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How presidents, family members enjoy foreign medical care As Nigerians are left with a broken healthcare system

Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, Jonathan and Buhari all seek treatment abroad CALEB OJEWALE, ANTHONIA OBOKOH, & MICHeaL ANI

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igeria’s political leaders have paid little attention to fixing the country’s healthcare system because they and their family members are able to travel freely out of the country to meet their

medical care needs, experts in the healthcare sector have told BusinessDay. While the political echelon cumulatively spend billions of naira in oversea treatment, those who voted them into power continue to die from the most basic, preventable ailments. Analysts say the trend of political officers seeking foreign medi-

cal care abroad has shown that it may, perhaps require ‘legislating common sense’ by forbidding public officials from overseas treatment, in order for concerted efforts to be made in reviving Nigeria’s broken health sector. Occupants of Aso Rock always run abroad to seek medical care despite the billions of Naira budgeted for the State House Clinic.

From 2015 to 2017, N11.1 billion was budgeted for the State House Clinic almost twice the country’s 16 teaching hospitals budget of N6.7 billion within the same period. The State House Clinic has always enjoyed priority allocation in the budget over the years yet it has

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Lagos airport customs connive with agents to extort importers

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US Fed lifts rates and projects four rises for 2018 P. 33

Okorocha in trouble as APC threatens sanction over forgery James Kwen, KEHINDE AKINTOLA

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IFEOMA OKEKE

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Inside Nigerians buy up wide screen TVs as FIFA World Cup begins today

…as Labour Party tells Mimiko to forget return

…collect illegal demurrage on imported goods usinessDay’s checks shows that customs officers at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) are currently conniving with agents to extort importers by collecting demurrage on already imported goods. A source at one of the ground

fgn bonds

Treasury Bills

L-R: Abiola Adekoya, CEO, Rand Merchant Bank Stockbrokers; Oscar Onyema, CEO, Nigerian Stock Exchange, and Michael Larbie, CEO, Rand Merchant Bank Nigeria and regional head West Africa, during the closing gong ceremony to mark the 5th anniversary of Rand Merchant Bank Nigeria and the official launch of RMBN Stockbrokers at the Nigerian Stock Exchange in Lagos, yesterday.

he John Oyegun led National leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC has threatened to sanction Rochas Okorocha, Imo State governor for forgery. APC alleged that Okorocha through his known associates, Ireagwu Obioma, who styles himself as Acting Secretary, Imo APC, falsely forged a memo purportedly generated by Chief of Staff to National Chairman, Edwin Ikhinmwin and signed by the Party’s

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DisCos kick against embedded projects in franchise areas ISAAC ANYAOGU & HARRISON EDEH

… as power sector threatens to unravel

showdown is imminent in the power sector as two electricity distribution companies, Enugu and Eko DisCos have taken shots at two private companies they say are encroaching on their franchise areas through offering location specific power generation called embedded generation. This is as the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) granted a 9.5 megawatts embedded electricity generation licence to one of the firms Ariaria Market

Independent Power Plant Limited and an independent electricity distribution licence to distribute same within Ariaria Market to Ariaria Independent Energy Distribution Network Limited. The Commission said in a statement on Tuesday by Vivian Mbonu, who heads NERC’s media unit that the licences granted to Araiaria were affirmation of the Commission’s commitment and response to the long-time yearnings of the market for a stable, reliable and sustainable electricity supply to improve quality

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of goods and services by Nigerian enterprises and entrepreneurs. However in what could shape out to be a protracted conflict, the DisCos have written to NERC in objection to the companies operations. BusinessDay contacted NERC for its plan to tackle the situation but is yet to get a response before publication. In an advertorial published in newspapers, Eko DisCo warned a private company, PIPP LVI Distribution Limited to remove all the lines it laid on its network

and cease from soliciting further business from its customers. Similarly, the Enugu DisCo in an advertorial said “Ariaria Independent Energy Distribution Network Limited (AIEDN) encroached and trespassed on its distribution licensed coverage area by illegally constructing distribution lines without a license nor the authorization of the DisCo. “This act is in clear contravention of the regulatory provision that no company can set up a distribution network within a franchise area of

a distribution company where there is already an existing and active distribution facility in the area,” said Enugu DisCo. The DisCo argued that contrary to an earlier impression that the project was an intervention by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) to salvage supply in underserved areas. The AIEDN network is owned by Ariaria Market Energy Solution Limited (AMESL), who Enugu DisCo claimed it was implementing a compressed natural gas (CNG) so-

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How presidents, family members enjoy... Continued from page 1

not been able to meet the medical needs of occupiers of Aso Rock. In 2005, Stella Obasanjo, wife of then President Olusegun Obasanjo (1999 – 2007), died while undergoing liposuction on her abdomen and other parts of her body, at a clinic in the southern Spanish town of Marbella. A court in Malaga convicted plastic surgeon Antonio Mena Molina of negligent homicide. The medical sojourn of former president Musa Yar’Adua (2007 – 2010), saw him spending up to 109 days in foreign hospitals abroad, out of 1,072 days spent as president from May 29, 2007, till his demise on May 5, 2010. Yar’Adua during his time as president, was intermittently treated in Germany and Saudi Arabia, with his longest stay of 70 days in late 2009. At this time, criticism trailed this trip, particularly, for not handing over to then VicePresident Goodluck Jonathan as constitutionally required. Patience Jonathan, wife of President Goodluck Jonathan (2011 – 2015) as first lady, also had her fair share of oversea treatments, and after one of her trips, held a thanksgiving at the Aso villa chapel “for returning alive”. She had claimed at the time to have undergone “seven surgeries within one month and the doctors had given up hope on her survival.” It would later be revealed that as much as $31.4 million was expended on her medical care. At least going by reports on a letter written to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which has been investigating her, and some of the previous administration’s allies including Waripamo Dudafa, Special Adviser on Domestic Affairs to former President Goodluck Jonathan, who was questioned on the said funds. Since coming to power in 2015, President Buhari’s medical trips to the United Kingdom have also become routine. On June 6, 2016, Buhari took 10 days leave to go threat an ear infection in London, the United Kingdom. In January 2017, he spent another 50 days in London undergoing what his handlers describe as “routine medical checkups”, but which the president, on his return, confessed to be full blown treatment and that he had never been so sick all his life. He remained in the country for three months, during which time he hardly stepped out, postponed and missed the weekly Federal Executive Council meetings several times, and his handlers declared that following doctor’s prescription, Buhari will work from home, triggering speculation about the

severity of his condition. He eventually returned to the UK on May 7 and spent another 104 days still tending to his health. Although, he returned to the country last year August in much improved health, there has been speculation that he often punctuates his foreign travels with secret visits to see his doctors in the UK since then. Last month, the President travelled a week earlier for the 25th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings. Also, on his way back from his trip to the United States where he held talks with President Donald Trump, Buhari, according his media handlers, made a technical stopover in London to “refuel and carry out routine checks.” While many politicians have so far been able to travel abroad for treatments of the most basic ailments, experts tell BusinessDay this will not always be the case particularly for some deadly diseases that will not distinguish the rich from poor. “What the government officials need to know is that there are sicknesses that can hit you and not allow you time to travel abroad before you must be treated,” said Doyin Odubanjo, chairman, Lagos chapter of the Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria (APHPN). “For some illnesses, you have to be treated within the first six hours to survive. Also, there are illnesses (like Ebola) that you may not even be accepted at all for treatment anywhere abroad. We need to educate our officials about these so that they see the imperative for developing our Healthcare system in Nigeria even if you go abroad for treatment too,” said Odubanjo. “We must learn how to build, use and love our own hospitals. We must also as a matter of urgency equip them because there is a huge patronage of these foreign hospitals by Nigerians,” said Ogbonnaya Igbowke, head, Health Thematic Group, human capital policy commission at the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) “Nobody really cares about what goes on here. Some hospitals even use candles to operate on patients in their theatres. This is how bad it has become. In fact, government must declare a state of emergency in the healthcare sector. The private sector must come in and forge an alliance with the government to salvage the sector,” said Igbokwe, also CEO, Heartwells Limited. Francis Faduyile, president, Nigerian Medical Association also agreed that the trend in preference for oversea hospitals is an indication that the country is not quite serious about developing healthcare delivery. Continues on wwwbusinessday online

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Boss Mustapher, secretary to the government of the federation (r), discussing with Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance, and Babatunde Fashola, minister of power, works and housing, during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Aso Chambers, State House, Abuja, yesterday.

Nigerians buy up wide screen TVs as FIFA World Cup begins today CHINWE AGBEZE

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emand for widescreen televisions is high at LG Electronics and Samsung showrooms as football enthusiasts’ upgrade their screens in preparation for the World Cup which commences today. BusinessDay findings at Samsung and LG Electronics showrooms in Lagos metropolis revealed an impressive jump in sales in the last few days leading to the World Cup. ‘‘Since Monday people have been coming to buy big screen televisions because of the expected matches,’’ said an attendant at a Samsung store, who gave her name as Ada. ‘‘We did not have this rush last week. That was why we restocked our store. Now, we can even choose to increase the price,’’ Ada said. The televisions that are in high demand according to the attendant include Skyworth 55inch smart television which sold for N241, 200, Samsung 49-inch smart curve TV which goes for N345,700, Samsung 55-inch smart TV for N386,400, 65 inch Samsung curve smart TV for N1, 005, 950 and 85-inch Samsung UHDTV for N4.5m. ‘‘We had three 85 inch Samsung Television last week but we have just one left,’’ Ada said. ‘‘This is the only one left in all Samsung branches. They refer buyers to this branch for this TV,’’ the attendant said. ‘‘If we see serious buyers that are willing to pay immediately, we could sell the TV for between N4m and N4.3m,’’ she said. Chibuzor Onyealor, a football lover who had come to purchase an 80-inch TV at Samsung store to enjoy the World Cup matches to the

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DisCos kick against embedded projects ...

lution rather than generating power from renewable energy sources. Enugu DisCo has gone to court to secure an injunction stopping AMSEL from embarking on the proposed rural electrification project planned for 32,000 shops in Ariria market, in Aba, Abia state. “We are waiting for NERC to make a pronouncement but for now we have a court injunction against the company,” said Emeka Eze, spokesman of EEDC. Meanwhile, one of the investors

in AMESL, Ubani Nkaginieme, earlier told BusinessDay that AMESL was aware of moves in a court in Umuahia against the Ariaria Project. Nkaginieme, said the Ariaria experiment was a blessing to the Enyimba City and a win-win to the traders, the association, the investor (AMESL), the Abia State government, and the federal government In both cases, the concerns of the DisCos are the loss of market share from more efficient generators who are honing in on some of their most

lucrative franchise areas which presents a threat to their business. “Everyone just sees the power sector as juicy area and wants a share,” says Akin Akinpelu, technical specialist at the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distribution (ANED) in a chat with BusinesDay. But to large swaths of Nigerians who are in darkness due to inefficient power distribution, they would gladly do a deal with whomever can provide them with power. It is this service gaps that is providing oppor-

fullest told BusinessDay; ‘‘If I cannot travel to Russia for the match, I can bring the match to my living room. Big screen televisions make you feel you are there and it is an exciting experience.’’ At LG Electronics showrooms in Lagos, LG ultra HD 55inch is in high demand. ‘‘I cannot count the number of people that have bought this TV this week,’’ said Kashim, an attendant at the store. ‘‘The television is specially designed for football match. Even football matches missed can be replayed.’’ According to Kashim, the television sold for N300,000 a week ago, but the company had to slash prices. ‘‘We discounted so people could buy it. People came around last week but could not buy because of the price but some did,’’ he said. ‘‘When they checked back this week and saw the price had gone down to N255,000, they bought. We also cut down the price of all our televisions.’’ Other televisions in demand include 65inches LG OLED TV which sells for N1.3m, 65inches LG Ultra HD for N449,000 and LG HDTV 70inches for N800,000. But football lovers who cannot afford a brand new television are opting for fairly used ones. At Westminster, Apapa on Wednesday where everything fairly used are sold, football fans were seen haggling and purchasing mostly widescreen televisions in preparation for the football match. ‘‘Since I cannot buy new a one, I decided to buy this,’’ Oyeyemi, a football lover who purchased a 55inch television said. ‘‘Matches are more interesting to watch on big screen TVs.’’ Here 60 inch Samsung smart TV

tunities for more efficient operators . Eko DisCo agrees there are gaps but pushes the blame to the previous owners, “We do not deny that we inherited a lot of industry issues from the now defunct PHCN but we can assure you that we have not relented in our effort to improve things,” said Godwin Idemudia, general manager, corporate communications, Eko DisCo. Idemudia says the DisCo is constantly working on improving its service delivery and “won’t stop

is sold for between for N170,000N180,000 and LG 55-inch television for between N130,000 to N150,000, depending on the buyer’s bargaining power. ‘‘More buyers have been coming since last week but I sold more this week,’’ said Chigozie, a dealer at the market. ‘‘The highest inch sold here is 60 but it is scarce and that is the one people are requesting for more.’’ But televisions retailers are not the only ones smiling to the bank. Multichoice said subscriptions and sales of decoders have been up in the past one week. ‘‘Between last week and now, more people have bought our decoders and it is not only in this branch,’’ said Funmi, an attendant at a Multichoice branch in Lagos. ‘‘We have also seen more people renewing their subscriptions.’’ Multichoice commenced its promo last month that saw the price of DSTV decoders drop to N8,500 from N9,900 with one-month free subscription for the N6,300 plan and the price of GOTV decoder which comes with an antenna and one-month free subscription eased to N5,900. The FIFA world cup is a global sports fiesta which happens only once in four years. Football remains the most popular sport in Nigeria and so the World Cup matches are expected to command maximum attention for five weeks the tournament lasts. The participation of the Super Eagles in the tournament means that Nigerians will be keenly watching the games. The Super Eagles will be playing their first match against Croatia on Saturday. BusinessDay in Partnership with Visionscape is covering the games live from Russia. till we achieve the targets we have set for ourselves. We believe this is what is critical.” Chuks Nwani, an energy lawyer said litigation would bog down the power sector which has already seen more than its fair share of litigations. Nigeria’s power sector with shortfalls now estimated at over N1.3trillion, the bulk of these arising from a failure of DisCos to improve collections and lack of tariff that reflects the true cost of distributing power. Continues on wwwbusinessday online


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VP Osinbajo’s visit: EDPA-MIXTA Africa intensifies work on 1800-unit Emotan Gardens project

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s activities rev up for the hosting of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on a day visit, Edo Development and Property Agency (EDPA) and MIXTA Africa are intensifying work on the development of the 1800-unit Emotan Gardens. Executive chairman, EDPA, Isoken Omo, in an interview with journalists during a tour of the site, said the partnership with M I X TA A f r i ca ha s b e e n fruitful and the response to the development of the affordable housing units by residents in the state and those in the Diaspora have been tremendous. She said work on the estate in preparation for the Vice President’s visit had reached advanced stage and all was set for the August visitor. According to Omo, “We are happy that the Vice President is coming to commission this landmark project. This project holds a lot of history for the state. It is the first state government housing project in the state after 16 years. “Our partner, MIXTA Africa, has been very supportive and we are working round the clock to ensure that the project site is ready for the ground-breaking ceremony.” Noting that some units will be ready for the Vice President’s visit, she said,

“We are committed to this project and want to assure the people that we will deliver on our promises. The project is going to be a major pull for residents and those in the Diaspora to invest in bespoke real estate in Benin. “We are sourcing materials for this project within the state, which is quite remarkable, as this means that the building will be quite affordable at the end of the day. “We assure that some level of structure would be on ground for the ceremony by the Vice President. This is to show how serious the state government and MIXTA Africa are to deliver on the project.” Head, sales and marketing, MIXTA Africa, Korede Lawrence-Salu, said MIXTA Africa was impressed with the partnership, and promised that it would work round the clock to deliver on the project, assuring on delivery of high quality, valuable housing stock. According to LawrenceSalu, “after we sealed the deal to construct the 1,800unit project, we have been inundated with enquiries from those willing to have a stake. So we are confident about this project. We have recorded high interest, especially among Edo people in the Diaspora too.”

Kukah, Akpabio, Okeke, Adesina, others for launch of The New Narrative Newspapers

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ocal and highly re v e re d C a t h o l i c Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah, Senate minority leader and former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, chairman Swiss Spirit Danag Port Harcourt, Daniel Chimezie Okeke, and special adviser, media and publicity to the President, Femi Adesina, are among dignitaries who will on June 15, at the Banquet Hall of the Sheraton Hotel & Towers Lagos, formally launch The New Narrative Newspapers, a first of its kind governance newspaper in Nigeria. Others include chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Delta State and founder/CEO, Centre for Values in Leadership, Pat Utomi, minister of budget and national p la n n i ng, Ud o ma Ud o Udoma, managing directo r, P ros ha re L i m i t e d , Femi Awoyemi, member, House of Representative, Uko Nkole, national president, Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN), and moderator, Lagos Presbyterian Church L ekki, B eneb o Fu b a r a - Ma n u e l , h e a d Brands and Corp orate Communications, Fidelity Bank plc, Charles Aigbe, captains of industry, top government functionaries, social cultural groups,

the media hierarchy and religious associations, among others. According to a statement by the editorial team and management of the newspaper and signed by the publisher, Kalu Okoronkwo, Bishop Kukah will deliver a lecture on “state of the nation and governance” in line with the vision and focus of the newspaper. Okoronkwo said, “The New Narrative Newspaper is a new publication that promotes transparent leadership and accountability of public office holders,” noting that “as Nigeria and Nigerians, we have run out of excuses on why we have remained backward, playing second fiddle to other peoples and nations.” He said The New Narrative would contribute its quota towards national, political and economic development of our great nation and will be guided by objectivity, truthfulness and devoid of adulation with a view to remaining steadfast with global journalism standard. “Nigeria is on the crossroads and needs voices of truthfulness that echo the need of the people, justice and fair-play. This and many other standards The New Narrative will stand for,” he said.

L-R: Gbenga Adebija, director-general, Nigerian-German Business Association; Marc Lucassen, head, delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Nigeria; Debra Egemba, head, business development, delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Nigeria, and Stephen Awoyele, project coordinator, Dual Vocational Training Partnership, Nigeria, during a press conference to announce the 7th edition of German-Nigeria Business Forum in Lagos, yesterday. Pic by Olawale Amoo

World’s biggest proven oil reserve holder will pump less in 2019

… as Nigeria’s reserves replacement ratio lags

STEPHEN ONYEKWELU

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enezuela, a South American country known to possess the biggest proven world oil reserve, will pump less oil in 2019, and Nigeria in 12 years has not added new discoveries to its reserves stock. Venezuela has reportedly warned eight international customers that it will not be able to meet its crude oil commitments to them in June. Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA is contractually obligated to supply 1.495 million barrels per day to those customers in June, but only has 694,000 barrels per day available for export, according to a report by Platt.com, an oil and gas publication. Similarly, Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producing country, is far from attaining its full potentials in its oil and gas industry, as its proven oil reserves are not rising to replace as much oil as it pumps on a daily basis due to lack of exploration and decreased investment in the sector

over the past years. The reserves replacement ratio measures how many new barrels come in to replace the ones pumped out. In the last 12 years, Nigeria’s oil reserves and daily production had remained almost stagnant, hovering in the region of 37 billion barrels and 2 million barrel production day (bpd), respectively, data from Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) show. With over 302.25 million barrels of proven reserves, Venezuela has the largest amount of proven oil reserves in the world. The country’s oil is a relatively new discovery. Previously, Saudi Arabia with 266.21 million barrels of proven reserves had always held the number one position, according to data obtained from OPEC website. The oil sand deposits in Venezuela are similar to those in Canada. Venezuela also boasts of plenty of conventional oil deposits. Venezuela’s Orinoco tar sands are significantly less viscous than Canada’s, so the

oil sands there can be extracted using conventional oil extraction methods, giving it a considerable advantage over the Northern American rival in terms of capital requirements and extractions costs, but there is a snag. “Crude oil production in Venezuela is practically falling at an average of 10 percent every quarter and has been since mid2017. A scenario with oil production in the country losing at least another 500,000 barrels per day by the end of the year is not unrealistic,” Adrian Lara, oil and gas analyst at GlobalData, a data and analytics company, said. The drop in Venezuela’s daily output is due to a number of factors, some immediate and others remote. On May 21, President Donald Trump signed a new executive order prohibiting certain oil-related transactions with Venezuela. “Having full additional sanctions imposed would certainly send a strong geopolitical message from the U.S. at the risk of generating more instability in the world supply markets,” Lara said.

FOU Customs recovers N1.4bn from smugglers, underpayment of duties at ports AMAKA ANAGOR-EWUZIE

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he Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said on Wednesday in Lagos that it had through its anti-smuggling operations in the last four weeks saved over N1.4 billion for the Federal Government. The Command said it recovered revenue from the interception of various contraband goods and vehicles with duty paid value of (DPV) of N1,345,572,313, while a total of N59,506,773.25 was recovered from underpayment of duties at the ports and border stations by dubious importers whose intention was to shortchange government. Mohammed Uba, who disclosed this to newsmen in his office on Wednesday,

listed the seized items to include 15 exotic vehicles including three Toyota C-HR; one Toyota Camry LE; one Toyota Prado; one Toyota Hilux; one Ford F150; one Pajero SUV; one Mercedes Benz, among others. According to him, the command also intercepted about 9,049 bags of foreign parboiled rice amounting to 15 trailer loads of rice; 1,464 cartons of frozen poultry products; 870 jerry cans of vegetable oil; 273 bales of used clothing; 592 pieces of used tyres and among other smuggled items. Uba further stated that the command also seized four containers with the numbers: PCIU850134/9; PCIU8278544; FCIU983753 and TGHU6924330 for false declaration of cargo content. “While two of the containers were carrying 8,633 pieces

of empty cylinders as against plumbing materials declared in their SDG, the other two carried 120 bales of new jeans as against pumping machine declared in the SDG,” he said. He further disclosed that a total of 12 suspects were arrested in connection with the 112 seizures recorded by the command within the period under review. “To ensure full implementation of the Federal Government policy on rice importation, we re-strategised and beamed searchlight on the Creek, waterside and various locations in the Southwest, which resulted to the massive rice seizure in the past four weeks. However, we will ensure that smugglers within the zone count their losses until they repent from sabotaging the economy,” Uba said.

Cross River records low participation in VAIDS - IRS boss MIKE ABANG, Calabar

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cting chairman of Cross River State Internal RevenueService(IRS),Akpanke Ogar, says in spite of efforts of the board to create awareness in the Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) initiated by the Federal Government, the state recorded 0.1 percent while other states got 10 percent, inaresultpostedonFederalInland Revenue Service (FIRS) website. Speaking in a taxpayer’s stakeholder’sforuminCalabaronTuesday, Ogar said the sensitisation workshop on VAIDS regime was driven by the Federal Ministry of Financeandwidelysupportbythe Joint Tax Board. According to Ogar, as of today, the scheme has recovered over N30 billion both from individuals andcorporatebodies,andwiththe extensionofthedatelinetotheend ofJunethisyear,thisseriesofpublic forapresentalastditcheffortonthe partofIRStoensurethatthepeople benefit from the opportunity. “This sensitisation effort, organised at public fora holds in Calabar for Southern Senatorial District, Ikom, for Central SenatorialDistrict,andOgojaforNorthern Senatorial District,” he said. He said the Federal Government, upon commencement of the VAIDS initiative, had deployed 162 Community Tax Liaison Officers (CTLOs), alongside four supervisor to the state, to assist willing tax payers and members of the general public, process their document within the next three weeks. He noted that the full complement of the manpower provided bytheCTLOswasbeingmobilised atCrossRiverStateIRStaxofficesin each local governments. In addition, various VAIDS assistant desk officers have been engaged by the state IRS, headquarters within the state secretariat complex. In his message, the state governor, Ben Ayade, commended the effort of the state IRS under the leadership of Akpanke Ogar, saying, “The olive branch is not to incur the tax burden but to ensure that everybody benefit from the scheme.” Ayade, who was represented by the commissioner for finance, Asuquo Ekpenyong, said only few individuals in Nigeria pay tax as and when due as compared to other countries.


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NEWS Investors optimistic real estate sector will turn the corner despite negative growth CHUKA UROKO

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hough the real estate sector of the Nigerian economy has recorded nine consecutive quarters of negative growth, investors and developers have remained hopeful that the sector will turn thecornerinthedaysandmonths ahead, insisting that the sector is only passing through a cycle. Asthewidereconomyrecovers from a historic recession, the real estate service and construction sectorseemtohaverefusedtoleave the negative territory. The sector has been in the red since Q1 2016. Figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Q1 2018 reportshowthatthesectorplunged deeper into recession in this quarter. A breakdown of the report

Human trafficking: Edo has set template for managing menace – IOM

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egional director for West and Central Africa, International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Richard Danziger, has commended Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, for the proactive and strategic management of the menace of human trafficking and illegal migration, noting that the template developed and implemented by the state is worth emulating. Danziger, who said this during a courtesy visit to the governor at the Government House, Benin City, Edo State, noted, “Your administration has set the pace in the way it has continued to manage the issue of irregular migration and human trafficking. You have set the template for others to borrow from.” He added that the IOM would sustain its partnership with the Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking and Irregular Migration as well as provide support to the state government through publicity campaigns in other parts of the world on the efforts made by the state to address the problem. The governor said the state government is planning to hold an international conference for critical stakeholders to meet, assess and renew support for the campaign against human trafficking and irregular migration. Noting that the international conference will help strengthen the campaign and address cogent issues, he said, “We need more support in deploying resources to assist victims of human trafficking, as we expect more of them.” Explaining the strategy for curbing the menace, he said the state government’s campaign is anchored on four approaches, which include: returnees’ management, curbing or reducing irregular migration, dealing with the criminal gangs who profit from the practice and revamping the education system. He noted that irregular migration and human trafficking are not peculiar to Edo State, but forms part of the problems confronting the entire country. “As a government, we are to develop realistic economic development plans and programmes that would impact lives of the people, especially those in rural communities as well as create opportunities for people in the city.”

showsthatthesectorcontractedby -9.40percentinQ12018from-5.92 percent in Q4 2017, and -4.12 percent in Q3 2017. This contraction is -6.3 percentage points worse than the -3.10 percent reported in the comparable period of 2017. This,NtelRealEstatesays,means that the real estate service sector is the worst performing economic sub-sector in over two years, after a few sub-sectors that include manufacturing, post and courier services, motorvehicleandassembly. But going by the improvement in the nation’s economy and the positive projections for 2018, Adetokunbo Ajayi, MD/ CEO, Propertygate Development and Investment plc, sees hope for the sector, hinging his optimism on the post-recession positive performance of the economy and

growth forecasts. “The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts a GDP growthof2.1percentforthecountry in 2018; and the economy is already living up to the forecast, as it recorded a growth of 1.9 percent in Q1 2018. Other economic forecasts, global and regional are positive,”Ajayi,whospokeatPropertygate’s ninth annual general meeting in Lagos, Tuesday, said. Another source of optimism for the sector also derives from IMF’s projections which anticipate global economy to grow 3.9 percent in 2018; growth of 4.9 percent for emerging and developing economies, with expectation of a rise to 5.1 percent in 2019; and 3.4 percent growth for sub-Sahara Africa group of economies. Real estate as an economic

indicator, according to Bismarck Rewane, is a laggard, meaning that its growth or buoyancy followsapositivegrowthinthewider economy. With these growth projections, therefore, the sector willbenefitandlikelyseeinvestors bringing back cash to invest. Early this year, in its February 2018 Global Market Perspective report,JonesLongLaSale(JLL),international real estate firm, noted that global commercial real estate marketsended2017inimpressive fashion, with 2018 projected to achieve another solid year, barring major financial, economic or political shocks. In Nigeria, even though this segment of the market is still have challengeswithoversupply,lowdemand andhighvacancyrateestimatedat77 percentinIkoyiand45percentinVic-

toriaIsland,bothinLagos,therewasa significantshiftinmarketconditions inthefirstquarter2018. “Wehaveseenincreasedenquiries, which raises the hope that with time, sales will begin to happen,” Gbenga Olaniyan told BusinessDay inaninterview,emphasisingthatthe enquiries they got in the first quarter of this year alone surpassed all that theygotintwoyearsfrom2016. However, Ajayi advises that a lot has to be done for the sector to fully benefit from the opportunities seen. “Going forward, it is important to recognize that the vast potentials in real estate will remain difficult to unlock until functional mortgage finance system is in place. Stakeholders daily talk about huge shortage in housing products. Attention is sometimes misplaced on afford-

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ability, when the key to unlocking the sub-sector is mortgage.” Stakeholders therefore have to seek solution to identified problems andthis,accordingtoAjayi,requires greatinnovation,asthefinancialsystem,ascurrentlyconfigured,cannot providefunctionalmortgage. “Furthermore, the need for collaboration among operators in the sector cannot be more urgent than now. There should be a deliberate engagement with the governments and other critical stakeholders on a continuous and sustainable basis to address age-long challenges in the areas of critical primary infrastructure, finance, red tape, processes and reviews of planning permits and rules, perfection of title, land administration and the built environment generally”,he said.


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OLUGBENGA A. OLUFEAGBA Senior Consultant, Markets Practice, Kainos Edge Consulting Limited. gbengaolufeagba@kainosedge.com

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he International Monetary Fund (IMF) in April, 2018 once again issued a warning to many debtor nations, Nigeria inclusive, that their level of debt was becoming unsustainable, and likely to exacerbate existing economic vulnerabilities, thereby, weakening their ability to repay. Given the rate of debt accumulation that has warranted several warnings from the IMF, one would expect to see the many dividends of the investments the current administration has embarked upon since mounting the saddle in May 2015. Curiously, even the government struggles to name any project that has been conceived, and executed

Thursday 14 June 2018

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Worrying trend in Nigeria’s fiscal operation between 2015 and now. Things are so bad that the President included earmarking (not actually spending) 30% of the 2016 budget for capital expenditure as an achievement during the broadcast marking the third year of his administration. This is inconceivable at a period when the rate of increase of our debt stock, and service expenses seem to be on steroids. According to the Debt Management Office, in the 30-month period between June 2015 and December 2017, the federal government’s domestic debt stock increased from N8.4trn to N12.6trn, a 49.9% jump, while the foreign debt stock more than doubled from $7.3bn to $14.8bn in the 24-month period between December 2015 and December 2017. Although, some argue that the debt stock isn’t so important, and that more attention should be paid to how much is spent on debt service, as it indicates the ability of the government to meet its obligations. This argument doesn’t hold water as there is a close link between the debt stock and the debt service, especially in a country that borrows to consume rather than invest. Between December

According to the Debt Management Office, in the 30-month period between June 2015 and December 2017, the federal government’s domestic debt stock increased from N8.4trn to N12.6trn, a 49.9% jump, while the foreign debt stock more than doubled from $7.3bn to $14.8bn in the 24-month period between December 2015 and December 2017 2015 and December 2017, debt service accelerated by 45.1%, from N1.02trn to N1.48trn, while debt stock quickened by 42.5% during the same period, from N8.8trn to N12.6trn. A coincidence? These debt numbers become quite alarming when juxtaposed with the revenue of the federal

government, and invariably their ability to pay. According to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s economic reports, in 2015, the federal government retained a revenue of N3.4trn while expending N1.02trn of that on debt service. That means for every naira the federal government earned, 30 kobo was spent on debt service. By 2017, this had worsened considerably, with retained revenue contracting by 19% to N2.76trn in just two years, while debt service cost increased by 45.1% to N1.48trn. This indicates that for every naira retained by the federal government in 2017, 54 kobo was spent on debt service. This is indeed laughable. Our fiscal position and operation become irksome when we consider what these debts have actually been expended on. In 2015, the federal government ran a budget deficit of N1.49trn, which was 43.6% of retained revenue and 30.4% of total expenditure. Of the N4.9trn total expenditure in 2015, only N757.5bn (15.5%) was spent on capital expenditure. In 2016, the federal government’s budget deficit tipped the scale at N2.7trn, a whopping 94.8% of retained revenue and 48.7% of total expenditure. Interestingly,

capital spend accounted for only 13.2% (N734.4bn) of the N5.6trn expended. In 2017, capital expenditure was more or less an afterthought, accounting for a meagre 3% (N147.1bn) of the N4.9trn total expenditure. This was on the back of a N2.1trn budget deficit and a retained revenue of N2.8trn. To put all these in perspective, between 2015 and 2017, the federal government spent a total of N15.4trn, of which N13.7trn (89.3%) was expended on federal politicians and less than 3 million public servants, suggesting an average of N4.6mn per head between the politicians and public servants. During the same period, a total sum of about N1.6trn was spent on capital expenditure, which works out at an average spend of 9 naira per head on every other Nigerian, yet a debt of N35.2 per head has been incurred on everybody’s behalf. These are indeed troubling times, but unfortunately, I doubt if the leaders and the led are aware of the looming economic implosion if we choose to continue on the same fiscal trajectory.

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June 12 represents a watershed in our democratic struggle

RALPH OKEY NWOSU Chief Ralph Okey Nwosu id National Chairman ADC.

