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LOODING this year may not have been as severe as what the country experienced in 2012 but it has been devastating nonetheless. At the last count, over 100 people were reported to have died from floods that ravaged several Nigerian states following heavy rains that caused Rivers Niger and Benue to overflow their banks, according to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

What to do about floods The Oracle Today Comment

NEMA declared national disaster in the affected states of Kogi, Niger, Anambra and Delta while announcing that other States such as Taraba, Adamawa, Kebbi,



Edo, Rivers, Benue, Bayelsa and Kwara were being watched. RAINS POURED down in torrents, in perhaps one of the longest rainy seasons since 2012,

resulting in floods that uprooted trees and power-lines, washed away farms, homes and schools, sacked towns and villages, among others in at least 12 States in the

country. IN KANO STATE, floods reportedly destroyed 10,000 houses in 15 local government areas. The State government said it would the cost the State a princely N5b to bring the situation in the affected areas back to normal. According to NEMA, 53 lives were lost to floods in both Katsina and Kano States while 30 persons were confirmed missing in Jibiya,


WEDNESDAY October 17, 2018

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ISSN: 2545-5869


VOL.3 No.41 N200

How, why Atiku won From NATH OMAME, Jr., Port Harcourt and BONIFACE OKORO, Umuahia


n what was obviously a handsome reward for focus, consistency and tenacity, former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar on Sunday secured an emphatic victory at the just-concluded Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Convention where he won the party’s ticket for the presidential election next year. Abubakar scored 1,532 to beat his closest challenger, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State who scored 693 votes at the peaceful primary election held at the Adokie Amasiemaka Stadium, Igwuruta, Rivers State, venue of the PDP National Convention, which held between Saturday, October 5 and Sunday October 7, 2018. Indeed, long before this momentous day came for him, the former Vice President had won hearts and support for his presidential bid with his well-received message on survival strategies for Nigeria. In May 2016, Abubakar had risen above partisanship and warned that Nigeria would continue to witness inter-ethnic frictions and, by extension, political crisis, unless the country was structured to accommodate the diverse interest of its component parts in a more equitable federation, an unpopular view within the ultra conservative political establishment in power at the moment. He began pushing his message against the backdrop of agitation by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) for the creation of Biafra Republic as a separate entity from the federation of Nigeria. Speaking at the unveiling of a book, ‘We are all Biafrans,’ written by Journalist Chido Onumah, in Abuja on Tuesday, May 31st 2016, the former Vice President declared: “When I was invited to chair this occasion, I immediately understood that the title of the book is a

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•Shuns horse-trading, insists on electoral contest •He was the best man in the race –Jonathan •Wike pledges to rally Rivers behind 2019 campaign •Saraki, other aspirants accept result, pledge support

metaphor for the legitimate feelings of marginalization by diverse segments of Nigerians that cut across the country. “Agitations by many right thinking Nigerians call for a restructuring and renewal of our federation to make it less centralized, less suffocating and less dictatorial in the affairs of our country’s constituent units and localities. “As some of you may know, I have for a long time advocated the need to restructure our federation. Our current structure and the practices have been a major impediment to the economic and political development of our country. “In short, it has not served Nigeria well, and at the risk of reproach it has not served my part of the country, the North, well. The call for restructuring is even more relevant today in light of the governance and economic challenges facing us. And the rising tide of agitations, some militant and vio-

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FG, oil firms may clash over refining mandate

•Kachikwu lays agenda for 1.5 mbd local refining



he festering dispute between the federal government and commercial investors in the nation’s upstream sector of the petroleum industry may worsen should government

press for implementation of planned refining mandate on producers. Some of the senior executives who spoke to The Oracle Today on hints that the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu might compel exploration and

production companies to refine half of their production locally warned that the policy shift could trigger a new fiscal conflict in the industry. Already, tens of upstream producers under the aegis of Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS)

of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LACCI) are vehemently polarized against the government over some fiscal proposals in the lingering Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the legislative process on which has stalled in

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The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018

NEWS Continued from Pg 1 lent, require a reset in our relationships as a united nation. “Some may say that we are saddled with more urgent challenges, including rebuilding our battered economy, creating jobs, fighting corruption and securing our people from terrorism and other forms of serious crimes. “I believe, however, that addressing the flaws in our federation will help us address some of those very economic and security challenges facing this country. “Nigeria must remain a united country. Our potentials are enormous. But I also believe that a united country, which I think most Nigerians desire, should never be taken for granted or taken as evidence that Nigerians are content with the current structure of the federation. “Making that mistake might set us on the path of losing the country we love or, as Chido Onumah puts it, result in our country sleepwalking to disaster.” This message was music to many years, which wanted a departure from the dysfunctional centralised administration of a country as diverse and large as Nigeria. In fact, Abubakar’s position rekindled interest in restructuring long canvassed by many other Nigerians at different times and climes, resulting in managing regional groupings declaring their support for “only a restructured united Nigeria.” After he parted ways with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of which he was a leading light in November last year, and returned to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of which he is a founding father, Alhaji Abubakar simply ratcheted up his calls for restructuring as the most viable path to Nigeria’s survival, pushing it a theme for his campaign to win the PDP ticket to contest the Presidential election next year. For instance, in a presentation in April this year in Abuja at a symposium on Federalism, Diversity and Nation-Building: Tackling the Challenges of Integration in Nige-

How, why Atiku won ria, organised by the Institute of Governance and Social Research, Abubakar emphasised that “if we restructure our federation, make compromises and govern better, we will have a greater chance of transforming our diversity into a national asset.” According to him, enduring changes to the country’s structure and redistributive systems could only come about through negotiations and compromises by leaders of the diverse groups and zones. He stressed that “with a spirit of give and take, the capacity to empathise, to walk in the other’s shoes, compromises will be easi-


Armed with this position that seems to resonate with both voters and the political elite, observers are of the view that Vice President Abubakar’s bid for the PDP presidential ticket couldn’t but become successful. As it turned out, he was the candidate to beat in the well advertised and organised presidential primary. The Oracle Today Correspondent in Port Harcourt reported that with 1,532 to his closest challenger, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State’s 693 votes, the former Vice President secured an emphatic victory and the prized

PDP presidential ticket to serve notice that the former ruling party at the centre is poised to return and deliver the “real” change Nigerians desire. According to our Correspondent, about 45 minutes after the total votes scored by the eventual winner, Abubakar, were known, the outcome was not announced immediately, further revving up tension at the Adokie Amasiemaka Stadium, Igwuruta, in Rivers State, venue of the PDP National Convention, which held on Saturday, October 5 --Sunday October 7, 2018. It took an announcement by


...firms may clash over refining mandate Continued from Pg 1 the National Assembly. According to a statement from the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), the federal government is working to reactivate demand on its partners in the upstream petroleum exploration and production to refine some 50 per cent of their crude oil and condensate output in Nigeria. Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, who performed a groundbreaking ceremony for a mini refinery project in Owerri, Imo State, is quoted to have declared that the requirement, which would soon be announced is to ease the country’s fuel import bills. Dr. Kachikwu stated that the policy when officially announced would require all crude oil producers to begin gradual development of local refining capacity from initial 20 percent of their output until 50 percent local refining of all the country’s crude oil produc-

tion is achieved. Besides the mandatory refining requirement on producers, Dr. Kachikwu also said government has initiated plans to support development of over 1.5 million barrels per day (mbd) internal refining capacity in the short to medium term. Referring to the upstream exploration and production companies operating government’s assets in partnership with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Kachikwu said the operators would be required to begin with 20 percent internal refining. He hinted that government would soon announce a policy to require operating companies to refine locally at least 20 percent of the crude oil they produce, with the percentage graduating to 50 per cent in the next five years. “We have no option or we will consistently stay in the abyss of lack of processing while we export all the raw materials,” he was quoted as saying. The statement did not specify the

mode of the mandatory refining, but industry sources who spoke on the matter on the basis of confidentiality, faulted the emerging policy as clear trouble hunting. One of the sources who features eminently in the OPTS policy advocacy pointed out that the directive infers a strong policy shift that would entail massive foreign direct investments in greenfield, modular, relocated and clustered refineries in the country. He said upstream operations in the country are governed by agreements and contracts that specify the terms of operation, adding that petroleum investors chose their areas of core competencies before seeking licenses. “You cannot ask an upstream guy to dabble into downstream operations. It is either you buy your crude from him and refine or you activate the exit clauses and buy him out from your assets. Oil and gas is international business, there are global principles,” he explained. Similarly, another source from a multinational oil firm observed

that the new policy directive would impact existing contracts, joint venture and production sharing agreements that are not encumbered with parallel investments in crude oil processing. He made it clear that such directives that involve huge financial outlay are usually worked out carefully and announced after due consultation on their workability. “You don’t ask an upstream operator to turn to refiner overnight; it has to be discussed,” he noted. According to him, the average financial outlay for the size of refinery that would take half the production of any of the major oil producers in the country could be as much as $6.5 billion. “Do you just wake up and ask someone to put that kind of money on the table?” he wondered. He also pointed out that the nation’s crude oil export to the global petroleum exchanges would be cut by half with acute implications for the country’s foreign exchange

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the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, who explained the National Convention Committee and the leadership of the party only wanted to get the consent of all the 13 presidential aspirants before announcing the figures, to calm jaded nerves. The reason was not far-fetched. Alhaji Atiku had doubled his lead over his closest rival, Tambuwal and ally of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, whose state hosted the glamorous and highly publicized event and no one was sure what was next. As announced by the Chairman of the PDP Convention Committee and Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa on Sunday morning, Atiku polled 1,532 with his closest challenger, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, garnering 693 votes. The other aspirants were Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who scored 317 votes; Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, former governor of Kano State, 158; governor of Gombe State, Ibrahim Dankwabo, 111; former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, 96; former governor of Kaduna State, Ahmed Makarfi, 74; former Special Duties Minister, Rabiu Turaki, 65; former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, 48; former Senate President, David Mark, 35; former governor of Plateau State, 19; and Datti Ahmed, 5 votes. Alhaji Abubakar, a former officer of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and high net-worth businessman will represent the opposition PDP the slugfest against President Muhammadu Buhari of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 presidential election. Buhari also emerged as the candidate of the APC at the party’s national convention, held on Saturday, October 6, at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja. The palpable horse-trading that took place at Government House, Port Harcourt, at the behest of Governor Wike, an unapologetic supporter of Tambuwal on the need for the party to arrive at a consensus candidate to forestall polarisation of the party, should an unexpected aspirant emerge through the ballot, fell through. The former Vice President, represented by his agents reportedly told leaders of the PDP national caucus that he preferred to be defeated at the venue of the convention. It was after the stalemate provoked by his team that the leaders of the party urged all the aspirants to move to the venue of the convention to test their popularity. The emergence of Alhaji Abubakar, undoubtedly, supports Governor Wike’s statement that no one governor, not minding that he was hosting the PDP’s national convention, could determine or influence the winner of the contest. The Rivers State governor had spoken to douse tension around the event taking place in Rivers State, considering his undisguised support for the candidature of the governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal. Wike had threatened that he would shock the PDP if the leadership took the hosting right from Rivers State after the convention committee had earlier, willingly, settled for Port Harcourt as the venue of the convention. After Abubakar was declared the winner of the presidential primary, Governor Wike stood up

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The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018

NEWS ACROSS THE NATION How Atiku won PDP presidential primaries with landslide


T the end of the count of the votes at the presidential primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), former Vice President Atiku Abubakar polled 1,532 to clinch the ticket. The Fulani-born Waziri of Adamawa, businessman and politician beat 11 other contestants to face another tribesman, incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 2019 presidential election. His closet rival, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state, scored 693 votes. Atiku, a native of a Fulani village of Jada in Adamawa state, was earlier at the end of votes sorting declared the winner of the primary by his agents Messrs Gbenga Daniel and Ben Bruce. With the win, Atiku Abubakar would have to face incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari of APC and Mr Donald Duke of Social Democratic Party (SDP) and some others in the February 2019 presidential election. About 3,274 delegates were at

the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt and took part in the primary which produced the following results. Atiku Abubakar – 1,532; Aminu Tambuwal – 693; Bukola Saraki – 317; Sanator David Mark – 35; Sule Lamido – 96; Kabiru Turaki – 65; Donald Jang – 19; Datti Ahmed – 5; Attahiru Bafarawa – 48; Ibrahim Dankwanbo – 111; Ahmed Makarfi – 74; Rabiu Kwankwanso – 158. 72-year-old Abubakar, a businessman, who served as the second elected vice-president of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007, on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), with President Olusegun Obasanjo. Abubakar worked in the Nigeria Customs Service for twenty years, rising to become the Deputy Director before he retired in April 1989 to go into politics. He ran for the office of governor in the Gongola State (now Adamawa and Taraba States) in 1991, and for the Presidency in 1993, placing third after MKO Abiola and Babagana Kingibe in

the Social Democratic Party (SDP) primaries. In 1998 he was elected Governor of Adamawa State. While still Governor-Elect he was selected by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential candidate Olusegun Obasanjo as his running mate. The duo went on to win elections in February 1999, and Abubakar was sworn-in as Nigeria’s second democratically elected vice president on 29 May 1999. Abubakar’s second term as Vice

President was marked by a stormy relationship with President Obasanjo. Abubakar ran for presidency on the platform of the Action Congress, having quit the PDP on account of his issues with President Obasanjo. Abubakar lost the election, placing third after Umaru Yar’Adua and Muhammadu Buhari of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). He joined the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and sought

the party’s ticket in 2014 but lost to President Muhammadu Buhari at the primary held in Lagos. Abubaker defected again in May to PDP where he on Sunday clinched the ticket to tackle incumbent President Buhari in the 2019 presidential election. Abubakar is a co-founder of Intels, an oil servicing business with extensive operations in Nigeria and abroad and founder of the American University of Nigeria (AUN).

...Lauds Saraki, Tambuwal, others for display of commitment


HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) 2019 Presidential flag-bearer, Atiku Abubakar has commended his fellow contestants for the display of unity and commitment during the convention. He made the remark while speaking at the convention after scoring 1, 532 votes out of the 3221 votes cast to get the ticket on Sunday in Port Harcourt. He described the convention as a landmark event, adding: ”today, we have also witnessed the most credible, transparent and fair primaries. ”Let me commend my fellow contestants for displaying unity of purpose and commitment. This is a very rare event. My fellow contestants have shown that the interest of the party is paramount to our individual interest. ”I cannot do it alone; I need your understanding; I need your participation. I am prepared to work with you and together we will succeed and after we succeeded, we become partners in progress. I believe we learnt quite a lot from the conduct of this exercise because it went without a hitch and was very every successful. ”We look forward to working with you so that our party will return to power in the next election, “he said. According to him, Nigerians are yearning for the return of PDP to power. Abubakar, however, described APC government as ”clueless,” saying that if the PDP eventually assumed leadership of the nation, it would better the lot of the country. He also described the delegates as wonderful, loyal party members who also displayed maturity and sense of patriotism.

”You (delegates) have the freedom to choose and exercise that freedom.” He commended them for finding him worthy to represent them in the 2019 elections adding: ”I am humbled, you will not find me wanting.” He advised the party not to forget the leaders who made it •(From left) Former Senate President, David Mark, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential flagbearer, Atiku possible to usher in democracy in Abubakar, incumbent senate president, Bukola Saraki, senator representing Bayelsa East, Ben Murray-Bruce during the party’s National Convention which held at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Sunday. Nigeria.

PDP candidate will be Nigeria’s next president - Jonathan declares


ORMER President Goodluck Jonathan has stated that any candidate elected out of the 13 at the Peoples Democratic Party convention will be the next President of Nigeria. Jonathan who spoke at the convention of the party in Port Harcourt before the emergence of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as the preferred candidate, described all

the aspirants as ‘qualified to lead the country, having interacted with them since 1999.’ According to him, the greatest problem with Nigeria is that of unity and urged Nigerians to elect a leader that would unite the county. All the aspirants are eminently qualified to lead the country and urged the delegates to select a

person who will bring Nigeria together. ”PDP is clearly the party to take over power. ‘If you select one among the aspirants, l’m sure the person will make Nigeria proud,” he said. Jonathan said that all the aspirants during their meeting had pledged a commitment to support whoever emerges as the PDP presidential flag bearer.

Proclaim executive order on restructuring – Barake tells Buhari


ONVENER of Save Nigeria Group, Mr Tunde Bakare, told President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday to proclaim an executive order urgently to facilitate national reconciliation, reintegration and restructuring. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Bakare gave the advice against at a news conference in Ikeja against the backdrop of the persistent call by opinion leaders for Nigeria to be restructured to engender, equity, unity, peace and progress. Bakare said that the executive order should be proclaimed in consultation with the National Assembly and the council of state, to establish a presidential commission to facilitate the restructuring. The cleric and politician was speaking on the state of the nation at his Latter Rain Assembly Church, Bakare said that restructuring

would return Nigeria to the winning formula of the past that facilitated the country’s socio-economic development. “To chair the presidential commission, the president should appoint a wise and discerning Nigerian who must be incorruptible and of unquestionable integrity and highly respected. “The person should be able to build bridges among the diverse interest groups in the country and willing to serve his or her fatherland without remuneration. “The chairperson should evolve the presidential commission into six zonal commissions and appoint for each zone, a zonal commissioner. “The zonal commissioners should be technocrats, mandated to create and implement a master plan for

their respective geo-economic zones and coordinate the transition of the economy in their zones. “The presidential commission will launch a nationwide reconciliation and reintegration drive and should creatively communicate the new Nigeria with a compelling national vision and a brand identity. “The commission should institute a social impact bond for the implementation of the zonal economic master plan. The financing scheme should be structured into key sectors, including agriculture which we have neglected. “We should be ready to reject who we are not and reaffirm who we are. It’s time we say no to a defective system that throws up the worst of us for leadership. It’s time to say no to a system that only breeds defectors because it is only defective people that defect.”

UTME: JAMB offers 200,000 first choice admissions


OINT Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), says about 200,000 candidates have been offered admission by the board, for the 2018/2019 academic session. Head, Media and Information of the JAMB, Dr Fabian Benjamin, who disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos, said that the admission took effect after the board’s policy meeting in June in Gbongon, Osun. According to him, the ecercise is done through the Central Admission Process (CAP), an automated process to eliminate all human interference. “We have so far offered not less than 200,000 first choice admissions to candidates. ” To this effect therefore, we are urging candidates to go to our site and check their admission status and those who have been offered such admission should quickly indicate by accepting and printing such offer, as failure to do so will automatically mean the candidate is no longer interested. “And therefore, the board may see all such offers as rejected and would have no option than to mop them up and give it to other interested candidates. “Candidates are to accept or reject all offers not later than Oct.16 as that is when all offers of admissions of first choice will close.”


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018


17 states owe pensions, salaries despite receiving N1.8 trillion in bailout By KAYODE OGUNWALE


OME states are yet to fully offset the outstanding amount owed pensioners and civil servants despite series of bailouts aimed at offsetting the liabilities, recently conducted survey by BudgIT revealed. The survey aimed at ascertaining the frequency and magnitude of challenges civil servants and pensioners are encountering. The survey focused on three different categories of workers in all 36 states namely: primary and secondary school teachers, state midwives and state secretariat workers. Also, attention was paid to ascertain if retirees at the state level are receiving pensions as at when due. From the survey carried out, the organization discovered that 12 states are yet to offset the amount owed secondary school

teachers fully and many states are threatening workers to keep the information away from public domain. Notable among states with outstanding liabilities to secondary teachers is Osun and Kogi state. Osun State has been paying secondary school teachers above level 8 only a fraction of their salaries and entitlement for the last 30 months. Cumulatively, Osun state is owing secondary school teachers above level 8 about 15 months’ salary. Other states with outstanding liabilities to states include Abia, Benue, Bayelsa, Kwara, Imo, Ekiti, Oyo, Ondo and Zamfara. According to the survey, Kogi State, for instance, owes teachers about 13 months salaries according to the response given by secondary school teachers during the survey. Midwives, whose responsibility includes attending to issues

around pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, women’s sexual and reproductive health and newborn care - are also bugged down by issues including failure of some state to pay salaries and emolument as at when due. Midwives were questioned during the survey across the 36 states. BudgIT discovered that 10 states owes

midwives salaries as at close of business on September 24, 2018. Delta, Imo, Abia, Osun, Plateau, Bayelsa, Ekiti and 11 other states owe Pensioners entitlement ranging from 1 month to 36 months. Almost all pensioners expressed how unhappy they are, their dissatisfaction with the government and how hard it has been for them

to survive despite years of hard work up into service. BudgIT, therefore, asked the affected states to offset outstanding liabilities to its workers and pensioners as funds in form of bailout estimated to be in the region of N1.8 trillion have been issues to states to offset all outstanding liabilities owe workers.

Ooni of Ife applauds telecoms firm for backing Olojo Festival By VICTOR NZE


HE Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has commended leading telecommunications service provider, Airtel Nigeria, for its sponsorship of Olojo Festival. Speaking Friday, when the Airtel team paid him a courtesy visit, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Ogunwusi expressed appreciation to Airtel for sponsoring the Olojo Festival. “On behalf of the entire Omoluwabi race, we appreciate Airtel and we know that they will do better next year. We are enjoying their telecommunications service and we will continue to partner with them. We appreciate the company and their entire staff for their support”, he said. In his response, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, who was represented by the Regional Operations Director for South Region, Femi Oshinlaja,

said the company is passionate about culture as well as connecting and empowering Nigerians. “At Airtel, we are committed to connecting and empowering people. We are also passionate about our cultural heritage. It is for these reasons that we embraced the opportunity to join you in hosting the Olojo Festival. “We believe that culture can play a significant role if we must be successful as a nation. We admire your influential role as custodian of the Yoruba culture and we encourage you to continue to blaze the trail as far as cultural renaissance is concerned,” he said. The Olojo Festival is a culture festival in the calendar of the Ile-Ife, Osun State. It is the celebration of the remembrance of “Ogun”, god of Iron, who is believed to be the first son of Oduduwa, progenitor of the Yoruba people. The festival is held annually and this year, it held from Tuesday, September 18 to Monday, October 1, 2018.

•(From left): Zonal Business Manager, West Central, Airtel Nigeria, Oluseye Odunsi; HRM Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ooni of Ife and Femi Oshinlaja, Regional Operations Director, West, Airtel Nigeria during the presentation of Airtel souvenir to the Ooni at his palace in Ile-Ife, Osun State following Airtel sponsorship of Olojo Festival 2018.

Nigerian authors announce shortlist for 2018 ANA prizes By VICTOR NZE


MBRELLA body of writers in the country, the Association of Nigeria Authors (ANA) has announced the shortlist for its awards, a traditional highpoint of its annual International Convention. This year’s convention is slated to hold in Lagos from the 25-28 October 25 to 28 under the theme: Literature, Megacities and Meganarratives. Already, the Keynote Speaker at the Opening Ceremony has been named as Prof Karen King-Aribisala of the University of Lagos, even as such notable dignitaries including the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu and Igwe Obosi, Chidubem Iweka, have been penciled down for the ATIONAL body of the All Pro- Adviser to Gov. Nasiru El-Rufa’i, as Opening Ceremony. the winner with 2,088 votes, while gressives Congress (APC) has Announcing the shortlist for the said that Sen. Shehu Sani re- Shehu Sani garnered only 15 votes.

