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No. 3,025




Leadership Newspapers


FG, States Diverted N500bn Ecological Fund In 15 Years –Senate BY SOLOMON AYADO AND AHURAKA ISAH, Abuja

Senate revealed yesterday that for 15 years, the federal and state governments have diverted about N500 billion ecological funds meant to tackle environmental problems of communities in the country. This revelation was made during a public hearing on a Bill seeking to

prohibit the abuse of the Ecological Fund of the Federation organised by the Senate Joint Committee on Ecology and Environment. LEADERSHIP reports that Ecological Fund is a special intervention allocation of two percent of the con-

solidated revenue of the federation and one percent of the derivation allocation set aside to address ecological problems across the states of the federation, such as erosion, landslide, desertification, flood, oil spillage and draught, among others.

The sponsor of the Bill, Senator Mohammed Hassan, said that the Senate’s resolution to enact a legislation to establish and regulate the operations of the Fund and other similar funds became imperative due to the fact that over the years, the ecological funds was operat-

LEADERSHIP Bags ABU Alumni Corporate Award Pg. 4

ed like’slush’ money and rather utilised for varying unrelated purposes, at the liberty of the incumbent. “Successive governments have been serially accused of diverting and enriching themselves from the ecological funds. The operation of the funds had been largely discretionary, with zero guidelines on the disbursement and utilisation of the mon➔ CONTINUED ON PAGE 6

PMB In Dapchi, Vows 6 To Rescue Schoolgirls Says FG won’t spare Boko Haram

Parents urge govt to negotiate with sect members


Court Stops NASS From Overriding President



Chairman, LEADERSHIP Group, Mr Sam Nda-isaiah (middle) presenting copies of LEADERSHIP Newspapers to the National President of Ahmadu Bello University Alumni Association, Prof Ahmed Tijani Mora, when the association visited the corporate Headquarters of LEADERSHIP, in Abuja, PHOTO OYEDELE OMOAKGBO yesterday.With them is the National Secretary of the Association, Madina Azaki.

Attah Igala Hails Kogi Gov Over Cultural Rebirth


GTBank Declares N71bn Dividend On N170bn PAT 26

The bid by the National Assembly to override President Muhammadu Buhari suffered a setback yesterday as Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the National Assembly to refrain from taking any action on the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018, which the president refused to append his assent. The Accord Party had dragged the National Assembly, the Attorney General of the Federation and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before the court headed by Justice Ahmedd mohammed, praying it to stop the National Assembly from re-ordering the sequence of the general election. The party is asking the court to determine whether INEC is not the only ➔ CONTINUED ON PAGE 7

Nigeria’s Debt Profile Hits N21.7trn



Leadership Newspapers


Thursday, March 15, 2018

our stand

LEADERSHIP Thursday, March 15, 2018


Fixing Nigeria’s Warped Tax Regime


n efficient tax system is important for economic development of every nation as it is a veritable source of funding for most government activities. In most economically advanced countries, it is through taxation that the governments raise the money they need to provide infrastructure, embark on developmental projects thereby creating employment opportunities for the citizens. In Nigeria, successive governments have not shown enough commitment to increasing revenue through taxation. This was, perhaps, because of the inflow of petrol dollars into the nation’s economy. However, with the new reality of low oil prices and dwindling fortunes, there has been some aggressive drive towards tax collection and widening the tax net. There is no better time for Nigeria to develop a very robust tax system than now. According to a World Bank ranking, Nigeria’s tax-to-GDP ratio is one of the lowest in the world at six per cent. Even in Africa, it is still low when compared with Ghana’s 15.9 per cent, and South Africa’s 27 per cent. Most developed nations have tax-to-GDP ratios of between 32 per cent and 35 per cent. The situation has been lopsided as the rich evade paying taxes, and the poor are very reluctant and angry when taxes are being deducted from their meagre salaries. Consequently, Nigerians have become used to not paying taxes because, beyond the Personal Income Tax compulsorily collected at source from workers in the formal economic sector, few citizens voluntarily pay their fair share of taxes. The federal government has reiterated that it will not hesitate to wield the big stick on tax defaulters, rich or poor. It is commendable that the federal government is making efforts to reverse the trend. It is also worthy of note that the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), a time-limited opportunity for taxpayers to regularize their tax status relating to previous tax periods, created as

part of its tax compliance drive has been making impact. VAIDS, in collaboration with the State Tax Authorities, is a revolutionary programme that provides tax defaulters a ninemonth opportunity to voluntarily and truthfully declare previously untaxed assets and incomes. It also ushers in an opportunity to increase the nation’s general tax awareness and compliance.

The fact that the scheme has started recording some successes is encouraging. The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), was reported to have realised N17billion from the scheme since its introduction. Even though every effort of constituted authority to enforce just and fair taxation laws cannot be faulted, it is expected that this must be done subject to the inviolability




DEPUTY EDITOR Raliat Ahmed-Yusuf




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:

For God


C o u n t ry !

of the rights of citizens to privacy in their personal and business lives on one hand and the bank-client business confidentiality on the other. VAIDS, it must be appreciated, is underpinned by the extant tax laws in the country. It is a tax amnesty scheme, which offers people with tax compliance issues the chance to declare honestly in exchange for waivers such as tax audit, interests on owed taxes and freedom from prosecution. We, therefore, implore the government to stay in line with extant laws and all guidelines in the implementation of the policy. The need to bolster tax revenue has also necessitated a fresh injection of 7,500 community tax officers to educate people about tax issues to achieve better compliance. The government also disclosed that there will be aggressive monitoring of companies that generate profits in Nigeria but shift taxes to countries of jurisdiction where little or no tax is payable. For there to be an efficient tax system and enjoy the full benefits of taxation, things must be done right. While we appeal to taxpayers to maintain a high compliance rate, we also enjoin the government to maintain a low administrative cost relative to the revenue collected. Achieving this efficiency requires a new approach to tax administration by the government. The use of technology to improve the ease of remittance by citizens and businesses, the harmonization of certain taxes can also make taxation simpler for the taxpayer while improving the government’s ability at enforcement. The government should not relent in enforcing efficient taxation because it leaves a fair burden on all citizens and businesses while accruing substantial funds to the state’s coffers. It engenders more participation of citizens in governance which in turn forces more transparency and fiscal discipline on the government on spending and more rigour in the selection of projects to deploy funds to. The funds accruable from efficient taxation are also more predictable, unlike allocations from the federal government, which are subject to the vagaries of the crude oil market. This helps to make proper and long term planning, which is essential for sustainable infrastructure development, possible.


Leadership Newspapers


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Group News Editor: Ekele Peter Agbo Despite NLC’s Opposition, PMB To Sign CFTA Agreement BY JONATHAN NDA- ISAIAH, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari addressing Parents and Students of Government Girls Science and Technical College Dapchi during his visit to the School as part of his Sympathy visit to Yobe State,

LEADERSHIP Bags ABU Alumni Corporate Award BY TUNDE OGUNTOLA, Abuja

LEADERSHIP Newspaper has bagged the 2018 Corporate Award of the Ahmadu Bello University(ABU) Alumni Association. The award will be presented at the 2018 dinner and award ceremony of the Alumni association scheduled to hold April 14th. Announcing the award yesterday, when he led other members of the association to the corporate headquarters of LEADERSHIP, the ABU Alumni association president, Prof Ahmed Tijjani Mora said the award was in recognition of the newspaper’s show of professionalism in reportage and its numerous contributions in deepening democracy in Nigeria.

Prof Mora, described LEADERSHIP Newspaper as a unique brand for policy makers “which also offers something unique for the common man”. He also hailed the debut of LEADERSHIP Ayau, the only daily vernacular newspaper in the country, for promoting indigenous language in Nigeria and also reading culture, describing it as a success. Prof. Mora noted that the award which is an annual event, is organised to celebrate individuals and corporate organisations that have shown distinction in their different areas of specialisation. ‘’On behalf of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Ahmadu Bello University Alumni Association, I wish to notify you that the association has decided to hon-

our you with the Corporate Award . “The Awards ceremony is the climax and one of the components of the 2018 Annual Public Lecture, Dinner and Recognition Awards which provides a platform to honour some of our very distinguished Alumni members and friends of the University all over the country and beyond, who have an outstanding record of performance both in the public and private sectors.’’ Prof Mora noted that the choice of awardees is not influenced but based on their immense contribution to national development. While stressing the need for an enduring partnership between the association and LEADERSHIP, Prof Mora said ‘’Yes, what we want to achieve is first, fellowship. We want to fellowship together, which is part

Bishop Bagobiri True Man Of God – Onwuliri Late Bishop Joseph Bagobiri of Kafanchan Catholic Diocese, Kaduna State, was a true man of God who loved people irrespective of their differences and stood for justice. The former minister of State for Education, Prof Viola Onwuliri said this yesterday in Kafanchan. Bagobiri, 61, died in the early hours of Tuesday, February 27, in Kaduna after a protracted illness. Onwuliri in a paper presentation during the colloquium held yesterday in Kafanchan said the Church must continue to uphold all that the late cleric stood for. She said he was especially

concerned about the cause of the less privileged, orphans and widows. “The deceased lived everyday as if it were his last; as such, I urge everyone to emulate his humility,” she said. She encouraged the faithful to also pray for the diocesan administrator, Rev. Fr. Joseph Biliyock for divine wisdom to run the affairs of the diocese. Also speaking , the Anglican Bishop of Kafanchan Diocese, Bishop Markus Dogo, in a paper titled, “Bishop Bagobiri :The bridge and Nation builder–CAN and Ecumenism in perspective”,

said that the late cleric never relented from speaking truth to power. Dogo said the late Bishop Bagobiri would not go to the corridors of government to collect bribes, adding that he would be remembered for his tireless efforts in bringing together religious leaders of various faiths to chart the way forward towards achieving peace and stability. Also, a former attorney-general and commissioner of Justice in Kaduna State, Mr Mark Jacob spoke on “Bishop Bagobiri and the socio-political development of Southern Kaduna

Rice Production Rises From 5.7m To 17m Tonnes In 2 Years – Gov Bagudu BY JONATHAN NDA - ISAIAH, Abuja

Kebbi State governor, Atiku Bagudu has disclosed that rice production has risen from 5.7 to 17 million metric tonnes per annum in two and a half years. He made the disclosure to State House Correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Bu-

hari at the Presidential Villa. According to him, eight new rice mills were commissioned last year which has increased rice production in the country. He said that he received report that today in Nigeria we are almost producing about 17 million metric tonnes of paddy rice per annum, up from as little as 5.7 million met-

ric tonnes two and a half years ago. “The milling capacity has increased, eight new mills were commissioned last year alone with the installed milling capacity almost doubling. “The Rice Distributors particularly that of Iddo, G-Cappa and Elko market in Lagos, came to show confidence in the programme of the federal government of Mr. President as

Despite the opposition of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to Nigeria being a signatory to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) President Muhammadu Buhari, will on Monday in Kigali, Rwanda , sign the document. Recall that the NLC had said the agreement was detrimental to the nation’s economic interest alleging that the government did not consult widely on the matter. However, speaking to State House correspondents yesterday after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential Villa, minister of Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah disclosed that the council approved for Nigeria to be a signatory to the CFTA. Noting that government is bidding to host the Headquarters/Secretariat of the CFTA, Enelamah disclosed that minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, had been mandated to widen consultations with stakeholders, including National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA). On consultations with stakeholders on CFTA, Enelamah said, “The president in his directive in February 2017, constituted a negotiating committee that included organised private sector and business - like MAN and NASIMA they have been working with us.

of our objectives and secondly we want to showcase the greatness of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) as an institution.” He sought the support of LEADERSHIP newspaper in providing effective publicity to the association before, during and after the award. In a brief remarks, the chairman, LEADERSHIP Newspapers, Sam Nda-Isaiah said: ‘’We are grateful to be fully part of this. I will like to appreciate you for the show of love to us. You are simply a LEADERSHIP Newspaper publicist. “I want to assure you of LEADERSHIP’s support and partnership,’’ he said while urging the association to sustain the good works it has been doing in different areas including BY JONATHAN NDA - ISAIAH, Abuja providing infrastructural development in their alma mater. Federal Executive Council, FEC has approved that Nigeria should sign the framework agreement for the establishment of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in Kigaand Nigeria–His CONFAB experi- li, Rwanda. AfCFTA is the first step in the imence”. He said that the late Bishop was a man whose education- plementation of AU Agenda 2063: al prowess made him stand out the “Vision” for an integrated, prossuch that he could speak virtual- perous and peaceful Africa. The minister of Industry, Trade and ly on any topic. The lawyer said that Bagobiri Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelwas an epitome of truth and al- amah, made this known when he briefed State House correspondents ways spoke the truth. He added, “He would never alongside the minister of Foreign Aftake the back seat and remain si- fairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, on the lent on the altar of political cor- outcome of the Council’s meeting. The meeting was presided over by rectness. He was someone who would not keep quiet when the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the sons and daughters of Southern Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Kaduna were being killed.” Enelamah revealed that President Clerics, politicians and others Muhammadu Buhari would be signattended the colloquium. ing the agreement on AfCFTA during the Extraordinary Meeting of African Union Heads of State and Government to be held on March 21. “What we did today was to secure encapsulated in his statement: ‘Let’s grow what we eat, and eat what we approval for the stage we are now. “First, the Heads of State and Govgrow.’ ernments of the African Union (AU) “The distributors confirmed that Nigerian rice is better, more nutritious in January 2012, made a decision in than imported rice and they are will- Addis Ababa to establish CFTA just as ing to partner so that Nigerian rice an economic policy and policy for rewill be the dominant rice in the coun- gional integration and of course, in try and indeed we should be able to that process, we have got to a point where they set some deadlines. be exporting”, he said.

…FEC Approves Establishment Of Africa Free Trade Area

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Leadership Newspapers




Leadership Newspapers


Thursday, March 15, 2018

PMB In Dapchi, Vows To Rescue Schoolgirls BY JONATHAN NDA – ISAIAH, Abuja AND HUSSAINI JIRGI, Damaturu

There was outpouring of emotions in Dapchi community in Yobe State yesterday when President Muhammadu Buhari visited the Government Girls Science and Technical College where 110 schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram terrorists last month. While the chairman of the abducted girls’ parents association, Bashir Monzo, was briefing the president who arrived the school at 3:54pm, some of the parents of the abducted schoolgirls and their schoolmates broke down in tears. The president who was on a condolence visit to the state assured them, Nigerians and the international community that the 110 schoolgirls abducted in Dapchi community of Yobe State will be rescued unscathed. Also speaking at a meeting in Government House, Damaturu, which was attended by government officials, security and intelligence chiefs, community and religious leaders, President Buhari recounted recent successes recorded by his administration in rescuing Boko Haram hostages. Citing the release of more than 100 Chibok girls, University of Maiduguri lecturers, some female Police personnel, students and an NYSC members, the president declared: “I have no doubt that the Dapchi girls will be rescued or released. I want to reassure parents, Nigerians and the international community that we will do all that is within our power to make sure that the girls are brought back safely to their families.” Buhari told the gathering that the federal government is partnering with the international community, including Nigeria’s immediate neighbours to ensure the safe return of the girls. A statement by his senior special assistant on media and publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu quoted the president as saying: ‘‘Just recently, I reiterated our resolve to negotiate for the unconditional release of the girls. This is borne out of this administration’s conviction that doing so is safer devoid of risks and will not endanger the lives of our young girls who are in harm’s way. ‘‘There will be no rest till the last girl, whether from Chibok and Dapchi, is released. The girls, like all our citizens, must enjoy unhindered freedom and pursue their legitimate aspirations. The Dapchi and Chibok students are our girls and must enjoy our protection. They must live to achieve their individual ambitions, to be great women of tomorrow. It is our duty to protect them’’. President Buhari warned that anyone found to be negligent, leading to the abductions, would be punished in accordance with the law. “The Federal Government has set up a 12-member Committee to unravel the circumstances surrounding the abduction of the students. ‘‘The membership of the Committee was


drawn from among security agencies and local residents. It is my hope that any agency, person or group found to have been negligent or culpable in the abduction of the girls will be punished in accordance with the law,” he said. He also vowed that the insurgents will not be spared. “We will not spare their members. We will ensure that Boko Haram meets its waterloo. By the will of God, I have directed the police and reinforced them, and the army and air force to keep searching until the children are returned alive,” he said. Enumerating several steps so far taken in the search and rescue of the missing girls, the president described the efforts as the best in the given circumstances, adding that it was a marked departure from the attitude of the preceding administration when 276 Chibok schoolgirls were abducted. He continued: “On 19th February 2018, we woke up to the painful news of the abduction of One Hundred and Ten (110) students of Government Girls’ Science and Technical College, Dapchi. Since this ugly incident happened, I have not left any stone unturned in making sure that the girls are rescued. “I have ordered the Service Chiefs and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to take direct charge and brief me on a daily basis on the efforts to bring back the girls. Within four (4) days of the incident, the Minister of Information visited Dapchi and the next day, the Minister of Interior who was accompanied by the Minister of Information re-visited the school for on the spot assessment. “I have ordered the re-strengthening of a Joint Operational Base involving relevant agencies and Services to coordinate the res-

cue mission. Consequently, the Service Commanders have not only established a unified Command Centre in Maiduguri, the Military has raised several rescue teams to comb the forests in the North East Theatre of Operation. “In addition, the Nigerian Airforce has maintained aerial surveillance of the area. The Federal Government had earlier sent a delegation of senior officials to visit the Governor and the parents of the girls to reassure them of the measures the government is taking as well as have an on-the-spot-assessment of the incident. “The federal government’s response to the unfortunate abduction of the schoolgirls is a clear departure from the insensitivity of the past administration which looked the other way while the Chibok girls were taken away in 2014 and held in captivity for over 3 years’’. The President pledged that his administration will remain resolute in the fight against Terrorism and Boko Haram insurgents. He said, ‘‘Nigerians will readily recall that prior to our coming in 2015, the situation was chaotic with violent terrorist attacks being the order of the day. Terrorists had made life very unbearable for the people in Yobe, Kano, Kaduna, Borno, Niger, and even the FCT, Abuja. Our Mosques and Churches witnessed daily suicide bomb attacks. Parts of Adamawa and Borno States were helplessly ceded to the terrorists. ‘‘But today, we have so far shown clear determination in tackling terrorism which is a worldwide phenomenon. We have not only degraded the power and dominance of the criminal elements, our security forces have

FG, States Diverted N500bn Ecological Fund In 15 Years FROM COVER

ies,” Senator Hassan said. Yesterday, it was established that there was massive diversion and misappropriation of N154.9 billion on projects not related to environment which the Senate Committee on Public Account discovered in 2013. A document on the report of the ecological fund, which was exclusively obtained by LEADERSHIP yesterday, revealed that in 2009, N93.7 billion was “illegally transferred from the ecology fund to the consolidated revenue fund to fund the acceleration of capital budget advances to state and local governments to meet revenue shortfall and third quarter development fund warrant.