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ince my phone interview with some Newspapers was published on June 8, I have been inundated with calls and visitations from concerned family members, friends, colleagues, and numerous others. Many have stood in solidarity with me. A few have requested I do a disclaimer or retract the story. One of my Eastern brothers called to say that I should be careful because I am an Igboman, and that Mr. President hates Igbos. To him I replied; that that is no news to anyone anymore. I also asked him, ‘but who does this our President like?’. As the national chairman of a political party, and someone who was close to President Buhari, I should know. But I don’t. Even in Daura, the party ADC has registered many more members since Obasanjo announced stakeholders’ decision to adopt ADC as the party for the national collaboration a month ago. I have also received threats. I do not intend to offend anyone, but as a patriot, I still stand by all I said concerning the threat to former President Obasanjo. Luckily, President Buhari has just made June 12 Democracy Day. June 12 represents a watershed in our democratic struggle. This, therefore, should embolden all Nigerians the

more to speak the truth to power and take action against undemocratic and draconian tendencies of elected officials, including the number one citizen. Standing on that protocol, I wish to tell Mr President and the security chiefs that they serve at the behest of the people, and that Nigeria belongs to the people of Nigeria. The National Assembly and Presidential Lodge or Aso Rock Villa belong to the people. The same applies to the state government houses and assemblies. This implies that any and all Nigerians must be treated with dignity for his service to make meaning. The present occupants of Aso Rock, the APC government led by President Muhammadu Buhari, promised Nigerians Change (not deaths, jails, hardship or intimidation), a concept that was stolen from the African Democratic Congress. They chronicled a myriad of things to do within a given time for Nigerians. Unfortunately, they have not delivered on any. Rather, they have made things worse. For a government intent on Change, they spent the first six months of the administration doing nothing and for one year they allowed cobwebs, dandruff, roaches, rodents, and even snakes to overrun the Villa and most of the government ministries and parastatals. They isolated and denigrated people. Our president who promised to develop our healthcare facilities to be at par with the bests in the world spent a greater part of another year in foreign hospitals. Even the first lady who had protested her husband’s faulty handling of governance had to cry out that the Villa clinic does not have mere syringes and was grossly ill-equipped. The basic rudiments

of leading change; clear vision, building trust and deliberate coalition of stakeholders, and sense of urgency were absent. Benchmarked against all his predecessors since Nigeria’s independence, the APC leader has underperformed. Nigeria has gone from an emerging economy in the global space to an irrelevant state under President Buhari’s watch. The supposed corruption fight by the APC government has made nonsense of the good thoughts and prayers of the people who voted for him. The government has made the nation’s corruption struggle worse and reckless; they have politicized it, and corruption now has discriminatory meaning and undertone in Nigeria. In my own state, Anambra, government has made a disguised mega-contribution for APC’s presidential campaign. Anambra is not an APC state; we can best imagine what governments of APC states must have been billed. I wonder what this means. Anyone who joins or does deals with APC is excluded from their corruption war. Our children and international friends mock us because even at our lowest point we make nonsense of very fundamental and serious matters that concern the good health of us all, and our country. For a viable constitutional democracy, the tenure of office ultimately runs out. The people have to revalidate the ‘servant-hood’ of their ‘political public servants’; yes that is what it is. It is election time in Nigeria, and time for accountability for politicians that seek re-election. The chickens have come home to roost. When I visited Lagos last week, I overheard the ADC Ajegunle Chairman and the Mushin counterpart who drove with me to see some of our new chieftains teasing themselves and saying, “which lie will Lai lie

again to deceive Nigerians”. The APC’s report card has no passing grade. Consequently, they seem to have rejigged their strategy this time to unleash a draconian and cruel agenda as a basis for its presidential re-election campaign. Nigerians may not want to be reminded of the gruesome frequency of mass burials in Benue state, or the Adamawa, Zamfara, and Kaduna massacres. In Abia state there were secretive mass burials by state operatives at various times. Killings and destruction of property in Taraba got to the point where the usually calm, and deeply reflective General TY Danjuma lost his patience and lambasted the government, accusing it of complicity. No one needs a Prophet, Alfa, or Imam to tell that poverty, unemployment, and hunger ravage our people as never before. That the economy and leadership in place are excruciatingly in an abysmal state is an understatement. The major role of any government is to provide security and create prosperity for the people. If not real and full blown prosperity, families should not go to sleep every night hungry and be dying of minor sicknesses. The verdict is clear, Buhari just go and let the country heal and move on. With poverty of ideas, and poor leadership, the tactics to hold onto power is dangerous. You cannot suppress all voices of reason, and the draconian tactics now in place of the lies, empty promises and propaganda styles of 2004/5 will fail. The party in power now tells the world at the twilight of the President’s first tenure that the Senate President and leaders of the National Assembly are armed robbers, and killers. A president that refused to subject some political appointees

to the constitutional requirement of screening, that allows persons who did not pass the needed scrutiny to serve full term, now feels he can play tricks with the democracy day gamble to earn himself champion of democracy. Buhari truncated the Shagari’s democratically elected government in 1993. I have read articles and commentaries by some Villa rented crews, that Buhari has become champion of democracy, and that the Yoruba’s should be grateful to him. They forget that it was the Nigerian people who made June 12, 1993 possible. Left to Buhari, the reality of June 12 will not be. He neither voted Abiola nor played any role to see that the people’s mandate materialized. Finally, the APC reelection agenda have zoomed on the former President Obasanjo as an albatross. This time they plan not to woo him for support, but to mow him down. The reasons are simple, Obasanjo put their horrible report card in the public space, and in addition, he has built a national stakeholders community of patriotic elders and youths. On May 10 of this year, he made a major pronouncement endorsing ADC against the President’s APC. Now, like with the Senate President, the government is playing a heavy hand. The people have waited patiently to decide this regime’s faith through the ballot box, but if our government resorts to cruelty, the people have various other legitimate options to sack the government, from impeachment to mass action. Note: the rest of this article continues in the online edition of Business Day @https://businessdayonline.com/

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Legislative powers in the budget process and implications for monetary policy communication MAXWELL EKOR Maxwell Ekor is of Ecopol Associates Limited and writes from Abuja

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s Niger ians eagerly 2await presidential assent to the 2018 budget, this write-up provides a perspective on why the country may continue to have federal government budgets that will not contribute meaningfully to economic growth and societal development. The opinion herein is that the role and powers of the National Assembly must be clearly defined, without which the executive will always prepare and present money bills that will end up being completely re-worked by the legislature. This does not only have implications for fiscal policy objectives but also the communication of monetary policy decisions by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). In other words, the medium-term expenditure frameworks and annual budgets will remain a ritual if there is no judicial interpretation of the powers of the parliament in the budgeting process. The role and powers of the legislature in the budget pro-

HABIB ARUNA Aruna is the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ambode

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rescient Nigerian observers who are watching what’s going on in Lagos State would rightly agree that hard work in the right direction delivers enduring fruits. Hard work doesn’t kill; it yields life that history acknowledges ultimately. That is the enviable story of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State as he marks his 55th birthday today. To Ambode, the ideal celebration would not be to organize an elaborate feast, to bring friends and well-wishers together for a mother of all feasts. Doing so is not in his character. If there would be a gettogether at all it would be with the deprived, the vulnerable, children of the poor or the special class of the handicapped as he has done in nearly three years as the governor. Therefore, It’s only appropriate to seize the occasion of his middle age birthday to examine his relentless work schedule that has benefited the state and made it possible to refer to it as the investors’ destination, tourism hub and construction site. It is in addition Africa’s fifth largest economy. Demographers also say without disputation that Lagos is Nigeria’s most populated state, surpassing the figures for a couple of some African countries put together. In recent times it has begun to wear a new look with state of the art road network and city intersections and terminals that transport you to scenes in Europe and oil-rich

cess differ across countries. In a comprehensive study on 26 African countries conducted by the Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI) in 2008 and titled ‘Budget Practices and Procedures in Africa’, the findings show that the parliament in Ethiopia, Liberia, Mozambique, Namibia and Nigeria have unrestricted powers to amend executive money bills. In Malawi and South Africa, the legislature can only approve or reject the budget as submitted by the executive and cannot add or remove projects in the proposed bill. For countries like Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Tunisia, Lesotho, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Kenya, the legislature may only decrease existing expenditures and revenues but cannot increase existing items nor create new ones. In Benin, Congo Brazzaville, Guinea, and Rwanda, the legislature may make amendments but only if it does not change the total deficit/surplus proposed by the executive. Evidence from Nigeria has shown that the unrestricted powers of the legislature to amend appropriations bill submitted by the executive is very disruptive to the budget process. Such practice has limited, rather than enhance fiscal policy implementation through the budget, and is also

Evidence from Nigeria has shown that the unrestricted powers of the legislature to amend appropriations bill submitted by the executive is very disruptive to the budget process. Such practice has limited, rather than enhance fiscal policy implementation through the budget, and is also partly responsible for the avoidable delays in approval of the budget partly responsible for the avoidable delays in approval of the budget for as long as five to six months as against the average three months in most African countries. Upon receipt of the National Assembly version of the 2018 budget by the executive, the federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) were made to conduct a variance analysis by comparing their proposed budgets with what the legislators approved. Sadly, and as obtained in the past, sources indicate that the lawmakers added new projects to most MDAs budgets. More appalling is the fact that some added projects have no nexus

with the mandates of some of the MDAs. For example, a defense related project was included in the budget of an MDA that has nothing to do with security. While a whole lot of shenanigans occur during the budget preparation stage, the implementation aspect is even more worrisome. After the cash-backing of budgetary allocations by the Ministry of Finance, the disjointedness in the monitoring and evaluation procedure makes it difficult for projects implementation to be tracked. This is aggravated by the obvious lack of cohesion between the planning and the budget sides of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning on one hand, and between the Ministry of Budget and National Planning and the Ministry of Finance on the other. Of course, some of the lawmakers are at this stage repeatedly accused of pressuring the MDAs to make funds available for socalled oversight functions, and in extreme cases insist that they take complete control of inserted projects. This is the point that the former INEC chairman Attahiru Jega pointed out recently in a public gathering. The totality of the issues surrounding the federal budget process is that while the structure in terms of recurrentcapital ratio cannot propel the country to the desired level in

terms of infrastructure development, it is even more alarming that the 25-30% often provided for capital votes is not judiciously utilized. Putting it in the context of monetary policy, the lack of clarity of the powers of the legislature contributes to the unsystematic nature of the federal budget process and by extension have implications for monetary policy communication. This is because the monetary policy committee of the CBN will continue to devote considerable time and space to discuss fiscal policy in general and the federal government budget in particular. More importantly, the tone and intensity with which the committee talks about this issue is very important. When the space accorded fiscal policy issues in the Monetary Policy Communique is much, and if the tone is somewhat negative, then stakeholders like financial markets participants and international rating agencies will use such information to dimension the potential risks associated with the federal government budget. Note: the rest of this article continues in the online edition of Business Day @https://businessdayonline. com/

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Ambode: Celebrating a ‘restless’ governor at 55 Gulf states. Most of these have taken place only under the watch of Ambode, even if I must admit that government is a continuum. But every age would have to carve out its own distinct identity. History has a keen interest in taking note of this identity aspect in the unfolding of events. No administration can appropriate the honour due its successor or predecessor, the continuum theory notwithstanding! You have to carve out your own niche, as it were. This explains the reason some leaders, desirous of standing out of the crowd in the history books, would burn the midnight oil for brand-new ideas to tackle the seemingly intractable challenges of society. They don’t want to be classified as simply adorning the wall of the governor’s office with their portraits. They want to live in the hearts of the people through their performance. This is a governor, who at any time of the night, come to the office to scribble down new ideas that come to his head. He once told me and a cabinet member that even if he is asleep, his brain never sleeps. Ambode has pitched his tent with this history-making camp. It comes with a price: courage. According to Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the United States of America, “One man with courage makes a majority.’’ This U.S leader is credited with numerous courageous policies that toppled the established norms of his time. He was not afraid to take a decision as long

as it was in the interest of the people. For instance, Ambode displayed rare courage and compassion by approving a hefty N11billion to be paid as backlog of arrears to retirees few weeks after coming to office. It was unprecedented. But more than that, it presented the appealing image of a governor who can’t be accused of caring only for those in service. The point has long been established that Ambode is a man who does not sleep, in a literal sense, until he has touched every citizen’s life. He packs a thousand and one activities into the 24-hour schedule he has at his disposal in a day. This was demonstrated early in the life of Ambode’s government in 2015, when he moved like a hurricane to prove that government business isn’t meant for the laid-back. Few weeks ago I was in the office of a prominent commissioner and we were talking about on-going projects spread across the state and the amount of time and capital the governor is committing to making Lagos a smart city. The bottom line and the aggregation of opinion of those at the meeting was that of a governor who is restless, committed, determined and passionate to change the face of the state for good. Consider these staggering statistics: in his first year in office, the governor initiated and successfully completed more than 40 impactful projects, including injection of 434 new BRT buses for Ikorodu corridor, fortification of security in Lagos with a whopping N4.7billion equipment for the Police and subsequently up to N7billion, employment of 1300

teachers to revive primary education, setting up of N25billion Employment Trust Fund, massive road rehabilitation and reconstruction in inner Lagos, approval for development of N49billion medical park in Ikoyi, provision of 20 mobile care unit ambulances and 26 transport ambulances, building of flyover bridges for Ajah and Abule-Egba areas, rebranding of One Lagos Fiesta to boost tourism and entertainment, creating enabling environment for foreign direct investment etc. Also in the first year, he planned for gigantic schemes that began to blossom into reality in his second year. For instance, he signed an MOU with Kebbi state on the development of commodity value chain (rice production). In his second year, Lake Rice became the talk of the town. Lake is the acronym for joint effort of Lagos and Kebbi to produce the grain. Another achievement of this toiling governor is his boundless vision to move the state from a pedestrian plane to the sophistication of a 21st megacity through the erection of structures of gothic and exotic expressions. Examples: Ojodu Berger Flyover Intersection, Tafawa Balewa Bus Terminus and the breath-sapping Ikeja Bus facility recently commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari. Shortly after, the governor declared open 21 roads and two bridges with a combined stretch of 27.4 kilometers in Alimosho-AgbadoOke-Odo area. Yet, other iconic construction going on across the state has turned Lagos into a huge

construction site to make it look like the People’s Republic of China when it was being transformed into a world power by Mao Tse Tung between the 1950s and 1960s. But as much as Ambode appears rooted to work in the office and on the streets to commission projects, he is also addicted to seeking compassionate affinity with the people he governs. He has been known to show up at road accident scenes to help rescue victims. Once when he read of a woman whose husband ran away from home because she gave birth to three sets of twins, Ambode directed prompt welfare support that brought back the fugitive man. The governor has received notable local and international recognition for outstanding governance and the service to the people. For a man who has demonstrated severally that experience can indeed be an asset in governance, the governor is always calm and dutiful when there is a major challenge in a state that is becoming increasingly complex to govern. For sure, Lagos under the pragmatic, humanist and visionary leadership of Governor Ambode can only get better. And as the governor rightly noted recently, “Where ever you come from, as far as you labour and add value to the productivity of our dynamic and vibrant State, our government shall work with you to make Lagos State a better, livable and more prosperous home”. Happy birthday sir!

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Editorial PUBLISHER/CEO

Frank Aigbogun EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Prof. Onwuchekwa Jemie EDITOR Anthony Osae-Brown DEPUTY EDITORS John Osadolor, Abuja Bill Okonedo NEWS EDITOR Patrick Atuanya EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SALES AND MARKETING Kola Garuba EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, OPERATIONS Fabian Akagha EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DIGITAL SERVICES Oghenevwoke Ighure ADVERT MANAGER Adeola Ajewole MANAGER, SYSTEMS & CONTROL Emeka Ifeanyi MANAGER, CONFERENCES & EVENTS Obiora Onyeaso SUBSCRIPTIONS MANAGER Patrick Ijegbai CIRCULATION MANAGER John Okpaire GM, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT (North)

Bashir Ibrahim Hassan

GM, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT (South) Ignatius Chukwu HEAD, HUMAN RESOURCES Adeola Obisesan

Thursday 14 June 2018

Human rights and police brutality in Nigeria

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uman rights abus es by the Nig erian police, especially its special anti-robbery squad (SARS) have reached alarming levels. Last year, Nigerians on social media created a storm with a harshtag #endSARS calling for the total scrapping of the unit that is particularly noted for its brutality, sexual harassment, extortion, theft and outright robbery. Also an online petition, with tens of thousands of signatories, was submitted to the National Assembly seeking the scrapping of the unit. More than six months after that incidence and despite the cosmetic changes introduced by the Inspector General of Police into the working of the unit, the cases of police or more particularly SARS brutality has continued unabated. Young Nigerians complain on social media daily of the harassment, arbitrary arrest, kidnap, forced extortion and torture by SARS. In a 2016 report on the activities of SARS ti-

tled “Nigeria : ‘You have signed your death warrant’ : Torture and other ill treatment in the special antirobbery squad” the global human rights watchdog, Amnesty International, said it received reports from lawyers, human rights defenders and journalists, and collected testimonies stating that some police officers in SARS regularly demand bribes, steal and extort money from criminal suspects and their families. The global human rights watchdog also stated that SARS detainees are held in a variety of locations, including a grim detention centre in Abuja known as the ‘Abattoir’, where detainees are kept in overcrowded cells and in inhuman conditions. According to Damian Ugwu, Amnesty International’s Nigeria researcher, “SARS officers are getting rich through their brutality. In Nigeria, it seems that torture is a lucrative business.” The report also detailed testimonies from former SARS detainees who said they were subjected to horrific torture methods, including hanging, starvation, beatings, shootings and mock executions at the hands of

corrupt officers from the dreaded SARS. To be sure, torture is prohibited under Nigerian and international law. Also, in December 2017, President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law the Antitorture Act. Still yet, SARS and the police continue to unleash torture and other degrading treatment on Nigerians. As the campaign on social media reached a crescendo, the IG of police has again offered a tokenism – banning SARS from conducting stop and search operations on roads except when necessary. The IG also promised to restructure and reposition the unit for effective service delivery while also warning members of the group against acting as body-guards, delving into land matters and debt collection that were considered civil. But this is a well-travelled route. Anytime credible complaints are brought against the police, the police high command order investigations and actions but at the end nothing is done and business continues as usual. For instance, since 1999, there has not

been a police boss that has not hypocritically ordered the dismantling of the notorious police road-blocks in Nigeria. But till date, those road blocks still exists in all nooks and crannies of the country and serve as the medium for the extortion of, and killing of Nigerians and road users who refused to settle the policemen. What happens is that the policemen withdraw from the roadblocks for some weeks and return when national focus and attention shifts to other pressing issues. It is clear that the police has lost the trust of the people it is paid to protect. To get back that trust, a wholesale reform of the police is needed and not just the SARS. But in a situation where the president has empowered the IG of police to disrespect the National Assembly and even harass its members, including the Senate President, and charges to court anyone who dare accuse the IG of any impropriety instead of investigating the allegations, we doubt whether the government will have the courage to do it.

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Tecno deepens competition in mobile phone market

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Consumers take to low-cost phones as prices soar

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h e d e ma n d for low-cost phones in Nigeria is rising as consumers’ resistance to price hikes is leading to substituting for

CHINWE AGBEZE alternatives and outright boycotts. BusinessDay findings

showed that consumers’ demand for Techno products is currently high due to the product durability, longevity of battery and price friendliness.

L-R: Alex Okoh , director general, Bureau of Public Enterprises; Oscar Onyema , CEO, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), and Funso Akere , chief executive, Stanbic IBTC Capital Ltd, at the NSE-London Stock Exchange Dual Listing Conference co-sponsored by Stanbic IBTC in Lagos recently.

SURU Group accuses AMCON of contempt of court on sealed property IFEOMA OKEKE

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uru World Wide Ventures has accused the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) of bridge of peace and contempt of court for sealing its property despite a pending ruling before the court of appeal. Speaking at a press conference Monday, Anomneze Peace Obianuju, company secretary and legal manager, Suru Worldwide, said, “Indeed, AMCON did the unthinkable in a democratic society where the rule of law holds sway, being that our company had filed an appeal against AMCOM, which was still pending in the Court of Appeal, yet AMCON still stormed our property to levy execution on the said property without court bailiffs, which we reported to the Area F Police Station Ikeja, as breach of peace and contempt of court.” Obianuju said AMCON

stormed the property of Suru Worldwide ventures, precisely, Best Western Hotel, with the use of mobilised armed mobile policemen, switched off the hotel’s generator, tear gassed its workers and the lodgers and brought its client’s business to an abrupt and complete halt. According to Obianuju, AMCON had previously prayed the court to allow it take possession of the company’s property, Best Western Hotel, which properties are securities of alleged debt. She further stressed that AMCON chose to only involve the inspector general of police, the commandant-general of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and Lagos State commandant of the corps, the only parties to this suit conveniently leaving out the alleged debtor. In response to this, SURU Company also filed an appeal against the above judgment in CA/L/1257M/17 and AMCON also filed their reply through

their lawyer, Joseph Nwobike and the application was heard May 4, 2018, and same reserved for ruling. “Worthy of note is that AMCON was represented at the Court of Appeal same day during the hearing,” she said. AMCON being aware of the appeal of SURU’s client for continuity and further execution of the said judgment, it has continued to levy execution on our remaining properties obviously with a view to confront the court with a fait accompli. “We consider the action taken by AMCON as contempt of the court despite the pendency of the ruling before the court of appeal. We are particularly dissatisfied with the firm of Joseph Nwobike who led troops of police men on 25th may, 2018, being officers in the temple of justice that ought to respect and uphold the tenets of the law,” she said. In response, a source at AMCON told BusinessDay, “You do not borrow money and think you will wish it away.

A survey at Callus Miller Communications Limited, a popular phones and accessories shop in Port Harcourt showed more consumers leaning towards Techno products which are known to be fairly cheaper. “We had more buyers for our Samsung phones because the product is durable but when the price went up, patronage dropped,’’ said the manager of the store who spoke on the condition of anonymity. ‘‘Most of our customers shifted to Techno phones that have similar features with Samsung,” the manager said. BusinessDay had earlier quoted Temitope Oshikoya, CEO/Chief Economic Strategist, Nextnomics as saying, ‘‘Consumers have become more conscious, concerned and conservative because of the state of the economy.’’ ‘‘Consumers will proactively search for savings, they will remain brand loyal but only if the price is right,” Oshikoya said. BusinessDay survey in

Port Harcourt, Lagos and Abuja shows the prices of Samsung phones increasing between 15 to 21 percent in the last one year. The price of Samsung galaxy A5 rose to sell for between N100, 000 and N109,000 from N90, 000 – N95,000 and Samsung Galaxy J5 now sells for N76, 500 against N46, 000, within the same period. Similarly, the prices of Techno L8 plus and Techno C8 were N29, 000 and N34, 500 respectively but now, N40, 000 and N42, 000 respectively which is over 14 percent increase for both phones. Another survey at one of Slot Nigeria’s showroom in Lagos showed consumers’ preference for phones divided between Samsung and Techno phones with more people opting for Techno products which are relatively cheap. “Samsung has built a brand over the years because of its durability, picture quality and sound functionality. So, some people are still

crazy about the brand but the demand has dropped for some months due to the hike in price,’’ said Niyi Adekoya, the branch Manager. “ Techno phones are trending currently because the product is good and the price is not so high. Few customers demand for Gionee phones because of the longer battery life and it can serve as a power bank to charge more than two phones,” the branch Manager, said. The demand swing in favour of Techno products did not change at TNT Communication in Abuja as BusinessDay gathered from the attendant who complained that the high exchange is biting hard on them. “We have more people requesting for Techno phones now more than before. I believe it’s because the phones are cheap and still have attractive features which are not common with most cheap phones. Sales have been low and most people now prefer fairly used phones,” Esther Nwosu, the store attendant said.

NEM CEO links insurance growth to strong infrastructure development Modestus Anaesoronye

I

nsurance industry will thrive better in an economy where infrastructure development is strong, as this will not only help businesses to thrive and take insurance for protection, it will also help reduce losses due to accidents, fire in borne by insurance companies. Tope Smart, group managing director, NEM Insurance Plc, stated this at the Business Journal’s 10th Anniversary Lecture & Awards in Ikeja, Lagos. Smart said infrastructural development is pivotal to insurance growth, even as insurance remains the backbone of any economy due to the basic role it plays which is to restore people, firm, government to the position they were before the occurrence of an insured peril. He said research has equally shown that there is a linkage between insurance, infrastructure and economic growth. Invest-

ment in infrastructure, according to him, leads to good quality of life, which automatically leads to improvement in mortality rate and consequently reduce death claims under life insurance. Moreover, he said, good roads will reduce the number of accidents, thereby, leading to reduction in claim on motor insurance, goods in transit Insurance and group personal accident insurance, among other, adding that, this will ultimately lead to a better, stronger and a healthier insurance industry. “In addition, availability of data helps in the generation and preparation of good statistics that are useful in preparing rate guide for insurance. Good infrastructure will ensure this,” he stressed. Smart further stated that it is very obvious that investment in infrastructure will result in the growth of the economy of any nation, adding that the attendant insurance needs resulting from such economic growth will be to the benefit of the insurance

industry. To him, ‘for a consideration (premium) insurance ensures the continuity of an enterprise notwithstanding the occurrence of an unforeseen event.’ On his part, the Director General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Chidi Izuwah, said, fixing the infrastructural deficit of the country requires a huge fund which the country does not have at the moment, but if there is a right environment that allows for Public Private Partnership (PPP), where the private sector generates the fund, this challenge could be jointly addressed. He said currently, insurance and pension funds are invested in FGN Securities, but that it will make more economic impact, if such funds can be channeled to fixing the country’s infrastructure, although, that will require having the right recovery mechanism that will allow the funding partners recoup their investments.


14

BUSINESS DAY

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COMPANIES & MARKETS

T

ecno Mobile, one of the leading mobile technology companies in Nigeria has deepened competition in the African mobile market with its launch of the Tecno Spark 2. The device, which is the second version from the Tecno Spark series, fuses the computing ability of a high-end smartphone with top-of-the-line user experience of the latest Android GOtm from Google. Speaking during the launch of the phone at the Sheraton Hotel, Lagos, Abel Huo, in his opening remarks noted that the launch of the hybrid smartphone was due to the success that came with the first Spark edition and the high demand by end users. “We at Tecno Mobile are proud to say that, this is another great smartphone; the device is designed for productivity and style. It is not another camera phone but one that any smartphone lover with the desire to beg an all-in-one tool should have,” Huo said. He reiterated that the new device flaunts a 6-inch full HD screen display which is perfect to viewing photos, watching videos and gaming. The 6-inch display is squeezed into a small shell of 5.7mm making the device comfortable to hold. On the camera department, the Spark 2 offers a brighter camera then those of its predecessors. The de-

Tecno deepens competition in mobile phone market …launches Spark 2 Jumoke Akiyode-Lawanson

vice takes bright photos eve in low light conditions with its 8MP Front + 13MP rear bright camera. The F/2.0 wide aperture enables more light to pass through the camera lens, thereby making selfie pictures clear even in low light conditions. The SPARK 2 also comes with an improvement in the storage capacity with two variant of ROM and RAM. The device which I powered by Google’s Android GOtm which is optimised to offer consumers lots of benefits including smooth and fast experience for devices with 1GB of RAM or even less, and provide new and reimagined Google apps for including Google Go, YouTube Go, and the Google Assistant for Android (Go edition) with enhanced data efficiency. Also speaking at the event, Teju Ajani, country manager, Android, Nigeria said “If you get a new smartphone, you expect it to be amazing. That was why we teamed up with Transsion through our android go program. Together we strive

to give users a range of smartphones, such as the Tecno Spark 2, that combine beautiful hardware with Google’s smartly designed softwarefrom the latest AI powered innovation to the highest grade of security.”

M

ax.ng, a ride hailing transport service provider, says it looks to transform Africa’s twowheeled taxi services leveraging Max app, which provides a last mile delivery service option (MAX Now) using a 200cc motorcycle (MAX Go). The app, which is readily available for IOS and Android devices, provides riders for on demand delivery. Max.ng as a leading contender in the logistics and transportation service delivery sector has seen its service gain ground in the haulage business, making it deliver anywhere in Lagos in three hours or less, and also offer cash on delivery service. Chinedu Azodoh, cofounder and CTO at Max. ng in a recent interview on CNBC Africa said their focus has been on transporting people between the island and mainland. “The reception has been massive, we are doing close to three thousand rides a day

within Lagos alone. What we do predominantly is transport people from the mainland to the island and vice versa, so because we have taken the initiative to use Lagos state requirement of Motorcycle usage, we partner with companies like Bajaj to make high quality, stronger, safer 200cc or 220 cc motorcycles that can move freely on the highway. However, he opined that Max.ng pricing model is competitive when compared to other ride hailing services around in the country. According to Azodoh, Max.ng pricing is a key factor that has been factor into the business model. “It is not as cheap as a danfo but it is not as expensive as an uber or a taxify either, we charge by kilometers so getting from Yaba to Vi could cost like 700-800 Naira rush hour or not, because reality is you would probably reach your destination the same time irrespective of the traffic situation,” said Azodoh. Max.ng as a business entity however seeks to tackle the high unemployment rate in Nigeria by deploying its platform to aid young Nigerians

that can last for at least 24 hours on talk time and 3 hours on standby time with a new facial recognition. In the same vein, 9Mobile will be extending various offers to customers who purchase the Tecno Spark 2.

Balla Swamy, managing director/CEO ,Prestige Assurance Plc ; Muftau Oyegunle, non-executive director, representing the chairman ; Abayomi Odulana, company secretary ,during the forty eighth annual general meeting of the company in Lagos recently.

Max.ng looks to transform Africa’s two-wheeled taxis SEYI JOHN SALAU

Stressing on the key offerings of the of the device, Jesse Oguntimehin, Tecno Mobiles public relationd and strategic partnership manager revealed that the new device also has a massive power house of 3500mAH battery capacity

to earn a living. It is a given that employers are laying off staff at an alarming rate due to the prevalent economic situation of the country and are blaming the Nigerian government for failing to provide basic infrastructure that could largely increase employment generation and the general development of the country. However, Max.ng as a last mile logistics and transportation company has a mission to reduce the unemployment gap, and increase empowerment in Nigeria. “If you walk around the -streets of Lagos, a lot of young people walking around with their backpacks on their backs and you ask, where they are going, the reality is that there is also a massive homelessness problem and an inability to make end meets. “Consequently, unemployment has affected every structure of the Nigerian society. It has divided many families, turned many into professional beggars and contributes to the dysfunction of both the education and religious institutions,” Azodoh stated.

Promasidor impacts orphanage homes to mark World Milk Day

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n commemoration of the World Milk Day celebrated globally recently, Promasidor Nigeria Limited, makers of Cowbell Milk, Onga, Top Tea, Loya Milk and other quality brands, has donated products to five orphanages in Lagos. The beneficiaries were S.O.S. Children’s Village, Isolo; Bethlehem Charity and Orphanage Centre, Ikotun; Hearts of Gold Children’s Hospice, Surulere; Heritage Homes, Anthony Village; and Change a Life Foundation, Maryland. Receiving the items, which were Cowbell Milk and Cowbell Chocolate, General Manager of Heritage Homes, Vivian Osuntokun commended Promasidor for identifying with the less-privileged people in the society and assisting the organisation to meet its obligation to the children under its care. She said: “We are excited about the support. This will go a long way in helping us to meet the nutritional requirements of the children. What this shows is that Promasidor truly cares about the wellbeing of the less-privileged members of the society. We look forward to other organizations to take a cue from what the company has done.”

Fidelity Bank partners coalition of NGOs for sickle cell awareness AGNES IBOROMA

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n commemoration of the 2018 World Sickle Cell Day, Fidelity Bank plc has collaborated with a coalition of Sickle Cell NGOs on awareness campaign which aims at reducing the number of people living with sickle cell. The coalition of sickle cell NGOs in Nigeria, comprises of well meaning Nigerians who have come together to create awareness about the disorder. They include Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria (SCFN), Sickle Cell Advocacy and Management Initiative (SAMI), Genotype Foundation, Tony May Foundation, Sickle Cell Aid Foundation (SCAF), Couple and Kids Social Initiative, Nirvana Initiative, Noah’s Ark Foundation for Sickle Cell, DABMA Sickle Cell Foundation, Marvel Sickle Cell Foundation, Soulage Foundation and Avo Eri Health Foundation.

As a joint activity, the coalition is organizing, the Red Umbrella charity Walk to create awareness about the disorder at a community level, in celebration of the world sickle cell day 2018, scheduled to hold on Saturday 16th June 2018 in Lagos. The walk will traverse the route from Teslim Balogun Stadium via Ojuelegba to Itire Road, to Ogunlana Drive and back to the Stadium via Masha Road. This would be the 9th World Sickle Cell Day Celebration since UN General Assembly declared June 19 World Sickle Cell Day. Every year since 2008, the world has paused on this date to remember people affected by sickle cell disorder. Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, Chris Nnakwe, head, human resources recruitment/CSR and sustainability, Fidelity Bank said, “We intend to be part this journey of reducing the number of people living with

sickle cell through awareness and education. We want to make it an annual event and every year we will see how to get involved as part of our contribution for healthy living in the country”. Nnakwe was concerned that about 150,000 children that are born with sickle cell disorder annually in Nigeria, 75 percent of them do not live to see their 5th birthday. In her opening remark, Toysin Adeola , chairperson of the Coalition said that Nigeria is the country with the largest burden of sickle cell disorder in the whole world, with a large population of over 40 million Nigerians being healthy carriers of the sickle cell gene, and this number of carriers far exceeds the total number of every other affected African country and indeed, of several of them put together. She commended Fidelity Bank for the partnership and asked other corporate organisation to emulate the bank.


Thursday 14 June 2018

C002D5556

BUSINESS DAY

15

COMPANIES & MARKETS Business Event

Investment flows in Africa peaks over treaty on free trade area …will translate to significant gains for manufacturers, food exporters

4

Cross section of participants with the Keynote Speaker, Oby Ezekwesili at the One-Day Women Leadership Forum organised by the Institute of National Transformation in Lagos. L-R: Babatunde Onadeko, zonal head South-West 2, First City Monument Bank, FCMB; Felicia Obozuwa, divisional head, corporate services division; Idowu Odumesi, beneficiary’s guardian ; Labake Samson the Beneficiar, her Mother, Samson Abosede; Olusoji Adeniyi, divisional head - group internal audit, FCMB and Omoniyi Iyanda, lead-corporate social responsibility and sustainability reporting, FCMB. Labake is a student of Muslim High School, in Sagamu. who found a lost wallet containing money and other valuables belonging to a customer of FCMB and returned them).She received a cash reward, some food stuffs and other household items from some management team of FCMB who visited her in Shagamu, Ogun State in celebration of this year, 2018 Children’s Day.

L-R: Oludare Olateju, brand manager, Gulder, Nigerian Breweries Plc; Olufunmilayo Ogunbodede, brand support manager, Gulder, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Olayinka Bakare, portfolio manager, National Premium Lager , at the media masterclass on the newly introduced visual identity for Gulder.

L-R : Ifeanyi Okpuozor Obiligbo, highlife sensation; Emmanuel Agu, portfolio manager - Mainstream Lager & Stout Brands NBPlc; Chukwuebuka Akunwafor Obiligbo, highlife sensation; Anselm Alokha, zonal business manager, East NBPlc., and Akintunde Olayeni, distributor, capability development manager ,East NBPlc., , at the Legend Real Deal Experience in Port Harcourt, River State.

4 African economies signed in March an ambitious treaty in order to form the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The goal is to eliminate tariffs on 90 percent of goods. The rationale behind more regional integration is to trade between equals and limit the share of vertical trade (exports of commodities and imports of capital). It should help ascend the value chain and increase the share of manufactured goods in African exports, since manufactured goods represent 43 percent of intra-African exports and less than 20 percent of African exports to other regions (75 percent is driven by commodities). The current pre- dominance of commodity exports makes growth procyclical to commodity prices. Sizeable output volatility deters economic development. More trade openness should imply some economies of scale, through the relocation of production activities in regional hubs, although with some limitations explained by remaining capital controls. One may easily infer some welfare gains for the consumer. However, such economies of scale will also imply some losers. The recent period of low commodity prices was abruptly felt by countries with fixed exchange rates, as they lost competitiveness after other currencies depreciated (like the Nigerian Naira or the Ghanaian Cedi). In economies with low labor productivity, the likely impact of lower import tariffs is worrying trade unions. It explains why Nigeria and South Africa did not sign the free trade agreement yet, since these organizations are directly involved in political parties in these countries. A free trade area will increase intra-African exports. We expect African exports to increase by a wide margin, based on two deterrent scenarios. The first one is without AfCFTA, and is driven by current development trends and foreign investor appetite for Africa. After China, Turkey developed a strategic partnership with African economies, and India is about to do so. In this first scenario, African exports would grow but trade would remain quite vertical, as commodity exports would keep the lion share of total exports. Based on our country scenario (on nominal GDP growth, exports and exchange rates), we estimate that African exports of goods and services would increase by +7 percent per year and reach $1275 billion by 2030. But, intra-African exports would stick with their 19 percent share of the total. The second scenario adds

an AfCFTA impact on exports. Continental exports would grow by about +8 percent per year and reach $1415 billion by 2030. This scenario yields also to very different structures of trade. Intra-African exports would reach 27 percent of the total, about the current ASEAN intra-regional trade share. Under this second scenario, intra-African exports would grow by about +11 percent per year (+7 percent with the first scenario). Manufactured goods would also represent a higher share of total ex- ports in this second scenario, jumping to 28 percent ($ 398 billion) from 24 percent ($ 308 billion) in the first scenario. It also means that the trade impact of an AfCFTA would be asymmetric. Manufactured goods and service exporters will make the bulk of additional export gains (South Africa, East Africa), while many oil exporters would not see key divergences, as e.g. Nigeria, Algeria or Gabon. Additionally, food exporters will also be big winners (Ghana, Zambia, and

Côte d’Ivoire), since current barriers to food exports are among the biggest barriers to trade in Africa. Issues for implementation Infrastructure development is among preconditions to a stronger intra-African trade. Export logistics are frequently organized in order to trade with other regions. Physical integration is increasing in East Africa, but is still in its infancy. Up- grading it would mean key infrastructure investment. E.g. Kenya would need $117 billion investment in roads and railways (76.5 percent of its actual GDP) to close by 2030 its transportation infrastructure gap with Thailand. Moreover, this development would imply other basic needs (investment in the digital economy, water, sanitation, power). Power generation would make the bulk of it: $84bn (55 percent of actual Kenya GDP). Attracting the right kind of financing would be another issue. Sources: Euler Hermes, Allianz Research.


16

BUSINESS DAY

C002D5556

Thursday 14 June 2018


Thursday 14 June 2018

BUSINESS DAY

C002D5556

Investor

17

In association with

Helping you to build wealth & make wise decisions NSE All Share Index

Year Open

38,243.19

Market capitalisation

N13.609 trillion

NSE Premium Index

The NSE-Main Board

NSE ASeM Index

2,564.13

1,713.69

1,087.32

Week open (01 – 06–18)

36,816.29

N13.336 trillion

2,688.62

1,613.70

Week close (08 – 06–18)

38,669.23

N14.008 trillion

2,817.19

1,698.64

Percentage change (WoW) Percentage change (YTD)

1,746.68

WEEKLY REPORT 949.59 1,663.08 1,750.44

949.59

STOCK MARKET REPORT FOR JUNE 8TH 2018

4.78

5.03 1.11

NSE 30 Index

5.26

0.00

5.25

-12.67 billion in

0.22 deals were

NSE Lotus II

NSE Ind. Goods Index

NSE Pension Index

330.69

2,560.39

1,975.59

1,379.74

859.45

341.34

2,448.25

1,846.87

1,433.63

915.75

336.76

2,562.51

2,019.81

1,502.28

NSE Banking Index

NSE Insurance Index NSE Consumer Goods Index NSE Oil/Gas Index

475.44

139.37

468.65

141.63

489.66

140.76

4.48

-0.61

9.87billion shares -0.88 2.99 A total turnover of 1.749 worth N31.183 24,604 traded this week by investors on the floor of the Exchange in contrast to a total of 2.699 billion shares valued at N84.775 billion that exchanged hands last week in 19,715 deals.

Stanbic, Rencap, CSL, 7 others take shine off other stockbroker ‌accounts for N966bn worth of stocks in 5 months

The Financial Services Industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 1.423 billion shares valued at N19.717 billion traded in 13,950 deals; thus contributing 81.37% and 63.23% to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. The Consumer Goods Industry followed with 153.105 million shares worth N6.805 billion in 4,512 deals. The third place was occupied by Conglomerates Industry with a turnover of 60.473 million shares worth N186.600 billion in 905 deals. Trading in the Top Three Equities namely  Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc and Zenith Bank International Plc (measured by volume) accounted for 588.605 million shares worth N16.568 billion in 4,120 deals, contributing 33.65% and 53.14 % to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.

1.00

976.10

6.55 -6.18

-1.34

4.67

9.36

1.84

0.08

2.24

HEANYI NWACHUKWU

I

n five months to May 31, 2018, shares value in excess of N966billion were exchanged through Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers Limited, Rencap Securities (Nigeria) Limited, CSL Stockbrokers Limited, and seven other firms. No doubt, Renaissance Capital increased on this ranking after consummating the Stanbic Africa Holdings payment of over N60billion for the purchase of 1.1billion shares in Stanbic IBTC Holdings. The seven other stockbrokers are: EFCP Limited, FBNQuest Securities Limited, Cordros Securities Limited, United Capital S e cur ities L imite d, Chapel Hill Denham Securities, Cardinalstone Securities Limited, and Nigerian International Securities Limited. Majority of these top stockbroking firms’ clientele base are foreign portfolio i nv e s t o r s w h i l e t h e i r l o c a l clients are more of institutional investors like pension fund managers and insurance companies. From January to April, the c u mu l at i ve t ra n s a c t i o n s at the Nigerian Stock Exchange increased by 114.22percent from N509.38 billion recorded in 2017 to N1.091 trillion.