APC insists on Shehu Sani as Kaduna Central candidate


mained its only senatorial candidate from Kaduna Central. The Acting National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Yekini Nabena, gave the clarification in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday. He said Sani was the only senatorial candidate from the zone that was duly recognised by the national body. Sen. Shehu Sani had distanced himself from the primary election held in the state on Saturday, where he was said to have lost to Special Adviser to Gov. Nasir El-rufai on Political Affairs, Malam Uba Sani. The Returning Officer of the primary held at Murtala Muhammef Square, Kaduna, Prof. Eddie FloydIgbo, declared Uba Sani, a Special

A other rival, Usman IbrahimSardauna, was said to have secured only 129 votes. Nabena, however, reiterated that, “as far as Kaduna Central Zone 2 is concerned, the only candidate is Sen. Shehu Sani. “Yes election took place in that zone because of the House of Representatives and the State House of Assembly but for the senatorial position the only candidate is Sen. Shehu Sani. “The governor cannot dictate to the party.” The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the APC headquarters had announced Sen. Shehu Sani as it’s only candidate cleared to contest the Kaduna Central senatorial seat in 2019 elections.

awards, in a statement, Friday, the Judging Panel headed by Prof Nelson Fashina of the University of Ibadan, and which also include; Prof. Effiong Johnson, University of Uyo; Ismaila Bala Garba, Bayero University, Kano; Dr Owojecho Omoha, University of Abuja; Prof. G. M. T. Emezue, of the Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike Ikwo, Ebonyi State, listed seven categories to be contested for. Five authors and their works have been listed under the ANA Prose Fiction Prize category: The Beginning of Everything Colourful by Onyeka Nwelue; Hang No Clothes Here by Bolaji Olatunde; The Longest Trial by Uchenna Eze; Absolution by Oreva Ode-Irri; and The Return of HalfSomething by Chukwudi Eze, make up the list. Under the ANA Drama Prize cat-

FG generates N3.9tn tax revenue in nine months



EDERAL Government realised N3.9 trillion in tax revenue between January and September this year and this is N1 trillion higher than the N2.9 trillion realised in the corresponding period of 2017. The Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mr Tunde Fowler, disclosed this in a presentation made at the meeting of the African Union High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flow from Africa in Abuja on Thursday. At the meeting, former President of South Africa and Chairman of the High Level Panel, Mr Thambo Mbeki, lamented that $50 billion taken out of

Africa was stunting the growth of the continent. Fowler also stated that the FIRS had uncovered properties in Abuja belonging to 114 companies that had disclaimed them and on which taxes were not being paid. “One hundred and fourteen companies claimed they were unaware of the land allocated to them, but the AGIS (Abuja Geographic Information System) has confirmed the ownership for all the cases referred to them and we will soon hand these cases over to the Attorney General of the Federation,” he said. The FIRS boss highlighted that within a period of one year, the tax author-

egory, four works are listed: Teeth set on Edge - Akin Bello; Mr. Brother - Achalugo Ezekobe; Guerilla Post – Obari Gomba; and Saint Ojedi Amechi Chiedu Obumse. While for the ANA Poetry Prize category, four are also listed: The Poet of Dust - Umar Abubakar Sidi; The Lagos Cuban Jazz Club - Onyeka Nwelue; Bombblast or Breakfast - J. O. J. Nwachukwu-Agbada; and Blood Drops - Patrick Oguejiofor. For the ANA/ Abubakar Gimba Prize for Short Stories: Justice Club - Sasi Miet Jajja; Things That Start Small But Sweet - Bibi Ukonu; and Vacancy for the Post of a Bride - Emmanuel Asika complete the list. The ANA Prize for Children’s Literature features the following works: Nwauwa: the Girl with big Dreams - Paschal Okeke & Vera O. ChuksIwuchukwu; Primrose and the Kidnappers - Jide Ogunlana; and Once Upon a Village- Su’eddie Vershima Agema. The ANA/NECO Teen Authors Prose Prize has two books: If You Looked Inside a Girl - Chibundum Kosisochukwu Ndukwe; and Tomorrow Brings Beautiful Things: Stories - Ernest Ogunyemi. While, the ANA/Maria Ajima Prize for Literary Cricism features only one work: Nativisation as Style and Identity Marker in Barclays Ayakoroma’s Dance on His Grave - Ebi Yeibo. The Judging Panel also said winners of the various prizes will be announced at the awards dinner of the Convention, Saturday, October 27 in Ikeja, Lagos.


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018


PDP primaries: Lynda Ikpeazu wins Onitsha North/South ticket

Flood: Anambra council boss laments losses, seeks NEMA intervention for victims




ast Thursday’s primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Onitsha North/ South federal constituency ended in favour of Hon. Lynda Ikpeazu, the incumbent lawmaker representing Onitsha North/South Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives as she scored a total of 272 votes. Declaring the result of the primaries held at the Onitsha Sports Club, the PDP Returning Officer for the constituency, Uchenna Ezekwem noted that Ikpeazu who was a lone contender, scored 137 votes from Onitsha North and 135 votes from Onitsha South delegates, while a total of nine votes were invalidated. Ezekwem further noted that on discovering that Ikpeazu had no opposition, officials of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC still conducted the primaries as stipulated by the electoral law. Responding, Ikpeazu commended the delegates for the confidence reposed on her and assured them that she would continue with her constituency projects if she wins the national assembly seat for a second tenure. Also Ogbaru federal constituency, Hon. Chinwe Claire Nwaebili, former Speaker of Anambra State House of Assembly, 82 votes to defeat Hon. Benson Nwawulu, the incumbent legislator representing Ogbaru I constituency in the Anambra state House of Assembly who scored 12 votes at the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA primaries for Ogbaru federal constituency held at the Ogbaru Local Government Secretariat, Atani. Nwawulu had voted and quietly left the venue, while Nwaebili waited till the result was announced in her favour before she hurriedly left with her convoy. But speaking to newsmen, Chairman of the local Government, Hon. Arinzechukwu Awogu, confirmed that the exercise was conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner, as applicable in APGA. However, news later filtered in that the supporters of the two rivals, Nwaebili and Nwawulu clashed at Idemili market, near the Naval Outpost, along the Onitsha/Atani road, during which one was feared dead, while Naval men intervened and arrested some of the thugs with machetes and other dangerous weapons. In a related development, The Accord Party has picked Hon. Chris Arinze and Hon. Akachukwu Agwuna as its flag bearer for Onitsha South I and Onitsha South II state constituencies in the Anambra state House of Assembly. Arinze, an Environmental Consultant based in Onitsha, scored 61 votes as a sole contestant during their primaries, just as Agwuna scored 34 votes as a sole contestant. Handing over the flat to the two candidates at Igbo Ukwu Town Hall Fegge, venue of the primaries, Chairman of the party in Onitsha South local government rea, Hon. Ikechukwu Nnubia and his Secretary, Collins Onwunali, expressed optimism that Accord party would sweep the polls during the election to the consternation of political watchers. Nnubia and Onwunali warned that any attempt by those they identified as master riggers to rig the election would be met with stiff action, adding that it took the party time to select these credible candidates that would will other parties.

By IBE NWACHUKWU hairman of Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra state, Comrade Arinzechukwu Awogu, Sunday, made a passionate appeal to authorities of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to come to the rescue of all the victims of the current flood disaster in the area. Awogu who is also one of the displaced persons, made the appeal at the council secretariat, in Atani. He disclosed that more than three Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps or holding camps has already been created for those dis-

placed by the flood which has so far displaced over 500 families for now. He lamented that the flood had so far claimed a life, while farmlands, produce, household items, many houses worth hundreds of thousands were destroyed, adding that the displaced families were taken refuge at the council secretariat, Atani, Primary school, Odekpe and St. James Anglican Church Iyiowa. He identified some of the relief materials from SEMA as mattresses, mats, blankets, buckets, stressing that NEMA should as a matter of urgency come to their aid as the number of the IDPs kept increas-

ing on daily basis since the flood started. Recalling that the level of River had kept on rising every day, Awogu stressed that the level of water now was put at 11.80 against 12.84 recorded in 2012. He therefore called on the families living at the bank of the river to vacate and relocate to IDP camps closer to them to avoid loss of more lives. He added that 13 out of 16 communities in the local government area were affected while the remaining three communities may be affected based on the way the water level kept rising every day. The traditional ruler of Atani

Igwe Ngoddy described the flood as another disaster like 2012, saying that some displaced families have been taken refuge in his home and called on the government to provide relief materials to the victims. Some of the displaced persons including Mrs. Grace Ajie, Ebere Nwachukwu, Osita Obinyelibe, Charles Akubueze and Oprethe Oghale appealed to government agencies, good spirited individuals, corporate organizations to come to their aid and provide them with food and other household materials at the camps and commanded state government for the ones already provided.

Ozubulu monarch celebrates 2018 New Yam festival By OGE ONYEANUSI, NNEWI

T • HRH Igwe Nnamdi F. Oruche, Ezeugodinobi, Okeife II, the Obi of Ozubulu (left) cutting the new yam while Igwe Nnabife of Iseke (middle) and President-General of Ozubulu Development Union, Hon. Peter Uzokwe (right) watch

FG to partner states, private sector to reduce cost of doing business By KAYODE OGUNWALE


s part of efforts at deepening the MSME Clinics, the Federal Government is set to establish shared facilities for MSMEs in the country based on a partnership with states, government agencies such as Bank of Industry (BOI), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), NAFDAC, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and interested private sector partners, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. Prof. Osinbajo revealed this during the launch of the 20th edition of the National MSMEs Clinic in Kaduna State. According to him, “these shared facilities will be fullyequipped with machinery and equipment required for various trades and businesses,” adding that “Small businesses can then do their businesses at those locations at a reasonable cost.” Explaining further, the Vice President said, “what this means is that MSMEs are spared the financial burden of having to buy their own equipment or having to rent same in order to be able to do business. “Where possible these shared facilities would have been pre-certified by relevant agencies, removing the need for MSMEs to pursue these certifications by themselves. Kaduna State is one of the States selected for the establishment of the first pilot shared facilities.” In order to alleviate some of the difficulties encountered during business registration, Prof. Osinbajo said: “the Federal Government through the Corporate Affairs Commission has approved a special window of

90 days from 1st October 2018 to Dec 31st 2018 to register businesses at N5000 only.” “Now this is a deduction as you know from the N10,000 that it used to cost for registering businesses. But this window is available for 90 days from October to December 31st 2018. This will afford more MSMEs an opportunity to formalize their businesses, he clarified” While encouraging Kaduna State Government to set a one-stop-shop MSMEs right, the VP noted that “states like Abia, Osun, Plateau, Kwara! Cross River and the FCT, have all gone up to set up “one-stopshops” after the clinics, bringing all relevant agencies that regulate businesses in one place to enable small businesses to access their services on an on-going basis.” Reiterating the commitment of the Federal Government to continuous investment in the Nigerian people, especially by way of Social Investment Programme, Prof. Osinbajo informed that in Kaduna State the NPower programme has engaged 18,065 beneficiaries as at August 2018. He also said the School Feeding programme where a free meal a day is provided to pupils, the Federal Government in collaboration with the state government has given over a million school children food every day in 3930 schools here in Kaduna state. “That programme also employs 12, 376 cooks in this same programme. We have given loans under the GEEP programme to over 19,455 beneficiaries so far. In our National Cash Transfer Programme, we pay N5000

a month to 10,482 of the poorest households in Kaduna State”, he disclosed. In his interaction during the MSME Clinic, where he inspected various business stands with the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir ElRufai, Prof. Osinbajo encouraged business owners to take advantage of the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programmes, as well as their interface with the Chief Executives of government regulatory agencies, to expand and strengthen their businesses. As part of his activities in Kaduna State, Prof. Osinbajo also launched the Trader Moni Scheme, where N10,000 was given to petty traders at the Kaduna Central Market and commissioned the Kaduna State Information and Communication Technology Centre, also known as KAD ICT HUB. In his remarks, the Kaduna State Governor, commended the Federal Government and Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, for empowering entrepreneurs in Kaduna State, stressing that it was a very important gesture to the state. Accompanying the Vice President were the Minister Of State, Industry, Trade and Investment and Supervising Minister For Women Affairs, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar, Bank of Industry Managing Director, Mr. Kayode Pitan, Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment, Hajiya Maryam Uwais, the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Segun Awolowo and Heads of Federal Government Agencies And Parastatals.

raditional ruler of Ozubulu town, the Obi of Ozubulu, HRH Igwe Nnamdi F. Oruche, Ezeugodinobi, Okeife II, last Saturday in Ozubulu, Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra celebrated his 2018 New Yam festival amid fanfare. The monarch was heralded into his royal Obi by members of his cabinet, Ndichie, Ndiobi, red cap chiefs and women groups, amid funfair, after announcing his outing with 21 cannon shot. Immediately after his entrance into the Obi, he was presented with kolanuts, and he prayed for peace and long life of his people and kingdom. He also performed the traditional prayer known as “Igo ofo Otite”, to thank God for a bountiful harvest and for peace in his kingdom. While performing the traditional cutting of the new yam, the monarch also thanked God, who made the year’s harvest bountiful. He also told his subjects that it is contrary to the customs of the land that an individual, who is not a monarch celebrates new yam festival. He said only Igwe performs new yam festival in the kingdom; warning that anybody found contravening the tradition will be made to face the music. Earlier in his address of welcome, the President-General of Ozubulu Development Union, Hon. Peter Uzokwe, thanked God for bountiful harvest and good health with which He blessed Ozubulu people. He pointed that the 2018 fiesta was the first since he assumed office as PG of the town; and prayed God to give him more years so that he would witness more of such occasion. He also prayed God to grant good health to the traditional ruler of the town to enable him pilot the affairs of the town creditably. The ceremony was attended by traditional rulers from other communities, including Ogbuefi Nnabife of Iseke Kingdom, among others. Politicians, captains of industries, friends and wells wishers were also in attendance. Traditional dances and entertainments were major highlights of the event.


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018

NEWS Abia Govt suspends ‘sports levy’


bia State Government has suspended the collection of N100 Abia State Sports Development Levy with immediate effect, pending further reviews. A statement signed by the state’s

Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, Thursday, said ‘State Ministry of Sports and her agents or proxies at various markets in the state are hereby directed to ensure immediate compliance.’

Enugwu–Ukwu community moves against land speculators


resident-General of Enugwu-Ukwu Community in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra, Chief Bonny Nkwuaku, has called on general public not to buy land in the community without due process. Nkwuaku who made the call, Friday in Enugwu-Ukwu, said that the call became necessary as a way of alerting unsuspecting public of the presence of land speculators in the community and the need to be stop them. Nkwuaku said the attention of the community was drawn to the high level at which some persons in the community had turned to land speculating and sale without permission of the community. He said that most people involved in such act were some youths of the community who engaged in “indiscriminate, illegal and unauthorised sale of lands in the community. “ Nkwuaku said that his office had been flooded with petitions and counter petitions about the ugly practice, adding that it was getting worrisome and must be checked. The President-General said that some of the cases investigated revealed that some of the lands ear-

marked for sale or sold already did not belong to the sellers. According to him, the act has also raised some level of conflicts between kinsmen and visitors of the community, giving bad impression of the community. Nkwuaku said that members of the public visiting the community to buy land should make proper investigation about any land they intended to buy before parting with their money. He said potential land buyers should contact the village Chairman of the particular village and the kinsmen for clearer picture of the land in question to avoid any regret. The community leader warmed youths who engaged in such practice to discard such bad conduct or face the wrath of the law, adding that the community had partnered with the police in the community to apprehend culprits. Nkwuaku urged parents and guardians to monitor the character of their children always, and question some the money spending habit, especially when such action was not commensurate with their age.

•(From left): CEO of NorthCourt housing group, Mr. Tayo Odunsi; Head, tech & Services Partnership at Axa Mansard, Kemi Balogun; CEO of RentSmallSmall, Tunde Balogun; Group Head, Partnership at Axa Mansard Insurance, Ms Wurola Odesanya; and Naomi Olaghere of FurniSure, one of the partners of RentSmallSmall during a media awareness briefing in Lagos recently

Anambra monarch’s son gets bail after 10 months in prison custody By IBE NWACHUKWU


he Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, presided over by Justice Godwin Osaraonu Ollor has at last, admitted to bail Prince Chuma Agujiuogo Ojukwu, the son of late Igwe Joachin Ojukwu the traditional ruler of AwkaEtiti community in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra state, after 10 years in the prison custody. This followed his application to that effect. Ojukwu had been found guilty of obtaining by false pretence and was committed to prison by a Port Harcourt Magistrate Court presided over Alatuwo Elkanah Fubara on Novemresponse capacity of the National ber 6, 2017. However, in his application for bail (NEMA) and State Emergency Management Agencies(SEMA) towards tackling the flood challenges across the country. eader, Movement of the ActuHe said that part of what they will alization of Sovereign State of be doing in Anambra, was to gather Biafra (MASSOB), Chief Ralf Uwadata on the real situation and relay to the UN head office at Abuja for zuruike, has criticised the All Progresonward intervention from the agen- sive Grand Alliance (APGA) over the cy and the international community. party’s recent primaries in Anambra. Uwazuruike said in Owerri on FriThe environmental expert observed that despite the intensity of day that APGA was undemocratic in the flood ravaging communities in the conduct of the Anambra South the state, very minimal casualty had senatorial primaries. Mrs Ojukwu, wife of the former been recorded, attributing it to the Igbo leader, Odumegwu Ojukwu, preparedness of the government. The UNDAC team was accompa- contested for the Anambra south nied to the meeting by members of senatorial seat with Chief Nicolas Ukathe State Emergency Agency (SEMA) chukwu. However, the APGA National Puband other bodies set up by the State licity Secretary, Mr Ifeatu Okoye, said government with responsibility durthe party was very democratic during ing the flood disaster time.

Flooding: UN disaster team assesses Anambra communities From Chuks Collins, Awka


team of environmental experts from the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination, UNDAC, has arrived Anambra State over the flooding menace ravaging parts of the State. They went in for a close-door meeting with Governor Wille Obiano on arrival at his Aguleri country home, in Anambra East council area of the state after receiving them. Mr James Brown, an American Expert in Disaster Data Gathering and Analyses led the group; as well as two Swedish experts on Environmental Issues and Information Communication Technology. Addressing journalists shortly after the meeting with Gov Obiano, Mr Brown revealed that they came in response to the governor’s call and outcry, to assist strengthen the


In his ruling, Justice Ollor granted Ojukwu bail on self-recognition as member of royal family contesting to replace his late father as the traditional ruler of Awka-Etiti, and based on his health challenges. Justice Ollor however ordered him to report at the High Court where his appeal against his conviction by the magistrate court is still pending. Addressing newsmen at his father’s Palace, Awka-Etiti, shortly on his return from the detention, Ojukwu commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his prompt and timely intervention towards his bail admission and prayed God to keep Buhari alive to complete his second tenure as president in 2023 as, according to him, Buhari has been destined to win the 2019 presidential election.

Anambra primaries: APGA undemocratic -- MASSOB leader


Nnamani wins in PDP Enugu East Senatorial district ormer Governor of Enugu State, Sen. Chimaroke Nnamani, Wednesday, won the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary election for Enugu East Senatorial district. Nnamani polled 601 votes to win the primaries election while Dr Chinedu Nneji had 88, Prof. David Nkwuo 74 and incumbent Sen. Gilbert Nnaji had 69 votes. Others are Gab Agu, eight votes, Lawrence Eze, 25, and Chief Joshua Mba, four votes. The final election for delegates from Nkanu West adopted option A4 model of voting due to lack of ballot papers. Mr Abdulrahman Yunusa, the Returning Officer for the PDP primary in

at the Court of Appeal filed on his behalf by his legal counsel, Lezina Amegua Esq., Ojukwu prayed the court to dismiss the charge and admit him to bail on ground of ill health and a respected member of the royal family, as well as a responsible citizen of the federal republic of Nigeria. He contended that his trial at the lower court and conviction without option of fine was manifestly contestable, adding that his appeal has been deemed entered before a Port harcourt High Court presided over by Justice S. H. Apioku. He emphasized that he is currently suffering from Valvular Heart Disease, VHD against his well-being, adding that more importantly, he is the son of the revered traditional ruler and a responsible citizen of Nigeia.

the Senatorial Zone had on Tuesday declared the election inconclusive due to shortage of ballot papers. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the election was inconclusive due to shortage of ballot papers for one of the six council areas that made up the district. Yunusa however, said that the polls of the remaining council area would be done on Wednesday morning, October 3, when the ballot papers must have arrived. “After the remaining one council polls on Wednesday, I shall officially declare the winner of the primary for Enugu East Senatorial Zone and return the winner as the candidate of the PDP ahead of 2019 General Elections,’’ he added.

the conduct of the primaries and had remained focused. According to Uwazuruike, APGA which was formed and nurtured by late Ojukwu in the interest of the Igbos, had derailed, been hijacked by a cabal and become a making money tool for new members. “APGA wants to use late Ojukwu’s name and reputation to win election but they don’t want any member of his family to be part of the party. “It is a great injustice for not giving Bianca Ojukwu automatic ticket for the election and they have meted injustice to the widow, ” he said. Uwazurike said Ojukwu’s son also contested for the House of Repre-

sentative seat in the state and was not supported by the party. “APGA can’t win election in 2019 because they have derailed from its symbol and the only time it won election in Nigeria was when I and my followers participated fully. “Now that they don’t want any member of late Ojukwu to be part of them, I will not support the party in 2019,’’ he said. The party’s national publicity secretary said APGA had not derailed but was following due process, adding it would win elections more than ever. Okoye further said that the party had constituted a panel to look into what played out in the primaries.

C’River: GPI trains over 50,000 girls in reproductive health, management skills From ANIEKAN ANIEKAN, Calabar


non-governmental organization, the Girls Power Initiative (GPI) has trained over 50, 000 girls in Cross River State on reproductive health/rights, management skills as well as leadership skills. The training, according to the GPI is aimed at helping them lead better lives and contribute meaningfully to the society. This was disclosed by Comfort Ikpeme, the co-coordinator of the GPI Calabar Centre during a three-day training for law enforcement officers, media persons, religious leaders as well as community leaders on genderbased issues particularly cases of violence against girls and women. According to her, “For Calabar Centre, last year we were counting over

1,500 girls and of course this year, we have graduated over 50 girls and I can comfortably say over 1,550 girls have graduated from the centre and for Cross River State we have graduated over 50, 000 girls. “We work in different local governments, communities and reach the girls in schools. When they come here, they are divided into various groups based on their ages and give them age-appropriate information to enable them to lead better lives”, she said. She said the training was imperative because cases of violence against girls and women happen on a daily basis and the way society responds to it does not make sense hence the need for the training to help address and minimize the occurrence of such vices.

“These cases happen on a daily basis and sometimes, the way they respond to it does not make sense because they do not have the right information. “So we are building their skills and creating the awareness on how to handle such cases when they come about them so as to see how we can prevent cases of violence against women in our various places”, she said. Some participants who spoke after the training said their knowledge of gender-based issues have been broadened and several misconceptions have been put in proper perspective. Several religious leaders, media practitioners, community leaders as well as personnel from relevant security agencies attended the threeday training.