“In December 2009, the National Economic Council reported that about N200 billion belonging to the ecological fund had been spent on questionable projects that were either non-existent or had no relations to the fight against ecological disasters.” The document revealed that the House of Representatives had, in 2010, raised queries over curious withdrawals and loans to agencies and individuals totalling N146.5billion, mainly for matters irrelevant to the objectives of the fund. It further said: “In December 2011, there was also an illegal deduction totalling N20.1 billion from ecological fund for debt servicing, in addition to the donation of N2 billion in 2013 by former President Goodluck Jonathan to certain states

of the federation without any criteria, in which some states did not benefit. “In 2013, N22 billion was withdrawn and shared out to some states and local governments, while N2.078 billion was withdrawn towards the building of the second Niger Bridge. “In 2002, the ecological fund gave a grant of N728 million to the Presidential Research and Communication Unit and disbursed N928 million for non-ecological projects, while in 2003, N1.9 billion was disbursed for non-ecological programmes out of which N800 million was given to the Ministry of Aviation for the renovation of the Aminu Kano Airport and N150 million to Kaduna State government to manage sectarian crisis in the state.

patriotically exhibited an uncommon zeal in executing their assignment. ‘‘We explored various strategies including regional and international collaborations to exterminate terror. ‘‘We have re-equipped our armed forces, security and intelligence Services. They are empowered with improved welfare and better equipment. The outcomes have been good. Our achievement in maintaining security is such that the international community and even our critics commend our modest efforts in this regards. In his remarks, Governor Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State commended the President for making Yobe and the Northeast safer and expressed the appreciation of the people of the state for the steps being taken by the federal government to bring back their girls. Meanwhile, the parents Association of Dapchi abducted Schoolgirls has called on the federal government to negotiate with Boko Haram for the rescue of their abducted children’s The chairman of the association, Alhaji Bashir Manzo, told LEADERSHIP yesterday that federal government’s decision to negotiate was the best option. “None of us is comfortable that the use of military force would be possible without some casualties”, he stated, just as he described President Buhari as a humble leader who is always having the people of the country at heart. According to him, they would always support the security as usual to facilitate the release or rescue of the abducted girls. He urged the security operatives in the area as well as state government to bring back their children’s, we can’t be sure whether they were alive or death.

DO YOGA More energy, better posture, greater flexibility, improved mood, and less stress are just some of the rewards of this mind-body workout. “Yoga means ‘union’ in Sanskrit,” says Cyndi Lee, founder of New York City’s Om Yoga and a FITNESS advisory board member. “Through conscious yoga breathing, you become aware of the connection between mind and body.” That translates into major antiaging advantages. Yogic breathing has been shown to oxygenate the cells, ridding them of toxins, helping prevent illness, and making skin radiant. Unlike other exercises, says Lee, yoga poses are designed to work the inside of your body as well as the outside, which helps rejuvenate the digestive system, the reproductive system, even the immune system. “Yoga is like wringing your body out like a washcloth,” she says. “It’s one of the best ways to keep things moving.” Try it! Practice yoga or other mind-body activities at least twice a week, says Lee, to give yourself an energy boost, help build bone mass, and de-stress. – Culled from 100 Best Ways To Stay Young

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Leadership Newspapers



Court Stops NASS From Overriding President FROM COVER

institution constitutionally vested with the powers to organise, undertake and supervise elections, including fixing the sequence of elections to various elective offices in the country. During proceedings yesterday, counsel to the plaintiff (Accord Party), Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), urged the judge to issue a “preservative order” that would restrain the National Assembly from taking any step that would jeopardise the res (subject matter) of the suit already pending before the court for determination. Counsel to the National assembly, Miss Chinelo Ogbozor, had earlier sought an adjournment from the court to enable her respond to the plaintiff’s motion on notice. In strong opposition to the plaintiff’s request, Ogbozor, urged the court to decline Accord Party’s oral application for a preservative order, arguing that in acceding to such an application, the National Assembly would be denied fair hearing. She further argued that her client was within time to respond to the plaintiff’s motion on notice, which was served on them on March 12, saying the application was not ripe for hearing. “The motion is not ripe for hearing. By the rules of this court, motions can’t be taken before 48 clear hours of service. By Order 26 (5) of the rules of this court, we are entitled to seven days within which to respond to any motion. My Lord, our time is still running and we wish to respond to this application promptly. To that extent, we will be ask-

ing for time to respond to the motion,” Ogbozor submitted. Counsel to INEC, Mr. Tanimu Inuwa, in his own submission, informed the court that the electoral umpire was not opposed to the plaintiff’s application. After taking their submissions, Justice Mohammed stood the matter down for some hours to prepare his ruling in the case. After about two hours, Justice Mohammed returned from his chambers and held that it is imperative to protect the substance of the suit till the next adjourned date. The judge said, “I hereby make the following orders. It is hereby directed that the parties shall maintain the status quo ante bellum at least between now and the next adjourned date, when the court will hear the plaintiff’s motion on notice for an order of interlocutory injunction. “Hearing notice is hereby ordered to be issued to the 2nd defendant (AGF) following his absence an lack of representation. These orders are made pursaunt to Section 6 (6) of the 1999 Constitution. The suit is adjourned till March 20 for the plaintiff’s motion on notice,” the judge held. Reps Vows To Gazette Rejected Amendment Meanwhile, the House of Representatives yesterday vowed to gazette the amended Electoral Act, which President Muhammadu Buhari refused to assent to. It said it will re-transmit the reordering of the election sequence for pas-


sage, even as it has commenced the process of vetoing the Peace Corps bill. In making its position on the rejected Electoral Act, the House however said it agreed with two of the three reasons given by the president for withholding his assent, assuring that it will expunge the items before re-transmitting the new election sequence. Speaking at a briefing, the chairman of the House committee on media and public affairs, Hon. Abdurazaq Namdas, maintained that the House has not infringed on the powers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by legislating on the sequence of elections.

He said, “The president has actually written to us and withheld assent to the Electoral Act and stated his reasons for doing so. I want to say that as a responsible Parliament, we’ve agreed with two of the three reasons given by the president. “We agreed with the first one that the amendment of section 138 of the principal Act to delete two crucial grounds upon which an election may be challenged by candidates unduly limits the rights of candidates in elections to a free and fair electoral review process. On this, we have agreed with the president. “We have also agreed with the reason advanced on the amendment of Section 152 of the principal Act, which raises constitutional issues over the competence of the National Assembly to legislate over local government elections. This too we have agreed with. We know that we don’t have the power to act on that”. On the controversial election sequence, Namdas said, “However, we are in disagreement with the president over his first reason, which states that sequence of election in Section 25 of the principal Act may infringe on the constitutionally guaranteed discretion of INEC to organise, undertake and supervise all elections provided in Section 15 (a) to the third schedule of the constitution. “Our reasons for disagreeing on this matter are that if you look at section 4 of the Legislative Powers Act, item 22, let me quote. It states that, “The National Assembly has powers over elections to the offices of president

and vice president, or governor and deputy governor and any other office to which a person may be elected under this constitution, excluding elections into a local government council or any office in such council. “So, if the Legislative Powers Act gives us these powers, it means that we have the powers to work on the order of elections as stated. Again, if you go to section 76 of the constitution, it states that, “Elections to each House of the National Assembly shall be held on a date to be appointed by the Independent National Electoral Commission.” The lawmaker further explained: “However, there is a clause: In accordance with the Electoral Act. This was added in the First Alteration. It says INEC has powers to fix dates, but even at that, it has to act in accordance with the Electoral Act. “Thirdly, the entire Electoral Act talks about organizing elections. If we do not have powers to organize the elections, that means we don’t have powers to even pass the Electoral Act itself”. He continued, “in view of this, we will re-gazette the Electoral Act itself and expunge the areas that we’re in agreement with the president and in line with the constitution. We’ll bring back the bill for debate. We’ll follow the procedure of first, second and third readings, and re-transmit it to the president for assent. That is all I have to say on Electoral Act”. On other bills which the president declined assent, the spokesperson revealed that the House is already in the process of overriding him on 10 bills.

Attah Igala Hails Kogi Gov Over Cultural Rebirth BY SAM EGWU, Lokoja

The Attah Igala, Dr. Micheal Ameh Oboni II, yesterday described Kogi State governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, as a leader with great vision and dedication despite his young age. The monarch spoke when he led a large delegation of his people, in company of his chiefs, to thank the governor for reviving his people’s lost culture by lifting the ban on certain festivals and for all the other good things he had done in the state. The Attah noted that certain Igala festivals were banned over 65 years ago due to overzealousness by some people. He said that despite the fact that state had been led by three former governors, who came from the Igala area of the state, none of them restored the festivals. “Governor Yahaya Bello is one that understands the value of culture and when he came, he felt something was missing and chose to act,” Dr. Oboni said. “Culture is everything. Our language, attitude, proverbs, way of cultivating farms are all ways of expressing culture. Some of our culture lost its potency and became adulterated. “We are happy someone has come to wipe our tears. Our festivals were erroneously proscribed and we pray for those who did it to be forgiven. We are here to show our appreciation to the governor for lifting the ban.” He also praised the governor for not allowing his youth to hinder him from delivering the dividends of democracy to the people, despite the many political distractions he encountered daily. According to him, it was clear that Governor Bello is determined to leave Kogi State much better than he met it.

“The development he (Governor Bello) has started in our area is unparalleled in the annals of the history of that area,” the monarch said. “Even if you stop there today, you have done more than any other person who has come before. We should be grateful. He is a very young man. Some of them are old enough to be his father but what did they do? “For bringing us out of the dungeon and into the light, forever and ever, the Igala people will never forget you.” In his response, the governor said he was happy that his dream to unite Kogi people across religious and ethnic lines was bearing fruit. He said: “I am not here to play politics with the lives of the citizens of Kogi State,” Governor Bello said. “Given what we have done in two years, we have been getting good results. But we felt something fundamental was missing. We identified that thing as the core value of our identity. “We have concluded that whatever landmark achievements we have in terms of projects, programmes and policies, we would not have the desired results unless we revive our cultures and traditions. We have achieved that to a great extent, hence the lifting of the ban on the rich and proud culture and festivals of the Igala Kingdom. These were banned years before my birth. I pray that they will foster unity and development in our state. “I am happy to announce that all the people from the three senatorial zones now see themselves as one indivisible entity. I urge everyone to note that we must come together to celebrate this culture.” The Kogi State governor criticised successive administrations for neglecting this very vital aspect of life and

blamed this neglect for the rise in crimes among the youth as they no longer respect traditions. Bello said he looked forward to the first festival to be organised by the traditional leaders, adding that such events would boost the economy of the people. He thanked the monarch for continuously preaching unity and love to all in the state, even as he gave assurance that, despite the lean resources at the state’s disposal, all ongoing projects would be completed within his first term. “I want to announce to you, Your Royal Majesty, that the road from Shintaku to Gbokolo that crosses from Bassa to Dekina and to Ayingba will be handled by Julius Berger. We are going to give you the best in your Kingdom because the Igala people deserve the best. “Also, before the end of the first

term, the Kogi State University Teaching Hospital, Ayingba, will be built from scratch to completion and well equipped. I assure you that the College of Health Technology, Idah, will be revived and given the structure and equipment it deserves,” he told the delegation. LEADERSHIP can report that this announcement by the governor has ended speculations that the state government had planned to relocate the College of Medicine to the Central Senatorial District of the state. Governor Bello promised to continue to be fair and just in all he does while in office. Meanwhile, the Kogi State House of Assembly yesterday at plenary passed a vote of confidence on the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, saying he deserved commendation for his out-

standing performance in his numerous development feats across the length and breadth of the state. In a matter of public importance moved by the majority leader, Hon Hassan Abdullahi (representing Ajaokuta State constituency) yesterday, he said the governor and his deputy, Elder Simon Achuba, following the New Direction Agenda, had engaged in programmes which include youth summit, education summit, security and investment summit, and infrastructure and utility exposition. In adopting the motion, the House said it was passing the vote of confidence on the governor due to the enormous work executed in the state and his plans to take Kogi State to the next level of development to make it compete favourably with other states of the federation.


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Gov Ugwuanyi Strengthens Community Relations BY NNAMDI MBAWIKE, Enugu

L-R: Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara (left), welcoming the suspended member, Hon Abdulmumini Jibril into the Chamber after 185 legislative days’ suspension while the Chief Whip, Hon Alhassan Ado Doguwa looks on at the National Assembly, yesterday. PHOTO BY OYEDELE OMOKAGBO

Immigration Generated N38bn, $29 In 2017– CG BY CHRISTIANA NWAOGU, Abuja

The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), has said that it recorded an improvement in its 2017 local revenue, noting that a total of N38 billion was raked in during the period under review from passport revenue, address verification fee, non refundable administration fee, e-passport among others. This was as the Service further disclosed that it generated a whopping US$$28,850, 654. 00 from passports and $1, 087,950.00 from carrier liability/visa on arrival from foreign collection. The comptroller general, Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammed Babandede revealed this Wednesday, during an operational review meeting with zon-

al coordinators and comptrollers of Immigration in Abuja. According to him, part of the revenue generated was paid into the government coffers, while service providers and other stakeholders got their share. The NIS boss explained that the service under his leadership has introduced “Service Windows” in all state commands, zonal and service headquarters for receiving applications requesting immigration services. This, he said, was geared towards curtailing interface in service delivery and to thus, prevent the act of extortion, bribery and corruption. Babandede, who placed emphasis on strict adherence to the provisions of the public service rules and discipline, warned officers against wearing wrong

badges/ rank, those on Inspectorate Cadre in compliance to the Service Dress Code, appropriate hair, jewelry and make-up. The Immigration CG further challenged his men and officers to justify their pay with result by also embracing President Muhammadu Buhari’s initiative on the Ease of Doing Business as well as opportunities provided in the agricultural sector for sustainable alternative as they approach retirement. He expressed joy at the recent commendation accorded the service for being proactive. He also applauded the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) for presenting them with a trophy in recognition of their contributions to the Ease of Doing Business reform in Nigeria.

The comptroller general also assured of the Service readimess to continue to partner with INEC in the discharge of its duties. Babandede explained that the service had begun sensitisation for the personnel on the need to double the efforts to ensure non Nigerians don’t present themselves for registration as voters in the ongoing Voter registration exercise. He noted that credible elections were critical to the stability of any nation, and the elimination of civil wars and crisis which more than often led to increased migration issues. Mr Babandede assured that the NIS would deploy its men to registration centres and polling units during elections to identify and fish out foreigners.

Election Sequence: APC Has Unleashed 8 Govs To Cage Lawmakers – Secondus BY CHIBUZO UKAIBE, Abuja

National chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Prince Uche Secondus, yesterday alleged that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has constituted a team of eight governors to cage federal lawmakers over their move to veto President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to assent to the sequence of election bill recently passed by the Nation-

al Assembly. Secondus also branded the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) a parastatal of the APC, alleging that the ruling party is trying to rig the 2019 general election. He said who also declared that the APC has become a threat to the country, added that the nation is now in crisis. He, however, told the Nigerian youths to take their destiny into

their hands and pushing out the APC administration. The PDP boss noted that any country of the world where the youths are not participating in the political development is doomed. The PDP chairman spoke when making remarks at a meeting with PDP Youth Leaders from the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT. Speaking on the refusal of Buhari to assent to the Electoral Amendment Bill, said “This is not the first

time the National Assembly amended the electoral law. They have done so severally. Why is this case different? Eight governors of APC have been constituted to begin to move from door to door of members of National Assembly to cage them not to freely make laws for Nigeria. We reject that move and we insist that that the will of Nigerians must be done. The will of Nigerians must prevail.”