Deals 6,016  4,436   5,285   4,726   4,141  

Turnover Volume 314,428,748  339,676,992   393,121,337   492,047,982   210,026,492  

Turnover Traded Value (N) Stocks 7,033,058,078.09  110   5,964,313,324.16   110   6,674,881,778.04   109   7,621,830,507.22   133   3,888,457,297.98   111  

Advanced Stocks 21  39   41   29   18  

Declined Stocks 21  39   16   19   28  

‌oversubscription of N7bn bond signals alpha seeking investors’ readiness to optimise return IHEANYI NWACHUKWU & MICHAEL ANI

Unchanged Stocks 68  32   52   85   65  

A

lpha s e eking corp orate bond investors are showing readiness to optimize returns, with the latest being a record 133percent subscription in C &I Leasing Plc N7billion Series I bond. The 5-year debt with maturity in December 2023 opened on Monday May 21 and closed on June 4, 2018. The bond issued at N1, 000 per unit is a Senior Secured Bond with a fixed rate of 16.54percent and it is the first series in the company’s N20billion debt issuance programme. “The offer was very successful because of the track record of C & I Leasing Plc as a business with over 25 years of operations in Nigeria. The company’s investment in marine assets serving Oil and worth of stocks or 11.55percent These top ten stockbrokers TH 2018 Gas Companies in various mid to STOCK MARKET REPORT FOR JUNE 8the of total value traded on the w e r e r e s p o n s i b l e f o r For Further Inquiries Contact: Market Operations Department Page 1long term contracts, which was 68.52percent of the total value NSE in the review period, while attractive to investors, in addition EFCP Limited accounted for to the timing of the issuance was of stocks theworth NSE A total turnover oftraded 1.749 billionat shares N31.183 billion in 24,604 deals were traded this week N117.932billion or 8.36percent. instrumental to the success of the between Januar y 1 and May by investors on the floor of the Exchange in contrast to a total of 2.699 billion shares valued at O t h e r s a r e : F b n q u e s t bond which was largely patronised 31, 2018, to the NSEin 19,715 deals. N84.775 billion according that exchanged hands last week S e curities L i m i t e d by top pension fund managers and broker performance report. insurance companies,� said Efe 4.39percent); The Detailed Financial Services Industry by volume)(N61.922billion led the activity chart withor 1.423 billion shares look at (measured the report S e cur imite contributing 81.37% and itie 63.23%s toLthe total d Akhigbe, Managing Director, Planet svalued h o wat sN19.717 t h abillion t S ttraded a n bini13,950 c I Bdeals; T C thusCordros Capital, the Lead Issuing House. equity turnover volume and value respectively. The Consumer Goods Industry followed with 153.105 (N46.092billion or 3.27percent); Stockbrokers Limited traded Planet Capital as lead issuing million shares worth N6.805 billion in 4,512 deals. The third place was occupied by Conglomerates shares valued at N280.766billion U n i t e d C a p i t a l S e c u r i t i e s house/book runner; while ARM Industry with a turnover of 60.473 million shares worth L N186.600 billion in(905 deals. i m i t e d N 3 3 . 7 9 3 b i l l i o n or 19.91percent of the total Securities Limited, Boston Advisory 2.40percent); Chapel Hill Limited, Cordros Capital Limited, value stocks exchange on or Trading in of the Top Three Equities namely  Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc and Zenith Denham Securities Limited tBank h e International N S E wPlc i t h(measured i n t h eby volume) re v i eaccounted w and FCMB Capital Markets Limited for 588.605 million shares worth N16.568 orvolume 2.30percent); pbillion e r iino4,120 d . deals, R e ncontributing c a p S e33.65% c u r iand t i e53.14 s %(N32.376billion are joint issuing houses/book to the total equity turnover and value respectively. Limited accounted for C a r d i n a l s t o n e S e c u r i t i e s runners. (Nigeria) Limited (N30.997billion or UTL Trust Management Services Equity Turnover - Last 5 days Limited, STL Trustees Limited, and GTL Trustees Limited are Turnover Turnover Traded Advanced Declined Unchanged joint trustees to the debt issuance Date Deals Volume Value (N) Stocks Stocks Stocks Stocks programme; while G.Elias & Co 4-­�Jun-­�18  6,016   314,428,748   7,033,058,078.09   110   21   21   68   Solicitors is solicitor to the issue; 5-­�Jun-­�18   4,436   339,676,992   5,964,313,324.16   110   39   39   32   Hermon Legal Practitioners is 6-­�Jun-­�18   5,285   393,121,337   6,674,881,778.04   109   41   16   52   solicitor to the issuer, while Marriot 7-­�Jun-­�18   4,726   492,047,982   7,621,830,507.22   133   29   19   85   Solicitors is solicitor to the trustees. 8-­�Jun-­�18   4,141   210,026,492   3,888,457,297.98   111   18   28   65   Nigeria corporate bond issuers returned to scene as borrowing N177.705billion or 12.60percent; 2.20p e rce nt); and Nig e r ian costs eased. The bond issuance C S L S t o c k b r o k e r s L i m i t e d International Securities Limited by C&I Leasing resulted from the e xc ha ng e d N 1 6 2 . 8 9 1 b i l l i o n (N21.939billion or 1.56percent). company’s quests to benefit from

WEEKLY REPORT

For Further Inquiries Contact: Market Operations Department

Page 1

8.88

As C&I Leasing takes first shot into N20bn debt issuance programme

Equity Turnover - Last 5 days Date 4-­�Jun-­�18  5-­�Jun-­�18   6-­�Jun-­�18   7-­�Jun-­�18   8-­�Jun-­�18  

4.79

lower interest rates regime and an economy on the fix. The N7billion bond issued by C&I Leasing will partly be used to refinance existing debt of up to N3billion and also buy more vessels to lease to oil companies and expand its business in Ghana after the exit of Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj. Leasing firms, in spite of the benefits associated with equipment leasing are yet to exploit their potentials. However, this not farfetched from the problems arising from the economic, judicial framework and financial based issues. Aside bonds, the company listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange also plans to raise fresh funds via the equity market. C&I Leasing, listed on the Nig e r i a n S t o c k E x c h a n g e, i s the foremost brand for leases and other ancillary services in Nigeria. With staff strength of over 4,000 people and operational offices in key locations in Nigeria and Ghana, the company takes pride in its track record of exceptional and qualitative service delivery. The company’s brand presence can be felt in major sectors in the Nig e r i a n e c o n o my p rov i d i ng specialized services, in Marine, Telecommunications, Oil & Gas, Equipment Rentals, Manpower Outsourcing and Transportation. C&I Leasing Plc shut its vehicle distribution unit at the start of Nigeria’s worst recession in a quarter of a century, to focus on oilfield service marine vessel rentals, fleet management and personnel outsourcing. In the financial year ended December 31, 2017, C &I Leasing Plc reported 21.8percent increase in profit before tax (PAT), from N1billion in 2016 to N1.3billion in 2017 while the group’s total assets grew from by 17.2percent, Continues on page 18


18

BUSINESS DAY

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Thursday 14 June 2018

Investor

Helping you to build wealth & make wise decisions

United Capital investment views

Investor’s Square

The bulls resurge

…Domestic equities halt bearish streak

T

he local bourse took a breather from a 5-week losing streak last week, recording its highest weekly gain in the last 10 weeks. The market opened the week on a bullish note and appreciated for four straight trading days. NSEASI advanced 5 p e rc e nt w e e k- o n week (w/w) to close at 38,669.2points while market capitalisation bounced back to N14trillion after adding N671.9billion. Year-to-date (YtD) return also recovered, rebounding to 1.1percent. Sector performances were also broadly bullish as three key sectors of the five sectors we cover advanced w/w. The Consumer Goods (+6.8percent), Industrial Goods (+6.2percent) and the Financial S er vices (+4.5percent) indices led the bullish run consequent on significant as Nigerian Breweries (+13.6percent), Da n g o t e Fl ou r (+17.1percent), Dangote Sugar (+14.6percent), Lafarge (+17.1percent), Dangote Cement (+5.7percent), Fidelity (+14.6percent), Diamond (+9.4percent) and Zenith (+6.1percent) all rallied w/w. The Agriculture (-1.4prcent) and Oil & Gas (-1.4percent) indices trended southwards due to depreciation in Presco (-6.2percent), Total (-4.2percent) and Seplat (-3.9percent). Investors’ sentiment improved as market breadth recovered from its previous week’s trough of 0.5x to close the week at 2.0x. 49 stocks advanced w/w while 25 declined. Activity levels were, however, underwhelming as average value traded diminished 70.6percent w/w to N6.2bn while average volume traded weakened 48.1percent w/w to 349.9mn units. We expect performance to close sideways as investors weigh the outcome of Fed meeting, the US/NorthKorean talks and the divisive outcome of the G7-meeting. Money Market : Rates average 5percent as liquidity stays steady Liquidity conditions remained stable all through the week to 8th June, as money market rates averaged 3.9percent during the week. This was underpinned by OMO inflows to the tune of N216.0, which helped to moderate the impact of a N232.6bn that was mopped up from the system. Furthermore, the federal monetary authorities released the

NTB auction program for Q3-18 which kept issuance at the same level as Q2-18. Overall, money market rates closed the week slightly higher; OBB (up 91bps to 5.3percent) and O/N (up 150bps to 4.8percent) w/w. In terms of liquidity profile, there is a sizable maturity coming in next week ; N424.9 from OMO and NTB maturities. Also, the Apex would be conducting its bimonthly T-bills auction with the intention of re-financing N180.9bn. Yields: Bears roll the dice as players anticipate increased domestic borrowing The week to 8th June featured the release of the Q3 Treasury Bills Auction Program which, contrary to expectations, showed that the Apex bank would be refinancing 100% of maturing NTBs, compared to only

window) to close the week at N360.9/$1. On the other hand, the domestic currency appreciated in the parallel and official market to end at N361.0/$1 and N306/$1 respectively. The outlook of the naira remains tied to the spate of CBN’s intervention in the spot and forward markets as well as the better price discovery in the I & E FX window. Global equities mixed as trade tensions weigh Global equities performance remains mixed in the week that ended 8th June 2018. In the US market, April trade deficit fell to a 7-month low of 2.1percent in the heat of trade negotiations between the US and the rest of the G-7 countries. Consequently, DJIA (+2.7percent) and S&P 500 (+1.4percent) advanced w/w. Apple Inc rose 0.7percentw/w, as the

RSA fund price of PFAs as at June 08, 2018 S/N 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

PFAs CrusaderSterling Pensions Premium Pensions ARM Pension Mgrs. Stanbic-IBTC Pensions Legacy PFA PAL Pensions NLPC PFA First Guarantee Pension Trustfund Pensions Leadway Pensure PFA SigmaVaughn Pensions AIICO Pension Managers APT Pensions Fidelity Pensions AXA Mansard FUG Pensions OAK Pensions Investment One Pension Mgrs. IEI Anchor Pension Managers Radix Pension NPF Pensions

50percent that was refinanced in the preceding quarter. This fueled sentiments of a probable increase in domestic borrowings for funding of the 2018 Budget deficit. Consequently, yields inched higher by an average of 44bps in the T-bills space, to close the week at 13.3percent. (91-day (up 34basis points (bps) to 12.5percent), 182-day (up 102bps to 13.4percent) and the 364-day (down 4bps to 14.1percent). In the bonds space, sentiment was equally bearish, as average bonds yield was up by 12bps to end the week at 13.5percent. Going into the new week, we expect sentiments to be guided by the May inflation data which is scheduled to be released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday. Currency Market: Naira appreciates in the parallel market In the Foreign exchange market, the naira depreciated by 3bps in the Investors and Exporters FX window (I & E

CURRENT PRICE 3.9901 3.9371 3.8777 3.7453 3.6068 3.4406 3.4117 3.2730 3.2442 3.1245 3.1149 3.0146 2.8030 2.7264 2.6855 2.6361 2.5487 2.4499 2.3164 2.0174 1.4594

computer giant unveiled new products amid plans to upgrade existing products. This drove the tech-laden NASDAQ up 1.2prcent. Across Europe, as uncertainty surrounding Italy’s politics eased, weaker April industrial output growth of 1percent and exports in Germany raised dust on the recovery of the eurozone’s economy. Additionally, jitters surrounding the potential outcome of the G-7 meeting unnerved investors. Thus, Pa n E u r o p e a n S T O X X (-0.5percent), UK’s FTSE (-0.3percent) and France’s CAC (-0.3percent) all closed lower w/w. Emerging markets indices tracked the mixed theme in the global space as Brazil’s IBOV (-5.2percent), Russia’s RTSI (-1.8percent) a n d C h i n a’s S C H O M P (-0.3percent) all depreciated w/w while India’s SENSEX (+0.6percent) and South Africa’s JALSH (+1.6percent) appreciated w/w.

•Have you been shabbily treated by your registrar, stockbroke r or other capital market operators? Let us know and investor will help you investigate and report back. E-mail: iheanyi.nwachukwu@businessdayonline.com

Investors Square

FBN Merchant, DMO: This is a bad one for investors’ confidence

M

y name is Oladipupo Tijani. I bought the FGN Sukuk Bond in 2018 (for N650,000). I know you are aware up till this moment the security is yet to be credited to individual CSCS accounts as promised during the issue. However, my complain is that I am yet to receive the coupon due and paid to others since March 2018. I

have complained severally to the bank l bought through (FBN Merchant) and they promised to resolve. As at March ending, the feedback l got was that DMO made an error while inputting my account details. Immediately l sent the original subscription form (containing the correct account details) with the funds transfer advise, again to reconfirm that my input

was correct. I was told they would resolve it shortly. Up till now no response (now am paying for their own unprofessionalism). Even my contact at FBN Merchant keep reiterating sa m e sto r y ( that D MO said they are still doing the reconciliation). I am in the same market and l understand that even core retail subscription does not take three months to reconcile. I am aware that this is a bad one for investors confidence too. Kindly use your good office to assist in finding the details on this issue. I am willing to for ward my documents to you once you oblige to assist. I await your swift and favourable response. Regards

As C&I Leasing takes first shot into N20bn debt issuance programme Continued from page 17

from N38.4billion in 2016 to N45billion in 2017. “ Natu ra l ly e ve r yb o dy wants to be associated with a company that has good reputation, we are very happy to have made this successful transaction. We have a joint effort in leading the entire transaction team and we brought our experience here, whether in terms of marketing strategy because this kind of transaction starts with, what kind of structure do you have? Another is our relationship with the investors. All these were brought together in making this transaction successful”, Akhigbe told INVESTOR on the sideline of the issuance signing ceremony which held Monday June 11 at C&I Leasing head office in Lagos, Nigeria. Andrew Otike –Odibi, MD/CEO C& I Leasing Plc said “the N7billion raised will largely be invested in business expansion and restructuring of the company’s debts over a period of five years therefore relieving the current debt profile on the group’s balance sheet while increasing profit margins and returns for shareholders”. “The success of the bond is indicative of the market’s confidence in our business,

they have seen our structure, focus and consistency with corporate governance in 27 years of operations and they can tell we have a good story unfolding. There is a niche market for Nigerian businesses in the Maritime sector to serve Oil and Gas companies, but it is not enough to be a Nigerian Company. Proper structure is also very critical, and this is one of our strengths at C & I Leasing Plc,” Otike –Odibi stated. C&I Leasing Plc has evolved to become a valuable resource and business partner for several indigenous and multinational blue-chip organizations. The company currently provides support services along three lines; Fleet Management, Personnel Outsourcing and Marine Services. The C&I Leasing group of companies which has its operational offices in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja is also invested in subsidiaries - Leasafric Ghana and Epic International FZE. On how the N7billion bond will impact on the company’s profit margin, Andrew Otike-Odibi, chief executive officer, C&I Leasing Plc told BusinessDay that, “It will positively impact on profit margin by adding another N20million-N25millionto our

bottom line over the 12 month period.” C&I Leasing has N44billion worth of total assets, of which N30billion is invested in marine assets contributing 60 percent of profits and seen rising to 65 percent over the next five years. On capacity utilisation of the vessels, Otike-Odibi said, “Our current utilization is about 80 percent and all are working as we don’t have any vessel that is not operational, our drive this year is to go up to about 90-95 percent as we are hoping to get some back to new contract and this will help us take care of our projection for the 95 percent.” “The outlook is very positive if you notice, oil prices are heading north, creating new demand for asset in the oil and gas industry which can only get better over time and being a Nigerian company playing in that space, there is a niche market f o r Nig e r ia n c o mpa n i e s that are well str uctured because the international oil companies do not want to deal with you just because you are a Nigerian company but want to see structures on ground that will support your service delivery and that’s one advantage that C&I is going to be having,” the CEO added.


Thursday 14 June 2018

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BUSINESS DAY

Investor

19

Helping you to build wealth & make wise decisions

‘We always keep eye on our cost’ Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc held its annual general meeting last week in Lagos. Shortly after this meeting, ABC ORJIAKO, chairman, Seplat spoke to select journalists including Iheanyi Nwachukwu. Excerpts

Y

ou said it is more lucrative to go into gas in the domestic market and you are doing 25 to 30 percent, are you comfortable with that rate? I said we were the highest indigenous producer in that sense but we can only improve on this and it is profitable to do this both in terms of the revenue we make from it as well as being a Nigerian company supporting power development in Nigeria. Plus or minus, gas contributed about $124million to your revenue in 2017, so do you hope to do more in 2018? Oh yes, gas is a major area for our expansion and we are investing very heavily in that so you are going to see that ratio continue to grow. What will be the target in terms of contribution to revenue for gas this year? From our perspective, if gas can do 50 percent we are happy to have it but; what is more important for you to focus on is, if you look at the gas price in domestic market, it is more stable than the global oil price that has remained volatile, so the more gas you produce the more consistency you exhibit in that sector, the better for the shareholder. S o we are focusing on increasing the contribution of gas moving forward. Concerning mergers and acquisition, are you in talk with any organisation as it is now? Not that I am in the position to tell you now but we are continuously looking at all of those areas that will fit into our vision for growth. Acquisitions and any mergers that are valuable to the owners of the company – the shareholders and all the stakeholders. Do we see Seplat building refinery to help Ni g e r i a a c h i e v e s e l f sufficiency? We are a very dynamic company; we are looking at the broad spectrum of the value chain for energy, not just for gas. So at this point we are not going to make categorical statement, we are not investing in refinery, at this point we do not have any investment in refinery, and it is part of the right spectrum we are looking at but today we have not. We are focusing on one area that

we know will consolidate our strength in, that is gas production and we are doing very well in that, we need to consolidate, move forward before considering other area. You had a successful agreement with Azura, do you look out for such future agreements with other companies? Definitely, there are o t h e r p a r t i e s w h o a re making enquiries and we are negotiating with a good number of them. Many of them know our track record of delivering and have been approaching us and we are willing to having more willing buyer-sellers agreement like we did with Azura. How much are we seeing Seplat invest into gas production in the nearest future? If you look at our report you will see we have continuously been investing. Apart from rise in the price of crude oil, what other factor contributed to you profit report in Q1 2018? One of the things we do is to make sure that we are a low cost producing company, that adds to the revenue you are seeing, another thing we have done during this period is to give assurance and guarantee to make sure that our production comes to the market, that is why you hear of the alternative export rate. Most of these we either initiated from beginning to the end or we are part of it. There is hardly any alternative export rate that Seplat is not involved that is why they continue to achieve success with increasing revenue. W ha t o i l p r i c e w i l l enable you to break even and if the oil prices remain the same what will that mean to your PBT in terms of guidance? Remember when oil prices are high; there is always this about companies that when oil prices go high they just go spending, we always keep eye on our cost. If you look at our cost to production, it is one of the lowest in the country and we will continue to improve on this regardless of oil price, that is what makes our business profitable in the long-term. This is what you see every year, if we conceive any

Dr. ABC Orjiako

dollar any kobo any year, we make sure it saved, and that hits our bottom line. So our cost reduction is just based on oil price. Any forecast on revenue for this year? We do not like to give forecast of profit but all we keep saying is a profitable business, we have continued to deliver profit year on year and we will continue to do that in the future. Remember what we have continually told our stakeholders, that is, this company will grow revenue, grow reserves, grow

We do not like to give forecast of profit but all we keep saying is a profitable business, we have continued to deliver profit year on year and we will continue to do that in the future

our production and make all of it profitable. We are going to deliver value to all stakeholders, and these are the things we continually do every year and they measure our success. We have also promised shareholders capital growth that is why we are focusing on making sure that our securities are trading well and that is also why we make a very strong policy about paying dividend. So apart from capital growth, we will also put money in their pocket. Will you say your drive for capital growth is what delayed dividend payment? Not really, when you look at capital growth for our shareholders, you will be looking at their cost to share and the real value of whatever quantum of share they have. So we want to make sure that if you came in with 1$, the value of your 1$ should be turned into $2, $3 and $10 that is really what we look at when we talk about capital growth. When we look at the dividend, the reason why we did not pay dividend in 2016 was because we wanted to be a prudent company, there were companies that went to borrow money at the time when we did not pay dividend.

But if you look at our net cash flow it was positive but we felt it was important for a Board to remain prudent, therefore that guideline says it is okay there is a loss this year and this loss is as a result of unavoidable third party situation. What we then did was to focus on how to provide solution to that challenge, and we have provided that solution as you can see the impact in our 2017 and then we decided to pay dividend because we have very enlightened and well educated shareholders as some of you must have seen during the AGM, we make sure we do what is best for them. If we had paid dividend when our company was making losses, I bet you many of them would have asked questions; although, our policy is to continually pay dividend every year. What will be your capital expenditure plan over the medium term and how do you intend to deploy the funds? Most of our Capex will go obviously to that development and you will see this in our annual report, we are also going to have some capital expenditure in drilling more wells. Yo u h a v e a C a p e x guidance and you also have production guidance, are

you still optimistic that you production guardian will grow? We are very optimistic and we do not take production guardian in isolation, when we increase production, we also make sure there is increase in our reserves. So when in taking these guidance we are looking at reser ves production ratios, and our target is to make sure our reserve to production ratio are at least 20 years, what this means is that we do not want to produce all today and starve the revenues for tomorrow, so there have to be a balance. Not only do we just balance it because we want to be extremely professional in the way we operate, but we want to make sure the re ve nu e st re a m o f t h e company stays for a long time. Yo u r p r o d u c t i o n guidance is a function of expected stability in the Niger Delta region. What are your plans to prevent what has been happening in the past from happening again? I think the thing there is engagement of the host communities. One of my experiences in what Seplat has done is to make us focus talking to the communities is that once you engage and manage communities well, they are extremely reasonable and cooperative. Most of the thing we hear about Niger Delta is because of inadequate engagement and inappropriate relationship. These people require respect both for themselves, for the environment and the way you conduct business and once you get this done, you find them very amiable and cooperative. Will you raise capital in the nearest future especially now that you have acquisition plans to fund? We do not raise capital in isolation, whenever we have the need to raise more capital, one of the things we are happy about is that we have strong value chain, we have very good business going on and whenever we identify any project that we need to put money in, experience has shown that our assets and ability to raise capital within a very short period of time is very well assured.


Managing

20 BUSINESS DAY

C002D5556

Thursday 14 June 2018

GOVERNMENT

BUSINESS

Interview with Public Sector Leaders

TETFund Sponsored 9,000 lecturers in two years, The Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), ABDULLAHI BICHI BAFFA (PhD) in this interview with journalists covering the Education Sector, spoke about the TETFund he met upon resumption, the challenges of running the agency, and the plans for capacity development of lecturers in Nigeria’s tertiary education sector over the next five years. Laide Akinboade was there for Businessday. Excerpts:

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ow was it when you got the announcement that you have been made to head this institution? It was a mixed feeling. When I heard the announcement of my appointment, as Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, it dawned on me that a weighty responsibility is put on my shoulders. It dawned on me that the President has vested massive trust in me. Indeed, there is every reason, therefore, to work hard and sincerely to see to the fulfillment of the promises made by Mr. President regarding the repositioning of the Nigeria’s tertiary education sector. Flowing from that, we also need to pursue the objectives of TETFund towards ensuring sustainable provision of higher education to all qualified Nigerians, in line with the strategic goals of the present administration. There was also a sense of fear. As an insider in the higher education system, I am aware of the mess this critical, strategic, and huge establishment of government, the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, was in at the time of my appointment. So what it means was that it has fallen on my shoulders the responsibility to clear the mess and reposition the organization for efficient service delivery. There was that trepidation that, is it possible? Can it be done? But to the glory of God Almighty, we thank Him most sincerely for granting us the opportunity to be able to get on with the job. We set the ball rolling, and we were able to, within reason, clear the bulk of the mess. We were able to, within reason change the perception of the general public and the attitude of the stakeholders towards Tertiary Education Trust Fund. We were also able to, within reason improve the quality of administration and the quality of governance at the Tertiary Education Trust Fund tremendously. We were able to improve the quality of delivery of the frontline services that this agency was mandated to provide. As you do these things, where do you place the Buhari Administration’s Thrust of Accountability and his anti-corruption drive? In the first place, the agenda of the Buhari administration regarding accountability and the fight against corruption is the fulcrum upon which we anchor everything we do at the TETFund. Not only at TETFund but, indeed, in all Ministries, and in all agencies of government. Speaking specifically about TETFund, the fight against corruption, the fight against impunity in administration and governance is the fulcrum upon which we build everything that we are doing. As a service agency, as an intervention agency, we know that Value for Money, protecting the public interest and protecting our investments are vital priorities, given the messy background and the history of TETFund before we came in. We must, therefore, prioritize accountability and anti-corruption in the management of our affairs. Can you explain your reason for this position on the history of TETFund? The recent history of TETFund before the coming in of the President Buhari administration clearly shows that to reset the operations of the agency the number one priority must be to fight corruption, deal with fraud, fight incompetence and insincerity characterized some of the operations of the agency. So really, I must say that we have taken the anti-corruption drive of the Buhari administration as the number one priority as far as our operations are concerned. And I must say that within reason, the assessment and judgement of our stakeholders are very clear for all see, the

culture of corruption, the culture of impunity is dead as far as the operation of Tertiary Education Trust Fund is concerned. If the history of TETFund you met was that

bad, why then the sudden stance that the culture of impunity, corruption is dead in the Agency? It is not rocket science. It comes from the top. Once the head is firm, qualitative, and focused, the followership will queue in. And once you are determined to prevent corruption from taking place, to prevent fraud from taking place, you will not have even cause to penalize or to discipline anyone because it is not going to happen, in the first place. And if there were some isolated cases where people went out of their way to flout financial regulations, or engage in improper actions, despite every preventive measure that we have put in place, we take firm disciplinary actions. We set examples with them so that it serves as a deterrence to others not to get themselves involved in anything that is unethical, anything that is fraudulent, anything that is against the guidelines of the agency. We have fundamentally two documents as far as TETFund is concerned, namely: the law establishing the Agency and its Operational Guidelines. We always go by them strictly. But of course, there are subsidiary and other incidental guidelines and circulars. The Financial Regulations Circulars from the office of the Head of Service, Circulars from the Auditor General of the Federation, Circulars from the office Accountant General, Circulars from the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, all of these government Circu-

lars also guide us. And we ensure that every one of us working at TETFund is very much familiar with the law, is very much familiar with the guidelines that underpin our intervention operations. Nigerians will want you to cite some of the rot you met at TETFund and how you dealt with them? When we came, the house was almost upside down. Upside down in the sense that we met an Agency where the primary purpose of establishing the Agency, which is to intervene in specific areas regarding investments and financing was relegated to the background. The Annual Direct Disbursement (ADD) for the Year 2015 allocation was only 20% of the total allocation for that year, while Special Intervention which is discretionally was 80% of the allocation for that year! That is a recipe for corruption; that is a recipe for impunity; that is a recipe for fraud. Against this background, what we first did was to suspend projects under Special Intervention. For all the Special Intervention allocation for the Year 2014 and Year 2015 for which money had been disbursed already, we approved that they continued but ensured that they were done in accordance with the approval given. However, all other allocations and discretionary allocations for which TETFund has paid no money were cancelled. Interestingly, we made good savings of about N78 billion from that cancellation. We plowed that money into the Year 2016 allocation, and we were able to pursue the completion of those Special Projects as approved in the Approvalin-Principle, and as approved in the Bill of Quantities for which the institutions and the vendors have agreed.


Thursday 14 June 2018

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21

ABDULLAHI BICHI BAFFA

Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund)

to train another 45,000 in five years – Baffa It is also useful to note that in many instances, we found situations where the contractors refused to even make available the Bill of Quantities to the beneficiary institutions. Contractors were acting like demigods; we are bringing money to you, so we will do what we like with it. We have changed all that. Really? How did the change come so swiftly because any dubious contractor will not be easy to be dealt with? In one of our meetings with the Heads of Institutions, we got them to involve law enforcement agencies because there were cases where contractors collected First Tranche payment and disappeared. There were cases where contractors deployed to the site, started working and also disappeared. There were cases where contractors did not do up to half of the project, and they are claiming they have worked and and want to be paid the close-out amount so that it would be taken as though they have completed the projects. There are also cases where the things that were in the Bill of Quantities were not what was supplied to the institutions. We identified all these cases, and we were able to resolve all of them. In many instances, contractors would come to me and say, for these and these things or projects, we have not been paid and I will tell them that we at TETFund, we don’t deal with contractors of Tertiary Education Institutions. I will say to them that our clients are the beneficiary institutions. I will ask them to go back to the institutions concerned. If you insisted that your project is meant to be A, B, C, but you have done only A, what happened to the rest? Contractors tend to influence the report that was sent to us at TETFund stating that the work has been completed, that they have finished the work and wanted to be paid, while in actual fact what is on the ground is totally different, they have not delivered on many things or provided what they are supposed to provide. Many of them realized that we have eyes and ears beyond the formal process. Indeed, we have eyes and ears beyond the Tertiary Education Trust Fund and we have means of knowing whether a project was done properly or if it was not done properly. So they return to the site. If they manage to complete the work, we pay them, and we have been doing that. Others would return to the site and supplied the missing items, the missing equipment, the disappeared procurement items which they ought to have provided. When they do that, we have no problem with them, because ours is to protect the public interest and obtain Value for Money. Approval is given to you to do A, B, and C and you are supposed to do A, B, and C before we pay. But if you have done A, B and D instead of A, B, and C or you have done A and C, we will not pay. We have to ensure that what was approved, what was agreed upon, is what is done before we pay. And I am delighted to say that in quite some institutions, the heads of these institutions had to involve the law enforcement agencies. They had to bring in the ICPC, the EFCC, and the Police before they eventually got some contractors to go back to the site and complete the projects. Indeed, some of these projects are now being completed. Yes, we were able to tackle these infractions decisively. What about the other areas of intervention, are they free from the rot? Another area where we met real mess was in the implementation of the TETFund scholarships, what you call the Academic Staff Training and Development (AST&D). The scholarships are part of the capacity building intervention aimed to build the capacity of scholars working in our Universities, Polytechnics, and Colleges of Education and to create an opportunity for them to pursue higher degrees for Masters and Ph.D. both at home and abroad. But we realized that in quite some beneficiary institutions, the guidelines for the scholarships award were being implemented in the breach. Beyond violating the guidelines, many of the beneficiary scholars who were given money to go and pursue their studies abroad refused to go and have spent the money on something else. We further realized that in a few institutions they were not giving the scholars the total money that was approved for them. They deduct certain percentage

using different sort of names like administrative charges, and all sorts of illegal deductions. There are also scholars that were given the approval to go to Europe or to go the USA, for example, but they end up going to some African countries. Some scholars were given the authorization to do Ph.D., but they go and register for a Masters degree. But the worst of them were scholars who will collect the money and refuse to go. Now, all these were fueled by apparent disobedience to the directives of the Fund as it relates to the beneficiary institutions. The guidelines require all beneficiary institutions to pay the scholars their living costs on an annual basis and to pay their tuition to the training institutions also on annual basis. However, institutions will take the entire money and pay to the scholar, 100%. Let us say you are going to study in the United Kingdom (UK) for a Ph.D. and you are given a sum of N30 million to cover the cost of tutition and maintenance for the duration of your studies, let say for three years. The institution is supposed to pay you only your living cost for the first one year, and will not make any advance payment to you until you submit a progress report. This means that they will make an advance to you of the living costs for the second year after being satisfied that you are making progress with the programme. The same thing happpens for the subsequent years, up untill the end of the programme. Also, they are supposed to pay the tuition fees for the first year, and when you submit progress report they pay the fees for the second year and subsequent years, etc. But what obtained in the past was that these institutions will take the entire money and pay into the account of the scholar. Instead of complying with our guidelines, they do their own thing. They pay the money to the scholars directly and the scholars will collect the money and refuse to go. Imagine a situation in which someone has never seen a N2 million or even a N1 million at once in his account, and in one fell swoop you deposit N30million in his account. Then he will start thinking what would he do? To take all money abroad all because of Ph.D.? Then people will refuse to go. What is TETFund doing about this category of Scholars or the Beneficiary Institutions involved in this violation of the TETFund’s guidelines on staff training and development? We have identified all of them. What we did was to conduct what we call Scholarship Audit. We realized that in quite some beneficiary institutions scholars that were given the opportunity have traveled, they have registered, they were studying. However, there were a few of them, though a significant few, in the sense that even

one non-compliance is enough problem in itself. These significant few have one sort of breach, or some kind of infringement or the other. We realized that there were violations committed by the beneficiary institutions, and those committed by the nominated and sponsored scholars themselves. Once we identify a violation or a breach of the terms of the guidelines by the beneficiary institution, we will not give you any money again for subsequent years until we have seen sufficient evidence that you are recovering the funds that you have paid to these defaulting staff or scholars. Right now we are making progress with recoveries of funds from quite some scholars who have collected the money but refused to go. Recoveries are being made from scholars that were given approvals to go for one programme and they ended up going for another. Also, recoveries are being made from scholars that have been given money to go to one country, and they ended up going to another country. Prevention is better than cure we all agree. What is TETFund under your watch doing to forestall such breaches and prevent the type of recent outcry over alleged stranded Scholars as we go forward as well? We have systematized the process in such a way that it is going to be almost impossible for anyone to commit any fraud. For example, we insist that as one of the necessary conditions for disbursement of scholarship fund, we must see an evidence that the beneficiary institution has opened a domiciliary account, since the scholarship money is supposed to be kept in a domiciliary account to protect the value. Also, we are now paying tuition fees directly to the training institutions on an annual basis. So the beneficiary institutions will only be receiving the living cost which they will remit

to the scholars on a yearly basis. We have also taken the firm view that not all countries have the quality University System to train our scholars. Consequently, we have determined which countries our scholars should be sent to pursue higher degrees. We have also determined the universities where our scholars, should and would be trained in those countries. If you would recall, I have said it quite a number of times that one of the direct instructions given to me by Mr. President is, to go and collaborate with the National Universities Commission (NUC) to raise the global ranking of Nigerian Universities. Obviously, there is no way we are going to improve the ranking of Nigerian universities, without one key component, which is the quality of our scholars. If you are sending your lecturers to go to mushroom universities abroad, those at the bottom of the league, there is no way someone trained in bottom of the league universities will come and lift your university to the top of the league university. Indeed, there is no way someone who trained in the bottom of the league university where the culture of learning is even much weaker than the culture of learning in our institutions at home will come back and raise the culture of learning and research in our tertiary education institutions. So we insist that no country on this planet will be investing the kind of money that we are investing in training lecturers that will not be interested in where these lecturers are going to study. What will they be studying or researching? Which was why we take serious interest in where we are sending our scholars to study because they are coming back to go into the classrooms, to lecture students, to supervise research, to partake in research. So we would have to get them to go to the best of places where they would interact with the best of scholars, where there are excellent facilities, so that they would come back and aspire to make our higher education system just like where they have been trained. So indeed within reason, we have also addressed the culture of corruption and the mismanagement that was going on as far as the scholarships award was concerned. What about the issue of Conferences, what have you done to curtail it from being a mere jamboree from TETFund to scholars? The same also goes for Conference Attendance. We spent billions of Naira supporting and promoting scholars to attend international conferences, local conferences at home and abroad. We, however, realized that a number of these conferences were just talk-shows or jamborees. We were giving money to scholars to go just on a picnic, for the simple reason that many third party conferences, predatory conferences, scam conferences sprang up all because of abuse of TETFund guidelines on conference attendance in the past. People who know next to nothing about academics will simply set up a consortium and go about organizing conferences abroad, targeting TETFund sponsored scholars. Every scholar knows what an academic conference is, and who organizes academic conferences. And we insist that we would only spend public funds as far as Conference Attendance intervention is concerned on genuine academic conferences so that we have Value for Money. But when we started conducting the audit of the previous conferences that were approved, we realized that quite some people had collected the money to go to foreign conferences, and they didn’t go. So what we are doing now is that we are going to institution by institution, auditing the conference attendance investment so that we see the evidence that you have gone to the conference and that it is a genuine academic conference. For instance, you have been given approval to go to the United Kingdom (UK) to attend a conferContinues on page 22


Managing

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Thursday 14 June 2018

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Interview with Public Sector Leaders

TETFund Sponsored 9,000 lecturers in two years... there were huge gaps in communication between the Fund and the benefiting institutions, we also embarked on sensitization seminars and workshops in all the beneficiary institutions. We went to every beneficiary institutions and discussed TETFund; why TETFund; what TETFund; How TETFund and to find out and hear first hand from beneficiaries and stakeholders’ community the challenges they are facing, their queries, questions, inquiries and so on. And we were able to address quite a lot of gaps that had characterised the relationship netween TETFund and its critical stakeholders.