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018


Buhari needs virile NASS to deliver in 2nd term -- Otu F From ANIEKAN ANIEKAN, Calabar

ormer Senator representing Cross River South in the National Assembly (NASS), Senator Prince Bassey Otu has disclosed that President Buhari needs a virile national assembly in order to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people during his second term in office. He made this known in Calabar while responding to the just concluded primaries for national assembly aspirants of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the Southern Sena-

torial District of Cross River State. Senator Otu who spoke on behalf of all the APC aspirants in the district who emerged victorious maintained that the quality of candidates who have emerged from the district have been through the ranks of legislative duties right from the local level and will serve the state effectively. Prince Otu who expressed confidence in the quality of candidates presented by the district said the people of the area will have a fair deal this time around as the voice of the district which had been stifled in

the National Assembly through ineffective representation in the outgoing tenure, will come alive. He senator enjoined members of the party to eschew bitterness but to work in unison as the bundle of the broom which is the symbol of the party will be used to sweep away all enemies of democracy during the 2019 general elections. A member of the election panel, Nathaniel Ikeocha, who declared the results at the State Party Secretariat at Okoi Arikpo Estate in Calabar, expressed appreciation to party faithful for the peaceful xand cordial

atmosphere which enabled them to perform the task assigned them by the NWC. He announced that those nominated to fly the flag of the party as Senator Otu for Cross River South with 44, 172 votes over his rival Mrs Mayen Mbuk, with 1, 270 votes. For the House of Representatives, Chief Dominic Aqua Edem, a former deputy speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly scored 12, 330 votes. Chief Edem who was the sole candidate for the reps seat for the Calabar South, Akpabuyo and Bakassi federal Constituency was

NSCDC rescues 12 victims of human trafficking in Edo

Policeman to die by hanging over extrajudicial killing -Bayelsa court rules


do State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) says it has rescued about 12 victims of human trafficking and child labour in the past five months. State Commandant of the Corps, Mr Makinde Ayinla, disclosed this on Friday in Benin during a one day workshop on the menace of human trafficking and illegal migration. The workshop with the theme: “Sensitisation of Students on the Menace of Human Trafficking and Illegal Migration was organised by the Edo Command of the NSCDC. Ayinla said that it had become imperative for the corps to sensitise students on the ills of human trafficking in view of the prevalent danger victims were exposed and subjected to. He noted that human trafficking had claimed the lives of many Nigerian citizens, making early sensitisation of students imperative. The commandant said that the first sentence of the Act establishing the Corps which is “Security of Lives and Properties”, highlighted the need for the corps to join in the fight against the menace. Ayinla noted that the power of a nation lay with factors such as security, education, manpower, technological know-how and the youths. According to him, the youths suffer the most in African nations even though they are the backbone of the development of any nation in the world. He listed the challenges confronting the youths to child labour, street hawking, rape, prostitution, trafficking and illegal migration. He said the effects of these challenges on the victims were sometimes devastating. Ayinla said that the workshop would be an eye-opener to students, parents and stakeholders on the need to intensify efforts at curbing the menace.

reaffirmed and returned. Other candidates nominated for the national assembly seat for the southern district include Hon Bassey Akiba who hopes to represent Calabar Municipality and Odukpani in the House of Representatives. He scored 14, 571 votes to defeat Essesien Bassey Edem who scored 2, 045 votes. For the Akamkpa/Biase Federal Constituency, Hon Obo Bassey Mkpanam emerged victorious as he garnered 12,006 votes to defeat Ejemot Esu who scored 606 votes.


• (From left): CEO of NorthCourt housing group, Mr. Tayo Odunsi; Head, tech & Services Partnership at Axa Mansard, Kemi Balogun; CEO of RentSmallSmall, Tunde Balogun; Group Head, Partnership at Axa Mansard Insurance, Ms Wurola Odesanya; and Naomi Olaghere of FurniSure, one of the partners of RentSmallSmall during a media awareness briefing in Lagos recently

FG to partner states, private sector to reduce cost of doing business By KAYODE OGUNWALE


s part of efforts at deepening the MSME Clinics, the Federal Government is set to establish shared facilities for MSMEs in the country based on a partnership with states, government agencies such as Bank of Industry (BOI), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), NAFDAC, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and interested private sector partners, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. Prof. Osinbajo revealed this during the launch of the 20th edition of the National MSMEs Clinic in Kaduna State. According to him, “these shared facilities will be fullyequipped with machinery and equipment required for various trades and businesses,” adding that “Small businesses can then do their businesses at those locations at a reasonable cost.” Explaining further, the Vice President said, “what this means is that MSMEs are spared the financial burden of having to buy their own equipment or having to rent same in order to be able to do business. “Where possible these shared facilities would have been pre-certified by relevant agencies, removing the need for MSMEs to pursue these certifications by themselves. Kaduna State is one of the States selected for the establishment of the first pilot shared facilities.” In order to alleviate some of the difficulties encountered during business registration, Prof. Osinbajo said: “the Federal Government through the Corporate Affairs Commission has approved a special window of

90 days from 1st October 2018 to Dec 31st 2018 to register businesses at N5000 only.” “Now this is a deduction as you know from the N10,000 that it used to cost for registering businesses. But this window is available for 90 days from October to December 31st 2018. This will afford more MSMEs an opportunity to formalize their businesses, he clarified” While encouraging Kaduna State Government to set a one-stop-shop MSMEs right, the VP noted that “states like Abia, Osun, Plateau, Kwara! Cross River and the FCT, have all gone up to set up “one-stopshops” after the clinics, bringing all relevant agencies that regulate businesses in one place to enable small businesses to access their services on an on-going basis.” Reiterating the commitment of the Federal Government to continuous investment in the Nigerian people, especially by way of Social Investment Programme, Prof. Osinbajo informed that in Kaduna State the NPower programme has engaged 18,065 beneficiaries as at August 2018. He also said the School Feeding programme where a free meal a day is provided to pupils, the Federal Government in collaboration with the state government has given over a million school children food every day in 3930 schools here in Kaduna state. “That programme also employs 12, 376 cooks in this same programme. We have given loans under the GEEP programme to over 19,455 beneficiaries so far. In our National Cash Transfer Programme, we pay N5000

a month to 10,482 of the poorest households in Kaduna State”, he disclosed. In his interaction during the MSME Clinic, where he inspected various business stands with the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir ElRufai, Prof. Osinbajo encouraged business owners to take advantage of the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programmes, as well as their interface with the Chief Executives of government regulatory agencies, to expand and strengthen their businesses. As part of his activities in Kaduna State, Prof. Osinbajo also launched the Trader Moni Scheme, where N10,000 was given to petty traders at the Kaduna Central Market and commissioned the Kaduna State Information and Communication Technology Centre, also known as KAD ICT HUB. In his remarks, the Kaduna State Governor, commended the Federal Government and Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, for empowering entrepreneurs in Kaduna State, stressing that it was a very important gesture to the state. Accompanying the Vice President were the Minister Of State, Industry, Trade and Investment and Supervising Minister For Women Affairs, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar, Bank of Industry Managing Director, Mr. Kayode Pitan, Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment, Hajiya Maryam Uwais, the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Segun Awolowo and Heads of Federal Government Agencies And Parastatals.

Bayelsa state High Court VII sitting in Yenagoa on Friday sentenced Cpl. Vincent Olama to death by hanging for extrajudicial killing. In his judgment, Justice Nayai Aganaba, said Olama was found guilty of killing of a 17 -year-old, Innocent Kokorifa, in Okaka, Yenagoa, on August 18, 2016. Aganaba said the prosecution called 10 witnesses and produced 16 exhibits while the defence only had one witness who happened to be the accused. The judge noted that the onus of proof that the accused committed the murder of Kokorifa rested with the prosecution, in line with the three ingredients to prove a murder case. These are: That the deceased died; that the death of the deceased was caused by the accused. That the action of the accused which caused the death of the deceased was intentional with the knowledge that death or grievous bodily harm was its probable consequence. Aganaba, said, “It is unfortunate that I can only pronounce the sentence prescribed by law. “I wish I had the discretion to do otherwise. However, that discretion rests with the executive governor of Bayelsa. “I am only left with the compulsion to pronounce the sentence prescribed by law. I hope that person with the discretion would look at the circumstance of this case and do the needful. I hereby pronounce my sentence. My sentence upon you is that you shall hang on the neck until you die. May the Lord have mercy on your soul.” The convict hails from Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa. He was attached to Anti-Vice/ Anti-Kidnapping team on Air Force Road in Yenagoa on Aug. 18, 2016 and was on patrol when the incident happened. In his reaction, the father of the deceased, Mr Daniel Kokorifa, an official of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), expressed delight at the outcome of the trial. “My son, Innocent, has been proved innocent that he is not an armed robber or a cultist. I am happy that justice has prevailed to show that the judiciary is really working. I am grateful to God and those who stood behind me and my family in the trying time, before this judgment,” he said.


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018

NEWS Amaechi, Iwu, bag Catholic award for youth development


rs Judith Amaechi, Prof. Maurice Iwu with 76 others on Sunday bagged the Catholic Youth Organisation of Nigeria (CYON) award for their various contributions toward youth development in Nigeria. The award was given to 78 awardees at the 2018 National Award ceremony at the Catholic Church Secretariat in Abuja. Speaking at the occasion, Amaechi said that the award came as a surprise, that she didn’t know people were taking note of her contributions. She said that youths should work hard and put God first in anything that they do stating that being a Christian is fundamental in every youth lives. “If any youth want to make it in life, they should first of all, have faith, be prayerful, trust God but at the same time, you have to work very hard because faith without works is dead. “So, I will encourage the youth to work hard to really prepare themselves when the opportunity presents itself in education or otherwise, they should take advantage of it, even if you are not disposed to the best education, you can go through training and entrepreneurship.” “It is very important that every youth discover themselves, to really know what they want to do as they grow up, what they really want to become, no youth should be idle.” Prof. Maurice Iwu, appreciated CYON for recognizing his contributions to the society at large stating that it’s an encouragement for him to do more. He said that youths must be dedicated to hard work and stay away from being used as political thugs for a better tomorrow. Speaking earlier, the National President of CYON, Mr Ogunlade Gabriel said that the generation of the young has always played a tremendous role in breaking and building the nation stating that youth should desire to change the world for the better. He said that the Bible has examples of young people rising as leaders who build great nations, urging youth to work hard based on those examples and do what is right in their various community. “Young Christian leaders should see it within their reach, their ability to impact society and make tremendous difference in their countries.” he said.

Flooding: Anambra, 11 others worst affected states -- NEMA


ational Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has declared Anambra, as well as 11 other states along the River Niger and Benue as worst affected by flood disaster this year while others are being monitored. Director General of NEMA, Engr. Mustapha Maihaja who made the disclosure when his agency hosted the monthly meeting of the Forum of Spokespersons of Security and Response Agencies (NEMA), said casualty have been recorded in several Nigerian states following heavy rains that caused the Rivers Niger and Benue to overflow. The worst affected states are Benue, Kogi, Niger, Kwara, Anambra, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Adamawa, Kwara, Kebbi and Taraba. He said proactive intervention measures instituted prior to the occurrence of the flood have prevented the situation from aggravating to the point of the 2012 disaster. He added that even the United Nations

Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria has commended the proactive measure of his agency. “Though concerns have been expressed over a possible repeat of the 2012 flood disaster in some states when the River Niger overflowed its banks, displacing many residents, this year we are able to manage it. “When the agency received the forecast of high rainfalls and likelihood of the heavy flooding, immediately mobilized the stakeholders in preparing ahead with all necessary resources for preventive interventions. This mitigated against the worsening of the situation as most of the communities at risks were evacuated to safer higher locations ahead of the rising water level from the rivers. “With presidential directive, the agency also declared national disasters in the initial six worst affected states and immediately created Emergency Operations Centres

• Participants at a training on reproductive health/rights, management and leadership skills organized by the Girls Power Initiative (GPI) in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, weekend

Immunization: Abia Govt. launches ‘Remind Me’ programme to improve coverage


bia Government in partnership with William Coley Hub Africa has launched a programme that would provide an automated reminder for immunisation and maternal care routines and vaccination for people in rural and urban areas. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the initiative known as ‘Remind Me’, has been launched in Umuahia by Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu. Represented by Dr John Ahukannah, the state Commissioner for Health, the governor said the programme was specifically tailored for

pregnant mothers and under-five children. He urged pregnant mothers and their children to avail themselves of the services, adding that maternal and child health remained a top priority in primary health care in the state. He thanked William Foley Hub Africa and Each One, Aid One Foundation, for collaborating with government on the novel initiative. Earlier, Dr Chinagozi Adindu, the Executive Secretary, Abia State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (ASPHCDA), said that it was

Delta women’s group donates relief materials to Asaba IDP camp


o further buttress the efforts of the Delta State government to cushion the effects of the flood on the internally displaced people, the Asaba Branch of the Asaba Ladies League, a non-governmental philanthropic organisation, today paid a sympathy visit to IDP camps in Asaba. The National President of the organization, Mrs. Rose Nwosu said

(EOCs) with officers deployed to coordinate the interventions. The situation was also being monitored with daily updates compared with the water level of the 2012 flood. “We have sustained campaign advising residents on the flood plains to immediately relocate to the upland areas or to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps established to mitigate the disaster “It is obvious that we may have always seen the worst of the situation and we are grateful to the Federal Government and development partners, particularly the United Nations systems in Nigeria for their supports and encouragement.” He applauded the creation of the spokespersons’ forum of Spokesperson of Security Agencies and charged the members to assist in building cooperation among the government agencies in information management. Speaking earlier, Chairman of FOSSRA and Director of Defence

the visit was informed by the need to identify with the plight of the victims of the flood and in memory of the Asaba son’s and daughters who lost their lives during the 1967 pogrom in Asaba. Speaking further, the Mrs. Nwosu commended the state government for its efforts so far in bringing succour to the internally displaced people and called on other well-meaning

organizations and individuals to pitch in and bring comfort and put smiles on the faces of the Flood Victims. Receiving the gifts on behalf of the IDPs, the camp commandant of the OgbeAfor IDP Camp thanked the Asaba Ladies League for their kindness while calling on Deltans and Nigerians to emulate the gesture of the League.

an innovation centre for vaccine and healthcare delivery. He said that the programme which was in collaboration with MTN Foundation was structured in a way that each child would have a unique identity. “It is a free donation to the state and is aimed at reminding mothers on the days of their children’s immunisation and the closest facility where they can assess the needed service. Chief Executive Officer, William Foley Hub Africa, Mr Tochukwu Egesi, said that that ‘Remind Me’ achieved its aim through USSD (*347*01#) and SMS technology for registration and reminders, respectively. According to him, it provides information on the nearest hospital that has a particular vaccine to mothers using Geo-tapping technology. Highlight of the ceremony are the distribution of two flying boats by the governor to Ukwa East and West Local Government Areas for immunisation in the riverine areas. Wife of the Governor, Mrs Nkechi Ikpeazu, was at the ceremony honoured as the Ambassador of Immunisation in Nigeria by the state health team.

Information, Brigadier General John Agim commended NEMA boss for his result-oriented commitment on restructuring, repositioning and reorganisation of emergency risk reduction strategies in the country. General Agim said the spokespersons’ forum has continued to achieve its objectives in promoting solidarity among the member agencies and reducing conflicts and rancour in the management of public information in Nigeria.

Task shifting, task sharing policy will improve health service delivery – Lagos Govt


agos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris has said that the implementation of the State’s Task Shifting, Task Sharing (TSTS) policy would improve the quality of essential health service provision and bring the health sector closer to achieving effective health service delivery. Idris stated this recently at a presentation meeting on the developed standard operating procedures for TSTS policy implementation in Lagos, noting that the State’s desire to improve its health indicators and meet its yearnings for a sustained quality healthcare service delivery generated the keen interest to develop the TSTS policy in the face of personnel shortage and inadequate skill distribution. The Commissioner explained that the increasing population of Lagos State has reduced the health worker to patient ratio resulting in the staff shortage across all cadres. He said “The TSTS of essential services as a temporary strategy to close the human resource for health gaps in the State involves the rational reallocation of tasks among health workers in order to make more efficient use of the available human resources for health care services”. Idris added that the reorganisation and decentralisation of health services according to the task shifting approach will help address the current shortage of health workers across the State. “In line with the provisions in the relevant section of TSTS policy and to provide a practice that will make the implementation process seamless in the State, the development of standard operating procedures becomes imperative and essential to the realisation of the policy at all levels of care”, Idris said. He stated that the TSTS policy has been developed for adaptation and implementation of essential health services including emergency care, gender-based violence care, HIV/ AIDS, tuberculosis and leprosy, maternal, newborn and child health as well as non-communicable diseases. “It is my keen expectation that this document will provide the basis for practically addressing the issues of human resource shortage through TSTS especially as it concerns essential health services for the benefit of residents”, the Commissioner said. The production of TSTS document was done through the dedicated technical support and funding from partner organisations including Save the Children International (SCI) and Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative 2 (NURHI2).



The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018


he primary elections organised by the political parties to elect their flag-bearers in next year’s general election have ended on one remarkable note: largely crisisfree. Although there were skirmishes here and there between rival aspirants and their supporters—like in APGA primaries in Nnewi where some people reportedly sustained injuries from gunshots—the primary elections went without major incidents, a certain indication that that 2019 may well come and go without too many untoward events, as many are predicting.

We examine the primaries as they happened in some States. ANAMBRA: Money politics, intimidation characterise APGA primaries • Rumour, uncertainty trail results By THEO RAYS Those who say that politics is a dirty game have their reasons. Part of such reason is no doubt their experience in the game of politics. Many who witnessed the recently concluded primary elections of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in Anambra State may concur that politics is not far from being a dirty game. From intimidation of weaker opponents by the stronger with fierce looking thugs to vote buying, the primary elections of the ruling party in Anambra were largely characterised by money politics. Throughout the State, aspirants who were able to lavish cash on the delegates, spoil the stakeholders and hire thugs to demonstrate power and might against the opponents won the ticket of the party for the 2019 polls. In some cases, leadership qualities like experience and intellectualism simply fell to the power of money. Observers say the hardship in the land paved the way for those who had money to buy their way through to clinch the party’s tickets. A weary respondent, however, attributed the success of those who had more money to the fact that the leadership of the party was much more interested in fielding candidates capable of financing their campaign for the main election. A competent source told The Oracle Today that APGA’s top echelons led by Governor Willie Obiano who is the national leader of the party and the chairman of its Board of Trustees (BoT) in what looked like a hierarchical decision of the party had before the election harped seriously on the need for the party to field those who are popular, credible and have deep pockets required to face the oppositions at the main elections next year. For instance, knowing full well that Senator Victor Umeh of Anambra Central Senatorial District is strong enough to prosecute his own election, the party simply gave Umeh automatic ticket to return to the Senate. Umeh will have to contend with Uche Ekwunife who is gunning to unseat Umeh on the platform of All Progressive Congress (APC). In Anambra North Senatorial District, former Deputy Governor Prince Chinedu Emeka is the candidate of APGA. He was also returned unopposed after Senator Stella Odua who was expected to seek re-election to the Senate on the platform of APGA retuned to PDP after a failed bid to decamp from PDP to APGA. Perhaps APGA leadership believes that the former Deputy Governor has what it takes to wrestle the seat from Senator Odua. Similarly, the victory of Prince Nicholas Ukachuwku against Bianca Ojukwu in the primary election to elect the candidate of APGA for the race for Anambra South Senatorial District in the 2019 polls is not unconnected with the fact that Prince Ukachukwu not only out spent Bianca at the primary election but is also seen as a financial heavyweight who is more capable to face and defeat the Uba brothers (Andy and Chris) at the main election next year. The Uba brothers are in the race for Senate in different political parties with both ap-

Martha Emmanuel: First sons fete Umeohia, Taking caring to a new others at Okpala Day height cultural fiesta

Pg 14

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2019: Encouraging signals from primary elections

•Victor Oye

•Adams Oshiohmole

•Uche Secondus

parently desperate to occupy the Anambra South seat in the Red Chamber of the National Assembly. While the incumbent Senator representing the District, Senator Andy Ubah is seeking to be reelected for a third term on the platform of APC, his younger brother Chris alias Eselu Uga who is a member of Board of Trustees of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) wants to unseat him on the platform of the PDP. The Eselu Uga, according to a reliable source from Uga, is seeking to take a shot at the Senate because according to him, his two brothers Ugochukwu and Andy have all tested the seat and therefore he also has to be there. Recall that Ugochukwu Uba the most senior of the Uba brothers was in the Senate from 2003-2007. He defeated Ukachukwu in 2003 on the platform of the PDP but lost a re-election bid to Ikechukwu Obiora during PDP primary for Senatorial polls in 2007. Similarly, money also proved to be the decider in the contest to choose the candidate of APGA for the Federal House of Representatives seat of Onitsha North/South Federal Constituency. The experience and intellectual prowess of Barr Chugbo Enwezor was overpowered by the financial force of Pat Nwachi Obianwu who is said to have more financial capacity needed to face Lynda Ikpeazu, the incumbent member representing the Constituency in the National Assembly than Enwezor. Nwachi a wealthy businessman defeated Enwezor a two-term and top ranking mem-

ber of the State House of Assembly. He also crushed the passion for quality representation being championed by Lady Antonia Tabansi Okoye. As at the time of filing this report, Enwezor the House Committee Chairman on Judiciary is being rumoured to have rejected the result of the primary poll as, a according to him, the election was inconclusive. A ward leader who didn’t want his name in writing told The Oracle Today at Onitsha North Local Government headquarters, venue of the primary election, that the party may have decided to field Nwachi to be on the safe side knowing full well that Hon Ikpeazu the incumbent member who seeking reelection for the seat under the platform of the opposition PDP is financially strong and very popular among the youth in the constituency. In Idemili North/South Federal Constituency, Hon Ifeanyi Ibezi also pulled the financial trigger to brush aside his opponents namely Theodore Okonkwo and Ebere Onyekwelu to emerge the candidate of APGA for Federal House of Representatives race. Ibezi who enjoys wide popularity in the Constituency didn’t take chances as he made sure that the delegates and the stakeholders were well taken care of ahead of the primary polls held at the Idemili North Local Government headquarters in Ogidi. Further more, Ibezi’s chances were, however, enhanced by the impression of the party leadership that he has what it takes to face and defeat Hon Obinna Chidoka, who

is the incumbent member representing the Constituency and the candidate of PDP. Ibezi is also expected to pull the trigger to humble Hon Charles Odedo of All Progressives Congress (APC) and Uche Annie Okonkwo who is contesting the election on the platform of Social Democratic Party (SDP). The same money politics was said to have played out in the primary election of APGA to decide who becomes the flag bearer of the party for Orumba North/South Federal Constituency seat in the Federal House of Representatives. A wealthy businessman and a popular Market leader in Onitsha, Chief Okwudili Ezenwankwo was, according to observers, handed over the ticket of the party in what looked like imposition on others. A State House of Assembly aspirant in Orumba who spoke to The Oracle Today on the condition of anonymity stated that Ezenwankwo was declared winner by fire by force. In Aguata Federal Constituency, ex member of the Federal House of Representatives Hon Chukwuma Umeoji moved a step further towards returning to the Green Chamber of the National Assembly by out smarting two sitting members of the State House of Assembly namely Ikemfuna Uzoezie and Ikechukwu Umenwa alias Ik Russia to win the APGA ticket. Umeoji who has also served as the Executive Chairman of Aguata Local Government Area is likely to face Hon Eucharia Azodo the

