paying their electricity bills. If PHEDC picks all the power produced by Ibom power, there will be steady and quality power supply in the state. The state Government has invested in power infrastructure to ensure 24hours steady and quality power supply in Akwa Ibom state but the state does not have the authority to compel PHEDC to distribute the power. Since the efforts of the state government seem to be hindered by PHEDC, will you advise the state government to go into the second phase of Ibom power project? Evacuation of Ibom power phase 2 will be at the highest voltage level in Nigeria, which is 330kV. Phase 2 will not have the challenge phase 1 has on the 132kV transmission line. The reason we heavily depend on PHEDC to pick the load from Ibom power phase 1 is the 132kV transmission line. Phase 2 will not have that challenge because it will evacuate directly to the national grid on 330kV.



Sunday 09 December 2018


‘Politicians seeking office need developmental agenda to grow Nigeria’ Ven. Gilbert N. Essien of St. Michael’s Christ Army Church of Nigeria, Lagos Diocesan Headquarters, Apapa, speaks with SEYI JOHN SALAU on the forthcoming archdeaconry conference of the church in Lagos.


he church recently held a four-day prophetic and praise revival programme with the theme, ‘Oh Lord speak to me’. What is the essence of hearing directly from the Lord as believers? Everyone can speak; but not all words that you hear that are meaningful, and have a purpose. So, as children of God, God is our director – we need him to speak to us for direction on what to do to fulfill our destiny this year. And, when God speaks and give us divine direction, it will hasten us to get to our destiny. What is the place of praise in a revival? The prophetic part of the programme was to hear God speak to us through his prophet, and there is nothing God does without speaking to his prophet. However, the praise night was to praise God for all that he has done for us. We praised him for what he has done for us; not everything/time prayer prayer – but, we need to praise him because he has done something for us. By next weekend, the church will be having its conference; can you tell us about the direction of that conference? The direction of the conference is that we are seeking the face of God to direct the affairs of the church. We want to use the conference to pray and hear the word of God for direction, so that God will direct the affairs of the church for greater success. However, it is going to be a prayer conference. Nigeria is tense practically on all fronts; what does this imply to you as a clergyman? I see it as fulfilling the scriptures – we cannot wipe away tensed atmosphere; we cannot wipe away pressure; we cannot wipe away problems; because that is the fulfillment of the scripture. But, the bible says

Ven. Gilbert N. Essien

the people that trust their God shall stand up and take action, and they shall display strength. So, when you know your God – in the mist of the storm, God will see you through. Looking at the level of agitation across the country, do you see Nigeria heading towards a revolution? What Nigeria needs is change, because what is constant in life is change. So, we should expect change at any point in time. But, as children of God we should be positive in our thinking and actions – believing that it will

We have been so selfish and selfcentered; in all, we pursue what is our own without asking what is the plan of God for us. So, everybody is on their own working to get their own wealth, not looking for the welfare of the less privileged

be well. If you say Nigeria needs change, what likely solution would you proffer for the country? Nigeria needs God – we are far away from God. We have been so selfish and self-centered; in all, we pursue what is our own without asking what is the plan of God for us. So, everybody is on their own working to get their own wealth, not looking for the welfare of the less privileged. So, if we have God, and portray the fear of God we will not loot the commonwealth of the nation for our own pleasure; rather we will be more concerned about how to liberate the destitute in the society. Unemployment rate is high in Nigeria; how do you think we can tackle this menace? Unemployment rate is high because there is no job; but how would there be jobs. Until we make our economy attractive for foreign investors to invest in Nigeria. After attracting FDIs from these foreign investors; government need to put infrastructures in place – things like security, water, power, which is critical to any economy because without

light, there is no business. So, if we put these infrastructures in place, it will help attract foreign investors because there are so many things the investors can do to create jobs. However, we have not given them much opportunity to invest in Nigeria. Alternatively, we cannot end unemployment, but it should be reduced to a level where at least 70 percent of the population has jobs while the remaining 30 percent can be self-employed. Directly related to unemployment is the issue of corruption; how do you think the war on corruption can be won? Corruption has become a societal demon in Nigeria both in the public and private sector of the country. Nigerians need a redefined mindset because the war on corruption must be a collective fight. The fight on corruption also demands a sincere support of the Judiciary and the National Assembly. There is also a need to block some loop holes in the Nigerian Constitution. Finally, war on corruption backed with the conscious support of the citizens will help to eliminate corruption in Nigeria. We really cannot shy away from politics at this moment. As we look forward to the 2019 general elections, what message are you passing to politicians and the electorates? As I said earlier on; it is God that we need. We need God in all our pursuit – in whatever we want to do, we need God. And, if the people that want to occupy the position of leadership have no fear of God in their heart; things will still remain the way they are or worse. Until politicians have the fear of God and know the agenda for this nation – many of them do not have an agenda, they just believe that they should win election and come take positions, and begin to display whatever they want to display; looting money without an agenda to develop the country, either in the state, city or locality where they have found themselves – nobody have an agenda like that. The previous government doesn’t have an agenda; the new government coming doesn’t have an agenda. So, if there should be an agenda for politicians that want to take office with lay down plan on their development roadmap on how to achieve the agenda between their four year tenure; the people coming after them should be able to continue with the agenda because there is a plan on ground already.

Christians urged to impact their environment positively


hristians has urged to impact their environment positively by living by examples, portraying Christians as salt of the world and a Godly lifestyle. This was stated at the just concluded 20th edition of the annual’s Holy Ghost Congress of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) with the theme ‘A New Name’. The General Overseer of the church, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye in his sermon tagged: ‘A New Name’, told the congregation that name plays a significant role in the lives of individuals. “If you are a true Christian, some of your new names include light of the world, salt of the earth, the door. As light, you are to shine, bringing beauty to every unpleasant situation. As the salt of the earth, your function is to bring joy and, not sorrow, to the people. You are to impact your generation and this means that your life would not be a wasted and useless one.” Adeboye opined that parents do not associate their children with names such as Jezebel, Judas Iscariot because of what such names connote. “Your name is important,” he told the congregation. Speaking on the implications of a name to Christians, Adeboye said believers by adoption are to portray Christ in all they do.

El-Shaddai Bible Church celebrates Christmas Carol


l-Shaddai Bible Church Omole Phase 2 on Saturday celebrates Christmas with a carol service tagged more than music as hundreds of worshippers enjoyed an evening of festive fun celebrating Jesus. And, as a way of showing appreciation to God, the church and its congregation is today celebrating its annual thanksgiving service. The carol service started slowly with “Oh come ye faithful” ushering the people into a night of festivity before the first bible lesson was taken. Hark! The herald angels sing rent the air as the people in their number worshipped the messiah whose birth reconciled both God and sinners. Ar c h b i s h o p O l a n r e w a j u Obembe, presiding bishop of ElShaddai Bible Church and his wife, Bishop Oluremi Obembe both pronounced blessings on the congregation. According to Obembe, God will always reward people who are faithful in His vineyard urging the worshippers to sow more unto the Lord and expect a divine turn around in 2019. The carol service was about the incarnate deity that took up flesh in order to save mankind and reconcile man with his creator. Ding Dong! Merrily on high, Angels from the realms of glory were some of the songs sung by the worshippers on the night. In depicting the spirit of the season, gift items were given to all the women and children that came for the Carol service.

Sunday 09 December 2018



SundayBusiness We want to bridge infrastructural gap in Nigeria – Ifekwe …Seeks US-based firm’s support SABY ELEMBA, Owerri


frigate-Boom Properties Limited is a registered company in Nigeria but spreads its hands in real estate, construction, infrastructural development, consultancy services, adding content and value to businesses in all parts of the West African countries “as our vision is to bridge the infrastructure deficit in Nigeria”. Chima Ifekwe, chief executive officer/managing director (CEO/MD) of the company says AfrigateBoom Properties Limited is recognised as one of the firms associated with best global practices and standards in Nigeria and the West African countries. He spoke to our correspondent in Owerri where the firm’s Nigeria office is located. Afrigate-Boom as a multifaceted firm, which provides quality services by using the required and right tools, resources and talents to execute projects and ensures the completion and delivery of projects given by clients within the time frame and at the same time helping its customers realise

their goals. “We have a good reputation; we have also a name to protect and we have never disappointed any of our clients. Afrigate-Boom Properties Limited is associated with best global practices and standards in Nigeria and the West African region. We make sure that we complete and deliver jobs given to us within the time and we exceed the expectations of our clients,” the CEO/ MD said. He also said that Afrigate-Boom as an all-purpose organisation has handled various projects and services for communities, housing estates, building markets, shops for states and communities, churches, borehole drilling, constructions in the country and outside the shores of Nigeria with its reliable partners. Ifekwe also disclosed that the company would want to partner with corporate bodies like JLN Construction Services, LLC and Avalon Consulting Services, an African American, Minority Construction Firm, in Maryland and its City Baltimore, USA; owned by Nnamdi Iwuoha, a Nigerian Born-American citizen living in Maryland.

Nnamdi Iwuoha

According to him, “the dexterity of Nnamdi Iwuoha in the field of engineering construction in Baltimore Maryland has brought fame and pride to the Nigerian community in the City of Baltimore.” He disclosed that the “BWI Thurgood Marshal Airport as it is commonly

known in Maryland is an architecture of tourist appeal; it is a reconstruction executed by JLN construction services and LLC with Nnamdi Iwuoha, an engineer who supervised it. “Afrigate-Boom Properties and Nigerians would want JLN construction services with Nnamdi to come

home to replicate his celebrated infrastructural construction and remodeling accomplishments in Nigeria his birth place”, he said. According to him, Afrigate-Boom has been exchanging correspondences with JLN Construction Services, saying, “JLN has, while still in USA handled jobs as a general contractor, joint venture partner, teaming partner, mentor protégé as well as a minority subcontractor on a multitude of projects for various agencies, placing key emphasis on quality and diligence of services and works to satisfy its clients. “This is the kind of things Nigerians are looking forward to seeing and every Nigerian and the incoming government would want the services of Nnamdi and his company in Nigeria come 2019. “In 2016, the prestigious Baltimore Smart CEOs’ organisation admitted him into its Hall of Fame for leading edge CEO.” With eight business certifications such as the “MBE by the Prince George’s County, Maryland; the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) Chants County, Maryland, the Cory of Bal-

timore, Maryland and the LDBE by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) and the recognition by the Mayor of Baltimore, Iwuoha has achieved a lot and we Nigerians need his wealth of experience and service,” he said. Ifekwe disclosed that other areas of interests of Afrigate-Boom include developing diplomatic relationship that will enable vertical integration into the international sister states and cities; international programme which will include Imo State and the state of Maryland or Owerri and the City of Baltimore which is already existing between Maryland, Ogun and Cross River States in Nigeria. He also disclosed that Afrigate-Boom has been exchanging correspondences with an Italian group that is willing to construct floating modular refinery in Nigeria and in Liberia and the project is estimated at 300 million Euros. “We have contact with the World Bank Guaranteeing Department (MIGA) that can assist in the funding arrangement. We have also contacted a US-based Nigerian engineer, a specialist in refinery construction”.