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ence, we will want to see the stamped visa in your passport when you were leaving Nigeria to the UK, when you arrived the UK, when you are leaving the UK, and finally when you are coming back to Nigeria. For us, it is not enough to just show a certificate of conference attendance. In this age of technology, all sorts of things are possible, so we will want to see the copy of your passport where it was stamped to indicate that you have travelled out and that you have attended the conference and came back. We are also making substantial progress here. Quite of a number of things are happening. We have already started asking scholars to refund money. Some scholars have been writing requesting to reschedule their conferences. They are coming with all sorts of excuses that though they have been given the approval to attend a particular conference but that they have not been able to go because of visa issue, and they want to go for another conference. We have been receiving all of these, but some of these people are people that have collected the money and spent, and had no intention of attending any conference. This is an opportunity created by TETFund, by Government to support scholars who otherwise would not have been able to go and interact with their colleagues, with their peers across the world. Unfortunately, people are abusing the opportunity. But we have put a stop to all that. These leads us to some of the policies that were introduced by your leadership, can you shade light on some of these policies and how they are helping in reshaping things at TETFund? I am very happy to say that we have recorded tremendous success. But this fundamentally, is because we are enjoying maximum support from the President, we are equally enjoying maximum cooperation from the Honourable Minister of Education, and I must say that we are enjoying maximum support from our Board of Trustees. When we studied the Operational Guidelines and we understood that there were quite a lot of loopholes that the beneficiary institutions and beneficiary scholars and our staff were taking advantage of, we felt that there was need to do a review and revise the guidelines in line with sound practices. We have done that and I am delighted to report that it is yielding desirable results. In the area of physical infrastructure, for example, we realized that we will allocate hundreds of millions of Naira, sometimes billions of Naira to beneficiary institutions and they go and do whatever they like. We have introduced what we call Project Proposal Defense. When we issue allocation to a beneficiary institution, the first thing that they would have to do is to come and defend their proposal, what they intend to use the allocation for before a panel of TETFund managers, and explain to us what they plan to do. We do this to ensure that the allocation that we are giving to the beneficiary institutions complies with the enabling legislation that defines the mandate of TETFund. We have four clear mandate areas, and they are: one, supporting the provision of essential infrastructure for teaching and learning; two, supporting the provision of instructional materials and equipment; three, supporting research and publications, and the fourth one is academic staff training and development. We would want to see that whatever you are doing is in the pursuit of the mandate of TETFund. And we would also want to be sure that what the beneficiary institutions are proposing to spend is in line with their Strategic Plans. Time and again, beneficiary institutions will be given allocation and that is when they will start thinking, they will begin improvising about what to do. But a strategic plan document envisages that that at so and so time you will do this, at

Can you beat your chest and say the Buhari led Administration indeed achieved anything with TETFund, especially with the quality of Academic Staff? As the scholarships award are concerned, it is gratifying to report that within the last two years alone, we have sponsored almost half of the total scholars that have been sponsored since the establishment of the scholarship 10 years ago. We started the TETFund scholarship in 2008, that is 10 years ago and in these 10 years we have sponsored about 22,000 scholars to pursue Masters and Ph.D programmes in various fields, both at home and abroad. Of those 22,000, close to 9,000 scholars or about 41% were sponsored in the last two years, under the present administration. With all sense of modesty, I can say that this is unprecedented in the history of higher education in Nigeria. Our projection is that in the next five years, we will sponsor about 45,000 scholars for higher degrees! so and so time you will achieve this, and we will want to see that what you are proposing to do is within the provision of your Strategic Plan document. Also, where you want to site the project is also where your Masterplan envisaged it. So this is one policy that has made our operations better. The Project Proposal Defense has solved a lot of problems. First, the back and forth movement that has been delaying submissions of proposals by institutions has been curtailed. Before now, a beneficiary institution will submit its proposal after which observations are made and sent to the institution. The institution will resubmit and further comments would be made and sent back again to the institution. However,what we do now is completely different. We have changed the process so as to assist the beneficiary institutions and fast track approval of projects. We now sit with the beneficiary institution, a TETFund management panel will discuss the proposal in its entirety, and advise appropriately, so the beneficiary institution will make only one submission and we give Approval-in-Principle for the project proposal. Another thing that this Project Proposal Defense has helped us to address is also the quality, the size, the aesthetic beauty of the projects we are supporting. We have insisted that we would not accept any matchbox structure, any mediocre, ugly building in our tertiary education institutions. Our tertiary institutions should be exemplars regarding quality of projects, and we will want any project that is going to be sponsored and financed by TETFund to be reasonably adequate, to be architecturally beautiful and to be of world-class standard. Remarkably, the Project Proposal Defense is helping us to appraise the size of the proposed structure that an institution is trying to put in place; it is helping us to assess and evaluate the quality and at the same time, the aesthetic beauty of the physical structures. We hold the view the view very strongly that the environment where learning and teaching take place in our tertary institutions should be really inspiring and pleasing. The environment should be able to inspire both the teachers and learners and the quality of that environment means we have to put in place beautiful, qualitative and durable structures and thankfully we were able to achieve that.

Aside the Scholarship Scheme and Conference Attendance what other non-physical intervention area did you focus on? We did the same thing with the Library Development Fund. The Library Development Fund is established to support the stocking of our libraries with books, journals and other periodicals both hard and electronic copies. But we realized that time, and again, the expenditure on library development is supplier-driven instead of demand-driven. We, therefore, insist that all beneficiary institutions must develop what Librarians know as Collection Development Policy. The Collection Development Policy is a document that guides the entire library operations. It includes procurements of library holdings and maintenance of the library holdings. Many beneficiary institutions didn’t have such document, and we insist that as a condition of drawing down from the Fund, there must be a Collection Development Policy document for all the libraries in our beneficiary institutions. That policy will ensure that holdings that are procured by our institutions are demand-driven rather than supplier-driven, with all the attendant abuse and distortions. In line with non-physical interventions like the academic staff training and development (AST&D), I have spoken of what we have done about it to ensure that we are sending our scholars to the right countries, to the right universities so that they get the right quality of training. We have also conducted what we call the Access Clinic. The Access Clinic was meant to help our beneficiary institutions to be able to know what was the outstanding amount of money from was allocated to them; what they are yet to access from TETFund, and for us at the TETFund to find out from them what were the impediments, the challenges that were stopping them from accessing their allocations fully. We were able to address quite some of these problems, agree on the timelines and most of these beneficiary institutions have been keeping to these timelines and access had improved significantly arising from the conduct of the Access Clinic with all the beneficiary institutions. After the Access Clinic and realizing that

Unlike the insinuations here and there, you are insisting that the Buhari Administration should be given kudos rather than knocks for some of this success story around TETFund? Let me say all the success that we have been able to record was mainly because of the tremendous support we have been enjoying from the government. It would interest the general public that the maiden or the first intervention allocation that was approved by this present administration under President Muhammadu Buhari in Year 2016 allocation was the biggest allocation ever since the establishment of TETFund. Interestingly, this happened despite the significant drop in the government revenue due to the sharp decline in oil prices in that year. Even more interesting, is the fact that it was period in which the economy was witnessing episode of recession, yet the Buhari administration was able to allocate more money to the universities and other tertiary institutions. People will be wondering what was going on, whether there was any magic we were doing at TETFund. But it is not rocket science. We just realized that we should invest more in the core mandate of TETFund in the annual direct disbursement rather than spending more on the discretionary projects under the Special Intervention. As a result, we were able to allocate over a billion Naira each to all the Federal and State Universities, precisely, N1,009,000,000:00 (One Billion, Nine Million Naira), and close to N700,000,000:00 (Seven Hundred Million Naira) each to all the Federal and State Polytechnics, and another N700,000,000:00 (Seven Hundred Million Naira) each to all the Colleges of Education owned by Federal and State governments. We have also tripled the allocation to capacity building that is the TETFund scholarships. We gave each University N300 million, each Polytechnic N200 million and each College of Education N200 million to support scholars to pursue higher degrees at home and abroad. These were the highest ever since the establishment of TETFund. The 2017 allocation has also been released but of course, given the severe financial constraints facing the country and the reduced tax collection in 2016 due to the recession, the money that we collected for Year 2016 which we


Thursday 14 June 2018

used for Year 2017 allocation had declined somewhat. So the allocation to Universities hovered around N700 million (Seven Hundred Million Naira only) each, and for Colleges of Education and Polytechnics, around N600 million (Six Hundred Million Naira only) each. The allocation for Year 2018 from the Year 2017 tax collection promises to be higher than that of last year. We have finished our preparations and we are going to release the allocations very soon. I should tell Nigerians that our only source of funds that we allocate and disburse to the beneficiary institutions is the Education Tax collections, that is the two percent (2%) Education Tax that all the companies registered in Nigeria pay from their accessible profit. The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) collects and pay into the Education Pool with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), before the Federal Ministry of Finance transfers the money to the TETFund Project Account.

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Recent Media outcry that about N500 billion is yet to be accessed and still lying at TETFund with Universities being charged to come forward and access it, do you have such money that has not been accessed at TETFund? Whether it is a conjecture or a claim by my good friend here, let me say it straight away without fear of contradiction that there is never such a figure, or such amount at the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund). How he arrived at the figure we just don’t know. But you see on our website, the Education Tax Collection for each year is there, what was allocated to beneficiary institutions is there, what was disbursed is there. We have even gone further than that. What we did was even to introduce a significant document that we call the TETFund Monthly Digest. The TETFund Monthly Digest is providing our

was already borrowed by government, and so the beneficiary institutions started drawing, they started drawing from what was available. So, whenever government eventually refunds the money we have to offset what has already been spent and then determine what is going to be the remaining balance and what we are going to do with it. So I want to reemphasize that there is never a N500 billion anywhere at TETFund waiting to be accessed. But there is information, credible one suggesting that there are allocated funds yet to be accessed by Beneficiary Institutions and these funds are with TETFund? Yes, there are issues of accessing TETFund money because of the model we are operating. We are operating the PID Model of operation, that is: Performance Index Disbursement Model of operation. You have to perform before we

We are yet to hear much about the High Impact Allocation which allows selected Beneficiary Institutions to carry out Special High Impact Projects called SHIP, was that suspended also? No, it was never suspended. In fact, it is noteworthy that for the Special High Impact Allocation, we have given Six (6) Polytechnics, Six (6) Colleges of Education and 12 Universities the Special High Impact Allocation. We are spending about N36 billion on that recently aside the over N132billion already spent on Special High Impact Project before now, making that over N168billion. And these projects have all sprung up across the beneficiary institutions landscape, and we are happy to say that we have thousands of projects all over our 202 beneficiary institutions that are ongoing at the moment. Quite a number of them have been completed, a number of them I have commissioned already, a number are on the queue waiting to be commissioned. We are pleased with the progress we have made in this aspect of our intervention activity. Without really taking you back or risking a repetition of what you have said, can you put figures to the achievements in Conference Attendance and Scholarship Sponsorship in more precise terms? Regarding conference attendance, for example, we have sponsored more than 40,000 academic staff for local and international conferences. As far as conference attendance is concerned, we sponsor both teaching and non-teaching staff to go and attend academic conferences at home and abroad. For the scholarships we are very much pleased with the changes that we have brought to the implementation of the TETFund scholarships award. I have already mentioned that in only two years of the President Buhari administration, we have sponsored close to 9,000 scholars (the exact figure as at March 2018 is 8,820 scholars) to pursue higher degrees at home and abroad. Of course the numbers are on the increase and we believe they will continue to be on the increase. These 8,820 scholars are out of a total of 22,000 scholars that TETFund had sponsored since the commencement of the intervention in 2008. We feel that this is a huge success because we think that training the teachers in our institutions is the surest way of ensuring quality higher education quality in our country. As far as the implementation of the Library Intervention is concerned, we have millions of books now procured. We have supported beneficiary institutions to procure millions of volumes of holdings both in electronic and hard copy holdings over the last two years. This was made possible, of course, mainly because of the new system that we have put in place in ensuring that we look through every submission, every line and every title that is proposed to be procured by the beneficiary institutions.

stakeholder community with month by month information about our intervention operations. How much we have approved to all the beneficiary institutions, how much we have disbursed, how much scholarships we have awarded, and so on are all contained it. This document is available to the general public. Perhaps, the person that made such allegation of a N500 billion lying somewhere in TETFund may be refeering to the N273.9 billion that was borrowed from TETFund by the government during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan. Already President Buhari has given approval to securitize the said amount so that TETFund will be refunded, but that money has not yet been refunded to TETFund. In short, the sum of N273.9 billion from the Year 2013 Education Tax Collection borrowed from TETFund under the Jonathan administration is yet to be refunded. If that money has not been not refunded how can we say that we have any amount of money waiting to be accessed? We don’t have that kind of money. What people are talking about has not yet been refunded. Sure, we are waiting for it to be refunded, but until then, we do not have money lying any where to be accessed. Very importantly, I must also tell the Nigerian public that regarding the borrowed N273.9 billion from TETFund, the then Board of Trustees allocated the money to beneficiary institutions even when they knew the money was not in TETFund coffers, even when they knew the money

give you subsequent money. We have given you money, you have to spend that money, retire that money, and we ensure that you have retired that money before we give you another one. So if you didn’t retire the money, you cannot come for another one, and that is why we did what we called the Access Clinic. At the Access Clinic we resolved most of these issues, and the rate of access has been very encouraging. Your appointment was a mixture of fear and joy but two years down the line, how has it been working with the Buhari Administration? It is indeed very fascinating, very rewarding, and very satisfying. The thing about working under this administration is that your principals have very high expectations regarding your performance. Also, the beneficiary institutions have very high expectations, and so is the same with the general public. But why it is very interesting and exciting is the fact that if you will go by the books, if you will go by the law, if you will abide by the extant regulations, and by the established guidelines and policies, then you will not offend anyone and you will be achieving and succeeding. If you have the right team, and you are working and collaborating with the team, you are delegating responsibilities, and you are following up on feedbacks, you will be able to succeed, you will be able to achieve. Let me say that there was all sort of things said about TETFund staff before I came, but when I

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arrived, I met a very incredibly set of men and women at the Agency who were very willing to work, very willing to deliver, very willing to grow across the ladder. I met people who were determined to succeed but who were looking for leadership and I must say that the Buhari Administration has provided that leadership because you must have somewhere, and somebody to look up to. If the top is rotten, naturally you will be looking up to a lousy model and you will also, even if you are not corrupt, you will not pay heed to do the right thing. But when the top is healthy, is qualitative, is sincere and honest, is determined to rebuild, you have no option than to key fall in line, whatever is your predisposition to work. With the right guidance, with the right mentoring, with the right coaching, with the proper supervision, you will be able to deliver. So I must say that we are enjoying the mentoring, guidance, the correct examples set by Mr. President, and imbibed by our Ministers. On our part, we are setting the same set of standards to our staff here at the Fund, and we are working as one family. We have a solid and capable team at TETFund. It was not easy at the beginning because of those teething problems I have mentioned earlier. Even trying to understand one another, appreciate one another, trust one another so that we would be able to accept and work with one another was a challenge. However, gradually, after the turbulence the water found its level, we have now stabilized and believe me, we are now really cruising to success. And all our stakeholders, especially the benefitting institutions are queuing behind us, they are cooperating with us very well. We are working very well with all our beneficiary institutions and we believe that we are going to achieve much more than what we set to make when we started. What do you find most exciting working with this government and what is the most challenging? Yes, the most interesting thing working with this government is that nobody from the top would ask you to do the wrong thing. Nobody would ask you to do what is against the established rules. Anybody that is ahead of you or your peer that is wanting something to be done in your agency will always put that caveat; if your law permits, if your regulations would allow it. So nobody would want to ask you to do anything outside the provisions of the law. This is very encouraging, and very interesting. Whatever you do well, you will always get a tap of commendation on the back, saying well done! Whenever your supervisors, your principals, heard something that you are doing well, they always pass that encouraging commendation which further motivates and encourages you to stretch and do more. This is not only encouraging, but it strengthens you, it makes you want to do more, it makes you continue to push on. Perhaps one of the challenging thing about working in this administration is maybe never in the history of Nigeria did we have a government that has so many saboteurs! Whatever you are doing there are so many landmines. Whatever you are doing you have to walk through landmines and ensure that you side-step so that you don’t march on a mine. There are so many saboteurs trying as much as possible to stop the government from succeeding. And when I say the government, I generally mean government across all ministries, across all parastatals, all over. And this is really very very challenging. We are delighted that we know this, and whatever we are doing, we are doing it to ensure that we overcome the challenges, we avoid the saboteurs, and even confront them to show them that we know what they are up to and we have to do what we know is right.


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Harvard Business Review

Thursday 14 June 2018

Global Business Perspectives CONNEC TING

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TIME

Iran and North Korea: Trick or treat? AMINA EL ABED

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ARIS — Syria’s President Bashar Assad is begging for a trip to Pyongyang, North Korea, as President Donald Trump prepares for a summit with Kim Jong Un. The scenario offers a reminder of the connections among Syria, Iran and North Korea — and some justification for different treatment by the current U.S. administration. Trump expresses hope of signing a denuclearization agreement with North Korea after tearing up the U.S. agreement with Iran, inspiring easy comments on the irrationality of Trump’s foreign policies. Breaking the convergence between the North Korea and Iran may prove essential. The relationship between Iran and North Korean proliferation is deep and long-standing. The parallel between the two nations is real, with both helping each other at critical junctures, along with a shared connection to Syria; separating the proliferators makes sense. This was true in 2017, when Iran announced resumption of its long-range missile program. According to a UN report, it was during this period that two North Korean ships delivered crates to Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center, the same chemical-weapons research center destroyed by a U.S.-France-U.K. strike in April — a detail adding intriguing context to Assad’s plan to visit Pyongyang. North Korean-Iranian ties go back to the first Gulf War. In the early 1990s, North Korea considered supplying midrange ballistic missiles to Syria, creating enough angst in Israel that it sent to Pyongyang an unprecedented exploratory mission. Today Iran is a threshold nuclear power, while North Korea is a nuclear weapon state. Iran is a major regional threat, as the mullahs finance and arm militias in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen. Iran was also close to the design and supplies for a nuclear weapon. And given North Korea’s prolifera-

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addresses the United Nations General Assembly Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addresses the United Nations General Assembly at at the U.N. headquarters in New York, Sept. 20, 2017. (CREDIT: Chang W. Lee/ the U.N. headquarters in New York, Sept. 20, 2017. (CREDIT: Chang W. Lee/The New The New York Times) York Times)

tion record toward Pakistan and the Middle East, little prevents the country from sharing designs for nuclear warheads or selling missile parts. Like a jigsaw puzzle, Iran and North Korea expose gaping holes in nonproliferation policies. First is the failure to ban development of ballistic capabilities along with nuclear weapons. The Missile Technology Control Regime is a voluntary export regime. No U.N. resolution on North Korea or Iraq has formally declared testing of ballistic missiles illegal. Famously, the Iran agreement did not include such a prohibition. By contrast, North Korea did sign an agreement covering missile launches, then argued that satellite launches were not included. Iran’s development of more ballistic missiles or a nuclear submarine is a farce played on agreement signatories. The second gap is the time limit set by the Iran agreement for highgrade nuclear enrichment. The agreement may have been the best available, but still a huge can was kicked down the road. Formally, Iran did not cheat on the 2015 nucelar deal. But it has developed a massive ballistic program and presents a regional threat. North Korea is accustomed to cheating yet presents less regional danger, except in self-defense. Still, North Korea tested the submarinelaunched ballistic missile and supplied pocket submarines to Iran that could be used against the Or-

muz Straits. Successful arms-control agreements have started with limitations on missiles, going on to nuclear warheads. For example, to this day, many withdrawn U.S. and Russian warheads remain in storage. Cheating is expected in halfway agreements, whether formal like Pyongyang’s open defiance, or in spirit like Iran’s pursuit of ballistic missiles without warheads. Among nondemocracies, only Libya abandoned its program without regime change. North Korea’s recent outburst against what it regards as excessive requests emphasizes that Libya was not yet a nuclear power and not rewarded. By happenstance or design, Trump’s initiatives build on the differences between Iran and North Korea. For Iran, the missile issue is paramount. The U.S.-FranceU.K. strikes on Syria deliver the message that Iran’s missile sites could also be hit. Nuclear weapons without missiles are relics, the line apparently taken by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo whereas national security adviser John Bolton demands immediate, complete denuclearization. Eliminating the missile threat against the United States leaves regional allies exposed. That was also the case with arms-control agreements of the Cold War era — for example, the SS20-Pershing controversy of the 1980s, when Europe and Japan feared exposure. The expanding U.S. nuclear arse-

nal, including low-yield weapons, could be used as a bargaining chip. Ending North Korea’s nuclear program, as suggested by Pompeo, but not mentioning existing stock goes along with stray promises to refrain from seeking regime change and making North Korea as rich as South Korea. The current path cross between immediate delivery and down payment, as favored by part of the Trump administration, and the “phased and synchronous denuclearization,” as pushed by Kim and China. The 2015 Iran agreement addressed fissile materials, while a plan for North Korea could start with missile categories. A breakthrough requires a change of behavior. The administration cannot negotiate arms-control deals and push regime change at the same time: Trump professes to abandon the latter, and the North Koreans are correct about the need for security guarantees. Against all expectations, Kim’s propaganda machine is balancing China, while giving huge domestic exposure to developments underway with South Korea, China and the United States. Trump is likely to disappoint regional allies, especially Japan, by leaving in place shorter-range missiles and perhaps warheads. Regime change for Iran remains a tempting option for the U.S. and regional allies. President Hasan Rouhani does not have complete

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control. With or without the 2015 agreement, Iran remains bound by International Atomic Energy Agency inspections, forced to choose between staying within international law or going rogue. Trump removed most incentives for Iran to comply and must bank on regional allies — Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Egypt — to contain Iran. He must also hope that Europeans, despite anger over the U.S. withdrawal, persuade Iran to abide by the agreement. Withdrawing from a U.N.-sanctioned agreement is a loss for the international system, since Iran did not demonstrably cheat. Yet Iran used the agreement to expand regional influence and pursue a ballistic race. Overextended Iran must make choices. So much security depends on U.S. policy staying power. If U.S. policy on Iran stays erratic, or becomes so on North Korea, that will embolden adversaries to a degree not seen before. Europe has few alternatives, and ending the Western alliance would be suicidal. Instead, Europe must rise above political debates and push for steady U.S. policies, demonstrating to Iran that compromise on missiles is required, while liaising with regional Asian partners to ensure that negotiations do not neglect fissile materials. (François Godement is the director of the European Council on Foreign Relations’ Asia & China program and a senior policy fellow.)


BUSINESS DAY

Thursday 14 June 2018

25

CityFile

Smart manpower required for Lagos’ smart city drive

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overnor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos says the training and retraining of civil servants in the state is part of conscious efforts by his administration to actualise the state’s quest to move from a mega city status to being a smart city. Ambode stated this at a two-day training organised for select civil servants where he challenged them to fully key into the trainings. Represented by Benson Oke, the state commissioner for establishments, training and pensions, the governor noted that the transition to the smart city status and its sustenance would be a lot difficult unless the civil servants fully embraced the trainings and applied them. He said there was the need to equip civil servants with the required skills to catapult the state. The governor stated that public servants must be well equipped and knowledgeable enough to cope with best practice internationally. He charged civil servants to innovate to make government services more customer-centric, as well as actively soliciting citizens’ input to improve public services. “The Lagos State civil service must also become even more savvy in its hiring processes and decisions. Indeed, many people enter public service because they have a deep desire to make their community a better place. However, desire and skill do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. The decision makers can set their agencies or organisations up for success from the very beginning by hiring the right people for the right jobs at the right time,” he said.

Auto clash claims 8 on Lagos-Ibadan expressway

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ight persons reportedly lost their lives in an accident involving a white Toyota Hiace bus and a blue Mack truck opposite Wichtech Roofing and Pipes on Lagos-Ibadan expressway on Tuesday. Babatunde Akinbiyi, public relations officer, Ogun Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE), confirmed the incident. Akinbiyi stated that the accident was caused by speeding and wrongful overtaking on the part of the bus. He said that seven of the passengers in the bus with registration number BEN-313 YX died on the spot while the eighth person died at the hospital. “Ten persons were involved in the accident – five male and five female. Five male and two female died on the spot while one female died at the hospital. “The suspected cause of the crash was a speeding commercial bus from Lagos to Benin which lost control and rammed into the truck with registration number MUS730 XN travelling ahead. “We also learnt that the passengers in the bus just came in from Spain and had chattered the bus to take them to Benin City,” he said. The TRACE spokesperson explained that the dead had been deposited at the mortuary of the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH), Sagamu, while the injured were also in the same hospital. Mr Clement Oladele, the Ogun Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), also confirmed the incident.

Members of Edo State Civil Society Organizations commemoration of June 12 day in Benin-City on Tuesday. By Idris Umar Momoh, Benin-City.

I use military uniform, ID card to smuggle cars into Nigeria - Fake army officer confesses YOMI AYELESO, Akure with agency report

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ight suspects, including a man who claimed to be an army officer, have been arrested and paraded by the Kogi command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). T h e s t at e c o m ma n d a nt o f t h e NSCDC, Everestus Obiyo who paraded the suspects in Lokoja said that the alleged fake army officer was arrested on June 6. Obiyo who identified the alleged fake soldier as Bartholomew Paul, said he was arrested at a military checkpoint at Ayere, Kabba/Bunu local government area of the state. According to him, Paul was arrested by vigilant soldiers who stopped, searched his vehicle and discovered

military uniforms, two military identity cards and other incriminating items. He said that the army later handed over the suspect to the NSCDC for further investigation into his activities. The commandant said that the suspect had been using the uniform, identity card and other items to smuggle cars into the country through Seme border. Obiyo listed other items recovered from him to include a black Lexus jeep; two military passports and a dependent military identity card. He said further that the other seven suspects were arrested for vandalising oil pipelines, electric and telecommunication cables and being in illegal possession of firearms. The commandant said that all the suspects had made useful statements to the NSCDC. The alleged fake army officer when interrogated said that he was into the

business of buying vehicles from Benin Republic for his clients in Nigeria. He admitted that the military items recovered from him were meant to evade security checks. He, however, said that he ran out of luck on the fateful day when soldiers at the military checkpoint insisted on searching the car. “When they searched the vehicle, they discovered where I kept the military uniform inside the booth with my fake military identity cards. My friend advised me to do the fake military identity cards to prevent security men from stopping me whenever I leave Nigeria to smuggle cars into the country from Cotonou,” he said. He disclosed that a sergeant attached to 323 Artillery Brigade, Akure, Ondo State, facilitated for him, the procurement of the military items. The arrested suspects are to be charged to court.

Vandal of BEDC cables jailed 2 years

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suspected vandal, Abdullahi Abubakar has been sentenced to two years behind bars by an Ondo Chief Magistrate Court, for vandalising electricity cables belonging to the Benin Electricity Distribution Plc (BEDC). The convict along two others; Abdullahi Nahalla and Mohammed Umoru were arraigned before the magistrate court for vandalising an XLPE cable in October 2017 at 33/415 substation Awoyaya community, Oke-Oka in Ondo town. The chief magistrate, Damilola Sekoni sentenced Abubakar to two years imprisonment with effect from first date of

arraignment (October 30, 2017) while the two others who pleaded not guilty are awaiting judgment. Their case has been adjourned till June 22, for further hearing. Meanwhile, police in Delta State have arrested five suspected vandals on BEDC network along Ohoror-Patani axis and have moved them to the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) office for further investigation and prosecution. The five suspects are, Lucky Erute, 14 years, Prosper Vincent, 19years, Marvis Ighovotu, 18years, Victory Eguomo, 16 years and Edafe Atiri, 18years.

Recently, a Benin Magistrate Court sitting in Ubiaja in Esan South East local government area of Edo state, sentenced two transformer vandals, Mohammed Dan Fulani, 27 and Babangida Aliyu, 29 to one month and two weeks imprisonment with hard labour for vandalising a BEDC transformer. Vandalism of electricity distribution network and other forms of electrical thefts are threats to power sector sustainability and economic growth. Revenue that could be used for critical development projects are been used to restore damaged and stolen installations.


26

BUSINESS DAY

Luxury

Malls

Companies

Deals

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Thursday 14 June 2018

Spending Trends

Why consumers won’t shop online

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his is not the best times for Nigerian e-commerce firms as they battle for survival. The previous year had been a turbulent one for online companies due the economic downturn which put severe pressure on the stagnant incomes of many consumers. The tough operating environment in the country saw online companies close stores, acquired or merge as a result of drop in sales revenues. In February, 2018, Zinox acquired e-commerce giant, Konga. Two months later Konga and Yudala, Africa’s pioneer composite ecommerce company, announced a merger of their operations effective May 1, 2018. In the same month, OLX, an online marketplace owned by Naspers, shut down its stores in Nigeria, and Ringier Africa Deals Group acquired DealDey, one of Nigeria’s biggest online shopping platforms. For big cities in Nigeria especially Lagos where huge traffic, difficulties with parking lots and long queues can make shopping at brick and mortar stores tedious and timeconsuming, online malls offers consumers a more convenient way of shopping as buyers boycott all the stress that comes with shopping and have their orders delivered right to their doorsteps, but it appears many consumers are reluctant to shop online. Some consumers who spoke with BusinessDay listed outrageous price, poor quality, pay-on-demand options and security issues as their major challenges. Joseph Eze, a Lagos-based en-

trepreneur, said he quit online shopping after he purchased a fake product from one of the top online firms in the country. According to Eze, he ordered for an original Infinix Zero 3 phone and was contacted by a certain young man who introduced himself as Lanre. ‘‘Lanre arrived my residence that day with a pack of supposed Infinix Zero 3 phone which was meant to be a surprise birthday gift for my wife,” narrated Eze. ‘‘When I opened the package and I saw an Infinix Zero 3 phone inside it, I transferred the money into his account, including an additional N800 for shipping. I was angry, embarrassed and disappointed when I turned on the supposed Infinix Zero 3 phone only to discover that it was 100 percent fake,’’ said Eze. Eze called Lanre several times but the seller kept ignoring his calls so Eze contacted the online retail store who apologised promising that the seller would get in touch with Eze within eight days. After calling Lanre more than 20 times and sending text messages without any reply, Eze wrote the online store again requesting for the seller’s address but his request was not granted. He got the address of the seller from someone who works with the online retail store and tried to track Lanre down only to discover that the address does not exist. Eze found out that Lanre also displays his goods on other online stores and he told his wife to place an order which she did with a different delivery address. ‘‘Immediately Lanre entered the

gate, I told the gateman to lock the gate. I reappeared and asked him how the hide and seek game has been all these while. He started pleading,’’ Eze said. Eze made sure Lanre transferred the money back, signed an undertaking and paid N2, 000 since he was the one delivering the phone back to Lanre. With his money back in his account, Eze is pained that the online retail store never deemed it fit to contact him despite his mails. ‘‘I don’t know Lanre, I only placed an order on that website because

of the X online retail store and the company has not even tried to get in touch with me since then,’’ Eze said. Gloria Ubah, an Abuja-based banker ordered for some clothes from an online mall in Nigeria but was displeased when the product was delivered at her doorstep. ‘‘Experience has taught me that most products displayed online especially the clothes does not match what is delivered to consumers,’’ said Ubah. ‘‘I bought phone from Jumia about two years ago and I used the phone until I passed it over

to someone else recently, but the clothes I ordered online and shrunk when I washed it,’’ she said. ‘‘Online malls overprice their goods. So, I dedicate my weekends to shopping in open stores. I don’t mind the stress as long as I can purchase quality products and also save some money,’’ said Joy Abutu, a civil servant in Lagos. ‘‘I can get the same quantity of products advertised online for half the amount from open stores. I only go online to check out the items and if I see anyone I like, I snap and purchase from physical stores,’’ Joy said.

A cross section of staff and students of Government Junior College Maroko, and staff and management of LG Electronics during tree planting and donation of cleaning tools to Government Junior College Maroko to mark 2018 World Environment Day in Lagos.

Here are phones you can buy between N50, 000 and N100, 000 (Part 2) BUNMI BAILEY

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martphones are gaining currency as mobile penetration increased by 84 percent in 2017 from 53 percent in

2016. Two weeks ago we talked about trending phones from various brands such as Tecno, Infinix and Samsung in the market ranging from N50, 000 - N100, 000. Today, we present the second and last part of the report. Infinix Hot S3 smartphone, which was launched in February 2018, is the first smartphone from the company to offer Android 8 out of the box. The current price for this phone is N62, 200. It has a bigger battery, better cameras, new features, sleeker body and generally thoughtful The phone is powered by 1.4GHz octa-core processor and it comes with 3GB of RAM. The phone packs 32GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 128GB via a microSD card. As far as the cameras are concerned, the Infinix Hot S3 packs a 13-megapixel primary camera on the rear and a 20-megapixel front shooter for selfies. The Infinix Hot S3 is a dual SIM (GSM and GSM) smartphone that

accepts Nano-SIM and Nano-SIM. Connectivity options include WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, USB OTG, FM, 3G and 4G (with support for Band 40 used by some LTE networks in India). Sensors on the phone include Compass/ Magnetometer, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, Ambient light sensor and Gyroscope. It also runs Android 8.0 and is powered by a 4000mAh non removable battery. It measures 152.30 x 72.80 x 8.40 (height x width x thickness) and weighs 150.00 grams. Samsung Galaxy J7 which cost about 80,000. The smartphone was launched in June 2017. The phone comes with a 5.50-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of

1080 pixels by 1920 pixels. The Samsung Galaxy J7 is powered by 1.6GHz octa-core processor and it comes with 3GB of RAM. The phone packs 16GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 256GB via a microSD card. As far as the cameras are concerned, the Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) packs a 13-megapixel primary camera on the rear and a 13-megapixel front shooter for selfies. The Samsung Galaxy J7 runs Android 7.0 and is powered by a 3600mAh removable battery. It measures 146.30 x 71.30 x 7.90 (height x width x thickness). The Samsung Galaxy J7 is a dual SIM (GSM and GSM) smartphone. Connectivity options include Wi-

Fi, GPS, Bluetooth and 4G. Sensors on the phone include Proximity sensor. Then we have Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro, which is another variant of the latest J7 smartphone. It shares practically all the features of the regular device, including a 5.5-inch display, an octa-core processor, and 3GB RAM. The Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro runs Android 7.0 and is powered by a 3600mAh non removable battery. It measures 152.40 x 74.70 x 7.90 (height x width x thickness). The Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro is a dual SIM (GSM) smartphone. Connectivity options include WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, USB OTG and 4G (with support for Band 40 used by some LTE networks in India). Sensors on the phone include Compass/ Magnetometer, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, Ambient light sensor and Gyroscope. If this phone is for you then you can make a budget of N96, 000 Gionee X1s smartphone was launched in September 2017. The phone comes with a 5.20-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 720 pixels by 1280 pixels. It costs around N55, 000 in the market The Gionee X1s is powered by 1.5GHz quad-core processor and it comes with 3GB of RAM. The phone packs 16GB of internal storage that

can be expanded up to 256GB via a microSD card. As far as the cameras are concerned, the Gionee X1s packs a 13-megapixel primary camera on the rear and a 16-megapixel front shooter for selfies. The Gionee X1s runs Android 7.0 and is powered by a 4000mAh non removable battery. It measures 150.40 x 73.50 x 8.80 (height x width x thickness) and weighs 166.00 grams. The Gionee X1s is a dual SIM (GSM and GSM) smartphone that accepts Micro-SIM and Micro-SIM. Connectivity options include WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, USB OTG, FM, 3G and 4G (with support for Band 40 used by some LTE networks in India). Sensors on the phone include Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, Ambient light sensor and Gyroscope. Gionee S11 smartphone was launched in November 2017. The phone comes with a 5.99-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1080 pixels by 2160 pixels and the price to purchase this phone in the market is roughly N78, 000 The Gionee S11 is powered by 2.5GHz processor and it comes with 4GB of RAM. The phone packs 64GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 128GB via a microSD card.


Thursday 14 June 2018

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BUSINESS DAY

27

Whole flaked cornflakes have advantages over others – Oyesiji Rotimi Oyesiji, Group GM, Marketing, NASCO Group, recently had a chat with select journalists in Lagos, where he spoke about whole flaked cornflakes and why they are the best. CHINWE AGBEZE was there. Excerpts: There’s been so much talk recently about whole flaked cornflakes. Could you tell us what this is all about? here are two methods of producing cornflakes. The traditional method, which is why it is called cornflakes in the first place, is that you take grains of yellow corn (not just any corn), usually the peak of the crop, and you flake the corn. After flaking the corn, it is then toasted and packed, and what you then have is cornflakes. The modern method, which is cheaper, is that the corn can be extruded, not flaking the real corn. This is not our process. So, the concept of ‘whole flaked’ means the yellow corn that is flaked whole. That is, one yellow corn flaked whole. What is the advantage of whole flaked cornflakes or whole flaking? Firstly, yellow corn is highly nutritious, much more nutritious than any other species of corn. In the particular case of NASCO, we use Nigerian corn. That is, yellow corn grown in Nigeria with the advantage of being totally organic. They are not genetically modified corn and not imported. So we use fresh corn, while the processes of flaking and toasting ensure that the nutritional value of yellow corn

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is retained to ensure better nourishment of consumers. Secondly, the taste is actually flaked, toasted-taste, and that is the reason for the unique taste the people find in our cornflakes. Thirdly, it also retains its crunchiness because it is fresh yellow corn, the peak of the crop, so there is no need to add any additives, any colouring or any preservatives. Therefore, NASCO cornflakes do not have any colouring, no additives and no preservatives, and that is the taste that Nigerians have come to recognize over the last 35 years that the brand has been delivering nutritional value and quality taste to them. In our thinking, these are some of the reasons why mothers have come to trust the NASCO brand of cornflakes. Apart from NASCO cornflakes, are there other whole flaked brands in Nigeria? We are the only cornflakes brand in this market that is whole flaked. We have made a careful choice to invest more in agronomy and improved production processes just to satisfy our consumers. Why are you talking about whole flaked now? We deem consumer enlightenment necessar y to aid informed choices. As a brand, you must always educate your

Rotimi Oyesiji

consumers. We need to also let consumers know why NASCO Cornflakes are what they are and the reason they have always stuck by it. That is why we came up with this whole flaked cornflakes

campaign. How long will the campaign run? Our communications are not limited to the ongoing campaign. As long as we are in the market,

we will constantly communicate with the consumers. As a matter of fact, our engagement with the consumer will even get into high gear now. Do you have any intention of coming up with other brands soon? As most people know, we have always been a consumer marketing company. Many remember that we were the first to come up with premium biscuits. If you recall, in the late 70s, we were the first to introduce premium biscuits in Nigeria and our premium biscuits are still around till today. As a matter of fact, they are very fastsellers. Of course, in the process, we have also introduced some other biscuit brands, and we shall be coming up with even some more brands. We have always been innovative. Many people can also recall that in the 80s, we introduced the very popular NASCO Wafers. Should the market expect more innovations from NASCO? The answer is yes. Just watch out. We have really exciting times ahead of us because we believe in the consumers, especially the Nigerian consumers. We believe that the Nigerian consumer deserves the best at all times and we will spare no effort in giving the Nigerian consumers the best.

