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FCT flood disaster may worsen if... By Austine ELEMUE and Angela MUREY

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ince the recent upgrade of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, as one of

the red alert states by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMET, palpable fear has gripped some residents over possible flooding if all the relevant agencies

do not wake-up to their responsibilities. The Abuja Inquirer learnt that shortly after NiMET’s upgrade, the nation’s capital was hit by flood in Karshi and

Mpape that claimed three lives and property worth millions of naira destroyed. Though, some agencies that spoke to our correspondents

expressed preparedness to prevent or mitigate any future flood disaster in the territory, but report available shows that human and environmental factors

may pose serious danger to residents of the Territory. The agency in charge of disaster Continued on page 3

FCT EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (FEMA) lDO

NOT LITTER WASTE, PLASTIC BAGS, PLASTIC BOTTLES IN DRAINS

lEVACUATE LOW LYING AREAS AND SHIFT TO SAFER PLACES lSWITCH OFF ELECTRICAL SUPPLY (WHEN IT IS NOT NEEDED) AND lDO NOT TOUCH OPEN WIRES l DO NOT WALK/DRUVE THROUGH FLOWING WATER lDO NOT BUILD ON FLOOD PLANES lDO NOT DUMP REFUSE IN DRAINAGES lAVOID ALL RISKY BEHAVOURS THAT COULD LEAD TO DISASTER

FOR ALL EMERGENCIES CONTACT 08057224574, 08188888766 OR lFCT CALL CENTRE

FEMA … “Reducing Disaster Risk for a Safe and Happy FCT”

First Published March 2004

Vol. 12 No. 39 ISSN: 1597-2895

June 25 - July 1, 2018

Price: 100

L-R: Speaker of House of Reps, Yakubu Dogara, President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo SAN, President Muhammadu Buhari and immediate past national chairman of the APC, John Odiege-Oyegun at the Saturday National Convention of the party in Abuja.

AFTERMATH OF NATIONAL CONVENTION...

Against all odds, APC stays united By Austine ELEMUE

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ontrary to fears in certain quarters that the ruling All Progressives Congress,

APC, was going into a make or mar national convention since 2014, the party defied the Continued on page 3

Attacks: Plateau government imposes curfew By Emmanuel OGBECHE

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ollowing an almost 48 hours sustained attacks on three

local governments: Riyom, Barkin Ladi and Jos south, the Plateau state government has Continued on page 3

African Trade And Investment Summit Opens In Washington DC >>PAGE 17

Malam Mohammed Bello, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, listens to remarks from Ms. Barbara Trionfi, Executive Director of International Press Institute, IPI, during a cocktail reception hosted by the Minister for delegates attending the IPI World Congress at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, while Mr. John Yearwood, the IPI President watches. Photo: Courtesy FCT Ministry


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June 25 - July 1, 2018

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NEWS

Against all odds, APC stays united Continued from page 1 odds as there was no breakaway faction. Unlike the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which fractured at its national convention that will eventually seal its fate in power, the APC convention though had skirmishes with delegates of Delta and Imo states exchanging blows, nothing of significance altered the power equation in the party. Apparently aware of the fears trailing the party, President Muhammadu Buhari told the delegates, “I want to assure everyone

here that despite a few lingering issues with the congresses in some states, our great party will emerge stronger after this convention. “The unresolved cases we have is the price we have to pay for success, as everyone wants to be associated with a winning team. I am imploring all those with grievances to keep faith with the party until we put things right.” Buhari further appealed to all aggrieved party members to eschew their personal interest for the good of the party. “May I, therefore, appeal to all to put our great party ahead of

personal considerations and to accept the outcome of the exercise in good faith. You are all important to our party’s progress and all must come together to ensure success in the forthcoming polls so as to enable us to continue the good work we have been doing for our fellow Nigerians,” the president said. Speaking earlier, the outgone national chairman of the APC, Chief John OdiegeOyegun, was confident that the party was entering a new era that will see it consolidate its hold on power.

“We provided the kind of leadership that has brought the party to this point today. A strong, united party. Yes, there are divergent views here and there but the essence is that the APC at the end of the day, is a strong party, a passionate party that believes in its ideals and the vision of Mr. President to give this nation the best leadership” OdiegeOyegun said. Apart from a few absences like former governor of Kano state, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, Senator Dino Melaye, other notable chieftains of the

L-R: Dele Momodu, Publisher Of Ovation International Magazine, Dan Akpovwa, Publisher Of Abuja Inquirer Newspaper and Dr. Lizzy Ikem, at the Opening Ceremony Of the World Congress of the International Press Institute, IPI at the Presidential Villa in Abuja yesterday.

party including the members of the aggrieved nPDP were in attendance. Leader of the Npdp, Kawu Baraje in a statement explained that despite their presence at the convention their issues were yet to be resolved. “We still believe that our loyalty should be demonstrated, that is why we attended the convention,” the statement read. “The convention is ongoing now, despite the fact that there are so many litigation in the court against the party arising from parallel primaries in over 18 states of the federation. “The fact that we were able to attend the APC convention and the convention is going on well, is not an interpretation that the suffering of the masses had been alleviated and is not an answer that the security in the country which has been seriously jeopardised is being addressed. “We want to appreciate Nigerians and our supporters and we want to let them know that our struggle is still on course and until the party addresses some the major areas of concerns that will make easy for Nigerians we remain undoubted.” Senate president Bukola Saraki saw his protégé, Bolaji Abdullahi, returned as the National Publicity Secretary, polling 2002 to defeat two others.

FCT flood disaster may worsen if... Continued from page 1 management in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, said the administration has put a lot of measures aimed at preventing and mitigating flood disaster during and after the rainy season. Director General of FEMA, Alhaji Iddris Abass, told one of our correspondents that since last year, with the Dei-Dei and Lokogoma experience, the agency has mapped out strategies including collaboration with other relevant agencies to tackle flooding in the

territory. “As a matter of fact, the mandate of the agency is to prevent, control and mitigate disaster in the Federal Capital Territory. It is not our responsibility to build bridges and construct drainage as is believed in some quarters. “Last year, after the painful tragedy of DeiDei and Lokogoma, the agency submitted its report to authorities and I ‘m happy to inform you that the administration is seriously working on our report. However, the agency has scaled up its collaboration with relevant agency and

advocacy in communities that are flood prone. “We have to do this because recently, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency has upgraded FCT to one of the red alert states. And we saw what happened in Karshi and Mpape not too long ago. Therefore, all agencies have to work as a team to avert flood disaster in the territory,” Abass stated. According to him, residents have a role to play by not dumping refuse in drainages and unauthorised places that could lead to drains being blocked.

Speaking on what they were doing to address the issue, the Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC, explained that though it was constrained by funding, it was doing its best mitigate the threat. Supervisory Councillor for Health, Murtala Usman Karishi, said the AMAC evacuate refuse regularly but with population explosion, it was difficult to keep pace with the clearing. He dismissed claims that the council has a dumpsite by a major canal in Karu, he said it was a collection point

which is regularly cleared. However, some residents have accused the authorities of doing little on the issue of refuse disposal as well as non-existent drainages in the satellite towns. A Karu resident, Bassey Akpan, said AMAC presence is hardly felt in the region other than to disturb residents with rates collection. “How many drainages can you see in Karu? Imagine having a dumpsite near a major canal by AMAC. I just hope they wake up before another flooding happens.”

Attacks: Plateau government imposes curfew Continued from page 1 imposed a curfew, while expressing its deep pain at the fresh killings. Secretary to the Plateau state government, Rufus Bature, announced the curfew on the three LGAs on Sunday afternoon. The SSG said the movements in the three local government areas would be restricted between 6pm and 6am, however, adding that “essential duties” would be exempted. Speaking also, the state commissioner of information, Yakubu Dati, said the government had mobilised the “full compliments” of security forces to restore normalcy in the affected areas. “Government is deeply pained that despite concerted efforts which had led to the restoration of relative peace across the state, some unpatriotic elements are bent on disrupting the gains so far made,” Datti said in a statement. On his part, chairman of Berom Youth Movement, Ladi Choji, told reporters nearly 100 corpses had been recovered so far. He said 31 corpses were recovered from Gashish village, 42 others from different villages in Barkin Ladi. “I believe that this attack was carefully planned by the herdsmen in collaboration with some military personnel who aided the attack. “We have recovered 34 corpses from Gana Ropp and 8 from Gashis while several others have not been recovered. “The corpses would be close to 100 because apart from 42 corpses that we have recovered, we are mobilising people to go into the villages to pick other corpses that have not been recovered.” Mathias Tyopev, spokesman of the Plateau police command, confirmed the incident but could not give casualty figure. An eyewitness at the Jos University Teaching Hospital, JUTH, told our correspondent by phone that she counted 28 corpses deposited at the hospital on Saturday evening.


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FCT REPORT Drug among women frightening, says FCT minister By Austine ELEMUE

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head of 2018 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking, the FCT minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, has described as alarming the increasing involvement of women in abuse of drugs in the society. He made the assertion last week in Abuja, at a one-day workshop on women and substance abuse: implications for building a better society. According to the minister, the eradication of the menace requires a lifetime effort and commitment by all and sundry. Bello said the development is very frightening, because of the critical position of women, who constitute about 60 percent of the Nigerian population. The event, which had participants drawn from the six area councils, was organized by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, in collaboration with FCTA Social D e v e l o p m e n t Secretariat, SDS. Bello said: “The problem has to be confronted deep inside our hearts, as it is something that has to be taken as a lifetime battle. We should not be in denial of the menace, hence the need for everyone to be involved in the quest to tackle the problems squarely. Throughout our lives, women have been playing critical role in shaping and advancing the society.” Earlier in his remarks, NDLEA Chairman, Col. Muhammad Abdallah (rtd), opined that the workshop is timely response to the increasing abuse of drugs among women especially in Northern

Nigeria. He noted that the development has diminished value and respect of women, calling on stakeholders to help fashion out how to eradicate the

scourge. The NDLEA boss adds that “We must do everything humanly possible to curb the menace ravaging the society.” In his welcome

address, SDS Secretary, Alh.Oladimeji AliHassan, noted that through misuse of certain drugs, natural and chemical substances, meant to be of help to mankind, but

have caused adverse effects to the society. He stressed the need for increased education and awareness campaign on the prevention of drugs abuse in the society.

Across section of children and staff at an event by FCTA Social Development Secretariat (FCTA-SDS) in collaboration with the Association for Orphans and Vulnerable Children NGOs in Nigeria, to mark the 2018 day of the African child.

Sickle Cell: NGO sensitize students in Abuja By Austine ELEMUE

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s part of activities to mark this year’s Sickle Cell Day, the Eyum Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation, ESCAF, in collaboration with Sickle Cell Support, and Center for School Healthy Environmental Education and Hygiene, have carried out a sensitization campaign for students of secondary schools in Abuja on the prevention and treatment of sickle cell disorder. The organisers of the event said that the programme was aimed at creating awareness about sickle cell disorder, its prevention and management for both senior secondary

school students and residents as part of activities to mark the United Nations World Sickle Cell awareness day slated for June 19, every year. The founder of the group, Audu Sandra Eyum, told journalists in Abuja that this year ’s programme is targeted at promoting awareness of sickle cell disorder, educate students on preventive and management measures of sickle cell anemia and encourage warriors (sicklers) to have a positive attitude to life as well as create database for information management and sharing. Eyum, however, lamented the high cost for the treatment and management of sickle cell

disorder, just as she stressed the importance of counselling in the management of the disease. “Sickle cell disease is an inherited disease of red blood cells which is characterized by pain episodes (crisis) anemia, damaged to organs, and infections, severe anemia, delayed growth, skin ulcers, preapism, stroke, among others”, stressing that the best cure for now is to avoid carriers come into marriage, hence counseling is one of the major steps by the Foundation to reach-out to people. Earlier in her remarks, the guest speaker and deputy director in the Private Health Establishment Regulatory Committee, Health

Secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, Pharm. Nkechi Ezeudu, also noted the lack of proper awareness as one of the major challenges of sickle cell disorder in the country. Ezeudu, told participants that absolute faith in God and awareness remain the best option for management and prevention of sickle cell anemia, stressing that the best treatment of the disease is nutrition integrated with faith. Ezeudu revealed that other researches going on include the use of Tranylcy Promine (antidepressant) to reverse the sickle cell disease, use of Lemon fast and Hydroxurea for sickle cell disease.

