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15.02.18

FOR GOD AND COUNTRY

THURSDAY

No. 3,009

THURSDAY

N200

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L-R: Managing director, Chevron Nig. Ltd, Jeff Ewing; managing director, LADOL, Dr Amy Jadesimi; deputy managing director, Total E&P, Musa Kida; minister of state for petroleum resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, and managing director, Total E&P, Nicolas Teraz, during the minister’s inspection tour of Egina FPSO platform at the integration site in LADOL Free Zone, Apapa, Lagos, yesterday.

Senate In Rowdy Session As 59 senators oppose election timetable change

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10 stage walkout

Oyegun, Tinubu Meeting Kickstarts APC Reconciliation BY SAM EGWU, Lokoja

Group managing director/CEO, Notore Chemical Industries Plc, Onajite Okoloko (left) and deputy chairman, Board of Uralkali, Dmitry Mazepin, at the signing of a partnership agreement in Moscow, Russia, for production and distribution of NPK fertilisers across West Africa, recently.

Zuma Bows To Pressure, Quits As S/African President

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Kogi Gov Ambitious, Visionary – Osinbajo

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The national chairman of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and leader of the recently constituted presidential team on Reconciliation and Confidence Building, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, met behind closed doors to work out modalities for the peace process. This is the first time Oyegun and Tinubu were meeting oneon-one after the former’s letter criticizing the party’s national working committee (NWC). After a meeting that lasted ➔ CONTINUED ON PAGE 6

Shareholders Unclaimed Dividend Hits N103bn 26


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our stand

LEADERSHIP Thursday, February 15, 2018

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Police And VIP Protection

he chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Mr Mike Okiro, a retired Inspector General of Police, recently raised the alarm on the impropriety of a small group of those he described as Very Important Personalities (VIPs) and others not so important but unauthorised persons cornering for themselves the services of 150,000 policemen. He also said that the nation cannot afford to have more than half of the population of the Police in private hands. This was just as he lamented that the Police has not been able to sustain the enforcement of the order on the withdrawal of policemen attached to unqualified persons in the country because of lack of fund. The problem of Nigeria Police Force is as complex as that of the country itself. Even more is its peculiar situation that relates to not just underfunding but also the inadequacy of manpower to enable it actualise its mandate of policing the country effectively. The issue of funding is regarded as very strategic. It is often said that for the Police to operate as a force the way it should the entire budget of Nigeria cannot be enough for that. Police is an organization put together by an act of law to ensure that there is preservation of order in the society as well as enforce laws in the society. Nigeria Police, as one of the law enforcement agencies in the country, should place its priority in the prevention and detection of crime, not to have more than half of its personnel protecting a privileged few. As a law enforcement agency, the Nigeria Police Force is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that lives and properties of Nigerians are protected within their individual domain. They do this by deploying men and other

resources to strategic places and locations and institutions. It is also the duty of the Police to provide security to top government functionaries and other important personalities. This is understandable within the context of ensuring that such state protected persons receive assurances of their personal safety in the course of their duties.

However, discerning Nigerians are beginning to worry that what ought to be a privilege is being abused as it has come to be seen as a status symbol available only to the rich and famous. A situation in which a whopping 150,000 men and women of the Police Force are tied down in people’s homes and offices is, indeed, not acceptable.

CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Dele Fanimo

POLITICAL DIRECTOR/ STATE HOUSE Jonathan Nda-Isaiah EDITOR Muazu Elazeh

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT Christian Ochiama

DEPUTY EDITOR Agbo-Paul Augustine

ASS. MANAGING EDITOR George Agba COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD Suleiman Abdullahi

GENERAL EDITOR Silas Ezeugwu

GROUP LTD CHAIRMAN Sam Nda-Isaiah GMD, LEADERSHIP GROUP Abdul Gombe GMD, LEADERSHIP HOLDINGS David Chinda GROUP EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS Dele Fanimo Felicia Ogbonlaiye Geoffrey Essien HR DIRECTOR Solomon Nda-Isaiah CHIEF PROCUREMENT & ASSETS OFFICER Mrs Zipporah Tanko DIRECTOR, HAUSA PUBLICATIONS Mubarak Umar GENERAL MANAGERS Ibrahim Halilu Femi Adekunle Ebriku John

LEADERSHIP is a national paper symbolically embedded in the nation’s capital. We shall stand up for good governance. We shall defend the interest of Nigerian people even against their rulers, and we shall raise our pen at all times in defence of what is right. These are the values by which we intend to be assessed. We shall never, ever for any reason forget the noble reason of our coming into being:

For God

and

Country!

To rectify this obvious anomaly, the commission and the Force decided to redeploy those men and women to areas of public security needs. They had actually commenced the implementation of that decision but the exercise was stalled due to lack of fund. The practice whereby any affluent person of unknown pedigree just because he can afford to pay, are granted lavish police protection. Even more disappointing is the reality that people who served as ministers for over 10 to 15 years ago still enjoy police protection. This, in our view, is an abuse given the fact that the Police is already understaffed. President Muhammadu Buhari, in the early days of his administration, made moves to address this issue that is wearing down the operational efficiency of the Force. He directed that police personnel attached to unauthorised persons and VIPs in the country be withdrawn and deployed to confront the security challenges in the country. That directive was adhered to more in the breach. It is our opinion that policemen should be withdrawn from those who are not government officials. And even for those category of persons, the number of policemen attached to them should be minimal. A situation where more than five policemen are attached to a serving government officials is not acceptable. The nation cannot be battling with shortage of manpower in the Force while majority of these officers are floating around as body guards. To meet the national security challenges, we urge the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, recruit more policemen for enhanced service delivery and ensure that they are serving the nation not individuals. Similarly, this newspaper believes that it in the nation’s best interest for the Police to be adequately funded. It is from this standpoint that we appeal to the National Assembly to grant expeditious attention to the Police Trust Fund bill before it. This bill when passed into law will significantly address the issue of funding for the Police.


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Group News Editor: Ekele Peter Agbo Don Offers Way Out Of Looming Food Crisis BY TUNDE OGUNTOLA, Abuja

Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello (right) and the Ooni of Ife, His Royal Majesty, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, on the sidelines of the Economic Summit holding in Kogi State, yesterday. PHOTO BY GOVERNMENT HOUSE LOKOJA

FG Arraigns 3 For Unlawful Importation Of 440 Pump Action Riffles

OLUGBENGA SOYELE, Lagos

Three men and two companies accused of unlawfully bringing 440 pieces of pump action riffles, and unassembled parts of same firearm into the country, on May 22, 2017 were yesterday arraigned by the federal government. The accused persons: Chihozie Uzochukwu, Mordi Innocent Chukwurah, Ifeanyi Igwewena- two companies; Hizec Marine Services LTD and Patfimo Marine Services LTD, were arraigned by the government before the Federal High Court in Lagos on a seven count charge of unlawful importation, forgery and conspiracy. According to the charge sheet; the men and their companies “on or about 18th of April to 22nd of May, 2017 at Tin Can Island Port, Apapa, Lagos within the jurisdiction of this honourable court

did conspired together to illegally import without lawful authority into Nigeria 440 pieces of Pump Action Riffles and unassembled parts of Pump Action Riffles Firearms loaded inside 1X20FT container number PONU 210024/1 and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17 Lae of the Federation, 2004 and punishable under the same section of the same Act.” Count three of the charge accused them of uttering “a bill of laden No 96114787 issued on the 9th of May, 2017 to read “DurbanSouth Africa” as point of loading instead of “Istanbul - Ambali - Turkey” with intent that it will be used and acted upon as genuine by the customs officer and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1 (2) (c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, laws of the Feder-

ation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under the same section and same act”. In addition, count 5 of the charge alleges that the defendants forged application to import document (Form M) with the number MF 20170041430, to read Promona -South Africa as country of origin instead of Turkey. It was similarly alleged that the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) document issued on April 21, 2017 was uttered to read South Africa instead of Turkey. The final count says, “that you Paltimo Morin’s Service Ltd and Mordi Innocent Chukwurah on or about 18th April to 22nd of May 2017, at Tin Can Island Port, Apapa - Lagos within the jurisdiction of this honorable court altered a bill of lading No 960114787 said to contain “574 packages of Antisera and Cannulate” from Turkey instead of 440 Pump Action

Riffles (fire arms) as content of the container, No PONU 210024/1 with intent to conceal criminal activity and actual nature of the goods in the container and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(2)(c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, law of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under the same section of the same act”. Having read the charges to the five defendants who pleaded not guilty, the defence team argued the bail applications earlier filed before the court. The lawyers argued that the offences are bailable, adding that bail is at the discretion of the court and hence pleaded the court to exercise its discretion in favour of their clients. The prosecutor, Mr. Julius Ajakaye, opposed the bail application, stating that the offences are grievous.

IEA Predicts Global Oil Demand To Hit 1.4m Barrels A Day In 2018 BY CHIKA IZUORA, Lagos

The International Energy Agency (IEA) is foreseeing a situation whereby the rise in global oil production, led by the United States would outpace growth in demand this year. The IEA, raised its forecast for oil demand growth in 2018 to 1.4 million barrels per day, from a previous projection of 1.3 million bpd, after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) upped its estimate of global economic growth for this year and next. Oil demand grew at a rate of 1.6

million bpd in 2017, the IEA said in its monthly market report. However, the rapid rise in output, particularly in the United States, could well outweigh any pick-up in demand and begin to push up global oil inventories, which are now within sight of their five-year average. “Today, having cut costs dramatically, U.S. producers are enjoying a second wave of growth so extraordinary that in 2018 their increase in liquids production could equal global demand growth,” the IEA said. “In

just three months to November, (U.S.) crude output increased by a colossal 846,000 bpd and will soon overtake that of Saudi Arabia. By the end of this year, it might also overtake Russia to become the global leader,” IEA said. U.S. crude output could reach 11 million bpd by the end of this year, according to estimates from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) along with other exporters such as Russia, have agreed to maintain a joint restriction on crude

supply for a second year running in 2018, to force inventories to drain and support prices. Oil inventories across the world’s richest nations fell by 55.6 million barrels in December to 2.851 billion barrels, their steepest one-month drop since February 2011, the IEA said. For 2017 as a whole, inventories fell by 154 million barrels, or at a rate of 420,000 bpd. By the year-end they were only 52 million barrels above the five-year average, with stocks of oil products below that benchmark, the IEA said.

N92m Fraud: EFCC Docks Ex-Nasarawa Gov’s Son, 1 Other BY MBACHU GODWIN NNANNA, Abuja

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday arraigned Nuraini Adamu, son of former governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Adamu and one Felix Onyeabo Ojiako before Justice Farouq Lawal of the Kano State High Court on a four-count charge of conspira-

cy, forgery and obtaining money by false pretence. Adamu and Ojiako’ arraignment followed a petition by one Atta Esin alleging that the defendants conspired and used his company name, Biolocks Technologies Limited, to execute contract without his knowledge. He further alleged that the contract resulted in the accumulation of withholding tax to the tune

of N1,311,519.99 (One Million, Three Hundred and Eleven Thousand, Five Hundred and Nineteen Naira, Ninety Nine Kobo). The contract according to the petitioner was worth N26,230,399.60 (Twenty Six Million, Two Hundred Thirty Thousand, Three Hundred and Ninety Nine Naira, Sixty Kobo), but investigation into the alleged fraud revealed that the actual contract

sum was N92,036,490 (Ninety Two Million, Thirty Six Thousand, Four Hundred and Ninety Naira Only). Adamu and his co-accused allegedly forged the board resolution of the company to open a new account in the company’s name where proceeds of the contract were deposited and subsequently shared without the knowledge of the real owner of the company.

A professor of Production Economics, who is also the Dean School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology, Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), Prof. Taiwo Amos has disclosed that in order to combat the looming food crisis in the country, the federal government must, as a matter of urgency design a programme of sustainable and corruption free subsidy for farmers. He said such programme would encourage youth participation in agriculture, fund research institutes and implement strategic sustainable policies, projects and programmes. Prof. Amos made these recommendations at the 95th inaugural lecture of the institution while speaking on the topic: ‘‘Agricultural Production and Productivity: The Game Changing Food Security Paradigm in Nigeria.’’ He said that the corruption free subsidy for farmers would encourage youth participation in agriculture, fund research institutes and implement strategic sustainable policies, projects and programmes. The don said that subsidies to farmers would help them overcome their inability to obtain credits or take risks. He said such subsidies must be tracked and sustained to ensure that it is directed to enhance output and get to practicing farmers only thus eliminating all forms of sharp practices.

Corruption: CCT Chairman For Arraignment March 15 BY KUNLE OLASANMI, Abuja

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory has fixed March 15, 2018 for the arraignment of the chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, Danladi Umar, over alleged corruption. The chief judge of the court, Justice Ishaq Bello, is expected to handle the case. The federal government had filed a two-count corruption charge gainst him. The two count charge marked CR/109/18 was signed by Festus Keyamo, a Senior Advocate. In the charge, Umar was accused of bribery, while presiding over a case with Charge No. CCT/ABJ/03/13 involving one Rasheed Owolabi Taiwo, sometime in 2012, at Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the court. He was accused of asking for the sum of N10,000,000 from the said Rasheed Owolabi Taiwo, for a favour to be afterwards shown to him in relation to the pending Charge (No. CCT/ ABJ/03/12) in discharge of his official duties and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 12(1)(a) & (b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2003.


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2019: Senate In Rowdy Session BY AHURAKA ISAH And SOLOMON AYADO, Abuja

Barely one year to the 2019 general election in the country, the peace and stability in the Senate was put on edge yesterday 10 Senators staged a walkout to protest the reschedule of the election timetable. The lawmakers told journalists after walking out of the Red Chamber that 59 of them are opposed to the change of sequence in the conduct of the presidential, National Assembly and gubernatorial elections earlier released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and are set to move against it. The two chambers of the National Assembly had on Tuesday perfected the change of sequence in the conduct of the general election INEC from what INEC had scheduled it to be. This followed the adoption of a rescheduled serial arrangement as reordered by the National Assembly conference committee on the Electoral Act (amendment) Bill. But plenary at the upper chamber turned into a rowdy session yesterday when the chairman of Senate committee on INEC, Senator Suleiman Nazif, presented the conference committee report on Electoral Act 2010 (Amendment) Bill, 2018. The aggrieved Senators led by chairman of the Northern Senators’ Forum, Senator Abdullahi Adamu (APC Nasarawa West) walked out of Senate plenary declaring that 59 of them are strongly opposed to section 25 (1) of the Act which reordered the sequence of elections earlier announced by INEC last year by fixing National Assembly poll first, followed by governorship and State Houses of Assembly Election before the presidential election. As soon as Nafiz presented his report, Senate President Bukola Saraki put to motion the adoption of the report by way of voice vote without subjecting it to any debate. Tension further heightened when Saraki in his ruling said the ayes have it, even when it was clear that the voice vote went in favour of the naysayers who shouted louder than those who said aye. Angered by the development, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (APC Delta Central) kicked against the motion by point of order challenging the inclusion of section 25 (1) of the Electoral Act. Quoting relevant sections of the constitution, he called for a head count of members present, but as Omo-Agege was still speaking, Saraki who presided over the day’s legislative business ruled him out of order. In another spirited effort to nullify the passage of the Act, Senator Kabiru Gaya from Kano State raised a similar point of order, arguing that it was against the Senate rules for a conference committee report to

be adopted without being debated at the committee of the whole. But just like Omo-Agege, Gaya too was ruled out of order by Saraki who referred him to rule 53(6) of the Senate standing order which prevents the upper legislative chamber from revisiting any matter that had been ruled upon. “Distinguished colleagues, I’m just entertaining all these points of order being raised over the just passed 2010 Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill for the sake of understanding ourselves better on an issue which is of national and not selfish interest“, the Senate president said. Not satisfied with the explanation, Senator Abdullahi Adamu disrupted the proceedings further with another point of order, arguing that the sequence of election included in the act was illegal. According to him, section 76 of the 1999 constitution vests the power to organise, conduct and fix dates for elections on INEC which in spirit, also include order of elections as earlier announced by the electoral body. His argument however infuriated the Senate President who declared that section 25 (1) of the electoral act, which deals with sequence of elections, has nothing to do with organising, conducting and fixing dates for elections. Again, Saraki ruled Adamu out of order and called on the Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan (APC Yobe North), to proceed with the next item on the order paper. Apparently feeling slighted and humiliated by Saraki’s ruling, Senator Adamu and nine other Senators immediately stormed out of the chamber to the Senate’s press centre where they expressed their displeasure over the issue. The Senators who staged the walkout alongside Adamu are Abdullahi Yahaya (APC Kebbi North), Ibrahim Kurfi (APC Katsina Central), Abu Ibrahim (APC Katsina South), Abdullahi Gumel (APC Jigawa North), Binta Marshi Garba (APC Adamawa North), Ali Wakil ( APC Bauchi South), Andrew Uchendu (APC River East) and Benjamin Uwajumogu (APC IMO North). In their separate submissions, they argued that the passed Electoral Act will not see the light of the day because it is targeted at President Muhammadu Buhari. Specifically, Senator Adamu who led the group said they already have 59 signatures of Senators against the Act, which has section 25 (1) inserted in it. The former Nasarawa State governor said, “Though we are 10 here now, but we can assure you that as at this morning (yesterday), not less than 59 Senators have expressed their opposition to the illegal sequence of elections included in the Act. “Perhaps that was the reason why the Senate president refused to follow due process when report on the Act was to be

Saraki

adopted in the Senate. “Section 25 (1) of the Act reordering the sequence of elections from the one earlier released by INEC last year is a law targeted at an individual which to us is totally in bad faith and will not be allowed to stand”. Another member of the group, Senator Ovie Omo Agege said he won his election in 2015 on the platform of Labour Party and not APC but as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it would be wrong for him to keep quiet when wrong things are being done. Senator Binta Marshi Garba, in her own submission, said the hurriedly passed Electoral Act was nothing but the handiwork of an individual who may be thinking that he is holier or greater than the state. “An individual cannot be holier than the state and besides, power is transient and is given by God”, she said. She added that those behind the new sequence of elections are more or less enemies of the country by not considering the economic implications it entails. “If INEC, based on economic problems at hand, mapped out two layers of elections, why coming up with three segmented sequence of elections?” She queried. But in a counter press briefing, Senate spokesman, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi and chairman of Senate committee on INEC, Suleiman Nazif, said the action is not targeted at anybody. According to them, aside the contentious section 25(1) of the amended Act, six other core areas of electoral processes were worked upon with the aim of deepening democratic process in the country. “We did it in the best interest of Nigerians and not for any selfish agenda”, Sabi said. Asked about Senate’s next line of action in the event where the president refuses to assent to the Act, he said, “When we get to the bridge, we shall determine how to cross

Oyegun, Tinubu Meeting Kick-starts APC Reconciliation FROM COVER

over 3 hours, Tinubu who spoke to journalists restated his position that change does not come easy, insisting that APC remains the hope of Nigeria and a platform through which the lives of the citizenry will be improved. President Muhammadu Buhari had penultimate week appointed Tinubu to lead the consultation, reconciliation and confidence building team as a measure towards improving cohesion within the party.

Acknowledging that there had been issues to tackle, Tinubu said, “The solution is to seek opinion and advice on the various complex around some states or if there is any national one, to reconcile, move the party in a cohesive manner and reposition if any and build the confidence among us”. On why he came to the party, Asiwaju said, “I started to say that I came for consultations since you are aware of the assignment given to me by the president and I am all ears to listen to various challenges that we have. We

have this party and we all worked hard. “After the last convention of the party, congresses were held from various wards to elect representatives from the ward, local government and state levels as well as the national level. We worked hard for victory. We have never governed before, but we won the confidence of Nigerians to govern. We have a creed to really serve the country, change and reform the country”. On the way forward, he said, “It is ➔ CONTINUED ON PAGE 7

it “. Senate Gives MDAs 1 Week To Submit Budget Proposals Meanwhile, the Senate yesterday gave Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) a one-week ultimatum to submit details of their 2018 budget proposals for consideration. The Red Chamber said it will direct the Ministry of Finance not to make releases to those breaking the law. Senate’s directive followed a point of order raised by Senate Leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan, who disclosed that out of 64 government agencies, only the National Communications Commission (NCC) submitted details of its 2018 budget proposal. Consequently, Senator Lawan insisted that the MDAs be given an ultimatum to submit their budget proposals so that they could be considered alongside the national budget presented by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2017. He said, “Mr President submitted the national budget as well as the summary of the budgets of the agencies and by so doing, he has completed his work. What is required of the agencies is for them to present the details of their budgets. “My office has been working closely with the office of the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters, Ita Enang and we have insisted that the details of the budget must be presented to the Senate. “This is necessary so that it would be considered alongside the 2018 budget and be passed as quickly as it can and together. I want this Senate to recognise that the Nigeria Communications Commission presented and submitted what is required. “I want this Senate to give an ultimatum of one week to all the agencies to submit the details of their budget to our committees to consider for appropriation”. In his remarks, Senate President Bukola Saraki regretted that irrespective of efforts by the senior special assistant on National Assembly Matters (Senate) to President Buhari, Senator Ita Enang, agencies have failed to submit their 2018 budget details to the legislature. Saraki lamented over the manner in which the MDAs disregard due process by failing to submit details of their budget proposals, saying, “This has been a matter we have been talking about for a very long time and these agencies continue to have total disregard for due process. “I think it is very clear that the mandate we give to them is one week. Our cooperation should not be misread as weakness or not knowing what to do. “Definitely, we can mandate the Ministry of Finance to ensure that they do not further order releases because they are breaking the law. If after one week they don’t comply then we will take necessary actions to show that they need to comply with the law’’.

HOW DO FRUIT AND VEGETABLES KEEP YOU YOUNG? These foods are rich in vitamins and minerals that keep the body healthy. They also contain chemicals called antioxidants, such as carotene, which are thought to protect against damaging chemicals (‘free radicals) that get into the body. Regular consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables will keep your bones, teeth and organs healthy and will improve the look of your skin. Basically, this is how they contribute to keeping you looking and feeling young, although the exact way in which they prevent disease is not fully understood. – Culled from 100 Best Ways To Stay Young


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Zuma Bows To Pressure, Quits As S/African President BY OMONU NELSON WITH AGENCY REPORT

After intense pressure, Jacob Zuma, yesterday, resigned as President of South Africa. Zuma’s resignation came on the heels of orders by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to bring an end to his nine years in power. His resignation paves the way for Cyril Ramaphosa to take over power. Zuma came under intense pressure after Cyril Ramaphosa, a 65-year-old lawyer and one of the richest black South Africans, emerged as the leader of the party in December. Prior to the emergence of the ANC leader, Zuma’s reign has been plagued with scandal following widespread allegations of corruption leveled against him. In a 30-minute farewell address to the nation, 75-year-old Zuma nonetheless said he disagreed with the way the ANC had shoved him towards an early exit after the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as party president in December.

Mr Zuma said he would leave office with immediate effect despite disagreeing with the ANC’s order for him to resign. “I do not fear exiting political office, however I have asked the party to articulate my transgressions… I fear no motion of no confidence nor impeachment,” Mr Zuma said, adding that he had done nothing wrong. His resignation ends an unprecedented political crisis for the ANC after a weeks-long power struggle with Mr Ramaphosa, deputy president and the party’s leader after defeating Mr Zuma’s preferred successor last year. Earlier yesterday, Zuma, speaking with the South African National Broadcasting Commission (SABC), said he would only step down if the ANC top officials can explain what he had done wrong. “What is it that I’ve done?” he asked. “I indicated to the top six (executives of the ANC) that what they have raised is not the first time. They have raised it in the NEC itself twice and nobody has ever been able to tell

me what the issue is. “The NEC themselves said that I must resign‚ and I find that very strange that I should do so because this is not the first time that they’ve said this. “It’s not a new matter. I need to be furnished with what is it that I have done and unfortunately nobody has been able to tell me what is it that I’ve done. There are processes in the ANC that need to be followed if I have been doing something wrong. “In the discussion‚ I

asked‚ ‘what was the problem? Why must I be persuaded to resign? Have I done anything wrong?’ And of course the officials [must] provide what is it that I’ve done‚” he said. “At the discussion in the NEC nobody was able to tell me what I’ve done. There’s no policy in the ANC and there’s nothing that [says] once there is a new president of the ANC‚ there must be changes. I found it in a sense very unfair to me that this issue has been raised all the time.”

Zuma

Oyegun, Tinubu Meeting Kick-starts APC Reconciliation ➔ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6

not easy to have those changes implemented like instant coffee. We have to grow it and face challenges. I sympathise with us and we should equally look at ourselves. Since we won the election, the expectations were very high and the good will was extremely high. But where are we today? “The solution is to seek opinion and advice on the various complex around some states or if there is any national one, to reconcile, move the party in a cohesive manner and reposition, if any, and build the confidence

among ourselves. “The challenges faced by our government and the president is enormous. It is only because people are not paying attention to the various statistics that are available and we have to push that. I won’t touch those areas yet. “The challenges of security, the challenges of reforms and reengineering the finances of this country, stopping the corruption and challenging the status quo to change and reform ourselves is there. It doesn’t go away over night. You work on and work hard at it”. For us, we have

been patient, we have persevered to having this victory, but how are we now? We should equally face the immediate medium and serious challenges that politically we will be facing. I believe that our party is the hope of Nigeria to improve quality of lives and we will do that.” Earlier, while welcoming Tinubu, Oyegun said, “Your visit is very significant in view of your presidential assignment which I will describe as a peace ambassador, to heal wounds where the party has wounds and bring everybody together behind one

single objective which is the APC being in good condition to be a fighting political force such that in 2019 the election will become virtually a runaway victory for the party. “There is no question at all that we have major issues with the National Assembly, major issues in Kano, Kogi, Benue states which is the current challenge that we are facing. So, we truly welcome your appointment and I want to say that we will give you all the assistance that you will possibly need to make your assignment a most successful one”.

and private partners at the summit. Four of the MOUs were signed with energy companies, while two were signed with agriculture companies. The last was with a global tourism brand that has agreed to build a 20-storey facility on the top of Mount Patti to attract fun-seekers to the state. The signings were only some of the many side attractions on the sidelines of the summit. Two of the MOUs signed in the presence of Vice President Osinbajo who was in attendance on day one are those signed with PowerChina International Group Limited on a 10MW Solar power plant and provision of 33kV lines for evacuation to local grid and Ghaba International on a tourist resort. Speaking on the MOUs, the state

Commissioner for Finance, Asiwaju Idris, said the partners were carefully selected and the Ministry of Justice duly certified the process. He said, "Kogites should be proud that at last they have a governor that has the political will to use the resources of the state to create wealth for the majority of the people". “To demonstrate his

seriousness, in front of live cameras and with the whole world watching, Governor Bello signed two MOUs on day one of the summit that will have lasting positive impact on the economy of the state and her good people. “This shows the summit was not only a talk shop but one that has already wielded results without delay".

FG Targets $25bn Investments From Kogi Gov Ambitious, Visionary – Osinbajo Economic Labs BY JONATHAN NDA–ISAIAH, Abuja

The federal government is targeting $25 billion new investments from the recently launched economic laboratories. This was disclosed by the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, yesterday after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa. Noting that the labs will start in the first week of March, Udoma said government is targeting three areas, including agriculture and transportation, power and gas, as well as manufacturing and processing. He further explained that all the indices in the economy, since President Buhari launched the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan in April, have been moving positively.

