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Security, Economy On My Mind, Not 2019 – PMB BY JONATHAN NDA-ISAIAH
The three-pronged focus of the current administration resonated in yesterday’s meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and British prime minister, Theresa May, at 10 Downing Street, London. This was disclosed in a statement by the special adviser on media
Femi Adesina. “We campaigned on three major issues: to secure the country, revive the economy and fight corruption. We have elections next year; politicians are already preoccupied with the polls, but I am
bothered more about security and the economy,” said the president. Recalling that Nigeria and Britain have a long history of cooperation on several fronts, President Buhari stated: “People ought to know how they arrived
where they are, if they would move forward. It was a mistake for us to have stopped the teaching of history as a subject in schools, but we are returning it to the curriculum now.” He commended British
2017 Financial Report: 31 Companies To Face NSE Sanctions ➔Pg. 6
companies like Unilever, Cadbury, and many others “who have stood with Nigeria through thick and thin. Even when we fought a Civil War, they never left. But like Oliver Twist, we ask for more investments. We are encouraging more British companies to come to Nigeria. ➔ CONTINUED ON PAGE 5
Pandemonium As Shiites Take On Police In Abuja 5 22 policemen injured, 115 sect members arrested PDP condemns scuffle, calls for probe
APC Senators Divided Over Convention C’ttee List BY AHURAKA ISAH, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari with British Prime Minister Theresa May at 10 Downing Street London, yesterday.
The list of the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) convention committee released on Sunday has polarized the Senate, with some Senators elected on the party’s platform faulting the constitution of the committee. LEADERSHIP gathered that the lawmakers who are not inclined to the formation of the committee are insisting that the list will further heighten their grouse with the presidency to the extent that it may likely visit such vexations on the proBuhari Senators. Some of the Senators, it was PHOTO BY STATE HOUSE
➔ CONTINUED ON PAGE 5
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
LEADERSHIP Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Pope Benedict XVI Emeritus At 91
ope Benedict XVI Emeritus spent his 91st birthday yesterday, April 16, in what Vatican City watchers described as “quiet and peace’’. At 78 years, he was the fifth-oldest Cardinal to be elected Pope at a Conclave following the transition of the revered Pope John Paul II now St John Paul. He served as Pope of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City in a Pontificate that lasted for just eight years from 2005 to 2013. He set a record as the first German in the history of the Catholic Church to be elected Pope. He also proved many wrong who had thought that to be elected as the occupant of the Chair of St Peter was a life-long vocation when he set yet another record as the first Pope to resign in 600 years on February 11, 2013. Benedict announced his resignation in a speech in Latin before the Cardinals, citing a “lack of strength of mind and body” due to his advanced age. His resignation became effective on February 28, 2013. It is worthy of note that he resigned following the footstep of Pope Gregory XII in 1415. But it must be stressed that Pope Benedict XVI Emeritus is the first to do so on his own initiative since Pope Celestine V in 1294. As pope emeritus, Benedict retains the style of His Holiness, and the title of Pope, and continues to dress in the papal colour of white. Pope Benedict XVI was born Joseph Aloysius Ratzinger on April 16, 1927. Ordained as a priest in 1951 in his native Bavaria, Ratzinger had established himself as a highly regarded university theologian by the late 1950s and was appointed a full professor in 1958. After a long career as an academic and professor of theology at several German universities, he was appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising and Cardinal by Pope Paul VI in 1977, an unusual promotion for someone with little pastoral experience. In 1981, he was appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith, one of the most important dicasteries of the Roman Curia (the Vatican Bureaucracy). From 2002 until his election as Pope, he was also Dean of the College of Cardinals. Prior to becoming Pope, he was “a major figure on the Vatican stage for a quarter of a century”; he had an influence “second to none when it came to setting church priorities and directions” as one of
John Paul II’s closest confidants. He has lived in Rome since 1981. Benedict was in the early days of his vocation as a priest a liberal theologian, but adopted conservative views after 1968. His prolific writings became an instrument he used to defend traditional Catholic doctrine and values. During his papacy, Benedict XVI advocated a return to fundamental Christian values
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Dele Fanimo
POLITICAL DIRECTOR/ STATE HOUSE Jonathan Nda-Isaiah EDITOR Muazu Elazeh
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT Christian Ochiama
DEPUTY EDITOR Raliat Ahmed-Yusuf
ASS. MANAGING EDITOR George Agba COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD Suleiman Abdullahi
GENERAL EDITOR Silas Ezeugwu
GROUP LTD CHAIRMAN Sam Nda-Isaiah GMD, LEADERSHIP GROUP Abdul Gombe GMD, LEADERSHIP HOLDINGS David Chinda GROUP EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS Dele Fanimo Felicia Ogbonlaiye Geoffrey Essien HR DIRECTOR Solomon Nda-Isaiah CHIEF PROCUREMENT & ASSETS OFFICER Mrs Zipporah Tanko DIRECTOR, HAUSA PUBLICATIONS Mubarak Umar GENERAL MANAGERS Ibrahim Halilu Femi Adekunle Ebriku John
LEADERSHIP is a national paper symbolically embedded in the nation’s capital. We shall stand up for good governance. We shall defend the interest of Nigerian people even against their rulers, and we shall raise our pen at all times in defence of what is right. These are the values by which we intend to be assessed. We shall never, ever for any reason forget the noble reason of our coming into being:
to counter the increased secularisation of many Western countries. He views relativism, a philosophical school of thought that denies objective truth as well as the denial of moral truths in particular, as the central problem of the 21st century. Of the ‘Dictatorship of Relativism’, Benedict said, ‘Today, a particularly insidious obstacle to the task of education is the massive presence in our society and culture of that relativism which, recognising nothing as definitive, leaves as the ultimate criterion only the self with its desires. And under the semblance of freedom, it becomes a prison for each one, for it separates people from one another, locking each person into his or her own ego.’ He taught the importance of both the Catholic Church and an understanding of God’s redemptive love. Pope Benedict also revived a number of traditions, including elevating the Tridentine Mass, a tradition in the Roman Catholic Rites which adheres to doctrines laid down by the Council of Trent, especially in opposition to the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, to a more prominent position. He strengthened the relationship between the Catholic Church and art, promoted the use of Latin and reintroduced traditional papal garments, for which reason he was called “the pope of aesthetics”. He has been described as “the main intellectual force in the Church” since the mid-1980s. Benedict also emphasised that “Only creative reason, which in the crucified God is manifested as love, can really show us the way. He was succeeded by Pope Francis on March 13, 2013, and he moved into the newly renovated monastery Mater Ecclesiae for his retirement on May 2, 2013. In his retirement, Benedict XVI has made occasional public appearances alongside Pope Francis. He made his first public appearance after his resignation at St. Peter’s Basilica on February 22, 2014 to attend the first papal consistory (In the Roman Catholic Church, an assembly of Cardinals convoked and led by the pope) of his successor Pope Francis. Furthermore, he made an appearance at the canonization mass of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II, greeting the cardinals and Pope Francis. On this special day, we wish the Holy Father good health in retirement.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Group News Editor: Ekele Peter Agbo Ugwuanyi Disburses N5m Each To 171 Communities For Projects
L-R: Kwara State governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed; Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki; Mudir of Markaz, Sheikh Habeebulah Adam Al-Ilory and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar at the centenary celebration of Markaz in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO BY OGUN STATE GOVERNMENT
How Suspended Staff Allegedly Stole Over N1bn NEMA Funds – FG BY JONATHAN NDA-ISAIAH, Abuja
As the controversy trailing the suspension of seven staff of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) by the agency’s governing board continues to generate reactions, details of how the indicted officials allegedly misappropriated over a billion naira are emerging. Top government sources disclosed last night that the suspended officers had hurriedly and illegally taken the matter to the House of Representatives in a pre-emptive move designed to stonewall the ongoing Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) investigations in the hope that they could possibly cover up their misdeeds. But an authoritative report on the matter submitted to the Presiden-
cy by agencies involved in the investigations of the activities of the suspended directors point to “clear cases of abuse of office, graft and collusion on the part of the NEMA directors.” This is in direct contradiction to the impressions of innocence created last week regarding the seven suspended staff of the agency by the House of Representatives Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness. An informed source in the case said, “The indicted officials indeed have genuine cases to answer, actually some of the officers have made confessional statements, while others could simply not explain the money and properties already traced to them.” The source added: “Based on the facts contained in the report, their claim of innocence cannot be substan-
tiated and the presumed understanding they are getting from the House of Representatives is indeed a true reflection of the current state of affairs in Nigeria, where the most corrupt often seek to cover their misdeed by pointing accusing fingers at others.” While the impression at the House last week presents the indicted officials as victims of circumstance, “the reality is rather different and there is evidence now accruing to government that the action of some in the House may be an attempt to protect the suspended directors in an unwholesome deal, which is already causing ripples even in the National Assembly.” The report submitted to the Presidency shows the enormity of the alleged crimes committed by the officials which comprised misappropriation of public funds, frivolous
Court To Rule On APC Tenure Elongation Suit May 14 BY KUNLE OLASANMI, Abuja
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has fixed May 14, 2018 for judgment on a suit challenging the tenure elongation of the National Working Committee (NWC ) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) chaired by Chief John Oyegun. Justice Dimgba fixed the date after counsel to parties in the suit adopted and argued their written addresses. Following the decision of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at its meeting of February 27 to extend the tenure of members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) for another one year, some members
of the party had approached the court to challenge the decision. The aggrieved members led by Ademorin Aliu Kioye had on March 15, 2018 secured an ex-parte order directing the defendants to show cause why members of the National Working Committee of the APC should not be barred from parading themselves as national officers of the party. Respondents in the suit include, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), All Progressives Congress (APC), national chairman of APC, Chief John Oyegun and the national organising secretary of the APC, Senator Osita Izunaso. When the matter was called yesterday, Ahmed Raji SAN, counsel to the plaintiff, informed the
court that the matter was for hearing. He argued that the matter borders around section 223 of the constitution which fixes the tenure of elected officials of political parties to a maximum of four years. Raji said one of the questions the court should answer is whether the provision of 223 of the constitution, as regards tenure of political parties’ officials is mandatory. “We have argued that section 223 of the constitution is mandatory and the philosophy is to ensure political parties conduct their affairs in a democratic way, because what you don’t have you cannot give”, he submitted. He argued further that the NEC’s decision to unilaterally ex-
claims of personal emoluments and conspiracy with the other officials to short-change the federal government of due revenues, among others. Regarding the former NEMA DG, Mr. Sani Sidi, for instance, it was indicated that he maintained 20 different accounts in various banks, despite his public servant status. “EFCC found suspicious deposits amounting to 164,000 US Dollars in his domiciliary account at Standard Chartered Bank alone, all within 18 months, i.e., between January 2014 and June 2015. This almost averages out at $10,000 per month. At the same time, he had up to £58,000 in his Pound Sterling Account. He faces allegations of misappropriation of public funds, frivolous claims of personal emoluments and conspiracy with the other officials to short-change the federal government of due revenues,” the source said.
tend the tenure of the NWC was contrary to section 223 of the constitution and urged the court to avoid any interpretation that would render it useless. In his response, the first defendant (INEC) said it remains neutral in the suit but, will abide by whatever decision reached by the court. Other defendants however opposed to the motion and urged the court to dismiss the suit for been premature. According to Joseph Daudu SAN, counsel to the 2nd defendant, the plaintiffs’ suit is based on speculation as the NEC of the APC did not breach the party’s constitution nor section 223 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Enugu State governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, in continuation of his administration’s “One Community, One Project” scheme yesterday handed over cheques of N5 million each to another batch of 171 autonomous communities that have met the requirements for the release of the funds to carry out development projects of their choice. The scheme is an extensive rural development initiative of the Ugwuanyi administration aimed at ensuring that development reaches the 450 autonomous communities in the state, with a dedicated sum of N10 million for each community to address her pressing and peculiar development needs. Consequently, the State Executive Council approved the scheme and earmarked the sum of N2.25 billion for 450 autonomous communities in the state as the first tranche of the N10 million for every community for the execution of development projects of their choice. Recently, N5 million was disbursed to 118 autonomous communities that had fulfilled the requirements for the release of the funds. Last weekend, Governor Ugwuanyi was at Ibagwa Nike, Enugu East local government area to inaugurate projects executed by the community with the first tranche of N5million, which was earlier disbursed to 118 communities.
2019: IBB, PDP NWC In Closed Door Meeting BY ABU NMODU, Minna
Again, the members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Working Committee (NWC) led by the national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, have held a closed door meeting with former military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida at his hilltop home in Minna. Secondus had visited IBB barely three months after he assumed the chairmanship position of PDP with some of his NWC members. LEADERSHIP gathered that yesterday’s meeting was to intimate the former Nigerian leader on efforts made so far to reconcile the members. Sources disclosed that the chairman of Niger State PDP, Tanko Beji, unlike in the previous meeting was inside with the NWC members for the closed-door session. A source at the meeting hinted that the national chairman of the party also briefed General Babangida on the plans to ensure the party’s victory in the forthcoming Osun and Ekiti states governorship elections. It was learnt that IBB expressed satisfaction with the reconciliatory efforts so far and commended the NWC for their efforts since getting into office and wished them well.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Pandemonium As Shiites Take On Police In Abuja BY CHIBUZO UKAIBE, EJIKE EJIKE And CHIDI NWACHUKWU, Abuja
There was pandemonium in Abuja, the nation’s capital, yesterday as protesting members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) clashed with officers of the Nigeria Police Force and other security agents. Members of the group popularly known as Shiites, who had been around major streets of Abuja since last week, are protesting the continued detention of their leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS). Eyewitnesses at the scene of the clash told LEADERSHIP that the maturity and emotional restraint of the security operatives were all it took to prevent the fracas from degenerating into a more bloody mayhem. “The Shiite members were seen throwing stones and sticks at an armoured tank mobilized to the protest scene. They were several attempts by the protesters to break into the armoured vehicle. The Shiites members were not moved by the teargas continuously fired by security agents to disperse them”, one of them who spoke to ur correspondent said. The FCT Police Command was however said to have restored normalcy after the incident had resulted in the destruction of some government and Police operational vehicles. According to spokesperson of the Command,
DSP Anjuguri Manzah, the members of the Shiite group also injured 22 Police personnel during the protest. Manzah said, “The FCT Police Command later restored normalcy at parts of Maitama following a violent protest by members of the El-Zakzaky Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) who went on rampage and were attacking innocent citizens, disrupting business activities, obstructing traffic movement and smashing windscreen of innocent citizens’ vehicles in the affected areas “Following the unfortunate incident which also resulted in the destruction of some government and Police operational vehicles, the members of the Shiite group also injured 22 police personnel during the protest.” Manzah said the police also arrested 115 members of the sect, recovered catapults, iron bars, stones, ball bearings and pink head bands from them. DSP Manzah further said, “A Joint Team of detectives from the Command in conjunction with operatives from the IGP Monitoring Unit have commenced investigation into the incident. The arrested suspects will be charged to court upon the conclusion of investigation. “The FCT Police Command hereby warn members of Shiites movement from further disrupting the peace, harmony and free flow of traffic in FCT. “This is to also to urge the members of the
public particularly parents not to allow their children or wards to be used as instrument of violence in any demonstration by any group that could jeopardise public peace and harmony. It is therefore imperative to state that anyone caught in the act of violent demonstration or any act capable of causing the breach of public peace will be made to face the wrath of the law.” The Command noted that contrary to speculations from some sections of the media, no life was lost in the violent protest as the Police operatives deployed to quell the protest were professional in handling the situation. On its part, the Shiite group condemned what it described as Police attack on its peaceful procession in Abuja. In a statement signed by president, media forum of Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim Musa, the sect claimed that the Police opened fire on the peaceful free Zakzaky protesters, killing at least one and injuring many others. Musa said, “It all started in the afternoon after the Police laid siege on the venue of Free Zakzaky sit out, Unity Fountain. The peaceful protest march was then started with the intent of reaching the offices of National Human rights commission. “That was when a combined team of security agents, including the Police, Army and Civil defence attacked the protesters with tear gas canisters, water cannon and even live bullets.
We have confirmed massive arrests of persons as well thereafter, numbering about 230. Many of them have injuries consequent on the police aggression. “It was purely a show of shame by the Police and other security services, who are hell bent on forcibly stopping our legitimate campaign for the government to obey the orders of its ➔ CONTINUED ON PAGE 6
APC Senators Divided Over Convention C’ttee List FROM COVER
further gathered, are not happy that one of the much-discredited Senators among them was made the secretary of the APC convention committee secretary. Senator Ben Uwajomogu (APC, Imo North) who was named member/secretary of the APC convention committee was among the ten Senators that staged a walkout on the Senate plenary in protest against Senate resolution reordering the general election sequence on February 14, 2018. Out of the eleven serving Senators that make the APC Convention Committee list, only one is considered as closely associated with Senate President Bukola Saraki, while the rest are proBuhari senators.
Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (Delta central, APC) who was suspended last Thursday is also a member of the committee. Senate had suspended Senator OmoAgege for 90 legislative days over unproven allegations against his colleagues that the new amendment to the Electoral Act regarding election sequence in the 2019 general election was targeted at President Muhammadu Buhari. The Senators in the committee are Ahmed Yerima, Adamu Aliero, Danjuma Goje, Abdullahi Adamu, George Akume, Ovie OmoAgege, Andrew Uchendu, Abdullahi Danbaba, Baba Kuka and John Enoh A Senator who did not want his name mentioned in print told our correspondent that his colleagues opposed to the APC convention committee list viewed it as a means to swell-
up the pro-Buhari Senators’ list, showing that there is a reward for filing behind Buhari in the Senate. He said, “This list is also meant to create fears amongst APC Senators that not many of them will likely secure their party (APC) tickets to enable them return to the upper chamber in 2019 “This will lead to unsavory actions to be taken against pro-Buhari Senators and the next person on line now, Senator Adamu Abdullahi (Nasarawa west, APC), call it a reprisal attack or whatever. “This is why there is palpable fear already that his case might be determined to become the next casualty of the subsisting and deepening Senate-Presidency cold war any moment from now”.
Security, Economy On My Mind, Not 2019 – PMB FROM COVER
The president thanked his host country for its support to Nigeria in the fight against Boko Haram. “We appreciate the support you have given in training and equipping our military, particularly in the war against insurgency, but we want to also continue to work with you on trade and investment,” he said. President Buhari briefed Prime Minister May on his administration’s strides in agriculture, which he said has put Nigeria firmly on the road to food self-sufficiency. “I am very pleased with the successes in agriculture,” he said. “We have cut rice importation by about 90 per cent, made lots of savings of foreign exchange, and generated employment. People had rushed to the cities to get oil money, at the expense of farming. But luckily, they are now going back to the farms. Even professionals are going back to the land. We are making steady progress on the road to food security.” On education, President Buhari said more investment was being made in the sector, “because people can look after themselves
if well educated. In this age of technology, education is very important. We need wellstaffed and well-equipped institutions to move into the next generation.” Climate change and environmental issues also came up for discussion, and President Buhari brought up the necessity of interbasin water transfer from Congo Basin to Lake Chad, which had shrunk to a tenth of its former size, to boost the economy around the region. According to him: “The Lake Chad is now about 10 per cent of its original size, and it is perhaps one of the reasons our youths dare both the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean to get to Europe. But if there is inter-basin water transfer, about 40 million people in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Chad, and other countries stand to benefit. I made the case during the Climate Change Summit in France. “If Lake Chad is recharged, it will reduce the number of youths coming to Europe to increase social problems. We brought back about 4,000 people from Libya recently. Almost all of them were below 30, and Libya was not their final destination. They were headed to Europe.”
Prime Minister May, in her remarks, said Britain would continue to work with Nigeria in the areas of training and equipping the military. She was particular about the abductions of young schoolgirls by Boko Haram, noting that Britain would continue to give Nigeria needed assistance. The Prime Minister remarked that the Buhari administration had “been making good progress on the economy,” and urged it to maintain the focus despite approaching elections and increase in political activities. On education and climate change, she said, “Good grounding in education is good. It is important to equip young people for today’s world. It is also a good bastion and defence against modern slavery. The issue of the environment and climate change is very important because of its impact on many countries in the Commonwealth. Stability at home is important to curb illegal migration.” Prime Minister May further commended President Buhari for the much he had been doing to improve trade and business for Nigeria, adding that it was also time to boost intra-Commonwealth trade.
LEADERSHIP recalls that Senator Adamu and 9 others had declared in their separate submissions on February 14, 2018 that the passed Electoral Act will not see the light of the day because it was targeted at President Buhari. There had been rumours that Senator Adamu who was subsequently accused on the floor of the Senate of allegedly plotting to spearhead the impeachment of Senator Saraki as the Senate President may be suspended for the rest of the days of the 8th senate. Adamu, a former governor of Nasaraswa State, was recently removed as the chairman of the Northern Senators’ Forum. He was indicted of leading some Senators to destabilize and cause disaffection among the Senators ostensibly to remove Saraki as Senate president. Consequently, the Senate directed its Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to investigate the allegation of insurrection plot against the leadership of the Senate and plans to destabilise the upper legislative chamber by the group of Senators allegedly led by Senator Adamu. The Committee was given two weeks to report back to the Senate plenary for future legislative action.
HOW DO FRUIT AND VEGETABLES KEEP YOU YOUNG? These foods are rich in vitamins and minerals that keep the body healthy. They also contain chemicals called antioxidants, such as carotene, which are thought to protect against damaging chemicals (‘free radicals) that get into the body. Regular consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables will keep your bones, teeth and organs healthy and will improve the look of your skin. Basically, this is how they contribute to keeping you looking and feeling young, although the exact way in which they prevent disease is not fully understood. – Culled from 100 Best Ways To Stay Young
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
2017 Financial Report: 31 Companies To Face NSE Sanctions BY OLUSHOLA BELLO, Lagos
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) is set to sanction 31 listed firms for failing to meet the deadline for filing their Audited Financial Statements (AFS) for the year ended December 31, 2017. NSE’s regulatory filing calendar indicates that March 31, 2018 is the deadline for submission of annual reports for companies with Gregorian calendar business year ended December 31, 2017. Thursday March 29, 2018, which was the last working day for the period, was effectively the deadline for submission of the reports in line with the traditional practice at the Exchange. NSE, which tags and applies fines on companies that fail to meet earnings reports’ deadline, had on January 1, 2017 launched its new sanction regime for delay in the submission of companies’ results. Under the new sanction regime, companies may pay fines that range from N100,000 to more than N100 million as penalties
for delay in the submission of their corporate earnings reports. Companies that also delayed their financial statements and accounts face threats of suspension and delisting in addition to the monetary fines. The defaulting firms listed on the NSE X-Compliance report for the week ended April 13, 2018 include A.G Leventis Nigeria, African Alliance Insurance, Conoil, Cornestone Insurance, Diamond Bank, FBN Holdings, Fidelity Bank, Fortis Microfinance Bank, Great Nigeria insurance, Linkage Assurance, Meyer, Morison Industries, Multiverse Mining and Exploration and Mutual Benefit. Others are Niger Insurance, Oando, Omoluabi Mortgage Bank, RT Briscoe, Royal Exchange, Skye Bank, Smart Products, Sovereign Trust Insurance, Staco, Standard Alliance, Sterling Bank, Equity Assurance, Union Bank, Unity Bank, VeritasKapital Assurance, Universal Insurance. The NSE said the listed companies fell short of the
Pandemonium As Shiites Take On Police In Abuja FROM PAGE 5
courts by freeing Sheikh Zakzaky. “Ours is a legitimate struggle. We have the right to protest and assemble peacefully. This we have done in Abuja and other places peacefully for almost two and half years now since the heinous Zaria massacre. We have undoubtedly stepped up our campaign in Abuja since the last 100 days on learning of the deteriorating health condition of our leader, who had suffered a mild stroke in custody, and has been denied access to adequate medical care. It is noteworthy that these rallies and processions had been peaceful, with daily sit out at the Unity Fountain and street protests. The Shiite group reiterated its demand that Sheikh ElZakzaky and his wife be freed from illegal detention, as well as hundreds of its memberts still in detention with various security agencies. PDP Condemns Scuffle, Calls For Probe Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded for an immediate inquest into yesterday’s violent clash between security forces and members of the Shiite movement in
the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. National publicity secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement said the party is gravely worried over the handling of security in the nation’s capital and the near breakdown of law and order, which resulted in stampede and disruption of public and private businesses in the city center. The PDP noted that the development is linked with protests over the continued refusal of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government to release the leader of the group, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, despite being granted bail by courts of competent jurisdiction. It stated: “The party further notes the continued show of force and infringements on the rights of citizens by the APC administration. “Furthermore, the PDP and indeed all lovers of democracy across the country are deeply concerned by the continued erosion of democratic tenets by the APC administration, resulting in avoidable crisis in various parts of the country. The PDP sues for calm while demanding for an immediate inquest into the cause of this clash. “We also urge security high commands to ensure that this matter is nipped in the
minimum listing standards in terms of timely disclosure of their audited annual financial performance, with 20 of them having Missed Regulatory Fillings (MRF) and 10 companies in financial sector Awaiting Regulatory Approval (AWR) of their primary regulators. The Exchange, in its X-Compliance report, explained that the initiative was designed to maintain market integrity and protect the investors by providing compliancerelated information on all listed companies. The report stated: “Companies that are listed on the Exchange are required to adhere to high disclosure standards, which are prescribed in Appendix 111 of the Listing Rules. Financial information, which is periodic disclosure and on-going material events disclosure, should be released to the Exchange in a timely manner to enable it efficiently perform its function of maintaining an orderly market.” The NSE, in an effort to achieve a world-class capital market, has reiterated its commitment to maintaining zero tolerance posture on dealing with member firms and quoted companies on violations of rules and regulations. The chief executive officer of NSE, Oscar Onyema, said recently that the Exchange will sustain a zero-tolerance stance on dealing with member firms and listed companies’ violations to help boost the confidence in the market. Post-listing rules at
the NSE require quoted companies to submit their earnings’ reports not later than three months or 90 calendar days after the expiration of the period. Most quoted companies, including banks, major manufacturers, oil and gas companies, breweries and cement companies use the 12-month Gregorian calendar year, which terminates on December 31, as their business year. Capital market operators said that the turnover of companies adhering to NSE rules has improved over the years, saying that timely submission of financial results or corporate information has the potential to boost and improve the performance of the capital market and shareholders who invested in those companies. Managing director of
HighCap Securities limited, David Adonri, said that the level of companies’ compliance to NSE rules is now on the high side. He said, “Late filing has the potential of adversely affecting the market and their shareholders. It creates grounds for avoidable doubts regarding companies’ performances.” The managing director of APT Securities and Funds Limited, Mallam Kurifi Garuba, said the action boosted investors’ confidence in the market because it was sending a signal that the NSE’s management understood the need for investors to get companies’ financial reports as and when due. Kurifi said sanctions of erring companies were ways to tell the investing public that they really wanted to revive confidence in
the market, adding that investors need to take informed decisions before choosing which stock to buy. The president, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr. Boniface Okezie, praised the management of the stock exchange for being strict on its compliance exercise, just as he pleaded for other measures to be used to punish erring companies. Okezie lamented that the incessant penalties on companies were discouraging companies from seeking quotation on the nation’s bourse, thereby affecting the growth and development of the market. He further said the market regulators must pursue friendly policies and initiatives to put the market forward.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
NEWS EXTRA 7 How Nigerian Defrauded Brazilian Bank $242m -Witness BY OLUGBENGA SOYELE, Lagos
L-R: Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin and Vice Chief of Staff, Army, USA, Gen. James McC Conville, at the 2018 African Land Forces Summit in Abuja yesterday. PHOTO BY NAN.