Gwagwalada chair decamps to APC By Ateed YUSUF

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he chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council, Hon. Mustapha A d a m u , w h o wa s elected under the All P r o g r e s s i ve s G r a n d Alliance, APGA, has decamped to the All P r o g r e s s i v e s Congress, APC, p i c k i n g t h e p a r t y ’s membership card last week. While presenting the defector before party members and supporters at the APC secretariat, FCT chairman of the party, Alhaji Adulmalik Usman used the opportunity to urge members of the party to register and get their voter ’s cards. Usman expressed satisfaction with the decision the chairman to join the ruling party just as he revealed that at present APC was in charge of the six area councils against one when the party come on board in 2014. Responding, Adamu stressed his readiness to contribute his quota to the progress and success of the party in G wa g wa l a d a area c o u n c i l , e ve n a s h e implored President Muhammadu Buhari and the FCT Minister Malam Muhammed Bello to continue to provide quality leadership. Contributing, member representing Abuja South in the House of Reps, Hon. Zakari Angulu enjoined Senator Philip Aduda to make a wise decision and decamp to the APC b e f o r e i t wa s l a t e , while he sued for peace amongst members of the party.


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FCT REPORT Helpline Foundation rolls out zero interest loan for widows

Group empowers FCT school girls

By Edrina EMMANUEL

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By Edrina EMMANUEL

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o continue to showcase the various potential of students in public schools in FCT, a nong o v e r n m e n t a l organization, Visola Foundation, has selected 567 female students from 15 Senior Secondary Schools in FCT for the end of the year Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, STEM, club competition. Addressing the girls before the competition, the acting chairman and board member 1 of FCT Secondary Education Board, Mr. Sunny Moniedafe, said the importance of STEM in solving problems cannot be overemphasized, hence the board’s readiness to collaborate with various profitable nong o v e r n m e n t a l organizations that will enhance the teaching and learning. Moniedafe explained that, the STEM Girls club competition will bring out their innate abilities against all odds in society and develop their logical, analytical and synthetic reasoning skills which will enhance the girls’ academic performance. He added that STEM will help the girls’ t e c h n o l o g i c a l competence for entrepreneurship and self-reliance, thereby adding value to economic development. The board member who was full of commendation for the organizers, however, advocated for such gesture to be extended to the boy-child in order to balance the gender inequality and continue to create healthy competition among girls and boys. Speaking in the same vein, the acting director who is also the secretary, Mrs. Nanre Emeje, advised the girls to focus on their God-given talents and engage in relevant research that will further enhance their abilities for greater future.

L-R: Chairman of LEADERSHIP Group, Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah, introducing MC Tagwaye to Minister of Education, Mal. Adamu Adamu, at the just concluded APC national convention in Abuja.

Bello makes case for home-made products M By Austine ELEMUE

inister of the Federal Capital Te r r i t o r y, Malam Muhammad Bello, has underscored the enormous benefits of patronizing home-made products Bello made this promotion at a cocktail the FCT Administration hosted for members of the International Press Institute, IPI, at the opening of the world media confab, where a souvenir leather puff was presented to the

leader of the institute, Barbara Trionfi. Speaking on the leather works, Bello said that the material, which was a Nigerian made product, had wrongly been described as Moroccan leather by Europeans when they first came into contact with the product from Morocco through the Trans-Saharan Trade route. The material, he emphasized, was a product of Sokoto hidesand-skin craftsmen, revealing that Abuja

since it was founded in 1976, has grown to become a tourist and conference hub for West Africa. He expressed delight to play host to the IPI congress, which he noted, provides ample opportunity for the world to see Nigeria for themselves, noting that Abuja’s investment potentials, favourable investment climate and regulatory regime, qualifies it as a haven for investors. His words, “Abuja’s rising aviation traffic

places it at a vantage position to becoming Africa’s aviation hub. Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport now hosts five international flights and counting. Situated in the heart of Nigeria, you could access most countries of Africa from Abuja at an almost equal flying time”. Responding, Barbara Trionfi - Executive Director of International Press Institute, IPI, thanked the minister for his hospitality and the beautiful gift.

FCTA tasks ministries, agencies on title regularisation

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ederal Capital Territory Minister, M a l a m Muhammad Bello, has charged ministries and agencies that have lands allocated to them under the FCT Master-plan to come forward and regularise such parcels of land by processing their titles. Bello, who made this call when his Ministry of Interior counterpart, Lt Gen. Abdulrahman Danbazzau rtd, paid him a courtesy visit in his office, also noted that the exercise is one way of safeguarding such titles against encroachment or i n a d v e r t e n t reallocations. He disclosed that FCT administration was

working to recover all lands in Abuja that were originally designated for ministries and agencies in the Abuja master-plan but were unwittingly allocated for other purposes. “With respect to allocation of land to Ministry of Interior and many other ministries that are not housed in the main secretariat, we are working at the areas at the Ahmadu Bello and Shehu Shagari Ways, especially trying to identify land within the designated areas that were originally meant for ministries but over the years were inadvertently allocated for other purposes. Wherever it is practical

and possible, we will try to recover these lands,” Bello said. Earlier in his remark, the Minister of Interior, A b d u l r a h m a n Danbazau, urged the FCT administration to have a closer look at the small markets that are springing up around the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camps in the FCT, saying some of the markets have been turned to platforms for sale of dangerous and prohibited drugs. “Some of them will claim they are IDPs from the Northeast; of course, there is need for us to accommodate these displaced persons but we have to do it in a

way that it does not have negative consequences on security. I thought I should seize this opportunity to bring it up so that we can put heads together and know precisely how to deal with the situation,” he said. Speaking on Nigerian Prison Service and Fire Service, Danbazzau said; “We have received approval to build both maximum and minimum prisons in Abuja as well as renovate and reconstruct existing facilities. It’s very important that we build that because Kuje houses all manner of convicts and those awaiting trial.”

s Nigeria joins the rest of the world to mark the International Women’s Day, Helpline Foundation for the Needy, Abuja, has concluded plans to rollout free interest revolving loan scheme for widows in the FCT. The group said the revolving free interest loan scheme is part of effort by the foundation to empower widows to be self-reliance and self-sustaining in a male dominated economy. Speaking to a section of the media in Abuja as part of activities to mark this year’s International Widows Day, founder of Helpline Foundation for the Needy, Dr. Jumai Ahmadu, called on government at all levels to initiate policies and programmes that would address the plight of widows in the country. Ahmadu told journalists in Abuja that the foundation has identified 12 clusters in the six area councils of the territory where the loans will be disbursed to widows, adding that the foundation targets no fewer than 5000 widows to benefits from the revolving loan scheme in the next three years. Ahmadu assured that her foundation will continue on its e m p o w e r m e n t programmes for widows and less privileged in the society in the six area councils of FCT, adding that the foundation had at 2017 empowered over 350 widows on various entrepreneurial skills. Speaking on the significance of the day, Ahmadu stated that “although accurate information on widowhood is limited, it has been estimated that there are some 285 million widows around the world, with over 115 million of them living in deep poverty”. “In the FCT, we have noticed with serious concerns how the figures of widows increase on a yearly basis. In 2017, we target 300 widows, but we end up with 350 being empowered and this year the figure has also increased considerably.


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June 25 - July 1, 2018

EDITORIAL

Nigeria’s epileptic power supply

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In 2013, the Nigerian government ceded most of its power sector inbto private hands, with the hope of improving power generation and distribution, and to in the long run, end the myriad of problems bedevilling the sector. The government owned Power Holding Company of Nigeria was unbundled into six generation companies, Gencos, and 11distribution companies, Discos, in a $2.5billion deal in the first phase of the privatisation process. The transaction was considered one of the world’s largest privatisation deals, with 70percent of the transaction being debt financed by local banks. At the time of the unbundling, power generation in Nigeria was as low as 3,781megawatt, MW, of electricity, yet almost five years after the sale, Nigerians are yet to feel the impact of the privatisation, as the power situation seems to further degenerate. For instance, total electricity generated and distributed two weeks ago dropped by 1,087.6MW when gas supply to six Gencos was cut off due to a ruptured pipeline. Expectedly, power allocation to the Discos dropped significantly, with companies like the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, AEDC, receiving less than 200MW allocation, throwing consumers in Abuja, Nasarawa, Kogi, and Niger states in darkness. The country is among the lowest power generation countries in the world, generating an average of 3,8000MW of electricity per day. While less populated countries in Arica like Egypt with about 90million people generates 24,000MW and South Africa, with its 57million population generates 40,000MW of electricity, Nigeria is struggling to generate a paltry 3,8000MW of electricity on the average. Meanwhile in other parts of the world, the United Kingdom with a

The impact of epileptic power supply weighs heavily on Nigeria’s economic growth, as private businesses struggle to stay afloat. Small business owners have had to consider the cost of providing back-up energy in addition to the high start-up cost, infrastructural deficit, among the pile of challenges connected with running a business in an environment like Nigeria.

population of 66million generates up to 80,000MW, while Germany with its 30million people generates a whopping 120,000MW. Though the country had experienced an all-time high power generation of 7,000MW, electricity generation had plunged to zero megawatt 11 times in the first five months of May 2016 due to total system collapse. This was again experienced six times in the following month of June. Successor companies have blamed the nation’s power deficit on issues of inadequate gas for firing turbines, transmission issues, cost recovery challenge due to overpriced power plants, end user tariffs, among sundry issues. Also, industry players have continued to trade blame among themselves, with the Gencos either claiming no to get enough gas to power their plants or accusing the transmission companies of not having the capacity to transmit what is being generated. Consumers are subsequently left to grapple with epileptic power supply, estimated billing and high charges, while the companies try to figure out their priorities. The impact of epileptic power supply weighs heavily on Nigeria’s economic growth, as private businesses struggle to stay afloat. Small business owners have had to consider the cost of providing backup energy in addition to the high start-up cost, infrastructural deficit, among the pile of challenges

connected with running a business in an environment like Nigeria. With an estimated population of 190million, the National Planning Commission suggest that Nigeria will require an electricity generation capacity of at least 35,000MW of electricity by the year 2020, if indeed its socio-economic goals of alleviating poverty and job creation are to be met. To realise this, the federal government outlined some policy measures to reposition the sector, including the Power Sector Recovery Plan. The plan initiated with the World Bank is expected to commit up to $2.5billion to reform the power sector in Nigeria. Under the arrangement, the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading plc will, using the legal instruments like the Power Purchase Agreements, PPAs, buy power from Gencos and independent power plants, and sell to the Discos. The Central bank of Nigeria also approved a N213billion Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility and another N300billion Power and Aviation Intervention Facility, PAIF. Another N701billion payment assurance guarantee was also approved by the FEC to the NBET to solve the liquidity problems in the industry and guarantee Gencos’ payments for gas supplied. These interventions seem to be yielding little or no impact, as the myriad of challenges facing the sector persist. Some stakeholders

are now calling for a review or even outright revocation of the privatisation deal. The Minister of Power, Babatunde Fashola, however explain that government has no plan of revoking the licences given to the investors. He said the revocation of such licences will send the wrong signal to prospective investors on doing business in Nigeria. While we commend some of the effort made at repositioning the power sector in Nigeria, government must realise that the provision of adequate and constant power supply is critical to achieving an investor friendly environment and increasing internal productivity and economic growth. Government and other stakeholders should consider constructing alternative independent power projects, like coal fired power plants and renewables. Nigeria must take full advantage of the rich coal reserves in eastern part of the country in boosting power generation if indeed it intends to actualise its vision 2020 objective of generating 40,000MW. We look towards replicating the South African module, where 89percent of their power is generated through coal fired stations. The Gencos should concentrate in replacing obsolete equipment at their power plants to check their frequent breakdown and ensure uninterrupted power generation. Government should ensure that the interest of electricity consumers are protected at all times by ending the fraudulent attitude of some Discos who have continued to rip-off helpless consumers through estimated billing. In return, the consumers should play their part by ensuring they pay for energy consumed and avoid all shady activities like illegal connection and diversion.