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The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018

Special Report Cont’d from page 9 incumbent member representing Aguata Constituency in the House who may be seeking a third missionary journey to Abuja on the platform of the PDP. Azodo, a former Speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly was elected into the Federal House in 2011 and was reelected in 2015 courtesy of victory orchestrated by Andy Ubah during the former President Goodluck Jonathan regime. In Awka North/South, the incumbent member Hon Anayo Nebe gained upper hand against two main rivals namely the current Deputy Speaker Anambra State House of Assembly Hon Hartford Oseke and former Commissioner for Agriculture in the State Hon Godson Ezenagu to win the ticket of APGA to contest for a second term in the House Representatives against the candidates of other political parties. Nebe, former Speaker of Anambra State House of Assembly decamped to APGA from PDP during the 2017 governorship election in Anambra State. In Ogbaru Federal Constituency, the immediate past Speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly Hon. Chinwe Nwebili defeated Hon. Benson Nwawulu, a sitting member of the State House of Assembly representing Okpo State Constituency to win the ticket of APGA for the House of Representatives election. Nwebili is face the incumbent member Chukwuka Onyema of the PDP for the seat of Ogbaru in the National Assembly. In Ogbaru it is going to be a repeat of 2015 fight as the duo faced each other in the last dispensation. In Anambra East/West Hon Chinedu Obidigwe was elected unopposed as the candidate of APGA for the House of Representatives election. As at the time of filing this report, the primary elections for the House of Representatives in Ihiala Federal Constituency and Oyi/Ayamelum Federal Constituency were said to have been cancelled by the leadership of APGA for obvious reasons. The same scenario played out in the State House of Assembly primary elections across the State. As at the time of filing this report, some of the aspirants were said to have rejected the outcome of the primary elections. Reports gathered by The Oracle Today indicate that some of the aspirants who felt that they were shortchanged with the outcome of the primaries are going about telling their supporters that the elections were inconclusive thereby fueling rumours that election was inconclusive. While some losers may have deemed it fit enough to accept the result in good fate and move on, others, however, are prepared to fight on. Some have petitioned the party demanding a fresh primary poll failing which they might proceed to court, which is the final hope of the common man, to seek redress. AKWA IBOM A’Ibom APC members protest candidate imposition From INI BILLIE, Uyo All Progressives Congress (APC) members in Oron Federal Constituency, Akwa Ibom State have protested against alleged attempts to impose a former Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr. Victor Antai as the party’s candidate for the area. The APC members protested with placards carrying inscriptions like, “Oron Federal Constituency say no to imposition; Godswill Akpabio, enough is enough; Stay clear from Oron, Akpabio,” and were seen tearing posters of aspirants and other candidates. Mr. Eddie Akaduh, one of the APC members from the area said the people of the constituency will resist attempts by Senator Godswill Akpabio to dictate and control the politics of Oron ethnic nationality. He said Oron was not the jurisdiction of Akpabio, and that it was unbecoming for Akpabio to come from Annang, his ethnic group, to foist a stooge on the people of Oron ethnic group. “We will resist Akpabio from imposing a candidate on us after Dr. Robinson Edumoh had contested and won in the primary. Ak-

2019: Encouraging signals from primary elections

•Adams Oshiohmole pabio is not the one to tell Oron where they should go. He has caused untold hardship in Oron and deprived us the right to produce a governor. Let him leave us alone,” he said. Another member of the party, Mr. Daniel Frank, said he was unsure what Akpabio was still looking for in Oron, adding that Akpabio can show his love for Antai by imposing him on Annang people and not on any candidate who won the primary elections in the constituency. It was gathered that Antai, a recent decampee from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who contested against Senator Nelson Effiong representing Akwa Ibom South in the National Assembly lost, and neither bought a form nor stood for election for the House of Representatives. Antai was one of the two commissioners sacked by the Akwa Ibom State governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel over his involvement in planning and organising the reception prior to Akpabio’s defection to the APC. He was also among persons who received Akpabio at the Ibom airport on Akpabio’s arrival in Akwa Ibom for his defection reception at Ikot Ekpene Stadium. Meanwhile, an APC aspirant for Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly in Essien Udim State Constituency, Mr. Samuel Ikpa has alleged that Akpabio abducted and incarcerated him to pave way for Akpabio’s aspirant. Speaking with journalists yesterday in Uyo during a protest and solidarity visit by his kinsmen from Midim community in Uyo, Ikpa said he was subjected to inhuman, cruel and barbaric treatment by the former governor in a bid to make him accept his (Akpabio’s) demand. He said: “On the night of Sunday September 30, 2018, I was invited by His Excellency, Senator Godswill Akpabio to his residence in Ukana Ikot Ntuen for a meeting. The agenda of the meeting was not made known. “On my arrival in Ukana Ikot Ntuen, I met other aspirants including Nse Ntuen, Etido Ibekwe, Abom Ephraim Okon, Joseph Inyang and Anthony Etim who were already seated. Also seated were his Excellency,

Senator Godswill Akpabio, Ibanga Akpabio, Etekamba Umoren, Emmanuel Sunday Akpan, Godwin Afangideh, Sir Simon Etim, Nsentip Akpabio, Ubokutom Nyah and a host of other personal staff and family members. “Senator Akpabio asked me and all other candidates for the House of Assembly to step down for his cousin, Nse Ntuen and vaguely promised to use other positions in the incoming state and federal governments to compensate us. “I pleaded with him to reconsider his position and allow the will of the people to prevail. I reminded the senator of the enormous effort and resources expended on campaigns already, the goodwill of teeming supporters who are yearning for change and whose trust I cannot betray, and the need for true progressive culture of politics to be entrenched in the best interest of democracy. 
“My position infuriated Nse Ntuen who then accused me of being an agent of malice and chronic opponent of Akpabio’s directives. Senator Akpabio rose up and physically assaulted me and ordered his security details to arrest me. I was dragged like a common criminal out of the meeting room. “My brother, who was waiting outside, was shocked to see the assault on me and sought to know what was happening. He too was promptly arrested on the orders of an enraged and bitterly angry Akpabio. Both of us were rough-handled, beaten, assaulted and thrown into a van and our phones were seized,” he alleged. LAGOS Controversy trails APC primary election in Lagos •Jimi Agbaje picks PDP governorship ticket By ROLAND OGBONNAYA The drama and controversy that characterised the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primaries in Lagos State came to a climax with Jide Sanwo-Olu picking the

ticketing by defeating the incumbent governor Akinwumi Ambode, who has been has been having a running battle with his godfather and national leader of the party, Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu. Sanwo-Olu was declared winner with 97851 votes while Ambode got 72901 votes. Former governor of Cross Rivers State and the Chairman of the national Working committee of the APC, Clement Ebri who conducted the election endorsed the result of the primaries, which was as controversial as other APC elections across the country. The protest by Ambode’s supporters that the election was not fair, transparent free, was ignored by party. Generally, the APC primary elections in Lagos were marred by protests as a result of alleged official interference, intimidation and outright disenfranchisement of some electorate who were considered loyal or sympathetic to Governor Ambode. Similarly, Jimi Agbaje also emerged as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State for the 2019 elections. Agbaje, a pharmacist, polled 1,100 votes to defeat his rival, Adedeji Doherty, who had 742, votes in the party’s primary held in Ikeja, Lagos. He had also emerged the PDP candidate in the 2015 governorship election but lost to the current governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode. But Ambode failed to get the ticket of his party to seek re-election for a second term. He lost to Babajide Sanwo-Olu in the party’s primary. Therefore, Agbaje will be contesting against the candidate of the ruling party, Sanwo-Olu, and those of other parties. The Chairman of the five-man panel constituted by the PDP National Working Committee to oversee the primary, Senator Victor Oyofo, declared Agbaje as the party’s candidate and described the exercise as free and fair. RIVERS Not exactly easy street for Rivers APC,


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018


pro-Amaechi group, architect and businessman, Tonye Dele Cole emerged as candidate, while Senator Magnus Ngei Abe was chosen through direct primary. The Senator representing Rivers South East has rejected the ratification of Tonye Cole who emerged through indirect primary by the NWC of the APC. He has appealed to the Appeal Panel set up to receive complaints from the governorship primary. There are about four cases in court on the election of delegates in a Rivers State High Court and a federal high Court. Justice Chiwendu Nworgu of the Rivers State High Court was supposed to give judgment on one of the cases filed by 23 aggrieved members of the APC in Rivers State on September 24, but the judge didn’t show up in court. The PDP elected Dr. Barry Mpigi, a member of the House of Representatives, representing Tai/Eleme/Oyigbo Federal Constituency for Rivers South East Senatorial District; Senator George Sekibo, for Rivers East and Hon. (Mrs) Betty Akagua Appiafi, representing Abua-Odua/Ahoada-East Federal Constituency as candidate for Rivers West Senatorial District. The APC elected Asita Honourable Asita as senatorial candidate for Rivers West Senatorial District; Senator Andrew Uchendu for Rivers East and Orji Ngofa, Nigerian Ambassador to The Netherlands to represent Rivers South East Senatorial District. CROSS RIVER Confusion trails party primaries in Cross River By ANIEKAN ANIEKAN

Victor Oye

PDP National Assembly candidates By NATH OMAME The primaries to elect candidates for the governorship, National and State Assemblies in Rivers State in the two major political parties, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) were trailed by rancorous scenes in some centres. For the governorship, the PDP in unanimously adopted Governor Nyesom Wike for a second term. The APC held two paral-

lel governorship primaries. The pro-Amaechi group held its governorship primary at the Igbokwu Field in D-Line, Port Harcourt, using indirect primary, while the pro-Abe faction conducted its governorship primary through direct primary. Both groups laid claims to divergent instructions given by the national leadership of the party. The pro-Abe group insisted that the superior organ of the party, the National Executive Committee (NEC) had earlier resolved that Rivers State APC should select its governorship candidate through direct primary.

On the other hand, the pro-Amaechi faction maintained that the National Working Committee (NWC) had instructed Rivers APC to choose its candidate through indirect primary The indirect primary will require the party to select its governorship candidate through voting by delegates elected in the ward, local and state congresses, which held on May 19, 20 and 21, respectively. The direct primary will require the use of delegates that were used in electing the party’s candidates for the 2015 general elections. In the indirect primary adopted by the

The last has not been heard from the political class in Cross River State as the electorate awaits the next move by various interest groups who happen to have lost out during the just concluded primaries. For the two main political parties in the state, the PDP and the APC, so much more is still expected from the losers in the run-up to the 2019 general elections. In the ruling PDP gubernatorial primary in the State, the incumbent governor, Professor Ben Ayade emerged victorious, scoring 1, 927 votes to secure the party’s ticket. Announcing the result at the U. J. Esuene Stadium, Chairman of Cross River State Primaries Committee, Hon. Olorogun Taleb Tebite said 2001 delegates from the 18 local government areas of the state were accredited for the exercise and of the 1, 927 votes Ayade polled, 10 votes were voided. Some of the aspirants like Paul Udaiye and Emmanuel Ibeshi have however kicked against the process and have instituted a legal action against the party for disqualifying them on the eve of the elections. The legislative primaries of the party were equally fraught with confusion as some of the aspirants complained that election never took place and the party went ahead to grant automatic tickets to its serving members in the national assembly. Prominent among those who complained was the former chairman of the party in the State, Ntufam Ekpo Okon who complained that materials for the election were hijacked by a serving senator in the state. In the APC, the fierce rivalry between the Senator representing the Central Senatorial District in the State, John Owan Enoh and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani came to a head as both of them emerged victorious in parallel primaries conducted in the state. While the minister polled 47, 313 votes to defeat the Senator and four other aspirants in one primary as announced by the chairman of the committee Ntufam Emmanuel Anom, the Senator polled 82, 272 votes to defeat the minister and others in a parallel primary conducted by Ali Mohammed Magaji. The party has also produced parallel flagbearers for the various legislative positions in the state. Both parallel executives of the party have laid claim to being the authentic flag-bearer of the party but the National Executive Committee of the party recently ratified the primary that produced Senator Owan-Enoh and has accordingly recognized him as the flag bearer of the party.

The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018

Woman and family Martha Emmanuel, wife of Akwa Ibom State Governor, like the Martha in the Bible, cares naturally. Caring, she says, is “a passion I have for families and the less privileged. I grew up to see my parents doing what I’m doing; helping families, helping the less-privileged.” But through her pet project set up three years ago, Family Empowerment and Youth Reorientation Programme (FEYReP), the First Lady has taken the act of caring to a new height; helping to bring back light and hope to the society’s less privileged. That journey started September 21, 2015; a day she says marks a watershed in her life. “It was a day I experienced a transformation from being just a public-spirited individual who invests in charity as a whim or a conscientious obligation. That was the day I made a commitment to a mission for the public good; to drive a clearly-defined social agenda and to stay accountable to the public for the successes or failures of the mission”. That was the birth of FEYReP.” Even though caring has always run in her blood, however, the birth of FEYReP was circumstancial; “When I came here in 2013, when my husband became the SSG, I had the opportunity to visit some local government areas. There, I realised the level of poverty, the decay in the families and I said to myself, what can I do?” The answer to that question is FEYReP. Three years into the journey, Martha says the experience has been fulfilling; “FeyRep has become the harbinger of hope to the vulnerable and indigent poor.” Among others, the NGO has become a major champion of family empowerment programmes, particularly targeting women and the girl-child. To date, FEYReP has disbursed start-up grants and equipment to over 5,000 beneficiaries mostly women and youths to empower them to set up small businesses for themselves. The philosophy behind family empowerment, the First Lady says, stems from the fact that, “when a family is successful, we are mostly likely going to have responsible children”, adding, “when you see a family that is not doing well, you will see the result in the children.” In yet another of its success stories, FEYReP has provided a home for over 700 orphans who are now under its care, upbringing and Education; thus earning them a future and hope. The First Lady has also, through FEYReP, built and delivered 27 bungalows to hapless widows; thus reintegrating them back to the descent society. And, in another bold move that has become provided a big boost to the state government’s food sufficiency agenda for the families, FEYReP set up Cassava and Palm Oil processing mills across each of the three senatorial zones of the state, by so doing impacting positively on the food sufficiency programme of the state government. At its Cassava plantations in Okobo Local Government Area, the NGO successfully breeds a high-yielding Cassava variety which has been a big boost to Garri production in the state. This effort, no doubt, would have contributed greatly to crashing the price of the people’s staple food from the two cups for N200 as at when the government took over in 2015, to now that same N200 would buy 12 cups of same food item. FEYReP, during those three years, has partnered with several organisations and agencies both locally and internationally to deliver quality healthcare to thousands of otherwise hapless citizens. For instance, last year, in conjunction with the MTN Foundation, it conducted free eye surgeries for hundreds of people also giving out free eyeglasses in the process. In a similarly partnership with Akwa Ibom State Association, USA (AKISAN), the NGO touched the lives of several hundreds of beneficiaries through free surgeries of diverse health ailments. It has equally partnered with Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals to deworm close to a thousand children across the 31 Local Government Areas of the State. It is on record that FEYReP has also within the period, initiated several outreaches targeting at improving the lots of the girl-child. Through its Girl Uphold Your Dignity campaign, the NGO has toured schools spread across all the local government areas of the


Martha Emmanuel: Taking caring to a new height •Three years of dedicated service to the neglected Wife of Akwa Ibom State Governor, Martha Emmanuel celebrates her ‘ministry’ of caring after three years of eventful outing, Nwaocha Ogbbuefi, who was in Uyo, reports...

•FEYReP walk against rape

•Martha Emmanuel state to educate female children on the dangers of teenage pregnancies midst other anti-social vices. So too, with its advocacy on rape where the NGO partnered International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) to launch a major offensive that resulted in the prosecution of scores of culprits; thus saving as deterrent others. But more importantly,

the advocacy has become a major avenue of enlightenment for the girl-child as much as it instills fears in the minds of the criminallyminded. The First Lady, also through an outreach called PREGNACARE donates complete delivery kits to pregnant women thereby reducing the spate of infant mortality in the

State. In the same vein, FEYReP has brought succour to families with multiple births, in most cases footing the bills and being a pillar of support for the upbringing of such children. The visually-impaired and indeed, other physically/mentally-challenged persons are not left out of FEYReP’s scheme of things, as it is on record that several interventions aimed at giving their lives meaning have been carried out by the NGO. Martha, herself, attempts an assessment of the social intervention programme last week at the Ibom Hall venue of the commemoration of its three years: “So many people and families have been empowered. So many orphans who were not able to pay their school fees have had those fees paid for them. So many lives have been touched through FEYReP. So many that were homeless have also been provided with decent accommodation… A lot have been done to improve the lives of our people.” Perhaps, what gives Martha a greater satisfaction is the fact that structures have already been put in place to ensure that the good work continues long after Martha leaves office as the First Lady. “Talking about sustainability, by the Grace of God, it (FEYReP) will go beyond 2013.” Mrs Emmanuel says, she has established relationship with several international donor agencies as part of efforts to guaranty that the good work does not end once her tenure as the First Lady is over. In fact, her efforts in this regard, have already begun to yield results. Earlier in the year, she was recognised by the International Human Rights Commission of the United Nations which honoured her as the “Heart of Champions”, for her accomplishments with FEYReP. Today, Martha is a household name in the state. Call her Martha anywhere and the crowd would go wild with excitement with responses like: “Martha of the Moment” or “Eka Uwana Akwa Ibom”, literally translated Mother of Light for Akwa Ibom people. These are not vain titles but sincere reflections of what their First Lady means to them.


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018


Why I started Teens Hangout Mrs Roseline Ifebuche Anijekwu is a Teen Coach and Motivational Speaker. The Enugu-born CEO of Caverra World is the anchor of a popular program called ‘TEENS Hangout’ which is aimed at inspiring and motivating teenagers to achieve excellence and success in life and in their chosen endeavours. In this interview with Ireto Temofeh, she tells the story of what led her into the world of Teen Counseling. What is Caverra World about? Caverra World is all about inspiring, motivating, and helping teenagers to discover themselves. Most teenagers settle for mediocrity and pledge allegiance to the ordinary because they lack inspiration and motivation. Caverra World helps the teenagers to rediscover their true essence by fanning out their untapped potentials and restructuring their mindset to positive activities. What led you into the field of Teen coaching and counseling? The truth is that teenagers need help. Their brains are still developing, so building a positive orientation towards their future is a definite skill. When I was in secondary school, a lot of children with great potentials lost focus at their teenage stage possibly because they had no one to motivate or inspire them to do more. So I decided to be a Teen coach and Teen counselor because I believe that they all have that hidden untapped potential that needs to be fanned out, they need to be stretched to do more and be more. I really want the best for my country Nigeria and it all starts with the teenagers. Great works of excellence are the products of great thoughts of excellence. Success begins when a positive attitude is adopted. A teenager with with a poor mindset cannot offer any positive contribution to life. A well trained teenager will be a strong and sound youth and a positive leader tomorrow who will not settle for any amoral act. Teenagers must be put right because it all begins with them. What programs are you currently running for teenagers? Currently I’m running a program called “Teens Hangout.” The Teens Hangout program is an interactive session between the teen coach and teenagers. I’ve been coaching teenagers for many years all over the country. In Lagos, the latest venue of the Teens Hangout program is at Holy Family Catholic Church, Festac. Presently our Teen Hangout program holds on the first and third Saturday of the month at Holy Family Catholic Church, Festac Town, Lagos, from 12 noon to 2pm. I believe so much in the ability of teenagers. So, I want to make them regain their confidence in life so that they can soar. The theme of our launching coming up on September 1, 2018 is titled: “Discovering Your True Self.” When teens discover who they are, their vision and purpose become clearer and they will be more predisposed to the right choices. The moment the teenagers discover their true selves, they will be more daring, having passion and conviction for who they truly are. The right time to make the right choice is now at the teenage stage. How do you see the average Nigerian family of today in terms of its relationship with its teenage children? The average Nigerian family today is not truly doing its job. From several counseling sessions that I have had with teenagers, I can tell that most families are not in a good relationship with their teenage kids. This is because the parents don’t understand their world or their stage of life. So these factors make the

teenage kids to distance themselves from their family. Fathers and mothers need to cooperate with each other for the sake of their teenage children and all their other children. I’m from Enugu state but I’m married to Mr Ebele Charles Anijekwu from Anambra state and I’m happy to say that my husband supports me in this my calling or vocation in life. How are teenagers affected by the high level of poverty and poor economic situation suffered by most Nigerian families today? They are affected both emotionally and psychologically. That’s why most teenagers give up in life easily, not minding the unique potential they have. So most teenagers from poor homes who are talented and gifted have gotten so comfortable in settling where they are and appear content with their unacceptable condition. I want every teenage kid in Nigeria to know and believe in themselves. Your poor family background cannot stop you from maximizing your talent. All you need is focus and determination to fly. What can Teen coaches and Counselors like you really do to restore hope, focus and direction in the lives of teenagers? This is a work I do with so much passion. I feel very sad and unfulfilled each time I see a teenage child engaged in a negative activity. I see the teenagers as the hope for a fulfilled nation, the hope for a better nation, the hope for national growth, and the light for change. As a teenage coach and counselor, I will start first by making them discover who they truly are. In discovering themselves, they will identify their source and also identify their life purpose. So with constant motivation and inspiration, hope for greatness will be restored. Secondly, I believe that help from the government and other bodies will be needed to help our teenagers excel. Teenagers need to be challenged and stretched. When we make them see we believe in their abilities, we will always propel them to do more to win. What are the challenges that you normally face as a teen counselor and how do you overcome these challenges? As a teen coach and counselor, I do face mainly financial challenges, among others. Sometimes I see some teenagers who need to be assisted financially. I always do the best I can do to help out. Also, sometimes after counseling, I must put up a call to talk to their parents too. Coming out to inform the public about the challenges that teen counselors face is a wake up call to members of the public and corporate bodies to partner with teen counselors to help our teenage children overcome these challenges; because if more people can assist financially, these challenges will be addressed. Change starts with the teenagers. Have Nigerian teenagers really been neglected and abandoned by the government? I can say yes to an extent. Nigerian teens have been neglected because the children’s day is celebrated nationally every year, youths are also recognized and talked about,

•Roseline Ifebuche but the teenagers are not talked about. Remember children are within the ages of 1-12 years, teenagers are from 13-19 years, and youths are from 20 -42 years. So the teenagers have their own stage, because they are not celebrated or talked about, they feel abandoned and neglected. What can government do to improve the lives of teenagers and secure/safeguard their future? Government can come in to help improve the lives of teenagers and secure their future by celebrating the teenagers nationally, and by empowering or helping teen counselors financially to reach out to the teenagers to help them recapture their essence of true self potentials and activate the right mental attitude to help them excel. Remember that teenagers are motivated mostly by these three factors: friends, freedom and fun. At every hang out I have with these teenagers, they need to be well entertained. So my organization, Caverra World, truly needs financial help for us to do more to improve the lives of our teenagers. Remember they are the light of the nation. What you put in them now is what they will return back to you when they become youths and leaders of the society. How can schools, churches and communities help in improving the lives of teenagers? Schools can help improve the lives of teenagers by inviting teen counselors constantly to inspire and motivate them, by taking them out for Teen Hangouts. Giving them an opportunity to mix up with students from other schools will bring a positive challenge amongst them and would improve them more. Schools should not just limit them to just class works alone. Churches also should help improve the lives and development of teenagers by celebrating them and making them know that they are important. Organizing some teen shows

too will help. Communities can help by applauding them and supporting them financially to see that their lives are improved. What are your suggestions on how parents and families can cope with teenage/juvenile delinquency and get their teenager children back on the right track? Parents and families can really help these teenagers get back on the right track by establishing a good relationship with their teenage kids, giving them time and listening to them, celebrating them and making them feel loved. Some parents neglect their teenage kids and make them more susceptible to crime by not making out time for them. So these teenage children go out to get love from the wrong people. Parents should learn to engage their teenage children in more positive activities. You can cheer them up and challenge them to think more critically. Don’t just give them money always but make them learn how to save and how to make more money. Teenage juvenile/delinquency can be managed by constant motivation and inspiration. These will predispose them to make the right choices in life. This will be better for the society in the future. Where do you see the Caverra World Teen Hangout program in the next five years? Well I believe that in the next five years, Caverra World would have brought smiles to a lot of teenagers and their families, and even help to control crime and disorder in the society. The more we continue to motivate and inspire teenagers, the more focused and responsible they will be. So in the next five years, we believe we will be able to reach most states in Nigeria. I really hope to be on TV and radio as soon as possible because it’s through my Teens Hangout show that we can get to connect to all the teenagers out there. My mission is to reach and touch the lives of teenagers so that all teenagers in the society can be transformed by the Caverra World program.