He, however, added that the federal government is not satisfied, even as he contended that they could do better. The minister said, “That is why we are organising the labs. The Focused labs will be commencing in the week of the 5th of March. We will be bringing in investors, both domestic and international. We will be looking at three areas Agriculture and Transportation, Power and Gas, Manufacturing and Processing. “It is going to involve many ministers in the Federal Executive Council who are actually going to drive that process. “The target for the labs alone is to generate $25 billion worth of new investments. Some of the investments will be in naira, while some will be in dollars because we are expecting significant amount of domestic investments and not just foreign investments”.

BY SAM EGWU, LOKOJA

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has described Kogi State governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, as an ambitious state chief executive, whose visionary approach to governance will help greatly in the rapid development of the state. In his keynote address at a two-day Economic and Investment Summit in the state, which ended yesterday, Osinbajo described Governor Bello as both ambitious and far-sighted. He said he had been privileged to see a document that outlined a 32-year Master Plan for the state developed by the current government headed by Bello. This is coming just as a total of seven Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) were signed between Kogi State government

Bello


8 NEWS EXTRA

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5 Injured As USBound Plane Makes Emergency Landing In Lagos BY ANTHONY AWUNOR, Lagos

Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal signing the Sokoto 2018 budget into law as other officials of the state look on, yesterday.

Reps Move To Prohibit Overseas Treatment For Public Servants BY ADEBIYI ADEDAPO, Abuja

TheHouse of Representatives has passed for second reading a bill seeking to prohibit public officials from accessing medical treatment abroad at the expense of the government. The bill which seeks to amend the National Health Act 2014 is sponsored by Hon Sergius Ogun. Ogun, in his lead debate, said the bill seeks to put an end

to huge cost incurred by the government in the treatment of public officials abroad. “I want to make it clear that it does not bar anybody that has the money from getting treatment abroad. “Nigeria is the only country where the president is flown out for treatment and brought back home to die. “Nigeria is the only country where the president is flown out for six months, without

us knowing the cost of the treatment.” Ogun decried the poor state of health facilities in the country and urged the House to take action to reverse the ugly situation in the interest of the people, who voted them into office. The lawmaker, while canvassing support for the bill, said if it is passed it would strenghten existing public and private institutions in the

country. Besides, he said the passage of the bill would “facilitate the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) in relation to health through the establishment of strong health institutions and vigilant regulatory authorities.” Lawmakers, who contributed to the debate, lauded the bill, stating that it will go a long way in improving health care in the country.

FG Raises Tin Can Project Cost From N8.66bn To N9.5bn BY JONATHAN NDA - ISAIAH, Abuja

The federal government has approved the augmentation of the price of Tin can project from N8.66 billion to N9.553 billion . Speaking to State House correspondents after the federal executive council meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari, minister of power, works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola said the project will be completed this year. He said, “The ministry of power, works and housing presented only one memo. A memorandum

seeking the augmentation of the price due to the need for increased scope of work especially shoreline protection of the Tin Can Trailer and Truck Pack, which is almost finished. “It is an ongoing project. We sought council’s to augment the price from N8.66 billion to N9.553 billion which was an augmentation of N892.177. 289 million. “ We expect that that truck park will now be completed this year and it will be one of the many multi-prong efforts being pursued to give relief to the Apapa area, to facilitate vehicular truck and trailer movement and also maritime

and import and export business and general economic activity for Apapa in particular, Lagos at large and the country as a whole. The memorandum was approved. On the construction of Apapa Oshodi way, Fashola said road development is clearly the mandate of the ministry of power, works and housing, especially the work sector by legislation. According to him, there is multi agencies collaboration between the Nigerian Port Authority, the Apapa Ports, Tin Can Island which are critical to the economy are affected. He said, “You will recall I briefed

you about a four kilometre stretch between the bridge from the Apapa Police when you are coming from Ojora, just to the junction of Point road right through to Wharf road, to entrance of the Apapa Port. That is the stretch that the Dangote Group, the Flour Mills, and the NPA agreed to do as soon as possible a CSR - Corporate Social Responsibility , that is going on. It hit a problem because after the works started we found that the gas lines that supported most of the industries there and keep them in operation were within the right of way.

INEC: REC Nominee Shun Appointment As Senate Confirms 7 BY SOLOMON AYADO and AHURAKA ISAH, Abuja

However, the Osun nominee, Eric Olawale has reportedly turned down his nomination by The S enate, y esterday a pproved President Muhammadu Buhari the confirmation o f s even as he (Olawale) was said by the Resident Electoral Commissioners Senate committee to have failed (RECs) of the Independent to show up during the screening, National Electoral Commission with no reason tendered. (INEC). Although no cogent reason Out of the nine names was given as to while the submitted by the Chairman, confirmation of the Akwa-Ibom Senate Committee on INEC, nominee was stepped down, Senator Suleiman Nazif, the just as there was no explanation approval for the nominee of for the absence of the Osun Akwa Ibom, Elder MondayUdom nominee during the screening Tom, was stepped down. by Senate.

The confirmed nominees are: Baba Abba Yusuf, Borno; Segun Agbaje, Ekiti; Uthman Abdulrahman, Kwara;Cyril Omorogbe, Edo;Yahaya Bello, Nasarawa;Emmanuel Alex Hart, Rivers and Mohammed Magaji Ibrahim, Gombe respectively. Pursuant to the rules of Senate, the Upper Chamber had in plenary on Thursday, December 21, 2017 referred to the committee on INEC the request of President Muhammadu Buhari to confirm the nominees.

Yesterday, the report of the committee was presented by the chairman, Senator Suleiman Nazif (Bauchi North). He explained that the nominees were duly cleared by the relevant security agencies including the police, DSS and the Code of Conduct Bureau. Nazif further noted that after a thorough scrutiny of all the relevant documents of the nominees, members of the committee were unanimously satisfied with the extensive qualifications, experiences and suitability.

Delta Airline has confirmed that five passengers were injured after an Atlantabound flight from Lagos was forced to turn back yesterday after the plane experienced engine issues. In an official statement made available to LEADERSHIP yesterday, the management of Delta Airline confirmed that five customers reported non-critical injuries as a result of the evacuation. “Delta flight 55 from Lagos to Atlanta returned to Lagos International AirportTuesday after an issue with one of the A330-200’s two engines. The flight landed safely and customers exited the aircraft on the runway via emergency slides. Airport fire authorities met the aircraft upon arrival. Delta’s customers were bussed back to the terminal”, the airline stated. It further stated that Delta teams provided overnight hotel accommodations to customers and also rebooked customers on an alternate Delta aircraft yesterday afternoon. According to Delta, flight 55 from Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos took off from the airport around 10:50 p.m Nigerian time. The flight had only been in the air for a little less than an hour and a half, and had only traveled 29 of its roughly 5,800mile journey, before one of the A330200’s two engines reported issues.

Inflation Declines For 12th Consecutive Time, Drops To 15.1% BY BUKOLA IDOWU, Lagos and MBAKAAN KWEN, Abuja

The rate at which the prices of goods and services rose in Nigeria slowed in January this year to 15.13 per cent from 15.37 per cent, recording a decline for the 12th consecutive month since it began to decline in January last year. Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its inflation report released yesterday showed that food inflation which had been rising, declined in January. The NBS food price index showed inflation at 18.92 percent in January, compared with 19.42 percent in December. “The rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of imported food in general as well as bread and cereals, milk, cheese, meat, potatoes and other tubers.” On a month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 0.80 percent in January 2018, 0.21 percent points higher from the rate of 0.59 percent recorded in December 2017. The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the twelve-month period ending January 2018 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve-month period was 16.22 percent, showing 0.28 percent point lower from 16.50 percent recorded in December 2017. The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the twelvemonth period ending January 2018 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve-month period was 16.22 percent, showing 0.28 percent point lower from 16.50 percent recorded in December 2017.


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Speaker, Group Mourn Ex-Kwara Chief Judge BY ABDULLAHI OLESIN, Ilorin

The Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Dr. Ali Ahmad has described the death of a former Chief Judge of the state, Justice Saka Yusuf as a great loss to the judiciary, Ilorin Emirate and the entire state. Also, a socio- cultural association, the Advancement Front of Alanamu Central (ADFAC, Ilorin has commiserated with the Emir of Ilorin, Alh Ibrahim Sulu- Gambari over the demise of the jurist. The Speaker’s condolence message was issued by his Special Assistant on Media, Shuaib Abdulkadir, while that of ADFAC was signed by its president, Alh Mas’ud Adebimpe. Ahmad said that the retired judge’s contributions to the judiciary could not be quantified. He noted that the legal luminary who served as the chief judge during Dr. Bukola Saraki’s administration as the state governor did not bungle the opportunity but served meritoriously and left good legacies. He added that as a judge, Yusuf was well respected by lawyers for his articulate judgement delivery in all cases he handled and as an incorruptible judge. The Speaker regretted that his service delivery to the judiciary, experience, expertise and wisdom would be missed, noting that he had been a role model to several judges and Emirate sons and daughters.

Auto Accident Claims 5 Lives In Niger – Sector Commander BY NAN

The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) in Niger yesterday said that five people were killed in an accident on Bida-Sabon Gida-Minna Road. FRSC Sector Commander, Mr Yusuf Garba, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna. He said 19 persons, who were critically injured in the accident, were receiving treatment at the Bida General Hospital. He explained that the accident, which involved a Jinbel Bus, occurred on Tuesday at about 9:20 p.m. in Sabon Gida village of Bida Local Government Area. He said that the unit command did not receive any official report when the incident occurred. “It was this morning that our patrol team visited the scene which is 24 kilometers off Bida-Minna Road,” the sector commander said. According to him, the cause of the accident was speeding and overloading. He said that FRSC personnel in the outposts would continue to monitor road users against overloading, dangerous driving and indiscriminate parking on the highways.

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NORTH CENTRAL 9

Niger Yet To Dissolve Council Chairmen – Gov Bello

As coalition of some youth groups in Niger state kick over the resolution of the house asking Niger state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani-Bello to dissolve the 25 local government councils in the state, the Governor has said that the local governments are yet to be dissolved. The Governor in a statement by his chief Press Secretary, Jibrin Baba Ndace stated that Niger State

Local Government Councils have not been dissolved yet. According to the statement: “As a matter of fact, His Excellency, is awaiting the official transmission of the resolution of the Niger State House of Assembly for necessary action. In view of this, citizens are advised to be calm and go about thier normal businesses”. In a swift reaction,coalition of some youth groups in the State

kicked against the State House of Assembly for what they referred to as a predetermined two years package of reports of 25 local government councils within five day seeking for their dissolution. The President and Convener of YouthLead Nigeria, Comrade Mohammed Umar Etsu urged the state Governor to receive the house advise with an open mind but should order for a through re-

view of the house report and resolution. Etsu stated that the status quo must be maintained until further judicial pronouncement is made alleging that, “The house of assembly hurriedly packaged reports which was done within 5days to coincide with their predetermined 2 years in office of the local councils speaks more of malice and a hatchet job than an effort to right a wrong” .

Beneficiaries of GEEP MarketMoni programme of Bank of Industry in Kogi State, celebrating during 2018 Small and Medium Enterprises Clinic in Lokoja, yesterday.

No Illegal Deductions From Workers’ Salaries - KWSG BY ABDULLAHI OLESIN, Ilorin

The Kwara state government has clarified that only statutory deductions are made from the salaries of state and local government workers and pensioners. This clarification followed claims that the local government

workers in the state received reduced pay instead of the full January salary as previously announced by the councils’ authorities. The clarification was made in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communication to the state governor, Dr Muideen Akorede.

According to Akorede, other deductions are for loans and cooperatives as supplied to the payment consultants by the state ministry of Finance and local governments treasurers as a well as a N200 monthly charge agreed and endorsed by all labour unions in the state including the NUT, NLC, JNC and NULGE.

Akorede also pointed to the position of the Kwara State Chapter of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria( ALGON), that the January Salary was paid in full and that no one is making unauthorized deductions from the monthly entitlements of LG staff and pensioners in the state.

Plateau State Government Sacks 747 Teachers The Plateau State government has sacked 747 primary school teachers. The government also announced the reinstatement of 141 teachers disengaged earlier. Some of the teachers who lost their jobs are among those who failed to tender the minimum teaching qualification certificates as required by the state’s Teaching Service Commission.

The Chairman of the state’s Universal Basic Education, Mathew Sule, made this disclosure on yesterday in Jos, the state capital, at a refresher course for officials in the education sector. Mr. Sule said the affected teachers did not present the basic certificates that qualified them to teach in public schools within the time stipulat-

ed for them to do so. He said those who had attained the maximum number of years of public service were also retired. In respect of the 141 teachers recalled, Mr. Sule merely said they had met the requirements laid down by government. The immediate past administration of former Governor Jonah Jang,

shortly before he left office, sacked over 4000 primary school teachers it found not to have the basic qualifications to teach. Mr. Sule also revealed that there was an urgent need to employ new teachers to fill the vacancies created by retirements and to enable public schools to have teachers for all subjects.

Maku Clears Air Over Invitation By DSS BY DANJUMA JOSEPH, Lafia

The national secretary of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, Mr. Labaran Maku has cleared the air over invitation extended to him by the Department of State Security Service. Contrary to allegations making the rounds that the Na-

sarawa APGA governorship candidate in the 2015 elections was invited for investigation on corruption indictment, Maku said, “the purpose of the invitation was to caution me over threat to my life”. “ The DSS intercepted an information that is of interest to my personal security. So they called

me to draw my attention to be careful and proactive”. The APGA chieftain who was at the state secretariat of his party in Lafia yesterday to address his supporters on false rumor that he was quizzed by the DSS over corruption issue told newsmen that it has never being in his nature to touch things that does

not belong to him let alone stealing from government coffers. Maku lamented that the great work that security operatives are doing to secure lives are being muddled in political waters but called on Nigerians to appreciate and support the intelligent services of security operatives in the country.


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2019: INEC Reviews Communication Policy

BY SUNDAY ISUWA, Abuja

Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has met with stakeholders in Lagos to review its communication Policy. The meeting which brought together experts and technocrats, reviewed the document intended to serve the internal and external communications needs of INEC for improved electoral services. Declaring open the Round Table Meeting of the Technical Committee on the Policy in Lagos yesterday, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Prince Solomon Adedeji Shoyebi , said the meeting was convened to review the existing policy, not to draft a new one. ‘’All we are here to do is to review and produce a Policy which will be presented as a final document to the Commission. ‘’This is a 3rd level review; we do not need a new draft because we believe in continuity’’, he explained. Prince Soyebi described the composition of the Committee as one of the sources of its strengths and congratulated the old members who participated in producing the initial policy for being part of the review and welcome new members whose resourcefulness were needed to add value to the existing document. Earlier, in a welcome address, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Lagos State, Sam Olumekun, thanked members for choosing Lagos to serve as the venue for the meeting and emphasized the need for the review. ‘’The need for sound Communication Policy, especially in a heterogeneous society as ours cannot be over-emphasized’’, he said.

R-L: National Chairman of All Progressives Congress, (APC), John Odigie Oyegun; national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and national secretary, Mai Mala Buni during a meeting with Tinubu at party secretariat, Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO BY OYEDELE OMOKAGBO

Tinubu’s Counsel On Retirees’ Club Suits President Buhari – PDP

BY CHIBUZO UKAIBE, Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the counsel by All Progressives Congress (APC) national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, that former Presidents of the country should quit politics and join the retiree’s club, best suits President Muhammadu Buhari. The party said Tinubu’s stance completely vindicates the positions of former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida,the PDP as well as majority of Nigerians, who hold that President Buhari should not seek re-election in 2019, having woefully failed in governance and nation building.

The party further said that President Buhari ought to step aside largely due to his inability to connect with the social and economic realities and speed of the current generation. The PDP, in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Monday, said Asiwaju Tinubu is proverbially passing a message to President Buhari and his supporters on the fact that their candidate no longer enjoy mass acceptance among Nigerians ahead of the 2019 general elections. “Every discerning Nigerian has discovered the fact that Asiwaju Tinubu is subtly passing a critical message to President Buhari and his supporters that he should not contest

the 2019 election and that Nigerians have already moved on even without them. “Even Asiwaju Tinubu knows that President Buhari, for obvious reasons, is the most qualified of all our elder statesmen to join the retiree’s club and save the nation the agony of more years of misrule characterized by untold economic hardship, heavy bloodletting and general indignation. “The supporters of President Buhari should therefore accept the reality by reading the handwriting on the wall and heed wise counsel from well-meaning Nigerians. “In any case, the APC is already on a death throe, having led

the worst government in the history of our nation and will end up as the first party in government at the centre that will be rejected by Nigerians at a second attempt. “It is to this end that the repositioned PDP has opened its doors to all in the patriotic quest to end the APC misrule by ensuring a new engagement among Nigerians from all walks of life. “The PDP, through our platform, will enable Nigerians the opportunity of bringing up a dynamic and result-oriented Presidential candidate imbued with the required capacity and who understands the dynamics of growing a prosperous nation of our collective dream.”

‘Policy Framework, Investment Stalling We Have Broken The Heart , Soul Of Shekau’s Group – Theatre Commander Growth Of Nigeria BY FRANCIS OKOYE He said a total of 49 Gun trucks were struction is ongoing in the forest to ed to bring you up to date on troops’ recovered in addition to assorted vehi- make an access road as displaced operational activities covering from Blue Economy’ The Theatre Commander of Operation cles and ammunition in the said op- Persons return home. mid December 2017 to mid FebruMaiduguri

BY YUSUF BABALOLA, Lagos

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA),has said lack of investment and legal framework has prevented the country from maximising the benefits from the nation’s blue economy. This was disclosed by the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside at a one day seminar for maritime media stakeholders in Lagos. He said ocean resources if maximally utilised is enough to sustain the Nigeria without even depending on oil. He said, “research has shown that what we have beneath the sea, in the sea and above the sea is more than what oil and gas can offer us. And as a nation we have not been able to take advantage of it. And because we have no knowledge of it we are ignorant of what blue economy can give us as a country. Dr. Peterside stated that the African continent have not been able to maximise opportunities in the blue economy. His words, “it is not a Nigerian thing but an African challenge. G ‎ overnment has failed to put in necessary policy and framework to enable the people take advantage of blue economy. In many nations of the world, they have a sub department of blue economy and we have none in Nigeria. “Also, lac‎k of investment is another challenge. There is nowhere one reaps without investment and as a country we have no investment in blue economy. “For instance, in deep sea shipping, we have made no investment a‎ nd if there is no investment we can’t reap the benefit. We are one of the most endowed region in the world but we have not been able to maximise the opportunity in the nation’s blue economy.

Lafiya Dole, Maj Gen Rogers Nicholas has yesterday said that troops of Operation Lafiya Dole in continuation of Operation Deep Punch II have broken the soul and heart of Abubakar Shekau’s group in Sambisa forest. Maj Gen Nicholas also said the troops killed 186 Boko Haram terroriststs , arrested 34 , while 1, 320 others surrenderd to both Nigerian, cameroonian and Niger Forces , as a total number of 3,745 Civilians were rescued between mid December 2017 and Mid February this year.

eration. Maj Gen Nicholas stated this at the command and control centre of Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri, while briefing the press on the exploits of troops within the Theatre in the past one and half months. He said unlike before when troops will capture sambisa and leave it for Boko Haram to reoccupy, the troops this time will remain in the forest until everything about Boko Haram is flushed out from the forest. He said to maintain this road con-

“ I am delighted to welcome you to the monthly update on the activities of Operation LAFIYA DOLE. Over the past one and a half months, our troops have remained resilient, dauntless and focused on the Counter terrorism and counter insurgency operations in the North East. “ A review of the activities within this period indicates that Boko Haram Terrorists are in disarray having suffered defeat in the Sambisa forest and are therefore desperate for reckoning. This press briefing is intend-

Pro-chancellors Mourn Prof Gwamna BY TUNDE OGUNTOLA, Abuja

The Association of Pro-chancellors of Private Universities in Nigeria (APPUN) has described the death of Prof. Dogara Gwamna as a huge loss to the country’s education sector and the intelligentsia community. Commiserating with the family members and close associates of Prof. Gwam-

na, the chairman, APPUN, Amb. Prof. Iyorwuese Hagher said his demise has robbed the nation’s education sector of a great icon, a creative genius and a passionate advocate of education. Prof. Gwamna died on February 3, 2018 at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH) after a brief illness, his burial is slated for February 17, 2018. Late Prof. Gwamna hailed from Na-

knuse, in Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. He was born on the August 26, 1961 to Late Pastor and Mrs Gwamna Waije Dakwoyi. Dogara started his primary school education at the SIM Primary School, Naknuse between 1970 & 1975. He eventually proceeded to Government Secondary School, Nasarawa where he obtained the West African School Certificate in 1980.

Shortly after his preparation for higher education at the School of Preliminary Study, Keffi in 1982 he proceeded to the University of Jos where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts and Doctorate degrees at between 1985 and 2006. Prof Gwamna was tutored by great Biblical Scholars like Professors McCain and Wambutda, himself of blessed memory.

formance of his administration, having set out to develop needed infrastructure and human capita in the state. In a statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on press and public communications, Junaidu Usman Abubakar, he said the allegations by one Abubakar Isyaku from Gombe state was an open falsehood intended to mislead the people of the state and Nigeria as a country.

Abubakar stated that Isyaku struggled to paint Governor Dankwambo in a bad light. Initially my thinking was to ignore him as a mere mischief of an individual who not only lacks knowledge of the subject matter, he was writing about, but also deficient in the art development and governance’. On the allegation that the state of hospitals in Gombe state was deplorable

means Isyaku left no one in doubt that he is not in tune with developments in Gombe, the hospital in question has been upgraded to1500-bed Urban Maternity for Children & Women Hospital.The following were also constructed: a Dialysis Centre, in the Specialist Hospital Gombe, College of Nursing and Midwifery, Dukku, a Snake-bite Centre in Kaltungo as well as supply and installation of 4 Dialysis machines and 2 Dialysis chairs.

Be Factual, Dankwambo Tells Critics BY HOSEA YUSUF, Abuja

Gombe state governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo has advised critics of his administration to at all times carry out research and proper investigations into state matters before dishing out such information to the public, in order not to mislead the people. He said mischief and attacks against his government by political opponents will not derail the functionality and per-

ary 2018. “The period under review has been characterised by heavy artillery and aerial bombardments culminating in a series of ground offensives to clear identified Boko Haram enclaves in the Islands of the Lake Chad, also known as the “Tumbus” and Camp Zairo in the Sambisa. In these operations, many insurgents have been killed, others have fled for safety, while some others surrendered to our troops and allies in the Multinational Joint Task Force.


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NATIONAL NEWS 11

Amnesty: APC Youths Pass Vote Of Confidence On Boro BY ANDREW ESSIEN, Abuja The leadership of the Coalition of APC Youth Support Groups, South-south zone, has passed a vote of confidence on the coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brig. Gen. Paul Boro (rtd) urging him to do more. Addressing a press conference in Abuja yesterday, chairman of the coalition, Amb. Fubara Dagogo, who spoke on behalf of other stakeholders of the governing party, said the success stories recorded very fast since Boro’s assumption of office made the young men and women in the South-south believe that with right people in leadership change is possible. He said the current leadership of the Presidential Amnesty Programme has lived up to expectations. Fabura, who is also the leader of APC South-south Youth Assembly, said the assessment of Gen. Boro by the group shows that his office has never discriminated against participants of the amnesty programme. He urged Paul Boro to derive strength from the current challenges facing his office and see it as impetus to successfully carry out his assignment.

Recall Of Shehu Sani Wasteful Venture – Group

L-R Africa Regional Director of International Republican Institute (IRI), Mr. John Tomaszewski; President of IRI Mr. Daniel Twinning, and former vice president Atiku Abubakar, at a meeting with a delegation of IRI in Abuja, yesterday.

NUPENG Suspends 15-Day Ultimatum Over Unresolved Labour Issues BY OLAJIDE FABAMISE, Lagos

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has suspended the 15-day ultimatum it earlier issued to federal government over unresolved labour issues due to the timely intervention of the government. NUPENG in a statement signed by its president, Comrade Igwe Achese and secretary general, Comrade Joseph Ogbebor and obtained

BY RAHILA ABDULLAHI, Kaduna

A Kaduna based group, Youth Movement For Credible Governance, has described the alleged plot to recall Senator Shehu Sani from the National Assembly as a “wasteful exercise”. The group, at a press conference in Kaduna, tackled Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai for allegedly sponsoring the alleged recall of Senator Sani. The coordinator of the Youth Movement, Mustapha Aliyu said, “It is therefore, outrageous that rather than commit himself to revamping the state, Governor El-Rufa’i would devote his entire energy, state resources and time to a futile and fraudulent recall process of Shehu Sani that would further plunge the state into unimaginable debts.” “Our attention has been drawn to the new vindictive and fraudulent recall process being orchestrated by the so-called ‘Concerned Kaduna Central Indigenes’ through one Aliyu Sa’idu Dan Baturiya sponsored by the governor of Kaduna State, Nasiru Ahmad El-Rufa’i against Shehu Sani, the Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District in the Senate. “It is no longer news that this latest round of drama is the culmination of the frosty relationship that exists between the domineering Governor and the fearless Senator. We are worried about this embarrassing scenario in our dear state particularly our senatorial zone,” he said. He said, “What we are seeing today is Shehu Sani’s consistent insistence not to join Nasiru El-Rufa’i in impoverishing Kaduna State.” “It is no secret that since Nasiru El-Rufa’i became governor, he has plunged Kaduna State into one crises or the other in a bid to become the Emperor of Kaduna State politics. “This did not stop him from retrenching both the state and local government workers. Many of the state owned institutions have not been performing optimally in spite of being a beneficiary of the federal government’s bailout funds and also the Paris club refund,” he added.

by LEADERSHIP in Lagos, said the suspension of the ultimatum which should have expired on Thursday, February 15, 2018 was due to the understanding reached after a meeting with federal government through the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS). The DSS resolved to host a meeting between the Managing Director of AMCON and NUPENG leadership on Wednesday to find a lasting

solution to the lingering crisis of non-payment of terminal benefits and backlog of salaries to Seawolf Drilling Company workers that were laid-off over six years ago. The DSS also resolved to convene a stakeholders meeting between the Union and the International Oil Companies (IOCS) over the unresolved labour issues. Based on the agreement reached at the meeting with the DSS, NUPENG resolved

after an emergency meeting of the National Administrative Council (NAC) in Abuja to suspend the 15-day ultimatum issued the federal government in order to pave way for dialogue to settle the nagging problems. LEADERSHIP recalls that the issues have remained unresolved despite NUPENG’s persistent calls on authorities to intervene and resolve them before they degenerate into crisis situations.