Published by: GAZETTA COMMUNICATIONS LTD Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

Dan Akpovwa Editor Emmanuel Ogbeche Associate Editor Jacob Edi Assistant Editor Austine Elemue Ovie Akpovwa Editor, Lagos Bureau Godwin Uzoma Okoro

Snr. Correspondents Sarah Negedu; Onoriode E. Atavwigho;; Mfon Udo-Ema London Correspondent Peculia Medinus Online Editor Lucky Akpovwa Advert/Marketing Executive Laraba P. Murey Photo Editor Wale Elekolusi

Correspondents Ambrose Imobhio (Asaba) Scholastica Joseph (Makurdi) Ayinde Olarewaju (Ilorin) Akon Godfrey Chukwuma Nzeh Ateed Yusuf Ere-ebi Agedah jeoma Ukazu Williams Abah Edrina Emmanuel Elizabeth Offiong

Admin Assistant Alex Ukershio Company Secretary Bassey E. Offiong Esq. Legal Adviser Gogo Karibi-Whyte Production Consultant Daniel Soetan


June 25 - July 1, 2018

7

Adam Oshiomhole, the coronation

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n Saturday, June 23, 2018, former governor of Edo state and one-time labour activist, Adams Oshiomhole, was formally crowned the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, at the party’s long overdue national convention. The coronation of Oshiomhole, known for his garrulousness and ability to bend the arc of facts, was one foretold since he completed his tenure after two terms as governor. Wanting to stay relevant and in the corridors of power at all cost, Oshiomhole became desperate and threw caution overboard the APC ship and engaged in barefaced lies as to how the United States gave a list of corrupt officials and it listed an unnamed minister that stole $6 billion under President Goodluck Jonathan amongst other unfounded allegations. For a man known for his double-dealing as labour leader, many have wondered how saintly is the APC when tons of evidence abound as to Oshimhole’s malfeasance while in office. Well, the APC needs a talk-machine, one with the ability to surpass Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture in alternative facts

as the battle for 2019 reaches febrile pitch. The telling aspect of his ascension is the claim that other candidates to the office of national chairman willy-nilly stepped down on their own. Nothing can be farther from the truth than this. The powers-that-be wanted him, and every other candidate including immediate past chair of the party, Chief John OdiegeOyegun, were whipped into line. In all, the crowning of Oshiomhole bears worrying signs like the coronation of Princess Selene in Marissa Meyer’s WINTER. Meyer writes: “As if the sky itself were listening, the dome overhead darkened, and three enormous screens lit up against the black backdrop. “People of Luna,” said a feminine voice, “please give your full attention now to this mandatory broadcast, live from Artemisia Palace. The royal coronation ceremony is about to begin.” “A wicked grin pulled at Winter’s lips. She stepped away from Jacin, faced the people, and raised her arms to her sides... Our revolution is about to begin.”

The case of Abaribe and a Mafia State L

ast Tuesday, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe was picked up by operatives of the State Security Service, though they prefer to be called the Directorate of State Security, DSS, at the Transcorps Hilton in what the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has described as ‘commando fashion.’ The action by the Service, at the hotel liked mostly by foreigners, raised not a few eyebrows as the Abia senator is well-known and has never been a no a flight risk by all intent and purposes that he should be harangued and taken away like a common crook. The action of the DSS, few days to Abaribe’s appearance in court over his standing surety for the missing leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, has left tongues wagging and conjectures as to the reason of his incarceration.

There is growing worry that since the day he was picked and as at late Sunday evening, nothing has been heard from those keeping him. Abaribe’s high-profile arrest and detention is just one of many examples of a larger trend in Nigeria of the resurgence of government’s crackdown reminiscent of the days of late General Sani Abacha. It is alarming that over the past three years since the Presidency of Muhammadu Buhari, there has been a dramatic expansion in the clamping down on key opposition figures over one nebulous corruption charge or ‘state security. Now, Abaribe you have to make benediction to the One who controls the affairs of men and cannot be controlled, to help you out of an apparent dragnet that was set by the government when its military raided Nnamdi Kanu’s home sometime last year and has not been found since then.

For Musa Kwankwaso, it is yet dawn H ow the tide of political fortune has turned for Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, former governor of Kano state and chief promoter of the Kwankwasiyya ideology. There were days when Kwankwaso was the lord of the manor in Kano. His presence was larger than life and to show how he was the Big Boss, his appointees and even elected representatives of the people went for the red fez cap of the former governor. Public infrastructures were emblazoned with the ubiquitous red associated with Kwankwasiyya. That is even beside the point. With the troubles in PDP by 2014 and former President Goodluck Jonathan not showing his mettle, Kwankwaso assumed a larger-than-life stature that the Jonathan became insignificant before him not minding he served in that government as minister of defence. As the days rolled into weeks and Jonathan had settled that he will be seeking reelection,

Kwankwaso became bellicose and was reputed to ignore the president or even respond to his phone calls. For those close to the corridors of power, the former governor held the then president in such contempt some people feared if there was something more personal than the scramble for power. Fast forward two years into having helped the APC to power, the one who thought he had bagged a bag of gold found out too late that he had only clutched at straws. It is a crying shame that a state he ruled twice on different occasions became a no-go area for him. If he thought he was spiting GEJ, he now knows better as he has lost out completely in the APC power architecture so much so that he was nowhere near Eagle Square for the party’s national convention. Is it not said every man has his day of awakening? For Musa Kwankwaso, such reality is here.


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NEWS

No journalist in detention in Nigeria, Lai Replies CPJ By Emmanuel OGBECHE

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he Federal Government has debunked the report by the press freedom organisation, Committee to Protect Journalists, CPJ, that a certain Nigerian journalist has been in detention for the past two years. Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in rebuttal in Abuja said the person the CPJ was referring to was never a journalist. “Let me state here, without equivocating, that contrary to the report by the Committee To Protect Journalists (CPJ), no journalist is in detention in Nigeria. “Clement Abiri, who is being referred to as a journalist, is not one. He does not belong to any chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists. “He was arrested for pipeline vandalism and crude theft, including militant activities in the Niger Delta,” he said. The minister restated the commitment of the present administration to press freedom and gave the assurance that the media has nothing to fear under the present dispensation. ”In my opening comments at the 2016 IPI Congress in Doha, I said we as a government view the media as a partner. “That remains true. I also said the media in Nigeria has nothing to fear from this administration, and that – if anything – we as a government are the ones who have to fear the media. Also, that has not changed. “We are proud that the Nigerian media is one of the most vibrant in the world. “We are proud of the role that the Nigerian media has played in our long march to democratic governance. “This administration will continue to provide the enabling environment for the journalist to function unmolested,” he said. While speaking on the theme of the 67th International Press Institute (IPI) World Congress, which is

“Why Good Journalism Matters,” the Minister said it will alert the government to the indispensable role of the

media in the society, M o h a m m e d appealed to the media to always report the government in the right

context in order to give the people the opportunity to make informed decisions. He said the present

administration had kept its promises to fight corruption, tackle insecurity and revamp the economy.

L-R: Mr. Yakubu Dogara, Speaker, House of Representatives, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, APC National Leader and Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, Leader, House of Representatives, during the APC Caucus meeting in Abuja last week

2019: We have not endorsed Atiku –Bayelsa PDP T By Ere-ebi AGEDAH

he Bayelsa chapter of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, says it has not endorsed former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as the party’s flag bearer in the 2019 presidential poll. Abubakar visited the state last Wednesday to solicit support ahead the 2019 general elections. Moses Cleopas, the Bayelsa PDP chairman, said in a statement on Thursday in Yenagoa, that the visit of the former Vice President was not for endorsement of his aspiration to fly the

party’s flag in the 2019 poll. Mr Cleopas said the doors of state PDP chapter remains open to all aspirants seeking the party’s presidential ticket for the election. According to the statement, the party would receive all aspirants and accord each of them the respect, hospitality and the courtesy they deserve. He said the decision to welcome all aspirants enjoys the support of the state’s leader of the party, Gov. Seriake Dickson. The party chairman maintained that Bayelsa is a PDP state and

thanked the leaders and members of the party for turning out en mass to receive Mr Abubakar at very short notice. Cleopas urged them to extend same to other aspirants as they visit the state. He added that while it was the position of the party to receive and hold consultative talks with all aspirants, the party in the state would not endorse any particular candidate before the upcoming convention where candidates would be selected. Mr Cleopas noted that the decision of who to endorse for the

presidential ticket of the party would be collectively taken by the state at the convention. “The Bayelsa chapter of the PDP will receive all presidential aspirants under the platform of the party, the party will ensure that all the aspirants are given level playing ground. “However, it is the position of the state chapter of the party that there will be no endorsement of any particular candidate before the convention. “The position of the state will be decided collectively at the convention ground,” he said.

Some lawyers more active on social media than in courts –Police By Sarah NEGEDU

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he Nigeria Police officer in charge of complaints response unit, CRU, Mr. Abayomi Shogunle, an assistant commissioner, has accused some Nigerian lawyers of being more active on social media than in courts. Speaking on Channels Television on the #EndSARS campaign, Shogunle accused some lawyers of preferring to

complain about issues online instead of taking concrete action where necessary. “ U n f o r t u n a t e l y, Nigerian lawyers are more active on social media than they should be active in courts,” he said. “You see a lawyer tweeting about violence on social media where he can actually do a probono case because part of the things they will use in giving you a senior

advocate of Nigeria (SAN), is that you must have done some cases for people free of charge, instead of charge. “Instead of young lawyers going to court to pursue a career or to improve on their profession by taking such cases to court if you believe it is a case, they will rather prefer to come to social media and be typing all sorts. “The courts are there and thank God they are

working… The judiciary is completely independent of the executive arm of government so the fact that people are not going to courts, I think should be enough reason for us not to take them seriously.” Shogunle added that the #EndSARS campaigners have failed to take their complaints to court simply because they do not have evidence to tender.

Vandalism: AEDC donates surveillance van to FCTA By Austine ELEMUE

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he management of Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, AEDC, has presented a new Hilux Van to the Federal Capital Territory Administration to strengthen efforts aimed at stemming vandalism of public assets. Making the presentation on behalf of the management of AEDC, Engr. Ernest Mupwaya, the Head of Accounts Management of AEDC, Hajia Hauwa Muhammad, said the gesture was in fulfillment of an earlier promise the company had made to FCTA on a recent visit to FCT minister, Malam Muhammad Bello. Muhammad, who was accompanied by AEDC’s Head Public Affairs, Malam Ahmad Shekarau and other senior staff of the company, commended the minister for his diligence in the payment of the electricity bills of FCT establishments and facilities. According to her, “despite its use for maintenance purposes, the vehicle will also serve as a means of rapid response to areas where the street lights are having problem, under vandalism or knocked down by careless road users.” Responding, to the AEDC gesture, the representative of the FCT minister, director, Department of Facility Maintenance and Management, Engr. Niyi Olaloye, thanked the AEDC management for their show of support. He described the donation as a potent demonstration of the partnership between the FCT administration and stakeholders in the power sector aimed at ensuring adequate power supply in the territory. The director revealed, the administration has mounted 22 generator sets to assist in powering the street lights owing to poor power supply, pending when supply improves, just as he stated that some phone numbers have been dedicated to enable members of the public to rich the FCTA’s quick response team, in case of vandalism.