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018


•Igwe Ume-Ezeoke handing over a chieftaincy authority to Umeohia •Igwe putting on the chieftaincy bid on Umeohia

•Igwe Ume-Ezeoke about to put on the chieftaincy bid on Umeohia

First sons fete Umeohia, others at Okpala Day cultural fiesta In Igbo land, first sons are held in very high esteem, almost reverred. This is the for the simple reason that on their shoulders are thrust the responsibility of maintaining lineages in the absence family patriarchs. In Amichi, a community in Nnewi South Local Government area of Anambra State, that respect manifests in a cultural extravaganza in honour of the Okpalas. Ibe Nwachukwu reports.


t was a mixture of Igbo cultural carnival and nation’s independence day anniversary celebration on October 1 for the people of Amichi community in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State as members of Okpala (first sons) Descendants Union (ODU) painted the community red with the celebration of their 2018 Okpala day cultural fiesta. The cultural carnival which co-incided with the nation’s 58th independence anniversary celebration, took place at Didi Playground, Amichi, home town of some notable Nigerians, including Chief, Dr. Chidi Anyaegbu, MFR, of Chisco Transport firm, Late Chief Edwin Ume-Ezeoke, first and second republic Titan, Chief Ben Atuchukwu, who signed the peace pact for Biafra at the end of the civil war, and Chief Simon Okeke, former Chairman of Police Service Commission. High point of the celebration was the conferment of a chieftaincy title of Ide Okpala Amichi, on Chief Sir Emmanuel Chukwun-

weike Umeohia, KSC, OON, Agu Emab, Ezembamaonyeukwu Amichi, and his wife, Lady Angelina Umeohia, Chief Executive Officers, Emab Group of Companies, owners of the popular Emab Plazas, a philanthropist Par exellence, a key member of ODU and a prominent indegine of Amichi, by the traditional ruler of Amichi, Igwe Alphonsus Ume-Ezeoke, The ODU members also conferred chieftaincy titles of Udemba Okpala Amichi on Chief Mike Umeh, another philanthropist, as well as another chieftancy title on Engr. CY Umeigbo, just as Prof. Ike Ben UmeEzeoke’s position as Igwe Uduakomili of Amichi people resident in Dallas, United States of America, USA, was confirmed at the ceremony. Performing the cheiftancy ceremony on Chief Umeohia, KSC, OON, and the wife, the Amichi monarch, Igwe Ume-Ezeoke explained that apart from the cultural display, the occasion would also serve as a tonic towards encouragement and ad-

• Umeohia and wife, Angelina posing for a photograph with their children blood relations

vancement of peace and harmony in the community. The monarch noted that he would always encourage any programme designed by any individual or group in the area that would promote unity and tranquility, such as this Okpala day celebration, adding that what the community needed most at present to make remarkable progress and achievements are love brotherliness among themselves. In their separate speeches, some of the dignitaries, Prof. Ike Ben Ume-Ezeoke and Chief Clement Ben Ume-Ezeoke, described Chief Umeohia as their childhood and trusted friend, whose kind heartedness knows no bounds. Specifically, Clement Ben Ume-Ezeoke disclosed that he has started putting finishing touches on his proposed Ozo title taking scheduled to hold early next year. Responding, Chief Umeohia and wife commended members of ODU for finding them worthy of the honour and pledged to do more good things that would justify the confidence reposed on them. Chief Umeohia disclosed that his philanthropic gestures, over the years, have attracted honours to him, adding that besides his scholarship scheme, he had built houses for the indigent and homeless and is ready to do more for the down trodden. The ceremony attracted dignitaries from all works of life, including the traditional ruler of Obosi ancient kingdom, Igwe Chidubem Iweka and a one-time Anambra state Commissioner for Information, Chief Maja Umeh, a prominent citizen of Amichi. Earlier in an address, the President-General of ODU, Sir Bernard Afoka had ex-

plained that currently, the union has about 69 members in its fold from the five quarters that made up Amichi. Afoka however appealed to highly placed indigenes of Amichi to support the union financially and otherwise to enable them carry out their development projects in the area, as well as to sponsor the Okpala day celebration on an annual basis. According to Afoka, “Today, history is made. The first time the sons and daughter, wives and well-wishers of Okpala Amichi have come together to celebrate Okpala Day in remembrance of lineage of their great forefather and themselves”. Afoka further declared: “Okpala Amichi Day is a day which has been set aside for all the descendants of Okpala, the first son of Amichi to remember our ancestors, commemorate and honour our heroes and heroines, celebrate our rich tradition and cultural heritage, as well as know and felicitate ourselves, friends and well-wishers”. Going down the memory lane, Afoka also explained that he was using the auspicious occasion to enlighten the audience on Okpala Amichi, past, present and future in order to show the meaning and significance of the day, adding, “Okpala himself is our great ancestor and a grand son of Okotu, one of the ancestral forefathers of Igbo heartland. Okpala is the first son of Ichi, our forefather. He gave our town his name, Amichi. after his parents. Okpala had three brothers namely: Ezeudene, Afube and Asaa, after whom our other Quarters are named. His sons, Didi, Cheke and Ezeneke are the grand patriarchs of the villages we havde in Okpala today”.


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018

NEWS Extra Ebonyi Govt inaugurates monitoring committee for VAPP Law


bonyi Government, through office of the State Chief Judge, Justice Aloy Nwankwo, Friday, in Abakaliki formally presented the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law before the public. The state also inaugurated the VAPP Law Monitoring Committee. Nwankwo, who was represented by Justice Destina Okoh, said that the law was meant to reduce some limitations and challenges encountered by law enforcement agencies. The law 002 of 2018 passed by Ebonyi House of Assembly was signed by Gov. Dave Umahi. He said that the law would also take care of appropriate prosecution of gender-based offences, which were not specifically stipulated in both federal and state laws. “The law is already in existence since January 2018 and will not affect court proceedings. This is a giant stride and we are happy that all stakeholders involve are participating in the campaign,’’ Nwankwo said. Nwankwo said that the law addressed issues of harmful traditional practices, emotional, verbal and psychological abuse, rape, incest and sexual exploitation. Others are: spousal battering, harmful widowhood practices, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), indecent exposures, among others. Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi, represented by his wife, Rachael, appealed to traditional rulers to inform and educate their subjects on the provisions of the law. He said that the monitoring committee would be empowered to popularise the law in the rural areas. “We will set up local government FGM monitoring committee to help identify and apprehend those who still practice the act.’’ Commissioner of Police in Ebonyi, Mr Musa Kimo, who spoke, assured the state government of support in the implementation of the provisions of the VAPP Law. Kimo, represented by DSP Kenneth Adokeme, urged stakeholders to educate family members and the public on the provisions of the law. “We have mapped out strategies where offices will be opened for all to report cases of violence. The police will ensure that victims and witnesses are protected,’’ Kimo assured. Mrs Stephanie Ekumankama, the chairperson of the monitoring committee, assured that the committee would popularise the provisions of the law as well as make them available to them. The VAPP Act was passed and signed into law by former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015. The states were required to domesticate the law. Though the law became effective in 2015, it was not gazetted. The gazetting of the Act in 2018, was facilitated by the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) Programme of the British Council and funded by the European Union. The Act prohibits all forms of violence against persons in private and public life and provides maximum protection and effective remedies for victims and punishment of offenders.

Meet communities’ yearnings for infrastructure – Obi Achebe tells Obiano


he Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe has told the Anambra Stae Governor, Chief Willie Obiano to strive to meet the yearnings of various communities in the areas of basic infrastructure and in some key projects The Onitsha monarch also opined that Nigeria requires strong leadership to harness its untapped potential for its growth. Achebe, who stated this last Saturday at his 17th Ofala Festival in Onitsha, noted that the country hitherto had taken little pride in its heritage which had affected nationalism and development. “Today, our country is experiencing deep chasms on various aspects including the political, social and religious. “While the political class is jockeying for and switching positions within and between political parties for personal gains, there is no clear message on how these parties plan

to move the country out of present quagmire,” Achebe said. The monarch, who called for free, fair and peaceful elections in 2019, urged winning party to buckle up to address the myriad of challenges facing the nation, particularly the issue of income inequality. Achebe also called for urgent action that would broaden the country’s economic base, create employment and grow prosperity at the lower level of society to avoid facing graver situation than the present. The traditional ruler who urged Obiano to meet the yearnings of various communities in the areas of basic infrastructure and in some key projects, further named the key projects as the Umueri Airport project, the Orient Petroleum Ltd. project, and the conversion of the Nwafor Orizu College of Education to a full-fledged university. “We also plead for the construc-

tion of the Onitsha-Otuocha/Omasi and Onitsha-Ogbaru roads, both of which though are federal roads, are of great significance to the economy of the state. “Onitsha as a cosmopolitan city deserves a major facelift to reflect the motto of the state as Light of the Nation,” Achebe said. He commended President Mohammadu Buhari for signing the agreement and releasing the first tranche of the fund for the Second Niger Bridge project. The monarch described the bridge as “an important asset that will connect all parts of the country and make road travel far easier for all Nigerians.” He urged the Federal Ministry of Works to accelerate the payment of compensation to communities and stakeholders whose land and property were affected. Gov. Willie Obiano said that his

administration would continue to support Ofala festivals across the state, urging various traditional rulers to upgrade and make their festivals rich like that of Onitsha. Obiano commended Achebe for initiating programmes aimed at developing youths and making them better people in society. The governor assured Achebe and the people of Onitsha that his administration was poised to ensuring greater development in the area. According to him, the ban on commercial motorcycles popularly known as ‘Okada’ in Awka and Onitsha has helped to reduce crime significantly. “I want Onitsha people to continue to support my administration; I want you to also patronize the state Health Insurance Scheme launched a month ago. “It is an affordable health services that will go a long way in providing quality health condition of the people,” the governor stated. The Onitsha Ofala Festival is an annual ceremony which serves as a rites of renewal for the traditional ruler. The event attracted dignitaries from all walks of life including traditional rulers of various kingdoms, the clergy, diplomats and government officials, among others. Highlight of the festival was the emergence of the traditional ruler in his royal regalia in some dance steps that cheered the crowd.

Group to APC: Uphold Imo Gov primary result

P • (From left): Chairman, Offices Representative Committee, Pius Karieren; Chairman, Nigerian Insurers Association, Tope Smart; President, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, Eddie Efekoha and Director General, Richard Borokini at the 2018 Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) Offices Representative Committee (ORC) workshop in Lagos

Idemili North/South 2019: JMPP candidate promises dividends of democracy By Theo Rays, Onitsha


head of 2019 general elections, a House of Representative hopeful, Iyom Dr Georgina Okeke, a political scientist has promised to attract dividends of democracy in the area of road infrastructure, social amenities and empowerment of youth and rural via job creation and other things for the good people of Idemili North/ South Federal Constituency if elected. Okeke who spoke shortly after she emerged the candidate of Justice Must Prevail Party (JMPP) in a primary election of the party held in Awka the Anambra State Capital, said she is in the race to make a different for the constituents as according her, Idemili North/South Federal Constituency is lagging behind other Federal Constituencies in Anambra State due to lack of good representation of Constituency in Abuja over the years. She said “Idemili North/South is not well represented at Abuja over the years and a as political scientist, I have come to save the situation,

I am well prepared to make a different. I don’t see the reason why our constituency will cnotinue to lag behind other constituencies in terms of infrastructure and social amenities. I don’t see the reason why our youth should be rooming the street jobless and rural women not empowered She continued: “there are no traces of dividends of democracy in the entire 24 electoral wards in our constituency from those that have represented us over the years, no infrastructural facilities and amenities on education, health, water, no jobs for the youth, no measure towards empowerment of the women. But on the contrary representatives of other constituencies empower the youth and women and also attracts projects in education, health and so on “So my questions are: what happens to the Constituency projects being allocated to Idemili North/ South Federal Constituency? what efforts had our Representatives made to address the challenges facing us through the budget? the answers are nothing. And for me,

we cannot continue this way. We cannot to be on side of failure. Our people have to be well represented and I am prepared for that quality representation. As a political scientist by study I will use the annual budget to champion the interest of my constituency in the House. She added, “If I don’t bring home the constituency projects what am I going to Abuja to do? For me going to Abuja is a divine call to serve my people and I must ensure that whatever that is due for my constituency will be made available to the people that gave me the mandate to represent them” On the possibilities of defeating candidates of other political parties at the polls next year, the JMPP candidate popularly called Iyom observed with optimism that her chances are very bright because those who have consistently failed to give the constituency a quality representation are products of these other political parties, thus according to her it is time for the people to give a new political party a chance to represent them in Abuja.

resident, Nigeria Youth Forum in South Africa, Chief Beltus Nwanojuo, has urged the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to uphold the result of the Imo Governorship primary. The party’s governorship primary committee led by Ahmed Gulak had declared Sen. Hope Uzodimma as winner of the primary that was later cancelled by the NWC. Nwanojuo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone from Johannesburg, South Africa on Saturday that Uzodimma won the election. He said it was unfair for the party to deny the people the candidate of their choice to who would fly the party’s flag in the gubernatorial election in 2019. According to him, members of the party in Imo cast their ballot for Uzodimma leading to his victory in the primary. “I want to appeal to the National Working Committee of the APC that the will of the majority of Imo people should be respected. The party should allow the elected candidate, Sen. Hope Uzodimma to take his mandate as declared by the chairman of the state APC governorship election committee. “I urge the good people of Imo to remain calm and law abiding. I believe that the rule of law will take its course,’’ he said. Nwanojuo said if the result was not reinstated, it might create bad feeling among party members in the state. He said that such rancor among party members could work against the party’s interest.


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018

NEWS Extra 2019: Forum expresses fear over insecure electorate


Lagos-based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), We The People Forum has expressed concern over security and safety of the people ahead of the 2019 General Elections. A statement signed by Mr Nathaniel Okoro, the Forum’s Convener, and made available to Oracle Today, weekend, after a media interaction in Lagos, further called for stringent measures to stem the tides of political tension across the country. The forum in the statement identified nine major basic problems confronting the country such as ethnic mistrust and mutual ethnic suspicion, ethnic fear of insecure future, collective intellectual deficiency, continued psychological trauma, collective intellectual laziness and lack of spirit of collective responsibility. Others are; introduction of religious suspicion(s) into purely secular matters, lack of collective rightful indignation and easily surrendering our collective well-being to a leadership, we do not trust, or perceived as not deserving our collective trust. The group said that for instance, there is need to intensify political education among the people ahead of the 2019 general elections. It said that for sanity to come to our national political firmament, the electoral law must be amended to make it compulsory that any candidate for elective office must evolve through direct primary. “The members of a political party must be the ones to choose their candidate through direct primaries. Indirect primaries through delegates is presently too susceptible to corrupt tendencies,’’ the group said. It added that the electoral and judicial institutions must be strengthened to bring sanity to bear in our elections. Noting that that matters arising from Osun State, main and supplementary elections showed that rigging and vote-buying were widespread, the group said that similar issues that dominated the Ekiti State elections like `see and buy’ in 2014 and 2018 elections must not be allowed to become the template for elections in Nigeria. It, therefore, urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct more education of the citizenry regarding the electoral laws, dos and don’ts during elections, adding that the National Orientation Agency needs to do more to complement the efforts of INEC on voter education. Other issues raised during the interactive session are: that the security agencies involved in electoral duties must be apolitical and neutral during elections. “Security agencies must not be involved in actions that disenfranchises some or impedes them in performing civic responsibility of voting.” The group also observed that defections by politicians are not in the interest of the people, but motivated by selfish interest. This, the group said that some of the political parties do not have ideology, which could have been an important factor before an individual decides to defect.

APC primaries: Aspirants allege non- conduct of state, NASS primaries in Ebonyi South


coalition of aspirants for State House of Assembly and House of Representatives in Ebonyi South Senatorial zone, allege non-conduct of primary elections to select the All Progressives Congress (APC) flag bearers. The aspirants at a press briefing on Saturday in Abakaliki, accused the state chapter of the APC of colluding with electoral officials to truncate the process. They also alleged that the electoral committee for State and National Assembly APC primary elections for Ebonyi was plotting to write fake results and foist same on the party. Mr Chinedu Nwota, who briefed journalists on behalf of the group, regretted that the committee sent from Abuja to conduct the exercise in Ebonyi, refused to conduct the primaries for the various positions. Nwota who is seeking to fly the party’s flag for the Ohaozara/Onicha/ Ivo Federal Constituency, said that the committee allegedly ab-

sconded with election materials. “We want to bring it to the notice of our great party, our constituencies, Nigerian public and indeed to all democracy loving people of the world, about the grand plot to destroy internal democracy in our party. “We want to bring it to the knowledge of the National Party Chairman, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, national secretariat and Mr President, attempt to sabotage the House of Assembly and House of Representatives primary elections in Ebonyi South Senatorial zone. “The committee sent for the exercise has absconded with election materials and for four days since they arrived Abakaliki, refused to conduct the election to select the party’s standard bearers for the respective positions. “Today, Sunday, October 7 is the deadline set by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for parties to conclude their

party primaries and submit lists of candidates. “We want to state that we were all screened and cleared by the party to stand for the primary elections, but wondered why the committee chose to shut us out from the primaries. “We, therefore, call on the party’s national leadership and party elders to intervene in the matter to avert plunging the party into avoidable crisis in Ebonyi. “We want to reiterate our commitment to ensuring that our party, the APC emerges victorious in the 2019 general elections in Ebonyi”, Nwota said. The aspirants vowed to resist any attempt to manipulate the process and submit lists of names of candidates that did not contest the primaries. “The party in Ebonyi scheduled to conduct its primary elections for the National Assembly on Oct. 2 and October 3, while elections into

the State House of Assembly were billed for Oct. 4; while other senatorial zones have concluded theirs, Ebonyi South has not. “We will resist any attempt to foist any lists of fake candidates on our respective constituencies. We wish to state here and now that we are grossly dismayed by the actions and conducts of the committee led by Mr Lekkan Asimitola, with Mr Emeka Umeakuka as its Secretary.’’ The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that efforts to speak with Asimitola and Umeakuka, were not successful as they could not be reached on their mobile phones. Chief Eze Nwachukwu, APC State Chairman could not be reached for comments. The state constituencies affected are: Onicha West, Onicha East, Ohaozara East and Afikpo North / West; and Ohaozara/ Onicha/ Ivo Federal Constituency. Members of the coalition are: Mr Julius Ukachukwu, Mr Ogbonnaya Onu, Chinedu Nwota, Arthur Udeumanta, Sunday Oyibe, Shedrack Ani, Moses Nweze, Ozoemenam Ogbu and Opara Onya.

2019: Atie wins APC ticket for Warri North, promises better representation


• South African Airways team with the children of the Arrows of God Orphanage during the SAA sponsored celebration of Nigeria’s 58th Independence Day at the orphanage

Dickson congratulates Atiku for clinching PDP Presidential ticket


ayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, on Sunday congratulated Alhaji Atiku Abubakar for emerging as the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) flag-bearer in the 2019 presidential election. According to Dickson, the former Vice President of Nigeria has the requisite experience and knowledge to tackle the challenges bedevilling the country. Dickson stated this while reacting to Atiku’s emergence as the PDP presidential candidate after the party’s national convention in Port Harcourt, Rivers. Dickson described the primaries that produced Atiku as the freest and best election ever conducted in the history of the country. “Let me congratulate the for-

mer Vice President and now the presidential candidate of our great party for the next presidential election over his resounding victory in a free, fair, transparent and credible primary election. “The delegates have spoken and they have elected a man who understands our country, the Niger Delta and a man who has the requisite experience. “He can build bridges of understanding and unity and form a great team to address the challenges that are facing our country. “We look forward to working, collaborating and supporting him in that onerous responsibility. As he rightly said, it is not a job left for him alone.” Dickson said. Dickson commended the PDP

National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, and members of the National Working Committee (NWC), convention planning committee and Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, and his team “for their hard work and the good job they have done.” “I cannot fail to appreciate my brother, Governor Nyesom Wike, the government and people of Rivers State for their hospitality and sacrifices in hosting this historic event. “Let me also commend our worthy leaders most of whom are my compatriots and friends for offering themselves for service. I thank and appreciate them for their show of sportsmanship and magnanimity,” Dickson said

mb. David O. Atie has emerged as the House of Assembly candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Warri North constituency, Delta State ahead of the 2019 general elections. Atie got 169 votes out of the accredited 286 delegates, while Eyeoyibo Bemigho who had earlier stepped down his ambition for Amb. Atie few minutes to the commencement of the exercise got one vote and four votes were confirmed invalid. Declaring Atie winner at Iwere College Koko, venue of the primaries on Saturday the returning officer, Alexander Onyekeni, said that the electoral process was free, fair and unprecedented. Onyekeni lauded the delegates for their patience and understanding and urged them not to relent in their effort in ensuring that APC wins subsequent elections in the State. He maintained that the party was poised to strengthen democracy and make life better for all and sundry in the country through the provision of basic amenities, infrastructural development and creating enabling environment for promotion of commerce and industry. Atie in his acceptance speech thanked party leaders and members for trusting him with their votes and thereafter sought their support for him to succeed in the general elections. He promised the people of Warri North constituency better representation if elected into the House. He said: “At this point in Warri North, we need quality representation. We need someone who will represent the people’s interest and not individualistic interest. When I get to the House of Assembly, our basic needs in this constituency will be thoroughly addressed. Amb. Atie also expressed excitement over the emergence of former Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan as the candidate of All Progressive Congress, APC for Delta South Senatorial seat for next year’s election.