Health Workers To Begin Nationwide Strike BY MICHAEL OCHE AND EBIMIESINDE MARY, Abuja
Unless the federal government meets the demand of health workers in the next 24 hours, the Joint Health Workers Union (JOHESU) will tomorrow commence a nationwide strike. The strike threat is coming at the expiration of a 30-day ultimatum issued by the union in March to the federal government. Addressing journalists in Abuja, national president of JOHESU, Comrade Biobelemoye Joy Josiah urged all members of the union
both at state and local government health institutions to mobilise to down tools from 12 midnight of Tuesday. Josiah accused the government of insensitivity and lackadaisical towards the plight of health workers. He recalled that JOHESU suspended her last nationwide strike action on September 30th, 2017 after the signing of memorandum of Terms of Settlement which was to be implemented within five weeks after the suspension of the strike. He said, “It is disheartening
to note that after six months of the suspension of our last strike and still counting, the federal government has not done anything tangible over the pending issues, especially on the flagship issue of CONHESS adjustment and payment of arrears of CONHESS 10 skipping.” According to him, JOHESU had initially given a 21-day notice on 5th February, 2018, to enable the federal government to do the needful. He said at the expiration of the 21 days notice, the leadership of the union met and issued another 30 working
days ultimatum to alert the government of the impending strike. He explained that on Thursday, April 5, 2018, the minister of Labour and Employment, invited the leadership of JOHESU to a meeting wherein they were told that their issues were still being looked into. He said, “Consequent upon this, therefore, JOHESU has no other choice than to proceed on an indefinite nationwide strike action as from midnight of Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, when the 30-working days is expected to expire.”
APC Chieftain Tasks Malami Over Suspension Of Omo-Agege BY ANDREW ESSIEN, Abuja
Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Alhaji Abubakar Malami has been asked to intervene on the perceived violations of the country’s constitution that led to the suspension of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege from the Senate. A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State, Prince Christopher Aga-
ga in a statement made available to LEADERSHIP condemned the Senate’s decision to suppress the right of Senator Omo-Agege to expression himself on the floor of the Senate. He said the decision meant that the Urhobo ethnic group has been left without representation. The statement reads in part, “For as long as the minister of justice does not rise to the occasion to proactively stop the constitution from
being desecrated and shredded so long shall we have this regime of impunity that has now become the forte of the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives as a cog in the wheel to the growth of democratic culture, governance and development of the country. “But now that we are having on our hands a repeat too many to condone, in the latest imperial action of the Senate, in suspending an elected senator who is the voice
and mouthpiece of more than two million people of Delta central senatorial district with a backlash that could debilitate the weak fabric of our federation especially with the perception of constituents hard hit by the suspension order that they are being technically excised from Nigeria, there cannot be a more apposite time than this for the minister to rise up to the challenge by initiating legal measures to arrest the ugly and disgusting situation.
Oando Shareholders Applaud Lifting Of Technical Suspension Shareholders of Oando PLC, are overjoyed at the rise in the company’s share price by 26% following the removal of a technical suspension placed on the company’s shares on October 23, 2017. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) commenced free trading of Oando shares following a directive from the SEC on April 12. The share price has experienced a price jump
from N5.99 to N7.55 after only three days of trading on the Nigerian capital market. Speaking on the lifting of the technical suspension, Mr. Babatunde Badmus, Pacesetter Shareholder Association said: “We are happy the SEC and the NSE has finally heeded to the pleas of minority shareholders like myself. It is unfortunate it took six long months to take effect,
nonetheless we are pleased to finally be opportuned to reap from the Company’s positive operations over the last 6 months.” Oando minority shareholders have been the hardest hit since the imposition of the technical suspension. During the period when the company’s shares were placed on technical suspension, the NSE’s AllShare Index gained c.14%. By virtue
of the sustained suspension, Oando shareholders have been unable to benefit from the positive sentiments in the market within this period. Should the shares have been freely tradable, a positive correlation between crude oil prices and the share price of Oando PLC would have afforded the over 270,000 shareholders an opportunity to profit from the inevitable price rally.
Gov Okowa Endorses 2018 AFRIKFEST
BY TUNDE OGUNTOLA, Abuja
Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa has endorsed the 2018 AFRIKFEST holding in the tourist city of Las Vegas, United States, describing it as a positive development for the African continent. Speaking when he received the delegation from Las Vegas in Abuja yesterday, Governor Okowa assured that his economic team and his cultural troupe will also be in attendance.
He assured the organisers of 2018 AFRIKFEST, of his full support and partnership, cooperation and participation. The governor who lauded the organisers noted that the event would project the African tradition and culture. According to him, “I want to assure of full support, cooperation and participation. This is event will tell the African story.
“This event is also timely and will promote the African culture positively.” The governor, who described the event as a rebirth for the promotion of African culture in the US said that the festival would avail the state more business opportunities. He also called on the organisers to ensure a great event worthy of emulation. He, however, thanked the organ-
isers for the honour and appreciated both the Mayor of Las Vegas, Carolyn G. Goodman and the governor of the state of Nevada, Brian Sandoval for the honour and special invitation. The liaison person between AFRIKFEST and government authorities of the state of Nevada and Las Vegas, Mrs Jo Cato said considering the development strides the governor has achieved in the state, “he deserves an award.”
A prosecution witness, Arifayo Falodun, yesterday informed the Lagos State Special Offences Court how convicted fraud kingpin, Emmanuel Nwude, defrauded a Brazilian bank of $242 million, and allegedly forged legal documents of property he was ordered to forfeit to his victims. Nwude, who was convicted in 2005 by Justice Olubunmi Oyewole for impersonating Paul Ogwuma, a governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), was arraigned alongside two lawyers, Emmanuel IIechukwu and Rowand Kalu over fresh allegations of fraud and forgery. Nwude was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for defrauding the Brazilian bank, Banco Noroeste of $242 million between 1995 and 1998. He and the two lawyers are arraigned before Justice Mojisola Dada by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on 15 count criminal charge of conspiracy to forge contrary to Section 516 of Criminal Code Law, Cap C17, Laws of Lagos State, 2003. While testifying in the case, Falodun a legal practitioner in the law firm of Sofunde, Osakwe and Belgore gave a narrative of how the fraud was perpetuated by the defendants. Falodun said, “On October 10, 2017, the partners of my law firm were invited by the EFCC concerning property located at Plot 38b, Mobolaji Johnson, Oregun Road, Lagos. “Pursuant to the said invitation we wrote a letter dated October 9, 2017 to the EFCC where we explained the role of our firm concerning the property.
Kebbi To Construct Cultural Festival Village In Zuru BY YAHYA SARKI, Kebbi
The Kebbi State government said it would construct a cultural festival village in Zuru local government area of the state to boost its tourism potentials. Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu disclosed this at the end of the 2018 Uhola Cultural Festival in Zuru community. He said the state government was keen to develop the annual Uhola Cultural Festival to serve as an avenue for generating revenue for the state. “The state government is supporting all the festivals in the state like Rigatta Boat Festival in Yauri, Hutungo Fulani Festival and the more widely known Argungu international Fishing Festival,” he said. Bagudu promised that his administration would continue to support the Uhola Festival because the event will build mutual respect amongst people of the state and promote unity. He also said that by the beginning of the 2018 academic session, some primary schools in the state would begin to teach C”lela (Zuru dialect) and it will be in the school curriculum in order to develop the Dakarkakari Language. On his part, the Emir of Zuru, Major General Muhammadu Sani Sami (rtd) promised to sustain the yearly event for the unity, peace and promotion of the culture of his people. He appealed to politicians to eschew politics of bitterness, rancour and violence. He also called on them to stop engaging youths in political hooliganism to achieve their personal ambitions.
8 NEWS NORTH-EAST, NORTH-WEST CITAD Organises Inter-School Debate On Counter Terrorism BY FRANCIS OKOYE, Maiduguri
The Centre for Information Technology And Development (CITAD) has organized intertertiary institutions students debate in the terror-stricken west and central African countries to create broad ideas as a veritable source for governments and other stakeholders formulating counter- insurgency and counter-terror policies. A senior programme officer with the Centre, Isa Garba, disclosed this to newsmen at the end of the inter-tertiary institutions students debate between the University of Maiduguri and Ramat Polytechnic, Maiduguri on counter-insurgency in the Lake Chad Basin, which held in Maiduguri at the weekend. He said, at the national level, the debate, which was already held in Adamawa, would also be held in Yobe. Mr Garba said the essence of the debate was not to produce winners or losers, but to generate ideas from the principal actors and the main source
of recruitment for terror and insurgency, the youth in tertiary institutions, on counter-insurgency. “This will afford us the ample opportunity of getting first hand information and citizensoriented ideas to serve as ideas bank for policy makers and planners on counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism. “The winners from each of the three states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe will represent their respective states at the North-East regional debate; and the winners from this regional level will represent the country at the Grand Sahel Debate involving Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Mali, which would be held at one of the sahelian countries,” he said. In the Maiduguri debate jointly organised by CITAD and the Northeast Regional Initiative (NERI), the University of Maiduguri participants debated on free education for the IDPs, while their Ramat Polytechnic counterpart dwelt on ways of countering insurgency.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Landslide Kills 2, Injures 3 In Jigawa The police in Jigawa yesterday said two persons, Mati Bako, 17 and Tanimu Kwalle, 25 were killed by landslide. The police spokesman in the state, SP Abdu Jinjiri confirmed the incident to newsmen in Dutse,the Jigawa state capital. Jinjiri said three others, Sani Haruna, 31, Aliyu Yusif, 30 and Nazifi Yusuf were injured, add-
ing that the incident occurred in Babura Local Government Area of the state. He said the incident occurred in Barima village at about 1:40 p.m. while the victims were digging sand in a burrow pit. “Today at about 2:20 p.m., the Police in Babura local government area received an information that at about 1:40 p.m., a burrow pit fell on the fol-
lowing people; Mati Alhaji Bako aged 17, Tanimu Kwalle aged 25, Sani Haruna aged 31, Aliyu Yusuf aged 30 and Nazifi Yusuf aged 20 all of Barima village in Babura, while digging sand. “As a result, Mati Bako and Tanimu Kwalle died on the spot while the other three sustained various degrees of injury,” he said. The police spokes-
man said that victims were taken to hospital by the policemen where the duo were confirmed dead by a medical doctor. He said that the corpses of the deceased were released to their families for burial, while the injured ones were receiving treatment in the hospital. “No foul play was suspected in the incident,” he said.
2019: Nigerians Will No Longer Fall For Propaganda – Gabam BY BEATRICE GONDYI, Bauchi
Interim national secretary of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Alhaji Shehu Musa Gabam, has described the SDP as a force to reckon with in the forthcoming the 2019 general elections,saying Nigerians are wiser and will no longer fall for propaganda. Gabam made this known, in Bauchi, yesterday while speaking with journalists at the commissioning of the party office in Tilde. He said the party has been consulting with stakeholders and party faithful to build party structure ahead of the 2019 general elec-
tion. He added that the polity is wiser and will vote right, adding that the SDP has deemed it necessary to intervene as the country is in shambles. “Everybody is aware that politically the country is somehow unpredictable due to alot of exigencies and excesses in the way and manner the government is being run. We therefore felt it is necessary to intervene at this critical time, just the way we did in 1998.” Gabam noted that the SDP is not threatened by the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari to run for a second term, saying the party is a household name and it is the main force right now.
Customs Comptroller Lauds CG For Curtailing Smuggling BY HUSSAINI HAMMANGABDO, Yola
The outgoing Comptroller, Adamawa/Taraba Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS),Francis Adetoye has lauded the Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs,Hameed Ali for his support which resulted in the suppression of smuggling activities to the barest miminum in the state. Francis stated this at the handing over ceremony to his successor,Acting Comptroller D/C Olumoh Kamaludeen in Yola on Monday. He said the command from April last year to date made 69 seizures with
Duty Paid Value of over N124 million. Adetoye further explained that the Command generated N104 million during the period under review. He applauded the cooperation and support from other sister security agencies in the state. Responding, the new Comptroller,D/C Olumoh Kamaludeen, promised to build on the legacies of his predecessor,towards improved revenue generation in the command. Kamaludeen solicited the support of personnel from the command in order to excel in the discharge of their duties.
L-R: Kaduna State deputy governor, Barnabas Bala Bantex; presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, Kaduna division, Hon. Justice Uwani Abba Aji; chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, Barnawa Branch, Napoleon Idenala and vice chairman of the Association, Princess Chi-Obi Igwe during the 2018 Law Week and dinner held in Kaduna, yesterday. PHOTO GBENGA FOLORUNSHO ABIOLA.
Sen Binta Clocks 50, Fetes Widows, Orphans BY PEMBI DAVID-STEPHEN, Yola
Moved by her desire to make life worth living for the helplessly unhappy, Senator Binta Masi Garba over the weekend distributed different items to widows and orphans to celebrate her 50th birthday. The distinguished, a woman of many first positive reference, known for having fellow feelings for others, distributed bags
containing wrappers to 1000 women in Adamawa State. While in Mubi, she issued a cheque of N4,000,000( four million Naira) to widows drawn from Madagali, Michika, Mubi North, Mubi South and Maiha local government areas that make up Adamawa North Senatorial District. The amiable senator also gave N1.5m each to both the Christian Association of Nigeria and Muslim Coun-
cil of Nigeria. In another development, she gave the EYN Church the sum of N500:000.00 ( five hundred thousand Naira) only and included 40 widows of the Church in the empowerment programme. A mother to all, Senator Binta rightfully remembered the orphans of Child Home Yola where she gave them a Sharon car and other food items on Saturday, April 14, 2018.
At the thanksgiving service to culminate the event, a thankful Senator Binta pledged to give Adamawa State widows a car. The well attended event was graced by Vice President Yomi Osinbajo, Minister of Transportation , Rotimi Ameachi, Secretary to the Government Of the Federation (SGF),Boss Gilda Mustapha, Deputy Governor of Adamawa State, Martin Babale and a host of senators.
1 Dead, 81 Quarantined For Lassa Fever In Adamawa BY HUSSAINI HAMMANGABDO, Yola
Adamawa state government has confirmed one person dead, 81 others quarantined and undergoing medical observation at the Federal Medical Centre, Yola in Adamawa state. Confirming the outbreak, Abubakar Mohammed, Information Officer, State Ministry of Health,
said government has established Lassa Treatment Centers as quick response intervention to curtail the epidemic. Mohammed said that the victims started receiving treatment from the Peace Hospital before subsequently being transferred to the FMC Yola for further treatment. “The state government has already established
Lassa treatment centers at the federal medical centers Yola. “Government is on top of the situation as adequate measures are been put in place to halt the spread of the killer disease. “Government had an emergency meeting to discuss the urgent and practical measures put in place to provide needed medical support.
“Residents are advised to ensure that they keep their environment clean, devoid of rodents,” he advised. Abubakar Mohammed advised those with the symptoms of fever, severe headache and general weakness to report to the nearest health center in the state. This is the first time cases of Lassa fever had been recorded in the state.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
10 NORTH CENTRAL Foundation, US Experts Administer 5-day Free Medical Care In Kogi West BY SAM EGWU, Abuja
A non-governmental organization, Doyen and Susan Foundation, in partnership with medical experts from the United States of America have commenced a five-day free medical outreach in Kogi West senatorial zone. The outreach carried out in conjunction with Ark of Noah Foundation is targeting patients who have filled forms for medical attention across the seven local government areas of the senatorial district. Chairperson of the Foundation, Chief (Mrs) Adedoyin Ibikunle, who launched the programme at Isanlu, the headquarters of Yagba East local government, noted that the state government alone cannot meet the health needs of the people. Ibikunle who is aspiring to represent the zone at the National Assembly come 2019 urged the people to take their health seriously despite the economic challenges, adding that there is no excuse for ignoring on their health. She said her Foundation included medical care to the education programme it is known for because of the need to tackle the health challenges of the people. Head of the medical team, Mrs Abisola Abayomi, said that from the form filled by the beneficiaries of the medical care, they had categorised them according to their health challenges. She said, “The expectations of our people are high on the government no doubt, but the government is carrying a heavy burden already and unless patriotic and concerned citizens join hands to support and contribute their individual quota to the development of the state and the nation, a lot won’t be achieved. “What necessitated this programme is my compassion for the masses who need medical attention but can’t afford it and considering the bulk of responsibility on the shoulder of the government, it is imperative that I think of ways to addressing the people’s need in respect of accessing health care. Health care in my humanitarian services gives me joy because health is wealth and seeing my people in a perfect health condition is my utmost desire.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Silent Killings Ongoing In Nasarawa South BY DANJUMA JOSEPH, Lafia
Gunmen have again killed over 32 villagers at different locations across the southern senatorial district of Nasarawa state, during attacks over the weekend. The attackers were said to have carried out the dastardly act on the Tiv villages simultaneously across Awe, Keana, Obi and Doma local government areas of the state, leaving 19 others with severe injuries. But the Nasarawa State government and the Police in the state, have denied knowledge of any killings in the southern senatorial zone. LEADERSHIP gathered that thousands of fleeing villagers were trapped along the Agwatashi-Jangwa road axis in Obi local government area shortly after herdsmen sacked adjourning villages including Uvirkaa, the home town of
a serving commissioner in Governor AlMakura’s cabinet, Barr. Gabriel Akaaka. Our correspondent gathered that about 15,000 fleeing Tiv villagers were stranded on the streets of Lafia, the state capital apart from thousands of them who are currently taking refuge in different Internally Displaced Persons IDPs, camps at Agwatashi, Aloshi, Awe, Adudu, Obi, Keana, Doma, Agyaragu and other locations. Confirming the development to newsmen in Lafia, President of Tiv Youth Organization, Nasarawa state chapter, Comrade Peter Ahemba, said the entire Tiv villages in the southern part of the state had been sacked, noting that most of the affected villages were being occupied by the invaders. “As I speak to you, 7 corpses of our people killed this morning (yesterday) by the Fulani herdsmen in Wurji village of Keana LGA have just been re-
covered and brought to Keana town by the Police. Also last night, 5 of our people were killed in a coordinated attacks with 7 others still missing at Kertyo and Apurugh villages in Obi local government”. “Three days ago, we recorded 8 deaths from similar attacks in Kadarko area, four from Aloshi axis, one person from Agberagba, all in Keana LGA. Another six persons were shot at Imon village and were rushed to Obi General Hospital as a result of which one of them later died.” This is just few out of deaths we recorded within the last three days as a result of these senseless attacks,” he said. But the Nassarawa state government denied knowledge of fresh killings in the state, saying that peace had been restored through communitybased conflict resolution mechanism.
Saraki Offsets N49.4m Salary Arrears Of 220 Kwara Traditional Chiefs BY ABDULLAHI OLESIN, Ilorin
The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki has offset the 20 months salary arrears owed some categories of traditional chiefs in Kwara central senatorial district. Though, it’s the responsibility of local government councils to pay traditional chiefs’ salaries, the affected local government areas; Ilorin East,Ilorin South and Asa could not meet their financial obligations to the monarchs because of the drastic shortfalls in their allocation from
the federation account. The 220 affected traditional chiefs received a total sum of N49,438,000.00 The beneficiaries received their salary arrears at a brief ceremony at the ABS Constituency Office in Ilorin, the state capital yesterday Addressing the district heads, the director- general, ABS constituency office, Alhaji Musa Abdullahi said the senate president undertook the payment in order to provide succour for the district heads.
He said Saraki who was concerned by the plight of the communities’ heads had earlier set up a committee to look into the issue and acted promptly on the committee’s recommendation to pay the 20 months’ salary arrears to the monarchs. Abdullahi who noted the the district heads are the eye of the community advised them to continue to support the Senate President to enable him attract more dividends of democracy to the state.
The Niger State House of Assembly has set up a 6- man committee to interface with executive arm of the government on the details of of the planned N21.5 billion Development Sukuk Issuance Programme that was contained in executive communication seeking for the House resolution. The Speaker, Rt Hon Ahmed Marafa Guni read the Executive communication to the House seeking for the facility in line with the objective
BY HEMBADOON ORSAR, Makurdi
Four mobile Police officers deployed to Logo local government area of Benue State to help maintain peace and order in the crisis between Fulani herdsmen and Tiv farmers have been killed by suspected herdsmen. Chairman of the area, Mr Richard Nyajo who confirmed this in a telephone chat with our correspondent, said several mobile Police officers were killed in his domain, adding that many have been injured while others are said to be missing. According to him, the herdsmen ambushed the Police officers at about 7pm in Tombo council ward with many of them lucky to escape . “It has not been completely confirmed the number of Police officers killed but many are reported dead. This is what those who managed to escape told me”,Nyajo said. The Benue State Police Command in a press statement also confirmed the incident, maintaining that its personnel came under attack by insurgents at Anyibe, Tombo council ward of Logo LGA between 6pm on Sunday 15th April, 2018 and yesterday morning.
Police Arrest 19 Cattle Rustlers, Others In Niger BY ABU NMODU, Minna
L-R: Speaker House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; president of Nigeria Football Federation Amaju Pinnick; Plateau state governor, Simon Lalong, and General Secretary of Nigeria Football Federation Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, after a meeting in Abuja, yesterday.
Niger Assembly Sets Up Committee On N21.5bn SUKUK Facilities BY ABU NMODU, Minna
Policemen Killed In Fresh Benue Attack
of transforming the State so as to set it firmly on the path of sustainable growth and development. In view of the nature of the communication , the Speaker after consultation with his colleagues constituted a 6-member special ad-hoc Committee to interface with relevant government officials of Ministries, Departments and Agencies affected by the planned project. He stated that the committee consultation should include other relevant stakeholders on the mat-
ter and to report back with recommendations to the plenary of the House on the 24th of this month for further legislative action. The members of the Special Adhoc Committee comprise of two Members each from the three senatorial zones of the State and they are ; Hon. Abdulmalik Mohammed Kabir (Paikoro) chairman, Hon Adamu Abdullahi Mammagi (Gbako) Secretary, Hon. Binta Manmman (Gurara) Member, Hon. Mohammed A. Haruna (Bida II), Hon. Umar
Mohammed Jiya (Mashegu) and Hon. Nura Garba (Kontagora II) Member. The Executive Communication has noted that in order to keep focus on the brand development objectives and the need to improve the standard of living of the indigene of the State, which is in line with the collective efforts to rehabilitate and reactivate essential infrastructure through a number of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, the facilities become imperative.