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NEWS

Judge withdraws from hearing Innoson’s case J

By Elizabeth EFFIONG

ustice Mojisola Dada last Friday withdrew from the case involving the chairman of Innoson Motors Limited, Innocent Chukwuma, over a petition against her. The businessman was to be arraigned before a Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos on Friday, but could not as Justice Dada returned the case file of the suit to the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Opeyemi Oke. The judge withdrew from the case following the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, NJC, in response to the petition written by the automobile boss against her. The petition which was dated February 12, 2018, was titled, “Request To Investigate The Circumstances Leading To Honourable Justice Mojisola Dada of Lagos State High Court Issuing a Bench Warrant Against Chief Innocent Chukwuma and Ordering for His Arrest.” However, the NJC’s response disclosed that the Council in a meeting held on March 9, 2018, had absolved Justice Dada of any wrongdoing. The letter signed by the Secretary to the NJC, Ahmed Saleh, stated that, “At the end of deliberation, Council did not find any act of misconduct on the part of the Honourable Judge. However, if the case is still pending before Honourable Justice Mojisola Dada, same will be returned to the Chief Judge for reassignment to another Judge.” It would be recalled that Chukwuma and his company, Innoson Motors Nigeria Limited, were to be arraigned on a four-count charge bordering on conspiracy to obtain property by false pretences, obtaining property by false pretences, stealing and forgery in a transaction with Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB). The EFCC alleged

that the defendants committed the offences between 2009 and July 2011 in Lagos. According to the antigraft commission, the defendants with intent to defraud; conspired to obtain by false pretenses containers of

motorcycle, spare parts and raw materials, a property of GTB from Mitsui OSK Lines Limited, Apapa, Lagos. The alleged forgery was in order that the forged documents be used or acted upon as genuine to the

prejudice of any person within Lagos or elsewhere. The offences contravened Sections 1(1)(b), 1(3), and 8(a) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2016 and Sections 309(9), 388, 465

and 467(1)(j) of the Criminal Code, Laws of Lagos State 2003. Following the refusal of Chukwuma to take his plea in court for the fifth time on May 23, 2018, the judge declared him wanted after a request by the EFCC.

Former Minister for Education, Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili (l) discussing with the Guest Lecturer, Prof. Patrice Lumumba during the 1st Justice Niki Tobi memorial lecture with theme, "The Judiciary As A Critical Nexus In The Anti-Corruption War" at the Executive Hall, International Conference Centre, Abuja.

Indian association urges Nigerians to practice Yoga daily By Chuks NZEH

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he High Commission of India and the Indian Cultural Association has enjoined more Nigerians to avail themselves of the physical, mental and spiritual practice of Yoga. The president of the Indian Cultural Association, Lagos Chapter, Chief Sanjay, said this year ’s International Yoga Day observed at the Lagos Office of the Commission on June 24, 2018. His words: “Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolising the union of body and consciousness. “The High Commission of India and the Indian Cultural Association in Lagos are

inviting Nigerians to come and participate in a Yoga session to mark this year’s International Yoga Day. “Celebrating World Yoga Day at the premises of Indian High Commission for the last three years and this year also will certainly boost the information and knowledge levels of people thereby pave way for them to adopt Yoga

in their daily life for getting the benefits as narrated above. “Yoga in Nigeria before declaration of the World Yoga Day may have been existing in a very small way and on individual basis. World Yoga Day has brought the consciousness in the public about the benefits of Yoga and in some quarters, it is a first time information

that such thing is also in existence. “Just five minutes a day can transform your life! Whether you’re seeking health and joy or peace and love, whether it’s success in the world or inner exploration you’re striving for, these simple practices are designed to help you cut through the struggle and walk through life with ease.”

Herdsmen attacks: CSOs frowns at tilted scale of justice By Chuks NZEH

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coalition of civil s o c i e t y o r g a n izations; Joint Nigeria, Crisis Action Committee, JNCAC, has frowned at what it tagged the tilted scale of justice in Nigeria. The coalition is in a statement jointly signed by Abiodun Baiyewu, Chidi Anselm Odinkalu and Yemi Adamolekun, on behalf of the coordinating committee

of the JN-CAC, accused the federal government of complicity. The statement reads in part: “This week, Nigerians received news of the conviction by the High Court of Adamawa State five persons on charges of culpable homicide punishable with death for the killing of a pastoralist in Demsa Local Government Area of Adamawa. “Given the facts of the case, it would appear that

the security agencies were diligent in the task of investigation as well as in arresting and prosecuting the culprits. We applaud their assiduousness in this particular case, and affirm our support for the rule of law and the administration of justice.” “However, we are reminded that in the first quarter of this year alone, more than 4,000 Nigerians have been killed in violent attacks, including many women and children, by

Abia group calls for release of Abaribe By Williams ABAH

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pan-Abia group, Ala Abia, has called for the release of Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe who is being detained by the Department of State Security for undisclosed reason. The group in a statement on Saturday in Abuja said the gestapo nature of Abaribe’s arrest calls for concern, noting that the country was gradually sliding into anarchy. In a statement signed by Chioma Amajor, Ala Abia expressed the worry over the roughshod tactics being employed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to hound those in the opposition, stressing that it goes against the grain of the rule of law and social order. “We must confess that the arrest of Senator Abaribe who has maintained a principled stance against some of the overreach of this regime has not come as a surprise to us given that prominent Nigerians have raised the alarm of a grand design by the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari to arrest and incarcerate leaders of the opposition on trumped up charges, to keep them out of circulation and inoperative as we prepare for next year’s elections. “Whatever the motive is for the arrest of Senator Abaribe, we implore the DSS and other arms of the security architecture to note that their loyalty should be to Nigeria and not any party or individual, therefore, the Service should come out clean why Senator Abaribe is being held as well as ensure that if there is anything against him, he should be charged to court without delay, “For the avoidance of doubt, the law of the fundamental rights of Nigerians is clear and no agency of government, no matter how powerful it thinks, can be more powerful than the Nigerian constitution.


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NEWS

NASS to pass whistle blower protection bill By Austine ELEMUE

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hairman, House of Reps Committee on Financial Crimes, Hon. Kayode Oladele, has disclosed that the National Assembly would ensure the passage of the Whistle Blower Protection Bill before the end of its tenure. Oladel made this known at a technical support workshop on ‘Whistle Blowing for Implementing and Revenue Generating Agencies’, organised by African Centre for Media and Information Literacy, AFRICMIL, in Abuja last week, The lawmaker noted that the whistle blowing policy as it is practiced today does not give protection to whistle blowers, who supply information on corruption. He maintained that property worth billions of naira, as well as cash are being hidden, adding that what Nigerians need is protection and a legal framework to disclose such information necessary for the recovery of such property. According to him, his

committee is working to come up with a legal framework that would protect people that come up with information that would lead to the recovery or disclosure of property and stolen funds. Oladele stated that government needs to involve the people in

fighting corruption, since those who steal live with the people, adding that eradicating corruption must start from the grassroots. Earlier in a welcome address, coordinator of AFRICMIL, Chido Onumah, explained that the aim of the workshop was to strengthen the

anti-corruption policy of the federal government. Onumah disclosed that AAFRICMIL has been engaged in the whistle blowing process in the past one year and has equally intervened on behalf of whistle blowers who were victimised for disclosing information on the

recovery of stolen public assets. He added also that the goal of the workshop was to help participants, as well as review the existing structure for the implementing the whistle blowing policy and to examine how the policy works in other places.

International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC, Legal Adviser, Mr. Rochus Peyer and representative of Prof. Adedeji Adekunle, Director General, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, NIALS, Mr. Peter Akper at a three-day workshop on International Humanitarian Law for lecturers in Abuja.

Group advocates for child protection rights By Ere-ebi AGEDAH

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n commemorating Day of the African Child, a group, ElMeela Heritage Support Foundation, has called on the government, civil societies and all relevant stakeholders to protect the rights of children especially the vulnerable and less privileged. The group said no child should be left behind in benefitting from the wealth of the country because if they are left unattended to, there was a high tendency for such children to end up becoming menace to the society. The group which paid a visit to the Gurku Interfaith Relocation IDP camp in Nasarawa state stated that children affected by insurgency require adequate intervention which must not be left to government alone as any investment in a child toady will affect

the future of the nation. National Coordinator of the group, Bar Jamila Isah, noted that the group will continue to advocate for the i m m e d i a t e implementation of the Child Rights Act which was yet to be adopted by some states. According to her,

there must exist an overarching principle which provides an overall inclusive development for underage children that keeps children at the centre beneficiaries in the drive towards economic development. “Children form majority of our population in Nigeria so

this year 2018 theme highlights the need to ensure that no child is left behind by specifically targeting those who are not benefiting from Africa’s growth and development. ‘‘Failing to invest in essential services and protection for all children does not just

2019: Ortom sets up ward campaign committees By Scholastica JOSEPH, Makurdi

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n their bid to re-elect Governor Samuel Ortom and his deputy, Engr Benson Abounu come 2019, major stakeholders and their supporters have constituted campaign committees in the 276 council wards in the state. The committees, Ortom/Abounu Support Movement 2019, were constituted across the state last Thursday and

charged with the responsibility to canvass grassroots support for the re-election of Ortom and Abounu. The committees placed emphasis on the greater participation of youths and women and constituted wings for the two groups. They comprise of 35 members headed by a ward coordinator who is supported by a deputy and several other positions including treasurer, secretary,

organizing secretary, financial secretary, legal adviser, public relations officer, women and youth leaders who all have deputies. Others are welfare secretary, six ex-officio members and five elders for each ward. In constituting the committees the stakeholders took into consideration appropriate zoning of the positions as well as fair representation of all sections of the ward, interests and groups.

deny them their rights but will incur higher costs later in terms of lost lives, wasted potentials and reduced productivity,’’ she said. Secretary of the camp, Mr Ibrahim Adawara, noted that the major challenge faced by the IDPs was medical care and lack of education as the camp houses over 1, 205 people. According to him most of their children have not had access to formal education since they were displaced from their homes in Borno and Adamawa states. The Day of the African Child is celebrated every June 16 since 1991 which was first initiated by the OAU to honour those who participated in the Soweto Uprising in 1976. It also raises awareness of the continuous need for improvement of education provided to African Children.

ICRC holds workshop for lecturers on international humanitarian law By Emmanuel OGBECHE

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three-day workshop on international humanitarian law, IHL, gathering close to 70 lecturers, organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC, aimed at enhancing the knowledge of IHL among participants and contributing to the academic debate on IHL in Nigeria has closed in Abuja. Speaking at the meeting, the ICRC Head of Delegation in Nigeria, Eloi Fillion, said, “It is key that future decision-makers are well aware of the law that safeguards humanitarian values in times of war and protects the sick, the wounded and those detained in addition to civilians in general,” “Academic teaching and research play a key role in interpreting the law in light of today’s situation and ensuring that it is well known, understood and continues to serve its purposes in an everchanging world.” Also, in his opening remarks, Professor Adedeji Adekunle, Director General, Nigeria Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, said, “We are very happy to collaborate with the ICRC for the third consecutive year to organise a debate on how IHL applies to today’s battlefields. “In any country affected by armed conflict, the dissemination of IHL is of fundamental importance.” During the workshop, participants addressed a range of topics, including the protection of detainees under domestic and international law, protecting victims of sexual violence and the protection of access to and delivery of health care in contexts of conflict and violence. The ICRC has been working on disseminating the rules of IHL, aiming to increase the protection of the wounded, sick, the detained and civilians in Nigeria over the last 30 years, in cooperation with academics, federal authorities and the Armed Forces of Nigeria.


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June 25 - July 1, 2018

SHORT STORIES

The wooden horse other, and some imitated things become real and some real ones become imitation as they go on. But I should say that you are a real coward for not having a ride.” “No, I am not,” the little one laughed; and, getting astride the wooden horse, he sat up bravely. “Oh, Jack, dear,” he said to his brother,” we will always be glad that we are real boys, or we too might have been made with mouths we were never able to shut!” From www.kidsworldfun.com.

RIDDLES 1. I start with ‘P’ and end with ‘E’, but I have thousands of letters. Who am I? 2. What is the word that is spelled incorrectly in all dictionaries? 3. Everyone in the world needs it. People generously give it. But some never take it. What is it? 4. What on earth does the poor have, the rich need it, and if you eat it you’ll die? 5. What did the rib cage say to the heart? 6. The more of them you take, the more you leave behind. What are they? 7. It lives without a body, hears without ears, speaks without a mouth, and is born in air. What is it? Post Office 2. Incorrectly 3. Advice 4. Nothing 5. I got you covered 6. Footsteps 7. An echo

real noise?” “Of course it is,” the big brother answered. “But I thought only real things could make real things,” the little one said;” where does the imitation horse end and the real sound begin? “At this the big brother stood still for a few minutes. “I was thinking about real and imitation things,” he said presently. “It’s very difficult to tell which is which sometimes. You see they get so close together that the one often grows into the

1.