Why SDP Won’t Hold Elective Convention Now BY OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU, Lagos

The new kid on the block, the Social Democratic Party (SDP, is not in a hurry to hold elective convention until after the gubernatorial elections in Ekiti and Osun states, LEADERSHIP investigations have revealed. The SDP, which had since the beginning of this month received into its fold founding members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has become the new political bride in the country, following the defection into its fold prominent PDP members earlier

in the month. Recall that on March 1, former Minister of Education and national chairmanship aspirant, Prof Tunde Adeniran led former Minister of Information and member of PDP’s Board of Trustees, BoT, Prof Jerry gana, fomer Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe, former Chief of Staff to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Chris Ogiadhome and former governor of Jigawa State, Saminu Turaki, among others to the waiting arms of the SDP. LEADERSHIP reliably gathered that every plan to hold any

elective national convention of the party now is in the cooler, until after the gubernatorial elections in Ekiti and Osun states, in order not to upset the apple cart and play into the hands of those who do not wish the party well. A top party notch confided in LEADERSHIP that for now, “all we need to do is to consolidate on the new status of our party.” He added, “It will be foolhardy to embark on such dangerous venture for now. Besides, remember that the elected officers of the party at the ward, local government, state and na-

tional levels have their tenures of office. “Again, for now, our main focus is to consolidate on the gains we have made so far and also concentrate on presenting a formidable front in the forthcoming Ekiti and Osun gubernatorial elections.” Assuring that the SDP will spring surprises in the two elections, the party stalwart, who craved anonymity, disclosed that the tsunami that will hit both the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC and the PDP will be unprecedented.

In furtherance of efforts to advance his administration’s rural development agenda as well as strengthen the relationship between the government and the 458 autonomous communities in Enugu State for effective representation and full implementation of government’s decisions and policies in every community in the state, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi on Wednesday inaugurated Community Liaison Officers to help drive the vision. Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Governor Ugwuanyi said that the exercise was also in line with the desire of his administration to promote participatory democracy at all levels and bring government and governance closer to the doorsteps of the people of the state. The governor stated that the newly inaugurated Liaison officers would serve as “direct and uniform” link between the autonomous communities and the state government and guarantee inclusiveness, participation and equitable development, adding that they were selected following due consultations with stakeholders.

Metuh Seeks Court’s Nod To Travel Abroad For Treatment BY KUNLE OLASANMI, Abuja

Former national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh, has asked a Federal High Court in Abuja, to release his International Passport to enable him travel abroad for medical treatment. The former PDP spokesman, through his lawyer, Emeka Etiaba (SAN), prayed Justice Okon Abang to grant him leave to travel abroad on health ground. Metuh is facing a seven-count criminal charge before the court, He was granted bail in the sum of N400 million by the court. Amongg others conditions for his bail, Metuh was also expected to provide two sureties with N200 million each. The sureties, the court held must have property in Maitama District of Abuja. The court also ordered the former PDP spokesman to also submit his international passport to the registrar of the court as part of the conditions for his bail. While arguing his motion for the permission of the court to travel abroad, his counsel told the court that the instant application was different from the two previous ones, which the court had heard and ruled on. He drew the attention of the court to exhibit three attached to the application, which is a letter dated February 14, 2018 addressed to Dr. Raymond Onwuelo by Mr. Andrean T. H. Kessy, a Neurological and Spinal Surgery Consultant in London, stating detailed health status of Metuh.

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Oba Yoruba Lauds Minister For Completing Inherited Projects

Cleric Urges FG To Tackle Poverty, Injustice BY TARKAA DAVID A cleric of Church of Christ Mission (CCM), Kuje-Abuja, Rev. Willie M. Sada, has called on the federal government to tackle headlong the challenges of poverty and injustice, to end the spate of violence in the country. In an interview with newsmen, Sada noted that many Nigerians have become disillusioned with the system because of lack of basic necessities of life, adding that working for justice and peace remains the best option for those in position of authority in Nigeria. He said government at all levels must endeavour to address the challenges confronting the poor masses, who constitute a greater percentage of the people. The cleric who spoke on the challenges of mission and evangelisation, as well as other problems confronting Christians in Nigeria said the message of peace and safety cannot be effectively passed across when the basic human dignity is lacking. He stated that unjustified structures and marginalisation of the poor majority are the cause of suffering and violence in the land, adding that Nigerians must discourage corruption, which is the root cause of poverty in the country. The cleric charged Christian communities in their capacities, both in government and private sector, to lead the campaign for a corrupt-free and just society, where governments would provide for the needs of its people.


L-R: Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Public Petition, Uzoma Nkem-Abonta receiving the legislator of the year award from the chairman, Cross River Basin Development Authority, Eseme Eyibo, during the House of Representatives Press Corps dinner/ award night at the International Conference Center in Abuja recently.

Girl, Lover Arrested For Killing Father In Bwari

BY CECILIA OGEZI Police in Bwari area council have arrested a 16-year-old girl, Imani Kure and her lover, Nasiru Musa (23),for allegedly killing her 42-year-old father, Kusha Kure in Karava village. The divisional police officer (DPO), Biodun Makanjuola, said the decease died following machete wound. He noted that the suspects were arrested after a thorough investigation stressing that the murder was initially

blamed on herdsmen attack. According to Makanjuola, the late Kure had earlier asked his daughter not to marry Nasiru, who is a step son of his sister on grounds that they were blood relatives. Obviously bent on going ahead with the love relationship, the suspects reportedly crafted a plan on how to murder the decease. Police said Imani disclosed that she sort help of 3 boys, Jerry, Imbibi and Goddy of same village, to help her kill the father, while

her boyfriend kept watch by the door. “On further interrogation, the young girl, who claimed to be carrying a one-month pregnant for her boyfriend, also revealed that the killing was masterminded by her mother, Mrs. Kure over misunderstanding in the family regarding her relationship with her boyfriend”. At the time of this report, Mrs. Kure, is yet to be interrogated on the matter.

Minister Inaugurates Reconstituted FCT Water Board BY DAVID ADUGE-ANI Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has inaugurated the reconstituted management of FCT Water Board, just as he charged them to give priority attention to ongoing water projects in the territory. Inaugurating the board in his office yesterday, Bello also

called on members to put in their best to sustain the momentum of service delivery, as well as enhance the dividends of change which is the driving spirit of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. Represented by the permanent secretary, Mr. Chinyeaka Ohaa, the minister said their coming on stream should help in consolidating the foundations of good corporate

governance and productivity in the organisation with anticipated multiplier effects in the FCT economy. Also speaking, the Chief of Staff to the FCT minister, Malam Bashir Maibornu, said the coming on stream of the management board is a significant value addition that would assist in setting out broad policy guidelines, key performance indicators

and professional advice that is required for improved performance of the board. Responding on behalf of members, the chairman of the board, Engr. Kassim Ali thanked the administration for the confidence reposed on them, just as he called for the support and partnership of the administration and residents towards the achievement of the board’s mandate.

Community Demands Police Post, infrastructure BY TARKAA DAVID Residents of Runji community in Bwari area council have demanded for adequate security personnel presence, infrastructure and basic necessities of life. Leader of the community, Malam Sani Abubakar told LEADERSHIP in an interview

that the entire village has no police outpost, which leaves residents vulnerable to criminal attacks. Abubakar maintained that Runji village has been in existence for years without any special intervention from government, especially the Bwari area council and

Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA). The community leaders blamed the sorry state of the community on government, adding that the area has been floated with many brothels suspected to be aiding criminal activities. Also speaking, the ward head commended the efforts of Major

Peter Albala (rtd) for using his resources to provide transformer and connecting the community to the national grid. He also called on the FCT INEC to provide polling unit for the people, regretting that going to places like Shagari Quarters, Dei-Dei and others places to vote during elections was uncalled for.

The Oba Yoruba of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), HRM Oba Olusegun Salau has commended the achievements of the FCT minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello in the past three years, especially in completing inherited projectst. In an interview with LEADERSHIP in his palace yesterday, Salau observed that within the last three years, the FCT minister has focused on the completion of projects he inherited from his predecessors. He mentioned some the projects, which the minister inherited from the past administration, but have been completed or are near completion to include, the Goodluck Jonathan Way, AYA Bridge, Bill Clinton Interchange, the railway way project and Airport Road, among others. Salau noted that it is unusual to see a politician who assumed office only to embark on the completion of projects started by his predecessors, as is the case with the current FCT minister. The monarch, who was a former member of the defunct national dialogue, also described the minister as a silent achiever, who does not like to blow his own trumpet. “This is the first time we are seeing an administration that assumed office and completed projects, it inherited from past governments, without starting new ones. We know that he completed them,becausehedoesnot like abandoned projects, which is very unusual for most politicians.” He however advised other politicians in the country to emulate the minister’s example for the development of their societies and Nigeria in general.

Thursday, March 15 , 2018

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How APC Swept Edo Council Poll Penultimate Saturday, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State defeated other political parties to clear the entire 18 local government councils and wards. PATRICK OCHOGA writes on the victory and implication of PDP’s boycott.


The election which was adjudged to be generally peaceful across the 18 local government areas initially had early hitches when there were complaints of late arrival of sensitive voting materials at some council visited

xpectedly, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) trounced nine other political parties that contested election into the 18 local government areas of Edo State and the192 wards maintaining its winning streak penultimate Saturday. In 2013, when the last council election took place, former Governor Adams Oshiomhiole, on the platform of the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) led the battle against the People’s Democratic Party PDP, for the soul of Edo councils. The election was however won after a fierce battle against the political machinery of Chief Tony Anenih by the then ruling party which cleared the entire councils and wards, thereby uprooting completely the main opposition at the grassroots level. However, expectations were high to the build up to last local government election. It was an opportunity especially for the main opposition PDP to prove its mettle after losing the governorship election to Governor Godwin Obaseki in 2016, the loss of the governorship dealt a heavy blow to the PDP. The last decision by the PDP not to partake in the 3rd March, 2018 local government election paved way for an easy ride for the APC in addition to Obaseki’s development in improving on infrastructures especially in roads construction and job creation for youths in the state. The PDP had headed to court to stop the conduct of the election citing what it described as illegal constitution of the electoral body, EDSIEC and the amendment of the Electoral Act by the Edo State House of Assembly. In the build up to the election, Governor Godwin Obaseki had constituted the state electoral body with a charge on the board to conduct a free, credible and fair election that will throw up political leaders to compliment development at the grassroots, thereby signalling the commencement of political activities at the Councils in the state. No sooner than the PDP announced its decision to boycott the election, the party in a bid to test it popularity embarked on ‘meet the peoples tour’ of the entire local government areas while on the other hand the APC intensified campaign ahead of the council elections. A few days to the election and in an apparent show of dominance and preparedness for the council election, a mega rally to round up campaigns was organised at the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium where about10,000 PDP members led by


a former PDP chieftain and Council chairman of Esan West, Felix Akhabue, led others into the APC. Akhabue, while declaring for the APC told the large crowd that Governor Godwin Obaseki’s transformation agenda and good work were the attraction for his teeming members. The rally attracted top party leaders including the national chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun. As the D-Day for the election drew nearer, the PDP through its state publicity secretary, Chris Nehikhare, in a statement reiterated the parry’s decision to walk away from the election. According to the statement: “In the last couple of days, we have been inundated with phone calls and visits from loyal and committed PDP members as well as members of the public seeking clarification regarding the ill-fated Local Government council elections being organised by state government. “We want to reiterate that PDP is not participating in the sham elections. We did not submit any candidate for any of the positions in any of the wards and local government areas in the state. As a matter of fact, we filed a case in court challenging EDSIEC, EDHA and EDSG on their powers, amongst other breaches, to amend the rules for the conduct of the elections. The case has been adjourned to April 11, 2018 at the last hearing. “From the onset, we outlined our grievances regarding the composition of EDSIEC, the unconstitutional amendment to the number

of days’ notice required to be given to political parties before elections are held and questioned the competence of the EDSIEC as the antecedent of its chairman stuck out like a sore thumb. At this point, we expected EDSIEC and/or EDSG to address these issues raised as they were germane” Continuing Nehikhare alleged: “As a consequence and not wanting to give credibility to a flawed and skewed process, whereby all the winners have been predetermined, election results already written in government house and handed over to the Prof. Orobator led EDSIEC for announcement, we hereby advice all our members, sympathizers as well as the good and hardworking people of Edo State to observe March 3rd, 2018 as a day of rest. “There is absolutely no need to go out to the polling stations as your votes will not count. The election is liable to be declared null and void by the time the case is completed, all those elected, will be dismissed from the offices they were illegally elected into. Stay home and rest. If you are a farmer go to the farm. Your time is precious, make good use of it. However, 10 political parties filed out to contest council elections including the ruling APC, Action Democratic Party (ADP), Labour Party (LP), Democratic Alternatives (DA), Green Party of Nigeria (GPN), Democratic Peoples’ Party (DPP), National Conscience Party (NCP), Social Democratic Party (SDP), Peoples for Democratic Change (PDC), and Progressive People Alliance (PPA).

The election which was adjudged to be generally peaceful across the 18 local government areas initially had early hitches when there were complaints of late arrival of sensitive voting materials at some council visited. The challenges were however addressed by noon when materials began to arrive most of the centres. Against insinuation of apathy due to boycott by the main opposition, LEADERSHIP’s check showed that the poll recorded high turnout of voters. In Oredo local government area of Edo South, Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki cast his vote at Emokpae Primary School Mission at 12:30pm, amid cheers from a mammoth crowd that had gathered at the polling unit and expressed confidence that the APC would win in all the councils. “The All Progressives Congress (APC) is certain of victory. And I appreciate the huge turnout for the polls. This shows that the electorates are truly committed to seeing the ‘wake and see’ phenomenon repeated at local council level,” he said. Asked if the non-participation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) affected the turn out of voters, the governor noted that to the contrary, “the large turnout of voters across the state shows that Edo people and residents are in support of this election” and assured that his party, the APC will coast to glory in all the 18LGAs of the state. At Okpokhumi Primary School, Ward 2, Owan East Local Government, voting materials arrived at about 10:00am, after which accreditation of voters commenced. Security operatives on ground to ensure law and order, were also seen at the ward. Electoral observers were also present, as voters trooped in steadily. Also speaking after voting at Iyamho in Etsako West Local Government Area, immediate past governor of the state, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, said the PDP has finally been liquidated in the state, adding that he was satisfied that the PDP surrendered defeat without a blow. ”‎ You can see People are celebrating democracy at the grassroots. They are more interested in local elections because that is the man they can see everyday. You can see people are keen to vote. With this election, We have just completed the liquidation of the PDP. There is no further proof of that liquidation other than that they have on their own admitted to defeat. They don’t regard the people who vote for them at the grassroots. They have my sympathy. This was the promise that from a party that used to arrogantly rig people out and ask you to go to court.