Living under poverty line How Nigerians are struggling to survive

If you want to contact the writer of this story call: +234(0) 803 889 1567, +234(0) 8155184838 chinwe.agbeze@businessdayonline.com

Teacher in dire need of funds to undergo hip replacement Name: Godwin Adanon State of Origin: Lagos State Age: 26 years Dependents: None Occupation: Teacher I used to teach Music at Christabel Nursery and Primary School, Oshodi. I also taught Music in College Best Secondary School but I quit teaching in schools in 2015 when I started experiencing a severe hip pain. I have had issues with my left leg for a long time but sometime in 2015, I discovered that each time I stood up to teach, the pain at the hip was always severe. What did you do when you noticed the severe pain? I went to General Hospital, Isolo, for diagnosis. I was referred to Ikeja General Hospital for X-ray. After the

X-ray, I was told I needed a surgery. The doctor said my entire hip has gone and must be replaced. The bill I was given was huge so I went to my pastor for prayers. One of the leaders in my church raised N50, 000 for me and another leader from another church raised N50, 000, making it N100, 000. Since then (February 2016) till now, no more money has been raised. What is the cost implication? The bill I was given by the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (L ASUTH) on the September 30, 2016, was N823, 000 for the hip replacement, but recently, I went back to the hospital and was told I needed about N1.4million which will cover the surgery, admission bill, drugs, and

blood. Have you taken any treatment since then?

Godwin Adanon

I have not taken any t re at m e nt. Th e d o c t o r advised me to be using

crutches to avoid total breakdown of the hip since I don’t have the money for the surgery. I also have to use the crutches each time I want to go out to reduce the pain on my leg. I have had this issue for long and I usually take Renaf Plus and other painrelieving drugs prescribed by my doctors. I take the drugs once in two days just to calm the pain and it lasts for a week, after which the pain would come up again. If that happens, I rush and get the drugs. How have you been coping since you noticed this in 2015? I had to stop teaching Music in schools. I only teach a student Music at home on Saturdays and I’m paid N15, 000 a month. I used that money to sup-

Analysts: Chinwe Agbeze, Stephen Onyekwelu, David Ibemere, Graphics: Fifen Famous

port myself. My family are poor and could barely feed themselves let alone help with my medical bill. I still support them with the little I make. I cannot go far with the crutches. Sometimes, I have to trek from my house to the junction to catch a bus and that usually gives me a tough time. I discovered that each time I walk the bones at my hip rub against each other and that gives me serious pains at the hip. Each time I’m walking, the hip generates pain. The best thing I was told is to do the surgery. Challenge: This hip problem has caused me so much pain. It’s hard for anyone to know what I’m going through but whenever I’m alone, I cry so much praying that God will raise men to help me do this surgery.


28

BUSINESS DAY

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Thursday 14 June 2018

‘FG can maximise non-aeronautical revenues through cargo movements’ Tayo Ojuri, is an industry expert and Chief Executive Officer, Aglo Limited, an aviation support service. Aglo Limited, which focuses on agents of foreign airlines, has also carved a niche for itself in handling airport protocol services and ground handling services. The firm is currently looking for opportunities within aviation consulting, data analysis and being able to use data for planning and forecasting so the country can build a viable commercially safe and secured aviation sector. In this interview with Ifeoma Okeke, Ojuri speaks on how Nigeria can leverage non- aeronautical sources to boost airport revenues. Why do you think privatisations of airports or airport concessions are the best ways to manage our airports? am a capitalist and I look at it from the point of view that from what have been done so far, we have not seen great change in the way the airports have been managed over the years. So, I believe that the way forward is to privatise or concession these airports so we have the private entities being able to manage them in line with best international practice. This way, the airport is commercially driven, managed and coordinated in a safe, secured and effective environment that is devoid of government intervention. We have seen it over the years, since 1980, when Margaret Thatcher privatised the five British airports. We have seen how it evolved over time. It may not be perfect at once and we have had issues with concession over time but what we should do is to have a transparent, thorough process and with that process, we are able to invite viable airport management companies to come and manage these airports and we are able to derive value for the passengers, the airlines and value for the nation as well. Comparatively, will you say government charges high taxes for airlines in Nigeria? Based on a rate and charges that we have, we see it as high. We say high, comparatively with the services provided. Unfortunately, the infrastructure within the system are deficient. For what you are paying, you are not getting value for them, so people see that service as not available and see them as high. The airline has to go through the airports, the air conditioning systems are not working, and the baggage handling systems either in check-in or arrival are not working as at when due. This actually affects the airline as well as the passengers and they are not able to meet the service level agreements and obligations to the passengers. In all, these affect the cost of operating the airline and this is apart from all the other charges that are payable to the government as well as the agencies. What we have seen in other countries that have made it seamless and efficient is that instead of paying to three or four entities, you have one window and those charges and paid to one government agency and at this end, the

I

Tayo Ojuri

responsibilities are spread across the agencies. This helps with data collection. At the moment, we have different sources of data from the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA), the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) about passenger movement. With this, if you are paying all these charges to one agency and they are split across, you find out that it will be efficient. Looking at Nigeria scenario, what are the potential non-aeronautical revenue sources and what do you think FAAN can do to harness these opportunities? Looking at the Nigeria airport environment, there are huge opportunities for non-aeronautical revenues. Huge opportunities in the sense that we have huge meet and greet population; whereby people come to the airports to meet or see-off their friends and relatives. Airports should be attraction to people. Rather than go to the malls on weekends, people should come to the airports for sight see, have an educational tour, and have a feel of the place. You are able grow non- aeronautical revenues, whereby multiple car parks are available. We should have the viewing parks, restaurants, shops and retail outlets that

show the sense of place. Nigeria is a very cultural diverse country, so it is to show the beauty of Nigeria and an opportunity to grow tourism. We are able to show Nigeria as a beautiful place because the airport is a first point of contact when you are coming in and the last point of contact when you are going out of the country. In essence, once you have all these shops and a well concession retail and food and beverage outlets, these will grow non-aeronautical revenues in partnership with international brands and that is able to grow the revenue. With growth in revenue, it will help the airports to reduce aeronautical revenues, which will increase the passenger flight movement and aircraft coming into the airport. It has been tried and tasted all over the years. It has happened in Ghana, South Africa and even Europe, when they reduced aeronautical charges, they are able to improve their route analysis and embrace more airlines to come in. So, with this, they have lots of people spending at the airports. What we need to look at is the demography of passengers that go through our airports. What are the ages, the spending pattern and where are they going to? Secondly, what is the disposable income for

that demography? Thirdly is to be able to know what they want. So, all these drivers would help us to know what kind of shops we need to put there. We know for sure, we have high origin and destination passenger traffic. So, we should focus around hotels and around the airport. This helps with connections. Cargo, car parks and food outlets should be encouraged, with a sense of place and international brands. The other things that is trending is the duty free arrivals; this is a huge cash cow for the airports because Nigerians carry lots of luggage and rather than paying excess, you can use that money to shop at arrival without any restrictions once you get to Nigeria. All these, put together, well implemented with multinationals and big brands within Nigeria, can grow nonaeronautical revenues. How do you think FAAN can maximise non-aeronautical revenues through cargo movements? This will be by leveraging on government’s exports and agriculture initiative. One of the seven key policy initiatives is agriculture. So, it is being able to leverage on the farmers and the exports. It is also being able to get a clearance from National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and Nigeria Exports Promotion Council (NEPC) and partner with the countries that have high Nigeria population in diaspora. We can get the clearance by ensuring the products

Within the African continent, South Africa has the highest nonaeronautical numbers and they are going in line with best international practice

are up to their standards. With their standards met, we are able to ensure there is a free flow of the products. This will help produce jobs for the farmers and ensure the consistency of revenue flow. We have seen this happen in Ghana, where a warehouse was built and the government promoted farmers providing the quality of pineapples and yams that are now being exported to Europe and North America. What is the percentage of non-aeronautical revenues in Africa, compared to other continents? Within the African continent, South Africa has the highest nonaeronautical numbers and they are going in line with best international practice. We are looking at about 60percent for non-aeronautical at the average and aeronautical is 40percent. With this, you are able to see more aircraft coming into South Africa and they are able to attract more airlines and passengers. They are also leveraging tourism. The tourists have seamless facilitation and airport experience. Non-aeronautical is grown through a process, such that you look at the demography and locating the shops where the passengers go through. If you locate the shops in line with passengers’ footprint, it forces them to buy and they have attractions to these shops as they go through. When you go through security and immigration screening, you are forced to go through duty free and at that point, you are forced to buy something. It creates a good ambiance after going through security screening. With good restaurants and relaxation points, the passenger spending power will be improved. Ghana is moving up now and it is a function of the space and the airport capacity. With the international airport opening this year, it is going to grow in the next two years. I will estimate the growth of Ghana’s aeronautical revenues at 50percent and 50percent for non-aeronautical revenues. The attraction is to build huge retail outlets, huge restaurants and shops, which will make people spend. We have seen lots of lowcost long haul airlines, which don’t serve as much food in the aircraft, like the normal legacy airlines. This way, you force passengers to buy and eat at the airport before departure. So, this increases nonaeronautical revenues.


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LegalBusiness BD Business Law Industry Report Practice Intelligence Partnerships

Deepening participation in the NBA and its activities

The Rise of Africa’s Institutional Investors: Making Indigenous Capital Work for Africa Continued from last week

ADEKUNLE SOYIBO

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Mazi Afam Osigwu

am strongly persuaded that we need to review the current mode of administering the Bar, so as to deepen participation by female lawyers, young lawyers, in-house counsel and lawyers in public service. The Demographics make up more than 65% of the membership of the Association, yet their involvement and participation in the affairs of the Bar are abysmally low. Presently, young lawyers cannot be appointed into the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NBA until they are ten (10) years post-call. Thus, until they legally qualify to apply for SAN or to be appointed a judge, they cannot be co-opted into the NBA NEC. There is no doubt that we need the age and experience of our seniors, but we also need the energy, innovation and progressive ideas of our female and young colleagues, in-house counsel and lawyers in public service who are not presently involved and or integrated into the activities of the Association. We need to modify these legal strictures to ensure that all segments of the legal profession are well represented in the management and control of the finances and affairs of the Association. In keeping with one of its aims and objectives of creating schemes for the encouragement of the newly qualified and providing assistance to its aged or incapacitated members, the NBA should: 1. Ensure that young lawyers who not more than five years post-call do Continues on page 30

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part from pension funds and sovereign wealth funds, African institutional investors include (a) development finance institutions like Africa Finance Corporation, African Development Bank, ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development; (b) family offices and proprietary investment companies like T.Y. Danjuma Family Office, Heirs Holdings, Man Capital; (c) insurance companies like Old Mutual, an insurance and asset management group based in South Africa. These institutional investors at times utilise private equity funds, infrastructure funds and other specialised funds as vehicles for channelling their investments; they co-invest with foreign institutional investors and may make direct investments. Pension Funds Pension reforms in Africa resulting in the adoption of defined contributory schemes, universal pension schemes and growth of pension fund assets on the continent has made it possible for pension funds to invest in a broad array of asset classes. About 90% of the assets are concentrated in Botswana, Namibia and Nigeria, South Africa . Examples include Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) in South Africa, Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) in Namibia, Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) in Botswana and pension fund administrators in Nigeria. The Nigeria Pension Reform Act 2014 (PRA) gives examples of the

types of instruments that pension funds invest in Africa. Section 86 of the PRA provides that pension funds and assets can be invested into government securities, corporate securities, closed-end and hybrid investment funds, real estate development investments, specialised investment funds. The Regulation on Investment of Pension Fund Assets 2017 includes in the array of investment options (a) infrastructure projects through eligible bonds including railroads, toll roads, airports, ports, power, gas, pipelines; (b) infrastructure funds with multilateral development finance agencies or minimum investment manager rating of ‘BBB’; (c) private equity funds with multilateral development finance agencies or minimum investment manager rating of ‘BBB’; (d) real estate investment trust with minimum investment manager rating of ‘BBB’; (e) Global Depository Receipts/Note

and Eurobonds issued by Nigerian corporates or listed on a securities exchange that is a member of the World Federation of Exchanges. Sovereign Wealth Funds Having become important to safeguard the wealth realised from commodity exports in Africa for both the current and future generations, many African countries have established sovereign wealth funds. Today, there are 20 sovereign wealth funds on the continent, half of which were established after 2010 including Ghana, Angola, Nigeria, Senegal, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Kenya, Zimbabwe . The Nigerian sovereign wealth fund provides some understanding into the mandate of sovereign wealth funds in Africa. The Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority Act 2011 (the “Act”) provides in its long title that the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (the “Authority”)

is established to receive and manage in a diversified portfolio of medium and long-term revenue from government to prepare for the eventual depletion of Nigeria’s hydrocarbon resources for the development of critical infrastructure in Nigeria that attract and support foreign investment, economic diversification, growth and creation in Nigeria. Section 3 of the Act provides that the objectives of the Authority shall be to (a) build a savings base for the Nigerian people; (b) enhance the development of Nigerian infrastructure; (c) provide stabilization support in times of economic stress. Section 4 (1) of the Act provides for the establishment of the following three separate “ring-fenced’ Funds: (a) “the Future Generations Fund”, a diversified investment portfolio for the benefit of future generations of Nigerian citizens; (b) “the Nigeria Infrastructure Fund”, dedicated to servicing an investment portfolio whose purpose is to assist “the development of critical infrastructure in Nigeria that will attract and support foreign investment, economic diversification and growth”; and (c) “the Stabilization Fund”, a portfolio of investments geared at providing supplemental stabilization funding for the Federation of Nigeria in times of need, essentially when other funds set aside for fiscal stabilization purposes are insufficient for that purpose. In Section 4 (2), the Act sanctions the Santiago Principles which promotes transparency, good governance, accountability and prudent investment practices and requires Continues on page 30

ICC Africa conference to highlight development of arbitration across the continent

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n both developed and emerging economies, arbitration has evolved as an acceptable means of dispute resolution, which complements the efforts of traditional courts and so countries are scrambling to make their countries “arbitration friendly.” There is no doubt that although arbitration poses its own challenges but its opportunities and benefits have been seen to outweigh the former. However, African countries are yet to leverage on the huge opportunities therein. As a result, the 3rd International Chambers of Commerce (ICC) Africa Conference on International Arbitration which is scheduled to hold on Monday June 18th and Tuesday 19th, 2018 at the Civic Centre, Ozumba Mbadiwe Street, Victoria Island, Lagos will enumerate various benefits of arbitration in Africa through its rich panel sessions. The session, Clause and Effect: Seating your Arbitration in Africa,

which will hold on Monday 18 June 2018 will discuss how African jurisdictions have responded to the requirements of an arbitration friendly environment and its impact upon arbitration on the continent. Before this session, the first session will focus on: ICC Arbitration: Innovation on the Basis of the Tradition for Quality. This will introduce the latest strive of the ICC International Court of

Arbitration for enhancing time and cost efficiency to a fast track arbitration for smaller claims while ensuring fundamental quality features. The climax of the day’s event will be a focus on ‘Participants Africa rising – stemming the flight of arbitral disputes.’ This session will focus on attendant issues resulting in the delocalisation and flight of arbitral disputes from Africa. Panel Discussions will include identification and discussion of attendant factors that weigh against seating arbitrations in African Jurisdictions. Panellists will offer perspectives and bring their individual jurisdictional experiences to bear on discussions and explore how the challenges can be surmounted, if not eliminated, so that arbitration can take its rightful role as a Catalyst for economic growth in Africa. In a bid to understand the regulations and enforcements for arbitration, the session on ‘Supporting the arbitral process’ which will be taken on Tuesday 19th, 2018, will

consider and identify the various bodies which support arbitration and the entire arbitral process. Speakers will discuss the significant role the State plays in arbitration by providing enabling legislation that validates and legitimizes arbitration. The Judiciary’s role during the arbitral process regarding issues such as challenge of arbitrators, interim measures and enforcement of awards will also be discussed. The role played by arbitral institutions will also be examined. It is expected that the outcome of the session will be an identification of whether arbitration in Africa receives sufficient support and also proffer any suggestions on how arbitral process can be better supported. Another interesting session will focus on Arbitrability in Africa: New hopes or lost opportunities. Panel discusses here will centre on whether the approaches to arbitrability taken by African jurisdictions give rise to new hopes (increased use of African seats)

or lost opportunities (reluctance to arbitrate in African jurisdictions). Funke Adekoya, Senior Advocate of Nigeria who is also the chairperson of the conference said the conference, which is the most important gathering for the African arbitration community will provide invaluable updates on developments in the region, during a series of panel discussions with a faculty of prominent speakers and thought leaders. According to her, ICC’s annual Africa conference, held in English and French, is the key forum for understanding international commercial arbitration in Africa. “This conference provides an indispensable update on developments in the region and is becoming the most important gathering for the African arbitration community. Not only does it offers a line-up of top-class speakers, topical discussions and relevant news, but also an excellent opportunity to network,” Adekoya said.


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Saraki reports on senate achievement

BARPERSPECTIVE

Corporate governance experience, necessary to lead the bar – Paul Usoro, SAN

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ecently during a courtesy visit to the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Otta Branch, Paul Usoro, SAN was well received by members of the branch led by Gbolagade Adeosun, immediate past Chairman, Ota Branch who expressed his delight to have the learned silk in their midst. In the course of the introduction, he rightly mentioned the ambition of Paul to lead the NBA. Responding to the hospitality from the branch members, the Telecommunications Law expert, Paul Usoro, SAN lauded the massive turnout of Bar men and women (both old and young) to make him feel at home at Otta. “I am elated to be in your midst and I want to confirm what Adeosun said, that I am aspiring to be the President of the NBA. The beauty of this election is that there is universal suffrage that is everybody who has paid his/ her practice fees and branch dues has a vote”. Addressing the people, Paul Usoro spoke about his experience in the private sector and how it will serve as an advantage to lead the NBA. “I come from a commercial litigation and transaction background. Apart from this, I have been privileged to serve on the boards of blue chip companies from year 2000. It is my experience on these boards that I wish to leverage on and apply in the service of the NBA. One core experience I plan to implement is corporate governance. The KPMG diagnostic report of the NBA highlights lack of corporate governance in the NBA and this is very evident as far as financial procedures are concerned. In fact, that Report says that we really do not have a structure that can regulate itself because there are no processes in place”. Paul Usoro added that there is

Paul Usoro, SAN

need to put a proper system in place in order to build an institution out of the NBA. “This is one of the things I plan to do. With your support, I intend to build an institution out of the NBA and it starts from having proper records and being transparent. The introduction and entrenchment of corporate governance will correct the identified systemic problems. The advantages of having these things are huge and it goes beyond being able to account for every money contributed to the association”. He also used the occasion to bolster that the NBA as an institution should have a mentorship scheme for young lawyers because it shows them the way to become successful practitioners. Mentorship is far more valuable than the money given to young lawyers; it impacts the skills of the practice to them. Therefore, the ideal aspirant himself must be hugely successful and must have a track record in mentorship. “At Paul Usoro & Co, we have a track record of having mentored people. We have produced Attorney Generals, Solicitor Generals, Senior Advocates and Legal Advisers. We have also produced a Governor and Chief Executive Officers of big organizations. What these PUC Alumni uniformly say is that our firm was a good training ground for them”, he said.

Deepening participation in the NBA and... Continued from page 29 not pay more than N10, 000 .00 (ten thousand naira) to attend or participate in all aspects of its Annual General Conferences. 2. Ensure that lawyers who have spent more than fifty (50) years at the Bar are exempted from paying to attend any NBA organized events including the Annual General Conferences. 3. Ensure that young lawyers participate in all NBA sections and fora organized events at no fee. 4. Ensure that for gender comprehensiveness not less than twenty female lawyers are Co-opted into the National Executive Committee of NBA. 5. Ensure that every branch elects at least one lawyer of no more than ten (10) post call as representatives of young lawyers at the NBA NEC. This will, of course, require constitutional amendment. 6. Ensure that at least twenty (20) young lawyers are co-opted into the National Executive Committee of NBA. To this end Section 7 of the NBA Constitution should be amended to allow lawyers who are not MORE THAN ten (10) years post-call to be co-opted into the NEC. 7. Appoint at least two female lawyers and two young lawyers into every Committee set up by NBA. 8. Amend Section 15(3)(b) of the Uniform Bylaws to reduce the post-enrolment qualification requirement to contest for certain offices at the branch level. 9. Co-opt at least five (in-house) counsel and five lawyers in public service into NBA NEC. 10 Allow young lawyers to participate in NBA-organized Continuing Professional Development (Continuing Legal Education) Programmes at no cost.

Thursday 14 June 2018

11 Put in place free online Continuing Professional Development (Continuing Legal Education) Programmes for lawyers. 12 Deepen the range of benefits enjoyed by lawyers for paying the Annual Practice Fee. 13 Continue and actualize the proper placement of lawyers in police and other security agencies into the appropriate officer cadre. 14. Reintroduce automatic life insurance cover of at least N1million to all lawyers who pay their Annual Practice Fee as well put in place a health insurance cover for lawyers less than ten (10) post call as well as aged and disabled lawyers . We must respect and honour senior lawyers as well as cater for the wellbeing of juniors, females the aged and other lawyers, who on account of their gender age or nature of job are somewhat incapacitated. The NBA must therefore put in place and implement policies to encourage wider involvement and participation of all demographics of its membership/ lawyers in its activities. We must have a Bar where each and every lawyer can realize and maximize their potentials - those who dare, win; A Bar in which no lawyer is despised or discriminated against; where the young and the old have a role and a voice in its administration; where those who are dedicated to the actualization of their dreams receive a befitting recompense for their efforts; where every lawyer can use the power which lies within them to be men/women of destiny. Mazi Afam Osigwe LLM(Jos), LLM (Lazarsky) FCArb (UK) is a Presidential Aspirant in the forthcoming NBA Elections.

…Announces a total of 213 bills in three years

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he President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, earlier this week revealed that the Senate passed a total of 213 bills and cleared 138 petitions in the last three years of its inauguration, commending Nigerians for their support and encouragement. Saraki, in a statement issued from Saudi Arabia where he is on lesser Hajj, said that the achievements of the Senate within the period would not have been possible without the backing of Nigerians, who played active role in the activities of the apex legislative Chamber since June 9, 2015. He also noted that the present Senate was the most productive since 1999, pointing out that it surpassed the 5th Senate, which passed 129 bills in four years, and equally had the highest number of bills, as against the 6th Senate with 72 bills, and 128 passed by the 7th Senate. According to him, the present Senate has worked to grow the economy by passing bills such as the Companies and Allied Matters Act, the Secured Transactions in Movable Assets Act, the Credit Bureau Reporting Act

and the Warehouse Receipts Bill, Nigerian Railways Authority Bill, National Transportation Commission Bill, which are aimed at providing significant reforms to the nation’s business environment and strengthening lending legislative frameworks to allow SMEs to access capital. “We have passed 213 bills, cleared 138 petitions submitted by the public. We are happy to say that this Senate is the most productive

since 1999. It has surpassed the 5th Senate, which, with 129 bills in four years, had the highest number of bills, as against the 6th Senate with 72 bills, and 128 passed by the 7th Senate. The number of petitions we have successfully treated to the satisfaction of Nigerians who filed them dwarfed the eight and six treated by the sixth and seventh Senate respectively,” Saraki said.The Senate President also highlighted some of the interventions of the Senate since June 9, 2015, stating that the impact of the work of the legislature in Nigeria’s system of governance was starting to be understood. Saraki noted that the Senate was engaging with security agencies to ensure that all the necessary laws and funds needed to ensure the safety of lives and property in the country were put in place. He promised that the Senate and the National Assembly would continue to be transparent, accountable and responsive even as the nation and its political office holders prepared for the 2019 elections.

The Rise of Africa’s Institutional Investors... Continued from page 29 the Authority to implement best practices in management of the funds as well as co-invest with strategic, sovereign and internationally recognised investment funds. Section 4 (2) (d) and (e) of the Act provides that, “(d) Implement best practices with respect to management independence and accountability, corporate governance, transparency and reporting on performance as provided in this Act. including with due regard as appropriate for the Santiago Principles or other similar principles or conventions as may be adopted by the Governing Council as representing international best practice; (e) attract co-investment from other investors, including strategic investors, sovereign and internationally recognised investment funds and private companies, to enhance the Authority’s capital and maximize risk adjusted returns” Making Indigenous Capital Work for Africa: Looking Inward It is amazing to see that collectively, African institutional investors have a large amount of capital available and also have the potential to grow these funds. Africa has always looked outward for aid and capital; however, it is high time for the continent and its leaders to look more inward to grow and deploy the resources and skills that will make capital available for sustainable development on the continent. Below are some thoughts on what can be done to make capital available for sustainable development: 1.) Growing the Capacity of African Institutional Investors Growing capacity will involve growing the funds available for deployment, skills and experience of personnel involved in management of the funds; and research into the ways in which performance of the funds can be optimised to provide the significant returns as well as efficient risk management for the investment portfolio. African sovereign wealth funds are small in comparison to funds in emerging and developed markets, in fact, private equity funds

in developed countries have bigger funds to deploy than African sovereign wealth funds. It is therefore important for African governments to make sacrifices and save more from foreign exchange earned from commodity exports. 2.) Infrastructure Development Infrastructure development is crucial to reducing the costs of doing business on the continent. There should be a focus over the next decade on building infrastructure that can sustain the population boom that has been projected to occur on the continent. If the cost of doing business is reduced, businesses will thrive, and the continent will be able to attract more investment to provide jobs for its growing population. Just like the African Development Bank has made infrastructure development its focus, Africa governments and the private sector should collaborate and do the same. 3.) Developing Partnerships Partnerships and collaboration amongst African institutional investors will be necessary to make some of the required capital available. Collaboration with foreign institutional investors is also important for co-investment opportunities and capacity building for African fund managers as there will be a lot to learn from experienced institutional investors in developed countries particularly in relation to portfolio management and risk management. However, in collaborating with foreign institutional investors, African institutional investors should be at the driving seat of seeking investment opportunities on the continent. 4.) Improvement of the Business Environment A favourable business environment is important to attract investment, even the African institutional investors will not invest funds in the absence of a favourable business environment. African governments have sole responsibility for this and should create favourable regulatory environment for business, pass investor-friendly business laws, eliminate corruption in government agencies and ensure security of business property and assets.

5.) Good Governance African leaders need to continue to promote good governance across the continent. It was noted at the Brookings Africa Growth Initiative Roundtable Series of 7th October, 2016 that “corporations have a wide range of options when picking an investment destination, [i]n order to make their investment environment attractive, African nations must boost investors’ confidence, largely by enacting stable policies and consistently recognizing the rule of law”. Conclusion The government of the African nations that have established sovereign wealth funds should be commended for taking this step. The funds will ultimately have a cushion effect on the financial system of the countries. It is a good development in view of the fact that sovereign wealth funds arose to prominence during the financial crises and acted to recapitalise a number of the world’s largest financial institutions including Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch. Price Waterhouse Coopers has identified the impact of sovereign wealth funds to include (a) lowering of government borrowing costs as investors will be willing to lend money on better terms to a country with a sovereign fund; (b) limit of foreign exchange rate appreciation in situations where inflow of foreign exchange can lead to “Dutch Disease” where appreciation of domestic currency can damage the competitiveness of export reliant sectors like manufacturing. Hence, it is appropriate to say that African nations should look more within the continent to harness, create and develop value. We need to develop our people, industries, businesses, financial and political institutions. In this article, the call is to support and develop the growing number of institutional investors that will be able to provide the much-needed capital for growth and development on the continent. Adekunle Soyibo - Head, Financial Services Sector, Jackson, Etti & Edu.


Thursday 14 June 2018

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Overview of the NERC meter asset provider regulations 2018 IVIE EHANMO

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he regulatory framework on Meter Asset Provider (MAP) came into effect on the 8th of March 2018 and became enforceable by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) from April 3rd 2018. The regulation which sets out to govern the relationship between Distribution Companies (DisCos) and third-party meter vendors was conceived by NERC to address the issues of estimated billing of customers, protection of the revenue stream of the DisCos and ultimately foster and accelerate an energy accounting system for the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) through the engagement of Meter Assets Providers (MAPs), for effective metering of customers. The main objectives of the regulation are as follows: Encourage the development of independent and competitive meter services in NESI; Eliminate estimated billing practices in NESI; Attract private investment to the provision of metering services in NESI; Close the metering gap through accelerated meter roll out in NESI; Enhance revenue assurance in NESI. Therefore, the underlying aim of the regulation is to enable DisCos focus on their core business which is the distribution of power whilst meeting their contractual metering targets through third party alliance. It is envisioned that this innovative approach will accelerate investment in meter production and services which is estimated to attract over 200 Billion Naira investment into the NESI over the next few years of full implementation. However, despite the intention(s) behind the regulation, it is worthy to note that the regulation fails to recognize the existing metering targets of the DisCos as set out in the Performance Agreement which is the primary transaction agreement governing the operation of the DisCos in the NESI. The regulation provides that within 120 days of the regulation taking effect, NERC shall develop an order to cap the estimated bill of unmetered customers to address the issue of estimated billing in the NESI. The target for the commencement of the enforcement of

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the proposed cap is however ambitious (4 months following the date on which the regulation comes into effect) and should ideally align with the meter roll out schedule/deployment programs of the respective DisCos. The regulation anticipates that the DisCos will be expected to start meeting their metering targets by an arrangement (based on a procurement process) entered between the DisCos and Meter Asset Providers (MAPs), which will be 120 days from the 3rd of April 2018. To this end, DisCos will have to enter into Meter Service Agreement (MSA, which shall be for a tenure of 15 years, and should cover the life cycle of meters procured) with MAPs to provide specified number of meters to cover a target area within the timeframe of the agreement. While the metering responsibility has been acceded to the MAPs, there would still be a significant level of metering effort required on the part of the DisCos which will in effect require additional expenditure beyond the current provisions in the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO). DisCos will need to ramp up their respective networks to ensure they are suitable for tamper resistant metering, thus requiring additional CAPEX and ongoing OPEX for payments to MAPs especially considering the fact that the regulation anticipates the MAPs to be paid in full the Meter Service Charge (MSC) by customers during each billing cycle, without taking account of instances where the DisCos receive only partial payment from customers or instances of non-payment by customers.

The DisCos will be responsible for requesting for bids from qualified and NERC Certified Meter Service Providers (MSPs) under a transparent process while NERC will be responsible for issuing a permit to the successful bidder who shall execute a Meter Service Agreement (MSA) with the DisCos to cover target areas during a specified timeframe. While the MAP is not restricted from acquiring several permits under distinctive procurement processes conducted by the DisCos, the regulation is unclear as to whether DisCos on the other hand can engage multiple MAPs to cater to different segments of the metering process, which will more than likely be the preferred choice for DisCos as the regulation seems to make reference to a single bidder and single procurement process (Regulation 8(10)) without also taking cognizance of the fact that the MAP may have multiple meter manufactures. Significantly, the DisCos will be expected to provide guarantee or payment security and make periodic payments to the MAPs for the cost of the installed meters over a period of 10 years (which is the tenure of the MAP permit in the first instance according to the regulation) whilst the MAPs are expected to execute a performance bond (under a Service Level Agreement) in favour of the DisCos. Upon default of payment by the DisCos, the MAPs will be entitled to draw down on the guarantee or payment security depending on the payment structure adopted between parties as captured in the regulation. The regulation allows customers to exercise the choice of providing customer-financing for meter installation which will entitle the customers who have funded the meter installation to enjoy energy credit to cover the amount expended by the customer. Customers in this instance will be precluded and exempt from paying the MSC to the DisCos. The regulation provides for the rights and obligations of the parties, i.e. the DisCos, the MAPs (Third Party Vendor), and the Customers. Whilst the regulation gives DisCos the right to access the installed meters in order to carry out its operations, it confers ownership rights of the asset on the MAP until payment has been fully amortised via the MSC by beneficiary

customers. The regulation stipulates procedures a prospective MAP will have to comply with to effectively provide services to the DisCos. The regulation requires that the prospective MAP will have to apply for a permit along with meeting certain technical, technological and documentation requirements, after which NERC will convey a decision granting a permit or otherwise within twenty-one days (21 days) of submission of the required documentation to NERC (Section 8). The regulation requires that upon the grant of MAP permit, the DisCos can enter a Meter Service Agreement (MSA) with the successful applicant which will provide the contractual framework underpinning the relationship, rights and obligations of the parties. The contractual structure as captured in the regulation anticipates indexation provisions over the tenure of the MSA to address variability in applicable macro-economic conditions (Section 19(1)(d)). This contractual indexation should also be tied to the MYTO and tariff provisions considering the fact that DisCos OPEX will be tied to prevailing MYTO provisions, otherwise there would be a disparity in cost components as is currently the case with the PPA’s and the MYTO in NESI. Statutorily, the regulation encapsulates some of the rights and obligations of the DisCos, MAPs and customers under this third-party metering arrangement scheme. On the other hand, the regulation provides amongst others that the MAPs shall have full legal ownership of the meters until full payment has been made by the beneficial customers. It is however unclear how a beneficial customer can claim full legal ownership of the meter(s) in its entirety as the regulation prohibits movement of the meters by customers (Section 17(5)). Traditional DisCo meter procurements ensures that title of the assets are passed across to a DisCo after the meters are certified as properly supplied and installed. DisCos lose asset ownership rights if their metering programs are contracted under the new regulatory environment. If ownership does not revert to the DisCo, customer moves between DisCo territories becomes very complicated under the current arrangement. The regulation provides for the option of customers to pay for the

meters which shall be installed by the MAP within ten (10) working days of the receipt of the full payment in which case such customers won’t be liable to pay Meter Service Charges (MSCs). It does appear that once full payment has been made by the customer for the meters, the customer qualifies for energy credit from the DisCo servicing the area until the cost of purchase by the customer is fully defrayed. This financing option however does not seem to consider the ongoing costs of operating and maintaining the meter. The regulation provides a “Limited Grandfather Clause” as it shall not override existing metering contracts (Section 24). However, meters installed / deployed by the Distribution Licensee beyond December 31, 2018 under a subsisting contract shall be structured under the MAP regulatory framework (Section 2: Transitional Arrangements). NERC is effectively breaking subsisting DisCo metering contracts / agreements into meters installed /deployed pre and post 31 Dec 2018. All existing contracts with installations scheduled after 31 Dec 2018, must be renegotiated into the “newly prescribed” MAP regulatory construct. The MAP Regulatory constructs says meters are “owned” by MAPs. As such from 1 Jan 2019, all meters acquired shall not be included in the DisCo’s Regulatory Asset Base which feeds into the Tariff Reset. DisCos may need to seek clarification on the applicable commencement date - 8 March 2018 vs 3 April 2018 to ensure existing contracts fall outside the full bandwidth of the MAP regulations and are only subject to transitional arrangements. Ivie Ehanmo is an Energy Lawyer/Power Sector Legal and Regulatory Specialist. She is a Partner at the prestigious law firm- George Etomi & Partners where she manages the firm’s Energy and Infrastructure Projects and is also a Senior Legal and Regulatory Consultant for Energy Market and Regulatory Consultants (EMRC) (Formerly Mercados EMI), a leading consultancy working for power and utility companies, regulators, traders, power market operators and policy makers in electricity and gas around the world.

NBA Abuja branch gets new Chairman

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he Abuja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (unity bar) of NBA on Monday, 11th June, 2018 elected its Exco with Folarin Aluko emerging as Chairman of the branch. This was contained in a statement sent to the Media by the immediate past chair, Ezenwa Anumnu. According to Anumnu, the election was adjudged success, free and fair. Other elected members are Augustine Ejiofor as Vice Chairman, Nweze Photos from the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Stakeholders’ meeting organized by the Electoral Nnaebuka, Secretary, Jimoh Committee of the NBA (ECNBA) to formally open all the nominations submitted by contestants for Hameed Ajibola, assist secretary, Ananukwa Chinedu the National Offices of the NBA.

Augustine, financial Secretary, Olarenwaju Temitope Treasurer, Obinna Cajetan Yagazie, Social secretary, Asanya Ogochukwu, Publicity Secretary, Sa’ad Sani Dawaki, legal Adviser. In another development, the NBA Benin Branch on Sunday, 10th June, also elected new Executives to administer its affairs, with Collins Benson emerging as its Ogiegbaen as its Chairman. The election, which recorded a huge success, took place at the State High Court Complex, GRA, Benin City.


Innovation

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Fin-Tech

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Ecommerce

IOTs

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Consumer spend on VR, AR to rise 92% in 2018 FRANK ELEANYA

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onsumers are expected to spend $27 billion, a 92 p e rc e n t i n crease year over year, on augmented reality (AU) and virtual reality (VR) products and services in 2018, according to new update by the International Data Corporation (IDC). The report is an update to the IDC’s Worldwide Semiannual Augmented and Virtual Reality Spending Guide. IDC also expects worldwide spending on AR and VR to hit a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 71.6 percent over the 2017-2022 forecast period. To be sure, Augmented Reality (AR) refers to a technology that adds digital elements to a live view often by using the camera on a smartphone. Si mp l y pu t, c o mpu t e r

generated graphics are used to augment a live environment. For instance, picture a wall turning into a big computer-generated screen or coffee turning into a monopoly board. A vivid example of AR is Pokemon Go, a game developed by Niantic for iOS and Android devices. Virtual Reality ( VR) on the other hand is a technology built to help the user interact with a virtual world. VR is usua l ly a ch i e ve d w ea r i ng a VR device like Oculus Rift or Google Cardboard. These devices transport the user into a number of real-world and imagined environments, stimulating the user’s vision and hearing, by making him or her believe he or she is living the simulated reality firsthand. Consumer industr y, according to the IDC update, remains the largest source of spending for the AR/VR products and services over the course of

the forecast period, reaching $53 billion by 2022, followed by spending in the retail, discrete manu-

facturing, and transportation industries, representing $56 billion collectively by 2022.

“Commercial interest in both augmented and virtual reality continues to accelerate as new hardware ships, improved software appears, and more use cases evolve,” Tom Mainelli, vice president of Devices and AR/VR at IDC said. “A recent IDC survey of US IT decision markets showed a huge percentage of companies testing both technologies and we expect that appetite will only grow as major industry players roll out the next generation of AR and VR experiences throughout the rest of 2018.” However analysts at Retail Dive noted that the progress made so far in the retail side of VR and AR market has been below expectation. The pointed out that launch of retail products has only picked up about nine months ago as several retailers launched mobile AR-enhanced apps designed to improve customer experiences and drive sales.