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ome and have a ride,” the big brother said. “I am afraid,” the little one answered; “the horse’s mouth is wide open.” “But it’s only wooden. That is the best of a horse that isn’t real. If his mouth is ever so wide open, he cannot shut it. So come,” and the big brother lifted the little one up, and dragged him about. “Oh, do stop!” the little one cried out in terror; “does the horse make that noise along the floor?” “Yes.” “And is it a

Answers

KIDS AND HEALTH

Car seat safety for children: Forward-facing seats A

fter a baby reaches at least one year of age and 10 kg, 22 lbs, in weight, he can sit on a forward-facing seat. He will need to be transported in this type of seat until he reaches 18 kg, 40 lbs, in weight and 40 inches in length. Some forward-facing car seats can be used for children up to 30 kg, 65 lbs, in weight. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions with regard to height and weight recommendations and installation requirements. As of 2002, most new cars and

Quiz 1.

Which day is celebrated in Nigeria as democracy day?

2.

What is the international telephone code of Nigeria?

3.

Dr. Goodluck Jonathan is Nigeria’s number what President?

4.

Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo, Fula, Efik-Ibibio, Kanuri, Tiv, Edo, and Ijaw, are Nigeria’s what?

Did You Know? 1.

Did you know the average lifespan of a major league baseball is seven pitches? 2. Did you know the world’s first magnetic soap could be used to help clean up oil spills? 3. Did you know the farthest point from the centre of the Earth is on the top of Chimborazo volcano in Ecuador at 20,561 feet? 4. Did you know that at the equator the Earth is spinning at almost 1,000 miles per hour? 5. Did you know that a dog’s sense of smell is 1,000 times stronger than humans? 6. Did you know that three continents – Africa, South America, and Antarctica – have never hosted an Olympics? Culled from news.discovery.com

car seats have a new system called the Universal Anchorage System, UAS, also called Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children, LATCH. Check with your manufacturer’s instructions to find out if your car is equipped with this feature. The UAS system does not require a seat belt in order to secure a car seat. Only forward-facing car seats use a tether strap. Some cars have built-in car seats. If you have a car with a built-in car seat, please consult your owner’s manual for weight and height limits. From www.aboutkidshealth.

1. May 29 2. 234 3. 14 4. Ethnic groups/languages

Answers


June 25 - July 1, 2018

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PA PA R A Z Z I President Muhammadu Buhari receiving some documents from ag. Director general Al-Jazeera, Mostefa Sowag while the Chairman IPI Nigeria, Malla Kabiru Yusuf.

President Muhammadu Buhari discussing with IPI Fellow and Publisher Vanguard, Mr. Sam Amuka while the NPAN President, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena (l) and the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari (2r) looked on shortly after the President officially opened the International Press Institute World Congress 2018 at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja.

Abuja hosts IPI world congress Publisher Ovation Magazine, Chief Dele Momodu; Publisher This Day Newspapers, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena and the Chairman Folio Communications, Mr. Mr. Fidelis Anosike.

The International Press Institute held its 2018 World Congress in Nigeria themed, “Why Journalism Matters: Quality Media for Strong Societies.� The Abuja Inquirer brings you some of the personalities that graced the global event in Abuja during the opening ceremony by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa.

(L-R) INEC National Commissioner, AAlhaji Mohammed Haruna; Chairman INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakoob and the DG Voice of Nigeria, Chief Osita Okechukwu during the opening ceremony.

Other participants at the event

Publisher Ovation Magazine, Chief Dele Momodu; Publisher Daily Independent Newspapers, Chief James Ibori and the Publisher Abuja Inquirer Newspapers, Mr. Dan Akpovwa discussing during the opening ceremony.

NPAN President, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena welcoming the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun to the opening ceremony of the International Press Institute World Congress 2018 at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja.


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June 25 - July 1, 2018

Mercy Aigbe buys herself a home

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ollywood actress Mercy Aigbe has bought herself a home

in a choice location in Lagos. The mother of two celebrated her 40th

birthday in January and got a cake designed like a house as a gift from a friend. The friend had prayed for her saying she will buy her house soon and indeed it came to pass. She wrote: Throwback to my birthday…. my beautiful sis @ceolumineeofficial gave me this cake as a birthday gift and this conversation ensued between us…. Luminee: Before the year runs out you will buy your own house….. Me: Luminee, pls leave me oh! The one I have been building since I haven’t finished! Luminee: Aunty mi, I am not talking about the one you are building, I am talking of the one you will buy in a

beautiful choice area in Lagos! Me: Ha! Where will I get plenty plenty millions of naira to buy that one! Luminee: Aunty mi don’t worry God will bless and empower you Me: Amen oh!!!!…. And I laughed! “Little did I know that the lord uses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise...and out of Luminee’s mouth, the Lord gave me a testimony…it’s the Lord’s doing and it’s beautiful in my sight! “Few months after that cake gift, I bought a beautiful home for myself and my kids in a choice area in Lagos!!!!!!!! “Say hello to the new LANDLADY…”

Enter tainment industry about to witness a boost

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eading businessman and entrepreneur, Dr. Chima Anyaso, has thrown his weight behind a major entertainment project with the goal being to grow the entertainment industry, promote creativity and empower talented youths. The managing director/CEO of Ceecon Oil & Gas Limited, Anyaso while endorsing the deal that would bring in huge amount of funds into the creative industry through a talent discovery initiative, says that an increase in investment towards the entertainment sector by private sector players would greatly address the unemployment situation in the country. For this reason, the billionaire businessman is set to invest in a budding entertainment project tagged passion to profit (P2P). The project which is a

talent discovery and empowerment initiative launched by Bovibes Entertainment, will to give youths with exceptional talent the space they need to excel and opportunity

to earn a productive future In a statement issued to the media, the billionaire businessman reaffirmed his belief that if the right investment is put

into the creative industry, a good percentage of Nigerian youths will gain life time employment, thereby contributing to the improvement of the country’s economy.

BBNaija’s Ale Alexx clear ed clearss air on hack hacked Twitt er account witter

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ormer Big Brother housemate, Alex, has come out to give accurate information about what happened to her Twitter account. Social media was thrown into a frenzy with the news of a possible hack on Alex’ account was noticed. She wrote: “Hello People. How are uou all doing today? Thanks for the concern about my twitter account. “In the bid to campaign for me during my stay in the BBN house, my people worked with someone who had an average following on Twitter

and the handle was changed to my name. “Since I got back from the house, I have been using the account. Unfortunately, the owner of the said account has switched it back to his name and reclaimed it. “I want to use this medium to thank him for his selflessness and let you all know that I will be opening a new page and will put up the handle shortly. “#TeamAlex Pls disregard the other account as it is NO LONGER MINE. “Thank You beautiful people.”

Black Panther wins big at MTV Movie & TV Awards

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uperhero movie “Black Panther’ made a killing at the MTV Movie & TV Awards winning four trophies. “Black Panther,” the predominantly black movie that has taken more than $1.3 billion at the global box-office, won best movie, best villain for Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger, and best performance and hero for star Chadwick Boseman. Boseman who plays the leader of the fictional African nation of Wakanda, gave his trophy to a man with no

Hollywood connections on Monday. “An award for best hero is amazing but it’s even greater to acknowledge the heroes we have in real life,” said Boseman. He brought on stage James Shaw Jr., a 29-yearold electrician who overpowered a gunman who killed four people at a Waffle House outlet in Nashville in April to save the lives of more customers. “This is gonna live at your house,” Boseman said, handing the trophy to Shaw.


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EDUCATION

2018 Unity Schools’ budget slashed by N3 billion Stories by Godfrey AKON espite high infrastructural deficit and surging insecurity in the 104 Federal Unity Colleges across the country, their 2018 budget has been slashed by N3 billion by the National Assembly. P r e s i d e n t Muhammadu Buhari, who disclosed this in Abuja after signing the 2018 Appropriation Bill into law, said the N3 billion was part of funds allocated for the provision of security infrastructures in the schools. Nigeria’s education budget for 2018 was N605.8 billion, representing about 7.4 per cent of the N9.1 trillion annual budget passed by President Buhari last Wednesday. With the N3 billion cuts, the education budget declined to N602.8 billion. A breakdown of the appropriation shows that N435.1 billion was allocated for recurrent expenditure, N61.73 billion for capital expenditure and N109.06 billion for the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC. However, Buhari noted that “the National Assembly made cuts amounting to 347 billion Naira in the allocations to 4,700 projects submitted to them for consideration and introduced 6,403 projects of their own amounting to 578 billion Naira.” “The provision for security infrastructure in the 104 Unity Schools across the country were cut by 3 billion Naira at a time when securing our students against acts of terrorism ought to be a major concern of government,” he said. Recall that in April 2018, the Federal G o v e r n m e n t inaugurated a central Planning committee on security education and awareness campaign for principals and teachers of federal government colleges, as part of measures to secure the schools. Schools in some parts of Nigeria had become targets of insurgents and criminal gangs with the Federal Government

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College in Buni Yadi, Yobe State, having its share of violent invasion by Boko Haram in 2014 where

about 50 students were killed. Similarly, on February 19, 2018, Nigeria woke up to the

shocking news of the abduction of 110 school girls from government science school Dapchi, Yobe State by Boko

Haram; just as it reminded everyone of the April 14, 2014 abduction of Chibok girls by the same group.

54% of private varsities are faith-based – ASUU

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L-R: Pro-Chancellor, Baze University, Senator Yusuf Datti Baba Ahmed, Mr. Dele Ogun, author, A Fatherless People, his wife, Mrs. Esther Ogun and Director of Strategy, Baze University, Dr. Jamila Shu’ara, during the presentation of the book at the university, recently, in Abuja.

NANS decries lawmakers’ craftiness over budget A s Nigeria moves to implement the recently passed 2018 budget, the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has decried increase in the sundry allocations of federal lawmakers, which jerked the budget to N9.12trillion, despite public outcry. NANS Senate President, Comrade Taiwo Bamigbade, in a statement, expressed utter dismay that the appropriation bill presented early enough on November 7, 2017 was abandoned by the lawmakers at the detriment of the masses who bear the negative effects. The union further expressed sadness that the lawmakers “craftily” jerked the appropriation up from the N8.6 trillion presented by President Buhari to N9.12trillion to increase their sundry allocations. The students commended Buhari for signing the 2018 budget into law on 20 June, albeit, belated due to the self-centeredness of

some public officeholders. “NANS as unbiased national students’ body hereby pledges unalloyed support to President Buhari administration’s efforts to take the country out of the protracted darkness. However, we mandate the President to put up viable mechanisms in place to ensuring that the increment reflects accordingly vis-à-vis infrastructural developments and capital projects enlisted in the budget p a r t i c u l a r l y constituency projects adduced as the reason for the increment by the National Assembly. “The Nigerian students are not different from the neglected youths over the years, and we have risen from our slumber of many decades. Consequently, we will no longer allow public officeholders toil with our future as usual. “All capital projects included in the 2018 budget must be

identifiable particularly the constituency projects allocated to lawmakers with endless outrageous allowances. It is no longer business as usual but ‘operation show your constituency projects’ and ‘running costs. “Once again, we commend the president for his political will and selflessness so far in redressing some of the m o n u m e n t a l abnormally in the system

and therefore pledge our continued supports, protection and cooperation as he continues to tackle the problems of the nation. “However, our ultimatum on the resolution of NOUN/ Law School crisis stands. Again, a more viable approach should be deployed for dealing with insecurity challenges that has claimed countless lives in the country,” the statement said.

he Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has disclosed that 40 out of the 74 private universities in the country are faithbased. ASUU president, Comrade Biodun Ogunyemi, who revealed this recently at the public hearing of two bills proposing the amendment of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, Act, said the figure represents about 54 per cent of all private universities in the country. Ogunyemi also noted that over 70 per cent of the universities are concentrated in two or three zones of the country. Meanwhile, Nigeria currently has 163 universities out of which 41 are federal, 47 are state and 74 are private. A recent analysis by Businessday showed that of the 163 institutions 46 are located in the south west, representing about 34 per cent of the institutions, while South-South has 31 representing about 23 per cent, South East has 24 representing 17 per cent. North Central has 24 representing 17 per cent, North West has 18 representing 13 per cent, while North East has 15 universities representing 11 per cent.