Simba Group empowers, trains female keke riders IFEOMA OKEKE


he Simba Group, distributors of the TVS King tricycles, have held a graduation ceremony for female keke riders following training programmes held by in November. In total, the graduating batch consisted of 32 women trained in both safe-riding and basic maintenance of TVS King tricycles. The ceremony was presided over by Soni Joerepresentative of the office of Duke, Head of the Empretec Foundation in Nigeria; Titilayo Eko, executive director-network of Entrepreneurial Women;

Adewole Ologbenla, Lagos State Coordinator for the National Directorate of Employment; Owolabi, Branch chairman, Tricycle Owners Association of Nigeria, Agege Branch and senior executives of Simba Group. A company spokesperson explained how women empowerment is a key focus of the Simba Group and in particular how the Queen Rider’s Programme, is a key platform for achieving their vision of improving Nigerian lives and society. The Queen Riders programme was born from the Group’s desire to train women from underrepresented backgrounds, so

that they have a chance to increase their total family income. The Simba Training School which also conducts advanced mechanic courses, has provided training to these riders, free. After the women are trained and certified, they also have the option to be put in contact with various tricycle fleet owners and microfinance institutions so that they have a better chance of availing themselves of these microentrepreneurship opportunities. It follows participation of the Group in the recently held conference at the National Centre for Women Development in Abuja.

Soni Joe, representative of former first lady of Cross River State, Onari Duke, presenting a certificate to one of the beneficiaries at the event



Sunday 09 December 2018

SundayBusiness What makes CATO Foods unique! Food & Beverages With Ayo Oyoze Baje


ver the past few years, there has been a noticeable, gradual shift by enlightened Nigerians to look out not just for food items that fill the stomach but those types that are nutritionally beneficial to them. Emphasis is therefore, swinging in the direction of Nutrition Security. This is auspicious considering the fact that Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) alone has become one of the most pernicious forms of undernourishment in the d e v e l o p i n g w o r l d , Ni g e r i a inclusive. In fact, micronutrient malnutrition affects 33percent of children and 25percent of pregnant women in Nigeria. Vitamin A deficiency alone limits growth, weakens immunity, affects sight and increases mortality. And according to Cadre


Debo Atiba


oing Business is an integral part of every human life. Without it life becomes stifled and boring. As no one human being has all it takes to be in existence, we all have to exchange our resources and skills. Business can be explained as any form of transaction we enter into to exchange resource/skill for another resource or skill. Every single person is engaging in it, including those doing white collar jobs. Before the fall of man in the garden, his business was to fellowship with God and to look after the creations of God, in return reap the benefits from them. After the fall the business continues but in a different dimension and level. This time he was required to toil in order to reap

Harmonise, CH Report for March 2018, conducted in 16 States of the federation and Federal Capital Territory, FCT over 3.7 million Nigerians are currently faced with food insecurity. This was made known by the food and nutrition insecurity situation analysis conducted by the World Food Programme, WFP, Food and Agricultural Organisation, FAO, United States Aid for International Development, USAID, Mercy Corps, Famine Early Warning System Network, Save the Children and Oxfam Care . The agenda was ‘Stakeholders’ Meeting for Presentation of the Results of the Cadre Harmonise Analysis of Food and Nutrition Insecurity in Nigeria’. It also projected that the number of people caught in the food crisis could increase to 5.2 million people in the following months. It has been over eight months since. One gratifying aspect of the unfolding food security scenario is the determined efforts of some concerned Nigerian nutritionists and agro-preneurs to bring in some intervention mechanisms through food items fortified with vital vitamins and health-giving minerals to the consumer’s table. That is where CATO Foods and Agro Allied Global Concepts come in. It came into being to address food insecurity and malnutrition via agriculture value chain and postharvest waste management. The noteworthy aim is to ensure sustainable development job creation as well as poverty eradication. And the brains behind the project are Atinuke Oon, a value chain development expert

and agropreneur and Pelumi Aribisala with similar professional pedigrees.

Their matching mandate is to use staple foods to address hunger and malnutrition in Nigeria for sustainable nutrition security and economic development. Precisely, CATO Foods is into innovative products development, adding v a l u e t o 1 5 f o o d i t e m s by processing bio-fortified cassava, maize and sweet potato into value added products. There are also Vitamin A fortified custard, snacks, cassava fufu and orange flesh sweet potato. Seven of these products have been commercialised. It has venture collaboration with research institutions such as Harvestplus to develop innovative food products aimed at addressing micro-nutrient deficiencies such as Vitamin A, Iron and Zinc. Its approach is to move against both hunger and hidden hunger at the same time. By so doing it simultaneously improves the livelihood and economic power of people especially the rural poor through job creation. In specific terms, it has vitamin A cassava bits specially produced from vitamin A cassava tuber. A pack contains 24 sachets and they are available to whole sellers and supermarkets. So is Cato Foods vitamin A cassava strips which contains similar nutritional value as the bits but has a different shape. There is also the CATO Foods Vitamin A garri plus, produced from yellow cassava which is the latest variety of cassava. It is

bio-fortified with vitamin A. This means that gone are the days of poor eye sight due to garri consumption. This product comes in 1 kg, 2 kg, 5 kg, 10 kg, 50 kg varieties but the yellow colour is not due to addition of red palm oil. Another of their prime products is the pineapple chips specially produced from ripe pineapples. It is simply dehydrated. The sugar content and nutritional content are maintained. The aim is for the consumers to have unlimited access to fruits on the go. Parents are advised to give this to their children to improve their nutritional status. A pack contains 10 sachets. Essentially, Cato foods have been structured to meet the consumers’ breakfast, lunch and dinner needs. Researches from across Europe and the United States attest to the importance of taking breakfast. It is important, as it helps the body to replenish the energy lost over the night. It helps you kick-start your body metabolism, helping you burn calories throughout the day. It also gives you the energy you need to get things done and helps you focus at work or at school. In fact, the absence of breakfast affects the mental acuity of children especially when and if they get to school on empty stomach. Cato Food’s custard provides you energy for your day. It is filling and rich in Vitamin A. It supports healthy eyesight and boosts your immune system preventing the risk of chronic diseases. Cato Custard is available in economy pack in different flavors of Vanilla, Banana and Strawberry.

For lunch Cato Vitamin A fufu comes in handy as odourless food item, high in fibre, rich in Vitamin A , easy to prepare and available in both wet and powder forms. It is easy to prepare as once can mix a desirable quantity with little quantity of water to form a slightly thick paste. A consumer can make this paste into a pot on the fire and continue to turn until it is getting hard. Add little water and steam to cook for a few minutes. Bring it down and turn like amala to smoothen out. With this the yellow fufu is ready to be enjoyed with any delicious soup of one’s choice. In addition to their health giving products, CATO foods in Iwo, Osun state has modern agric methods in place to reduce postharvest losses and develop value added products along the agriculture value chain towards improving lives and livelihood. Even with these praise worthy efforts there is still the needed intervention by the federal and state ministries of agriculture and rural development. This is significant for assistance especially in the areas of access to fertile land, modern technologically driven agricultural practices, microcredit schemes, access to high-yielding, early maturing, disease-resistant seedlings, forming farmers cooperatives and getting the youth actively involved.

Baje is Nigerian first Food Technologist in the media; 08057971776

Business, life and eternity the benefit from God’s creation. All of this happened because he chose to disobey God and fall into sin. Irrespective of this God was still willing to intervene in man’s life, to reduce the level of hardship he would suffer. Gen 3:17-20strangely each time, man keeps going further away from God’s mercy and grace. Look at Cain, instead of choosing to do what is right, he decided to kill his brother in jealousy. And for him and the rest of mankind, hardship increased. Gen 4:6-15 Generation after generation, as wickedness increases, man’s hardship increases. Everyone wants to make money, and so there is a lot of hustling causing them pain and misery. Many people believe it is impossible to survive being honest. They engage in so many fraudulent acts that finally rip them of the joy of enjoying the money when it finally comes. Jesus came as a path way to lead us back to God. Even more than Adam, we can enjoy the benefit of just fellowshipping with God and tending what hehas created. Tending those things would require some physical exertion, however it’s done with joy and peace of mind.

This is because you are doing it under his grace and guidance. You do not have to lose sleep, because you have put your trust in God. That is the nature of business every child of God should be doing. God is interested in profit and so He would teach you how to make wealth Deut 8:18. The sad truth is that the believers that should know better are falling into the same trap and losing sight of eternity, not realising that what others are killing for we already have. We are found double-dealing, defrauding and even steal. Our labor is no longer labor of love, it is labor of work just to survive and make ends meet. In God’s plan for our businesses, we are expected to operate under His grace and strength. Our business should be our working field to reach out to people with the love of Christ and impact our world for eternity. The wealth we make is also to fund the gospel of our Lord Jesus. We are the only being on earth with the DNA to do good and to turn darkness to light. Our assignment as we do business is mainly for the purpose of impacting our world for the kingdom of God. Each time we fail to realize this, we also lose sight of eternity

and we end up becoming victim in life. The scripture says whosoever lays his hands on the plough and look back is not fit for the kingdom of God(Lk 9:62). While we are here, we cannot be idle and lazy, we have to work and earn a living. However the work we do should not be to satisfy self rather to fulfill Gods purpose on earth. The clear picture of eternity in our lives would always serve as a compass for good practice in business and we keep us ready for eternity. So what must we do to keep eternity in view? 1. Your undying attention to the WORD of God and value for the kingdom of God. Every giant of faith in the bible were people with undying love for God and His kingdom even in the midst of their businesses. Their conversation with God were not hearsays, they heard and heeded God. It never left them that they were sojourners here on earth – looking for a city with foundation whose architect and builder is God (Heb. 11:10). Their devotion and allegiance to God was second to none. 2. There must be a deliberate effort to remind ourselves and

put the goal of eternity in view. The world and its system seeks to distract us. Their intention is to cause us to miss the purpose for which we were born (to affect our world for the kingdom), so we need to be intentional and deviant to their ways. This is tantamount to great fight and contention and we cannot afford to lose, the joy of it is that Jesus overcame on our behalf. 3. Desire to put others above oneself. In the world this does not gel. You put yourself first but with us there must be that deliberate attempt to ensure that others have it well even more thanus if need be. There is no better way to be an example of a believer other than in our actions not in words only. This attitude alone softens the heart and make it possible to be sensitive to God’s direction and leading in our lives which is paramount if we must succeed in life. This action also draw people’s attention to God which is God’s ultimate. My sincere prayer and hope is that our journey in the world of business enhances our chances of eternity. Remain blessed. @spiritonomics