Over Half Of Intending Pilgrims May Miss Hajj – AHUON BY STELLAMARIES AMUWA, Abuja

The Association of Hajj and Umrah Operators of Nigeria (AHUON), has raised the alarm over the slow pace of the combine mandatory enrolment process of fingerprint collection and photo capture for applicants going on Hajj and Umrah by VFS TasHeel International. It said this might deny thousands of intending pilgrims the privilege of performing their religious rights. The association in a protest visit to VFS office yesterday in Abuja, lamented the inhuman treatment meted out to applicants and the level of alleged extortion by some staff of the organization. It asked that it should be allowed to capture its clients as part of efforts to relief them of the

stress of traveling thousands of miles just for finger capturing. It would be recalled that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia recently mandated VFS TasHeel International to manage and administer the Saudi Arabian visa application process. This will also include mandatory enrolment process of fingerprint collection and photo capture for all applicants. The association said the slow pace of the exercise is putting it in a difficult position as its members have been losing millions of Naira since clients have been missing their flight schedules leading to the agents incurring more cost. Speaking after the meeting, a leader of the association who does not want his name in the print said: “We are here to see what is happening at the VFS Centre with regards

to biometric capturing of the intending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia. “The challenges now is the delays, you can see people that have been here for days, yet are not able to be captured. At times, it takes hours for one person’s biometric to be captured and if one is going for Umrah, the delay can lead to missing of flight. With what is going on, thousands of intending pilgrims will miss the forthcoming Hajj. “There are those that came from Taraba State to Abuja for this purpose and they missed their flight, and the next available flight is in two days time, and when they came here, they were asked to pay N22,000 extra charges. The initial payment is supposed to be N1,700,” he explained. He said the policy has

affected their businesses badly, adding: “From my office, they have been able to capture only two people. Because other people are staying away, they don’t just like the idea. You can imagine people coming from others states on flight just for finger capturing, others spent hours by roads.” That has been our complaints; we all know the security situation on the road. However, the manager of VSF TASHEEEL, Mr Vinets, assured that the organisation has the capacity to capture Nigerian pilgrims adding that the organisation has ordered for two more machines for the exercise. Also the head, Security VFS, Mr Peter Out, urged the agents to provide evidence of alleged extortion of their clients, promising that the organisation will deal with any culprit caught.

Workers Welfare Our Top Priority – HoS BY BIDON MIBZAR, Abuja

The head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HoS), Mrs. Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita has assured union officers in the federal civil service that the service under her watch will not trivialise issues that pertains to the welfare of workers nor will it shut its doors to their demands. Oyo-Ita gave the assurance yesterday at the 2nd Edition of the Permanent Secretary, Service Welfare Office Quarterly Breakfast Meeting with Labour Leaders at the Reiz Continental

Hotel in Abuja. While stating that the meeting will help create a good working relationship between labour leaders and the administration of the service, the number one civil servant, also revealed that promotions, especially for the 2014 batch of directors as well as the embargo placed on promotion has been settled. “A number of issues are already receiving the attention of my office. Very dear to my heart is the issue of conducive work environment for staff; to achieve

this, I have recently set up a Committee on Office Allocation and Expansion with focus on maintenance, rehabilitation and expansion of office allocation to MDAs. “Similarly, I have also approved the constitution of two other committees on development of a Policy Framework for Public Service, Disaster Prevention and Safety Management as well as a Joint Committee on the Development of a Framework for the implementation of

Occupational Safety and Health Programme in the Public Service”, she said. Deputy president, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and past president, Nigeria Civil Service Union, Mohammed Kiri, lamented that poor succession is common in the civil service. He however, praised the efforts of the Oyo-Ita led civil service for creating the enabling environment that ensures the passage of necessary skills to younger generation of civil servants.


12 SOUTH SOUTH 2019: Ayade, Oko Endorsed For Second Term BY EBRIKU JOHN FRIDAY, Abuja

Ahead of the 2019 general election, Advocacy for Good Governance Group in conjunction with Senator Dr Rose Oko Integrity Group yesterday endorsed Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade and Senator Rose Oko to run for second term in office as governor and senator respectively. Ayade, who is popularly known as digital Governor is still serving his first, while Senator Rose is currently the female senator representing Cross River Northern Senatorial District in the Senate and the chairman, Senate Committee on Diaspora and Non-Governmental Organisation (NGOs). The endorsement, which was done at a one-day solidarity and sensitisation programme by the groups took place at Igoli in Ogoja Local Government Area of Cross River State with coordinators and members across the five LGAs in the north. According to the resolution of the groups, their decision to endorse the two leaders from Cross River North was based on the outcome of their assessment of the responsive and pragmatic leadership of the duo as well as their performance and laudable achievements in their first term in office, which they said has impacted positively in the well being of the citizens of the state and senatorial district.

Gov Ugwuanyi Awards N2.4 billion State, Federal Road Projects BY NNAMDI SAMUEL, Enugu

The administration of Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has awarded contracts for the construction of six major roads across the state at the sum of N2.4 billion, covering the EhaAmufu-Nkalagu federal road at Isi-Uzo Local Government Area, which has been in a deplorable condition. Other roads include the extension of the Agbani-Afor Amurri road; the extension of Ituku road; the construction of Ogonogoeji Ndi Agu Akpugo road (Atavu Bailey Bridge –Afor Onovo); the construction of 42 meter span Bailey bridge and road works across river Nyama to Amechi-Linking Umuogo and Umuagba Amechi Uno/ Obinagu community, all in Nkanu West L.G.A. It would be recalled that Gov. Ugwuanyi had recently inspected most of the road projects, where he promised the immediate intervention of his administration and reiterated his commitment to the development of the rural areas to give the dwellers a sense of belonging and make life more meaningful for them.

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MOSOP Decries Attack On Ogoni Community By Suspected Herdsmen

BY ANAYO ONUKWUGHA, Port Harcourt

The Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP),has decried the recent attack on the people of Okpaku community in Eleme local government area of Rivers State by suspected Fulani herdsmen. This is as it expressed displeasure over an attempt by the Shell Petroleum Development Company of

Nigeria Limited (SPDC) to forcefully resume oil production in Ogoniland. MOSOP, in a statement issued in Port Harcourt yesterday by its Publicity Secretary, Fegalo Nsuke, said one person was stabbed with a knife by the suspected herdsmen at Okpaku community. The statement reads, “MOSOP strongly condemn the breakdown of law and order following the at-

tack on the Ogoni community and called on the Rivers State commissioner of Police to regulate the activities of herders and swiftly provide security for local people in the area who could be victims of further attacks as had been recorded in parts of the country. “The Steering Committee also noted that MOSOP has not and had never endorsed any oil firm to operate the Ogoni oilfields. Steer-

ing Committee held that any form of oil production in Ogoni was not acceptable at this time.” Meanwhile, MOSOP has expressed displeasure over the alleged attempt by Shell Petroleum Development Committee (SPDC) to resume oil production in Ogoniland. A statement issued in Port Harcourt by its spokesman, Nsuke, MOSOP said, “We state unequivocally that the actions of Shell are

Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha exchanging pleasantry with the Medical Director of Federal Medical center Umuahia, Abia State, Dr Abali Chuku at the Imo Government house, yesterday.

Agripreneur Project: Edo Govt Calls For Maize, Cassava, Rice Off-takers The Edo State Government has called for off-takers of maize, cassava and rice harvest from farmers under its Agripreneur project in the coming planting season. In a statement in Benin City, the Special Adviser to Edo State Governor on Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security Programme, Hon. Prince Joe Okojie, said the state government is committed to linking off-takers to farmers to reduce post-harvest losses and guarantee investments in agricul-

ture in the state. The state government initiated the agripreneur programme to engage youths in agribusiness, provided them with land, assisted in farm management and facilitated access to high-yielding crop varieties and other inputs. The programme was piloted in 2017 with some of the farmers located at the Sobe Farm settlement. According to Okojie, “The offtakers would mop up the harvest

from the farms, and we can assure that the produce would be of the best quality because we are working with experts to train the farmers on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and also supply the best of inputs to ensure that the produce meet standards. “This is also another avenue for the state governor to ensure that the youths going into agriculture are assured of buyers and aggregators for their produce, so that they are motivated to stay on the

farms and are assured of returns from their investment.” The Agripreneur Project is part of Governor Godwin Obaseki’s Accelerated Agriculture Initiatives, through which 5,000 hectares of farmland would be cultivated. About 1,000 hectares was cultivated last year which provided employment for 200 youths in the state. Over 2,000 hectares of land have been cleared, much of which will be included in the agripreneur programme this year.

Delta Traditional Rulers Say No Land For Cattle Colonies BY NOSA ERESOYEN, Asaba

The Delta State Council of Traditional Rulers has flayed Federal Government over cattle colonies, insisting on “No land for cattle colonies”. In a statement issued and signed by the chairman of the council, Obi of Owa Kingdom, Dr. Emmanuel Efeizomor; a copy made available

to our reporter, said the council was solidly behind the position of the State Government on the nonavailability of land for a cattle colony in the state, adding that the topography of the state, coupled with upland/riverine challenges, makes it extremely impossible for land to be available for such venture. The Traditional Rulers however called on the State Government to

forward a bill to the State House of Assembly for a legislation that will be enforceable to give a legal backings to the position of government on the matter. The statement explained that due to the desire of government to promote agriculture through the engagement of youths in farming, and other agricultural purposes, the issue of land was so dear to the

people of the state, adding: “there is immense pressure on the available land in the state, at least for now, considering the huge direct investment on agriculture by investors, courtesy of the state government”. It insisted; “No land for the establishment of cattle colonies in Delta State, and all the traditional rulers are on the same page with the state government.

Deposed Edo Traditional Ruler Dissociates Self From PDP’s Comment BY PATRICK OCHOGA, Benin City

The deposed Onojie of Uromi, Anslem Odaloghe Eidenojie, yesterday disassociated himself from the statement made by the Edo state chairman of the Peoples Democratic (PDP), Chief Dan Orbih, who urged the peo-

ple of Uromi not to vote for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in future elections for deposing their king. Orbih stated this when the leadership of the PDP visited Uromi last week. In his statement however, Eidenojie who was deposed by former

governor Adams Oshiomhole, described the statement as uncalled for and expressed his loyalty to the governor Godwin Obaskei-led administration. The statement said: ¨My attention has been drawn to statements published in some newspapers, and credited to the

Chairman of a political party in Edo State during their visit to Uromi, where it was alleged he gave an ultimatum to the state government, within which to effect my reinstatement to the throne and also urged the people of Uromi not to vote for the political party that deposed their king.


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F E AT U R E S N E W S T I P S I N T E R V I E W

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40 percent of cancer cases is treatable

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Controlled Medicines: Nigeria Strategises To Bridge Gaps, Curtail Abuse As controlled medicines become highly inaccessible in the country, government and other stakeholders are making efforts to bridge the gap as well as curtail abuse. PATIENCE IVIE IHEJIRIKA writes.

R

ecently, the problem of drug abuse particularly among youths and house wives has become a major concern for government, traditional and religious institution, International Drug Control Agencies, families and well-meaning Nigerians due to the havoc caused by the dangerous phenomenon. This is also as controlled medicines become unavailable and inaccessible in the country, thereby making many patients to undergo untold suffering. In an attempt to address these gaps, the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC), had developed the National Policy for Controlled Medicines. This is in line with the 3 international Drug Control Conventions meant at protecting human health by ensuring access to con-

trolled medicines for medical and scientific purposes while preventing diversion and abuse. the polices and guidelines documents are; National Policy for Controlled Medicines and its implementation strategies, National Guidelines for Quantification of Narcotic Medicines, National Guidelines for Estimation of Psychotropic Substances and Precursors and National Minimum Standards for Drug Dependence Treatment in Nigeria. Speaking at the launching recently in Abuja, the minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said the effort is aimed at protecting human health by ensuring access to controlled medicines for medical and scientific purposes while preventing diversion and abuse. He said it also addresses the issue of stigma and fear associated with the use of some controlled medicines. According to him, controlled

medicines, especially schedule 1 narcotics have remained largely unavailable and inaccessible for medical use in the country. Prof. Adewole, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, FMOH, Mr. Clement Uwaifo, noted that the report released by the Global Access to Pain Relief Initiative (GAPRI) in 2012, showed that only 0.1% of patients with HIV/AIDS and cancer that required narcotic medicines to manage moderate and severe pain in the country could access these medicines. He also said that these patients and those suffering from injuries caused by accident and violence ,some chronic illnesses and those recovering from surgery undergo untold suffering due to lack of opioid analgesics which can easily control pain. The minister therefore informed that the Minimum Standards for Drug Dependence Treatment pol-

icy document would guide policy makers and hospitals to assess compliance with standards by the health facilities involved in the treatment of drug dependence. “The National Guidelines for Quantification of Narcotic Medicines and National Guidelines for Estimation of Psychotropic substances and Precursor s which are some of the tools required to implement the National Policy forControlled Medicines have been developed. “These guidelines outline the methodology and tools to scientifically estimate the Controlled Medicines and precursors required for medical and scientific purposes in the country” he explained. Speaking further, Adewole stated that the document too has already been used to assess the standards in 11 hospitals in the country while expressing hope that the newly constituted Drug

FIRST 7 SYMPTOMS OF MONKEYPOX ➊ Fever ➋ Headache

➌ Muscle aches ➌ Backache ➌ Swollen lymph nodest ➌ Chills ➌ Exhaustion

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Lagosians Urged To Embrace Family Planning BY ODIRI UCHENUNU-IBEH, Lagos

Lagos state government has called on residents to embrace Family Planning (FP) so as to help in the overall drive to control population growth in the state. The director, family planning and nutrition in the state ministry of health, Dr. Folashade Oludara, made this call at a three-day advocacy-training

workshop. She said the state is so peculiar when compared with other states of the federation. “This is the state with the smallest landmarks and has almost 70 per cent of its terrain as riverine and hard to reach and it is the most populous state in the whole West Africa, if not in the whole of Africa. “Even if government tries to take care of six million people

today, you will see that by the time the Budget is released, that six million has doubled to 12 million. So that is a major challenge, the huge population, the ever growing population that are necessarily not Lagosian.” She said there are lots of pressure on the government due to the huge population noting “We need to curb this with the help of family planning,”. Speaking on some of the

challenges of family planning, Oludara said, “90 per cent of the people living in Lagos has poor attitude toward quality healthcare services. She however encouraged women to embrace family planning, as it will not only help them to space their children, thereby giving quality care to them, but productivity will improve and the state will have a lot of empowered women.

L-R: Community support adviser, UNAIDS, Mr. Gabriel Undelikwo; Global Fund Implementation adviser, UNAIDS, Mr Richard Moamesi Amanyah; Ag director general, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr. Kayode Ogungbemi and marketing director, RB West Africa, Mrs Aliza Leferink during the world condom day celebration in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO BY OYEDELE OMOKAGBO

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...Nigeria Strategizes To Bridge Caps, Curtail Abuse

Demand Reduction Unit in FMOH will continue to use this to assess other faculties and provide support training and advice to improve treatment standards’’ “All these documents have been approved at the 60th National Council on Health meeting in November, 2017,’’ he added. The Minister pointed out that these policy documents are also well articulated in the National Drug Control Master Plan (NDCMP 2015- 2019), which was the National Roadmap offering both integrated and comprehensive approach that would address a range of drug related issues and provide a solid platform to strengthen responses on drugs that would promote the health, security and well-being

of all Nigerians. Earlier in his presentation, the Director, Food and Drugs Department, Pharm. Mashood Lawal, said that the nation was taking the lead on drug related issues in Africa, in line with NDCMP 2015- 2019 Plan. He also stated that the implementation of these policies was critical in enhancing services in tune with best international practice. Lawal stressed the need for FMOH to increase advocacy for funding and disseminate capacity building of staff across the country to ensure that these practices become sustainable and produces the required impact. The Director General, National Agency for the Control of Food and Drug Administra-

tion and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Moji Adeyeye, said that the agency is launching a programme which is targeting about 54,000 youths in the pilot study. Lamenting the rate of drug abuse in some cities, especially Lagos and Kano, Prof. Adeyeye said NAFDAC now has desk officers who will be focusing on narcotic in the six geopolitical zones. “In about six weeks, we are going to be going through each senatorial district in each state, so we are going to reach about 54,000 youth in the pilot study, later we are going to expand it. “When you look at cities where drugs are used like Lagos, Kano, it is very bad. In Kano, women abuse drugs and that breaks my heart; how can a

woman be abusing drugs? That is why NAFDAC now has desk officers who will be focusing on narcotic in the six geographical zones. We will be going round but Kano and Lagos will be our first target,” she explained. It would be recalled that the aggravated dimension of the problem of drug abuse and it’s intricate linkage with wide spread cases of criminality, violence and insurgences in the country recently prompted the wife of the President Mrs Aisha Mohammadu Buhari to launch a national campaign against all forms of abuse. The launch by the wife of the President was followed by a roundtable conference on drug abuse organized by the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki.

NEWS /HEALTH 15

NAFDAC Arraigns Businessman For Importation Of Fake Drugs The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), on Wednesday, charged a businessman, Ezeanwu Ifeanyi, before a Federal High Court Lagos, over alleged importation of fake drugs. The accused was arraigned on a one count charge of dealing in fake drugs. In the charge, the NAFDAC alleged that the accused was found in possession of a one by 40 feet container which harboured some restricted drugs including: Tramadol Hydrochloric tablets, Royal Tramadol, Ibamol tablets, Heogra tablets, and Diarrhea capsule. He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge. After his plea was taken, the prosecutor, Mr Umar Shamaki, sought for an adjournment, and urged the court to remand the accused in prison custody, pending trial. However, the accused counsel, Mr Chinwobi Adiele, urged the court to order the prosecution to oblige him with the proof of evidence to enable him defend the accused. Adiele, further told the court that the bail application of the accused was before the court, and service had been effected. Responding, Shamaki informed the court that he was served the application in court today and that he needed time to respond to the application. Consequently, Justice Hadiza RabiuShagari, adjourned the matter until March 16 for hearing and ruling on the bail application. Rabiu-Shagari ordered that the accused be remanded in prison custody. The offence contravenes the provisions of section 1(a) of the Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods (Miscellaneous Provision) Act Cap. C34 Laws of the Federation, 2004 The News Agency of Nigeria reports that section 3(1)[a] prescribes a fine not exceeding N500,000 or imprisonment for a term of not less than five years, or more than fifteen years for the offence of importation of fake drugs.

Adeyeye


16 HEALTH/NEWS

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Stakeholders Okay Contraceptives For Rape Victims BY PATIENCE IVIE IHEJIRIKA, Abuja

As part of efforts to curtail the surge of unplanned pregnancy especially among young women and rape victims in the country, the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH), has called for the use of levonorgestrel as emergency contraceptive. Director, Reproductive Health in the ministry of Health, Dr. Kayode Afolabi, who made this known at the Dissemination Meeting on ‘levonorgestrel’ Emergency Contraceptive

Pills (LNG-ECPs) Training Manuals in Abuja, described emergency contraceptive, as a broad range of method mix in family planning. “The particular emergency contraceptive that we are working on in collaboration with ARFH is levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive pill. “We consider it an important part in family planning programming in this country as it is a very effective and efficient method of contraception especially for special group of women and ladies in their reproductive age group” he added. He listed special group of women

to include rape victims, women in their reproductive age who may engage in unplanned sex or may be assaulted. He said the partnership with the ARFH is to ensure that there is guideline and training manual that will be used to improve the capacity of healthcare providers, so that they will be able to provide information and services for emergency contraceptives adequately. Afolabi however identified lack of awareness and knowledge as a barrier insisting that many women who need the pill are not aware of it.

Nigeria Targets 2030 To End Maternal, Neo-natal Deaths BY PATIENCE IVIE IHEJIRIKA, Abuja

The Federal Ministry of Health has initiated an innovative strategy to access $40million Global Financing Facility (GFF) to enable the country end maternal, newborn, child and adolescent deaths by 2030. The GFF is an innovative financing strategy, critical to achieving key results for every woman and every child through smart, scaled and sustainable domestic financing of priority investments in reproductive, ma-

ternal, neonatal, child and adolescent healthcare. Director, Department of Family Health and Co-Chair, GFF country platform, Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi, said it was paramount for the nation to leverage innovative and strategic measures in addressing the peculiar challenges towards ensuring the wellbeing of all particularly the poor and the vulnerable. Adebiyi said the platform was set up to drive the process with its first assignment being to develop a cred-

ible RMNCAH + Nutrition Investment case which is a pre-requisite for accessing the grant/ facility. She stated that the fund would support the scaling up of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF), adding that Niger, Abia and Ondo States are to be used as pilot states. Adebiyi also expressed optimism that the programme would prevent 24-38 million deaths of women, adolescents and children, noting that Nigeria is one of the 2nd wave countries out of 26 to benefit from the GFF.

Surgeon’s Turf

DR BIODUN OGUNGBO

MBBS, FRCS, FRCSEd, MSc. Consultant Neurosurgeon

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Do Not Feed The Nurses The nurse has a responsibility to call, if a patient becomes ill or there are changes in their condition. I have worked in a hospital where the nurses are always complaining of not having enough credits on their phones. So, this excuse pops up every time they fail to call you for an important aspect of care. If they do call, they make sure you know it. Some have even asked for a return of the credit used in making that phone call! Scene 1 Anyway, so bringing cookies, donuts and biscuits to the ward (for the nurses!) works a treat in making them go the extra mile for your patient. They remember the cookies, use their own personal phones or a friends’ phone to make that all important call. Take the next scenario. Scene 2 As a young doctor in the delivery room, getting a baby to deliver depends very much on the midwives who are ultimately in charge of the pregnant mother. They can persuade the mum-to-be to allow that ‘nice and gentle baby doctor’ to take the delivery or leave you completely out of the proceedings. So, what do you do to get your hands dirty? Dr Ankeney reports that the fastest way to a nurse’s heart … is through a cheesecake! And chocolate. Cookies help, too. This is the way it worked. A week into the obstetrics posting, none of the nurses showed any interest in helping out. So, Dr Ankeney hit upon the tried and tested technique of buying a box of cookies. It worked a treat as one of the nurses allowed him to take a delivery! The next time, he bought a cheesecake and was able to take 25 deliveries in a month. Many people have tried this in the past and seen similar results. Patients coming into hospital and relatives bring food and drinks for nurses on the wards. This can sometimes smoothen the way for the patients to be preferentially treated. Nurses like nice patients and relatives! Ultimately, that should not be a problem. Nurses do a great job and should do a great job with empathy, compassion and without inducements. The real concern is whether these acts lead to problems for particular people or more importantly, other patients. The problem is that carelessness and the lack of concern for other patients who have not bribed the nurse with sweets, occurs. This translates to poor attitudes and bad behavior that is obvious to patients and relatives. It can also be counter productive for the patients’ health. Let me paint the unsavory scenarios for you. Scene 3 An elderly woman admitted to hospital for back surgery gave the nurse N1000 only; as a way of appreciating her care. The nurse felt obliged to accede to her requests later for sleeping tablets, that was not prescribed and also allowing her to rest for longer in bed, in the morning! Both acts were directly related to the N1000 collected from the patient. The nurse was being nice to the patient instead of doing a professional job. Unfortunately, the patient was actually not ‘resting’ but unconscious from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Participants at the Global financing facilities meeting in Abuja

‘Quintile IMS’Will Promote Harmony In Health Sector BY ODIRI UCHENUNU-IBEH, Lagos

IQVIA, formerly known as Quintiles IMS, would solve the challenge of interprofessional collaboration and promote harmony in the health space. According to stakeholders, the digital healthcare platform which IQVIA, a leading global provider of information, innovative technology solutions and human data science, strive to provide, will create space for effective communication in the

health sector. The Stakeholders stated this at the official launch of IQVIA HCP Space in Lagos. Chairman of the occasion and President, Nigerian Academy of Pharmacy, Prince Julius AdelusiAdeluyi noted that IQVIA’s HCP Space is a bridge-building tool that will encourage collaboration among healthcare providers whilst driving efficiency, performance and capacity utilization as well as innovation in the nation’s health space as a whole.

Adelusi-Adeluyi said, “I would like to commend IQVIA for trying to crack a problem that has remained with Nigeria for quite a while given the numbers of government committees that had been set up in the past to solve the challenge of interprofessional collaboration and promote harmony in the health space. “This tool will be a blessing to the nation as it will radically alter Nigeria’s health landscape for good and help to reduce unnecessary competition among professionals.”

Scene 4 A man admitted for back surgery gave the nurse N1000 as a way of appreciating her care. He was later heard saying to a friend, ‘at least, now I am sure she will not kill me’. So, different strokes and different folks. Patients give food, stuff and money to nurses for a variety of reasons. It may be to appreciate the nurse for care rendered, rarely as an inducement for future services or worse. Either way, it can help or hinder care depending on the expectations. It can also be wholly inappropriate and likely to lead to poor quality of care, with its attendant risks to life and limb. Do not bribe or feed the nurses In conclusion, do not bribe the nurses with food, promises or money. Just be nice and grateful and they will reciprocate while remaining totally professional. If you’re nice and grateful, that will go a long way. Nurses always go the extra mile for nice patients.


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18 NATIONAL NEWS

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NCWS Calls For Holistic Restructuring Of Nigeria BY BLESSING BATURE, Abuja

The National Council for Women Societies (NCWS) has urged the federal government to take a holistic approach in restructuring Nigeria. President of the council,Mrs Gloria Laraba Shoda, said Nigerian women support the restructuring of Nigeria by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration but said that it should `wear a human face’ and be gender sensitive. She said that the issue of restructuring was not new in the country, adding that it had been with us as a nation for a long time. Shoda said that women from all walks of life would come together to lend their voices

in the advancement of Nigerian governance through the restructuring agenda. ``We will gather all the women from the local government to the state and the national to deliberate on the issue and come up with our position. ``We want to have a say in the restructuring of Nigeria, it is not going to be an all men affair as usual. We need to bring in our own perspectives to the discussion. As Nigerian women, we want this country to be restructured if we must survive as a nation,’’ she said. Shoda said that Nigeria women would look at different issues that have been raised on restructuring from different angles and then take a stand.

NASS Determined To Pass Polytechnic Amendment Act Bill – Sen Wakili BY NZOR ERNEST, Abuja

The chairman of Senate Committee on Poverty Alleviation, Senator Ali Wakili has disclosed that all hands are on deck to ensure that Polytechnic Amendment Act Bill is passed as soon as possible to encourage engineers in the country. Senator Wakili who stated this during the investiture ceremony of Nigeria Institution of Mechanical Engineers in Abuja said he is not pleased with the way Nigerian engineers are treated. According to him, “We have not been particularly pleased that people think Nigerian engineers are not good enough. “Some comments about them are erroneous, talking down on Nigerian engineers, especially when it has to do with railway technology, it is disheartening.’’ The deputy governor of Benue State, Engr. Benson Obounu, said the country’s economy would improve if stakeholders encourage engineers to produce basic merchandises. He said the country had the po-

tential, including manpower, to develop a stronger economy. Obounu insisted that emphasis should be on how the country could move from consuming to producing nation. “What is lacking in Nigeria today is the fact that we are not producing. No economic growth without production. “We cannot be in the service world all through; trade and investments will only spring after production and you ought to have an object before you can sell it. We should have a productive base, otherwise, there is no way economy can grow,’’ he said. He described mechanical engineering as the centre of all engineering, stressing that the economy would not grow without the serious input of mechanical engineers. The high points of the investiture include the inauguration of Mr Robinson Ejilah as the 13th national chairman of Nigeria Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and the swearing in of the new executive committee for 2018.

Gov. Ishaku Empowers Taraba Youths, Women With N80m Worth Of Tools BY ANDREW OJIH, Jalingo

Taraba State governor, Mr Darius Ishaku said that his administration has empowered 448 youths and women trained in different skills acquisition programmes with over N80million worth of tools. Ishaku, who stated this yesterday in Jalingo during the occasion of the graduation of the 2nd batch and flag-off of the 3rd batch of the youths and women empowerment programme, said the skills acquisition programmes would reduce the high rate of unemployment in the state. He informed that N10,000 month-

ly stipends would also be paid to the third batch of 648 that was inaugurated to commence training. He added that government would deal decisively with any beneficiary who is found selling any starter packs donated, adding that it is meant to develop them. He explained that the skills acquisition training was aimed atpoverty alleviation through economic empowerment of youths and women in the state. “Most of the beneficiaries in the first batch are performing credibly well and have also become employers of labour in their various local government areas,” he added.