The police in Niger sate has paraded 17 persons including the leader of a cattle rustling gang, Tukur Ibrahim earlier arrested for carrying out his nefarious act in Mashegu local government area of Niger state. The police recovered three AK 47 rifles from a gang of cattle rustlers led by a Fulani man identified as Tukur Ibrahim who specializes in using military camouflage uniform to operate in Mashegu area of the state. Ibrahim and one of his gang members Tambaya Bello were paraded along with 17 other criminal suspects yesterday in Minna by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the command, ASP Mohammed Inna Abubakar. The PPRO said that the suspects were arrested after a gun battle in various locations, adding that Ibrahim was nabbed in a place called Fulani camp in Lefu village of Mashegu local government of the state. He explained that eight rounds of ammunition, two empty magazines, Army uniform and a number of animals including cows were also recovered from Ibrahim. In an interview with journalists, Ibrahim said he got the military uniform and firearms from one Alhaji who is now on the run. Similarly, a gang of kidnappers operating in Fulani settlement camp, pure water village in Mashegu local government of the state also met their waterloo after collecting N500,000 from a victim.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
12 NATIONAL NEWS Registration Opens For Afreximbank’s Annual Meetings BY MARK ITSIBOR, Abuja
Registration for the 2018 Annual Meetings of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), which will also feature the Bank’s 25th anniversary celebration, has opened, according to information released by the Bank yesterday. Afreximbank announced in Cairo that intending participants for the meetings, dubbed AAM2018, could register by visiting the Annual Meetings website at: http://www. afreximbank-am.com/. The site also contains additional details about AAM2018, including the event programme and hotel accommodation information. Afreximbank Annual Meetings are open to banking industry professionals, trade and trade finance practitioners and other parties involved in economic development from across Africa and beyond. They are also attended by business and political leaders and are reputed to be among the most important gatherings of economic decision-makers in Africa. The 2018 Annual Meetings will hold at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja, Nigeria, from 11 to 14 July and will feature a host of high level speakers in a series of seminars, meetings and workshops, exploring various aspects of trade and economic development and looking at the transformation of African economies through trade.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Forensic Evidence Indicts Peter Nielsen–Lagos CP
BY OGUNTADE ISMAILA, Lagos
The Lagos State Police Command yesterday said that the autopsy report has revealed that Mrs Zainab Nielsen died from trauma suffered as a result of the impact on her head. Zainab and her daughter, Petral were reportedly found dead on Thursday, April 5 at their Banana Island resident, Ikoyi where
she resided with her husband, Peter Nielsen. According to the state Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, the forensic experts revealed that there were blood stains from the couples’ bedroom to the kitchen. “Even though it was cleverly wiped from the floor, they were still able to detect it with the application of special chemical reagents. “Blood stains were also discovered on the wash hand basins and
on the hand towel the suspect used in wiping his hands after the commission of the offence. “Although it was cleverly cleaned up as well, the experts were able to discover that too.” he said. Imohimi added that further forensic examinations are being carried out and to be used as evidence against the suspect, Peter Nielsen who had being charged to Yaba court. He also gave update on the ar-
rest of five suspects operating an illegal brewery at Ikorodu area of Lagos. The CP who paraded the suspects at the State Police Command, Ikeja said that the result of the samples taken from the illegal brewery to the lab is being awaited. “Investigation to ascertain where the product is taken to for bottling or canned is ongoing.” he said
Africa, Asian Nations Take Strong Energy Stand At World Bank Spring Meeting BY CHIKA IZUORA, Lagos
Africa and Asian countries are expected to take a strong stand on energy at the World Bank/International Monetary Fund (IMF) spring meetings in Washington, next week. They would be pushing for the Bretton Wood Institution to change the position that it would not officially be funding coal-fired stations.Access to energy is essential to reducing poverty and with 1.6 billion people globally (645 million of whom, are in Africa) lacking access to electricity, developing countries are likely to push it to alter its stand. United States (US) President, Donald Trump, has been encouraging multilateral banks to move away from their position on not financing coal production for
energy but the problem has been with climate change activists opposed to the production of coal to provide electricity because of what they argue is the threat from carbon emissions. The World Bank acknowledges that access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy is vital to end poverty, reach other United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and critical for many countries to meet their climate change mitigation targets. Bold policy commitments, innovative technology and increased private investments can help to get them there. Developing nations are arguing that advances in technology have made coal production cleaner through carbon capture and storage. With calls for growing restrictions on the use of fossil fuels for electricity production,
the world would only reach 92 per cent electrification by 2030, according to the Bank figures. Such a situation would leave many in the dark and unable to seize economic and social opportunities that can help them lead better lives. The Bank says on its website that “its engagement in energy sector is designed to help client countries secure affordable, reliable and sustainable energy supply needed to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity”. “This requires a concerted push on sustainable options for energy access, including solar, wind, on-grid and offgrid as well as other viable, low-carbon solutions that reflect every country’s unique circumstances.’ It adds that “it is working with a number of client countries on these fronts and to attract increased private sector participation and
investment in the sector”. The US has signalled readiness to lead a global alliance to make production cleaner and less destructive to the environment. This alliance has been embraced by countries in Africa with coal reserves of 50 billion tonnes and which want to use this fossil fuel as part of their energy mix – to provide electricity to aid development. Nigeria, for example, is financing coal projects from the African development Bank that would constitute about 30 per cent of its power mix. Speaking about the global fossil fuel alliance, last month, US Energy Secretary, Rick Perry, said his country “would welcome and help lead a global alliance of countries willing to make fossil fuels cleaner”. “Development starts when you have power. This is my message to Africa.
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Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Total Donates Classroom Blocks, Health Facility To A/Ibom Communities BY BERNARD TOLANI DADA, Uyo
As part of its corporate social responsibility, Total Exploration and Production (TEPNG) at the weekend commissioned and handed over 35 completed projects to communities in Akwa Ibom State. The projects which were located in different locations across the state are; six completed classrooms block, at Ette in Ikot Abasi, LGA; renovation of six classrooms block at Ikpa Ibom Comprehensive, Secondary School, Ikot Ekong, Mkpat Enin LGA;
Enugu Workers Endorse Gov Ugwuanyi For Second Term BY NNAMDI MBAWIKE, Enugu
Workers and pensioners in Enugu State under the aegis of the organized labour, comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have held a mega solidarity rally in support of good governance in the state and in appreciation of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi. The workers therefore endorsed him for re-election in 2019. The workers and retirees, who marched from the new state secretariat, G.R.A, Enugu to the venue of the rally at the popular Michael Okpara Square, Independence Layout, said they “have never had it any better before now”. They added: “we have gathered here today to confer our collective endorsement of your excellency as the organised labour’s candidate for the 2019 general election, for governorship in Enugu State”. Speaking on behalf of the workers and pensioners, the chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Enugu State Council, Comrade Virginus Nwobodo also thanked Governor Ugwuanyi for his “able and dynamic governance style, which has in your less than three years in office, wiped away our tears, and brought assurances to us for a better future”. The workers, who came out in large numbers, commended Ugwuanyi for embracing “a sound labourgovernment relationship”, and stated that the governor has remained consistent in payment of their salaries, including the wages for teachers and pensioners, in spite of the nation’s economic downturn, which made it impossible for many states to pay workers’ salaries.
completed six classrooms block at Lutheran High School, Ikot Udo Mbang, Ukanafun, LGA; Completed Civic Centre at Iboko Offot, Uyo, LGA. Others are; renovated five classrooms block at Community Primary School Ekpene Inuen in Ikono LGA; completed six classrooms block at Comprehensive Secondary School, Ikot Ekpeyak, Ikono in Uyo LGA; completed six classrooms block at Government Primary School, Nto Obo in Abak LGA; and completed Community Health Centre at, Ikot Ntuen Nsit, Nsit Atai local government
areas respectively. Inaugurating the project at Iboko Ofot, Uyo, the managing director, Port Harcourt District, Mr. Francois Le- Cocq said the commissioning and handover of the projects to the benefitting communities was in line with TEPNG’s commitments to fulfilling the memorandum of understanding (MoU) agreements on enduring sustainable educational, health and social development of the people of the state. He said the gesture was borne out of the cordial relationship existing
SOUTH/ SOUTH 15
between the communities, TEPNG and the state government, adding that the facility was an appreciation for the good working environment the company has enjoyed in in the state. Represented by the manager, Community Relations, Mr. Okechwukwu Obara, the deputy managing director explained that Total would continue to partner with the people and the state government through nominated representatives in the provision of sustainable infrastructural support for the benefit of the host communities.
Obaseki Approves Payment Of Stipends To Libya Returnees BY PATRICK OCHOGA, Benin City
Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has approved verification exercise and payment of three months stipends for new batch of Libya returnees of Edo State origin. Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on AntiHuman Trafficking and Illegal Migration,
Comrade Solomon Okoduwa, disclosed this during the verification exercise. “The approval for the verification exercise and payment for the new batch of returnees are part of the promises made by the governor to assist victims of human trafficking and illegal migration and reintegrate them into society,” he noted. Okoduwa said since
the first two batches of returnees were received by the state government between 7 and 15 November 2017, the state has recorded 26 other batches totalling 3,165 returnees. “The verification exercise for the new batch of returnees will be processed in the next 12 days, after which payment of their stipends will commence. Each
returnee will be paid a stipend of N20,000 per month for three months. Among them, pregnant women will be entitled to N25,000 each, while those with babies will get N30,000 each,” he said. Okoduwa assured the returnees that they would get their stipends, urging them to follow the required procedures to get verified.
Ohanaeze Crisis: Youth Council Move To Replace Nwodo
BY NNAMDI MBAWIKE, Enugu
The crisis rocking the apex Igbo social cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has heightens following the shortlisting of three persons by the Ohanaeze Youth Council, OYC, for possible replacement of the embattled president-general of the organisation, Nnia Nwodo. According to a statement issued by OYC, the three persons are, Prince Richard Ozobu, Sir OAU Onyema and Prof Eche Ugwu. They are all from Enugu State, same as Nwodo. The position of the president-general was zoned to Enugu State. The statement, which was signed by president OYC, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, secretary general, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, and vice president, Comrade Achuonye Obinna, respectively, explained that the decision was an aftermath of a meeting held by Igbo leaders on Sunday in Enugu. The statement reads in part, “We the members of Ohanaeze Youth Wing, OYW, having been part of the interactive meeting of some respectable Igbo elders, leaders of thought, captains of industries and intelligentsias held today, at Enugu, as earlier-on scheduled with sole agenda ‘Save Ohanaeze Ndigbo’, were mandated to brief the public on the outcome.
Edo Govt Partners Microsoft, Tech4Dev To Train 50,000 Youths BY PATRICK OCHOGA, Benin City
Officials of Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) attending to a pensioner during PTAD Mobile Verification at Ogoja in Cross-River State, at the weekend . PHOTO BY NAN.
Ayade Earmarks N1bn For Banana Plantation BY RICHARD NDOMA, Calabar
The Cross River State government has set aside about N1billion for the cultivation of 5,000 hectares of land for the cultivation of banana for export. The state commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Prof. Anthony Eneji made the remark while fielding questions from journalists in Calabar yesterday saying that the state government has already acquired about five hectares of land in Boki local government area in the central senatorial district and Odukpani local government area in the Southern senatorial district of the state.
The commissioner maintained that the state government was paying serious attention to the cultivation of banana for export adding that in the next four months when harvesting begins, it would become a source of foreign exchange earner for the state. Eneji stressed that the banana which is an improved variety has a very short gestation period adding that the suckers of the foreign banana specie are imported, stressing that it is the type consumed in Europe and when it is available in Cross River, countries in Europe would prefer to import from here at a cheaper cost than from South America where they currently import the commodity.
He stressed that about 16,000 farmers in the state had been trained under the Central Bank’s Anchor Borrower’s programme. Eneji added that the production of cassava, rice, cocoa, fish, chicken, maize and others were receiving a boost as the Bank of Industry, World Bank and other financial institutions as well as NDDC, had partnered with the state government to sustain the tempo of agricultural revolution in the state. He said farmers were being trained to operate in two farming cycles: rainy season and dry season and that the Basin Authority was helping in terms of irrigation during the dry season.
To equip youths to exploit opportunities in Nigeria’s evolving technology eco-system and deliver on the Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki’s promise to create 200,000 jobs, the state government has concluded plans to partner with Microsoft and Tech4Dev in training 50,000 persons on digital literacy skills. EdoJobs, the state government’s job creation and skills development platform, is coordinating the training in the state and will through its portal, supply participants as well as other logistics for the programme. Senior special assistant to the governor on Job Creation, Mrs. Ukinebo Dare, in a statement, said that of the 50,000 participants in the programme, 500 would be coached as master trainers, who will facilitate the step-down training for others. According to her, “We have reached advanced stage of preparation for the training programme to commence in Edo State. Microsoft and Tech4Dev plan to train about 500,000 persons across Nigeria. Of that number, 50,000 people will be trained in Edo State. While the two firms will be conducting the training, we are here in the state to coordinate logistics and other support structures to make the training possible.” She said the EdoJobs portal, which has over 220,000 registered users will supply some of the participants for the training programme, noting, “We are excited about the training.”
Tuesday April 17, 2018
BRINGING THE SOUTH-WEST TO YOU
SMARTNEWS Adewale Vows To Fix Ekiti Economy BY ALO ABIOLA , ADO EKITI
The candidate of the Action Democratic Party, ADP, Segun Adewale, has promised to fix Ekiti State and bring her out of the economic doldrums. Speaking at Omuo Ekiti during a familiarization tour Otunba Adewale, popularly known as Aeroland described Ekiti State as one of the least viable in the South West in particular and the country in general, adding that the state needs urgent intervention of a visionary leader in so many areas. He said his first port of call, if given the mandate by Ekiti people to steer the ship of the state, will be power, lamenting that in the course of his engagement with the people, he was touched by the continued suffering of many communities still in total darkness for more than four years. Adewale said that the only university in Ekiti, where the youths of the state can develop themselves, gets electricity for only two hours a day, wondering "how our students can get the best in such conditions." He added that no investor would think of Ekiti as an investment destination with its perpetual lack of power supply, saying he would partner with stakeholders in the sector to ensure increase supply of power to all the communities. Adewale said he has already made projections on how to invest about $3 million to generate 10 megawatts (off grid) in each of the three senatorial districts in the state in partnership with the private sector. He added that he was already speaking with a number of potential investors who have interests in agriculture, construction and others.
Tourism Contributed N800bn To Lagos GDP In 2017 – Ambode BY GEORGE OKOJIE, Lagos
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday said massive opportunities abound in the nation’s tourism sector, saying activities within the tourism sector contributed about N800billion to the State's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2017. The Governor, who spoke at the Lagos Tourism Summit, held at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, with the theme- ‘Destination Lagos:
Towards A Sustainable TourismDriven Economy’, said the plans, concepts and executions of his administration are deliberate and well thought-out to make the highly populated mega city-state culturally attractive and artistically functional. He said his administration was consciously investing huge resources to develop an enduring infrastructural architecture that would ensure that the State’s tourism potentials are fully harnessed for
Lagos Saves N76.9bn, Loses N12.8bn To Fire BY GEORGE OKOJIE, Lagos
Lagos State Government yesterday revealed that the State Fire Services and other emergency agencies in the state salvaged property worth N76.9billion from destruction in 980 fire calls recorded in the state between May 2017 and April 2018, while property worth N12.8bn were lost to the fire outbreaks in the state. The state’s Commissioner for Special Duties and Intergovernmental relations, Mr Oluseye
Oladejo, who disclosed this at a press briefing in Lagos hinted that the fire service received 1,282 emergency calls, of which 980 were fire calls. According to him, a total of 333 victims were rescued while the agency recorded 202 rescue calls and 83 false calls adding that, 84 were also recovered dead. He noted that despite the sizeable number of incidents recorded, the state government was able to respond promptly to emergencies
into mega structures that will support tourism and market our state as a smart destination," the Governor said. “As a government, we are conscious of the fact that infrastructure, security, stability and partnership with all stakeholders are fundamental ingredients for tourism development. We have channeled a lot of resources into creating an enduring infrastructural architecture for the business of tourism to thrive,” he said.
all round economic growth and development. "The tourism sector contributed about $2.2billion (N800billion) to the Lagos GDP in 2017 and with the infrastructure and resources we are deploying in this sector, we expect this figure to double or treble in the next 5 years. "The enormous resources we have deployed in physical and social infrastructure across the State will begin to crystallize by December
thereby saving lots of lives and properties. He said: "Within the period under review, the State Government rehabilitated and upgraded 225 old Fire Hydrants that were initially below ground level in Lagos Metropolis and Installed 50 new additional ones to link the Mini/ Micro Water Works in the State. The hydrants have been providing easy access to copious Water supply for Firemen during Fire-fighting and Rescue Operations.
A rat poison seller displaying heap of dried dead rats at Ikeja. . PHOTO BY KOLAWOLE ALIU.
Stakeholders Caution Against Compulsory Health Insurance Scheme In Lagos BY FIDELIS UGBOMEH, Lagos
Some stakeholders in Lagos State have cautioned against implementation of compulsory health insurance scheme, saying there is urgent need to reappraise Section 6 of the amendment bill the State's Health scheme law 2015 which seeks to make health insurance compulsory for all residents. The stakeholders made the observation at a Public Hearing on, "A Bill for a Law to Amend the Lagos State Health Scheme, 2015, held at the weekend at Lateef Jakande Auditorium, Assembly Complex, Lagos State House of Assembly. The stakeholders at the meeting organised by the Lagos State House of Assembly Ad hoc Committee on Health Services headed by Hon. Segun Olulade argued that some residents have been covered by one health insurance scheme or the other, and that the amendment would lead to multiple taxations. The extant provision states that the Scheme shall be compulsory and apply to all residents of the state that are not covered by an existing health scheme. In his submission, the Commissioner for Health in Lagos State Dr. Jide Idris said, "How can we ascertain residents that have an existing health insurance scheme? The section also says that all residents in the formal or informal sector must provide evidence of being covered by the scheme or an existing scheme.”
LSETF Helped Us Upgrade Our Facilities – AFED BY ADENIYI ADUNOLA, Lagos
Members of the Association of Formidable Education Development (AFED) have said the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) established by the state government has helped them to upgrade the facilities in their schools. The members who staged a rally
to the Lagos House, Ikeja, to endorse Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for a second term in office said as a members of the ItesiwajuIpinleEko Vanguard, they decided to come to thank the governor for the good works he is doing across the state, aside providing room and support for them to thrive as a group of schools catering for the needs of
the low income earners in the state. The leader of the association, Mrs Esther Dada said rather than Ambode closing down their schools, he has through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund been supporting them to upgrade facilities in their schools. This, she said, has helped to provide better services and quality
teaching in their various schools. Member of the group from different local governments in the state who converged for the rally at the State House, Ikeja, intermittently sang praised of the Governor saying they are not just going to vote for him, they would mobilise votes to return the governor for a second term.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
AN APPEAL FOR ASSISTANCE 11-year-old Jamila Needs N5m For Stem Cell Transplant
t the tender age of 11, pretty Jamila Umar Mohammed is battling with sickle cell anaemia and more than ever before needs the assistance of kind hearted members of the public. Born with sickle cell anemia and her parents getting to know about it when she was about six months old, Jamila suffers severe body pains and organs disorder anytime the ailment begins. This entails that she has to be admitted to the hospital a couple of times in a year to be treated for hand-foot syndrome occasioned by swollen hands and feet. Miss Jamila who is currently undergoing treatment at Celltek Healtcare Limited in Benin City, needs N5 million as hospital bills for transplantation and one year drugs post transplantation. According to her father, Umar Mohammed, while Jamila needs N10 million to be treated, he has been able to raise the sum of N5 million through the benevolence of some members of the public, with which she has successfully undergone stem cell transplant at Celltek Healtcare Limited in Benin City while the results are awaited from Basel University, technical partners to Celltek Healthcare. “We are seeking the help of public spirited individuals to help us raise the balance of N5 million to cover for the cost of transplantation and one year drugs post transplantation”, Mohammed noted in a letter he sent to LEADERSHIP. He further noted that the family has expended all its funds; hence, the appeal to the public to further assist. He said willing donors could support by contributing their widow’s mite.
Donations could be sent to the following bank account: Account name: Umar Mohammed. Bank: Zenith Account number: 1003926359 For further enquiries, please contact Mohammed on: 08035888894
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
The number of people that marched in support of science in over 600 locations across the world
F E AT U R E S N E W S R E P O R T S I N T E R V I E W
Participants during the March for Science rally in Abuja
Why Nigerians Must Treasure Science – Oguntunde
BY NKECHI ISAAC, Abuja
The life of everyone of us is highly dependent on scientific inventions, innovations and modernday technologies
ecently, science supporters in Nigeria trooped out in their numbers to join more than 1 million people in over 600 locations across the world to march in support of science. Enthusiastic science lovers made up of scientists, farmers, civil society groups, lawyers and journalists took to the streets in Abuja to stand up for science and sensitise Nigerians on the importance of science and its role in the overall socio-economic development of the nation. The science enthusiasts spoke with one voice and had a unified message which was their belief in science as a game-changer that can jump-start rapid development and revolutionalise all sectors of the economy with emphasis on the health, and the development of vaccines; environment, and the potential to tackle climate change; agriculture, and the potentials of adopting and applying scientific tools such as biotechnology in revolutionising the sector and enhancing food security. The Nigeria March for Science 2018, themed, “Science and technology: An agent for economic development” was organised by the Ministry of Science and Technology; the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA); the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) in Africa, Nigeria Chapter and the Cornell Alliance for Science (CALS). Welcoming participants, the
overseeing director-general of NABDA, Mr Abayomi Oguntunde, said the rally sought to create awareness and sensitise the populace on the many ways science serves our communities and our world, as well as to encourage the public to value science, treasure science, respect science, invest in science, appreciate and engage with science. Oguntunde said: “The life of everyone of us is highly dependent on scientific inventions, innovations and modern-day technologies. Science has changed the lives of people largely which as we all know, have been deployed to every aspect of modernization and in sectors like agriculture, medicine, environment, education, industry, electricity, aviation, information, etc for both developing and developed nations. Modern science in Nigeria is awakened by the continuous and hard efforts of the outstanding scientists and researchers who attempt scientific advances of highest international calibre. “Just like other scientists across the world, Nigerian scientists have developed various scientific tools that can help in the area of food security, combating climate change which the public have not been fully aware of. This march for science therefore, has provided yet another opportunity for science supporters to come together, join voices to amplify available science-based solutions the nation can adopt to ensure food security.” According to him, “At the current population of over 180 million people and projected population of
400 million people by 2050, Nigeria is faced with the risk of decreased farming population due to age; decreased arable land; poverty; malnutrition and hunger because conventional method of agriculture can no longer meet up with our demand. Science holds the solution to our food security.” Oguntunde represented by the agency’s chief scientific officer, Mr Osino Christian, restated that science is revolutionary and holds the key to constant improvement for addressing climate change, food shortage and challenges in medicine. Earlier, the OFAB Nigeria chapter’s country coordinator, Dr Rose Gidado, listed the goals of the march to include humanizing science as science is first a human process, saying Nigerians viewed science as abstract and did not know there are scientists in Nigeria; support scientists by speaking up for them and amplifying their voices; and partner with the public, by engaging the communities in the research process. She said the objectives of the march were to build capacity, gain publicity, and demonstrate strength and solidarity in science to decisionmakers; reemphasise the role of science in national development; create an open, honest science communication and inclusive public outreach; and affirm science as a democratic value, describing it as a vital feature of a working democracy. Gidado empahsised that the sensitization would not end with the march, pointing out that the agency
would continually engage the public and sensitise them on the enormous potentials available in science all year round. In his message, Nigeria’s Science Ambassador, and Nollywood superstar, Paul Obazele, said science is not fiction and likened it to what is done in the movie world, pointing out that it goes through laid down processes to a logical conclusion. He stressed the need for enhanced public awareness drive and sensitization of science and its potentials, adding most Nigerians are ignorant of science and the amazing potentials it holds for revolutionising the nation. Giving reasons behind their staunch support and active participation in the march, farmers under the aegis of All Famers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) said the work of scientists in the lab, has the potential to change the fortune of farmers. AFAN’s vice president, Chief Daniel Okafor, said: “Scientists cannot do their work without the farmers, farmers must be involved because they are direct beneficiaries of biotechnology. For instance, when you go to countries like Brazil, Argentina, South Africa and Argentina, famers are in the forefront of agricultural biotechnology. Biotechnology has the potential to lift farmers.” He also urged government to fund science so scientists and researchers could come up with more research breakthrough that can positively affect the populace and the entire nation invariably.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
CERPAC: Immigration Satisfied With CONTEC’s Work The assistant comptroller general (ACG) in charge of Combined Expatriate Resident Permit and Aliens Cards (CERPAC) of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Abdulrasaq Dangiri, has commended Continental Transfer Technique Limited (CONTEC Global) for deploying state of the art and cutting-edge technology in the production of CERPAC cards. He gave the commendation when he inspected the facilities at the Abuja CERPAC production centre over the week end, expressing satisfaction with relationship between NIS and the technologically-based security organization. Dangiri said: ‘’It is my pleasure to admire and to appreciate the good work of CONTEC Global in the provision and production of CERPAC cards to deserving Nigerians and expatriates coming to Nigeria to do business. “I’m indeed happy to be here today and have observed the very robust working relation since the collaboration started. We will continue to do all the administrative work looking at what is happening here from the other end, and then ensuring that both the administrative and documentation work is done and then give the go ahead for the production of the biometric card,and above all I’m so happy that we have that cordial relationship exiting between NIS and CONTEC Global.” He charged staffers of both organizations to work hard through existing partnership for the progress of Nigeria and the organizations that are stake especially in the business and security aspects, expressing hope that good relationship will continue. Saying NIS will maintain the security aspect while CONTEC will maintain the business aspect, he said: ‘’I hope the good and cordial relationship will continue. I have come and l’m happy with what is on the ground as I have been conducted round the state of the art technology being used here.’’ The chairman of CONTEC, Dr Benoy Berry, who was represented by Dr Sahshi Mozumder, expressed happiness at the timely visit of the ACG to have a first-hand experience of what the organization is doing for the overall benefit of the country, Nigerians and foreigners. He said: ‘’Our company is constantly using and deploying international best standard and practice and cutting-edge technology to ensure that NIS realise its main objective of the collaboration with CONTEC.’’
FG Targets 80% Financial Inclusion By 2030 STORIES BY NKECHI ISAAC, Abuja The Federal Government is targeting the attainment of 80 per cent financial inclusion by year 2020. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele slated this at the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the bank and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on payment systems in the country in Abuja. He described the document drafted by a committee with representations from both organisations as a landmark development
towards driving the payment system in the country, reducing cash transaction and enhancing cashless operations, saying it would also help to facilitate financial inclusion and drive a more robust payment system. He said: “I am very delighted because today with this signing, we are now very sure and certain that we will very easily improve the level of financial inclusion from the level it is today which is about 48 per cent and we set a target for ourselves that by 2020 which is in three years or below that the level of financial inclusion should increase to 80 per cent.