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We Are Keen On Promoting Regional Integration, Combatting Terrorism – Amb Hanaffi In this interview with TUNDE OGUNTOLA, the Ambassador of Egypt to Nigeria, Elseify Hanaffi, noted that Egypt looks forward to playing a key role in driving regional integration in Africa and intends to bring Africa closer together both politically and economically as well as fighting its common enemy, terrorism. He also stressed on the need for self-reliance and domestic resource mobilisation, a major reason he visited some states in Nigeria. You recently visited some states in Nigeria, why the visit? Nigeria is a Federal Republic and the role of the state is very important to enhance and improve economic and investment ties between Egypt and Nigeria at both the Federal and state levels. In this respect, I had the honour of meeting with Kaduna state governor, Nasiru el’Rufai. I had a very constructive meeting with him, he is a very inspiring man. We talked about the old ties between his state, Kaduna and Egypt. We both share cultural ties, education ties and his interest in accomplishing strategic projects to upgrade the state’s infrastructure. He gave me an overview of his projects and we are all keen to support him in all endeavours to improve the lives of residents in the state. The meeting was very constructive and of course, as part of my visit, I attended the Kaduna International Trade Fair and it was very good to see some Egyptians doing business in the state, having stands there. They came all the way from Cairo to connect with their Nigerian counterparts. The other visit was to Lagos State and i had meetings with the Nigerian Chamber of Commerce and also Lagos Chamber of Commerce and I also had the privilege to meet with Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who is an old friend of Egypt and I listened to his advice, as well as his developmental projects for development of Nigeria and Africa in general. The other aspect of my visit was to see Egyptians domiciled in the Southern part of Nigeria. For ages, some of the Egyptian expatriates have been working in Nigeria as doctors, engineers, educators, so the tour provided an opportunity for me to connect with them. Most of them are contributing immensely to the places they reside and we discussed many things about how to improve the connection between the embassy and Egyptian nationals residing in Nigeria and i have plans to visit other states and to meet governors soon. I also met the Governor of Jigawa State last month, he is a very energetic man and i have plans to meet with other governors too in due course. How best can Egypt and Nigeria grow their economies? There are oceans of opportunities prevailing for both countries and there are many challenges that can be surmounted in my opinion. Both are working to improve our bilateral relationship. Also, in the African Union, there are talks ongoing to upgrade the connectivity with other member states and to lift all the existing tariffs within the Africa trade area. I was discussing how we


can upgrade the maritime links with Egypt which will enhance the flow of goods between both countries and cut the cost and time of travelling, the positive sign is that we have flights to Cairo that fly from Abuja, Kano and from Lagos to Cairo daily. The maritime sector needs to be improved as most goods are ferried through third ports, some of them, to Europe for transshipment and this is the case with most African countries. There are also many interesting projects that can be achieved in the free zone areas in Lekki that I have seen. It is very encouraging; it is tax intensive and also customs intensive. There is also a very interesting project embarked upon by a particular group to have one of the biggest generator assembly factories in Lagos to address power shortages and also, they have many facilities and other outlets for building materials, caterpillar and so on. This is a very big investment, which is going to be greatly impactful in Nigeria. The infrastructural project in the embassy is a product of the Egyptian/Nigerian partnership. Some of the contractors in Nigeria whom I met with in Lagos, are very interesting personalities, and there are many interesting projects that I am discussing with the governors to help improve infrastructural projects. The market volume of Egypt and Nigeria is one of the biggest in Africa and these represent what we can build on for the interests of both countries and people. How can you rate the bilateral relationship between Egypt and Nigeria? We have excellent political ties, excellent cultural ties and historical links but, I and my team have to go an extra mile to improve this and the good news is that our trade links have doubled in the past two years. We have our business council and Nigeria Business Council which are

people had to make some sacrifice at the beginning and they now see it as the right thing to be done. We have two candidates for the elections and so far, things are moving smoothly. Elections in Egypt are always free and fair, but Egyptians don’t vote in en masse and we have to encourage more Egyptians to vote regardless of their inclinations to take part in this democratic process and there is a constitution that is among the finest in our history, people are now more confident in their leadership. We have seen results; Cairo now is not the same Cairo of few years ago in terms of the infrastructural development, investment. So, our president is a man of action, not only of voice and this is something the Egyptians fully recognise. vehicles for promoting investment and trade between both countries but, there’s a big room for improvement and perhaps, if we can work on helping our people here to get capital, this will enormously help the business initiatives road map. But I hail the Nigerian government, new economic policies, the country is diversifying from oil and creating an enabling environment for business investment to thrive. So, I am very encouraged with these policies because we are partners, we are African partners in the full sense of partnership and we look forward to building up the great ties. There was a very interesting visit by the minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar, few weeks ago to Cairo. She met with our minister of Trade and Investment and it was a very fruitful visit, so there is a momentum building up and we have to strengthen it. What is your advice ahead of the Egypt election? President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is running for the second term. The election is coming up in end of March, Egyptians abroad will be voting on the 16th, 17th and 18th of March. Egyptian nationals living in Nigeria will vote at the embassy. My advice is to encourage steps towards promoting stability in Egypt and for prosperity also. Egypt has witnessed great development under President El Sisi. Many projects and huge undertakings in Africa, as well as domestic mega projects, are ongoing and so there is a track record of achievement. The elections will be contested free and fair in the presence of Egyptians and international observers and this is to show that we respect our constitution. Egyptians have highly supported the president’s policies. So far, the harsh economic measures that were undertaken to address some non-functioning sectors in Egypt, were taken and now absolved as testimony. The

There are military operations in Sinai Peninsula, can you tell us about this? We call it the Comprehensive Sinai Operation 2018, it focuses on Northern Sinai but, it is not confined to Sinai. It focused on degrading the capacity of terrorists in conjunction with the police force, so the military law enforcement agencies are also taking part. It has massive scale, the maritime, terrestrial and all areas all joined forces together. Many terrorist elements have been identified in their hiding places, many vehicles, ammunition were moped and it is on the media. We realised that the best way to tackle these activities of ISIS related elements is by this operation. We are determined to go after them and counter them as well as counter their threats and destructive activities and this will be followed by massive development as announced by the government because, we have believed that fighting terrorism is not all about the military. But we have to address the root causes including development that will integrate and improve the livelihood of Egyptians. We are encouraged by the assistance that the Sinai people are giving the military, we are encouraged with this, as they are feeling the impact, and we are hopeful that these activities will be undermined. In combating terrorism, I must also hail Nigeria’s efforts in handling its domestic challenge but, we can exchange experience and counter their narratives while preaching the true tenets of Islam. Islam is a religion of moderation and it never advocates killings, it is a religion peace and these narratives have to be addressed and of course, development and empowerment need to be ongoing. We also need international cooperation. We have a working definition and have arrived at a better relationship and I am satisfied by the result so far.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

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Thursday, March 15, 2018


Thursday, March 15, 2018



















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ON 1M 3M 6M

10.3500 15.7927 16.8325 18.5822

-4.70 -0.26 -0.17 0.03

Reps Flay Telecommunications Companies Over Abuse Of Expatriate Quota …Disagree with NIMASA over 2017 budget performance ADEBIYI ADEDAPO, Abuja

The House of Representatives Committee on Telecommunications yesterday frowned at the alleged abuse of expatriates’ quota by telecommunication companies operating in Nigeria. The committee said the House will no longer tolerate increasing cases of abuse of expatriates’ quota system by the companies without due regard to local content Act and the recently signed Executive Order by President Muhammadu Buhari. Chairman of the committee, Hon Saheed Akinade-Fijabi, during an investigative hearing yesterday, said that the National Assembly aimed at putting an end to all sharp practices relating to illegal influx of expatriates. The committee is investigating level of compliance with expatriate quota system by telecommunication companies operating in the country. While reacting to the submission of Huawei Technologies Company Nigeria Limited, one of the companies alleged to have flaunted the quota system, Akinade-Fijabi said the company had 299 expatriates mainly C ‎ hinese on its employment despite the availability of qualified Nigerians who could perform similar duties they were being made to do by the Group Business Editor Bayo Amodu 08118672002 Business Editor (Lagos) Sam Diala Assistant Business Editors Chima Akwaja Kingsley Alu Tony Awunor Correspondent Chika Izuora Reporters Ruth Tene Natsa Bukola Idowu Olushola Bello Suzan Nwachukwu Abah Adah George Okojie Chika Okeke

R-L: Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Maritime Safety, Education & Administration, Hon. Mohammed Umaru Bago; director-general, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside; deputy chairman of the Committee, Hon. Solomon Adeelu Ezinwa and a member of the committee, Hon. Sir Jones Chukwudi Onyereri during the oversight visit of the committee to NIMASA in Lagos,yesterday.

firm. “The parliament will not allow Nigeria to be turned to a dumping ground‎ of all manners of expatriates, if this committee finds out that there are Nigerians that can do similar work these people are doing, we will not hesitate to send them packing “If you say you have about 10 or less expatriates in your company, that can be overlooked but when you are saying about 300, that is alarming and unacceptable to us when the law of local content is there with the recently signed Executive Order by the president However, there was a mild drama, when the expatriates could not provide answers to simple questions put to them on the numbers of Nigerians attached to them to over study them despite the fact that their entry permits would expire in three months’ time as well as their description of jobs. The deputy managing director of the company, Mr Osita Nweze who tried to defend the expatriates that they could only communicate in Chinese language was queried on how the expatriates have been communicating with those under studying then before now. Meanwhile, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency

and the House of Representative Committee on Maritime Education, Safety and Administration openly disagreed over the performance of the 2017 appropriation budget of the agency. Speaking during an oversight visit of the committee to NIMASA, yesterday, the chairman of the committee, Hon. Mohammed Umar Bago threatened zero allocation to the agency in 2018 if the 2017 capital budget is not fully implemented. He said: “It’s a shame if we give them (NIMASA) money to spend on appropriation and because of bureaucratic acumen they are unable to spend it. So, they shouldn’t expect us to give them money next time and we have pledge as a committee and as a parliament that anyone we give resources to spend and refuse to spend, we will only give in the next appropriation the percentage of what it spent in the previous year and I have threatened NIMASA I will give them zero allocation in 2018 if they don’t spend money allocated for 2017.” But, in a swift reaction, the director-general of the agency, Dr Dakuku Peterside disagreed with the committee chairman saying the agency has expended 80 percent

of its allocation on capital project. “We have made over 80 percent accomplishment of the capital budget provision though we have challenges in few because we have to go through the regimented procurement process but I believe that we should be able to get to 100 percent but if we can’t get to 100 percent with 80 percent accomplishment we have done our best,” he said countering the committee chair’s earlier assertion. Also speaking on the Chairman’s complaint on the nation’s porous exclusive Economic Zone and trading by foreign vessels, Peterside stated that the initiatives have been deployed to enhance security of the nation’s territorial water including the EEZ. “He said we should step up coastal security and recall that lot of initiatives have been put in place and one of them is the one approved by the FEC called the Presidential Maritime security intervention where we are supposed to acquire lot of asset and worked with the Nigerian Navy and Air force to enhance the patrol of our waterways. “The project is on course and once we commence full implementation, it will yield the desired result.


Business 101 with MBAKAAN KWEN

Ways To Harness Your Team’s Talent Great results don’t come from average contributions. Harnessing the full potential of people to optimize business performance is the key to success for most small businesses. Karen Gately outlined some tips here below; UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU NEED TO ACHIEVE: The first step any leader must take is to understand what they need to achieve. It isn’t enough to have a broad notion of the outcomes you and your team are striving for; it’s critical that you understand the specific capabilities and investment in energy it will take to get there. BUILD YOUR TEAM: Once you are armed with an intimate understanding of the knowledge, skills and experience you need, next on the priority list is to ensure you have the right people on board. Building a team capable of turning your vision into reality requires making disciplined and at times tough decisions. Who you decide to keep in each role across your team underpins the potential you can create and leverage. BUILD YOUR TEAM’S SPIRIT: Encourage those things that energize people and work to avoid the influence of those that drain your team. Ensure every member of your team has the drive and fuel to succeed by leveraging the five common influencers of a person’s spirit at work: Sense of personal value, relationships, purpose and meaning, belief, enjoyment. UNLEASH ENERGY: Tapping into the potential of your team requires you to inspire their passion and desire to achieve success; it is what drives how much energy they choose to invest in getting there. Some critical priorities that will enable you to unleash the spirit of your team and achieve great results are: Lead by example: be optimistic and invest energy in your own role.

QUOTE OF THE DAY ‘‘We have increased our legal fees in our 2018 Budget. Every tax defaulter will be prosecuted. Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Babatunde Fowler said.



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Symbols Cadbury Mobil Fidelitybk Lawunion NEM

CP 1.94 1.05 3.15 2.75 5.14

% change 7.78 5.00 5.00 4.96 4.90


Symbols CP Okomuoil 0.38 Omomorbnk 0.80 Presco 2.02 Mcnichols 0.27 NB 0.28

% change -9.52 -9.09 -7.34 -6.90 -6.67


Thursday, MArch 16, 2018

I&E Window Records $37bn Forex Inflow In 11 Months

Seen as one of the successes of the CBN, the I&E window The Nigeria Autonomous according to analyst and traders Foreign Exchange (NAFEX) in the forex market has brought window also known as more transparency to the market Importers and Exporters (I&E) which uses a market determined window has since its inception rate. This year alone, the I&E in April last year seen an inflow window has seen close to (Points) 42,839.52 of $37.5 billion as analysts and $10 billion inflow as weekly (Numbers) 5,220 players in the market say they average trade on the window (Numbers million) 373.52 expect the inflow to remain has been around $1 billion in steady before political activities recent times. According to the (Nbillion) 6.85 commence. The NAFEX chief executive and managing (Ntrn) 15.325 also known as the Investors’ director of Cowry Assets and Exporters’ window was Management Limited, Johnson introduced by the Central Bank Chukwu, the rising level of the of Nigeria (CBN) in the height foreign reserves of the country of the foreign exchange crisis is also a contributory factor as anyway to increase forex to the growing confidence in well managed financial a result of classification inflow and help converge rates. the country that has led to the institutions in Nigeria. The of a single exposure the Nigerian bank’s gross earnings for within the year grew to N419.2 Te l e c o m m u n i c a t i o n s billion from N414.6 billion Industry. However, nonreported in the December performing loans moderate Trust Bank and Stanbic IBTC. 2016; driven primarily by to 4.6 per cent, which is BY OLUSHOLA BELLO, Lagos growth in interest income below regulatory threshold. The Nigerian equities market Similarly, market breadth closed as well as e-payment The managing director/chief yesterday fell by 0.54 per cent negative, recording 15 gainers revenues. Profit after tax executive officer, Guaranty on renewed profit taking. In against 42 losers. CI Leasing stood at N170.47 billion, Trust Bank, Mr. Segun summary, the All Share Index led the gainers table by 7.78 per representing a growth of Agbaje, said, “2017 was a (ASI) shed 233.93 absolute cent to close at N1.94, Livestock 28.87 per cent over N132.28 pivotal year for the bank. We points, representing a growth of and UAC Property followed billion recorded in the delivered a strong result in 0.54 per cent to close at 42,839.52 with a gain of five per cent each corresponding year ended a challenging environment; points. Similarly, the market to close at N1.05 and N3.15 per December 2016. However, achieving record growth capitalisation shed N76 billion, share, respectively. Also, NEM the bank’s loan book in earnings, carefully to close at N15.325 trillion. The Insurance went up by 4.96 per dipped by 8.9 per cent from managing cost margins and downturn was impacted by losses cent to close at N2.75 and Fidson N1.590 trillion recorded leveraging our digital-first recorded in medium and large rose by 4.90 per cent to close at as at December 2016 to customer-centric strategy to capitalised stocks, amongst which N5.14 per share. On the other N1.449trillion in December deliver world-class services are; Nestle, Total, Dangote Sugar, hand, Lasaco Assurance led the 2017 while customer that are simple, cheap and Cadbury and Nascon and Allied laggards’ table by 9.52 per cent deposits increased by 3.8 easily accessible.” He Products. Stocks market analysts to close at 38 kobo per share. per cent to N2.062trillion further stated that “the attributed yesterday’s loss to Japaul Oil trailed with a loss of from N1.986trillion in result demonstrates the weight shed in big capitalised 9.09 per cent to close at 80 kobo, strength banking stocks despite positive while Diamond Bank declined December 2016. The bank’s fundamental balance sheet remained of our franchise as well results declared by Guaranty by 7.34 per cent to close at N2.02 per share. Multiverse Mining strong with a 3.9 per cent as the progress we are growth in total assets and making in transforming contingents of N3.845 our organization into a trillion and shareholders’ platform on which our funds of N625.2 billion. customers could build their In terms of assets quality, businesses, connect with NPL ratio increased to their consumers and access 7.7 per cent in December all the resources that they 2017 from 3.7 per cent in need to make their lives December 2016 largely as better.” BY BUKOLA IDOWU, Lagos


GTBank Declares N71bn Dividend On N170bn PAT BY OLUSHOLA BELLO, Lagos

Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) Plc has recorded a net profit of N170.47 billion for the year ended December 31, 2017, sustaining a positive growth trajectory in spite of the tough macroeconomic and banking environment. The board of directors of the bank said it has recommended distribution of N70.63 billion to shareholders as final cash dividend. This brings the total dividend for the 2017 business year to N79.46 billion. The bank had earlier paid interim dividend of N8.83 billion. With this, shareholders would receive a final dividend per share of N2.40, in addition to interim dividend of 30 kobo, bringing total dividend per share for the 2017 business year to N2.70 per share. A review of the results released on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), yesterday, showed positive performance across all financial indices, reaffirming the bank’s position as one of the most profitable and

steady inflow of forex on the window. The external reserves of the country has so far risen to $46 billion according to figures given by the CBN earlier in the week. Data released by the Financial Market Dealers Quotations (FMDQ) show that total value traded at the I&E forex Window in January 2018 settled at $5.25 billion, an increase of 36.87 per cent or $1.41 billion compared to the $3.87 billion value recorded in December 2017. The inflow however dropped in February by 25.71 per cent $3.90 billion, bringing the total value traded at the Window in the first two months to $9.15 billion.

Equities Market Shed 0.54% and Exploration dipped by 6.90 per cent to close at 27 kobo, while Courtville Business Solution went down by 6.67 per cent, to close at 28 kobo per share. Also, total volume traded declined by 8.43 per cent to 373.52 million shares, valued at N6.85 billion, and exchanged in 5,220 deals. Transactions in the shares of Fidelity Bank topped the activity chart with 45.8 million shares valued at N131.49 million. Zenith Bank traded 36.34 million shares worth N1.11 billion and FBN Holdings transacted 34.11 million shares valued at N388.95 million. Mansard Insurance followed with 25.26 million shares worth N69.73 million, while FCMB Groups traded 25 million shares valued at N63.34 million.

