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Stanbic IBTC, Rencap, 8 others execute N103bn transactions as equities lose N687bn p.34

Sokari Douglas Camp: The diaspora artist and her works

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Sunday 16 September 2018 Market & Commodities Monitor Brent Oil

5yr Bond

$78.08

-0.08 15.11%

Gold

10yr Bond

$1,201.4

-0.07 15.17%

Cocoa

$2,219.0

20yr Bond

-0.07 15.49%

Godly leadership, not restructuring, will solve Nigeria’s problems – Bishop Olumakaiye

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Vol 1, No. 234 N300

2019: Experts warn on illicit financial flows W

ZEBULON AGOMUO & CHUKS OLUIGBO

inside

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hereas Nigeria seems to have taken some initiatives to curb illicit financial flows, such as the introduction of a single windows trade platform in all ports of entry, the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), the Bank Verification Number (BVN) scheme, among others, tracking illicit financial flows during elections remains problematic.

In spite of extant laws that require assets disclosure and impose ceilings on campaign spending and restrictions on campaign funding, politicians and political parties’ funds and expenditure systems remain opaque and confidential, resulting in continued inflow of unaccounted-for monies from both known and unknown sources during elections. Worried by this trend, experts have begun to raise awareness to relevant parties aimed at checking illicit financial flows ahead of the 2019 general

elections. Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on May 30 met with chief compliance officers of Nigeria’s commercial banks. He mandated banks to report all suspicious transactions ahead of next year’s election, threatening to prosecute any bank that failed to cooperate. The anti-graft agency also set up teams to monitor election spending by politicians and political parties in a bid to track

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Too many ‘ifs’ on the way to Dickson’s 2020 Senatorial p.22 ambition Osun 2018: The candidates, their chances, their p.24-25 limitations Moshood Salvador (m), former chairman of the People’s Democratic Party in Lagos, hoists the All Progressives Congress flag during his official declaration for the party at the Agege Stadium in Lagos, yesterday. Pic by Iniobong Iwok

APC will rule Nigeria for 33 years - Tinubu as Salvador, ex-PDP Lagos chair, officially joins ruling party

Akwaaba 2018: Showcasing Africa’s richness in entertainment, interaction, tourism

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Iniobong Iwok

ola Ahmed Tinubu, national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says the party will rule the country for 33 years. Tinubu made this assertion, yesterday, while receiving Moshood Salvador, a former chairman of the People’s Democratic

Party (PDP) in Lagos State who recently defected to the APC, at the Agege Stadium in Lagos. Tinubu said the APC had initially planned to rule the country for 16 years but had changed its mind and decided to extend its tenure in power to 33 years. Tinubu, who was represented at the

occasion by Senator Anthony Adefuye, noted that the defection of Salvador to the APC would strengthen the party, adding that the APC would poll majority votes in the 2019 general elections. He described Salvador as a true politi-

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2019: Experts warn on illicit financial ... Continued from Page 1

the sources of funds for their campaigns. At a two-day workshop organized for Bureau de Change (BDC) o p e r a t o r s i n La g o s recently, Francis OkaPhillips Usani, director, Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), warned the BDC operators to be wary of unscrupulous elements who may want to use them to launder illicit money before and during the elections. As key players in the foreign exchange market, BDC operators, commercial banks and other financial businesses and commercial companies are required by international and national regulations to verify the identity of all their clients before any transaction. This measure is intended to help stop criminal organisations from profiting from their illegal activities. Illicit financial flows, defined by United Nations Economic Commission for Africa as “money illegally earned, transferred or used”, Usani said, not only pose a threat to sustainable development but also undercut economic growth and legitimate trade, depriving governments of the financial resources they might otherwise invest in public goods, such as health, education and infrastructure. He listed types of political finance-related corruptionto include illegal expenditure including vote buying, funding from infamous sources, and abuse of state resources by political officeholders. Continued from Page 1

cian, who joined the APC in spite of not nursing any political ambition, unlike other politicians who left the party because of their selfish ambitions. “We welcome you to the APC. I want to assure you that you have made the right decision to join the APC. Our party will continue to rule the country. Initially, we wanted to rule for 16 years, but now, we want to rule for 33 years. That is our target,” he said.

President Muhammadu Buhari (r) receiving H.E. Patrice Emery Trovoada, Prime Minister of Sao Tome and Principe, at the State House, Abuja, weekend.

“A political party or candidate may accept money from organized crime syndicates such as drug traffickers, terrorist groups or foreign governments for elections. These groups might even form their own political parties so as to control government at the centre or most times sponsor their candidates into positions in order to use them to control government and its policies to their advantage,” Usani said. “ Ce r t a i n s t a t e r e sources, such as money and infrastructure, which are available to officeholders, may be extensively used for electioneering. In addition, through the unauthorized channelling of public funding into controlled companies, organizations or individuals, the political party or candidate may capture state resources to their advantage during the electioneering period,” he said

in a paper titled ‘Detection and Prevention of Illicit Financial Flows in an Election Year’. In order to prevent illicit financial flows through BDCs, Usani quoted the guidelines published by the CBN for BDC operations, which stipulate, among others, that every BDC shall have an AML/CFT policy in compliance with AML/CFT Act 2011 for identification of customers using relevant means before carrying out a transaction or establishing a business relationship and shall conspicuously display a copy of its licence, exchange rates and Anti-Money Laundering caution notice at its place of business. He said as a way of detecting and preventing illicit financing of elections, accounts of MDAs should be monitored by ACAs to ensure that public funds are not diverted to fund political activities; the legal

framework of political finance must be comprehensive (including provisions for sources of funding, allowed expenses, disclosure, reporting, enforcement and sanctions), stated in clear and unambiguous language, and objective and based on political consensus. “State enterprises and other public bodies should remain politically neutral. Legal entities providing goods or services for any public administration and public-owned companies should be prohibited from making donations to political parties. Extra measures to prevent such prohibitions from being circumvented should be adopted. State support to political parties should be realistic and based on objective and fair criteria,” Usani said. “Consolidation and survival of democracy depends on the periodic conduct of acceptable and competitive free and

fair elections. Therefore, funding of political parties should be properly regulated and pegged to certain limits to allow for equal competition. Donations from individuals and corporate entities/ organizations to political parties should be carefully scrutinized to ascertain the legitimacy of the funds,” he said. Writing in an article in June, SKC Ogbonnia, a presidential aspirant on the APC platform, argued that the flow of illegal campaign money persists because “there appears to be no serious consequences for bad behaviour in Nigeria”. Th e El e c t o r a l Ac t stipulates that a presidential candidate should not spend more than N1 billion on election campaigns, a governorship candidate should not spend above N200 million, while a senatorial candidate should not spend more than N40 million. According to Section 130 E.A 2010 of the INEC Electoral Offences Act, accepting money or any other inducement during an election attracts a fine of N100,000 or imprisonment for a term of 12 months or both, while an individual or other entity donating more than N1,000,000 to any candidate attracts a maximum fine of N500,000 or imprisonment for a term of 9 months or both. Also, Section 91 (9) of E.A 2010 provides that aiding a candidate to forge or falsify a document relating to his expenditure at an election attracts imprisonment for a term of 10 years, while Section 91 (12)

states that a political party that incurs election expenses beyond the limit stipulated in the Act shall be liable to a maximum fine of N1,000,000 and forfeiture to INEC of the amount by which the expenses exceed the limit set by the Commission. However, these laws have been flagrantly breached time and again without any consequences. “Nigeria’s Electoral Act is explicit on campaign finance. It contains specific spending limits for every elective office – from councillor to the presidency. Very importantly, the Act contains relative consequences for violations. Interestingly, even as the candidates openly violate the campaign finance laws, including spending without limitation and open buying and selling of votes, none of the agencies entrusted with enforcement of electoral laws seems to care,” Ogbonnia said. “Nigeria’s off-year elections ought to serve as dry run for general elections. However, despite ample evidence of bribery and tainted money in the Anambra governorship election of November 2017, neither the INEC, Buhari nor any of the law enforcement organs raised any qualms,” he said. He stressed the urgent need to regulate campaign money in order to “broaden the political process so that true competition for ideas—rather than crude competition for illegal money—can finally become a tenet of Nigerian democracy”.

urging the PDP to accept its defeat. “When you add the score of the PDP and the APC in the 2015 general elections, it was like 99 percent while the rest of the existing parties had one percent, but with our entrance into the APC, the party would score 99 percent of the votes in the 2019 general elections in the state. I can assure you of that. “PDP is dead Lagos

State. They should accept their defeat in next year’s election. I would utilize my resources and work for the APC in Lagos State. We would get 2 million votes. That is my target,” Salvador said. Some of the leaders of the party in the state present at the events include Senator Ganiyu Solomon, Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi, Yomi Finih, Joe Igbokwe, state publicity secretary, among others.

APC will rule Nigeria... “The trend of defection started from Abuja. People who could not get return ticket started making noise, but these are the genuine people joining us. Akpabio also joined us some weeks back. Salvador is a true leader who has no ambition but for his love for the people. Salvador was the backbone of PDP in Lagos State and with him joining us, it means PDP has disappeared in the state.”

Tunde Balogun, chairman of the APC in Lagos State, said that Salvador and his followers had joined the party at the right period, stressing that the party would work hard to consolidate on its electoral success in the 2015 general elections in the state. Balogun urged the new members to register and obtain the party’s membership card at the state APC secretariat, stress-

ing that his administration would carry all stakeholders along in decision making. Speaking at the event, Salvador said his defection from the PDP in marked the end of the party in Lagos State, adding that the state was now a one-party state. He said his would utilise his resources to work toward the electoral success of the APC in the 2019 general elections,


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PDP demands open inquest into Finance Ministry’s records under Adeosun CHUKS OLUIGBO

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igeria’s major opposition political p a r t y, t h e People’s Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday called for an open inquest into the records of the country’s Ministry of Finance under the immediate past minister, Kemi Adeosun, with a view to unravelling alleged financial improprieties perpetrated by the incumbent administration under her watch. The PDP also demanded Adeosun’s immediate arrest and prosecution for deserting national service and for NYSC Exemption Certificate forgery. Ad e o s u n , w h o h a d been under fire in the past few months following revelations that she may have been using a fake National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Certificate of Exemption, resigned as minister on Friday. In a resignation letter addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, Adeosun said the the findings of the investigation into the allegation made in an online medium that the Certificate of

...alleges plot to ‘smuggle’ her overseas

L-R: Bayo Ademuyiwa, brand manager, Online Wisdom; Confidence Osein, head programmes coordinator, Online Wisdom School Club; Sam Okenye, cyber security professional and member, Board of Advisers, and Martin Obiora, MD/CEO, Online Wisdom, at the media launch of Online Wisdom Cyber Security Education Initiative by Great Life Technology Ltd in Lagos,

Exemption from NYSC that she had presented was not genuine came to her as a shock and that she was bound, “in line with this administration’s focus on integrity”, to “do the honourable thing and resign”. Following her resignation, Buhari appointed Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of State Budget and National Planning,

The Elevation Church commences 7th ‘Mr & Mrs BetterHalf’ relationship series

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he Elevation Church (TEC), a nondenominational church that exists to develop its members as witnesses for Christ, has commenced the 7th edition of its relationship series – Mr & Mrs BetterHalf – this September. Godman Akinlabi, lead pastor, said the series was designed to strengthen existing marriages and relationships that would lead to marriage, with wisdom from God’s Word. “The Elevation Church is committed to building families, restoring hopes and helping singles choose right. We believe that in fixing most of our social problems as a nation, we need to start promoting the right values from the smallest unit, which is the family,” Akinlabi said. This year’s edition, themed “You & Me Incorporated”, is packed full with interesting pro-

grammes for everyone including the widowed, separated, divorced, and single parents, the church said in a statement. The statement said relationship teachings would run concurrently at all three expressions of TEC, which include The Elevation Church Island, The Elevation Church Mainland, and The Lifepointe Church, all in Lagos. Mr & Mrs BetterHalf reinforces the need for unity and understanding in marriages. It also dwells on the divine purpose and power of marriage while instructing and inspiring singles on identifying the right mate and preparing for successful marriages. The series kicked off on September 1 and will be crowned by a “Vow Renewal” service for only married couples on September 30, featuring a guest appearance by award winning artiste, Timi Dakolo.

to oversee the Finance Ministry with immediate effect. But in a series of tweets yesterday via its official handle @OfficialPDPNig, the PDP alleged that the Fe d e r a l Go v e r n m e n t , which it said had earlier made efforts to defend Adeosun, was working towards helping her evade prosecution. The party also accused

the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of planning to secretly move the former minister out of the country and called on the international to be at alert to foil what it called the ruling government’s “devious plan”. “Forgery: We acknowledge the resignation of @ HMKemiAdeosun from office as Minister of Finance, but insist on her

immediate arrest and prosecution for deserting national service and forging her NYSC Exemption Certificate in addition to alleged impropriety and abuse of office,” the PDP said. “We invite Nigerians to note that @MBuhari, whose administration has become notorious for shielding corrupt officials, could not sum-

mon the rectitude to sack Mrs. Adeosun. She would have still been in office, if not for the sustained uproar by Nigerians and international creditors. “Our investigations reveal that the FG, which earlier made efforts to defend her, has already perfected a plot to help her to evade prosecution following fears that she could open up on the humongous corruption going on in the financial sector under the @MBuhari administration. “We are also aware of plots by the @OfficialAPCNg FG to secretly move her out of the country, and for that, we urge the international community to be at alert and ensure she is repatriated to face justice in Nigeria should the Federal Government succeeds in its devious plan. “We therefore demand for an open inquest into the records of the Finance Ministry under @HMKemiAdeosun, to unravel all improprieties by the @MBuhari Presidency cabal, including alleged diversion of oil proceeds, fraudulent oil subsidy deals, depletion of our foreign reserves, etc,” the party tweeted yesterday.

2019: Ekweremadu’s constituency signs accord on credible primaries OWEDE AGBAJILEKE, Abuja

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eople’s Democratic Party (PDP) aspirants to various political offices and delegates in Enugu West Senatorial District have signed an accord for transparent and peaceful primary elections ahead of the 2019 general elections. Known as “Mpu Accord”, party stakeholders reaffirmed their commitments to the finest democratic ethos, expressing satisfaction with the level playing ground and internal democracy that were witnessed in the ward and local government congresses that produced the three-man ad-hoc delegates and local government delegates. The communiqué issued after a meeting at the Mpu country home

of the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, over the weekend reads: “Aspirants to various political offices and delegates in PDP, Enugu West Senatorial District, met and resolved that transparency, level playing field, and equity shall be upheld in the primary elections in the District, in such a way that everybody will be satisfied at the end of the process. “No aspirant shall deploy hate speech, thuggery, and brigandage in the pursuit of his or her political aspiration, and whoever emerges at the primaries shall enjoy the support of other contestants. “In the spirit of sportsmanship, the winner and, by extension the party, shall show utmost magnanimity by carrying others along. “All aspirants shall at all

times be conscious of the supremacy of the Party over personal interests and ambitions”. The aspirants and delegates, who commended Ekweremmadu “for his vision, political skill, robust ideas, quality representation, and innovativeness”, also appreciated Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi “for his all-inclusive, peaceful and project-oriented governance model”. They lauded the Uche Secondus-led national leadership of the PDP for the breakthroughs in recent times such as the return to the PDP by political big weights, including former Vice President, serving President of the Senate, and governors. “The rate of defections from the All Peoples Congress (APC) to the PDP is an eloquent testimony to the poor ratings of the

ruling party by various national and international bodies as well as their predictions that the PDP would return to power in 2019”, they said. Among stakeholders present at the meeting were Ekweremadu; Deputy Governor of Enugu St a t e , Ce c i l i a Ez e i l o ; Speaker of the Enugu State House of Assembly, Edward Ubosi; serving members of the House of Representatives from the district, namely Toby Okechukwu and Dennis Oguerinwa Amadi as well as the National Youth Leader of the PDP, Sunday Udeh-Okoye. Others include Members of the State House of Assembly as well as Council and local government party Chairmen from Enugu West Senatorial District, and leaders of thought.


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Cross River lawmaker defects to APC as Senator Otu declares MIKE ABANG, Calabar

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enator Bassey Otu has declared his intention to go back for the Southern Senatorial District of Cross River State on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the member representing Odukpani in the State House of Assembly, Bassey Akiba dumped the PDP to join him during the declaration. The Senator in his speech entitled, “Our past, present, and hope in the Southern Senatorial district” delivered to a mammoth crowd in the State Cultural Centre reassured that his legislative priorities remain the same. Akiba said his defection to APC became inevitable so as to join the Senator to reposition the district and also sustain and expand the dividends of democracy, which the local government and the state have so far benefited from the Federal Government. “My legislative priorities remain the same to strive for ecological balance in our environment and empowerment of human capacity in our district to meet with contemporary challenges, building of an egalitarian society, where both the rice and the poor can live in harmony,” Senator Otu de-

clared. Akiba, who represents the Senator in the State Assembly recalled that the magnanimity of the President Buhari despite the about 30, 000 votes he got during the 2015 election to appoint many indigenes of the state into the government deserves encouragement and support for the 2019 polls. He listed such as the

Head of Service of the Federal, Winifred Oyo-Ita; the chairman of the NDDC board, Victor Ndoma-Egba; Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Usani; the SA to the President of Prosecution, Okoi Obono-Obla, among others in the boards and parastatals. The State legislator also cited the about to commence dualization of the Calabar-Itu-Ikot Ekpene

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hris Akomas, a former deputy governor of Abia State and a governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has assured his supporters of his belief that he would get the ticket of his party for 2019 general election. Akomas gave the assurance during the opening of his campaign office on Trinity Theological College Road, Afara Umuahia. While addressing his supporters, he noted that since he had picked his expression of interest and

ruling associated with impunity especially as he had defeated a sitting Senator through the popular which of the people promised a brighter future. “if we fix all our challenges, adversities, defeats, frustrations and letdowns in a bottle and shake it very well and pour out all the contents, what will likely emerge is a psyche of a people denied their voice,

L-R: Akshay Talwar, manager, Simba Agric & Power Products Industries; Carla Sojinrin, head, Not-For-Profit Unit, Sterling Bank Plc; Yemi Osilaja, president, African Cycling Foundation; Ramon Olaoye, assistant director, Lagos Sports Commission, and Bimpe Olufemi, captain, Cycology Riding Club at the announcement of the third edition of the Schools Cycling Challenge organised by the African Cycling Foundation and sponsored by Sterling Bank Plc, recently.

Abia guber: Akomas confident of flying APC flag UDOKA AGWU, Umuahia

Road which traverses a large part of his constituency as well as the Calabar-Lagos Railway line as exquisite projects of the Federal Government which should not be toyed with by wallowing in opposition. Senator Otu, who lamented the fate of the district since he was denied a second term ticket in 2015 through questionable circumstances by the then

nomination forms, that the game was up and they should be “fishers of men” for them to achieve the onrous task ahead. He revealed that he is in the race because it is an important task for Abians. The Abia gubernatorial candidate also said that he had garnered administrative experience as former commissioner for Land and Survey, Special Adviser on Education and Deputy Governor, among others. He said his interest is for the betterment of Abia State and enjoined Abians who love and have the interest of the state at heart to come together so as to

move the state forward. “As a comrade and a Labour leader before, the welfare of workers is my priority. There is dignity in labour and part of the dignity is to pay workers their salaries,” said Akomas. He debunked rumours making the rounds that he planned defecting from APC to any other party while describing such as a figment of the author’s imagination. “I will never leave the party that I worked hard to build in Abia. I am a member of the Board of Trustees of APC. I joined APC when people regarded joining the party as taboo,” he said.

bullied by political aggressors, mired in poverty, condemned by complacency and less informed about their rights to justice, liberty and prosperity,” the Senator told the cheering crowd. “I trust your coming is to reaffirm that old sweet confidence we share that the sweet prince will be there for you in sweetness and sorrow. I see in your eyes the burning desire to attack all deceits and hold on to the truth that you are everything democracy and everything democracy is you. I have come to awaken you to your rights to determine your fate with your votes,” Otu said. The ceremony had a former Minister of Works and later health to President Muhammadu Buhari as a military Head of State, Emmanuel Nsan as the chairman; the National Coordinator of Buhari Youth Organization (BYO),Yusuf Nalado, as well as the National Vice Chairman, South-South Zone, Ntufam Hilliard Eta; the state chairman of the APC, Mathew Achigbe; the state secretary, Bishop Victor Ebong and other chieftains of the party across the state. Also in attendance were the gubernatorial aspirants of the party such as Eyo Etim Nyong, Senator John Owan Enoh, and Edem Duke, who all spoke in solidarity with the re-entrance of Senator Otu to the race.

Benue college matriculates 1,417 students ...warns against cultism, alcoholism, others Benjamin Agesan,Makurdi.

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enue state College of Education Katsina-Ala, Friday, matriculated 1,417 students into its various Educational programmes during its 42nd matriculation ceremony out of the many candidates that took the College as first choice. Ad d r e s s i n g t h e m a triculating students,John Orze Kor, Provost of the institution,charged the new Students against relishing their freedom in wanton abandonment of cardinal purpose of being in the College, but to attend classes, undertake all assignments and study hard for examination. Orze Kor who is the 11th

Provost of the College, stressed the institution’s zero tolerance for examination malpractice/misconduct, cultism, improper dressing, drug abuse,homo sexualism, lesbianism, alcoholism, prostitution, romantic engagements between students and staff, among others,adding that appropriate disciplinary measures would be meted out to herring students. While appealing to publicspirited individuals and other relevant stakeholders in the College, the Provost urged the students to always remain focused and dedicated to their academics by constantly patronizing the College’s ultra modern library and bookshop, which according to him, were well stocked with current titles, insisting

that the sale of handouts and books by lecturers directly to students was illegal and was prohibited. He urged the students to Report to the appropriate authority on campus any compilation by anybody to purchase any material. Orze Kor, who identified some of the major challenges confronting the institution to include lecture halls, lecture theatres, offices and hostel accommodation, among others,thanked the visitor to the College state Governor, Samuel ORTOM, Tertiary Education Fund, for their immense investments and interest in the university as well as other well-meaning Nigerians, who he said, were contributing their quota to the growth and development of the university.


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FOCAC: FG cautioned against mounting debts to China Innocent Odoh, Abuja

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he Federal Government has been warned against the increasing debts Nigeria currently owes the People’s Republic of China, following a series of loans the Chinese have offered to Nigeria to improve its infrastructure. Nigeria debts to China is said to be 8.5 percent of the entire external debt the country owes. The Senate Committee Chairman on Foreign and Domestic Debts, Shehu Sani said this while chairing a round table dialogue organised by the Centre for China Studies (CCS) to review the recently held Beijing summit of Forum of China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Abuja. Sani, who is also the Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, expressed fears that the current creditor-debtor relationship between Nigeria and China may boo-

merang for Nigeria if other areas of cooperation are not explored. Speaking on the theme ‘The Outcomes of the 2018 Beijing Summit of FOCAC and how it can be synergised with Economic Recovery and Growth Plan to drive sustainable and inclusive development,’ Senator Sani noted that although China’s support in development efforts of Africa is commendable, there is need to be wary of the effects of piling debts, to avoid a servant-master relationship. Sani said: “China-Africa relations should not be simply about loans, we must be careful,there is strong emphasis on loan” Loan is sweet but payment is bitter, and it will be in the interest of both countries that other areas should be explored,” he further said. According to him, “Debt from our experience is a new form of colonialism, and it is my opinion that if you borrow in bits, it will soon become a mountain in payment that you cannot pay.

“So we should explore other areas, from security cooperation, to China doing all it can to ensure Nigeria has a permanent representation at the UN Security Council.” The senator charged African leaders to be inspired by the success story of China, by looking inwards and identifying potentials key to positioning the continent in the right direction. In his remarks the Charge d’ Affaires of Chinese Embassy in Nigeria, Lin Jing, said Nigeria debt’s to China is 8.5 percent of the entire external debt the country owes, while assuring that the relationship between Nigeria and his country is a give and take situation. “China has never been a Father Christmas to Africa, sometimes we need to give first and take later, sometimes, we give more and take less, other times we give and don’t take at all”. He however, encouraged African countries in the FOCAC system to be doers instead of onlookers. The Director of Centre

for China Studies, Charles Onuniaju, said that Nigeria must take advantage of the cooperation to solve its infrastructure deficit. He noted that there was nothing inherently wrong in securing loans, stressing that China at a point in its history also resorted to taking loans but invested in productive

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edeemer’s University, Ede, Osun state has held the 10th Convocation of the university with a charge on the students to apply native intelligence to the interpretation of academic knowledge to solve societal problems. Addressing the graduands, Nigeria’s Vice President

Osinbajo

Yemi Osinbajo, who is the chairman, Redeemer’s University Board of Trustees, said honours await the graduands, if they constantly task themselves to seek answers to national questions and solutions to national problems. Osinbajo who was represented at the ceremony, said the hope of major technological breakthrough for the country rests on the generation of the graduands leaving university at the moment. In his remarks, the chancellor of the university, General Theophilus Danjuma (rtd), said Redeemer’s University in its short history has made some great accomplishments and sought the cooperation of all to further develop institution. He maintained that the university has a good reason for modest pride resulting from the various contributions and impact it has made as one of the foremost research institutions in Africa. According to him, “the

issue of raising funds for infrastructural development cannot be overemphasised. The quality of the alumni of any institution is one of the sources of its strength. Today, alumni relations or engagement is an important part of an institution’s advancement activities. “The alumni are an institution’s most loyal supporters, fund raising prospect, role models for the current students and above all, its ambassadors. “Therefore, to the graduands of today, this convocation should not mark your exit from this university but another phase of your continuing participation in its development as alumni relations, sponsors, faculty members and the likes.” Addressing the occasion, the General Overseer, the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, admonished the graduands to see the graduation as a new beginning after

the university has equiped them will all they need to succeed. He commended the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Debo Adeyewa, for working assiduously to stabilise the institution and prayed for him in his future endeavor. Reminiscing on his seven years in the saddle, the outgoing Vice Chancellor of the university, Debo Adeyewa, listed as part of his achievements, full accreditation for all programmes in university, commencement of post graduate programmes, movement to permanent site and commencement of the use of E-learning platform among others. He advised the graduating students to be the solution to numerous challenges facing the country at the moment and present day generation. At the convocation ceremony, 423 students graduated, with 27 leaving the institution with First Class Honours, while 160 got Second Class upper division.

Two factions of Cross River APC adopt direct primaries MIKE ABANG, Calabar

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wo factions of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Cross River State have adopted direct primaries to select their candidates for the 2019 general election in the state, as the crises continued

to linger. The state executive committee led by Godwin Etim John dropped the hint in Calabar during a stakeholders’ meeting of the party at its secretariat. During the meeting, the party resolved to adopt the direct primaries as canvassed by the Adams Oshiohmhole

National Working Committee (NWC). The stakeholders also agreed to pursue with vigour the ongoing party registration and mandated the chapter chairmen to leave no stone unturned in the exercise. Both factions have aspirants for various elective po-

offered by China. During the two-day FOCAC summit in Beijing between September 3 and 4, Chinese President Xi Jinping, announced an additional $60 billion support funds to Africa as a follow up to the $60 billion offered to Africa during 2015 FOCAC summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Pastors Paul and Ifeanyi Adefarasin, Dr. Creflo Dollar, Vicki Yohe, Bishop Mike Okonkwo, Bishop Ransom Bello, Pastor Tony Rapu and other pastoral dignitaries at the Spirit Life Conference 2018.

Redeemer’s University hosts Osinbajo, Danjuma at 10th convocation ceremony OLADALE BAMIGBOLA, Osogbo

and profitable projects that eventually transformed the country into a big economy and the second biggest in the world. The CCS Director advised the Nigerian government to have an effective and efficient inter-agency framework and strategy to leverage on the opportunity being

sitions in the state, including governorship. “The APC Cross River State noted that as a law abiding party, that believes in the supremacy of the rule of law and our courts, resolved not to be part of any scheme to undermine the order made by a court of competent jurisdiction in the country,” it said.

NEMA, SEMA identify prompt information as way forward in disaster management

he National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and Abia State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) have identified promt information, synergised operations and cooperations among concerned agencies as a way forward towards achieving sound disaster management.

quate operational equipment as the reason for the rise in disaster occurence in the country. The stakeholders in the disastermanagementfurther enjoined Abians to always give prompt and credible information to relevant agencies in time of emergency. Sunday Johnson, the acting executive secretary of Abia State Emergency Management Agency, (SEMA), while delivering his lecture appealed to Abians in particu-

Both agencies stated this in Umuahia in a communiqué issued at the end of a workshp organised by stakeholders which was aimed at sensitising Abians on disaster prevention tips and emergency management strategies. The workshop, which took place at Michael Okpara auditorium, Umuahia, was entiled ‘Strenghtening the roles of stakeholders in disaster management’. The communiqué also identified late and poor funding of relevant agencies, fake news, superstition, corruption in society and inade-

lar and Nigerians in general to be proactive in disaster matters. The event, which featured lectures, questions and answers, afforded participants opportunities to explain their roles in the society as well as inform NEMA of their operational challenges. The meeting was equally used to highlight the operations of NEMA around the country in tackling problems faced by internally displaced persons (IDPs), victims of road accident, fire disaster, flood menace, collapsed buildings, communual clashes, among others.

UDOKA AGWU, Umuahia.

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Sunday 16 September 2018

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BDSUNDAY 7

News

Capturing power not do-or-die affair, says Imo guber aspirant

Abia has not accessed ecological fund since 2015 - Ikpeazu

SABY ELEMBA, Owerri

UDOKA AGWU, Umuahia.

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frontline governorship aspirant in Imo State, on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Jude Ejike Njoku, a professor of agricultural economics, says that capturing political power should not be a do-or-die affair matter as it is the Almighty God that gives power and he gives it to any person he wants for a purpose. The former Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) and an award winner of the National Universities’ Commission ‘Best Vice Chancellor” expressed the optimism that he will win the PDP gubernatorial primary in Imo State for the 2019 general election. “At the end of the day if God wants you to get power he will make all the conditions necessary for you to capture power no matter whatever may happen”, he said. Speaking on the role money would play, he said: “Of course, money will play a lot of role.”

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L-R: Mark Smith, commercial director for Africa, Travelex ;Christabel Onykwere, executive director, Inter-Bank Settlement System Nigeria (NIBSS ); Bayo Oladejo, MD/CEO, Centrifuge Consulting; Chidi Amuta, chairman, Wilson and Weizmann Associates, and Steve King, group head, corporate compliance, Travelex UK, at the day 2 of the sensitization forum for BDC Proprietors in Nigeria with the theme’ Systems, Processes & Compliance in Nigeria’s retail BDC Forex Sector in Lagos. Pic by Pius Okeosisi

He advised his well wishers who know his capacity to fix Imo State and get things going again including the delegates for the upcoming gubernatorial primaries “to pray hard” even as he said “I am optimistic and will emerge victorious”.

Alasoadura, APC senator in Ondo, decries continued closure of National Assembly ...says issues germane to national importance not discussed YOMI AYELESO, Akure

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he Senator representing Ondo Central Senatorial District, Tayo Alasoadura has decried the continued delay in the resumption of the National Assembly. The senator, who spoke in Akure, the Ondo State capital, maintained that the continued recess is not in the best interest of the country, as it has prevented issues of national importance that would have been beneficial to the people from getting discussed as well as subsequent approvals. “What’s not good about the closure is that we have matters of national importance that we need to discuss and support. “Examples are money for the Federal government on capital projects, INEC budget and others that are of national interest should be urgently considered by our members.” Alasoadura who is the chairmanSenateCommittee on Petroleum(Upstream) however suggested that the

leadership of the National Assembly should have allowed for partial resumption in order to deliberate on begging national issues in the overall interest of the country. “So ordinarily, the National Assembly should be reopened for one or two days to look critically at some of the issues I mentioned in the interest of our country,” he said. Also speaking on the gale of defections from the All Progressives Congress, APC, Alasoadura said it would not affect the outing of the party in the coming 2019 general election. According to the lawmaker, the achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration and his integrity portend landmark victory for the party come next year. On the coalition of PDP with some political parties, the senator maintained that power cannot be wrestle from the APC, adding that PDP administration at the national level for 16 years has been a monumental disaster.

“The should work hard, put in their best effort, make sure they should do what they should do by canvassing to get votes from the delegates, God gives power,” Njoku said. “I have gotten my governorship nomination form

and have returned it. My chances are bright; the permutations change everyday. There were people who thought I was not going to buy the form, they were basing their judgment on that. Now that I have got it; they have to think twice,” he said.

overnor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has said that his administration has never received any money meant for ecological fund since 2015 to checkmate the mence of erosion which has been ravaging all parts of the state. Ikpeazu disclosed this at Ugwuaba in Isuikwuato Local Government of the state during inspection of Ugwuaba gully erosion site which had cut off Isuikwuata- ABSUOkigwe road. He however, assured that the state would partner with the Federal Government in tackling various active erosion sites ravaging communities in Isuikwuato LGA and other parts of the state. The governor also said that efforts would be made to access the Federal Government’s ecological fund which is meant to address such disasters and advised motorists plying the road to be careful. “I expect that there is need to intervene using the ecological fund available in the Fed-

Ikpeazu

eral Government coffers”,he explained. He directed the ministry of environment to liaise with the Isuikwuato Council Authority to create a diversion 200 meters away from the site to avoid commuters and vehicles plunging into the gully. The governor who noted that the disaster was beyond the financial capacity of the state alone, said that the state government would come up with a design to provide an interim remedy within one week to avert the disaster from expanding further. “This is an emergency and there is no state government that can be said to be prepared for this kind of emergency.” he noted.

Emmanuel commends NCPC for hosting 2018 Christian pilgrimage confab in Uyo Innocent Odoh, Abuja

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he Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel has commended the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) for the choice of Uyo for the 2018 Christian Pilgrimage Leaders and Managers’ Conference. A statement issued by the head of the media unit of the NCPC, Celestine Ogugua said that Governor Emmanuel, who spoke through the Secretary to the State Government, Emmanuel Ekuwem said Akwa Ibom State being the first state to host the Pilgrimage Leaders and Managers of Nigeria outside Abuja was strategic. The governor stated that Akwa Ibom State is completely a Christian State and as such would do everything possible as a government to provide the enabling environment for Christians to worship God and prosper in their endeavour. He stated that Akwa Ibom State is a state named after God, saying “In Akwa Ibom State we strive day in and day out to do what is right”. Ekuwem explained that Governor Udom realised that the people and the state are partners in progress, add-

L/R: Executive Secretary, Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), Rev. Uja Tor Uja; Secretary of the State Government of Akwa Ibom, Emmanuel Ekuwem and the Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Christian Pilgrim Welfare Board, Archbishop Cletus Bassey at the on going Conference of Pilgrimage Leaders and Managers of Nigeria in Uyo.

ing that Akwa Ibom State is 99percent Christians. Speaking earlier, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission, Uja Tor Uja, thanked the government and the people of Akwa Ibom State for receiving the Christian Pilgrimage Leaders and Managers in the State, the statement said. According to the NCPC boss, “We are persuaded that Akwa Ibom stands on

a very stead to make Nigeria become what it should become in the world”. He further urged that Akwa Ibom State “gives us its leverage by increasing its investment in Christian Pilgrimage”. Uja added that he would like to see more pilgrims taking responsibilities and to see more of pilgrims from Akwa Ibom State. He stated that “with the challenges we face in Nigeria, we need to increase our praying com-

mitment and development,” even as he affirmed that pilgrimage has gone beyond sight seeing’. In the words of the NCPC boss “we want a situation whereby younger people receive leadership, adding that we need to create more opportunities for the younger ones”. He stressed the need for the younger ones to grow and contribute to the development of Nigeria, the statement said.