“I can assure everybody that with this signing it provides framework for licensing of payment service provider and is a framework that will also guide the working of those who are stakeholders both in the banking industry as well as the telecommunication industry not just mobile payment but the payment system in Nigeria.” Earlier, the executive vice chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, said the MoU took serious cognizance of very crucial areas of collaboration between the two important regulators with respect to financial inclusion strat-
egy already being driven by the CBN, pointing out that the strategy provided responsibilities of the two organisations towards the achievement of government’s objective on payment systems, including but not limited to mobile money services. Saying the MoU was drafted by a committee made up of representations from the NCC and the CBN, he averred that with the signing of the MoU, the two organisations had indicated commitment towards driving the financial inclusion in the country as well as ensuring improvement in the money mobile penetration.
L-R: Executive vice chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele signing a memorandum of understanding on payment systems in the country, recently.
NCC Committed To 30% NBP Target – Danbatta
Th executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, has restated government’s commitment in meeting the 30 per cent National Broadband Plan (NBP) target by the end of the year. He gave the assurance when he received Technology Development and Leadership Award at the Kano Heroes Award for honouring illustrious sons of Kano State who have demonstrated dedication and commitment, integrity and selfless service in the development of the state and the nation at large. Receiving the award, the NCC helmsman said it would spur him to work harder and encouraged the youth to live up to the responsibilities assigned to them. “It is appropriate to recognize contributions of leaders of this great state past and present
who I believe served as role models to the youth in the state by way of making them live up to responsibilities assigned to them in different capacities of service to humanity and by ensuring we exhibit qualities that these past leaders of the state have established and therefore succeeded in raising the fortunes of the state to the level they are at the morning,” he said. Fielding questions from journalists, Danbatta NCC was not relenting on its efforts to implement its 8-point Agenda, adding it is still on course in ensuring the sixth point which centres around consumer protection and empowerment. He said, “We are busy as you are aware implementing eight items of this agenda for facilitating broadband penetration, we are at 22 period cent which means close to 45 million Nigerians have access to high speed internet. We have
the target of 30 per cent to reach by the end of this year according to the National Broadband plan. On protecting and empowering the consumer we have dedicated the year 2017 as the year of the telecom consumer and through that campaign we have sensitised consumers on how they can protect themselves from unsolicited text messages by texting STOP to the code 2442. We have equally through this campaign of protecting and empowering the consumer enlightened them about the existence of the toll free number 622 through which they can lay complaints about the quality of service they are receiving”. Those honoured alongside Danbatta include late head of state, Murtala Muhammad; late Emir of Kano, Ado Bayero; Maitama Sule; Abubakar Rimi; Malam Aminu Kano, current Emir of Kano and Malam Muhammad Sanusi ll.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
politics today Tuesday, April 17, 2018
REPORTS ANALYSIS REVIEWS INTERVIEWS
GROUP POLITICS EDITOR: MUYIWA OYINLOLA 08054701492 (SMS ONLY )
2019: As PMB Heeds The Call For Second Term KAUTHAR ANUMBA-KHALEEL, in this report, examines reactions trailing President Muhammadu Buhari’s announcement that he will seek re-election.
The governor notably asked the president to seek another term when he led some governors to Aso Rock
or months, Nigerians remained in the dark on whether or not President Muhammadu Buhari would seek a second term in office. While the speculation lasted, a section of Nigerians (individuals and groups) had mounted pressure on him to declare even as others who are unimpressed by his style of leadership and are of the view that he lacks the wherewithal to captain the ship, Nigeria, were hoping that he would not run again. However, the president last week, at the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) leadership laid the speculation to rest, when he announced his intention to run for a second term in office, in the 2019 elections. The announcement which was confirmed by the national publicity secretary of the party, Bolaji Abdullahi and the Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa, while addressing journalist after the meeting. Also, the Presidency’s official handle confirmed his decision by tweeting “President @ MBuhari has just announced his intention to seek the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and contest for a second term of office in the 2019. Similarly, Kaduna State governor Nasir el-Rufai tweeted “Breaking News: PMB has just announced to APC NEC his intention to run for a second term of office. Alhamdulilah”. The governor notably asked the president to seek another term when he led some governors to Aso Rock asking Buhari to seek re-election earlier in the year. He said, “we are politicians and those of us that you see here want the president to contest for a second term of office. So, everything is about 2019; there is no hiding that. We have no apologies for that. We believe in the president; we want him to keep running the country in the right direction, he said. But it was not a generic pass for President Buhari as he also received as much backlash from
a section of Nigerians as he did from his supporters. Chief amongst those asking him to perish the thought of seeking another term in office is former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo who on two different occasions, urged him to take the path of honour and bow out due to the failure of his government. It would be recalled that in January, Obasanjo in a 13-page letter, chided President Buhari and advised him not to seek reelection. He to leave the office in a dignified way. “President Buhari needs a dignified and honourable dismount from the Horse. He needs to have time to reflect, refurbish physically and recoup and after appropriate rest, once again, loin the stock of Nigerian leaders whose experience, influence, wisdom and outreach can be deployed on the sideline for the good of the country. His place in history is already assured,” Obasanjo said. Two weeks ago, Obasanjo referred to the Muhammadu Buhari government as a failed
government, alleging that the current administration is running an ineffective economic policy that has crippled businesses and caused economic woes in the country which has brought hardship on Nigerians and advised Nigerians to not give him their votes in the 2019 general elections. “The truth is when you have an ineffective and incompetent government, we are all victims, and don’t let anybody deceive you. Those of you who are in business could have been better today if we have a competent, effective and performing government. As I said, stop giving excuses; we met challenges. If there are no challenges, then we wouldn’t need you to come; you came in because you knew there are challenges and then giving excuses that you have many challenges, that is why you haven’t achieved results; “And then you still want to go. The first lesson I learnt in my military training is never to reinforce failure; what we
have now is failure; never you reinforce failure; let failure be failure”, Obasanjo asserted. While Buhari’s decision to recontest which he attributed to clamor by Nigerians gladdens the hearts of his supporters who continue to count his achievements so far, those opposed to it also cite the failures of his administration in the past years especially in the areas he made promises was reasons why he should save face and not expose himself to further ridicule at the polls. In his reaction, Constitutional Lawyer and Human Rights Activist, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), who in the past had said the president will contest given his body language, noted that the while it is the president’s constitutional right to seek a second term, it is also the right of the electorates to reject him at the polls based on his performance in the areas of economy, insecurity and the fight against corruption. “For the avoidance of doubt, ➔ CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
2019: As PMB Heeds The Call For Second Term
Obasanjo ➔ CONTINUED FROM PAGE
But in the face of all these, Buhari and the APC must ensure that governance is not collateral damage
it is PMB’s undoubted constitutional right to contest for the Nigerian presidency, having run only once. However, it is also the constitutional right of Nigerians to roundly reject him at the polls, having performed abysmally and disastrously below average. The evidence is all too glaring, admitting of ambiguity. “The economy is in an all time low. From over $500 billion rebased economy (according to World Bank and IMF), which PMB met, he took Nigeria into recession and now claims to have taken it out. He says this calls for celebration. But the figures don’t tally, nor does the story jell. Nigerians are hungrier today than they were 3 years ago. They have been rendered destitute and impecunious. “Indeed, he gleefully told a bemused country in December, 2015 that Boko Haram had been “technically defeated” and repeated it in 2016, that it “has been beaten”. But Nigerians knows that Boko Haram is stronger today, more potent and more deadly than it ever was. We are regaled with tales of Boko Haram’s blood-letting exploits; “Government does not even pretend to want to curb the insurgency. Not a single herdsman has been arrested or prosecuted by the government. Kidnappings, murders, suicides and rape cases, have since increased geometrically, rather than arithmetic; consequently, on the insecurity front, PMB has scored below average”. On the anti-graft war Ozekhome says, “PMB’s greatest failings is perhaps in this anti-corruption context.
He had promised to fight corruption; three years down the line, he has not secured a single conviction of any high profile, politically exposed person. Rather, Nigerians have been treated to ludicrous media trial. In desperation, the government has now released names of opposition members whom they have charged to court but cannot prove their cases against as “looters”, without any court conviction or judicial pronouncement to that effect. This is in sync with the government’s now infamous disrespect and disregard for due process, the rule of law, independence of the judiciary and disobedience to court orders. Impunity reigns supreme”. Also, the General secretary of Textile workers union and national executive council member of Nigerian Labor congress (NLC), Issa Aremu, said the president has the constitutional right to seek reelection. In a statement, Aremu said, “the reported announcement by president Muhammadu Buhari of his intention to seek re-election in 2019 is largely a constitutional matter. For us in the Labour movement, the 1999 constitution of Nigeria allows for two-term tenure for the president, if elected, same as governors and open-ended legislators; “President Buhari certainly has the right to seek re-election. Same constitution allows all eligible citizens to exercise their rights to vote and be voted for. The controversy over whether the president is contesting or not is therefore unnecessary; what is also clear is that Labour will also exercise its constitutional rights to vote
based on critical assessment of all political office holders with respect to decent work, decent pay, employment, cost of living, security and building of a prosperous, fair, just and united Nigeria,” Aremu stated. President Buhari’s announcement may have sent chills down the spines of nonsupporters of his government but it is also preparing Nigerians for the polls where they have the opportunity to either let him steer the affairs of this country for the next four years or show him the way out as it is one thing for him to declare his intention to recontest, it is another for him
to be able to convince them beyond reasonable doubt to entrust him with their votes once again. Unfortunately, he will be doing this by defending his records vis-a-vis achievements, style of leadership in the last three years as opposed to his promise of change in 2015. He has to be able to give Nigerians good enough reason why he should not be flogged with the same cane Goodluck Jonathan was flogged in the 2015 presidential election. But in the face of all these, Buhari and the APC must ensure that governance is not collateral damage.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
N E W S A R O U N D T H E C A P I TA L C I T Y
Avian Flu: FCTA Tasks Poultry Farmers On Hygiene
‘Public Officers Must Fill Code Of Conduct Form’ The state director, Code of Conduct Bureau in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr. Usman Suleiman, has stated that it is mandatory for all public officers, whether elected or appointed, to collect and sign the code of conduct form. Speaking during a meeting with staff of Area Council Services Secretariat (ACSS) in the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Suleiman cautioned them to declare only those assets they actually own at the time of filling the form, which according to him, is the requirement of the law. While thanking the secretariat for a warm reception, the director re-emphasised that Code of Conduct is about tackling corruption and ensuring accountability in public service. Earlier, the secretary, ACSS, Mallam Adamu Abubakar Bappah, had appealed to staff of the secretariat to fill the forms as required by the Code of Conduct Bureau act. Bappah commended the state director of the bureau for the visit and promised that the secretariat would partner with FCT Code of Conduct Bureau, to ensure that staff fill the forms and resubmit them.
Nigeria Needs Digital, Vibrant Leaders – Barrister An Abuja-based constitutional lawyer, Prince Orji Nwafor-Orizu said that what Nigeria needs at the moment are digital, focused and energetic young leaders, to pilot the affairs of the country. In an interview with newsmen, Nwafor-Orizu said the current crop of leaders in the country should give chance to young and vibrant Nigerians, who can compete favorably with outside world and take the country to the next level. The legal practitioner noted that President Muhammadu Buhari has the constitutional rights to seek re-election in 2019, but advised him to tackle some of the challenges facing the country before seeking for a second term. According to him, “President Muhammadu Buhari should find solutions to the challenges facing the country at the moment. He should tackle the challenges such as economic turmoil, insurgency, killings, hunger and high rates of unemployment, before seeking for a second term.” He maintained that it is only when the present administration has tackled some of these challenges that Nigerians would have the confidence to give them their votes in the 2019 general election.
Members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria ( IMN ) during a protest to demand the release of their leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, in Abuja. PHOTO BY OYEDELE OMOKAGBO
Abuja Investment Company Workers Demand Sack Of Interim Head STORIES BY DAVID ADUGE-ANI
Trouble is gradually brewing between staff and the interim management team of the Abuja Investment Company Limited (AICL), over alleged move by the management to sack over 80 per cent of its workforce, on the ground of ‘incompetence’. Recall that in August 2017, the interim management team of the company was involved in a controversy on an allegation that about N5 million was being paid to the interim head, as monthly salary, without an approval from the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA). This development prompted the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, to revert the salary of the interim head to N500, 000.00 per month, with a strong directive to refund the arrears of salary already
collected. However, last week, the interim management team and staff of AICL were at each other’s throat as activities were paralysed in the company over series of allegations bordering on industrial harmony. Some aggrieved staff alleged that the head of the interim management, Dr. Isyaku Bashir has written a memo to the newly constituted board of AICL to sack 80 per cent of its personnel on ground of ‘incompetence’, a development they vowed to resist. One of the aggrieved staff, who spoke on condition of anonymity, described the development as “frivolous and unacceptable”, stressing that since the revelation of the interim management team’s bogus salary to the media and some anti corruption agencies, there have not been
any industrial harmony between staff and the interim management team of AICL. “I want to state it very clear that the head of the interim management team has not been comfortable with the presence of most workers, since August last year when their dubious salary scale was made public. The man is not comfortable with us, because he felt that the present crop of staff will not allow him to carry on with his illegalities on the guise of fighting corruption. To achieve his aim, he wrote to the newly constituted management board, seeking the approval to sack 80 per cent of the present staff on the ground of incompetence. These are staff that have spent over 10 to 15 years in AICL.” He, however, called for the intervention of the minister to end the crisis.
Stakeholders Urge FG To Adopt Grassroots Economic Policies Stakeholders at the just concluded 6th edition of ‘Business Clinic’ (Business 360) organised by the Abuja Entreprise Agency (AEA), have called on the federal government to adopt economic policies and programmes that the grassroots can easily understand and appreciate. In a keynote address, at the conference, a senior economist, Paul Alaje, noted that most business initiatives of the government are centred at the federal level and do not have impact on those living in the states and local government areas. Alaje advised government to replicate its economic policies in the states and local government lev-
els to improve business opportunities for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSMEs) in the country. His paper, titled ‘Ease of Doing Business In Nigeria’ the senior economist stated that MSMEs to improve in Nigeria, government agencies must improve the time spent on business registration, noting that there are too many bureaucracies in the process of business registration in Nigeria. Alaje also suggested that the country should diversify its sources of power supply to improve business development, adding that focusing on grid system or one source of power supply is not the right way to go. In an interview, the na-
tional vice president, National Association of Small and Medium Scale Entreprises (north central zone), Engr. Auwal Ibrahim, noted that one of the challenges facing the MSMEs in the country is inability of members to link with the laudable programmes of government to improve their businesses. Ibrahim mentioned some of the challenges, facing the MSMEs in the country to include access to finance, access to market, poor electricity, skills acquisition technology and linkages, as well as business development services, among others. Earlier in a speech, the managing director/chief ex-
ecutive officer of AEA, Mallam Muhammad Tukur Arabi, had explained that the event was designed to serve as a platform to review the growth and development of MSMEs in the FCT. Arabi revealed that the regulatory and business support agencies would provide an insight into how MSMEs can comply with existing regulations and utilize current government policies to enhance the opportunities for growth. He stated that the ‘Business 360’ provides an opportunity for the stakeholders to engage one another and to address the challenges that hinder the smooth operations of MSMEs in the FCT.
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has advised poultry farmers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to maintain simple hygiene in their farms to avoid Avian Influenza. Speaking at a sensitization/ advocacy workshop for poultry farmers in the territory, the secretary, FCTA Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS), Hon. Stanley Ifeanyichukwu Nzekwe, stated that Avian Influenza, popularly known as Bird Flu, has no cure or any effective vaccine. Nzekwe maintained that simple farm hygiene remains the best remedy for Avian Influenza, which according to him, has the capacity for 100 per cent mortality and can drive farmers out of business. Earlier, FCT chief veterinary officer, Dr. Regina Adulugba, had explained that the advocacy was necessary to ensure that no outbreak of Avian Influenza is recorded in the territory. Adulugba warned farmers against allowing people into their farms without being disinfected, adding that only staff should have free access into the farms, while staff who have visited other farms should take a holiday and be disinfected before returning to the facility. In a paper, a deputy director in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Columba Teru Vakuru, advised poultry farmers to be careful and not to allow infection in their farms, as a single mistake can wipe out a farm within three days of notice. “Apart from farm fumigation, bird cages and farm vehicles should be properly disinfected, while wood cages should be faced out and replaced with plastic and iron cages for easy disinfection as the wood soaks and retains moisture,” Vakuru added.
24 NEWS /FCT WATCH
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Minister Lauds Africare For Reduction In Malaria Prevalence BY TARKAA DAVID Minister for health, Professor Isaac Adewole, has lauded a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Africare, for its role in the reduction of malaria prevalence rate, from 42 per cent in 2010 to 27 per cent in 2015. Speaking at meeting on the achievements of Malaria Prevention in MPN Suppliers Communities (MAPS-C) project of Africare, organised in collaboration with Exxonmobil, Professor Adewole noted that efforts put in combating malaria scourge in the country was yielding positive results, as recent surveys show progression. Represented by the director, public health in the ministry, Dr Evelyn Ngige, the minister pointed out that Nigeria contributes about 27 per cent of the 260 malaria cases and 23 per cent of the 435,000 deaths, recorded in 2016, according to the 2017 World Malaria Report. He said that in order to sustain the gains and sustain the danger of a reversible, there was a need to deploy innovative approach to prevent, diagnose and treatment of malaria. Speaking earlier, the country director of Africare, Dr Doherty Orode, said
that the MAPS-C project initiative became successful because of the Deki reader. Doherty explained that before the introduction of the technology in the communities, where the project was implemented, malaria tests were not carried out before treatments and the use of chloroquine tablet was still on. She however said that progress was made later with the introduction of Deki Reader, which allowed for getting results, accounting for commodities and also gave details, which was stored in a portal for future reference. The country director also said that a significant reduction in over treatment was achieved after the acceptability of the technology among members of the community. LEADERSHIP gathered that Africare is a USbased organisation, which seeks to address African development and policy issues to build susainable, healthy and productive communities. The MAPS-C project has served over 90,000 people in four local government areas in Akwa Ibom and Rivers states; namely Eket, Ibeno, Bonny and Ogu-bolo, since 2011 to date.
ARCON To Organise Robust Architects Forum In Abuja BY DAVID ADUGE-ANI
The annual architecture forum, organised by the architects’ regulatory body, Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON), popularly known as Architects Colloquium is to hold in Abuja next week. According to the organizers, this year’s edition, with the main theme, “Architecture and the Nigerian Development Agenda XI” and sub-theme, “Architecture and Sustainable Built Environment”, is planned to be more robust in scope and size. In a statement, the registrar of ARCON, Architect Umar Murnai, explained that the forum would create a platform for professional within and outside the building and constructor industry to interact, discuss and dialogue on architectural and other related issues. Murnai disclosed that this year’s edition would cover architecture and sustainability concept,
software capacity building for architects (BIM), and value added to building finishes. Other areas the colloquium would also cover, according to Murnai include value added to building finishes, appropriate procedure for painting application, architects services, remuneration challenges and feedback. He said that those expected to attend the event are architects in various vocations, other professionals in the building industry, research institutions, educators, students, agencies responsible for housing and developmental control and the general public. A former president of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Architect Jimoh Faworaja, said that the Architects’ Colloquium is an annual gathering of architects in various vocations for the purpose of brainstorming on issues that have direct bearing on the challenges.
Members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) being teargassed by the police during a protest by the group in Abuja yesterday PHOTO BY OYEDELE OMOKAGBO
Village Head Decries Lack Of Potable Water BY TARKAA DAVID Village head of Paikon-Kore in Gwagwalada area Council, Yusuf Baruwa has appealed to both the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and Gwagwalada area council to provide clean water for the community. Yusuf lamented that the community members resort to open sources of water for drinking and cooking, even when water is considered to be one of the basic necessities of man. The village head also appealed
to the management of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) to improve power supply in the community, adding that the present supply in a day is not up to two hours. “I appeal to the government to give us water. Water is life, but for us to drink water, most people go to the river to fetch water, because the available borehole cannot serve all of us,” he said. The village head also called on the senator, representing the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), his House of Representatives counterpart, as well as the chairman of Gwagwalada area
council, to heed the plea of the community. While commending the chairman of Gwagwalada area council, Hon Adamu Mustapha Danze for his efforts towards the development of rural communities, he further urged him to ensure due processes in the takeover of lands for overriding interest. Yusuf also called on the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, to ensure that the indigenes are properly compensated before commencing work on the affected lands.
2019: Dauda Declares For Bwari /AMAC Federal Constituency
BY TARKAA DAVID
Comrade Ifraimu Dauda has declared interest to run for Bwari/AMAC federal constituency seat in the House of Representatives. Declaring his intention at the Esu Ushafa palace at the weekend, Comrade Ifraimu said his decision is to liberate his people from constitutional loopholes that need amendment to ensure that FCT natives get what rightly belongs to them. He added that his decision to declare first at the palace is to seek royal blessings for the race. “I’m running for the race to serve my people, there are a lot of constitutional issues affecting my people that
need to be addressed and to make sure that those things that rightly belong to the FCT natives are given to us.” The House of Representatives aspirant for Bwari/AMAC federal constituency disclosed that some of the burning issues that he would address include bill for area council autonom the natives. He explained that land of local government autonomy has made governors too powerful thereby denying council chairmen the resources to deliver dividends of democracy to the grassroots. He further stated that local government autonomy would enable council chairmen have direct resources from the federal government to execute
projects. Ifraimu commended the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, for his recent move to carry the natives along in his major decision making and called for an integration of the natives into the FCT scheme. He noted that the natives do not have any other place to relocate to other than to be carried along and integrated as the city has come to stay. “Every constitution is meant to suite the interest of the people, so if the constitution does not suite the natives of the FCT, then such constitution needs to be reviewed now because we don’t have any other place to go to except Abuja,”
FCTA Orders Security In Abuja Orphanage Homes
BY DAVID ADUGE-ANI
Worried by the sudden disappearance of a 14-year-old boy from Gwako Orphanage Home in Gwagwalada area council, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has ordered the immediate fortification of all orphanage homes in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The secretary, FCTA Social Development Secretariat (SDS), Alhaji Oladimeje Ali-Hassan, who gave the order in Abuja yesterday, gave the name of the boy as Mo-
ses Audi, who hailed from Kaduna State. Hassan disclosed that the boy who was brought to the secretariat by the police on March 13, 2018 and suddenly disappeared on March 28, 2018 from Gwako Orphanage Home. While calling on coordinators of orphanage homes in the territory to be more vigilant in the discharge of their duties, the secretary maintained that the police have intensified efforts to trace the boy with a view to returning him to the home. According to him, “The boy in
question was identified by the police as Moses Audi, a 14-yearold boy, who hailed from Kaduna. The secretariat took custody of the boy, as part of its mandate on that same day and took him to Gwako Orphanage Home. Two weeks after, the coordinator of the home reported that the boy has escaped from the home with some cash and valuable items. From the reports available, it is very clear that the street boy escaped because of the regimented nature of the home and he has records of criminal tendencies.”
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Human resource & development
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Will New Minimum Wage Improve Workers Productivity?
BY OLAJIDE FABAMISE, Lagos
or two years, workers in Nigeria under the umbrella of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have been battling with the government for an upward review of the national minimum wage from the current N18, 000. However, the antagonist of a new minimum wage argue that an increase to workers earning will lead to inflation and may not even necessarily increase productivity of civil servants, who are the major beneficiaries of a new minimum wage One of Nigeria’s leading economists and Chief Executive Officer of Economic Associates, an economic research firm, Ayo Teriba, who spoke with LEADERSHIP, said that the real economic issue here was whether the current minimum wage rate was optimal or sub-optimal. “This means that do workers receive an income that allows them to live reasonably? In my opinion, if you divide 18,000 by 30 days, that is N600 per day,” Teriba said. “What can anybody do with N600 per day? If you go to N56, 000, that brings it to a little bit over N1, 800; and anyone who says that figure might be inflationary is exaggerating. That’s less than what people earn as unemployment allowance in some countries. The amount is not even significant enough to affect money supply. I don’t think we should be talking about inflation.” On the limitations of government revenue, he said, “They should find money. States are in the business of finding money to govern. If you cannot raise money, leave your seat for someone else who can.” Also, a financial expert, Mr. Johnson Akintunde, spoke in a similar vein. He emphasised the need for the increase and went further to suggest it could help in improving the country’s
economic fortunes. According to him, “An increase in the minimum wage allows workers to have more disposable income, and that means the demand for goods and services will improve, which means consumer spending will also improve and in return stimulate business activity, in the sense that those businesses involved in producing the goods and services will need to produce more. “But because a lot of production is not domesticated, there might also be a trigger in the increase in demand for foreign exchange for importation. But, on a balance, I think an increase in wages will trigger positive economic activity as a result of the increased demand for goods and services.” However, Akintunde noted that the increased burden
on government and some entrepreneurs might dampen the demand for labour. “It also means some states will be forced to retrench and it will discourage a lot of small companies from employing because they may not be in a position to meet such obligations,” he said. Sadly, the majority of the state governments are finding it difficult to pay even the extant minimum wage. Therefore, since they are presumably not planning the mass sack of workers in order to meet up with the obligations that will be placed on them by the new minimum wage, the state governments must work assiduously towards increasing their revenue profile. They must demonstrate renewed commitment to cutting costs and eliminating wastes in the system. Financial experts as well as
organised labour argued that this is indeed the time for the governors to be creative in the management of public finances rather than perpetuating the defeatist practice of blaming previous governments for the present state of affairs. Mr Sunday Adebayo, a labour activist said, “Every Nigerian worker deserves to live a decent life and so must earn a decent wage. But the government must also ensure that the economy becomes productive. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, we urge the government to embrace the restructuring imperative. The truth is that the nation’s workers will fare better under a system that allows each component unit of the federation to take charge of its affairs and creatively harness its Godgiven resources. The healthy rivalry that will be created by such a system will encourage
rapid development.” Low Compliance It is one thing to pass laws and another to implement them. Although the N18, 900 minimum wages was agreed to in 2011, compliance, according to a labour executive who spoke with LEADERSHIP, has remained low. Chairman, NLC, Lagos Chapter, Comrade Idowu Adelakun, lamented that the low compliance was due to selfishness on the part of employers. Adelakun stated, “Nigeria is blessed with abundance. Among oil producing countries, we are the ones who pay our workers the least amount of money. Still, as little as 18,000 and considering the recent economic situation in the country, some people still feel it is too big. Apart from private employers, what of our own
government? The majority of state governments are not paying. Instead of paying the full N18, 000 they will be paying N9, 000, and what is that to a worker for 30 days? They only want the rich to be richer and the poor to be poorer. “Because the minimum wage is on the Exclusive List and is a law, it is binding on everybody, and those who don’t comply are criminals. As NLC, over the past two to three years, we have gone round states protesting on the streets about this noncompliance issue.” When asked whether the NLC had explored the option of using the judiciary to compel compliance, Adelakun said, “It is not every case you take to the court that you will win and you know that in this country, there are levels of complications in the judicial system; at the end of the day, they might say you lost.