Catholic faithful receiving Ash to mark the beginning of lent at the St. Luke’s Catholic Church, Kubwa in Abuja yesterday. PHOTO BY NAN

Lent: Pray For Nigeria’s Unity, Progress, PMB Tells Christians BY JONATHAN NDA - ISAIAH

President Muhammadu Buhari has felicitated with Christians in Nigeria on the solemn occasion of the commencement of this year’s Lenten season. As Christians join their counterparts worldwide to emulate the worthy example of Jesus Christ who fasted 40 days at the begin-

ning of His earthly ministry, the President in a statement by his special adviser media, Femi Adesina urged Christian brothers and sisters to pray fervently for the country’s unity and progress. Adesina said, “He believes that Nigeria’s existence as one united country is a divine arrangement and nothing should be done to put it asunder.

“President Buhari enjoins all Nigerians to intensify love, brotherliness and concern for the less privileged members of their communities in order to strengthen the bond of togetherness. “As Christians begin the period of increased prayers, piety, sacrifice and selfless services, the President wishes them and all Nigerians well.”

Libya Returnees Protest Poor Welfare In Edo BY PATRICK OCHOGA, Benin City

Hundreds of Libya returnees in Benin City yesterday protested over alleged poor handling of their welfare by members of the Task Force on Human Trafficking and illegal Migration set up by Governor Godwin Obaseki. The returnees who staged the protest in major streets and ended at Denise Osadebey’s Government House, called on the governor to as a matter of urgency beam his searchlight on the activities of the task force. According to the protesters, most of them were yet to start receiving the monthly N20, 000 sti-

pend, except for the initial 600 returnees out of the over 3,000 returnees. They also accused the task force of organising a “face saving” two weeks training on various skills for them without starter parks. The returnees spokesman, Orobosa Odion, said they sensed something was wrong because each time they protested over poor treatment, the task force will quickly arrange little money called ‘transport fare’ for them to calm their nerves. “How do you explain a situation where a would be “Tailor” fashion designer will be trained for just two weeks. Is this not scam? This peo-

ple are not just taking us serious. “The worst of it was the treatment we received during the training where we were feed like beggars for two weeks. The same apply to the monthly stipend where those that have started receiving only got it once while majority are yet to be captured. The initial promise is for each of the returnees to get that stipend for three months. “We know the governor meant well for us but there is need for him to have a close look at the activities of the task force.” However, in a swift reaction, the task force has debunked the claim of poor treatment being melted out to the returnees.

Tambuwal Signs N220bn Sokoto 2018 Budget BY ANKELI EMMANUEL, Abuja

Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal yesterday signed into law, the 2018 budget which was recently passed by the State House of Assembly. Speaking at the signing ceremony held at the Government House in Sokoto, Tambuwal said the N220.5 billion document will be implemented optimally for the benefit of the citizenry. He said despite challenges in meeting revenue targets in the past years, the government is hopeful of performing to expectation in the implementation of the 2018 fiscal document. “We are aware that the legislature has not tinkered with the overall budget size even though they have reallocated some resources to different sub heads, we are happy with that. “We believe it is within the pur-

view of your rights as legislators to do what you have done and we will implement it as passed,” the governor added. While commending the lawmakers for a thorough job on the budget document, Tabuwal said it is gratifying to note that the relationship between the executive and the legislature in Sokoto has continued to blossom. “This has helped in strengthening democracy in the state. The people should know that our relationship is not a master-servant relationship, but one based on mutual trust and respect for the two arms of government,” he stated. In his remarks, the speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon Salihu Maidaji, said the legislature is satisfied with the performance of the state budget in 2017. He urged the state government to strengthen the internal revenue board by providing logistics for

enhanced performance. He said the Assembly will work with the executive to repeal obsolete revenue laws hampering effective revenue mobilisation in the state. Highlights of the budget include the setting aside of 69.9 percent, or N152.8billion, for capital expenditure while the sum of N67.6 billion, representing over 30 percent, was set aside for recurrent expenditure. And for the third year running, Education sector got the highest allocation with 26.1 percent of the total budget sum, followed by Health sector which got the sum of N20.932 billion, Agriculture got the third highest allocation with N16.535 billion. The sum of N14.255 billion was allocated to Works and Transport while Lands, Housing and Survey got the sum of N11.560 billion.


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SMARTNEWS Firm Donates Science Laboratory Equipment To Ogun School

L-R: Protocol Officer on Embassy Affairs to Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land, Mr. Emmanuel Olaoti; Programme Officer, Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Lagos, Mr. Idris Kasali; Deputy Consul General, Alexandra Herr; Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba Land, Aare Gani Adams; Consul General, Ingo Herbert and Chief of Staff to Aare Gani Adams, Prince Segun Akanni, during the Aare Onakakanfos’ courtesy visit to the German Consulate office in Lagos. PHOTO BY KOLAWOLE ALIU.

BY OLUSHOLA BELLO, LAGOS

As part of efforts towards educational development particularly science education in Nigeria which is the main thrust of its corporate social responsibility, Dufil Prima Foods Plc, makers of Indomie Instant noodles has donated a full science laboratory equipment to Iganmode Grammar School, Ota, Ogun State. The donation of the complete set of laboratory equipment which took place at the premises of the School in the industrial hub of Ogun State on was witnessed by students, parents, teachers and some members of the community. While presenting the equipment to the school on behalf of the managing director/CEO, Dufil Prima Foods Plc, Mr. Deepak Singhal, the group public relations and events manager, Mr. Tope Ashiwaju, disclosed that the gesture by the company is to complement the efforts of the government in providing necessary educational tools to enhance learning especially in the area of science and technical education. He urged the teachers, to ensure full utilise of the laboratory equipment effectively to teach and improve upon the performance of the students in science subjects especially in their West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASCE) and the National Examination Council (NECO) exams. Ashiwaju further revealed that the company will also look at other social investment opportunities that the community can reap real benefits from. Responding on behalf of the parents, chairman of The Parents Teachers Association (PTA), Iganmode Grammar School, Mayor Hakeem Amodu, expressed the profound appreciation of the community to Dufil Prima Foods for the donation while urging parents to ensure they groom their children well to take full advantage of the science laboratory equipment for their advancement and to ensure that Ota as a community produces more graduate students in sciences as it is a sure way they can be successful and bring glory to Ota. He pointed out that the students and the parents should be grateful to Indomie for the equipment which he described as very sophisticated noting that this is the first time Iganmode Grammar School will have this kind of complete set of laboratory equipment.

Lagos Donates N365M Mobile Clinic For Cancer Treatment BY GEORGE OKOJIE, Lagos

Lagos State Government on Wednesday handed over a Mobile Cancer Centre for the diagnosis and treatment of residents afflicted with cancer-related diseases as well as increase advocacy to prevent the spread of the scourge. The state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, who spoke while handing over the facility to the representatives of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP), a nongovernmental organisation in the forefront of cancer awareness, at the Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja, said it was in fulfillment of his promise he made in June 2016 to join the fight against cancer.

He said the Mobile Clinic, the first of its kind in Africa, procured at a cost of N365million was a confirmation of the commitment of his administration to improve on the healthcare system and also give hope to residents who may not have the wherewithal to go for diagnosis and treatment. “I want to thank the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP). Sometime in June 2016, they did ask me to support issues that relate to cancer, but we decided that we are going to procure this Mobile Cancer Centre. “What we have that we are donating today to this Committee is a Mobile Clinic that deals with issues that relate to advocacy and treatment of cancer patients

because we do not have the financial resources to have Cancer centres placed in all locations in Lagos we decided to go for this Mobile Cancer centre. It’s costing us N365million approximately $1million. What this does is that we can reach out to every community and every cancer patient; we can give hope back to those who are hopeless. “On a day like this, we extend the commitment of the State Government to the people of Lagos to improve on our health system and also help those that never imagined that there would be hope for them because they have been afflicted with cancer and any other aliment that relates to cancer,” Governor Ambode said.

2019: PMB's Second Term Will Bring Succour To Nigerians – APC BY ADEBAYO WAHEED , Ibadan

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Saks Ibraheem Ominiwe has assured Nigerians that the second term tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari will witness tremendous development and economic growth. Speaking with newsmen in Ibadan on Wednesday, the party chieftain declared that the second term tenure would succour to Nigerians. Ominiwe who is the Osun State coordinator of the Buhari Osinbajo Solidarity Front (BOSF), lamented that the present administration

inherited collapsed economy. While noting that Nigerians were presently undergoing serious economic reforms, he said "The president and vice meant well for the country and Nigerians". He enumerated some of the achievements of the APC-led government to include the war against corruption and insurgency of which the country had been rated the best, higher level of transparency in government as foreign investors and countries were ready to transact businesses with Nigeria and that the Nigerian stock exchange was rated best.

Other achievements, he said are that the country got out of recession faster than that of every recession during the same period, adding that the country now produce more commodities than ever before and that the execution of projects was faster than ever before. According to him, "It took the combination of former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, late Shehu Yar'adua and Good luck Jonathan to build 3,000MW of electricity; President Muhammadu Buhari has increased it in less than three years to 7,000MW.

Court Remands Man In Prison For Robbing Pastor Of $500 BY OLUSHOLA BELLO, Lagos

A Lagos State High Court in Igbosere yesterday remanded an unemployed man, Soliu Adeniran who was accused of robbing a cleric of $500 at gun point in prison. The trial judge, Justice Bola Okikiolu-Ighile made the order after Adeniran was docked before her on a two count charge of conspiracy and armed robbery by the Lagos State Government.

The prosecuting team led by James Koku had claimed that the accused person and his accomplices, who are at large, committed the alleged offences at about 5:45pm on February 17, 2014 at the Festac Extension area of Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area (LGA). He also alleged that Adeniran and his gang accosted the cleric, Bishop Ray Bakeh, on the street and dispossessing him of his

phones, wristwatch and wallet containing $500 cash. According to the prosecutors, the offences contravened sections 295 and 295(2)(a) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011. Adeniran, who was not represented by a counsel, pleaded not guilty. Justice Okikiolu-Ighile has adjourned the case till May 7 for trial.

Lagos Lawmaker Supports Healthcare With Drugs For 600,000 Children BY FIDELIS UGBOMEH, Lagos

A member of Lagos State House of Assembly, Prince Adebisi Yusuff on Tuesday donated immunisation drugs for 600, 000 children in the state. The lawmaker, who made the donation through his Foundation'Prince Hope Turns to Reality' in collaboration with Vitamin Angels, a US-based organisation, said he was concerned about quality healthcare of the people. Vitamin Angels, a US-based organisation, said he was concerned about quality healthcare of the people. Yusuff, representing Alimosho Constituency I at the Assembly donated 1, 200 bottles of chewable Albendazole (400MG) containing 1000 tablets each. A total of 1, 200, 000 doses for Children under ages five were given to the Lagos State Ministry of Health. Yusuff explained at the official donation of the drugs that children remained the hope of the society and that their healthcare should be the priority of all. "We should do everything for our children. This is the third edition of the donation and it is for the children of Lagos State." he said According to him "Drugs for pregnant women are coming. Last year, we carried out 400 major surgical operations free of charge and we shall do it again this year,"


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NCPC Tasks Christians On Contributions To Devt BY JULIANA AGBO, Abuja

The Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC) has called on Christians to be more tolerant and contribute their quota to the growth and development of the country. Addressing the strategic review meeting of pilgrimage leaders and managers of the 36 states held in Abuja yesterday, the executive secretary, NCPC, Rev Tor Uja said Nigeria is suffering the deficit of the absence of people with capacity, healing and reconciliation. He said, the meeting was held to address improvement of 2018 pilgrimage and beyond, in a manner that improves the purposes and objectives set out. It is also to eliminate all presumptions of the past and to build a framework that will last. He added that the issue of absconding during pilgrimage and how the leadership can stimulate stability in the country using the gospel was discussed. He noted that many of the issues facing the nation today affect the youths more directly. He, however, urged the youths to see themselves as solution providers. “The youths are fundamental parts of what we are doing, and this year we will be organising a youth pilgrimage in order to take them along to provide enough mentorship that will groom them into global leaders,’’ he added.

Ash Wednesday: Catholic Cleric Urges Nigerians To Be Merciful, Kind BY BERNARD TOLANI DADA, Uyo

The Priest of St Peters Catholic Church Mbiabong Ayayan, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Rev. Father Ray Maria Umoh, has urged Christians and Nigerians in general to be merciful, peaceful and kind to one another during this Lenten season. Rev. Father Umoh, who gave the advice during a Mass to mark this year’s Ash Wednesday said that Lenten season is a period of fasting, repentance, moderation, self-denial, spiritual discipline and love as well as forgiveness. The cleric who said the season of lent calls for reconciliation, urged Nigerians to show love by giving alms to the less privileged. “We are no longer merciful, everyone wants to pay back, you do for me, I must revenge; rich people want to judge others, judge without pity”, he said. He noted that Nigerians have cultivated the habit of not giving alms because of their selfish desire to amass wealth.

L R: Member representing Fagge Federal Constituency Kano State and Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Tertiary Education and services, Hon. Aminu Suleiman, discussing with clerk of theCommittee, Dr. Samuel Ibitoye,before the meeting of the committee, at the NationalAssembly in Abuja.

PMB Mourns Lugga, Baba-Ahmed, 20 Gombe Students BY JONATHAN NDA- ISAIAH

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed sadness over the death of the former chairman Bank of the North, Alhaji Muhammad Lugga who died after a prolonged illness. In a message of condolence issued on his behalf by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and

Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, President Buhari said he was deeply touched by the passing of the prominent banker and politician. President Muhammadu Buhari recalled with pride how Lugga used his extensive experience to revive the defunct Bank of the North, which was at the verge of collapse on account of poor management. The President extended his con-

dolences to the Government of Zamfara State and family of the late Lugga and prayed to Allah to forgive his gentle soul. In another message, President Buhari also expressed his deep sympathies to the Baba-Ahmed family, the government and people of Kaduna State over the death of Mahmoon, a reputable journalist known for courage, statesman-

ship and professionalism. Meanwhile, the President has also sent his condolence to the Government of Gombe State over the death of 20 students and teachers following a vehicular accident on their way to Kano for an excursion. The President prayed to Allah to accept the souls of the deceased and forgive their sins.

NASU Strike: UNILAG Postpones Convocation Indefinitely BY ADENIYI ADUNOLA, Lagos

The University of Lagos yesterday said it has postponed its 50thConvocation ceremony previously scheduled to hold on February 19. The university authorities, in a statement issued by the principalassistant registrar, Information Unit, Mrs. Taiwo Oloyede, said the postponement was due to challenges posed by

the ongoing strike by the nonteaching staff of the institution. The statement noted that, “Although necessary arrangements for a smooth ceremony were at an advanced stage, however, it has become imperative to postpone the ceremonies due to the charged and unpredictable atmosphere on campus. “The nefarious activities of the unions witnessed in the last few weeks under the guise of a strike

have the capacity to snowball into a major crisis and mar the carefully laid out arrangements for a successful convocation. “The university remains committed to providing a conducive atmosphere to foster quality teaching and research, as well as to produce graduates that can compete with their counterparts globally. “The ceremony was earlier scheduled to hold from Monday,

Feb. 19 to Thursday Feb. 22nd. In view of this, the pre-convocation press conference scheduled for 14th February 2018 has been rescheduled till further notice.” The management urged members of the university community to go ahead with their lawful activities, adding that a suitable date for the convocation would be communicated in due course.

Court Remands Importer Of Fake Tramadol In Prison BY OLUGBENGA SOYELE, Lagos

Justice Hadiza Rabiu-Shagari of the Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday remanded a businessman, Ifeanyi Ezeanwu in prison custody for allegedly importing a 1 by 40 container loaded with fake drugs including Tramadol, Ibamol and Heogra. Justice Rabiu-Shagari ordered that Ezeanwu be kept in prison after he was arraigned by the National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration andControl (NAFDAC) on one count charge of importation of fake drugs. NAFDAC in the charge marked

FHC/L/38C/2018, alleged that thebusinessman, a resident of 2, Rumak street, Satellite Town, Ojo,Lagos, was found in possession of the said container which containedTramadol Hydrochloric tablets of 225mg, Tramadol tablets of 250mg,Royal Tramadol of 225mg, Ibamol tablet of 50 mg, Heogra tablet of 150mg and Diarrhea capsule. The action of the accused person, according to the prosecutor, UmarShamaki, is contrary to section 1(a) of the counterfeit and fake drugsand unwholesome processed foods (miscellaneous provision) Act Cap. C34 Law of the

Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and punishable under section 3(1) of the same Act. The accused person, pleaded not guilty to the charge.Based on his plea, the prosecutor urged the court to adjourn the case, while also asking the court to remand the accused in prison custody, pending trial. However, lawyer to the accused person, Chinwobi Adiele, prayed the court to order the prosecution to oblige him with the proof of evidence. Adiele, also told the court that his client’s bail application is pending before the court and has

been served on the prosecution. Responding, the prosecutor informed the court that he was served the application in court yesterday, and that he needed time torespond to the application, saying that failure to reply the applicationwould mean that the prosecution had admitted to the facts deposedtherein. Following the submission of the prosecutor, Justice RabiuShagari,adjourned the matter till March 16, for hearing and ruling on theaccused bail application. Justice Rabiu-Shagari, however ordered that the accused be remanded inprison custody pending the next adjourned date.

Vote For Those That SupportYour Aspirations, NCWD Tells Women

BY PATIENCE IHEJIRIKA, Abuja

Women have been called upon to take full advantage of the ongoing voters registration exercise across the country to register and vote for leaders that will support their aspirations. In a statement issued yesterday in Abuja, the Director-General of the National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), Mrs Mary Ek-

pere-Eta, urged women to prioritise obtaining the Permanent Voters Card (PVC). She reiterated the recent declaration by women supporting the country to be restructured, stating that obtaining the PVC is the first step to women returning persons interested in restructuring and voting in, even more of those who want to see a new Nigeria. She equally stressed the need for

girls who turn 18 this year and other women qualified to vote, to make out time to register at INEC designated centres. She maintained that women could only speak on developmental challenges that affect their communities, such as corruption, unemployment and poverty, by getting PVCs to vote those who can address these issues. Ekpere-Eta commended INEC for

ensuring that the voter registration campaign hasn’t been disrupted. She however appealed to the commission to look into removing the bottlenecks in the registration process, which has led to complaints by intending voters, adding that women many of whom juggle the roles of contributor to the income of their families as well as homemaker are most affected by delays in the registration process.


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Improving The Quality Of Our Education DR. SAMUEL ADJEI SARFO The beginnings of education in this country had nothing to do with imbuing any patriotic spirit in the beneficiaries; or inculcating the creative spirit and innovative skills in the citizens. The original purpose of our education, when it was established in the Cape Coast and Elmina slave castles, was to educate selected citizens to become clerks (krakye) in order to help the colonial master to dupe and exploit the country with more aplomb and efficiency. The scholar’s interest was therefore originally aligned to the foreigner’s interest, which was patently adverse to the people’s interest. Well after the colonialists were done with producing these clerks, the missionaries took over the education of the citizens and saw the opportunity to use the school system to brainwash the educands for the purpose of propagating their peculiar faith and theology, instead of training them in commonsense, creativity, innovation, logic and reasoning. Then finally, well after our independence, the purpose of our education, as construed by the then

The scholar’s interest was therefore originally aligned to the foreigner’s interest, which was patently adverse to the people’s interest

government, was to indoctrinate the citizens to regard their leaders as some sort of voodoo deities and tin gods. Thus, the educated Ghanaian was, in one instance, simply a colonial appendage, and in another instance a religious zealot, or in the latter-day instance, a partisan minion created to imbibe ready-made ideology and to regurgitate same for the full benefit of the politician. And within our convenient cultural and traditional milieu in which no questions were asked or encouraged to be asked, the people were primed enough to have their minds obnubilated or distorted through this deleterious education system. Like the colonially educated, the modern Ghanaian scholar is just an extension of the residual greed within the civil service, viewing his position in government or public service more as a means to enrich himself and his family, and never to serve the people. To that person, government is an alien contraption formed for the sole benefit of exploiting or duping the country; and in this context, he is just an efficient appendage of that parasitic system originated by the colonial masters. As to those educated within the

missionary schools, some were to wear the garments and habits of the faith and openly defend it with their lives; and the rest were atavistically invested with loyalty to the church/ mosque, to the total occlusion of any independent thinking, logical reasoning or intellectual curiosity. If you visit Elmina Castle, you will capture the essence of the foregoing: The church sits right above the slave dungeons, and no better irony or metaphor captures more the hypocrisy of those slavemasters engaged in their evil trade while preaching mercy and propagating love! And up to today, those trained in the missionary schools never question the irony and contradictions within their faith because they do not have the capacity to do so. And they do not put any premium on critical thinking and logical reasoning because they are anathema to their faith and religion. Our cultural practices and traditional orientation also oiled the wheels of our mis/education, insofar as this culture was/is essentially steeped in superstition and unquestioning acceptance of authority figures. In the context of this culture, we, as a people, are encouraged to believe in the things that our ances-

tors did, to accept the lies that are told us that these ancestors, together with the rivers, the forests, the mountains and the rocks are deities for which we must periodically mollify with libation and celebrate with festivals. After all, we have a whole chieftaincy institution established to ensure that we are ossified in the ignorant past, and that our adherence to superstition and traditional bunkum signals our patriotic spirit and our good citizenship. Thus, within our educational system, we will find established strict curricular to support and advance the trifecta harms of exploitation, indoctrination and hero worshipping. Need we then be surprised that we have, through this educational system, created citizen parasites whose stock in trade is to exploit the country for themselves and their families? Need we ask why our educated folks toe the missionary lines of unquestionable religious faith and belief? Need we then be surprised that those who come out of our educational system are mere praise singers and hero-worshippers groveling before their political gods and ➔ CONTINUED ON THE NEXT PAGE


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FG To Build Bilingual Schools Along Cameroon Borders BY CHIKA MEFOR The federal government has commenced a process of establishing bilingual schools in states along Nigeria borders with Cameroon. This was contained in a press release signed by the Director of Press and Public relations of the ministry of education, Mrs Priscilla Ihuoma. Speaking at a stakeholders meeting

organised by the ministry towards actualising the project, the Director of Education Support Services in the ministry, Mrs. Justina Ibe stated that the meeting was convened mainly to enable the stakeholders discuss NigeriaCameroon Trans-Border Cooperation, Challenges and Opportunities. According to her, the proposed schools along the borderline would bridge the

communication difficulties for future generation and break language barriers between Nigeria and her neighbours especially Cameroon. The Director disclosed that the idea of the multilingual schools along border states was muted in a communique received from the National Boundaries Commission on the 3rd NigeriaCameroon Trans-Border Cooperation

which tasked Federal Ministry of Education to facilitate the project. She noted that the ministry had in the past worked with some countries on French Language Development, adding that even though the National Policy on Education provides for multilingual study which is the learning of a child’s language of the immediate community; teachers and learners

have not taken the study with desired seriousness. The bilingual school project will be a tripartite cooperation among the federal and state governments of Nigeria, she said. The meeting was well attended by relevant Federal Ministries, Agencies and international communities working on migration.

Ex-VC Seeks More Funding For Plateau Varsity BY ACHOR ABIMAJE, JOS

School Children of the Catholic communities receiving Ash from Rev. Joseph Habila of All Saint Kanoyel Gombe at the beginning of length/fasting prayer and arms given to mark 2018 Ash Wednesday. In Gombe yesterday.

The out going Vice Chancellor of Plateau state university (PLASU), Prof. Dognan Danjuma Sheni has called for more funding to enable the university secure accreditation of 15 programmes spread across three Faculties which got interim accreditation before May 2018. Sheni said fifteen programmes in the three faculties which got interim accreditation would be further examined hence the need for more funds from state government to achieve this. Prof. Sheni who stated this while addressing the press said that in 2015, the accreditation of the seventeen (17) programmes was undertaken following the constitution of Accreditation Panels by the National Universities Commission (NUC). He pointed out that due to certain executive interference, the University has made very slow progress in fulfilling its vision and mission. He lamented the “checkered history associated with the suspension of academic activities, appointment and re-

‘State Of Emergency In Education Sector Long Over Due’ BY ABDULLAHI OLESIN, ILORIN

The Vice President, Industrial Global Union, Comrade Issa Aremu has called on both the federal and state governments to declare a state of emergency in the education sector. Aremu who is also a national official of the Nigerian Labour Congress ( NLC) lamented the state of disrepair of public schools across the country. He equally stressed the need

to address the falling standard, incoherent curriculum, examination malpractices, poor funding, dilapidated structures and abysmally poor sector management in the education sector. The labour leader who gave the charge at an annual lecture organized by the Alumni Association of Ilorin Grammar School, Ilorin, Kwara State, urged government at all levels to adequately remunerate teachers, the

real drivers of education and enhance their status. Aremu decried the inability of the government to maintain public schools, despite the fact that most Nigerian leaders passed through public schools. “ Nigeria has demonstrated significant commitment to the great task of meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals with respect to achieving universal primary

Improving The Quality Of Our Education ➔ FROM THE PREVIOUS PAGE

demigods? And need we question the rush with which these socalled scholars hurry to assume chieftaincy titles in order to keep the archaic cultural wheels rolling? Let me repeat here what I have stated elsewhere that we have trained science scholars who cannot think scientifically, medical doctors who have no original treatments for our peculiar ailments, music scholars who have never composed any music, and English teachers who cannot write in good English. All these are the results of the education which originated as a method of exploitation, as a tool of our

intellectual obnubilation, and as a means of making as political minions, sycophants and idiots. And under this government which no doubt has good intentions enough to provide the citizens with free high school education, nothing has been said or thought in terms of new curricular to reverse the harm that is being done to the citizens through false education. The nation has not sat down to analyze and contemplate what it wants to achieve by dint of its free education; what type of character it wants to imbue in its citizens and what it expects them to do as the outcome of their education. We must begin from the very beginning: If we know how

our education originated and evolved, and how it has been used to advance foreign, religious and political interests, we will apply the great lessons of history to make it better. We will succeed in making patriotism and nation building the centerpiece of our education. We will make critical thinking and logical reasoning the core of the citizens’ intellectual ware. We will give the people the tools that will make them balanced in their perception of politics and politicians; and we will not persist in subjugating their faculties under cultural bunkum to make them remain the same backward people a thousand years from hence. Culled from GhanaWeb

education; today we must demand for well motivated and productive teachers which must start with the restoration of the age long dignity of teaching profession. “Teaching is the oldest profession that teaches all other profession,” he added. He,therefore stressed the need to restore the status and dignity of Nigerian teachers for effective performance.

moval of several vice chancellors and registrars within a short period of time”. Speaking in the area of staff development, Sheni said he had a staff development plan which resulted in the signing of Memorandum of Understanding and Memorandum of Agreement with the Universities of Cape Town and Johannesburg both in South Africa and Kenyatta University in Kenya and also ensured that linkages were forged with Makere University, University of Cyprus, Malaysia and other Universities in the United Kingdom. “As a result of this, about Sixty four (64) Staff of the University were send out to study in various universities in Malaysia, France, Uganda, Nigeria etc. It is my resolve that at the end of my tenure 85 Staff of the university would have been trained to Ph.D level. “These staff members were carefully selected from each of the 17 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state. In addition, they represent all the programmes of the University. Many of these staff have obtained their Ph.Ds and started coming back to the University,” he added. He further disclosed that the staff strength in March 2013 was 93 mainly from one senatorial zone of the state. “Today, we have more than 400 staff. The bulk of the Academic staff then were visiting Lecturers, who taught most of the courses. These represented both nonteaching and Academic staff distributed across all the senatorial zones of the state and this brought stability to the University Today, the reverse is the case. “Today, there are several faculty buildings, hostels for students, some road network, fence around the academic area, a gate to the university, NESCO light connected to the university. The university has a physical presence,” he said.