8 Inside Lagos

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Sunday 16 September 2018

ASUU protests to Ambode, demands visitation panel to LASU …as LASU mgt dismisses union

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Stories by JOSHUA BASSEY

our zones of Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) have asked the Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode to constitute a visitation panel to the Lagos State University (LASU). Members of the union, who staged a peaceful protest to the Government House, Alausa, on Friday, were drawn from Lagos, Akure, Ibadan and Benin. The protesters displayed placards some of which read “ASUU is for peace and justice’’, “Fagbohun respect LASU laws and regulations’’, “Fagbohun , Ninalowo leave ASUU -LASU alone’’ and “Fagbohun is a political professor.’’ They called for a halt to the appointment, promotion and disciplinary panel set up by the university authority to probe three ASUU-LASU executive members for the alleged theft of a confidential document. Olusiji Sowande, a professor and ASUU Lagos zone coordinator, said the protest was to ask Governor Ambode as the visitor to the university to send a visitation panel to LASU to investigate matters at the institution. Sowande said there was a need to probe the alleged backdating of the professorship appointment of the Vice -Chancellor of LASU, Olanrewaju Fagbo-

Sunrise section of Oshodi-Apapa Express Road, leading to Apapa Port, in complete messs. Picture by Pius Okeosisi

hun (professor), by the former registrar, Akinwunmi Lewis. “The alleged backdate of professorship has an implication on the VC and if the governing council is handicapped to investigate it, then the visitor should send a panel to LASU to unravel the mess in the institution,” he said. Alex Odiyi, ASUU – Akure zone coordinator and ASUU national representative, said the current management in LASU had embarked on a systematic rigid administration of ASUULASU. Odiyi called for the reinstatement of the erstwhile chairman, Isaac Oyewunmi, and his deputy,

Adebowale Adeyemi–Suenu, who were dismissed by the university in September, 2017 on the allegation of demanding bribe from students. He also urged the government to stop the management from harassing and intimidating ASUU -LASU executive. The ASUU scribe reiterated that the visitation panel was overdue to be sent to the university, as the last one that visited was nine years ago . He noted that the law of the institution stipulates visitation every five years. Odiyi also complained of the presence of armed security per-

LBS lauds FG on ease of doing business

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he Lagos Business School (LBS) has lauded the Federal Government’s effort towards improving Nigeria’s ranking in the ease of doing business. Uchenna Uzo, director, MBA Lagos Business School, made the commendation at the ongoing International MBA Lagos Business School Week in Lagos. According to him, Nigeria is now ranked 145 in the world in the ease of doing business, going up more than 10 spaces in the last three years. “One of the achievements of the present government’s administration is helping us improve our position in the ranking on the ease of doing business. “This is a good development because it will help attract investors into the country, but we can still do better to improve our ranking in order to develop our economy better,” he said. The director said that introducing policies in the right direction would promote investments and make it easier to open businesses without the usual hassles of corruption and extortion. “Until we see these policy changes that will make Nigeria more investment friendly, it might be difficult to have us move up very high in that ranking,” he said. Uzo said that the International MBA Week is the week in which the school explored in showcas-

ing the most promising aspects of the country’s potential. “Nigeria has great potential in its creative industries. People know a lot about Nollywood and the music industry, but lack adequate knowledge about the business aspect of these industries. “The MBA week seeks to expose people to what it takes to invest in these industries and to export our creativity and productivity to other parts of Africa and the world. “We do this in order to help our students understand where the action is and what it takes to invest and improve intercultural exchange among people who are studying in Africa,” he said. Uzo said that one main factor that could help elevate the creative industry was to build an educational infrastructure that would help artistes and other people improve their expertise. “The creative industry is still an all commerce industry where anybody can come in at any time without necessarily having all the needed skills and abilities. “We need that kind of training and development in partnering with schools and institutions that is used in music and film-making production to help these young people in the industry acquire the necessary skills. “We have the raw talents and what they need is that expertise

that will help them improve on their productivity,” the director said. Uzo said that the school also looked at the potential of doing business in real estates, agriculture and Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) apart from the creative industry. Desmond Ovbiagele, a film producer, said that the school was passionate about the business potential in Nollywood, but there was little it could do to raise awareness on the issues of Nollywood. “The real task of moving Nollywood forward lies on the government and the media in giving a more critical coverage on Nollywood and the quality of films produced. “This will help boost the brand of Nollywood so that when Nigerians in diaspora go to cinemas abroad, they will gravitate more towards watching Nollywood movies instead of Hollywood movies. “There needs to be that awareness of the quality of Nigeria films in the consciousness of people so that we can compete more when it comes to their viewing decisions,” Ovbiagele said. Steve Babaeko, founder, Extreme Concepts Digital Agency, said that apart from farming, the creative industry was the second largest employer of labour in any given country.

sonnel on the university campus and called for an immediate withdrawal of the team. Babatunde Oladeinde, the special assistant to the governor on labour, who addressed the protesters, said the government had directed that a meeting with representatives of the union leaders be scheduled following the receipt of the union’s protest letter by the government. “Our governor is friendly to unions and that is why his administration has not recorded any strike or protest action. “It is on the strength of this that a committee has met and scheduled a meeting with the

union leaders after receiving your protest letter. “If the protest letter was received early enough we would have conveyed the information to the union leaders before now and there would not have been a need for the protest,” he said. Also, Adeyemi Olabinjo, the special adviser to the governor on civic engagement, appealed to the union to embrace peace and promised that necessary action would be taken. Tony Dansu, ASUU-LASU secretary, and Adeolu Oyekan, assistant secretary, as well as Oluwakemi Aboderin-sonibare of ASUU-LASU were accused of stealing and publishing an official document. The officials were also accused of making false assertions capable of bringing the university to disrepute. The accused persons are currently facing investigation by a panel which report is expected to be deliberated on by the university council in October. The leaked document was on the promotion of Fagbohun to the rank of professor, allegedly backdated by Lewis from 2014 to 2007/2008. However, the university in a statement signed by Ademola Adekoya, dismissed the allegations by ASUU, describing as unfortunate “how the once revered ASUU leadership is identifying with and trying to brazen illegality of a few of its members.”

RTEAN warns against escalation of crisis in Lagos …rejects caretaker committee

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agos State chapter of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) says it will not allow the crisis currently rocking the national body to be extended to Lagos just as it rejected the caretaker committee proposed by factional national leaders to take over the state council. Olalekan Amusan, Lagos State general secretary of the association, stated this position at a news conference on Friday, in respect of national leadership crisis rocking the association. A faction of the association had on September 5 announced the removal of Musa Isiwele, the national president, over alleged infractions, including violation of the association’s constitution. Following the development, members of RTEAN in Lagos State, on September 7 passed a vote of confidence in the leadership of Isiwele. Amusan said that members of the association in Lagos were not in support of the caretaker committee as proposed by the factional leader. “There is peace in Lagos chapter and our members are 100 per cent in support of our incumbent state chairman, Muhammed Musa. We don’t want conflict in Lagos State,’’ he said. According to him, nine members of the state association listed as the caretaker committee members have rejected. “They are our members and they cannot at the same time be part of

any caretaker committee,’’ he added. Suleiman Onabanjo, the state deputy chairman of RTEAN, named as leader of the caretaker committee, said that members of the association were in support of the present state executive. Onabanjo said that he was never in support of any caretaker committee, adding that he has no business being in such committee. “Those who initiated the caretaker committee are sacked members of RTEAN; it is not possible for such people to set up caretaker committee. Our members have confidence in the state executive and so there is no room for caretaker committee in Lagos,” he said. Contributing, Musa (state chairman), who is also the RTEAN deputy national president, said that the state executive of the association was intact. “The purported dissolution and expulsions through illegal action is null and void and of no effects. RTEAN is a registered trade union under the Trade Union Act Cap T.14, Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004. “And, it is being guided by the laws of the land and its own constitution which must be obeyed and adhere to all the time. “So, our national and states executives council remain intact, the process of expulsion in the association is a constitutional process which must be followed before any member can be declared expelled,’’ he said.


Sunday 16 September 2018

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9

PhotoSplash

L-R: Bayo Babatunde, general sectary, Association of Friends Club; Oluropo Owolabi, president; Akinlawon Abiola, pioneer vice president, and Otunba Akin Oshinyemi, past president, at the media briefing on the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Association of Friends Club in Lagos.

L-R: Funso Adeolu Jnr, son of the late Oba, Olori Adedayo Adeolu, his wife and Mrs. Tolulope Medebem, one of his daughters during the 10th year remembrance thanksgiving service for His Royal Majesty, late Oba Sunday Olufunso Adeolu, Sataloye ii, the Alaye Ode of Ode Remo, which was held recently at the Sataloye’s Palace in Ode Remo, Ogun State.

L-R: Olajumoke Ilori, principal, State Senior High School, GRA Ikeja; Olufunmilayo Onadipe, tutor-general / permanent secretary, education District VI, Lagos, and Steve Babaeko, CEO, X3M Ideas, at the commissioning of the Senior Secondary 3 block /Administrative block renovated by X3M Ideas as the agency’s 6th year anniversary Corporate Social Responsibility project in Lagos.

Justice Isola Olorunnimbe, former chief judge of Lagos State and old student of Anwar-Ul Islam College Agege, Lagos, (m); Rafiu Mohammed, president, Anwar-Ul Islam College Agege Old Students Association (ACAOSA) 1991/92 Set, (with award) flanked by some senior old students and members of ACAOSA 1991/92 Set, during the 70th anniversary celebration/awards ceremony organised by ACAOSA Worldwide in Lagos. ACAOSA 1991/92 Set was conferred with the award of ‘’Young Inspiring Set’’ at the ceremony in recognition of its invaluable contributions towards the progress of the School.

L-R: Gbenga Aiyeremi, president, Workbay; Dayo Oyeniran. project director, Tush Awards; Steve Babaeko, CEO, X3M Ideas Group, and Seun Apara, CEO MME Africa at the Tush Awards Youth Conference held August 31 at The Landmark Event Center, Lagos.

L-R: Kolapo Ogunsanya, chairman, Progressive Community Development Association, Kudeyibu Ijegun, Lagos; Foluke Ademokun, executive coordinator, Ajoke Ayisat Afolabi Foundation; Wale Akinbo, chairman, Ijegun CDA; Monsurat Ahmed-Ogundipe, health education officer, Alimosho Local Government Area, during the free medical outreach for residents of Ijegun community in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State as part of activities to commemorate AAAF’s 10th anniversary.

L-R: Rafiu Ladipo, president, Nigerian Boxing Board of Control (NBB of C); Jenkins Alumona, chief executive officer, Flykite Productions, and Kayode Soyemi, GOtv Marketing Executive during the GOtv Boxing NextGen Search 4 Press Conference held in Abeokuta yesterday.

L-R: Chukwudi Ifeakor (Book reviewer), Goddy Ifeakor (Chief presenter), Desire Igwillo (author), Ikenna Igwillo (author’s father) and another guest during the public presentation of the book, “The Obedient Child” written by 12 years old Desire Igwillo in Lagos.


10 BDSUNDAY

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Sunday 16 September 2018

NewsFeature

Nigeria right and wrong not to sign African trade pact - Kwanashie

W IGNATIUS CHUKWU

as Nigeria strategically right or wrong to withhold signature on the much talked about Africa Free Trade Agreement or even the European Union sponsored Economic Partneship Agreement? Many said Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari was wrong or even foolish, some others including manufacturers hailed him on that score. Now, a famous professor of Economics, a vice chancellor, an expert on international trade, manufacturing and globalization, Mike Kwanashie, has come down after inestigative studies, to say Buhari was both right and wrong. Delivering a lengthy paper in Port Harcourt at the instance of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Rivers/Bayelsa branch, which just held its 34th annual general meeting (AGM), the Ahmadu Bello professor of Economics now vice chancellor of Veritas University in Abuja deposed that not signing is right but steps to sign later must be outlined and pursued with vigour. The expert who said many of his ilk rejoiced when MAN courageous made Nigeria not to sign, however insisted that Nigeria must make haste an sign those pacts because that was the only way to play in the global economy. I was proud of MAN I was proud by MAN’s position on African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). MAN president, Frank Jacobs (PnD) is a man of courage. There was pressure on Nigeria to sign. I remember us having sleepless nights negotiating the EPA. Nigeria is the only country in ECOWAS yet to sign the EPA. Refusing to sign is the right practical step but it is another error. ECOWAS market is there waiting to be taken over by Nigeria, and we should not celebrate failure of Nigeria to take over the regional market. Evils and gains of globalisation Globalisation is the issue because manufacturers are Nigeria’s only true global players or globalised group. Manufacturing has always been at the centre of trade; manufacturing is the centre of economic power and then political power. So, why did we not take advantage of our size to dominate the market? Globalisation has created marginalisation of weak nations. It creates poverty in weak nations. So, no manufacturing, no political power. Globalisation is simply interconnection between nation and mobilisation of capital across the world. We must accept that globalisation is inevitable. It seeks free trade and free movement of goods from one country to the other. Oil: Every country must bring something to the table The world is interested in what happens here because we have oil. They want us have oil because

Mike Kwanashie

they also want us to be part of the global economic system. It means we must not joke with our oil commodity. Government must critically look at what they want to do before doing it. We must use oil to negotiate our slot in a globalised but multi-polar economic order. The irony is that Nigeria is a member of ECOWAS, General Trade Agreement (GTA) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), and these are trade liberalisation groups. So, we sign liberalisation on one hand, we refuse to sign EPA and AfFTA on the other hand. Refusing to sign is not the issue but it is to know why we refused to sign and when we should try to sign that matters. That is an issue. Why are Nigerian companies not benefiting from ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS)? Why do we stop what will create demand but still cry that there is weak demand for Nigerian products? Being part of ECOWAS should be an advantage in terms of creating a regional market force for Nigeria. World powers will not want you to control trade: sell crude oil, buy our goods The western trade policy is tricky. They do not want you to control your trade policy. They want you to sell crude oil buy all other goods. Remember that globalisation implies division of labour, but Nigeria must compete if they must play in the global

market. Else, most of our companies will simply die. If you accept globalisation without playing the game of division of labour, then you have not started. Nigeria must do everything necessary to compete. Here, innovation and technology are key. Important mix: By not signing, we are protecting our trade, but

Our industries must therefore be protected for what it is worth, even if it is not competitive at this stage. This is the only way we can exercise our responsibility to stave off wars and rebellion by the youths

we are also closing the door to global competition. So, by closing the door, are we protecting inefficient manufacturing? On the other hand, the industries we have are the ones employing our youths and creating the entrepreneurial culture we need. Our industries must therefore be protected for what it is worth, even if it is not competitive at this stage. This is the only way we can exercise our responsibility to stave off wars and rebellion by the youths. Globalisation, thy saintly evil force Some say globalization is causing poverty. How come the crusading nations (US) for globalisation and open borders are now spearheading closed borders and walls? They have now become the new fighters against trade liberalisation and globalisation. If you do not play globalisation competitively, you will have poverty. If you do not use globalisation well, you will have crisis, social crisis. It is important for us to seek to protect the Nigerian economy. Embrace technology. Inequality makes globalisation not work for every country. In a multi-polar economy, you must find area of advantage and use it to balance out where you have no advantage. Any country that is repudiating free trade is not ready to compete, but competing without area of advantage is dangerous too. The Chinese are coming We have to be careful. We may move from American hegemony to Chinese hegemony. Now, because US hegemony has been broken by multi-polar economy; that is why the US is fighting. America is a heavy debtor, but they are fighting against Chinese influence in trade. Globalisation has ruined many economies. It is not about signing the agreement but manipulating the ideological lines to your advantage. What must be done MAN has done well by stopping the signing of the pacts (EPA, AfCFTA) but they must go beyond that and interrogate the ideological message behind the pacts. Note that globalisation gives every person a slot, so, make use of your slot. The greatest evil of globalisation is the same tool of its success, technology. The attraction of globalisation is that wherever you are, you can sell through digital communication. It is good for countries that import to have maintenance technology to sustain what they have imported, else, you be dependent and be drained. Globalisation is replacing labour with machines. Artificial intelligence (AI) is coming to replace a lot of things. A day will come when a whole department will be manned by robots with only one man operating the robots. If Nigeria wants to compete, it must embrace technology, it must begin to create its own manufacturing strategies. Why not we begin to manufacture things that can compete globally? We shout

no to signing because we feel we cannot compete. Action plan: Nigeria’s oil states can build refineris Why can’t Nigeria develop companies that can survive the global shocks that are part of globalisation? It’s because of skills gaps and capacity gaps. We can situate manufacturing in the Nigerian context. MAN must help to sanitise governance in Nigeria because that is what is drawing the sector back due to policies and attitudes. Else, manufacturing will be defeated. For instance, manufacturers and businesses should ask to know what each state, especially the oil states, has done with the monthly allocations and 13 per cent in terms of providing facilities for industrial take off and for industries to have advantage? What I see is funding consumption. What do the oil states manufacture? Hold back now, sign later We did not sign the pacts because we recognise we are weak to compete but it should not end there. The next step is, what do we do to become strong while we enjoy the moment of not signing? This is because we cannot remain out forever. What do we do so we can sign and when do we sign? We must work to be strong to take over the West African and later African markets. So, we must target to control ECOWAS and AfCFTA. We must conquer West Africa by our economic power and trade. We must ask how our companies can be globally competitive. Nigeria has not been able to conduct one good study. MAN commissions study, its soon out The studies Nigeria used in negotiating for EPA were rather conducted by the same EU we were negotiating against. That is starting out on a bad foot. We are happy that this time, MAN has commissioned a study on AfCFTA. When the report is out, try and interrogate it, and also give it to other African countries so they can also interrogate it. We must find ways to make use of our peculiar position. Reasons for manufacturing backwardness in Nigeria, according to MAN findings, include the usual culprits; infrastructure, access to capital, weak demand, poor labour, etc. The same weakness in demand is what AfCFTA wants to address, yet, it is also a threat to demand due likely to dumping. Look, trade shows are no longer in vogue. That the same way Yellow Cab in New York is dying because of Uber. Imagine New York without the Yellow Cab. The new place is online, that is where young people play. They now shop online. All things are now done online. Shopping is now more online. His conclusion: Cut down on corruption Manufacturing is still Nigeria’s only hope for sustainable developContinues on page 18


Sunday 16 September 2018

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BDSUNDAY 11

Feature

Hotel operators, businesses in Asaba count gains after CAA2018

… say the championship events boosted Delta State’s economy

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MERCY ENOCH, Asaba hough the 21st edition of the African Senior Athletics Championship tagged ‘Asaba 2018’ has come and gone, the memories are still fresh in the minds of stakeholders as they continue to recount the socio-economic impact of the five days competition in which Delta State hosted people from 52 African countries between August1 to 5. Among the stakeholders are those in the hospitality industry who are not just happy that the state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, took the bull by the horn and injected over N2 billion towards the construction of the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, a feat that paved way for the successful hosting of the championship. They want more of such event, saying that beside other gains, the economy got a boost. Okowa’s critics had condemned him for what they described as a waste of resources in hosting the event. The criticisms came following some challenges which they said arose as a result of poor organization. The collapse of the overhead water thank that was constructed in the stadium seemed to have made the critics have stronger reasons to condemn Okowa for spending multi-billion naira in constructing the stadium. Most Deltans and other participants at the event seemed to be overwhelmed by the spirit of the competition and the state government’s commitment towards successful hosting. Even Solomon Dalung, minister of sports, had described Okowa as a performer who saved Nigeria the shame of failing to host the tournament. He saw the construction of the stadium as a source of hope for the future generation, saying jobs could be provided for the teeming unemployed youths of the country. He believed that if the stadium would be replicated in every part of the country, no Nigerian youth would pass through Sahara desert to look for greener pasture because they would be engaged with sports activities. Solomon Ogbah was the chairman of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the championship organized by the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) in partnership with the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN). He had disclosed that over 20 hotels were secured by the committee for the accommodation

A cross section of participants during the Senior Athletics Championship, held at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, Delta State, recently of the athletes and the officials just as there were trainings of the hotel staff in readiness for the championship. BDSunday went round some of the hotels to get their reactions on the impact of the championship. First, they were happy that there were no rain and so there were no flood to contend with in Asaba metropolis within the five days,. The conducive weather enabled Deltans to demonstrate their hospitality to the guests. “Delta State government has tried its best and I want to really say that hosting of the championship in the state has boosted the economy”, said Egwu Peter, Deputy General Manager, Orchid Hotel, Asaba. He disclosed that Orchid has 54 rooms of suits and single rooms and that the occupancy rate rose from 41 to 70 percent within the period. “Like we in the hospitality industry, it is not easy getting occupancy of that nature on ordinary day. So, if such events are happening in Delta State once in a while, the people in the industry would make some good money thereby boosting the economy o f Delta State. I want to say kudos to the Delta State Government, especially the state governor. Despite the

lean resources, he still ventured into it and still come out successfully” “As a matter of fact, we started earlier because the crew that came for the event lodged in our hotel, Orchid Hotels. So, we had eight days while those who accommodated the athletes had five days. Because there needed to be advanced team to prepare ground for the competition, they lodged in our hotel for about eight days and that eight days were super good”, he confessed. Continuing, he said, “It was a real hardwork and they (crew members and athletes) need to take some rest, now business has returned to normalcy. In economics, you say abnormal profits, we were able to know some of the abnormal profits within the period”. He exclaimed, “We have no regret participating in the event. It was a wonderful experience!”. Also, in a chat with BDSunday, Asuai Chuks, Accountant, Top View Hotel, Asaba, appreciated Governor Okowa for what he described as “ wonderful hosting of the championship events.” He appreciated the fact that the governor was able to host the African continent successfully in the state capital despite the prevailing economic challenges.

He said the CAA2018 held in Asaba led to huge economic boom to them. He said they participated eventhough the hotel commenced operation in Asaba January this year. “We were just privileged. We had a lot of guests from all over Africa. We played host to the international press. So, economically, we benefitted from the whole thing. It offered us the opportunity of showcasing ourselves to the international world. And to a standard we are trying to operate, I would say we did well. It was plus to our company, to our revenue and to the standard we set. We were able to have a very good successful outing. I think to other hotels that benefitted, it was a very big exposure and a very big event and we look forward to that kind of event in Asaba”, he expressed. In comparison, he said, “We had very low turnover before this period because it was rainy season. But this period (no rain) and the turnover was very high. We had good sales. We had improvement on our services and we have areas that we would have to work on because we were exposed based on that event. It was a very big boom for the hospitality industry in Asaba because most hotels

benefitted and we also belong to the hotel association in Asaba”, he said. Eze Abuchi Oscar, Hotel Manager of Leisure Castle Hotel, Asaba also commended the governor and the leadership of the state: “It is commendable because it actually boosted the revenue and businesses within Asaba and its environs. There is no doubt that the event brought about the kind of guests we have never seen before. We were able to meet with different kinds of persons who had not been here before. Some people who had never visited Asaba were able to do so. It actually boosted our revenue”, he exclaimed. All the people who spoke also revealed how they ceased the opportunity to market Delta State and Nigeria to the world. The guests, they said were happy about the peaceful atmosphere in Asaba but that they advised that more infrastructure be put in place to reflect the true picture of the state to the outsiders. In defence, Patrick Ukah, Delta State Commissioner for Information, told newsmen in Asaba, that the hosting of the tournament by the state government was not a waste of public fund. He tackled the governor’s critics, saying: “If the Okowa administration can put together a stadium which has been abandoned for over ten years…, if a stadium of over 22, 000 audience can be evacuated less than one hour thirty minutes.., the type of medical equipment at the stadium during the championship could not be found anywhere, all the hotels in Asaba were fully booked, then that government must be commended.” According to him, “There is no Okada man who believed the traffic can be controlled the way it was. All over the world, no host takes responsibility for transporting athletes but if Delta State went out of its way to do that, the least it deserve is commendation but these cynics chose to pour their serpentine vituperation on a government that has performed excellently well.” He said the critics failed because Deltans appreciated what they saw and that that was why they were willing to pay to watch even when tickets were not available. The crowd that witnessed each day’s events tells it all.” AFN’s president , Shehu Gasua also described Okowa as a blessing to Delta State, saying no one had hosted bigger championship in the country like the governor. He foresaw Asaba hosting the world championship in the future because of the facilities in the stadium which experts said are is of world class standard. From the interaction from other business men and women, they want more of such events that would make the environment busy and lively “ As a matter of fact, that’s what we are looking up to and thank God the government of the day is moving towards that direction”, said one of the businessmen.


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Sunday 16 September 2018

Feature Ondo South, a district in perpetual darkness The Ondo South Senatorial District of Ondo State has been without electricity for over ten years. ‘YOMI AYELESO visited the affected local government areas that make up the district and here reports the agony being experienced by the people and efforts to resolve the lingering blackout issue.

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he Ondo South Senatorial is the goose that lays the golden eggs and the district has suffered neglect in many ramifications. Ironically, the case of the people is like the proverbial son of a meat seller, who was made to eat bones. Indeed,this is the case of residents of four of the six local government areas in the Ondo South Senatorial district: Okitipupa, Ilaje, Ese-Odo and Irele LGAs. Responding to the challenges faced by the area, youths, community leaders, student bodies, women associations, traders and other residents in Ondo South have protested the state of the communities. Taking the lead among the people’s agitations is the power outage in the area, which has lasted almost ten years. Aside this, there are also complaints about non provision of potable water supply and the dearth of standard schools and quality healthcare. The belief by the communities is that if the availability of power supply is addressed, other improvements will follow. Power outage has greatly affected social and economic activities in the area, just as people of the area have resigned their fate to living without electricity. Children that are given birth to in the last five to ten years have not seen nor experience what is called electricity supply in the area. A visit by BDSUNDAY to some of the areas such as Okitipupa, Ilutitun, Igbotako, Ikoya, Igbokoda, Aboto, Ode-Aye, Igodanisa, Irele, among other towns within the district, revealed that they have been experiencing power outage for almost a decade. Mr. Sunday Ajibola, a resident said the people of the community have become used to darkness, noting that darkness had become more or less a lifestyle. He also stated that men of the underworld had taken the advance of the darkness in the area to perpetrate crimes, even though they had expressed their grievances to various administrations. A community leader in Igbotako, Chief Ola Iwaeni while speaking with BDSUNDAY said the disconnection of the area from the grid had afforded some elements the sad opportunity to vandalise transformers and cable wires in the area, noting that the cables along the bush had been destroyed, while many of the transformers were just empty boxes, because many of their contents had been stolen. It was same story in Okitipupa and Igbokoda, the commercial heart of the district, as it was gathered that many artisans had left the town because of the power outage, while some had retired to become commercial motorcyclists. At the Jegun of Idepe palace,a worker said the power outage has been a source of concern to the monarch, and that several efforts

Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu

had been made to restore electricity in the area. According to him, traditional rulers from the area had met severally and sent appeal letters to subsequent governments, but it yielded no positive result. He said: “We have been using generating set in the palace and this costs a lot of money. We have discussed with officials of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), but not much has been forthcoming in that regard.” BDSUNDAY gathered that many residents of the area pay to charge their mobile phones and rechargeable lamps at a generating set powered centre. Operator of the centre in Ilutitun,Bayo Akindele explained that he decided to float the business “to keep body and soul together.” He words, “Non-availability of power supply has been a major problem here and I designed this to feed my family. Most of the industries in this area have gone moribund because of the power outage. The Okitipupa oil palm industry and the Oluwa glass have gone into extinction and it does not seem like there are plans to revive it because of this electricity challenges in this area. Our social life is zero here.” The Covener of the Bring Back Our Light organisation, a group at the forefront of power restoration in the area, Pastor Olumide Akinrinlola, said various efforts had been made to ensure that electricity was restored in the area. He accused the BEDC of contributing to the people’s predicament, noting that “this problem

of electricity has crippled many businesses here.” He said: “BEDC is an organisation whose presence is more of social media than physical within the coverage area. BEDC is well known for mass disconnection without prior notices or due process. The company is renowned for plunging communities and several local governments into darkness, so as to compel the people to pay whatever amount levied against them, without justification for such indebtedness. “Disconnecting a whole community or local government from the national grid, instead of electricity consumers who are owing, is not only illegal but inhuman, manipulative, and wicked. Since BEDC took over from PHCN in their coverage areas, they do not have any official obligations. No single transformer has been given to any community by them. Rather, individuals are donating transformers to communities when needed. “Cost of replacement of damaged electricity facilities in many communities is incurred by electricity consumers in affected communities. BEDC doesn’t care about procurement of new facilities to replace faulty facilities where necessary. They have shifted some of their responsibilities to electricity consumers. All they care about is mass disconnection of electricity consumers with the aim to maximising profit at the detriment of electricity users.” The group argued that the license of the BEDC should not be renewed by the federal gov-

ernment. Recently, youths of the communities from the coastal area took to the streets to protest against power outage in the area and lamenting utter marginalisation of the riverine area. The youths, under the aegis of the Ilaje Advancement Forum (IAF), gathered at Igbokoda, the headquarters of Ilaje Local Government Area, chanting various anti-government songs including ‘ko sina, ko sibo’, meaning, ‘no light, no election.’ They blocked major roads in the area and paralysed economic activities for several hours, as the youths, armed with placards embarked on peaceful procession. Inscriptions on some of the placards read: Ilaje: Enough is Enough; What Offence Has Ilaje People Committed; Ondo State Government Has Failed Us; OSOPADEC is Fake; NDDC is Fraud; The Federal Government Has Failed in Service Delivery; No Light, No Election, among others. Speaking during the protest, co-convener of the forum, Tokunbo Ehinmowo, decried the deplorable state of the riverine area, declaring that the Ilaje area, despite its huge natural resources and contribution to the country’s GDP, was suffering neglect. According to her, the protest became imperative “to resist all retrogressive changes that are socio-political and economically created as a result of bad leadership. Ilaje people must intervene in the process of Ilaje development, rather than remain spectators or passive participants in the ebb and failure of governance in the state.” She lamented the dearth of industries, factories, prevalence of infrastructural decay, environmental degradation, poor empowerment programmes, attributing it to failure of representatives at all levels. According to her, “For the past ten years, there has not been electricity in all our communities, and this has meted untold hardship on us. The artisans can no longer work, businesses are collapsing and life has become so unbearable for us.” Giving details of effort made by the political class to restore electricity into the district, a member of House of Representatives representing Irele/Okitipupa federal constituency, Hon. Mike Omogbehin said a joint motion was moved by the three House of Representatives members on the floor of the National Assembly. Other members included Kolade Akinjo; Ilaje/Eseodo and Mayowa Akinfolarin representing Odigbo/Ileoluji/ Okeigbo federal constituencies. According to him, a committee was set up by the National Assembly on the situation in the district. The Committee, he said directed the electricity distribution company to reconnect light to the communities. When the effort did not yield result, Omogbehin said he went with five monarchs from the district including Jegun of Idepe,

Ahaba of Ijagba, Abodi of Ikale, former Speaker, Jumoke Akindele and Hon Abayomi Sheba to the Minister of Power, Lands and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fasola SAN. Omogbehin said the Minister who promised to look at the agitation of the district came to the state and directed that the BEDC should reconnect the communities. The Minister who was responding to the demand of the communities directed the stepping down of electricity from the Omotoso Power Plant for the district. Also, he used his constituency project to install 360 high tension poles to replace the bad electricity poles. Besides, he said the Bring Back Our Light Group went to the Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) and the Niger Delta Power Holding over the disconnection of the electricity and the need to restore light. He said it was at the point that the BEDC said the communities could not be reconnected because of the humongous debt of over N800 million. However, he said the communities disagreed with the electricity distribution company because some of them have been without electricity for years before the commercialization of electricity in the country. It was after during the checking of records that it was discovered that estimated bill of some communities in Ogun State was allegedly included in the debt profile of the Ondo South Senatorial district. Omogbehin said it was when it was agreed that the total amount owed the BEDC by the communities was N100million. Consequently, NERC directed the reconnection of the communities. The regulatory agency directed BEDC to reconnect the communities before it started to talk of commercialization. Since the whole senatorial district could not suffer for the sins of debtors, the NERC said the district should be reconnected to the national grid. Worried by the lingering blackout,the Federal government announced that it has awarded contracts for the rehabilitation and upgrading of the network supplying power to the Ondo South Senatorial districts which has been in darkness for ten years. The Executive Director, Engineering and Technical services of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company, Engr. Ifeoluwa Oyedele, made the announcement during a courtesy visit by the officials of the company to the state Governor. Engr. Oyedele disclosed that the rehabilitation and upgrade to be done in Okitipupa and Ilaje include the following: rehabilitation of 5km, 33kv line from Okitipupa to Igodan - Lisa, Construction of 0.5km 33kv line take off, construction of 1X7.5mVA, 33/11KV Injection substation, construction of 6km 11kv line in Igodan - Lisa Town and construction of 2Nos. 500 KVA, Distribution substations within Ondo Seagate University of Science and Technology Campus and 8 Nos. 300KVA, 11/0.415 KV Distribution Transformer in Igodan - Lisa.


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BDSUNDAY 13

Inspirations The giving that pleases God

PASTOR I.S JAMES TEXT JOHN 4:7- 10.

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woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “GIVE me a drink.” For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to him, How is it that you being a Jew, ask a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”(Isaiah 55:10) “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, But water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give SEED to the SOWER and BREAD to the EATER”. “For if I do this WILLINGLY, I have a reward…” (1 Corinthians 9:17) “But without your consent I wanted to do nothing, that your good deed might not be by compulsion, as it were, but VOLUNTARY”. (Philemon 14) “Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who GIVES it WILLINGLY with his heart you shall take My offering”.

(Exodus 25:2) “Take from among you an offering to the Lord. Whoever is of a WILLING heart, let him bring it as an offering to the Lord: gold, silver, and bronze; (Exodus 35:5) “Then the leaders of the father’s houses, leaders of the tribes of Israel, the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the officers over the king’s work, offered WILLINGLY. Then the people rejoiced, for they had OFFERED WILLINGLY, because with a loyal HEART they had OFFERED WILLINGLY to the Lord; and king David also rejoiced greatly. But who am I, and who are my people that we should be able to offer so WILLINGLY as this? I know also my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of my heart I have WILLINGLY OFFERED all these things; and now with joy I have seen your people, who are present here to OFFER WILLINGLY to you”. (1 Chronicles 29:6, 9, 14, 17) The Samaritan lady did not have the identity of the fellow who asked her for a drink. Just as the rich man (who didn’t care for Lazarus while he was alive and lying at his gate Luke 16:19- 31) did not realize that Lazarus was God’s extended arm. The same goes for the priest and Levite in the parable of the Good Samaritan. Unfortunately, like them, many of us shrink back from taking up what you’d call ‘divinely-offered opportunities.’ We give all kinds of excuses. For example, ‘I don’t have time’, ‘you know how it is, living in such a big city as this’, etc. 

The unpredictability of life to the extent that you are here now, and are gone the next minute is reason enough for us to avoid the snare of giving excuses, especially in response to God’s request for our time, talent and money. I want you to esteem God’s invitation to you to give of your time and talent. Zaccheaus was overjoyed when Jesus said he was coming to his house. As a born again Christian, you belong to the privileged who have become partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. And don’t forget that whenever God makes such demands of you it is because He wants to bless you. He wants to give you SEED AND BREAD. What’s the difference between seed and bread? One is for sowing while the other is for eating. These two elements are always in God’s gifts to you. This is the generosity of God. He is always beyond and above measure. If you give Him a cup of water he doesn’t give you just a cup of water in return. He ensures that what he gives you can quench your thirst and those of others. This is always the case except when man interferes with God’s process; when a recipient of God’s generosity eats both the bread and the seed. Anytime you buy an orange, you buy the fruit and the seed. You eat the fruit, but throw away or sow the seed. God ensures that you have more fruits to eat after you must have finished the first. Interestingly, these days man has started making seedless grapes for Agriculture. That’s a topic for another day.  A good look at most of the above passages reveals the high level of WILLINGNESS in the giving of many

who have gone before us. This is one quality that must coat our giving if we want to please the Lord with it. In the Christendom, the emphasis on giving is that it must be a voluntary offering. When God invites you to give, He wants to see a willing attitude. No one comes as a result of compulsion.  Another dimension of a willing offering is that it is offered spontaneously; on the spur of the moment. Let this spontaneity characterize your offerings from now. Adopt the ‘fastness’ of Peter when it comes to giving. Recall that he was quick to leave the boat when the Lord bid him come. He walked on water subsequently. He became the only human with such a record. I cannot overemphasize the importance of having willing hearts as we give of ourselves to the Lord. Let me remind you that the Lord has been involved in the building of three tabernacles THE TABERNACLES OF MOSES, SOLOMON’ and THE CHURCH. The church is currently his primary preoccupation. He is collaborating with members of the body of Christ to conform them to the image of His Son Jesus. Those of us who are colaborers with Him in this regard would do well to apply this key ingredient to our life. May God help us to give willingly to please Him. Amen.

Dr. Iruofagha James is the Founding Pastor, Glory Christian Ministries, Odo-Olowo Street, Apapa/Oshodi Expressway, Ijeshatedo, Lagos. www.isjames.org Tel: 08060599144

Commercialisation of Christianity... Grace for sale

REV. YOMI KASALI

@rev.yomikasali

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Inspire Today with Rev. Yomi Kasali love Lagos very much; was born in Lagos, grew up in Lagos and schooled in Lagos and got born again in Lagos in a very conservative church. Lagos has been the center of activities in Nigeria and every tongue is represented in Lagos but there is something else about Lagos; ‘it is the commercial nerve centre of the country;’ the smallest of all States yet the most populous in Africa. The Christian faith as practiced and exported by Lagosians or Lagos based Pastors has taken the ‘spirit of the city-commerce’, which is why many people outside Lagos do not seem to understand our faith nor do they con-

sider us serious believers because of the apparent Commercialization of the Christian Faith. Peter the Apostle spoke into the life of a crippled at the beautiful gate and changed his life forever, yet we have forgotten the central theme of his message to the crippled in the book of Acts, which is around the issue of money and faith which read thus; “And Peter, fastening his eyes upon  him with John, said, Look on us. And h e gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none;  but such as I have give I thee:  In  the name of  Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise  up  and  walk. And he  took  him…” – Acts 3: 4 - 7 The passage above gives us light into what the Apostles focused on in the early church and which was why they got people to ‘Rise Up and Walk’, unlike today that many people have not risen to Walk with God and in Life. Commercialization of our faith, beliefs, and graces is the greatest threat to the Christian Faith not ‘Boko Haram’ as is being touted in certain quarters.  One of my favorite Christian authors of all time, A.W. Tozer said in his book, Voice Of A Prophet, ‘Christianity is not a Commercial Product or Commodity’, it is not portrayed as thus in the New Testament and should never be ‘rebranded’ as thus in today’s world.