@leadershipNGA Tuesday, Apil 17, 2018
HUMAN RESOURCE Hughes-Obisesan Joins Leo Burnett Africa As Creative Director DEVELOPMENT & MANAGEMENT
Sinmisola HughesObisesan has joined Leo Burnett Africa as its creative director barely two years of serving in the same position at Insight Publicis. Leo Burnett, is globally the Publicis network’s most creatively recognised agency and is one of the major advertising agency networks within the Publicis Group. With Simisola’s appointment, she will manage creative activities within the agency’s wide network across Africa including the Nigerian office. The announcement was made following the recent restructuring exercise at Leo Burnett Africa. Simisola is expected to deploy her creative competences and expertise to drive growth and sustainability in Leo Burnett’s offices across the continent. Sinmisola is a global award-winning creative director with over 13 years advertising experience on a plethora of brands. She
EXxonmobil Names Udom Inoyo As Vice Chair
was the first female and millennial creative director at Insight Publicis and also stands as the second female creative director in the history of advertising in Nigeria. Some of her work
includes the famous Pepsi Long Throat campaign, Pepsi No Shakin Carry Go campaign, Star, Gulder, Gulder Max, Bank PHB, Peak Milk, Nestle, PZ and most recently, the current Heineken Campaign
featuring Jidenna. Simisola is an alumnus of Coventry University, United Kingdom with Bachelor degree in Communications, Culture and Media.
Chain Reactions Nigeria Appoints Olugbenga Ojo As COO Chain Reactions Nigeria, one of Nigeria’s leading Public Relations/Reputation Management and Integrated Communications Consulting Firms and the Exclusive Nigeria’s Affiliate and the Preferred West Africa’s Partner of Edelman, the world’s largest marketing communications firm, has appointed Olugbenga Ojo, as its Group Business Director and Chief Operating Officer. A thoroughbred multidisciplinary professional with more than two decades of work experience, Ojo has served in many strategic positions across multisectors where he played key roles in business growth and turnaround, operational efficiency and marketing amongst others. Prior to joining Chain Reactions, he was the Chief Executive Officer, Poise International where he made tremendous contribution to the firm’s quantum success. He was also at various times the General Manager and HBO, Interprods– WA Ltd; Group Marketing
Manager, Global Plus Group; Group Marketing Manager, Robert Johnson Holdings Limited; National Sales Manager, Isatong Computer Engineers, and Group Marketing Manager, Interworld Management and Services Limited amongst
others. Announcing Ojo’s appointment, Managing Director and Chief Strategist, Chain Reactions Nigeria, Israel Jaiye Opayemi, welcomed the new GBD and COO onboard and said his
appointment was well deserved having emerged the best amongst tens of candidates that pitched for the role. “Over 100 hundred candidates were considered but Ojo emerged the most appropriate for the task at hand. His task has been categorised into three folds – People, Process, and Profits. He will enhance people’s management, process management, and profit management”, he said. “Ojo comes highly recommended, and is expected to use his repertoire of many years’ experience from working in different sectors to oversee the company’s growth as a global force in Public Relations”, Opayemi added. Reacting to his appointment, Ojo said, “I am coming with many years of qualitative and quantitative experience. I believe teamwork will enable us to succeed and grow faster as an organization. Mutual respect and integrity are also traits that will be embedded as we journey through work.”
Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPN) and Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited (EEPNL) have announced the appointment of Udom Inoyo as Vice-Chairman of the Boards of the Companies, with effect from March 19, 2018. Until his appointment, Inoyo, was an Executive Director and In-Country Human Resources Manager for MPN and EEPNL. Udom joined the MPN in 1989 and after several Human Resources roles in Nigeria, USA and Belgium, was appointed Manager, HR Policies & Programs in 2001. He became the General Manager, External Affairs between 2002 and 2006, and, thereafter, the In-country HR Manager. He was elected to the Board of MPN as Executive Director in 2004. Udom Inoyo hails from Akwa Ibom State and holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science (1981) and LL.B in Law (1987), from the University of Calabar, and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1988. He is an alumnus of the Lagos Business School and Thunderbird School of Global Management, Arizona. Udom is currently the President and Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPM).
NAICOM Confirms Ebose as New Anchor Insurance MD The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has confirmed Mr. Augustine Osegha Ebose as the new Managing Director of the Anchor Insurance Company Limited. The board of directors of the company had earlier forwarded his name to NAICOM as nominee for the position stemming from the last board meeting and a thorough selection process anchored on the company’s succession plan. Before his new appointment as Managing Director, Augustine Ebose was the company’s Executive Director overseeing the business and marketing chains of the company. Augustine started his working career with Erikana Nigeria Limited in 2000 to 2001 as a Marketing Officer engaged in the sales of the company’s products. Thereafter, he moved to Alliance & General Insurance Company Limited where he served in various capacities from 2001 to 2004 which he joined as an Executive and rose to the position of Branch Manager. In 2004, he moved to Capital Express General Insurance Company Limited as a Manager to develop the Public Sector, Oil & Gas segment by identifying and developing strategies to deepen the company’s market share. He left the services of Capital Express in 2006 to start his business sojourn with Standard Alliance Insurance Company Plc from November 2006. Augustine started as Deputy Manager/Group Head; Public Sector and was later promoted to Manager Public Sector, Oil & Gas & Telecoms in 2007.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
HUMAN RESOURCE GAC Tasked FG On Establishment New Online Ratings Help Migrant Workers Avoid Unscrupulous Recruiters Of Facilities For DEVELOPMENT & MANAGEMENT
hile millions of workers migrate in search of a better life for themselves and their families, far too many are tricked by false promises made by unscrupulous recruitment agencies, including fake jobs, lower wages and unsafe working conditions. Some end up trapped in forced labour and other forms of modern slavery. A new web platform has been launched to help protect migrant workers from abusive employment practices by providing them with peer-topeer reviews about recruitment agencies in their country of origin and destination. The Recruitment Advisor platform developed by the International Trade Union
Confederation (ITUC), with support from the ILO Fair Recruitment initiative , lists thousands of agencies in Nepal, the Philippines and Indonesia. The platform allows workers to comment on their experiences, rate the recruitment agencies and learn about their rights. Initially available in English, Indonesian, Nepali and Tagalog, it will be further developed in more languages. Governments provided the list of licensed agencies, and a network of trade unions and civil society organizations in all target countries ensures the sustainability of the platform by reaching out to workers. Ultimately the system will promote recruiters who follow a fair recruitment
process, based on the ILO’s General Principles and Operational Guidelines for Fair Recruitment, and will provide useful feedback to governments regarding the practices of licensed recruitment agencies, which could be used to complement more traditional monitoring systems. Recruitment is a critical stage when migrant workers are more vulnerable to abuse. “Unscrupulous recruitment agencies take advantage of the lack of law enforcement by governments or because workers are simply not aware of their rights,” says ITUC General Secretary, Sharan Burrow. “It’s time to put power back into workers’ hands to rate the recruitment agencies and show whether their
promises of jobs and wages are delivered.” Typically, many workers are not aware that they should not pay recruitment fees to get a job. This principle is key and has been listed as one of the ILO principles to ensure fair recruitment. “This platform can help migrant workers make critical choices at the time of planning their journey to work in a foreign country. We know that when a worker is recruited fairly, the risk of ending in forced labour is drastically reduced,” says ILO technical specialist Alix Nasri. “We strongly encourage workers to share their experiences so others can learn from them. A critical mass of reviews is needed for the platform to be really helpful for migrants.”
Managing Director/ CEO Trustfund Pensions Ltd, Mrs Helen Da- Souza (left), in handshake with Captain of the IBB International Golf and Country Club Abuja, Mr Ibrahim Sunday Ameh during the presentation of the Golf Cart Bay donated to the Club by Trustfund Pensions Limited in Abuja, at the weekend.
Aviation Unions Threaten Strike Over Nigeria Airways Pension Arrears OLAJIDE FABAMISE, LAGOS
The Three Unions in the Aviation Sector have issued a 14-day Ultimatum to the federal government to pay pensions and entitlements of 6,000 workers of the defunct Nigerian Airways Limited. The unions decried the delay in payment of N45 billion approved by the federal government for the ex-workers. The unions are National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), the
National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN). The ultimatum issued in a joint petition dated March 19 and signed by Ocheme Aba for NAAPE; Frances Akinjole, ATSSSAN; and Olayinka Abioye for NUATE.was addressed to the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika. It was also forwarded to the Ministers of Labour and Employment, and Finance.
The unions said it was unfortunate that government still owed the Nigerian Airways workers more than ten months after the payment was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC). According to the unions, while Sirika has made efforts to ensure that the workers were paid; the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, was frustrating the payment. The unions said, “Our previous letters to the Minister have failed to
move her just as earlier letter from the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) on the matter. “In view of the above, we are sad to inform you that workers in the sector will commence an indefinite strike in 14 days should the ex-workers fail to receive their entitlements.” The unions said they had commenced the mobilisation of the NLC, Trade Union Congress (TUC) and United Labour Congress (ULC) in a bid to gather wider support for the action.
The Federal Government may need to take the initiative of leading other arms of government in the establishment of facilities for the senior citizens in the country, if the plan must be realistic. LEADERSHIP recalls that President Muhammad Buhari in January during one of the Federal Executive Council Meetings had s igned into law the National Senior Citizens Center Act, 2018 and the Legislative Houses (Power and Privileges) 2018. The National Senior Citizens Center Act, 2018, establishes the National Senior Citizens Center in the country to cater for the needs of the senior citizens. Sen. Ita Enang, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), h as said the Act allows the establishment of the National Senior Citizens Centres by institutions and three tiers of government in the country to cater for the needs of the senior citizens. “National Senior Citizens Centre Act which makes it compulsory that institutions and the government would establish and have National Senior Citizens to allow for proper care, training, orientation/reorientation and care for senior citizens in Nigeria”. However a non governmental organisation, Ghalp Caregivers Academy (GAC), said the federal government must march its policy on the importance of caring for the citizens with action by establishing those centres.
The President of the group, Dr. David Olalekan speaking at the graduation of over 700 American Caregiver Association (ACA) trained and certified professionals in Ibadan at the weekend, said over 720,000 jobs can equally be created in the process. According to h im, each state is mandatory to establish homes in all the local governments, adding that each state may need up to 20,000 caregivers to work in the homes as well as in the hospitals. He said, “We want to start with Oyo State here, and we believe that if we get the opportunity to train people who are looking for jobs, they can be absorbed into all these homes and that will be taking a big burden off the shoulder of government in the area of job creation. “In Oyo state alone, over 20,000 can be engaged, some of them will work in the facilities that will be established and some can work in the hospitals to stand in the gap for doctors and nurses. “We believe that it is possible if government, state governors’ wives and other institutions can make it their pet projects.” Olalekan said the act has further opened Nigerians to better global opportunity and career in Care giving both in Nigeria and outside the country. He said, “With the signing of the bill, which now makes it mandatory for our Senior Citizens to be catered for just like we have abroad, there is need for special hands in those centres to be created. That alone means over 720,000 jobs could be created annually locally.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
INFLATION RATE (%) 2016
OCTOBER NOVEMBER DECEMBER
18.3 18.48 18.55
15.91 15.9 15.37
INTER BANK LENDING RATE (AS AT APRIL 16) RATE CHANGE (%)
O/N 1M 3M 6M
3.0000 13.4297 14.1665 15.3549
-1.94 -1.00 -1.11 -1.63
BY CHIKA IZUORA, Lagos
Group Business Editor Bayo Amodu 08118672002 Business Editor (Lagos) Chima Akwaja Assistant Business Editors Kingsley Alu Tony Awunor Correspondent Chika Izuora Reporters Festus Okoromadu Mark Itsibor Mbakaan Kwen Bukola Idowu Olushola Bello Abah Adah Chika Okeke
Business 101 with MBAKAAN KWEN
Do’s And Don’ts Of Internet Marketing
Brent Crude Lowers At $71.87 Per Barrel Oil prices fell yesterday as markets opened the week cautiously following western air strikes in Syria over the weekend, just as American drilling for new production continued to rise. The United States, France and Britain launched 105 missiles on Saturday, targeting what they said were three chemical weapons facilities in Syria in retaliation for a suspected poison gas attack in Douma on April 7. Brent crude oil futures were at $71.87 per barrel down 71 cents, or 1 per cent from their last close, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 59 cents, or 0.9 per cent, at $66.80 a barrel. Traders said markets in Asia began cautiously after the weekend stikes, while oil markets also came under pressure from a rise in US oil drilling activity. US energy companies added seven oil rigs drilling for new production in the week to April 13, bringing the total to 815, the highest since March 2015, energy services firm Baker Hughes said on Friday. Despite this, Brent is still up more than 16 per cent from its 2018 low in February, due to healthy demand and also because of conflict and tension in the Middle East. Although Syria itself is not a significant oil producer itself, the wider Middle East is the world’s most important crude exporter and tension in the region tends to put oil markets on edge.
L-R: Acting chief executive officer, Dangote Cement Plc, Engr. Joseph Makoju; former Commonwealth Secretary General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku; Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal; chairman, Fidelity Bank/director, Dangote Cement, Ernest Ebi and wife, Elizabeth, at the presentation of Year 2017 Zik Prize in Professional Leadership Award to Ernest Ebi in Lagos on Sunday.
FG Proffers Solution For Sustainable Development Of African Airports BY ANTHONY AWUNOR, Lagos
The federal government, yesterday, said there is a need for the introduction of new strategies in order to attain sustainable development of African airports. The Secretary to the Federal Government (SFG), Boss Mustapha while identifying the strategies at the 59th Airports Council International (ACI) Africa Conference, held at Oriental Hotel in Lagos, yesterday, named them to include: holistic planning for defined development targets; effective and efficient financing plan and successful implementation. Mustapha, who pointed out that the role of partnership with the private sector cannot be over-emphasised, cautioned that these strategies also need to be complemented by a reliable legal, institutional and regulatory framework to institutionalise policy. Speaking at the conference with the theme: “Business Transformation For Sustainable Development of African Airports”, the SFG stated that the current administration has continued to promote infrastructural development, facilities renewal and the implementation of policies aimed at facilitating the growth and sustainability of the sector. According to him, some of the
key events and projects undertaken to achieve their objectives include: Hosting the international World Aviation Forum (MAP) in Abuja; Certification of two of the Nation’s key Airports namely; Murtala Muhammed international Airport Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja; and construction of five new international Terminals (Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu) to expand passenger handling capacity to 15 million annually; Others are: Implementation of Aviation Sector Roadmap which was approved by the President in 2016 aimed at opening opportunities for investment; Concession of four International Airports as well as the establishment of Search and Rescue Unit to be implemented through Public and Private Partnership; Establishment of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) with the mandate to remove bureaucratic bottlenecks and constraints to doing business in Nigeria and Issuance of Executive Orders aimed at facilitating and easing entry experience of investors, visitors and travellers at the nation’s ports. Emphasising the importance of aviation sector, Mustapha said “the importance of aviation as a critical tool for social and economic
development cannot be over emphasized, given its potential for immense contributions to the broader economy. In 2017, the sector facilitated tie movement of over 7.6 billion passengers. 109 million tons of cargo and recorded 89 million aircraft movements. With a highly mobile population of 180 million people, these explain the importance Nigeria attaches to the sector and the reason why Mr. President readily approved the hosting of the event”. He commended ACI, stressing that their core objective as the voice of the world’s airports makes the association a ready partner of member states numbering 176 countries with 1,940 airports. In his own speech, president of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Dr. Benard Aliu pointed out that aviation has become a catalyst for sustainable social, economic and human development, directly and indirectly supporting 6.8 million jobs and generating 72.5 billion dollars in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) He said that airports serve as veritable gateways to this development and prosperity, facilitating the connectivity, tourism and trade which in turn foster economic growth and new opportunities all over Africa today.
Like most things in life, there’s a right way and wrong way to utilize Internet marketing. In this piece, Mike shared some of the more important do’s and don’ts of Internet marketing for an online business thus; •DO REVIEW YOUR WEBSITE DESIGN AND NAVIGATION: Keep the navigation of your website simple and make it easy to find things. It should not be so complex that your visitors become frustrated and leave. Your website should be well-organized with the use of menus, dynamic and user-friendly. The website should be attractive, professional and eye-catching, so that when users arrive, they are captivated. •DO MAKE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORKS: As you know, social media is a very hot medium in today’s world of online marketing, so you should put it to use as much as you can. Social sites allow you to make your post viral. The more people who are exposed to it, the more viral your content can become. It also helps to boost your brand popularity. •DON’T LIKE YOUR OWN POSTS: It’s not advisable to like your own post to get more likes. Rather it creates a negative impression on the users about you and your brand.
QUOTE OF THE DAY The importance of aviation as a critical tool for social and economic development cannot be over emphasized.’’ Secretary to the Federal Government (SFG), Boss Mustapha.
STOCKINDEX INDEX (AS APRIL 19) 16) STOCK (AS ATAT MARCH Gainers
Symbols Skyebank Oando Jaizbank NEM Unilever
CP 0.88 7.55 0.77 2.52 54.00
% change 10.00 9.42 8.45 5.00 4.85
Symbols CP UAC-Prop 2.58 Mobil 190.00 Vitafoam 2.99 Courtville 0.20 Caverton 2.53
% change -7.86 -5.00 -4.78 -4.76 -4.53
STOCK INDEX (AS AT APRIL 16) ASI DEALS VOLUME VALUE CAP
(Points) (Numbers) (Numbers million) (Nbillion) (Ntrn)
40,533.37 3,917 192.49 3.13 N14.641
Seplat Joins NSE Premium Board As Capitalisation Hits N391.37bn BY CHIMA AKWAJA, Lagos
Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc has migrated to the Premium Board of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), joining the elite club of only three members yesterday, as it currently has a market capitalisation of N391.37 billion. Seplat was migrated alongside Access Bank Plc, Lafarge Africa Plc, and United Bank for Africa Plc, sequel to them applying and meeting the Exchange’s listing requirements for the board. Other companies listed on the Premium Board include
Dangote Cement Plc, FBN Holdings Plc, and Zenith International Bank Plc who were migrated to the Premium Board in 2015. The Premium Board is the listing segment for an elite group of issuers who have met the Exchange’s most stringent corporate governance and listing standards. The Premium Board provides a platform for showcasing companies who are industry leaders in their sectors. It also gives a company access to a global pool of investors who are particular about companies managed in conformity to the highest standards in their target markets.
To feature on the Premium Board, companies must meet certain criteria, top of which is strict adherence to international corporate governance best practices as well as the Exchange’s highest standards of capitalisation and liquidity. They must also attain a minimum market capitalisation of N200 billion as at the date of application, obtain a minimum score of 70 per cent on the Corporate Governance Rating System (CGRS), and maintain a minimum free float of 20 per cent of their issued share capital or a free float value equal to or above N40 billion.
Forte Oil Reports N2.96bn PAT In 3 Months BY OLUSHOLA BELLO, Lagos
Forte Oil Plc has recorded N2.963 billion in profit after tax for the first quarter ended March 31, 2018. The company is the first to fill in its first quarter result for 2018 on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). The company’s profit after tax went up by 57.27 per cent from N1.884 billion in the first quarter of 2017. Its revenue under the period review grew by 20.63 per cent to N39.81 billion from N33.003 billion in 2017, cost of sales gained by 21.36 per cent to N33.01 billion from N27.2 billion in
the corresponding period of 2017, while gross profit rose to N6.8 billion as against N5.8 billion in 2017. Operating profit went up to N4.38 billion from N3.63 billion, finance income depreciated from N563.59 billion to N533.68 billion, while finance cost also declined to N1.75 billion when compared to N2.14 billion recorded in 2017. Total assets stood at N156.74 billion from N147.24 billion, while total liabilities went up to N98.53 billion from N91.96 billion in 2017. The oil company in 2017 put a planned N20
billion share sale on hold, after it received regulatory approval for the offer, due to restructuring. The company notified the NSE, investing public and its stakeholders that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had approved its proposed offering by way of book building Forte Oil said that the board of the company had taken a strategic decision to put the offering on hold pending the conclusion of an ongoing corporate restructuring with respect to maximising the emerging opportunities in the Nigerian energy sector.
Custodian & Allied Declares Dividend Payout Of N2.47bn BY OLUSHOLA BELLO, Lagos
Custodian and Allied Plc has announced an increase of 37.25 per cent in its profit after tax for the audited result for the year ended December 31, 2017 while its profit after tax improved from N5.33 billion achieved in 2016 to N7.317 billion, while earnings per share rose to N1.19 from 87 kobo. The company’s result released on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed that the directors have
recommended the payment of a final dividend of N1.88 billion, representing 32 kobo per share. The company had paid earlier an interim dividend of N588.2 billion, representing 10 kobo per share making a total payment of N2.468 billion, representing 42 kobo per share. The company has consistently paid dividends to its shareholders every year for the past 20 years. The company gross revenue appreciated by 11.67 per cent to N43.05 billion as against N38.55 billion. Gross
premium income up by 12.8 per cent to N31.998 billion from N28.368 billion, investment income rose to N6.29 billion from N4.24 billion, while other operating income declined to N1.27 billion as against N3.24 billion in 2016. Reinsurance expenses stood at N13.19 billion from N10.12 billion, underwriting expenses appreciated to N2.89 billion compared to N2.49 billion, while net claims expenses stood at N13.91 billion up from N13.292 billion in 2016.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Crude Price To Hit $80 A Barrel On Fear Of Iran Sanctions – JP Morgan BY CHIKA IZUORA, Lagos
JP Morgan Chase and Co. has predicted that global oil prices, already at more than threeyear highs, may be about to jump further as crude-related assets are starting to look attractive. It said Brent oil could spike to $80 a barrel if the US and European Union re-impose sanctions on Iran and as Western powers expand the scope of the Syrian civil war. JPMorgan strategists, led by John Normand, wrote in
a note on Friday. While this might ordinarily see like a time to avoid cyclical assets, the recent “ tax gift” to US corporations and consumers makes it an opportunity to own petro assets, they said. “Risks we thought might materialise this summer through Iran sanctions are emerging somewhat more quickly due to events in Syria”, said the strategists. New Syrian hostilities are likely to have a muted effect on oil, however, since the nation’s production has already fallen
so deeply due to the sevenyear-long war. A possible decision in May on Iran sanctions may be “the start of a process that maintains low-intensity stress on oil markets that can deliver higher prices and above-average volatility,” the strategists wrote, comparing it to the Arab Spring of 2011 rather than the major oil shocks of 1973, 1979 and 1990. Since the US doesn’t buy Iranian crude, it would take sanctions from the EU and even some Asian customers to depress markets materially.
Group managing director, Lafarge, Michel Puchercos; director general, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Oscar Onyeama; chairman, United Bank for Africa, Mr. Tony Elumelu; chairman Seplat, Dr. ABC Orjiakor; chairman, Access Bank, Mrs. Mosun Belo-Olusoga; chairman, Lafarge, Mr. Mobolaji Balogun; group managing director, Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe; Group Managing Director, Seplat, Mr. Ojunekwu Augustine Avuru and Group Managing Director, UBA, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, during the official ceremony to announce the migration of United Bank for Africa Plc to the Premium Board of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, yesterday.
Stakeholders Demand Full Utilisation Of Salt Deposits BY ABAH ADAH, Abuja
A call has gone out demanding full exploitation of the huge salt deposits discovered in some states across the country for local consumption and export. A recent survey indicated that some states has large deposits of salt but virtually all the states have not really utilised the mineral resource to develop their economies. According to a statement posted on the website of the
Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, the stakeholders particularly expressed dismay that Nigeria still imports salt for its local consumption, when about 23 billion dollars or N3.6 trillion had been reportedly spent on salt importation in the last 10 years. Some of the states with large salt deposits include: Benue, Cross River, Ebonyi,Abia, Taraba and Nassarawa states. The director, Department of Artisanal and Small Scale
Mining (ASM), Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Patrick Ojeka, said that the creation and implementation of an enabling policy would facilitate the transformation of Nigeria into a salt producing country. He said that the country was blessed with abundant liquid salt deposits in many states which could be harnessed and refined for sales in the local and international market.