Minister Seeks Stakeholders Participation In School Census BY CHIKA MEFOR

The minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu has called on stakeholder in the education sector to ensure that they participate diligently to ensure that accurate data in collected in the Annual School Census exercise. Speaking during the flag-off yesterday, the minister stated that the exercise will help the federal government as it begins putting operational plan of the new Ministerial Strategic Plan into action. Adamu said that the exercise which will be carried out in the 36 states of the federation and the FCT, will involve the enumeration of all schools, pupils, teachers and

facilities in the basic and post-basic schools. He added that the data gathered will be used for educational planning, decision making research, national and global reporting. “The conduct of Annual School Census is in line with the provision of Nigeria Education Management Information System(NEMIS) Policy of 2007 which provides for the education data beginning from the school. “The NEMIS processes have been decentralised to the states in order to enhance efficiency in collection, collation, management and dissemination of credible, reliable and timely education data in Nigeria,” he said.


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politics today Thursday, February 15, 2018

REPORTS ANALYSES REVIEWS INTERVIEWS

GROUP POLITICS EDITOR: MUYIWA OYINLOLA 08054701492 (SMS ONLY )

Those Criticizing PMB Have Forgotten Where We’re Coming From – Princewill

The governorship candidate of the then Action Congress (AC) in Rivers State in 2007 who also contested for same office in 2015, Prince Tonye Princewill, in this interview with select journalists speaks on the need to support President Muhammadu Buhari in the forthcoming Presidential election. MUYIWA OYINLOLA was there.

I think people sometimes forget where we were coming from and more importantly they also forget that where we need to go also requires a lot of efforts

Nigerians were taken aback when you decided to leave Labour Party to join the APC. What actually informed that decision? Common sense. For me, it was probably one of the easiest political decisions that I have ever made so I can’t imagine why anyone will be taken aback. I believe that all politics is local. And therefore, when you're playing politics or doing politics or observing politics, you have to look first at your local environment. I don't understand why so many people focus on national and international politics, and completely forget their local politics. To me, local politics is what matters the most, it isn’t that I am downplaying all other politics, but local politics matters most. So, what is the situation in Rivers State? We have a governor who has gone wild and we have an opposition that was not giving him the kind of opposition he deserves. My opinion was that, the opposition was still disjointed. We have an APC formidable as it is, we have a Labour party and we have other parties, and I thought to myself, we are all opposed to PDP and Wike, but our inability to work together is working in his favour. With my passion, the organisational skills of many of the APC members and the commitment that we all have to free the state, then all we need as like minds is to have an arrangement to join forces because if we don't join forces, it will make Wike stronger. I have said that we are not God, so, we cannot say we will definitely remove PDP. But by God, we are going to at least improve them. If in the process we are able to remove them, then may His name be praised. To sit back and do nothing, or leave the fight for APC alone, that is not an option. The security challenge in the state has earned itself the name, Rivers of Blood. Why does it appear insurmountable? I think it is already being tackled. Of course, in the past few weeks a lot of progress has been made when the federal government decided to take charge. Unfortunately for our state we have a governor who entered by violence and has continued to condone violence. Maybe he cannot address the matter effectively, because his hands are tied. We hope and we pray that Rivers people will learn from mistakes of the past and that all politicians will learn that this kind of violence, this kind of association will not do us any good. I want to think that the signal has been sent by the killing of

that they were being attacked as well. Reminds me of Solomon and the two women. Only patriots are sober when the future of our children is at stake.

Princewill leader of the gang… and the taming of his team. It will be a message to everybody else that there is only one law and that’s the law of Nigeria and we won’t tolerate any other alternative laws in the land. If that message is heeded, I think there will be peace. But don’t let us lose sight of the fact that the administration entered by violence and the boys that they used have been left largely unattended. Therefore, they will seek to keep their heads above water. As best as they can. It is natural.

You aren’t comfortable with the administration in Rivers but a lot of people are quick to applaud his developmental strides in the state. What really do you have against the governor? You are right when you say I am uncomfortable about him. I think, to put it diplomatically, I think he is the worst governor . You must compare resources versus development. You have to compare what he has achieved, compared to what he has had. You will then understand that he is building nothing. He believes, and he maybe right, that everybody has a price, so he can pay for image, he can pay for perception and he can pay his way through anything. He has a lot of reasons to think it, having earned multiple awards for what I am not sure of. When you talk, people say you are bitter because you didn’t win the election. I am not talking about just my opinion but the opinions across the length and breadth of the state. Wike is a one-man show. This man hoarded the budget for 3 years and everybody was quiet as if it was right. Now that the opposition has come together and found its voice, he is sweating. Just last week, he signed

the 2018 budget into law, the last of his peers to do so. We simply haven’t seen anything like this before. On the security angle and the economic angle, people are leaving the state. Is that peculiar to Rivers? They are going somewhere else, they aren’t leaving the country. They are leaving Rivers to go elsewhere and we are losing business. Losing jobs. To my utter surprise, people are leaving Rivers for Imo to do business. I don’t know of anybody in his right mind that will look at Wike and say he is developing Rivers. But he was not put there to develop the state. Finally, former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in his special letter gave a damning verdict on Buhari administration, the PDP and the APC. He said the two dominant parties lack the capacity to bring the desired change Nigerians are craving for. What is your reaction? You know while some people were battling as to their response to the letter, Lai Mohammed gave an eloquent reply which I want to stand by. I don’t want to believe that our generation should start exchanging words with people of Obasanjo’s generation. He has ventilated his views, the government has responded and I think we should leave it at that. What amazes me though is that as damning as the letter was to PDP, they were quick to clap, forgetting that they too were also indicted. It just tells you the ineptitude in the system that they preside over. That they were actually clapping for Obasanjo while he decimated them. They were so busy, happy that APC was being attacked that they didn’t even realize

Generality of Nigerians aren’t comfortable with the way President Buhari is responding to issues of urgent national importance. Aren’t you disturbed with that attitude, considering the enormity of the challenges facing the nation? Look, I think people sometimes forget where we were coming from and more importantly they also forget that where we need to go also requires a lot of efforts. Nigeria has been on the wrong track for a long time. Like a tanker that is in the water, trapped trying to turn. It will take an amazing efforts to reverse the current trend. Now, did our government make promises that are unrealistic? Yes, we did. Either through enthusiasm or through their lack of understanding of the problems on ground. I think we should ask ourselves, do they really have the intention to move the country forward? I think the answer is yes. The capacity might have been right, but slowly it is being built. For me, I am a business man and I ask myself, how can we continue like this. Things need to be done differently and then when somebody comes and starts to make a difference, do you think it is going to be easy at the beginning? No. if you have a bad tooth and somebody wants to pull it out the pain that you are going through is so that you can have less stress tomorrow. So, the pains that we are going through is so that we can place the country on a sound footing. If because of what the dentist will do to you, you will say you won’t go to a dentist. You will continue to wallow in that pain until it slowly and eventually kills you. Let us go through that pain now so that we can have a brighter future tomorrow. If Buhari was concerned about the next election, he will avoid some of these things. There are things that have fast, quick solutions but they may not be lasting and sustainable. The man has decided that he is going to do what is lasting and sustainable as a result of that electorally he is taking a heat. But I am looking for statesmen, I am not looking for politicians to lead me. That’s my position and I believe that we should recognize that and join the dentist to join pull out that bad tooth. I think Nigerians have two choices: to go back to the old ways of doing business and the other one is to go through this pains which ultimately nobody is disagreeing is going to set us on a better platform. That to me is the message.

23


24 POLITICS INTERVIEW

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

APC Reconciliation: Early Warnings And Presidency’s Interventionist Move

The latest reconciliatory moves by the presidency in the crisis bedeviling the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) would have come earlier had warnings from various party chieftains been heeded to. ANDREW ESSIEN dissects this assertion as 2019 beckons.

The party has a lot of work to do in healing its wounds and then warming its way back to the hearts of the teaming population that overwhelmingly gave it their mandate

Without any gain-saying, the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) from its early stages of formation, took off on a bumpy note. This unfortunate start however, grew to an avalanche of issues that its leadership has been struggling with as it tries to confront the tasks of balancing the various interests that has arisen after it came to power. These fault lines have been widening over the period, creating a gulf among the people, party men and indeed its leadership both at the government level and at the party level. Recognising the implications of this ever widening gulfs and cracks ahead of the 2019 general elections, the presidency tasked former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to lead the consultative, reconciliatory and confidence building efforts within the party. This latest move however, had been called for over a year ago by critical stakeholders of the party to the chagrin of many other chieftains within the party. Some of these chieftains have had to pay one form of political price or the other in the wake of sounding the alarm quite early. Chief among those who raised the alarm and even called for President Muhammdu Buhari to, as a matter of importance, intervene in the crisis plaguing the party is Comrade Timi Frank, who until recently was Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party. He is still contesting his removal in court. In fact, in an open letter dated October 2, 2016, written to the president, Frank chronicled the activities of some party officials, which he alleged had affected the unity within the party. He had alleged that the National Working Committee (NWC) as currently constituted was behind the deepening crisis in the party and taking sides with certain elements. Part of the letter read: “All my efforts to plead with the party leadership to redirect its affairs fell on deaf ears as no one took me seriously at the time. You may recall Mr. President, that the origin of this crisis began when the issue of the National Assembly leadership arose and the decision of the party at the time against party members, especially against the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives. “I foresaw the impending cracks at the time when the party leaders ignored the injustice against these two persons and I subsequently raised viable concerns which still fell on deaf ears. “Again, when I raised concerns against the manner in which Chief Odigie-Oyegun handled the conduct of the Bayelsa state governorship primary that produced the APC candidate, no one listened to me, and alas, the outcome of that election became a clear testament to my alleged fears. “Subsequently, when my immediate boss, Alhaji Lai Mohammed became the minister of information, I was supposed to immediately fill in the gap

Oyegun

and act in his stead as enshrined in our party constitution as the acting national publicity secretary of the party, but this was not to be as I was out rightly being persecuted for reasons unknown and perhaps for selfish interest. “I was deprived from performing my duties and my duties were assigned to themselves. It is worthy to note that today, we are witnessing the same concerns and fears being expressed by one of the founding fathers of our great party, who also doubles as a national leader agreeing with my earlier call that Chief Odigie-Oyegun should resign as the national chairman.” Unfortunately, the letter never got a response or intervention from the presidency despite being widely published by the Nigerian media. Again, at the height of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki's trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), the Bayelsa born politician stated that the political persecution of Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, will lead the party into harms way. In the letter titled "Urgent Need to End This Impunity against Saraki," Comrade Frank called on the president to intervene in Saraki's trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, stressing that the trial was occasioned his rise to become Nigeria's number three citizen against certain interests in the party. He had said: “Mr President, it is worthy to note that Saraki in recent times has been treated as an outcast. This is very bad development which if not carefully managed will consume the All Progressives Congress and doom our democracy. What has happened unfortunately does not reflect the change we promised Nigerians. “Is Senator Saraki the only former governor in Nigeria? Are there no other former governors especially from the South West and other zones that are not just enjoying their booty but are integral part of the government? Yes, Saraki is not the anointed candidate for the Senate presidency, but his colleagues elected him. So, why don’t we allow him some peace to deliver on the promises of change?

Tinubu

“Mr President, the executive needs the legislature; hence, the relationship must be cordial because if this situation is not properly managed, Nigerians will be disappointed in us as a party, a development that portends unfavorable results when we go to the polls in 2019. “As far as Nigerians are concerned, it is very difficult to convince them that this orchestrated onslaught against Saraki is not a case of witch hunt. Nigerians are more politically aware now than ever." The release signed by his Senior Special Assistant, Media and publicity, Shehu Garba states: "As part of ongoing efforts to improve cohesion within the All Progressives Congress (APC), President Muhammadu Buhari has designated Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to lead the consultation, reconciliation and confidence building efforts. The assignment will involve resolving disagreements among party members, party leadership and political office holders in some states of the Federation." As it is, predictions that a major defection will hit the APC if the party’s crisis is not resolved has started manifesting. Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar on Friday, November 24, 2017, dumped the ruling party for the Peoples Democratic Party. A former deputy-director of the Buhari Support Organizations( BSO), Chief Blessing Agbomhere has towed Atiku's line and over 26,000 members and supporters of the APC in Etsako central local government area of Edo state defected to the PDP. This past week, Honourable Jagaba Adams representing Kagarko/Kachia federal constituency in the House of Representative, left the APC and joined the PDP. The situation is the same is states like Bayelsa, Abia, Niger, Sokoto, Borno, to name but a few. The ruling party is also grappling with rumours that some of its notable chieftains are on their way out of the party. Names bandied around by political analysts include heavyweight

Senators, governors and politicians of note. There is a need for the APC to immediately kick-start the healing process in the party, as any further delay will lead to an impending doom. An important factor to note however is that the appointment of Tinubu to resolve the disagreements in the party is a move that is perhaps too late as the cracks in the ruling party have reached a boiling point. Some chieftains of the party have also noted that Tinubu himself is the most aggrieved member of the APC, stressing that his appointment won’t make any difference in the party. A chieftain of the party from the South-south region, Barrister Frank Okon in an interview with a national daily said: “How can you ask the number-one aggrieved member to lead reconciliation? The national leader is the most aggrieved person in the party today. Who will reconcile Tinubu with the party’s national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun? "Are you not aware that Tinubu himself is aggrieved? He also needs to be pacified, especially in his grievance against the president,” History may eventually come to prove Comrade Frank right for being the "lone voice in the wilderness" especially when many chieftains of the party choose to be quiet. He and other party chieftains have been in the vanguard of speaking to power even at the expense of his own political career and party. This is why some are uncomfortable with him and have also put him on the firing zone. It is also a reminder for the APC to always hearken to the voice of tested politicians who have been on both sides of the divide and have constant interaction with members of the public. The party has a lot of work to do in healing its wounds and then warming its way back to the hearts of the teaming population that overwhelmingly gave it their mandate to make life better for them. The question on the minds of many now is that isn't this move a bit too late, coming several months after tell-tale signs had emerged? Only time will tell.


business

Thursday, February 15, 2018

NEWS MONEY CAPITAL MARKET INSURANCE INTERVIEW ANALYSIS INFLATION RATE (%)

March April May

2016 12.8 13.7 15.6

2017 17.26 17.24 16.25

Leadership Newspapers

INTER BANK LENDING RATE (AS AT FEBRUARY 13) RATE CHANGE (%)

ON 1M 3M 6M

14.5357 15.5551 16.1770 18.0437

-6.00 0.03 -0.04 0.39

FIRS Shuts Tax Defaulting Firms In Lagos, Kano, PH BY BUKOLA IDOWU, Lagos A multi-billion naira company, African Textile Management Limited was among four companies that were sealed up by the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) in Kano for non-payment of tax liabilities totaling N130, 567, 230, 88 during an enforcement exercise carried out on Tuesday. Other companies affected include Dumma Company Limited, situated at NNPC Depot, Taura Road, Hotoro Quarters, which owes N24, 415, 762.88 in Company Income Tax; Dennis Auto Supply Company Limited with a tax debt of N62, 628, 604.68 and A.Y and B Nigeria Limited, a construction firm in Abuja with its branch office in Kano. The company is indebted to the tune of N29, 962, 982.32. On Tuesday in Port Harcourt, the FIRS enforcement team sealed the premises of Halden Nigerian Limited, located in Trans-Amadi Layout; Steve Integrated Technical Services Limited, Oil Field Services, Engineering and Equipment Leasing and Stemco Limited at Woji Road, GRA. The companies have tax debt profiles of N197.6million, N297.4million and N131.7 million respectively. Leader of the FIRS team, Mrs. Anita Erinne, told officials of the three companies that their tax obligations must be met before their premises would be reopened. Also on Tuesday, an FIRS team, led by Mrs. Ruth Mandeun, sealed-off Interior Specifics, located at Plot 697, Amodu Tijani Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, over a tax debt of N17.125 million. Equally sealed were MP Engineering Contractors and Swiss Trade Limited, which owe N79.324 million and N11.099 million respectively. On Monday, the service sealed Crown Realities, located at 3A, Lalupon Close in Ikoyi a tax debt of N86.3 million. Group Business Editor Bayo Amodu 08118672002 Business Editor (Lagos) Chima Akwaja Assistant Business Editors Kingsley Alu Tony Awunor Correspondent Chika Izuora Reporters Ruth Tene Natsa Bukola Idowu Olushola Bello Suzan Nwachukwu Abah Adah George Okojie Chika Okeke

L-R: Executive director, Maritime Labour & Cabotage, NIMASA Gambo Ahmed; executive director, Operations, NIMASA Rotimi Fashakin; director general, NIMASA Dr. Dakuku Peterside; executive director, Financial &Administration, NIMASA Bashir Jamoh, and director, Legal Adviser, Abdulsalam Suleiman, during the 7th Admiralty law seminar for judges organised by NIMASA held in Lagos,yesterday. PHOTO BY KOLAWOLE ALIU.

Micro Pension Scheme Suffers Regulatory Setback BY ZAKA KHALIQ, Lagos The initial plan to kick-off the micro pension scheme have met a stumbling block, as the National Pension Commission(PenCom) could not keep up to its promise of commencing the scheme by the end of 2017, LEADERSHIP can now reveal. To this end, about 70 million Nigerians in the informal sector remain locked out of the pension scheme as the new scheme did not give room for the informal sector players to join it. It was in a bid to capture self-employed people, especially those with irregular income, usually in the informal sector who are largely financially uninformed with limited or no access to financial services especially pension plan that the idea of micro pension came about. While the previous administration in PenCom seems to have done a major work to ensure the micro pension scheme commence as earlier planned, the unfortunate exit of the previous director-general, Mrs. Chinelo AnohuAmazu, who championed the initiative seems to have slowed down development in this area. However, with assumption of office of the current acting director of the commission, Mrs. Aisha Dahiru-Umar, development in micro pension has been lethargic, with little or no action to continue from where the previous adminis-

tration left it, thereby, casting a cloudy future on the initiative. Industry sources revealed that the redeployment of former Head of Micro Pension Department, Polycarp Anyanwu, who has done a great job towards nurturing this concept, to another department, may have rubbed off the Commission of the needed experience in the micro pension department and that it will take time for the new head of the department to fully integrate this concept before understanding where to start from. Further investigation revealed that staff who are not knowledgeable on vital operations of the Commission were assigned sensitive responsibilities leading to slowing down of activities in the Commission, of the micro pension scheme is part of. Moreover, information has it that players in the Nollywood industry and law profession, among others, expected to be under this scheme as well, objected to the name ‘Micro Pension’, calling for a change of name before they can subscribe to the scheme. To this end, the scheme has hit a stumbling block and may require a total rebranding to cajole more people to subscribe to this scheme. A top official at the Commission who spoke under the condition of anonymity affirmed that there is no activity in place at the moment to kick-start the scheme. Another official further said that the lack of a substantive DG and Board is affecting the functions of the Commission.

PenCom, had, in October 2016 maintained that it would release the micro pension guidelines in mid-2017 and commence the scheme by end of the year. This, vision was halted by the new leadership in the commission. According to the commission, the micro pension scheme is expected to help boost the pension contributors to 20 million Nigerians by 2019 and 30 million by the year 2024. It is also expected to generate about N3 trillion to the pension assets, while mobilising about 12 million contributors within five years. Highlighting the challenges of the scheme, chief executive, Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited, Mr. Eric Fajemisi, said, though micro pension scheme is good for the country, it has challenges. These challenges, according to him, include insufficient awareness and negative perception towards it, modest financial literacy in the country, high cost of promoting awareness on the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), lack of reliable data on the informal sector and low buy-in by unions in the pension sector, among others. These challenges, he noted, must be addressed prior to commencement of the scheme and thereafter. Fajemisi said on the other hand, the micro pension scheme, when finalised would ensure improved standard of living for the elderly, guarantee the safety of funds and may provide access to other incentives, such as mortgage facilities and health insurance.

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Business 101 with MBAKAAN KWEN

Ways Socio–Cultural Factors Can Affect Your Business Being in business is not only about knowing how to make sales and generate great profits, but it also involves understanding the environment you intend establishing your business. A complete business person ensures that he or she studies the social – cultural attributes of the people that live in the environment they intend starting their business during the feasibility studies.As culled from mytopbusinessideas. com, the following ways can affect business; •MEANS OF COMMUNICATION: Every community has a means of communication and the ability for you to key into their style of communication will go a long way to positively impact your business. Much more than the language that is being spoken by a group of people, there are other salient and unspoken words that carry great importance. For instance some culture frowns at a younger person that present his hand first for a handshake with an elderly person. •PURCHASING POWER: It is very important that you know the purchasing power of the people that live in the area where you intend establishing your business. There are some kind of businesses that can thrive in places where the people that live there are poor and there are some other businesses that cannot survive such environment. •ADVERTISING PREFERENCE: Advertising preference is another socio – cultural factors that affects businesses globally. The truth is that the advertising model that may sell in Nigeria, might likely not sell somewhere in the Middle East. Hence, the wise thing for any business owner to do before putting up advert for his or her business is to understand what appeals to the people that dwell in the community where the business is to be sites and then design their advert to conform to the language of the people.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Over the years quantum of unclaimed dividends within the Nigerian clime has witnessed tremendous growth. Acting director-general of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Dr. Abdul Zubair said.

Zubair


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STOCK INDEX (AS AT FEBRUARY 14) Gainers

Symbols CP Skyebank 1.10 FCMB 2.80 Diamondbnk 2.91 UBA 11.85 Access 12.60

% change 10.00 9.80 7.78 6.28 5.00

Losers

Symbols CP Firstalum 0.40 Lasaco 0.32 ABCTrans 0.38 Caverton 2.85 Unitybnk 1.81

% change -9.09 -5.88 -5.00 -5.00 -4.74

STOCK INDEX (AS AT FEBRUARY 14) ASI DEALS VOLUME VALUE CAP

(Points) (Numbers) (Numbers million) (Nbillion) (Ntrn)

42,171.80 5,694 520.74 4.72 N15.134

Shareholders Unclaimed Dividends Hit N103bn – SEC BY OLUSHOLA BELLO, LAGOS

Stressing the need for capital market investors to enroll in the e-dividend registration platform, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said has recealed that unclaimed dividends stood at N103 billion as at January 2017. The e-registration platform was designed as part of efforts by the capital market regulatory authority to eradicate the difficulties encountered by retail investors in claiming their dividends through their savings account. Addressing shareholders at the maiden edition of ‘Dividend Payment Awards

for Nigerian listed companies organised by Third Observers Nigeria Limited in Lagos, the director-general of SEC, Dr. Abdul Zubair maintained that the era of stale dividends and huge unclaimed dividends in the market will be a thing of the past if investors would key into the e-dividend payment platform. The SEC acting DG represented by the director, eternal relations of the Commission, Henry Rowlands bemoaned the poor investors’ patronage on e-dividend registration in the market, noting that huge amount of unclaimed dividend discourages investors from investing in the stock

market. He said: “We must energise the law that will stop the issuance of paper warrant and until the market can successfully stop the issuance if paper dividend warrant, that will force everybody to enroll and once every body enroll, all your outstanding shares that you have not collected, you will have the alert on your account directly. “We need to encourage people to key into the platform. Over the year quantum of unclaimed dividends within the Nigerian clime, has witnessed tremendous growth. As at January 2017, the total amount of unclaimed dividend was confirmed to be over N103 billion.’’

Stocks Market Halts 7-day Bearish Run To Post 1.11% Gain BY OLUSHOLA BELLO, Lagos

The Nigeria stocks market yesterday gained 1.11 per cent bringing to an end the seven day bearish run on renewed bargain hunting activities. In summary, the All Share Index (ASI) gained 463.65 absolute points, representing a growth of 1.11 per cent to close at 42,171.80 points. Similarly, the market capitalisation gained N166 billion to close at N15.134 trillion. The upturn was impacted by gains recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Nestle Nigeria, Beta Glass, Zenith Bank, Nigerian Breweries and Flourmill Nigeria.

Analysts at Afrinvest Limited said that “following the improvement in investor sentiment, we anticipate positive market performance till the end of the week. We also expect sustained improvement in market activity as investors take position in stocks with attractive valuation.” Market breadth was positive, with 25 gainers versus 19 losers. Skye Bank recorded the highest price gain of 10 per cent, to close at N1.10 per share. FCMB Groups gained 9.80 per cent to close at N2.80, while Diamond Bank appreciated by 7.78 per cent to close at N2.91 per share. UBA went up by 6.28 per cent to close at N11.85, while Access Bank appreciated by five

per cent to close at N12.60 per share. On the other hand, First Aluminium led the losers’ chart by 9.09 per cent, to close at 40 kobo per share. Lasaco Insurance shed 5.88 per cent to close at 32 kobo, while ABC Transport and Caverton depreciated by five per cent each to close at 38 kobo and N2.85 per share, respectively. Also, Unity Bank down by 4.74 per cent to close at N1.81 per share. Also the total volume traded improved by 10.7 per cent to 520.74 million shares, worth N4.72 billion, and traded in 5,694 deals. Transactions in the shares of Skye Bank topped the activity chart with 113.2 million shares valued at N121.95 billion.

ASHON To Announce New Structure In Boosting Corporate Governance BY OLUSHOLA BELLO, Lagos

Barring unforeseen circumstances, the Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON) has said it will announce a new structure for enhanced corporate governance in line with its ongoing repositioning exercise. By the proposed new structure which is still kept under wraps, the current Executive Committee of ASHON may emerge as a Governing Council, the highest decision making body. Besides, there are strong indications that the new structure may usher in some additional

responsibilities for the current executive members. The structure is coming on the heels of a new constitution which will take effect any moment from now. Chairman of ASHON, Mr. Patrick Ezeagu had at the Association’s last Annual General Meeting explained that the new constitution would be operational soon, saying “with our renewed energy and change in strategic plan, we are poised to focusing on the challenges of the Association and resolving them as they confront us.” According to Ezeagu, the Executive Committee is

taking steps to implement the provisions of the new constitution accordingly. We expect that the new structure provided for in the constitution will take effect as soon as we tidy up the processes. “ASHON has been turning economic challenges into opportunities for its members through strategic thinking and innovativeness aimed at solving problems.” Ezeagu explained that in order to seek additional income for its members, the Executive Committee commenced the establishment of Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange (LCFE).

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

GE Signs Agreement With Shell On 650MW Afam VI Plant BY CHIMA AKWAJA, Lagos

Aligning with Nigeria’s energy strategy for the future,GE’s Power Services business said yesterday that it has signed a Multi- year Service Agreement (MYA) with Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) for the 650MW Afam VI combined cycle power plant located in the South-eastern part of the country. Thanks to this agreement, the plant which provides enough electricity equal to power over three million Nigerian homes at peak performance, will expect to improve its availability, reliability and output for up to 200,000 Nigerian homes, while decreasing its operational costs. SPDC and its partners in the joint venture

it operates, built the plant in a significant contribution to help meet Nigeria’s electricity need. “At optimal performance, the Afam VI plant can provide up to 15 per cent of the total national grid-connected electricity, this agreement will ensure we reach this performance objective and deliver much needed power to the national grid, said Dr. Philip Mshelbila, general manager, Gas of SPDC. “Since its commissioning in 2008, Afam VI Power Plant has delivered more than 25.97 million Megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity into the Nigerian market and won an award by the United Nations for reducing carbon emissions through environmentfriendly operations,” he added. The agreement will cover

planned maintenance for the three existing GE GT13E2 gas turbines as well as one GE steam turbine. In addition, the order includes GE’s MXL2 upgrades to help increase the plant capacity by up to 30MW while increasing its efficiency. Elisee Sezan, general manager, GE’s Power Services business for Sub-Saharan Africa said “we have a long history of collaboration with Shell Petroleum, which has the largest footprint of all the international oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria, having supported the plant operations on power generation since its inception in 2008. With this latest agreement, we are working to bring improved performance and enhanced efficiency to their operations.”