Sunday 09 December 2018



SundayBusiness Subscribe, contribute and own N5m home with N500k equity


n a matter of days from now, 2018 will be history and a new year will be here. New year is generally strategic and even symbolic. This is the period when individuals and households indulge in the annual ritual called New Year resolutions. Institutions like companies, corporate organizations make projections and set goals they would accomplish in the course of the year. Most times, these resolutions and set goals are hardly kept or realized. But it is not impossible to see many resolutions kept and targets met. It all depends on a combination of factors which include, but not limited to, determination, self-discipline, hardwork and the unseen hand that controls the affairs of man called fate. In Nigeria, unlike other societies, most people don’t factor homeownership into their new year resolutions. This is however understandable because, this is a society where owning a home has become luxury and not necessity. Many people tend to dismiss the possibility and so, make no efforts towards owning one. But ignorance plays a fast trick here and, in some cases, people who have information tend to dismiss it as pipe smoke. Some accept the information with a pinch of salt and so never act on it, forgetting that

information is not only power but key to unlocking success. To many, therefore, the information that it is possible to own a N5 million home with N500,000 equity contribution or a N15 million worth of home by contributing just N1.5 million equity is as abstract as it is impracticable. This should be part of the thinking towards the New Year. The National Housing Fund (NHF), one of the federal government’s old interventions in the housing sector, is still a reality that has served and is still serving as a sure vehicle to owning a home through a monthly contribution of a fraction of one’s income. Through this fund therefore, it is possible for a home seeker to own his home by just contributing part of his income for six months and the rest is history. “NHF gives a maximum loan of N15 million and a minimum of N5 million. So, if an applicant to the fund applies for the maximum loan of N15 million or the minimum of N5 million, he is expected to have saved up to N1.5 million with a primary mortgage bank (PMB)”, explains Bertrand Bassey, a mortgage expert. Bassey notes that the apathy and poor attitude to this fund are products of perceptions and not reality. “A clearer understanding of the fund would, perhaps, help both

Procurement and Supply Chain

with Gob-Agundu Uche Branch chair (CIPS), Nigeria


rocurement originally had 5 Rights namely: The Right Goods/Quantity; The Right Quality; The Right Place; The Right Time and The Right Price. In the course of the evolution of Supply Chain Management, a 6th Right was introduced namely The Right Source. On March 22nd 2017, Jonathan Dutton FCIPS, Interim Sales and Marketing Director at Open Windows in Melbourne, Australia,presenteda‘WhitePaper’, where he discussed the concept of the 7th Right which he called Buying the Right Way. These 7 Rights are not exhaustive because many more have been introduced in the profession to underline the importance of practitioners delivering the right inputs to align with corporate strategy. Let us now explore these rights. The 1St Right: Delivering the right goods in the right quantity The “right” quantity goes beyond simply ensuring that the number of items in a box matches the packing slip. Today suppliers can help you optimize inventory levels, work towards lead time reductions, and do other things that prevent you from buying more than you need. This first right also refers to the right goods or service, the right specifications and fit for purpose - ready for use and understanding of wants

and Needs. When practitioners apply this right, it helps them to pay greater attention to Part numbers and nomenclature, bar codes and QR codes. As a procurement professional, part of your job is ensuring that demand is satisfied by supply. In the past, this only meant ordering a product that matched what the end user specified and getting the proper quantity delivered on-time. However, today, you are expected to know the products and services you buy as well as your internal customers in order to verify that the ideal product or service is being specified. The 2nd Right: Delivering inputs in the right quality Quality is quality! This “right” is as simple as it sounds. However, the universal application of modern procurement quality programs like Six Sigma, Lean, and Lean Six Sigma, has raised the bar for what the “right quality” is. It now refers to delivering inputs that are not defective, that are complete, exactly as per sample and specification consistent with global ISO standards. These products must be tested, certified and quality checked. In summary, the right quality does not allow for variances between requisition and delivery. The 3Rd Right: Delivering inputs to the right place This means that the product

the scheme and home-seekers who would want to access home loans through the scheme”, he reasoned in an interview. Any contributor to NHF should know that the fund is a statutorily compulsory savings scheme for all workers in Nigeria. Whether as a selfemployed person or an employee, such an individual is expected to deduct 2.5 percent of his basic salary every month and pay same to the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) without fail. The FMBN is empowered, by the act establishing the NHF, to manage that pool of fund. Only those who are bellow 21 years are exempted from contributing to the fund. This contribution forms a large pool of fund from which mortgage loans are granted to the contributors who are eligible, ready and willing to apply for the loan. Those who are eligible to apply for the loan are those who have been contributing consistently to the fund for a period of six consecutive months. As for those who should apply and the purpose of the loan, Bassey says, to qualify for loan, the applicant must be 21 years of age, must have a regular income and the purpose for which he is applying for the loan is to build, buy, renovate or complete a residential building which could be located anywhere in Nigeria pro-

Talking Mortgage with CHUKA UROKO (08037156969, vided it is covered by a good and an acceptable title. These good, acceptable or mortgageable titles include, but not limited to, Certificate of Occupancy (C of O), right of occupancy, registered deed of assignment, deed of conveyance, land certificate, etc provided they are registered or are registerable titles. He warns that the individual cannot apply directly to FMBN. He or she has to pass through a registered mortgage institution or a registered and licenced primary mortgage bank (PMB) of his choice. This PMB must also have conditions which the loan seeker must fulfill some of which are having an account with the bank, and having up to 10 percent equity contribution of the loan he is seeking or applying for. There are other things that are expected from the loan seeker. He has to fill the relevant loan applica-

tion forms, including his passport photograph, tax clearance certificate to show that he is a law-abiding citizen and the photocopies of the title documents of the property he is intending to buy as mortgage or security for the loan. He will also be expected to put forward revaluation report on the property he wants to buy to determine its value and location. Another thing, which he canvasses, which is personal to him, is that mortgage operators should begin to look at inspection certificate on the property an applicant is buying. He explains that this is in view of the rate of building collapse, especially in Lagos these days. “If a bank is going to take a house as security for a loan, it should not be interested in the value of the property alone, but also in the structural soundness of the property”, he advises.

Exploring the ‘rights’ of procurement (Part 2) or service has to be delivered with precision. The right place is where the goods are needed. However, modern supply chain practice makes use of central warehouses, distribution centers and drop-ship destinations worldwide. These practices require greater logistical proficiency. The 4th Right: Delivering inputs at the right time This refers to the availability. Originally Right Time meant receiving a product or service when you wanted it. Today, many options beyond the classic delivery model such as consignment, integrated supply, vendor-held inventory, justin-time, and other practices require more up-to-the-minute supplier flexibility than just meeting a date on a PO. Right time means in good time, Just-in-time (JIT). It helps stock control, avoids delays and to achieve it, communication is key. The 5th Right: Delivering inputs at the right price The right price is the agreed price. It is expected to reflect the market rate. The right price is a fair exchange of value between buyer and seller. Variations are discouraged. Originally, the right price simply referred to price as it is absolute. However, in procurement and supply chain today, we talk about the right total cost or value. This is because complex purchasing decisions are made based on total cost or value not just price. It should be noted that price is only one component of total cost. Total cost and value vary from product to product, service to service, and supplier to supplier. As such, the lowest priced product or service is not necessarily the one with the lowest total cost or highest value. The 6th Right: Using the right source This refers to procuring goods

and services from the right supplier using the right supply chain. When procurement inputs are sourced from the appropriate supplier it ensures the integrity of the whole supply chain process. If the source is not right, this could lead to poor quality goods which will result in reputational damage. Furthermore, Corporate Social Responsibility has become very important in the business of procurement. According to the Global Reporting Initiative, the following are key factors influencing the rise of CSR in procurement namely: Consumers have a conscience, Pressure groups mobilize opinion, Social media gives power to consumers, Brands are vulnerable, Markets react strongly to risky products, Reputational risk is clear and present with high costs, Stakeholders demand greater governanceinsupply,Governments are touchy and Safety is a growing part of our business culture. In view of the above, organizations must insist on buying from the right source. The 7th Right: Buying in the right way This concept was introduced by Jonathan Dutton FCIPS. He posited that buying the right way is an urgent requirement in the practice of procurement today. According to him buying the right way means buying through Right process which should be Fair and Competitive. It will be done by adhering to Compliance and governance regulations which must canvas for probity, transparency and give confidence to everyone engaged in the supply chain. Buying the right way must also mean that buyers should not yield to pressure from board members, shareholders, consumers and voters. It means just doing

the right thing all the time. This view was also corroborated by DR NICO REINEKE, Professor at Wharton Business School, Penn. USA in Oct 2010. According to him, ‘Procurement really needs to do the simple stuff; and get it right all the time.’ Apart from these 7 rights of procurement, many more have been introduced to underscore the importance of getting it right. Some other rights are namely: Right Warranty, Right Payment, Right Innovation, Right Environmental Responsibility, Right Ethics, and Right Supplier Support. Others are: Right Financial Stability, Right Commitment to Continuous Improvement, Right Technology, Right Contractual Terms, Right Reputation, Right Experience, Right Agility, Right Convenience and Right Risk management. In conclusion, procurement practitioners and business leaders in general must insist on the application of therightprocurement inputs to be able to realize their business goals. The rights of procurement remain consistent and relevant to the application of corporate strategy. Next week, we shall attempt to apply the supply chain functions to the overall performance of the Nigerian economy as we examine ‘The Role of Supply Chain Management in National and Corporate competitiveness.’ Go b – Ag u n d u Uc h e F C I P S Chartered, is a Fellow and Chartered Member of the prestigious Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, CIPS. She has 23 years professional practice and has experience in all Supply Chain functions. She is currently Supply Chain Manager (Planning, Performance Management and Business Systems) with Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc.