I will quickly share how we have rebranded the Christian Faith in simple ways. 4 WAYS WE HAVE COMMERCIALISED OUR FAITH  MARKETING GIMMICKS: Today’s Preachers have adopted the marketing approach to the gospel and the televangelists have done infamously well at that. We advertise on television, bill boards, outdoor signs, social media, the pictures that the brand Personnel (Preachers) use are really studio products, we are focused on BRANDING the product to become acceptable not to be Impactful in the society. Marketing will weaken Morals. PRESENTATION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN MESSAGE: I have gone through a lot, at this point in my ministry and life, people often tell me to work more on my ‘Presentation Of The Gospel’ than even the Gospel itself, I usually find some truth in the opinion but also have discovered that the lines are becoming more blurred between Tact and Truth, Presentation and the Message. I would rather be truthful without tact than be tactful without truth, yet my goal is to be truthful and tactful in ministry.  MESSENGER MATTERS MORE

THAN MORALS: This is the most frightening point of all, just like we do not care if the lady making a ‘no smoking’ commercial on television is smoking or when a gentleman advertising ‘Don’t Drive and drink’ is an alcoholic in life outside the screen. We have lowered our expectations on our ambassadors. Even sports ambassadors can be stripped off their privileges if they portray what the brand is against. How come we jump into the defense always when our preachers and pastors are found wanting on moral and character issues. HOLLYWOOD AND ENTERTAINMENT CENTRES: Hollywood stars are not real at all but just after making some money for their institution. Which is why we see many of them die of drug overdose sadly, we have turned the church into entertainment centres for making money and commercial purposes.  I want to ask sincere believers to leave churches that have commercialized the faith and gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and go to where your soul will find rest not stress.    Be Inspired! Yomi Kasali (Rev) Rev. Yomi Kasali is Senior Pastor, Foundation of Truth Assembly (FOTA), Surulere, Lagos


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Sunday 16 September 2018

TheWorshippers Godly leadership, not restructuring, will solve Nigeria’s problems – Bishop Olumakaiye Rt. Rev. Humphrey Olumakaiye is the Lord Bishop of the Diocese of Lagos (Anglican Communion). Before his coming to Lagos as the Lord Bishop on July 30, 2018, he served as Dean of St. Matthew Cathedral, Ijebu-Ijesha, from where he was elected on May 22, 2009 as the pioneer Bishop of Osun Northeast Diocese, a position he held for nine years. The Lord Bishop recently spoke with select journalists at the Church House, Marina. SEYI JOHN SALAU was there and brings excerpts. Could you please give us more insight into your fivefold agenda for the diocese? o the glory of God, we have a fivefold agenda ministry mandate for the diocese – the priestly ministry, pastoral ministry, prophetic ministry, prayer ministry, and praise ministry – and we have started attacking these five ministries headlong. The priestly ministry is about the priestly duties in lifting up the members’ prayers unto the Lord and in being totally dedicated unto the Lord and committed to our priestly duties, which is leading church services, conducting revivals, crusades, celebrating holy communion, which is the highest service in our church; service of thanksgiving and others like baptism, confirmation, burial services, and marriages. We want to use these Christian ministries in making sure that we attend to the spiritual needs of the members without abandoning them or letting them down, so that at any function or gathering that we find ourselves, we use such services in getting to the souls of the members; in converting and renewing their allegiance unto Christ, and to the glory of God, that is what we are doing. But when it comes to the pastoral ministry, which is about caring for what I term as SHE (Spirituality, Health, and Education), we want to emphasize more on the spiritual lives of the members. I usually say that the church should be a spirit-driven church because I am an apostle of that – a godly church must be a spirit-driven church, so the spirituality of the members will not be taken lightly in making sure that in everything they do, they are spiritual and grow in holiness. For the health, we have mobile clinics and we want to upgrade them to standard hospitals virtually in every archdeaconry in the diocese so that we can attend to the health issues of our members because it is only a healthy body that can serve God faithfully. So, we want them health-wise to be able to fulfil their ministry even as laity and clergy. We thank God for the women for what they have been doing with the clinics, attending to the needs of our members in every community. And education, you know Anglican is not doing badly in

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Rt. Rev. Humphrey Olumakaiye

this regard; we have schools and are upgrading the standard of the schools and building more schools so that they can have high quality and moral education that can really help the children and also take care of the indigent ones educationally; that is about priestly and pastoral. For the care, whatever the members give we want to plough back into the communities. We did it well in Osun Northeast Diocese and we believe that God will help us more in this diocese so that they can be fulfilled, that is the essence of the gospel. So in essence our ministry is beyond the gospel, beyond the four walls of churches – we want to go to the streets, share in the needs of the members, and also go to marketplaces and other places in making sure that we meet their needs. Coming from Osun Northeast to Lagos, what is the significant difference you have noticed since your arrival here?

I have noticed that the diocese is fertile for evangelism and we are taking advantage of that. The people are yearning for the gospel in spite of their high status in the society, in spite of their wealth, and in spite of being so civilized and being high up. They are yearning for the gospel and evangelism, and by the special grace of God we have been meeting the needs and it has really been helping us. What are you putting in place to attract more youths to the church? In the diocese now, I have declared third Sunday of every month ‘Youth Sunday’, that is basic. What I mean is that every third Sunday the youths take over the conduct of the service. They are to preach, say the prayers, lead praise and worship and even at the time of thanksgiving, they should play prominent role – and that is telling us the church belongs to them. From the feedback I am getting, I am

impressed. Apart from that, we believe that the church should be spirit-driven. Anglican Church has a very sound and solid liturgy; our worship programme is super, our hymns are fantastic but formality without the spirit of God is nothing. When you have a liturgy without being fully embedded in the power of the Holy Spirit, it is nothing. What we are now doing is to make every service lively – once you make it lively, the youth will be at ease and be comfortable to go along with us. God is a progressive God and liturgy is dynamic, the world is dynamic and changing and as such we cannot say the way our fathers did it is how we are going to do things; we would be left behind. So we are bringing innovations into our conduct of worship and by the grace of God, within a very short time many of them are coming back fully and we have started experiencing that now. The Anglican Church over the years is known for its strong stance on education. However, there has been outcry of late that we are building educational institutions that members cannot afford. What’s your response to that? Let me start by saying that to have quality education is not cheap; it is expensive and capitalintensive. We want to thank God for the founding fathers of Ajayi Crowther University and for the Anglican Communion, what we have there is something superlative and enormous. In terms of finances that have been spent on the institution and still continue to be spent, it is not easy to pay lecturers and run the institution. We have professors in all the disciplines and you know

the take-home of a professor. Just recently, the vice chancellor was telling me that the newly accredited courses in the institution cost the institution over N200 million, but the church is subsidizing what the institution is charging. Having said that, we have people that give scholarship to indigent students and are doing that effectively. One Chief Afolabi pays for over 50 students every year and that has been costing him millions of naira. In order to lessen the burden on the parents, what the institution has done now is to give substantial discount to Anglican members and that has reduced what they are paying, and we will continue to do that until we get there. But the point I am making is that the church is heavily subsidizing the school fees that people are paying, but it is very expensive if we want to have quality education. The level of insecurity in the country has taken a new dimension. Just recently, a Catholic priest was killed in Imo State. What is your take on the security situation in the country? It is very worrisome that with the huge sum of money the government is spending on security we have not seen the effect; that means something is wrong somewhere. It’s either the security personnel are not sincere or they are just playing to the gallery or that there is an agenda somewhere and we don’t want to believe that this government has a satanic agenda. But what I am saying is that it’s high time the government realised that it is the duty of the government to protect the citizens, and for it to do this, it must be sincere with the appointment of the security

We can get it right by going back to the nursery and primary schools inculcating the fear of God into their lives. I am so happy that all religions abhor corruption – Muslims are preaching against it, Christians preach against it, even the traditionalists preach against corruption


Sunday 16 September 2018

chiefs and other security personnel and that must be done with merit. If it’s not on merit, we will continue to have the challenges we are having now. If it’s based on sentiments, we will continue to have it as we are experiencing now. But when you are appointing someone that will protect lives and property of the citizens, it must be on merit. Having said that, the citizens also have a role to play because all these people perpetrating these evils are not from heaven, they live among the people. And once these perpetrators want to carry out their act, they will have to stay somewhere, so we should be conscious of our environment and we should be able to give necessary information to the security people and not be shy of talking when we see any strange thing in our environment. That is where community policing is very important. Until we all see ourselves as our brother’s keeper, then we will continue in this problem. But if I see you as my brother, I will not allow any evil happen to you; and if I see any evil coming your way, I will raise the alarm; ditto the community. When they see people coming from the neighbouring countries or wherever they say they are coming from, the community should be able to raise the alarm that we have strange people coming into our community or town and once we have the right people manning the security affairs of the country, they will be able to face the challenge headlong. I think the government is not doing well in the area of protecting the citizens; it needs to buckle up and do more than what we have now. There is no excuse. You mentioned community policing that some sections of the country have been asking for alongside restructuring. What form of restructuring would you proffer for the country? I believe the problem we have in the country is not about restructuring; the problem we have is leadership. People have gone away from God. Righteousness exalts a nation but from what we see, until we have people of high integrity to lead us, even if we restructure this country a thousand and one times, we will not have a breakthrough, it will still be the same problem. When we restructure maybe to regional government, it is the same people that will lead and we will go back to the same problem. So what we need are people that have character, values, people of high integrity, people of competence, people that have the fear of God in their mind that can lead us. It’s only a sincere person that can make or transform a society and it is only a godly character that can keep you up there. You see what is happening today, everybody is disappointed. When you restructure, it’s still the same old people that will come to lead. So it is not restructuring that makes people to be corrupt, but

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it’s because we have lost that high sense of value that has made people to start killing aimlessly without the fear of God. The point I am making is, even if we restructure this country, it can’t solve our problem until we have a rethink and we all go back to God with the fear of God in our heart, and we are ready to do things right and we shed that garment of materialism. I believe so much in true federalism and I think that should be entrenched and be followed to the letters. What is your take on the anticorruption crusade and how can we get it right as a nation? I think the only way to get it right with what corruption has done to us as a nation is for us to make sure we go back to the basics. What I am talking about is that we should start from the grassroots and start bringing people up with the fear of God. I don’t want to say our generation has failed this country when it comes to corruption because I don’t know how we can change that overnight. Even an average youth will tell you that he is only looking for an opportunity – when he gets to that office he is also seeing that as an opportunity of amassing wealth. Even some are not afraid to go to prison; they say after amassing the wealth they will still come back from jail to enjoy their loot, because in our society we unfortunately celebrate these corrupt people and that is sending wrong signal to the youth. We can get it right by going back to the nursery and primary schools inculcating the fear of God into their lives. I am so happy that all religions abhor corruption – Muslims are preaching against it, Christians preach against it, even the traditionalists preach against corruption. Then let us come back to the primary/secondary schools to catch them young. Even at the family level, let everybody go back and train our children with the fear of God and raise a new generation for this country. If we are waiting for everybody to just change overnight, we are deceiving ourselves. If we can raise new generation for this country that has the fear of God, we will get out of the problem. That is my belief and that is what we can do. The church has a big role to play in this matter because we meet with the people on a daily basis. The traffic flow of people that come into my office daily is quite huge, and my duty is to show them the way of Christ, show them the light. We preach to the people on Sunday; we should not celebrate corrupt people. Once we get the signal right, and the people know that after stealing they will not have a place to hide, everybody will have a change of heart. The Osun State governorship election is next weekend. What will be your priestly advice to the people of Osun? They should shun violence. I lived in Osun for over 20 years, so I only appeal to them to shun violence and vote according to

their conscience and vote in the right people, people they know will serve them better with the fear of God in their heart. The 2019 general election is by the corner. What do you think our political leaders can do to get it right this time? It is for us to put the interest of the common people foremost and have that determination that going into a public office is to make a difference. That is something that is still missing in the governance of this nation. People are not going into office to make sacrifice but are going into office to get their own national cake. My own passion now for this as the Bishop of Lagos is what I can do to make an effective impact in the spiritual lives of the members. That is the goal,

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not the paraphernalia of the office; not the title but the impact. That is why on a daily basis I pray for fresh anointing from God to make a positive impact. Let our leaders walk in that path. It is not out of place even when you get into that office and come out poorer, but you must have done something that will be indelible that from generation to generation, people will know you have done a great thing for the community and for the nation for alleviating the poverty and whatever suffering the people may be passing through. Today people go into offices in order to amass wealth and that is why we are not getting it right. Leah Sharibu is still with her captors months after other girls were released to their families.

What can be done to reunite her with her family? I am so optimistic that nothing evil will happen to her and by the grace of God, she will be released because there is nothing prayers cannot do. God has done it in the past in the lives of the apostles when they were in prison; the spirit of God went forward and set them free, and I know that God is still on the throne and that lady will be set free. What we have to do is to raise our voice and continue to pray – prayer is never a waste, it is an investment. Our timing is different from God’s. At God’s own time she will be released because I believe in the efficacy of prayers and we have been praying in our public and private prayers for her release and God will release her.


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Sunday 17 September 2018

Interview ‘Data, leadership are next revolution but Nigeria is a bystander’

The world gathers on September 25, 2018, to review and celebrate three years after kick-off of the global initiative called Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which replaces Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). Data revolution is the bedrock of this global initiative and the new way to develop any society. Sadly enough, Mina Ogbanga, founder, Centre for Development Support Initiative, chief volunteer and regional coordinator, South-South Zone, and one of six regional leaders in Nigeria for the Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development (CSCSD) that is implanting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) around the world, tells IGNATIUS CHUKWU in Port Harcourt that Nigeria is rather a mere bystander in both data and leadership revolutions.

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ou are long in civil society work and you are now a known personality in the advocacy world, are you fulfilled in that passion, and have you met what brought you to it? We thank God for every step. My decision now to move to the next level in life is primarily based on the fact that I have experienced civil society work and I am fulfilled in a way. I have come, I have seen, and I have conquered. I have learnt lessons and taught lessons and mentored persons who want to provide for society and make the world a better place. I look around today and see a lot of mentees who desire to be development actors. It makes me feel fulfilled, not in building a 50-storey building but in counting mentees whose lives have changed today because they saw in me a role model. I have been working in this field for 20 years and I can say this is my calling. God gave me the grace to be part of it. Now, I look at the younger generation and I see passion, I see enthusiasm. I pray they meet their dreams. The ultimate is to help make the world a better place. I leave the world with the message: Everybody has a role to place. If you have not discovered your purpose, that is a challenge and if the environment stops you from pursuing your purpose, it is also a challenge. So, identify your purpose in the civil society field, and identify your challenges. I have always loved civil society work and it is part of my blood. Some people are born that way. Some people are born to be voices for the people or the community. Some people derive their life ambition that way, and if that opportunity is not there, they do not get satisfaction. Some of those that started with us 20 years ago are no more there. They have transformed and reformed to other things. The overall question is, how have you impacted on your environment? I have laid foundations for upcoming youths to also impact on their environment. I remember when I graduated from medical college in 1996 and I was doing my National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in 1997, all my allowances, all, were donated to the struggle. My colleagues and bosses then at the College of Health Sciences in the UNIPORT can testify more. Some have been vice chancellors and deputy VCs. All my allowances earned as an NYSC were donated to the college to help them help a laboratory for that college. That was when every

ish, falling all over their trees and plants. The women were affected mostly because they did not understand what was happening to their systems with biological impacts. They came and said, Ma, you have finished from your NYSC, we need somebody to help us speak out. This is causing sickness and all of that. When we started to speak, we were told, look, Madam, if you want to pursue this cause, you cannot speak as an individual but as an entity or NGO. Somebody had to come under a structure. I said, ah. I had to look for those that knew the ropes and asked questions. A non-profit was chosen and I was ready to set it up. The centre was going to be dedicated to building capacity to help women and community, especially in the area of environmental sustainability issues because that was the pain of that moment to the women that brought the case to me. That was how the Centre for Development Initiative (CEDSI) was born to build capacity, to support structures, to build the capacity for women and young people to be development actors, to be part of development processes, to have a voice. It was also a learning curve for me. Now, I didn’t stay too long before the United States Information Services (USAID) with ADA said, now that you have this organization, let us see how we support it to bring out the voice of these women to talk about the challenges they faced. That ended up being our first project in Nigeria, in Africa, where

Mina Ogbanga

kobo was very important and very unique, not because there was so much money. I don’t work because there is too much or too little money but because there is a need to be met, you now find those who can help you meet that need. I remember that even as lecturers, we went out of our way to teach tutorials as extra lectures so that medical students would have extra knowledge which was required for medical students. My role was to ask, how can I add that extra-moral class to help students beyond the normal classes? Those classes to this day touched many students. Those students see me today and say, oh, if not for those your classes, I would not be this, I would not know that. My life is about to begin now. Those dreams I wanted to achieve are about to start. I am starting a new phase of life. The beauty of being a development worker is not about how much but about those

long-lasting changes you bring to society. My colleagues still call me and ask, do you remember when you gave your entire NYSC allowances in a whole year to the lab project? They say, this is indeed in your blood. I say, you need to bloom where you are planted. You need to stand out. Everybody has what it takes to stand out but not everybody can identify it early enough in their life time. Development work is a work we must all strive to fulfill. Can you mention some things that stand out in your 20 years as milestones or situations you turned around? I want to mention the first case that brought me into development work in the first place. It was when the Ekerekana women in Okrika local government area in 1998 approached me. I was fresh out of medical school. They said; the problem in Ekerekana that period was a kind of soot, some cancerous substances that were whit-

If you have not discovered your purpose, that is a challenge and if the environment stops you from pursuing your purpose, it is also a challenge. So, identify your purpose in the civil society field, and identify your challenges

we had to work with USIP and ADA. We worked with their team lead and the media to build the capacity of those women and a lot of other communities to address the challenges of the environmental degradation they experienced at that time. The women were now opportuned to come on board to radio house airing their views. Government of the day heard them and looked for solutions. That problem to a large extent was addressed. It is good to start a process and see it to its conclusion. That was my first project way back in 1998/98. It still stands out. What is this new programme September 25th programme all about? We need to understand the basics. After the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) from 2000 to 2015, which was supposed to address the eight MDGs, in 2016, September 25th, the UN General Assembly, made up of over 193 world leaders came together to set up and agreed on a development model for the world called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This was three years ago. Today, by September 25, we would be celebrating three years of this march forward. Across the world, everybody is celebrating this anniversary. It is called the Global Call for Action for the SDGs against the set targets. The aim is to identify the role of the civil society organizations (CSOs) in this project and bring part of the global review in what has been achieved and what ought to be achieved in 2030. The first thing Nigerians would say is, if the MDGs did not do much, how would this one work; have you prepared to confront ths question? The beauty of this project is that we have admitted that there were challenges somewhere in the past project because the MDGs did not deliver in some areas and that countries performed more than others; and that some organizations performed more than others. Nigeria was not dismal but not very good. The good thing about that experience is the lesson from it and they have identified why it had issues and where it needed to be done differently. So, the SDGs process is trying to see how this would work this time. The task now, is, how we can make things work better than last time. The lessons from the MDGs are pretty much unique and very instructive and we hope we can change the perception. Now, we


Sunday 17 September 2018

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Interview need not invent the wheel afresh but to apply the lessons learnt. This is where we are three years on. How do you know if you are recording achievements or do you wait till 2030? The beauty of this one is that it has 17 indicators which show us things as we go. For instance, you have a goal saying, no poverty. There are indicators on this aspect and you now know that you need to reduce hunger or you know what exactly you need to do. These actions build up to that global target. If you employ any youth, it adds to solving a problem that is clearly indicated. If you want to buy a power generator, you will know you have to target Goal 7 and Goal 13 on power for all and clean energy by 2020. Gender equality is Goal 5. When you provide enabling environment for women to function, looking at the target and indicators, you are contributing to achieving the global target and indicators. So, you don’t have to wait till 2030 to assess. The world would even not forgive itself if we sat down to wait till 2030. Data revolution: The problem with the MDGs is on issues of data. Now that we know it, we now have to gather data and manage it properly. The inability to get the population of those that have access to water in a given community is a slap on the face of the programme. There are data issues about women that are unemployed, etc. We are talking of credible data. What we want is credible data to be able to know how to manage the problems and the gaps. The lessons from the MDGs are proper collection and use of data. The UN has set out a huge portfolio to generate data in general. The ministries have a primary duty to help generate data. The main concern is that we do not know how well our agencies are doing in data generation. If you don’t get it right from data, you won’t get development right. We don’t know how well our organisations are doing. It is very obvious. We have to understand this. We need data revolution. There needs to be political will to ensure we have credible data. We should stop the era of using data for elections only, the era of using data for looking for positions instead of for development. That is abuse of power if you do not use it to develop the people. We need to move from that thinking to a new thinking. It is over 50 years of nationhood. Over 50 years of several institutions and persons without any real transformation or change. It has been the same style of revolving and evolving and reinventing and coming back. Leadership revolution: We still have not tasted revolution in leadership; else, certain things would still not be happening in Nigeria today. The sweetest way to lead is to allow the citizens participate. You ask them how many people want water, they speak and you count. It is collective decision, no imposition; nobody feels hurt or left behind. That is what development should be about. Unless democracy has changed, they defined democracy as a way but it seems its definition has lost its original flavour. It has been rede-

Mina Ogbanga

fined, reviewed, and reinvented. It is the power for the people or for against the people. Posterity comes back to haunt us and before you, you discover that that no one in our generation would go scot free whose hands had an opportunity to lead and did it against the citizens. You cannot find yourself under any circumstances thinking you are going to enjoy life. Life is what you have contributed to the development of society. It is safer for you to be out of leadership than to for you to be the problem in our leadership. If you cannot be a blessing to a society, don’t be a curse. That is my prayer for each leader. You must give account of every leadership opportunity given to you. That way, you save the world a lot of troubles. A human being is either a blessing or a lesson to society. Nigeria has had many leaders who were lessons. Now, we need leaders that are blessings. Now, we need to learn how to engage and how the future generation would be. Is government going to be given a role or they would be giving NGOs a role in this new scheme? The SDGs targets have to be driven by the authentic partners and the people who have the mandate to provide these services are the government. No matter how big or rich the CSO or NGO or

private individual is, if the enabling environment is not provided, these activities would not work. How do you work with governments to do their part? It is by encouraging them and reaching them with the understanding of their roles; through seminars, partnerships, communication, leadership training, and opportunities in different forms. Government has a statutory responsibility in the matter of development, which can only be complemented by other stake-holding bodies. Do our governments look like people who can lend themselves to this vision, the partnership? You see, 193 leaders agreed to wok on SDGs and you cannot expunge your name from this. They have already put Nigeria as one of the countries to do SDGs. We know we are good at signing international pacts but when it comes to domesticating it, problems come in. Now, you are on your own if you do not domesticate and carry out the activities successfully. This is because every other country is working so that their citizens are not left out. Where is Nigeria on implementation and domestication? We have offices in most states dedicated to the SDGs. The functionality and workability in recognition and understanding of the

place oftheseofficesinourdifferent states are as determined by how a statewantsit.Somehaveveryactive offices with very active special advisers or commissioners. Those are structuralrequirementsattheglobal level. These offices would work in tandemwithotherMDAstoachieve the SDGs. They achieve by ensuring that every MDA must mainstream it’s activities into the SDGs plan. For example,issuesofpoverty,youhave ministry on economic matters that would work in that direction. The goal on ‘no hunger’, you remember Ministry of Agric. On health for all, Ministry of Health comes to mind; the one on education calls to mind Ministry of Education, the one on gender equality, you remember Ministry of Women Affairs. That is how it works. Do these ministries now take instructions from the coordinating NGOs? No, whatever you do in your ministry is reported to the SDGs office just for update and coordination. It only makes you to look at the targets and indicators that the global world has set and look at priorities and current situation in a state or nation and look at how to address it. How do you say a state is doing well on SDGs? It is to look at each goal and see how a state made them their priorities. All these 17 goals are captured in the ministries. We do not exempt any goal for any state. What will happen is, this commissioner needs to know if his priority was buying generators and distributing them, you are made to know that it is not where to go now. Where the world wants to go now is clean, renewable, alternative and sustainable energy. It’s about adjusting your priorities and pursuing them one after the other. It’s about sustainability to our energy provision to complement the grid on ground. So we are looking at off-grid energy. Any other method is against the SDGs target and such a commissioner is part of the problem Nigeria wants to solve. He does not understand where the world is going to. You are working against the SDGs. If everybody that is coming to leadership understand the target and place of the SDGs and their roles in the goals, it will make life easy for a lot of people. That is exactly where Nigeria is now at this moment. So, it is important and it is a global requirement that every state should mainstream the SDGs and localizing the goals; in budgeting and planning. You do not plan for what you do not understand. It’s about streamlining projects to goals. It is like writing a manifesto for a government. You cannot be a doctor without going to medical school. It is a process. If you are a commissioner and you tell the world you have done so much, built boreholes, etc, you would be embarrassing that state. The world wants reticulated water system and you are claiming boreholes. Will it not be a matter for an administration to drive than a commissioner? Embracing and implementing should be the task of everybody at every level. It should be the driver of the development process in every state. It should be driven by

the leaders and the implementers. It should be part of policy of an administration. It makes life so easy. It is like an expo to development policy makers. It stipulates processes for programmes. So, you ask, how do I fit into this whole process? To make your life better, you must understand the SDGs processes because you find the gaps and fit into them. If you want to make cities inclusive (Goal 7), your cities are the hubs for ideas, you make them centres of productivity. If you go to a place and they say it is a one city state, it is not a good plan. You have to create more centres as cities being centres of production and activity. You have to consider affordable housing. So, if you find a governor in the Niger Delta that is reducing slums, services to the people, you can see SDGs in progress. It is not about a house that is N60m. You have already told the poor, sorry, this is not your place. You can only get to the gate and look at them. It is not a housing scheme but we do not reject it because a project must serve somebody. When a project does not include at least 70 per cent of the people, it is a challenge. If you say by 2030, you are providing access to sustainable transport system, it is expected that it would be in place, increasing and improving road safety. Some roads to where people live are not motorable. So, if you know these targets, you can do the politics around them and still achieve theses targets. The difference is that you are doing what others have not started doing. You are streamlining your activities into the global plan, and when the world is looking for those state governors, presidents and CSOs that are doing SDGs, you can easily be identified and be counted. It’s like following the syllabus. Students that read by their syllabus usually set the pace in life, always ahead of others. They even remind teachers where the class was, and they look like having a conversation with the teachers. Is it possible for any state government to follow these guidelines without regular conversation with the SDG drivers? The beauty of this matter is that no white man is coming to Nigeria to say, I know your problem, this is the solution. No, the matter is, you as Rivers State, you know what your priority is and develop your own plan of action to address those priority needs of your state. When are states in Nigeria expected to draw their plans or take off date? The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the officeofthespecialadviseronSDGs had a meeting with SDGs officers across the states. These are the kind of conversations that ought to identify the progress so far made and the challenges, plans, and the next steps, and how to mainstream the activities, depending on who the donor that is supporting the process is, such as UNDP, WHO, UNICEF, etc. All these UN agencies, who are the custodians of the SDGs, are expected to work with the respective state governments todevelopastateactionplan(SAP) and facilitate states to mainstream their plans in line with SDGs.


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Sunday 16 September 2018

Feature

‘Simba is leveraging transport system, others to provide employment for Nigerians’ Manish Rohtagi, Business Head for Simba Group of Companies in Nigeria, speaks about the company’s operations in Nigeria in this interview with Ifeoma Okeke.

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How long have you been in Nigeria? t is about a year now since I have been here and Nigeria is a beautiful country with beautiful people and rich culture. Nigerian people have astonished me with their warm welcome and I think the country has really taken me in. At Simba I had the opportunity to meet a lot of people from different ethnicities and I must compliment the way people are proud of their cultural roots and their tradition attires. Could you tell us more about Simba Group of Companies and TVS and what exactly is your focus as a business enterprise? Simba Group is a 30 years old company in Nigeria. We started out precisely in 1988 and have various businesses that contribute to Nigeria’s sustained development. These include Agriculture Solution, Alternate energy, Commercial vehicle sales & service, Textile Clusters, Networking and data services. We have been associated with TVS motors for over 10 year and we have been successful in becoming the number one tricycle brand in the country. Our focus is our shared belief in customer satisfaction and offering an unparalleled reach for after sales service with a good product. How has it been doing business in Nigeria compared to your experience in other countries that you have worked in? We always look at giving solutions to consumers rather than giving them a product. And when I consider giving solutions to my consumers, dealers and even my employees, I think we get more success. My business experience in Nigeria has been very intriguing and exciting. Like any other developing economy, there are ups and downs, but as long as the overall trajectory is one of growth, businesses have

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an opportunity to flourish. I’m not saying it’s been easy – it takes investment and a lot of work but overall we find that we have had a lot of support from the market. What benefits do you hope to extend to the Nigerian market through Simba Group? Nigeria is a land of great opportunity and great people. The life here is full of energy, with every day bringing on new challenges and surprises. I am very excited about the things we are doing at Simba, firstly to enhance the experience of our customers but more importantly to enhance the lives of Nigerians. I always wanted to travel new

places, meet new people and over and above I always wanted to extend my support to individuals, community and institutions. More than achieving business objectives, what has given me immense satisfaction, is growth of people around me, whether they are my bosses, colleagues, reporting officers, channel partners or vendors. What are the particular needs you have identified in Nigeria and what solutions have you provided for them? One particular need I have observed in Nigeria is the need to generate employment. Employment is a critical requirement for

all Nigerians today especially the youth and if you don’t employ them, they look for alternate ways to get quick money. So virtually all of the products and services we deal in provide employment opportunities. Where our impact is most meaningful is in the employment generation that our TVS vehicles create. First and foremost, there are the riders of the motorcycles and tricycles who earn a daily wage for ferrying passengers to and fro. Then there are our dealers, financiers and fleet owners who play critical parts in our value chain and ensure that the vehicles are made available to potential owners and investors. Finally, there are the tens of thousands of mechanics and spare parts dealers who repair and service the vehicles and ensure that they are back ‘on road’ as soon as possible. Apart from providing jobs to Nigerians, in what other ways has your company contributed to the wellbeing of Nigerians? We currently have many programs to support the communities in which we operate. Perhaps we are most proud of our Queen Riders program, which promotes women’s empowerment and creates a safe ecosystem for women to enter the business of keke, helping them to purchase their vehicles and providing training in both safe driving and security. We also actively engage with the community through our health check-up camps, where our vehicle riders are invited for Simba-sponsored personal health-screenings, which has included diabetes screening and eye check-ups, while we service their vehicles – for free. In Maiduguri, our TVS King tricycle has been used as an ambulance in the rural areas where no other vehicle can reach. So in essence, we are reaching out to

places where we can impact the lives of Nigerian people. TVS participated fully in supporting the Super Eagles during the FIFA Wold Cup 2018, what was the inspiration behind that? Yes! We are extremely proud of this. Football is the great love of this great nation, and something that brings every Nigerian together, despite their location, faith or background. To be selected as the official motorcycle and three-wheeler of the Super Eagles is a great honour, and not only has it enabled us to contribute to the nation’s greatest pastime, it has also enabled us bring our customers and rider community closer to the action with dedicated fan events during big matches and opportunities to meet with the players. TVS recently sponsored a dancing competition called “TVS Confam Naija Dance”. Could you please tell us what was it all about? This was incredible. We had recently introduced a unique feature in our TVS King Deluxe keke – an in-built mp3 player. Our rider community love it, and we were honoured to have the very talented artist Small Doctor record a special song for us. Then all of a sudden people started posting videos to their social media profiles dancing to this special track. So we thought, why not give a prize to the best dance group and it all took off from there. The competition ran for about a month, and culminated in a grand finale in Lagos. To ensure fair-play and true reflection of talent, we brought on board Nigeria’s dance queen Kaffy, musician Small Doctor and BBNaija finalist Alex Unusual to judge the performances. The winners won N1,000,000, with second and third place getting N250,000 and N125,000 respectively. What are your company’s future plans? Our future plan is very clear. We want to be part of the great story of Nigeria and we are very confident that Nigeria is going to be one of the leading economies not just in Africa but in the world and we want to be a dominant player in business, not only in the space we are operating in today but various other businesses we plan to venture in.

Professor of Economics, an expert on trade, says Nigeria is right and wrong not to sign African trade pact, but shows way out Continued from page 10

ment. Key focus of government should be poverty reduction and sustainability. There would be targeted policies in areas such as agric. Policies must be tuned to protect companies, not because of efficiency but to help employ people. Neo-liberal policy of the FG (Buhari) has failed. Go back to strategic planning. We must have strong and robust marketing strategy for our goods. State governments must invest heavily in petrochemicals, refineries, etc. Find partnerships. Improve the environment for manufacturing. That is the way to go. We must cut

down on the level of corruption. We have not signed and it is good we have not, but what must we do to sign? We must build capacity to take advantage of the pacts we are running away from (AfFTA and EPA). MAN President, Frank Jacobs: Nigeria must rethink its growth plan There is is steady increase in the Rivers/Bayelsa branch over the years. This is one of the progressive branches. Recession: Manufacturing sector is one of the worst-hit sectors. Many companies shut down and many others are still sick. Recession over, but challeng-

es not over Yes, there is reduction in inflation rate and crude oil is growing both in volume and price, among some other positive indicators, but challenges are not over. There is need to rethink growth strategies for the economy. Harmony is important to boost stability and growth. We observe that Rivers manufacturing sector is growing but that of Bayelsa does not seem to. We urge states to reduce antimanufacturing policies to attract manufacturing and grow their real sectors. MAN not againt AfFTA in principle In the past four years, we have

constantly engaged heads of ministries and departments of government. For instance, MAN and other sector leaders stopped AfCFTA agreement. MAN is actually not against the pact in principle, but we are saying there was no adequate consultation or country-specific study to show what Nigeria stood to gain and lose and how to mitigate the areas of harm. Report MAN study out August end MAN has now commissioned such a study; the result will come out at the end of August 2018. We will share the report with the FG for them to decide what next

to do; to sign or not to sign. They would decide, should they sign it, what measures to adopt in certain areas. Media reporting of the pact issue is not full. Many misled the nation. The concerns are being addressed. What is important is that we must continue to protect our investments. MAN is doing new membership certificates, so members have to endeavour to meet up. I must thank Rivers/Bayelsa branch for their vibrancy and their wise counsels all through my tenure. This is a very productive branch. This is my last visit as MAN president.


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Interview How Nigeria can tackle extreme poverty - Indian High Commissioner Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, BN Reddy, has said that Nigeria’s bilateral ties with India can offer effective blueprint through which Nigeria can exit the status of the country with the poorest people on earth. In this interview with a select group of journalists, the envoy stated that Nigeria can gain from the Indian experience where deliberate government policy of financial inclusion was targeted at the poor coupled with specific and sustainable skill acquisition. Innocent Odoh was there. Excerpts: November this year will mark 60 years of India –Nigeria bilateral relations, so what us fresh on the table? ike you rightly mention 2018 is a very special year in the bilateral relations between India and Nigeria, by November this year we will be celebrating the commencement of the 60 years of our diplomatic relations. And in this context usually such occasions are meant for stock taking for us to see what has gone well and what the challenges are and how we can take the relationship to the next high level. In this context I think both governments will sit down and reflect on their achievements. Sixty years have been a journey of considerable progress, a journey which began on a slow but steady manner because India became independent in 1947 and Nigeria in 1960. As two newly liberated countries from the yoke of colonialism, they start can only be slow and steady. India and Nigeria have become strategic partners and we started this new journey in 2007 during the visit of our Prime Minister to Nigeria. Subsequently the many facets of our engagements have taken considerable leapfrogging into higher domains. For example we know that in the modern day sense the relationship should not be dry, it should be full of economic content, economic diplomacy and on that account I think we have scored well with India now emerging as Nigeria’s largest trading partner within Africa and the trade is largely in favour of Nigeria and I don’t think it is causing any alarm bells to our people and government simply also because Nigeria also fits very well into our energy- security paradigm. This is because about 30% of our bilateral trade comprises crude oil and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). Our exports are also increasing; Indians are bringing a lot of technology, investments into Nigeria. So I think given these statistics I mentioned the relationship is stable, forward looking, looking at exploiting the complementarities that exist between our two countries and recognizing the challenges both countries have as developing countries.

the importance that the federal government and the state governments and all the other agencies are working very hard in achieving self -sufficiency and also ready to export to markets outside Nigeria.