Stakeholders Back NPA’s Ultimatum On Agencies At Seaport BY TAIWO OMILANI, Lagos

Nigeria’s Customs clearing agents have supported the order of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) directing the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to vacate the seaports. In his contribution, Mr. Kayode Farinto, national publicity secretary, ANCLA said the affected agencies delay cargo and make ports overcrowded. “The Act that created these

agencies spell it clearly that they are not supposed to be in the port but some of them want to exercise their power”, he said. Speaking with former PTML chapter spokesman of the Association of Nigerian Licenced Customs Agents (ANCLA), Mr. Gani Adeola, he said that in an ideal setting, government agencies are not supposed to remain inside the port. According to him, it is what the law says that they should not remain in the port. “There is nothing wrong in asking them to operate from outside and when there is any issue that concern any

of those agencies they will invite them. Overcrowding of port by government agencies make the clearing process cumbersome. These agencies should refer back to regulation establishing them”, he added. It would be recalled that NPA had issued an ultimatum to officials of unauthorised government agencies to vacate the seaports or risk being arrested. The directive by NPA is in line with a new order issued to NPA by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).

Airtel Eyes IPO For Africa Operations … As revenue for Africa hits $783m BY CHIMA AKWAJA, Lagos with agency report

Bharti Airtel International (BAIN), a subsidiary of Indiabased Bharti Airtel which runs the company’s Africa operations, confirmed it was investigating a potential initial public offer (IPO) of the business. Netherlands-based BAIN, which runs wireless and mobile money services in 14 countries across Africa, said in a regulatory filing it would initiate “non-binding exploratory discussions with various banks and intermediaries to evaluate

the feasibility of listing its shares on “an internationally recognised stock exchange.” It added discussions were at a preliminary stage and no final outcome had been decided. The value of the potential stake to be sold was undisclosed. The news follows a number of reports in recent months questioning the future of Airtel’s operation in Africa. In December 2017, reports stated Airtel was set to exit three markets deemed unprofitable: Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania. While he swiftly denied the rumours, Airtel chairman Sunil

Bharti Mittal admitted the company’s rushed entry into Africa in 2010 was one of the biggest regrets of his professional life. In its latest financial statement – covering the three months to end-December – Airtel reported a five per cent year-onyear increase in revenue for its Africa business to $783 million. However, the company still faces issues on the continent. It is currently embroiled in a row with authorities over its Tanzania operation and in January dropped out of the running to acquire troubled Nigerian operator 9mobile.

Sterling Bank Appoints Emefienim As ED BY BUKOLA IDOWU, Lagos

Sterling Bank Plc, has appointed Mr. Emmanuel Emefienim as Executive Director, Institutional Banking following the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Emefienim has over 25 years experience in the Nigerian banking industry, having worked in various middle and senior management roles across Operations, Treasury and Sales. He commenced his banking career with Oceanic Bank Plc (now Ecobank Nigeria) where

he rose to the position of Head, Credit & Marketing before joining United Bank for Africa Plc as Manager, Commercial Banking. Mr. Emefienim also worked in Savannah Bank Plc and FSB International Bank Plc (now Fidelity Bank Plc) over a period of six years before joining Equitorial Trust Bank (ETB) in 2006. In ETB, he excelled and rose to the position of Zonal Business Director. Following the acquisition of Equitorial Trust Bank and its consolidation into Sterling Bank in 2011, he assumed the position of Regional Business

Executive covering the SouthSouth 2 Region, a role in which he excelled leading to the expansion of his responsibilities to cover the entire South-South & Mid-west Regions in 2017. Emefienim has contributed immensely to the growth and success of Sterling Bank. For his exceptional performance, he was promoted to the position of General Manager in 2016 and was recently appointed Divisional Head, Institutional Banking Group with leadership responsibility for the bank’s institutional banking business.


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Aviation Union To Shut Down Newrest ASL Nationwide BY ANTHONY AWUNOR, Lagos The National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) has threatened to close down the operations of Newrest ASL nationwide. The union said it took the decision against the airline because it refused to allow their workers join aviation unions of their choice. Newrest ASL is the inflight catering service in the Nigeria aviation industry. Since Monday, NUATE had grounded the operations of Newrest ASL, which has affected the company’s catering services to some of the airlines it serves at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos. Not satisfied, the labor union also threatened to picket the entire offices of the catering service nationwide from Wednesday if the management refused to listen to its demands. At the picketing ground in Lagos Airport on Monday, Mr. Olatunji Abioye, the General Secretary, NUATE, accused the management of compelling the workers to remain with a union they felt was not protecting their interests. Speaking with aviation journalists, Abioye alleged that the workers who before now belonged to the National Union of Hotels, approached NUATE for membership, but the management insisted that the workers must remain with the former union, stressing that the insistence of the management ran contrary to Section 40 of the Nigeria constitution. He purported that the insistence of the workers to join NUATE and other unions of their choice in the Nigerian aviation industry, led to intimidation and transfer of some of the workers out of Lagos Airport, but declared that the union would continue to resist any form of harassment by the management. Abioye also accused the National Union of Hotels of conniving with the management to short-change the workers, alleging that the union consistently receive kickbacks from the management against the interest of the workers, which they were supposed to protect. According to him, before the union took the decisive action, all attempts by the union to hold a meeting with the management proved abortive. He said “Section 40 of the Nigerian constitution allows citizens of Nigeria to freely associate and choose the union, political party or association of their choice.

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NEWS/BUSINESS 27

Afreximbank Urges Use Of Factoring To Expand Africa’s Regional Value Chains BY MARK ITSIBOR, Abuja African countries should make use of factoring in order to take advantage of the opportunities for expanding the continent’s regional value chains, participants at a regional factoring conference held in Dakar have said. Kanayo Awani, Managing Director of the Intra-African Trade Initiative at the African ExportImport Bank (Afreximbank), said yesterday at the opening of the two-day Regional Conference on Factoring that, in spite of the potential upside, Africa’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) continued to face difficulties in accessing finance.

Ms. Awani, who is also Chairperson of FCI’s Africa Chapter, noted that in other regions, such enterprises accounted for the largest shares of trade finance transactions concluded through factoring, noting that in Europe, for instance, factoring represented 10.4 per cent of GDP at 1.5 trillion Euros. Africa only accounted for one per cent of global factoring transactions, stated Ms. Awani who explained that the low volumes of factoring in Africa was largely attributable to lack of information and awareness. She said that the conference, co-organised by Afreximbank and FCI, the global representa-

tive body for the factoring and receivables finance industry, was to equip participants with relevant tools to tap into the opportunities available to grow factoring in the continent, especially in the context of intra-regional trade. Ms, Awani added that the event would provide a regional view on factoring and offer attendees opportunity for discussions on the current state of the industry, new challenges, products and markets development. It would also create new skills and networking opportunities for the participants and give them practical information on successfully setting up factoring businesses. Earlier, Peter Mulroy, Secre-

tary General of FCI, said that despite the low factoring level in Africa, the continent had achieved important milestones that could help develop it further in the years to come. “Today we are witnessing the birth of numerous initiatives at the government, ministerial and central bank levels in such markets as Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana and others. This is, in part, thanks to the development of the model law on factoring by Afreximbank, the removal of burdensome stamp duty tax, the development of inclusive policies at the central bank level to promote and support financing to SMEs through factoring, and the push

for development of cross-border factoring,” he added. Also speaking, Ismaila Gueye, Coordinator at the Directorate of Financial Sector and Competitiveness at the Ministry of Economy and Planning of Senegal, who represented his Minister, said that African exporters were encountering a loss of competitiveness due to the fact that factoring and open account trade were not commonly used in Africa as was the case in all other regions of the world. He commended Afreximbank and FCI for promoting such financial practices, saying that it would help put local SMEs on a level playing field with their global competitors.


28 NEWS/BUSINESS

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Advertising Guru Tasks Nigerians In Diaspora On Local Investment BY MARY TITUS

L-R: Executive director, Retail & Consumer Banking, Sterling Bank, Mr. Grama Narasimhan; representative of Emirates Holidays Nigeria, Ms. Evelyn Nwaokolo; winner of International Holiday Trip to Dubai, Mr. Obinna Henry Ezeanyim; Regional Business executive, Ms. Eniola Obe, and chief marketing officer, Mr. Henry Bassey, both of Sterling Bank Plc during the Sterling Bank 1dament promo prize presentation to winners of International Vacation at the Radission Blu Anchorage Hotel in Lagos, yesterday.

FG Has Resolved Legal Issues Affecting Ajaokuta Steel Company – Osinbajo BY ABAH ADAH, Abuja Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has stated that the federal government has resolved all outstanding legal issues that have halted operations at the Ajaokuta Steel Company. Osinbajo revealed this in Kogi State on Tuesday during the State Economic and Investment Summit. Work seems to have been grounded in the national steel

company that has gulped billions of naira by successive administrations since Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999. “We have now resolved the legal issues holding down work in Ajaokuta at the Ajaokuta steel complex,” the Vice President told the audience at the summit. He said Kogi plays a strategic role in the country for being the largest producer of cashew and also in rice production in the

country. The Vice President further commended the state governor, Mr Yahaya Bello, for bringing out a 30-year long-term development plan. He reiterated the support of the Federal Government to the state as he highlights some of the state’s roles in the central region of the country. “Our recognition of Kogi is not misplaced – your host to the

biggest steel industry in Nigeria, the Ajaokuta Steel Company, and one of the largest cement factories in Africa, the Dangote Cement Company in Obajana, and also the highly prolific Jakura marble factory,” said Osinbajo. In his earlier remarks, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, explained why many people thought work had been abandoned at the Ajaokuta Steel Company.

GEEP: BoI Disburses N295m To 5,600 Beneficiaries In Lokoja BY KINGSLEY ALU, Abuja The Bank of Industry (BoI) has put the number of beneficiaries of the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) in Kogi State at 5, 600. This is even as the bank announced that it had disbursed over N295million in the process of executing the programme in the state. The GEEP MarketMoni Alert, which is a component of the federal government’s social intervention programmes, is

aimed at helping micro enterprise operators in the country bridge the gaps in access to affordable credit. The GEEP, which is being administered by the BoI, seeks to provide non-interest loans raging from N10, 000 to N100,000 to 1.6million beneficiaries in the 774 local government of the federation. Speaking during a formal launch of the programme in Lokoja, the capital city of Kogi State, yesterday, the vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, stated that the programme was

conceived to take care of the interest of the people at the base of socio-economic pyramid across the country. According to him, some of the beneficiaries who were majorly traders, artisans, farmers and market women who plied their trade in these target areas, were eligible to access loan under the programme to grow their businesses. In particular, he urged the over 5,000 beneficiaries in Kogi State not to consider the loan as a national cake, but that which requires repayment so that other

people could benefit as well. The vice president restated the commitment of the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari to growing the nation’s through industrialization and development of the country’s human capital base. Also speaking on the sidelines of the event, the GEEP MarketMoni chief operating officer, Mr. Uzoma Nwagba, said the programme was packaged to address the issue of lack of access to finance by those operating in the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) sub-sector.

Dangote Assures Of Timely Completion Of Apapa Road BY OLUSHOLA BELLO, Lagos President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote has assured that the Apapa Port Wharf concrete road currently under construction by AG Dangote would be delivered on schedule to save the people and businesses the hassles of the traffic gridlock being experienced now. He gave the assurance yesterday in Lagos during his visit to the construction area in company with the managing director of the AG Dangote Construction Company, Mr. Ashif Juma to assess the extent of work done. The Apapa Port road which is the

artery of the nation’s non-oil economy, has been in a state of disrepair over a long period of time with experts claiming that the nation is losing about N20 billion daily owing to the state of dilapidation of the road as imports are trapped in the ports for days as a result of traffic gridlock generated by the bad road. Dangote Group, a pan-African Conglomerate and a major stakeholder at the ports brokered a tripartite arrangement with Flour Mills and Nigerian Port Authority, (NPA), taking over the road from the federal government and undertaking the reconstruction of the road into a lasting concrete pavement as part

of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The road construction in which both NPA and Flour Mills have financial outlay as their contributions while AG Dangote Construction, a subsidiary of the Dangote Group, is undertaking the construction, is to cost the three partners N4.3 billion. Dangote said the road will be completed in few months’ time and that Nigerians would be surprised to see the project delivered even before scheduled, saying efforts are being redoubled by his company to ensure quality job and timely completion. According to him, by the time

the road construction is completed, even some of the advanced countries would not be able to boast of the quality. He explained that what actually delay the take-off of the project was the gas pipeline that has to be relocated to pave the way for unfettered construction work. The businessman while relying on the reports of the challenges encountered by the site engineers appealed to the authorities to help see to the disturbing issue of multiple check points being mounted by security agencies and which have been creating long queues of trailers and thus affecting free flow of work on the road project.

An Advertising Czar, Mr. Biodun Shobanjo, has urged Nigerians in the diaspora to domesticate their investments in order to uplift the economy and impact more lives in the country. Shobanjo, Chairman of Troyka Holdings Limited, gave the charge while expressing confidence in Nigeria’s future at the Nigerian-American Business Forum held in Florida, United States. He insisted that although the nation still grapples with challenges of infrastructures, huge opportunities abound for Nigerians in the diaspora to invest in so as help to promote and accelerate economic growth as well as improve the standard of living of those living in the country. Drawing on his experience as an Entrepreneur, Shobanjo harped on the need to network with people who have experience within and outside the country. He also urged that a close watch be kept of current global trends and how they affect businesses in order to run a successful venture. “It is possible to make it in Nigeria. The work we’re doing with Troyka Holdings and its unit companies over the past three decades is testament to the fact that investing in Nigeria can be a wise decision.” Shobanjo said as part of Troyka drive to find, nurture and retain the best talents, the organization has grown from an 18-man team in 1980 to an over 18,000 direct employees in the country today and pride

itself as the largest Marketing Communications group in Nigeria and across West Africa. He recalled that in 2015, the group signed an agreement with the world’s third largest communications group, Publicis Groupe, for the purchase of 25 percent equity in the business. Others who spoke at the Forum include the former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, Senators Ben Murray-Bruce and Shaaba Lafiaji, President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange Council, Abimbola Ogunbanjo, and Motivational Speaker, Fela Durotoye. The Nigerian-American Business Forum is an international networking event for Nigerians in the United States of America designed to chart a way for Nigeria’s development, impact the wealth of experience of accomplished Nigerian Diasporas for the rapid development of their homeland.

Shobanjo


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COMMERCE 29

LCCI Seeks Extension Of Local Content Order BY TAIWO OGUNMOLA-OMILANI,

Abuja

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry [LCCI] has charged the federal federal government to extend the local content order beyond the scope of science, engineering and technology, improve “visaon-arrival” processes and ensure better transparency in the issuance and compliance monitoring of the expatriate quota. This was contained in a communique issued at the end of Council meeting with security chiefs on how to secure business environment. Reacting on Executive Order Five, the managing director of LCCI, Muda Yusuf , who signed the communique noted that the quality of implementation of this and previous directives is what will make the real difference in the outcomes and impact. The Council welcomes the latest Executive Order issued by the federal government which is aimed at encouraging local content and initiatives. It is said that executive order tagged : “Executive Order 5,” is to improve local content in public procurement with science, engineering and technology components. According to LCCI, for instance, the procurement policy for the MDAs which

prescribes that patronage of made in Nigeria products should be prioritised in government expenditure is yet to be effectively implemented. In a related development, LCCI expressed concern over the growing level of insecurity across the country is of great concern to businesses and investors. It said, “Incidence of criminality, such as terrorist activities of Boko Haram in the north - east, herdsmen attacks and destruction of farms, kidnaping, armed robbery and cultism are impacting adversely on businesses. “Incidence of criminality, such as terrorist activities of Boko Haram in the North East, Herdsmen attacks and destruction of farms, kidnaping, armed robbery and cultism are impacting adversely on businesses. “The security crisis has implication on food security in the country, food inflation, shortage of local raw materials for agro-allied businesses, poor investors’ confidence, global perception issues for the country, investment and job losses in the near term. “Cost of providing alternative security such as the provision of private security, escorts, and protection facilities /equipment by businesses in some sectors have increased by 12 per cent over the last four years,” it said.

MAN Decries Credit Challenge Facing Manufacturers BY MBACHU GODWIN NNANNA, Abuja

The Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN) has reiterated the need for the federal government to open a special window for the manufacturers in addressing the credit challenges. This was disclosed by the director general of MAN, Mr. Segun Ajayi-Kadir, to LEADERSHIP in an exclusive interview. According to him, government need to expand the opportunity of credit going to manufacturers. “We have been spoken about the recapitalisation of Bank of Industry (BOI) and the setting up of development bank and other factors militating against quick return that you can for manufacturing sector,” he said. MAN therefore encouraged government to take the issue se-

riously in order to address the challenges facing the manufacturers in the country. It would be recalled that MAN had urged the federal government to set up a bank that will address the financial needs of the manufacturing sector. Its president Dr. Udemba Jacobs, said the establishment of a Manufacturing Development Bank (MDB) would cater for the credit needs of the manufacturing sector, lamenting that conventional banks have failed to support the manufacturing sector. Jacobs said the empowerment of the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) to fully commence operations and the re-capitalisation of the Bank of Industry (BoI) to enable it meet up with the huge credit demand of the industrial sector was also important.

L-R: Executive director Technical, Aliyu Abdullahi; managing director/chief executive officer, Pal Pensions, Morohunke Bammeke; director, Fola Laoye; head, Brand Management & Corporate Communications, Sunmisola Mark-Okoma and executive director, Operations, Godwin Okoro during the Pal Pensions media campaign tagged Retire With a Smile in Lagos, recently.

N550bn Export Facilities: NEXIM Urges SMEs In S/East To Participate BY KINGSLEY ALU, Abuja

The Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) has called on export-oriented Small and Medium Entrepreneurs in the Southeast and Delta States to access the N500 billion Export Stimulation Facility (ESF), and the N50 billion Export Development Fund being managed by the Bank to boost their businesses, create more jobs, and contribute to the foreign exchange revenue earnings of the country. Managing director and CEO of NEXIM, Mr. Abba Bello, made this call during a one-day seminar on “Leveraging NEXIM Bank Facilities To Unleash Your Export Potential.” organised by the Bank and the SME Centre, Enugu. The facilities were made available to NEXIM Bank last December and will lend at a maximum of 9 per cent interest rate. The funds were designed to redress the declining export credit to SMEs and reposition the non-oil sector to increase its contribution to the country’s revenue generation and economic development. The improved export financing for non-oil exporters will enable them to upscale and expand their businesses and improve their competiveness. Speaking on behalf of the Bank’s MD/CEO, the head of the Bank’s Enugu regional office, Mr. Chinedu Moghalu , stated that the funds were being made available to the NEXIM by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at a time the Bank has decentralized its operations to all the regions of the country for easier accessibility of its products and servicestomaximize theirimpacts. According to him,“NEXIM Bank is determined to ensure these funds achieve the desired impact of triggering non-oil export development, growth and economic progress in line with its mandate as the Trade Policy Bank of the Federal Governmentandthe applicable CBN guidelines for the implementation of the facilities.” The representative of the Enugu State governor and Special Assistant on SME Development, Honourable Anayogu, stated that the programme has come at the right time. “The opening of NEXIM Bank regional office for the Southeast and Delta States in Enugu, and the invi-

tation to the SMEs to access affordable non-oil export facilities,had been the missing link in the efforts of various Governments in the region to derive maximum benefits from their investments in the SME value chain, especially in the agriculture and other non-oil sectors. It provides us the platform to reach heights we could only dream about before now,” he said. The objectives of the ESF as contained in the CBN guidelines are to Improve access of exporters to concessionary finance to expand and diversify the non-oil export baskets; attract new investments and encourage re-investments in value-added non-oil exports production and aditional exports;shore up non-oil export sector productivity and create more jobs;support export oriented companies to upscale and expand their export operations as well as capabilities;diversify and increase the level of contribution of non-oil exports revenue towards sustainable economic development; and broaden the scope of export financing instruments. The transactions permissible for funding under the ESF include, export of goods wholly or partly processed or manufactured in Nigeria; export of commodities and services, which are permissible and excluded under existing export prohibition list; imports of plant and machinery, spare parts and packaging materials, required for export oriented production that cannot be produced locally. Other businesses eligible under the ESF are export value chain support services such as transportation, warehousing and quality assurance infrastructure; resuscitation, expansion, modernization and technology upgrade of non-oil exports industries. Stocking facility and working capital can also qualify for funding under the ESF. Potential applicants to the ESF can either send their requests through their local commercial banks or directly to NEXIM as the revised CBN guidelines assigns the Bank a dual role of both manager and participating financial institution. The N50billion Export Development Fund will be managed by NEXIM and implemented in collaboration with the State governments. NEXIM has earmarked at least N1

billion for each State under the State Export Development Programme component aimed to catalyse and incentivize export investment to promote diversification and industrialization. Through the Programme, NEXIM Bank will also have a programme for Women/Youth Development,especially to provide support to industries that are involved in Apparel/Garmenting, Cashew, Shea, etc. The Central Bank governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele , had stated at the announcing of the funds in December 2017 that the ESF can also be implemented by adapting the Anchor Borrowers Programme framework while promoting the PAVE initiative. According to Moghalu, “The overall aim of the ESF and EDF is to lower the costs of Nigerian exporters so that their products can be priced at a level where they can compete with other products around the world.” The NEXIM Bank regional head urged eligible export-oriented companies in the Southeast and Delta States with permissible transactions under the schemes to participate in the funding scheme by submitting proposals for consideration through the financial institutions of their choice or directly to NEXIM Bank. He emphasised that as Nigeria’s sole export credit agency, NEXIM Bank remains the only window through which the Government can provide export financing for non-oil products and services. Thanking the participants and other stakeholders on behalf of the NEXIM MD, Moghalu gave assurance that the Bank was committed to working assiduously, in line with its mandate, to fully realise the objectives of the schemes and stated a readiness to provide the necessary advice, additional information or clarifications as may be required. He thanked the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), the Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria (MAN), the commodity associations and other organised private sector for their relentless technical support, partnership and collaboration as well as the commitment to work with the government and private sector in Nigeria to diversify the economy, create jobs, boost industrial production and exports.


30 ENERGY/BUSINESS

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Nigeria’ll Receive Big Boost In Energy Investment This Year BY CHIKA IZUORA, Lagos

Oil platform

Nigeria’s Local Content Law Enhances Training Institutions’ Synergy , Capacities CHIKA IZUORA looks at the benefits of new strategic alliances by key training institutions in the oil and gas sector to increase in-country capacity to enable Nigerians secure management positions in multinational oil companies as well deepen local participation in the sector. Section 30 of the Local Content Act, 2010, clearly provides that training shall be provided to Nigerians who require adequate training to operate within the Oil and Gas industry and this effort has created an avenue for continuous learning development opportunity. Training, in any given field, is advisable as it contributes to the development of manpower which thereafter results in attaining a company’s goals and objectives. Since the implementation of the Act by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, indigenous manpower and facilities have recorded landmark achievements in the areas of building local capacity and capability.
Nigeria first began producing oil almost 60 years ago and is Africa’s largest oil producer but inspite of this, it is only recently that the country have started witnessing indigenous involvement in the upstream industry business. Historically dominated by International Oil Companies (IOCs), the has over the last few years started witnessing an aggressive drive towards indigenous ownership in both the upstream and services segments. LEADERSHIP recalls that prior to introduction of the Local Content Law, the absence of local capacity in the industry had resulted in repatriation of about 90 per cent of the $12 billion yearly industry spending abroad, with its adverse effects on job creation and the growth of the economy. This stemmed from the fact that the wider scope of the industry’s lucrative jobs was performed in foreign fabrication yards; while expatriate workforce dominated local strategic positions in the industry.
Paucity of fund, absence of in-country capacity and inadequate manpower were identified as factors that denied the country the full benefits of her petroleum resources as only few indigenous facilities and manpower were involved in the oil and gas industry. While indigenous facilities and manpower were yearning for oil and gas industry jobs, foreign yards were flooded with jobs that ought to benefit Nigerians and the country’s economy. To further stamp indigenous ownership of the industry, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Em-

manuel Ibe Kachikwu recently directed the NCDMB to ensure that the Nigerian oil and gas industry is able to produce all its needs by year 2027, The minister, who gave the charge in Owerri, Imo State at the Nigerian Content Workshop organised by New Planets Projects in conjunction with the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources Upstream said the federal government expects that over the next 10 years, the Nigeria oil and gas industry, in collaboration with foreign investors would have developed in-country capacities and capabilities to produce all its offshore platforms locally. “I would like to see the Japanese coming; I would like to see the Koreans come here; I would like to see collaborative efforts that will make our oil industry produce everything that we need,” he said. He acknowledged the giant strides made by the board in seven years, commending particularly the excellent achievements of the current executive eecretary, Engr. Simbi Wabote, whom he credited for working with energy and passion and meeting several targets set for the board in the past one year. Noting that Nigerian Content achievement in engineering services had hit 80 per cent, the minister insisted that performance in offshore aspects of the industry was still substantially low and charged international and local operating oil companies to collaborate with the NCDMB to achieve the new target. Kachikwu, described Nigerian Content as the future of the industry. According to him, “It doesn’t matter how much money we make, how much gas we produce or alternative fossils we produce; if we do not ensure that a lot of that is captured locally in terms of benefits, we have no stake.” Commenting on NCDMB’s strategies for addressing noncompliance with provisions of the Nigerian Content Act by some companies, the minister said the focus should not be on identifying defaulters and penalizing them. According to him, NCDMB should develop corrective measures and understand why some companies fail to comply. “The board needs to develop corrective visitation programmes to institutions that have not complied. Sit down

with them and do an audit of the issues and jointly develop models, giving specific timelines for delivery and create incentives for those who comply and penalties for those who blatantly refuse to comply,” he said. On industry’s capacity building initiatives, the minister directed NCDMB, the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) and the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) to collaborate and develop a plan for training youths who are involved in pipeline vandalism, illegal refining and other illicit activities in the oil and gas industry. The training programme will focus on improving their skillsets and getting them to embrace productive activities. He said, “We need to find a middle-level specialized system of training people in the oil industry, a system that is not necessarily tied to degrees. We need to capture a lot of those in the hinterlands who have finished WAEC or their first diploma and don’t know where to go to but have some unique skillsets. We need to bring them to finishing schools.” Kachikwu also directed the NCDMB, PTDF and PTI to use existing industry facilities in Port Harcourt and Kaduna to carry out the planned trainings and other bespoke capacity building programmes for industry stakeholders. “We have to provide local competency trainings, relying on support from oil companies in terms of investment and overseas faculty,” he said. In similar move and taking more proactive measures, the Oil and Gas Trainers Association of Nigeria (OGTAN) has initiated a fresh move to create a synergy with tertiary institutions in the country to widen the scope of training in the industry. President, Dr Afe Mayowa, who called for domestication of training in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria explained that domestication of training of oil and gas workers would increase the chances of making graduates of Nigerian university employable. He gave the advice at a media conference in Lagos to sensitise stakeholders on the forthcoming maiden edition of the Nigeria Education Summit of the association slated to push for elaborate training program in the industry.