Sunday 09 December 2018


LAIF is major driver of creativity, innovation in advertising industry – Steve Babaeko Steve Babaeko, the group CEO X3m ideas, is the Vice president of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria, AAAN and Chairman of the Lagos Idea Festival, LAIF management board. In this interview, Babaeko speaks on the theme of this year’s award ‘Future Forward’. The award holds today in Lagos. He said it is a clarion call to every agency to say; for us to survive tomorrow, we have to ready today. He spoke on a number of other issues in advertising. Excerpts Kindly give us an overview of the LAIF Awards from where it started and where it is now? lmost every year there is something new that happens to the LAIF awards, and sustaining something for 13 consecutive years in Nigeria is no joke; because of challenges in the country. LAIF awards is one of the milestone achievements that we have in the association. This year, definitely we have something new that we are going to be rolling out to make it unique. Last year we started by taking it to Landmark and this year will also be held at the same venue. The major thing we are adding this year is that we are going to be enlarging our seminar, which will now be taking place at the Civic centre. This year, for the first time we are looking at a creative week – we will have our activities starting from Monday to Sunday. The jury seating will start from Monday to Thursday; on Friday we will have the young LAIFERS’ competition, and on Sunday, today we will have the awards for the first time. We are bringing Thebe Ikalafeng, as the keynote speaker for the seminar schedule to hold at the Civic centre. The chief Jury for this year is Michael Zylstra, the chief strategy officer of Dentsu Africa and also chairman of last year’s Crystal Awards. Lack of interest by practitioners is often a challenge for awards of this nature; what is it like for the LAIF awards? It has been very encouraging, even this year we have more agencies participating. The number of


entries for this year is higher than what we have last year, so it’s been very encouraging. Most satisfying for me is that we now have younger and new agencies participating, because what we have been trying to avoid is a situation where smaller agencies feel it’s for big agencies only. Now we have more participation from new entrants in the industry, younger and small agencies are participating; and we are quite optimistic about that going forward. May you explain the theme for this year; ‘Future Forward’? The theme this year, ‘Future Forward’ is that every year we try to challenge ourselves to say what are the challenges facing the industry as a whole. Then, if you look at it – the issue of technology disrupting everything, not only advertising, not just communication industry alone, it is one of the things we have to contend with as a business, so how are we making the industry prepare and battle ready to face some of the challenges – if you call it Artificial Intelligence, big data and all of those other major technological advancement – how prepared are we. ‘Future Forward’ is a clarion call to every agency to say; for us to survive tomorrow, we have to ready today, and that is what we want to see happen with the entire agency participating in the LAIF awards this year. How has the LAIF awards contributed in shaping the advertising industry in Nigeria? I will answer that question in reverse. I will shutter to imagine if you wipe out 13 years of LAIF

Steve Babaeko

awards as per the development of the advertising industry in Nigeria, at least it is still the major yardstick for measuring which agency is doing well, which client is supporting innovation and creativity. So, if you remove it, there is nothing for us to really aspire to. A couple of years ago, clients didn’t bother about the LAIF awards, but from my experience in the last five years; clients are even more driven, calling us to know if we have entered for the awards, which means clients are showing interest and really want to see themselves win as well. So, LAIF is a major driver of creativity and

innovation is this industry. This is our own Cannes and perhaps the biggest advertising awards in West Africa. LAIF awards is very important to the industry, and I am hoping that clients will continue to support us, so that we can continue to host the LAIF awards every year. With LAIF awards, are we getting closer to winning Cannes award? We are getting there. In the past three to five years; I think Nigeria has done better than it has done in the past 20 years in international awards ceremony. I can name easily, agencies that have been

winning consistently at the international circuit. At the Loris, Nigerian agencies have been winning; if you see what X3m did in crystal this year – its major landmark; X3m probably won in all; about 17 Crysta awards. Agencies are winning – DDB is doing well, Insight is doing great, so all of those agencies, and we have more agencies now becoming like the real standard in creativity on the continent and of course there is room for improvement no doubt, but as we continue to push ourselves with awards like the LAIF awards; helping to create more competition among agencies, I think we will see a situation where we probably see a team that win the Cannes. You just mentioned that new agencies are showing more interest; however it’s beginning to look like diminishing return is setting in for the older agencies: is there anything wrong? This is how it is globally; I think we are gradually getting ourselves aligned to global best practice when it comes to all these things. Abroad, you find an agency like Droga5 that will just come and start to take all the awards. You see CP+B (Crispin Porter and Bogusky); taking all of the awards and you will be wondering where did this agency suddenly showed up from. Just picture it yourself, how will this industry regenerate itself if we perpetuate what will just be the traditional titles of old agencies. For me, as somebody who is the chairman of the LAIF management board, it is my joy when I see young agency give the old agency a run for their money.

Morning Fresh re-brands, launches in new bottle


L-R: Sunday Okereke, regional sales manager, East, PZ Cussons Consumer; Okeke, PZ Cussons consumer active distributors, Port Harcourt Territory; Mercy Johnson-Okojie, celebrity brand influencer; GCA-OYIGBO, active distributor, Port Harcourt Territory, PZ Cussons Consumer; Sunday Ekpo, area sales manager, PZ Cussons Consumer; at the official Morning Fresh trade launch in Port Harcourt, recently.

n a bid to increase demand at wholesale, retail, and distributor level, Morning Fresh brand from the stable of PZ Cussons organized trade launch event recently in Port Harcourt where it introduced the product in new bottle. Following its recent relaunch, the dishwashing liquid has been engaging in numerous activities targeted at engaging all stakeholders. Amongst these activities was the ‘market storm’ which held in Mile 1 and Mile 3 markets in Port Harcourt. Accompanying the brand team was multi-award winning veteran actress, Mercy Johnson, who took part in the numerous fun activities

during the activation, engaging with the distributors, retailers, and traders alike. Also present at the in-market activations were members of the brand team which include Ahusimere Ejiroghene, Brand Manager, Morning Fresh; Sunday Okereke, Regional Sales Manager, East, PZ Cussons Consumer; and Sunday Ekpo, Area Sales Manager, Morning Fresh, PZ Cussons Consumer; who introduced the stakeholders to the new Morning Fresh which was unveiled last month. Speaking about the in-market activations was Ahusimere Ejiroghene, Brand Manager, Morning Fresh, who expressed her delight at the turnout of the events.

“We are delighted to re-introduce Morning Fresh in these markets. We have totally revamped the Morning Fresh brand, emphasizing on its premium look and feel, which is in line with our commitment to constantly innovate and evolve to exceed the expectations of the stakeholders in the country. The elegant transparent bottle delivers both functional and aesthetic value to our stakeholders, making the product stand out on shelves – we are confident that these stakeholders will take completely to our products and aid us in achieving our sales targets,” she said. Morning Fresh has been in Nigeria for 25 years .

Sunday 09 December 2018



EquityMarket CCNN, Sterling Bank, 20 others resilient as countdown to year-end begins TELIAT SULE


ith only fourteen more working days remaining in 2018, stakeholders in the nation’s capital market have started the countdown to the end of 2018. This is as the All Share Index (ASI) of the Nigerian Stock Exchange(NSE) further closed downwards at -19.29 percent. In other words, the ASI ended the week at 30,866.82 points compared with30, 874.17 points last week Friday November 30 representing, a week to date loss of -0.02 percent. Bu t w h e n c o m p a r e d w i t h 38.243.19 points on the last trading day of 2017, the year to date loss stands at -19.29 percent. By the same period in 2017, ASI was phenomenal at 46.08 percent. But while the capital market is considerable down in the negative territory, some stocks have held their grounds to close in the positive territory, even as the momentum is not as much as it was some few months back. By last week Friday, the share prices of the Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN), Sterling Bank, C & I Leasing, Learn Africa and Caverton remained the most appreciated in the market. CCNN closed at N16.50 per share, representing 73.7 percent year to date appreciation. Sterling Bank ended the week at N1.68 per share, and that amounted to 55.6 percent YTD gain. C & I Leasing closed at N1.94 per share, translating to 50.4 percent YTD appreciation. Learn Africa

and Caverton Offshore closed at N1.26 and N1.83 per share each, translating to 43.2 percent and 41.9 percent YTD gain. A month ago, the five most appreciated stocks were CCNN, C & I Leasing, NEM, Sterling Bank and Caverton Offshore with

136.8 percent; 117.1 percent; 74.7 percent; 48.1 percent and 40.3 percent YTD appreciation respectively. “We are moving into an election year, and there is a lot of caution in the equity market exhibited by both the retail and institutional

investors. For the remaining days in this year, we still expect the market to be bearish. However, this is the first election Nigeria will be having without much security challenges despite all what people have said, which shows that it is the best time to come into the

Nigerian Stock Exchange sensitises stakeholders on Exchange Traded Products


he management of the Nigerian Stock Exchange last week continued the sensitisation of the capital market stakeholders on the Exchange Traded Products (ETPs). According to Oscar Onyema, NSE CEO, the sensitisation was meant to increase market participation so that investors could get the best out of the capital market. ETPs are one of the most significant financial innovations in recent decades and have shaped the financial markets. Since the introduction of ETPsin1993, they have gained widespread acceptance in most developed markets. Over the last 15 years, investors’ demand for ETPs (both retail and institutional) has grown remarkably, which in turn has led to a greater variety of products offered by ETP sponsors. Glob-

ally, ETPs have grown remarkably this year recording net flows of approximately $358 billion as at October 2018. According to ETFGI, the Global ETP industry had close to 15,000 ETPs listings on 71 exchanges with assets of about $5trillion cutting across 392 providers at the end of October 2018. It is interesting to note that equity-based ETPs make up 76.7 percent of global ETP listings whilst Fixed Income based ETPs represent 16.7 percent of listings, similar to the asset split in Nigeria. The cross-listing of ABSA’s Newgold ETF on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in December 2011, opened up the ETPs market. Since then, the ETPs space has grown steadily by a cumulative average growth rate of 8% over the last 4 years. Currently, there are 9 ETPs

listed on the Exchange – 2 thematic ETFs providing access to Pension-compliant and Shariahcompliant stocks, 2 broad equity market ETFs tracking the NSE 30 Index, 3 sector based ETFs, 1 commodity ETF, and 1 bond ETF tracking exposure to benchmark FGN Sovereign Bonds. The introduction of ETPs is one of the Exchange’s strategies to enhance diversification as well as broaden the options available in the capital market to support the efficient implementation of investment strategies across diverse asset classes and instruments. ETP product issuers and intermediaries are encouraged to expand their footprint by broadening distribution channels, introducing other asset classes/ strategies, entering new mar-

kets, leveraging technology and data analytics to understand the market and demand. This year, in collaboration with issuers, we have focused on diversifying the ETPs space by supporting new product development and thus expect the launch of new ETPs in the short term. Today, we are gathered to expand the discourse on ETPs in terms of enhancing domestic capacity as well as improving collaboration amongst participants in the ecosystem - product strategists, issuers, intermediaries, advisers, investment managers and investors. This conference is aimed at providing insights on emerging themes as well as foster understanding of ETPs as convenient vehicles and investment management tools for accessing other markets

market because there are many stocks with good fundamentals but are very cheap presently”, Ahmad Jinad, analyst with Meristem Securities said. “Both retail and institutional investors should look at stocks in the consumer goods and banking sectors for opportunities. The oil and gas sector, while its stocks are cheap, is highly subjected to the vagaries of international politics for now”, Jinad added. The worst performing stocks are Royal Exchange, Sovereign Trust Insurance and Lafarge Wapco. Both Royal Exchange and Sovereign Insurance closed at N0.20 per share each, representing -60 percent year to date loss. Lafarge Wapco closed at -60.2 percent YTD, which amounted to a decrease of 60.2 percent in its share price. It presently worths N17.85 per share. Lafarge Wapco has recently announced it would raise N89.21 billion through Rights Issue. “Following the resolution of our shareholders passed at the extra-ordinary general meeting held on the 25th September 2018, the board of directors have approved the terms of the Rights Issue. Lafarge Africa Plc will raise N89.21 billion by way of a Rights Issue at N12.00 per share, by issuing 6 new shares for every 7 shares held by shareholders at the qualification date, which will be announced. The Rights price represents a c.10.45 percent discount on Lafarge Africa’s traded closing price as at Monday, 3rd December 2018. The regulatory approval process is ongoing”, Lafarge Africa said in a note to stakeholders.