SunTrust Bank Receives ISO, PCI-DSS Certifications BY KEHINDE SALLAH, Lagos
SunTrust bank has been awarded with the ISO and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) certifications by the PECB Canada, a leading organisation in audit management systems and processes. The bank was awarded the ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification, which is the world’s highest accreditation of information security systems (ISMS) having
successfully met the stringent security standard by undergoing series of intense implementation exercise and audit processes which began in October 2017. Speaking at the event in Lagos, yesterday, the chief operating officer of the bank, Aaron Mosugu said “as a fintech bank in Nigeria, the security of information is very paramount and the way you tell the world and yourself that you are ready to keep your customer’s information secure and save is to allow
other bodies come and audit it and digital jewel went through the process with is and the regulators found our services secure and we are glad they have come to present the certificate to us. According to chief executive officer (CEO) of SunTrust Bank, Muhammed Jibril, without the certification the bank will not be able to say they are highly secured and that it is a foundation in what they believe will ensure that the customers are protected from cyberattack.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
9Mobile Sale: NCC’s Technical Evaluation To Decide Bid Winner – Danbatta …MTN to use700MHz for telecom services BY CHIMA AKWAJA, Lagos
The executive vice chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Danbatta the commission’s technical evaluation of the bid process for the sale of 9Mobile, Nigeria’s fourth largest mobile operator, would eventually determine who emerges the new owner of the network. Speaking at his annual press conference held in Lagos yesterday, Danbatta while answering questions on the telecom industry said, the process to sale 9Mobile involves both financial and technical evaluations. According to him, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is in charge of the financial while NCC handled the technical
component. Responding to questions on the controversy that has rocked the 9Mobile sale so far, Danbatta said the licence and spectrum of 9Mobile can only be transferred to a preferred bidder after the technical evaluation. “Both CBN and NCC are to ensure that whoever emerges meets the financial and technical capacity to run the company. “NCC insists on technical evaluation of whoever emerges. The licence and operational spectrum will not be transferred if a preferred bidder falls short of the technical evaluation of NCC. So far, NCC is yet to conduct the technical evaluation,” he said. Responding to the protracted licence
issue involving MTN Nigeria use of 700MHz spectrum secured from the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Danbatta said the NCC has sent a proposal to the Minister of Communication who is the chairman of the National Frequency Management Board and he approved that the spectrum should be used by MTN purely for telecommunications services. Danbatta also speaking on the plans to spread broadband diffusion across the country, said NCC would not relent in leading Nigeria to that destination of pervasive broadband services, noting that within three years of his administration, NCC has made satisfactory progress towards realising the objectives of the fiveyear eight point agenda.
Nigeria Can Generate N5trn From Mining, Solid Mineral Exportation – NEPC Nigeria is capable of generating N5 trillion from mining and solid mineral exportation, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has disclosed. The agency, however, lamented that the country is not among the top ten exporters of gemstone in Africa despite that it has enormous potential in about 34 different mineral items. The executive director, NEPC, Olusegun Awolowo
disclosed this in Ilorin, Kwara state at a-one day workshop with the theme ‘harnessing the export potential of gold using the appropriate techniques to attain global competitiveness’ for gold miners, processors and exporters. Awolowo, who was represented by the deputy director, Production, Samuel Oyeyipo, added that the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and the 2017 annual budget clearly recognised the enormous
potential of solid mineral sector and the capability of Nigeria generating at least N5 trillion annually from mining and exportation of Nigeria’s solid mineral.” He said that NEPC would continue to collaborate with the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development by aligning itself with the ‘road map for the growth and development of the Nigerian mining industry’ as approved in 2016. He said: “Available record shows that Nigeria earned N62.2
billion from the solid minerals sector in 2015, an increase of 24 percent on the N55.8 billion earned from the sector in 2014, based on yearly report of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI). “Similarly, according to figures published by the International Trade Centre (ITC), Geneva, in 2015, world gemstone export was put at $132.6 billion, out of which African countries exported $11.3 billion worth of gemstones.
Automotive Council’s Testing Centres To Check Fake Spare Parts Imports BY KINGSLEY ALU, Abuja
The Nigerian Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) has commenced the building of automotive testing centres across the country to address the import of substandard automotive spare parts into the country. This is also as it disclosed that it was developing an electric car policy to ready the nation for the
production and use of electric vehicles Director-general of NADDC, Mr Jelani Aliyu,who made this disclosure yesterday in Abuja, regretted that the country had become a dumping ground for millions of vehicle spare parts imported into the country without undergoing proper checks. He said the onus was on the Council to ensure that these
non-safety items conformed to international standards through proper standards procedure. NADDC, he however noted, was in the process of building three test centres in Lagos, Enugu and Zaria to make sure that the cars and components produced, sold and used in the country met standards requirements. While stressing that time was ripe for Nigeria
Access Bank, UBA, Lafarge, Seplat List N1.5trn Shares On NSE Premuim Board BY OLUSHOLA BELLO, Lagos
L-R: Director, human Capital and Infrastructure Group, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Maryam Bayi; publisher, the NewsGuru. Com, Mr Mideno Bayagbon; executive vice chairman/chief executive officer, NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta; director, Public Affairs NCC, Tony Ojobo, during the interactive session with media chiefs, ICT/ business /news editors in Lagos, yesterday.
BY ABDULLAHI OLESIN, Ilorin
to position herself to be at the forefront of viable new automotive technology,Aliyu also revealed that the NADDC was training 3,200 technicians on mechatronics technology to enable them work on 21st century vehicles, whether imported or produced locally, adding that at the moment, most of the technicians were handicapped and only do guess work.
Access Bank, UBA, Lafarge Africa and Selat Petroleum Development Company yesterday listed shares worth N1.491 billion on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) Premium Board. A breakdown shows that Access Bank, UBA, Lafarge Africa and Seplat listed N347.12 billion, N374.48 million, N378.60 billion and N391.37 billion respectively. The four companies’ sequel to then applying and meeting NSE listing requirements for the board. Other companies listed on the premium board include Dangote Cement, Zenith Bank and FBN Holdings who were migrated to the board in 2015. The premium board is the
listing segment for an elite group of issuers who have met the Exchange’s most stringent corporate governance and listing standard. The premium platform provides a platform for showcasing companies who are industry leaders in their sectors. It also gives a company access to a global pool of investors who are particularly about companies managed to conformity to the highest standards in their target markets. Speaking at the listing event on the NSE, chief executive officer of the Exchange, Mr. Oscar Onyema, said, “This migration affirms the strides our listed companies are making towards meeting the highest standards of corporate governance and underpins the robustness of our market.
UBA Meets NSE’s Stringent Corporate Governance Conditions BY OLUSHOLA BELLO, Lagos
Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) migrated United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc to its premium Board, in what capital market analysts describe as an attestation to the Bank’s strong adherence to international best practices on corporate governance. The Premium Board is the listing segment for the elite group of issuers that meet the Exchange’s most stringent corporate governance and listing standards. According to the CEO of Nigerian Stock Exchange, Oscar Onyema, UBA Plc, Access Bank Plc, Lafarge Africa Plc and Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc were admitted into the elite list for having met the NSE’s
stringent listing requirements for the Premium Board, a platform for showcasing companies who are industry leaders in their sectors. Speaking yesterday, the group managing director/CEO, UBA Plc, Kennedy Uzoka noted; “the migration of UBA shares to the Premium Board of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) is well deserved. Also speaking at the ceremony, the chairman of UBA Plc, Tony Elumelu said that “the migration of UBA shares to the newly created Premium Board of the Exchange is a deserving recognition of the size, liquidity and sound corporate governance of the Group. I congratulate the Management and Staff of UBA Group on this positive recognition.”
Sterling Bank’ Gross Earnings Hits N133bn in 2017 BY OLUSHOLA BELLO, Lagos
Sterling Bank said it has achieved a gross earnings of N133.5 billion for the year ended December 31, 2017. The bank’s result which was released yesterday on the Nigerian Stock Exchange showed that gross earnings grew by 19.8 per cent from N111.4 billion in December 2016. The bank during the period recorded profit before tax grew of N8.6 billion, an increase of 43.4 per cent N6 billion in 2016, while profit after tax rose by 65 per cent to N8.5 billion from N5.1 billion. Non-interest income rose by 87.8 per cent to N23.2 billion
from N12.3 billion, net operating income went up by 7.9 per cent to N61.1 billion from N56.6 billion, while net interest income moderated to N50.2 billion from N56 billion. Operating Expenses increased moderately by 3.7 per cent to N52.5 billion from N50 billion. On the financial position of the bank, net loans and advances increased by 27.7 per cent to N598.1 billion from N468.3 billion, customer deposits increased by 17.1 per cent from N584.7 billion to N684.8 billion, while total Assets increased by 28.5 per cent to N1.1 trillion from N834.2 billion.
Bankers’ Committee Revs MSMEs Operations In this piece, MARK ITSIBOR reports that the disbursement of facilities to over 380 young entrepreneurs by the Bankers’ Committee last week, will reduce the huge financing gap for MSMEs and indeed, change the perception of banking operation in Nigeria
Coronation Merchant Bank Posts N5.1bn PAT BY BUKOLA IDOWU, Lagos
he worsening unemployment rate in the country obviously poses grave concerns and risks for the collective peace and progress of all Nigerians. Beyond poor educational standard, there is an overwhelming deficit of credit to the informal sector. Ugliness is in its shadow. But for thousands of potential young entrepreneurs, dreams to become business owners, burst the cycle of poverty and uncertainty to even become employers of labour have indeed, come alive through divine providence and intervention of the Bankers’ Committee, chaired by Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele. The informal sector of the Nigerian economic is prostrate and many operators of Macro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are faced with the major challenge of funds to finance their businesses. At a time voices are high that the informal sector – the main stay of the nation’s economy is about to finally go into extinction with its resultant effect on unemployment and poverty, the nation’s Bankers’ Committee has intervened. At its 2016 Retreat, the Committee decided to design and fund a suitable scheme that will not only reduce the huge financing gap for MSMEs but also fully commits to the pursuits of job creation, financial inclusion and inclusive growth for Nigerians, particularly the teeming youth population. It sees beauty in thousands of empowered youths in the country. It was on this premise that the Bankers’ Committee came up with the Agribusiness Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) in 2017 as an initiative to improve access to affordable financing for MSMEs, particularly those operating in the informal sector of the economy and to support the Federal Government’s efforts and policy measures to promote sustainable economic development and employment generation. As a commitment to the successful implementation of the Scheme, all Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), voluntarily agreed to set aside and contribute 5 per cent of their Profit After Tax (PAT) annually to finance eligible projects under the Scheme. As it stands, the size of the Fund stands at about N26 billion and this is expected to exceed N60 billion by June 2018. The Committee has beat everyone, including the targeted audience to surprise. Last week, it flagged off the disbursement of funds and equipment to the first tranche of beneficiaries under the AGSMEIS that was established by the Committee in 2017. About 388 people benefited from the first disbursement of the N118 million Central Mr. Emefiele said was used to procure different implements for the youths who have been trained on various entrepreneurship, vocational and management skills across the country to enable them practice their vocations upon completion of their vocational training. The beneficiaries are graduate trainees from various Entrepreneurship Development Institutions and Centres including Fate Foundation, Lagos Business School, House of Tara and Thrive Agric. Emefiele believes the outcome of last week’s engagement will in no half measures, significantly reduce
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
youth unemployment and restiveness, increase social cohesion and drive inclusive economic growth. The CBN Governor implore all the beneficiaries and all youths that will key into the Scheme to take good advantage of the opportunities made available to them and to utilize the funds judiciously, according to the terms of the loan agreements. Guarantee Trust Bank MD, Segun Agbaje who spoke on behalf of the banks’ MDs said “we feel extremely privileged and proud to have contributed” to the funding of the scheme. He said AGSMEIS is one of the several kinds of initiatives of the Committee for SMEs operators. Mr. Agbaje added, “I and my colleagues have resolved to change the narrative of how banks are seen.” To many, the commencement of the disbursement is a testament to fulfilling a promise to the informal sector and the Nigerian youth. Agbaje caught the feelings of one of the newest Tara Beauty Entrepreneur, Stella Ajige who proclaimed in affirmation that the singular act has indeed changed her life. With lots of doubt and excitement, Ajige said she made the long trip down from Lafia Nasarawa state to Abuja to be part of what she described as amazing experience. “With doubt because we had come to believe that in Nigeria you to receive. In this case, I never gave so why was I receiving? I got into Abuja and was offered the hospitality,” she said in testimonial to the potential positivity of the intervention of the Bankers’ Committee. Beyond disbursement of the funds and implements, Emefiele spoke right into the hearts of all the entrepreneurs. “Every word the CBN Governor said was an inspiration pass this dream to yet more people and there I sat in same room with him. Just when I thought I have had enough motivation in one day came an opportunity to see Tyler Perry’s ‘ACRIMONY’...perfect finish to an already perfect day...,” Ajige confessed. “Thanks a lot Tara and CBN. I am keeping this experience for life,” She said on behalf of her colleagues. In Nigeria, the challenges of youth unemployment and restiveness must be confronted with strategic innovative thinking to provide sustainable solution. However, no matter how daunting the challenge might seem, Emefiele believes that with unity of purpose Nigeria can fight the scourge. For him, one of the most effective ways to tackle this scourge, is through entrepreneurship development and easy access to affordable financing. Yet, access to finance has been an Achilles heel on entrepreneurship development in the country today. A situation often credited to financial intermediaries’ apathy to youth entrepreneurship and startups, which are usually perceived as being too risky,
lacking relevant managerial skills and not possessing adequate collaterals acceptable for conventional credit. According to the CBN Boss, the commencement of funds disbursement under the AGSMEIS, continues a tradition of voluntary initiatives by the Bankers’ Committee to promote developmental programs for sustainable economic growth. Other funding initiatives implemented in the past by the Bankers’ Committee includes the Small and Medium Equity Investment Scheme (SMEEIS), approved at its 246th meeting held on 21st December 1999. More recently, the CBN and the banking sector are collaborating on a national Shared Agent Network program, designed to ramp up access to basic financial services such as cash-in, cash-out, funds transfer, bill payments, airtime purchase and government disbursements to an estimated 50 million persons who are currently either underbanked or unbanked. This initiative in partnership with licensed mobile money operators and super agents is expected to roll out about 500,000 Shared Agent Networks within two years through the use of mobile technology. Under the Direct component of the AGSMEIS, beneficiaries can access loans to a limit of N10 million, at interest rate of 5 per cent per annum and a maximum tenor of up to 7 years. There is also a moratorium period of 18 months on principal and 6 months on interest element, depending on the nature of the business. However, it is mandatory that all loan beneficiaries must have valid BVN, which shall be registered on the National Collateral Registry and used to track repayments and blacklist any defaulters. The interest rate of 5 per cent per annum being offered under the AGSMEIS Emefiele said further attests to the unflinching commitment of the deposit money banks to support entrepreneurs to actualize their dreams and ensure that the twin goals of increased employment and poverty reduction are attained. Beneficiaries can access equity and quasi-equity investments of up to 10 years with an initial lock up period of 3 years before divestment. “The developmental component of the scheme shall be used for capacity building and technical assistance to support beneficiaries,” he stated while addressing beneficiaries of the Scheme. In the past three years, aside from the initiatives of the Bankers’ Committee, the CBN has also designed and implemented developmental initiatives, few of which include the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme which has seen about N80 billion disbursed to over 358,000 small holder farmers in 34 states, cultivating 8 commodities.
Coronation Merchant Bank Limited has posted its 2017 Full Year Results recording a 66 per cent grown in gross earnings and a Profit Before Tax of N5.1billion. According to the group managing director and chief executive of Coronation Merchant Bank Limited, Abu Jimoh, the rising gross earnings of the bank reflects its strong underlying business fundamentals, despite the tough market conditions that characterized significant parts of the year, With the gross earnings rising to N25.5 billion in 2017, Jimoh said, “as we progress in our journey to become Africa’s premier Investment Bank, we remain committed to providing our clients with superior financial services whilst generating attractive and sustainable returns for shareholders. “The impressive results of the bank in the last three years demonstrate the effectiveness of our strategy, the quality of our past decisions and the commitment of our board and management to maximize shareholder value whilst actively expanding our franchise in select, high growth markets where we believe we have a competitive advantage.’’ Coronation MB Group recorded a notable improvement across key performance metrics in 2017, despite the tough and challenging operating environment. Our interest income growth of 67 per cent year on year and non-interest income growth of 57 per cent in 2017 re-affirm the sustainability of our core business growth. We will continue to gain momentum in our efforts to achieve more diversified earnings, as we strengthen our subsidiaries offerings. “Our deliberate focus on the efficiency of our business operations has continued to yield considerable returns for the Bank. Despite the high inflation rate, Cost-toincome ratio increased marginally by 90bps to 46.1% (Dec 2016: 45.2%), reaffirming the Bank’s commitment to rein in costs while improving operating efficiency. Aside from the strong earnings performance, the Group recorded a significant growth in its Balance Sheet in 2017. Total assets increased by 28% to N136.7bn from N106.6bn in December 2016, and shareholder’s funds increased to N29.5bn from N25.9bn - a valid testament to the resilience of the Group’s operations and its adaptability to current market realities and challenges.
Firstbank Customers To Get Free Fuel With Verve Card BY BUKOLA IDOWU, LAGOS
In partnership with Verve International, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced a promotion to reward its customers for using their FirstBank Verve card to purchase petrol at selected Oando filling stations in Lagos. FirstBank Verve Card holders would receive free extra litres of petrol each time they use their FirstBank verve cards to purchase a minimum of N3,000.00 worth of petrol, The selected Oando petrol stations where the promo will run are the Maryland, Marina, Alapere and Ojodu Berger stations. The promo which will run from Thursday to Monday every week between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. will end on Monday, May 21, 2018. Verve Card is a secure debit card which allows the card-holder to conveniently meet day to day financial needs like the payment for goods and services, airtime recharge, bill payments, funds transfer amongst others. It is accepted at all ATMs, POS/Web/Mobile Channels, Firstmonie Agent Kiosks, and Bank branches connected to the Interswitch network in Nigeria.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Nigeria Targets $14bn Annual In-country Spending In Oil & Gas Sector BY CHIKA IZUORA, Lagos
The executive secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, yesterday disclosed that out of the $20 billion spent annually by the International Oil Companies (IOCs) to engage foreign contractors, $14 billion would now be retained in-country in the next 10 years. Giving this assurance in Lagos yesterday, Wabote in his speech at the first education summit organised the Oil and Gas Trainers Association of Nigeria, OGTAN, said already the agency has achieved $5 billion annually through effective implementation of the Local Content Act.
Wabote also disclosed that apart from the remaining five per cent of the industry spend, 300,000 jobs have equally been created. He said there are plans to unveil a Research and Development Fund in collaboration with the academia to foster research and development in the oil and gas industry. According to him, the agency is shifting emphasis from building capacity to skill development that gears towards engagement of those that benefit from the training. Additionally, the NCDMB has developed a ten year strategic plans that will facilitate achievement of the ambitious 70 per cent in-country job retention set by the agency. He said the agency would continue to
pursue all the identified parameters that are germane to building strong local content structure in the country. These parameters include, capacity building, strong regulatory framework, gap analysis, research and development and funding and incentives. In his remarks, the group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Maikanti Baru stressed the need for the country to develop and adopt research and development structure that will create opportunities in the industry through risk reduction and production cost. Baru promised to collaborate with OGTAN to accelerate skills development in the industry in order to keep pace with global changing environment.
L-R: Executive director, South, Temisan Tuedor; executive director, Business Development & Compliance, Usman Abdulqadir and executive director, Finance & Operations, Ebenezer Kolawole-all of Unity Bank Plc, during the launch of UniFi, a youth banking product at University of Lagos, recently.
Union, Kenya Airways Bicker Over Sack Of 22 Nigerians BY ANTHONY AWUNOR, Lagos
The National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) says it is set for industrial action with the management of Kenya Airways over the recent sack of no fewer than 22 Nigerians. Mr Olayinka Abioye, the General Secretary of NUATE, told the newsmen on Monday in Lagos that the union was unimpressed with the shabby treatment meted to Nigerian employees by the airline. “The union has already reported the issue to several top agencies of government. We are consulting with the staff now before we plan our next line of industrial action. “Definitely, there will be action, the consequences of which we did not know at the moment.
“We are going to make sure that we ground the operations of the airline in Nigeria, if the management fails to do the needful,’’ Abioye said. He alleged that the airline violated the extant labour laws by declaring the affected workers redundant and refused to pay them their entitlements. According to him, the union has been communicating in writing with the management of the airline before they took the unilateral decision to disengage the workers. “Management does not have the right to unilaterally negotiate the severance package of workers without inputs from the union; that is not how it works and I am sure they cannot do that in Kenya. “So, there is certainly going to be an action unless they officially write us and call us back to the table to begin to
renegotiate,” he added. However, the airline, had in a letter dated April 11 addressed to NUATE, accused the union of being unwilling to engage the management in negotiations on behalf of the affected workers. The letter, which was signed by Kenya Airways acting Chief Human Resources Officer, Mrs Bridgette Imbuga, claimed that the airline had to use its best endeavours to negotiate terms for the workers. Imbuga noted that the employees affected by the redundancy were those performing sales and commercial roles which had now been contracted to a General Sales Agent (GSA). She said that the airline had complied with the provisions of Sections 20 (1) (a) and (b) of the Labour Act, Cap 198, Laws of Nigeria, in declaring the affected workers redundant.
NSC Orders Shipping Companies To Extend Demurrage Free Days BY YUSUF BABALOLA, Lagos
The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has asked shipping companies operating in the country to extend demurrage free days from three to 21 days. This call was made yesterday by the executive secretary of the Council, Barr. Hassan Bello, when he visited some shipping companies in Apapa, Lagos. LEADERSHIP had exclusively reported last year that Nigeria has the lowest demurrage free period in West and Central Africa. It was gathered that the country has five demurrage free days, which is low compared to neighbouring Benin Republic, which has ten demurragefree days. Ghana, on the other hand, has eight demurrage-free days. Demurrage is divided into three periods
-first, second and third -that is also far more expensive than others in the subregion. According to a document sighted by LEADERSHIP, shipping companies’ demurrage fees are as follows: First period N4,500 as against N1, 512 collected in Ghana, second period N7,500 as against N1,890 collected by Ghana and, third period 12,500 as against N1,890 in Ghana. However, Bello while speaking at Maersk Line office in Lagos, charged them to extend the demurrage free period to 21 days to accommodate circumstances beyond the making of the importers, agents and transporters. He also stated that clearing agents and importers have been complaining of slow refund of demurrage and charges over little dents and scratches. He said, “There are issues of container
deposits which we have to look at and constant complaints by shippers. The Council is concerned about containers regime and you abide by return of deposited within four days if you must collect.” The Council, which also urged shipping companies to de-emphasis demurrage base on relationship with customers, asked the shipping lines to be considerate with their customers. “During gridlock, when the port is inaccessible, what can you offer in term of consideration? You should have consideration to shippers such as 21 days free period else, there will be gridlock upon gridlock in the port area. We look into it and by extension to 21 days free time that will accommodate circumstances that is not anyone making.”
NNPC Seeks Stronger Collaboration With Academia, Private Sector BY CHIKA IZUORA, Lagos
The group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru has called for more collaboration between the academia and oil and gas industry on research to attract investments into country. Baru made the call at the 1st National Education Summit organised by the Oil and Gas Trainers Association of Nigeria (OGTAN) in Lagos, yesterday. The GMD, who was represented by Mr Silky Aliyu, the Managing Director, Nigeria Engineering and Technical Company (NETCO), stressed the need for the country to develop and adopt research and development structure that will create opportunities in the industry through risk reduction and production cost. Baru promised to collaborate with OGTAN to accelerate skills development in the industry in order to keep pace with global changing environment. According to him, research must be priotised in order to keep up with the developmental changes in the world. In her remarks, the former Minister of Education, Dr
Oby Ezekwesili said that continuous depending on oil and gas will not take Nigeria to its anticipated state of development. According to her, without development of human capital and local content, Nigeria’s vast natural resources would amount to nothing when put at par with developed countries of the world. “It does not matter what quantity of oil and gas and minerals still existing in our grounds, without developing human capacity and local content, we might as well as we are heading for collapse. The oil and gas is a means to an end. The end is about the development of human capital” she said, adding that discretionary allocation of oil blocks gave rise to “massive” corruption in Nigeria. ``The discretionary allocation of oil blocks led to massive and grand corruption in Nigeria. So to this end, we entrenched the system of licencing and marginal fields’ allocation in order to encourage local players. But I guess politicians assumed marginal fields and would be distributed to them without due process,’’ she said. According to Ezekwesili, right policies need to be put in place in the oil and gas sector to avoid political sentiments.
Olowu Emerges CIBN President The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) has elected Dr. Uche Messiah Olowu as the new President to pilot the affairs of the Institute for the next two years. As announced by the Chairman of the Elections Committee, Mr. Esan Ogunleye at the Institute’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos, recently, Olowu pulled 274 votes to emerge the winner of the elections conducted through electronic medium. While commending the outgoing President and other members of the Institute for the confidence reposed in him through their votes, Olowu promised to bring key developmental changes to the banking industry by working very hard to surpass the lofty achievements of his predecessor. He also promised to carry every member along through constant consultations and communications in order to ensure that everyone is on the same page when it
comes to the progress and direction of the Institute. He also expressed his efforts at bringing banking industry in the country to align with best international practices. Apparently elated with the successful conduct of the election and emergence of new executives, the outgoing President/ Chairman of Council, Professor Segun Ajibola lauded members of the institute for the enormous support and co-operation he enjoyed from them since assumption of office 23 months ago, while also commending the electoral committee for a job well done. Ajibola used the occasion to give account of his stewardship to the members on his achievements and challenges in the course of doing his job as the President, adding that without their cooperation and support, he would not have been able to achieve much as he is an individual.