L

What is the volume of trade between India and Nigeria? Between 2017 to March 2018 the volume is 12 billion dollars; out of that, 2.5 billion dollars is what India exports to Nigeria so as you can see the rest of it is coming from Nigeria to India. In specific area of power production, what kind of collaboration does India have with Nigeria and specifically how has that benefited Nigeria?sss In the power sector the presence of India and Indian companies is largely in the power transmission and distribution segment not in the power generation segment. In the transmission and distribution segment I must say that the number of Indian companies have been working with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) as well as other entities in facilitating this particular dimension effectively. In India for example we have the Power Grid Company of India which was established in the year 1994/5. In the last one and half decades we have made considerable progress and the TCN is collaborating with the power grid of India in improving the transmission which is reducing the losses as we

Amb. Reddy transmit power from one place to another. The second part which is distribution for which you need other sub-stations and other electrical equipment, many Indian companies are able to provide quality electrical distribution related products for the sub- stations. So this is one aspect, which is determined by the TCN and distribution companies and they are working closely with the state governments. Having said this let me add one more dimension to your question. India is emerging as a development partner of Nigeria in two components. One is training, which is essentially capacity building and support, and the second part is giving developmental assistance. Now in this context in the last two years or so, India has offered 175million dollars of concessional loans to the Nigerian federal government out of which the 100 million dollars is being utilized for various power projects in the states of Kaduna, Cross River and Enugu. The second segment which is the 75 million dollars which is being offered recently is entirely for the solar power generation. This is again keeping in perspective the federal government of Nigeria’s objective of reaching 30% energy mix by 2020 to renewable energy and in that context recently we have launched what is called International Solar Energy Society, which is spearheaded by India and France and I am happy to announce that Nigeria is a member and we are waiting for them to ratify it. But without waiting for ratification, the government of India has decided to extend this 75 million in power projects, solar projects in six geo political regions of the country as well as in Bauchi state. We have other areas of need like in Agriculture and I know that India has done a lot in the agro-technology, manufacturing and processing. This sector has been prominent in the India- Nigeria relations, so how do you assess this? Ever since your government came up with the Economic Recover and Growth Plan (ERGP) in 2016, there is enormous emphasis on agriculture and allied sectors and rightly so because as we understand 60% of Nigeria’s arable land is still remaining fallow and can be used. India has the expertise over the years, it is been a long journey for India also to come out of the import of food grains. We had a green revolution in the 1970s and 80s and thereafter there is enormous significant

improvement whether in terms of producing hybrid seeds and use of fertilizers and essentially making that technology work from farm to the markets which is what you are referring to. On this account I must say that Nigeria has made considerable progress in the last two years and I am happy that we are able to collaborate with the federal government of Nigeria, some of the state governments as well as the various parastatals associated with agriculture. Let me highlight one or two aspect of our engagement. As part of the capacity building in the last two years, I think over 150 Nigerian agriculture experts have been sent to India at the cost of the Indian government for short term training programmes in diverse areas of agriculture whether it is production related, the technology associated with the farm, technology associated with getting the produce to the market and looking at small and medium term enterprises. So in that capacity building we have been able to train 150 Nigerian experts. Following that we also had a major business event on December 5 last year in Abuja where we invited all the key stakeholders. It is essential for the farmer to be provided with the necessary advice, import, and technology and provided the enabling environment. So in that context we have gotten a number of stakeholders to a meeting to debate, which Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe himself came to inaugurate and a number of lessons were learnt in that debate and we shared what India can and should contribute in your national efforts. Following this agreement the Nigerian federal ministry of agriculture visited India with a business and agriculture delegation, they came back and based on what I have learnt, a number of plans are being worked out so that even the private sector must come into the agriculture sector because government alone cannot do this. I am also happy that a number of Indian companies are showing interest in Nigeria. The other important sector is the agriculture machinery. In this sector, Indian companies have come in and we provide top quality products. Today India produces about 320 million tonnes of food grains not only for the need of 1.25 billion population of our country but also for export. So I am very confident that Nigeria will soon reach this level given

Let’s look at the area entertainment and we are looking at how Nigeria and India can collaborate. Are you looking at that direction? Culture is a very important window through which our engagement will be a little more open and a little more forthcoming and I am happy that we have had meetings with both the Nigerian Council for Arts and Culture as well as the Nigerian National Gallery of Art. For example the Nigerian Council of Arts and Culture is organizing a major event called the international Abuja festival mid –November and I am happy to announce that one day will be observed as India day where we hope to bring dance troops from India apart from using the talent that we have locally. This is one side of it. Secondly we plan to also bring in dance troops to Abuja and to other parts of Nigeria particularly as this year marks the sixty years of celebration and trying to use this platform to improve Nigeria’ engagement and we must understand that like India, Nigeria is also rich in diverse culture and the richness of it is the unity in diversity which is being preached in India and Nigeria and we must bring that particular dimension so that our relationship becomes a little more comprehensive. India use to be the number one capital of extreme poverty of the world but right now India has done a lot to take a lot of its people out of the ignoble position. But Nigeria has replaced India as the number one capital of the world. We want to know the fundamental measures you took to lift your people out of extreme poverty? We are happy with the developments in India. Our government has consistently been promoting an inclusive development approach particularly in the last four years under the leadership of Prime Minister Neranda Modi. The approach has been a multifaceted approach dealing with first agriculture. In India 60% of the population is living in rural areas, so there is enormous emphasis on how to enable the farmers to get the right environment to be able to contribute to the market. The second thing is providing the farmers sufficient reward at the end of the hard work that they do by having minimum support price system. The third thing is to ensure that the subsidies that are meant for the farmers reach to them directly. So what we did in India was that we started a programme called financial inclusion, where over 200 million bank accounts were opened during the first year of the government of Prime Minister Modi. The subsidies that the government is giving to the farmers and the weaker sections of the society are transferred to the bank account so that there is no loss enroute, so they started benefitting. The second one is that major emphasis was laid on skills development. A new Ministry of Skill Development was created in 2015 again under the PM vision of creating employment for 500 million people who are essentially parts of the youth in India now. In this direction, a number of innovative skills development programmes have been launched all over India to give

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Aruna Quadri and the making of a legend

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Sunday 16 September 2018

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

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ecently, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri emerged as winner of the men’s singles event at the 2018 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) African Championships in Mauritius. Before his current number 18 ranking, in 2014 Aruna was ranked number 30 in world table tennis. That same year, the ITTF adjudged him the Star Player of the Year. The Nigerian rising table tennis star has won virtually all the titles in Africa with the exception of the All African Games. A few weeks ago, Aruna won the ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open in Lagos.. In the last few years, the Oyo State born superstar has been making stable progress as a globally renowned table tennis player. For instance, at both the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics, he competed for Nigeria in the men’s singles table tennis event and got to the quarter-finals stage on both occasions. He was also part of the Nigerian team that won bronze at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Similarly, in the 2017 ITTF World Challenge Bulgaria Open,

he advanced to the semi-finals where he was defeated in a highly entertaining and captivating match by eventual winner Dimitriji Ovtcharov. A major feature of Aruna’s winning recipe is his forehand style which has proved quite irresistible. A quiet but very hardworking sportsman, Aruna has been variously described as a quintessential professional who gives his all to his chosen profession. While others brag around town showing off their feats for all to see, Aruna is quite modest and always eager to cover new grounds. For instance, rather than embarking on a prolonged party disposition to commemorate his recent conquest at Mauritania, Aruna simply said that the victory is now in the past and that his focus is now on winning the elusive gold at the next edition of the All African Games. That, indeed, is the hallmark of great athletes. Today, Aruna is the highest ranked African tennis player in the world. He is the first Nigerian and second ever African tennis player to make ITTF top18 rating. Till date, his biggest career highlight was winning the Polish Open in 2017, thus making him the first African to win an ITTF competition outside of the continent. With the current giant strides of Aruna in table tennis, it has now become imperatives for all key stakeholders in the sports sector to come up with the needed initiatives that could further pro-

mote sports development in the country. Today, sport has become a business concern that contributes to gross earnings of many countries. Sadly, things aren’t really in the right perspective with sports in Nigeria. A visit to the various stadia across the country would surely reveal the pathetic situations of athletes preparing to represent us in major sporting events as they train in most awful conditions, sometimes depending on support from family members, friends among others. Indeed, it is always difficult to secure the needed fund for these athletes to attend major tourneys. The implication of neglecting sports is far too grievous. We inadvertently shut the door against the talents of thousands of Nigerians who would have used same as escape route from poverty. Globally, sports have become a huge industry through which lots of youths have gotten fame and fortune. Therefore, developing and investing more in sports is one sure way of empowering the youths and other professionals (such as doctors, psychologists, physiotherapists, athlete managers etc) in the various sporting fields to become productively engaged. In this time of youth restiveness and national insecurity, encouraging youths to take to sports would surely be of immense benefits to the country. Therefore, if we are to offer the teeming youth in the country

an opportunity to fulfill their God given potentials, we must change our attitude towards sports. There are so many less expensive sports that every youth in this country could easily take up and excel in. Governments at various levels have to evolve policies and strategies that would support the development of such sports. It is a shame that after the exit of the likes of Nduka Odizor and David Imonite, the game of lawn tennis has virtually died in the country. If Richard Williams, the father of celebrated American lawn tennis stars, Serena and Venus Williams, could singlehandedly turn the duo into world beaters, with the right policy and programs, there is no reason why we should not be able to train and raise potential world champions in boxing, lawn tennis, wrestling, table tennis and others in the not too far future. The private sector needs to take a more active role in the project to restore the nation’s lost glory in sports. All over the world, the initiatives and funds that drive sports come from the private sector. With the needed private sector drive, moribund school sports competitions across the country could be resuscitated. This is the only way we could build on the successes of the likes of Aruna Quadri. Ogunbiyi is of the Features Unit , Ministry of Information & Strategy , Alausa-Ikeja

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Sahara Group boss, Tonye Cole resigns into politics

… Eyes Rivers’ guber seat in 2019

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f late, the political turf has, albeit unnoticed by many, been drawing its strong base from among big corporate players and captains of industry. The latest catch is the very articulate and businessminded Chief Executive Officer of the Sahara Group, Tonye Cole, who recently stepped down from the management of the oil firm, with an instructive desire to contest the Rivers State governorship election in 2019. His resignation must have been informed by the apolitical stand of the company, which states emphatically in its corporate governance policy that it neither sponsors nor backs any political party or actor in all of the markets it operates, including Nigeria. But be that as it may, since Cole’s sudden resignation and veering into politics big time, the media, print, electronic and social media as it were have been awash with Tonye Cole’s bright, if not brightest chances in his new venture, as unsubstantiated reports have it that Cole had already been endorsed as the preferred candidate of the ruling All Progressives Party, (APC) in Rivers State in the 2019 governorship election. One fact however remains, and it is that, if eventually Tonye Cole picks the ticket, and wins, he will surely make a difference in governance, just as he has done marvelously well in the corporate world, irrespective of whether the two terrains are different ball games altogether, two parallel lines that never meet. Tonye Cole must have done his homework well before taking this dive, and 2019 elections will prove whether he took the right direction. Banking guru, Jim Ovia documents his experiences for Africans Those who may be thinking that the astute banker and super boardroom guru is all about banking, investment, finance and what have you in the corporate world, must be having a re-think now, as the man of high intellect and wisdom in banking is gradually showing another side of him in the area of writing nay authorship. And you should know that anything this man touches always turn to gold and with finesse, without small measures. Come Wednesday, September 17, in Lagos, the Chairman of Zenith Bank, Chief Jim Ovia, will present his much awaited new book, ‘Africa Rise and Shine: How a Nigerian Entrepreneur from Humble Beginnings Grew a Business to $16 billion.’ The book, published by Forbes Books, with foreword(s) by Richard Branson of VIRGIN, Aliko Dangote of Dangote Group, David Applefield of Financial Times, Dominic Barton of McKinsey & Company and Matt Lilley of Prudential Africa, chronicles the story of Ovia’s unquantifiable business and banking successes, and how he was able to create one of Africa’s largest banks. Spanning decades of both World and Nigerian histories, the set-to-be readers’ delight digs deep into the events that ultimate-

Tonye Cole

Dapo Abiodun

Jim-Ovia

Prince Dapo Abiodun

Tomi-Somefun

Kenny Uzoka

Yemi Lawal

Femi Davies’ Liquid lounge plus now the place to be for corporate guys

ly led to Ovia’s triumph, drawing upon his educational experiences and relentless determination, and being ostensibly, against all odds, able to overcome every hurdle that stood in the way of his bank becoming the national icon that it is today. Africa Rise and Shine outlines the tough, yet necessary business decisions that were essential to Zenith’s prolonged successes, and is filled with valuable takeaways for every businessperson. The book will sure be a useful lesson tool for those who want to learn from one of the best in banking and what it takes to truly be successful. Oil merchant, Dapo Abiodun’s big dream! Even though, many may not readily agree with the phrase, ‘big dream’ in the above headline, it is still not out of place to refer to his current move as a big dream as he has always dreamt big in virtually all areas of endeavours he has veered into, be it in business, philanthropy and of recent, politics. Oh! Yes, we are talking of Ogun state-born man of means and substance, Otunba Dapo Abiodun, the multi-billionaire billionaire industrialist and Chairman of the Heyden Group, which has many chains of businesses in his conglomerate. Dapo Abiodun, we gathered from the grapevine, is now more than ever before, planning big time to have a bigger shot at the Oke Mosan Government House in Abeokuta, Ogun State as the number one occupier, come 2019. Recall that the Ijebu-Ode-born High Chief and oil baron, had in the past thrown his hat in the ring for the same office, but providence has always made him to be a patient bird, just like the proverbial vulture. With the arithmetic, math and permutations in the political firmament of the Gateway State, Dapo Abiodun seems to be coasting home gradually to realise this big dream of his, which had kept on eliding him. Forget about the touted zoning of the seat to the Yewa axis of the state, the idea is not yet a fast-track rule that has been adopted by the party, and the office is still open to any one so favoured by the party. Dapo Abiodun is another corporate top shot angling for top political office. Kennedy Uzoka’s suave fashion sense

Away from his normal assiduous and very tasking and demanding banking duties, upwardly mobile Kennedy Uzoka has never failed to impress it on discerning people; that there is always time for other things, without such things having a stress on his schedules long before he mounted the driver’s seat as the MD/CEO of Africa’s leading commercial bank, UBA Plc., ebullient, charismatic and highlyofficious banker, Kennedy Uzoka, has always been a man of style and panache when it comes to fashion and dress sense. For some men in his ilk, fashion does not come readily to them, but unassuming Ken, despite his tight schedule at his duty post, still finds ample time for his fashion retinue, which ordinarily comes natural to him. Whether in casuals, sporty wears, native attires and his traditional corporate costume of suit and tie, mercurial Uzoka is always prim and pram, and is always suavely dressed, looking cute anytime he appears with his enchanting smile, much to the amazement and agreement of those who continue to savour his unique dress sense. The UBA top brass has shown that the business of dressing well does not have to be a rigid affair vis-a-viz one’s particular field of endeavour; just as he has been showing in his versatile ways of dressing to the hilt at any available opportunity. This trait, to say the least, is not a matter of now, as he has been in the gaily-dressed habit from time immemorial. Fast track Uzoka’s unique dress sense to the home front and you will equally find in his amiable and charming wife, Loreta, an amazing match, going by the exotic way she also dresses to functions and events, which make the two a good copy for fashionista to be, if not already what they are. Take it or leave it, the incumbent and upwardly mobile MD/CEO of UBA is a style aficionado and impresario sort of, and his arduous banking is not hindering him for any reason. Seagle boss, Otunba Yemi Lawal on family rendezvous voyage All work and no play (or rest) as they say makes Jack a dull boy. Just as he is taking his real estate management outfit to a greater hilt, enterprising Yemi Lawal, the head honcho at Seagle Property Development Company Limited,

a ground-breaking real estate development company with proven competencies in the development of luxury homes suitable for the middle and high-income families, is also not lagging on the home front. With a large portfolio of luxury homes and apartments on the Island, Seagle is reputed for its high quality finishing where intelligent design meets aesthetics to create the perfect backdrop for the modern lifestyle. The man of distinctive business acumen recently took his biological family on a much-deserved vacation abroad, after a very exerting and demanding tedious job prospecting. The workaholic dude first took his wife and his lovely kids to Mecca on Holy Pilgrimage, probably for more spiritual sanctification; after which the entire family detoured to an Island in God’s own country, USA to savour the ambience of holidaying and rejuvenation for another round of qualitative service to his sector. Prior to floating Seagle Property Development Company Limited in 2007, Lawal has had over 18 years commercial banking experience in Audit, Treasury, Branch Management, Regional Management and Corporate banking, majoring in Corporate & Project Finance. He left the banking industry in 2005 as a Regional Manager to set up Eagleways Investment Group, which is now the umbrella body of all his subsidiary companies. Femi Davies’ Liquid Lounge Plus Now The Place To Be For Corporate Guys Corporate, business and careeroriented persons in Lagos and those from outside for one business or the other in the Centre of Excellence state, now have a more aesthetic and conducive place to unwind and exchange ideas after a hard and hectic day, especially for those who do not know the city of Lagos as the heart of Nigeria’s entertainment and night life, with Ikeja, the state capital, its major hub for entertainment and luxury lifestyle. Fast track, the axis known as Allen Avenue has its peculiarity for where all the entertainment activities beckon to the rest of the world; even as these traits were virtually going into extinction, due to obvious reasons of insecurity and safe

mobility at night. One guy that has been on the conscious trail to revive these virtues in this axis is versatile Otunba Femi Davies, with the berthing of his exquisite and vastly-patronized watering hole Liquid Lounge Plus, off Allen Avenue, Ikeja. Multi-tasking and highly-connected Femi Davies is a veteran journalist, entertainment connoisseur, PR Management Consultant and a society High Chief, just to mention a few of his virtues, has been using his distinctively luxurious and wellappointed hospitality haven and eatery to bring and breathe a new fresh of air into the night life into Allen Avenue and its environs. Since the lounge came into being few back, it has been the hub for top corporate guys and professional high-flyers for hangingout and exchanging of positive business ideas, in an atmosphere of conviviality, amidst vintage drinks, good food and cool music. Now that the city of Lagos is even taking a new shape and swift movement through Governor Ambode-led govt., Liquid Lounge Plus is now the place to be for those who love to have the best of titillating and fun, and Femi Davies is not leaving any stone unturned to ensure unlimited and unforgettable relish and reasons corporate and business guys have now made the place their favourite place for hanging out and confabulation of germane ideas after a hard day’s work. Banking Big Gal, Tomi Somefun’s rare achievements It is no longer a drab saying that what a man can do a woman can do even better. Today, the banking industry in the country is replete with very articulate and industrious women, most of whom are holding plum positions in their respective offices, and they are not disappointing those who put them there. One of these enterprising and very formidable banking Amazons is upwardly mobile Tomi Somefun, the MD/ CEO of Unity Bank Plc. Since Tomi task over the helms of affairs at Unity Bank Plc well over two years ago, she has been breaking grounds with innovations and reinventions in the banking sector, just as she is still not relenting in her un-wavering effort to take the bank to an evitable height. On hindsight, workaholic and very efficient Tomi, commenced her then fledgling banking with the UBA Plc, where she creditably managed and sat on the boards of several subsidiaries of the first generation bank, not even to mention her unique and pioneering role as the maiden CEO of UBA’s Pensions Custodian Unit, which she incredibly and proficiently managed for long eight eventful years, just as she simultaneously supervised the South West region of the bank with very good results to show for all these. Tomi, indeed is a rare combination of brain, brawn and beauty and she is successfully pulling all these together, albeit silently, to make a statement for her women folk in the banking industry.


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Politics Too many ‘ifs’ on the way to Dickson’s 2020 Senatorial ambition SAMUEL ESE, Yenagoa

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s speculation continues to grow on the ambition of Governor Henry Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State to represent Bayelsa West Senatorial District at the Senate after his two terms as governor in 2020, Samuel Ese takes a look at the possible scenarios that could help him actualise his dream. It is no longer news that Bayelsa State Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson has the intention of representing Bayelsa West Senatorial District at the Upper House of the National Assembly, but the journey seems fraught with several unknown, which could make it a long shot in the dark. The plot looks simple on the outside: Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, former Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure gets the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) ticket for the Senate and remains there until Dickson’s tenure expires, he then resigns paving the way for a bye-election which the governor will contest and win. Since the governorship election would have been conducted and won by the PDP, whoever was running mate to the eventual governor would resign for Ewhrudjakpo to become the new deputy governor or so the proponents of the plot believe. If Ewhrudjakpo wins the party primary and subsequent election, he will be sworn in as a Senator on June 6, 2018 about the time that the governorship race in Bayelsa State will begin in earnest with declaration by aspirants and party primaries looming. But before Ewhrudjakpo wins the PDP ticket, he must fight a credibility battle, which he must win as stakeholders in the senatorial district do not see him as a core Ijaw man though he is from Ofoni community in Sagbama Local Government Area, one of the prominent Tarakiri communities. Ofoni people have been and are still members of Tarakiri Council of Chiefs and play important roles in the traditional institution in Tarakiri clan, but what is seen as his undoing is the Urhobo language which the Ofoni people speak although they also speak the Ijaw language fluently. He will contest the party primary against incumbent Foster Ogola who is from Sagbama community; he believes that Dickson is using Ewhrudjakpo to fight him for the Senate seat and the contest for the party ticket can become a titanic one. Another intrigue is that PDP is believed to have offered their Senators, including Ogola, automatic tickets in a bid to maintain their strength at the Senate and consequently shield Senate President, Bukola Saraki from impeachment by the All Progressives Congress (APC) senators. Should it be otherwise and Ewhrud-

Dickson

jakpo emerges Senator, he is to hold down the seat for Dickson, he will not participate in the governorship race and someone else will emerge running mate to the PDP governorship candidate who will work for the anticipated victory. Can he resign for the governorship election? The answer is no as once he resigns, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has 90 days to organise a bye-election by which time, Dickson is still on his seat and will want to complete his second tenure and make a record as the first governor to complete two terms in Bayelsa State. So, on February 14, 2020, Dickson will leave office and possibly, Ewhrudjakpo will resign next day while INEC will have 90 days to organise the bye-election and whoever is deputy governor resigns for whatever reasons after days or weeks as the number two citizen in the state. Much also depends on the candidate that the opposition parties will field against the PDP candidate; with the issues swirling around the PDP candidature, a strong opposition candidate who has the sympathy of the people can so easily steal the show. However, if the APC which is deemed the strongest among all the opposition political parties fields one time Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Matthew Karimu, who is being seen as a rank outsider, then the PDP can carry

the day whichever candidate it fields. With a lot of ‘ifs’ in the plot and its intricacy, what most stakeholders are looking at is its workability. Firstly, Dickson and Ewhrudjakpo are childhood friends and the latter was his personal assistant while he was representing Sagbama/Ekeremor Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives and was later appointed his Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, a position he held for nearly six and half years.

Being a lawyer and a very smart person, he will immediately make his mark at the Senate, there is no doubt about that and after less than a year, he will resign to become a deputy governor, the number two citizen, a position that is at the beck and call of the chief executive officer

Ewhrudjakpo has enjoyed power being a member of the kitchen cabinet and one of the most powerful persons in the state; he will also enjoy all the trappings and wealth that other senators enjoy including the jumbo salary and allowances. Being a lawyer and a very smart person, he will immediately make his mark at the Senate, there is no doubt about that and after less than a year, he will resign to become a deputy governor, the number two citizen, a position that is at the beck and call of the chief executive officer. He can easily endear himself to the Senate leadership and the people of the senatorial district which can make it difficult for him to resign should he want to; the President of the Senate can call whoever and with the enormous power he wields request that the lawyer and outspoken Senator be allowed to remain at the red chamber. On the other hand, he can be caught up with the glory and glamour of the red chamber and refuse to resign especially with his new found responsibility and importance, and then break childhood allegiances resulting in deep enmity with his godfather. Something that is intriguing is that at the time his resignation is expected to take place, Dickson will no longer be governor and will not have the power to do anything about it except to mull; he will have absolutely nothing to do about it unless they swore to an oath, many of which are being broken these days. Then, if Ewhrudjakpo truly resigns, will the deputy governor also resign or will he rather be ready to face impeachment if he refuses to resign, assuming that Ewhrudjakpo’s compensation for resigning from the Senate is to become the deputy governor of Bayelsa State? Will the new administration be ready to deal with such crisis just days, weeks or months into its life and how long will Dickson be prepared to wait or will he wait for his childhood friend to be compensated before taking a shot at the Senate? Will the governor that will emerge in 2020 be prepared to lose his deputy in such a short time when they had no crisis of confidence, no quarrel, no issues at all and how will the deputy governor be compensated to leave his position? Or if Ewhrudjakpo refuses to resign, is there a trap somewhere that can lead to the annulment of his election, then he is denied the ticket for a rerun so that Dickson can become the party candidate and eventually win? All these are possible scenarios that can play out and importantly, for Dickson to go to the Senate in 2020 after his two terms as governor, the incumbent Senator must resign and if his compensation is the deputy governor position, the incumbent deputy governor must also resign - two key resignations. Whether it will work out as planned or not, time will tell.


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What are Ambode’s sins? ZEBULON AGOMUO

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or several months, permutations had pervaded the political space over Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s next move towards his re-election ambition. Rumours were rife that the relationship between the Lagos State governor and his godfather, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, may have hit the rocks. Recently, the online media space was awash with reports that Governor Ambode was planning to dump the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to prosecute his second term ambition on account of the alleged irreconcilable differences between him and Tinubu, who is the national leader of APC. The rumours were, however, quickly rebutted on behalf of the governor by Ahmad Bashir, President Muhammadu Buhari’s personal assistant on New Media. Ambode, at the time, was on the president’s delegation to China. He described the report as false. In a tweet, Bashir wrote: “I told Gov. @AkinwunmiAmbode of Lagos State that @LeadersNG and some other media platforms have been spreading fake news that he’s planning to leave the APC, he smiled and said, Bashir if they don’t know, tell them I am here in Beijing in President @ MBuhari’s entourage.” But when on Monday, September 10, 2018, the news broke that Ambode had eventually picked the governorship form, many observers thought that whatever differences he had with Tinubu must have been laid to rest. There were fair comments and feeling of reassurance among the lovers of the governor. By the next day, however, a new development surfaced. It emerged that Ambode’s quest to be re-elected as governor was being threatened as the chairmen of about 50 local government areas and development areas loyal to Tinubu, under the aegis of Mandate Group, met in a hotel somewhere in Ikeja and pledged their support for Jide Sanyaolu Sanwonolu, current managing director of Lagos State Property Development Corporation (LSPDC), who is alleged to be Tinubu’s preferred choice. The council chairmen are the most influential grassroots mobilisers under the direct primary system adopted by APC to pick governorship candidates. Another aspirant, Obafemi Hamzat, a former commission-

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er for works in the Babatunde Fashola administration, was also said to have picked a nomination form by proxy. At a meeting held after he picked up his nomination form, James Odunmbaku, an ally of Tinubu known as “Baba Eto” in the political circles, declared that “Sanwololu is the incoming of Lagos”. Observers have noted that the implication of changing Ambode just after a term could be telling on the state. Anthony Alli, a resident and civil engineer by training, said such an arrangement could distort the initiatives the Ambode administration has rolled out for Lagos. “If you move around Lagos you will see the massive infrastructural projects going on, particularly in the government’s quest to transform the face of transportation in Lagos State. I am not surprised that he is facing stiff opposition because there may be those whose interests may have been negatively affected by the re-engineering work of the governor. It is unusual to have a swelling opposition, as we see it, against a sitting governor. Remember that former Governor Babatunde Fashola had a similar problem, but with very slight difference. In Fashola’s case, it was only Tinubu that initially put a resistance. At that time, if

you recall, Fashola had stolen the hearts of people with his sterling performance that even those who were trying to deny him a return ticket were jittery that he could decamp to another party and win on that platform. “I am not very sure that the scenario is the same in the current situation. Although there are massive constructions going on in the state, some faulty decisions that were considered antipeople appeared to have created some problems for the governor. But common sense should tell those behind the plan to deny him second term that it would take the state many years to recover from the dislocation such action would engender,” Alli said. He further condemned the

If you move around Lagos you will see the massive infrastructural projects going on, particularly in the government’s quest to transform the face of transportation in Lagos State

alleged complaint that Ambode refused to share money or the usual political patronage to some leaders of the party, saying that Nigeria must outgrow such primordial way of life. “How do you expect a governor to be sharing money to every Tom, Dick and Harry? These are some of the things that have held back the progress of this country. Monies accruing to the state coffers are for projects that benefit everyone; it is only if you did not see any project on ground to justify the inflows that you should question where the monies are going, not when everyone can see massive works going on all over the place,” Alli further said. An analyst, who asked not to be named, expressed surprise that Ambode could suffer such abandonment, going by his political trajectory. The pundit said he least expected that Tinubu could turn his back against Ambode for any reason. “We all know how Ambode emerged governor of Lagos State in 2015. Here is a man who left the Fashola government unceremoniously; then he was sent to Harvard by Tinubu for further studies. Upon his return, Tinubu insisted he was going to succeed Fashola. He has been with Tinubu all his life and owes his achievements in politics, wholly, to the godfather. It may be difficult to say exactly what the problem

is. It goes to confirm the saying that politics is about permanent interest. But I think it would be in the overall interest of the people and the state itself for Tinubu to forgive and forget, and allow Ambode to do another term, to enable him complete the projects at hand,” the analyst said. Some sources who claimed to know the goings on at the seat of power in the Government House, Alausa , claim that the Oba of Lagos, Oba Akiolu, had reconciled Tinubu and Ambode. They had also said that the governor stepped on big toes by not “allowing the largesse to flow down to some power brokers in the state”, hence the decision not to allow him do a second term. “If you look at Asiwaju’s style in Lagos, he makes sure that his followers are taken good care of. He does not ‘chop’ alone. There are those who have been with him for so many years and have been surviving on political patronage. Many of them are not working; they are always present at every party function and they are usually being taken good care of. This has been the practice. Now, they allege that Ambode is no longer sustaining that practice even though the state’s internally generated revenue (IGR) has tremendously increased,” a close source in the state government told BusinessDay on condition of anonymity. Another observer said he believed the problem was more than just Ambode’s inability to carry stakeholders along. “I heard that it is about clash of interests between Tinubu and Ambode. There is actually no permanent friend or foe in politics but permanent interest. Even Siamese twins can kill each other over politics. It is a volatile game. We saw how Bukola Saraki, Senate president, wrestled his father to point of standstill and whittled down the old man’s power base, and he never recovered from it till he died,” he said. “But the question is, must governance shut down because of patronage? To what extent should politicians take care of their godfathers and other cronies against service to the people? Nigeria is entering the era of conscience. People are beginning to ask questions unlike in the past when they were blind followers. It is now clearly a fight between what is right and wrong,” an analyst said. “If Ambode should leave APC today for another party, that may probably be the ticket or his campaign thrust that he was denied ticket because he wanted to protect the interest of the people,” he further said.


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Osun 2018: The candidates, their Alabi as two professionals with little political knowledge of Osun and its peculiarities. This may also count against APC at the poll. APC as a party is presently at its least ebb of popularity since its formation in Osun state. The seeming discontent against President Buhari and by extension APC, poses a threat to Oyetola’s chances in the poll. While Oyetola shares in the accolades going the way of Governor Aregbesola for the huge success his administration has recorded in almost eight years in the saddle, the APC candidate shares in of the blames for the misdeeds of the administration.

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BOLADALE BAMIGBOLA, Osogbo

n September 22, 2018, the electorate in Osun State will be going to the poll to elect a successor to Governor Rauf Aregbesola, who has been in the saddle since November 27, 2010. Osun State, since its creation, has seen five governorship elections and even before election would hold, many keen political watchers would have predicted correctly where the pendulum would swing. However, the forthcoming governorship poll remains one without a clear favourite just days before the poll. It is also the governorship poll with the highest number of candidates so far. As many as 48 political parties are fielding candidates in the election. Out of the lot, five candidates are prominent and anyone of them has the chance of winning the election. The five top candidates are Iyiola Omisore of Social Democratic Party (SDP), Ademola Adeleke of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Gboyega Oyetola of All Progressives Congress (APC), Fatai Akinbade of African Democratic Congress (ADC), and Moshood Adeoti of Action Democratic Party (ADP). GBOYEGA ISIAKA OYETOLA He emerged through a controversial direct primary against the wish of many others seeking APC governorship ticket and since picking the ticket, he has been going about meeting those that were discontented about the manner the primary was held. Despite this, the dust raised by Oyetola’s emergence in the primary may eventually turn his albatross in the main election. However, that he won the battle against formidable forces that includes deputy speaker, House of Representatives, Lasun Yusuf, former Secretary to Osun State Government, Moshood Adeoti, and over 20 others that vied for APC ticket with him, speaks volumes of his ability. Oyetola, first and only political appointment till date is that of Chief of Staff to Osun state governor, which he only relinquished few weeks back. Nonetheless, during his almost eight years in office, Oyetola’s performance as revealed by past and present Commissioners, also Governor Aregbesola was exemplary. He acquitted himself so perfectly with governance and its intricacies that he was practically running

NUREDEEN ADEMOLA ADELEKE

Gboyega Isiaka Oyetola

the government, especially during Aregbesola’s second term in office. While this makes insistence by Aregbesola that Oyetola should succeed him a product of fruitful search of the most ideal successor, his deep involvement in the outgoing government also makes him the first point of attack by the critics of the administration for the failings of the administration, since the governor himself had repeatedly described him as the power-broker. His chances Oyetola’s chances rest squarely on how well APC and Aregbesola are able to market him to the electorate in the state. And this is being done by outlining the achievements of the outgoing administration in the state. At all rallies held so far, Oyetola’s message has been that of continuity and consolidation and, should this be bought by the electorate many of whom rate highly Aregbesola’s reign, it may translate to huge vote for the APC candidate. Oyetola is also seen as a perfect successor to Aregbesola by many keen followers of political events in the state going by the kind of influence he exerts in the administration and to keep the machinery of state moving at same tempo and direction, the APC candidate may be considered by many as the best man for the job. Similarly, the calmness and thoroughness of Oyetola has endeared him to many, especially core professionals, academic and the elderly ones. Should these categories of people based on this give him block of votes, this may go a long way in

winning the poll for him. The fact that Osun Central Senatorial District, where Oyetola hails from, has the largest number of voters and also has Osogbo and Olorunda local government areas, whose votes gave Aregbesola almost 40% of the votes that made him governor in 2014 is also to the advantage of the APC candidate. If he is able to get large percentage of the Senatorial District to back his ambition, he will surely have a good outing on the election day. Oyetola has financial war-chest to prosecute election and this is being backed by the national leader of APC, Bola Tinubu and the entire ruling party machinery in the country. Limitations The APC candidate emerged through a rancorous primary elec-

Christopher Iyiola Omisore

tion and appeared to have been foisted on other governorship aspirants. During the run off to the primary election, other governorship aspirants accused the national chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole and other bigwigs of the party of plot against efforts by the people of West Senatorial District to produce Aregbesola’s successor. The ghost of that exercise is still haunting not only APC as a party, but also the product of that primary. Oyetola may not have block votes from the West Senatorial as it was for Governor Aregbesola in 2014, even though his running mate, Adegboyega Alabi from Ikire town hails from the West Senatorial. Similarly, some sections of the state regards the choices of Gboyega Oyetola as APC candidate and that of his running mate, Adegboyega

He shot into the political limelight when he was elected senator, representing Osun West Senatorial in July last year, thereby replacing his brother, Isiaka Adeleke, who died in May that year. Before defecting to PDP and subsequently picking the party’s Senatorial ticket, an indigene of Ede town, Adeleke had earlier vied for the ticket of All Progressives Congress (APC), on whose platform his late brother was elected into the Senate. But Governor Aregbesola and the APC leadership in the state openly opposed his ambition to replace his brother. He was eventually forced out of APC. The older Adeleke was the first executive governor of Osun and spent 22 months in the saddle before Gen Sani Abacha-led federal government sent the governors elected during the aborted Third Republic packing. The 58-year-old federal parliamentarian, since stepping into the shoe of his late brother, has not looked back, hence when he formally joined the governorship race on the platform of PDP, the political machinery of his late brother instantly swung to action and ensured he emerged through a keenly contested governorship primary of PDP. His chances Adeleke rode into the Senate on the influence and popularity of his late brother, Isiaka Adeleke, who until his death was in contention for the APC governorship ticket. His one year in the Senate witnessed continuation of live changing initiatives for people of West Senatorial District the older Adeleke often engaged in while alive. Senator Adeleke gave out university scholarships for many admission seekers from the West Senatorial, provided transformers for many areas and sponsored many empowerment programmes. His emergence through PDP governorship primary was seen by some as a response to the agitations by the people of West Senatorial to produce Aregbesola’s successor and he is largely seen across all parties fielding candidates in the gov-


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r chances, their limitations ernorship election as West Senatorial District candidate. Also, the late former governor Adeleke even in death remains a huge factor in Osun politics and the love people have for the deceased is gradually being transferred to the younger Adeleke and based on that sentiment, many old allies of Governor Adeleke may vote for his younger brother. It is expected that the two local government areas of Ede North and South located in Senator Adeleke’s hometown, as well as Egbedore local government will give him block votes. This may signpost a victorious outing for him, if he can add few more local government areas, especially in Osun Central and East Senatorial Districts. The PDP governorship ambition is enjoying the backing of one of Nigeria’s richest men, Deji Adeleke, meaning that getting funds for the project will not be hard. The decrease in the acceptability of APC in bed to the state among the elites and civil servants may work in favour of the PDP candidate in the poll. Limitations The dust raised by the PDP governorship primary is yet to settle, as many supporters of especially of the man that came second in the election, Akin Ogunbiyi, still harbour bitterness against Adeleke for allegedly manipulating the outcome of the exercise. This may affect his chances at the poll, though efforts are on to permanently end the cold fight between the two camps by the leadership of the party. The issues surrounding Adeleke’s O Level results are giving him a bad public image and this may put many people off and thereby reducing him votes. CHRISTOPHER IYIOLA OMISORE He is the most experienced politician in the race and hails from Ile Ife. Since bursting into Osun’s political limelight in 1997, Senator Omisore was elected deputy governor. He was elected Osun state deputy governor in the year 1999 on the platform of Alliance for Democracy (AD) and was elected Senator in 2003 on the platform of PDP. In the year 2007, Omisore was re-elected into the Senate for another plan but failed to get another term in 2011. In the year 2014, Omisore ran for the office of the governor and lost to the incumbent, Governor Aregbesola. After failing to install his followers as Osun PDP state executives, Omisore dumped the party and picked the governorship ticket of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). Chances He is still enjoying cult-like following

and was instrumental to construction of some strategic roads across the state. Akinbade’s first attempt to govern the state ended in defeat in 2014, when he contested the gubernatorial election on the platform of Labour Party (LP). He also contested PDP governorship ticket but lost it to Adeleke before he defected to his present party. He is quite popular in the state and enjoys solid support of Muslim community in the state, as well as, several groups that can decide electoral victory in the state. His chances Going for Akinbade in the governorship race is his good reputation while in office. Many supporters of the former governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola are also queuing behind him. The choice of the running mate is also an advantage for Akinbade, as many people in the state, especially civil servants and retirees have the belief that Justice Olamide Folaranmi (rtd) was fighting for their cause when she wrote to the state Assembly asking the members to impeach Governor Aregbesola over his many constitutional breaches. Nuredeen Ademola Adeleke

across the state, even as his kinsmen in Ile Ife are expected to give him block votes. He has the experience and a war-tested political structure that can deliver the governorship poll, if well funded. Senator Omisore is financially stable and has all it takes to finance a governorship poll. Being the only Christian among the top five governorship candidates in the race, Christians in the state may give him block votes. Limitations The platform on which Senator Omisore is contesting is weak. SDP is new in Osun politics and if the former Deputy Governor could fail to land the governorship seat while contesting on a solid platform like PDP in the past, seeking same position on a weaker platform like SDP may make the ambition a tall dream. Many Omisore’s foot-soldiers are still in PDP and relying on the few that are left with him, and new ones may be too much of a risk ahead of a crucial poll like the one he faces on September 22. Senator Omisore hails from Osun East, same Senatorial District as Governor Aregbesola. This may mean many people from Osun West Senatorial that last occupied the seat of governor in the year 1993

vote against him. FATAI AKINADE AKINBADE He served as secretary to Osun State government for over seven years during the reign of Olagunsoye Oyinlola. He hails from Ogbaagba, a town in Iwo local government area of Osun West Senatorial District. Akinbade served as Commissioner for Works during the military era

Fatai Akinade Akinbade

Limitations Getting funds for governorship project may be tough for Akinbade, who left public office over 8 years ago. Also the platform on which he is running is new and as such, many people that will even want to vote for him may end up voting another party they are more familiar with. Like Adeleke and Omisore, Akinbade may also get bulk votes, but the voting strength of Ogbaagba, a small town near Iwo, may not amount to much.

MOSHOOD ADEOTI He was Action Congress (AC) chairman when the party won Osun State via a judgement of the Court of Appeal, Ibadan Division. Like his predecessor in office, Adeoti, an indigene of Iwo, was made secretary to Osun State Government, a position he held until he quit Aregbesola’s government and the ruling party. He was meant to be the beneficiary of ‘West Agenda’, the political movement working towards getting APC governorship ticket ceded to Osun West Senatorial District. It was a general belief that if indirect primary had been adopted to pick Osun APC governorship candidate, Adeoti would have emerged, but because direct primary was used, he opted out of the exercise. Adeoti, who while leaving APC pulled along some prominent members, especially those that worked for Aregbesola in 2007 during the disputed April 14 governorship poll, is a major contender and with the kind of crowd attending his rallies could pull the rug off the feet of others in the race. His chances Adeoti will surely have bulk of his votes coming from Osun West Senatorial. He is seen as the symbol of the struggle to get the governorship seat for the district. Iwo, Adeoti’s hometown, may also give him bulk votes, and with the calibre of former APC members that defected with him to ADP, he will surely give others in the race a good run in the poll. During his days as secretary to the state government, he had close relationship with many monarchs across the state, and if the relationships he must have forged during the period with the royal fathers are properly leveraged upon, Adeoti may pose a serious threat to APC and PDP candidates. Limitations Majority of his supporters are displeased APC members who were unhappy with the party for various reasons. Should the ruling party, during the last days to the election eventually settle the misgivings with his former members, Adeoti’s camp maybe depleted. Funding governorship project may be a tough call for Adeoti, who appears to be solely financing the project. Running on the platform of a new party may also not help the aspirations of the Iwo-born politician.