BU$IN£SS The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018

•Energy •Finance





Failing economy lays campaign agenda



•Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to foreign exchange “with goods and service imports down by 45% when compared with the 2011-2015 period.” “These factors are among those seen as most problematic for doing business in Nigeria, alongside the country’s long-standing structural impediments such as inadequate infrastructure, corruption, an inefficient government bureaucracy and policy instability.” The HSBC report cited the International Monetary Fund (IMF) assessment of NIgeria in its 2018 Article IV report, which argued that “a large infrastructure gap, high gender and income inequality, pervasive corruption, low financial inclusion, and the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the North East remain continuous concerns.” “Infrastructure, FX regulations and access to credit weigh on the ability to do business in Nigeria,” according to the report which an-

CBN EXCHANGE RATES OCTOBER 5TH, 2018 Currency Buying(NGN) Central (NGN) Selling(NGN) US DOLLAR 305.4 305.9 306.4 POUNDS STERLING 398.6997 399.3525 400.0052 EURO 351.607 352.1827 352.7583 SWISS FRANC 307.3362 307.8394 308.3426 YEN 2.6813 2.6857 2.6901 CFA 0.5157 0.5257 0.5357 WAUA 423.3535 424.0466 424.7397 S/A RAND 20.7128 20.7467 20.7806 DANISH KRONA 47.126 47.2031 47.2803 SDR 424.5976 425.2928 425.9879 DANISH KRONA 47.4102 47.4878

gered President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet members. Again, the points out that the regulatory environment remains restrictive, evident in Nigeria’s overall rank of 145 out of 190 countries in the World Bank Doing Business survey. “Meanwhile weak institutions, infrastructure bottlenecks, disappointing macro dynamics, and poor basic health and education outcomes weigh heavily on the country’s competitiveness, leaving it languishing in 125th position out of 137 countries in the World Economic Forum’s 2017/18 competitiveness rankings.” On macro risks, reports on the country converge on key issues of security and corruption with the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East, militant activity that has disrupt oil production in the Niger Delta, and herdsmen invasion of villages in the middle belt and

EY economic and security crises that currently plague the Nigerian business environment are part of the myriad of issues that form the major considerations for the electorate as they sift through the crowd of candidates advanced by political parties that jostle for elective positions in 2019. As the race to general elections gathers momentum and parties finalise their primaries and seal deals on alliances, the greatest scramble is for control of the federal and state budgets which remain the ultimate prizes in Nigeria’s political contest. But the budgets must drive sound economic policies and programmes in order to improve living standards for the vast population. Recent economic reports by global analysts recommend that Nigerians elect leaders that demonstrate adequate understanding of how economies work in order to create the right set of production factors that would yield the desired values needed to rescue the nation from impending chaos. According to its recent report on the country, the HSBC Global Research stated that the nation’s economic growth remains sluggish and oil dependent while the non-oil economy, which accounts for about 90% of gross domestic product (GDP), continues to languish with many service sectors still mired in contraction. The non-oil economy, the report stated, expanded by just 0.8% year-on-year at the start of 2018; adding that momentum has been constrained by sluggish growth in the agriculture sector and persistent contractions in the real estate, trade, and construction sectors. “Stripping out agriculture makes the picture even worse, with nonoil, non-agriculture growth stagnating at the start of 2018 and contracting by an average of 1.0% year-on-year since 2016,” the report stated. The group stated in the report that the population of jobless Nigerians has risen to 87 million. Other reports state that half of of the country’s young population are unemployed. Other disturbing indicators, according to HSBC, limited access

southeast. According to the HSBC report, Nigeria currently faces the risk of limited economic progress and further fiscal deterioration, prolonging the stagnation of the past four years, unless there is decisive step towards reform of the exchange rate system or fiscal adjustments that diversify government revenues away from oil. With acutely inadequate and dilapidated infrastructure, pathetic electric power shortage, weak and ageing civil service workforce and institutions, high youth unemployment rate, low production capacity and pervasive poverty, the country’s economy needs urgent fix. Thus, the emerging fireworks on the political stage should form a strong platform for debate about the economic blueprints that would address the nation’s worsening reputation for resource curse. In the past months, internal political manoeuvrings had dominated the national political discourse leading to implosions that resulted in realignments and subsequent swings in the fate of major contenders. The intrigues that shaped the political climate had cast a cloud of violence and signalled the international community to sound alarms of insecurity in the country. Survey by The Oracle Today shows that investments have frozen in the past one year and profit taking has dominated transactions on foreign investments in the country. The domestic economy has been shaken to the roots as foreign portfolio investors pull out massive funds from the local equity market. Multinational oil firms including Shell, Total, Eni, Petrobras and Statoil have initiated divestment from vulnerable assets. Meanwhile the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressive Congress (APC) which spar at the centre are expected to tweak their campaign messages to capture the mood and desire of the electorate. And for stakeholders in the economy, two major concerns stand out: safe and stable business environment on the one hand, and a restructured federal arrangement that devolves more powers from the exclusive list on the other hand.



Ibigwe refinery to produce 271m litres of fuel P20 e-Platform

Ericsson, Turkcell win Innovation Award at Telecoms World Middle East P22


Investors remain upbeat on hotel strategies in Nigeria, others – Experts P26


Lagos Govt releases N795m to retirees P28 Equity & Capital Market

NSE out with guidelines for listing of Closed-End-Funds P30 Money Market

Finance Minister orders defunct Skye Bank’s directors investigation P31

Cont’d on Page 19

Stock Market Highlights As At 5th october, 2018



32,383.15 2,431.00 166,645,843.00 N1,485,183,329.83 N11,822,351,171,082.32 N10,266,449,244,011.20 N0.00

Coy (By Volume)


42,088,765 N72,281,980.49 32,551,290 N262,043,893.35 12,348,896 N275,988,710.05 11,366,244 N20,688,958.56 10,532,266 N384,331,096.30

5 Top Gainers

Symbols Last Close Current Change NB N86.5 N89.7 GUINNESS N78.05 N79 UACN N10.7 N11.5 AIRSERVICE N5.6 N6 CADBURY N9.25 N9.65

Five Tope Losers


N22.4 N36.75 N9.1 N5.1 N18.6

N21.55 N36.4 N8.9 N5 N18.5

%Change 3.2 3.70% 0.95 1.22% 0.8 7.48% 0.4 7.14% 0.4 4.32% -0.85 -0.35 -0.2 -0.1 -0.1

-3.79% -0.95% -2.20% -1.96% -0.54%


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018


Ambode to open National Insurance Consumers Colloquium in Lagos


S part of activities commemorating Nigeria’s 58th years of nationhood, Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode is to open a two-day National Insurance Consumers Colloquium in Lagos on October 8. The event which is jointly organised by the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) and Consumers Education Foundation (ICEF) will feature participants from insurance industry, government, commerce, academic and NGOs from within and outside the country. An official, Mr Johnson Adedapo, said in Lagos on Sunday that the colloquium would focus on the over 40 million excluded Nigerians from the financial net. Adedapo, who is the Managing Director, Pastures Consult, said with mass education and mobilisation the 40 million people could be brought back into banking and insurance nets. Official statistics show that the Nigerian adult population which consists of people from 18 years and above is 96.4 million out of which 59.6 million are living in the rural areas. Among this rural populace, 40.1 million are excluded from any form of financial services while the Nigerian formal sector provides income to only 7.9 million adults, representing 4.2 per cent whereas 41.6 per cent are excluded from financial services, including insurance. Adedapo said: “Inadequate financial education has prevented many active and working population in Nigeria from contributing maximally to national development through insurance and banking.

“The colloquium is part of efforts to ensure that the 40 million financially excluded are included through persistent insurance education. “We want to bring together stakeholders, individuals and experts to deliberate on it as insurance is as old as Nigeria.’’ Adedapo expressed the hope that the collaboration would create a synergy that would help to step up insurance education and how to access insurance by individuals and businesses irrespective of networth and sizes. Among the challenges confronting insurance industry to be addressed are negative perspectives, customers and religion. “The 2016 Insurance Industry Consultative Council (IICC) has revealed that less than three million Nigerians possess insurance. “Insurance consumer education can be used to attract more Nigerians into the financial net which is missing in the country even among the educated class. “There is need to mitigate losses through insurance particularly unexpected losses. “Many Nigerians still see vehicle insurance as just a document instead of a contractual agreement against third party liability,’’ Adedapo said in a statement. “The culture of insurance and its inherent benefits are not yet properly harnessed for the benefit of potential and real consumers.” Adedapo called for a proper regulatory framework for insurance practice in Nigeria and the need to address the misconceptions of consumers.

Coronation Merchant Bank emerges ‘Best Investment Bank’ in Nigeria


T the 2018 World Finance Investment Banking Awards in United Kingdom, Coronation Merchant Bank was announced as the Best Investment Bank in Nigeria. A statement quoted World Finance as saying, “One bank that has recorded remarkable accomplishments in its very short years of operation is Coronation Merchant Bank. The bank has established itself as a dominant player, sitting at the very top of the investment banking industry in its native Nigeria.” “In recent years, investment banking in Nigeria has changed considerably. Low capital requirements, together with a swift process for obtaining operating licenses, have seen the number of players in the market increase rapidly. “Against this backdrop of growing competition, Coronation Merchant Bank has managed to stand out from the crowd. Its investment banking business provides bespoke solutions and an enviable network of partners to corporate organisations across a variety of industries. “In recognition of the support the bank provides to ensure its clients are perfectly positioned to harness capital flows and competitive advantages, Coronation Merchant Bank has been named as the Best Investment Bank in Nigeria.” While commenting on the award, MD/CEO of Coronation Merchant Bank, Mr Abubakar Jimoh, stated that, “We are delighted to be recognised as the Best Investment Bank in Nigeria. Our successes and achievements over the years reflect the hard work and commitment of our staff, management and board in ensuring we maintain our core values of integ-

rity, innovation and excellence in service delivery.” “This award affirms that we are on course to achieving our long-term goal of becoming Africa’s premier investment bank,” he added. Coronation Merchant Bank group was established to fill the gap in a long-underserved market segment, and address the need for long-term capital across key sectors of the economy. The group offers investment and corporate banking, private banking, wealth management, global markets and treasury services to a diverse range of clients. It also offers securities trading and brokerage, asset management and trustees services via its subsidiaries – Coronation Securities and Coronation Asset Management – respectively. Driven by its vision of becoming Africa’s premier investment bank with an asset base of over N130 billion, the banking group has become a model for risk management, corporate governance and responsible business practices.

•From left: Former General Manager, Nigeria Airways, Mr. Chris Aligbe; Former Director General, Institute of Directors, Mr. Victor Danjo; Chairman of the Occasion, Prof. Anthony Kila; President Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ASRTI), Mr. Gbenga Olowo; Former Managing Director, Aero contractors, Mr. Dapo Olumide and Director of Air Transport Regulation, NCAA, Group Capt. Edem Oyo-Ita, during the Q4 2018 Quarterly Business Breakfast Meeting on Short Life Span of Nigerian Airline the Importance of Corporate Governance in Lagos on Thursday October 4.

S&P affirms Ecobank’s ‘B-/B’ long ratings



HE ‘B-/B’ long- and shortterm issuer credit ratings on Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) have been affirmed by S&P Global Ratings. Also, the firm its ‘B/B’ long- and short-term issuer credit ratings on Ecobank Nigeria Ltd with both outlooks stable. A statement issued by S&P explained that the affirmation reflected its expectation that Ecobank group’s financial performance will improve gradually over the next 1224 months, with lower problematic assets and slightly higher profitability on the back of more stable macroeconomic conditions in key operating markets. In 2017, the group returned to profitability as a result of a significant decline in cost of risk and reduced operating costs. “We expect the group’s asset quality indicators to continue improving over the next 12-24 months, including nonperforming loans (NPLs; loans overdue by more than 90 days) falling to around 7%-8% of total loans and coverage of NPLs by provisions increasing above 90%. “To that end, the group is strengthening its credit risk management framework and monitoring processes,” the rating agency said. It noted that under its base-case scenario, Ecobank will also maintain relatively elevated credit provisions at around 2.6% of total loans as it strengthens its NPL coverage ratio

and transitions to International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 9. According to S&P, coverage of NPLs by provisions improved to 81% in the first half of 2018 from 52% at year-end 2017, incorporating $299 million of IFRS 9 provisions. “We still view the group’s weak loss experience and exposure to moderate coverage of NPLs compared with peers as negative for its credit profile. “We expect the group’s return on equity will average 15% over the next 12-24 months, which would somewhat support a stabilization of the group’s risk-adjusted capital (RAC) ratio around 3.3%-3.6% over the same period, assuming no dividend distribution. We see capitalization as a weakness for the group’s overall credit profile,” the statement said. S&P noted Ecobank’s strong footprint in Africa and the new management team’s efforts to address its asset quality issues, stabilising its financial profile, and shift its strategy toward a targeted country-bycountry approach rather than geographic expansion as a priority over earnings. The rating agency pointed out that the funding base of Ecobank and its subsidiaries were in line with peers’, maintaining a reasonable level of liquidity. “All of the group’s subsidiaries are largely funded by short-term customer deposits (total deposits accounted for 90% of the funding base and 173% of total loans on June 30,

CBN injects another $210m in forex market


ENTRAL Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has again released another $210 million into the market in a bid to ensure genuine customers who need foreign exchange (forex) to complete their transactions. A statement issued by the apex bank, Wednesday, disclosed that the amount was specifically injected into the inter-bank forex market.

According to spokesman of the CBN, efforts would be intensified to boost interbank foreign exchange market to ensure liquidity in the market and sustain stability of the Naira in the market. Figures obtained from the CBN indicated that authorized dealers in the wholesale segment of the market were offered the sum of $100 million, while the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) seg-

ment received the sum of $55 million. Similarly, customers requiring foreign exchange for invisibles such as tuition fees, medical payments and Basic Travel Allowance (BTA), among others, were also allocated the sum of $55 million. It will be recalled that on Friday, September 28, 2018, the bank injected the sum of $210 million into the inter-bank foreign exchange market.

2018), with a preference for retail and nonfinancial corporate current and savings accounts to lower the cost of funds. There is fungibility of liquidity within the group. “Furthermore, at 134% as of June 30, 2018, the group’s stable funding ratio compares well with peers’. The group’s broad liquid assets-to-shortterm wholesale funding ratio was at 7.7x at end-June 2018, while its net broad liquid assets covered 46% of short-term deposits at the same date. “Overall, we assess the group credit profile at ‘b’. Our rating on ETI, the non-operating holding company, is only one notch below the group credit profile (rather than the standard two notches), since we do not see ETI as currently vulnerable to non-payment, or dependent upon favourable business, financial, and economic conditions to meet its financial obligations in the next 12 months. “In addition, the group’s double leverage has stabilized around 100%, which we consider as moderately high. We understand that the group targets a double leverage ratio close to 100% over the next 12-24 months. We also consider Ecobank Nigeria a core subsidiary of the Ecobank Group. “Ecobank Nigeria accounted for approximately 30% oftotal group assets at year-end 2017. Therefore, our ratings on Ecobank Nigeria reflect thewider group credit profile,” the statement said. However, S&P warned that it would lower the rating on Ecobank Nigeria if the group’s RAC ratio fell below 3% or if the group exhibited a higher cost of risk than currently expected. “We would also lower the rating on Ecobank Nigeria if we took a similar rating action on Nigeria. “Finally, we would lower the ratings on ETI if we were to notice a significant increase in double leverage above 120%. “An upgrade of Ecobank Nigeria or ETI appears unlikely over the next 12 months and would require a significant strengthening of capitalization or asset quality,” S&P disclosed.


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018


World Bank worried over Nigeria’s ‘slow’ growth


UB-SAHARAN African economies are still recovering from the slowdown in 2015-16, but growth is slower than expected, according to the October 2018 issue of Africa’s Pulse, the bi-annual analysis of the state of African economies by the World Bank. According to the bank, the average growth rate in the region is estimated at 2.7 percent in 2018, which represents a slight increase from 2.3 percent in 2017. “The region’s economic recovery is in progress but at a slower pace than expected,” said Albert Zeufack, World Bank Chief Economist for Africa. “To accelerate and sustain an inclusive growth momentum, policy makers must continue to focus on investments that foster human capital, reduce resource misallocation and boost productivity. Policymakers in the region must equip themselves to manage new risks arising from changes in the composition of capital flows and debt.” Slow growth is partially a reflection of a less favorable external environment for the region. Global trade and industrial activity lost momentum, as metals and agricultural prices fell due to concerns about trade tariffs and weakening demand prospects. While oil prices are likely to be on an upward trend into 2019, metals prices may remain subdued amid muted demand, particularly in China. Financial market pressures intensified in some emerging markets and concern about their dollar-denominated debt has risen amid a stronger US dollar. The slower pace of the recovery in Sub-Saharan Africa (0.4 percentage points lower than the April forecast) is explained by the sluggish expansion in the region’s three largest economies, Nigeria, Angola, and South Africa. Lower oil production in Angola and Nigeria offset higher oil prices, and in South Africa, weak household consumption growth was compounded by a contraction

in agriculture. Growth in the region excluding Angola, Nigeria and South Africa - was steady. Several oil exporters in Central Africa were helped by higher oil prices and an increase in oil production. Economic activity remained solid in the fast-growing non-resource-rich countries, such as Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, and Rwanda, supported by agricultural production and services on the production side, and household consumption and public investment on the demand side. Public debt remained high and continues to rise in some countries. Vulnerability to weaker currencies and rising interest rates associated with the changing composition of debt may put the region’s public debt sustainability further at risk. Other domestic risks include fiscal slippage, conflicts, and weather shocks. Consequently, policies and reforms are needed that can strengthen resilience to risks and raise medium-term potential growth. This issue of Africa’s Pulse highlights sub-Saharan Africa’s lower labor productivity and potentials for improvement “Reforms should include policies which encourage investments in non-resource sectors, generate jobs and improve the efficiency of firms and workers,” said Cesar Calderon, Lead Economist and Lead author of the report.

•Ugo Nwagodoh (right), Group Chief Finance Officer, UBA Plc, receiving an award to recognize the group’s diversification efforts across the African continent, from Mr. Akin Akeredolu-Ale, Chief Executive of the Lagos Commodities & Futures Exchange Limited and Vice Chairman, Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON), at the maiden CAMCAN Nigerian Capital Market Performance Awards, on Saturday, September 29, 2018, in Lagos.

WTA 2018: Transcorp Hilton emerges Africa’s Leading Business Hotel By VICTOR NZE


RANSCORP Hilton Abuja was voted Africa’s Leading Business Hotel as the finest travel brands in Africa and the Indian Ocean were unveiled at a starstudded gala ceremony in Durban, South Africa, Sunday. The elite of the travel industry assembled for the World Travel Awards (WTA) Africa & Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony 2018 at the

Durban International Convention Centre to find out who amongst them would be crowned best of the best. Winners at the red carpet reception included South Africa, voted ‘Africa’s Leading Destination’. Durban, which is enjoying a renaissance thanks to a series of landmark development projects, was named ‘Africa’s Leading City Destination’, whilst Cape Town’s captivating mix of cultures, cuisines and landscapes

was acknowledged as it picked up ‘Africa’s Leading Festival & Event Destination’. In the Indian Ocean categories, Mauritius cemented its reputation as the definitive romantic island by being named ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination’, whilst the paradise archipelago of the Maldives was heralded ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Destination’. Hundreds of the leading travel industries figureheads from across Af-

Failing economy lays campaign agenda •Cont’d from Pg 17

The current federal structure, economists argue, is responsible for the collapse of post independence regional economies by making all the federating units dependent on monthly fund allocation from the national treasury into which resource revenue flows. Eminent economist, Prof Joseph Stieglitz, had declared during a media workshop hosted by the United Nations’ Development Programme (UNDP) in Ikoyi, Lagos, that tracking Nigeria’s resource wealth means following the pattern of financial disbursement from the federation account. The main discourse at the event was the role of stakeholders in reversing resource curse otherwise called the Dutch disease which leaves resource rich countries far much poorer than peers without natural resources. Nigeria features in the global map of resource curse as the scramble for resource wealth among regional groups sustain unending conflicts that stall economic growth. Natural resource wealth accounts for over 90 percent of total national income, over 80 percent total foreign exchange earnings and nearly 95 percent of total funding support to the annual budgets of all the three tiers of government in Nigeria. And administration of mining rights

for petroleum which forms the major export from the country resides with the federal government. Panellists comprising eminent economists concluded that the cascading format of fund allocation to the three tiers of government is inversely proportional to their direct impact on the lives of the masses. For instance, the first quarter report by the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) showed that out of the N3.95 trillion disbursed by the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) in the first half of 2018, the federal government received N1.652 trillion or about 41.8 per cent of the total amount. The 36 states of the federation got a combined figure of N1.375 trillion or 34.8 per cent of the total half year disbursement while the 774 local governments recognized by the federal government collectively received N795 billion representing 20.1 per cent of the fund. Concentration of nearly 50 percent of the nation’s available funds in the central government that is not directly connected to the people, the real owners of the resources, was considered a major trigger to resource curse outside corruption and outright financial mismanagement. The panel of economists convinced participants that the current fiscal arrangement was defective, warning that the hyped autonomy

of the states and local governments in the country is primarily notional in concept and practically inexistent. The panellists agreed that Nigeria and most resource dependent economies operate fiscal dictatorships where application of resources from the centre primarily determines the fate of mostly unviable subordinate tiers of government. They argue that concentration of funds at the centre clearly breeds oligarchies that have no direct connection with the masses. They pointed out that the prevailing arrangement pauperises the state and local governments that are closely saddled with the immediate needs of the common people. Since the country’s return from military misrule in 1999, there have been strident calls for structural correction in the nation’s power and revenue flow arrangements to guarantee delivery of political goods to the people while driving competitive development among states of the country. Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah, had initiated a campaign for enthronement of fiscal federalism while the defunct Action Congress had called for true federalism. More recently, there have been more choruses on holistic restructuring. Thus, from calls for fiscal federalism to the prevailing spate of mass demand for restructuring, Nigeri-

ans have been relentless in seeking divergence from the current unhealthy fiscal fusion which accentuates sectional hegemony, disaffection, agitations and unending conflicts. Since 1999, both the PDP and the APC have made undelivered promises at addressing the nation’s structural defects to engender accelerated growth, enhanced capacity for decentralised economic advancement and diversification from petroleum resources. Whereas the PDP made a bold response to ancient clamour for independent national conference to lay basis for political and economic restructuring of the country, the incumbent APC surfed to power on the wave of solemn promise for outright restructuring of the country. However, while it appears that the ruling APC government has lost appetite for restructuring, it has taken policy steps towards economic diversification from petroleum resources even though policies are yet to translate to programmes. But diversification project failed a major test in 2016 when the nation’s economy plunged into recession following oil price fall. The country’s major export commodity and foreign exchange earner remains petroleum while acute infrastructure, facility and power deficits drain local capacity for production. So, the country remains de-

rica and the Indian Ocean attended the ceremony at the Durban ICC, the state-of-the-art events and entertainment venue, which was opened by the late Nelson Mandela in 1997. Graham E. Cooke, Founder & President, WTA, said: “The Durban ICC has reinforced its standing as a world-class entertainment venue on what has been a magnificent evening of travel industry triumph, as well as a highlight of our 25th anniversary. “ pends on importation for consumer goods. With huge deficits in infrastructure and key factors of production, massive importation bills that drain limited foreign exchange and suboptimization in commerce and industry, the economy remains contracted despite figures that suggest improvement. Whereas the rising prices of crude oil in the international market has improved government revenue, official figures show that unemployment is at 50 percent among the youth population. Thus, the inability of the APC government to address the nation’s failing economy, improve infrastructure, spur economic activities that create jobs and address widespread hunger emboldened one of the presidential aspirants of the PDP to spark fresh debates on restructuring. The promises of restructuring were drawn from a deluge of economic reform proposals from experts who seek to detach the nation’s economy from stunted political maturation. It is expected that restructuring the proponents of which strongly canvass as the key process for devolution of powers and fiscal correction will form part of the issues political parties will address in seeking the mandate of the increasingly conscious and better informed Nigerian electorate as they pick candidates for the next general election. And stakeholders in the economy look forward to blueprints that hold promises of addressing the nation’s resource curse.