Stanbic IBTC Reports 70% Increase In Profit After Tax In 2017 year gross earnings came in at N212.434 billion versus Stanbic IBTC Holdings has N156.425 billion disclosed said its profit after tax for the in the year before, indicating year ended December 31, a growth of 35.81 per cent. 2017 rose by 69.64 per cent. Similarly, loans from The Holdings Company’s customers rose to N753.64 result released on the billion, representing a growth Nigerian Stock Exchange of 34.35 percent in compared (NSE), yesterday reviewed to N560.97 billion recorded that on a year-on-year basis, in 2016, while loan and Stanbic IBTC Holdings’ advances to customers stood net profit witnessed a major at N372.088 billion from jump to N48.381 billion N352.965 billion in 2016. as against N25.165 billion The holdings company’s disclosed in 2016. The total assets rose to N1.20 company also recorded an trillion from N1.05 trillion earnings per share of N4.60 in December 2016, while under the period review from net interest income grew by N2.50 in corresponding 44.47 percent to N83.587 period of 2016. Also, the billion compared to N57.859 it declared a final dividend billion in the previous year. of 50 kobo per share or a Non-interest revenue shot total of N5.025 billion. The up to N89.182 billion, a company also paid an interim 30.78 percent increase dividend of N6 billion or from N68.194 billion in 60 kobo per share. The full 2016. Recently, the chief BY OLUSHOLA BELLO, LAGOS

executive officer, of Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Mr. Yinka Sanni said, “Stanbic IBTC’s progress over the period is impressive in many areas and in particular, we are delighted with our ranking following the latest release of KPMG Banking Industry Customer Satisfaction Survey, which showed our retail banking business improving in ranking from the fourth position to the third position and our corporate banking business improving from the 10th position to the fourth position. This is wellaligned with our strategy to drive customer-centricity. “The group will continue to explore opportunities to grow our business and market share responsibly through the adoption of an appropriate risk appetite and excellent service delivery.”

L-R : Managing director/chief executive of First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Mr. Adam Nuru and governor of Kwara State, Alhaji (Dr.) Abdulfatah Ahmed, during a courtesy visit by the management of FCMB to Governor Ahmed in Ilorin, Kwara State,yesterday.

FAAN To Deploy CCTV At Major Airports BY ANTHONY AWUNOR, Lagos

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has said that plans have reached advanced stage to procure mobile Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras at the airside of major airports across the country. The agency said that with the procurement of the mobile cameras and improvement on perimeter fencing patrol, the era of airport incursions by unscrupulous elements would be a thing of the past in the

industry. The managing director of FAAN, Engr. Saleh Dunoma, disclosed this to journalists on Tuesday, while having a chat with journalists at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos. Dunoma said that the mobile CCTV cameras would cover a distance of seven kilometers and could sight even long distances at night. He also agreed that security had been the major challenge confronting the global aviation industry, stressing that as some of the challenges are tackled,

the perpetrators of the act also designed new ways to beat security. He, however, reiterated the readiness of the management to tackle the menace headlong by procuring latest security equipment at all airports. The FAAN MD insisted that some of the facilities were already procured and installed at most of the airports across the country, but expansion of facilities at these airports made it necessary for FAAN to improve on some of the existing equipment on ground.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

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NEWS/BUSINESS 27 Brent Crude Rises To $64.74pb On Strong China Data @leadershipNGA


L-R: Executive director, Small and Medium Enterprises, Bank of Industry, Mr Waheed Olagunju; founder, I.O Furniture Limited/Moderator, Mrs Muni Shonibare; founder, Ruff ‘n’ Tumble,Adenike Ogunlesi; founder, Things Remembered, Mrs Adeola Omikunle; managing director of Shea Origin Ltd., Mobola Sagoe,and general manager, Large Enterprises, BoI, Mr Leonard Kange,at the International Women’s Day 2018, with the theme: ‘Press for Progress’ organised by Bank of Industry in Lagos, recently. PHOTO BY KOLAWOLE ALIU

We Have Resources To Prosecute Tax Debtors After VAIDS -Fowler BY CHIMA AKWAJA, Lagos

The chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Babatunde Fowler, has warned individuals and corporate entities, who refuse to take advantage of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), that the service has earmarked a bigger sum of money for legal fees in its 2018 budget. Disclosing this in a recent interview, Fowler explained that those under the impression that the government will be fazed by an avalanche of litigations that may arise at the closure of the VAIDS

window on 31 March are mistaken. He also warned that the deadline will not be extended, as many are hoping. He stated that apart from the naming and shaming of tax debtors as well as closure of business premises in the case of companies, those who fail to declare will face prosecution if necessary. “If it takes that (prosecution), we have increased our legal fees in our 2018 Budget. Every tax defaulter will be prosecuted. People say we should use the 80-20 principle, meaning that we focus on those that give us 80 per cent of their taxes,” Fowler said.

The FIRS chairman has also warned that the law demands full compliance and nothing less. “You can say that you are a big taxpayer and you have paid N1 billion and because you have paid N1billion, we should leave N500million you are owing. Meanwhile, somebody who paid N100,000 paid 100 per cent of his tax liabilities, meaning he is hundred per cent compliant. The organisation that paid N1billion and still has N500million left is only 50 per cent compliant. So, what we look at as tax administrators, is the level of compliance,” said Fowler.

NUPENG Backs FG On Total Upgrade Of Local Refineries BY OLAJIDE FABAMISE, Lagos

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has disclosed that it is supporting the total upgrade of the refineries as enunciated by the federal government, saying it will help address the issue of local production, avert fuel shortage, and put an end to arbitrary subsidy payments. President of the union, Igwe Achese stated this yesterday in Lagos, yesterday, warning that the current relief in the supply of petroleum products is only a short respite as the fuel crisis will still

continue. Speaking at the end of the National Executive Council (NEC) and elders meeting t‎ o address the election of the union, Achese said NUPENG’s position is that the federal government should put the refineries back in shape. “The global economic challenges call for nations to look inward and for us as a country with all these challenges, we will only overcome the issue of fuel crisis when we start refining our crude”, he said. Achese who commended Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for its present role in assuaging the problem, maintained that the Muhammadu Buhari’s

administration should take the bull by the horns and ensure that Nigeria returns to the former position of refining her fuel. “We believe that if our refineries begin operation at full capacity, the Dangote refinery gets underway and other modular refinery operating, then we can say there would be total freedom from fuel crisis”, he said. The NUPENG President also condemned the delay in the inauguration of the NSITF board, which the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige said was due to the investigation of alleged fraud against the former board.

Increase In Excise Duty On Tobacco, Alcoholic Products Welcome – CPC BY KINGSLEY ALU, Abuja

The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) on Tuesday identified with the federal government’s recent increase in excise duty on alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, stressing that it would serve as a measure to reduce the risks of abuse and disease. Similarly, the Council also applauded the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s consideration for consumers in “granting a 90-day moratorium, and periodic incremental adjustments to ensure appropriate

balance between personal consumer choices and the public interest.” The Council’s director- general, Babatunde Irukera, who made these assertions in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja, commended “President Muhammadu Buhari for his strong leadership in addressing this vital consumer issue in a manner that is consistent with prevailing global practices.” Irukera stated that though “CPC protects the rights of all consumers, and their prerogative to make personal lifestyle choices,” it however

encourages responsible consumption in all circumstances, particularly of products that may potentially have adverse effects or possibly modify behaviour in a fashion that may be harmful or inconvenient to the consumer, or others. “The Council notes that this policy was the product of consensus pursuant to broad stakeholder engagement and is motivated in large part by the federal government’s desire to reduce the risks of abuse and disease that may be associated with consumption of these products,” he submitted.

Oil prices edged up yesterday after posting two days of declines at the start of the week. Support came from a report that the U.S. crude inventories are not rising as much as expected during the spring season now starting, implying healthy demand, and from strong China data. U.S. West Texas Intermediate, WTI, crude futures were at $60.84 a barrel up 13 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their previous close, just as Brent crude futures were at $64.74 per barrel, up 10 cents, or 0.15 per cent. U.S. crude inventories rose by 1.2 million barrels in the week to March 9, to 428 million barrels, the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday. That compared with analysts’ expectations for an increase of 2 million barrels. Support also came from China, where January-February domestic crude oil production fell 1.9 percent on the year to 30.37 million tonnes,

equivalent to 3.77 million barrels per day (bpd), according to data from the National Statistical Bureau yesterday. At the same time, crude oil throughput rose 7.3 percent to 93.4 million tonnes, implying a need for more imports. China’s industrial output grew 7.2 percent in the first two months of the year compared with the same period last year, beating expectations of a 6.1 percent hike. Despite this, oil markets remain relatively weak. Prices have not returned to their January highs of over $70 per barrel for Brent and almost $67 for WTI. Meanwhile, estimates by the EIA show global supplies will exceed 100 million bpd for the first time in the second quarter of 2018, while demand will only break through that level in the third quarter, implying a slightly oversupplied market. That would be a reversal from a supply deficit in 2017 and early 2018.

Bi-Courtney Assures Arik Of HitchFree Operations From MMA2 BY MARY TITUS, Abuja

Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), operators of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2), has assured the management of Arik Air of seamless passenger facilitation, as the airline begins its scheduled flight operations from the terminal to Port Harcourt International Airport on Saturday. The concessioner stated in a press statement signed by its spokesman, Steve Omolale, yesterday, that with its spacious ticketing and departure hall, as well as modern facilities, such as automated check-in counters, smooth escalators/elevators, waiting ambulance, health facilities, lounges, restaurants and shops, “MMA2 remains a safe, secured and efficient passenger-friendly terminal to provide exceptional services to Arik’s guests to Port Harcourt and the best destination for other flying passengers and

shoppers. We want to assure all the passengers who will be flying Arik Air from this Saturday of seamless facilitation as we welcome all of them to our terminal”. The statement quoted the chief executive officer of BASL, Captain Jari Williams, as expressing delight at the move by Arik, saying MMA2 would continue to offer passengers using the terminal hitch-free facilitation and the ambience that would make their flying experience worth the while. Arik Air had earlier said its flights to and from Port Harcourt International, hitherto operated from the General Aviation Terminal (GAT), will cease from Saturday and resume at 7am at MMA2. Two other flights will follow at 11am and 3pm same day. Omolale said with this move, Arik Air will join Dana, Aero, Med-View, Azman and First Nation airlines, which have been operating scheduled flights from MMA2 over the years.

Firm To Invest $50,000 In SubSaharan African Startups BY KEHINDE SALLAH AND NKECHI NWOKOBIA, Lagos

Visa has said that startups in the firstever Sub-Sahara Visa’s Everywhere Initiative will have the opportunity to compete for a chance to win up to $50,000, access to Visa’s products and services, expert mentorship and support from Visa and exposure to key Visa partners and clients. Andrew Torre, Regional President for CEMEA, Visa said, “in a highly dynamic industry, Visa’s Everywhere Initiative allows us to explore a host of ideas that solve business challenges, influence our product roadmaps, support our customers, and shape our culture of innovation.”

With just 17 per cent of people in Africa having access to formal financial services, almost a third of funding raised by African startups in 2017 was in the Fintech sector. Venture funding for African startups jumped by 51 per cent to R to $195 million in 2017. Geraldine Mitchley, Senior Director for Digital Solutions for Visa Sub Sahara Africa said “with over a hundred million dollars invested over the past ten years alone[1], the region’s Fintech industry is on the brink of a transformative breakthrough, and we believe the time is ripe to bring together its brightest minds and work on the next big idea in payments technology.


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@leadershipNGA Thursday, March 15, 2018

There Is High Premium On Shea Sector Development – FG BY KINGSLEY ALU, Abuja

The federal government has said that it was not leaving any stone unturned in its quest to develop the shea sector especially considering its numerous benefits, to individuals, companies and the national economy. To this end, it disclosed that it was working with stakeholders in the shea value chain to ensure a robust shea commodities export sector. Permanent secretary, ministry, industry, trade and investment, Mr Edet Akpan , gave this assurance while addressing participants to the 11th International Shea Conference in Abuja. Apkan said government was aware of the benefits derivable from the sector and assured that it was committed to building the capacity of those involved in the shea value chain to produce high quality shea butter for domestic and foreign markets. While noting that 25,000 metric tons of shea nuts are produced every year, Akpan said government was very much interested in the outcomes of the conference for onward implementation and therefore encouraged would-be investors in the industry to take advantage of

the high quality shea nuts produced in the country. Stating that Nigeria would continue to double efforts to create a very conducive environment for everybody, Apkan said the Buhari-led administration was committed to the diversification of the country’s economy and therefore challenged participants to the conference to deliberate and agree on common grounds towards the development of the shea sector. Also speaking on the sidelines of the event, the deputy governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Bello, said the state government was harnessing the production of shea in and around the state; a move he added would ensure there was quality acceptable in the international market. “Initially, everyone produced from their locations and then bring to the market but right now, we are harmonising it in such a way that they can produce it in a factory. “We are presently doing this in Kebbi, Kwara and Niger States so as to have a satisfied recognition globally. After the conference, the take home for us is to go back and harness with our stakeholders to formulate an action template for future purposes,” he said.

Concurring, an exhibitor from Benue State and CEO Oracle Star Sheabutter, Mr Gwar Samuel, noted that the demand for shea butter at the international arena was very high but Nigerian exporters have the challenge of quality and poor level of mechanisation needed for optimum production. “Shea butter has standard and a process of processing, most times our products are returned to us due to lack of quality but if we have the machineries to produce at international quality, we can compete,” he said. President of National Shea Products Association of Nigeria (NASPAN),Jibril Bokani, also complained of the inconsistency in the quality of shea products produced in the country. “There is no uniformity and Nigeria is vast. Niger State is doing its best in shea. We need other collaboration from other shea producing states. “Without uniform in quality across board, there are serious challenges. We want all the Shea producing states to be involved. We have only three to four states in the country that are serious with Shea production.

Manufacturers Lose N1bn To Fake Imported Cables – Uzodike BY TAIWO OMILANI, Lagos

The President of Cable Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (CAMAN), Mr. Ifeanyi Uzodike has disclosed that the association lost N1 billion to the influx of fake cables into the country. He disclosed this at a meeting held with the director-general of Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Osita Aboloma at its head office in Lagos. Uzodike, who is also the chief executive officer, Cutix Plc, explained that major markets in Nigeria are flooded with substandard wires and cables that do not meet both national and International standards. He said:”The presence of such wires and cables in our markets is growing at an alarming rate and there appears to be no visible attempt to curb this menace.” He also called on the federal government through the Federal Ministry of industry, Trade and investment to support SON to eradicate fake cables through constant monitoring of markets and destruction of substandard cables. CAMAN also lamented that they have not been contacted

as stakeholders to contribute to the formulation of local content policy, which is meant to protect the industry. “Our submission is that any local content policy, which does not take into consideration inputs from stakeholders cannot be a good policy”, it said. In his contribution, managing director of Coleman Cables and Wires, George Onafowokan emphasised that SON must do everything possible to eliminate fake cables from Nigerian markets. “Let SON, during its market survey, destroy cables that are not 100 meters, he said. The association therefore presented to SON a brand new Toyota Hilux vehicle as part of its support to them in carrying out the enormous duties of protecting land borders, sea ports and markets. CAMAN also raised concern over the fake cables seized by SON in 2017, saying that the cables should have been destroyed instead of being kept. In his response, Bede Obayi who represented the directorgeneral of SON, called for support of CAMAN members, saying that all hands must be on deck to win the war against fake cables.

Nigeria Reviews Soft Drink Standards ...Develops standards for energy, ginger drinks BY KINGSLEY ALU, Abuja

L - R - Brand Manager,“33” Export & Stout NB Plc., Oluseun Lawal; Former Big Brother Naija Housemates, Iwuchukwu Marianne Ahneeka; Awotarigha Angel ; Marketing Director NB Plc., Franco Maria Maggi, and Portfolio Manager - Mainstream, Lager and Stout brands NB Plc., Emmanuel Agu, during a Courtesy at the Nigerian Breweries Head Quarters, Courtesy of Legend Extra Stout in Lagos. PHOTO BY KOLAWOLE ALIU.

We Can’t Determine Level Of Local Raw Materials Sourcing – MAN BY TAIWO OMILANI, Lagos

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has said it could not determine the level of local raw materials sourcing by its members, saying it would try to get the statistics. This was said by its president, Frank

Jacobs, at a press conference held recently in Lagos on the 2018 Nigeria Manufacturing Equipment (NME) Expo. According to him, after the last event, his members talked about how much value they got because it opened their eyes to available raw materials in the country.

Similarly, he added that the Expo which hosted 2600 manufacturing experts from all over the globe at inception in 2016 , has not only grown to become a leading international exhibition, recording 3700 participants last year, but has also made great impact on the Nigerian economy.

We Have Impacted Food Industry – RMRDC BY TAIWO OMILANI, Lagos

The Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) has impacted food industry by reducing drastically the importation of raw materials into the country and also encouraging local content. This statement was disclosed by the director, Investment Consultancy Services department, Dr. Zainab

Hammanga, at a press conference held in Lagos. According to her, the local content aspect was the Council’s main focus. She stressed further that some few years ago, fruit juice packages coming into the country and the juice contained mostly water and little concentrates. “You will recall that in those days, we were importing the water as well as the fruit concentrates but with time,

with the encouragement of our farmers to produce more fruits and also the local industries that are producing fruit juice, we have been able to reduce the level of importation to the extent that some of these local companies use their own concentrates using our oranges and pineapple. Our aim is to continue to reduce import of raw materials for all our industries to use what we have in the country,” she added.