UAC appoints Omolara Elemide as acting CEO


he board of UAC of Nigeria PLC would like to announce that Abdul Akhor Bello, the Group CEO of the company will proceed on retirement from January 1, 2019. On behalf of the board, Dan Agbor the Chairman, thanks Bello for his dedicated service to the Company from 1989 to date and wishes him the very best in his future endeavours. The board has appointed Omolara Elemide, the Executive Director, Corporate Services, as Acting Group CEO with effect from January 1, 2019. The search for a substantive Group CEO will commence immediately.



Sunday 09 December 2018


Why you really need a break this festive season Obinna Emelike


e often remind others the popular saying: “All work, no play makes Jack a dull boy,” without taking time off ourselves. How wrong it is to preach what we do not practice. However, you need to be a little sincere with yourself and step up your work-leisure balance because life work without leisure is life without a balance. You need to take your health and happiness into account when you work. You do not need to work so hard that you become ill or depressed. You need to have leisure in your life to keep life fun and energetic, especially this festive season. But if all you do is to worry about work or business, then what type of life is that? You need nobody to tell you that it is a life in prison. Of course, you are the one that will push for a rest because you are in a capitalist economy, where your boss is more interested in work, work and work. Your boss cannot stop you from taking time off because of the benefits to the company. Companies that allow staff to take time off for leaves and holidays have always reaped higher productivity afterwards, as the staff return refreshed and better prepared for the work challenges. In case you work with a real ‘Boss,’ summon courage and tell him/her

you need leisure time. You only need to be polite about it because you will be the worst hit when you break down. Remember, your boss can always replace you. If he insists on you staying back to work, then you can probably take some leisure time without being a jerk about it. It is as simple as taking 15 minutes here and two minutes there in quality things. However, while leisure might conjure up images of foamy drinks with umbrella straws, visits to beaches and day spas or taking on an adventure, the true essence of leisure is beyond that. You will get the most out of your leisure time when you understand the essence of leisure. Leisure is a state of mind or of being. It is when we feel most free, fulfilled and integrated. Arewardingleisurelifeisthebiggest predictor of one’s overall quality of life. It provides the balance you need to better handle non-leisure activities and enhancesresilienceandlifesatisfaction. Over a lifetime, one will spend more timeatleisurethansleepingorworking. Even when you have a leisurefriendly boss or when corporate policy favours corporate time off and leave, a few people really think about or plan for leisure. It is not supposed to “just happen” because those who do not plan ahead often end up feeling stressed, over-

Inagbe Grand Resort Lovers’ haven whelmed and unfulfilled. Here people do not plan for holidays. The many public holidays, even Christmas and New Year holidays, have never been used to really relax. Summer is out of it and the few that do summers start planning for it at the peak of the holiday season. As the saying goes, ‘It is better to be late than never’. Of course, you need to plan ahead as the year beckons for more quality time off from business

Boku Resort Park to boost Badagry tourism offerings


lyBoku, a Lagos-based travel and logistics company, is set to boost the tourism offerings of Badagry with the proposed world-class resort estimated to cost billions naira. The project, which is expected to draw thousands of visitors to the border better known as centre of the infamous slave trade, is a vision of Abiola Lawal, founder/chairman of, who is also an indigene of Badagry. that has decided to come home to invest in domestic tourism. During a recent visit to Whenu Aholu, Oba Akran, the paramount ruler of Badagry, to seek the monarch’s approval and co-operation to site the project at a choice location, Lawal otherwise known as Mr. Boku, who decided to bring the investment to his hometown, noted that FlyBoku was created to offer experiential tourism, which he described as key to the economic development of the country. Explaining the reason for his the choice of Badagry, Lawal said, “Badagry has a lot to offer the world in terms of culture and tourism, Our vision for this

Point of No Return Badagry

town is to come home and seek your permission to explore Badagry in tourism, to start a journey for Boku Resort Park for the world. The private sector has the responsibility to put things together for national development”. “We can partner with other countries for economic development, but we also need to bring such development down to the grassroots, developing skills, and using cutting-age technology and lifting the standard of living in such places”. He explained that his visit to the monarch marked the beginning of the actualisation of the national idea in tourism through the project, noting further that tourism development lies in the hands of Nigerians coupled with the multiplier effects on the country’s economy. On his part, the paramount ruler expressed happiness that an indigene of Badagry has a great investment plan to develop his hometown with a view to creating jobs and developing the town. He pledged his support to ensure that the resort becomes a reality through approval of land to build the project.

“You have a very great vision and the project must be implemented with my support’’, the king assured. With the project, Lawal wants to replicate the America’s ‘’Disney’’ in Florida by creating leisure resort that has never been seen in Nigeria and perhaps Africa before. The objective of the massive project is to create a leisure hub where people can come and enjoy themselves, as well as, creating jobs. He lamented that lack of continuity and infrastructure are the bane of economic development in the country, and called on the private investors to take the bull by the horns by driving investment rather than wait for the government to set the pace. “You cannot wait for the government. If you have the passion, you will put your money where your mouth is. So, I am from Badagry; I want to invest here and bring in people (tourists to the community by road and by boat.)”. In terms of land acquisition for building the resort centre, discussion is on-going to that effect. There are two to three options for the project; it has to make sense to attract foreign investors and it has to be sited on a coastal side to capture the vision of the project-watersports. “I believe that we need to also export something that is indigenous to us without being to ethno-centric. We chose the name Boku, which means plenty happiness to drive the meaning of the resort. Boku is a local word that is familiar to every Nigerian. We want to create a roadmap that will make the project bankable”, he said on the choice of Boku as the name of the proposed resort. The highpoint of the visit was an award presentation to Oba Akran as FlyBoku’s Royal Ambassador for Tourism As a responsible corporate citizen, is running an academy (FlyBoku Academy), a non-profit making initiative that trains people in tourism. The training is free. offer services in travels and tours, visa assistance, airport protocol, movement logistics, car hire services and hotel reservations.

and work. You can go for some of these leisure breaks: go to see a museum, for leisure fishing, go see movies in cinemas, a weekend at a remote destination will always make a difference, the beaches are open all day for a swim and beach fun, or climb a local mountain/hill. You can visit destination with one-stop-shop leisure facilities like resorts, go see waterfalls, explore

caves and a communion with nature around you. You must not travel far to see all these, most of them are within. Search for them! It is up to you to schedule in a little leisure time for yourself, so you will work happier and be more productive. Truly, your family will thank you for distressing throughout the day instead of letting it all come out when you get home. You really need an escape this festive season!

Nature Tourism: NPS initiates community platform

Ibrahim Goni, conservator general, National Parks Service


strategic feedback mechanism to enthrone sustainable growth of rural and nature tourism within and around Nigeria’s protected areas (National Parks) has kicked off in Okomu and Old National Parks in Benin, Edo State and Oyo State respectively. The idea was conceived by the conservator general of the Federation, Mallam Ibrahim Goni who believes that any successful protected natural resources management must be built around the support zone communities. Towards this agenda, preliminary field trips to Okomu and Old National Parks revealed that the engagement process was not only timely but a veritable platform to capture the fears and expectations of stakeholders around the parks. At udo in Okomu during a not recent visit by the platform facilitation contact group, the community leaders pleaded for more government intervention in areas of employment for youths in the communities around the parks and other social interventions that can help alleviate poverty in the communities. The contact group who were conducted round by the Okomu National Park by Conservator of Park, Abdullahi Ahmed visited the famous Tree House, the heart of holiday spot and recreation hub in Arakuan and a momentous interaction with students from the Federal University of Agriculture (FUTA) Akure

who were on field study at the Park. Indeed, very profound was the interaction with the students who expressed and called on the Federal Government to properly fund the Park and build roads leading into the community not just for ease of movement by visitors but also for the good of farmers in the community to move their farm products with ease. The contact group also observed that chalets and the Olympic size swimming pool need upgrading and careful retouching to make them available for expected visitors traffic during the Christmas and New Year holidays. At the office, the group also shared strategic information with Okomu management in order to sustain the peaceful relationship with communities and to wade off loggers out of the Park. The visit to Old Oyo National Park was also engaging as the discussion with the Onikoyi of Ikoyi-Ile, Oba Oladoju Oyelowo who told the visiting team about the need for employment of youths of the area and more access to farm lands carried out from the park as the community farmers are short of farm lands. The same line of discussion also topped engagements at Sepeteri and Igboho. A thriving Nature Conservation Club is the face of the community secondary schools in the area, a successful storyline that has helped educate youths in the area on conservation practices and benefits, making them keen nature ambassadors. Conservator of Park Old Oyo National Park, Cornelius Oladipo who conducted the team on tour of Akoto base camp, Ikoyi Ile where strategic visitors’ facilities are located, told the visiting team that lack of operational vehicles for effective patrol of the second biggest park in Nigeria is long overdue. It was observed that the faculties are in good shape but needs to be promoted for private sector participation and nature tourist visitation. The contact group expressed deep appreciation at efforts to keep the visitors faculties in top shape and offered to impress on the conservator general to organise a select media visit to all the parks next year.

Sunday 09 December 2018




Popular pre-select meal program expands to Delta Airline customers globally Stories by IFEOMA OKEKE


s the weather grows colder, Delta’s onboard menu is heating up with fresh, seasonal selections and an expansion of the airline’s preselect meal program, which allows customers traveling in Delta’s business class cabin, Delta One, to request their choice of regionallyinspired meals designed by local chefs. Pre-select meal program expansion Following its initial rollout in select markets, Delta will expand its popular preselect meal program from December 6, 2018 to include all outbound and inbound Delta One routes, enabling all customers travelling between Europe, Middle East and Africa and the United States to choose their meal in advance. “Customer feedback plays a vital role in the development of our culinary offerings,” Lisa Bauer, Delta’s vice president – On-Board Services, said. “We know that customers value having control over their in-flight experience. Through the preselect meal program, we’re giving customers the peace of mind that their first meal choice is available on board.” Customers will receive an email from Delta three days prior to their flight, asking them to select their first choice meal. All that’s needed to participate is a valid email

address, listed in the customer’s SkyMiles account or in their passenger booking record. New winter menu and wine selections in Delta One This winter, customers flying in Delta One enjoy comforting dishes including braised beef short rib, roasted chicken breast or soy-glazed cod. Select European destinations menus will feature culinary creations by Delta’s in-house and partner chefs including James Beard honoree Linton Hopkins out of Atlanta, Danny Meyer’s Union Square Events out of New York, and chef duo Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo out of L.A. The refreshed Delta One menus will be complemented by a selection of wines

curated by Delta Master Sommelier, Andrea Robinson including Oyster Bay Pinot Noir. Andrea’s wine selection is a year-round process that includes in-flight tastings to make sure the wines taste just as good at cruising altitude as they do on the ground. To enhance the on-board experience even further, Delta partnered with Andrea to develop its Sky Sommelier program; a series of online courses where flight attendants learn how to bring the wine experience to life for Delta’s customers. This is part of the airline’s ongoing effort to elevate and redefine the onboard culinary experience through fresh, local and seasonallyrotating food and beverage

options. Flight Fuel menu refresh Delta also has new offerings for international customers connecting onto domestic flights: The airline will serve new offerings in its Flight Fuel menu in the Main Cabin on select flights over 900 miles within North America. The refreshed menu features updated forpurchase dining selections, including a new breakfast box and chicken wraps. U.S.-domestic First Class and Delta Comfort+ snack baskets have also been refreshed with new options for customers to enjoy, including the world’s top selling cookie – the Oreo. These culinary enchantments are part of Delta’s multi-billion dollar investment in the overall customer experience. In the past several years, the airline has made significant enhancements to the Main Cabin experience including free Main Cabin meals on select coast-tocoast routes, free mobile messaging, free in-flight entertainment, upgraded Main Cabin snacks, the addition of sparkling wine, access to Wi-Fi on nearly all flights and refreshed Flight Fuel foodfor-purchase options. Recent upgrades to the Delta One in-flight experience include new chef-designed Delta One menus curated by Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo for flights from LAX, refreshed TUMI amenity kits with Kiehl’s products, and an Alessi-designed collection of serviceware.