Stakeholders want inclusive education for the poor

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ducation stakeholders have called for inclusive education for indigent, rural, girl child and vulnerable Nigerian children. Country Director, PLAN International, Dr Hussaini Abdul, who spoke at a public discourse in commemoration of the Day of the African Child, said children must not be denied the right to quality education. Represented by the Head of Programme and

Business Development, PLAN International, Mr. Oji Ogbureke, Abdul said the organisation strives to ensure access to quality education for the girl child which must be the priority of the government. “Children must have access to quality education, provided life skill to live a fulfilled life, participate and be drivers of change; they must live in a protective environment to achieve their potential,” he said. Also speaking, the

Senior Programme Officer Child and Youth Protection Foundation, Mr Kolawole Olatosimi, called on the Federal Government to put more efforts into ensuring that children were brought out from IDP camps into homes. Olatosimi said Nigerian children should be given a voice to achieve their potential in life as well as taken stand in contributing to the development of Nigeria and Africa as a whole.


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June 25 - July 1, 2018

PEOPLE SPEAK

Reform SARS or … - Abuja residents Lately, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, unit of the Nigeria Police has come under severe public scrutiny following allegations of unprofessional conduct and antipeople activities by its personnel. For some time, the #endSARS hashtag has trended on the social media with many Nigerians openly expressing their ordeal in the hands of the SARS officials and calling for the outright scrapping of the unit. However, Elizabeth EFFIONG encountered some Abuja residents who opted for the reform of SARS rather than its scrapping. Excerpts: RAYMOND OKON: Scraping SARS is not the issue. SARS has its own usefulness. But Nigerians have a way of abusing power when it is given to them. Most SARS officials use their positions to oppress young citizens rather than protecting them and focusing on the real criminals. When a civilian tries to exercise his rights that he feels have been violated by SARS officials, they use force, threats and violence to silence him. However, in my opinion, SARS should not be scrapped, but should be called to order and their duties strictly defined. OLA ABDULRAZAQ: Anywhere SARS is mentioned, what comes to mind is extortion, brutality, disrespect, unprofessionalism, dishonesty, and inhumanity. All these and many more negative attributes describe the personality of many of the so called underworld men who parade themselves as officials of the SARS, and have unfortunately crawled into the noble Police Profession. I have had experiences with them as a car dealer. I’m not entirely sure if scrapping the unit will end this menace but what I do believe will help is total reform of SARS. The warning about its complete scrapping lies in the allegations that some officials of this same unit are directly or indirectly involved in robbery. So where does that leave us when this unit is scrapped? Your guess is just as good as mine. These officers need to be educated and trained on how to relate with members of the public and made to account for their behaviours through impartial discipline of errant officers. There should be a

Raymond Okon

Timi Khalil

Marilyn Etim

Yetunde Mayowa

mandatory ‘daily’ drug test before any officer is sent on an official assignment as it is no news that most of them work under the influence of alcohol, marijuana and other drugs. This reform will have to take on a holistic approach in checking the operations of the officials from the highest hierarchy to the lowest. This is a very strategic solution in even fighting corruption in this present administration.

across the nation. It is unfortunate that the SARS officials whose duty is to fish out armed robbers in the country use the powers given them to oppress, intimidate and even kill innocent young Nigerians or collect their hardearned money for no credible reason. I support the “scrap SARS” movement and I urge the Federal Government to listen to the cry of her young citizens and take proper actions against this unit of Police that has become a menace to the society.

MARILYN ETIM: In the past few weeks, there have been several cases of SARS brutality on young Nigerians

TIMI KHALIL: I had a

terrible experience with SARS which scared my cousin who was visiting Nigeria for the first time. SARS officials stopped our vehicle, pointing a gun at us because my cousin had a hoodie on. SARS has a record of bringing criminals to book, but they also harm innocent citizens in the process. Most of these SARS officials extort money from innocent persons; they have become a daylight terror to young Nigerians. Some of them operate without wearing their uniform and they could be mistaken for robbers or kidnappers. The fire arm provided to them by government to protect the citizens has become an instrument of oppression. SARS should not be scrapped but rather reformed. The Nigeria police force should evaluate their performance, know the right persons that are fit mentally, physically, emotionally and psychologically. They need to re-evaluate as well as reorientate the SARS officials on their duties. Enough of the terrorizing of young Nigerians by SARS! YETUNDE MAYOWA: I hear different stories about SARS harassment every day, yet little has been done to address this issue. These people are given the license to shoot armed robbers, but they have abused this by chasing after harmless youngsters. If you have dreadlocks, or a tattoo on your body, you will be labelled a criminal by SARS officials. The FG has to take this scrap SARS movement seriously, lest it results to mass protest against SARS by young citizens. They have destroyed the lives of so many innocent people without remorse. Enough is enough!


June 25 - July 1, 2018

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WORLD TIT-BITS Zimbabwe President Mnangagwa survives rally explosion

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imbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa has survived an apparent bomb attack in the city of Bulawayo. Video footage from White City Stadium appears to show an explosion happening close to Mr Mnangagwa as he was leaving the stage having addressed supporters. While the president was unhurt, state TV reports that VicePresident Kembo Mohadi has suffered a leg injury. President Mnangagwa came into power last November, ousting his former mentor Robert Mugabe. The president was in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second city, to campaign for his Zanu-PF party ahead of nationwide elections taking place on 30 July. The elections are the first in Zimbabwe since Mr Mugabe was ousted after 37 years in power. Presidential spokesman George Charamba issued a statement confirming Mr Mnangagwa was safe and recalling: “There have been multiple attempts on the president’s life over the past five years.” It is not clear how severe the injuries to Second Vice-President Kembo Mohadi are. Zimbabwe’s First Vice-President, Constantino Chiwenga, and his wife, suffered minor injuries, Reuters news agency reports. The Zimbabwe Herald newspaper described the explosion as an assassination attempt on the president. State broadcaster ZBC also reported that Zanu PF national chairman Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri and some ZBC crew members were also injured.

President Muhammadu Buhari (M) flanked by the Special Envoy Of The President of Zimbabwe, (2nd left), Zimbabwe ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Lovemore Mazemo, left, Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari, right, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffery Onyema during an audience with the President at the State House.

African Trade And Investment Summit Opens In Washington DC A By Mfon UDO-EMA

ll is now set for the two day African Trade and Investment Global Summit (ATIGS) in Washington D.C., the United States. The prestigious biennial business conference themed “Driving Trade, Unleashing Investment and Enhancing Economic Development, will hold at the World Trade

Center from June 24 to 26. The summit which is attended by global leaders, business executives and government representatives features over 2000 delegates, 16 economic sectors, 150 speakers and 350 global investors from over 70 countries with the goal of promoting the much needed foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa, international

trade and offering opportunities for African businesses to expand to new markets. Some of the confirmed speakers at the 2018 summit are African Union Ambassador to the United States H.E. Arikana ChihomboriQuao, Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah. Other speakers include

executives from the U.S., UAE, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean. Also in attendance is Otunba Oluwatoyin Akomolafe, President of the Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) who is leading a trade mission to Washington D.C. According to NACC, the summit offers its registered participants insights from industry experts,

Ethiopia: One dead and dozens hurt in grenade attack at pro-PM rally

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thiopian officials say one person has died and dozens more are injured, after an explosion at a rally for the new PM Abiy Ahmed. Earlier Mr Abiy had said that several people had died. Mr Abiy described it as an “unsuccessful attempt by forces who do not want to see Ethiopia united”. He was whisked away immediately after the blast, thought to be from a grenade thrown amid thousands of

people in Addis Ababa’s Meskel Square. Ethiopia’s health minister tweeted that one person had died and 154 were injured, 10 of them critically. Mr Abiy only became prime minister after his predecessor Hailemariam Desalegn unexpectedly resigned in February. He is also the country’s first leader from the ethnic Oromo group, which has been at the centre of nearly three years of antigovernment protests that have left hundreds

of people dead. Since taking office he has begun passing a series of reforms, including unblocking hundreds of websites and TV channels. He has also said he is ready to implement in full a peace deal with Eritrea that was signed in 2000 after a two-year war. Eritrea has condemned the attack on Mr Abiy’s rally. Its ambassador to Japan Estifanos Afeworki said on Twitter the rally had been a “demonstration for peace”, which he

called the first of its kind “in history of Ethiopia”. The US embassy in Addis Ababa also condemned the blast, tweeting: “Violence has no place as Ethiopia pursues meaningful political and economic reforms.” On Friday an Ethiopian rebel group suspended its armed resistance against the government. Ginbot 7, based in Eritrea, said Mr Abiy’s reforms had given it hope that “genuine democracy” may be “a real possibility”.

the platform to engage with Nigerian Diaspora Business Community, other Chambers of Commerce, and participate in the round table and sector presentation. Otunba Akomolafe in an interview with journalists before leaving Lagos asserted his commitment to engage the United States government in meetings and memoranda to secure favorable trade tariffs for Nigeria. According to him, this will promote business, enhance economic cooperation and shared prosperity between both countries and this summit offers one of such opportunities. Organizers of the event the United States of America Exhibitions and Conference and the ATIGS Group confirmed accredited investment firms like Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Qatar Mining, International Finance Corporation (IFC), OPEC Fund for International Development, Bosch and Kuwait Fund will also be in attendance.


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June 25 - July 1, 2018

BUSINESS

FCT REPORT

Nigeria to go back on Africa’s free trade pact Stories by Sarah NEGEDU

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igeria may be reneging on its earlier decision to back out of the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA, agreement, as the federal government concludes consultations on the matter. The country had declined assent to the arrangement at the last extraordinary meeting of the African Union held in Kigali, capital of Rwanda. Recall that the Federal Government had initially agreed to sign the pact but later backed out, arguing that it needed time for consultations back home before endorsing it. President Buhari warned that Nigeria will not assent to any agreement that will undermine local manufacturers or turn Nigeria to a dumping site. Some stakeholders had criticized President Buhari for pulling out of the CFTA which the AU is confident will create a bloc with cumulative GDP of $2.5trillion. After its March 2018 decision in Kigali, the Nigeria Office for Trade Negotiations, NOTN, headed by Amb. Chiedu Osakwe held s t a k e h o l d e r s ’ sensitization and consultations across the country’s six geopolitical zones. Feelers from the consultations indicate support for the AfCFTA, which many believe will lead to competition among manufacturers and speed up infrastructure development in the country. The Communications Assistant to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Emenike Chibuzor, hinted that the Presidential Committee on AfCFTA met to discuss findings from the consultations. This was the second time the committee would meet to discuss the pact, an indication

that Nigeria is still interested in it. The presidential committee was charged with the responsibility of widening consultations on the framework establishing free trade pact in Africa. The latest meeting was co-chaired

by the trade minister, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, and his Foreign Affairs counterpart, Geoffrey Onyeama. Nigeria’s Chief Negotiator, Amb. Chiedu Osakwe, reported the feedback from the stakeholders’

sensitization and consultations across the country with sectorspecific groups, labour, think tanks and civil society. Speaking at the event, minister Enelamah commended the efforts of NOTN and stated that

the committee will continue to consult. A technical drafting group, led by Amb. Osakwe was mandated by Enelamah and Foreign Affairs minister, Onyeama to immediately finalize the draft report.