The need for Nigeria to generate her own data on benzene level in soft drinks in order to arrive at a safe maximum level of benzoic acid or opt for alternative preservatives has been re-emphasised. This was contained in a welcome address by the director - general, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mr. Osita Aboloma, to the technical committee meeting on water, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks held in Abuja. Represented by the technical assistant to the DG, Dr. Barth Ugwu, the SON chief executive said standards development and review were targeted among others at ensuring the health and safety of consumers, as guide to manufacturers and Importers, as well as to promote fair trade practices. He emphasized the importance of the five draft standards to be considered by the committee, stressing that they involved products that were consumed widely and frequently by the generality of people across all age and economic strata. The draft standards include standard for soft drinks (for review), others to be developed are standard for energy drinks, standard for ginger drinks, standard for sparkling fruit drinks, standard for fruit squashes,

concentrate and fruit cordial concentrates. Energy drink according to him, is one of the most highly consumed non-alcoholic drinks by between 30-50 per cent of youths and adolescents, stating that in recent times, adverse health effects were being attributed to the rate of consumption of the drinks due to the caffeine and sugar contents in them. This according to the SON DG, underscores reason for the elaboration of the standard for energy drinks. Aboloma charged the technical committee members to exercise great diligence in carrying out their task towards achieving the objective of setting standards that would adequately prescribe good quality and food safety requirements in line with international best practices. Participants in the technical committee meeting include representatives of Federal Ministry of Health, NAFDAC, Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), Association of Food, Beverages and Tobacco Employers (AFBTE), Nigeria Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST), Institute of Public Analysts of Nigeria (IPAN) and Consumer Protection Council (CPC) as well as major manufacturers of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages in Nigeria.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

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Vandalism: Army Offers Support To Eko DisCo BY CHIKA IZUORA, Lagos

Agbami deep water field

Agbami Field Boosting Local Capacity In Deepwater Exploration The $3.5billion Agbami oilfield project is Nigeria’s largest deepwater development located in OPL blocks 216 and 217. The field’s development has so far provided opportunities for local fabrication in the nation’s oil and gas industry, writes CHIKA IZUORA.


s Nigeria progresses in its quest to acquire oil and gas technology and build indigenous capacity to service the oil and gas industry, International Oil Companies (IOCs) and other companies are expected to play an active role in Nigerian Content Development (NCD) in the industry. One company that had imbibed the local/Nigerian content development philosophy well before the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act (NOGICD Act) was enacted by the Government, is the NNPC Chevron, joint venture. The Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), Operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)/ CNL Joint Venture, is at the forefront of promoting Nigeria’s ideals of economic and social development. Over the years, the JV has continued to add value and partner with Nigeria as it commits itself to the vision of being the global energy company most admired for its people partnership and performance. A key deepwater exploration by Chevron, the Agbami project has also set industry standards by fabricating more than 10,000 tonnes of steel with Nigerian fabrication companies, the highest ever recorded in Nigeria. Interestingly too the JV Chevron plays an active role in the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), working closely with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and legislators on NCD issues. Chevron has a four-prong approach to NCD – which is inspired by the commitment to ensuring Nigerian entrepreneurs (both at the community and state levels) acquire the right competencies and capabilities to compete for business opportunities with their contemporaries at national and international levels. The approach includes: selection of qualified local contractors; facilitation of partnerships and alliances between indigenous companies and foreign firms; capacity building; and devel-

opment of local competencies. Chairman/managing director, CNL, Jeff Ewing, explained the company’s stance on NCD thus, “At Chevron Nigeria Limited, we demonstrate our commitment to the socio-economic development of Nigeria by building mutually-beneficial partnerships, and supporting the policies of government on Nigerian Content Development. We have helped in building the capacities of several Nigerian businesses by allocating substantial scopes of our major capital projects to Nigerian companies. Chevron is also helping to grow the Nigerian economy by contributing to the development of communities in the areas of our operation. We do all this, not just because it is required by the law, but because it is the right thing to do.” The various areas in which Chevron implements the NOGICD Act in Nigeria include human capacity development, facility fabrication, construction and installations. Others include support for facility acquisition, facilitation of partnerships between local and foreign contractors, and provision of opportunities for local community contractors through work scope allocation in Chevron’s major capital projects in Nigeria. On human capacity development, Chevron completed construction training for 161 Nigerians on welding, fabrication and craft at Nigerdock facility, Snake Island, Lagos for its Sonam Development Project. Also on the Agbami Phase 3 Development Project, Chevron sponsored four Nigerian engineers for subsea engineering training in France in partnership with NCDMB and Technip Offshore Nigeria Limited. The training also included two visits to manufacturing plants in France and Norway. Chevron is currently training six young Nigerian engineers in subsea engineering at FMC Technologies facility, Federal Ocean Terminal (FOT) Onne, Rivers State. In addition, five Nigerian engineering graduates sponsored by CNL, also completed subsea training at Marine Platforms Limited in Port Harcourt. One of

the trainees was offered full-time employment with Marine Platforms Limited (MPL) as a Marine Cadet. CNL’s accomplishments in human capital development include training 14 earth science graduates in two batches under the 12-month skills acquisition programme initiated by NCDMB. CNL also offered scholarships to Nigerian seamen for dynamic positioning training at PEM Offshore Limited, a marine training facility with a contract worth $1 million and collaborated with NCDMB to assist over 600 community graduates to register in the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Joint Qualification System (NOGIC JQS). CNL also awarded a $180,000 contract to a local consulting firm, Lonadek Nigeria Limited, to develop and pilot an industry-first capacity building initiative for drilling and completion professionals. On fabrication, construction and installation, Chevron facilitated the assembly by FMC Technologies of the first assembled-in-Nigeria Subsea Horizontal Xmas Tree and the fabrication in Nigeria of Agbami production manifolds for the Agbami Phase 3 Project by FMC Technologies/Aveon Offshore Nigeria Limited. Chevron also facilitated the safe, timely and successful installation of subsea equipment like flexible flowlines, umbilicals and jumpers on Agbami Phase 3 project by a Nigerian Contractor – Marine Platforms Limited. It is on record that CNL facilitated the fabrication and load out of Offshore Platform Topsides and Bridge Connection for the Sonam Non-Associated Gas Well Platform (NWP) by Nigerdock Plc.; the fabrication and load-out of the Okan PRP Topsides; Bridge Fabrication of Okan PRP jacket by Globestar in partnership with Idmon Engineering and Construction Co. Limited; Installation of 32km 24” Sonam to Okan NWP pipeline by West African Ventures Limited; and the coating of the pipes used for the Sonam Development Project and Escravos Export System Project (EESP) by Pipe Coaters Nigeria Limited. Executive secretary, NCDMB, Engr.

Simbi Kesiye Wabote, highlighted Chevron’s NCD achievements during the recent passing out ceremony of earth science graduate-interns that were trained by Chevron. He stated, “In terms of fabrication, Chevron has done a lot. I am sure you heard about the Sonam project which was done in Nigeria. A lot of the fabrication happened here, a lot of the engineers that were on that project are Nigerians. You also hear about the pipeline project Chevron is currently executing - the contractors are Nigerians and most of the vessels that are deployed for that project are owned by Nigerians. So, I think human capacity development-wise they (CNL) have done a lot on fabrication as well as logistic services and trickling that down to community participation in their operations. “They (CNL) have a very robust system which I think the rest of industry should try to emulate which is the GMoU process. That has been a game changer in the community/IOC relationship. They started it and I am sure other companies like Shell, Agip and others have also latched on to the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU). So, the contribution has been phenomenal and I think we can break that down even into value that is domiciled in-country in terms of amount of money that is spent on projects and number of Nigeria contractors that have benefitted from Chevron’s operations. I think the testimony is endless I must say …. So, I think that Chevron is perhaps a shining star amongst a lot.” Chevron’s commitment to Nigerian Content development did not start today. The Agbami project set industry standards by fabricating more than 10,000 tonnes of steel with Nigerian fabrication companies, the highest ever recorded in Nigeria. Chevron also trained 105 Nigerian engineers from 21 engineering companies in South Korea. The Escravos Gas Project (EGP) has employed over 1,800 Nigerians and sourced millions of Dollars’ worth of services (engineering, procurement, fabrication, marine etc.) locally.

The campaign by Eko Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) against energy theft, vandalism of its equipment and violent attack and harassment of its staff has received a big boost following promise of support for the campaign by the Nigerian army. Giving the promise of support on behalf of the army was the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division of Nigerian Army in Lagos, Major General Enobong Okon Udoh , when the management of Eko Disco led by the MD/CEO of the company Engr. Adeoye Fadeyibi , paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Lagos. According to Gen. Udoh, though the responsibility of protecting electricity equipment and staff of the distribution company against violent attack and harassment does not primarily belong to the army, the army could still support the campaign by facilitating synergy between the company and other security agencies especially the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSDC) and the Nigerian police. Speaking further, Gen. Udoh said although EKEDC was now a private company, the services it renders was public -’oriented adding that protecting electricity facilities against vandalism was for the socio-economic development of the country.

Marine Engineering Centre Takes Off In Nigeria BY CHIKA IZUORA, Lagos

The Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Marine Engineering and Offshore Technology established by the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC)operated joint venture at the Rivers State University (RSU) is set to open its doors to the pioneer students who are currently being screened in an elaborate admission process. More than 100 candidates had applied in response to newspaper advertisements, and the shortlisted ones are being screened and interviewed preparatory to commencement of studies in April. “We continue to thank NNPC and SPDC for being part of our success story at the university. “We are very happy that the centre has taken off, and we congratulate NNPC, SPDC and the other joint venture partners for what they have done for the university,” RSU vice chancellor, Professor Blessing Didia, said at the start of the admission interviews.


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Thursday, March 15, 2018

IPMAN Tasks NNPC On Steady Supply Of Petroleum Products NAN

L-R: Director, Eauxwell Nigeria Limited, Chibuzo Enwegbara; director, New Market Development, Trojan Battery company, Ganesh Balasubramanian and director, Eauxwell Nigeria Limited, Edwin Enwegbara, during the official launch of Trojan Solar in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO BY KOLAWOLE ALIU.

Mambilla, Zungeru Benefit From China’s $226bn Energy Funding BY CHIKA IZUORA, Lagos

Nigeria’s Mambilla hydroelectric plant at Gembu in Taraba State and Zungeru hydropower plant on the Kaduna River in Niger State are among the beneficiaries of two Chinese development banks’ huge energy funding initiatives in the emerging markets, a study by Boston University has revealed. The Mambilla hydroelectric plant was co-financed with the Nigerian government and it is the second hydroelectric dam the Chinese development banks invested in, with the most recent being the 2013 loan to the Zungeru hydropower plant on the Kaduna River. China Development Bank (CDB) and China Export-Import Bank (CHEXIM) loaned $25.6 billion in global energy projects alone last year compared to the $22.6 billion, the emerging markets lending arm of the World Bank, known as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) provided in financing across project lines..

According the study released this week, China’s two development banks reportedly spent more money on global energy projects than IBRD. IBRD is the world’s largest development bank. Energy is China’s favorite pet project. In 2016, the Chinese lent $47.3 billion to global energy projects. The average over the last three years between 2013 and 2016, was $28.7 billion. The number of loans and recipients rose, but the amount the Chinese banks took on has shrunk. Much of this is due to earlier investments that are still ongoing, including those in Brazilian and Russian oil and gas. Their two development banks have loaned out nearly $225.8 billion worldwide since 2000. Brazil was the second largest recipient with $5 billion in energy deals, trailing the $5.2 billion sent to Pakistan. Hydropower and oil were the top two investments made by the Chinese banks. Although the numbers are much higher than what the World Bank lends out

worldwide for development initiatives, the two Chinese policy banks have scaled back. The declines in Chinese development finance in the energy sector are concentrated in significant reductions in new extractive activities and in energy transmission and distribution systems, according to BU researchers from the Global Development Policy Centre. What is somewhat masked in the data for 2017 is that there has been an increase in the dollar amount of loans in the power sector which almost tripled relative to 2016 and is also higher than the average from 2013 to 2016. The majority of the total, and the increase is in hydroelectric power plants, with one large one in Pakistan, plus seven new dams receiving financial support from China. The dollar amount of coal financing increased, though the number of coal projects decreased in 2017, as only three new coal power plants were reported. Four were financed in 2016 and there has been an average of five Chinese funded coal projects funded per year since 2000.

Zungeru Hydro Power Plant 45% Complete - FG BY FESTUS OKOROMADU, Abuja

The federal government yesterday said the Zungeru Hydro Power Plant currently under construction by the Chinese company EEC/SinoHydro was 45 per cent complete. Consequently, the 700MW project’s initial completion date is expected towards the end of 2019. Speaking to journalists during a site visit to the project in Zungeru, Niger State, deputy director, Energy Resources, Ministry of Power, Works & Housing, Engr. Ola-

tubosun Owoeye, said six turbines would be installed. According to him, the project when completed would not only increase power generation but equally improve the economic activities of host communities. Owoeye stated that agricultural activities of the region would be enhanced as the dam would provide irrigation for all year farming. The Zungeru Hydro Power Plant is a joint project of the federal government and the Chinese government at a financial contribution ratio of 25/75 per cent

respectively. Owoeye however noted that unless the national assembly approved the funds appropriated for the dam the project might be delivered. On his part, the project’s local content representative, Mustapha Yerima, said the relationship with the community has improved as 36 settlements had been planned for the inhabitants of the affected community. According to him, the settlements would have schools, healthcare centers, markets, and water facility.

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) on Wednesday urged the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to intensify the distribution of petroleum products to western depots, to address shortage in the hinterlands. Chairman, IPMAN Western Zone, Alhaji Debo Ahmed, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, against the backdrop of the inability of IPMAN members to import petrol into the country. Ahmed, however, commended the NNPC on frequent supply of petrol, but said the distribution was still not enough for the zone. According to him, some depots within the western zone had begun to receive massive supply of petroleum products

from the NNPC, which independent marketers enjoy loading at ease to the hinterlands. “The supply of petrol to depots has improved grossly in the western zone. We appeal to NNPC to maintain the tempo. “All depots within the western zone now sell petroleum products at government-regulated prices, compared to when petrol was sold above ex-depot prices. “We, the marketers, under the western zone, commend the management of NNPC for addressing the petroleum distribution challenges to depots in the zone. “Government has set the pace for steady supply of petroleum products across the country,’’ he said. Ahmed lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for his concern in easing fuel distribution and supply to every part of the country.

ACCI , Tunisian Business Community Partner To Boost Regional Trade BY MBAKAAN KWEN, Abuja

The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has partnered Tunisian business community to boost regional trade to boast regional trade. Speaking at a business forum between the two partners yesterday in Abuja, the president of ACCI , Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, reiterated the commitment of the ACCI to ensure that the abundant opportunities in the continent were harnessed for the full benefits of the business community. “The Nigeria-Tunisia business forum offers another platform for strengthening of trade relations between our two friendly nations which will also go a long way in boosting regional commercial ties among African countries. As we move forward toward stronger economic relationships, I want to invite and encourage the Tunisian companies to seize the highly lucrative opportunities for investment in Nigeria in areas like integrated animal husbandry agriculture, industrial parks, hotels and tourism development and particularly the Abuja International Trade and

Convention Centre,” he said. Buttressing his point, Kayode pointed out that when the memorandum of understanding that has been signed begins to materialise, significant progress would have been made. “We would continue to open doors of opportunities for you by officially informing you about our activities and other business people in this country who would want to do business with you in areas of your strength such as agriculture, automobile, manufacturing, education, hospitality among other. In no distant future, we hope to establish aviation link between you and Abuja,” he added. On his part, the vice president of Tunisian Union of Industry, Trade and Handcrafts (UTICA), Mr. Hichem Elloumi , emphasized the delegation has come and now gotten first-hand information on the great opportunities and good climate Nigeria is endowed with. He stressed that both countries have a lot to benefit from each other and called on the organised private sector in both countries to ensure that the relationship was sustained across the sectors both countries are interested in.

How We Are Supporting Nigerian Economy- Ethiopian Airlines BY TARKAA DAVID, Abuja

Ethiopian Airlines has disclosed how it has been supporting the Nigerian transport sector to build the nation's economy. The general manager, Ethiopian airlines, Mrs Trehiwot

Mekonnen, made the disclosure at a workshop organised by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport with the theme 'Building Capacity for Efficient Logistics and Transport Services in Africa' held in Abuja, yesterday. The general manager, who

was represented at the event by the Traffic and Sales manager, Mr Tilahun Tadesse, said the airline offers a competitive price compared to its products. He said the airline, which flies to five destinations in the country, has brought about a

good connection to the Nigerian people in terms of developing the transport sector. He said: "We are working hard to support the Nigerian economy in the aspect of transportation, we are flying to five destinations in Nigeria which means we are bringing

good connection to Nigerian people. Bringing more connections means we are supporting the economy in terms of transportation development.’’ He also explained that the Ethiopian airlines fare is cheaper compared to other

airlines with the same product. "Our price is very cheap compared to our products,’’ he said. He further stated that the airline has a good share of the Nigerian market in business and economy class which is relatively cheap.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Leadership Newspapers



Nigeria’s Debt Profile Hits N21.7trn In 2017 – DMO Senate Probes BoI Over that Nigeria’s debt continues to be sus- 2016, while domestic debt was 73.36 per $200m NCIF Fund tainable and well within the threshold of cent, down from 79.96 per cent in 2016.