The AO2 LAW has released the maiden edition of its 2018 Energy Outlook for the Ni+/**gerian power, oil and gas industry which reviewed and gave key insights into happenings in the industry for year 2017 and also provided investment and policy forecasts in 2018.
The 2018 energy outlook predicts the rise in energy investment. It also predicted that the divestment of IOCs will create great opportunities for indigenous oil companies and advised the government on the need for policy stability especially in the power sector . According to Oyeyemi Oke, practice partner, Energy, AO2 LAW, “close to 80 per cent of Nigeria’s energy supply could be met if backed by enabling strategies and policies. He explained that from the research for the report, different policies and reforms in the energy sector led to the breakthrough in 2017 and has created the fertile ground for the expectations of 2018.”
 The report enumerated a number of key policies that shaped the sectors in 2017. One of them was the release of the “7 Big Wins”, a policy document which highlights

the government’s short and mediumterm priorities to grow Nigeria’s oil and gas industry between 2015 and 2019. It also analyzed briefly the importance of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill and its strategic importance. Oyeyemi further stressed the importance of finding lasting solutions to the liquidity challenges in the power sector, one which already led to the introduction of the Power Sector Recovery Programme in Q2 of 2017. He said , “The PRSP is a policy document on operational, governance and financial interventions to be implemented by the Federal Government of Nigeria over the next five years to restore the financial viability of Nigeria’s power sector, improve transparency and service delivery and “reset” the NESI for future growth.” The report also addressed the key expectations for the energy sector in 2018 and gives strong prospects for growth in anticipation of renegotiation of product sharing contracts (PSCs), more alternative funding arrangements, increase in private investments and other expected policy implementation in both power and oil & gas.



Mrs Okorocha Urges SEPLAT To Sustain Community Development Projects BY CHIKA IZUORA, Lagos

Wife of Imo State governor, Dr. (Mrs.) Nneoma Okorocha, commended SEPLAT for its corporate social responsibility (CSR), initiatives which according to her has undoubtedly impacted the lives of members of the host communities. Okorocha , who was speaking at the unveiling of SEPLAT’s inaugural edition of ‘Eye Can See and Safe Motherhood Signature’ programmes at Izombe in Imo State at the weekend urged the company to sustain the programme towards deepening its contribution to the development of Imo State in the health sub-sector. Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, operator of the NNPC/SEPLAT Joint Venture launched the programmes for communities situated in the operational area of its Eastern Assets at Izombe, Imo State. The programme was initiated six years ago in Sapele, Delta State, the operational base of SEPLAT’s Western Assets. 
The CSR programmes’ launch witnessed a

large turnout of members of the host communities comprising men, women and children who came to receive medical care. 
For the Eye Can See Programme, beneficiaries had their eyes tested, received prescribed glasses and some had surgeries for cataract related visual impairments. The Safe Motherhood Programme saw beneficiaries, pregnant women and nursing mothers, receive lectures on danger signs of pregnancy and nutrition in pregnancy. They were also presented with Safe Motherhood kits made up of a maternity bag, vitamin supplements, treated mosquito nets and all medical items required for safe delivery. Mr. Austin Avuru (chief executive officer), Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, while speaking at the event, emphasized that the host communities are critical stakeholders of the company regarding its business which underscores the need to execute the CSR health programmes.

OVH Energy Promises To Deepen Market Investment, Appoints New CEO BY CHIKA IZUORA, Lagos

OVH Energy, has announced the appointment of Huub Stokman as the new chief executive offiicer (CEO). Prior to his appointment, Huub Stokman was the head of Puma Energy International in Angola, responsible for the overall business, which included managing retail forecourt, terminal/logistics operations, as well as B2B business for fuels, lubricants, aviation fuels and bitumen. Before joining Puma, he spent over 20 years at BP during which he was responsible for sales and marketing as well as major projects

across 15 European countries. Huub Stokman has, over the years and in various capacities, proven to be an accomplished executive leader in a number of international downstream businesses, with a history of successfully enhancing bottom-line performance. Speaking on his appointment, Huub Stokman said, “I am excited to have been selected to lead OVH Energy. There is remarkable potential for this business in Nigeria and together with the strong and talented OVH Energy team and our key stakeholders, I am confident we will continue to build a market leading business.”


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ENERGY/BUSINESS 31

NIPCO Rewards 29 Staff For Meritorious Service STORIES BY FESTUS OKOROMADU, Abuja

Pre-paid meter

NBS’ Electricity Metering Data And Economic Growth

The last NBS Power Sector Report shows the slow pace of Discos commitment to metering their customers across the country. FESTUS OKOROMADU, writes on the economic implication of the situation.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) last week confirmed that only 7.48 million Nigerians have access to electricity, and of the figure only 3.45 million electricity consumers translating to 46.16 per cent are metered living the balance of 4.1 million consumers unmetered by the eleven (11) Distribution Companies (Discos)in the country as at the last quarter of December 2017. The bureau’s Power Sector Report which beamed its searchlight on energy generated, sent out and consumed as well as load allocation for the fourth quarter (Q4) 2017 also disclosed that the daily energy generation attained a peak of 105,152 MWh on the 8th of December 2017. According to the report, the nation’s total average daily energy generation by power stations during the period stood at 94,627 MWh with thermal stations generating 84,026 MWh while the hydro stations generated 21, 126 MWh. The report indicated that the lowest energy generated in the quarter was 73,246 MWh as against the previous quarter of 56,486 MWh generated daily, this figure was attained in October 2017, as thermal stations generated 55,941 MWh while the hydro stations generated the 17,305 MWh. This statistics do not only shows the urgent need for energy market operators to fine-tune ways of improving power generation as well as ensuring that consumers are metered it is also an indication of limitation the sector places on the nation’s economic development. This is understandably so when one submits to expert’s augment that for Nigeria to achieve a smooth industrial take-off, power shortages remain a primary challenge for businesses across the country. According to some experts, Nigerian industrialists allocated at least 40 per cent of cost of operation to self-generation of energy, similarly, households and small scale business are said to dedicate a huge portion of income to solving the energy problem. Thus, it is generally assumed that the power sector is the pivotal to the country’s economic growth and development. For in-

stance, financial experts said businesses and households could add two percentage points to the country’s annual if “full power” generation and distribution is attained. Unfortunately, every stakeholder except the Discos appears to be benefiting from the dismay situation of the industry. The reason for this is not far fetched, as the power chain is divided into three components, Generation which operated by generating companies (Gencos), Transmission, run by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and Distribution, managed by the distribution companies (Discos). The cash flow to all the arms of the sector is such that the duo of Gencos and TCN depends on Discos who interface with the consumers. Incidentally, argues that they have made some tremendous investment in the system as they point to increase in generation and transmission, the consumers think otherwise as such increase is not reflected on the numbers of hours power is supplied to their homes and businesses. On its part, the Discos blamed the consumers and regulators for their not too impressive performance pointing out that the consumers were not paying the right tariff hence they can’t continue to invest in the business as the prospect of recouping return on investment is low. Meanwhile, a measure bone of contention between the Discos and the consumers is metering which ensures that consumers pay for the services they enjoy at the market approved price. But the Discos proffer what is known as estimated bill which allows them to charge their customers even when energy is not supplied . Metering The NBS Report shows that a good number of the Discos operating in the country are not willing to meter their customers. According to the report, the Benin Disco had the highest percentage of metered customers with 535,935 of its total 771,226 consumers covered translating 69 percent. It is followed by Eko Disco with 268,558 consumers metered out of 442,201 amount-

ing to 60.73 percent coverage, while Ikeja Disco with 55.95 percent of consumers amounting to 467,578 out of 835,736 metered. On the other hand, Yola and Enugu Discos recorded the least percentage of customers metered with 23.61 percent and 27.72 per cent recorded respectively. Regulations As part of efforts to resolve the thorny issue of metering, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Tunde Fashola, last November directed the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), to roll out plans that would ensure the consumers have access prepaid meters to reduce and possibly eliminate the incident of estimated billing. In compliance, the NERC commenced a process that would see the engaging of Meter Assets Providers (MAP), as third parties to take over the metering project since the Discos have failed in this responsibility of doing so. Although, the Discos kicked against the third party metering option, stressing that they could face some losses and asking the regulator to allow them charge some form of meter maintenance fee, NERC recently announced the list of successful Meter Service Providers (MSP). The list include 5 meter manufacturing companies, 26 importers of meters, 5 vendors, 46 corporate installers and 1 individual installer. However, NERC has not issued a statement on when the full implementation of the metering programme will commence it is only hope that will not stop at ensuring their provision but will encourage the general public not to by-pass meters when installed. In addition, government must increase efforts to improve on energy provision to the generality of Nigerians. A situation where less than 8 million homes and industries have access to national grid electricity in a country with a population of over 170 million people is economically suicidal.

The management of NIPCO Plc has honored 29 members of staff of the company for meritoriously spanning over a decade, adding that the event which was the third in a serious has become an annual ceremony to accord distinguished performance its due reward. Speaking at the company’s long service awards in Lagos held in Lagos last week, NIPCO’s managing director, Mr Sanjay Teotia , said that the efforts of the workforce have made the organization remained a benchmark in the hydrocarbon industry. “Your efforts over the years have made the organization remain a benchmark for operators in the downstream sector of the nation’s oil and gas industry,” he noted He noted that the organization’s growing recognition and pedigree in the hydrocarbon industry could be linked to the dedication of the crop of well-trained and motivated workforce at its disposal. Sanjay , who expressed delight on his maiden interface with staff of the company upon his assumption of office as managing director said the event is a component of the organization employees recognition process and an opportunity to recognize the awardees for their longevity

and service to the company. “Management is oblivious of awardees meritorious contributions, hence the pomp and pageantry that is associated with the event, with a view to positively boost their morale and raise their self worth before all of us today,” he asserted. He explained that the forum is also a veritable avenue for the management of the company to show gratitude for the role employees have played since inauguration in 2004. He restated the resolve of management to continue to improve on workers welfare but informed that the sector is becoming more competitive with inflows of more entrepreneurs stressing that more support and understanding is required to achieve the needed growth. He then urged the awardees to reciprocate management’s kind gesture by rededicating themselves to their duties to further enhance the company’s progress. Responding on behalf of the awardees, Obi Stanley applauded the management for the befitting reception for them noting that he is proud to be one of the recipients having garnered lots of experience in the organization. He said NIPCO had offered him veritable avenue to offer diligent service which is being recognized amidst fanfare.

Install Regulatory Spinning Reserves, APGC Tasks TCN The umbrella body of gasfired and hydropower Generation Companies (GenCos) Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC), has called on the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to install regulatory spinning reserve on transmission networks as stated by the Grid Code formed by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC). It also urged NERC to embark on implementation of the reviewed payment for spinning reserve procurement stressing that there is need for immediately intervene by ensuring strict adherence to the Grid Code by TCN. Executive secretary of APGC, Dr. Joy Ogaji, who stated this during weekend, noted that there was an urgent need for TCN to improve its transmission networks to save their generating machines from total collapse. “Frequency oscillations which are due to weak transmission network, have adverse effects on the generators, units and station auxiliaries in both the thermal and hydro power plants,” she stated. APGC said one of the ef-

fects of the frequency oscillations was that it increases the fixed cost of maintaining the machines and the variable maintenance cost. According to Ogaji, about 24 operational generation companies designed to operate optimally and efficiently at base loads but currently operating less capacity has led to reduction in efficiency and a hike in gas consumption by 15 to 20 per cent which is not captured in the tariff – Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO). She also noted that whenever there was a system collapse, the number of Start and Stops of those machines increased the machines and turbines’ Equivalent Operating Hours (EOH), triggering more maintenance costs. APGC said the generating firms have been operating under high frequency which it described as ‘System Stress Zone’ in the grid code ranging from 48.75 Hertz (Hz) to 51.25Hz which is against the normal 49.75 – 50.25 Hz band. “This high frequency is damaging the generators and it also induces high temperature and overheating in the rotor,” Ogaji lamented.


32 MINING/BUSINESS

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As Nigeria Strives To Become Mining Giant

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The impacts of economic diversification drive of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government is being felt in the mining sector, ABAH ADAH writes

hen it became Nigeria’s turn to speak at the week-long African Mining Indaba in Cape Town, South Africa which ended a week ago, the minister, Mining and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, did not leave anyone present in doubt regarding Nigeria’s resolve to harness the economic potentials of its mining sub sector to the later when he rolled out the results of Nigeria’s new Airborne Electromagnetic Survey Results after telling the gathering that arrangements to set up a commission with the mandate of regulating mining activities in the country was underway. The minister, who disclosed this during the Nigeria Day at the event, did a formal presentation of Nigeria’s new Airborne Electromagnetic Survey results amid endorsements for the country’s mining sector reforms by mining experts, operators and developmental agencies. The presentation of the results which was the high point of the event was witnessed by renowned stakeholders in global mining, including deputy minister of mines and minerals of Venezuela, Franklin Ramirez Araque; Australian ambassador to Nigeria, Paul Lehman, Nigerian high commissioner to South Africa, Ambassador Ahmed Musa Ibeto and the permanent secretary of the ministry. Others include representatives of top mining conglomerates, mining nations such as Canada, Zambia, An-

Coal mining in Enugu state

gola, South Africa and Senegal. The minister, who reiterated government’s determination to strengthen regulation in the sector as well as ensure the improvement of its geological data, said the commission, when established would be known as the Nigerian Mining Commission, and would not only be the final authority on regulatory matters but also take charge of mining leases. He said the law setting up the commission was already with the national assembly. Fayemi in an interactive session with investors and the media after his presentation, said the delivery of the geological data, was in line with government’s desire to ensure bankable geological data that would incentives to investors. He stated further that the ministry would undertake more extensive electromagnetic

airborne geological survey of some promising parts of the country this year, as well as the completion of the National Mineral Database. “We want to ensure predictability, that is what we want to offer. We want to be a big mining designation. “To achieve this, we have to put certain things in place, including provable data, sound regulations, capacity building for artisanal and small scale miners as well as asses to funding,” he said. He explained that while the mining circle was not the same as the electoral circle, it was important for government to put in place sound policies and reforms as well as bankable geological data that would make the Nigerian mining jurisdiction a major attraction. The minister also hinted on government’s

determination to enhance its collaboration with the state governments and the host communities, a development which he said was being worked out administratively and through the establishment of the National Council on Mining and Minerals Development, where the states are playing active roles. He was optimistic that the combination of the various reforms being put in place, inputs by the National Council on Mining and Minerals Resources Development and the Chamber of Mining would help to reposition the sector for better results. Top speakers who spoke on various aspects of the new electromagnetic survey results include Gaig Annison, director, Business Development, Compagnie Generale de Geophysique (CCG) Airborne Surveys PTY, Australia, who anchored the presentation. He described Nigeria as a nation taking very bold steps towards becoming a major mining destination. Other speakers include Tim Dobush, CEO Geosoft Inc, Thomas Weissmann of GSF AG, Germany, Hajia Fatima Umar Shinkafi, of the Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF). Also speaking at the event, Venezuela’s deputy minister of mines and minerals, Franklin Ramirez Araque, said the oil and gas rich country was also diversifying to mining in a bid to shore up its economy as Nigeria was doing, adding that the country has a lot to learn from Nigeria in its economic diversification efforts. Four major mining companies with operations in Nigeria- Promothean, Symbol Mining, Segilola and Africa International Mining Company – also gave testimonies in support of the current reforms in the Nigerian mining sector. Fayemi, last December disclosed that the ministry had secured the delivery of 26,000 line kilometer of electromagnetic data, following the payment of outstanding fees to the consultant that handled the project.

Fighting Poverty, The T.B. Joshua’s Example In this article, MARK ITSIBOR takes a look at efforts by religious bodies and charity organisations to bring succor to the vulnerable or victims of circumstances.

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orld all over, charities get their funding from multiple sources; much of which comes from individuals; foundations and corporations to take care of the less privileged or poorest of all in every society. A major considerable source of funding charity organisations is government funding. In most cases, government funding is a generally reliable source that is typically renewed each year, or even increased. However, in recent years this funding has become less and less predictable. As a matter of fact, social welfare is something that is very little or not available in many African countries today. Hence, the millions of vulnerable or poorest of the poor in a country like Nigeria and some other African countries are left at the mercy of the few religious organisations in the continent. The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN) and Catholic Church are in the forefront to empowering the poor and putting food on their table. General Overseer of The Synagogue, Church of All Nations, Prophet T.B. Joshua deserves to be celebrated from different perspectives, especially at a time like this when the nation is faced with many challenges, including providing for its vulnerable citizens. He has put smiles on faces

and has become the greatest friend of the poor and downtrodden in Nigeria and other African societies. Apart from his healing and deliverance gifts, Prophet T.B. Joshua walks tall in several aspects of human endeavours. The story of his life is an excellent demonstration of God’s ability to use the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. With just primary school education, the General Overseer of The Synagogue, Church of All Nations has established himself as a force to reckon with in God’s vineyard. His ministry is arguably the most visited Christian ministry in the whole of Africa and has continued to attract scintillating reviews from the international media. Tens of thousands of visitors from across the world have continued to throng the Ikotun-Egbe based ministry in search of spiritual and material succor. It does not end there. The man of God understands the challenges of the troubled world and has maintained a rare reputation for helping individuals, institutions and nations overcome their spiritual as well as socio-economic challenges through crusades and humanitarian efforts. Evidently, uncountable number of Nigerians and foreigners has continued to benefit from his ministry’s milk of human kindness. Through his ministry’s Emmanuel TV Partners, millions of lives, nations

Joshua

and destinies have been changed across the world. According to the man of God, true love always searches for whom to help whenever and wherever it is in a position to do so.. He has maintained a calm and unperturbed disposition - a quality that can only be God-given especially in situations of crisis. T.B. Joshua is the only Nigerian pastor that is hardly seen around the corridors of power. You will never find him in any government house because he believes that a true servant of God should be for all and not frolic around with politicians. We have seen some

Christian leaders who have rubbished their reputation because of money and partisan politics but Prophet Joshua prefers to empower the masses. He has not relent in his resolve to reach out to the downtrodden and heavily burdened people across board. Before the plight of Nigerian deportees from Libya became a matter of national interest, Prophet T.B. Joshua had been helping the deportees with food and money running into several millions of naira. According to some of the deportees who landed Nigerian earlier this month, only one man has been passionately concerned about their plights: Prophet T.B. Joshua. They say he has been the only prominent Nigerian who has over the years shown unrivalled concern about their plights. Even right from the Libyan prisons were most of them spent years, they had always looked forward to meeting the renowned man of God, whom they described as the greatest thing that has ever to happened to the Nigerian Christendom. From records, Prophet T.B. Joshua has received over one million Nigerian deportees from Libya between 2014 and 2107 and has doled out both money and foodstuff in the region of (N200, 000,000) two hundred million naira to the affected persons. Reminding the church of its role in an era when poverty and lack have taken over the world, the man of God, during a recent Sunday service monitored on

Emmanuel TV, reiterated the urgent need for true children of God to reach out to the needy in a manner that pleases God lest their giving amounts to a waste of time. “All you have been giving, if you are not giving in a manner that pleases God, you are wasting your time”, he declared. He also enlightened the world on how giving can bring about contentment. “Don’t forget. Your possessions alone cannot bring you contentment but giving help to the poor can,” he counseled. Prophet Joshua believes strongly on the biblical injunction of Matthew 4:4 that says, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. In one of his messages to his followers recently, the man of God said: NEVER GIVE UP!!! “Irrespective of how many times you have tried and failed, so far as you are still alive, you are alive to try again. Don’t give up on what you want to become or achieve in life because Jesus Christ motivates people to try again and again. For each obstacle you face, there is a lot of experience you acquire. If you take a step and you fail, don’t look at that failure – look at the experience you acquire. Experience is the best teacher. So, forget about the failure you have experienced or the disappointment you went through – look at the experience you have acquired along the way. The lessons you learn from your failure prepare you for the responsibilities and challenges of success.”


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Egina FPSO Pioneered Local Content Act Enactment – Kachikwu BY FESTUS OKOROMADU, Abuja

The Minister of state for Petroleum Resource, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu has said EGINA Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) was the first project to be initiated and launched after the 2010 enactment of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act. According to him, the Egina project by far has been the highest quantum of local content completed for any oil & gas project in Nigeria, thereby advancing Nigerian content to record levels. According to a statement by the ministry which was signed by the director of press, Idang Alibi, the minister made a case for the encouragement and greater involvement of Nigeri-

an content in the Nation’s Oil and Gas sector, adding that the federal government is commitment to encouraging local fabrication and optimum participation of indigenous firms. Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote has tasked indigenous firms in the sector to strive to develop capacities to execute full fabrication and integration of FPSO vessels in-country within the next eight years. The Executive Secretary who was in the minister’s entourage commended Total E&P for setting high Nigerian Content benchmarks with the Egina project, in engineering, fabrication, testing, coating and integration, stressing that the challenge for forthcoming pro-

jects would be how to raise the bar. “Our aim is to stretch the limit to get more for Nigeria. Our aspiration is that come the next seven to eight years, full integration of an FPSO must happen in Nigeria,” he said. He added that the Board and major operating companies are already working towards full domiciliation of FPSOs. He stated that the Zabazaba deepwater project being promoted by Nigerian Agip Exploration Limited (NAE) in partnership with Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) and the Bonga South West Aparo (BSWA) deepwater project also developed by SNEPCO have been planned to domicile 50 percent of the fabrication of modules and integration of the FPSOs.

DPR Fines Marketer N1.2bn For Diverting 115 Trucks Of Petrol … Over 9mn litres of PMS diverted in 3months

BY FESTUS OKOROMADU, Abuja

The Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, yesterday, stated that it has slammed a fine of N1.2 billion on an unscrupulous oil marketing company, A.Y. Maikifi, based in Kano for diverting 115 truckloads of the products. The agency also stated that about 162 truckloads of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol, an equivalent of about nine million litres was diverted from their original destination service stations across Nigeria between December 2017 and February

2018. The diverted products, according DPR, was imported by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as intervention. Speaking shortly after a meeting of all its controllers with its director, Mr. Mordecai Ladan, in Abuja yesterday, Head, Public Affairs Unit, DPR Abuja Zone, Mr. Mohammed Saidu, stated that the DPR uncovered these massive diversion of products as a result of the activities of the Special Intelligence Unit (SPU), it recently created to intensify surveillance. According to him, through

the SPU, the DPR received report that largely some of the diverted products do not appear on the manifest. "The SPU go about to give us report, in fact they work day and night. About 162 trucks slightly above nine million litres have been discovered to be diverted between January and February. "These give DPR a lot of concerns and that was why DPR gathered all the controllers across the country to make sure they further strategize and given clear cut directives as to how they should go about uncovering these sharp practices."

Consumer Bill: NECA Alleges Insertion Of 0.5 % Profit On Business BY TAIWO OMILANI, Lagos

Nigeria Employers Consultative Association has alleged that some retrogressive forces have gone behind the stakeholders after the public hearing on the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection bill to insert a 0.5 per cent tax on companies to fund the establishment of a planned Commission/Agency that will undertake responsibilities under

the law. This was contained in a statement signed by the Director General of NECA, Olusegun Oshinowo and made available yesterday. According to the statement, we have over 55 Taxes and levies of all sorts imposed on enterprises from the Local Government to the Federal Government level. In fact, this is just a conservative estimate. The question is how can busi-

nesses grow and create jobs under this draconian fiscal framework? NECA opined that businesses are being unwittingly strangulated by a hostile, unfriendly and very unreasonable tax and levy regime, adding that the trend has continued as evidenced from the recent Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Bill submitted by the National Assembly to the President for the latter's assent.

Oil Price Stabilises On Weaker Dollar, Healthy Economic Growth ...Brent crude sells for $62.77 per barrel BY CHIKA IZUORA, Lagos

Oil prices experienced stability yesterday, supported by healthy economic growth and expectations that a weaker dollar could spur fuel demand. Despite this, crude prices remain well below recent highs due to signs of lingering oversupply, including rising U.S. inventories and ample physical flows globally. U.S. West Texas Intermediate, WTI, crude futures were at $59.17 a barrel down 2 cents from their last settlement. WTI

was trading above $65 in early February. Brent crude futures were at $62.77 per barrel, up 5 cents from their last close. Brent was above $70 a barrel earlier this month. Ongoing weakness in the U.S. dollar, which potentially stokes demand from countries using other currencies at home, as well as healthy economic growth were supporting oil markets, traders said. "While we continue to see a firming fundamental backdrop over the course of this year investors should not

discount the caution signs that have been emerging," investment bank RBC Capital Markets said in a note to clients. "Pockets of oversupply have been emerging in the physical market," the Canadian bank said, adding that "the tempering physical oil backdrop is ... playing a central role in the recent price softness". The American Petroleum Institute, API, said on Tuesday that U.S. crude inventories rose by 3.9 million barrels in the week to Feb. 9, to 422.4 million.