President Muhammadu Buhari, surrounded by Legislators and other government officials, Signs the 2018 Budget at the State House in Abuja last week. PHOTO: State House/Sunday Aghaeze

8.7m children captured in FG’s school feeding programme

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he Federal Government has said over 8.7 million school children currently benefit from its Home Grown School Feeding Programme in parts of the country where it is being implemented. Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed disclosed this while fielding questions from some stakeholders, on the status of the programme at the Public Presentation of the 2018 Approved Budget of Consolidation, on Thursday in Abuja. Home Grown School Feeding Programme is one of the components of the Social Intervention Programme of the Federal Government. While acknowledging that the Social Investment programme had a lot of

teething problems when the implementation commenced in 2016 she said, “A lot of processes has gone into the implementation of the programme. When we started in 2016, it was designed to reach out to five million school children. “We have reached 8.7 million children now. We have gone above the target we set and the programme is being implemented in many states.” The Federal Government has allocated another N500billion for Social Intervention Programme in the 2018 budget after the same amount was allocated in 2016 and 2017. The programme includes Home Grown School Feeding, Government E c o n o m i c

Empowerment, NigeriaPower Job Creation and Conditional Cash Transfers. Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udo Udoma, said that the federal government had earmarked N11.3billion for the Sustainable Development Goals in the 2018 budget. He said government had also budgeted N36.4billion for the implementation of other SDGs projects. In addition, he said that government had earmarked some funds to implement Special Economic Zone Projects. “The sum of N44.2 billion was set aside for ongoing and planned Special Economic Zone Projects across the geopolitical zones, to drive manufacturing/exports. Under the Export Expansion Grant , 13.28

billion was earmarked in form of tax credit to support export via the Export Expansion Grant. “For Recapitalisation of the Bank of Industry and Bank of Agriculture, we earmarked N15 billion to support these development finance institutions for the support of Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises,” he said. The N9.12 trillion 2018 Budget was designed to Consolidate on the achievements of the 2016 Budget of Change and the 2017 Budget of Recovery and Growth. Government hopes that the budget will also advance the delivery of the goals of Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017–2020. President Buhari last week, assented the 2018 budget following the six months delay by the National Assembly.

Power ministry receives 33% capital budget in 2017

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ver 33percent of total funds released for capital projects in the 2017 fiscal year was expended on projects under the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, the federal government has disclosed. According to the ministry of finance, the sector received the highest amount of N523.01billion from the N1.580trillion released for capital projects to all its Ministries, Departments and Agencies. The sector also received the highest release in the 2016 capital budget of N307.41billion, r e p r e s e n t i n g 25.21percent of the entire capital budget for the year. The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, who gave a breakdown of the capital cost for the year, noted that the N1.58trillion total capital releases for 2017 were remarkably higher than the N1.219trn released for 2016 by N360.799billion. She said defence received the second highest capital release of N197.59billion, which was 12.50percent of the total N1.58trillion released for 2017. This was N120.06billion higher than the N77.53billion that the sector got from the 2016 budget. Agriculture and Water Resources got N149.485billion (9.46 percent) in 2017. The sector had received N143.121billion which was 11.74percent of the capital cost released in 2016. Tr a n s p o r t a t i o n followed with total capital receipt of N126.25billion, which was 7.99 pe cent of the 2017 capital budget as against the N171.9billion that the sector got in 2016. Meanwhile health and education together received a total of N98.19billion,


June 25 - July 1, 2018

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BUSINESS

MDAs to authenticate tax certificates before paying contractors Stories by Sarah NEGEDU

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he Federal Government has directed all Ministries, Department and Agencies and the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, to authenticate all Tax Clearance Certificates, TCC, presented by contractors engaged in public procurement processes. The directive is in response to the proliferation of forged TCCs purportedly issued prior to the automation of the certificates from August 22, 2017. The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, said the need to validate the TCCs from the FIRS was borne out of the conviction that it would enhance the integrity of the tax system. Adeosun in a circular advised the MDAs and other stakeholders to forward a list of the companies and photocopies of the TCCs issued before August 22, 2017, to the office of the executive chairman, FIRS, for authentication. She said the FIRS, she noted, had given assurances that the authenticity of such TCCs would be determined within 72 hours of receipt. The minister reminded company directors that possession fake TCCs is an offense punishable by law, adding that the now outdated manual system allowed production of forged TCCs. She advised companies and individuals, who were in doubt as to the authenticity of their TCCs, to take advantage of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme to regularise their tax status. Adeosun added that the Federal Ministry of Finance and the FIRS would continue to work in partnership with government at all levels and stakeholders

towards eradicating tax fraud and evasion. The Federal Government, it will be recalled, had in January

this year, directed vendors of MDAs to display their Tax Identification Numbers, TINs, on

their invoices before payments are effected. The non-presentation of a TIN by the vendors largely contributed to

leakages in revenue r e m i t t a n c e s , particularly Value Added Tax, VAT, and Withholding Tax.

Nduka Obaigbena, Publisher Of Thisday Newspapar, left, with Alhaji Mohammad Bello, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, during the opening ceremony of the World Congress Of International Press Institute in Abuja last week

SEC takes financial inclusion campaign to grassroots I

n line with the determination of the nation’s financial authorities to achieve 80percent rate in financial inclusion by 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, took its campaign team to Kwali Area Council to enlighten residents on the essence of financial inclusiveness. The Acting DirectorGeneral of the commission, Ms. Mary Uduk, in her opening remarks, urged the residents to embrace the initiative which she said is to ensure that various products at affordable costs are made available to the excluded. “I would like to

invite all of you who are yet to enrol for Edividend to hurriedly approach your Bankers/ Registrars to enable your dividends be electronically sent to your account,” Uduk who was represented by Mr Frank Okafor an Assistant director in the commission said. In his goodwill message on behalf of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Hilary Ewubor of the Strategy Coordination Office in the financial inclusion secretariat of the CBN said financial inclusion has direct link with economic growth and rural development. Mr Ewubor recalled how the Central bank

has been able to penetrate a larger number of the unbanked community through different i n t e r v e n t i o n programmes (in its financial inclusion drive). Ewubor encouraged people at the grassroots to go into formation of cooperatives to be able to access the many intervention funds of the central bank that include Accelerated Agricultural D e v e l o p m e n t Programme – an advanced Anchor Borrowers’ scheme, targeted at the youth. He said as part of efforts to make the campaign an allinclusive one, the CBN is opening banking

halls, using NIPOST as agents in its bid to bring banking operations to rural dwellers. Representative of the National Deposit Insurance Corporation, Dr. Hyeladzira Ochonogor, while assuring the people of security of their deposits and i n v e s t m e n t s , encouraged them to open bank accounts to benefit in the numerous advantages of modern financial market. “Your money in the bank helps to grow the economy,” she added. The awareness campaign had been done in Karshi, Bwari, Kuje Area Councils and University of Abuja by SEC.

Banks ask to reconsider loan conditions to SMEs

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anks and other f i n a n c i a l institutions in the country have been asked to design programmes that will enable small businesses access funds easily, as certain conditions attached to some loans keep preventing SMEs from accessing them. The Director General of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, Dikko Radda, said that funding had been the major challenge for Small and Medium Enterprises in the country. He said though government had a lot of funding programmes for SMEs, the problem had been the process of obtaining the loans. “In an effort to help SMEs access loans, we are in the process of establishing SMEs Rating Agency of Nigeria in collaboration with the Bank of Industry (BOI), Nigeria Export and Import (NEXIM) Bank and Dun and Bradstreet Nigeria Limited. “SMEs in the country have suffered high mortality rate largely due to inadequate finance to sustain their enterprises,” Radda said. The SMEDAN boss also said that the rating of small and medium enterprises would enable them secure financing from banks. Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has established National Collateral Registry of Nigeria to improve access to finance particularly for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs. He said the collateral registry would facilitate the use of movable or personal assets as collateral that remained in possession or control of the borrowers and thereby improved access to secured finance. “You can use your movable assets for example generator, car and machine even gold as far as it is registered to access funds,” he said. Radda said that the establishment of the Development Bank of Nigeria to address the major financing challenges facing MSMEs in Nigeria was a welcome development.


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June 25 - July 1, 2018

Acts 10:38 “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” Shackles are metals or rings 1. Through Dominion: Dominion comes from God alone. Genesis 27:38-40 “And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept. And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above; And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.” 2. By Violence: The Christian are trained for warfare and not fun fare. Violence does not tolerate quietness. It is good to be peaceable and loving as believers, but we must vehemently resist the devil from all of our lives to possess our

from you.Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”

Breaking the shackles possessions. Matthew 11:12 “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” 3. Crying unto God: Psalm 107:4-6 “They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul

fainted in them. Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.” 4. Submitting to God and resisting the devil: James 4:6-10 “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee

5. Praying and Praises unto God: Acts 16:25-26 “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.” Jesus the son of God conquered the grave and the shackles of death was broken forever. Therefore in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, every area of your life held down by shackles, they are broken eternally in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. The shackles must be broken, if we would step into our glorious destiny.

NEWS

2019: CAN refutes claims of endorsing Buhari By Chuks NZEH

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he leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has refuted the alleged report in some online media platforms saying that it has endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari for 2019. CAN president, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, made this known in a statement by his Special Assistant, Media and Communications, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, in Abuja. He said that CAN reiterated that the Christian body has not endorsed President Buhari or any other presidential aspirant for election “CAN recognises the right of political groups to perform their activities and also endorse whoever they deem fit in support of their political aspirations. “We wish to therefore dissociate ourselves from the political group making this claim using our acronym ‘CAN’,” he said.

Oladeji said the alleged statement was issued by a political movement, ‘Change Advocates of Nigeria, CAN,’ with the same acronym, CAN. Oladeji said the leadership was presently

making enquiries to determine the circumstances behind the group deploying its acronym for political mileage. “We pray for all that are contesting for one position or the other

including the incumbent President that the will of the Lord will come to pass in their lives and that the best person in the mind of God would emerge victorious in the name of Jesus,” he posited.

Akpodiete tells Buhari, let me fly APC flag in 2019 By Ere-ebi AGEDAH

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ormer Delta state governorships aspirant and rights activist, Mr. Christmas Akpodiete, has declared his intention to contest the 2019 presidential election, under the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, asking President Muhammadu Buhari to allow him be the party’s flagbearer. Akpodiete made this known while addressing his supporters in Abuja. In his remark, he thanked President Buhari for his service to

Nigeria and pledge to fight corruption in a better and more sophisticated manner. “The nation is in a dare need of a younger president, and the time to retire the political Oligarchs is now. “I call on the president to step down for me and to enable me fly the party flag in the upcoming 2019 elections,’’ he emphasized. According to him, the APC stands a 100% chance of winning the upcoming 2019 elections with him as the flagbearer, adding that

his youthfulness will attract more people especially the youths. He noted that the country was in need of a young mind that would radically transform the country and gainfully engage the youths, adding that this can only be achieved if President Buhari encourages free and fair election. He urged his supports to not only obtain their PVCs but to also come out and vote during the election “because if a large number of people vote it will make it almost impossible to be rigged.”

No free visa agreement with Nigeria -Ecuador By Chuks NZEH

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he Embassy of Ecuador in Nigeria has refuted what it terms ‘fake news’ over Ecuador and Nigeria signing a visa-free agreement. In a statement signed by the Charge D’Affaires of Ecuador to Nigeria, Mr. Jaime Campas, he noted that “the news about the Embassy signing a visa free agreement with the Federal Government of Nigeria, for Nigerian citizens, as published by different media houses is completely false, and should be disregarded as the former Ambassador to Nigeria whose name was mentioned in the publication to have reached the agreement made no such deal while in charge of the Embassy in Nigeria and neither in his absence. “Any news regarding Ecuador Embassy concerning issuance of visas and other activities of the mission, will be sent out directly by the

Embassy of Ecuador. The Nigeria media and the general public should take note. “The Embassy condemns this development and urge the media houses to permanently delete, from the online platforms, this fake news as it did not originate from the Embassy, to avoid misunderstanding that could affect the good people of Nigeria who might want to migrate to Ecuador.” Jaime warned that the embassy would not hesitate to explore legal options on the media houses if the fake news circulating online are not permanently deleted to avoid further misinformation of the public. “The Embassy assures the good people of Nigeria willing to travel to Ecuador that the Embassy will continue to support and facilitate their visa application processes as we have been doing it so far.”