Nigeria’s total debt profile increased by 25 per cent to N21.7 trillion at the end of December 2017, the Debt Management Office (DMO) revealed yesterday. The nation’s public debt was N17.36 trillion at the end of 2016. The director-general, DMO, Ms Patience Oniha, disclosed this at a press briefing in Abuja, yesterday. The figures showed that domestic debt for the federal government stood at N12.589 trillion, while domestic debt of States and the FCT was N3.348 trillion. The external debt of the federal government, States and the FCT according to the DMO, was N5.787 trillion. The total public debt as at December 31, 2017 was N21.725 trillion. Also, the total public debt as at December 31, 2017 represents 18.20 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP for 2017. “This shows

56 per cent for countries in Nigeria’s peer group,” Oniha said. According to the DMO, the borrowings were for financing capital expenditure and stimulating the economy. The funds injected through the borrowings strongly supported the implementation of the federal government’s budget which helped the country to exit recession in 2017. The debt office said the federal government had adopted a new Debt Management Strategy, which has the objective of reducing the ratio of domestic debt in the portfolio, while the ratio of external debt increased – with a target of 60 per cent domestic and 40 per cent external. It also stated that the composition of the debt stock as at the end of 2017 showed that external debt was 26.64 per cent of the portfolio, up from 20.04 per cent in

The debt office said that the federal government has commenced moves to raise $2.5 billion through issuance of Eurobonds in the first quarter of 2018 alone to refinance domestic debt. “The DMO repaid N198 billion Nigerian Treasury Bills in December 2017 with the proceeds of Eurobond issuances and the DMO has continued further implementation of the strategy in 2018, with the issuance of the USD2.5 billion Eurobonds in February 2018, the proceeds of which is being used to repay maturing domestic debt, starting with N130 billion NTBs repaid on March 1, 2018,” it said yesterday. Also speaking at the briefing, director, portfolio management Office, Oladele Afolabi said the borrowings were for financing capital expenditure and stimulating the economic.


The Senate yesterday revealed that it was investigating the Bank of Industry (BoI) over the handling and investment of $200million Nigeria Content Development Fund (NCIF) domiciled in the bank. The sum, according to declarations by Senate, was meant for the development of local content capacity for Nigerian firms and communities engaged in the oil and gas industry. The Upper Chamber said the agreement over domiciliary of the fund, was entered into between the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and BOI but was not properly sealed with legal proofs. Consequently, Senate requested among other documents, the copy of investment agreement from where BOI made investments, list of companies that benefitted from the invested fund, copy of the BOI Charter together with duly

dated and sealed agreement between BOI and NCDMB. This was unraveled at a meeting between the Senate Committee on Local Content with the management of BOI and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB). It was disclosed that the fund, accrued from a 1% deduction from all oil and gas contracts in Nigeria, based on the provisions of Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, 2010. Chairman of the committee, Senator Solomon Adeola (APC, Lagos West) said it was a surprise that the agreement over the fund between NCDMB and BOI was only merely signed but undated. He noted that the situation is possible to render any provision in agreement unenforceable. However, the managing director of BOI, Mr. Kayode Pitan insisted that the agreement was signed and sealed with original proofs and that the bank can provide it if need be.

NESG Calls For Special Intervention Fund On Mass Housing Devt BY CHIKA OKEKE, Abuja

L – R: Executive director, Regulation, The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Tinuade Awe, presenting a replica of closing gong to the managing director, Wapic Insurance Plc., Yinka Adekoya, during a Closing Gong Ceremony in commemoration of 60th anniversary of Wapic Insurance Plc at the Exchange in Lagos, yesterday.

Inflation Drops Further To 14.33% In February – NBS BY BUKOLA IDOWU, Lagos

The rate at which prices of goods and services rise in the country is on the decline as the Consumer Price Index dropped for the 13th consecutive month to 14.33 per cent in February on the back of lower food inflation, moving closer to the single digit target. Food inflation which had risen to 18.92 per cent in January slowed to 17.59 per cent in February according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) report for February released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) yesterday. Analysts say they expect inflation to drop to single digit this year before it picks up again on the back of rising election spending. The NBS report showed that inflation was 14.33 per cent year on year in February, moderating from 15.13 per cent in January. This 13th consecutive disinflation since January 2017 is 0.8 percent points less than the rate recorded in January 2018 (15.13) percent. On a month-on-month basis, the Headline index increased by 0.79 percent in February 2018, down by 0.01 percent points from the rate recorded in January. Food inflation rose by 17.59 per

cent, lower than the 18.92 per cent recorded in January. Meanwhile, similar to the previous month, the highest increase was recorded in the prices of bread and cereals, vegetables, potatoes, yam and other tubers, coffee, tea and cocoa, milk, cheese and eggs, and fish. Also, on month on month basis, food inflation increased at a slower pace of 0.85 per cent, compared to the 0.87 per cent recorded in the previous month. Core inflation was 11.7 per cent year on year during the review period, compared to 12.10 per cent in January. The highest increases were reported in the prices of fuel and lubricants for personal transport and transport equipment, vehicle spare parts, narcotics, clearing, hospital services, maintenance and repair of personal transport equipment, repair and hire of clothing, and passenger travel by air. On a month on month basis, the core index increased at a faster pace of 0.75 per cent, seven basis points above the 0.68 per cent reported in January. According to the NBS, the percentage change in the average composite CPI for the twelve month period ending February 2018 over the average of the CPI for the previous

twelve month period was 15.93 percent, showing 0.29 percent point lower from 16.22 percent recorded in January 2018. Price movements recorded by All Items less farm produce or Core subindex increased by 11.7 percent (yearon-year) in February 2018, down by 0.4 percent points from the rate recorded in January (12.10) percent.

The Infrastructure Policy Commission (IPC) of Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) has advocated the need for Nigeria to develop a special intervention fund that would help to subsidise the cost of mass housing development. This is even as the group rejected the current 17 million housing deficit adding that one of the cardinal responsibility of government is to guarantee the security and welfare of the people. Member of the Committee, Engr. Kashim Ali who disclosed this yesterday when he led members on a courtesy visit to Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) headquarter in Abuja noted that ‘citizens cannot be said to be secured when they lay under the bridge’. He noted that the essence of the visit is to seek for effective

collaboration with FMBN since it’s the foremost institution on mortgages and housing delivery in Nigeria. According to him, “We also want you to consider the recommendations made in the last NESG summit especially the ones that concerns the urban and housing development sector”. Ali who is the president of Council for the Registration of Engineers in Nigeria (COREN) further sought FMBN backing in enacting laws on titling, foreclosure and construction of housing projects. He noted that such laws should be protect investors, developers and home buyers. The managing director of FMBN, Arch Musa Ahmed Dangiwa recalled that the bank participated actively in the last economic summit as one of the discussants on housing and opportunities in low cost housing.

Consumers Commend Chapman Happy Hour For Distinct Refreshment BY MBAKAAN KWEN, Abuja

Consumers of Chapman Happy Hour by Chivita have commended the unique taste and distinct refreshment of the product. They also commended the product’s fruity deliciousness and authentic indigenous flavor. According to a banker, Laide Bello, she was introduced to Chapman Happy Hour by a friend, and since then, it has become her go-to drink for refreshment. “The fruity taste is excellent, and its refreshment value is incomparable. Along with its whole new level of convenience, Chapman Hour by Chivita does

not only having me feeling refreshed, but it also gives me this feeling of being very Nigerian,” she stressed. Also, a marketing executive, Kingsley Odeh, reiterated that even though chapman drink is a local Nigerian drink, not many have openly projected its indigenous origin and association with Nigeria like Chapman Happy Hour by Chivita has done. “By highlighting the chapman drink’s close association with Nigerian culture, Chapman Happy Hour by Chivita has keyed into an important source of indigenous refreshment to become the toast of many Nigerians,” he noted. For Chi Limited’s Marketing director, Probal Bhattacharya,

Chapman Happy Hour by Chivita is an indigenous drink guaranteed to provide Nigerians with ultimate refreshment they would love. “Chapman Happy Hour by Chivita is unique in its own way in that it truly speaks to the Nigerian way of refreshment with its indigenous taste and fruity blend, which connects with our distinct style of celebration and culture. We believe consumers can take pride in Chapman Happy Hour by Chivita and what it offers,” he added. Chapman Happy Hour by Chivita comes in convenient 150ml packs and is available in Chi Shoppe, neighbourhood kiosks and departmental stores across Nigeria.

32 NEWS NORTH-EAST, NORTH-WEST Agric Export: FG To Establish Quarantine Centre In Jigawa

Thuresday, March 15, 2018


Federal government has concluded arrangements for the establishment of agricultural quarantine centre in Jigawa State to facilitate the export of farm produce. The deputy Director of Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine centre,North-west zone, Alhaji Ibrahim Shehu stated this when he led a team on a courtesy visit to the state deputy governor. He explained that, when the centre commences operation in the next few months it will work closely with farmers, marketers and government to address all the problems hindering the export of hibiscus flower (zoborodo) from the state to Mexico and other parst of the world. “Apart from hibiscus (zoborodo), the center will monitor, advise, assist and inspect all other farm produce for internal consumption and export”. In his response during the visit, the state deputy governor, Barrister Ibrahim Hassan Hadeja said the state was ready to work and support any agency that indicates interest to support the state to achieve its agricultural policy designed for job creation, self-reliance and poverty eradication. He noted that besides the warehouse and accommodation provided to Qurantine center for the establishment of their Laborotry in Maigatari export free zone, Gujungu market and coordinator office in Dutse capital, the state was willing to provide more support for the effective take-off and sustainable operation of the centre in the state. “It is well known that hibiscus and sesame from Jigawa State is one of the best in the world, and this year about 20,000 zoborodo farmers are expected to be registered in to the cooperatives established to promote the production and export of the product in the state.

Stakeholders Express Concern Over Malnutrition In Gombe BY CHUWANG DUNGS, Gombe

Officials of Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), a non-governmental organization involved in fighting malnutrition in the country, have expressed concern over the high rate of malnutrition in Gombe State. The group made this known in Gombe yesterday during an advocacy visit to the state ministry of economic planning. According to CS- SUNN, the crisis manifested through the high number of children below five years who were underweight, showed stunted growth and had high infant mortality. They observed that in the “2017 MIC’s report, 32.5 percent was the stunting rate in Gombe State. To remain on track to achieve SDG’s two (2) in 2030, Gombe State needs to reduce stunting rates to 13 percent by 2025. UNICEF in their recent report shows that the North is worst hit as millions of children are malnourished”. Speaking through the Gombe State Coordinator of CS-SUNN, Mrs. Comfort Mukollo, the NGO said that unless a strategic action was taken to address these issues they might remain unchanged or grow worse. The coordinator who said that the purpose of their visit was to partner with the Ministry in the area of food, noted that the areas of partnership include creating implementable milestones for mainstreaming nutrition in key ministries, agencies and departments of Government as well as strategies to scaling up nutrition in public spheres including communities.

Remains of the Late Major General Timothy Mai Shelpidi (rtd), being laid to rest in his home town, Boh Shongom local government area of Gombe, yesterday.

62,066 PVCs Abandoned In Katsina BY ANDY ASEMOTA, Katsina

No fewer than 62,066 Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) have been confirmed uncollected in Katsina State as a result of death, transfer or relocation of their owners. The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Jubril Ibrahim Zarewa, who made this known to newsmen yesterday in Katsina, said about 2,555 peo-

ple had collected their PVCs in the state since the on-going Continued Voters’ Registration (CVR) commenced last April. He said studies have shown that a large number of the uncollected PVCs were for students who had since completed their studies and may have moved to another state or some workers transferred outside the state or some residents of the state who had since changed their

places of abode after the 2011 voters registration exercise. “If it is only one person that did not collect his PVC, he is of concern to us because that person cannot perform his civic responsibility. We don’t want that person to be denied his right to vote,” said Zarewa. Zarewa also revealed that a total of 167,112 persons had been registered since the CVR exercise began in April, 2017, adding that more

than half of the figure was registered in the past six weeks since the on-going exercise began. The outstanding performance in the exercise, according to him, started after the state INEC office received 18 additional state of the art data capturing machines and an approval to move the registration centres from one ward to another to stem the challenges faced by prospective voters.

Kano-Maiduguri Road Dualisation Attains 55% Completion BY ABAH ADAH, Abuja The dualisation of Section 1 of the Kano-Maiduguri Road, a 101km stretch, situated in Kano and Kastina states in the Northwest has reached 55 per cent completion 12 years after it was awarded to the contractor. This was disclosed to a National Media Team put together at the instance of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing when the team visited the project to access the performance so far. On why it took so long for work on

the project to reach the current stage, the Project Manager, Engr Roy Hungushi said,”the major challenge that had slowed down the pace of work and even led to stoppage in the past was lack of funds,” adding that the security challenge experienced in the area back then also contributed. “But we thank God now for the initiative of Mr President. Since the introduction of the SUKUK funding we have been getting paid and that is why you can see that work is seriously going on at various points,” Engr Hungushi said.

As the time of visit, the works were going on simultaneously at different points along the section being handled. Engr Hungushi assured that if payment can be sustained and all other things go as planned, the project will be delivered at the end of 2018 being the completion date. The Kano-Maiduguri Road Section I project was awarded on the 28th September, 2006 after which work commenced on October, 2006. It was awarded at an original sum of N37 billion, but later reviewed to

N55 billion. The original completion date of 11th February, 2010 had been extended three times and it is 31st December, 2018. The Kano-Maiduguri Road Project which is over 500km in length is one of the 25 roads being funded with SUKUK fund. Section 2, 3, 4, 5 which also suffered setback attibuted to lack of funds and security challenges are being handled by various contractors are situated in the Northeast. During the team’s visit, workers were on site working on all of them.

Tambuwal Expresses Worry Over Water Shortage BY ANKELI EMMANUEL, Sokoto

Sokoto state governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has expressed worry over how Goronyo dam depletion has led to shortage in supply of potable water to the state capital and other major towns across the state. Tambuwal who spoke while on an inspection visit to Goronyo dam following revelations by experts that the water level had depleted by as much as 90 per cent said they were devising strategies to tackle the current water scarcity.

Goronyo dam has about 1 billion cubic meter water holding capacity but has alarmingly depleted at about 90 percent of its installed capacity. Expressing his worries, Tambuwal said, “The reservoir of Goronyo Dam was constructed to hold one billion cubic meters of water but as we’ve seen today, the water in it is just about 100 million cubic meters. “This has resulted in inadequate supply to the water board and in effect we had to resort to rationing water to the people. We have

however adopted proactive measures to boost supply to the people pending when the rains will come and increase the volume of water in the dam. “I have directed the state water board to immediately reactivate 12 boreholes in Sokoto metropolis and build additional ones to supplement what we get from other sources,” the governor added. In his appeal to people of the state, Tambuwal urged them to be patient,saying solution to the problem was being implemented. “We urge the people to be

Gov Abubakar Signs N168bn 2018 Budget BY BEATRICE GONDYI, Bauchi

Bauchi State governor, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar has assented the 2018 appropriation bill of 168 billion naira, with provision for massive rural roads construction covering 1,000 kilometers in all parts of the state. A statement issued and made available to newsmen by press secretary to the governor,

Abubakar Al-Sadique, says capital projects takes 60 per cent of the appropriation while 40 percent is allocated to recurrent expenditure. Governor Abubakar who lamented that many governments in the country have been making higher allocations to recurrent expenditure which benefits only a fraction of the population, said his administration had to make higher allocation of the appro-

priation to “capital projects for the overall interest of the generality of the people”. The statement further explained that the state had already made available its counterpart funds for the construction of the 1,000 kilometers of rural road to the World Bank for the immediate commencement of the project. Governor Abubakar noted that citizens of Bauchi State

more patient and to please economise their use of water. Residents should please stop wasting water because it is a precious commodity. We are doing everything possible to overcome these challenges.” The governor further disclosed that his government had spent not less than 510 million naira this year on the state water board for the provision of water treatment chemicals, maintenance, settlement of electricity bills, provision of gas amongst others to ensure adequate supply of potable water in the state.

were lucky to have such representatives that work within the parameters of the law, stressing that House of Assembly had shown commitment to everything put before it is treated for the betterment of the people. “For the second year running in Bauchi state, education takes the highest allocation of 19.22 percent, followed by health with 15.23 percent,” governor Abubakar said.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Thursday, March 15, 2018

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Thursday, March 15, 2018

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Leadership Newspapers


Thursday, March 15, 2018

XXI Commonwealth Games: Diogu Leads D’Tigers

The roster announced yesterday by the NBBF secretary, Asiegbu Chimezie, was compiled by Coach Alex Nwora and his technical team. The team made up of 6 home based players and 6 foreign based players will be captained by Ike Diogu. Diogu captained the team to a 2017 Afrobasket silver medal finish and was also influential in D’Tigers’s run of 3 straight wins in the 2nd window of the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifiers with an average of 17.7 points made per game. Azuoma Dike will also return to the team after the 2017 AfroBasket camapign. With pre-games camping expected to end on the 22nd, the team will depart for Brisbane on March 23rd, 2018 ahead of their first game against New Zealand on Friday, 6th, April. Full Roster Ike Diogu (Henan, CHINA) Uchenna Ireogbu (Stony Brooks, NCAA, USA) Dung Eli Abraham- (Kano Pillars (NIGERIA) Azuoma Dike – (Kano Pillars, NIGERIA) Olantunji Olalekan Graham(Unattached, USA) Ofoegbu Uchechi Chima – (Unattached, USA) Musa Usman (Mark Mentors, NIGERIA) Abdulwahab Yakubu (Gombe Bulls, Nigeria) Istifanus Sylvanus (Gombe Bulls, Nigeria) Abdul Yahaya (Kano Pillars) Achiuwa God’sgift Onyekachi (Unattached, USA) Orizu Prince Ifeanyi (Far Eastern University, PHILIPHINES) Nigeria is in Group B alongside host- Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Coach Nwora will be assisted by Adewunmi Aderemi and Mohammed Abdulrahman.