Tuesday, Apil 17, 2018
Dangote Cement Maintains Dominance With Strong Earnings …Reaps benefits of pan-African expansion
BY OLUSHOLA BELLO, Lagos
Through recent investments, Dangote Cement has eliminated Nigeria’s dependence on imported cement
angote Cement Plc recently released its full-year earnings report for the period ended December 31, 2017 to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), strengthening investors’ interest and confidence. It was also helped by the impressive dividend proposed on the strength of a significant improvement in performance. The growth in the Pan African segment has become more apparent over the years- as the segment contributed 32.1 per cent in 2017. No doubt, the strategy of continuous expansion continues to support the earnings of the cement giant. In 2017, the segment recorded total volumes of 9.37MT, an increase of 8.4 per cent year-onyear, with strong performances in Cameroon 14.8 per cent year-onyear, Ethiopia 13.2 per cent yearon-year and Senegal 21.4 per cent year-on-year. Dangote Cement also extended its frontier into two new markets in 2017, Sierra Leone and Congo, which recorded initial contributions of 91kt and 32kt respectively to total sales volumes growth. Also, shareholders of the company are surely in for a good deal as the company’s directors have recommended an increase of 23.5 per cent in the dividend payout to the shareholders, for the period under review. The amount will translate to N178.9 billion as against a dividend of N8.70 kobo per share that was paid in the corresponding period of 2016. The company’s group revenue grew by 31 percent, from N615.1 billion in 2016 to N805.6 billion, while its net profit rose by 43 percent, from N142.86 billion to N204.25 billion. Earnings per share rose to N11.65 compared to N8.78 at the previous year indicating an increase of 32.7 percent. A breakdown of the report indicated that while sales from the three plants in Nigeria contributed N552.36 billion to the group’s revenue, the balance of N258.44 billion was accounted for by plants in other African countries. Revenue attributable to Nigeria grew by 29.6 percent while that from PanAfrican operations rose by 32.5 percent. Though group sales volumes were lower by seven percent due to depressed Nigerian market, PanAfrican sales volumes went up by 8.4 percent to 9.4Mt with strong volume increases in Senegal, Ethiopia and Cameroon and new
capacities of 1.5Mta in Congo, 0.5Mta in Sierra Leone. Acting group chief executive officer, Dangote Cement, Joe Makoju, speaking on the results said, “Dangote Cement turned in a record year with revenues up 31 percent to N805.6bn and EBITDA up by 50.9 percent to N388.1bn. Although Nigerian volumes were lower in 2017, our Pan-African operations increased volumes by 8.4 per cent and now make up 42 per cent of the Group’s total cement sales, demonstrating the robust diversification of our business. “We expanded our footprint from eight countries to ten with the opening of new facilities in the Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone, while our operations in Cameroon, Senegal and Ethiopia achieved strong sales growth during the year. With total sales volumes of nearly 22 million tonnes, we are by far the leading manufacturer of cement in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Recently, the chairman of the company, Aliko Dangote, while presenting the 2016 reports to the shareholders said the company’s strategy in every country of operations is to be the leader on costs, quality and service. He said the company build large, modern, highly efficient plants that combine the latest equipment from Europe, China and beyond to enable it make higher-quality cement at lower costs, thereby giving it strong competitive advantages. CardinalStone Research said “In 2018, we see scope for further growth in pan African segment as Dangote Cement continues to gain grounds in these countries. Moreover, we envisage increased contribution from Sierra Leone and Congo. Altogether, we expect
total volume to settle at 10.77MT in full year 2018, 15 per cent year-onyear growth and revenue to N290.8 billion. “Thus, increasing revenue contribution of the non-Nigerian segment to 33.2 per cent from 32.1 per cent in 2017. Overall, we project group full year 2018 revenue to settle at N915.7 billion. “While our outlook on the counter remains bright, we have made slight downward adjustments to our full year 2018 PAT projections, in light of the recent developments in regard to the tax rate. Consequently, using a blend of DDM, EV/EBITDA and FCFE valuation methodologies, we arrived at a target price of N291.69, with a potential upside of 14.4 per cent, based on the last close price of N255.00 on March 26, 2018. Therefore, we recommend a HOLD.” Analysts ARM Securities Research also said, “Going into 2018, we remain broadly positive on Dangote Cement and expect the company to sustain earnings growth, albeit at a much slower pace than 2017. Specifically, we see volume induced revenue growth and lower energy as key drivers of earnings in full year 2018, relative to the price-induced growth story in prior year.” On pricing, ARM Research said, “we believe with Nigeria gross margin now ahead of the pre-crisis level of ~61.8%, the argument for leaving prices at currently elevated levels to compensate for cost pressures will fall apart.” Cordros Capital noted that the management is targeting seven to 10 per cent volume growth in 2018, saying that stable cement prices and broadly better economic and infrastructure spending outlook in
Nigeria are enablers. Outside Nigeria, Cordros noted that Ethiopia, Senegal and Cameroon are expected to continue to perform strongly, and importantly, utilization rate in Tanzania is expected to average 45 to 50 per cent compared to 25 per cent in 2017, as the plant starts running on gas from May. “Whilst acknowledging pressure from competition, management said it expect its Pan Africa prices to be stable from last year and will likely raise prices, specifically in Ethiopia, to offset the impact of last year’s devaluation on prices,” they said. Cordros estimated group sales volume of 24.5 million tones, comprising 14 million tonnes in Nigeria and 10.5 million offshore. Dangote Cement is Africa’s leading cement producer with nearly 46Mta capacity across Africa. A fully integrated quarryto-customer producer, with a production capacity of 29.25Mta in its home market, Nigeria. Obajana plant in Kogi state, Nigeria, is the largest in Africa with 13.25Mta of capacity across four lines; Ibese plant in Ogun State has four cement lines with a combined installed capacity of 12Mta and Gboko plant in Benue state has 4Mta. Through recent investments, Dangote Cement has eliminated Nigeria’s dependence on imported cement and has transformed the nation into an exporter of cement serving neighbouring countries. In addition, Dangote Cement have operations in Cameroon (1.5Mta clinker grinding), Congo (1.5Mta), Ghana (1.5Mta import), Ethiopia (2.5Mta), Senegal (1.5Mta), Sierra Leone (0.5Mta import), South Africa (2.8Mta), Tanzania (3.0Mta), Zambia (1.5Mta).
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
NATIONAL NEWS 35
2019: EU Trains INEC Staff On Strategic Communications BY RICHARD NDOMA, CALABAR
In its quest to ensure that there is credible, free and fair elections in Nigeria in 2019, the European Union Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) yesterday began the training of staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the area of “Communication Strategy and Leadership for Heads of Voter Education”, in Cross River State. Project director for ECES, David Le-Notre, who spoke at the opening ceremony for the training stated that the workshop was aimed at improving
the leadership capacity of INEC management at all levels. According to Le-Notre, the training would help INEC personnel in the discharge of their mandate with credibility and integrity stressing that the training will also equip staff of INEC with necessary skills to prevent or mitigate conflict situations or escalation of electoral violence for the entire duration of an electoral process. The project director said, “The specific objective of this training is to strengthen the long term capacity of participants to effectively deal with related conflict and its triggers.
“Communication is the most important thing in an election. If people understand who and why they have to vote, there will not be conflict. ``During this training, we are going to discuss on how we can mitigate conflict. We are going to give the participants the necessary training and the tools to be used’’. Le-Notre maintained that the training would provide the participants with expertise in decisionmaking and extensive insights into managing triggers of conflicts and conflict sensitive reporting throughout the electoral cycle.
Also speaking at the opening ceremony, the national commissioner and chairman for Information and Voter Education Committee, INEC, Mr Solomon Soyebi added that the training was designed to strengthen the long-term capacities of INEC heads of Voter Education and Publicity across the country. The national commissioner, who was represented by the resident electoral commissioner of INEC in Cross River State, Dr Frankland Briyai, noted that the training was well organised in view of the fact that the general elections is fast approaching.
L-R: Country Senior Partner, PwC Nigeria, Uyi Akpata; Head of the Civil Service of the federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita, and founder, African Initiative for Governance (AIG), AIgboje AigImoukhuede, during a recent visit by the AIG team and the office of the Head of Civil Service (OHCSF) to PwC Nigeria’s head office in
Human Trafficking: C’ttee Takes Campaign To Edo Rural Communities BY PATRICK OCHOGA, Benin City
Edo State government has extended its advocacy against human trafficking and illegal migration to the rural communities of the state to prevent the people from being victims of traffickers. Speaking at Living Faith Church, the senior special assistant to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Anti Human Trafficking Issues, Solomon Okoduwa said the
sensitisation exercise to rural areas was necessitated by the need to sensitise the rural dwellers who are usually deceived by traffickers. Okoduwa who explained that there is ‘no free lunch in Europe’, urged clerics and parents to cultivate the spirit of celebrating their children and wards that are doing well in Nigeria. “We understand that traffickers have shifted base to rural areas to deceive the rural dwellers, some
of the trafficked persons were not informed about the dangers of illegal migration. “There is increasing number of Nigerians especially Edo State citizens who are frustrated there. Some were killed on the waythrough the Sahara Desert and Mediterranean Sea. The traffickers will not tell you,” he said. He noted that in the last six months, Edo State government has taken measures to ensure
The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has said that the conversion of Industrial Development Centres (IDCs) into industrial clusters will address the problem of work space for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and promote economy of scale derivable from the
agglomeration of critical mass of enterprises. The director-general, SMEDAN, Dr. Dikko Umaru Radda made this known in Abuja during the study of the viability of the 23 IDCs for conversion into industrial clusters. He said the essence of the exercise is to study the viability of IDCs, which has been in existence for over 30 years.
that the returned migrants are empowered. Okoduwa said, “The empowerment and reintegration programme is opened for all returnees. We’re also calling on international agencies with the state government to ensure all the returnees benefit from the programme. It’s in stages, returnees have to be patient as all of them will benefit from the scheme.”
He averred that the final report of the study would be ready by the end of May to see the options available and the option to take. “A business case will be presented to us and see how we can fund it through African Development Bank (AFDB), federal government or other development partners across the world,” he said. Similarly, a business consultant,
Haroun Abba said the study would create a new programme by making sure Nigerian entrepreneurs have a proper global environment in which they can operate. “At this stage, what we are trying to do is to determine the right level of investment, infrastructure and services that will attract the maximum sustainable environment,” he said.
by empowering them to start their own business. She said that the youths that have acquired skills are equipped and secured for today and tomorrow. Mrs. Osinbajo, who was represented by the senior dental surgeon in charge of Schools’ Oral Health Programmes,
Federal Ministry Of Health, Dr. Obiajulu Ugbo, said, “A person who is gainfully employed cannot be engaged in crimes or found loitering the street. Only hands that are engaged in honest work can be blessed not hands involved in all manner of crimes”.
Osinbajo Urges Youths To Be Self-reliant BY STELLAMARIES AMUWA,
The wife of the vice president, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo has appealed to Nigerians and the youth in particular, to be self-reliant, responsible and dependable by acquiring skills.
Speaking at the official launching ceremony of DreamTakers Foundation in Abuja, Osinbajo noted that the timing is apt and most auspicious considering the fact that the federal government is exploring and exploiting the huge potentials of Nigerian youths
BY HENRY TYOHEMBA, Abuja
The minister of State for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire has lauded National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) for taking up Universal Health Coverage (UHC) advocacy in order to ensure quality health care delivery in the country. Osagie made the commendation while speaking yesterday in Abuja at the NOUN maiden Faculty of Health Science Public Lecture, themed; “Achieving UHC Through PHC: Lessons From Nigeria’s Saving One Million Lives Programme For Results.” The minister while commending the vice chancellor of the university, Professor Abdalla Uba and the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Dr Jane-Frances Agbu for creating the room for the discourse, also called on all the academia to key into effective UHC in the country. “The importance of academia in UHC cannot be overstated. As drivers of frontiers of knowledge and interrogators of processes, products of academic research efforts are vital to development of the health sector and the ability to improve on providing health services in an equitable manner. Academia is encouraged to also examine the key challenges to governance structures and the interface between government , donor organisations, the private sector and civil society in the relationship between health economics and the drive to universal health coverage as the national responsibility of government,” he said.
UN Agency Partners IPCR On Peace Building
BY OMONU NELSON, Abuja
Conversion Of IDCs Into Industrial Clusters Will Boost Economy – SMEDAN BY JULIANA AGBO, Abuja
NOUN Commended For Universal Health Advocacy
The Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) in conjunction with UNESCO has commenced a week training for selected youths from across the six states of the North Central and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The training, which is anchored by National Peace Academy, is aimed at educating the youths on the rudiments of peace building. The aim is to transform the youths to messengers or Ambassadors of peace in their various communities. Speaking on the intent of the programme, the head, National Peace Academy, Dr Bosede Awodola, who represented the director general of IPCR said, “There is no right time for this training other than now. Especially, taking into cognizance the ongoing youth agitation for right of participation around the country. We felt that it is important for us to bring youths from North Central together. Being that, the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution was established for the promotion of peace in Nigeria and Africa at large. We felt that the institute should bring youths together, to talk about peace and how they can contribute to peace building in Nigeria.
36 NATIONAL NEWS
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
PMB Approves Another Health Outreach For Ogoni Communities BY ANAYO ONUKWUGHA, Port Har-
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved another round of free medical outreach programme for communities in Ogoni ethnic nationality of Rivers State, as part of the process to clean up impacted sites in the area. Project Coordinator of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), Dr. Marvin Dekil, disclosed this yesterday at the flag-off of the second phase of the free medical outreach programme at Model Primary Health Centre, Taabaa in Khana local government area of Rivers State. Dekil stated that the President’s decision to approve the second phase of the programme followed the success recorded in the first phase of the programme held in December 2017. He said, “We were in Bori on December 26, 2017 to flag off our free medical intervention in the four local government areas of Ogoniland as a first step towards the implementation of one of the recommendations of the UNEP Report, which is the conduct of a Health Impact
Study. The exercise was to collect preliminary data to aid the health study. “The health outreach was a success as attested to by the huge turnout of Ogoni people and their testimonies to its positive impact on their lives. Many who for years had agonized under painful but treatable medical conditions because of limited access to health facilities or lacked the financial wherewithal to treat such conditions. “The success of the outreach programme got to President Muhammadu Buhari, who was touched by the poor condition of the Ogoni people due to the degradation of their environment by oil exploration. The President therefore graciously approved another round of the medical intervention to reach more people. That is the reason we are here today.” The HYPREP Coordinator, who stated that the second edition of health outreach programme is so important as it precedes the remediation of impacted sites in Ogoniland, enjoined the people of Ogoni to cooperate with the medical personnel by providing their bio-data.
Dekil said, “The second edition of the HYPREP health outreach programme is important as it precedes the remediation of impacted sites. Presently, invitation for prey qualification of contractors for remediation of hydrocarbon impacted sites in Ogoniland in some national and international dailies. “The exercise will be the culmination of all processes we have put in place right from the inception of the Project Coordination Office in March, 2017. We enjoin you you to cooperate with them; by providing your biodata. “We will be in each local government area for four days. Two days for general consultations, dental and eye care, among other medical services, while two days are designated for surgical operations.” He assured the people of Ogoni that the remediation of Ogoniland will be done only by experienced and best hands locally and internationally so as to achieve the desired results of restoring the environment back to an acceptable standard.
Wike: Rivers Neighbourhood Safety Corps Has Come To Stay BY ANAYO ONUKWUGHA, Port Har-
Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has that there is no going back on the establishment of the State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency, because it is central to the security of the state. This is as he the alerted the nation that some politicians have approached the police to sabotage the scheme by rejecting operatives recruited by the agency. Wike, who spoke yesterday while inaugurating the Board of Directors of the State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency at Government House, Port Harcourt, charged the members to kick-start the process of recruiting quality operatives for the agency. The governor said, “Use your experiences and capabilities to ensure that the Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency takes off effectively. “Start the recruitment process of the operatives. By September, 2018, I expect that the training of operatives would have been concluded and the agency fully operational”. He charged members of the Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency not to be swayed by the antics of opponents of the establishment of the agency because their duty is vital to the stability of the
Wike stated that the State Executive Council will approach will approach the Rivers State House of Assembly for the amendment of the Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency Law, so that the Police will not be required to vet the recruited operatives as is obtainable in Lagos State. The governor advised the Board of Directors of the Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency to recruit only persons that have the interest of the state at heart. He said contrary to criticisms against the Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency, they are only to bear light arms subject to the approval of the Police. Wike that the light arms to be borne by the agency’s operatives would be for self defence. The governor said, “The hairman of the Board is a retired Brigadier General, while the Director General is a retired Assistant Commissioner of Police. We have appointed credible and experienced retired security chiefs because we want the best for the state. ‘Now that we have prevailing peace in the state, all efforts should be geared towards sustaining it.” Responding, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Neighbourhood Safety
Corps Agency, Brigadier General Dick Ironabare assured the government and people of the state that the agency will work to enhance state-wide security. He commended the Rivers State Governor for deeming it necessary to set up the new security scheme, which is in line with international best practices of securing communities. The chairman said that the agency will work within the ambit of the law in the discharge of her duties. He said most of the people opposed to the Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency do so because they don’t understand its relevance in modern day security framework. He commended Governor Wike for the support rendered to security agencies across the state as well as the promulgation of stringent laws to check kidnapping and cultism. Those inaugurated as Board of Directors of the Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency include: Brigadier General Dick Ironabare --Chairman ,Chief Casca Ogosu --Member ,Mr Dennis Amachree -Member ,Prof Emenike Wami -Member, Anthony Uzo Ozurumba -Member ,Uche Mike Chukwuma - Director General, Mrs Victoria Chikeka --- Member , Barrister Nma Omereji , Secretary/Legal Adviser.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
‘Human Capacity Development Responsible For NAF Achievements’ BY JOY YESUFU, Abuja
The Chief of Air Staff, (CAS) Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar has said the source of several feats and achievements of the force in different internal security operations is human capacity development, saying that this has helped to reposition the Nigerian Air Force to adequately deal with challenges. Abubakar made this known on Monday in Abuja at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Headquarters during the winging ceremony of 14 new pilots out of which two are Liberians. The Air Chief said NAF in the last 3 years or thereabout have continued to project air power both within and outside Nigeria, noting that this winging ceremony was a clear testimony of the commitment of a service that is responsive to the needs of the country and her people. He maintained that the accomplishments of NAF’s pilots and other personnel, who are undertaking daring missions in the face of real danger are testimonies to the quality of training they have received. He said, “Despite the successes we have recorded so far in all these multiple engagements, we are fully aware of the need to train and retrain personnel, including pilots required to deal with these challenges. Accordingly, we are not resting on our oars but constantly building the required capacity to optimally project air power in these theatres in fulfilment of our national security imperatives”. “In realization of our drive for human capacity development through robust and result oriented training for enhanced professional performance, I am pleased that 12 more Nigerian Air Force pilots along with 2 of their Liberian counterparts are being winged today, having concluded their training in Kaduna and Ilorin. “There are 4 Nigerian Air Force student pilots undergoing training with the United States Air Force and one of them is the first female potential fighter pilot in the Nigerian Air Force. In addition, we have one student pilot with the Royal Moroccan Air Force and 4 student Instructor Pilots training at the Royal Jordanian Air Force.
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Zik Award: Masari, Wike, Others Pledge To Do More For Nigeria BY ANDY ASEMOTA, Katsina
Katsina State governor, Aminu Bello Masari, his Rivers State counterpart, Nyesom Wike, the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, and other recipients of the 2017 Zik Prize have expressed their readiness to put in their best in the service of Nigeria. They also promised to shun politics of bitterness and hate as a takeaway from the approach of the organizers of the Zik Prize to the award presentation held at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island,
Lagos, which had no fewer than five governors in attendance. Speaking on behalf of the award winners which include Chief Bisi Akande, former Interim National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC); the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru; the wives of Anambra and Bauchi State governors , Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano and Hajia Hadiza Abubakar, Governor Masari vowed that they would continue to do more in the service to the nation. “We appreciate the organisers for choosing us as recipients
for 2017 and also wish to assure them that we will not fail them; those qualities they saw in us in nominating us for this award, I assure you that we will continue to do more in the service of our fatherland,” he stated. The highpoint of the event was the award presentation to the winners by the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun; former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku; the Governors of Sokoto and Kebbi, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, amongst others.
2015 Elections: Oni Knocks Yakassai Over Card Reader Comment BY ANDREW ESSIEN, Abuja
Former Deputy National Chairman (South) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Engr. Segun Oni, has carpeted elder statesman, Tanko Yakassai, over statement credited to him that the North took advantage of the faulty card readers to manipulate the process in favour of President Muhammadu Buhari. Yakassai, who is the chairman of Northern Leaders and Stakeholders Assembly (NLSA), was reported to have made the statement when he led members of the steering committee on advocacy visit to former Military President Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, in Minna,Niger state. Addressing newsmen yesterday
in Abuja when he visited the national secretariat of APC to pick his nomination form ahead of the party’s governorship primary, Oni said Nigerians actually rejected the PDP government even as he dismissed the comments as untrue. Oni said: “I want to say that, that is not true. The card reader cannot rig election. Human beings can rig elections not card readers. I must say that when people are looking for ways to justify their inadequacies, they will look for failures, they will look for faults, so the card reader has suddenly become. “The truth is that, people of Nigeria voted overwhelmingly for Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari. The people of Nigeria were tired of the PDP, the
people of Nigeria were clearly embarrassed by a government that went not just pilfering, went to the extent of even stealing what is supposed to be the source of his own wealth. “They were stealing oil and they were selling it into individual pocket. Have you ever heard that? So, if we’ve had a government, that reckless, a government of President of all us, declaring that stealing is not corruption. A government that clearly shows that it is clueless which had nothing to contribute and it was probably tired and people of Nigeria went on to vote that government out. People are now waking up from their slumber and trying to posit reasons why they lost. They lost because people replied it was time to go,” Oni stated.
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt Gen Tukur Buratai has said combating menace of Boko haram and other extremist organisations require collaborative efforts,saying that collective actions and inactions will have impacts on our efforts to ensure safety and stability to our individual countries, Africa, and the world in general. Buratai stated this yesterday in Abuja at the opening ceremo-
BY MICHAEL OCHE, Abuja
An anti corruption group, the New Initiative for Credible Leadership (NiCReL) has urged the House of Representatives to allow the EFCC to continue its ongoing investigation of alleged corruption in the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) without undue interference. Addressing journalists in Abuja, Executive Director of NICReL, Patriot Gabriel Apeh raised an alarm over what he described as plots by some individuals to scuttle the ongoing investigation. Apeh said since it is the EFCC that can prosecute those indicted, it will be proper to allow it carry out its statutory mandate. He expressed concern that there is already a distortion of the facts and context such that the entire investigation exercise could be truncated. He said, “We have, in the course of monitoring development around this saga, discovered that the investigation is already on the way to being jeopardized unless urgent steps are taken to get the perspectives right.” He therefore said the ongoing probe must therefore end in indicted persons being charged to court and convictions secured to act as deterrence for others who think it is okay to steal from the needy.
UCH Security Guards, Cleaners Protest Nonpayment Of 13 Months Salary BY ADEBAYO WAHEED, Ibadan
L-R: National treasurer, All Progressives Congress (APC) Alhaji Bala Mohammed Gwagwarwa, Ekiti State APC governorship aspirant, chief Segun Oni and National organising Secretary of the party, Senator Osita Isunazo when chief Oni picked his expression of interest form at the National secretariat in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO BY OYEDELE OMOKAGBO.
Buratai Tasks African Military Chiefs On Regional Terrorism BY JOY YESUFU, Abuja
Group Raises The Alarm Over Plot To Scuttle NEMA Investigation
ny of the 2018 African Land Forces Summit. The COAS said activities of violent extremist organisations, Boko Haram, Al Shabab and other terrorist organisations have continued to keep security forces in the region busy and committed to ensure safety of lives and property, adding that Nigeria have recorded significant progress in taming the excesses of the Boko haram terrorists group. He said the forum will afford
the African countries the avenue to share experiences on global terrorism and forge common approach in combating transnational trades and crimes such as violent extremism, organised terrorism, arms proliferation and piracy among others. He further said the forum will also give military leaders the opportunity to interact with the aim of strengthening existing relationships and developing new ones, adding that terrorism, proliferation of small arms and light weap-
ons, piracy and human trafficking remain the major challenges facing the African continent with ripple effects across the globe. In his address, the Chief of Defence Staff, (CDS) General Gabriel Olonisakin said violent extremism, terrorism, human trafficking, proliferation of small arms and light weapons as well as piracy have continued to pose security challenges to our individual and collective countries, saying that collaboration promotes regional unity.