Winner of Lufthansa’s Impact Week develops online rating platform


his year’s winner of Lufthansa Group’s 2018 Impact Week in Nigeria in partnership with University of Lagos (UNILAG) is focusing on improving the relationship between technicians and customers. The winning students designed a simple platform to bring together technicians and households, as they wanted to solve the problem of unreliable technicians who

do not show up. The jurors were convinced, as this was the first time such an idea was introduced in Nigeria: an internal rating system for customers and technicians was presented as a simple solution for a common problem, which has a really large market and is fairly easy to implement. Around 140 students from UNILAG participated in the second annual Impact Week in Nigeria, consisting

of a four-day training course in Design Thinking organized by Lufthansa. The students were supported by a coaching team from Lufthansa colleagues, external Design Thinking Senior Coaches and local professors. Prior to the students’ Impact Week, there has been a three-day course run by nine international design thinking coaches to train 48 junior coaches – among them UNILAG lecturers as well

as international Lufthansa Group staff. Through team work, the students developed ideas and prototypes around the topics: Health & Environment, Transportation, Technopreneurship, Urban Agriculture, Tourism, Energy, Commercial Finance and Education. The students learned how to identify relevant problems in their society, how to solve these problems and how to develop business models. Other participating teams came up with fantastic ideas such as Apps for waste management, transportation and fund raising, or ideas such as making solar technique affordable for households by introducing micro financing models and payments via gradual instalment based on block chain. Others developed hands-on solutions for onsite waste management, alternate usage of solar power or advocacy educational programs.

AIB release first international aircraft investigation report in Sao Tome


he Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) Nigeria has just set another standard in the region, as regards to releasing timely and accurate air accident report in Sao Tome and Principe. This is as a result of effective collaboration and corporation the Bureau has garnered in the last 24 months with the aviation stakeholders and the endless work by the Bureau’s investigators. Akin Olateru, AIB the commissioner/CEO, last week led his team to submit the final report of the accident involving Cavok Airlines CVK 7087 AN-74TK-100 Aircraft Registered Ur-CKC, which occurred at Sao Tome International Airport, Sao Tome on 29th July, 2017. The Banjul Accord Group Accident Investigation Agency (BAGAIA) had invited AIB Nigeria to conduct an investigation into this crash, which by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annexe 13 is the responsibility of the state of occurrence. This was very significant as for the first time in the history of Accident Investigation Bureau, accident investigation was handled by the Bureau on behalf of another state or a regional body. The delegates visited the Nigerian Embassy and were received by Faith Ekwekwuo, the Charge De affaire. She welcomed and appreciated the good job the Bureau did to have helped investigate the air accident and release of the final report. She also commended the Bureau for maintaining a good relationship with the Sao Tome authorities. In the same vein, the Bureau came into terms and executed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Instituto Nacional De Aviaco Civil (National Civil Aviation Authority of Sao Tome &Principe) of the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome. The agreement was in four parts – cooperation, capacity building, exchange of information on accident investigation and assistance in cases of any air accident within both countries. This was a bid to further strengthen a good relationship and effective collaboration towards achieving a common goal in the air accident investigation sector in Africa. Summary of aircraft accident report : CVK/201+7/07/29/F Runway excursion following a rejected take-off CAVOK Airlines CVK 7087 AN74TK-100 aircraft registered UR-CKC which occurred at Sao Tome International Airport, Sao Tome on 29th July, 2017 On 29th July, 2017 at about 0905hrs Antonov aircraft Model AN-74 TK-100, registered UR-CKC, owned by Swift Solution FZC, oper-

ated by CAVOK Airlines LLC overrun runway 29 during a rejected take off at Sao Tome International Airport. The captain, the first officer, the flight engineer and two maintenance engineers on board were rescued unhurt except the Flight Navigator who sustained an injury to his left foot and some minor bruises. The intended nonscheduled return flight to Accra was initiated in accordance with appropriate regulations. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The safety issues discussed in this report focused on rejected take-offs and rejected take-off procedures; compliance with SOP, other related checklists and manuals, flight crew training for RTO scenarios; flight crew performance, including the captain’s action to initiate an RTO after V1, and CRM. Nine safety recommendations were made in this report and are addressed to the Institut National de l’Aviation Civile (INAC), Sao Tome,Ukraine Civil Aviation Authority and CAVOK AIR, LLC, Ukraine. Causal Factor The investigation determines that the cause of this accident was due to the presence of birds on the runway, the take-off was rejected at a speed above decision speed V1, which was inconsistent with CAVOK’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). Contributory factors The contributory factors to this accident include but are not limited to the following: Failure of the crew to deploy interceptors (speed brakes/spoilers), inadequate flight crew training on details of rejected take-off procedure scenarios, the omission of the take-off briefing in CAVOK’s normal operations checklist and poor Crew Resource Management (CRM), especially in a multi-crew flight operation. Safety Recommendations Instituto Nacional de Aviacao Civil (National Civil Aviation Authority of STP) should improve the habitat management programme (including reduction or elimination of trees, shrubs and other plants which provide food, shelter or roosting sites for birds) They are also to enhance aerodrome grass management appropriate to the prevalent species and the degree of risk that they pose and should liaise with local inhabitants to limit the attraction of birds to fields (in the vicinity of the airport). In addition, they should install specialized groundbased radar equipment used for tactical detection of large flocking birds and extend Runway End Safety Area to conform to ICAO standards.



Health&Science Why do I feel sick after I eat?


tomach pain or discomfort after eating has many causes. If stomach pain happens after eating and then goes away, it is usually caused by food. If a person has other symptoms or ongoing discomfort despite making changes to their diet, it may be a medical condition. Stomach pain can be prevented by an individual eating a balanced, healthful diet with fresh fruits and vegetables. Not eating spicy or fatty foods and cutting down on sugary drinks or caffeine, may also help. In this article, we list 21 reasons why a person’s stomach may hurt or feel uncomfortable after they eat, including food and medical causes. Food For many different reasons, the food that a person chooses to eat may lead to their stomach hurting afterward. Food poisoning: One of the key symptoms of food poisoning is stomach pain. Other symptoms include: vomiting, diarrhoea, lack of energy and high temperature Symptoms can appear a few hours after eating, but they may take days or weeks to surface. Food poisoning normally only lasts a few days. It can usually be treated at home with rest and fluids. Acidic foods: Acidic foods that can irritate the stomach include fruit juices, processed cheese, and tomatoes. Finding alternatives, such as replacing fruit juices with water or tea, may help to cut down on stomach pain. Trapped wind: Trapped wind in the digestive tract can cause discomfort. The stomach may feel stretched and uncomfortable, or there may be a sharp pain. Sugary drinks and certain foods can cause bloating and wind. These include: onions, beans, cabbage, and broccoli. When someone chews gum, sucks sweets, or eats with their mouth open, it can lead to them swallowing air. This can be another cause of wind. Spicy foods: Chilli peppers are often used to flavour spicy food. They contain capsaicin, a chemical that causes the hot or burning sensation. Capsaicin may irritate sensitive parts of the body, including the stomach. Indigestion: A person can suffer indigestion after eating or drinking. As well as stomach ache, they may feel bloated or sick. The stomach contains acid to break down food. Sometimes, this can irritate the stomach lining and cause indigestion. Rich or fatty

foods, caffeine, sugary drinks, and alcohol can make indigestion worse. Over-the-counter medication, which is available online and known as an antacid, may help if cutting out certain foods and drinks makes no difference. Caffeine: Caffeine is a stimulant found in tea and coffee. It can irritate the stomach and cause discomfort for some people. People can choose alternatives and still enjoy hot drinks. Decaffeinated tea and decaffeinated coffee are available online. Fruit teas or hot water with a slice of lemon are also healthful to help people stay hydrated during the day. Alcohol: Alcoholic drinks can cause bloating. This is especially true if they are carbonated, such as beer or sparkling wine. They may also make heartburn worse. If someone cuts down on the amount of alcohol they drink, it can have many health benefits. Drinking a soft drink or water between alcoholic ones or choosing alcohol-free wine or beer are ways to reduce alcohol consumption. Food allergy or intolerance: Some people may be allergic to certain foods. These can irritate the stomach and may cause pain after eating. An intolerance is a milder form of an allergy. Both allergies and intolerances can be caused by many different foods. Common intolerances include gluten, wheat, and lactose. People can keep a food diary if they think they might have an allergy. A food diary is a written record of what they have consumed at each meal, including drinks and snacks. They should also include a note of when their stomach hurts. Keeping a diary can help determine the foods causing an issue. People can then cut this food out of their diet. Eating too much: Overfilling the stomach on a regular basis is not good for health. Discomfort after eating may be a sign that a person is eating too much. People can find guidance on healthy portion sizes from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Medical conditions Here, we give some of the medical conditions that can also make someone’s stomach hurt after eating. Gastritis: it causes the lining of the stomach to become inflamed. It can cause stomach pain, sickness, vomiting, and indigestion. Mild gastritis can be treated at home with medication and changes to diet. Cutting out acidic foods and eating smaller meals throughout the day can help. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): IBD causes the gut to become inflamed. IBD can lead to a range of symptoms, with one being stomach pain. IBD is a long-term condition that requires treatment with medication and lifestyle changes. Stomach ulcer: A stomach ulcer is a sore that develops on the stomach lining. It will cause a burning pain in the middle of the stomach. Stomach ulcers are often caused by an infection. They can also be the result of medications that include aspirin if it is frequently taken over a long period. Treatment is with acid-suppressing medication, with or without antibiotics. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): IBS is a condition affecting the digestive system. As well as constipation and diarrhoea, it can cause stomach cramps and bloating. Symptoms can last for days, weeks, or months, and may not always happen after eating. Although there is no cure, lifestyle changes can help. These include: eating slowly, avoiding fatty and processed foods, getting plenty of exercise, cutting out alcohol and sugary drinks and eating meals at regular times and not skipping meals. Gallstones: Gallstones are hard pieces of material that form in the gallbladder. If they block a bile duct, they can cause sharp, sudden pain. Treatment is with medication or surgery, depending on the severity of the condition. Heartburn: Heartburn is known as gastroesophageal reflux (GER) in medical terms. It can also be called acid reflux. GER is caused by acid coming up from the stomach into the food pipe. It feels like a burning sensation