Russia 2018: Iceland To Shock The World Icelandic Football Association President Guðni Bergsson is confident that the team can get to the knockout rounds of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia like they did in the 2016 European Championship in France. Iceland got to the knockout phase of the 2016 European Championship

in France without losing any of their Group F matches before losing to France in the last eight. The underdogs, who are going into their first World Cup, are drawn in the same Russia 2018 group as Nigeria, Croatia and Argentina.

“Getting into the World Cup is one of the most important events in the history of the whole of Iceland,” Bergsson told Russian News Agency TASS “We have a rather complicated group, but two years ago we already surprised the whole football community with a performance at the European Championships in France, and now we are ready to repeat. “I cannot imagine how far our team will go in the World Cup,

Friendly Win Over Argentina Will Not Count – Rohr


Super Eagles technical adviser Gernot Rohr has revealed that Nigeria 4-2 win over Argentina last November will be less important when both countries clash in the FIFA World Cup during the last Group D game in St Petersburg, Russia on June 26. Speaking to South Africa-based Soccer Laduma, the German-born tactician said that the victory in the friendly game against the South American side does not placed the Eagles ahead o f the La Albiceleste going into the World Cup “Remember, [Lionel] Messi didn’t play that game. So we are very cautious and have to analyse this great result in context. Argentina had played another friendly against Russia in Russia before facing us. Perhaps they were a bit tired – they also left Russia soon after our game. I think no one should overrate the result. I definitely won’t overrate it. It was definitely not to our advantage because Argentina will take us more seriously now.” Nigeria had matched Argentina in a friendly international on November 14, 2017 at Krasnodar, Russia that saw Nigeria trailing

two-nil from Ever Banega and Sergio Aguero strikes before Kelechi Iheanacho reduced the deficit to a goal going into halftime, a goal from Brian Idowu and brace from Alex Iwobi sealed Nigeria remarkable victory over Argentina Both countries were later drawn in the same preliminary World Cup group at the FIFA World Cup draws last Decem-

ber for a fifth time in Nigeria’s six appearances at the competition. Rorh believes that the Super Eagles will put up a decent performance in the group that include two European sides Croatia and Iceland and two times World Cup champions Argentina even though Nigeria is the least-ranked team in the group. “Of course, I would have wanted an easier group. But it is what it is. Now we have this strong group. If you look at our FIFA ranking, we are only in 52nd position – the others are far ahead of us. I think they sit in position 14, eight and four. That means we are

A good deed is never lost.

the underdogs. We were only in pot four in the draw, we mustn’t forget that. But we are an underdog with ambition and we want to get into the knockout stages, even though it will be very difficult. That’s our target,” he added Nigeria will lock horn against Poland in Warsaw on March23 and face Serbia four days later in London as they prepare for 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

but I can say with certainty that those players who will go to Russia will play with the heart and with all their heart.” The federation has chosen Gelendzhik as the team’s base during the forthcoming tournament and the former Bolton Wanderers player feels the resort town will enhance the team’s performance in the tournament. “Before the final choice, we allocated two bases for ourselves, the first one in Rostovon-Don and the second one in Gelendzhik. We originally planned that we would be based in the southern cluster, so that the team could thoroughly prepare for the matches. After visiting the base in Gelendzhik, all other options have disappeared: it is perfectly equipped with all the most necessary for preparation and the location in the mountains and proximity to the sea will add to our national team of energy,” he said. “Another factor in the choice of the base is the close proximity to the cities of matches in the group stage, so long-term flights will not be a problem for our team, especially since we used to fly long distances when playing matches of the qualifying round. In my opinion, for all teams this should not be a problem, because you need to come and play football, and not think about flights. “At the moment, 80% of the (ticket) quota is bought; I can say that the fans of the Icelandic team will be no less than at the European Championships and about 20% of the total population of the country. Many plan their holidays even for the sake of one match in Russia and, in my opinion, it’s great, I’m absolutely sure that everyone who comes to Russia will get maximum pleasure and enjoy the beauties of Russian nature and learn the true Russian hospitality.”

Thursday, March 15, 2018

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C’wealth Games: Indian Table Tennis Star Fears Nigeria’s Quadri

Arsenal, AC Milan Battle In EL Arsenal host Serie A giants AC Milan at the Emirates Stadium today in the second leg of their Europa League last 16 tie. Arsene Wenger’s side are in full control after they strolled past I Rossoneri 2-0 at San Siro. Henrikh Mkhitaryan gave the visitors the lead with his first goal for the

club since his January move from Manchester United, before Aaron Ramsey deservedly doubled their advantage seconds from the break. Both teams head into the game on the back of league victories. Arsenal cruised to a 3-0 win over a lacklustre Watford at the Emirates, while Milan clinched three points away to Genoa with a last minute

winner. Arsenal are likely to welcome back Spanish duo Hector Bellerin, who has recovered from a knee injury, and Nacho Monreal, who has recovered from a minor back problem. Mesut Ozil is also expected to be fit after picking up a minor knock. Shkodran Mustafi is a doubt, however, after the centre back suffered a groin injury in the Gunners’ 3-0 victory over Watford at the weekend. The visitors, on the other hand, will have the same squad available to them as in the reverse fixture, with full back Davide Calabria having been rested in their weekend win over Genoa.

PPF Releases 6 Names For Commonwealth Games

The Nigeria Para-Powerlifting Federation on Wednesday announced the names of six athletes that will represent the country in the forthcoming 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. The Games will hold between April 4 and April 14.

Dayo Abulude, Secretary of the federation, told the newsmen that the six athletes are made up of three males and three females. The male athletes are; Paul Kehinde, Ezuruike Roland and Ibrahim Abdulazeez, while the females are Ejike Lucy, Oyema Esther and Nwosu Ndidi.

Gun-carrying PAOK Boss Charged PAOK Salonika president Ivan Savvides on Wednesday faced disciplinary charges that could lead to a lengthy stadium ban and a points deduction for his team, after he stormed onto the pitch with what appeared to be a handgun on his waist. The Georgia-born businessman’s pitch invasion on Sunday triggered a suspension of football matches in Greece with world soccer’s governing body Fifa in town for talks. In a brief statement, the Greek football federation said Savvides had been charged with a series of football code violations, including making threats, which carry a fine and a potential stadium ban of up to five years. The top division Superleague’s disciplinary body will now be responsible for any further action, a league official said. Savvides’ team could also be punished with a points deduction which could put them out of the running for the title which they were competing for beforeSunday’s match. The charges were announced as Herbert Huebel, who heads a monitoring committee set up by Fifa last year for Greek football, met Deputy Culture and Sport minister Georgios Vassiliadis and federation officials. Greece has indefinitely suspended matches after Savvides was filmed wearing a holster which appeared to contain a gun as he strode onto the pitch to protest about a PAOK disallowed goal against AEK Athens at the weekend.

The game was abandoned and later awarded to PAOK 1-0 following the controversial goal which had prompted the initial protests. Savvides apologised for his actions in a club statement on Tuesday but the European Club Association (ECA) suspended the Greek side as a member with immediate effect.

Abulude said that the selection of the athletes was based on their current form and performance in camp. “The coaches have done a good job by selecting those that they believe will do the country proud in Gold Coast, Australia. “Nigerians should be rest assured that the para-powerlifters will come back home with medals at the end of the Games,’’ he said. Abulude, however, commended the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports for ensuring that the athletes go through adequate preparationsc and early camping, ahead of the Games. Nigeria won four gold and two silver medals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in para-powerlifing. Team Nigeria will be participating in 10 events at the Gold Coast Games. The are: Athletics, Weightlifting, Wrestling, Basketball, Boxing, Table Tennis, Gymnastics, Para-Table Tennis, Para -Athletics, Para-Powerlifting. The Nigerian contingent is scheduled to leave for the Games on March 23.

Scholes Blasts Mourinho, Says Sanchez Not Good Enough Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has slammed Jose Mourinho and the team for the UEFA Champions League defeat to Sevilla while advising the manager to drop Alexis Sanchez. United were knocked out of the competition on Tuesday night after a shock 2-1 home defeat to Sevilla sent the Spanish side through to the quarter-finals 2-1 on agreggate. The Red Devils had only four shots on target over the two legs, which Mourinho dismissed as ‘just statistics’. But Scholes claimed the two performances were indicative of the Portuguese’s reign. “That’s the way the manager likes to play, on the counter-attack,” Scholes, who has been attacked by Mourinho for criticising United midfielder Paul Pogba, said on television after the match. “It was difficult watching that and the first game. There is no desire, no energy, no speed. It’s unexplainable. Teams go and try. United didn’t try and win the game away from home.

India’s highest ranked table tennis player Sathiyan Gnanasekaran has admitted that Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri is the most feared player for the Asian team ahead of this year’s Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. The 2018 Commonwealth Games will begin from April 4 and end on April 15. According to ITTF-Africa, Gnanasekaran, who is ranked 50th in the February 2018 rating by International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), said that they have identified Quadri as a stumbling block and they are working hard to neutralize him. “There are a lot of good players coming to the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast,” Gnanasekaran, who would be making his first ever appearance at the Commonwealth Games, said. “We have players like Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri, England’s duo of Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford as well as Singapore’s Gao Ning and they will certainly be tough competitors. But I must pick out Aruna Quadri because he is one of the biggest threats for the Indian team as he is a great player and has been playing very well in the last few years. “But I think we are well prepared and working out strategies to face the strong Nigerian in Gold Coast.” The 2017 Spanish Open champion believes the Indian team has the quality to rule the table tennis event in Australia. He said: “This will be my first Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast and I am really happy to be part of the Indian contingent as it has always been my dream to take part in a big multi-sporting event. I have to give my best in Australia and hoping to win as many medals as possible. I have set a high target of winning three gold medals. “India has a very good chance of winning gold medal in the team event as we have a strong and balanced team this year. I am really excited for the Games and hope to make it the best tournament in my life. I hope I can bring out the best of me during the Games. I am looking forward eagerly to win gold medal and waiting to hear the Indian national anthem to be played at the Games,” the trained engineer said.”

Coach Konyegwachi Picks 8 Boxers For Commonwealth Games


Head Coach of Nigeria Boxing Federation (NBF), Tony Konyegwachi named eight boxers to represent the Nigeria at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. This year’s Commonwealth Games is scheduled to be staged from April 4 to April 15 2018 Konyegwachi told newsman that the boxers need exposure before the games proper adding that the boxers have been in camp for two months and three weeks and they will be ready to return with atleast two gold medals to Nigeria The Federation announced eight boxers made up of four males and four females to represent the country in Gold Coast. The male weight category will feature Nigeria Police’s Sikiru Fatai(56kg), Ogun state Soyoye Kazeem(60kg), Nigeria Army’s Paris Umeh (69kg) and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Lukmon Lawal(81kg). While the female boxers are Ayisat Oriyomi (51kg),Itunu Oriola (69kg) both from Lagos, Nigeria Army’s Yetunde Odunuga(60kg), and Millicent Agboegbulem (75kg) from Delta. The Nigerian boxing contingent will be on a training tour to Australia as they make final preparation for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.





Guest Columnist


No. 3,025





Peace In APC Imperative For Political Stability

Ray Morphy

he All Progressives Congress (APC) as the party in government needs stability so that it can provide the leadership that Nigerians elected it to provide in 2015. Like every human organization the APC has had its challenges and the party leadership and the members have always risen above these challenges to the admiration of most Nigerians. The party’s success in crisis management has been attributed to the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, the national chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie- Oyegun, the National Executive Committee (NEC) and National Working Committee (NWC) of the party that usually rise to occasions to ensure that the party does not keep its eyes off the ball of bringing Change to Nigerians. Of particular note is the role of the national chairman in bringing stability to the party at the state and national levels. This is largely due to the way the chairman of the party conducts the party’s business. The civility with which the party’s national chairman Odigie-Oyegun

— Ann Landers, 0705-749-4639 only sms or WhatsApp conducts party business, marks him out as a gentleman and the best man to bring honesty, civility and good conduct to the nation’s party politics. Chief John Odigie Oyegun is an embodiment of the qualities needed to run a large political party like the APC. He is erudite, experienced and is of the Awolowo and Azikiwe school of politics that believes that politics is intellectual activity that requires the use of brain rather than a street fight that requires the deployment of muscle and betrayals. His style of party administration has minimised rancour in the APC while promoting true democracy, a democracy which accommodates all shades of opinion within the party and finds despite differences, a meeting ground and a consensus. That, indeed, is what democracy should be. Chief Oyegun is a man of peace. This quality was not lost to the vast majority of the members of the party, including President Buhari and the governors, elected under the platform of the party when they all without exception showed appreciation of the


chairman’s leadership of the party by elongating his tenure for one year. They confirmed Chief Oyegun as the best man of the moment, the democratically acceptable chairman of the party, the man best suited for the job when his tenure and that of the NWC was extended by a landslide of 103 to 4 votes! A near unanimous vote of confidence that confirmed that the vast majority of party leaders and members consider him as the best man for the job of the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari and all others who will fly the flag of the party at the 2019 elections! Indeed, the month of February 2018 has been significant on the Chief Odigie-Oyegun leadership of the APC following alleged threats to his position by his detractors as reported in the media. An indication that the plot against Oyegun would not stand emerged on Thursday February 22, when the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, announced that the governors of APC, were backing the party’s national chairman, in the rift being

engineered by one of the chieftains of the party. “The governors and majority of APC members, have confidence i‎ n our national chairman, Chief Odigie Oyegun,” Bello was quoted as saying. A few days later, the media was also awash with the story of the extension of the tenure of the national chairman of APC, John Odigie- Oyegun. This is how the Guardian reported it on its cover; “Odigie-Oyegun Survives Sack Plot, Gets Tenure Extension”. Similarly, LEADERSHIP reported it thus; “Oyegun Survives APC Power Play, Gets Tenure Extension”. That there were threats to the Oyegun-led NWC leadership was not in doubt. Nevertheless, the extension of his tenure, means that the NEC believes that he has done well for the party all things considered. That was the confirmation that the Edo-born politician will lead the charge for the victory of the APC once again in 2019 general election. Oyegun’s victory at the last NEC meeting of APC has however, not stopped his traducers from plotting yet again, as some of them have embarked on media

campaigns to castigate and demonize his leadership. They are bound to fail again. The President, who is the leader of the party is happy with him, the governors who are the leaders of the party in the states are happy with him, therefore the campaign of calumny by a few will not diminish the good works he has been doing in the over three and a half years as national chairman of the ruling party. It is those who are surreptitiously working against President Muhammadu Buhari that are most angry with Oyegun and this is basically because of his unflinching loyalty to the president and the party’s ideals. He has also been accused of being too close and cozy to the governors as if the chairman of a ruling party should be at loggerheads with his state governors. Perhaps those who are angry over the cordial relationship between the national chairman and state governors want him to be at war with them so that they can have good reasons to oust him, hijack the party and use it for their pecuniary agenda! According to a leadership expert, Hsin-Yi Cohen, a good political leader is: “Someone who serves as an example of integrity and loyalty to the people they represent; someone who can resist the various temptations and lures of the political arena; someone of strong character, with both conscience and charisma; someone willing to listen to the needs of the common people; someone with the courage to stand up and say what needs to be said; someone who is willing to make difficult decisions for the greater good; an effective political leader with leadership style that focuses on coalition and building”. Those who have worked closely with the APC national chairman can attest that he possesses the

aforementioned qualities and more. Cohen also noted that an ineffective leadership is a leader who is a “hustler” – i.e. who uses manipulation to get what he wants, instead of inspiration and motivation. It was such hustlers that the NEC of APC rejected when it extended the leadership of Oyegun. Here is a glimpse of Oyegun’s life of struggle for a better Nigeria. As a patriot, Chief Oyegun has sacrificed his all to fight military dictatorship in Nigeria on the platform of the National Democratic Coalition, NADECO, where he was the secretary in the Diaspora. He was in the vanguard fighting relentlessly to save the nation from the shackles of military oligarchy and dictatorship. He kept vigil so that Nigerians could regain their democratic rights. An uncompromising advocate of the total emancipation of man, he has always refused to be intimidated by the aggressive media campaign of his opponents. Dr Oyegun has brought his urbane civilised nature into the running of the APC. Despite what a selfish few think, the majority of APC leaders and membership have spoken. Chief John Oyegun is the best man for the job!

GHANA MUST GO Don’t expect 2018 budget before June —Senate


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Leadership epaper 15th march 2018  
Leadership epaper 15th march 2018  

Leadership epaper 15th march 2018