Security guards and cleaners working at the University College Hospital (UCH) ,Ibadan, Oyo State yesterday protested against non -payment of their salaries ranging from 11 to 13 months. The protesters had gathered in front of the administrative office of the hospital in the early hours with placards and singing solidarity songs. Some of the protesters who spoke, pleaded with the government to intervene in the matter following the failure of the hospital management to pay their salaries. According to them, the hospital authority had said that they may likely not pay them. Some of their placards read, “Pay us our salary, it’s our right. No pay No work. Speaking on behalf of the protesting security officers, Mr. Ayorinde Sunday who is one of the security men said, “we have been here since 7am to protest peacefully over the non -payment of 13 months salaries now, though we are contract staff but we are posted here and we normally do our work here but we are not been paid. “We usually receive our monthly salary a week after the contract staff received their own but now we have not been receiving any salaries since last year November when we staged this kind of protest for the first time.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Omo-Agege: Why AGF Should Protect The Constitution BY CHRISTOPHER AKPOJOTOR AGAGA
One of the constitutional duties of the minister of justice is enforcing the laws and guide them from being broken. This responsibility is not limited to individuals but extends to organs and institutions of government. We do not expect the Attorney General to take any preventive measures on issues that are still recondite. But when an issue has been pronounced upon by several courts to the extent that it has become trite, the minister of justice is beholden to the nation to take steps from preventing reoccurrence of such breaches in the interest of the integrity of the country. The recent suspension of Senator Ovie OmoAgege on Thursday, the
12th day of April, 2018 which has been looming for several weeks over a statement made by him, on the sequencing of elections in the Electoral Act amendment bill could have been stopped by the minister of justice, if indeed he took his responsibility of protecting the laws of the country seriously. For as long as the minister of justice does not rise to the occasion to proactively stop the constitution from being desecrated and shredded so long shall we have this regime of impunity that has now become the forte of the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives as a cog in the wheel to the growth of democratic culture, governance and development of the country. But now that we are having on our hands
a repeat too many to condone, in the latest imperial action of the Senate, in suspending an elected senator who is the voice and mouthpiece of more than two million people of delta central senatorial district with a backlash that could debilitate the weak fabric of our especially federation with the perception of constituents hard hit by the suspension order that they are being technically excised from Nigeria, there cannot be a more apposite time than this for the minister to rise up to the challenge by initiating legal measures to arrest the ugly and disgusting situation with a view to reassuring the people of Delta central senatorial district who have vowed to protect their rights recognized by the constitution of
the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Africa Charter on Human & people’s right that they are valued and recognized as an integral part of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In the past, that was the trend that helped grow democratic culture and values as witnessed by instituting of court cases by state governments against the federal government and vice versa on issues they considered as encroachment on constitutional provisions. This is the time to go back to the regime of deploying legal measures to curb the excesses of people and organs/ institutions of government. This option is far more rewarding than the Gestapo approach of using anti-corruption
agencies to harass and intimidate people the hallmark of President Obasanjo’s government still flickering in this government with little success to show for it because president Muhammadu Buhari is not gifted with a sadistic temperament for such abusive actions. Nigerians can still remember the number of Senate presidents, governors and PDP national chairmen illegally removed from office by Obasanjo’s barbaric practices. We, therefore, call on the Attorney General to always do the needful to protect our democracy and restrain people from advocating and calling for autocratic measures of Obasanjo that should be trashed forever. –Agaga wrote from Delta State
Looters’ Insanity Against Sane Governance: The Kogi Example BY KINGSLEY FANWO
As mighty as the pen is, truth is mightier.It takes a revolution to confront the Kogi Cabal
The Ocean of confusion created by the advent of social media, the readiness of the conventional media to be used as a derogatory pawn, the desperation of the political class to intimidate and harass the truth as well as the unfortunate gun-tothe-head of facts have combined to create a centrifugal force against the laudable leadership in Kogi State. As a state, we weren’t without our problems. Both the leaders and the followers were guilty of wrong choices. From an incompetent leadership to an unprepared one, the citizens continued to make wrong choices. The roads government is constructing now, the hospitals government is building, the school projects across the state and many more would have been put in place in the era of boom. But rather than hold the leaders down to the balcony of accountability, we hailed them, as they used 90 per cent of the resources to build their private businesses and the remaining 10% to arm our youth against our population. We hailed the benevolent ignoramuses, while blowing up the future that has come!Also, the leaders of yesteryears in the state knew they
had no meaningful achievement to sustain their avarice for power, hence, the resort to ethnic jingoism to perpetrate their political perfidies and set the people against one another. It worked for a while and while it lasted, the state was balkanized along ethnic banks. It was a case of poor people fighting one another- a bait of the political manipulators. Our roads were derelict. Our hospitals were ‘hospitalized’. Our schools were testaments of monstrosities and wicked neglect. And they say we shouldn’t refer to the past. They kept reminding us that Governor Yahaya Bello knew the enormity of the task ahead of him. We can’t forget the past. If we do, the future will be worse. We need to constantly remind ourselves of where we are coming from and how our children were sitting on the floor to learn while their leaders’ hotels were built with glasses in Abuja. We need to remind them of how their son was Governor for nine years, yet, his village has no electricity. We need to remind them GYB is not taking half of what they were taking and yet he has done more for the people. The past is a guide to the future, a guard against the hawks of destinies, a gourd of
reference to the maladies of misadministration, a sound reminder of where we can be when united as a people. The advent of Governor Bello has redrawn the sharing formula for the big “elephant”. It is no more for the few oligarchs who see themselves as the gods of the land, but for the good and welfare of the people. He is rebuilding the damages done by past leaders who never saw a future giant in Kogi. He is rebuilding our infrastructure that was left to rot. He is constructing roads, hospitals, schools, water facilities and many other social infrastructures to better the living condition of the people. The angst of the elites is the failure of GYB to patronize them and share the allocations to them or use state resources to pay staff of their private hotels or private radio stations. If he were to be doing these, he would be seen to be the “best” Governor ever. He is the “worst” Governor ever because he has stopped children from sitting on the floor to learn by providing the right environment and facilities for learning. He is a “Pharoah” because he has stopped the syphoning of revenue generated by repositioning the KGIRS to generate more revenue for the development of the
state. He is a “coronated” Governor because he has given good roads and electricity which they refused to give their own people. He is “politically naïve” because he decided to stop the multi-millionnaira monthly fraud in the civil service and pensions through a thorough verification exercise. He “doesn’t pay salaries” because those found to be unmerited beneficiaries and ghost names were removed from the payrolls. As mighty as the pen is, truth is mightier. It takes a revolution to confront the Kogi Cabal. They have fought with everything and sponsored spurious reports to discredit the State Government. But the young and focused Governor has remained undaunted. Just as we didn’t suffer the maladministration of the past immediately, the remedies of the present may take time to yield fruits. Meanwhile, the low-hanging fruits are already in our hands. Road projects are going on across the state. Our tertiary institutions are witnessing awesome transformation. Medicare has received a boost as government is providing the right equipment and incentives. A diagnostic centre project which was abandoned has been turned to a world-class facility which will be
commissioned later this year. It was remodeled, repackaged, expanded to become the best in the country. GYB Model schools are going on in all the Wards in the state. Water provision has been a top priority. Agriculture has been thrusted at the center of his economic diversification agenda. We are the biggest producers of cashew and cassava today. The Indigent Fund has been established to cater for people with health challenges in the state. The Omi Dam Project and similar ones in Osara, Ibaji and Bassa have helped to engage thousands of our youth. They were given guns in the past but this government is giving them jobs. With the Health Plus Initiative, he has dragged down the maternal mortality rate in Kogi State.There is no doubt that the ongoing reforms in Kogi will survive the elite’s conspiracy to take the state to the dark days. Even the critics cannot deny the excellent performance of the Governor in the area of securing the state. He is not only looking at saving lives, but sharing prosperity through the New Direction Agenda. Kogi will get there. –Fanwo is the Director General of Media and Publicity to the Kogi State governor
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Kenyans Angered By Delays In Power Tokens Delivery Kenyans have expressed their frustration over the delays in getting power tokens from the Kenya Power and Lighting Company. Majority said they are unable to get the tokens after paying through Safaricom’s M-pesa 24-hours after making the transaction. Many consumers said they were forced to stay without power even after making the payments and money deducted from their mobile money wallet. A consumer who spoke to
standard digital said that he first paid Sh500 and when it took time to get response from the provider he topped up another Sh 200. “I paid for the meter number 37150719542 at around 8.43 pm on Sunday night, KPLC responded and asked me to add more than Sh322 to get credit of which I complied adding Sh 400. I have not received any message from them up to now,” said the consumer. “It is so disappointing especially when you try to reach them via phone and the lines are engaged throughout.”
UK PM Faces Backlash Over Treatment Of Migrants British Prime Minister Theresa May is under pressure to resolve the status of thousands of British residents who arrived from the Caribbean decades ago and are now being denied basic rights after being incorrectly identified as illegal immigrants. More than 140 members of parliament have signed a letter to the prime minister calling on her to resolve an anomaly that means many people who arrived in Britain as children between 1948 and 1971 are being denied health services, prevented from working and in some cases threatened with deportation. There is growing anger that long-
term British residents have fallen victim to rule changes in 2012 aimed at stopping overstaying. This meant that their legal status changed despite living, working and paying tax in Britain for decades. Many have been told they need evidence including passports to continue working or getting health treatment. But many arrived on their parents’ documentation and never formally applied for British citizenship or a passport. The immigrants are named after the Windrush, one of the first ships that brought Caribbean migrants to Britain in 1948 in the aftermath of
World War Two, when labour shortages meant that people from the Commonwealth, a network of mostly former British colonies, were invited to help rebuild the economy. “It’s disgraceful that the rights of the Windrush Generation have been brought into question by this government and that some have been wrongfully deported,” said Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party. Almost half a million people left their homes in the West Indies to live in Britain between 1948 and 1970, according to Britain’s National Archives.
EU Threatens New Sanctions Against Syria European Union foreign ministers yesterday threatened new sanctions against Syria over its alleged chemical attacks, but held off from joining expected new punitive U.S. measures against Russia. After Britain and France joined the United States in missile salvoes meant to knock out Syrian chemical arms facilities, EU foreign ministers discussed steps to deepen the isolation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. “The European Union will continue to consider further restrictive measures against Syria as long as the repression continues,” all 28 foreign ministers said in a statement after their talks in Luxembourg, referring to economic sanctions. France’s Foreign Minister JeanYves Le Drian and his British counterpart Boris Johnson earlier briefed fellow ministers on the air strikes on Saturday. Le Drian said their endorsement showed European unity, after years of EU
divisions over how best to end Syria’s seven-year-old war and whether Assad should be a part of any future government. Western powers said the strikes were a response to an April 7 poison gas attack on the rebel enclave of Douma and were seen as a way to stop the use of chemical weapons. “It is very important to stress (the strikes are) not an attempt to change the tide of the war in Syria or to have a regime change,” Johnson told reporters. “I’m afraid the Syrian war will go on in its horrible, miserable way. But it was the world saying that we’ve had enough of the use of chemical weapons.” Any new sanctions on Assad would build on a series of such EU measures since 2011, which range from an arms embargo and a ban on dealings with the Syrian central bank to travel bans and asset freezes on Syrian officials, military, business people and scientists accused of developing chemical weapons.
South African Authorities Raid Gupta Compound In Johannesburg South African police yesterday raided the compound of former president Jacob Zuma’s allies the Guptas, who were accused two years ago in a report by a corruption watchdog of using their influence to gain control of state companies and contracts. The National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku said the raid was part of an investigation into theft, fraud and money laundering at a state-backed dairy project in the Free State province meant to benefit the local community. The Gupta brothers have denied any wrongdoing in a scandal that contributed to Zuma’s fall as president and the election
by parliament in February of President Cyril Ramaphosa on a platform of reviving the economy and cracking down on government corruption. As part of the investigation into the dairy, prosecutors have obtained a court order freezing 220 million rand ($21 million) in bank accounts and assets of several individuals and entities implicated pending a criminal trial. Mfaku said the probe was meant to address “corruption in the private sector and ensuring the recovery of government losses”. In the court papers filed in Free State province, Atul Gupta denied receiving 10 million rand
as alleged by prosecutors and said he was outside South Africa. The whereabouts of the Gupta brothers is not publicly known. Ajay Gupta was declared a “fugitive from justice” and left South Africa for Dubai in February. The Gupta family lawyer, Mr Gert van der Merwe, was not reachable for comment, with his office saying he was abroad. The Gupta family spokesman could also not be reached. The Guptas have also denied any wrongdoing after being accused by the public anti-graft watchdog of using their friendship with Zuma to influence policy and amass wealth. Zuma has also denied any wrongdoing.
Merkel’s Tougher Russia Stance Meets Resistance In Germany
US Accuses Russia, Syria Of Tampering With Douma Evidence
Germany’s Europe minister called yesterday for a new policy of easing tensions with Russia, adding to a chorus of voices pressing Chancellor Angela Merkel to moderate her hardened stance towards the Kremlin. The conservative chancellor swung behind Britain after the poison attack on a former Russian double agent in England last month, expelling four diplomats despite uneasiness among a political class that is wary of confrontation with Germany’s giant eastern neighbor. Europe Minister Michael Roth, a member of the Social Democrat party (SPD), said that while the European Union needed a united front on Russia, sanctions should aim to bring Moscow to
The United States accused Russia yesterday of blocking international inspectors from reaching the site of a suspected poison gas attack in Syria and said Russians or Syrians may have tampered with evidence on the ground. Moscow immediately denied the charge and blamed delays on retaliatory U.S.-led missile strikes on Syria at the weekend. In the fraught aftermath of the suspected attack in Douma and the West’s response, Washington also prepared to increase pressure on Russia, Syrian President Bashar alAssad’s main ally, with new economic sanctions. European Union foreign
the negotiating table. “Anti-Russian reflexes are just as dangerous as naively... remaining silent over the nationalist-tinged policies of the current Russian leadership,” he wrote in Die Welt newspaper. Many Western countries are pushing for a more assertive stance against Moscow over President Vladimir Putin’s backing for Syrian President Bashar alAssad, accused of using chemical weapons in the country’s civil war. With extensive business and energy links to Russia, Germany has been cautious in its relations with Moscow, though Merkel’s tone has hardened over the four years since Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.
ministers threatened similar measures. And in London and Paris, British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron faced criticism from political opponents over their decisions to take part in the air strikes against Syria. Syria and Russia deny unleashing poison gas during their offensive on Douma this month, which ended with the recapture of the town that had been the last rebel stronghold near the capital Damascus. Relief organisations say dozens of men, women and children were killed. Footage of young victims
foaming at the mouth and weeping in agony helped to thrust Syria’s civil war — in which half a million people have been killed in the past seven years — to the forefront of world concern again. Inspectors from the Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) travelled to Syria last week to inspect the site, but have yet to gain access to Douma, which is now under government control after the rebels withdrew. “It is our understanding the Russians may have visited the attack site,” U.S. Ambassador Kenneth Ward said at an OPCW meeting in The Hague on Monday.
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Victor Moses Shortlisted For Chelsea Award
Super Eagles forward, Victor Moses has been shortlisted for Chelsea’s Player of the Year for the 2017-18 season. According to official statement on the club, the Nigerian international was amongst the thirty players who made appearances for Chelsea’s first-team nominated for the prestigious award. It would be a tall order for Moses to win the accolade with the likes of N’Golo Kanté, Eden Hazard, Willian, Andreas Christensen, César Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso all included on the roster. This season, the number fifteen has played 32 matches in all competitions, scoring three goals and registering three assists. No player of Nigerian descent has won Chelsea’s Player of the Year since its inception in 1967 and Belgium dazzler Hazard has received three of the last four awards. Super Eagles captain John Obi Mikel won Chelsea’s Young Player of the Year in 2007, while Dominic Solanke and Fikayo Tomori collected the Academy Player of the Year prizes in 2015 and 2016. The winner of Chelsea’s Player of the Year will be announced at the club’s annual end-of-season awards ceremony, which takes place on Thursday 10 May.
Tuesday April 17 2018
WORLD CUP Change Your Tactics If Nigeria Must Excel, Amuneke Tasks Rohr
Former Super Eagles winger, Emmanuel Amuneke, has urged Super Eagles gaffer, Gernot Rohr, to look for a befitting strategy that will favour his players before the World Cup, saying a wrong style or approach in Russia could spell doom for the nation. With Rohr trying different kinds of formation in the Eagles’ last three games against Argentina, Poland, and Serbia, and many Nigerians not seem convinced of the pattern, Amuneke, wants the German to perfect his tactics before the World Cup begins in June. “I believe it’s all about the formation. During the qualifiers, we focused more on wing play, using the exploit of Victor Moses and the rest, but we can see in recent games that it has not favoured us, especially
against Serbia where they stopped us every time we went through the wings. “He has to have the tactics that the players will buy into and be able to achieve their objectives. It all depends on their own plan as a team and it’s that plan and style that will stand us out at the World Cup,” Amuneke told AOIFootball.com. The U-17 World Cup winning coach however played down suggestions that the loss against Serbia could dampen the team’s morale, saying Eagles will learn from the friendly match defeat. “Nobody wants to lose, but losing provides you an opportunity to be realistic with yourself and your team. It will help them correct the errors and try to perfect them going forward. Look at Argentina. Can one say because they lost to Nigeria and Spain scandalously, they won’t do well at the World Cup? The answer is obviously no,” Amuneke stressed.
Open: Emmanuel, World T20 Qualifiers: Nigeria, Ghana Tombim Imeh Face Tough Hurdles Maintain Dominance Nigeria’s national cricket team, the Yellow Greens have continued their fine form at the ongoing ICC World T20 Africa Qualifier A, as they saw off The Gambia by 55 runs in their second match, at the Tafawa Balewa Square Cricket Oval, Lagos. The Nigerians again batted first, and they piled on the runs, eventually notching a formidable 176 for five in their 20 overs. The star for the home side was Ademola Onikoyi, who blazed an undefeated 75 off just 55 balls. There were two massive sixes and nine fours in the free-spirited knock, as the number three took Nigeria to a place of comfort. Skipper Chimezie Onwuzulike continued his fine form, with a quick-fire 34 off just 18 balls. The total was always going to be a massive test for The Gambia, who had lost their opening match to Ghana by 58 runs. They again breached the 100 mark, thanks in main to a bellig-
erent knock of 29 off just 16 balls by PA Hassan Faye. He struck three sixes for good measure. Nigeria sit top of the standings, but they are joined by their neighbours, Ghana, who also made it two from two matches. The Black Sticks were pushed by Sierra Leone, after they batted first and racked up a total of 140 for eight. Simon Ateak was the mainstay, striking a composed 57 off 42 balls. In response, Sierra Leone were feisty, but the required rate of seven an over proved beyond their developing top-order. Lansana Lamin kept them interested with 28 off 25 deliveries, but he needed help from the other end. Ultimately, Ghana prevailed by 31 runs, but the fact that Sierra Leone made it beyond 100 was due to some ill-discipline with the ball, which saw 13 extras conceded – including nine wides. Ghana will want to iron out some of those frailties ahead of their clash against Nigeria, as those two will clearly battle it out for bragging rights this week. The action resumes today with Sierra Leone and The Gambia in the morning, followed by the Yellow Greens and Black Sticks in the afternoon.
Nigerians will begin their quest for a memorable outing at the Tombim Abuja Open today with the quartet of Sylvester Emmanuel, Joseph Imeh, Emmanuel Audu and Michael Michael all scheduled to face tough opponents in the first round of the $25, 000 prize money championship. Spain-based Emmanuel, who is sponsored by Rainoil keeps a date with Ronnie Schneider of the USA while Imeh, the top-ranked player by the Nigeria Tennis Federation confronts Dutchman Stephan Garritsen. Emmanuel Audu faces a tough battle against Remi Boutillier of France just as Michael Michael, a wild card beneficiary confronts another Frenchman Jaimel Angele. In some of the first round ties decided on Monday, top seed, Markus Eriksson of Sweden progressed to the second round with a 6-0, 7-5 win over Suraj Prabodh of India. Austrian second seed, Maximiliano Neuchrist also advanced to the second round following a 6-4, 6-4 win over Kazuma Kawachi of Japan. Indian trio of Aryan Govewas, Dalwandar singh and Karunday singh also moved to the second round with 6-4, 6-2; 7-6, 7-6; and 6-4, 6-3 triumphs over Kenyan Is-
mael Mzai, Frenchman Thomas Setodji and Swiss Jakub Paul respectively. Seventh-seeded Joao Menezez of Brazil joined the second round train following a 6-1, 6-3 success against Spain’s Hugo Largo. In the doubles, Imeh partnered Takanyi Garaganga of Zimbabwe to beat Deigo Fernendez of Chile and Adebola Obasoto of Ireland 6-1, 6-3. Emmanuel and Namibian Tuki Jacobs defeated Diego Matos of Brazil and Kenti Takeuchi of Japan 1-6, 6-3 10-12 to also qualify for the next round just as top seeded Croatian duo of Ivan Sebanov and Matej Sebanov defeated their Dutch counterparts Stephan Gerritsen and Jelle Sels 6-4, 7-6 to move to also progress.
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s we all are aware, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that the rate of unemployment in Nigeria worsened somewhat marginally during the third quarter of 2017. Reflecting the concerns and risks that this situation could pose for our collective peace and progress, we all committed, during the 2016 Bankers’ Committee Retreat, to design and fund a suitable scheme that will not only reduce the huge financing gap for Macro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), but also fully commits to the pursuits of job creation, financial inclusion and inclusive growth for Nigerians, particularly the teeming youth population It was on this premise that the Bankers’ Committee came up with the Agribusiness Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) as an initiative to improve access to affordable financing for MSMEs, particularly those operating in the informal sector of the economy and to support the Federal Government’s efforts and policy measures to promote sustainable economic development and employment generation.
— Somerset Maugham
As a commitment, to the successful implementation of the Scheme, all deposit money banks, voluntarily agreed to set aside and contribute 5 percent of their Profit after Tax (PAT) annually to finance eligible projects under the Scheme. As at today, the size of the Fund stands at about N26 billion and this is expected to exceed N60 billion by June 2018. I am, therefore, very delighted that we have come to this stage where we are ready to begin the disbursement of these funds to deserving beneficiaries. These beneficiaries are youths who have been trained on various entrepreneurship, vocational and management skills across the country by Entrepreneurship Development Institutions and Centres, such as Fate Foundation, Lagos Business School, House of Tara and Thrive Agric. Upon completion of their vocational training, the specific implements needed to practice their vocations, are procured under the scheme. The beneficiaries’ details including their Biometric Verification Numbers (BVN) are forwarded to the deposit money banks to confirm that they are their customers before accessing the fund. It is indeed an auspicious
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CBN Capitalises AGSMEIS an umbrella when the sun is shining and takes it back when it rains”. I will like to assure you all, that under the AGSMEIS, no bank will lend a beneficiary an umbrella and take it back during the rainy season. Needless to say, the commencement of funds disbursement under the AGSMEIS, continues a tradition of voluntary initiatives by the Bankers’ Committee to promote developmental programs for sustainable economic growth. Other funding initiatives implemented in the past by the Emefiele Bankers’ Committee includes occasion as the outcome the Small and Medium Equity of today’s engagement is Investment Scheme (SMEEIS). More recently, the CBN expected, in no half measures, to significantly, reduce youth and the banking sector are unemployment and restiveness, collaborating on a national increase social cohesion and Shared Agent Network program, drive inclusive economic growth. designed to ramp up access to In Nigeria, the challenges basic financial services such as of youth unemployment and cash-in, cash-out, funds transfer, restiveness must be confronted bill payments, airtime purchase with strategic innovative thinking and government disbursements to provide sustainable solution. to an estimated 50 million No matter how daunting the persons who are currently either challenge might seem, I believe under-banked or unbanked. This that with unity of purpose we can initiative in partnership with licensed mobile money operators fight this scourge together. There is no gainsaying the fact and super agents is expected to that one of the most effective roll out about 500,000 Shared ways to tackle this scourge, Agent Networks within two is through entrepreneurship years through the use of mobile development and easy access to technology. In designing the AGSMEIS, affordable financing. Yet, access to finance has been an Achilles the Bankers’ Committee engaged heel on entrepreneurship with key stakeholders and development in the country relied on anecdotal evidence today. A situation often credited and lessons learnt from the to financial intermediaries’ implementation of the SMEEIS. apathy to youth entrepreneurship Pivotal to such lessons, is that and startups, which are usually during a business life cycle, perceived as being too risky, different types of financing lacking relevant managerial are required, at the birth of the skills and not possessing business, initial growth stage, adequate collaterals acceptable expansion and mature operations phases. for conventional credit. In line with this, AGSMEIS I am quite aware that even with the quantum of funds has been designed to be already available, a few people implemented in three (3) broad are still raising eyebrows about components, namely Direct, the genuine commitment of the Indirect and Developmental banking sector to the success of components. Under the Direct component this Scheme. Indeed, there is a common cliché that describes a of the AGSMEIS, beneficiaries banker as “someone who lends can access loans to a limit of N10 million, at interest rate of 5% per
annum and a maximum tenor of up to 7 years. There is also a moratorium period of 18 months on principal and 6 months on interest element, depending on the nature of the business. However, it is mandatory that all loan beneficiaries must have valid BVN, which shall be registered on the National Collateral Registry and used to track repayments and blacklist any defaulters. At this junction, I must emphasize that the interest rate of 5% per annum being offered under the AGSMEIS further attests to the unflinching commitment of the deposit money banks to support entrepreneurs to actualize their dreams and ensure that the twin goals of increased employment and poverty reduction are attained. Under the Indirect component of the Scheme, beneficiaries can access equity and quasi-equity investments of up to 10 years with an initial lock up period of three years before divestment. Finally, the developmental component of the scheme shall be used for capacity building and technical assistance to support beneficiaries. In the past three years, aside from the initiatives of the Bankers’ Committee, the CBN has also designed and implemented developmental initiatives, few of which include: The Anchor Borrowers’ Program – since its launch in November 2015, the Anchor Borrowers’ Program has so far achieved tremendous success in terms of outreach and coverage, making the scheme one of the most successful CBN Development Finance initiatives to date. Currently, about N80 billion has been disbursed to over 358,000 small holder farmers in 34 states, cultivating 8 commodities. The success of the Program has culminated in wealth creation for the small holder farmers, who hitherto had been crowded out of the formal financial system, deepening of
markets and value addition along the value chain of the various commodities. The National Collateral Registry – the registry was introduced to unlock access to credit, which has always been a major concern to MSMEs, particularly the micro enterprises which account for 99% of the 37.1 million MSMEs in the country. Since commencement of live operations in May 2016, 410 financial institutions have registered 26,899 financing statements valued at over N540 billion on the platform. I am very optimistic that the Collateral Registry will have tremendous impacts on MSME lending in Nigeria in the foreseeable future, particularly in the implementation of the AGSMEIS, as all equipment financed under the Scheme must be registered on the platform. In conclusion, I am excited to inform us all, that this flag off ceremony will not be the usual symbolic handing over of large cardboard cheques, but physical distribution of equipment as required by beneficiaries to kick start their businesses. – Being remarks by CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, at the flag-off ceremony for the disbursement of funds under the Agribusiness/Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS)
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Leadership e-paper April 17, 2018