“VR has been deployed to even lesser degree, though there have been some notable employee training applications of the technology by retailers,” the analysts said. Mike Murphy, writing for the Quar tz, agrees that retail has not measured up to the hype of the market. “Since Facebook’s Oculus and HTC released their first proper consumer-ready VR headsets in 2016 (followed swiftly by Sony later in the year), it’s felt like we’ve been on the cusp of a future envisioned by sciencefiction writers for years, where we could drop into immersive virtual worlds as we pleased. But, in reality, the early experiences were awkward at best, often dull and occasionally quite nauseating,” Murphy wrote. Nevertheless, the IDC expects retail to grow to 119.3% over the course of the forecast period.

Google opens applications for its 2nd Launchpad accelerator program CALEB OJEWALE

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oogle has announced the opening of applications for the second class of its Launchpad Accelerator Africa program, which provides African startups with over $3 million in equity-free support, working space, and access to expert advisers from Google, Silicon Valley, and Africa over the next three years. Participants are also to receive travel and PR support during each threemonth program. For this second intake, Google also says it is extending the program to include startups from an additional 12 African countries. This means it is now accepting applications from startups in 18 countries across the continent including Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Cameroon, Botswana, Sénégal, Ethiopia, Cote d’Ivoire, Algeria and the existing six - Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. Interested startups are to apply online via https://developers.google. com/startups/regional/

Applications for the Class 2 will close on 8 July. To qualify, startups have to be a technology startup, based in Sub-Saharan Africa, targeting the African market, and have raised seed funding. Google additionally considers the problem the startup is trying to solve, how it creates value for users, and how it addresses a real challenge for its home city, country or Africa broadly. The Class of the programme graduated in Lagos last week, with 12 tech startups benefiting from the programme’s unique benefits. “The three month programme has connected the 12 participating startups with more than 20 teams from Google as well as 40 mentors from nine countries

including India, the UK, USA and Jamaica. Each has received $10 000 in an equityfree cash grant, and between them they have raised over $7 million. The startups have directly created 132 jobs and impacted 4.5 million users,” said Folagbade Olatunji-david, head of startup success and services, Launchpad Accelerator Africa, Google. The Lauchpad Accelerator program is one of the many laudable announcements Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, made during the Google for Nigeria event last year. It was described as support for African entrepreneurs in building successful technology companies and products. It was stated by the company that, the initiative will provide more than $3 million in equity-

free funding, mentorship, working space and access to expert advisers to more than 60 African startups over three years. Intensive three-month programs, held twice per year, will run out of a new Google Launchpad Space in Lagos—the program’s first location outside of the United States. Google in a statement, said it is committed to the Sub-Saharan Africa developer ecosystem and has, since April 2016, hosted 13 Launchpad Build and Start events across Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, featuring some 228 speakers and engaging 590 attendees from local startups in each country. It also runs programs such as Google Developer Groups and Women Techmakers, providing training and support for developers aligned with real-life job competency requirements. Community groups engage in activities like Study Jams study groups for developers. There are some 140 communities across 25 countries in SSA. Some 61 of these groups hosted 81 Study Jams in 10 countries reaching over 5 000 developers in the last year.

Bet9ja is only Nigerian company in Alexa’s top five websites FRANK ELEANYA

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nline betting company, Bet9ja is the only indigenous company in Alexa’s top five most visited websites in Nigeria in the first half of 2018. The company has the highest daily time spent on a website among the category. Google.com took the top position while its sister website Google.com.ng is third on the list. Youtube.com and Yahoo.com rounds off the number of websites that makes top five in Nigeria. The Alexa Traffic Rank is a key metric that estimates a website’s popularity. The rank is calculated from a combination of daily visitors and page views on a website over a 3 month period. Google taking the top position in Nigeria may not

Team: Frank Eleanya, frank.eleanya@businessdayonline.com; Caleb Ojewale, caleb.ojewale@businessdayonline.com

come as a surprise, giving that the company has also maintained the position on the global category since November 2017, the near absence of indigenous Nigerian companies and the appearance of a betting company is remarkable when compared to other local companies that are quite older. Bet9ja, an online bookmaker company that offers betting on major sporting events was launched on September 10, 2013 by Kunle Soname, who is the current chairman of the company. The company’s feat is the first time a local company is displacing a foreign company in the top two positions. In 2017, Bet9ja was ranked the third most visited website in the country behind Google.com and Google. com.ng.


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FINANCIAL TIMES Theresa May plans Brexit bill amendment after Commons rebellion

Stocks hold nerve ahead of central bank rates decisions Page 35

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World Business Newspaper

US, Canada and Mexico win joint bid to host 2026 football World Cup

The decision was between Morocco and a joint bid from the US, Canada and Mexico MURAD AHMED

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he US, Canada and Mexico have won the right to host the 2026 football World Cup, overcoming reluctance in some countries to hand the prize to American President Donald Trump. The joint North American bid, dubbed “United 2026,” defeated Morocco in the race to hold one of the world’s biggest sporting events, following a vote on Wednesday by more than 200 member nations of Fifa, international football’s governing body. During a public ballot held at Fifa’s annual congress meeting in Moscow, the day before the opening match of this year’s World Cup in Russia, members voted 134-65 in favour of the North American bid. The so-called United bid was considered a strong favourite after promising $11bn in profits to Fifa,

far more than any previous World Cup. The pledge compared to just $5bn in profits offered by Morocco. The US will hold the vast majority of matches, including the final. In the run up to the vote, Fifa officials and others close to the process said they were concerned that attitudes towards Donald Trump were having an effect on how nations intended to vote, particularly those in Africa who resented the president’s description of them as “shithole countries”. Earlier this month, an inspection task force released its long-awaited technical assessments on the two bids. It rated the North American bid highly, as all the infrastructure to hold the event is already in place. The inspectors judged Morocco to be a far riskier proposition since the country plans to build nine new stadiums and must renovate existing ones to host the event.

Trump says North Korea no longer a nuclear threat On arriving back in US, president tweets: ‘Everybody can now feel much safer’ DEMETRI SEVASTOPULO, SONG JUNG-A AND ROBIN HARDING

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onald Trump said that North Korea was no longer a nuclear threat, as he arrived back in the US after his historic summit with the country’s leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore. “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea,” Mr Trump tweeted after Air Force One touched down at Andrews Air Force Base on Wednesday, adding: “Everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office.” Earlier on Wednesday, Pyongyang said Mr Trump would ease sanctions on North Korea, in language that suggested a different interpretation to how the US president described the historic summit between the two leaders. KCNA, North Korea’s state media agency, said Mr Trump had agreed to “lift sanctions . . . along with advance in improving the mutual relationship through dialogue and negotiation”. In his press conference on Tuesday, however, Mr Trump said the sanctions would remain until “we are sure that the nukes are no longer a factor”. The US has stressed that they would remain until North Korea undertook “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation”. But Mr Trump drew fire on Tuesday when his joint statement with Mr Kim included no mention of CVID. Underscoring how North Korea

is selling the summit as the dawn of a new era, the Rodong Sinmun newspaper, another state-run media outlet, ran the front-page headline, “Meeting of the Century Pioneers a New History in DPRK — US Relations”, over photos of the meeting. In another sign that Washington and Pyongyang were further apart than Mr Trump had suggested, KCNA said the two leaders had agreed to a step-by-step process. “Kim Jong Un and Trump had the shared recognition to the effect that it is important to abide by the principle of step-by-step and simultaneous action in achieving peace, stability and denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula,” it said. While that approach has been endorsed by China, the US has said it was unacceptable since it would allow North Korea to drag out negotiations and increase the odds that Pyongyang would repeat history by reneging on any deal. KCNA also emphasised Mr Trump’s announcement that he would halt joint military exercises with South Korea that the US president said were a “provocation”, as he offered a big concession that was criticised at home. That move also sparked concern in Tokyo, where Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had feared that Mr Trump would be outplayed by Mr Kim because of his desire to secure a Continues on page 34

US Fed lifts rates and projects four rises for 2018 Central bank moves to 2% and says inflation risks are roughly balanced SAM FLEMING AND ROBIN WIGGLESWORTH

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he Federal Reserve lifted interest rates by a quarter point and signalled that two more increases are likely in 2018 as policymakers gave a bullish assessment of the US economy amid accelerating growth and rapid job creation. The Federal Open Market Committee raised the target range for the federal funds rate from 1.75 to 2 per cent, in the seventh increase of the current cycle and the second this year. Interest-rate forecasts released by Fed policymakers pointed to a total of four rate rises in 2018, followed by another three in 2019. In a statement, the central bank dropped previous crisis-era assurances that it will keep rates below their longerrun norms. “The Committee expects that further gradual increases in the target range for the federal funds rate will be consistent with sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labour market conditions, and inflation near the Committee’s symmetric 2 per cent objective over the medium term,” the Fed said, adding that risks to the outlook are roughly balanced. The US stock market dipped 0.2 per cent on the news that Fed officials planned to increase interest rates another two times this year — on top of the two that came in March and on Wednesday — while the 10-year Treasury yield jumped 3 basis points

to 2.98 per cent. The dollar climbed 0.4 per cent against the euro to trade at $1.174. The Fed’s statement suggested the central bank is getting increasingly confident about inflation, as policymakers dropped earlier statements that they are carefully monitoring price readings. The Republicans’ $1.5tn tax cutting package and $300bn federal spending increase are fuelling a further pick-up on the US economy, overshadowing global hazards including the risk of a Trump-induced trade war with nations including China. As a result Jay Powell, the Fed’s chairman, has vowed to continue with the programme of gradual rate rises that the Fed kicked off in late 2015. Officials also ditched previous guidance that said that rates will for some time remain below levels “expected to prevail in the longer run”, in a sign they think policy is heading closer to neutral. However the FOMC retained its earlier assessment that policy is “accommodative” — meaning rates are still low enough to support growth. “The decision you see today is another sign that the US economy is in great shape. Growth is strong, labour markets are strong, and inflation is close to target,” Mr Powell said at a press conference. In a bid to enhance transparency, Mr Powell added that he will move to doing a press conference after every Fed meeting. This would start in January. Mr Powell insisted

this should not be taken as implying a change in the timing or pace of future rate increases. Wednesday’s rate rise was widely predicted by financial markets given the recent fall in the unemployment rate to just 3.8 per cent and signs that inflation is moving closer to the Fed’s 2 per cent target. In their latest forecasts on Wednesday Fed policymakers projected core inflation will rise to a median 2.1 per cent next year, slightly above the Fed’s target, and stay there in 2020. “Inflation is still subdued, but there remains the risk that the Fed could end up behind the curve and having to tighten more quickly if inflation accelerates more sharply,” said Kully Samra, vice-president at Charles Schwab. “Markets have already been bumpy this year, and additional rate hikes could add to the volatility in the stock market.” The question remains how high the Fed will ultimately lift rates as it balances rapid hiring against a history of disappointing wage and inflation readings. Lael Brainard, a Fed governor, is among the officials who have suggested that the central bank will need to lift rates to neutral — the level it thinks is consistent with keeping the economy on an even keel — before lifting them somewhat further. The Fed forecasts put the midpoint of the Fed’s target range at 3.4 per cent in 2020, higher than the median prediction for the rate in the longer-run, which stood unchanged at 2.9 per cent.

Judge clears way for $80bn AT&T bid for Time Warner Court sides with two corporate giants in landmark antitrust litigation

KADHIM SHUBBER AND ERIC PLATT

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T&T won the green light for its $80bn takeover of Time Warner on Tuesday after a federal judge in Washington rejected the US government’s argument that it would harm competition, paving the way for a blockbuster transaction that could reshape the US media sector. Judge Richard Leon sided with the two corporate giants in what was the government’s first big antitrust litigation against a vertical merger in decades. He allowed the proposed deal to go ahead without any conditions, sending shares of Time

Warner higher. The ruling is a blow to Makan Delrahim, the justice department’s antitrust chief, whose attempt to stop the deal was cast by AT&T as being politically motivated. President Donald Trump had promised to block the transaction as a candidate in the 2016 elections. Judge Leon had excluded the political argument from the case, but still came out comprehensively in the companies’ favour. He rejected the government’s arguments that AT&T would harm consumers, such as by threatening to exclude Time Warner content from rival distributors and

driving up prices. “If there ever were an antitrust case where the parties had a dramatically different assessment of the current state of the relevant market and a fundamentally different vision of its future development, this is the one,” the judge said. He noted that Time Warner’s Turner division, which includes the TBS, TNT and CNN channels, had never turned to longterm blackouts of its networks when negotiating with distributors. And he rejected the government’s suggestion that AT&T would prevent rival distributors from using Time Warner content in marketing materials.


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Big banks slip into bear market territory as rates rise BEN MCLANNAHAN AND ROBIN WIGGLESWORTH

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ore than a dozen of the world’s biggest banks have slipped into a bear market, highlighting risks to the global economy even as equity indices reach new highs and the Federal Reserve prepares to raise interest rates.

Investors on Tuesday sent the Nasdaq to a record close on the eve of a meeting at which the Fed is expected to lift rates for a seventh time since the end of 2015. But strategists note that beneath the bright economic data and rising benchmarks, strains have begun to emerge among a group of banks and insurers deemed to be critical to the health of the global financial system.

Among the 39 “Sifis”, financial institutions considered systemically important by the Basel-based Financial Stability Board, 16 are down more than 20 per cent from their recent peaks in dollar terms, meeting the standard definition of a bear market. They are Deutsche Bank, Nordea, ICBC, UniCredit, Crédit Agricole, ING, Santander, Société Générale, BNP Pa-

ribas, UBS, Agricultural Bank of China, AXA, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Bank of China, Credit Suisse and Prudential Financial. The synchronised dips were a sign of global financial stress, said Ian Harnett, managing director of global strategy at Absolute Strategy Research in London, who this week used the data to send out his first “Black Swan” alert since 2009.

IEA warns of potential ‘supply gap’ ahead of key Opec meeting

Trump says North Korea no longer a nuclear threat... Continued from page 33 deal before US midterm elections in November. Itsunori Onodera, Japan’s defence minister, on Wednesday said USSouth Korean military exercises “play an important role” in guaranteeing security. “We’d like a shared understanding between the US, Japan and South Korea on this,” said Mr Onodera about the development, which surprised Seoul and Tokyo. Mr Onodera said Japan would not ease its pressure on Pyongyang until North Korea made concrete moves towards denuclearisation. “The final objective here is to solve the nuclear, missile and abduction problems,” he said. “We want to see visible changes.” “The World has taken a big step back from potential Nuclear catastrophe!” Mr Trump tweeted, accusing critics of being hypocritical by attacking him for his tough rhetoric on Mr Kim last year while now questioning the wisdom of the summit. “A year ago the pundits & talking heads . . . were begging for conciliation and peace — ‘please meet, don’t go to war’. Now . . . the same haters shout out, ‘You shouldn’t meet, do not meet!’” While the US has couched the summit as a step towards forcing North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons — and thereby cut the chances of a military strike — KCNA said North Korea appeared to put the onus on Washington. “Kim Jong Un clarified the stand that if the US side takes genuine measures for building trust in order to improve the DPRK-US relationship, the DPRK, too, can continue to take additional goodwill measures of next stage commensurate with them,” it said, using the initials of country’s official name the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. KCNA also said the two leaders had invited each other to their respective capitals and that both of them “gladly accepted” the invitations. Despite much fanfare, Tuesday’s joint statement has been criticised by western and South Korean analysts for being too vague. While Mr Trump said he believed Mr Kim had made the strategic decision to abandon his nuclear weapons, sceptics said North Korea’s diplomatic outreach was aimed at obtaining relief from international sanctions that are squeezing the nation. Shin Beom-chul, a researcher at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, a think-tank, said Mr Trump appeared to have accepted North Korea’s demand for “phased” denuclearisation in an effort to secure a quick deal.

At some point, he said, central bankers might have to respond to bearish signals from almost half the global Sifis, rather than continuing to tighten monetary policy. “The clue is in the name,” he said. “If these banks are supposed to be systemically important then policymakers ought to be watching them to see what is happening.”

Group warns of drop in supply from Venezuela and Iran

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Anti-Brexit protesters outside the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday. MPs are considering amendments to the EU withdrawal bill © Getty

Theresa May plans Brexit bill amendment after Commons rebellion

MPs to be given ‘real say’ over any proposal to leave the EU without a deal GEORGE PARKER AND LAURA HUGHES

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heresa May will put forward an amendment to key Brexit legislation to give MPs “a real say” over any plan to leave the EU without a deal as she tries to navigate a dangerous path between the two wings of her party. Mrs May’s position on the issue caused confusion on Tuesday after she offered late concessions to pro-European Tory MPs to avert a Commons defeat. MPs said they had been given a “personal assurance” that the prime minister would empower parliament in the final stages of Brexit. But later, government officials said she had only offered the 14 Tory rebels “more talks”, and pro-Brexit MPs claimed the pro-Europeans had not been offered any significant concessions. Faced with the risk of alienating both factions in her party, Mrs May on Wednesday dispatched solicitorgeneral Robert Buckland to set out the

government’s concession. Mr Buckland said the rebels had “a reasonable expectation” that the government would put down a new amendment to the EU withdrawal bill in the House of Lords next week, drawing on ideas put forward by Dominic Grieve, the pro-European former attorney-general. He said he was “interested in the concept” proposed by Mr Grieve of a vote in the House “if, for example, there was no deal by a certain time”. He added: “I think that mechanism may well give the House a real say.” Mr Buckland confirmed that the government would resist Mr Grieve’s suggestion that MPs should be able to direct the government’s negotiating position in the final stages of Brexit. “We have got a problem constitutionally and politically with the concept of a direction,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. Mr Buckland said that he believed his compromise could “offer a way through” but Brexiters will be alarmed

if the final wording of a government amendment allows MPs to limit Mrs May’s freedom to negotiate. Pro-Europeans will want assurances that any proposed resolution would give parliament the clout it needs to effectively block a British exit from the EU without a deal. Nicky Morgan, a leading Remainer and chair of the Commons treasury committee, suggested the rebels would be prepared to defeat the government if Mrs May does not honour the “personal assurances” she gave MPs on Tuesday. “There are a group of us who feel very strongly that parliament should have a say in all circumstances,” she said. On Wednesday MPs will discuss remaining Lords amendments to the EU withdrawal bill but the government is not expected to suffer any defeats. Principal interest will focus on how many Labour MPs defy Jeremy Corbyn and vote in favour of keeping Britain in the single market through membership of the European Economic Area.

Toyota pours $1bn into ride-hailing group Grab Latest round of investment values the south-east Asian start-up at $10bn ALICE WOODHOUSE AND LOUISE LUCAS AND KANA INAGAKI

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rab has raised $1bn from Toyota in a new round of fundraising that values the ride-hailing company at $10bn following its recent acquisition of Uber’s south-east Asian business. The latest deal is the biggest investment by Toyota in the ride-hailing sector, as traditional carmakers partner with technology companies to explore new ways of making money in the selfdriving era. Grab raised $2bn last year from Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Chux-

ing and SoftBank. It has raised $5bn to date with the latest investment from Toyota, which is already an investor in the south-east Asian start-up. Grab has been working with Japan’s largest carmaker on connected car services since August 2017, providing, for example, car insurance for Grab’s rental fleet based on driving data collected by a Toyota device. Under the latest investment deal, Toyota said it would appoint one executive to Grab’s board and that a dedicated Toyota team member would be seconded to the car-hailing company as an executive officer. “This strong partnership will enable

us to become the one-stop mobility platform in south-east Asia,” Anthony Tan, co-founder and chief executive of Grab, said in a statement on Wednesday. A number of car companies have taken stakes in ride-hailing groups in recent years as they attempt to offer transportation services in addition to manufacturing and delivering vehicles to address declining car ownership. South Korea’s Hyundai Motor and Japan’s Honda Motor have also invested in Grab. General Motors has invested in Lyft while Toyota also has a stake in Uber through an investment fund backed by the Japanese carmaker.

enezuela’s oil production collapse and the loss of Iranian barrels after the reimposition of US sanctions could take 1.5m barrels off the market by the end of 2019 from these countries alone. The “scenario” from the International Energy Agency, in its latest monthly oil market report, assumes a loss from Iran similar to the previous round of sanctions on the Opec country. For Venezuela, the IEA sees “no respite” in the drastic drop in production that has worsened over the past two years as the country’s political and economic upheavals spill over into the energy sector. The production fall from Iran and Opec peer Venezuela, and any further disruption, leave the oil market “vulnerable” to a further escalation in prices, the IEA said. Brent crude rose above $80 a barrel in recent weeks before retreating slightly. “Potential losses from Venezuela and Iran could require others to produce more,” the IEA said, warning a “supply gap” could emerge should Opec peers continue to pump at current levels. The drop in Venezuela has already taken cuts well above the 1.8m b/d global producers, inside and outside the Opec cartel, said they would target as part of a supply curbs deal that began in January 2017. Energy ministers from Opec and Russia will meet next week in Vienna to debate increasing production after coming under pressure from big consumer countries. US officials have quietly spoken to producers, widely assumed to have included Saudi Arabia, about raising output to prevent any further price spike triggered by a loss in Iranian barrels. While the kingdom and Russia have debated an increase of 1m b/d there are questions over how any raises would be shared among producers and how quickly this would take place. Saudi Arabia has enacted the largest share of cuts as the biggest producer within Opec, but as one of the few holders of substantial spare production capacity it would also benefit the most from a big increase. “It is possible that the very small number of countries with spare capacity beyond what can be activated quickly will have to go the extra mile,” the IEA said. The IEA estimates Middle East Opec countries could increase production quickly by about 1.1m b/d. Opec crude supply edged up 50,000 b/d in May to 31.7m b/d as Saudi Arabia and Iraq offset falls from Venezuela. Adequate supply will be important as demand growth remains robust at 1.4 mb/d this year, taking total consumption to 99.1m b/d. For 2019, demand is expected to grow by 1.4m b/d with the total surpassing 100m b/d for the first time.


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BUSINESS DAY

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FINANCIAL TIMES

COMPANIES & MARKETS

@ FINANCIAL TIMES LIMITED

Stocks hold nerve ahead of central bank rates decisions Pound hits session-low after UK inflation data stay at year-low MICHAEL HUNTER AND EDWARD WHITE

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hat you need to know • European stocks rise as focus turns to Federal Reserve

rate call • Wall St set to tick higher at the US open, Asia indices fall • Dollar index and 10-year Treasury yield hold ground ahead of announcement • US central bank expected to raise its target range for short-term rates by 25bp • Pound weaker after UK inflation unexpectedly remains at lowest level in a year • ZTE shares hit as trading resumes in China telecoms company Leading quote “Wednesday’s Fed actions will be less important than the sense that the journey towards tighter policy just goes on,” says Kit Juckes at Société Générale. “The market . . . still represents a huge amount of faith in the Fed’s forward guidance. The trouble is that the economic data may demand a rethink and the market can sense one could be coming.” Hot topic Equities are higher in Europe while currencies and government bonds are holding steady as investor focus turns squarely to the Federal Reserve’s decision on US interest rates. In the run-up to it, the dollar index is 0.1 per cent higher, leaving its gain for the year-to-date on the brink of 1.9 per cent. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury remains near 3 per cent, up 1 basis point at 2.9663 per cent as investors sell the debt. It started 2018 at 2.43 per cent. Recent data have pointed to signs of renewed strength in the US economy but the market will be focused on the US central bank’s projections and any sign of angst about a trade war.

Investors broadly expect the Fed to lift its target range for the short-term benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 1.75 to 2 per cent later on Wednesday. Investors are also looking ahead to an interest rate decision from the European Central Bank on Thursday. Equities London’s FTSE 100 is up 0.2 per cent, as is Frankfurt’s Xetra Dax 30, with both indices bouncing up off earlier lows. The Europe-wide Stoxx 600 is 0.3 per cent stronger and Italy’s FTSE MIB continues to outperform — up 0.8 per cent on the session — after reassuring comments on fiscal policy from the new government’s finance minister. It is up 4.5 per cent over the week. According to futures trade, New York’s S&P 500 will tick up 0.1 per cent in opening trade. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 1.2 per cent, while mainland China’s CSI 300 fell 1 per cent. Tokyo’s Topix held positive territory, up 0.4 per cent. Forex and fixed income The pound is down 0.4 per cent at $1.3323 and a session low after UK inflation data failed to rise from year-lows, even with the effect of rising fuel prices. Against the euro, the pound is also 0.4 per cent weaker — with £0.8812 required for a unit of the shared currency. The euro is flat overall at $1.1740. The yield on 10-year German Bunds is down 1.1 basis points at 0.479 per cent. Commodities Oil prices are lower. Brent crude, the international benchmark, is down 0.6 per cent at $75.38 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate, the main US price, is 0.7 per cent weaker at $65.90. Crude has fallen after data showed rising Opec production and higher US stocks and ahead of next week’s meeting of the oil exporters’ organisation, at which it could agree to raise output.

Real oversight of corporate behaviour undermined by ESG model So-called ‘sin stocks’ have tended to outperform the wider market over time

MILES JOHNSON

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young Paul Tudor Jones once claimed in a documentary that a pair of tennis shoes he bought at auction that had belonged to Bruce Willis helped him stay lucky in the markets. Filmed a year before the 1987 stock market crash, the film star’s old shoes (“the man’s a stud,” Mr Jones beamed at the time) appeared to do the trick as the trader correctly bet on a huge selloff — “it will be earth-shaking; it will be sabre-rattling” — and made a fortune. More than three decades on, Mr Jones has moved on from celebrating the magical trading properties of Mr Willis’s used footwear in favour of promoting a new social impact investing exchange traded fund he claimed this week may one day “rival the S&P and the Nasdaq”. The Just Capital US Large Cap Diversified Index, launched alongside Goldman Sachs Asset Management, only includes companies that score well on environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics according to data in part gathered by an annual survey of the American public. The idea is that a company’s stock price will, in some way or another, over time correlate with the way

it treats its employees, protects people’s data and tackles pollution among other issues related to corporate responsibility. Mr Jones’ initiative may be well intentioned but there still exists little evidence to support his overarching premise. Over time, the stock market has proven to be largely amoral and so-called “sin stocks” have tended to outperform the wider market rather than underperform. Research conducted by Elroy Dimson, Paul Marsh and Mike Staunton found that tobacco and alcohol stocks have led returns in the US and UK stock markets since 1900. The back tests used for the Just Capital index go back all of two years. And while Just Capital’s use of surveys of the public and a large number of data points may make the fund more nuanced than other ESG vehicles, its methodology may be overlooking an uncomfortable truth: many companies hated by the general public tend to perform very strongly in the stock market. Over the past decade, airlines, telecoms companies and social networks have frequently ranked among the “most hated companies in America”, but are in many ways disliked by the public for precisely the reasons that have made them profitable and their share prices rise.

Federal Reserve chairman Jay Powell at a news conference in Washington. Traders will be closely tracking Fed language surrounding its rates decision on Wednesday © AP

Global investors should follow China’s lead in Africa

The world needs to shift from an aid-based narrative on Africa to one of investment HENDRIK DU TOIT

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remember a time, over 20 years ago, when virtually no professionally-managed capital moved across borders in Africa. It was a time when aid and corruption drove the investment narrative, when Africa was called the “hopeless continent” and when sustainability wasn’t even part of an investor’s vocabulary. We have come a long way since then. The millennium heralded rapid growth across the African continent. At about 3 per cent, default rates on African infrastructure are some of the lowest in the world. Africa has the fastest growing population and is seeing a wave of innovation and entrepreneurship sweeping across the continent. The latter is strongly enabled by mobile phone technology which has directly facilitated a financing revolution. Off-grid solar panel installations have proliferated, purchased via monthly payments made on cell phones, through companies like Mobisol and M-Kopa. Of course, global and domestic events, including the 2014 oil-price shock, hit major economies especially hard; we’ve seen recent declines in performance in Angola, Nigeria, and my home country of South Africa. But overall, African economies have been resilient and the continent’s long-term growth story — particularly green growth — remains compelling. Billions of dollars have been invested in renewable energy across the continent. Late last year, Nigeria issued a N10.69bn (US$29m) green bond to fund local solar and forestry projects. This is Africa’s first sovereign green bond — one of only a handful in the world (alongside

those issued by China, France, Poland, Fiji and Indonesia). Kenya will soon follow. The World Bank also estimates that aggregate growth in Sub-Saharan Africa for 2018 will be about 3.2 per cent, up from 2.4 per cent last year. The continent is expected to host six of the 10-fastest growing economies of the world in 2018, while traditional assets under management (including pension and mutual funds) are forecast to grow to about US$1.1tn by 2020, up from US$634bn in 2014. In short, Africa is very much “open for business”, particularly for investors who are chasing yield and diversification. China’s got the message, committing to $60bn in new investment in major capital projects across Africa. Indeed, China has been an integral part of Africa’s rejuvenation by becoming the continent’s largest export destination, its largest source of imports and more recently its largest source of capital, both equity and debt. These are positive signals, but a lot more capital is still needed, particularly from large institutional investors. Estimates put the African infrastructure deficit at about $90bn every year for the next decade. Across the continent, 620m people still don’t have electricity; 319m people are living without access to reliable drinking water; and only 34 per cent have road access. There are a few things which can help. Firstly, “blending” public and private capital can improve an asset’s risk-return profile, so vehicles which use development money to mitigate investor risks can attract much needed commercial investment. Some of these vehicles — like The Currency Exchange, which offers hedging of foreign ex-

change risks in emerging markets — have successfully mobilised billions of dollars of private money for African projects. Another example is the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) with projects ranging from water supply in Rwanda to solar power in Uganda. The EAIF is part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group — with equity from governments including the UK, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands — and recently announced it had attracted its first commercial lender in global insurer Allianz, as part of a $385m fundraising round. This investment signals a shift in appetite for African risk from institutional investors. These vehicles need to be scaled and replicated. Secondly, to attract investment for high-impact assets like climate-resilient, sustainable infrastructure, development banks need to be more effective at crowding in private capital using instruments like political risk insurance and guarantees, not crowding them out. At best, the multilateral development banks (MDBs) mobilise less than $1 of private capital for every public dollar across their portfolios. They should target much higher mobilisation ratios and sharply increase their share of private sector activities, which currently only account for about 30 per cent of MDB activities. Thirdly, frontier countries must compete for investor dollars by making it easier for the private sector to do business. This requires strong, political leadership, depth in local capital markets, the right legal framework and transparent policies. In particular, local policies should support regional simplicity to facilitate cross-border operations that can generate scale.

Trump blames Opec for high oil prices, again ANJLI RAVAL

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S president Donald Trump o n We d n e s d a y a g a i n blamed the Opec oil cartel for boosting prices. “Oil prices are too high, Opec is at it again. Not good!” Mr Trump tweeted. The comment comes ahead of a meeting next week of oil ministers from Opec and Russia who are debating an increase in output after

more than a year of enacting cuts. It also follows a similar tweet on April 20 when he said: “oil prices are artificially Very High” due to the supply curbs by Opec and its allies outside the cartel. The Trump administration has quietly asked producers to increase production to make up for any shortfall from Iran which is under a new round of US oil sanctions. Hedge fund manager Pierre

Andurand responded to his tweet saying a price spike awaits as the number of countries with excess production capacity are few. “Opec has the lowest spare capacity ever right now. There is going to be a real issue. Prices will be above $150 in less than 2 years. Eventually higher prices will bring more supply. But right now [there is] too little supply coming over the next few years despite US supply growth,” he said


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TRIBUTE Trust as a coefficient of leadership, celebrating Akinwunmi Ambode at 55 ADE BODURIN MOHAMMED

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am going to break protocol and dispense with the titles and formalities of addressing my Governor only this

once. Akinwunmi Ambode is celebrating his 55th birthday on earth on 14th June 2018. Is it a remarkable age? probably not , but it appears like a watershed in the life of this dogged and committed reformer. For those who know him well he shys away from celebrating birthdays and will probably “disappear” on that day preferring others to celebrate in his absence. Perhaps this final year of his first term as Governor of this great State he will accept to be part of it. The trajectory of person’s life is often dependent on several factors both seen and unseen but a persons personal drive and passion is an extremely critical success factor. How do you deconstruct this driven man of deep intellect who reluctantly mounted the saddle of governance of this State, breaking the jinx that a civil servant is only fit for direction and not action. His rise to leadership of this State is the stuff movies are made of and perhaps his inspirational story will be made into a movie some day but we must be content to tell a little bit of what we know makes him tick . Akinwunmi Ambode’s style and persona has been defined by his background and upbringing. He will freely tell you that he has street credibility having grown up in various less than affluent areas of the State but yet it is safe to say his schooling especially his time in FGC Warri and UNILAG have moulded him into a man of panache and style. A man who could easily pass for an entertainment mogul in the night and a hardcore private sector entrepreneur/ consultant in daytime. Governing Lagos State is probably one of the greatest challenges he has faced in his life time. His casual mien definitely belies the complexity and difficulties he faces on a daily basis in ruling the mega city state called Lagos. Ambode is typically a kind hearted person and his generosity, loyalty and kindness are legendary but in the last three years he probably has had to discover “teeth” that he never knew he had. Governing people of diverse backgrounds and problems forces you to be firm and you make enemies in loads when have to take tough decisions for the greater good. Great thinkers and in-

Gov. Ambode

novators can sometime be quirky and non-conformist but that’s where Akinwunmi Ambode’s strength lies. As they say in the Star Trek franchise, he often chooses to go “where no man has gone before”. An ideas man par-excellence who is so passionate about the welfare of the people that it often triggers him to wake up at odd hours of the night to dry-run ideas that can help governance and welfare of the people of the State. Is he infallible ? Of course not, and he already has his fair share of traducers who accuse him of not being social enough, being spontaneous etc. His reply would be that who is perfect except God, but his drivers are governance and the interest of the people, and with that in mind you can’t always have time to socialize. Nonetheless and paradoxically he is a fiercely loyal and passionate people’s person who loves having people around him all the time. I believe trust is one of the strongest attributes of leadership and any successful politician must strive to acquire the confidence of his people that he will not betray the trust reposed in him by them. Akinwunmi Ambode assumed office as an astute financial manager in a time of recession and whether you hate him or like him he has been able to keep this State going with prompt payment of salaries, regular pensions, innovative and balanced infrastructure development, security of lives and property , employment opportunities etc in the face of bleak prospects and dodgy performance in other parts of the Nation. I strongly believe he has not betrayed the trust of the people that voted him into power. In his quiet moments he would tell you that he has traversed the entire fabric of this State for over 30 years both as a civil servant and now as Governor and he is simply content in knowing that he can improve the quality of the lives of Lagosians with the special knowledge he has developed over time. Sadly most citizens don’t

trust politicians as they believe they are full of promises and short on delivery. Posterity will surely judge whether Akinwunmi Ambode has fully delivered on his promises across the State. One thing that is however certain is that no one that has come across the man called Akinwunmi Ambode can doubt his passion and honesty to deliver the dividends to the people of the State. His virtuoso presentation from the heart at the recent 2018 “Lagos means business”Forum clearly demonstrated his passion for the development of this State despite any odds. On his 52nd birthday in 2015 after his assumption of office I sent him a message and it read thus: “...Indeed by that collective will together with God’s grace you have become the 14th Governor of Lagos State. It appears surreal but it is real and we are relishing the fact that many are going to be shocked to find how successful your Government is going to be. But enough of that. I know things will never be the same again because you now belong to the over 20 million people in Lagos State. They are your constituency and children. They will be greedy, naughty ,supportive and sometimes disloyal but you must never lose your patience because they are your greatest path to immortality. When you succeed with Lagosians you don’t need the books or films to record your legacy because it is the people that will record your legacies in their hearts and minds, it is them that will exalt you to high heavens and it is them that will build monuments in your honour. You have fought for us and loved us in so many ways you can imagine. You have also been a great leader to many of us and that is why we must particularly ensure you succeed in this new quest you have embarked on. I therefore join all your supporters, friends and well wishers to wish you one of the best birthday’s you will ever have on this planet. I wish you continued God’s protection, love of family and friends and the continued admiration of your friends and foes alike...” Three years after, my thoughts of and trust in this great leader have remained unchanged, and as he marks his 55th birthday he has shown that he is still a mere mortal but he is certainly heading for immortality . Happy birthday and my very best wishes to my dear Governor and leader . * Dr. Ade Bodurin Mohammed writes from Lagos

Thursday 14 June 2018


Politics & Policy BUSINESS DAY

Thursday 14 June 2018

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Buhari will win 2019 election easily, says Kalu

New Democracy Day: Abiola, others did not die in vain - Ajimobi AKINREMI FEYISIPO, Ibadan

…As Agbakoba blames bad leadership for Nigeria’s woes INIOBONG IWOK

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ormer Governor of Abia state, Orji Uzor Kalu says P re s i d e n t Mu hammadu Buhari would easily win the 2019 presidential election because he has the support of Nigerians. Kalu who has been taken to court on corruption charges by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) governed Abia state between 1999 and 2007 under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) and last year defected to the ruling All progressives Congress (APC). Speaking at an event organise to by the Oodua People’s Congress, (OPC) and the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) to commemorate the silver jubilee of MKO Abiola’s death, at the excellence Hotel in Ogba Ikeja, Kalu noted that he was confident of Buhari winning the election, adding that

Kalu

the president would score 65 percent of the total votes cast in other states across the country and score 75 percent of the total votes cast in Abia state. The former Abia Governor said President Buhari has tackled corruption in the country and instituted

policies that have helped Small and medium scale enterprises since he assumed office, adding that the wealth of the country was no more in the hands of the few elite. “If it is that, I can assure you that Buhari will win the 2019 election hands down. He will win 75 percent of

the votes cast in Abia state, and he would also win 65 percent of the total votes cast in Nigeria, I can assure you of that. “Buhari is tackling corruption and you notice that since he assumed office, corruption has been checked and the wealth of the country is no more in the hands of the few”. Also speaking at a similar event held at the residence of the Abiolas in Ikeja, former chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olisa Agbakoba, blamed successive administrations for the present state of the country, adding that they had failed to fulfill their promises to Nigerians, adding the country is in urgent need of purposeful leadership. “The problem with Nigerian has always been bad leadership, the aspirants can promise all during the campaigns and when they win, they don’t fulfil them, this is where we are over the years and for me, Nigeria is in need of purposeful leadership.”