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Sunday 16 September 2018

Politics Tonye Cole and the moment of epiphany AUSTIN TAM-GEORGE

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here is tremendous hunger in Rivers State for an end to the bellicose and toxic politics that have seized the state since 1999. Media headlines about the state are frequently about political assassinations, beheadings and inconclusive elections due to widespread violence. As Nigeria’s oil and gas metropolis, Rivers State suffers unique consequences when our social and political spaces are dominated by swaggering thugs and other merchants of violence baying for blood in the streets. As a former Commissioner for Information in the State I know, I have heard business leaders silently agonise about how to conduct business in a once-peaceful state now trapped in a circle of violence and strategic dysfunction. As businesses quietly close shop in the State at an unprecedented rate, a whole generation of young people are unable for find work or learn new skills, freezing them in economic and social stasis. Our leaders are responding to crime in Rivers State by donating guns, gunboats and bayonets to the police and making solemn promises of a football academy that would turn us all into soccer stars. But where that fails, a multi-billion naira Ecumenical Centre has already been built to cast out the incubus of unemployment from our State, through frantic prayers. Our leaders have forgotten the wellknown nexus between joblessness and criminality. They lack an expansionary vision and have diminished the serious

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task of governance to simply paving a few kilometres of asphalt. They have replaced public policy with bombast and appear unprepared for the important task of building a knowledge economy to replace a fading

oil and gas era in Rivers State. This is why the news last week that Mr. Tonye Cole will be seeking the office of governor of Rivers State in 2019 should interest us.

Tonye Cole has been profiled by Forbes magazine as a business titan. He attended Harvard, and serves in the UN’s Expert Advisory Council. His efforts to confront global challenges through the World Economic Forum are well known. As the co-founder of Sahara Group, Tonye has created life-changing jobs for hundreds of young men and women. He is consulted by Presidents of countries whose economies are failing. Tonye is an inspiration and a mentor to millions of young people across the continent. Those who question the biological bona fides of such an illustrious son of Rivers State are driving politics to the edge of lunacy, and may have to reassure us of their psychiatric fitness. In the age of artificial intelligence and block chain technology in schools, we must reject the abomination that public office in the Rivers State is the preserve of knifewielding alcoholics and hectoring despots. We must encourage all other citizens with stellar credentials and commitment to uplift our people to seek any office, on any political platform, in Rivers State. We need leaders who can tap into the genius of our youth and create opportunities for them, not those who seek to mobilise our young people into a raging platoon of sycophants. Finally, those who see Tonye Cole through the primal keyhole of riverine and upland politics are the offspring of a false and rejected dichotomy. He is a son of Rivers State revealed at a moment of epiphany, in a hopeful effort to reclaim and fulfil the promise of Rivers State. •Dr Austin Tam-George is a former Commissioner for Information and Communication, Rivers State

Otedola: From boardroom to soapbox? ZEBULON AGOMUO

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hen the news broke on Tuesday that Femi Otedola, a business mogul has been offered a ticket by the leadership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to represent it as the gubernatorial candidate in Lagos State for 2019, the question on the lips of many people was “what is Otedola looking for in politics?” The question did not arise out of the belief that Otedola is not competent to govern a state, but it was out of disbelief, mingled with great expectation. Otedola, a chip-of-the-old-block, has a robust political pedigree, his father, Michael Otedola, being a former governor of Lagos State. Otedola is the chairman of Forte Oil Plc, an importer of fuel products, a philanthropist and owner of a number of other business concerns spanning from shipping, real estate to finance. There is no doubt that going by his success in the private sector, Otedola could bring his competence to bear should he become the governor of the state. This is coming at a time when many people are clamouring for the involvement in politics of players in the private sector. The thinking is that they would be in a better position to manage the economy. It is believed that the nation’s economy

had been in the doldrum for many years because wrong people have been at the helms of affairs. It is also the belief of many that those who have successfully run their businesses to profitability for many years are more likely to understand how to manage men and materials for the good of the country. Having watched from the sidelines as the economy is being messed up year after year, at all levels of government, a number of technocrats have determined to go on a rescue mission. Many of them have since declared their ambition to seek their parties’ nomination to contest for governorship. In this pack, you see the likes of Tonye Cole, Chidi Okoro, Alex Otti, Opeyemi Agbaje, Pat Utomi, Buka Kyari, Eyo Ekpo, Joseph Tegbe, Adebayo Adelabu, among others. But Otedola stands out by virtue of the size of his business and the name he has made for himself in the business world. This is why his rumoured interest in politics is eliciting a quantum of reactions. Some pundits say that except his deep pocket, the business mogul is not streetwise. “Recently, Otedola rode in a public bus in a part of Lagos and was neither accosted nor ‘mobbed’ by an army of commuters. It shows that nobody in that class knows him. He is not street-wise. Dangote cannot do such a thing (go on such ride) without being pulled here and there by sincere seek-

ers of financial assistance. It means that Otedola must have been planning to run before now. Politics is purely grassroots,” an analyst said. Some analysts have said that if indeed the Forte Oil chairman is going for the race in Lagos, the battle then would be fierce for other candidates of other parties, including the ruling APC, particularly with the discordant tune coming out from the broom party. “Otedola is one of the big sons/friends of Lagos, who has played vital roles in different areas, particularly the security of the state, by way of contributing to the Security Fund. If he has decided to go into politics, that is to tell you that he is not satisfied with the quality of governance in the state. That would also tell you that by his own calculation, he had expected the state to have developed more than it is now going by the huge resources available to government, which he also knows by virtue of his position and rich contacts,” Gbenga Shittu, a public affairs commentator, said. Shittu further said that Otedola’s entrance into the murky waters of politics may ruffle some feathers and may also put the loyalty of other “big boys” who are entrenched friends of government into jeopardy. “It is not just about Otedola; it is about other ‘big boys’ in town who indirectly control the state. I am not sure that if Otedola is really in the race those associates of his would leave him and support the ruling

party in the state. If you know how these people operate, they operate as a team; closely knit together. You know what it means if they decide to throw their weight behind Otedola,” Shittu said. According to him, “Recently, pictures of the ‘big boys’ enjoying barbecue in a yacht were all over the social media; I think it was during the Sallah holidays. They also gathered again when one of them threw a birthday bash for his mother. They have always been together, and it will be interesting to watch the epic battle ahead, at the governorship.” The billionaire businessman, Otedola was said to have been offered ticket for the gubernatorial election, by the PDP, which he has also accepted. The Lagos State chapter of the PDP has been in crisis since after its state congress where Salvador emerged the chairman. The rift between the leader of the party in the state and a member of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT), Olabode George, culminated in the dastardly murder of the Apapa chapter of the PDP, leading to the arrest and incarceration of Salvador and a few others. Upon his release, Salvador dumped the party for APC. The party has never known peace ever since. This is the status of the party, a precarious situation that ordinarily, is capable of hampering any dream of taking over Lagos by PDP. But the arrival of Otedola on the scene, may change the game.


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Politics ‘I have packed 7-point agenda to give my constituents quality representation’ Anthony Nwankwo Kalu, is a retired deputy direcotor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and an aspirant for Arochukwu State Constituency, Abia State House of Assembly on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) come 2019. In this interview with UDOKA AGWU in Umuahia, Kalu has said that he will offer quality representation with 7-point Agenda to his constituents if elected. He also called on Ndigbo to dump PDP and vote for APC for the zone to produce Nigerian president in 2023 and other issues. Excerpts:

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Why did you join and choose the APC of all the parties? y joining politics and APC in particular was out of my desire to render a selfless service, having consulted with my people and political colleagues. My aspiration was motivated by the personality of President Buhari and my political mentors like Orji Uzor Kalu, Dan Okeke, Stephen Nwankwo and others, who convinced and encouraged me. APC as a party has the interest of the masses at heart which is my aim of going into politics. Anything APC is doing is geared towards touching people’s lives. This is unlike PDP that ruled for many years in Abia without achieving anything. Abia has lagged behind among the comity of states. Workers and pensioners have not been paid for months and that has brought hardship. Here in Arochukwu, no good road and security. Very often, our people are being attacked by our boundary neighbours. In the light of the above, it is my wish to attract government to this local government with a view to solving these problems. I am capable because I have the experience and I will bring it to bear if given the opportunity to represent my people in the state House of Assembly. APC is in disarray as a result of leadership tussle in Abia. How confident are you that the party will win the election in Abia? I disagree with you that APC in Abia is in disarray. APC in the state is on one page. How can you say this when all the political bigwigs in Abia have joined APC? The party is like a family and disagreement is a family problem that can be solved and the National Headquarters would soon look into it. Rigging and all manner of electoral fraud have become part of our story in Nigeria. Do you see any thing different in 2019? Rigging is the bad legacy PDP introduced in the Nigerian politics. The game has changed because APC is in power at the centre. The government of President Buhari has said it nationally and internationally that there will be no rigging in 2019. PDP did it because they were in power. Our votes must count in 2019. The era

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of rigging in Abia has gone. Buhari has promised free and fair election and that is where we stand. In 2015, APGA won Arochukwu LGA. How prepared are you to dislodge the incumbent APGA member in the House? APGA won in 2015 actually but the man in the House is not performing. He won as a result of protest votes against PDP in our local government. He had never spoken on the problems facing his constituency. He doesn’t know the need of his people. For now, we are on ground and we feel their problems. The people of Arochukwu are now wiser and cannot vote for anybody that cannot represent them well. APC will be coming to this election with credibility. We will win and we will solve the problems of our people. I want to assure you that the incumbent Assembly member is running his last race and no room for him in 2019. I am confident that APC will floor APGA and PDP in the polls. The taste of the pudding, they say, is in the esting. May we know some of the

thi gs you have done for your people that can convince them to vote for you? If you look at my past, I have served my people in various capacities. In my village for example, with my little resources I electrified the area, changed broken poles and installed street light. My community is the only community in Ututu that you can see light in the night. I served as the Chairman of my Village Development Union Abuja for two tenures and my achievements are there; when I was the Northern Region of Ututu Development Union, I made a mark to ensure that there was peace and unity. During Jonathan’s Administration, I worked with Graduate Intensive Scheme under SURE-P, I brought that scheme down to Ututu and many people from my area got job before SURE-P was scrapped. My name is synonymous with development. I believe in credibility. Before now, I have listed my 7-point agenda that will drive my legislative work. First, on the Agenda is Security. My LGA has boundary with three states and

very often, border clashes arise. I will ensure that the APC government fixes the roads there and security agents, especially the Navy posted to the border area. This will permanently settle the issue of boundary clashes. Empowerment is not buying of Keke. The roads will be done by the executives and that will stimulate commercial activities where people will get small loan and put it in business. Arochukwu is an agrarian community and if I go in, I will advocate for the government to come and open this place to empower the people economically. In Arochukwu, we have the popular Eke Ekpe. I will cause the Abia State government to come and package the festival and make it an international tourist attraction. Also, having worked in a Foreign Affairs Ministry and travelled abroad, I will leverage on that to attract businesses to my people. It is unfortunate that Nigerians travel to Arochukwu through Akwa Ibom State due to bad raod. It is shameful that many years of PDP rule in Abia, no road to Arochukwu. I want to assure you that APC government will do it if voted for in 2019. More importantly, I must make sure that there will be constant interaction between me and my constituents. By so doing, you will understand the problems and feelings of your people. In the past, nobody has known the budget of Abia. I will change the practice by publishing monthly for people to know how we are faring. Orji Uzor Kalu recently flagged off the construction of 5km NDDC Road from St. Paul’s Junction to Ubila Ututu. What is your take on this? APC like I said is a purposeful party. Since PDP rule in Abia, this road had remained untouched. Through Orji Uzor Kalu, President Buhari has directed NDDC to do this 5km road. This is the beginning of what APC will do in Abia and Arochukwu in particular. I want to thank our leader and former governor of Abia State Orji Uzor Kalu and his friend President Buhari for the road. I also call on Nigerians to vote for APC that will return Buhari in 2019. President Buhari has promised the South East that in 2023, Ndigbo will become President of Nigeria and so we should shun the antics of PDP and embrace APC.

How Nigeria can tackle extreme poverty... Continued from page 19 the people sufficient training in very specific sectors and make them use this particular experience that they gain in a short period for them to become productive and become useful to the industries and revenue generating organisations. So it is inclusive development where the

government policies were largely focused towards the most deserving and the common man in the streets and it is yielded us results. I must say a number of employment generation skills have been initiated in the rural as well as the urban centers. But it is not just creating employment but making it sustainable. There is also coordination between the state governments on regular basis and by financial

inclusion, creating enabling environment for farmers. In fact our the Prime Minister has come up with plans to double the farmers income by 2022, which means that is another major programme that has been launched . Again related to the health, we are launching the world’s largest health Insurance scheme, which means that every individual in the country will be provided with health

insurance scheme which is about 8,000 US Dollar worth of medical facilities that will be available to individuals. So it is all -encompassing both in employment, health and welfare being looked out in a comprehensive manner, which is helping us to come out of the poverty and we intend to make it sustainable which is most important. And that needs to be protected and preserved.


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Sunday 16 September 2018

Politics Our people are tired of recycled leadership - Satumari

Kudla Milnda Satumari (popularly known as Haske) is the Founder/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Aerokeys Nigeria Limited and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In this interview with OWEDE AGBAJILEKE, the senatorial aspirant for Borno South Senatorial District speaks on why he is the best man for the job.... Excerpts:

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What informed your decision to contest for the position? olitics is about people. Even democracy itself is simply defined as ‘government of the people, by the people and for the people’. They say all politics is local. I am fully at home with the local issues and the needs and interests of my constituency. And I have demonstrated capacity to be able to represent them with all inclusiveness, which is what has been lacking. And in local politics, they say when they call and invite you to do, is much better than when you tell people I want to do. In my own case, I was called upon by people who have tasted a lot of other people and have found that they would rather look at fresh minds that would bring new impetus into their representation; individuals that are competent, that have capacity to deliver and also people that are compassionate. Most of the things that our people yearn for from our legislators, they don’t ask for much; just bring their issues to centre stage and through earmarks and little developmental projects that you could execute in terms of Constituency Projects and let them see tangible manifestation on ground. So when they came to me, and they say if your wife begins to dance from morning till evening and she is not changing the dance steps, it will get to a point that you are tired. So that is how they referred to the kind of representation that they have been having. They have been having same people recycled, same style of governance and representation which has not been impactful. There is no sustainable development and the impact of this kind of representation is not felt. And in my capacity as an individual, there are some aspirations that my community and the entire senatorial district are yearning for to the extent that I could handle. I was able to address some of those issues like looking to their challenges, doing some empowerment programmes, health programmes, inclusion in political process. So they feel with my background, experience and goodwill, I will be able to garner the kind of support to lobby and pursue legislation that will bring about development in the area. They call me the promise keeper because most of the things that they have asked for, I have done for them. The difference between me and some other candidates is that they are promising to do when they get there. I am already doing before I get there. Take for instance, when I saw that the learning environment under which some children in a particular locality were studying, it pained me that with all the opportunities that government had through various interventions, children in the Twenty-First Century are still sitting under the tree. I built them a primary school and furnished it. Three months after I handed over that school, they told me the rate of enrolment increased by 40 percent. And children were no longer in a hurry to go back home because they felt much more comfortable there and they played after school. Unfortunately, not long after, the issue of insurgency came and disrupted the educational process but the building is still standing. The structure, compared to any other that government had built, stands out. Women have approached me and I told them to form themselves into cooperative

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societies and I will provide them with the little seed capital for them to pursue their businesses. That I have done. I have asked other youths and other people in the community to also come up with projects that they need me to intervene. I have sought for and obtained grants from different organisations including government for them to pursue their projects. Sometime last year when I went home, I met the community having a meeting and I asked them what were they doing? They said they were meeting to share the dividend of a project that I supported them that had been generating interest and what they normally do every quarter was to take their profit and share amongst them. There are some roads that are affected by gully erosion, I have intervened in providing the little resources I can to make them motorable. I don’t have records off-hand of scholarships that I have granted. I have a foundation that vets people who come to ask for grants. Are these gestures restricted to Southern Borno? It is not only in my senatorial district, not only in Borno State. As a matter of fact, the last three beneficiaries of my foundation are from Kaduna State. Everywhere there are issues unless it is not brought to my attention or I don’t have capacity to address them. This kind of intervention is not localised to my own local government area. Majority of other interventions I have done cuts across the entire state and beyond. What we do is just part of us, not because of politics. And that is why people saw that people like this, if they get into politics, they may provide us selfless service. That is the motivation for going there. What gives you the conviction that you will pick the ticket on the platform of PDP? I will rather say what is my conviction for winning the senatorial election. Because as far as picking the ticket is concerned, going by what is on ground, I think we are strong

on ground. And I am the candidate of choice. And it is going to boil down to me and whoever opposition is presenting. In politics, you cannot say everything is done until it is done but we are also doing everything humanly possible to consolidate our acceptance and lead within the party. So as far as that is concerned, I am hopeful that the ticket for the candidature for PDP is already in sight. Why the choice of PDP? Well, PDP is my party from when I joined active politics. And again, if you look around, you will see that PDP is the only national party that we have in this country. I want a situation where I sit on the table and the first thing I talk about is my country Nigeria, not my ethnicity, religion and gender. PDP is the meeting point where these sentiments are addressed. Even the provision to assist women to get involved in politics - the Affirmative Action - PDP tried its best. Our forms for women, it is just the Expression of Interest. We are giving the forms free. We are including handicapped people to get

It is not only in my senatorial district, not only in Borno State. As a matter of fact, the last three beneficiaries of my foundation are from Kaduna State

involved in politics and form part of our delegates. There is nobody that can say he has the ownership of PDP. And the personalities involved understand that we can all work together to evolve to the nation we are hoping to achieve. So, the party that presents that kind of sentiments and the possibility to have that convergence, if you truthfully analyse, you will find out that it is PDP. There is no polling unit across this country that you don’t have our people on ground. You cannot say for the ruling party. Maybe now they are building because they are coming up. So, if you look at what we have on ground, I think to some extent, you will agree with me that if you are truly interested in building the nation, PDP is the party. Today, you cannot look at PDP and say these are the owners. But if you look at other parties, you could say these are the owners of this party. Whatever decision they take is final. There are over ten presidential aspirants in PDP. Look at the way they are going around as they are campaigning, talking to one another. You have not heard anywhere where they say the candidate of this one is fighting that and fighting this. They understand that there is the need if truly our interest is the country, PDP is the party. We know we have our shortcomings. We have understood it and we are working on it and by the grace of God, we will come out of it strong. This is the best way to deepen democracy and I don’t think there is any alternative party for me to go to. Are you sure PDP has learnt its lessons considering the impunity that pervaded the party how it lost the 2015 General Elections? Learning process in politics is continuous. Whatever challenge you find today may not be the same challenge that caused this particular mistake. But with respect to impunity, PDP has learnt her lessons. And I can tell you that the presidential primaries when it will hold, whatever people are thinking about will not happen because it will be one of the most transparent primaries; that is if they have not reached a consensus. Because we have come to this understanding that impunity will destroy the fabric of all that we have built for the past twenty years. So, everybody has that understanding. And that is why they are eager to sign and agree among themselves. But like I said, other dynamics can come out in politics which will also be another lesson if and when it happens. But PDP has learnt and you can see how we are able to even attract some people back in our fold. Some of these people, politically-wise, they are very intelligent people, very smart and you can hardly teach them a thing or two. They will not come back to where they think there was impunity if they had not seen green light that there are really some changes on ground. Before now, you will not expect what transpired during the Convention. But after the Convention, people came together, went round, spoke to one another and before you know it we are attracting people coming back. Yes, some other people are going. Politics is very fluid and dynamic. So, PDP has learnt its lessons. You are contesting against Senator Ali Ndume who has been in the National Assembly since 1999. What makes you


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Politics think people will vote for you if you finally emerge PDP’s candidate....? (Cuts in) ….When I finally emerge the candidate. There is something about human beings. They reach a point where you also want to say let me try something new. Some people have been there for a very long time. The difference between me and those who are already there is the fact that I will want to prove myself. I am coming with fresh ideas, I am a new face, I am also prepared because I have, by the special grace of God, a very good exposure both nationally and internationally. I know what the job and the responsibility of this position entails and I have prepared myself for that. I interact with a lot of people. Being effective and impactful at the National Assembly is about your relationship with your colleague; you are able to network, lobby people, come together, reach consensus on issues. Secondly, some people that have been there for very long have this sense of entitlement. So instead of working for the people, they are working to get position at the National Assembly. So, their politics will begin to shift from representing their people effectively and efficiently to be a leader of that committee or to be the Senate Leader. Before you know it, their politics will begin to gravitate to another dimension. So, the issues and affairs of the people that they are representing is neglected. And this is common with people that have stayed there for too long. They make enemies. During elections, other people aspiring to contest with them in that particular party and because of the contribution that they have made to the party, they suppress those people and give them automatic ticket. Those peoples aspirations are being dampened. They are angry. They are going to definitely do something to show and ventilate their anger. So, even if they are not going to support the opponent, they may not come out to work forcefully to make sure that that person returns. And here at our own end, similar issues are on ground. There are people that are very qualified that are aggrieved that they are not even giving them the opportunity to pursue their aspiration by even going to do primaries with some of the people that are there because they have made an arrangement to give them automatic ticket. That kind of situation sends bad blood. So, I don’t have anybody to contend with in my party that I am going to outstage at the National Assembly. So, as I emerge as the candidate my party will rally all that support. And as a young person, I have the energy, I have tremendous goodwill across the country, not only in my state. I will leverage on that to be able to give my people what they desire. As a result of that my focus will be what will I do so that my people will see that I’m working for them? And I will be under pressure to perform. By the special grace of God, I’m not going there for material gains. I have my businesses that are providing me with what I can take care of my family with. When there are earmarks for Constituency Projects, I will look for projects that will impact these people. I will not go like a salesman, carry my products and go and sell to you; I will go as a marketer. There are nine local governments in my constituency. So, I will check each and everyone of these local governments. What is their needs? But the overall objective is to look at how we can work together to bring about security and peace of that area; otherwise every other thing we are pursuing will not work. And one of those things is by educating people and providing them with means of livelihood so that when they are gainfully engaged,

they will not have themselves being lured into criminality and other vices that have been bringing us backward. I am going to serve the people and I am going with the understanding of the peoples problem. That is why I have told people that I will be big on human capacity development all round so that from day one I enter till I leave, any project that we put in place will be better maintained than the first day. So, I have plan. I have been working on this plan. I have been implementing this plan. It has been yielding results. The difference will be that I now have a larger capacity to be able to pursue this dream using the influence of the office and government resources to be able to do that. And that by so doing, people are gaining the dividends of democracy. I am not seeking to be the senator of Southern Borno. I am seeking to be the senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria representing Southern Borno. So my perspective is national. How do I bring our issues to the national stage? And how can people of Southern Borno contribute to national discourse to make sure that we have a united country, progressive country and the voices of those people in Sambisa and all over the place is heard and their issues are brought to the centre? That is what my candidature is all about. Your state has been ravaged by insurgency. With your level of exposure, how do you think this can be nipped in the bud? First and foremost, the issue of insurgency should not be seen as a Borno or North East problem. It should be seen as a national security issue. And it should also be projected as an international issue and should be approached with all that level of seriousness. One of the things that I have been doing and I will continue to do is to remove completely the issue of insurgency from politics. Because as much as everything that has to do with the life our people, regardless of your political party, we should look at the safety and security of these people first and foremost. So, if everybody that is involved in governance see this issue of insecurity as a common issue, then it is a starting point for us to all work together to make sure that we sustain peace. Of what use will it be for me to be a senator when there will be no people for me to represent because of insecurity? Secondly, we will support all issues that

will promote peace and unity amongst our people; starting with supporting the local security outfits that are working hand-inhand with the Armed Forces. Because we discovered that when the vigilantes started working together with the Armed Forces, that was when we started seeing tangible results in terms of degrading the capacity of these people. Because these vigilantes, they live in the community, they know the nooks and crannies. So, we should encourage synergy amongst them so that there won’t be suspicion amongst the security forces. And they have been doing that. So we will promote that kind of synergy. We will encourage the community also to be each others’ keeper to give information. We will invest in security awareness so that people will see the whole process that if we do it together, we will be able to curtail it. In my community, when it became very serious, the moment a stranger comes to that town, in thirty minutes the village head knows. And that is how we were able to curtail influx of people either Boko Haram running and coming in or people running away from Boko Haram. And most importantly, when people are idle, they engage in criminality. If people are sitting down doing nothing and somebody comes and says ‘Come follow me. Let’s go and do this and that, I will give you this’. What do we do? Get the youths and all the people that can gainfully be employed to do one thing or the other, provide such opportunities for them. So, if everybody is busy doing a productive engagement at the end of the day, you will discover that people don’t want to die because they have something. But if you don’t have anything you don’t even fear death. Another thing is to also make sure that we perform our oversight functions effectively. For instance, there is the North East Development Commission. Wherever they need assistance in terms of following up on appropriations so that they are able to execute projects that will touch the lives of people. I think the approach will be collective. There is no singular way to approach it but we will be doing it multi-dimensionally. You seem to place emphasis on the welfare of the people, thereby de-emphasising core legislative functions of lawmaking, representation and oversight. How would

you react to this? I have told you in the beginning that I am conscious and aware of the responsibilities of a legislator. In the context of those responsibilities, I took one aspect where earmarks are made. We all recognise how it is done in our country where monies are set aside for Constituency Projects. And this is just one single element that I have taken to say that in these projects that we influenced as National Assembly members, we will approach this issue by making sure that those necessary interventions that our people need are those that are impactful. And the reason I picked one and dwelt on it is because so much resources have been expended. We are supposed to complement what the Executive at the state and federal levels are doing. So much resources have been released for such interventions and they are not done. And that is why I zeroed on this aspect that we would do. And of course I told you that we will pursue and support all legislations that impact on the lives of our people positively. And we will bring their issues to national stage. And we will perform oversight functions regarding all developmental projects that the Executive brings. So I will exercise my oversight functions to make sure that those things are executed. So, I am mindful of my position as a lawmaker but while you are making those laws, we know also that we interface with the Executive. President Buhari is not be a fan of Constituency Projects. He has not hidden this and lawmakers have complained of poor execution. What is your reaction to that? People confuse constituency projects to sound as if it is a different and parallel project from what government is doing. Even in America, earmarks are made for constituencies. You lobby for development in your area. What the National Assembly is doing that we need to educate people on is the fact that they are not saying ‘give us the money. Let us go and do it by ourselves’. They are saying that ‘you said you are going to do roads in our area, these are the roads that require urgent attention in my area. And if you are able to do that, it will impact the lives of our people more’. Anyway in Nigeria, some of these things have been abused. And that is why people see it as legislators are taking money, appropriating Constituency Projects to themselves. Of course, there are some practices that can be improved upon. But I think what the legislators are doing, they are actually complementing the work of the Executive. When members of the National Assembly speak, they are speaking for the rest of one hundred and eighty million Nigerians. For instance, a bridge in my area was broken recently. And two communities could not have a link. And you now tell me that you are planning a solar plant in my community while as we speak, it is that bridge that we want you to connect for us. You have to bring the interest of your constituency to the table and pursue it. Like I said, it is because democracy is not practised the way we know it should be. That is why we are having these frictions. Otherwise, the Legislature, Executive and the Judiciary are supposed to work together for the good of the people. And that is one area also that I will really need to educate our people to create the awareness that they should not expect from their legislators what they should be getting from the Executive arm. Because we can’t say ‘I will build road for you’. We can only facilitate and lobby for those things to come.


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My focus is Tax Bill that will encourage business expansion and job creation - Ashafa Gbenga Ashafa is a ranking senator, representing Lagos East Senatorial District. He is currently doing his second term and he is the chairman, Senate Committee on Land and Transport. The senator, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who is aspiring to continue on his beat at the National Assembly beyond 2019, in this interview with ZEBULON AGOMUO spoke on a number of issues, including the impact of his representation, not just on his constituency, but on Nigerians in general. He expressed the optimism that he would not only emerge as the candidate of his party at the primary, but clinch victory at the real election in 2019. Excerpts: The Senate has come under immense criticism of late, with many arguing that the senate hardly serves any purpose. What are your thoughts about this schism and what value, if any, are you creating in the senate? do understand how the Nigerian people feel towards the senate but it is nothing strange. If you look at the ratings of the American senate, it would interest you to know that it is even way lower than that of President Trump with all of his controversies. The fact that Legislators are not often in front of the camera cutting tapes or commissioning roads, makes it a little bit more difficult to endear themselves to the people like the executive does. More so, there is not enough understanding of what the role of legislators are and so also of constitutes wonder what it is that is in for them from the people representing them in the senate. You cannot underestimate the role of the senate, particularly in a democratic exercise like ours. The senate is there to check the excesses, if need be, of the executive and to ensure that every Nigerian benefits from the revenue accrued to the country. The senate also make the laws that the executive acts upon. Without legal backing, there will be very little that the executive can achieve. No nation can make considerable progress without the collaboration of the executive and the legislature.

due to private funds, made possible by the legislative support that we continue to provide in the senate.

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To what extent has the work you have done in the senate impacted on the security and welfare of the average Nigerian? I have done quite a bit in my little time at the senate that has had considerable impact. First is the Nigerian Postal Bill 2017 which sought to re-engineer the Nigerian postal service for better efficiency and service delivery. This will inadvertently stimulate the creation of jobs across the country and will provide support for businesses in terms of logistics. Furthermore, I have led the Nigeria Railways Bill which at its very core seeks to attract foreign direct investment by creating a level playing field for private sector participation. The

Ashafa

core objective is to fast track the completion of our railways across the country so that people can move themselves and their goods around the country at cheaper rates. This would encourage huge economic activity by encouraging trade, tourism and industrialization. I was also a key player in getting the approval of the 200 million dollar loan request of the Lagos state government at the world back largely to fund infrastructural development across the metropolis. It is very easy to see that the bills I champion and support in the senate have huge economic implication and are capable of creating jobs and reviving the economy. As chairman, Senate Committee on Land Transport, what would you regard as your major achievement in the last three years? I will consider the work we did with the railway bill and the Nigerian transport commission as the most important for me. This is

because we were able to ensure that we created a level playing field for private sector participation in the transportation sector. We also dealt with and eliminate various anti-competition hurdles that discourage several individuals in the private sector from investing their resources in the economy. The idea that the Kano to Lagos, and the Lagos to Calabar railway will be completed in record time largely

Like I explained earlier on, the bills I have championed in the senate are those that encourage private sector participation, foreign direct investment and cheap capital

The people of Lagos state have been quite vocal about getting special attention from the federal government, how have you been championing this cause and what progress has been made so far? If you consider the amount of tankers that come into Lagos every day, some from far away Maiduguri, putting pressure on our fragile infrastructure, you will agree with me that based on this alone, Lagos deserves special support from the government. Lagos is the economic gateway of the country and so millions of people move in and out of Lagos regularly making it imperative that we continue to build on our infrastructure. Having said that, Lagos generates and remits to the federal government the highest corporate taxes in the country. This tax receipt is then shared across the entire country without due consideration for the state that generate a majority of the funds. Having said that, we cannot force our will on the Nigerian people and so we in the senate must engage our colleagues in the national assembly, debate the issues intelligently, build strong consensus and eventually get a fair deal for the people of Lagos. I can tell you that this is already happening. Senator Remi Tinubu and I are working extremely hard to make this happen and I believe that before the completion of the 9th senate, we would have made tremendous progress on this. Unemployment is one of, if not the biggest challenge the country faces today. What are you doing in the Senate to see that this ugly trend is reversed? Like I explained earlier on, the bills I have championed in the senate are those that encourage private sector participation, foreign direct investment and cheap capital, all of which ultimately lead to the creation of meaningful employment for our teeming youths. My aides and I are also researching several legislation that are capable of opening up the economy and

attract huge foreign capital. We are also considering an intellectual property bill that will protect the creativity of our youths and will ensure they get the requisite value for their innovation or propriety. I am also considering re-introducing the Income Tax Holiday bill I proposed in the past which sought to give tax breaks to organizations that support sports. If we are able to get better funding in our sports generally, then we can also engage young people productively in that regard. If there is one issue dear to your heart, which you would want solved by way of legislation what would that issue be? I’m particularly concerned about the business community and the harsh conditions in which they operate. As such I am working tirelessly on a bill that will give tax concessions to encourage businesses to expand and hire more people. I believe that a private sector led economy which a strong regulatory framework will deliver to the Nigerian people an economy they will be proud of. Therefore a tax bill or manufacturing bill that is aimed at encouraging business expansion and job creation will enjoy priority attention from me in the senate going forward. You will be contesting a tough primary election with Honorable Bayo Osinowo who has been in the Lagos state house of assembly for 15 years, how are you bracing up for this challenge? I am glad that we will be running a direct primary election where the people will get a chance to pick their preferred candidate based on a track record of performance, competence and results. My record speaks for itself. I have been able to complete 96 projects, sponsored 26 bills and 12 motions in my time at the senate and I doubt if Honorable Bayo who has spent almost double the time I have spent, can boast of any serious achievement in his time at the Lagos state house of assembly. I am confident the people of Lagos East who understand the requirements of the office of the senate and recognize my capacity, will not hesitate to return me to that seat.


Sunday 16 September 2018

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SundayBusiness Access Bank, Glow Initiative collaborate to drive awareness on ozone layer preservation Josephine Okojie

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o commemorate the United Nations International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, Access Bank Plc and Glow Initiative for Economic Empowerment (GLEE) have collaborated to planned series of educative programs for the preservation of the ozone layer that will run from the 16th to 21st September, 2018. The programs which includes a week social media ozone literacy campaign, educative program for 500 students, door to door campaign as well as market outreach and education of over 1,000 market women will help boost individual and group awareness about the ozone layer, its depletion as well as the role of everyone in its preservation. According Glory Oguegbu, founder of GLEE and Climate Smart Nigeria, the ozone layer depletion has

led to an increase in diseases such as skin cancer and death of plants and animals. “Most people have heard about the ozone layer but not so many know what it really means. The ozone layer is a layer in the earth’s stratosphere at an altitude of about 10 km (6.2 miles) containing a high concentra-

Abuja MSMEs laud FG’s disbursement of collateral-free loan KELECHI EWUZIE

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icro Small and Medium Enterprises operators in Abuja have commended the Federal Government for the decision to disburse a collateralfree loan of the N10,000 to them. The disbursement is part of the current administration’s drive to empower over 2 million petty traders and artisans across the country through a loan scheme tagged “TraderMoni”. The scheme being implemented by the Bank of Industry allows each beneficiary to get a collateral-free loan of N10,000 payable within six months. Once a beneficiary pays back, they progressively qualify for higher sums; N15,000, N20,000, N50,000 and N100,000. The loan is aimed at not just expanding their businesses but changing their socio-economic class. The collateral-free loan is part of the social intervention programmes under the present administration. Speaking on the sidelines of the disbursement of the fund to them, some of the traders in Nyanya market in Abuja commended the Federal Government for coming up with the timely initiative. Eunice Idris, one of the beneficiaries of the scheme,

said that the fund would help grow her salon business. “I applied for the scheme because I believe in the Federal Government’s policy in growing small business. Many of my friends told me when I was applying that the money would not be disbursed to those who don’t have godfathers but something kept telling me that I will be given the loan. To my surprise, I got a text message this money that I should come and collect the money. I’m grateful to the government for this because it will help me buy weave-on to stock my salon business,” said Idris. Agnes Danlami, another petty trader who sells vegetables and tomatoes at the market, said that the fund would enable the government to empower small businesses that could not access finance from conventional banks. This, she noted, was vital as many of them had in the past been complaining about lack of access to finance. “This is the kind of fund that we have been clamouring for over the years to grow our businesses. The rate of turnover is not high and as such, we can’t rely on banks to give us loans because of the high interest rate. But with a collateral free loan such as this, we can borrow money for our businesses and still pay back without problems.

tion of ozone, which absorbs most of the ultraviolet radiation (UV rays) reaching the earth from the sun. This layer absorbs 97 to 99 percent of the Sun’s medium-frequency ultraviolet light which otherwise would potentially damage exposed life forms near the surface,” Oguegbu said in a statement made available

to BusinessDay. “From the 1970s, the depletion of the ozone layer started to capture the attention of the scientists, environmentalists, and the world community at large. There had been a lot of research on this topic over these years to find out all the possible causes that lead to this problem and the effects of ozone depletion. “The main things that lead to destruction of the ozone gas in the ozone layer are low temperatures, increase in the level of chlorine and bromine gases in the upper stratosphere. But the one and the most important reason for ozone layer depletion is the production and emission of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs),” she added. She stated that the ozone layer is a very important element of the environmental wellbeing and given its importance, the United Nations general assembly has set aside a day as the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer.

20 SMEs in Anambra get N6m grant in Life Progress Booster initiative

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ife Continental Lager Beer has received accolades for its Small and Medium Enterprises development initiative tagged Life Progress Booster, a scheme designed to help small and medium businesses grow by providing them with non-refundable grants. A total of 20 SMEs and artisans got a sum of N300,000 each to boost their businesses after successfully defending their business ideas at Ekwulobia, Anambra State. The beneficiaries include Nkeoma Joseph, who runs a business centre in the state; Juliana Okafor, a beer parlour operator in Onitsha, and 18 others who expressed their delight and appreciation to Life Beer for the grant. Speaking on the initiative during the roadshow in Onitsha last week, Alvis N. Umeh, South East zonal chairman, New Auto Spare Parts Association (NASPA), Nnewi, said Life Continental Lager Beer has taken social and entrepreneurial development to another level with this

scheme, which has helped many businesses grow since its inception four years ago. “Life Progress Booster has helped many upcoming and small businesses in this state and I am very happy with the results recorded so far. If other companies can take up similar initiatives targeted at small businesses, it will elevate the status of our members and bring more into the fold,” Umeh said. He also urged the brand to keep up with the initiative, as it is a medium to eradicate poverty in the country. Ferdinand Ozoani, a senior lecturer at Enugu State University, Enugu, described the initiative as a “complete noble step which other brands should emulate”. Ozoani noted that in the face of the present economic challenges Nigerians are going through, it is noble that a brand like Life Continental Beer is providing an enabling climate for small and micro businesses to grow, which is a way of investing in the economy of the country.