in the chest and throat. It can also cause a burning feeling in the stomach. Eliminating alcohol, spicy foods, and losing weight if needed can help control heartburn. Overactive thyroid: The thyroid gland produces hormones that tell the body how to work. An overactive thyroid can cause medical problems that may affect the bones, muscles, and heart. One symptom of an overactive thyroid is stomach pain and diarrhoea. Other symptoms include trouble sleeping, weight loss, and a rapid heartbeat. Celiac disease: Celiac disease is a disorder of the digestive system. It is caused by an allergy to gluten, found in rye, barley, and wheat. Symptoms include stomach pain, constipation, diarrhoea and bloating. Cutting gluten out of the diet can stop the effects of the condition. Other causes Lastly, there are several other lifestyle and health reasons why someone’s stomach can hurt after eating. Stress: Stress can cause muscles to become tense, which can create pain or discomfort in the stomach. A few slow, deep breaths before eating can relax the muscles. Eating slowly and calmly can help to avoid stomach pain. Being overweight: Being overweight can mean that a person is more likely to develop conditions such as heartburn or a stomach ulcer. When an individual loses some excess weight, it can help avoid their stomach hurting after eating. Constipation: Not having enough bowel movements or having stool that is hard and difficult to pass is likely to be caused by constipation. Stomach pain and bloating are other common symptoms of constipation. People can treat constipation by eating a diet that is high in fiber and drinking plenty of fluids. Blood pressure medication: Medication used to treat blood pressure can cause side effects. These include constipation and sometimes stomach pain. If a person experiences side effects from this medication, they can speak to their doctor about switching to an alternative type. When to see a doctor If someone has any symptoms of the medical conditions listed here, they should seek medical advice. If stomach pain after eating continues for a long time, and lifestyle and diet changes do not work, people are advised to see a doctor. Culled from Medical News Today

Sunday 09 December 2018

NGO targets 1000 patients with cleft lips for free SIKIRAT SHEHU, Ilorin


n American based Non Governmental Organization (NGO), Smile Train, says it targets one thousand patients for free cleft surgery in Kwara State, with a call on people with congenital abnormalities such as cleft lips and palate to visit the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) for free surgery. Ismail Adigun, a professor and Consultant Palstic Surgeon with the UITH, disclosed this while speaking with journalists during awareness campaign, held recently in Ilorin, the state capital. According to Adigun, Smile Train is given assistance to ‘indigenous poor’ children born with congenital deformities, adding that the agency has been a donor that has been supporting cleft lip surgery in Nigeria. He explained that the awareness campaign became imperative to sensitize people around the state, so that people would be aware and bring their children and family members with cleft lip and palate for corrective surgery. “Cleft lip and palate is a congenital abnormality and it has no respecter of anybody. The children affected with, are not witches as erroneously believed by others. There are many children suffering for it but owing to lack of enlightenment, they think it is a curse. SmileTrain is saying cleft lip is reversible. It cost about $400 dollars per patient to perform surgery and we are targeting one thousand patients,” he explained on causes and prevention of the disease, Adigun observed that there is no reliable known cause for cleft lips and palate; he noted that environment and genetics

are sometimes attributed as causative factor. In her submission, Victoria Awazie, Program Manager, for SmileTrain, West Africa, lamented that many children with deformities have been killed because of stigma. She said SmileTrain is the largest cleft repair organization, located in 87 countries across the world. Awazie, who identified lack of awareness in rural communities to get to patients as their major challenge, reiterated that children with cleft lips are not cursed by the gods, but a congenital deformity from birth, which can be corrected. Abdulrasheed Nasir, a Pediatrician with UITH and the Program Coordinator for Smile Train in Kwara State noted that the organization in addition, gives comprehensive care to patients including orthodontic for repair of teeth, speech training and area of malnourishment. He pointed out that government cannot do everything in area of health; noted this has translated to the disparity in healthcare. “Fortunately, there are private organizations that can provide succor to cleft lip and palate in the Nigeria to ensure that every child can smile. “Literacy is very important for every child in the country and children with cleft lips face stigma most times, including being hidden by their parents and prevented from going to school. “But with this surgical interventions, such children have the benefit of surgery which will improve their lives,” he said. The medical expert informed that UITH conducted 135 cases of cleft clips and all are successful.

Hacey wants FG to provide more HIV testing centres JOSEPHINE OKOJIE


s part of efforts to tackle the high HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the country, Hacey Health Initiative has charged the Federal Government on the need to scale up HIV testing centres in the country. Hacey wants the government to provide more testing prgrammes such as community based testing services centers across the country to help people especially the youths know their HIV status, thereby curbing the effects of the virus in Nigeria. The charge was made recently by Rhoda Robinson, directorgender development program, Hacey Health Initiative in Lagos to commemorate the United Nation’s World AIDS Day with the support of Access Bank to educate and offer free HIV testing and counselling services in communities. “The problem of HIV continues to exist and it is extremely important to provide HIV testing and counselling alongside with information and education on

prevention and management. The government and private sector have a role to play in this regard,” Robinson said. “Nigeria has the second largest HIV epidemic in the world, while HIV prevalence among adults is remarkably small at 2.9 percent compared to other subSaharan African countries such as South Africa 18.9percent and Zambia 12.4percent, the size of Nigeria’s population means 3.2 million people were living with HIV in 2016,” she added. Speaking further, she noted that the collaboration between HACEY, NYSC and Access Bank has been very innovative and will go a long way to ensure that the effect of HIV is abridged as the country is experiencing an unprecedented rise in the mortality rate. She explained that the best way to prevent new cases of HIV is to ensure everyone gets tested which further emphasizes on the 2018 theme; ‘Know Your Status’ and to ensure that those tested positive have access to treatment.

Sunday 09 December 2018



Sports Newcastle United to have new owners in $382m takeover bid Stories By ANTHONY NLEBEM


ike Ashley, the owner of English Premier League side, Newcastle United, is reportedly in talks with an American financial investment firm over a potential sale of the club before January 2019. A successful deal would bring his eleven years in charge at the club to an end. Ashley is also the majority shareholder in U.K.-based sporting goods chain Sports Direct and gave an interview to Sky News saying discussions over a sale “are at a more progressed stage than they have ever been.”  It’s now believed the bid he was referring to is from the financial advisory company Rockefeller Capital Management. Rockefeller is thought to be working with former Manchester United and Chelsea Chief Executive Peter Kenyon as part of a consortium, but it’s not known if a formal bid has been lodged yet.  Ashley could be considering as many as three other offers from interested parties — all thought to be around his £300 million

($382 million) valuation. ww“I am hopeful for the Newcastle fans, for the club, for everybody, that I will be able to step aside and we will be able to get an owner in that will please everybody,” Ashley said.  Ashley bought a controlling stake in the club in 2007 for around £134 million. He has a reported net worth of $3.8 billion and has often been criticized for a lack of investment in the playing squad at Newcastle. He added that any potential buyer must be able to provide transfer funds.  “I’m very keen to sell it to the right buyer so that everybody’s happy,” he added. “That would be good news.”

The club based in the north east of England has officially been up for sale for a year, but according to Ashley recent bids were all deemed to be unsuitable.  In order to complete any takeover, all bids are subject to the Premier League’s fit and proper person’s test, which could take as long as two weeks to complete. This would make Ashley’s estimation of a finalized deal by January 1 seem ambitious at this stage.  Newcastle has twice been relegated from the Premier League under Ashley’s ownership, regaining promotion again to the top division in May 2017. Newcastle won its first Premier League

game on November 3rd this season, after only spending £30 million on transfers in the summer and making a net profit of £7 million after player sales. Former England soccer striker Michael Owen remains Newcastle’s record transfer signing when he signed for £16 million in August 2006. No other current Premier League team has endured such a long period without breaking its transfer record.  Of the 20 Premier League teams, currently five have some form of American ownership, including the Glazer family at Manchester United, John W. Henry at Liverpool and Shahid Khan at Fulham.

19th NSF: Obaseki charges Kwesé TV to broadcast contingent to restore Edo’s glory Copa Libertadores final ... says state has capacity to host 2020 National Sports Festival


do State governor, Godwin Obaseki, has charged athletes representing the state in the ongoing National Sports Festival, to restore the sporting glory for which the state was known for, assuring that his administration has the capacity to host the 2020 edition of the festival. Obaseki, who gave the charge during the opening ceremony of the 19th National Sports Festival, holding in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, said: “My state is more than ready to host the forthcoming National Sports Festival as it’s high time we regained our lost glory in sports.” “Edo State is known for producing great sportsmen and women and I charge you

to ensure you do the state proud by winning medals,” he told the contingent. In his remark, the Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung, confirmed that he has received two applications from Edo and one other state to host the festival in 2020. Dalungassuredthathisministry would look at the ranking of states and assess the infrastructure in the bidding states before giving the hosting right to the most qualified state. The minister noted that sports and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme were among the nationalprogrammesdeepening the unity of the country and called for more attention to the nation’s sports sector.


ultiplatform broadcast network, Kwesé, will broadcast the highly anticipated Copa Libertadores second-leg final match between Argentine clubs, Boca Juniors and Rivers Plate, on Sunday 9 December. 16 teams competed in the final stage of the competition, considered the South American equivalent of the Champions League, but it’s the first time the Buenos Aires rivals will meet in a Copa Libertadores final. The first-leg match played in Boca’s stadium had ended 2 – 2 but the second-leg initially scheduled for 24 November was postponed twice after Boca Juniors team bus was attacked by River Plate fans on their way to River’s Monumental stadium.    The Superclasico is now due to hold on neutral grounds at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain and Kwesé TV will bring all the action live

and in HD to football fans across Nigeria. The match will air on the Kwesé Event channel, 300, from 8.30pm on Sunday. There will also be a repeat broadcast on Monday 10 December at 10pm on Kwesé Free Sports, channel 285. All Kwesé TV subscribers with disconnected accounts will need to pay the annual access fee of N1,900 to be able to watch the match. Kwesé TV decoders continue to retail for N10,960 at Kwesé dealer outlets across the country.  Fans of South American football can also catch the Copa Sudamericana second-leg finals between Atlético Paranaense and Junior on Wednesday 12 December on Kwesé Free Sports. Kwesé Free Sports has exclusive FTA pan-African rights for some of the world’s leading sports content including the Premiere League, NBA, premium pan-African boxing tournaments and so much more.