Nigerian youths demand political inclusion INIOBONG IWOK

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o u n g Ni g e r i a n s have advocated for more inclusion in the leadership and governance of the country. The youths made the demand at the fourth edition of the Nigeria Symposium for Young and Emerging Leaders confab in Lagos Tuesday. The event which was organised by the Future Project, featured panel discussions on the 2019 Elections with the topic: Are Nigerian Youths Prepared?’ with Mmanti Umoh, Hamzat Lawal, Ife Adebayo, and moderated by Chioma

Chuka. ‘Governance and Transparency, an Evaluation of the Current Administration’ with Asuquo Ekpenyong, Muhammad Sanni Abdullahi, Gbenga Sesan, and moderated by Yemi Adamolekun. Participants at the event were also involved in extensive discussions on ‘Redressing Voters Discuss: My Vote or My Life?’ with panel members such as Ayisha Osori and Aisha Yesufu, and moderated by Yemisi Adegoke, including a session on the ‘Viability of States in Nigeria: Strength or Weakness?’ - moderated by Tolu Adeleru-Balogun with Li-

nus Okorie, Leonard Ebute, Chidi Okereke, and Oyeleke Ajiboye as discussants. The symposium which had the Theme: ‘Shaping New Narratives, brought together leaders of thought and influential personalities in politics, business, advocacy, media, and more – to engage and discuss issues of governance, public policies, and civic engagement. The annual event is to facilitate knowledge-exchange and mentorship between present and emerging leaders in government and the public sector to help learning and youth inclusiveness, while also

providing a platform for young Nigerians to engage public officials on democratic institutions and national development. Speaking at the event, the chief operating officer of The Future Project, Bukonla Adebakin, explained that the growing need for effective change in Nigeria highlighted the need for a theme that reflects the importance of elections and voters’ engagement in the country, while using the event to create a new sense of direction and renewed commitment to transparency and accountability in governance.

Group urge Nigerians to vote out bad leaders INIOBONG IWOK

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group, t he Re d Card Movement Nigeria (RCMN), has charged Nigerians to vote out bad leaders who have siphoned the wealth of the country over the years, while recycling themselves into leadership positions. This was disclosed in a statement by the group in Lagos, charging Nigerians

to rise and take the future of the country in their hands. Th e g rou p, f u r t h e r charged Nigerians to register and get their permanent voters cards, (PVC) in the on-going voters registration exercise, adding that it was the only legitimate weapons they could use to make the needed change. “While the unity of purpose is the strongest link in participatory democracy, this is why citizens in

older democracies always come together to speak in one voice against any perceived injustice. “We have the right as citizens to discuss the affairs of our government as it affects all of us. We are authorised by law to ask questions and appraise the performance of the government of the day. We must demand a better deal; we have to vote out bad and recycled leaders.

“Every Nigerian citizen from the age of 18 years is guaranteed the right to vote in all elections. He has an inalienable right to register and get his Permanent Voters Card (PVC) dur ing the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) e x e rc i s e c o n d u c t e d by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and we must go to register and make the needed change”

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yo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has said that MKO Abiola and other heroes and heroines who paid the supreme price for the actualization of June 12, 1993 presidential election did not die in vain after all. In a statement by his Special Adviser Communication and Strategy, Bolaji Tunji, the governor said that the declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day by President Muhammadu Buhari was a vindication of the clamour, in the last 25 years, for the recognition of Abiola’s sacrifice. The governor congratulated the people of the state and all democrats across the country on this year’s commemoration of the June 12 annulment, noting that the struggles of the years past are beginning to yield the desired dividends. Ajimobi said that this year’s occasion presented a veritable opportunity for the people to celebrate and also reflect on the ideals that Abiola and other pro-democracy activists lived and died for. The governor advised the people to continue to defend democracy and its institutions against anti-democratic

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forces no matter the odds. While describing the late politician and business mogul as a symbol of democracy, he praised him for his strong conviction that ordinary Nigerians must be freed from the shackles of oppression and poverty. Ajimobi said, “It was this conviction that Nigerian masses should be freed from their oppressors and that the destiny of the whole nation should not be held to ransom by a cabal that propelled him to stand by his mandate and to defend it to the last. “Apart from Abiola, the democracy that we all are enjoying now was also made possible by the likes of Chief Abraham Adesanya, Chief Anthony Enahoro, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, Chief Frank Kokori, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu among others. “We must continue to do everything to preserve the memory of June 12, which was the day that Nigerians shelved ethnic or religious biases to take their destinies in their own hands.’’ Governor Ajimobi prayed for the repose of the souls of Abiola and other Nigerians who lost their lives in the struggle to actualize the annulled election.

June 12: Let’s banish poverty in our soceity as honour for Abiola, says Akeredolu YOMI AYELESO, Akure

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overnor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state has said that banishment of poverty in Nigeria’s society could be the greatest honour the country can bestow on the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, the late MKO Abiola. Akeredolu, who applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for honouring Abiola with the highest honour in Nigeria, Grand Commander of the Federal Republic, GCFR, said June 12, 1993 election would forever remain a watershed in the nation’s political experience. The governor, represented by his deputy, Agboola Ajayi, made the remark on Tuesday during a special Town Hall Assembly organised by the Ondo State Government to mark June 12, Democracy Day at the International Culture and Event Centre (The Dome), Akure. Akeredolu’s remark followed discussions by a group of panelists who spoke elaborately on “June 12: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.” It will be recalled that the then military government

headed by Gen. Ibrahim Babangida annulled the result of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, believed by both local and international observers to be the freest and fairest in the country. According to Akeredolu, the election presented itself as a unifying factor devoid of ethnic, religious or political consideration in the country. He said the popular dream of Nigerians of electing their leader in a freest and fairest election after a prolonged military government was truncated by the annulment of the June 12 poll. Akeredolu said: “We have continued to wallow in its wanton consequences 25 years on. Succeessful governments have brushed aside calls and agitations for Abiola to be officially recognised as the winner and consequently honoured. “It is gratifying to state and express our heartfelt gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for his well thought-out decision to honour the late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola with the highest award in the land alongside some notable stakeholders in the June 12 project.


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Inflation falls to 11.61% in May on Base effects, moderate fuel prices, stable FX …rate increased by 1.09% month-on-month Okafor Endurance & Emeka Ucheaga, Cynthia Egboboh

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he rate at which the prices of goods and services increased in Nigeria moderated to 11.61 percent in May 2018, amid base effect, declining petrol prices and stable exchange rate, the lowest inflation rate in more than two years since March 2016. This was 0.87 percent points less than 12.48 percent reported in April 2018. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) which measures inflation eased for the sixteenth consecutive months since January 2017, as gathered from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) figures. “Declining fuel prices coupled with stable exchange rate backdrop are the support of the disinflationary story that we are seeing,” said Wale Okunriboye, Head, Investment Research at Sigma Pensions. “There was negative rate of return but that has now been reduced to zero. Which means that the

incentive to save has increased for Nigerians,” Bismark Rewane, MD of Financial Derivatives said in phone response. Moderating inflation rate for companies, means that their cost of operations which has been rising at a very rapid rate due to the galloping inflation in 2016 and 2017 will see the growth in expenses rise at a slower pace than it did in the last two years. While for an average Nigerian, the disinflation means that his purchasing power will now depreciate at a slower pace than it did in the last 2 years. With wages effectively stagnated in Nigeria, households have struggled to maintain their standard of living with the high inflation rate. The slower pace of growth in general prices means that at least they should be able to maintain their current standard of living for the foreseeable future while they await the expected increase in minimum wage by the Federal Government. For equity investors, a lower rate of inflation means that companies may post higher profits than they

did in the past year as they can now have lower costs. Also, if the Central Bank reduce interest rate in response to the drop in inflation, the lower discount factor will mean that the intrinsic value of companies in their portfolio will be a lot higher. For fixed income investors, they will cheer the current disinflationary pressure in the economy as lower rates of inflation push bond prices higher. Although the reinvesting rate of return will be lower considering yields will drop as bond prices rise. Government will also be able to raise fresh funds in the money market at lower interest rate. This won’t exactly be a good thing for banks and other financial institutions who have been making easy money in the past year with the double digit treasury yields. Although, on a month-onmonth basis, the Headline index increased by 1.09 percent in May 2018, up by 0.26 percent points from the rate recorded in April 2018. Continues on wwwbusinessday online

L-R: Adetokunbo Kayode, president, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI); Alaba Lawson, president, National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA); Onur Akgur, counsellor, Turkish Commercial in Nigeria, and Adesoji Adesugba, provost of ACCI’s Business Entrepreneurial Skills and Technology (BEST Centre), during the export readiness training organised by the BEST Centre in Abuja. Pic by Tunde Adeniyi

Okorocha in trouble as APC threatens... Continued from page 1

Legal Adviser, Muiz Banire. In the said forged letter, he claimed that APC had received the court injunction barring it from conducting state congress in Imo. Bolaji Abdullahi, APC National Publicity Secretary accused Okorocha’s aide of having made a number of false claims against the APC in an advertorial published in the Daily Trust Newspaper of June 11, 2018, titled in part: “Let The Truth Speak for Itself” which was signed by Obioma. “The import of the allegations was that the Party was aware of a court order preventing it from conducting the Imo State Congress following receipt of a copy of the so-called court injunction which directed it to maintain status quo,” Abdullahi said. He insisted that both Banire, APC Legal Adviser and Ikhinmwin, Chief of Staff to the National Chairman has denounced the document as fake and a clear case of forgery while a legal advice is being sort for appropriate punishment of the perpetrators. “Indeed Banire, our Party’s Legal Adviser and the Chief of Staff, have denounced the document as fake, stating clearly that they neither originated nor signed such memo. This is therefore, a clear case of forgery borne out of desperation.” “We are currently seeking legal advice on how to proceed with the matter to ensure that those culpable are identified and duly punished.” The APC Spokesman further insisted that the published documents in the advertorial do not support the party’s position. “In fact, we strongly believe that the court ruling being paraded as injunction does not serve Governor Okorocha’s interest. At the time of the ruling a new set of Party executives had been validly elected, consequently the court ruling directing that the status quo is maintained, actually means that no one should interfere with the newly elected APC party executives in the state.” “Also in the advertorial, a socalled internal Party memo was published, which purportedly showed that we were aware of the pendency of the legal issues involving the congresses in Imo and Abia States.” “The published ‘memo’ by the agents of the Imo State Governor

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Lagos airport customs connive with agents to extort ...

handling companies told BusinessDay that they are currently being short-changed with illegal activities of customs officers and agents who exploit importers by collecting over one month cost of demurrage on goods that have been imported and cleared. The source alleged that agents now have their own ‘secret’ warehouses and after the goods arrive, they clear with the customs officers and hide the goods, while importers keep paying the agents for demurrage, as the goods still remain ‘not cleared’ in the books of customs. “Importers are currently being squeezed at the airport. Sometimes when their goods arrive, the agents lie to them

that the goods are yet to arrive and this will attract daily cost on demurrage. Importers are therefore forced to pay over ten times what they should have paid on demurrage. “Agents now live larger than the ground handlers themselves and one wonders where the agents get the money they throw around,” the source added. The situation is compounded by the untold hardship and chaos importers are currently facing with them not being able to clear their goods over what customs identified as ‘systems upgrade.’ These goods include lifesaving drugs of patients waiting to be treated in the hospitals, perishable items, wedding gowns

of couples who are about to get married, machineries for harvesting and several other lifesaving equipment. Last month, a new policy was introduced by customs demanding importers to provide Form M, (a document indicating the value of the shipment from country where the cargoes originated). Experts say that this will take nothing less than three weeks to one month to arrive and that will only drive importers away from air cargo to other means of transportation, since cargoes can no longer be delivered as fast as it should. Another source at one of the ground handling companies told BusinessDay that customs

Thursday 14 June 2018

is currently migrating from the Automated System for Custom Date (ASSCUDA) to the Nigeria Integrated Custom Information System (NICIS), which requires the importers or agents to provide Form M before their goods will be cleared. The source disclosed that in a situation where the customs cannot wait for the documentation to arrive in three weeks or more, they will be forced to pay triple the value of shipments they have declared. However, as at yesterday when this report was written, customs were gradually releasing some of the goods on the condition that the Form M must be provided or the agents pay over double of what they

is fake. No such memo was generated by our Party. A casual look will reveal the inconsistency of the published document.” “It is impossible for such an incoherent document to have emerged from our Party, or any sane organisation - for one person to generate a memo and another person to sign it,” Abdullahi maintained. According to the APC National Publicity Secretary, Okorocha has in recent weeks made libellous attacks on the Party and its leaders a daily occurrence. “Hardly a day passes by without Governor Okorocha verbally assaulting our National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun and other Party leaders over the recently concluded Congresses in Imo State.” “The sensible thing to do when you find yourself in a ditch is to stop digging. We therefore, once again urge Governor Okorocha to tread the path of caution and reconciliation and to work with the duly elected Party executives in the state for the good of the Party.” “We shall however not tolerate his constant assault on the Party, either directly or through proxies”. Okorocha has been at loggerheads with the APC leadership since he lost out in the party congresses in the state. He has been hoping he could get the party’s national executive to have the congresses cancelled but he has not succeeded in doing that. Meanwhile, Organised labour on Wednesday vowed to resist all attempts by former Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko to return to the Labour Party. Mike Omotosho, NLC Chairman, stated this at a press briefing held in Abuja. He accused the former governor of plotting to destabilise the party which he dumped for Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) few days to the party’s convention in 2015. He also warned all the politicians who intend to use Labour Party as rehabilitation platform for their dwindling political fortune, to steer clear. “It has come to our knowledge the moves by the immediate past Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko to return to the Labour Party. Nigerian workers wish to put a disclaimer to this ill-fated adventure. Continues on wwwbusinessday online

have declared. “I have waited for over two weeks for my Form M documents to arrive but it hasn’t arrived yet. I can no longer wait for the arrival as I have to clear my goods today. So, I had to cough out triple what I declared on my goods, just to get them out today. The situation is terrible for us and we hope the government can intervene,” an importer who identified himself as Chucks told BusinessDay. Ephraim Haruna, the spokesman of Customs told BusinessDay that it was not possible for customs to connive with agents to collect illegal demurrage, as demurrages are only collected by ground handlers.


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China EXIM bank delegation visits Kano rail project site … to invest 85% of $1.85bn cost of the project ADEOLA AJAKAIYE, Kano

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four-man delegation from China EXIM bank is on a day working visit to Kano State as part of preparations for the take-off of the proposed multi-billion Kano Light Rail project. The visit of the delegation, according to sources, is a step towards eventual approval of the $1.85 billion, which the Kano State government is seeking from the bank for the project. The funding is being sought under the China – Africa Cooperation Action Plan, which emphasises the development of infrastructure in African countries among other things. Speaking with BusinessDay on the sideline of the visit, Umar Tofa, vice-chairman, Kano Investment Promotion Agency, who led the delegation to sites designated for the project, said the visit was a follow up to earlier one paid to Federal Ministry of

Finance in Abuja. According to Tofa, the Federal Government is guaranteeing the loan package, and the visit of the delegation is to enable them have first- hand information about the site of the projects, pending final approval of the loan. “The Light Rail project with a total length of about 73 kilometres will crisscross Kano metropolitan, and will be executed in four phases. The feasibility studies have shown that the project is extremely viable. “A consultant appointed for the project has expressed a huge confidence in the ability of the state government to make the project a huge success,” he said. Tofa, who is the chairman, Tofa Group of Companies, revealed that the state government, through Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, during its official visits to China solicited the assistance of the Chinese authorities in the area of agricul-

ture in view of its huge untapped resources. He said the Governor Ganduje during the visit signed an agreement with China EXIM bank for the funding of the Light Rail project. The bank would be providing 85 percent of the contract sum, while the balance of 15 percent would be sourced locally. Also, recently, the Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian, visited Kano State, during which he disclosed that Nigeria had a very competitive edge in agriculture and human resources, assuring that his country would support Nigeria to exploit its potential for accelerated development. Pingjian said Nigeria must seize the opportunity of what he termed “China’s over capacity”, resulting in relocation to other places, to revamp its economy, pointing Chinese states and local governments are keen in investing in places such as Kano, for mutual benefit.

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Stakeholders seek extension of DFID-DEEPEN programme GODFREY OFURUM

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takeholders in the educational sector in the SouthEast/South-South regions of Nigeria have appealed to the Department for International Development (DFID), a UKsponsored agency, to extend the duration of its Developing Effective Private Education Nigeria (DEEPEN) programme beyond August 2018. DEEPEN programme is focused on improving learning outcomes in private schools, especially for children from lowincome households in Lagos. The fund provided the Lagos low cost private school (LCPS)focused service providers with an opportunity to support unconventional solutions, to longstanding problems in the private education sector in Lagos, through the ingenuity of private enterprise. It also provided an opportunity to fund ambitious innovations, designed by Lagos’ private schools’ proprietors, service providers and other entrepreneurs. The aim was to scale up ongoing and emerging pilots, boost market linkages in hitherto un-

connected market segments, and highlight opportunities that might not have been noticed, if not supported externally. The stakeholders at a dissemination event, organised by DEEPEN in Owerri, the Imo State capital, observed that the extension of the programme would enable other states in the country, especially in the two-regions, to benefit from the programme and improve educational services in the states, as witnessed in Lagos. James Oke, director of planning, Enugu State Economic Planning Commission, described the DEEPEN programme as interesting, enriching and rewarding, stressing that it was something that should be casketed to other states, so that they could improve their educational services and quality. He explained that Enugu State has more private schools than public schools, a development he attributed to the enabling environment provided by the State Government for the investors to operate. According to him, “If you don’t have that they cannot out number public schools. What we are saying is, if we can take some-

thing from this meeting, we can improve on what is on-ground in our various State’s and that is the bottom line. For Orji Kanu Emmanuel, national secretary, Association for Formidable Educational Development, a major partner with DFID -DEEPEN programme, the impact of DEEPEN had changed the entire business environment for school owners, especially low cost, because there were certain things very important that government regulators were not seeing clearly, especially the many outcomes in various schools. The size of a school does not necessarily mean that the school is efficient, he said. According to Emmanuel, a resent research conducted to access the quality of learning outcome in public, private and also in highbrow schools, revealed that low cost private schools were not actually as low as people thought. “People were shocked to discover that the outcome in these low cost private schools were not actually as low as they thought. It was obvious that some of these low cost schools are doing far better than some public schools.”

Nigeria’s first homemade buoy unveiled in Port Harcourt to brighten $16bn Egina oilfield take off IGNATIUS CHUKWU

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takeholders in the oil industry on Wednesday, celebrated the unveiling of the first buoy built in Nigeria, now set to boost take off of the $16 billion Egina oil project. The buoy was fabricated by Port Harcourt-based Aveon Offshore Limited in partnership with National Oilwell Varco (NOV) to deliver 1 million barrels of crude oil per day from Egina oil field. Egina has a capacity to yield 200,000bpd and is scheduled to take off in 2018. The executive secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Wabote, said Egina was the first project set up after the Nigerian Content law to test how far Nigerians can go from start to finish in a large scale oil platform. He said; “The Board is delighted at the completion of this package by a Nigerian service company; Aveon Offshore. It is another proof of the effectiveness of the strategy we adopted to develop local capacities and capabilities under the Egina project.” This feat comes soon after the commissioning of manifolds that would do the actual sucking of oil were launched in September 2017. The delivery ceremony of the latest milestone, which took place at Aveon fabrication yard, Rumuolumeni Port Harcourt, was attended by several key-players in the Nigerian oil and gas industry including prominent members of NNPC, and the executive secretary of NCDMB, Simbi Wabote. Speaking at the delivery ceremony, the chairman of Aveon Offshore, Tein George, stated that executing the proj-

ect required a lot of time and manpower, but the brand is proud to have completed the project at the scheduled time. “We at Aveon Offshore continually strive for excellence by delivering topnotch services within defined project timelines. We are a proudly safety conscious company and our amazing safety record, which remains uncompromised regardless of the nature of the project we take on and our works are fully compliant with local content requirements and the recently concluded construction of this Egina OLT- BUOY is not an exception,” Tein George reiterated. The project has proved to be safe for use after several validating test-runs. Als o speaking at the event, John Borres Sannaes expressed NOV’s satisfaction working with Aveon Offshore, through the course of the project. “Before we decided to work with Aveon Offshore, we had a clear understanding of their high standards and their attention to details, so the decision to work with them on this project was so easy. The engineers that where engaged in the execution of this project are some of the best around and that was primarily because we wanted the best quality and scale through every QC test without any concerns,” the company said. Aveon Offshore remains one of the best oil-servicing firms in the country, with a focus on total client satisfaction that is achieved through the provision of products and services of the top-most quality, which is delivered through an unyielding firmness on safety and environmental principle, which has remained second to none.

L-R: Mathurin Kamdem, CEO, Craft Contractors; Funke Okubadejo, director, Actis; Andrei Losif, consultant, Actis, and David Le Bail, head, real estate development, Laurus Development Partners, at the tenants’ forum for Douala grand mall and business park Cameroon, held in Lagos, yesterday. Pic by Olawale Amoo

Nigeria lost economic, human capital development opportunities to demise of NNSL - Obaseki … urges financial institutions to empower Nigerians AMAKA ANAGOR-EWUZIE

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ith the demise of the Nigerian Nat i o na l Sh i p p i ng Line (NNSL) in the 90s, Nigeria lost and had continued to forfeit several economic and human capital development opportunities that would have come with the existence of national fleet, Godwin Obaseki, Edo State governor, says. Speaking in Onne at the weekend, at the official christening of the latest addition to the Nigerian ‘fleet,’ the MV OSANYAMO, a newly built ship owned by the STARZS Group and built by the Damen Shipyard, Obaseki lamented that the nation’s

shipping business worth trillions of naira was largely dominated by foreign ship owners. Expressing worries by the role finance play in shipping development, the governor however called on financial institutions in the country to synergise towards finding ways to building capacity among ship owners in order to boost employment opportunities and improve the citizens’ present economic conditions. “I feel really privileged that I am performing for the first time in my life, the christening, dedication and commissioning of a vessel, I have never done it before,” he said, adding that the shipping terrain in Nigeria, was not

only “scary” but also, seriously dominated by foreign operators. “The Nigeria’s maritime industry, in spite of the supports it had received with the enactment of the Cabotage Law, and the Local Content Law, has continued to be dominated by foreign companies,” he said. This, according to Obaseki, was apart from the brief time when Nigeria had the NNSL that offered Nigerians in the maritime industry sea time opportunities, and as a country, we lost the opportunity to build the human capacity as well as the resources to go ahead to dominate. He commended the efforts of indigenous shipping firms such as STARZS Group

and its chairman, Greg Ogbeifun, for the dedication, commitment and resourcefulness, particularly in mobilising local funds, institutional supports and utilising same to lift Nigeria’s flag as well as boost the employment opportunities for other Nigerians. He frowned that the country’s weak economic position had seriously affected not only the nation’s balance of trade, but also the well being and the future of the youths. He enjoined the financial sector, the Local Content Board and other institutional bodies to synergise, create more opportunities and ensure a more assured future for Nigerians, particularly in the maritime sector, in the immediate future.


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FRSC to cover 45 corridors during Eid-El-Fitri special patrol … as airports ready for Sallah celebration – FAAN

MIKE OCHONMA & IFEOMA OKEKE

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L-R: Kehinde Bamigbetan, commissioner for information and strategy, Lagos State; Israel Opayemi, managing director/ chief strategist, Chain Reactions Nigeria; Jordan Rittenberry, managing director, Edelman South Africa, and Bismarck Rewane, managing director, Financial Derivatives Nigeria Limited, at the presentation of the first bespoke Edelman Trust Barometer report on Nigeria in Lagos.

RMB plans bond issuance programme for listing on NSE HOPE MOSES-ASHIKE

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and Merchant Bank Nigeria (RMB) is putting together this year a bond programme already registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and would be listed on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). RMB, which is part of the issuing houses for MTN listing, is also collaborating with NSE to come out with different products that can be listed on the exchange. Michael Larbie, CEO, RMB Nigeria and regional head, West Africa, disclosed this on Wednesday at the closing bell ceremony of the bank’s fifth anniversary and official launch of the RMBN Stock Brokers at the NSE. “It is been an interesting journey doing business in Nigerian market like any developing economy has its own challenges. But you have to appreciate its challenges and navigate your way through, and we have navigated our way through in some but we

have been able to work with our client to continue to progress in what they do and along the line of progress in our own business. “In the last five years, we have been lucky and progressive, but it is never easy in an emerging market like ours, things are always never perfect. But since we are making some progress directionally, you can hang your heart on it and try and drive some businesses around it,” Larbie said. Responding to questions on projections for RMB, he said, “We hope that we would continue to do more for our clients, and we hope that we would have done some of the deals that we have on the pipeline. “So, you can think of us as one of the leading capital market players that have brought issuances today and have also helped structured fixed income deals. So, we are busy doing the bond deals for our clients that would have been actualised and followed them to those bonds to be listed in the

market. “We wanted to be seen as a trusted merchant bank in the Nigerian market we want our clients to come to us as an institution they can trust and help them think through challenging issues that they are grappling with.” On areas the market can improve upon to attract more investment, Larbie said emphasizing on corporate governance, will further enhance confidence in the market, which will attract both domestic and foreign investors to play more in the market. “You would have seen that since CBN introduces Nafex market, we have seen an increased portfolio investment both in fixed income and equity to the extent that people become convinced that the nafex market is here to stay and investors believe that they can leverage the market when they are going to exit and when prices at nafex will be available and they want to invest a lot more in the market,” he said.

EFG Hermes named top frontier markets brokerage firm in Extel Survey 2018 OGHOGHO EDOSOMWAN

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FG Hermes, a financial servicescorporationserving institutional and individual investors in frontier emerging markets, has for the first time been ranked as number one frontier market brokerage firm in the Extel Survey 2018, advancing from the ninth place last year. Prior to this ranking, EFG HermeswasnamedthetopAfrica Ex-South Africa Equities House at the Financial Mail Top Analyst Awards 2018, solidifying its strong presence in the African market. “Coming on the heels of our ranking as the top Africa Ex-South Africa Equities House at the Financial Mail Top Analyst Awards 2018, this industry recognition

highlightsthecorestrengthofEFG Hermes Research manifested in its ability to respond rapidly to the significantly increasing demand for new investment ideas and strategies amid the everchanging dynamics of markets and economies,” Ali Khalpey, the London-based CEO of EFG Hermes Frontier, said. “Our strategy is to match our growing execution capabilities with world-class research that meets the needs of our clients. Beyond EFG Hermes’ strength as a research house in the MENA region, this is proof that our calculated investments into frontier expansion has paid off and underscores our unmatched strength in new geographies that we have entered within the past two years.”

The commendation follows EFG Hermes Frontier’s recent entryintoBangladesh,bringingits direct presence to eleven markets acrossfourcontinents.Inaddition to ramping up execution capabilities to cover more than 95% of markets on the MSCI Frontier Emerging Index, EFG Hermes has focused its frontier efforts on providingclientswithworld-class, on-the-groundresearchspanning African,MiddleEasternandAsian markets “These accolades underscore the outstanding capabilities of our award-winning research team and mark the passage of another milestone in our transformation into a leading frontier player,” said EFG Hermes co-CEO of the Investment Bank Mohamed Ebeid.

5th AFRIMA debuts 4 new award categories …DJs, dancers, artistes in Diaspora can now win

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he fifth edition of the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA), in partnership with the African Union Commission, has debuted four new award categories to enjoin inclusiveness and expand the playing field in the awarding process for African music and creative professionals who have begun to send in their entries. The 5th AFRIMA online submission portal opened on May 25 to commemorate the 2018 Africa Day. The newly introduced award categories namely African DJ of the Year; Best African Dance/Choreography; African Lyricist/Rapper of the Year and Best African Act in Diaspora (Female/Male), were carefully arrived at after extensive consultations with African music stakeholders, which included the AFRIMA Academy of Voters and members of the International Committee of AFRIMA in response to the yearnings and requests of stakeholders, DJs, dancers and artistes in Diaspora.

n anticipation of mass movement of people and goods across the country at the end of Ramadan season, Boboye Oyeyemi, corps marshal, Federal Roads Safety Corps (FRSC), has directed the regular and special marshals of the Corps to effectively cover 45 corridors during the Eid-ElFitri special patrol, expected to start from June 13 to 18. This move, according to Bisi Kazeem, corps public education officer, FRSC, is geared towards FRSC’s determination to reduce road traffic crashes by at least 15 percent and fatalities by 30 percent during the period. All hands must be on deck to ensure free flow of traffic, reduction in road crashes, improved enforcement of traffic laws, and improved enlightenment on the proper use of the roads as the country approaches a busy Eid-El-Fitri celebration, Oyeyemi said. In a similar move, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has assured all airport users that it network of airports across the country are fully ready to receive arriving and departing passengers during the celebration. In a statement by Yakubu Henrietta, general manager, corporate affairs, FAAN, she said, “In line with our core mandate of ensuring seamless facilitation of air travellers, FAAN has put in place all necessary facilities and infrastructure to ensure safe passage and a delightful experience at all airports in Nigeria. “We advise all our esteemed passengers and airport users to always get to the airports early enough as we envisage a surge in traffic. “This will enable them to complete their check-in formalities in good time and prevent the embarrassment of missing flights, we will also like to remind all airport users that our airports are now cashless as all payments to the Authority should now be done electronically.” However, Oyeyemi also directed that the Corps paid first-rate focus on effective traffic control, failure to install/use speed limiting device by commercial vehicles, overloading, lane indiscipline and use of phone while driving.

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Dangote emerges most admired African brand

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angote Group, from Nigeria, has emerged as the most admired African brand, of African continent origin, by consumers ahead of telecoms firm, MTN, according to the South African-based Brand Leadership Movement in collaboration with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). The Dangote brand, also the leading brand in Nigeria, came top in the fresh ranking of 100 best brands in Africa themed “Brand Africa: 100,” the sixth edition announced in Johannesburg. The Brand Africa 100 was established in 2010, in recognition of the growth of African brands, whichwerebeginningtochallenge global brands in Africa or lead global brands in new categories such as telecommunications. The aim of Brand Africa is to identify, acknowledge and promote African and global brands thatarecatalystsforAfrica’sgrowth, reputation and value. Describing the brand, ‘Dangote,’ The Brand Africa revealed that the “Nigerian industrial brand DangoteisthenumberoneAfrican brand recalled when consumers are prompted about the continent (Africa) of origin, while the South African telecommunications brand MTN is the number one African brand spontaneously recalled, irrespective of continent of origin.’ The United States sports and fitness brand, Nike, is the overall brand in Africa spontaneously recalled by consumers. The Brand Africa 100 ranking is based on a survey among consumers 18 years and older, conducted in 23 countries across Africa. The countries, representing all African economic regions, collectively account for 75 percent of the population and the 74 percent of the GDP of Africa. Chief corporate communication officer of the Dangote Group, Anthony Chiejina, said the management was not surprised at the ranking because the company had continuously deepened and delivered on its core values. The focus of the company, according to Chiejina, is to be a world-class enterprise that is passionate about the quality of life of the people and givinghighreturnstostakeholders. “And this philosophy is driven byvalues,whichincludecustomer service, entrepreneurship, excellence and leadership. In any of our subsidiaries, the focus is to provide local, value-added products and servicesthatmeetthe‘basicneeds’ of the populace.

UCAP announces Peter Ashade as new group CEO CYNTHIA IKWUETOGHU & SOBECHUKWU EZE

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frica investment banking group, United Capital plc, has announced the appointment of Peter Ashade as its new CEO subject to required regulatory approval following the retirement of its group CEO, Oluwatoyin Sanni, effective June 30. Sanni served for 12 years, ascending the position of the group CEO in January 2014. Under her leadership, United Capital showed impressive growth rate in revenue and profitability across its vital business segment, leading to national

and international awards. A more recent example is the 7 percent increase in Q1 2018 profit before tax. The incoming CEO, Peter Ashade, till this appointment was the CEO of Africa Prudential plc. He is an investment banker with over three decades of cognate experience in Nigerian capital market. Under his leadership, the company acquired UAC Registrar and effortlessly integrated it with Africa Prudential Registrars (APR), transforming APR into a leading company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Ashade resumes as

group CEO, United Capital, effectively July 1, and he is looking forward to embarking on this new journey and working with the company’s leadership and its many committed employees. Ashade will be further supported by a crop of professionals who will oversee United Capital’s subsidiary companies: Tokunbo Ajayi, MD/ CEO, United Capital Trustees: Jude Chiemeka, MD/CEO, United Capital Securities: Sunny Anene, MD/CEO, United Capital Asset Management, and Babatunde Obaniyi, MD, United Capital Investment Banking.


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Live @ The Stock Exchange Top Gainers/Losers as at Wednesday 13 June 2018 GAINERS Company

Market Statistics as at Wednesday 13 June 2018

LOSERS Opening

Closing

Change

Company

Closing

Change

CCNN

N26.5

N27.5

1

N117.1

N115

-2.1

FLOURMILL

N32.3

N32.65

0.35

DANGSUGAR

N19.5

N19

-0.5

UAC-PROP

N2.01

N2.11

0.1

ZENITHBANK

N27.2

N26.75

-0.45

N6.1

N6.2

0.1

FBNH

N11.2

N10.9

-0.3

N1.44

N1.51

0.07

UBA

N11.1

N10.95

-0.15

UBN LEARNAFRCA

NB

Opening

ASI (Points)

39,031.72

DEALS (Numbers)

3,517.00

VOLUME (Numbers)

456,493,211.00

VALUE (N billion)

4.134

MARKET CAP (N Trn

14.139

Stock market halts gaining streak as Nigerian Breweries, 21 others lose Stories by Iheanyi Nwachukwu

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igerian equities gave up some earlier gains on We d n e s d ay as Nigerian Breweries Plc led the basket of 22 losers against 20 gainers. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All Share Index (ASI) decreased by 0.35percent, while the Yearto-Date (ytd) return stood at

2.06percent. Listed stocks lost about N49billion at the close of trading on Wednesday June 13, 2018. The All Share Index closed at 39,031.72 points as against the preceding day close of 39,167.04 points while Market Capitalisation closed at N14.139 trillion against previous close of N14.188 trillion. The volume of stocks traded increased by 33.68percent, from 341.4million to 456.4million, while the total value of

stocks traded decreased by 20.40percent, from N5.194 billion to N4.134 billion in 3,517deals. The Financial Services sector led Wednesday activity chart with 398.5million shares exchanged for N2.9billion; followed by Oil and Gas with 24.08million shares traded for N36million. UBA Plc, United Capital Plc, Africa Prudential Plc, Access Bank Plc were actively traded stocks. Nigerian Breweries Plc recorded the biggest loss as

its share price declined from N117.1 to N115, down by N2.1 or 1.79percent. Dangote Sugar Plc followed after its share price decreased from N19.5 to N19, down by 50kobo or 2.56percent. Zenith Bank Plc declined from N27.2 to N26.75, down by 45kobo or 1.65percent. FBN Holdings Plc declined from N11.2 to N10.9, representing a loss of 30kobo or 2.68percent. United Bank for Africa Plc dipped from N11.1 to N10.95, down by 15kobo or 1.35percent. Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc recorded biggest rally by N1 or 3.77percent, from N26.5 to N27.5. Flour Mill of Nigeria Plc rose from N32.3 to N32.65, up by 35kobo or 1.08percent. UAC-Property Development Company Plc also increased from N2.01 to N2.11, up by 10kobo or 4.98percent; Union Bank of Nigeria Plc increased from N6.1 to N6.2, up by 10kobo or 1.64percent, while Learn Africa Plc advanced from N1.44 to N1.51, up by 7kobo or 4.86percent.

Wall Street edges higher as Fed decision looms

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.S. stocks inched higher on Wednesday, as investors awaited a widely expected interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve and its guidance on the monetary policy. Media stocks were under the spotlight after a court approved AT&T’s $85 billion deal to buy Time Warner. Shares of the HBO channel owner rose 2.6 percent. However, AT&T dropped 5.4 percent, sending the S&P telecom services index .SPLRCL down 3.75 percent to its biggest single-day fall in nearly four months. A rate hike of a quarter percentage point is priced in by the market partici-

pants, who will parse the statement for clues on whether the Fed will raise rates three or four times this year. The announcement is due at 2:00 p.m. ET. “The uncertainty is whether or not the Fed talks about some of the political stuff going on in DC and concerns about trade,” said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Robert W. Baird in Milwaukee. “If they were just about what’s going on in the economy, then it would be talking about a fourth rate hike, so the market’s prepared for that.” According to the CME Group’s Fedwatch tool, traders are equally split about a fourth rate hike in December.