Peace returns to Bayelsa Ohanaeze Ndigbo following resolution on election Samuel Ese, Yenagoa

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eace has returned to the Bayelsa State Ch a p t e r o f t h e apex Igbo group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo following a resolution reached in Enugu on Tuesday, September 11 on election to remove factions that have been crippling the activities of the body. The two factions in the state attended the meeting including Mark Nlem, acting chairman and leader of one of the factions and both factions accepted the resolution that the election should hold as soon as possible. Leader of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Wing, Chinedu Arthur-Ugwa who made the disclosure to BD Sunday in Yenagoa on Friday expressed appreciation to the national leader, John Nnia Nwodo and Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) Sector Commander, Ikechukwu Igwe and other stakeholders for their efforts. Arthur-Ugwa who is also the South-South Coordinator of Ohanaeze Youth Wing said the national leadership also set up an electoral committee made up of representatives from all the SouthEast states with Charles Odunukwe as chairman and

Eric Abel as secretary. He also disclosed that the annual Igbo Day celebration which usually held every September 29 has been shifted to October 29 due to the political activities taking place across the country in order to ensure peace and harmony. The youth leader particularly expressed joy that the election into the Bayelsa State Chapter executive would have been conducted paving way for a unified event which he has been fighting for. Speaking on the challenges confronting the South-East ahead the 2019 general elections, the youth leader said what the Igbo people are asking for is restructuring of the country to meet the yearnings and aspirations of all Nigerians. He stressed the need for state police and management of resources by states which would pay tax to the central government, but pointed out that the youth are looking up to the elders for direction. Ac c o r d i n g t o h i m , Ohanaeze Ndigbo is working with other groups across the country to actualise restructuring while maintaining that the Igbos are not seeking secession as many people are led to believe.

Gemona bags international property award

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agos-based interior design company, Gemona West Interior Designs, has won the prestigious African Property Awards for the Office Interior Category, Africa. It won the prize through its E-Tranzact office project and will be honoured at the African Property Awards, organized in association with Salice, at The Waldorf Astoria Palm Jumeirah Hotel on October 11, 2018. The 25-year-old award event celebrates the highest levels of achievement by companies operating in all sectors of the property and real estate industry. “We received an email to participate in the International Property Awards which is the most prestigious and widely recognised programme throughout the region. As newbies in the industry we were a little hesitant, but decided to go for it just for the experience. Lo and behold we received the best news ever that not only did we qualify but we are the winners for the Office

Interior Category Africa,” the firm said. The African Property Awards is judged by an independent panel of 80 industry experts. Judging focuses on design, quality, service, innovation, originality, and commitment to sustainability. The judging panel is chaired by Lord Caithness, Lord Best, The Earl of Liverpool, and Lord Thurso, members of the House of Lords in the UK Parliament. The awards are split into regions covering Africa, Asia Pacific, Arabia, Canada, Caribbean, Central & South America, Europe, UK and USA. Participating companies are required to send in their entries at their relevant national level and are judged by a highly experienced team of professionals who cover the whole range of property disciplines. The highest-scoring winners from each region are automatically entered into the overall International Awards which will hold at the Savoy Hotel, London, on December 3, 2018.


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SundayBusiness Why mortgage and housing industry growth potential is seen in informal sector

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he slow growth and development of the Nigerian economy are reflected more in the country’s mortgage and housing industry than any other sector of the economy. This is however understandable given that housing and mortgage are not only inter-related, but also interdependent. In an economy where the mortgage system is floundering as it is in Nigeria, the housing sector can hardly grow because the demand side of the housing market is weak as homeownership depends largely on individual or household savings. And endemic poverty in Nigeria makes savings very difficult. For that reason and more, the informal sector of the Nigerian economy is, increasingly, becoming the toast of the housing and mortgage industry which is inclined to leverage that sector for growth. The pension fund is also in this league, but still in connection to both mortgage and housing. There is an on-going debate on the inclusion of the informal sector with its estimated N81.048 trillion income to a new housing fund that could be created and added to the existing Pension Commission’s (PenCom) multi-fund structure to narrow down significantly the housing affordability gap. But this has to happen alongside lowering of mortgage interest rate to single digit of, say,8- 9 percent, down from the current 22 - 25 percent commercial rate which op-

Spiritonomics

Debo Atiba

www.spiritonomics.org

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hatever makes a grown man cry is worth looking into. Like the saying goes “when a woman cries it is understandable, but when a man does then it’s a sign of chaos in the city’’. It is abnormal. That is the story in the book of Genesis. Esau was the typical hunk of a man, strong, solid 6-packs and any lady’s man and very hairy. The word of God says that Isaac thought he could die anytime soon and decided to give his blessing to his first born Esau. However Jacob the younger one was successfully able to outwit Esau and arrived before him and took the blessing. You can read the details in Genesis 27.These were the words that proceeded out of Isaac’s mouth in blessing Jacob. “Ah, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field

erators charge on mortgage loans. This argument rides on the assumption that the inclusion of the informal sector operators who constitute about 67.54 million of Nigeria’s 81.15 million workforce in the contributory pension scheme will lead to increased housing affordability. In the same vein, as economic activities continue to shrink leading to loss of jobs, salary cuts and significant drop in personal income, most of the primary mortgage banks (PMBs), which are struggling with hash operating environment and rising non-performing loans (NPL), are looking to the informal sector to sustain their business and also stimulate growth in that sector. Low capital base coupled with the prevailing economic conditions have so impacted the operations of these banks that a good number of them are unable to meet their contractual and statutory obligations to their clients and regulators respectively. The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Commission (NDIC), one of the regulators of the sector, was quoted as saying that the inability of as many as 15 PMBs to pay their insurance premium as at December 2016 was an unfortunate situation that put the customers at risk. “The loans and advances extended by these PMBs declined significantly by 31.87 percent to N168.96 billion in 2015”, the commission added, pointing out that 14 out of 42 PMBs failed to render returns to it while unpaid premium from

Talking Mortgage with

nine PMBs amounted to N238.30 million the same year. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says that notwithstanding PMBs’ improved performance in the past couple of years, their loans and advances, deposit liabilities and other liabilities decreased by 6.85 percent, 5.25 percent and 5.89 percent to N154.46 billion, N115.77 billion and N68.06 billion, respectively, at end-December 2016 from N165.83 billion, N122.18 billion and N72.32 billion at end-June 2016. But the operators are not resting on their oars. They are building blocks and putting measures in place to engender growth of this fledgling sector in order to increase access and affordability, and by extension, enlarge the clan of homeowners in the country. Unbundling of mortgage origination process, further reduction in loan origination period, introduction of computerised land titling registration, land title insurance, introduction of uniform underwriting standards (UUS) for informal sector, enactment of foreclosure law, and wider public awareness for the sector are part of the push by the operators for the growth of the sector. Mortgage is a sub-sector of the economy and the operators are saying that since the larger economy is not doing well and the mortgage sector is not insulated from what is happening in the larger economy, what is happening to them is not unexpected. “We know what happened to oil

price and the forex market. These have affected everything in the economy. In the case of oil, both the volume and the price went down. All these affected consumer purchasing power. Don’t forget that the balance sheet of the mortgage banks were not strong abnitio”, said, Ayodele Olowookere, CEO, Omoluabi Mortgage Bank Plc. He stressed that the problems of the mortgage banks revolve around their small capital base and so there isn’t much they can do. “For all the money that I have, unless I raise additional capital, I don’t think I can do 1,000 mortgages. To do mortgages, you need long term funds and that is the only way you can do long term mortgages”, he said. Udo Okonjo, vice chair/CEO, Fine and Country West Africa, agrees, emphasizing that the real core factor responsible for the slow growth in this sector is that the banks and the mortgage institutions don’t have long term funds; all they have are short term deposits. “The underlying fundamental for mortgage growth is that we have to have saving culture and large financial

base because mortgages are long term funds. In an ideal world, you will be talking about 20-25 years mortgages at very low interest rate”, Okonjo added. Technically speaking, Nigeria has no mortgage system and Okonjo reasons that the country doesn’t really have a real estate sector. “What we are doing is just scratching the surface. If we really want to create wealth through real estate which is one of the major ways the developed world creates wealth, then we have to develop and grow the mortgage sector”, she emphasised. But the operators are not deterred. “We are here to stay and grow this sector”, Olowookere assures, revealing, “at Moluabi, we are looking at the best way to do things, especially in credit management and evaluation. We are looking at the informal sector. People in this sector are not collecting salaries, but earn huge and regular income. So, we are finding creative ways of bringing them into the net. We are also looking at new ways to raise capital by bringing in more shareholders”.

no plans on how he would get his father’s inheritance. With no plan of coming home anytime soon. So what was the BLESSING all about? But we see in a couple of chapters what Jacob’s life turned into without a dime from his father. All he had were words spoken over his life which he held unto. Look at Joseph, what gave him the confidence to live a life of integrity and peace despite the fact that he was a slave and prisoner. Gen 39:2 KJV ”And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian”. He was even declared prosperous even though someone owned him and all he had. Today a man is recognized as blessed based on the amount of physical properties he is currently in possession of. We do not value words of our parents, how much more God’s. Many youngsters are blatantly disobeying their parents just to enjoy the temporary pleasures. But these people of old understood what real blessings were. For this generation, Esau and Jacob should have been content just having their own share of their father’s cattle. People take up business deals and jobs not caring to spend

time with God in prayer to ensure that is the way to go. We should not be shocked that our lives are in shambles. See how people are killing and maiming themselves over physical assets today? No wonder Jesus had to rebuke a man that looked like he hailed from our generation. He asked Jesus to tell his brother to divide the inheritance with him (Lk. 12:13-15). If we all understand what the true BLESSING is, then our struggles, stress and worry would come to an end. The blessing is not the physical, ephemeral things like estate, cars, houses, money. The real blessing is the spoken WORD of God over the life of a man. The proof that that this is true is also testified in the bible about Jacob in Gen 32:10 (KJV) “I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.” The recognition of this type of blessing dismisses all forms of competition and strife. And the result of this blessing is endless and can never diminish because its source is from God. Physical wealth are by-product of the blessing. That is why people

who have defined their blessing according to God’s definition, do not fear when those physical things we call blessing are taken away from them. They know how they got it, and they know they can always get it back again. What God would have us focus our attention on is His kingdom. He tells us ‘’these things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (Matt.6:32-33). As business men and women our quest should not be materialism, but rather godliness knowing fully well that God our father has our back and provision has been made for us to succeed in life when our focus is on His kingdom. We must begin to function in the blessing of God. This understanding takes stress, worries and anxiety out of our lives. There is quiet assurance that peace, love and joy in our heart are the blessing of the kingdom not materialism. Remain blessed as you work in this light. @spiritonomics

CHUKA UROKO (08037156969, chukuroko@yahoo.com)

The blessing that the LORD has blessed. 28 May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness— an abundance of grain and new wine. 29 May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.” (Genesis 27: 27-29) NIV. The bible records that Esau arrived shortly after seeking the blessing, However Isaac said, “I have made him lord over you and have made all his relatives his servants, and I have sustained him with grain and new wine. So what can I possibly do for you, my son?” Genesis 27:37 NIV. And Esau wept aloud. Please help me ask Esau what he was crying over. Do we realize he was crying over just words spoken by his father? What makes those words so valuable is a wonder to me. Were those words to serve as the WILL for the sharing of Isaac property? Isaac was a very rich man, so rich that nations envied him. Within a couple of days the BLESSED son Jacob, ran away from home empty handed with


Sunday 16 September 2018

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BDSUNDAY 33

SundayBusiness Maximising potential of cassava with FIIRO technology Food & Beverages With Ayo Oyoze Baje

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hat Nigeria leads the world in cassava roots production is not in doubt. Unfortunately, its latent potentials as money-spinning cassava starch, cassava chips and pellets, glucose syrup, alcohol, flour have been left untapped.As has been apparent in other areas of availability of raw materials, what has been grossly lacking is the application of technology to process them into more economically valuable products. Products, that if properly harnessed would not only act as basis for massive job creation but could be exported to shore up our foreign exchange earnings. Thus, we have crude oil, many solid minerals and agric products such as cocoa, cashew nuts, coffee, sesame seeds all in quantum supply but we wait for external corporate bodies to turn them into finished products which we import and buy at exorbitant prices to the detriment of our natural economy. The good news however, is that with the conceptualization of the nation’s indigenous research institute back in 1953 as the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi, FIIRO Lagos and its subsequent establishment with supervision by different Ministries starting from 1956, some modest,

but notable breakthroughs in technological inventions and innovations has been recorded. In the specific area of cassava processing these include: • Cassava-wheat flour composite bread production Mechanized production • of garri, lafun, fufu and starch from cassava roots. • Production of glucose syrup from cassava starch Production of noodles • from cassava Mechanized production • of cassava flour Production of cassava • chips and pellets Research and development (r & d) projects The institute’s research projects have relevance to the technological and economic problems of the Nation. They are initiated in-house in pursuance of the Institute’s mandate and as a demonstration of its problem-solving posture. Such projects are in consonance with the set objectives of the Institute and are embarked upon after thorough investigations of the desirability through market research and enquiries. Results are documented and can be obtained by interested individuals. Those that have high potentials or commercial prospects are transferred to local entrepreneurs. Soy-Gari Production Gari is a cassava product that serves as a staple food for most Nigerians. It is in the form of tiny granules which can be consumed directly, or after soaking in water, with or without any supplement. In order to make it more nutritious, its protein level could be raised from about 1% to 10% by enriching it with soy beans. The Institute successfully carried out research into the production of a high protein gari using soybean. This will reduce the incidence of protein deficiency diseases among the consumers. Production Of Glucose Syrup From Cassava Starch

The production of glucose syrup from cassava starch using glucoamylase which was obtained by solid state fermentation of rice bran with the fungus Aspergillus Niger on laboratory scale has been established. The enzymic hydrolysis of cassava starch gave a glucose syrup which has a pH 6.0; specific gravity 1.0; total reducing sugars 30.4%,totalsolids80%anddextrose equivalent 38%. Glucose syrup is a sweetener used industrially in Nigeria, for example in the food, soft drink and confectionery industries. The establishment of a process for conversion of cassava starch to glucose syrup would enhance the local capability of glucose syrup production. Detoxified Cassava Starch Production The biggest shortcoming of cassava starch is hydrocyanic acid, which limits its use in industries especially the pharmaceutical industries. Detoxification is the process through which it is removed and the starch becomes safe for use, not only in the textile industry but also in the food and pharmaceutical industries. Ca s s a v a - W h e a t Fl o u r Composite Bread Production Bread is a staple food in Nigeria. It has been hitherto produced from wheat flour. Wheat is not produced in Nigeria, as such huge amount of hard carned foreign exchange is used every year for its importation. Research evidence at FIIRO has shown that cassava flour can be incorporated into wheat flour for bread making at different levels of substitution, 10-15% being the most acceptable for bread making, while 15-20% is acceptable for confectioneries and other baked products. Cassava Flour Production FIIRO has extensively worked on cassava processing, including developing technologies for the utilizationofsomeprimaryproducts particularly cassava starch and flour to produce noodles, snacks and

confectioneries. Due to the recent policy in Nigeria that 10% cassava flour be incorporated into wheat flour, the institute has brought to commercializable stage, the production of cassava flour. Ca s s a v a - W h e a t Fl o u r Composite Snacks/Cookies Cookies are usually made form 100% wheat flour or occasionally from a combination of wheat and other cereal flour. Cassava cookies are made from a combination of cassava flour and wheat flour at the ratio of 80:20 or 70:30 of cassava to wheat. Cassava cookies could be classified as rolled and pressed cookies. Rolled cookies are made from stiff dough while pressed cookies are made from rich soft dough usually of short bread type. Cassava Chips And Pellets Production Cassava root is a highly perishable commodity with a post harvest life of less than 72 hours. In order to reduce postharvest losses and increase its shelf life, an appropriate method of processing freshly harvested cassava into dried chips has been developed FIIRO. Cassava pellets production is another method of cassava preservation. Pellets are dried cassava products made from chips. These products are used in animal feed industry and in the production of ethanol, dough-nut and biscuits. The Institute has successfully developed and fabricated suitable equipment for the production of chips and pellets. Mechanized Production Of Fufu Flour Fufu is a fermented product from cassava which is cooked into a local food. Traditionally, it is produced in the wet form with moisture content of 40-50%. This makes the product highly perishable with a short shelf life compared with gari and lafun, which are in granular form with moisture content below 10%. This has necessitated the Institute to upgrade and mechanize the

Baje is Nigerian first Food Technologist in the media ayobaje@yahoo.co.uk; 08057971776

written to aid kids understand the basics of over 30 careers/professions spotlighted. Presented in can you find an “Accountant”? What is another name for an Accountant? What are the Characteristics of an Accountant? And straight forward answers provided. A careful evaluation of the answers shows an attempt by the author to lay the foundation on which the blocks of deeper knowledge can be erected. This is indeed is one of the high point of the author’s approach. The import of this book, succinctly put, is a material designed to acquaint kids with primary knowledge of these professions but subconsciously modeling their minds to having an inkling of what to become which indeed, is a noble exercise by any measure. Another very silent inclusion by the author who has spent over 20years experimenting with this

idea is what he regarded as bonus, and that is Entrepreneur! Initially, it looks very laughable. Kids may not understand all of this at this level but is it worth turning on the light, definitely yes. For me, it is another high point of the book. Writing for kids is an entirely different ball game hence the presentation and content must be apt yet adequate enough to address the issue in view and the author’s seems to be very much at home with these basics. But beyond that, illustrating the book with relevant photographs of the work environment of each profession in full-coloured processed format, really stands the book out as a unique resource. This is not a feature common with books published for kids in Nigeria thus making the material a collector’s item suitable for Career Day and any such activities around career guidance and counselling.

However, subsequent editions should take cognizance of the typeface size of the book and deliberate efforts made to incorporate more photographs from our work environment which is indeed a challenge I reckon with. While the awareness for career guidance is increasing tremendously, materials like this and others addressing the subject matter should be encouraged and infused into our educational curriculum. Until recently, career counselling was the exclusive preserve of so called affluent school. The consequences have been humongous as kids take a long walk into professions that they practically don’t have an inkling of while most parent watch helplessly, crafters of our educational curriculum seem to take baby steps in this direction hence the nation’s work environment suffers in long run.

traditional method of producing fufu. It is now available in granular flour form, with longer shelf-life. To maximize the potentials in cassava tubers as countries such as Brazil and Malaysia have done, governments at the federal and state levels as well as food processing companies should start to look at cassava as a veritable product for youth unemployment. A holistic approach is required. Series of stakeholders’ meetings at the instance of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources should be embarked upontohaveamasterplantoprovide answers to the following questions. How much cassava tubers do we really grow on annual basis? Where do we grow them in the country? What methods do our farmers apply in its cultivation? How much of this is based on using cassava stems that have the IITA varieties which are high-yielding, disease-resistant and early-maturing? How many of the rural farmers have the requisite knowledge in growing such varieties with applied modern technology? Furthermore, the stakeholders should take a critical look at the production capacity and where to bridge the gap. How do we get our unemployed youths actively engaged in this project and what trainings and incentives do they require? How can banks come into this business to provide the needed funds? How would our local farmers and exporters also gain access to the foreign markets waiting out there for our finished cassava starch, pellets, chips, alcohol and flour? The answers to these questions when provided and applied would position Nigeria as a country ready to galvanize the country, nay the world in cassava revolution.

Book Review

Career Handbook for Kids

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ew years ago, career guidance was alien or near absent especially in public schools. The consequences were very grave back then and still hazardous today given the complexities of modern times. So many youngsters ended up taking a blind leap into careers they knew little or nothing about. Critical in the mix of this issue, is the non-availability and exposure to valuable career information at the right time to nurture the minds of the young ones in making quality choices when it matters most. In this light, the book, Career Handbook for Kids, written by David Baro-Thomas, an award winner in a related material; becomes a valuable resource for schools, family libraries and a must read for kids. There is no better way to put this than a recent submission by some curriculum experts that, career

guidance and counselling should be incorporated into the Nigerian primary school curriculum. Career Handbook for Kids is targeted at children between the ages of 8 and 13years. It is carefully


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Sunday 16 September 2018

EquityMarket

Stanbic IBTC, Rencap, 8 others execute N103bn transactions as equities lose N687bn TELIAT SULE

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he top ten stockbroking firms on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) executed N103.42 billion worth of transactions in August 2018. The transactions executed by these firms amounted to 76.99 percent of the total market activities by value on the NSE. By value, the top 10 stockbroking firms in August 2018 were Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers Limited which traded N29.06 billion worth of shares representing 21.63 percent of the market value; Rencap Securities that traded N19.22 billion worth of shares representing 14.31 percent of the market transactions, and EFCP Limited with N15.26 billion worth of transactions that amounted to 11.36 percent of the market activities. Others are FBN Quest Securities Limited with N8.47 billion trades representing 6.31 percent; CSL Stockbrokers that traded N7.81 billion worth of shares translating to 5.81 percent, Meristem Stockbrokers Limited with N6.51 billion worth of trade translating to 4.85 percent of the market share by value, and Chapel Hill Denham Securities which traded N6.11 billion worth of trade representing 4.55 percent of the market activities by value. The list also includes the United Capital Securities which traded

N4.91 billion worth of shares amounting to 3.65 percent of the market value, Cardinal Stone Securities Limited that traded N3.66 billion worth of shares worth 2.73 percent of the market share, and TRW Stockbrokers with N2.40 billion trades representing 1.79

percent of the market share by value. Altogether, the top 10 most performing stockbroking firms accounted for 76.99 percent of the market activities when measured by value. It should be noted that the NSE has over 100 licensed stockbrok-

Finance cost raises Briscoe Nigeria’s loss after tax up by 32 percent TELIAT SULE

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T Briscoe’s unaudited financial statement for the period ended 30 June 2018 gives the indication that the firms is not yet of the woods as loss after tax rose further at half year. The financial conditions of the firm became aggravated as a result of a slide in revenue made at half year which declined by 38 percent from N2.71 billion in 2017 to N2.37 billion in June 2018. The firm implemented cost reduction measures during the period, as its cost of sales fell by 20 percent to N1.63 billion from N2.03 billion in 2017. The impact was that gross profit increased to N745.31 million from N682.62 million in June 2017. Other income increased by 75 percent from N16.71 million to N29.22 million during the periods, resulting in an operating profit of N152.69 million in June 2018

compared with an operating loss of N141.88 million same period last year. Nonetheless, RT Briscoe Nigeria’s loss after tax further rose by 32 percent during the period from N1.16 billion in June 2017 to N1.53 billion in June 2018. That was as a result of 67 percent increase in finance costs which rose from N1.03 billion in June last year to N1.72 billion in June 2018. Meanwhile, at the end of the 2017 financial year, its external auditors, KPMG raised a red flag concerning the ability of Briscoe Nigeria to meet its obligations, as a result of a further rise in loss after tax. Revenue made at the end of the 2017 financial year plummeted by 55 percent to N4.38 billion by December 2017 from N9.81 billion made in same period in December 2016. Loss after tax increased to N3.16 billion by December 2017 compared with N2.90 billion same period in 2016. “In our opinion, because of

the significance of the matter described in the Basis of Adverse Opinion section in our report, the accompanying consolidated and separate financial statements do not give a true and fair view of the consolidated and separate financial position of the company and its subsidiaries as at 31 December 2017, and of its consolidated and separate financial performance and its consolidated and separate cash flows for the year ended in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards(IFRSs), and in the manner required by the Companies and Allied Matters Act, Cap C. 20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria Act, 2011”, KPMG said. RT Briscoe is owned by three major entities who are Mikeade Investment Limited, 28.90 percent; Classic Motors Limited, 8.26 percent, and the Nigerian public, 62.84 percent.

ing firms executing different kinds of transactions to diverse players in the nation’s capital market. Meanwhile, there is no end in sight to when the downward trend in the nation’s capital market will bottom out. In August 2018, listed equities shed a

whooping N687.33 billion which was far more than N456.71 billion quoted stocks lost in July. Transactions in the listed equities further witnessed a steep decline in the first two weeks of September as equities further shed N920.31 billion. This brings the losses suffered by investors in the nation’s capital market to N2.06 trillion from July till date. On why the losses continue unabated, Ahmad Jinad, an analyst with Meristem Securities, attributed the trend to stable returns in the money market and fears around the forthcoming general elections. “We are in the election mood now as individuals declare their political ambitions. There is a risk that comes with that. Also, the news coming from other emerging markets is not too inspiring. Ours may not be as much as it is in other emerging markets, but investors are apprehensive that sooner or later, the happenings in other markets will berth in Nigeria”, Jinad said. “For portfolio managers, their concerns are to preserve the value of their portfolios. Before July, the local funds managers have not been active in the market. So, when the foreign investors started pulling out, the impact was much felt because the local fund managers are not showing interest in the equity market for now, as most of them are active in fixed income market ”, Jinad said.

Med-View Airline receives Boeing 737-500 (5N-BQM) aircraft

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ed-View Airline Plc is please to formally inform the shareholders and other stakeholders that it received into its fleet, one of its aircraft on schedule maintenance check (B737-500) 5N-BQM on Friday 7th September 2018. Similarly, you will recollect that in July of this year, the company also added into its fleet a B777200ER long range wide body

twin-engine and it is the world’s largest twin-jet with seating capacity of 323 passengers. The aircraft is currently being engaged in the airlifting of Hajj pilgrims and immediately after this national engagement, it would be deployed into our international operations. It is equally important to acquaint our shareholders that other aircraft in the company’s fleet, B737-400 and B767-300ER which are on schedule maintenance and cabin reconfiguration in Europe are being expected back in the next two months to rejoin our operations. Our teeming customers and air travelling public can only expect more improved and satisfying service delivery which is more customer driven. The management wishes to reassure the entire public that the airline is repositioning to be the most preferred Nigerian airline and their safety and comfort onboard our flights are being considered in actualising this mandate.


Sunday 16 September 2018

C002D5556

BDSUNDAY 35

BrandsOnSunday SPOTLIGHTING BRAND VALUE

LG Electronics strengthens priority for consumer satisfaction SANDRA OKOYE

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t is important for organizations to put their consumers into consideration particularly companies who are saddled with the responsibility of churning out goods and services to meet the need of consumers. For instance LG Electronics says that in order for organisations to be successful, they need to always adapt and accommodate their consumers’ consumption pattern which consistently changes from time to time. “Human wants are insatiable, hence the need for companies to also put consumers first essentially to achieve customer retention and customer loyalty”. American businessman, Raymond Albert Kro who joined the California company McDonald’s in 1954, said, “if you work just for money, you will never make it, but if you love what you are doing and you always put the customer first, success will be yours.” Gathering relevant information about your consumers are essential tips to creating intuitive and user-friendly products. What the information helps the company to do is to basically design product features

that would match needs and preference of consumers given a realistic price at every point in time. Emphatically, companies who pay special attention in ensuring that customers priorities are placed ahead of everything else end up providing personalized consumer experience. There is no doubt such organization would in the long run build a more healthier relationship with their consumers by identifying and satisfying their needs with improved modern technological innovation. LG Electronics says it

prides itself as one of such companies whose philosophy is “consumers first” which has been integrated into all its production process clearly positioning the brand way ahead of its major competition with mind blowing ergonomic and innovative products to its credits. This has over the years become the hall mark of the company’s giant strides in the electronics market. Managing Director, LG Electronics West Africa operations, Taeick Son said in a statement: “Our commitment in ensuring that

2019: APCON set to hold stakeholders forum on political communication

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n attempt to obviate the hate speeches which characterised the 2015 elections in Nigeria, has planned to hold stakeholders forum on Political Communication with the theme: ‘Ethical Advertising And Communication: A Tool For Enhancing Peace And Political Stability’ ahead of the 2019 elections. The ever-vibrant Nigeria’s political landscape which is constantly changing is again being reshaped with new thoughts and perspectives ahead of the 2019 general elections. In line with its major function, the Advertising

Practitioners Council of Nigeria, APCON, in collaboration with the Advertising Practitioners Association Abuja Chapter, APAAC, has therefore concluded plans to hold the forum to checkmate political messages across the country. A statement recently signed by the Acting Registrar/Chief Executive, Ijedi Iyoha, said that the forum the one day forum scheduled for Thursday, October 11, 2018, at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, according to the statement is pertinent to the smooth and healthy operation of our nascent

democratic process. The forum aims at ensuring that campaign communications are fair and truthful enough to aid democratic choice by the electorate and are devoid of any traits that could precipitate violent conflicts. The forum is organized in anticipation of commencement of campaigns for the 2019 general elections and aims at discussing critical issues around the management of electioneering campaign communication and to highlight the rules of engagement applicable to the development and deployment of such communication. She added that “the tendency of political candidates and their supporters to abuse their freedom of speech and engage in spurious promotional campaigns that exploit consumers and the public, and sometimes undermine societal harmony and well-being has made it most expedient to bring all stakeholders together under one platform.

all our range of products from the least to the highend are usually consumeroriented and easily adapted effortlessly would never be compromised. We hold our consumers in high esteem that is why all our products are tailored towards meeting their ever growing needs in a satisfactory manner.” However, to demonstrate its firm believe and commitment towards the consumers’ satisfaction. LG says it has imbibed the culture of subjecting all its products to a standardized testing procedure for optimum and quality output.

“A very good example in sight is the G6 smartphone that was taken beyond the required standard set by international bodies to determine its physical durability, which has resulted in the overall success story of the product. LG has always been a leader in design and usability, with its entire product lineup developed through rigorous testing and feedback procedures designed to improve each subsequent generation. This has helped the entire brand see success while building a reputation for user-oriented solutions”. LG further says that it is at

the forefront of innovation in environmental management technologies like air purifiers and water filters that safeguard the mental and physical health of consumers. “In these vital areas, LG is one of the few suppliers able to offer solutions that fit every consumer need, and every budget. Advanced products like the LG SIGNATURE air purifier incorporate the most innovative technology while offering aesthetic design but more practical solutions such as water purifiers designed for the Indian market eschew complicated features to offer consumers an essential service at an affordable price. LG always put consumers first but believes that everyone deserves a better life”. Over the years LG has made a name for itself with the success story it has achieved in the design and production of smartpones with remarkably increase in accessibility. The company earned the feat through its ability to regularly integrate new innovative features into its phones while keeping them affordable. Despite its success, it is a philosophy that still drives the company’s vision of expanding access to the most advanced mobile technology

Betway kicks off Premier 5-A-side football league in Nigeria

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etway, foremost international online and mobile sports betting operator, has announced the formation of Nigeria’s first amateur 5-a-side football league, the Betway 5s League. The league will kick off in September, 2018 in Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria. Betway , official kit sponsor of Premier League club West Ham United, has been an active force in Nigeria, improving community relations, grassroots football, fitness, and the love of the game. “The Betway 5s League is organized primarily to further encourage the growing culture of 5-aside football in Nigeria by creating a competitive annual league.” said Lere Awokoya, Country Manager of Betway Nigeria in a statement. “It should be a very competitive nine weeks of football and we expect a lot of talent to be display.”

The league, which will be made up of 24 registered teams, will be played in four locations across Lagos. These locations include two venues on Lagos Island (Lekki), and two venues on the Lagos Mainland (Ikeja and Surulere). Matches will be held on Saturdays at each location over a 5-week regular season. After the season has been completed, a playoff involving the league’s four top teams from across the two zones will decide the league’s champions. The winning team will claim One Million Naira in prize money, while the second and third placed teams will also receive cash prizes.

It is hoped that the Betway 5s league will foster comradeship and intercommunity relationships, as players and fans from all over Lagos get the opportunity to interact with one another, sharing moments and memories. Additionally, the league will also offer an avenue for recreation and physical exercise, which will in turn improve the fitness and general wellbeing of all who participate. Fans of the league will be able to watch game highlights, view team standings and see player stats on the official website at betway5sleague.com which will be updated weekly.


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Sunday 16 September 2018

Arts

A centenary for Mama Sisulu ...as SA celebrates women of fortitude

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Stories by OBINNA EMELIKE f Albertina Nontsikelelo Sisulu were alive today, she would be celebrating her 100th birthday anniversary. Born on October 21,1918, the late South African anti-apartheid activist who died in 2011, is still celebrated even in death because of her roles in the liberation struggles of her people during the apartheid era. Popularly called Mama Sisulu, Albertina, wife of Walter Sisulu, leader and activist of the African National Congress (ANC), spearheaded the 1956 women’s march in Pretoria to petition against the country’s pass law. At the march, she led the fearless women who chanted and walked to the Union Building in Pretoria warning the authorities then that, ‘Wathint abafazi, wathint’ imbokodo, uza kufa’, which is translated as ‘When you strike the women, you strike a rock, you will be crushed, you will die’. Beyond that rallying call for women, Mama Sisulu who was also referred to as the “Mother of the Nation” lived with the people and lead them to rise against the abominable system of apartheid and misogyny. From Cape Town, Soweto to Huhundi and Galeshewe, she was known for her

Some dignitaries at the Lagos celebration of the National Women’s Day

warmth as a leader, whose love for freedom was unwavering. In remembrance of the feats achieved by the women through the march in 1956, South Africa, under a democratic government, declared August 9th of every year as the National Women’s Day, which is also observed as a public holiday across the country. This year’s commemoration of the annual event was spectacular as the country

rolled out drums in celebrating Mama Sisulu who would have turned 100 years this October if she was alive and other women of fortitude both living and death. As well, the celebration held beyond the shores of South Africa. The South African Consulate in Nigeria brought the joy and thrills of the people to Lagos. The Nigerian-leg of the celebration, which held at Federal Palace Hotel and Ca-

sino in Victoria Island, Lagos on September 6, 2018, was graced by hosted dignitaries including; media partners, stakeholders and Consuls General of Ghana, Equatorial Guinea and several other countries. The event, which was hosted by Oluwaseyi Adegoke Adeyemo of Inside Watch Africa alongside Poppy Ravhura of the South African Consulate, lived up to the expectations of the guests, who tagged it ‘a

night of centenary celebrations’. Earlier in his welcome address, Darkey Africa , Consul General of South Africa , talked about the legacy of Mama Sisulu saying, “We learn about leadership, through her suffering, we learn about the patience of a nurse to conquer pain. We learn about her burning desire to release her people from the pain of oppression. We learn about selflessness and service to

humanity”. Darkey ended his address with a call-to-action for all to emulate the life and times of Albertina Sisulu by intensifying efforts in the society against subjugation of women. “Mama Sisulu calls on us to forever strive for this ideal, to emancipate women so that Africa can prosper. We must now begin to nurture a 100 more Albertina Sisulus. None among us can be her, but we can emulate her example, know her story and attempt to help humanity”, Darkey admonished. In her closing remark, N Koni, reminded the guests, especially the women why August 9th is celebrated. “We mark this day to remind ourselves of the great contributions women have made to build our societies, while at the same time recognize the challenges that women still face in fully enjoying their fundamental human rights”, she said. However, the year 2018 is special for South Africans because it commemorates the birth of Nelson Mandela, Albertina Sisulu and the formation of the Bantu Women’s League; the first women’s organisation in South Africa, which was founded in 1918. As well, credit goes to South African Tourism and South African Consulate for being wonderful hosts of the celebration in Lagos.

Inspiro Productions inspires with music masterclass

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s part of its contribution to the development of the Nigerian creative sector, especially music, Inspiro Productions, a leading entertainment solutions company, is organising the first music export Nigeria masterclass that explores ways of getting more Nigerian artistes to export their crafts. According to Ayoola Sadare, CEO Inspiro Productions, who is also the founder/festival director of The Lagos International Jazz Festival, “As organisers and producers of international events that books artistes from across the world, and with our rich musical culture and its increasing global recogni-

tion, it is imperative that we also prepare and get more of our indigenous artistes to get international deals. Music is a strong cultural expression and our musicians are cultural ambassadors. We see this a lot as many acts from various countries perform on the numerous festivals all over the world but we only get to see a few representatives from Nigeria”. Sadare noted further that, “It is not that we do not have internationally acclaimed musicians; but that area has not been intentionally pursued. This is also being spurred as a backdrop from a recent visit to several European countries including; Germany, France, Amsterdam

and Italy and seeing how they managed their music

and musicians. They all have music export initia-

tives designed to get their music and musicians to

Ayoola Sadare with some of delegates attending creative seminar in Berlin recently

the world stage. This is what we hope to do with the Music Export Nigeria Initiatives”. The Music Export Nigeria (MEXN) Masterclass is a one day masterclass and seminar scheduled to hold on September 24, 2018 in Lagos. It will touch on issues across the music craft, business and quality control among others. Executive facilitators for the inaugural masterclass include; Pretty Okafor-PMAN president; Bright Gain-director, SPAN Academy of Jazz & Contemporary Music, Matthew Ohio, founder, Industry Nite; Akapo Emmanuel, CEO, Ten Strings Music Institute; Ayoola Sadare, CEO, Inspiro Productions and others.