Tiger Woods takes time of from golf


iger Woods has stated he will not be playing so frequently in 2019 after admitting to feeling worn out recently. Woods, who won Tour Championship back in September,playedin18events in2018 which has ended up being one of his busiest ever seasons. At the end of 2017, the 14-time Major winner was ranked at No. 656 in the world. Now, he looks set to finish this year comfortably inside the world’s top 15. But despite the success of 2018 which saw Woods win for the first time since 2013, the American stated he will not be seen so frequently on the golf course next year.  “I certainly won’t play as many times as I did last in 2018, or last season,” Woods said.  “I played a lot of events. At the beginning of the year if I would have asked me would I have gotten through all the playoff events, well, I didn’t know I was going to qualify for

the playoff events, so that was something that was I hadn’t really trained for and planned for. And you saw at the end of the year, I was prety worn out. So trying to pace myself next year and do a better job of that with the entire 12 months, hopefully I’ve learned my lessons this year.” As well as planning a reduced schedule for the next 12 months, Woods stated he is still optimistic about the new season after a strong end to the 2018. “Next year is a different thing,” he added. “I understand what my body can and can not do. I have a better understanding of how to train, and my swing has evolved throughout the year as well as my equipment. “So everything has got betterthroughouttheyear,and towards the end of the season I started playing some of my best golf.” Woods’ next confirmed event is at the Genesis Open on February 14.

Top musical stars to perform at GOtv Boxing Night 17


he 17th edition of GOtv Boxing Night (GOtv Boxing Night 17) will feature musical performances by four big acts, the organisers have revealed. The artistes scheduled to perform at the event, which holds on 28 December at the Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos, are Burna Boy, Wande Coal, Teni Da Entertainer and Daddy Showkey. According to Jenkins Alumona, Managing Director of Flykite Promotions, organisers of the event, the top acts have been signed on to provide additional entertainment at the show, which will host the World Boxing Federation Intercontinental super featherweight title bout between Nigeria’s Seun “The Machine” Wahab and Tanzania’s Issa “Peche Boy” Nampepeche in addition to seven other bouts.  Alumona explained that the show, tagged “Boxing Jams Music”, was conceived as a well-rounded entertainment package for fans during festive season.  “Thereisnodoubtthatboxingandmusicarebothformsof entertainment and bring joy to people. Our aim is to provide fans with best in sport and music, the reason we have signed on four of the country’s biggest

artistes for GOtv Boxing Night 17. It is a family-oriented event. Wewantparentstocomewith their children and have fun,” explained Alumona. In addition to the WBF title fight, GOtv Boxing Night 17 will feature another international bout, a middleweight challenge duel between USbased Nigerian Oluwafemi “The Eagle” Oyeleye and Meshack“SmartBoy”Mwankemwa of Tanzania. Also in action on the night are big names on the domestic boxing scene. They include Oto “Joe Boy” Joseph, African Boxing Union lightweight champion; Rilwan “Real One” Oladosu, national lightweight champion; Olaide “Fijaborn” Fijabi, Nurudeen “Prince” Fatai and Ridwan “Scorpion” Oyekola.  The event will be beamed liveonSuperSportin47African countries and would also see the best boxer of the night go home with a cash prize of N1.5 million alongside the Mojisola Ogunsanya Memorial Trophy.






Emerging Nigeria!

Divesting 95% of NNPC: The mechanics


n the wee small hours of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) reportedly recommended a divestment of 30 percent equity in Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)’s Joint Ventures (JV), to raise about USD 75 billion which could be used to attend to deficit infrastructural needs of the country. That alleged proposition came in 2015 when oil price was at its lowest and when portfolio rationalisation by oil majors was trending in the global oil and gas community. That argument -on a cursory look - seemed very brilliant for a state-owned oil behemoth, whose ownercountry (a largely undiversified hydrocarbon economy) was already battered by plummeting prices and was also at the brink of an economic recession. It’s now months to the critical 2019 presidential election in Africa’s largest economy; and a presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has reportedly announced his intention to divest 95 percent of the country’s interest in the stateowned NNPC if elected president. The proposition has received ambivalent, albeit even superficial opinion, from professional and street constituencies in Nigeria. Believed to be well experienced in the matter of State Owned- Enterprise (SOE) privatization – which he largely handled as a former Vice President during the tenure of President Olusegun Obasanjo- many observers retort that this is

a noble idea for which Mr. Abubakar (if elected) will see to its effective implementation.Whether this conversation was started to whip up electoral sentiment(among an electorate that hardly appreciates the core mechanics, the intricacies, hidden benefits and complex risks of the proposed transaction)or as an action borne of a genuine conviction that this is the prudent step to take (more likely); all stakeholders must realise that the benefits or losses to this country in the full or partial privatization of NNPC remains adouble-edged argument with multiple dimensions and which cannot be approached from single perspective or singular narrative. With respect to the country’s current condition and inherent complexities, it cannot be said in plain and straightforward terms that privatization of NNPC is a good or bad idea. The case is well dependent on the model, the timing and the approach, as well as, the interplay of other equally important considerations, namely; politics, legislative issues and the perceived influence on the lives of average Nigerians. From a transaction perspective, diverting up to 95 percent of NNPC will convert future sovereign income streams into a lump sum income, which then faces the all too common tussle of “prudent use of proceeds” against“profligate use of proceeds”. The important variable here is that the political will to use proceeds prudently, often fail in the face of weak institutional ability to prevent

mismanagement. Should Mr. Abubakar become president he would have 1460 days from May 29, 2019 to finish a term. I estimate that the NNPC privatization project will require about 760 working days to finish. Deduced from the PHCN privatization that took place from, August 15, 2011 to February 21, 2013, it might be longer if we compare it rather to the NITEL/MTEL privatization that took place from 2001 to 2015. I anticipate that this divestment would lead to a significant drop in government revenue, the magnitude of which will be a function of the prevailing oil price, which may then necessitate an increase in the Petroleum Profit Tax, which may go from 85percent to between 90percent & 91percent; as a counter measure to retain equal or near-equal pre-divestment revenue levels. Add that risk to possible losses in divestment tax holidays & forfeitures, which may be estimated to reach about $22bn from 2019-2015. Another important consideration in this proposition would be the attractiveness of NNPC to any circumspect foreign or local investor amidst the unfinished reforms of the Oil and Gas sector in Nigeria; specifically the uncertainty and politics around the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB). The PIGB proposes a solution to unbundle NNPC and create a commercial focus, without outright divestment. When then is the right time to divest, relative to PIGB and what are the anticipated complications? Theseconditions

are capable of making NNPC unattractive altogether or lowering its eventual value in the market, depending on how it would be sold. Furthermore, variations in stakeholder’s perspective that will originate from the foregoing, suggest there will not be anystakeholder consensus on the question of “to sell” or “not to sell”, which ushers in the constitutionality/unconstitutionality tussles (someone will go to court!), union actions (PENGASSAN will have a strong opinion) and lengthy legislative actions. Stakeholders then need to ask the question of context and proper timing. Are these possible fallouts and their possible distraction to governance desirable and tolerable for a nation that has just become the poverty capital of the world and is also siting on a population explosion time bomb, amidst “state of infrastructure” that is the most pathetic among peers? The answer is neither yes nor no. Also, will proceeds trickle to the 36 states or not for squandering? (Most Nigerian governors like meat pie!), and several states are near bankrupt. If divestment is not exigent or easily navigable are there low hanging fruits in the sector? deregulating the downstream sector can save huge spends on subsidies which between 2006 and 2011 was about N3.7tr. Figures for recent years – highly contested and sometimes denied - might even be more worrisome. If there is a strong case for the privatization of NNPC,it

Aisha Buhari in political rigmarole


MAMA is the founder of Meiracopp Nigerian Limited (MNL) and a Doctoral Researcher in Business Management.

follows thehistorical reports of widespread inefficiency within the organization. However the case for a water-tight, corruption free and well planned approach to the divestment is as strong, if not stronger. We can take cues from Ecopetrol, Columbia, Pakistan Petroleum & Norway’s Statoil. For the average Nigerian the more noble the idea the less benefits received by the ordinary man, who scarcely feels the impacts of our lofty ideas. We remember SURE-P, recovered Abacha loot and other so-called savings projects. Lastly, the citizens should bear in mind that even with the most saintly political will, coupled to the right approach to the transaction; it will naturally take a long time before any proposed use of proceeds begins to yield benefits for the ordinary man. That is if we do not read disheartening accounts in the news, how proceeds went unaccounted. Chijioke MAMA is the Founder of Meiracopp Nigeria Limited (MNL) & a Doctoral Researcher in Business Management | m.chijioke@

Quick Takes

Off the Cuff he spoke the truth but not in all its entirety. We have heard many people threaten to open cans of worms, by revealing incriminating things about somebody in the heat of argument. They always stop at “if I open my mouth and tell the world…’ They never get to open that mouth. When they must have aroused interest in people to hear them throw the bombshell, they chicken out. It happened recently, when Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), were throwing verbal punches at each other. At a point, they threatened to say things that would make ears tingle. When many Nigerians had become very interested and attuned their ears to get the real gist, the two men ducked.Aisha Buhari, the Nigerian First Lady, to many citizens,


is a patriotic compatriot. The very first time she came smoking in October 2016, she was praised and almost adored by many. That was when she pointedly told the President, her husband, that if things continued the way they were she was not going to support his re-election ambition. Her grouse? Aisha said that the Buhari administration had been hijacked by a cabal who are “behind presidential appointments”. At that time, she did not name names. When asked to name the people she alleged had hijacked the government, she said: “You will know them if you watch television.” Like in 2016, two years after her “cabal have hijack my husband’s government” cry, Aisha again, last Tuesday, left Nigerians in mental torture, when she narrowed the cabal to “two powerful personalities” that are now holding the President and Nigeria

hostage.She said that the powerful elements had constituted themselves as a cog in the wheel of speedy development of the country.Now, where does the information lead us as Nigerians? The First Lady was saying nothing new. In fact, what would have been new would have been if she had been courageous enough to name and shame the alleged “powerful personalities”. That the Buhari administration has been on the thumb of a cabal is no news. It has been, since its inauguration in 2015. If the First Lady wants to deliver the country and the people from the stranglehold of these enemies, she should name them; after all, being the wife of the President, “immunity” covers her. If she continues to speak in parables, who then will bell the cat? Enough of this Nicodemus talk, please!


This is the amount of money said to be spent by Nigeria on the importation of papers, yearly.

From the horse’s mouth

“We are confident of victory because the masses are with us. So, we are driving our campaign in agreement with long-suffering Nigerian citizens who are tired of promises that lead to nowhere. This is our chance and I know the people of Nigeria will seize this moment by coming out and voting massively for Accord Party for that future that we all desperately want”. - Isaac Babatunde Ositelu, presidential candidate, Accord Party (AP)

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BusinessDay 09 Dec 2018  
BusinessDay 09 Dec 2018