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018


Ibigwe refinery to produce 271m litres of fuel .More modular licenses activate next year By SOPURUCHI ONWUKA


ROJECT partners in the mini crude oil processing and refining project located in the Ibigwe marginal field, in Ohaji area of Imo State, have commenced facility development activities at the site. The 5000 barrels per day capacity refinery project is being executed with 30 percent equity financing from the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and additional $35 million debt facility from the African Finance Corporation (AFC). The process plants which will be hosted in the oil producing field has nameplate for production of estimated 740,437 liters per day or 271 million liters of petroleum products per year. The business plan which borrows from Niger Delta Petroleum Resources’ topping plant model would start with basic crude oil distillation to produce heavier fuels and naphtha for stransport and other specialized application. The process plant which is designed for scalability is expected to commence production in December 2020. Afterwards, the operator, Waltersmith Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited, plans to upgrade the process efficiency to produce petrol and install additional modules to grow plant capacity by 30,000 barrels per day. Chairman of Waltersmith, Mr. Abdulrazaq Isa, explained that the project was “conceptualized in 2011 to mitigate the frequent outage of the third-party export Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) and optimize the full value of our produced crude through in-country refining and providing products for the domestic market.”

He said the refinery would contribute about 271 million litres of refined products, including diesel, kerosene, HPFO and Naphtha annually to displace significant volumes of imported petroleum products, create direct and indirect employment as well as reduce the foreign exchange demand pressure from the domestic fuel market. Mr. Isa explained that Waltersmith was already working with a Chinese firm to increase the plant capacity to 30,000 bopd, and increase the range of petroleum products from the refinery to include petrol and aviation fuel. “We have already executed an MOU with PCC of China towards the installation of the additional capacity within three years, after the startup of the 5,000 bopd modular refinery.” Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, who performed the groundbreaking ceremony declared at the project site that 10 more modular refinery projects are have crossed critical milestones with one of them expected to come online by January. The 10 refineries that sail through project stages, he said, are part of the 38 licenses issued by government under its modular refining programme designed to displace illegal refineries that run devastating dark side of the business in the Niger Delta. He explained that government’s policy on modular refineries “is an integral part of the 14-point agenda for reducing militancy in the Niger Delta region.” The plan, according to him is to set up modular refineries in oil producing communities and use them to create jobs and absorb the local youths that would otherwise be lured into the risky illegal refining.

“We would take some of the good skills sets they have, polish them and put them into the system,” he said. Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote, explained that the regulatory agency partnered Waltersmith in the modular refinery “in line with our vision to be a catalyst for the industrialization of the Nigerian oil and gas industry and its linkage sectors.” “We stand with the desire of the Federal Government to give effect

to the recent pronouncements on the establishment of modular refineries,” he added. Mr. Wabote pointed at the agency’s 10 year plan during which it targets to grow Nigerian Content in the petroleum industry to 70 percent. He added that the NCDMB has driven local content promotion beyond interventions in the local supply chain to in-country resource utilization. He restated the resolve of the NCDMB to extend equity partner-

ships to other investors willing to meet requirements for establishment of modular refineries with capacity range of 1000 barrels per day to 5000 barrels per day. He however disclosed that subsequent modular refineries that would be supported by the NCDMB must have 70 percent of its components fabricated in-country. He clarified that the contractor for the Waltersmith project was permitted to fabricate some of the components in the United States because

part to add to the oil supply,” the spokesperson said. The statement comes as President Donald Trump has pressed Saudi Arabia to boost oil output in order to stabilize prices and continues to criticize OPEC nations for driving up prices. December ICE Brent settled at $86.29/b, up $1.49/b from previous day, while November NYMEX crude settled at $76.41/b, up $1.18/b. Both settlements were the highest since 2014. OPEC, Russia and nine other countries pledged in June to reduce overcompliance with production cuts that have been in force since January 2017, which they say will result in a 1 million b/d output rise from May levels. When the producers met again in Algiers on September 23, they reaffirmed their commitment to reduce overcompliance but said they were 500,000-600,000 b/d short of the goal. The oil ministers did not announce any further production. Saudi Arabia and Russia stressed Wednesday in Moscow that they are boosting oil production to record levels in response to global

demand, not geopolitics or pressure from the US administration. Saudi Arabia is producing an average 10.7 million b/d, with November projected to come in “slightly higher,” energy minister Khalid al-Falih said at Russia Energy Week. “There is not a single customer who has requested a barrel since June that hasn’t been supplied,” he said. Russia reported record output of 11.356 million b/d in September but can boost production by another 200,000-300,000 b/d “within several months,” energy minister Alexander Novak said at same conference. Trump spoke with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud by phone Saturday about efforts to stabilize the world oil market. Trump then publicly questioned US military support for Saudi Arabia at two separate campaign rallies, one Saturday in West Virginia, the other Tuesday night in Mississippi. US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo spoke with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Wednesday, but State declined to say if oil prices were discussed.

US accuses OPEC of 1.42 mb/d supply drop


S oil prices hit new four-year highs, the US State Department accused the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) of withholding 1.42 million b/d of spare capacity from the world market. Citing an OPEC spare capacity estimate from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), State said that Trump administration officials are working with OPEC to produce the spare capacity they are “not deploying.” State said that US was “doing its part” to meet rising global demand. “The United States continues to engage with OPEC countries and we encourage them to utilize their spare capacity to ensure world oil supply meets the demand,” the State spokesperson said in a statement to S&P Global Platts on Wednesday. The spokesperson said that while OPEC and non-OPEC producers, including Russia, “continue to withhold production,” the US is ramping up output, citing an EIA estimate that domestic production will increase by nearly 1 million b/d within a year. “The United States is doing its


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018


NNPC loses cash on 46% of produced gas •Burns 721.83 mmscfd •Earns $416 m from June exports


OMBINED export of crude oil, condensate and natural gas earned the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) some $416 million in the month of June; however, just a little less than half of the produced gas could not be commercialized to double the income by 25 percent. According to a statement drawn from the corporations monthly operations report, the corporation which represents government in commercial operations in the petroleum industry could not harness over 46 percent of government’s equity gas for commercialization in the month. Figures quoted in the report show that crude oil sales fetched the nation some $274.95 million in the month while natural gas sales earned government $141.12 million in the same period. However, whereas petroleum liquids were fully harnessed and commercialized, nearly half of the natural gas volumes produced could not be commercialized, leading to reinjection for production lift, onsite consumption for power generation and in worst cases flaring. The Oracle Today reports that acute infrastructure deficits, pipeline outages and use of the floating production, storage and offtake vessels in stranded deepwater oilfields form traditional impediments for upstream gas commercialization. According to NNPC, the $416 million earned in June marked a remarkable improvement in commercial returns, translating to 35.78 per cent rise from commercial performance of the previous month. The statement did not explain

whether the rise in earnings was associated with production numbers or market commodity prices. Commercial returns from sale of crude oil and condensate, according to the corporation’s monthly financial and operations reports, released weekend, jumped 66 from $244.72million in May to $274.95 in June. Gas sales for the month amounted to $141.12million, the report said, even though the amount could have doubled.. The report indicated that the corporation carried out repairs on operated gas pipeline to guarantee supplies gas to most thermal electricity generating plants in the country, leading to appreciable leap in power generation. The corporation declared supply of 744 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (mmscfd) to the power plants in the month of June to generate an average of 2,970 MW compared with the May where an average of 742 mmscfd was supplied to generate 2,940MW. It said a total of 211.51 billion cubic feet (bcf) of natural gas was produced in the month of June 2018, translating to an average daily production of 7,056.22 mmscfd. For the period between June 2017 and June 2018, a total of 3,080.90 bcf of gas was produced, representing an average daily production of 7,826.41mmscfd, the corporation stated. During the period under review, Production from Joint Ventures (JVs), Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) and Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) contributed about 69.35 per cent, 21.77 per cent and 8.88 per cent respectively, to the total national gas production.

•The ES NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote (c),flanked on his left by the CEO of BGAM Services, Hon Lucky Brown, and on his right by MD of Naval Shipyard Limited, Commodore Abolaji Oreduru, among others during the commissioning of MV Tamuno-Odein II in Port Harcourt weekend.

Out of the 209.55bcf of gas supplied in June 2018, a total of 113.08bcf of gas was commercialized, comprising of 36.23bcf and 76.85bcf for the domestic and export market respectively. This translates to a total supply of 1,207.74 mmscfd of gas to the

HE International Energy Agency (IEA) which keeps market intelligence for industrialized economies that form market for crude oil producers has warned that rising prices of crude oil in the international petroleum exchanges could hurt growing economies and lead to sharp drop in demand. The Oracle Today reports that sharp drop in demand would translate to supply glut and subsequent price slump. In responding to the prevailing dynamics in the play of market forces, IEA said weekend that rising oil prices may hurt demand in some of the world’s fastest-growing nations unless producers take steps to boost supplies. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we revise our numbers,” Fatih Birol, the executive director of the Paris-based adviser, said in

a phone interview, referring to the IEA’s forecast for demand growth this year of 1.4 MMbpd. High energy prices are hurting consumers today, and could hurt the economies of exporting countries tomorrow,” he said. Brent crude, benchmark for half the world’s oil, has gained more than 20% since mid-August due to concern over supply losses from Venezuela and Iran. Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest exporter of crude, is comfortable with Brent above $80/ bbl as the global market adjusts to the loss of Iranian supply from U.S. sanctions, according to people familiar with the kingdom’s view. Brent traded near $86/bbl this week, the highest in almost four years. “We are rather worried that the expensive energy is back, which may be hurting the global

gas or flared. The gas flare rate was 10.33 per cent for the month under review, that is, 721.83 mmscfd, compared with the average gas flare rate of 10.4per cent, that is, 813.37 mmscfd for June 2017 to June 2018.

Intervention Fund delivered a new security vessel, MV Tamuno-Dein II, which was commissioned weekend by the Executive Secretary of NCDMB) Engr. Simbi Wabote, in Port Harcourt. Commissioning of the vessel at the Naval Shipyard, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, marked the first fruit of the $200 million string NCIF which was established as single digit interest credit window by the NCDMB to resolve funding constraints in building local capacity for delivering the objectives of the Nigerian Content policy. According to a statement from the regulator, MV Tamuno-Dein II which will work with the Nigerian Navy to secure offshore oil and gas operations is a multirole ballistic security vessel, with protective machine gun panels, electronic fuel monitoring system and deck command center for security personnel. In his remarks at the event, Mr. Wabote explained that “the NCI Fund is part of our initiatives to increase Nigerian Content in the oil and gas sector to 70 percent within the next 10years. We launched the Fund about a year ago with five products, all at single digit interest rates.” He stressed that an important condition for accessing the NCI Fund is that applicants must be contributors to the one percent statutory Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF). He hinted that BGAM Services benefitted from the Fund be-

cause it wasfaithful in its contributions to the NCDF, kept its accounts correctly and met the corporate governance requirements of the Bank of Industry (BOI). “You do not need to know any official of the NCDMB or BOI to access the loan. You just need to meet the criteria.” He charged BGAM Services to repay the loan as planned and expressed optimism that other companies will benefit from the Fund in the coming months. Making his presentation, the Chief Executive Officer of BGAM Services, Hon Lucky Brown confirmed that it took the firm less than two months to process its NCI Fund application. He noted that the acquisition of MV Tamuno-Dein II had increased the company’s fleet size to three vessels of different sizes and modes of operation. Brown advised other companies seeking to access the NCI Fund to be methodical in their accounting and applications and seek help when they have difficulties. The Managing Director, Naval Shipyard Limited, Commodore Abolaji Oredurugave, in his goodwill message at the event, commended the Board for promoting oil and gas operations in the marine sector. “We are into ship repairs, ship building and major fabrication. When people buy ships, they will come to us for maintenance and we are in business.”

BGAM’s delivers vessel with NCI Fund


NDIGENOUS oilfield services provider, BGAM Services Limited, has become the first company to completely conclude the full deployment of credit facilities from the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to boost its capacity for delivery of industry jobs. The company which is a beneficiary of the Nigerian Content

Rising prices: IEA warns oil producers of demand shock


domestic market and 2,561.70 mmscfd of gas supplied to the export market for the month, implying that 53.96 per cent of the average daily gas produced was commercialized while the balance of 46.04 per cent was reinjected, used as upstream fuel

economy at a vulnerable time,” Birol said. “The oil exporting countries must, in my view, take these developments into consideration and it is high time for those countries to put more oil in the markets and comfort the markets.” India is among emerging market economies struggling with a combination of a weakening currency and rising oil prices. The nation, which enjoyed a 12th straight month of demand growth in August, could see its trade deficit worsen because of the high crude, according to Birol. The nation moved to cut retail fuel prices weekend. “With these prices, I would expect that the demand growth in India, other parts of Asia and in the Americas will be negatively affected,” Birol said, adding that there may be slowdown in demand growth.


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018


Ericsson, Turkcell win Innovation Award at Telecoms World Middle East Stories by VICTOR NZE


RICSSON and the Turkey headquartered digital operator Turkcell have won the Innovation Award – Vendor at the Telecoms World Middle East 2018 in Dubai for Smart Irrigation Hydrant solution. As a long-term partner and R&D collaborator, Ericsson is helping Turkcell create a futureproof, technology agnostic network. Integrated into traditional irrigation systems, Smart Irrigation Hydrant technology enables remote valve ON/OFF, controls water consumption index value and issues warnings to users and suppliers if usage exceeds the pre-set water consumption value. Ericsson and Turkcell have been testing the applications of Narrow Band IoT in LTE network since the 2017 with the contributions of their own engineers and their local business partners. By using Narrowband IoT on existing LTE infrastructure - wide area coverage, low power consumption and secure connections are accomplished. The two companies have joint-

ly developed and deployed several innovative solutions including but not limited to a Smart Parking Lot solution and indoor gigabit connectivity with the deployment of the Ericsson Radio Dot System. Additionally, Turkcell subscribers attending one of Turkey’s best-known arenas – the Ülker Sports Arena in Istanbul - are getting better data user experiences thanks to the implementation of Ericsson Elastic Radio Access Network (ElasticRAN). Ericsson and Turkcell are also involved in a strategic partnership to develop a joint understanding of 5G use cases, requirements and deployment scenarios, as well as evaluate performance and applicability of potential 5G key technology components and business collaboration for 5G potential research projects. These and other exciting 5G developments were part of the discussion on September 17 to 18 at Telecoms World ME, a leading regional stage for influencers and game changers to meet, and share insights about the latest and most integral innovations revolutionizing the telco ecosystem.

Huawei donates N100m ICT equipment to DBI


UAWEI, an ICT company, has donated N100million ICT equipment to the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) to boost capacity building. Speaking during the ceremony on Wednesday in Abuja, the Administrator of DBI, Mr Ike Adinde said the partnership with Huawei started in 2016. He said the equipment donated to DBI would help reshape and redefine the institute’s capacity building process, especially in the area of telecommunications. “This partnership will support a number of DBI training programme and help build skills. “Equipping this lab would have taken another three years to get there but coming together with a solution provider to build core competencies in a synergistic manner is a milestone.” On his part, Mr Uwazie Kingsley, Training Director of Huawei said the company’s training centre had been in existence since 2004 set up to meet the company’s career capacity building requirement. Kingsley said that the partnership with DBI started in 2016, and part of the plan was for DBI to utilise Huawei’s lab. He said that Huawei, however, believed that there was the need to go a step further, adding that DBI should be equipped to have a lab where trainings could take place. “We believe DBI should be

equipped to have a lab to carry out its training and this we are experiencing today. “And the equipment made available would cover various training need in Information Communications Technology (ICT). “We are looking at not just employed Nigerians but we are also looking at trainings that would benefit unemployed Nigerians that would get them ready to move into the ICT.” The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that among the equipment donated by Huawei were core network, transmission and wireless equipment.

•Officials of Ericsson and Turkcell show off their Innovation Award – Vendor won for the Smart Irrigation Hydrant solution at the Telecoms World Middle East 2018 in Dubai.

Nigeria gradually emerging as centre for technology innovations -- Shittu


INISTER of Communications, Dr Adebayo Shittu, on Friday said that Nigeria was gradually emerging as a centre for technology innovations cutting across all sectors. The minister stated this in Lagos during the “Technology As a Catalyst: Ease of Doing Business 2018 Conference,’’ organised by Perchstone and Graeys, Knowledge Resources Ltd. Shittu described Nigeria as the largest and fastest growing ICT market in the world. “World’s biggest technology companies are strengthening their investments in the country because Nigeria has made important stride toward improving most of its infra-

Report indicts banks on poor cyber security of digital services


EADING financial services rating agency, Augusto&Co has released a Five-month survey on banks in Nigeria with a verdict that majority of bank customers are dissatisfied with the performance levels of banks’ digital services. The study indicated that platforms like Mobile Apps, Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), Internet banking, among others lack timely upgrades and are usually laced with poor cyber security infrastructure. The report further noted that majority of Nigerian bank cus-

tomers are disturbed when failed transactions are not immediately reversed until days after several complains due to inconclusive digital transactions. The survey titled 2018 Consumer Digital Banking Satisfaction Index Report, 10 of Nigeria’s biggest banks by total assets as at December 31, 2017 were spotlighted, with four of them assigned ‘5 Star’ ratings for customer satisfaction. In his remarks, the company’s Chief Analyst, Financial Institutions Ratings, Oluyomi Akinola, said majority of respondents during the survey cut across

the office of former Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission Dr Ernest Ndukwe . He said while in the office, he superintended over the World Bank project and other institutional support of the commission in preparatory to licensing of digital mobile operators in 2001. He said that he led the team that conducted the demand study – a prerequisite for determining the potential demand and economic visibility of telecommunication

services to consumers in the country. According to Ojobo, he became a Deputy Director in the administration department, and also headed the licensing and zonal operations. He said that he was also an acting Director Support Services and Director, Human Capital and Infrastructure Group from 2010 to 2012 and was redeployed to the Public Affairs Department as the Director, Public Affairs in 2012.

Ojobo, NCC Director of Public Affairs retires from service


IRECTOR of Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Mr Tony Ojobo, retired on Thursday from the nation’s telecom regulatory body after 18 years of meritorious service. Ojobo in a statement appreciated the media for their enormous support in helping to bring the commission’s activities to limelight. He said that his work at NCC started as a Deputy Director in

structure compared to other African countries. “It is no longer news that Information Communication Technology (ICT) plays a vital role in enabling the diversification of the country’s economy. “Nigeria has witnessed accelerated socio-economic development resulting from the penetration of technology into all facets of its society, ‘’ he said. Shittu said that infrastructure had made a net contribution of around 1 per cent point to Nigeria’s improved per capital growth performance, although unreliable power supply held growth back. He noted that ICT was a catalyst to development and there was need for the country to move from

students, self-employed and employed customers of the various commercial banks who have been accessing digital banking services for a long period. Respondents comprise of adults of 18 years and above and about 48.4 per cent was female while 51.6 per cent is male. Akinola further revealed that questionnaires were adopted and consisted of multiple choices, closed and open ended questions administered electronically and manually, thus allowing for a wider pool of respondents nationwide. Whereas sampled financial institutions included Diamond, Ecobank, Fidelity, First Bank, GTB, Stanbic, UBA, Union and Zenith, those the report described as highly rated banks were Stanbic IBTC, UBA, Access and First Bank. She noted that “Of the four, Stanbic IBTC with ‘5’ rating points came tops, emerging the ‘Best Digital Bank in Nigeria.’ GTB ranked fifth while Ecobank was placed 10th. The Agusto&Co Report, however, showed that there is need for serious upgrade so as to align with international best practices.

resource-based economy to a robust ICT-driven one. The minister said that the ministry, among other things, was planning to formulate forward-looking policies that would propel the Nigerian economy to a digitalised one. “The ICT strategic roadmap seeks to address both public and private sector infrastructure deficit in Nigeria’s ICT sector for substantial improvement in quality of service. “Some key aspects of the plan are improved broadband penetration, internet coverage boost ICT education, enhance satellite communication, curbing cybercrime and ensuring that ICT contributes a bigger share of national revenue. “Several steps have been initiated by the government toward an improved national information technology infrastructure to attract investments into the country in spite of the numerous challenges bedeviling the sector, ‘’ Shittu said. He said that the ministry had embarked on many e-government initiatives including open data portal, government contact centre, among other initiatives which would lead to efficient delivery of government services to the citizenry. The minister said that the ministry was committed to increasing broadband penetration to 30 per cent to accelerate telephone usage in rural areas and connect communities to economic opportunities through improved ICT infrastructure. Shittu said that although power issues, right of way, low digital literacy, multiple taxation, poor linkage between ICT research, academia and industry, were still major challenges obstructing the plans mapped out for Nigeria to be a true smart state. He said that the ministry through its industry working group on multiple taxation, would continue to maintain a dialogue with organisations regarded as major players at the federal, state and local levels to stop further imposition of taxes. Shittu said that in addressing the issue of forex, the ministry had engaged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to include telecommunications as part of the CBN priority list for accessing forex.


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018


‘Integrate statistics, geospatial information for sustainable development’


EGIONAL Committee of the United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management in Africa ended Thursday with experts urging African leaders to prioritize dialogues that need to take place to ensure national statistical, planning and mapping authorities collaborated effectively in the development of respective data infrastructures and systems on the continent. This, they said, would encourage a potential unification of national statistical offices and national mapping authorities bringing shared benefits to both offices. Delegates noted that for Africa to effectively implement the SDG and 2063 agendas, decision makers needed to recognize that an in-

depth knowledge of links among people, economic activities and geographic locations could promote a deeper understanding of key social, economic and environmental issues than is possible through an assessment of socioeconomic data alone. They recommended that UNGGIM: Africa be established as an overarching governance framework in the field of geospatial information management, science and technology to ensure it has capacity to adapt policies and strategic actions to address issues of particular relevance to Africa and also ensure that national bodies are capable of addressing Africa’s unique concerns. Participants called on the Eco-

nomic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Union Commission (AUC) and other pan-African institutions to work collaboratively in promoting and advocating the importance of geospatial information in the achievement of sustainable development objectives at national, regional and international levels. Also of crucial importance is the promotion of trade and re-

gional integration. The ECA and UN-GGIM: Africa were urged to continue the development of the African spatial statistical framework and guidelines for geo-enabling national strategies for the development of statistics. Participants took note of their partners’ statistical capacity-build-

ing programs and recommended that they foster synergies and coordinate actions in support of national statistical systems in financial, technical and human resources. Delegates were drawn from member States with experts in the field from the continent and beyond also in attendance.