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NEWS/BUSINESS 33


34 OPINION

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As ZEDA Marks Silver Jubilee BY CHIDI NWACHUKWU Zaria Education Development Association (ZEDA) is a Kaduna state –based nongovernmental organization that was established in 1992 by a group of Zaria indigenes who were deeply concerned about the educational backwardness of the area. What started as a small group of ordinary Zaria indigenes some 25 years ago, has today metamorphosed into a great collection of the most outstanding and most productive intellectual minds in the Northern part of Nigeria and beyond. ZEDA has no doubt, blazed a great trail in the business of education in Northern Nigeria. Since its inception, the Association has spearheaded diverse laudable educational projects in Zaria with its impact being felt in Northern Nigeria as a whole. Perhaps impressed with the successes recorded and determined to champion another phase of its continous development so as to support the onerous of strengthening education in the area and the state as a whole, those piloting the affairs of ZEDA have concluded plans to hold its silver jubilee at an elaborate event scheduled to hold tomorrow and next. ZEDA was established on the frontiers of Zazzau’s reputation as a historic centre of Islamic learning in the whole of West Africa. Its reputation as a citadel of education was further bolstered by the advent of Christian missionaries in the 19th century, a development that led to the establishment of all kinds of educational

institutions in the city. indeed, the association’s passion for boosting educational development in Northern Nigeria is oiled by the synergy that exits between the youths who have shown great willingness to be positively influenced, and their elders who are ever willing to furnish them with all the help and support they need. The Association realizes that it cannot do much on its own, and has therefore set out to seek partnership with all interested stakeholders and organizations towards actualizing its goal of entrenching education in the north. Speaking yesterday, when he led other officials of the Association to LEADERSHIP newspaper’s corporate headquarters, chairman of ZEDA’s central working committee, Dr. Alimi Bello, said that the Association was poised to partner with media orgainsation and other key stakeholders in the education sector. He listed achievements recorded by the Association which include the provision of remedial training for over 3,000 secondary school leavers, to enable them remedy their ordinary level examination results for higher education. Alimi said that over 80 percent of the beneficiaries of the Association’s education support have been able to pursue their educational goals to even tertiary education level, with a good number of them becoming lecturers in universities and polytechnics across the country. Good enough, ZEDA also provides skills training to youths aside from supporting their education pursuit consequent

upon which it has a vocational training centre. While giving the statistics of beneficiaries of ZEDA’s vocational training and scholarship schemes which include over 500 young school leavers who were provided with the wherewithal to learn carpentry, welding, furniture making, mechanical works, and other trades, Alimi added that graduates of the Association’s Vocational Training Programmes have also become trainers of many other trainees who came after them, and that the graduate trainees are further provided with gainful employment on their graduation from the skill acquisition centres. ZEDA has granted scholarships to over a thousand indigent students who were unable to sponsor their tertiary education, through its Prominent Indigenes and Friends Scholarship Scheme (PIFSS), a scheme that was established in 1995. Prominent among ZEDA’s projects is the JAMB Clinic, which was set up to coach and offer refresher trainings to prospective candidates of tertiary education. Since over 15 years now, the Clinic has trained more than 500 candidates most whom have been admitted into diverse tertiary institutions in the country. Flanked by other prominent members of the silver jubilee organising committee, Dr Alimi said ZEDA has as one of its core objectives, the promotion of sporting activities among youths. To that effect, it has been organizing sporting activities and competitions among primary and secondary school

students in order to boost their sportsmanship and physical agility. “We also organizes on regular basis, quiz, debating and spelling competitions among various primary and secondary schools across Kaduna State” He said the Association has lined up trophies for winners of the competition, and they have been getting support from individuals and organizations in running the projects. Interestingly, ZEDA, has through the support of some prominent indigenes, established a 12 classroom school which was named ZEDA Model Nursery and Primary School, which is expected to commence academic activities between now and next year. The Association has also set up a mega digital Training and Examination Centre at the ZEDA Secretariat, through the assistance of public-spirited individuals. The training centre boasts of 100 work stations, while another training centre that will incorporate 150 workstations is already 80 percent completed. The centre is expected to provide training for trainees in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) field. The centre when it is completed, will provide training in various ICT fields and will also serve as a Computer Based Test (CBT) centre for examination bodies and employment organizations. ZEDA’s reputation has spread across the Northern region, prompting other northern states to approach it with the request of seeking its assistance in setting up similar associations. As at the last count, Kachia Education Development Association (KEDA) in

Kaduna State, Wudil Education Development Association (WUED) Kano State, Lere Education Development Association (LEED) Kaduna State, and Minna Emirate Development Association (MEED) in Niger State are all associations that sprung up following successes of ZEDA and with active support of those championing ZEDA. But like every other endeavours, ZEDA has had to grapple with some challenges since its inception, chiefly of which is financial constraint. But as Dr Alimi stated, the successes and laudable achievements recorded in the last 25 years were possible through the sacrifices and efforts of the pioneer members of the Association’s Board of Trustees and Central Working Committee. ZEDA prides in the camaraderie of its members across the globe. It boasts of members who have ascended to the top of their respective careers and endeavours. As part of activities to mark the Silver Jubilee, high-profile guests such as the governor of Nasarawa State, Umar Tanko Al-Makura and his Kaduna State counterpart, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai who happens to be the chief host are expected while former head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar is expected to chair the occasion which is billed to hold at the ancient and historically relevant city of Zaria. Former Vice Chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and Gombe State University, Prof. Abdullahi Mahdi, is expected to deliver lecture on ‘Silver Journey To Community Service’.

We Must Give President Buhari A Break! BY AKWU-UDE EKEOMA EDITH

I am a devout Christian. I am Igbo. I am a PDP member but I respect Buhari because the course is more important than the candidate. The welfare of Nigeria comes first. Not tribe, not religion, and definitely not party. Have we learnt the lesson that his administration represents? Why are we focused on the upcoming elections more than we are focused on building Nigeria over the course of the next 15 months? We all seem to agree that he is honest but we are quick to add that honesty is not enough.

We list the merits of his administration but mention how he has failed in building the economy. If the only thing he had brought is honesty and zero level tolerance to corruption, then he has brought in more than enough. Before you begin to furnish a house, you have to first clean it up!!! You do not put new things in a dirty house. If we had been busy emulating his value system, which we agree is honesty and transparency, then all the different experts in the different sectors will have moved their own little corner forward by virtue of becoming people of integrity. One person does not run

the Government. If you think he has failed you, then you might be failing the nation. Instead of pointing accusing fingers, can we now begin to clean house with him? Let’s rid our lives of filth and let’s pass on the right values to our children. Transforming a Nation is not a day’s job. It is a journey. Everybody has his area of strength. Let us focus on his area of strength. Let us ask ourselves- what does Nigeria need at this time? Nigeria needs to grow but we must first clean house. Is our President doing a good job of cleaning house? Then look inward, focus on yourself. Ask yourself if you are

emulating this value he represents. Ask yourself, what other values are you teaching children all around you? Buhari models honesty. What do you model? The family unit is strategic for National Transformation. Let the change begin within you. In support of the over all drive to build a better Nigeria in line with President Buhari’s drive, we will launch a Child Magazine to be distributed for free every month to all Nigerian adults as well as, the launch of a weekly TV Soap opera that demonstrates the impact of values on The Individual, Family, Community and the Nation.

Basically, the aim is to boost self-development, improve wellness and instil right values. When we become adults who are worthy of emulation, we influence all children around to become same. We build a Nation that our children can be proud to call home. Of course this will provide opportunity for Individuals including Unemployed graduates/or those seeking an additional stream of income can take advantage of this opportunity. There are several opportunities available. Remember, an honest and healthy citizen is the greatest asset of any Nation. Edith writes from Abuja


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Zimbabwe Opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, Dies At 65 Morgan Tsvangirai, the veteran Zimbabwean opposition leader who fought Robert Mugabe’s regime for many years, died on Wednesday after battling against cancer, a party official said. “It is sad for me to announce that we have lost our icon and fighter for democracy,” Elias Mudzuri, one of the vice-presidents of the Movement for Democratic

Change (MDC) party, said on Twitter. Tsvangirai’s death was confirmed to AFP by another senior party member. He was 65. He had been beaten and imprisoned numerous times. Mr Tsvangirai founded the MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) in 2000, repeatedly challenging Mr Mugabe during the ex-president’s long grip on power.

In the 2008 election, Mr Tsvangirai gained the most votes in the first round but not enough to win outright. Before the second round of voting, Mr Mugabe’s security forces carried out a campaign of violence against opposition supporters, and Mr Tsvangirai withdrew. Mr Mugabe was declared the winner, but an international outcry over allegations of violence and vote-rigging

led to a power sharing agreement in which Mr Tsvangirai would serve as prime minister. Mr Tsvangirai ran against Mr Mugabe again in 2013 but lost by a landslide. The MDC is said to be divided over who should lead it into elections later this year against the governing Zanu-PF party, led by Mr Mugabe’s successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa.

FG Spents N1.91trn On States Not N1.19trn - Presidency BY JONATHAN NDA- ISAIAH

The presidency has said the correct figures of the total Federal Government support to states so far stands at N1.91 trillion and not N1.19 trillion as reported in some media reports. \According to the senior special assistant media to the Vice President, Lao-

lu Akande ", a breakdown of the disbursement comprises N876.3 billion for excess crude account loan and budget support facility while the balance of N1.034 trillion is for the Paris Club refund." \ LEADERSHIP recalls that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had on Tuesday said that the federal government

supported the 36 states of the federation with whopping N1.19 trillion as at September 2017. \He said the funds were made available to enable the states meet the challenges of shortage of funds for the execution of programmes in their respective states. Osinbajo who stated this in Lokoja, the Kogi State cap-

ital, during the maiden Kogi State economic and investment summit said the funds had enabled some state governments to embark on capital expenditures. According to him, the funds were made available through the excess crude account, the Paris Club refund, and loans, among others to the states.

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NHRC To Investigate Alleged Murder Of Clergy By Police BY BIDON MIBZAR, Abuja

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has told members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) that it will investigate theirpetition which alleges that the Police shot Sheikh Kasim Umar Sokoto, one of their members while protesting against the continued detention of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky. A press statement signed by Head Media Relations Unit, NHRC, Fatimah Agwai Mohammad stated that the Commission’s Director of Legal Services and Enforcement, Mr. Olaniyi Omodara who gave the assurance on behalf of the Ag. Executive Secretary at the headquarters of the Commission in Abuja, when members of IMN came to file a petition on the killing of the Sheik. Omodara who urged the IMN members also known as Shiite group to ensure that their protests were always carried out in a peaceful manner also added;

“The Commission will investigate the circumstances behind the death of your member with a view to ensuring that justice is done in accordance with the law. Attach all necessary documents and evidence needed to substantiate your allegation against the Police on the killing of Sheik Umar Sokoto to enable the Commission arrive at an informed decision on the petition”, he said. On the continued detention of Shiite leader, Mr. Omodara assured the groups to exercise patience as appropriate steps are being taken to actualize the release of their leader. Earlier, a representative of the Shiite group, Sheikh Abdullahi Zango urged the Commission to carry out a thorough investigation in order to ensure that the culprit is brought to book. He alleged that SheikhUmar Sokoto was shot by the Police with a poisoned bullet in January this year and he later died at the hospital.


36 ISSUES

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Ongoing Conversations On National Security (1) BY A. A. GADZAMA It is important to observe that the ongoing conversations on national security are long overdue considering the various security challenges and failures recently witnessed in the country. There are also defects in the existing structure that justify these conversations. It therefore behooves on all patriotic and well meaning Nigerians, even without being asked, to make contributions on the issue. It is in this spirit this contribution is being made. To begin with, the narrowing of the views being expressed to only the Police seems to be misplaced as the Police is not synonymous with National security. National security is about all organizations that have responsibilities for protecting the lives and properties of the citizenry, the safety of critical national assets and the corporate existence and territorial integrity of the country. The conversation should therefore be a critical look at the entire national security architecture with a view to having a responsive and robust system for the country. This is the reason the search for solutions for the security challenges facing the country should be approached from the perspective of the factors militating against the effective performance of security agencies in the country. For an informed understanding, a wholistic look at the strength and weaknesses of the security agencies is necessary. Fortunately, the factors militating against the effectiveness of security agencies in the country cuts across nearly all the security agencies. Succinctly put, the major problems militating against the performance of various security agencies in the country

are, institutional, the legal foundations and orientation. A point that should not be overlooked is security challenges in the country have simply out grown the capacity of virtually all security agencies. In addition to sophistication of contemporary security challenges, there are also the problems of stunted growth and culture facing some of the security agencies. It is important to note that, the key security agencies in the country are creations of the colonial era. Most of the security agencies have therefore not inculcated into their personnel modern ideas and techniques for contemporary security management. The point needs to be reiterated that, you definitely cannot fight current security challenges with archaic and outdated methods and mindset. Other challenges facing the security sector are absence of required tools and resources for effective discharge of their responsibilities. The most critical are, the dearth of vehicles and communication equipment, as well as, cutting edge technical support. Security practice in the countries where it is successful are at the moment migrating to drone technology, biometric capabilities and use of digitalized crime data banks and forensic. The limitations currently experienced in these area should therefore be looked into if the nation is to improve the security sector. Also, imbibing the culture of operating consistent with the dictates of democratic expectations is important. Civility should be the rule and the cardinal guide in all security operations. What this portend is, the challenges of security in our context is not about structure and type but is about mindset and orientation. Today, security in most countries is

built on respect for human rights and rule of law. These principles should be enshrined in our national security system. In security practice, designing a security architecture is dictated by careful identification of security challenges facing the country or envisaged, as well as, identifying vulnerabilities and gaps that could result in security infractions. Not the least important are, also the weaknesses and limitations of institutions and structures charged with the responsibility of preventing and managing security challenges. For lack of space, the major security challenges facing the country at the moment are, likely further attacks by armed herdsmen, the insurgency in the North East and separatist agitations in parts of the country. There are also acts of economic sabotage, politically orchestrated acts of subversion and criminal activities such as, kidnapping and hostage taking. Others are, the implications of the porous borders, proliferation of dangerous weapons and prospects of youth restiveness. It is estimated that, the current hardship occasioned by economic recession unless urgently mitigated could trigger upheavals of immeasurable consequence. Instability in countries in the sub-region are other security threats. These broadly are the potent threats facing national security at the moment. The other areas that need to be looked at in redesigning the national security architecture are, the problems of poor distribution of security posts and manpower. From available statistics, only about forty percent (40%) of the country is at the moment effectively covered security wise. This inadequacy is what has informed the

decision to establish more security posts by the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Airforce in parts of the country recently. Other security and law enforcement agencies especially, the Nigeria Police and the State Security Service needs to take a cue. The gravity of these gaps is better appreciated when seen against the backdrop of failures to promptly detect emerging criminal or subversive activities. There have been observations that, the absence of security posts and adequate personnel in areas assessed vulnerable are what singularly has led to security breaches. Investigations in the past reveal that this defect is partly responsible for the spates of attacks by herdsmen, kidnapping and the insurgency in the North East. One can authoritatively say that, the vastness of States in the North and thin spread of security contributed to the emergence of terrorist cells in some remote areas such as the Sambisa Forest in Borno State. The same can be said of the situation in the Niger Delta. The remote riverine areas are not properly policed. These gaps must therefore be addressed if the performance of the national security system is to be enhanced. The effects of negative societal influence on security agencies is the other factor that have affected their performance. The security agencies more than ever before are, contending with the problems of collapse of societal values, nepotism and influence peddling. A system that is not built on fairness, equity and inclusion cannot definitely be productive and effective. Other related problems are, problems associated with recruitment and professionalism in most security agencies. Narrow interests seem to have eroded requirements in many

security agencies. This in turn has affected performance. The need to insulate the security agencies from politics is therefore imperative. The other major area of interest in the ongoing conversations is the suggestion that the creation of state police is a solution to the security challenges facing the country. This point of view deserves critical interrogation. As informed practitioners, we believe this view is not progressive. I don’t believe states that are already contending with challenges of paying workers salaries and demands of development can sustain added burden of state police. Experience has shown that, a Police system that is controlled by a dominant party at the state level is likely to abuse the previledge. Already, there are indications that States are likely to misuse some quasi Police outfits created ostensibly for tax collection, traffic control and security support. Much more serious is, the fact that such outfits could be used to manipulate elections. Concerns are also being expressed that, state police could be used to aggravate the already fractious socioeconomic, religious and partisan divides in States. In effect, there is nothing that will stop a hostile state authority from being belligerent towards the centre if it controls the state police. The other reason not supportive of state police is having armed men not properly trained, paid and controlled. There is also no guarantee that a state police system will not be heavily politised. – Gadzama OFR, mni, is former director-general, State Security Services (SSS) TO BE CONTINUED

Obasanjo’s Third-way And Interrogation Of Political Parties In Nigeria BY ISAIAH OSIFO The special press release in January 2018 by former president Olusegun Obasanjo, advising President Muhammadu Buhari not to seek a second term in 2019 expectedly elicited divergent interpretation. The letter was incisive and loaded with thoughts which require intellectual discourse and rational consideration. The call for a Third-way by Dr. Obasanjo and the dismissal of the ruling party, All Progressives Congress, (APC) and the major opposition party, People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) as incompetent is enough to stimulate the interrogation of political parties in Nigeria. Universally, the essence of a political party is the same, it is an association of men and women with clear objective to participate in the political affairs of the country and to achieve the control of governmental apparatus. However, the structural and organisational efficiency or defects of a political party is dependent upon the political culture of the country. The morphology of APC, PDP and

other political parties in Nigeria are the same. All political parties in Nigeria are anchored on the political culture of Nigeria as political behaviour is a function of political culture. The generality of Nigerians share in the frustration of the former president as expressed in the letter to president Buhari. In addition majority of Nigerians equally agree that both APC and PDP have glaring structural and character defects for a sustainable democratic governance. However, the solution to these inadequacies will come from political socialisation that will entrench participant political culture in Nigeria. The major indices of a participant political culture are internal democracy in the political party as well as free and fair elections where citizens vote for candidates on the basis of credentials and credibility and not on parochial considerations, such as ethnicity, religion, money for vote etc. Unfortunately, Nigerians have been regularly frustrated by lack of internal democracy in the parties and the refusal of the electoral commission and security agencies to conduct free

and fair elections. A case in point is the messy situation of local government elections in Nigeria. It’s sad to also note that, it is a common phenomenon in Nigeria for a democratically elected president to assume the ownership of the political party at the national level, while the state governors with the support of the president appropriate political parties as their private estate at the state level. This experience cannot be peculiar to APC and PDP, it will also be the same if a president is elected on the platform of another political party. Political socialisation of the citizens to internalise participant political culture, responsible political behaviour, internal democracy and the conduct of free and fair elections is the recipe for the foundation of democracy in Nigeria. Former military president, Ibrahim Babangida attempted this policy in his formation of the defunct Social Democratic Party, (SDP) and the National Republican Convention, (NRC).The aim of Babangida’s administration was to prevent individual ownership of political parties in Nigeria and to ensure internal democracy in

the parties. The 1993 SDP national convention in Jos demonstrated the merits of joint ownership of a political party and internal democracy when the SDP delegates shunned the 14 SDP governors to elect the late M K O Abiola as the SDP presidential candidate against the request of the governors for Baba Gana Kingibe. While political socialisation is the responsibility of every citizen, the leadership of such assignment is usually the federal government of any country, but there is no sign that the present federal government in Nigeria is interested in such responsibility. Consequently, Obasanjo call and the inauguration of a Coalition for Nigeria should be commended. The coalition should be vigorous in mobilising all progressives and believers of democracy in Nigeria, its leadership should be pragmatic and facilitate a broad based political alliance with the major opposition party in Nigeria, the PDP, and infuse internal democracy into the party to erase the structural and character defects observed by Obasanjo. The alliance with Coalition for Nigeria will strengthen the PDP and conscientise

the party leaders, members and delegates for the presidential primaries on the need to elect a presidential candidate with verifiable credentials that will support democratic PDP and democratic Nigeria. The focus of the Coalition for Nigeria in conjunction with the commitment of all patriotic Nigerians towards the conduct of free and fair general elections will achieve the desire of Dr. Obasanjo, which is a clear reflection of the desire of the majority of Nigerians to vote out the present failed federal government of Nigeria and make a second term ambition of president Buhari an advantage to the opposition political party. The new political environment will clearly dictate to elected president and state governors that the lack of internal party democracy coupled with a sustained conduct of a free and fair general elections will destroy any ruling party that choose to be insensitive to the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians. - Dr. Osifo is a lecturer in the department of Political Science and Public Administration, Igbinedion University


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Team Nigeria Eyes 4 Medals At African Fencing Championship

The Nigeria Fencing Federation has hinted that the country will be aiming for four medals at the forthcoming Junior/Cadet African Fencing Championship billed to hold at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos from March 1 to 5. NFF President, Adeyinka Samuel at a media briefing on Wednesday, said the country will also be fielding a twelve-man team for the championship which will attract no fewer than twenty countries. Five of the nation’s representatives are billed to arrive in batches on Friday. Samuel, who is also the Secretary General of the African fencing Federation stated that Nigeria is very proud to be hosting the event stressing it’s a major achievement to beat top fencing country like Algeria and Tunisia to the hosting rights. “We are targeting four medals and from the perspective that we are an up and coming country in fencing, it will be remarkable if we meet the target,” Samuel, who was once ranked top 100 fencers in the world, said. Nigeria Olympic Committee scribe, Tunde Popoola commended the Federation stressing the NOC is delighted to note that the Fencing federation has a very good relationship with the international body FIE. He pointed that the winning of the hosting right is a pointer to the fact that the Federation has been working assiduously to develop the sport in Nigeria and pledges the NOC support to make the African Championship a resounding success. The championship serves as an avenue for junior fencers to earn point for the 2018 World Championships in Verona, Italy and will also be used as qualification criteria for the 2020 Olympics Games in Tokyo, Japan.

Fencing

Super Eagles’ technical adviser, Gernot Rohr (middle) with Eagles players during one of their training sessions

World Cup: Don’t Interfere In Rohr’s Job, Dalung Warns NFF BY SALIFU USMAN, ABUJA As Nigeria’s Super Eagles begin preparation for the 2018 World Cup in Russia , the Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung has warned officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) not to meddle in the affairs of the team’s technical adviser, Gernot Rohr. He said the coach should be given free hands to do his job in the selection of players. Dalung, who gave the warning while interacting with newsmen in Abuja, said it is only when the coach is given free hands to operate that Nigerians can hold him responsible for any misdeed or failure. According to him , the technical director and his coaching crew should be given the complete free hand in the choice of players and the management

of the team. Everyone should limit himself to his responsibility. “What I mean is that, nobody should interfere in his choice players to invite, when and where he wants to play any particular player so that we can hold him, at the end of the day, accountable. But when you have interference, we will not be able to hold him accountable,’’ he said. He said all arrangements for a successful outing for Nigeria at the Russia 2018 World Cup have already been perfected including the release of funds by the Federal government. “Friendly matches have been lined up for the Super Eagles ahead of the World Cup. “Preparations are in top gear, and we have reviewed our welfare packages and we plan to make prompt payments to ensure that players are motivated.

“The welfare of players is very key, because it will not only motivate them, but build in them confidence and trust. “We have also secured release of funds for the World Cup from the government. We even secured the release last year and government is committed to the team welfare and successful outing.” According to Super Eagles’ programmes for the World Cup released recently, the team will play a friendly game with Poland in Warsaw on Friday, March 23, before travelling four days later, to face Serbia in another friendly game on Tuesday, March 27. The first phase of camping ahead of the World Cup will be in Abuja or Uyo from Tuesday, May 22 and in between the first phase of camping, Nigerians will have the opportunity to watch their lovely team play DR Congo in

another friendly game at the Abuja National Stadium May 28. The World Cup contingent will then head to London for the friendly game against England on Saturday, June 2. The same night, the NFF will hold a sponsor and partners event in London. The Super Eagles of Nigeria will continue another phase of camping, this time in Austria from Sunday, June 3 to Monday, June 11. Nigeria’s next friendly will be against the Czech Republic in Austria on Wednesday, June 6 before another warm-up game against a yet to be identified South American team on Tuesday, June 9. The Super Eagles of Nigeria will then head to their World Cup Base in Yessentuki Russia before they kick off their 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign on Saturday, June 16 against Croatia on Wednesday, May 30.

Winter Olympics: Shaun White Makes History Amidst Sex Scandal American has become the most successful snowboarder in Olympic history but return to prominence has attracted attention to a sexual misconduct lawsuit filed against him in 2016 -American snowboarder Shaun White cemented his status as the sport’s greatest ever Olympian after winning his third Winter Olympics gold medal in the men’s halfpipe, but his success has been overshadowed by the allegations of sexual misconduct that clouded his preparations leading up to the Pyeongchang Games. The 31-year-old needed a storming performance in his third and final run to beat Japan’s rising star Ayumu

Hirano, and he fell to one knee when his score was announced – confirming that he had regained the gold medal that he lost at Sochi 2014 – before rising to punch the air in celebration. But the victory has not gone without its controversy. In 2016, White was accused of sexual misconduct by the female former drummer in his rock band Bad Things, Lena Zawaideh, who claimed the extreme sports star had “repeatedly sexually harassed her and forced his authoritarian management style on her for over seven years.” His return to prominence in Pyeongchang has seen various US me-

dia outlets highlight the previous lawsuit and question why White has not been subjected to questions while competing at the Olympics, especially in the wake of the ‘#MeToo’ campaign against sexual harassment, violence and abuse of power from men in high-ranking positions. In a lawsuit that Ms Zawaideh filed in August 2016, White was accused of sending “sexually explicit and graphic images to Ms Zawaideh of engorged and erect penises, forced her to watch sexually disturbing videos, including videos sexualising human faecal matter, and made vulgar sexual remarks to her”.

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The Northern Predicament

The Thursday Column n average northerner produces his best when under pressure. That is why no person or group from there has taken it upon itself to respond to anything until the last minute. And the response is always very cogent and makes the maximum impact. Nigeria is one country today just because the northerners want it so. But this situation may not continue for long. And, as the Fulani saying goes, when the forest catches fire, the grasshoppers don’t say good bye to each other. From the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) which was formed in response to the attacks on non-Yoruba by the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) in the late 1990s and beginning of this millennium, many panNorthern groups were formed, the last one was established last Saturday

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at Yar’Adua centre, Abuja which heralded the formation of the Northern Political Leaders Forum (NPLF). Like most such gatherings, some of the best and some of the worst were in attendance. The fact that these meetings take place at all was enough achievement. That the north is now a caricature of its former self is not in doubt. That the leaders have lost control of their people is also a fact. That the northern elite are some of the most snobbish is also true. That for almost four decades since independence successive governments were headed by northerners but they have failed to adequately prepare their people for the challenges of modern nationhood and to take their rightful positions in Nigeria and in the world is also a reality. However, this is not the time for lamentation and blame apportioning. What confronts the north

Abdullahi

is its very existence and survival. And when you are confronted with both internal and external threats, you cannot afford to continue complaining. You look for short, medium and long term solutions within the given context and circumstance putting all options and scenarios together. The first challenge Northern Nigeria faced was the advent of colonial rule in 1903. The second existential challenge was the military coup of January, 15 1966 when all the first generation political and military leaders were assassinated. This is the third and most dangerous challenge that the north had ever faced. It is most dangerous because there is no credible leadership let alone a coherent strategy to confront it. To make matters worse, personality clash, ego, greed and unbridled ambitions

have continued to make virtually every elite of the region to have a price. And, as Saddam Hussein of Iraq once said, when money cannot corrupt you, too much money can. Thus, when the price is right, most of the current so-called leaders can succumb. There are nineteen states in the north and of course the federal capital territory, Abuja. From Abuja, one has to travel 340 km before one leaves the northern territory. That was why Sardauna, Sir Ahmadu Bello, the first and only Premier of the North told the Americans in 1961 when he visited there that Northern Nigeria is the most populous African region after Egypt. But, for some obvious and not so obvious reasons, it is an ineffective majority. How can it be effective when it has the highest number of beggars, destitute, street urchins and

illiterate population? How can it be effective when it has no plan for itself let alone for the nation it is now a part of? How can it be effective when it has elected and appointed leaders who do not know its interests let alone how to protect them? In short, how can it be effective when it is a house divided against itself? The youth in the North are not being mentored as elders do not want to give them chance to prove themselves and be corrected by the elders when they are still alive. The elected federal legislators of the north mostly employ those who are not from their constituencies as aides and even help to employ people from other areas into federal service at the expense of their people who elected them. This is the Northern predicament. One of the most strategic states in the north is Kaduna. Every ideology or philosophy that northerners ever preferred originated from Kaduna. It is composed of some of the most conservative elements as well as some of the most radical. In fact, Mallam Aminu Kano learnt his ideas from his stay in Zaria under Alkali Lawal who later became Wazirin Zazzau. The foundation of Darika sect is in Kaduna; the root of Izala sect is in Kaduna; and the headquarters of Shi’a sect is in Kaduna state. It is thus a pity that Kaduna is now a theatre of war. It is also a typical example of how the north has so degenerated that someone like Uba Sani would insult a

respected elder like Prof. Ango Abdullahi whose contributions to the development of the north and Nigeria, all the Uba Sani’s past and future generations can never equal let alone surpass. There is no more Kaduna Mafia, as it has been defanged and even demystified, but Kaduna is key to the solution of northern and indeed Nigeria’s dilemma. Kaduna was the state of residence of President Muhammadu Buhari; Mallam Mamman Daura, Buhari’s influential nephew; as well as Mallam Abba Kyari, Buhari’s powerful Chief of Staff, but Kaduna is the most insecure state in Nigeria today. The road from Abuja to Kaduna is just 180km but not even government officials feel free to take the road at any time of the day or right. The villagers had volunteered information on those kidnapping on these roads but they were in turn killed by the kidnappers. This is a shame and a disgrace. History is on the side of the oppressed.

GHANA MUST GO Abductor of Chibok girls bags 15-years imprisonment

— News

Is that just Part 1?

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Leadership February 15 2018  

Leadership February 15 2018

Leadership February 15 2018  

Leadership February 15 2018

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