June 25 - July 1, 2018

21

Healthwise

USAID boosts quality life for 52,000 rural households in Nigeria By Emmanuel OGBECHE

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he U.S. Agency for International Development, USAID, has disclosed that its Feed the Future Nigeria Livelihoods project helped pull some 52, 000 households of the most vulnerable families in Nigeria out of poverty. The agency explained that this was achieved by taking an integrated approach to improving agricultural production, income generation, nutrition, and sanitation. Speaking at the closing ceremony of the project, USAID Mission Director, Stephen M. Haykin, said “this project took a holistic approach to agriculture, to livelihoods, and to social development. It addressed the needs of the extreme poor by improving incomes and reducing vulnerabilities, and in this way, serves as a model for efforts to build resilience in rural Nigeria.” He noted that after the introduction of new technology to improve agricultural production and access to input markets such as quality seeds for smallholder farmers, crop yields doubled for more than 33,000 farmers with further gains realized through reduction of post-harvest losses. Other benefits of the scheme include more than 2,000 community workers were trained to deliver over 1.5 million counseling and group sessions on nutrition that led to a 22 percent drop in stunting, 10 percent drop in wasting, and 53 percent increase in exclusive breastfeeding rates in targeted locations Speaking at the event, Governor Aminu Tambuwal noted that “almost all of the programs implemented under this intervention aligned with our policies and programs toward improving the lives of the vulnerable

groups in Sokoto State. “An extension of some models of approaches of the project, which we found adaptable, our ministries, departments, and agencies have

collaborated with the project to replicate them.” The program was initiated in 2013 with a $22.6 million activity implemented by the Catholic Relief Services began in the Federal

Capital Territory, Kebbi and Sokoto states to help grow their agricultural production, diversify incomes, and improve nutrition. It also provided livelihoods planning skills, adult literacy and

numeracy instruction, and cash transfers for the most vulnerable households. In 2017, activities expanded to Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states, reaching 10,000 more households.

FG set to achieve comprehensive health coverage By Williams ABAH

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he federal government has assured Nigerians of its determination to achieve universal health coverage. Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, made this known while speaking at the healthcare policy dialogue with the theme: “The Journey to Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria”, organized by the Federal Ministry of Health. Adewole said that universal health coverage is a journey begun by the federal government to provide healthcare services to all Nigerians at affordable cost anytime and anywhere. He said the National Health Act 2014 set aside 1 percent consolidated revenue for the health sector

and consequently laid the foundation for Nigeria towards achieving universal health coverage. According to him, the Basic Healthcare Provision Funds is an intervention fund aimed at expanding the scope of healthcare service delivery not to replace health budget allocation in the states. He said, “I want to state clearly, that the new standard universal health coverage is a complementary to

existing efforts at the states and local governments to mobilize resources for health. It should in no way be seen as an excuse for states to underfund or deprioritize funding for health.” The minister said the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund would ensure that monies are disbursed, managed and accounted for in a transparent manner, which will ensure funds flow from source

to service delivery points and increase service utilization and health workers. In his remarks, the World Health Organization Director General, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, said that the most important step for achieving universal health coverage is political commitment. “There are many steps on the road to universal health coverage, but the key is political commitment”, he stressed.

Group seeks partnership with health ministry By Williams ABAH

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he Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, has said that Nigeria stands to gain a lot by aligning with organizations who were able to offer innovative and transformative opportunities that

would accelerate healthcare delivery in the country. Adewole said this while speaking with officers from Intrahealth International, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa and DAI Global Health, who paid him a visit in Abuja.

According to the minister, the federal government was ready to partner with any capable organization to make quality healthcare accessible and affordable to all Nigerians in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs.

Daily fasting works for weight loss, says report

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aily fasting is an effective tool to reduce weight and lower blood pressure, according to a new study published by University of Illinois at Chicago researchers in the journal Nutrition and Healthy Aging. The study is the first to examine the effect of time-restricted eating — a form of fasting that limits food consumption to select hours each day — on weight loss in obese individuals. To study the effect of this type of diet, researchers worked with 23 obese volunteers who had an average age of 45 and average body mass index, or BMI, of 35. Between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. the dieters could eat any type and quantity of food they desired, but for the remaining 16 hours they could only drink water or caloriefree beverages. The study followed the participants for 12 weeks. When compared to a matched historical control group from a previous weight loss trial on a different type of fasting, the researchers found that those who followed the time-restricted eating diet consumed fewer calories, lost weight and had improvements in blood pressure. On average, participants consumed about 350 fewer calories, lost about 3 percent of their body weight and saw their systolic blood pressure decreased by about 7 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), the standard measure of blood pressure. All other measures, including fat mass, insulin resistance and cholesterol, were similar to the control group. “The take-home message from this study is that there are options for weight loss that do not include calorie counting or eliminating certain foods,” said Krista Varady, associate professor of kinesiology and nutrition in the UIC College of Applied Health Sciences and corresponding author on the study.


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June 25 - July 1, 2018

METRO

2018 World Cup: ‘Viewing centres make the difference’ By Ere-ebi AGEDAH

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t was former Super Eagle’s player and skipper, JJ Okocha, who said that as a football fan, being at the world cup is the ultimate experience. To Okocha, and other sports enthusiasts, watching games live on at the stadia or even on television gives an electrifying feel that only football can generate. To most enthusiasts, football is the only game with a global language. It unifies people of different race, culture or religion, which is victory for their team. Football players have over time, brought in different character and charisma to the game and this has caused the viewing patronage to rise astronomically over the years. The world cup is here once again and viewers all over the country have been giving their opinions and review on the different teams in the competition and the games played so far. METRO gathered that before the commencement of the 2018 world cup in Russia, most pay TV subscribers had ensure that their subscriptions were renewed to avoid any form of interruption during the Mundial. Some residents of the Federal Capital Territory even went further to service their generators so as to ensure uninterrupted power supply at all 64 games. The situation is no different with owners of viewing centres in Abuja who have provided side attractions like beatifying their environment, allow for additional businesses (like sales of drinks and other refreshments) spring up around their business centres, all geared towards a providing pleasurable viewing experience for their customers. Our correspondent also observed that new viewing centres have also sprang up in areas where such business were rear. For instance, two new viewing centres started business around the mango tree area at Arab road, Kubwa. Big business owners, especially at the city centre, like the Life Mate Furniture have installed outdoor screens, as some form of corporate social responsibility to Abuja residents. These screens do not just beautify the environments especially at nights, but also afford opportunities to football lovers to watch the games for free. The World Cup craze seem to be stronger in the neighbouring Kogi state where the state governor, Yahaya Bello, provided 25 free viewing centres in his support for the Super Eagles. The news of the free viewing centres has however exposed the governor to further criticisms, as most Nigerians questioned the governor’s priorities seeing that he still owes backlog of

Football lovers at a typical viewing centre.

salaries. Running a viewing centre in Abuja seems to be more lucrative during the period of the World Cup and major football season. This is because viewers troop into these places whenever there is a game to be played. Usually the influx is higher when it is their favourite teams playing or the Super Eagles. One of the key factors that have increased patronage of football over the years is the betting trend which is the activity of predicting sports results and placing a wager on the outcome. Sports betters place their wagers either legally, through a bookmaker/ sportsbook, or illegally through privately run enterprises referred to as “bookies” or “bet shop”. Some of them get to win while a lot of them get to loose however, as betting is concerned, you either stand the chance to win money you did not work for or loose it all in one or more games. The former is a factor that motivates a lot of football lovers to continue watching the game. METRO spoke with Kingsley, an unapologetic Super Eagles fan who lamented about the first game

against Croatia. According to Kingsley, watching football at the viewing center adds more fun to the game. “I have a DSTV decoder at home, but more often than not, I watch football matches at the viewing center, reasons being that at the viewing center, I have the opportunity to hear other people’s opinion and give mine. Beside the energy released in that atmosphere gives an interesting feeling. “Also I would rather be at the viewing center so that I don’t get to inconvenience my wife when she has a show to watch on TV. I therefore decide to take advantage of an alternative solution which happens to be an atmosphere I like to be in when watching the game. “There is also the issue of power which is not regular. So to avoid the cases like this I tend to step out of the house for the next few hours to enjoy a game or two.” On his part, Dami who runs a viewing center along Arab Road Kubwa expressed much delight about the World Cup competition stating that in the last one week, patronage to his business has

increased. According to him, the place has become a beehive of activities because people are always present which has placed a demand for additional hands. “Since the World Cup commenced, I had to employ two extra hands. I also employed security personnel to ensure safety within the vicinity. It is quite an interesting season that even the rains have not hindered the boys from coming to watch football. Let me just say business is bubbling and I am taking full advantage of this opportunity. “I know as time proceeds, the games per day are going to get fewer which will reduce the number of sessions, but at the moment I would have to take full advantage of the early stages and give my customers great service.” In all, there are a lot of activities attached to the world of soccer that makes it intriguing and exciting. It is like a drama series that predicting the outcome gives a great satisfaction because the result usually has an effect on the crowd and it remains unpredictable.


June 25 - July 1, 2018

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June 25 - July 1, 2018

‘Modric worthy of Ballon d’Or’

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ejan Lovren believes his Croatia teammate Luka Modric should be in Ballon d’Or contention. Real Madrid midfielder Modric has been at his sublime best so far at Russia 2018, steering Croatia to qualification for the knockout stages with a game to spare. His superb second goal during the 3-0 demolition of Argentina in Nizhny Novgorod provided the champagne moment within one of the tournament’s statement victories. “It is a real pleasure to play with Luka Modric, who is one of the best players in the world right now,” he said during a Sunday news conference at Croatia’s Roschino training base. “Modric would probably be getting more attention than he is right now if he was a German or Spanish player. He would maybe even be a Ballon d’Or winner. “Because we are a smaller country, he does get less attention than he deserves. “All football lovers know Modric is an incredible player. He is one of the best in the world right now.” Lovren proudly claimed to have watched every game of Russia 2018 so far and he spies a wide-open field that may play into the hands of an accomplished and experienced Croatian generation. “It has been a surprising tournament and there are no favourites right now, or no teams that are likely to be easy winners,” he added.

Aleksandar Mitrovic of Serbia is mobbed by teammates as they celebrate against Switzerland.

Serbia FA chief slams FIFA, alleges match fixing for Swiss S

lavisa Kokeza, the head of Serbia’s FA, says that Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri’s goal celebrations during Switzerland’s win over his country “deserve to be condemned by the whole football world”. Both players, who are of Kosovan descent, made a double-headed eagle sign with their hands after scoring, representative of the one on the Albanian flag, as Swizerland came from behind to win 2-1 in their World Cup Group E encounter. The symbol is a controversial one, with Serbia not recognising Kosovo’s independence. Indeed, Shaqiri wore boots with both the Swiss flag and that of Kosovo, having been born in the latter country. Xhaka’s parents are Albanian, but are of Serbian descent, and his

father was a political prisoner in the 1980s, having been arrested in the former Yugoslavia. Kokeza believes that the celebrations were deliberately provocative, and has called on FIFA to issue a serious

punishment. FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against the pair, who each play their club football in England - Shaqiri for Stoke City and Xhaka for Arsenal. “It deserves to be condemned by the whole

football world,” Kokeza told the BBC. “It was not the only provocation by the Swiss players. One sufficient detail was the football boots of one of their players - the boots had a flag of a nonexisting country

displayed on them. “We expect FIFA to impose sanctions against the players who acted against rules of FIFA and fair play, as well as against the national association of the country they play for.”

Man United, City go head-to-head for PSG star Mbappe

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Mbappe

anchester United are ready to battle Manchester City and Real Madrid to capture French striking sensation Kylian Mbappe. The 19-year-old spent last season on loan at Paris Saint-Germain before tying up a £166million permanent deal from Monaco this summer. But having spent £198m on Neymar last year, PSG are being investigated over financial fair play face being booted out of the

Champions League as well as being hit with huge fines if found guilty. United are monitoring the potential consequences for PSG’s deal with Monaco and have registered their interest in Mbappe with the teenager’s advisers. City have already made it known that manager Pep Guardiola would like to add the striker, who became France’s youngest ever World Cup finals scorer against Peru last week, to his Premier League winning squad.

The Abuja Inquirer is published by Gazetta Communications Limited. HEAD OFFICE: Plot 207, Jumai Kwanashie Crescent (Formerly 44 Crescent) CITEC Villas, Gwarimpa II, ABUJA, NIGERIA. Tel: 08033027995 E-mail: letters@theabujainquirer.com: Website: www.theabujainquirer.com. Publisher-Editor-in-Chief: DAN AKPOVWA

Edition 39  
Edition 39  
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