US dollar strength puts Naira in focus – Coronation Research

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report on interest rate outlook for the year released recently by the industry-leading Coronation Research – a part of Coronation Merchant Bank Group noted that conditions for emerging market currencies have deteriorated in the last two months. The report titled “Interest rate outlook, 2018” examined the current yield on government-issued or central bank-issued one-year bills of three groups of emerging market/developing countries: a) Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) countries; selected emerging markets with double-digit inflation; and selected sub-Saharan African countries. In each case, the current yield on the government securities was compared with the domestic inflation rate as an indica-

tor of how much currency depreciation, against the US dollar, an international investor might expect. “Nigeria will have to offer a higher interest rates more than what the market currently offers to attract international investors looking for a return, and lock in domestic funds that might otherwise go to the foreign exchange market. Rather than have market interest rates trend down with inflation, we believe that in second-half (H2) 2018 the CBN will seek to increase the spread between inflation and the one-year risk-free rate, which it effectively sets with its OMO rate”, according to Coronation Research. While the crisis in the Argentinian Peso is an extreme example, few emerging markets can take their exchange rate for granted

and in some cases market interest rates have risen. US dollar strength is taking a toll. Countries such as Kenya and Egypt, that offer oneyear risk-free local currency yields in excess of 5.00 percentage points (pp) above inflation, have had the best experience of preserving their foreign exchange rates over the year. Nigeria offers a one-year risk-free rate of 0.72 pp over its inflation rate. In as much as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) wishes to keep interest rates down, we

believe that it will have to raise market interest rates by Q4 2018. The CBN is aware of the risk of outflows of foreign investment in Naira money market instruments and the threat of pre-election spending that will most likely feed through to inflation in H2 2018. For these two reasons we think that the CBN will raise its open market operation (OMO) rates to achieve an annual yield of 14percent15percent by fourth-quarter (Q4) 2018, from 13.20percent

per annum (pa) recently. However, we doubt that it will make an overt signal by raising its Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) above 14percent pa this year. According to Head of Research Guy Czartoryski, “a significant part of Nigeria’s Naira-denominated risk-free securities are held by foreign investors and logic suggests that CBN must increase interest rates dramatically to keep the investors. However, we believe the CBN will keep interest rate rises to the minimum, while allowing a degree of foreign exchange reserve deterioration if foreign investors either sell or do not renew their Naira fixed income positions ahead of elections in February 2019. We think that the CBN would tolerate a degree of parallel exchange rate deterioration, if this results”.

Brazil, Russia and India have inflation below 5percent per annum (pa) and also offer one-year risk-free yields above 6percent pa. Countries with double digit inflation (i.e. Ukraine and Egypt) have one-year riskfree local currency yields that are 5.00 percentage points (pp), or more, higher than the headline inflation and are defending their currencies effectively. Policy rates in these countries are also high, with the Ukrainian policy rate at 17percent pa and the Egyptian policy rate at 16.75percent pa. Compared with other sub-Saharan African countries, Nigeria is an outlier, the average one-year risk-free rate of 13.20percent is 0.72pp above the headline inflation rate of 12.48percent pa (for April) and 11.61percent (year-on-year) in May 2018


A8

BUSINESS DAY

Thursday 14 June 2018

GARDEN CITY BUSINESS DIGEST CSR meets Safety: As Belemaoil delivers world-class fire fighting force in Garden City IGNATIUS CHUKWU

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elemaoil which prides itself as a defender of the oil communities has delivered what it terms world-class fire fighting force made up of three American-made fire engines and 33 certified fire-fighters. The Belemaoil Producing Limited (BPL) says it is a world-class indigenous but independent exploration and production (E&P) company operating in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria with a host of strong partners across the globe. Belemaoil seems eager to deepen its interests and activities in the industry: gas, power, refining, and explorations, all aimed at delivering more value in the hydrocarbon industry. Now, Belama seems eager to beef up the safety status of the Garden City by adding to the ability of the oil city to repel fire disasters and cut down loss of lives and property. The company also seems determined to beef up the city, after all, it is in the fore front of pressuring fleeing businesses to return, pleading with ambassadors of Western nations to lead the way back. Belema began by acquiring fire fighting engines from the US. The company followed up by bringing in a top rated fire training expert from North America, Gary Eve, to set up a squad drawn from indigenous human resource base. Today, the Belema fire force has graduated and certified 33 fire fighters who have conquered the phobia created by raging fire. They have acquired the confidence and skill to confront any level of fire disaster in the city with additional skills to serve as life support experts and community heroes, according

to the Executive Vice President of Belemaoil, Rosemary Asiegbu. On Monday morning, June 11, 2018, a mock fire fighting exercise was staged for media men and other onlookers at the fast-developing Woji Creek now turned Belema Jetty, along the new road and bridge that extended Odili Road to Akon Road area. Fire ball s went up, and the the trucks arrived in blazing sirens with swift efficiency. The fighters created a formation, pulled out the hose, and followed what experts called global best practices by keeping the hose hip level. They tracked the fire and gained penetration, according to Eve. In a matter of moments, the fire began deceleration, sickened and then died. Applause followed! The chief fire training officer, grinning all over, explained the steps and procedures that took place to newsmen. He said what was important was the discipline to follow international procedures and standards in putting out the fire. Eve said fire outbreaks have categories; street fire, garages, high-rise building fires, and other sophisticated types. The Belema Unit has been certified to handle most of them. Whichever type, the basics are the same and good water supply system is very important; professionalism is crucial. Some of the skills needed include how to hold the hose, the hose level which is the hip, and penetration. Eve said; “The standards are international and I am satisfied with the time it took them to put out the fire. Going forward, from what I hear, some of these guys would have to go for further training, probably abroad. What they have got now is basic. There are other levels of certification still available to achieve. I am a certified fire instructor in

EVP, Rosemary Asiegbu North America and I am satisfied with what they have learnt and performed here.” One of the certified graduands, Gibson Okuroma, admitted that he and his teammates have been drilled hard in the basic knowledge of fire fighting. “We are competent to handle fire on the basic level, whether the instructor is there or not. We have overcome the fears of a fireman.” On communication gadgets, he said they have also been taught how to communicate even if gadgets were not immediately available. His colleague, Kalabariborn Job Deinbo, said the team has been thoroughly trained by Eve and that they were prepared to put the skills into practice. “I did not know anything in this direction before, but now, I know what to do, even if anybody goes down in my presence. If fire erupts any-

where, by the basic training we have got, we can handle it.” Apparently excited by the fire-fighting proceedings and the emergence of a top grade fire-fighting unit in the emerging oil giant, Belema’s Executive Vice President, Rosemary Asiegbu, declared the Belema Fire Unit as a milestone for the company. She explained the journey so far, saying TDI Global, a Canada-based company, trained the team very well. “Fire fighting is a serious job because you will be alert all the time, even when you are on leave. This is because your services can be called upon any moment. You have to train to be fit at all times.” The EVP went on: “Fire fighting is also a multifaceted job because it transcends fighting fire. You can be called upon to deliver a woman of a baby, or you may need to

jump down from six floors. It’s about any emergency.” She described the 33 fire fighters as the strength of the city because they would have to act like heroes in moments of emergency. She said Belemaoil takes the safety of the community (City) with the greatest seriousness and that it was the reason why the Founder/President did not cut corners in approving training programmes. “You were given the best. Belemaoil is the first indigenous oil company to implement Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) package at all levels especially on the immediate environment.” Asiegbu went on: “We are not like the others. We have a commitment to the wellbeing of any community where we have a footprint. People around must know that we have a fire unit. Whenever there is fire around the

community (Port Harcourt), people must know that the Belemaoil Fire Unit is ready and able. We will be there to save lives.’ She said Belemaoil was pushing its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by the fire unit too, and at the same time empowering 33 persons in the process. “Your training will continue and your certification will continue. You alone will decide how far you want to go with Belemaoil in this aspect. The limelight is waiting for you.” The chief trainer presented the trainees to the Belemaoil management for their certificates, having been certified on the basics of fire fighting including hose management, tracking, safety, etc. He said more training would be needed for them to attain higher levels. He also talked of the need for more equipment and more facilities. The graduands seemed highly touched by their master and one of them stood out to openly declare; “We will make Gary Eve proud. We won’t fail Belemaoil either. Let Belema prosper more so we can realise our ambitions.” The management seemed happy with the introduction of such a sensitive facility in the oil city. The director of Engineering and Production, Mufaa Welsh, said; “The founder/ president, Jack-Rich Tein Jr, though unavoidably absent, has demonstrated his keenness and desire to see youths of the Niger Delta transform and take responsibility. “He dreamed about it for long and approved everything needed. He has a passion for the success of this unit. Fire is man’s worst enemy and must be treated with a lot of seriousness. This underlines the significance of the flag-off of the Belema Fire Unit in Port Harcourt this day”.

Phones, churches, Holy Thieves

Port Harcourt by Boat With IGNATIUS CHUKWU

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hieves now feel free to ply their trade and even their business in churches. Jeremy is a witness. Jeremy loves Christ and seems prepared to forfeit any pleasure and any material gain when in search of a moment with Jesus. So, on

this day, he left PH to Makurdi, Benue State, to catch a particular man of God whose annual May crusade is usually the talk of the region. This prophet’s sound doctrine and track discipline stand him out. Jeremy was so keen to make Makurdi that no talk of Herdsmen vs farmers was able to dissuade him from daring the long and lonely stretches from Ugbokolo to Oturkpo or further down, Aliade to Ikpayongo, near Markurdi the axis where the two priests and 17 morning mass goers were killed recently. As Jeremy found his way to the crusade ground of his heart’s desire, so did thieves also find their way there. They would not be the first to do so, after all, the Book of Job recorded that as the children of Israel (children of God) were heading to their

annul get-together with Jehovah, the Devil arrived earlier. That visit was the beginning of Job’s problems because of the conversation that Jehovah struck with the Devil using Job as the subject matter. When we were small children growing up in the village, our fathers and Uncles used to make examples of some of us with strangers. This would often lead to setting us up for an emergency wrestling bout or you would be required to drink up a bitter herbal concoction as example to the stranger’s fretting son. You were always required to show bravery. So, was Job set up and required to brave it up all the way. You all know what Job went through on account of being toasted by Jehovah as a ‘good boy’. If the Devil started attending crusades as far back as Job’s time,

it would not be out of place or something new if mere thieves attended crusades in Makurdi or any other city for that matter. Consider that Makurdi is a city where priests watered flower vases on the alter with their blood. So, Jeremy stayed all day and all night on the crusade ground, and the thief ‘assigned’ to him did same, all on the holy ground. When everybody slept, the thief showed that he was a more vigilante attendee. He frisked people and collected their phones, even after he had joined in shouting loud Halleluyaaaaa all evening. He was not alone; not all those who shouted Halleluyaaaa were righteous, even if they did not steal phones. Who knows what else they had stolen in life; jobs meant for others, contracts, government

treasures, other peoples ideas, others’ wives or daughters, etc? If Jeremy was not ready to steal from others, thieves were ready to steal from him. So, phone gone! The next day, he called the line and the holy thief calmly answered. They negotiated and he told Jeremy where, right in the church, he would find the SIM. Sure, it was there, meaning that this holy thief was at home and conversant with church environments and crusade grounds. He could be paying tithe. Is Makurdi isolated in this evil? Did a smart phone not get missing in Salvation Ministry’s major June event last week in PH where the Holy Ghost was being summoned every evening? That holy thief was lucky to heed the order by the prophet, David Ibieyomie, and returned the

phone pronto. The man of God had decreed instant death to that phone-taker. The thief rejected it; not his portion, and returned the phone. He must have recollected how Ibieyomie on the New Year eve 2018 decreed death and an end to the dreaded blood vampire and mass killer, Don Wanni, for making life unbearable in Rivers State. Just same week, he was killed with his lieutenants. Later, a hunt wiped out scores of his followers. Thieves are daring these days, and some freely operate on holy grounds. They have forgotten that there is fire that burns on grass without consuming grass. They have forgotten that a day will come when Christ will look the other way and Jehovah will strike. Holy thieves may not like the strike of red hot iron on their necks.


A8

BUSINESS DAY

C002D5556

Thursday 14 June 2018

Live @ the Stock exchange Prices for Securities Traded as of Wednesday 13 June 2018 Company

Symbol

Deals

Current Price

Trades

Volume

Company

Symbol

Deals

Current Price

Trades

Volume

PRICES FOR MAIN BOARD SECURITIES (Equities) AGRICULTURE Crop Production FTN COCOA PROCESSORS PLC FTNCOCOA 1 0.20 86,500 17,300.00 OKOMU OIL PALM PLC. OKOMUOIL 11 82.00 12,651 1,018,566.90 PRESCO PLC PRESCO 10 73.70 67,508 4,860,639.50 Crop Production Totals 22 166,659 5,896,506.40 Fishing/Hunting/Trapping ELLAH LAKES PLC. ELLAHLAKES 1 4.26 114 461.70 Fishing/Hunting/Trapping Totals 1 114 461.70 Livestock/Animal Specialties LIVESTOCK FEEDS PLC. LIVESTOCK 5 0.87 78,050 64,781.50 Livestock/Animal Specialties Totals 5 78,050 64,781.50 AGRICULTURE Totals 28 244,823 5,961,749.60 CONGLOMERATES Diversified Industries A.G. LEVENTIS NIGERIA PLC. AGLEVENT 3 0.49 154,538 76,032.02 TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATION OF NIGERIA PLC TRANSCORP 63 1.48 5,317,110 7,776,179.97 U A C N PLC. UACN 25 14.70 85,613 1,222,952.55 Diversified Industries Totals 91 5,557,261 9,075,164.54 CONGLOMERATES Totals 91 5,557,261 9,075,164.54 CONSTRUCTION/REAL ESTATE Building Construction ARBICO PLC. ARBICO 3 4.79 160 Building Construction Totals 3 160 Infrastructure/Heavy Construction JULIUS BERGER NIG. PLC. JBERGER 15 27.50 8,976 Infrastructure/Heavy Construction Totals 15 8,976 Real Estate Development UACN PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT CO. LIMITED UAC-PROP 7 2.11 211,213 Real Estate Development Totals 7 211,213 CONSTRUCTION/REAL ESTATE Totals 25 220,349

766.40 766.40 245,056.00 245,056.00 445,505.03 445,505.03 691,327.43

CONSUMER GOODS Beverages--Brewers/Distillers CHAMPION BREW. PLC. CHAMPION 12 2.00 334,233 667,586.22 GUINNESS NIG PLC GUINNESS 21 97.00 65,336 6,229,588.00 INTERNATIONAL BREWERIES PLC. INTBREW 12 41.75 41,507 1,661,509.25 NIGERIAN BREW. PLC. NB 140 115.00 766,116 88,862,487.60 Beverages--Brewers/Distillers Totals 185 1,207,192 97,421,171.07 Food Products DANGOTE FLOUR MILLS PLC DANGFLOUR 66 10.60 741,922 7,923,381.75 DANGOTE SUGAR REFINERY PLC DANGSUGAR 64 19.00 4,605,268 91,567,916.30 FLOUR MILLS NIG. PLC. FLOURMILL 76 32.65 3,993,144 129,210,223.10 HONEYWELL FLOUR MILL PLC HONYFLOUR 26 2.39 450,668 1,069,492.88 NASCON ALLIED INDUSTRIES PLC NASCON 106 23.00 7,322,410 168,321,678.80 UNION DICON SALT PLC. UNIONDICON 1 13.45 50 640.00 Food Products Totals 339 17,113,462 398,093,332.83 Food Products--Diversified CADBURY NIGERIA PLC. CADBURY 29 13.00 49,405 643,202.15 NESTLE NIGERIA PLC. NESTLE 98 1,495.00 154,884 232,310,229.80 Food Products--Diversified Totals 127 204,289 232,953,431.95 Household Durables VITAFOAM NIG PLC. VITAFOAM 21 3.20 311,624 951,221.65 Household Durables Totals 21 311,624 951,221.65 Personal/Household Products P Z CUSSONS NIGERIA PLC. PZ 18 20.75 156,789 3,096,601.50 UNILEVER NIGERIA PLC. UNILEVER 34 55.00 183,983 9,745,281.10 Personal/Household Products Totals 52 340,772 12,841,882.60 CONSUMER GOODS Totals 724 19,177,339 742,261,040.10 FINANCIAL SERVICES Banking DIAMOND BANK PLC DIAMONDBNK 76 1.52 6,001,595 9,351,385.42 ECOBANK TRANSNATIONAL INCORPORATED ETI 49 20.00 328,903 6,567,858.80 FIDELITY BANK PLC FIDELITYBK 125 2.31 9,103,141 21,130,994.32 GUARANTY TRUST BANK PLC. GUARANTY 165 41.50 7,940,218 329,479,428.50 JAIZ BANK PLC JAIZBANK 10 0.68 501,787 341,169.16 SKYE BANK PLC SKYEBANK 26 0.73 2,208,565 1,631,892.91 STERLING BANK PLC. STERLNBANK 38 1.41 13,259,160 18,220,702.81 UNION BANK NIG.PLC. UBN 50 6.20 14,422,950 89,592,226.05 UNITY BANK PLC UNITYBNK 18 0.88 425,708 379,703.84 WEMA BANK PLC. WEMABANK 33 0.74 933,621 691,442.14 Banking Totals 590 55,125,648 477,386,803.95 Insurance Carriers, Brokers and Services AFRICAN ALLIANCE INSURANCE COMPANY PLC AFRINSURE 9 0.20 23,300,000 4,660,000.00 AIICO INSURANCE PLC. AIICO 39 0.62 2,885,368 1,853,960.75 CONTINENTAL REINSURANCE PLC CONTINSURE 7 1.43 434,000 622,975.00 CORNERSTONE INSURANCE COMPANY PLC. CORNERST 2 0.35 40,000 13,600.00 EQUITY ASSURANCE PLC. EQUITYASUR 1 0.23 100,000 23,000.00 CONSOLIDATED HALLMARK INSURANCE PLC HMARKINS 14 0.29 531,007 153,922.03 INTERNATIONAL ENERGY INSURANCE COMPANY PLC INTENEGINS 1 0.42 1,218 487.20 LASACO 7 0.37 51,511 18,558.07 LASACO ASSURANCE PLC. LINKAGE ASSURANCE PLC LINKASSURE 12 0.87 593,200 513,469.36 AXAMANSARD INSURANCE PLC MANSARD 6 2.52 5,714,647 14,237,006.10 MUTUAL BENEFITS ASSURANCE PLC. MBENEFIT 17 0.33 2,033,454 671,806.32 N.E.M INSURANCE CO (NIG) PLC. NEM 32 2.54 1,977,636 5,027,501.20 NIGERINS 5 0.25 4,812 1,203.00 NIGER INSURANCE CO. PLC. PRESTIGE ASSURANCE CO. PLC. PRESTIGE 4 0.64 100,210 64,134.40 REGALINS 25 0.26 2,286,850 570,464.49 REGENCY ALLIANCE INSURANCE COMPANY PLC SOVEREIGN TRUST INSURANCE PLC SOVRENINS 4 0.27 413,198 111,525.72 STANDARD TRUST ASSURANCE PLC STACO 1 0.48 100 46.00 STANDARD ALLIANCE INSURANCE PLC. STDINSURE 2 0.42 1,260 504.00 VERITAS KAPITAL ASSURANCE PLC VERITASKAP 9 0.33 801,695 268,576.30 WAPIC INSURANCE PLC WAPIC 28 0.49 642,259 313,846.80 Insurance Carriers, Brokers and Services Totals 225 41,912,425 29,126,586.74 Micro-Finance Banks NPF MICROFINANCE BANK PLC NPFMCRFBK 13 1.76 267,190 452,644.90 Micro-Finance Banks Totals 13 267,190 452,644.90 Mortgage Carriers, Brokers and Services INFINITY TRUST MORTGAGE BANK PLC INFINITY 2 1.42 371 500.85 Mortgage Carriers, Brokers and Services Totals 2 371 500.85 Other Financial Institutions AFRICA PRUDENTIAL PLC AFRIPRUD 67 4.25 72,104,145 312,595,184.89 CUSTODIAN AND ALLIED PLC CUSTODIAN 3 5.02 100,850 531,479.50 FCMB GROUP PLC. FCMB 30 2.32 905,599 2,116,587.32 ROYAL EXCHANGE PLC. ROYALEX 4 0.35 54,428 18,994.12 STANBIC IBTC HOLDINGS PLC STANBIC 48 48.50 2,917,957 142,137,558.30 UNITED CAPITAL PLC UCAP 98 3.16 78,685,654 258,348,220.58 Other Financial Institutions Totals 250 154,768,633 715,748,024.71 FINANCIAL SERVICES Totals 1,080 252,074,267 1,222,714,561.15 HEALTHCARE Pharmaceuticals FIDSON HEALTHCARE PLC FIDSON 2 6.00 1,427 8,187.00 GLAXO SMITHKLINE CONSUMER NIG. PLC. GLAXOSMITH 23 19.20 65,225 1,242,617.50 MAY & BAKER NIGERIA PLC. MAYBAKER 20 2.45 1,293,830 3,168,915.20 NEIMETH INTERNATIONAL PHARMACEUTICALS PLC NEIMETH 8 0.63 1,304,800 795,480.00 Pharmaceuticals Totals 53 2,665,282 5,215,199.70 HEALTHCARE Totals 53 2,665,282 5,215,199.70

ICT IT Services CWG PLC CWG 1 2.54 50 133.00 IT Services Totals 1 50 133.00 ICT Totals 1 50 133.00 INDUSTRIAL GOODS Building Materials BERGER PAINTS PLC BERGER 7 8.55 57,009 465,771.55 CAP PLC CAP 2 36.80 2,655 92,925.00 CEMENT CO. OF NORTH.NIG. PLC CCNN 44 27.50 369,598 10,039,427.00 FIRST ALUMINIUM NIGERIA PLC FIRSTALUM 4 0.40 50,203 20,582.48 Building Materials Totals 57 479,465 10,618,706.03 Electronic and Electrical Products CUTIX PLC. CUTIX 1 3.14 1,000 3,290.00 Electronic and Electrical Products Totals 1 1,000 3,290.00 Packaging/Containers BETA GLASS PLC. BETAGLAS 6 87.35 501 42,585.00 Packaging/Containers Totals 6 501 42,585.00 INDUSTRIAL GOODS Totals 64 480,966 10,664,581.03 NATURAL RESOURCES Chemicals B.O.C. GASES PLC. BOCGAS 5 4.21 8,456 37,375.52 Chemicals Totals 5 8,456 37,375.52 Metals ALUMINIUM EXTRUSION IND. PLC. ALEX 3 9.20 209 1,828.75 Metals Totals 3 209 1,828.75 NATURAL RESOURCES Totals 8 8,665 39,204.27 OIL AND GAS Energy Equipment and Services JAPAUL OIL & MARITIME SERVICES PLC JAPAULOIL 173 0.36 21,351,410 Energy Equipment and Services Totals 173 21,351,410 Integrated Oil and Gas Services OANDO PLC OANDO 75 6.85 1,939,008 Integrated Oil and Gas Services Totals 75 1,939,008 Petroleum and Petroleum Products Distributors CONOIL PLC CONOIL 32 32.00 80,895 ETERNA PLC. ETERNA 15 6.00 544,936 FORTE OIL PLC. FO 32 37.00 133,559 11 PLC MOBIL 29 183.00 19,014 MRS OIL NIGERIA PLC. MRS 15 34.25 6,502 TOTAL NIGERIA PLC. TOTAL 9 193.30 3,469 Petroleum and Petroleum Products Distributors Totals 132 788,375 OIL AND GAS Totals 380 24,078,793

7,456,383.93 7,456,383.93 13,389,710.90 13,389,710.90 2,505,125.45 3,335,854.96 4,893,090.25 3,410,590.00 217,740.30 703,860.10 15,066,261.06 35,912,355.89

SERVICES Courier/Freight/Delivery RED STAR EXPRESS PLC REDSTAREX 8 5.95 22,370 137,694.00 TRANS-NATIONWIDE EXPRESS PLC. TRANSEXPR 2 0.82 200 164.00 Courier/Freight/Delivery Totals 10 22,570 137,858.00 Hospitality TANTALIZERS PLC TANTALIZER 2 0.36 200 70.00 Hospitality Totals 2 200 70.00 Hotels/Lodging CAPITAL HOTEL PLC CAPHOTEL 2 3.10 257 804.41 IKEJA HOTEL PLC IKEJAHOTEL 16 2.61 143,701 380,617.74 TOURIST COMPANY OF NIGERIA PLC. TOURIST 4 3.50 1,100 3,663.00 TRANSCORP HOTELS PLC TRANSCOHOT 2 7.45 11,000 78,100.00 Hotels/Lodging Totals 24 156,058 463,185.15 Media/Entertainment DAAR COMMUNICATIONS PLC DAARCOMM 1 0.48 2,000 920.00 Media/Entertainment Totals 1 2,000 920.00 Printing/Publishing LEARN AFRICA PLC LEARNAFRCA 7 1.51 208,000 313,940.00 UNIVERSITY PRESS PLC. UPL 10 2.30 51,223 115,422.06 17 259,223 429,362.06 Printing/Publishing Totals Specialty SECURE ELECTRONIC TECHNOLOGY PLC NSLTECH 1 0.48 200 92.00 Specialty Totals 1 200 92.00 Transport-Related Services NEWREST ASL NIGERIA PLC AIRSERVICE 5 4.50 13,726 59,021.80 NIGERIAN AVIATION HANDLING COMPANY PLC NAHCO 16 4.20 225,206 921,121.72 Transport-Related Services Totals 21 238,932 980,143.52 Support and Logistics CAVERTON OFFSHORE SUPPORT GRP PLC CAVERTON 19 2.22 402,000 903,232.00 C & I LEASING PLC. CILEASING 17 1.65 804,926 1,322,725.87 Support and Logistics Totals 36 1,206,926 2,225,957.87 SERVICES Totals 112 1,886,109 4,237,588.60 EQTY Board Totals 2,566 306,393,904 2,036,772,905.31 Daily Summary (Equities) OIL AND GAS Petroleum and Petroleum Products Distributors CAPITAL OIL PLC CAPOIL 2 0.33 1,676 Petroleum and Petroleum Products Distributors Totals 2 1,676 OIL AND GAS Totals 2 1,676 SERVICES Waste Management THE INITIATES PLC INITSPLC 2 0.76 510 Waste Management Totals 2 510 SERVICES Totals 2 510 ASeM Board Totals 4 2,186 Daily Summary (Equities) Activity Summary on Board PREMIUM

536.32 536.32 536.32

387.60 387.60 387.60 923.92

FINANCIAL SERVICES Banking ACCESS BANK PLC. ACCESS 146 10.65 26,284,243 282,268,219.95 UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA PLC UBA 131 10.95 90,615,507 998,227,612.35 ZENITH INTERNATIONAL BANK PLC ZENITHBANK 245 26.75 7,597,788 204,654,545.90 Banking Totals 522 124,497,538 1,485,150,378.20 Other Financial Institutions FBN HOLDINGS PLC FBNH 256 10.90 21,984,026 240,364,291.60 Other Financial Institutions Totals 256 21,984,026 240,364,291.60 FINANCIAL SERVICES Totals 778 146,481,564 1,725,514,669.80 INDUSTRIAL GOODS Building Materials DANGOTE CEMENT PLC DANGCEM 30 239.00 1,152,461 LAFARGE AFRICA PLC. WAPCO 135 39.00 2,462,591 Building Materials Totals 165 3,615,052 INDUSTRIAL GOODS Totals 165 3,615,052

275,294,901.30 96,070,901.95 371,365,803.25 371,365,803.25

OIL AND GAS Exploration and Production SEPLAT PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY LTD SEPLAT 4 769.00 505 Exploration and Production Totals 4 505 OIL AND GAS Totals 4 505

369,073.10 369,073.10 369,073.10


BUSINESS DAY

C002D5556

NEWS YOU CAN TRUST I THURSDAY 14 JUNE 2018

Opinion

The gloves are finally off CHRISTOPHER AKOR Chris Akor, a First Class graduate of Political Science, holds an MSc in African Studies from the University of Oxford and is BusinessDay’s Op-Ed Editor christopher.akor@businessdayonline.com

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he pretences are over: Nigeria is fast sliding into full blown dictatorship and authoritarianism. Human rights, rights to life, freedom of expression, assembly and association are being flagrantly abused and no one, it appears, have a right to oppose, criticize or ask the government probing questions without the government sending security agencies after such an individual. This has been the pattern since 2015 when Buhari assumed office. But majority of Nigerians closed their eyes to the abuses and dictatorial tendencies of the regime in the futile belief that such approaches were needed by the government to effectively fight corruption and insecurity in the country. However, for many – including members of the National Assembly – the reality is just dawning. Just a few months after coming to power, precisely on December 12 2015, the Nigerian military in broad daylight murdered in cold blood over 347 members of the Islamic

Movement of Nigeria (IMN) who allegedly blocked the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai in Zaria. Not done with the group, the Nigerian government also demolished the headquarter of the group, brutalised and arrested the leader, Shiek El Zakzaky, his wife and many other members. The government has continued to detain these arrested individuals illegally since then even after many courts have granted them bail and ordered the government to release them. Although the military used several lies to justify the killings, a panel set up by the Kaduna state government to investigate the killings indicted the Nigerian army for the Zaria massacre. But no one has yet been held accountable for this atrocity – and the government has continued its systematic clampdown on the group. Of course, since we are not Shiites or members of the IMN and since many of us do not particularly like their modus operandi – frequent processions that disrupts our peace and ease of movement on the streets – we all looked the other way or were even silently happy Buhari has quietly taken care of them. Then came the turn of Sambo Dasuki and Nnamdi Kanu. They were clamed into detention and the government refused to release them even after the courts granted them bail. Even when Kanu was released, it appeared the government had a plan to take him out of the equation completely and since

operation python dance, he’s disappeared and no one can account for his whereabout. Yet, we all kept quiet and even praised the government for being hard on corrupt individuals and separatists. Then came the turn of the National Assembly. It began when Isau Misau, the Senator representing Bauchi Central Senatorial district and a retired Deputy Superintendent of police, accused the Inspector General of Police of wanton corruption and bribe-taking in discharging his duties. According to the Senator, insider sources revealed to him the IGP collects bribe to make top postings within the force. The Senator also revealed the IGP pockets over N120 billion annually from payment for special security services rendered by the police to corporate organisations and very important personalities and that such monies do not reflect in police annual budgets or internally generated revenue neither do the over 50, 000 police personnel deployed to perform such duties benefit from the money. The organisations and individuals requiring their services have to settle them separately. Rather than order an investigation into the allegation, the preoccupation of the government is to neutralise the Senator completely. First the police accused Misau of being a deserter who did not validly resign from the force before entering politics. When the police service commission eventually exonerated Senator Misau by confirming he validly retired

from the force, the presidency turned the heat on the Misau, charging him to court for making injurious statements against the IGP. He has been battling to free himself in the courts for almost a year now. Then came that of Senator Shehu Sani, who was so bold as to disagree with his tempestuous governor – Nasir El-Rufai – and takes occasional shots at the presidency. Pronto, he was accused of being an accessory to murder and summoned to Kaduna to answer to those charges. Luckily for him, the alleged criminal who named him later came out to reveal that the military tortured him to claim that Senator Sani contracted him to murder one Lawan Maiduna. The same pattern has played out in the cases of Senator Dino Melaye and the Senate President. The police really went hard on Melaye, trying to physically incapacitate him to allow the recall process initiated against him by his governor in Kogi is concluded. Luckily for Melaye, a thuggish character himself, the recall process fell flat on its face and some days ago, his accuser has also recanted in court. For Saraki, the strenuous attempt by the police boss, who has refused to answer the summons of the National Assembly to answer questions on the rising insecurity in the country, to link him to the robbery in Offa, Kwara state, has rankled him and reminded him of the capacity of the administration to destroy every conceivable opposition in its way to fully

consolidating its hold on power. To make the message sink in, both the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives have received notifications from the Department of State Security and Police that their security details from both agencies were being significantly reduced! Well, all these just remind me of the eternal words of Martin Niemoller (1892–1984), a prominent pastor and anti Nazi activist: First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me— and there was no one left to speak for me. If anyone is in doubt about the terrible human rights record of this administration, I will recommend the US states department’s annual report on human rights in Nigeria for 2017 titled: “Nigeria 2017 Human Rights Report.” To be sure, the report detailed human rights infractions, abuse of power, extrajudicial killings, corruption and transparency issues in Nigeria since 2015. Specifically, the report listed these infractions to include: extrajudicial and arbitrary killings; disappearances and arbitrary detentions; torture, particularly in detention facilities, including sexual exploitation

and abuse; use of children by some security elements, looting, and destruction of property; civilian detentions in military facilities, often based on flimsy evidence; denial of fair public trial; executive influence on the judiciary; infringement on citizens’ privacy rights; restrictions on freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and movement; official corruption; lack of accountability in cases involving violence against women and children, including female genital mutilation/cutting and sexual exploitation of children; trafficking in persons; early and forced marriages; criminalization of status and same-sex sexual conduct based on sexual orientation and gender identity; and forced and bonded labor.” In support of its damning verdict and as evidence of the impunity with which the Nigerian government operates, the report noted that the Nigerian government does not take steps to hold to account officials who perpetuated impunity whether in the security forces or in civil society. The report cited atrocities committed in the Northeast by members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), the army, police and officials who systematically abuse inmates in the various Internally Displaced People’s camps scattered across the region. A part of me wanted to rejoice and tell the Senators “serve you right”. But then I remember we may still have approximately five years of the administration to go and I may also end up in the gulag of the administration. May God help us!

So na you? : The Father and Mother of all corruption!

IK MUO Ik Muo, PhD, Department of Business Administration, OOU, Ago-Iwoye

O

ur war against corruption is severely challenged. It is politically propelled; we, the people are not aware of any coherent strategic framework, it is only fought from the centre and as Kabir Gwangwazo has just noted, we fight it at the retail end, ignoring the whole sale side of the business, where 20% effort would yield 80% outcome (The trouble with fighting corruption at the retail end, Vanguard, 8/6/18). But the greatest problem is that the concept of corruption has been so narrowed down that even if we win the battle, we would not win the war. In 1969, Kotler and Levy demanded for the broadening of marketing concept( Kotler, P. & Levy, S.J. Broadening the concept of marketing, Journal of Marketing, 33(1).10-15). Mr Femi Kayode,

who taught us marketing at UI in 1977 (we studied marketing as a part of our economics degree), forced us to read that paper. We were perplexed that while we were still grappling with the difference between selling and marketing as well as its various concepts (four as at then), someone was asking us to broaden the concept. Anyway, I believe that we need to seriously broaden the concept of corruption before we can effectively ameliorate that scourge. One man from my friends’ town said that the only thing wrong with him is that whenever he wanted to say one thing, he would end up saying something else. My focus today is not on broadening the concept of corruption; it just came up. So na you, the title of this treatise is the process and practice, which probably originated in Nigeria, in which somebody who is qualified for a job, contract, appointment, is replaced by somebody who is less qualified, not qualified, or did not even take part in the selection process because the qualified candidate committed the crime of coming from the wrong part of the country. It is the father and mother of all corruption because it strikes a deep and everlasting blow on the victim, alienates and makes him

or her hostile to everything that has to do with the organization or the country and questions the allcitizens-are-equal principle of citizenship. The copyright to this concept belongs to a US-based serial medical researcher and inventor , Dr. Steve Ayanruoh who is one of the renowned victims of so na you. That was what forced him to flee Nigeria. This is his painful story which is self-explanatory. I applied for a job in the NNPC as a Medical Officer in Warri in 1989. After the interview, the Personnel Manager in Warri informed me that I was the successful candidate and my appointment letter would be coming from Lagos. I am still waiting for the letter 29 years after. A few weeks after my interview with NNPC, a classmate of mine knocked on my door at about 8pm. I was surprised, though happy to see him in Warri since he was not from that part of the country. On further questioning, he told me he had come to resume at NNPC. I said I am waiting for my letter of appointment from Lagos. He said “so na you?” I replied “wetin be so na you?” He replied “them remove your name and put my name because I claim say I come from Kano State”.

This was when I decided to leave Nigeria. (Dr Ayanruoh; Dearth of equipment, corruption responsible for Nigerian doctors’ migration overseas’; Guardian, 2/6/18, pp35-37) In 1975, I went to University of Benin to confirm my admission status. The official we met there told my father and I that if they admitted all the qualified candidates from East Central State, there would be no space for Bendelites and that was that. In 1981, I attended a WAEC conducted examination for the defunct New Nigerian bank. Just like Dr Ayanruoh, I was informed at the head office in Benin that I scaled through and that my appointment letter would come. I am still waiting, almost 40 years later. From St Josephs Secondary School, Awka Etiti, I got admission into Federal Government College Enugu after a 3-day residential interview. My father did not know where the school was, did not know the principal or any director or any Senator. That was in 1976. About 25 years later, my daughter wanted to get admission into Queens College. She lost one term waiting for the come-today-come-tomorrow that followed. A street-wise towns man advised me to claim Kaduna indigeneship (at the cost of N40,000) and she would

be admitted. Me? How can I do that and what lesson would I be teaching my only daughter if I signed her off to Kaduna (incidentally, she was born in Kaduna) just to gain a temporary, fraudulent advantage? But the man’s three children attended Federal Government Colleges through the so-na-you route. This disease does not only occur across ethnic lines. At Cooperative and Commerce Bank, Enugu, I was shortlisted, after a tough selection process to attend a foreign training following the introduction of Second-tier Foreign Exchange Market. That was when I obtained my first International Passport. I have renewed that Passport up to 10 times and I am still waiting for the training. My son just finished a very expensive local training to equip him for work in the power industry. I borrowed to fund the training but those from the upper end of Nigeria were all sponsored, including those who were not qualified to be at the training ab initio. And before the programme ended, some of his colleagues who came first from below had jobs awaiting for him. With his 80.5% cumulative score, he went into the suffocated labour market. I also know somebody who made the best result a department has ever

had and while the intellectual inferiors have been employed in that federal university, the fellow is still hanging about because she came from the wrong part of the country. Universities usually don’t let go of their best students but this happens in this sona-you environment! Another person attended an interview at Yaba-tech, was informed that the letter of appointment was ready, went to pick up the letter and it developed wings up to this moment because of so na you So na you is about the most deadly and rampant form of corruption in Nigeria in which some citizens are more citizen than the others. And as long as night follows the day, we cannot progress without dealing with so na youspirit( everything is now a spirit!) because that is why when others are sending their 1st eleven, we send our 11th 11. That is why we have remained just potentially great since 1960.Unfortunately, we are not even talking, let alone acting about it. This is really sad. Meanwhile, If you want to have a better picture of the trouble with Nigeria ( brain-drain, why those who checked out will not return and why we cannot benefit from the breakthroughs of our foreign based compatriots) read that interview. It is compelling

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Businessday 14 jun 2018  
Businessday 14 jun 2018