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Arts The diaspora artist and her works

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Stories by OBINNA EMELIKE igerian-born Sokari Douglas Camp is one of the best female sculptors having broken into the male-dominated field of sculpting in Africa, and belongs to the first generation of female artists to have attracted the attention of the international art market. Originally from a large Kalabari town in the Niger Delta, Douglas Camp’s work is greatly inspired by Kalabari culture and traditions. Besides her Kalabari roots, she draws inspiration from the history of the African diaspora, fashion, the current situation in the Nigerian delta, and last but not least, the famous Italian painter, Botticelli. Employing modern sculptural techniques with the predominant use of steel, Douglas Camp creates large,

semi-abstract figurative works, adorned with masks and ritual clothing, reflecting her close relationship to Nigeria despite having lived in London for many years. Douglas Camp has had numerous solo and group shows all over the world and permanent collections of her work can be found in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, and the British Museum in London. The form of her work is unique. Sokari uses Kalabari culture as her main inspiration for her sculptures, including traditions and aesthetics of masquerades, textiles, dances, and other ceremonies that she witnessed from direct experience. Her work oftentimes uses the figure as a main subject, and she dresses it with a sculpted costume, textiles, and organic materials. Steel is the primary material bused bin her sculptures. “I began my work by

observing how masks are put on to masqueraders, how the human form is changed, and how men become gods when they perform. The way I remember seeing masks and masqueraders when they perform in my town is

the masquerades are alive and frightening and beautiful when they move. Fear in masquerading is an important element for the observer. It adds to the play of the spirits. You do not come across

Golibe Festival to showcase cultural heritage of Eastern Nigeria

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he Golibe Festival Committee has announced the first ever ‘Golibe Festival’ scheduled to hold in Onitsha, the commercial city of Anambra State, from December 23, 2018 to January 1, 2019. The ‘festival, which aims to provide a unique end-ofyear celebration event will bring together residents of Anambra, the entire South Eastern states and visiting indigenes from the diaspora for 10 days of excitement across music, theatre, sports, fashion, art exhibitions, food and carnival. “In the local parlance,

Golibe simply means ‘To Rejoice”, explained Amalunweze Francis Anatogu, chairman of the organising committee. “The Golibe festival will be a world-class entertainment experience for 10 days in Onitsha. Our objective is to provide the grandest entertainment experience in Eastern Nigeria. It will be packed with everything from music to art to culture, dance, food and fun activities for all ages,” he added. “The timing is key as end of year is the period of celebration and thanksgiving globally. For people of Eastern Nigeria, it is a period of

homecoming. So, Golibe Festival will make families and friends reunion a lot of fun. It provides opportunities to introduce our customs, traditions, language, food, arts and craft to the indigenes in the diaspora and to those seeking new thrills. Besides entertainment, Golibe Festival will contribute to the local economy and project local businesses and talents”, the chairman said. With an estimated 100,000 attendees, the festival is expected to provide platform for companies and small business owners to boost their brand visibility, encourage product and

service trial and sell their products. Key activities of the festival include; visit to the palace of the Obi of Onitsha on December 23rd, while the opening ceremony takes place on December 24th and will be hosted by Alfred Achebe, the Obi of Onitsha. Also scheduled for the same day is the grand finale of the Christmas Carol competition featuring various choirs, music groups and solo singers. The fiinals of the Village Football Competition featuring young talents in the city will hold on December 26th. An exciting fun-fair featuring games

this element in a museum, because the mask is not moving and is usually in a glass box’’, she says. It is also intriguing to mention politics behind Sokari’s work. Her recent works are highly political, commenting on the effects of the oil industry on the Niger Delta, violence, Diaspora, and other international issues. Sokari responds to the static presentation of African masks in Western museums as opposed to their lively context in their original culture. She aspires to contextualize the objects and display them with the figure and dress, sometimes with motion, as they were originally intended. Being a woman, her Kalabari background would not have allowed her to become a sculptor in her home land. Thus her work’s political connotation relies heavily upon being situated in Western institutions.

A graduate of Fine Art from Central School of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art, Sokari has represented Britain and Nigeria in National exhibitions and has had more than 40 solo shows worldwide. In venues such as National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institute 1988-1989, the Museum of Mankind, London 1994/1995. Her public artworks include Battle Bus: Living Memorial for Ken Saro‐Wiwa (2006), a full-scale replica of a Nigerian steel bus, which stands as a monument to the late Niger Delta activist and writer. I n 2 0 0 3 So k a r i w a s shortlisted for the Trafalgar Square Fourth Plinth. Her work is in permanent collections at The Smithsonian Museum, Washington, D.C., Setagaya Museum, Tokyo and the British Museum, London. In 2005 she was awarded a CBE in recognition of her services to art. In 2012 All the World is Now Richer, a memorial to commemorate the abolition of slavery was exhibited in The House of Commons. The sculpture was exhibited in St Paul’s Cathedral, London, 2014. Battle Bus traveled to Nigeria as part of Action Saro – Wiwa, a campaign to clean up the Niger Delta Summer 2015. Ibiye Camp, her daughter, is following her artist mother’s footsteps. In 2011, then 19, Alexandra Galleries in London completed the framing of eleven paintings by Ibiye Camp, to the delight of her mother and mentor. Sokari Douglas Camp is currently showcasing her work at the October Gallery in London.

arcade and entertainment for children and teenagers will run between December 25-31, 2018. There will also be a live music concert scheduled to run for six days featuring some of Nigeria’s biggest music stars and some up and coming artistes, culminating at a spectacular firework display on midnight of January 1, 2019. In addition, the Golibe Festival Carnival will hold on December 29th and will feature floats from villages, age grades and other groups from Onitsha and around the world. Th e Go l i b e Fe s t i v a l

Committee has also partnered with an award-winning production house to produce a stellar, theatrical production, infusing elements of Onitsha - past, present, and future. The festival will also feature video documentaries about the Onitsha people, history, culture and traditions, cultural dances, arts and crafts exhibition, master classes on local food and drinks, and lots more. To ease travel and logistics constraints, the Golibe Festival committee has also confirmed transportation services and accommodation for out-of-town visitors.


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Bliss with Nonye Ben-Nwankwo

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Sunday 16 September 2018

Email: chiwuagwu@yahoo.com Phone number (SMS only) 08057511893

I’d love to trace my African origin – Bobby Brown

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frican American pop singer, Bobby Brown, has said he would love to trace his African roots and get to know his ancestors. In a telephone chat with Bliss recently, the music legend said, “I have not traced my African roots but I would love to trace it. I contemplated it several times. I would love to get in touch with the family of my late ancestors. I will definitely do that. I can’t wait to get to Africa.” As much as he has had so many regrets in life, Bobby said he doesn’t regret the fact that he left the New Edition group as at the time he did. “I don’t feel bad leaving. Sometimes, when things happen, it will create a way. My exit created a way where everybody was able to branch off and do their own thing. We eventually came back together again as New Edition. We now have RBRM which is Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky and Mike. It is another branch of the New Edition tree. It intensifies the super group that we are. It let everybody know that there is not just one talent in the group, all of us are talented. We are grateful and proud that we have 40 years in the industry and we are still pumping and going on strong.” And despite the challenge he has been through in life, Bobby said he wants to leave the legacy of having his music live forever. “I want my legacy to be my love for music, my passion about entertainment and my love for my children, just being the man that I am; I would stop for any autography, I would stop for any picture. I would never say no to any of those if a fan asks me. I have

E always been genuine with my supporters. I am grateful that I was raised that way.” During the chat, the singer talked about his Miniseries, The Bobby Brown Story, which would air on BET Africa later today (Sunday). “It will showcase everything that I have been through since I decided I wanted to be a part of music – the trials and tribulations and the losses in my life that led me to be the man that I am right now. It will feature the good, the bad and the ugly that led me to the path that I am. I am still working and God is still working with me. I am just fighting hard to be a better man and a better husband and father and even a better brother and friend. My life is just beginning again.”

Dental Technician becomes Miss Earth Nigeria

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Fans angry with Davido for cancelling US tour

iss Maristella Okpala, a dental technician, is apparently the happiest lady on earth as she becomes the latest beauty queen in Nigeria under the Miss Earth stable, which had its theme as Goddesses of the Earth. In a keenly contested event, the pretty damsel who is also an NCAA licensed crew member, beat 16 other beauties to emerge the winner of the pageant held in the Garden city of Port Harcourt recently. And now, the latest queen will be flying the Ni-

gerian flag at the Miss Earth World which will be held in November in the Philippines with over 90 other countries also in the race. As expected, it was a grand event. A build-up to the event had all the contestants camped for ten days at the exotic Reventon Park Hotel (Lamborghini) Hotel, Port Harcourt. The event attracted a lot of guests to the state as people from all over the county and beyond trooped to witness the making of the queen. Performing on the night were entertainers like  Harrisong who was on hand to entertain guests. Rivers State Culture was also on display as ‘Owembe boys’ masquerades from Obio/Akpor LGA  thrilled the audience. Ibinabor Fiberesima, the national director of Miss Earth Nigeria pageant, was one of the attractions of the night. She spoke with enthusiasm and passion as she introduced the pageant to the guests.  She praised the state Governor, Nyesom Wike for providing an enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the state. “Miss Earth Nigeria pageant is all about the environment; and Rivers state has indeed regained her former Glory as the garden city all thanks to the Governor. As you know, Miss Earth Pageant is all about the environment and who else is more passionate about the environment than governor Wike. You can tell by his policies.”

ven as pop singer, Davido, has explained why he had to cancel his US tour few days ago, so many of his fans are certainly angry with the young singer and they have expressed their feelings. The singer, who made headlines recently when he commenced the one year compulsory National Youth Service programme for graduates, said he had to cancel his show primarily because of his NYSC engagements. Making this announcement via his social media handle, Davido said, “Due to scheduling conflict and National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) commitments in Nigeria, the remaining dates for the Davido Locked Up Tour has been cancelled. Refunds will be made available at point of purchase. Davido and his team are working hard to reschedule all dates plus add new dates in the near future. I love you guys and see you soon. Houston, Dallas, LA and San Francisco would be giving y’all new dates soon,” His post attracted mixed reactions even as so many people felt his announcement came a

bit late. A fan via the handle, @egolini12 said, “So you mean you didn’t know of your so called NYSC schedule before selling tickets? Rubbish. It makes no sense.” Another fan via the handle @ yuppiewho said, “Thank God I didn’t buy a ticket. It’s like I knew you would cancel. Why wait till last minute to announce? Why not days ago? I have friends who cancelled work and travelled, who will reimburse them? You artistes have to respect people, their times and lives. Your fans make you popular. And please quit the talk about NYSC. You went to camp for a few days and left to tour in America. You could have been honest and say it’s about your uncle’s campaign. You have definitely lost fans.” And @amazinbeautee could not hide her disappointment as she posted, “I am so upset with you. Do you know how long I have been waiting on this concert and then you let us know 40 minutes before the event? That was very inconsiderate. I am really upset and I know you are in Africa.

Praiz releases Best Part cover song

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u l t i p l e award winning singer, Praiz, is at it again doing magic with his vocal chords. The X3M Music talented R&B singer has just released a song, Best Part. Originally sung by Daniel Ceaser featuring HER, Praiz’ version of the song has already hit the airwaves and is making notable impact The video was shot in Lagos and directed on the lovers of great by Dindu. music.


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Entertainment Falz, Simi, Mayorkun, Adekunle Gold to thrill at Nickfest ...As Indomie, DSTV join Nickelodeon as associate sponsors

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fter a successful family-centric first year, Nickelodeon in partnership with Maltina is gearing up for its second edition of NickFest, where parents can treat their families to a two-day extravaganza at the orange entertainment wonderland. In addition to Maltina’s Happyland, this year, the entertainment-packed event welcomes associate sponsors Indomie and DStv Nigeria who will be joining in the fun by creating additional experience zones. TV personality, Ikponmwosa “IK” Osakioduwa returns as a host, joined by Amarachi, Nigeria’s Got Talent maiden edition winner as co-host.

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Mayorkun

AMVCA 2018: When South meets West on Africa’s biggest stage

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he 6th edition of the Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards held with glamour and fanfare at the prestigious Eko Hotel and Suites recently. The A-list night-out has quickly become one of the most anticipated events on the African entertainment calendar with attendees from all over the continent. From the red carpet to the hitch-free flow of events, to the superbly lit stage and inspiring acceptance speeches, the AMVCA gave viewers all over the continent beautiful moments to remember. One outstanding feature was the impeccable pairing of media personalities IK Osakioduwa from West Africa and Minnie Dlamini Jones from Southern Africa as hosts. While IK has compèred all six AMVCA, the winning formula featuring Minnie made its debut at the 2016 edition and the lovely duo have thrilled guests and viewers with their brilliant synergy, charm and infectious wit. This year’s edition was no different as the two brought their usual chemistry back to the AMVCA stage, reminding us why we love seeing them together. The magical combination of IK and Minnie works for multiple reasons – the mutual respect they have for each other, the way they

Simi

Adekunle Gold

bounce off of each other and, of course, their reverence for other African cultures. Whether it’s IK subtly chiding celebrities about their cultural backgrounds or Minnie donning a Nigerian headgear for a significant portion of the award show, it is obvious that these two presenters are very aware of the platform which they have been given. This attitude towards the broadcast displayed by the cohosts is a result of the show’s organisers value chain. Every aspect of the AMVCA shows that the organizers are taking deliberate steps to unify their audience. At an award show as diverse the AMVCAs, where there is a plethora of nominees from various categories and parts of the continent, every opportunity to unify and bring creatives together is welcomed. The organizers of the AMVCA continue to go above and beyond to be inclusive. From the diverse list of nominees to the culturallysensitive hosts, MultiChoice has proven that it is truly dedicated to showcasing and celebrating the African story. Also, given its track record with projects like the MultiChoice Talent Factory, Big Brother Naija and Big Brother Africa, it is evident that MultiChoice will continue to select hosts that represent the diversity and unity of Africa.

Tickets are available at Afritickets for adults and children three-years and above, while children under the age of two have free access to the Federal Palace on 29th and 30th September. Families will witness performances by Nickelodeon’s superstar characters SpongeBob Square Pants; Adventure Bay’s intrepid pups, Skye, Rubble Marshall and Chase from Paw Patrol; the energetic Dora the Explorer with her animal rescuer cousin, Diego and her best pal, Boots. The genies who can solve any problem, Shimmer and Shine, are also part of the amazing character lineup and there will be surprise

performances by some of Africa’s adored entertainers. Kids and parents can look forward to lots of singing, dancing and unbridled fun as they are whisked away to their favourite Nickelodeon characters’ worlds. Performing on the NickFest stage this year are A-list Nigerian musical acts Mayorkun, Falz, Simi and Adekunle Gold. Once again the Celebrity Slime Challenge will be the highlight of NickFest as popular personalities are slimed green. This follows last year’s success in which some of Nigeria’s top entertainers such as Mr. P (Paul of P-Square), Chioma Akpotha,

Ill Bliss, Mr. Eazi, Samantha Walsh and Ehiz all featured in the festival and got slimed several times in order to raise awareness and funds for the indigent Children’s Trust project. Apart from creating an opportunity for attendees to give to a good cause, NickFest serves as an avenue for children to have fun with their favourite Nickelodeon characters and for adults to let loose and unleash their inner child. This year’s NickFest will welcome more than 4,000 children and families to the Federal Palace Hotel grounds, transforming the venue into a bright orange Nickelodeon and Maltina fun fest.

Rose Strings tasks upcoming artistes on hard work, value addition to society

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CHINEDUM ONYEMA ose Strings (real name Rose Ohiammah Jacob), an Abuja-based musician, has advised upcoming artistes to always do what is right and keep their works up by adding value to the society through doing songs inspired by God and being a blessing to mankind and praise to their maker. The University of Jos graduate of Accountancy, who spoke in a telephone interview with BDSUNDAY, says the Nigerian music industry has caught global attention and has become one of

the best in the continent despite the various challenges facing Nigerian musicians, especially upcoming artistes. “Though the challenge is high, the competition gets tougher as everyone is working towards excelling and selling their own brand,” she says. “It takes a lot of capital to hit the market in terms of promotion, but with great consistency and hard work, success is inevitable,” she says. The first daughter among seven children, the Benue Stateborn Rose, who has used music to create a non-governmental

organisation (NGO), says she grew up seeing herself a singer, as she grew up in a music family. At age four, as a member of the children’s choir, she represented her church at a programme in Sokoto State. It was, however, in 2006 that she launched her first album titled “Desire”. Now in her fourteenth year in the music industry, Rose says although she started her music career in church, she would remain in church and continue in church. Asked about what motivates her, she says it is God’s grace. “God has been so faithful to me. The journey isn’t a very easy one, but grace and favour have been my support. God has backed me up despite all the challenges I meet across my way,” she says. “That is why it is good to do whatever you are doing with right motive, if not one would be frustrated. I take music as service to the Lord, gratitude is my watchword.” Speaking further, she says, “Music is life and life is music. Music on its own is a spirit; it lifts one up. It depends on the situation; you can use music to support the less privileged through concert, and then using proceeds from album sales to support them. We are working hard on gospel songs, as the day goes by, seeking for means and ways to get better.”


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THINGS TO DO IN LAGOS It is another Sunday Funday and as always, I have somewhere for you to be at! Here are a few events happening today that will thrill you:

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his week it’s safe to say we’ve had the yearly 7 days of rain (non-stop), and not only has it worsened Lagos traffic, it has opened up many holes that can burst your tyres if not careful. But even with this major hitch, the show in Lagos must go on and parties must happen. So just because you can’t go to the beach now and you’ve probably seen Crazy Rich Asian’s already, here are 5 beautiful restaurants you must visit today. Atleast if not all, do one.

THE WHEATBAKER RESTAURANT

THE HARVEST

SKY BOX

Located in the beautiful environs of Ikoyi, their lobsters will keep you longing for sea food all week.

Situated in the heart of Lekki Phase 1 and is known for its amazing fries and grills.

THE BACKYARD

Well seated in the heart of Victoria Island, their chicken and chips is worth every of your penny.

NOK BY ALARA

Add some tradition to your meal today and visit the throat dragging restaurant in Victoria Island.

Truth is I’ve never had lunch or dinner here, but be sure I’ll try it out with you today.


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HBSAN Life Impact Series with Adedotun Sulaiman, Chairman, Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN) HBSAN Life Impact Series is an initiative of Harvard Business School Association of Nigeria (HBSAN), and is a series of interview sessions with prominent alumni of the prestigious Harvard Business School (HBS) who have had a major part of their career pursuit and business initiatives in Nigeria. The series is designed to showcase how the learning experience at HBS has influenced these business leaders in their endeavours, particularly the impact they have made in Nigeria, and by extension Africa. It is also aimed at inspiring the younger members of the HBS community who aspire to pursue their careers and grow their business initiatives in Nigeria. The maiden edition of the HBSAN Life Impact Series features an insightful interview session with Adedotun Sulaiman, Trustee Board Member and former President of HBSAN, who attended the Programme for Management Development (PMD) at HBS in 1990. The session held in his office at Arian Capital Management Limited, where he serves as the Executive Chairman. Adedotun Sulaiman, Chairman, Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN), is a founding member of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and member of the Summit’s Board since inception in 1993 until December 2006, a member of the Board of Governors of the Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON) until December 2006, and a Trustee of the Corona Schools Trust. He was honoured by the Federal Government with the award of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic [MFR] in 2000, and chairs the board of several companies, traversing several sectors of the economy. Excerpts:

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hat is your career background? My engagement in business dates back to 1978, meaning we turned 40 years this year. I finished school in 1975 and we were the third set of people to do the NYSC. When I finished my service call in 1976, I joined the Foreign Service. This wasn’t my plan. I had wanted to pursue a career in banking. Before long, I was in Washington DC as a Consular Officer, but I didn’t quite enjoy my job. I came back to Nigeria in 1978 and the idea was for me to go back to school. I had gained admission into a school in Colombia and I had a scholarship up to PHD level. I was all set to go and suddenly I saw this advert in the Nigerian Press that seemed to be talking to me specifically. It was as though they were describing me, so I applied to this company that I didn’t know about. I got scheduled for an interview and that’s how I met Dick Kramer. He made me an offer and then it became a choice of ‘should I pursue my MBA/ DBA at the Colombian university or should I stay and work here in Nigeria’? Long story short, I chose to stay. I stayed, and I was one of the first 5 employees at that time. We built what all of us know today as Accenture Nigeria. This was done over a career span of about 32 years (1978-2010). For my key milestones; I became a Manager in 1983, became a Local Partner in 1984, and in 1985 I became a Worldwide Partner. I took over from Dick Kramer as Country Manager in 1993. The firm separated in 1999 and I gave up the responsibility for accounting and tax businesses. I focused all my energy on the consulting part of the business, starting from 1999, and this later became Accenture in 2001. I retired as Country Manager in 2005, and stayed on the board as Chairman until I completely dis-engaged from Accenture in 2010. Why Did You Make The Decision To Attend Harvard Business School (HBS)? When I attended the Harvard Business School in 1990, I did a programme that was known as Programme for Management Development. My reason for attending HBS is quite simple, I was sent there. It wasn’t entirely my decision to go but my then boss and mentor, Dick Kramer wanted me to. Looking back at why I attended HBS, I think part of my reasons would be because I didn’t make Partner in 1988 as expected, and HBS was like my compensation. Another reason would be, I was being prepared for higher responsibility, PMD was a 3 month programme at that time (February – May) and for me, because of my career background, the programme was more of a validation. I enjoyed my stay there and learned a lot from my contemporaries, my course mates from different fields and walks of life.

government to ensure that some of the inputs found their way into the actual budget. Upon the release of the budget, we usually held an enlightening forum on how the budget can impact different sectors of the economy. This was a very engaging group and that was the pre-cursor to the Nigerian Economic Summit Group. So it gave exposure to my career and increased my influential contact base. How can a Harvard Alumni make an impact? What I will recommend to your generation is what I learnt from Dick, which is; ‘you have to engage in the principle of giving back, even when you don’t have much’. When you see all the roles I played at a really young age, it wasn’t because I had all the time in the world, but the firm L-R: Collins Onuegbu, Communications Secretary, HBSAN & Executive Vice Chairman, Signal Alliance, I worked in actively encouraged us to do Adedotun Sulaiman, Trustee Board Member and former President, HBSAN, Chairman of the Financial Reporting what we did, so I had to. Council of Nigeria (FRCN), and Executive Chairman, Arian Capital Management Ltd., Chika Nnadozie, Program What I find today is that everyone is so Manager, HBSAN, and Fola Ogunsiakan, President, HBSAN & Managing Director, Cedar Capital. self-centred about building their own wealth that they don’t care about what’s Lastly, HBS built up my self-esteem. For give a person looking to go to Harvard going on in the larger community. If you everything I thought I knew and was be- now? are a Harvard alumni, you are a privileged ing taught there, I became stronger and Everyone who goes to Harvard has a busi- person. Don’t sit in your bullet proof even more grounded. Meeting Michael ness or job ground or are looking to start SUVs and high fenced houses and think Potter in person and reinforcing all my one up. So in order to prepare their minds, you’ve made it. You have an obligation to first they must know that the Harvard give back to this country, so part of your knowledge meant a great deal to me. experience in terms of business education resources and time have to be dedicated As a Nigerian/African, what did you is the best you can get around the world. to courses outside of your business line. take away from HBS? Be a volunteer in business, politics, or The experience at Harvard was world- I’ll tell them to take maximum advantage another field. Be willing to sacrifice and class and there are many things I took of the opportunity, suck up all the knowl- stop waiting for the system to do someaway from there; Knowledge is universal. edge that they possibly can, and as you thing for you. You may have to adapt the application hear the case studies and theories, in your to your situation, but in terms of theory own mind keep asking yourself, ‘so how How can today’s generation be more it’s the same. These are some simple will this apply to my country, industry and involved? truths I took away from Harvard Busi- situation at large?’ Be involved! Lastly, before you leave Harvard, you must ness School. Also, I learnt that there is no way as a ask yourself what you will do differently How will you advise the HBS Association leading company or country that you when you get to Nigeria, and how will you of Nigeria to do better? can excel without playing at the highest maintain the relationships that you have I’ve always wanted the younger execulevel. I had the opportunity to go to the established, bearing in mind that you have tives to be in charge. So you all need to be Olympics two years before I went to the best minds from across the world as organized, make an impact and deal with Harvard (1988) and I took something course mates. an issue pending in the country. You have away from there; there is no standard the training and capability, so do more. How has your HBS influence affected Yes we can’t solve the problems of Nigepeculiar to Nigeria. There is no shortcut to success. You your career, family and society? ria, but we can make a move. Take up a either do it how they did it and make it It’s been a significant impact for sure. The project and just do it! better, or you don’t do it how they did it, in first thing it did was to make me part of a order to avoid the potholes they fell into. network (an alumni of the most presti- HBSAN is the HBS alumni group of NigeThe Nigerian brand is not one to match up gious business school in the world). I was rians and resident non-Nigerians driven with international standard and we’ve al- an officer of the Harvard Business School by a primary objective to provide memways known this. The only times African Association of Nigeria even before I went bers with resources, relationships and countries featured in contexts was when to Harvard, most people don’t know that. opportunities to enable them build and it involved corruption. Harvard indeed In my time, our economy wasn’t liberal- lead organizations that will create transshowed me that there is a lot of work to ized. The Harvard alumni, who were formational impact in Nigeria and beyond. be done in the Nigerian economy, for us majorly capitalists, were propagating the idea of a liberalized economy. We pro- A photograph from the session is disto be globally recognized. A lot has changed about Africa since you vided inputs during the preparation of the played below; went to Harvard, so what advice will you pre-budget, and then lobbied the military


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Life&Living

Makeup tips every lady should try!

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JUMOKE AKIYODE-LAWANSON

pplying makeup to enhance your beauty is always a welcome idea to most women. However, it can be seen as stressful, inconvenient and time wasting at times. Yes, makeup can be expensive but it will do you well to know that you don’t have to buy every single item in the beauty store to look your best. Most makeup items can be substituted and there are some vital tips that will make applying makeup less time consuming. Here are a few of them; Concealer as eye shadow primer: Most ladies panic when they have no more eye shadow primer to make sure that the eye shadow doesn’t smudge or that the colours stay in place without crinkling or running. Well, you need not panic because your concealer can do the trick. Cover your eyelid with concealer and this will make a less pigmented eye shadow colour pop and stay in place.

Use a tape to create the perfect winged liner: We all know that our hands can be shaky when we are putting on makeup, hence our eyeliner might look a bit wonky/crooked and powered eye shadow can fall in places we don’t want it to. To avoid

this, or to create the perfect winged liner, cut a small piece of Sellotape and stick it against the outer corner of your eye, then apply your shadow as you normally would or draw the straight line of your eyeliner directly above the edge of the tape. Wait till it dries and then pull it off gently to reveal your cat-eye liner. This will save you the time of having to wipe up areas on your face that have been stained with eye shadow or liner. Saline solution for dried up mascara: You’re only supposed to keep mascara for three months, because beyond that point, it can collect bacteria and lead to eye infections. However, if your mascara dries up within those three months, revive it with a couple drops of saline solution. This causes no harm, as the solution is originally intended to cleanse contact lenses which go in human eyes. Alternatively, you can put your mascara into a cup of hot water for a few seconds to melt the dried up mascara.

For long-lasting lip color, swipe on your shade, lay a tissue over your mouth, and then dust translucent powder over it to set the color: Although most women now easily use long wear, matte lipsticks, if you would like to get the same effect with your regular lip stains, this is a perfect hack. This process may seem extensive, but the payoff is worth it. Not only does the translucent powder set a bold shade, like Elizabeth Arden’s Ceramide Lipstick in Rouge, making it instantly long-wearing, but the tissue acts as a shield to your lip color, protecting it from lightening or losing it’s vibrancy. (Translucent powder, even though it’s supposed to be clear, still has a subtle white tint to it that can alter your lip shade.) Conceal dark circles and puffy eyes the right way by creating a triangle with your cover-up: A lot of women already know this trick but some women just think that’s the way make-up artists like applying concealer. The best way is it to actually apply it in a triangular for-

Ade Bakare: The cost of class in fashion designing IFEOMA OKEKE

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ne thing that stands you out in any occasion, no doubt, is your attire. In making amazing outfits, people love to patronize the best brains in designs, no matter the cost, especially when the occasion is for or will have in attendance, the so called ‘high and mighty’. Certain clothing designs make people feel more confident, radiant, and elegant and sometimes steal the show of the occasion. However, only few designers make this happen and Ade Bakare is one of them. Ade Bakare was approached by the production team behind the new hit TV series Battleground, which is shown on DSTV. Bakare was

selected to design the costumes for the characters Adaora and Teni the wife and daughter of the billionaire, Kolade Bhadmus. One of the major reasons Bakare was selected was because he designed for these ladies in real life. Bakare’s client list includes the who’s who in Nigeria. From first ladies to professional women, his couture lines are much appreciated as they evoke glamour and sophistication. However, designing for specific characters still has it challenges and briefs are given with regards appropriate styles, colours and silhouette. “Brief discussions are held with the production team on the story lines and designs that will be suitable. Colours are very bright and vivid. Rich silk in adire, chiffons, organza

and his trademark gazar are shown to great effect. “It is necessary to understand the

character and the person, you have to understand the script and what the team wants to achieve. Sketches

mation with the base of the triangle directly under your lash line and the point toward the bottom of your cheek. This shape helps conceal any redness at the bottom of your eye and at the sides, and then instantly creates the illusion that your face is lifted, since the brightest point is the most intense under your eye. Use blotting paper: Many women actually think it is ok to pile up more powder to cover up their oily face. This never works, as you are just succeeding in clogging up your pores. Blotting paper which is a translucent light weight paper will help sop up excess oil on your skin. Use damp beauty blender: Wet your beauty blender/makeup sponge, squeeze out excess water and tap it on a clean towel before putting it in foundation and applying it on your face. This allows for even application and good control of coverage. It is great for blending makeup and concealing pores sine it can press your foundation evenly into the skin.

with fabric samples are shown to the costume department in advance, a selection process then takes place before the designs are made and still when they are worn they might not have the desired effect, so it’s back to the drawing board, it’s a painstaking procedure but magical when successful,” Bakare said. Other projects Ade Bakare has worked on include ‘A place in the stars’, a film by Steve Gukas ,’Lekki wives’ by Blessing Egbe and also ‘One room’ by the same director which featured the actress Rita Dominique. Ade Bakare is a couture designer based in London with over 20 years’ experience. He has a branch of his fashion house in Lagos and recently opened another branch in Abuja. He also writes extensively on Fashion.


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Travel

Lagos furthers tourism campaign at Akwaaba African Travel Market ...set to launch tourism master plan

that having a special day for Lagos State during this important travel market for the first time will further boost the present administration’s commitment to encourage the private sector to collaborate with the state government in the development of the sector”. He urged all visitors to relax and take advantage of the unique opportunity to see, feel and explore what Lagos has got to offer. In his views, Steve Ayorinde said that the conception and sustenance of the annual Akwaaba African Travel Market was worthy of commendation as the platform has consistently provided an avenue for enriching and thought provoking treatise, meeting of like minds and brainstorming for major stakeholders in the tourism sector in Africa on issues that can help tourism promotion and development in Africa. He applauded Ikechi Uko, the organiser of Akwaaba African Travel

Market, for the foresight and resilience in sustaining the hosting of the event. The commissioner said the Lagos State government is partnering with the organisers of Akwaaba for the first time in hosting this edition to engage and collaborate with the private sector in the promotion of tourism in the state. Ayorinde stated further that the state government hopes to leverage on the unique opportunities provided by the expo to reach-out to major tourism stakeholders in the continent and to market Lagos as a choice and must visit destination in Africa and the world. He said in a bid to have a document that gives direction to its tourism development, the state government will be unveiling the Lagos State Tourism Masterplan later this month. According to the commissioner, “This will help in giving legal backing to all our efforts in developing the tourism sector of the state and making Lagos the preferred destination for business leisure and entertainment”. He said the state has also been engaging and partnering with the private sector in promoting Lagos as a prime destination, adding that this has actually supported the private organisations in the entertainment and tourism sector and in some cases engaged in partnership with them in organising social events to promote movement of the people into the state. Ayorinde noted that the government will continue to offer one of the best growth opportunities for the tourism industry. At the expo, the excerpts of the state tourism master plan, which would be unveiled later this month, was presented to the audience, including a fantastic documentary of Lagos and what makes the city a must visit destination for business, tourism and leisure .

it also sucks the moisture from your skin. That’s why you look wrinkled and puffy the next morning.” The problem is less apparent on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which has a composite fuselage, so the cabin air can contain more moisture. If you are not on a Dreamliner, the top tip is moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. In-flight It is a good idea to wear natural, breathable fibers such as cotton. If you are lucky enough to be flying in one of the premium cabins, you can change into something comfortable on board. Put a light jersey or sweatshirt over a cotton shirt or T-shirt. Also remember your skinny jeans may turn heads in the terminal, but might not be ideal for sleeping

in. Oh, and wear sensible shoes. Airports involve a lot of walking and your brand new cap-toe Oxfords are just going to give you blisters. Have a drink, but don’t overdo it. Aircraft cabins are pressurized to 8, 000 feet. This and the dry air don’t combine well with alcohol, at least not if you plan to look and feel human the next day. Rather than have that second whisky, settle for straight water instead. Before landing, the essentials you’ll need in your cabin bag are: face/ hand wipes moisturizer (of course) and a dry shampoo. “You always wake up a little groggy and it is amazing how using a cleansing face wipe can make you feel clean and refreshed.

OBINNA EMELIKE

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o doubt, the 14th edition of the Akwaaba African Travel Market has further consolidated on the success of the travel expo over the years. However, this year’s edition, which held at Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos, (the host venue for 14 years), witnessed the gathering of more exhibitors, more participating countries, tourism boards and travel and tourism stakeholders across Africa and beyond. But the Lagos State stand saw more visitors than it had ever seen in any exhibition it had participated in the past. Beyond putting up a stand at the travel expo, the state took its ‘Visit Lagos’ campaign to a higher level with the hosting of Lagos Day on September 11, 2018, an event that wrapped the activities of the travel expo. The spectacular event offered Lagos the opportunity to expose the visitors and guests to its unique hospitality, rich cultural heritage, aquatic and entertainment offerings. It was spiced with cultural dances from the state cultural troupe, presentations on Epe’s tourism potential, presentations also by Bolanle Austen Peters of Bolanle Austen-Peters Productions, among other activities. The event attracted dignitaries, participants, exhibitors and guests from the travel, tourism and entertainment industry across Africa and Dubai. Speaking during the expo, Akinwumi Ambode, the Lagos State governor, said that the present administration has continued to create paths and development strategies that would raise the bar of the state’s tourism sector and reposition its strength among

L-R: Ikechi Uko, organiser, Akwaaba African Travel Market; Steve Ayorinde, commissioner of Culture, Art and Tourism, Lagos State, Segun Runsewe, director general, NCAC; Mike Amachree, tourism stakeholder; Van Vicker, popular Ghanian actor, and Dein Gbabo of Akwaaba, during the presentation of award to Lagos State for partnering with the organiser of Akwaaba at the Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos at the just concluded expo.

other tourists destination in Africa and the world. The governor noted that the state’s participation in the event will produce a stronger, a more efficient tourism and creative economy sector as the government will now tell her story better. Governor Ambode who was represented by Steve Ayorinde, Commissioner for Tourism, Arts & Culture, stated that Lagos, the cultural capital of Nigeria and the fifth largest economy in Africa, is undeniably the must-go city for business and entertainment. He noted that this year’s event is significant and unique as it is the very first time Lagos State is partnering, as well as, fully participating in Akwaaba to showcase its efforts and tourism potential as a state. “The state government’s active participation since Sunday has afforded our African brothers and sisters and international commu-

nity the opportunity to interact and network with the over 60 exhibitors in the hospitality, travel, transport, tour operators and creative product sectors across Africa that are here to showcase their services and products. This expectedly will produce a stronger and a more efficient tourism and creative economy sector as the state government will now better tell her story and give her narratives on the abundance tourism potentials in the state in furtherance of its sincere commitment in making Lagos the preferred destination for tourism, business and leisure”, the governor said. As well, he disclosed that his government has also invested heavily in key infrastructure projects intended to have positive impact on tourism promotion in the state. Speaking on the rationale for the Lagos Day event at the travel expo, the governor said, “It is our belief

Hacks for the well-groomed travelling man

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ost men have a similar pre-flight routine: throw some clothes in a suitcase, give their shoes a quick polish and run for the airport. The 19th of August was Men’s Grooming Day, so what better time to re-think that checklist and arrive at your next overseas meeting looking more James Bond than Mr Bean? Ademola Sanya does not rate himself as a grooming expert, but as British Airways’ trade sales manager for Nigeria, he does plenty of business travels. Over the years, through trial and plenty of errors, he has worked out a pre-flight, inflight and post-flight routine that will ensure you arrive looking the

part or at least better than all the other rumpled guys who flew in on the overnight red-eye. Pre-flight Do not leave your packing until the last minute. You will forget something important like a belt or cuff-links. Fold your clothes carefully along the seams or better still in tissue paper. This minimizes wrinkles. Think about what you will need, when and pack accordingly. That way you won’t have to rumple all your carefully folded clothes as you burrow for a shirt to wear to your first meeting. Plan your day. If you are flying in the evening try to leave some time for a run, brisk walk or light gym session. You’ll be sitting for 11 hours

or more, so a little pre-departure cardio will do wonders for how you feel when you land. After a long, hot shower or relaxing bath, apply plenty of moisturizer. According to Ade, this is one of those hard-earned lessons. “The air in aircraft cabins is, by necessity, kept pretty dry. This helps prevent the air-frame corroding, but


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Sunday 16 September 2018

Travel

Akwaaba 2018: Showcasing Africa’s richness in entertainment, interaction, tourism Stories by IFEOMA OKEKE

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here is no doubt t h e Af r i c a i s blessed with div e r s e c u l t ure , tourism attractions and entertainment. As the world’s second largest and second most-populous continent (behind Asia in both categories), the continent has evolved to host countries that has become a one-stop destination for art, businesses and tourism attractions. Various countries in Africa are doing so well to attract as much population as possible to feel and familiarize with their ethos and culture. However, the constraints of time, distance and costs have made it increasingly difficult for tourism lovers to visit so many counties to experience the thrilling entertainment and education behind the rich culture of the African people. However, all hope is not lost as Akwaaba African Travel Market (AAfTM) has in the last 14 years become a resort centre to showcase Africa’s rich cultural heritage. Expectedly, this year, was not an exception as Akwaaba again lived up to its expectation and this time got the

endorsement of the Lagos state government, which the host State for the event. The Lagos state government commended the organizers of Akwaaba African Travel Market (AAfTM) for sustaining the tourism event for 14 years without a break. Speaking shortly after declaring open the 14th edition of the programme at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos, in company of Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, the directorgeneral of National Council of Arts and Culture (NCAC), Steve Ayorinde, Commissioner, Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Art and Culture, said the event is the only travel and tourism Expo endorsed in Africa by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) due to its richness in entertainment, interaction and tourism. “The conception and sustenance of the annual Akwaaba African Travel Market is indeed worthy of commendation, as the platform has consistently provided an avenue for enriching and thought provoking treatise, meeting of like minds and brainstorming for major stakeholders in the tourism sector in Africa on issues that can help in tourism promotion and development in Africa. “To this end, I must com-

L-R: Richard Aisuebeogun, former managing director, FAAN, vice chairman, SAHCOL, Chike Ogeah, Fatima Garbati, Aviation consultant, Adefunke Adeyemi, regional director, IATA, Africa and Middle East, Wimpie Van Vuuren, senior manager, sales, and marketing, Air Namibia, managing director, Dial Travel and Tours, Steve Isokariari and Ikechi Uko, organizer, 14th Akwaaba Travel Market at the aviation Day held at Eko Hotel Lagos

mend Ambassador Ikechi Uko, the organizer of the Expo for his foresight and resilience in sustaining the hosting of the event which is the only travel and tourism Expo endorsed by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). “It is expedient to note that Lagos State government, through the gracious approval of the Art-loving governor is partnering with the organisers of Akwaaba

for the first time in hosting of this exhibition. This is in affirmation and demonstration of this administration’s commitment to engage and collaborate with the private sector in the promotion of tourism in the state,” he added. Ayorinde, who spoke through Fola Adeyemi, the Permanent secretary of the ministry, added that “the State government will not hesitate in leveraging on the unique opportunities provide

Lufthansa group wins four Skytrax awards

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ufthansa has been elected as the ‘Best Airline in Europe’ and the ‘Best Western European Airline’. The awards were presented to Lufthansa on the occasion of a ceremony held by Skytrax in London. The market research institute Skytrax specializing in the aviation industry had previously surveyed about 20 million passengers from more than 160 countries worldwide. Passengers from across the globe voted in favor of the German premium airline and thus also acknowledged the service provided by

Lufthansa. “We would like thank our customers for this vote of confidence and our employees for their commitment and customer o r i e n t a t i o n ” , An d r e a s Otto, product manager of the Lufthansa Group for

the premium airlines and chief commercial officer of Austrian Airlines said. “We are well aware of the challenge of living up to this award at all times. For this reason, we see this recognition as an incentive to fulfil the promise we make

to our customers”, he added. Austrian Airlines was given two awards. The employees were given the award as the “Best Airline Staff Service in Europe”. Moreover, Austrian Airlines is champion in the category “ Be s t Bu s i n e s s Cl a s s Onboard Catering”. The survey was carried out by the market research institute Skytrax specializing in the aviation industry. Passengers were asked to assess the offering on board and services of the airlines at the airports. Skytrax has been conducting this survey on an annual basis since 1999.

Dana Air introduces ‘Smart Booking’ on whatsApp

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ana Air, Nigeria’s most innovative airline has taken a bold step to revolutionize the ease of booking tickets with the introduction of the ‘smart booking’ on WhatsApp. According to the airline, with the ‘Smart Booking’ on WhatsApp, guests of the airline can now book and pay immediately, book and pay later, register for Dana

Miles or get details of their Dana miles account, get flight update, make inquiries, reservations and lots more. Speaking on the airline’s cutting edge initiative in the aviation industry, Obi Mbanuzuo, the accountable manager/ chief operating officer of Dana Air, said, Dana Air continues to lead the pack with its innovative ways of getting customers to book with ease and take

advantage of the multiple benefits of interacting with us on our social media platforms especially WhatsApp.” “We are always seeking ways to ensure that we offer the best of service and that our customer-centric products appeals to everybody: the elderly, young , middleaged, funky, and the busy and all our guests need to do is save the mobile number

07051190363 as contact on their phones to get quick and necessary attention from 7am to 7pm daily’’ ‘’For us, nothing stops you from getting a booking even when you have too many things to do. Just a chat and you will get your booking code to pay conveniently when less busy or before expiry on our website www. flydanaair.com or at any of sales outlets Nationwide.’’

by the Expo to reach out to reach out to major tourism stakeholders in the continent and market Lagos as a choice and must visit destination in Africa and the world.” While revealing that the State had since inception, invested so much in tourism and equipping of security agencies, he added that it (tourism), has become a major source of investment and employment in many states and countries, hence,

Lagos is doing everything possible to ensure that the state takes its rightful position in the comity of nations that pride itself as tourists destination across the globe. He said the state plans to unveil the Lagos State Tourism master plan which will help in giving legal backing to all its efforts in developing the sector and making Lagos the preferred destination for business, leisure and entertainment. Adefunke Adeyemi, vice president, International Air Transport Association (IATA) during the event said through Awaaba, a lot of learning has come into play over the past 14 years. “We can see now that it is really thriving. I am so impressed to see so many of tourism authorities and so many businesses across Africa present here. We are seeing demonstration of African culture, business, entrepreneurship and so many aspects of African life being demonstrated in Akwaaba. “It is also a platform for African tourism to integrate with African aviation, which is very important. We will continue to encourage cooperation amongst the airlines, over time they will cooperate,” Adeyemi added.

Emirates upgrades aircraft on the Abuja Service

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mirates, a global connector of people and places, have upgraded the Abuja route’s operating aircraft to a Boeing 777-300ER from the 777-300 classic, with effect from 15th September 2018. With this development, the EK785 and 786 will be on the Dubai-Abuja-Dubai routes four times in a week. The B777-300ER is a three class cabin with 310 seats in Economy Class, 42 seats in Business Class and 8 seats in First Class. Economy Class will feature specially designed and contoured seats in a 3-4-3 configuration with 2-4-2 configuration in the last rows with generous space for passengers and Bu s i n e s s Cl a s s o f f e r s comfortable sleeperette seats which recline to a 78” long lie flat bed. First Class features the world’s first private suites with privacy screens, massage-enabled leather seats which convert to flat beds include luxurious comfort covers, down pillows and cotton-lined b l a n k e t s . Pa s s e n g e r s travelling in First Class will

also find the BYREDO travel wellness range of skincare in their private suites and brand new Bowers & Wilkins Active Noise Cancelling E1 headphones, to amplify the viewing experience on ice. Af z a l Pa r a m b i l , t h e regional manager West Africa , reiterates “The u p g r a d e o f o u r Ab u j a service to a Boeing 777300ER demonstrates our commitment to the Nigeria market and is another step to ensure we offer world class products and services to our customers. Since its launch in 2014 Emirates boosted international tourism and trade in Abuja from a raft of destinations in the Far East, West Asia, Middle East, Europe and North America.” “Emirates constantly strives to provide its passengers with the very best service and the introduction of a Boeing B777-300ER reflects that commitment. Our 777-300ER will offer Emirates’ renowned cabin comforts and facilities, including our award-winning ice entertainment system,” he pointed out.


Sunday 16 September 2018

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Health&Science 2018: Cancer burden records 18.1 million new cases globally

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ANTHONIA OBOKOH he World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in its latest GLOBOCAN report specifying prevalence and death rates from many different types of cancer, said the global cancer burden would rise to an estimated 18.1 million new cases this year. “Cancer will claim the lives of 9.6 million people in 2018, accounting for one in eight of all deaths among men and one in 11 among women,” says the report. The report published by the agency on September 12 was carried out in 185 countries or territories for 36 cancer types by sex and age group. “West Africa accounts for 5.8 per cent of the global population and 7.3 per cent of cancer deaths.” “Worldwide, the total number of people who are alive within five years of a cancer diagnosis, called the 5-year prevalence, is estimated to be 43.8 million.” “There is also a shift from cancers related to poverty and infections towards cancers linked to lifestyles and diets more typical of wealthier countries,” says report.

WHO says the burden of cancer in Nigeria is heavy but it’s largely being ignored due to poor record keeping, cancer is responsible for 3 per cent of total mortality, which translates to 72,000 deaths per annum. The challenge is that this number is set to increase given that there are 102,000 new cases of cancer every year. This means that about 240 Nigerians die every day or 10 Nigerians every hour from cancer. Nigeria’s cancer mortality ratio of 4 in 5 affected persons is one of the worst in the world. However, global patterns showed that both for men and women, nearly half of new cancer cases and more than half of cancer deaths worldwide in 2018 will be in Asia, in part because the region

has nearly 60 per cent of the global population. The Asia have 48.4per cent of global cancer cases and 57.3 per cent of cancer deaths. With an estimated 1.8 million new cases in 2018, colorectal or bowel cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, followed by prostate cancer and then stomach cancer are the most commonly diagnosed cancer. IARC’s report said prevention efforts - such as stop-smoking campaigns, screenings, and human papillomavirus vaccinations - may have helped reduce incidence rates for some cancers, such as lung cancer among men in Northern Europe and North America and cervical cancer in most regions other than sub-Saharan Africa.

Guber aspirant vows to overhaul Kwara health care services ....as maternal mortality rates 100,000 SIKIRAT SHEHU, Ilorin

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eview of the Kwara State health status has indicates that women of child bearing age and children under five are the most vulnerable groups. However, maternal mortality in Kwara State is estimated at 980/100,000 while an infant mortality rate is at 50-103/1000. Bolaji Abdullahi, former minister for sport and a gubernatorial aspirant for Kwara disclosed this in his manifesto held recently in Ilorin, the state capital. According to him, one of the major challenges confronting the state is inefficient health care delivery. Thus, if given the opportunity to pilot the affairs of the state come 2019; his government will provide adequate health care support. He said: “Our strategy will prioritise preventive healthcare and develop an integrated health-care system that provides support to our citizens.

“Maternal mortality is estimated at 980/100,000, while infants’ mortality rates at 50103/1000 live births. Routine immunization coverage of 1223 months is still believed to be about 31 per cent.” Abdullahi noted that, inability to pay minimum charges for drugs and consumables has occasionally led to avoidable complications or even deaths. Therefore, his government will be ready to provide essential medicines and hospital consumables to the most vulnerable citizens. He affirmed that “we shall work towards eradication of infant, child and maternal mortality in the state by supporting preventive, curative, manage health-care for under-5 children and prevent women. “We will launch the Vulnerability Protection Fund (VPF), the will support access to prescription drugs, surgical procedures and care for individuals with chronic ailments. “Similarly, we shall develop a

comprehensive system of Mobile Health-care system building training and mobilising health extension workers in rural areas to conduct health education, routine immunisation, simple diagnosis, care and referral. “We will also develop sustainable management and sanitation, infrastructure by relaunching the Clean and Green Programme, as well as expand access to clean water in rural areas and densely populated urban metropolis. “Develop a robust system for accident and disease prevention whilst aggressively promoting safe and healthy lifestyle and nutrition, and as well expand insurance coverage for people in the formal and informal employment and reduce Out - Of- Pocket -Expenditure (OOPE), to the barest minimum. “And we shall wage war against conventional and nonconventional narcotic drugs use and develop a system of rehabilitation from addition.”

What you need to know about fluid in the brain (Hydrocephalus)

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n Nigeria, researches have shown that Spina Bifida is the most common Neural Tube Defect (NTD) which results in Hydrocephalus and cases are beginning to surge in the country. Among other complications, some children develop hydrocephalus. Experts have estimated that about 300, 000 births are affected every year globally noting that for children who survived, there is an increased rate of life-time disabilities. Hydrocephalus is a condition in which there is a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid within the brain, which usually causes increased pressure inside the skull that enlarges the head and sometimes causes brain damage. Brain damage can occur as a result of the fluid buildup. This can lead to developmental, physical, and intellectual impairments. It requires treatment to prevent serious complications. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), Hydrocephalus mainly occurs in children and adults over 60, but younger adults can get it too and it estimates that 1 to 2 of every 1,000 babies are born with hydrocephalus. Studies shows that seizure disorders have been diagnosed in about 10 per cent of children with hydrocephalus and the mortality rate for infants is approximately 5 per cent. In many cases, the exact event leading to hydrocephalus is unknown.   Types of hydrocephalus include: Congenital hydrocephalus is present at birth which may be caused by physical problems with how CSF flows or is made or absorbed, by infections or trauma during fetal development, or by teratogens. It may be linked with other birth defects that affect the spine, especially open neural tube defects. Acquired hydrocephalus, develops at the time of birth or later and can be caused by infections such as meningitis, bleeding, injury, or a tumour. Normal-pressure hydrocephalus usually develops in people who are age 55 or older. It is a potentially treatable cause of dementia. This type of hydrocephalus often occurs after head trauma, infections, and bleeding within the brain. Ex-vacuo hydrocephalus

occurs when there is damage to the brain caused by stroke or traumatic injury. This type of hydrocephalus may not be a health danger for some people, in which case treatment is not needed. With all types of hydrocephalus, early detection and treatment are important to minimize or prevent longterm problems. However, a number of developmental or medical problems can contribute to or trigger hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus may result from inherited genetic abnormalities (such as the genetic defect that causes aqueductal stenosis) or developmental disorders (such as those associated with neural tube defects including spina bifida and encephalocele). Other possible causes may include complications of premature birth such as intraventricular haemorrhage, diseases such as meningitis, tumours, traumatic head injury, or subarachnoid haemorrhage, which block the exit of CSF from the ventricles to the cisterns or eliminate the passageway for CSF within the cisterns. According to Moyo Clinic, Hydrocephalus isn’t a preventable condition. However, there are ways to potentially reduce the risk of hydrocephalus: If you are pregnant, get regular prenatal care and following your doctor’s recommended schedule for checkups during pregnancy can reduce your risk of premature labour, which places your baby at risk of hydrocephalus and other complications. Protect against infectious illness and follow the recommended vaccination and screening schedules for your age and sex. Preventing and promptly treating the infections and other illnesses associated with hydrocephalus may reduce your risk.


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Sunday 09 September 2018

Sports Who will emerge as NFF next President? Stories by ANTHONY NLEBEM

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ollowing months of tussle that has rocked the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), the coast is now clear with regards to the 20th September elections into the NFF Executive Committee for the tenure of 2018-2022, following the official release of the list of candidates for the polls by the NFF Electoral Committee on Friday. Four top big guns are battling for the presidency, including incumbent Amaju Melvin Pinnick, who is also the 1st Vice President of CAF, Member of the Organizing Committee for FIFA Competitions and President of AFCON.  Here, we profile the candidates jostling for the most power seats in Nigerian football.   Amaju Melvin Pinnick  Pinnick, a former Chairman of Delta State Football Association and Executive Chairman of the Delta State Commission, is the highest –placed Nigerian ever in football’s boardroom globally, and has a very useful cordial relationship with world football’s top hierarchy. His Board also holds the ace of a blossoming positive appreciation by Corporate Nigeria that has

Amaju Melvin Pinnick, NFF president

galvanized considerable private sector funding of NFF’s activities.  Alhaji Aminu Maigari    Maigari was the immediate past President of NFF from 2010–2014.  Maigari was sacked on allegations of “financial misappropriation, misapplication and maladministration” leveled against him.  Maigari was removed from office after a vote of

no confidence was passed on him by members of the executive committee of the NFF at a meeting Maigari called to review Nigeria’s performance at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.  Maigari was for several years Chairman of the Bauchi State Football Association and also headed the Bauchi sub –seat for the FIFA U17 World Cup that Nigeria hosted nine years ago.  

Taiwo Ogunjobi  Ogunjobi, a former Nigeria international defender, also has his hat in the ring. Ogunjobi captained and administered one of Nigeria’s traditional powerhouse clubs, Shooting Stars of Ibadan, served as Secretary General of then Nigeria Football Association (2002-2005) and was Member of the NFF Executive Committee 2006-2010. He is presently Chairman of the Osun State Football Association.

Global football transfer spending hits record $5.44bn …. As Premier League clubs lead in transfer business with $1.44bn in spending

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lobal spending on players during the 2018/2019-summer transfer window hit a record high of $5.44bn according to FIFA. 182 of the 211 FIFA member associations had their registration period open during June to September 2018.  Clubs from the Big Five European Leagues accounted for 77.5% of global spending, having a combined total spend of $4.21bn.  Once again, English clubs were the world’s biggest spenders during the period, splashing out $1.44bn in total.  “This marks the fifth summer in a row where their spending was above $1bn, something that until now had not occurred in any other association,” said FIFA.  Since October 2010, all transfers of professional players between clubs of

different football associations must be processed via FIFA’s International Transfer Matching System (ITMS). Its latest data does not feature domestic transfer deals.  Compared with last summer, spending by the Big Five leagues increased by 6.6%, driven by teams from Italy, up by 74.7%, and Spain, up by 42.2%.  “The Big Five play an

increasingly dominant role in the international transfer market when it comes to spending,” a statement from FIFA reads. The figures from FIFA show that 8,401 international transfers were completed around the world during the summer window.  Of this total, 59.1% were transfers of players out of contract, 15.7% were permanent trans-

fers, 13.8% were loans, and 11.4% were transfers of players returning from a loan. Only 18.2% of the transfers involved the payment of a fee.   Th e t o t a l transfer fees for 2018 so far amount to $7.11bn - already 11.5% more than the transfer fees for the entire year in 2017.  The biggest national spender behind the Big Five European leagues is Saudi Arabia.  Saudi clubs have spent a total of $152.1m on transfer fees this summer, a startling 485% increase on 2017.  Meanwhile, clubs in China have also increased spending on players in 2018, up by 105% on the previous year.

 Chinedu Okoye  Chinedu Okoye, proprietor of amateur league club, Bimo FC. For the 1st Vice President’s position, there are two candidates, the incumbent, Barr. Seyi Akinwunmi, whose stock has risen steeply as a result of his passion, commitment and investment in youth football development and charity, slugs it out with another South West chieftain, Otunba Sunday DeleAjayi.  Incumbent Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau will battle club proprietor, Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah for the slot of Chairman of Chairmen on the board.  For other positions on the Executive Committee, Alhaji Sharif Rabiu Inuwa, a Member of the present Board, is the only candidate from the North West.   The battle in the North Central has been narrowed with the withdrawal of FCT FA chairman Musa Talle. However, Alhaji Ahmed Yusuf ‘Fresh’ and Honourable Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande, ranking Members of the Board, have to contend with Alhaji Busari Ishola, chairman of Kwara State FA.  Similarly, incumbents Babagana Kalli and Musa

Duhu from the North East have to contend with Farouk Yarma Adamu. In the South East, Hon. Chidi Ofor Okenwa (presently Chairman of the Nigeria National League), will vie with Enyimba FC chairman, Chief Felix AnyansiAgwu (ranking Member of Board); Barrister Jude Obikwelu (Vice Chairman, Anambra State FA); Sir Emmanuel Ochiagha (Vice Chairman, Imo State FA) and; High Chief Emeka Inyama (former Chairman of the NNL and former Chairman of NFF Marketing and Sponsorship, and also Chairman of NPFL side Abia Warriors).  From the South West, only Alhaji Ganiyu Majekodunmi, chairman of Ogun State FA, is seeking an Executive Committee member position. From the SouthSouth, Oswald Atuake from Cross River State is up against Emmanuel Ibah, chairman of the Akwa Ibom State FA.  Elections into the NFF Executive Committee 20182022 board will hold as scheduled on Thursday, 20th September 2018 in the city of Katsina.   World football –governing body, FIFA, has concluded plans to send a top ranking officials as observers to the elections.

GOtv Boxing NextGen 4: Coaches thrilled by performance of boxers

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oaches and boxing authority figures at GOtv Boxing NextGen Search 4 held at Abeokuta have expressed delight at the quality of young boxers participating in the programme. The three-day event designed to spot young aspiring professional boxers started on Thursday at the Dunkin Pepper Gym of the MKO Abiola International Stadium. At Thursday’s session, which featured over 50 bouts, coaches and boxing, administrators praised the level of performances put up by the boxers on parade and were thrilled by the preponderance of youthful boxers.  Speaking at the opening ceremony, Jenkins Alumona, Managing Director of Flykite Productions, stated that all boxers selected from the event will have their professional boxing licence fees paid by the Chairman of GOtv Boxing,  Adewunmi Ogunsanya (SAN) and will also be given free pre-licensing

medical check-up. He also added that this year’s edition has experienced the highest turnout of boxers since the first edition, recording boxers from over five states: Lagos, Enugu, Ondo, Abia, Oyo and Ogun. Alumona equally stated that at least two of the selected boxers at GOtv Boxing NextGen 4 will fight at the next edition of the GOtv Boxing Night.  Dr Rafiu Ladipo, President, Nigerian Boxing Board of Control (NBB of C), commended sponsors of the programme for their continued support for Nigerian boxing.  Remi Aboderin, President, West African Boxing Union (WABU), who was also in attendance, expressed gratitude to the organisers and sponsors.


Sunday 09 September 2018

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BDSUNDAY 47

Sports

Man City breaks Premier League £500m revenue record …reports £10.4m for winning the EPL title Stories by ANTHONY NLEBEM

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r e m i e r Le a g u e title holder, Manchester City, have announced a record revenue of £500.5m for 2017-18 season.  The number marks a continued increase in Man City’s turnover from £473.4m for the previous season, and £392m for the 2015-16 campaign. City’s revenues have now increased 44 per cent in the last five years, as the club continues to succeed on and off the pitch.  Man City also reported a £10.4m profit, the fourth consecutive year of profitability for the club. Those profits are up from £1.1m, the figure from last season.  Last season, Man City won the EFL Cup and the Premier League, setting new competition records for most points, most wins and most goals scored. It was the second year of Pep Guardiola tenure at Etihad Stadium and the first since the summer spending spree of 2017, when the club bought Kyle Walker, Ederson, Danilo, Ben-

jamin Mendy and Bernardo Silva. Despite those additions to the wage bill, City’s wage/ revenue ratio stood at 52 per cent for last season - a small decrease from the 55 per cent figure for the previous campaign. Man City’s annual report to 30 June 2018, confirms they are the second English club to break the £500m barrier.  The club reported a profit for the fourth successive season, this time of £10.4m and a wage-revenue ratio of 52%.  The healthy financial report comes four months after City won the Premier League by a record 19 points.

Those figures would mean the City wage bill for 2017-18 was roughly £260m, which would mark a small decrease from the £264m figure for 2016-17 season, when City went trophyless and scraped qualification for the Champions League.  Announcing the club’s financial results, Khaldoon AlMubarak, City chairman, said: “The 2017-18 season will go down in history because of the incredible football we all witnessed.  “We are filled with an extraordinary sense of pride in the hard work of Pep Guardiola, the players, and the staff who work tirelessly to

support them. “Our aim is obviously to build on the achievements of the last year. We will always strive for more. Our journey is not complete and we have more targets to fulfil.  “There should be no doubt that we are looking forward to the challenges of the new season and those beyond it with equal commitment and determination to the 10 seasons that came before.”  Al Mubarak said: “Our journey is not complete and we have more targets to fulfil. We will always strive for more.”  Chief executive Ferran Soriano added that further progress in the Champions League was a specific focus.  City have just completed 10 years under the ownership of Sheikh Mansour’s Abu Dhabi United Group.  Al Mubarak added: “Most of the developments visible today are the result of a carefully crafted strategy.”  Only the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester United generate greater income than City, who have increased the capacity of the Etihad Stadium to 55,000.

With €748m in revenues, Real Madrid outperforms Barcelona

... €752.0m revenue forecast for 2018-2019 season

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eal Madrid latest financial results for the 2017-2018 season yet for approval shows the Los Blancos have earned €748.04m compared to €686m for the Blaugrana.  The 2017/18 campaign saw the football first team clinch the Champions League title for a third consecutive year, the fourth time in five years. They also won the Club World Cup and the European and Spanish Super Cups. The basketball team won the Euroleague and the ACB League. The result of all of this has been increased revenues, but also greater expenses, particularly in terms of bonuses to sports personnel.    Once the accounts of last season have been made public, Real Madrid will beat Barcelona in terms of ordinary revenue received.  Barcelona got €227m from the transfer of Neymar and others, while Real Madrid received €54.21m from the sale of Morata.  The growth of Real

Madrid comes from the income corresponding to international competitions and friendly matches. Champions League games contributed €85.46m, €4m for the Spanish Super Cup and Club World Cup, and €18.54m was earned by the summer tour.  Television rights accounted for €178.4m euros, but marketing is the one that commands the most with €297m; €26m from Adidas.  Real Madrid and the German brand are negotiating a new larger contract, and it’s speculated be the largest amount ever for a football club.  There’s been a lot of talk about the €550m loan that Florentino Perez will request from the Assembly for the revamp of the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu stadium.  Initially the work would be paid by the IPIC fund, with €400m guaranteed and the president of the club will ask the delegates for a yes to the

credit request. Real Madrid’s contribution to tax revenues and Social Security rises to €285.4m.  Revenue forecasts for the 2018-2019 season sit a 0.5% higher at €752.0m prior to the sale of assets, as well as pre-tax profits

of some €43.2 million. Furthermore, there will be an Extraordinary Assembly called in which authorisation to contract debt in order to fund the Santiago Bernabeu renovation works will be submitted for approval by the Board of Directors.

StarTimes acquires exclusive broadcasting rights for UEFA Europa League games Leading pay-TV operator, StarTimes has acquired exclusive broadcasting rights for UEFA Europa League in SubSaharan Africa until 2021.  The broadcast, which will begin on September 20th, will see football fans enjoy matches between the best European clubs.   “We are very happy to bring UEFA Europa League to our subscribers. This summer FIFA World Cup was a success and fans really appreciated that we brought them ICC exclusive and live right after. We then thought that they would be delighted to watch another European club competition on Star-

Times,” explained Qasim Elegbede, StarTimes Brand & Marketing Director. “We are working hard to bring the best sport content to our subscribers.This season will be intense for football fans with Bundesliga, French Ligue 1, FIFA Club World Cup, French & Italian Cups and now UEFA Europa League.” StarTimes will broadcast UEFA Europa League in all Sub-Saharan Africa except South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. St a r Ti m e s h a s b e e n awarded exclusive rights for English, Portuguese and local languages in English and Portuguese speaking areas.

Ekundayo calls for private sector participation in Nigeria boxing

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arry Ekundayo, Nigerian born European IBF Welterweight Champion, has urged the private and public sectors to invest in Boxing by establishing Boxing Academies in the country. Speaking at a reception in Lagos organized by Mother Esther Abimbola Ajayi, General Overseer, Love of Christ Church, Ekundayo said that the establishment of Boxing Academies would serve as spring board to develop the game of Boxing in the country.  The 36-year-old Lagos born boxer added that the academies would breed pugilists in the country which has a growing population of teenagers and youths interested in taking Boxing as a profession.  “I must confess that the road to fame for me has been a very torturous one. I started Boxing since the age of 12 and truth is that; I lacked the basis foundation or springboard with which I would have launched myself into the career,” said Ekundayo.  “In fact, I kept asking myself if I was doing the right thing, but my spirit kept telling me not to lose focus.’’  He thanked Rev. Mother Ajayi for her investment and support towards his boxing career.  According to him, “ Boxing goes beyond being talented and if you do not know the business of Boxing, you may not likely to succeed. I have

always known I am talented, but I also needed to eat the right meals, train right and generally put myself in the right shape.’’ According to Rev. Mother Ajayi who hosted Ekundayo, alongside Khomeini Bukhari, Director, Africa Division Peel Aston Global and Ben Gray, Commercial agent to Larry and Hon Abimbola Animasaun-Abdul, she decided to extend a hand of fellowship to Larry Ekundayo because she believed in his talent and prowess.  Rev. Mother Ajayi added that, “ I got a letter in my London home from the Ooni of Ife, His Royal Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunusi, and I never discountenance anything from the Ooni. Immediately, I saw him, I saw a Champion and we started to invest in his life through prayers and other areas. Today, he is a world champion and he has just even started.   ‘’I am glad he is succeeding and I am compelled to do more for him.”

Six Nigerian coaches shortlisted for Arsenal, WorldRemit coaching programme

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eading digital money transfer service WorldRemit has released the names of 25 shortlisted applicants for the WorldRemit Future Stars football coaching programme with six of them coming from Nigeria. Adegun Shola John, Ez-

indu Okay-Lawrence, Felix Ifeanyi Nwosu, Henry Uche Iwuanyanwu, Ogunmefun Jerry Olaide and Oluwasegun Adeniyi, all made the shortlist. The Future Stars programme is a new initiative set up by WorldRemit, the official online money trans-

fer partner of Arsenal Football Club, to recognise and reward the valuable contribution that youth coaches make to the communities they serve. Future Stars offers local coaches from across Africa the chance to attend an exclusive new training camp

with Arsenal’s top Soccer Schools coaches in London. The programme received over 700 applications in one week from across Africa and a shortlist of 25 coaches has been selected by a judging panel of representatives from Arsenal and WorldRemit.


BDSUNDAY

NEW YOU CAN TRUST

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SUNDAY 16 SEPTEMBER 2018

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What Nigeria will gain from upgraded Enugu Airport

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ays after the first cargo plane landed at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, on Tuesday, August 24, 2016, I had, in excitement written an article that eponymously discussed the “cargo” of opportunities which the upgrade of the airport represented for my people and by extension, the people living and doing business in and around the South East of Nigeria. In that article, I pointed out the peculiar economic values a standard international airport will provide for the people of this area and its environs by positing that South-East Nigeria was (still is) a vast market with a population conservatively estimated at N45 million people most of whom engage in agriculture and commerce. I also added that the opportunities the Enugu Airport would present will become even more significant when the proximity of the State to the North-Central Nigeria states of Benue and Kogi States were factored. What it therefore, meant, I had also stated, was that the Enugu Airport has the capacity to become the cargo hub for the South East and parts of North Central Nigeria. With a combined population of close to 70 million people, it is easy to imagine opportunities this will provide for the people. I recall that at the South East Investment Summit, held in April 2016, which had as its theme: ‘Beyond Oil: Fostering Inclusive Economic Growth & Sustainable Development’, I had made it clear that ours was a government that was determined to provide the critical development enablers that will catalyse the economy of the state in a manner that will uplift and upscale the living standards of the people. A world-class international airport is critical to achieving some of these goals and in saying this, I am not just talking about the lives of the people of Enugu State, but also those of the entire South East and north central Nigeria. On Sunday, September 2, 2018, the South East Governors Forum held its meeting at the Government House Enugu and top among the issues discussed was the state of the Enugu Airport, especially the runway, tarmac and the lighting systems that have made it almost impossible for aircraft to land at the airport at night. We also took note of the very important cargo section of the airport, especially with its economic importance to the economy of the region and urged the Minister in charge of Aviation to take urgent steps towards ensuring it was brought to optimal standards of performance and usefulness for business. The deliberate efforts of the Federal Government on the Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria is not lost on us and we are determined to contribute our own significant quota in ensuring that all indices that facilitate the consummation of transactions are on the upscale without compromising systems, processes and revenue opportunities for the government. I am one of those who strongly believe that in the efforts to reduce the bottlenecks against the Ease of Doing Business, attention should not be limited

to expediting approval processes and limiting documentation requirements to certain minimum levels. The future of ensuring that businesses are conducted faster and easier also includes the decentralisation and spread of a number of activities. Activities at our land and sea ports are some of the areas I would wish would be examined in Nigeria’s Ease of Business cycle, and I will take time to explain this in some of the following paragraphs. A report published in 2014 in the IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science (IOSR-JHSS) by two researchers, Adenigbo, Joseph Adedotun and Ubogu, Andrew Egba suggested that the absence of strong and viable airports in other parts of the country have constrained occupational mobility outside of Lagos. According to this research, of the 18,780 registered cargo agents in Nigeria in 2011, Lagos airport accounted for 10,414 of them while Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt had just over 8,000 agents to share among them. What this means is that any Nigerian that wishes to survive in the freight forwarding business must have to relocate to Lagos. The same research also recorded that in the same year 2011, there was a total of about 84 million tonnes of cargo coming into Nigeria while 11 million tonnes were shipped from Nigeria’s airports. Of these numbers, Lagos had a lion-share of 76 million tonnes in cargo inflows and 10 million tonnes outflows. Now, out of the 76 million tonnes of cargo that berthed in Lagos in the year under review, it is easy to speculate that more than 75 percent of that volume is destined for cities/locations far away from the ports of the Nigerian commercial capital. What this means is that importers spend a whole lot more in transportation, insurance and other logistics, costs that are passed on to the consumer. Again, nearly 100 percent of the 10 million tonnes of cargo that left Nigeria from Lagos were moved from other parts of the country, again, at logistics and insurance costs to the exporters. Considering that exports have pre-agreed prices, irrespective of ports of origin, this also impacts adversely on the exporters, cutting down margins, slowing turnaround time and slowing investments in exports/imports by businesses located far from the port centres. Littering nearly all of Nigeria’s highways are fallen articulated vehicles laden with either imported goods or those destined for exports, mostly, if not all from the Lagos ports. Our roads are not too good and the drivers of such vehicles would not yield to fatigue until it has become fatally late. In most cases, the merchants, most of whom, as we know, overlook the insurance side of their businesses, tend to lose everything. The case for a major cargo hub in Enugu It was after due evaluation of these and a few other factors that the Enugu State Government, under my watch, decided a few weeks ago, to provide more support and motivation to the Federal Ministry of Aviation towards ensuring that the Akanu Ibiam International

IFEANYI UGWUANYI

Ugwuanyi is the Governor of Enugu State, South East, Nigeria

Airport receives such a makeover that will ensure it becomes capable of attracting enough patronage to make it a major hub for passenger and cargo traffic for the South East as well as some South-South and North Central states. In order to demonstrate the willingness of the Enugu State Government to provide all the support needed to expedite action on the much needed upgrade of facilities at the airport, we set up a stakeholders committee to, among other things; examine all pending issues with a view to resolving them to facilitate the expansion and provision of enabling facilities that will make Akanu Ibiam International Airport the hub it so much deserves to become for the good of Nigerians doing business in and around the region. What we wish to achieve is to support every effort required in order to get the airport functioning at optimum capacity and efficiency. The stakeholders committee will also have to unravel what appears to be a disagreement among federal authorities operating in Enugu State regarding ownership of vast hectares of land, which the State government had approved around the airport for their use. We are willing to clear these perceived stumbling blocks and have also expressed our willingness to relocate some identified structures and encumbrances such as a nearby local market at Emene to pave the way for the relevant Federal authorities to complete all works on the airport. We have also expressed our willingness to donate even more land areas should there be the need. We understand the enormous impact of an upgraded airport in terms business growth, employment generation and capacity building. Our people are great entrepreneurs. They travel to all corners of the world in search of goods they bring home to meet the needs of the teeming population. They are increasingly also becoming producers; engaging in manufacturing and commercial farming, most of which are exportable to other countries. With the Nigerian government increasingly making strong statements with agricultural development and investments along the value chain, an upgraded Akanu Ibiam will give stronger impetus to the national agenda of expanding our economic base. Studies have shown that cargo airports are great stimulants for economic development. For instance, a study done in 2005 on the local and regional economic impacts of Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport in the United States, estimates that that the airport generated 28,545 direct jobs. Of these, around 63percent (18,000) were in airlines that used the airport. In addition, 3,000 people were employed by freight airlines/freight forwarders, while around 2,300 were employed by ground transportation companies. Another 11,264 indirect jobs were generated as a result of expenditure by firms located at the airport, on the goods and services they buy from their suppliers.

Quick Takes

Off the Cuff

Buhari’s form could pay 2500 civil servants …At N18,000 minimum wage

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ince the news broke last week that President Muhammadu Buhari, noted for his austere lifestyle, allowed a faceless group to purchase his expression of interest and nomination forms with N45.5 million, many analysts have been looking at what such a huge amount of money could do for poor families in times like these in Nigeria. One analyst who spoke with BDSUNDAY said it was immoral that such a humongous amount of money was contemplated in the first place as “form fee” under the leadership of a former president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Adams Oshiomhole. The analyst said that it was insensitive on the part of Oshiomhole for the former governor, whose administration in Edo State was not able to promptly pay workers, to now approve N45.5million for collection of presidential form in the All Progressives Congress (APC). “I have done the mathematics; that amount

could pay 2,500 federal civil servants at the prevailing minimum wage of N18,000. So many people in this bracket, as civil servants, are not being paid their salaries. Government would tell you there is no money. If Buhari is truly integrity-personified as they want to force people to believe, the exorbitant price of the form would have discouraged him, even if offered as some faceless group claimed it did. What it simply shows is that Nigeria is in deep trouble,” the pundit, who chose to hide his identity, said. “Look at it from another angle; can you imagine how many school children such huge amount of money could have fed in the government’s purported school feeding programme? The painful aspect of it all is that the money being collected will not be deployed to good use. A larger chunk of it will end up in a few individuals’ bank accounts,” the analyst added. He reasoned that what APC has done was to tell every other presidential aspirant in the party that the form has been sold to a predetermined individual

and that they should simply bury their ambition. “Moreover, the way the specially-designed ‘mega cheque’ was presented to Oshiomhole shows clearly that it was not just an idea that came up on the spur of the moment. Oshiomhole took time to brandish the mega cheque for photo-ops”, he said. “It is a moral burden on a president that claims to be waging a war against corruption to have allowed a group to spend so much money just for a form. Apart from depriving many other party members who are qualified to vie for the position but limited by the cut-throat fee, it also exposes the president to all manner of pestering by his sponsors. “It is said that he that pays the piper calls the tune. Purchasing N45.5 million form for the president cannot be out of magnanimity. The investors are not Father Christmas; they hope to reap someday, somehow,” he said.

$2.52bn

This is the amount of money said to have been pledged by international donor conference on Boko Haram

A season of ‘hide & seek’

When on August 7, 2018, operatives of the Department of State Service (DSS) invaded the National Assembly, and embarrassed the country; the Federal Government said they were on their own. It quickly sacked Lawal Daura, the DG, to claim innocence. When on September 4, 2018, some policemen raided the residence of Edwin Clark in Abuja; the Inspector General of Police later said the raiders were on their own. The question is: who is behind all these? Is there no government in Nigeria?

Published by BusinessDAY Media Ltd., The Brook, 6 Point Road, GRA, Apapa, Lagos. Ghana Office: Zion House, Shiashie, OIC-Galaxy Road, East Legon, Accra. Tel:+ 233 243226596, +233244856806: email: bdsundayletter@businessdayonline.com Advert Hotline: 08034743892. Subscriptions 01-2950687, 07045792677. Newsroom: 08054691823 Editor: Zebulon Agomuo, All correspondence to BusinessDAY Media Ltd., Box 1002, Festac Lagos. ISSN 1595 - 8590.

BusinessDay 16 Sep 2018  
BusinessDay 16 Sep 2018