Microsoft halts Windows 10 October 2018 update


FEW days ago, Microsoft held a pretty announcement-packed hardware event. It also saw the unveiling of the sixth major Windows 10 update - the October 2018 one. In a rather new and worrying development, however, Redmond has decided to temporarily pull the update, skipping its original October 9 public roll-out date and with good reason. Apparently, an isolated issue was reported by a number of early users and confirmed by Microsoft. It involves user files going missing after the update process. “We have paused the rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809) for all users as we investigate isolated reports of users missing some files after updating.” That’s actually kind of troubling for a few reasons. Of course, first, there is the very personal drama one might experience, out of the blue. And just to make the situation perfectly clear here, if you have managed to get an update notification or manually


downloaded the package, DO NOT INSTALL IT! “If you have manually downloaded the Windows 10 October 2018 Update installation media, please don’t install it and wait until new media is available.” Even if the chance of losing data is fairly small, there is no real point in risking it. Plus, with Microsoft’s user base, even a 0.1% chunk represents thousands of potentially affected machines. Second and kind of puzzling, is the fact that said update apparently skipped over the Release Preview ring - a system of early users, specifically set up to test public builds before going live. Other reports even go further, claiming that some Windows Insider members have been experiencing file deletion issues on their early build for some months now, hinting at a potentially deeper issue, carried over through multiple Window 10 code branches. Also, there is the matter of the pretty lapse review and quality assurance policy that appears to be underlying the whole fiasco.

Facebook Lite enters iOS

ACEBOOK Lite has been available for Android since 2015, though for a long time it was only accessible from developing markets. This year it finally reached the US, the UK, and other developed markets, and now it’s ready to make the jump to iOS as well. The app is currently only installable if you have an iOS device and are located in Turkey. So the slow rollout seems to be mirroring what happened on Android - developing markets first (and even those being added one by one), developed markets possibly at some later point.

Thus, if you are in the US and are tired of the big bloated mess that Facebook’s normal app for iOS has become, you’re out of luck for now. But perhaps in the future the Lite alternative will be readily available across the globe. Facebook Lite is much smaller in size than its non-Lite counterpart (just 5MB on iOS), and it also uses less power and significantly less data. That last aspect is generally much more important in developing markets where unlimited (or even cheap) data plans aren’t as prevalent, hence the rollout starting in such countries does make a bit of sense.

Wi-Fi finally simplifies version numbers T he Wi-Fi Alliance has finally figured out that the versioning system it’s been using to describe the different generations of the technology is simply not intuitive, or easy to understand by the average consumer. It’s amazing that this realization took decades to materialize, but let’s focus on the good news. And that’s the fact that Wi-Fi generations now have version numbers. So, what was previously known as 802.11n is now Wi-Fi 4. The standard

formerly known as 802.11ac will go by Wi-Fi 5, while the upcoming 802.11ax is going to be called Wi-Fi 6. If you’re wondering what happened to 1, 2, and 3, well, the WiFi Alliance isn’t talking a lot about those since they aren’t widely used anymore (thankfully). But, for reference, here’s how they are assigned: 802.11b is Wi-Fi 1, 802.11a is Wi-Fi 2, and 802.11g is Wi-Fi 3. Why is b equivalent to 1 and a equivalent to 2 even though these standards were both launched during the same month

The newly-unveiled Nokia 7.1

Nokia 7.1 announced with 5.84” HDR10 display, Snapdragon 636


MD Global has just unveiled the new Nokia 7.1 - a wellcrafted mid-range device with sleek design at an affordable price point. The Nokia 7.1 is built around a PureDisplay notched panel with 1080 x 2280 pixel resolution and a 5.84-inch diagonal. It’s protected by Gorilla Glass 3 and boasts HDR10 support, which is a rather rare feature in the segment. In addition, the display can do real-time HDR conversion to SDR videos. Driving the Nokia 7.1 is Qualcomm’s mid-range Snapdragon 636 SoC paired with either 3 or 4GB of RAM coupled with 32 or 64GB of internal storage, respectively. If that’s not enough, you can add more storage via a microSD card. You get an 8MP f/2.0 selfie cam supporting AI-enhanced face unlock, while the back has a 12MP main shooter with f/1.8 aperture and a 5MP black and white camera. The rear cameras boast Zeiss optics and several nifty software features like the “bothie” mode that lets you take stills or record videos using the back and front cameras

(September 1999)? Who knows. That one oddity aside, the new system instantly makes sense. 6 is better than 5, and so on. No more guessing whether ac trumps n or ax is better than ac. Sanity is about to be restored in the wireless world. Well, not entirely, since marketing materials for routers still add up speeds achieved on different bands in parallel to give you one huge useless “total” number on the box. Interestingly, the Wi-Fi Alliance wants to see the new numerical branding in software user interfaces too (see the samples above).

at the same time. The Nokia 7.1 is powered by a 3,060 mAh battery supporting fast charging via the USB-C connector on the bottom of the device. Nokia claims that you can get a 50% charge in just 30 minutes. The phone runs Android 8.1 Oreo and is a part of the Android One program. It will get an upgrade to

9.0 Pie in November followed by a 2-year-long period of major updates and 3 years of monthly security patches. The whole package is wrapped inside a glass sandwich-style body with diamond cut anodized aluminum frame. The glass makes for 85% of the whole surface. The available colors are Gloss Midnight Blue and Gloss Steel.

Affordable BlackBerry Evolve arrives October 10


LACKBERRY and its manufacturing partner Optiemus jointly introduced at the beginning of August two smartphones called Evolve X and Evolve. While the former was released on Amazon the very same month, the latter, which is a more affordable device with more basic specs, was said to come in September. BlackBerry has now followed up with an update - the Evolve will arrive exclusively through Amazon on October 10 for around $350. It runs a Snapdragon 450 chipset, coupled with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage and is available only in Black. This is the first non-QWERTY device of the brand in India for a long time and Amazon, along with BlackBerry, emphasize on its huge 5.99” display with 18:9 ratio and FullHD+ resolution. It comes with almost stock Android Oreo 8.1 out of the box sprinkled with the BlackBerry DTEK security features. The company also promises monthly security updates. The battery of the BlackBerry Evolve is 4,000 mAh, but lacks wireless charging that is seen in the mightier Evolve X. Other specs include 13 MP + 13 MP cameras

on the back, one of them with a monochrome sensor by Samsung, 16 MP selfie shooter, coupled with LED Flash and Face Unlock capabilities, and Dolby Digital sounds.

Instagram introduces ‘Nametag’


NSTAGRAM added a new feature to its mobile app called Nametag. With Nametag, you can create and customize your own nametag, that others can then scan to follow you. The Nametag option is under the menu on the top right of the screen on your Profile. From here you can customize your name tag. To scan someone else’s tag, just go to the same menu and you will see the option to scan a name tag at the bottom. Just point the phone’s camera at a nametag and their account will show up on your phone. Admittedly, this is only slightly easier than manually typing someone’s username on your phone to follow them but if you don’t want to do that or if someone has a particularly long and complicated handle, you could just now use the Nametag feature to add them.


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018

ISSN: 2545-5869


EDITORIAL What to do about floods

Cont’d front page 1

a border town in Katsina State. IN BAYELSA STATE, over 70 per cent of the communities in the State was reportedly submerged, causing the State governor, Seriake Dickson to call on the federal government to declare emergency in the State. ON TOUR of communities severely affected by the floods, the governor who was accompanied by representatives of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), members of the State Security Committee, Police, Army, Air Force, Navy, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence and others, and who also visited his hometown, Toru Orua in Sagbama Local Government Area of the State, was taken aback by what he saw: the incredible force of rushing flood water from the Forcados River into the communities. FOLLOWING the severity of the floods in Bayelsa, the State government was compelled to order the closure of all schools “to enable school authorities take the pupils to their parents” with Dickson describing the development as “a major disaster, which had affected the State with thousands of people rendered homeless.” DELTA HAD to camp victims of the State’s flood disaster in six government-established holding camps where Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Minnie Oseji assured them of quality medicare. IN ANAMBRA STATE, two Cathedrals belonging to the Anglican Church and a naval post were submerged. The Basilica of St. James The Great Cathedral, Atani in Ogbaru Local Government

Area of Anambra State and the Cathedral Church of St. Michael, Diocese of Mbamili Umuikwu, Anam, Anambra West Local Government Area, were taken over by floods. ALSO SUBMERGED were the naval outpost at Odekpe, in Ogbaru Ogbaru Local Government Area and the residence of the Chairman of the local government, Mr. Arinze Awogu and hundreds of houses in 16 communities in the council. In Benue, the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), had to declare the State a flood-risk zone following days of steady rise in the water level of River Benue. THERE are other examples of the havoc that floods have wreaked in communities, on lives and property in different parts of Nigeria this year. And although this year’s disaster came as a sad reminder of the wreckage that floods caused in 2012 when 363 people died, 30 States were virtually submerged while over 2.1 million others were displaced, the good news is that the havoc this time was greatly minimized, at least in terms of the number of deaths, thanks to improvements in early warning signs by NEMA and the proactive measures taken by flood-prone States to evacuate residents of riverine areas and, by so doing, minimise flood-related damages. HOWEVER, several questions relating the perennial flooding and its attendant disasters remain unanswered: 1) What are the causes of this oft-excessive flooding in Nigeria? 2) How can it be controlled? THERE are several factors responsible for this. One is global warming, which increases the chances of severe rainfall in different parts of the world. EXPERTS ESTIMATE that 60 per cent of the rain and snow over land comes straight from the oceans. According to a report in The Climate Reality Project, an NGO involved in education and advocacy on climate change, which has Al Gore, former US VP as Chairman of Board, the rate of evaporation from the ocean seems to be increasing as the climate gets warmer. Globally, this higher rate of evaporation is contributing to an increase in the average annual amount of rain and snow. BUT CONTRARY to expectations, more intense rain doesn’t necessarily mean wetter soils. Indeed, rain that falls as a violent downpour doesn’t do much to help crops or other plants. For, rather than gently soak into the soil, heavy rain can cause flooding, which quickly runs off into rivers to be carried back to the sea. HOWEVER, in our peculiar environment, flooding from intense rainfall hardly finds outlets through which “to quickly run off into rivers”, no thanks to poor drainage system or flood control measures. Most roads, whether they are highways or within city centres, have either very poor drainage system or none at all. So, whenever there are downpours, the water soon turns into havoc-wreaking floods owing to lack of adequate drainage system to carry the rainwater. THE OTHER very important reason, if you will, the most important reason, is that most of the rivers in Nigeria have shallow drafts. The two most important rivers—Rivers Niger and Benue—the overflow of whose banks has been the main cause of flooding in Nigeria over time, have all but silted up. From Onit-

sha through Lokoja on the Niger, the river bed, for instance, can practically be seen, overgrown with grass, trees and all other manners of sea plants. Over the years, many attempts to dredge them and increase their drafts and, by extension, their waterholding capacities had come to grief, no thanks to politics. The result is what we experience almost every year: severe flooding across the country resulting from the two major rivers constantly overflowing their banks. What, then, to do about this perennial flooding? To contain severe flooding in Nigeria, the government must, as a matter of urgency, give effect to plans, already in place for years now, to dredge Rivers Niger and Benue. Dredging them would increase their drafts as well as their holding capacities so that they won’t constantly overflow their banks as has been the case in the past many years. Secondly, there should be a law making it mandatory for every road—street or highway—constructed in Nigeria to have proper drainage system, which would drain water into flood-control channels soon after rainfall. Thirdly, there should also be a law prohibiting indiscriminate dumping of refuse inside gutters and other drainage channels so as not to decrease the water-carrying capacities of such channels. As is well known, dumping wastes inside drainages is a bad habit, which city/township dwellers are guilty of and which contributes to choking up the drainage systems thereby causing uncontrolled flooding. In the end, it may well not be possible to completely prevent severe flooding against the backdrop of un-abating global warming. But when human beings play their part well, doing what is proper and fit for the good of the environment (as outlined above), we believe that severe flooding, the type that often wreaks so much havoc in States, cities, towns and communities across the country, can largely be contained.

Our Vision TO BE among the top five newspapers in Nigeria and, in due course, the Numero Uno; to be a newspaper of records that effectively caters to the information needs of all segments and sections of the Nigerian society as well as all social classes and cultures. Essentially, we want to be a responsible corporate citizen, a commercially viable, properly organised media business, which meets its obligations to society, government and the workforce. Mission WE INTEND to contribute to the development of an inclusive Nigerian society, with a view to getting rid of the dark sides of our national life (slothfulness, greed, corruption, nepotism, totalitarianism, etc); to continually engender and sustain national debates that would ultimately lead to the enthronement of healthy national values-hard-work, justice, equity and fairplay, transparency, good governance, resulting, in themselves, the egalitarian Nigerian society of our dream. We will give voice to the voiceless and at all times, strive to be balanced, objective, honest, truthful and fair to all sides; so that through The Oracle Today, our people, the Nigerian people can see a bright light at the end of what has been a very dark tunnel. And we shall do all this in absolute trust in God who blesses good intentions.


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018


Waow! The ‘Eko for show’ guber primaries

By Ehichioya Ezomon


man shouldn’t embark on a race he knows he won’t be able to finish. That’s what Governor Akinwunmi Ambode did these past weeks. He left till the very end a decision that could have saved face, and avoided unnecessary bad blood. His restitution, by conceding defeat at the primaries, congratulating Jide Sanwo-Olu and urging support for his election, was too little, too late. When Sanwo-Olu sprang like a bolt from the blue, Lagosians, and the larger Nigerian society thought it was a huge September joke. But when those that matter in Lagos APC started to declare their support, and lined behind him, the populace began to take notice. And it didn’t take time for Governor Ambode to realise that his second term ambition was cut out for him, as the decks seemed stacked against him. Thus, he needed to appease the “powers” that brought him to his present station in life. With bended knees, he moved round Lagos, and from there to Osogbo, to Abuja and back to Lagos. No headway, while the support for Sanwo-Olu grew in leaps and bounds, developing into a movement capable of quaking the state’s political terrain. That’s when the governor should have quit the race. However, many concerned Nigerians held out hope that an Ambode second term was still achievable. One was among those optimists, who decided to write the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to have a rethink about replacing him with Sanwo-Olu. Dated September 25, and routed through one of Tinubu’s aides, Oshodi, who acknowledged receipt of the missive, my plea was to find a common ground, a “compromise” that would ensure continuity of Ambode’s administration till 2023.

Below is an abridged version of the letter. “Coming down to the issue of the Governorship Primaries in Lagos, many people expected that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode would get the APC ticket on a platter. But as recent events have shown, that may not be possible. The Mandate Group and allied bodies that you head or have influence over have all the aces, which they want or have vowed to play for Mr. Sanwo-Olu. “Nonetheless, due to current fluidity in the polity, taking the Osun governorship poll as one of such uncertainties, you may have to realign your position in the Lagos primaries. Look thoroughly at Governor Ambode, and you would see a crest-fallen... and sober personality different from his usual boisterous attitude. “So, for the Lagos APC to go into the 2019 elections as one family, may I suggest that a “COMPROMISE” be worked out in which Ambode will get the guber ticket, while Sanwo-Olu will pair as his running mate... In this agreement, Sanwo-Olu will not just be a Deputy Governor, but should be assigned major portfolios that impact on the good people of Lagos, and the APC members in particular. “Sir, I know you have the power, and the political will to bring into fruition my suggestion(s) above. The arrangement can be effected in the next 24 hours, before the primaries. Do not throw away the baby (Ambode) with the bathwater... Give him a second chance to prove his remorseful self for all Lagosians to see. There’s always a tomorrow, and other avenues to hold a political recalcitrant to account!” I wouldn’t know if the Asiwaju gave any cognisance to this “letter” pleading Ambode’s cause, as events moved in rapidity in the next few days, culminating in the governor addressing a press conference to lay very damaging allegations against Sanwo-Olu and the leadership of the APC

in Lagos. Perhaps, Ambode had concluded he stood no chance. If it were a battle of the brawn, he could come tops. But this is politics, which is like magic - an advanced trick. The more you look, the less you see! And only the adept can master its intricacies to get results. So, the governor played his last card. He issued a threat to unleash security agents on “trouble makers,” who may want to disrupt the primaries. Waow! A ruling government couldn’t be more brazen against opposition elements! The operative words in the definition of “waow” by the Urban Dictionary are amusement, embarrassing, stupid, amazing and dumb - all perfectly capturing Governor Ambode’s press conference on the Lagos APC primaries that finally held and dumped him from contesting in the 2019 elections. Yet, the victim of his “attacks,” SanwoOlu, assumed the position of a pacifist, refusing to go into the gutter with the governor. According to him: “Many things he (Ambode) said were beneath the dignity of our people and the exalted office he now holds. Perhaps, the tension and anxiety of the moment got the better of him. “If given a chance at cooler reflection of what he said, I am sure he would regret his descent into such low conduct. In this vein, I forgive him and hope he regains his balance and proper comportment no matter the outcome of tomorrow’s contest.” Sanwo-Olu’s demeanour reminds one of the immortal words of former United States First Lady, Michele Obama, in a speech endorsing the presidential nomination of the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 25, 2016. The essence of Mrs. Obama’s “rousing and emotional appeal” to Democrats was that when others lose their heads, we should keep ours, which lesson, she said,

she and her husband, former President Barack Obama, instilled in their daughters. She said: “... we explain (to them) that when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level. No, our motto is: when they go low, we go high.” The upper Sunday, Asiwaju Tinubu, who had remained taciturn in the brewing controversy, declared his backing for SanwoOlu, in whom he said he had found a worthy successor to Ambode that he accused specifically of deviating from the 20-yearold Lagos State Development Master Plan. That was the end of the game for the governor. The rest is history, from which other politically-ambitious persons should learn from - perhaps, a lesson that Ambode learned quite late!

will renew its strikes on military targets there if necessary. In the meantime, however, at least according to foreign news reports, that hasn’t happened. Since the downing of the Russian plane over Latakia by Syrian anti-aircraft missiles during an Israeli airstrike on September 17, there have been no reports of new attacks. With great pomp and circumstance, S-300 surface-to-air missile systems were delivered to the Russian Hmeimim air base in western Syria, in Moscow’s first concrete response to last month’s incident. According to experts, it will take the Russians a few months to train the Syrian crews to operate them independently. Even then, it’s not clear what command and control policy will be established between Damascus and Moscow on Syrian soil. Nevertheless, after marveling at the presumed ability of IAF pilots to evade these air defense systems, it bears remembering that this challenge is not child’s play. The Russians are equipped with electronic warfare systems and a myriad other methods that could increase the difficulty level for Israel. The bigger obstacle, though, is strategic. Vladimir Putin was not happy about Israel’s continued attacks after the Assad regime regained control of southern Syria and consolidated his grip on the rest of the country. The most recent in-

cident gave the Russian president tools to ratchet up the pressure on Israel – and perhaps on Iran and Hezbollah as well – and to create a new strategic model that minimizes the power and the frequency of friction among the parties. In his address to the UN General Assembly last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also mentioned the destination of the Iranian shipment that was attacked in Latakia – underground manufacturing sites for precision-guided missiles and rockets that Hezbollah is building in Beirut, according to Israel. After a calculated three-day delay, the Lebanese government invited diplomats and journalists to a tour of the sites exposed by Netanyahu to rebuff the Israeli leader’s allegations. Not all the participants were persuaded. Some of them must have noted that three days would have given Hezbollah sufficient time to get rid of the evidence – in theory, at least. The locations of the sites were not hidden from Western observers: near the international airport, schools and hospitals, not to mention a golf course favored by foreigners. On Wednesday, someone sent text messages to the cellphones of tens of thousands of residents of southern Beirut, showing an aerial image of a fourth site that Hezbollah is developing in the heart of their neighborhood. The resi-

dents were warned of the implications of living so close to missiles. In contrast to the Gaza Strip, the drumbeat of an imminent war is not heard in Lebanon, but psychological warfare is undoubtedly being conducted in there, on a wide range of channels and frequencies.

• Mr. Ezomon, Journalist and Media Consultant, writes from Lagos, Nigeria.

Sir, I know you have the power, and the political will to bring into fruition my suggestion(s) above. The arrangement can be effected in the next 24 hours, before the primaries. Do not throw away the baby (Ambode) with the bathwater... Give him a second chance to prove his remorseful self for all Lagosians to see. There’s always a tomorrow, and other avenues to hold a political recalcitrant to account!

” Bigger challenge for Israel than S-300s By AMOS HAREL


he crisis on the Syrian front also appears to be far from over, even if it has fallen off the front pages and the news broadcasts. Despite the reassuring noises coming out of Jerusalem, something fundamental has shifted in the north. Senior officials repeat at every occasion the mantra that the Israel Air Force is free to act in Syrian airspace and

The bigger obstacle, though, is strategic. Vladimir Putin was not happy about Israel’s continued attacks after the Assad regime regained control of southern Syria and consolidated his grip on the rest of the country.

•HAREL wrote this piece originally for Haaretz, an Israeli English Language newspaper

THE GROUP Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Ikeddy Isiguzo Editor Felix Oguejiofor Abugu Deputy Editor/Head, Lagos Bureau Sopuruchi Onwuka Head, Graphics & Designs Nnamdi Alex Chukwu Circulation Manager Felix Oti

The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17 2018

Travel & Hospitality


Investors remain upbeat on hotel strategies in Nigeria

• As pressure mounts on hotel performance Stories by VICTOR NZE


IGH supply growth during the past five years has placed pressure on hotel performance in Nigeria and the rest of subSaharan Africa, yet the outlook in the medium term remains positive, with a more sustainable pipeline and stronger demand fundamentals. This is one of the interesting facts presented by Xander Nijnens, Executive Vice-President, Hotels & Hospitality Group, JLL Sub-Saharan Africa, at the forum attended by leading local and international hotel investors in Africa. Nijnens said that investors in the hotel sector in Sub-Saharan Africa are positive about the outlook for the sector, yet they also acknowledge that finding suitably yielding opportunities is more difficult today, positing, further that investors are increasingly looking at niche segments, new secondary markets and value-add acquisitions to reach their return targets. The report confirms expectations for hotel trading to remain under pressure during the balance of 2018 and in 2019, as new rooms continue to be absorbed into the market. Nijnens said that despite a muted trading environment in many markets, there is evidence that well placed, distributed, branded, and developed products can consistently outperform the market. “New segments such as serviced apartments and branded economy hotels hold strong returns prospects,” he said. “For investors looking at the market, the wide spectrum of market prospects and asset performance brings both opportunities and challenges.” JLL forecasts annual investment into hotel development of US$1.7 billion in 2019, with investment sales in 2018 of US$350 million and increasing to US$400 million in 2019. Nijnens adds: “We expect liquid-

ity and trading of hotel assets to continue and this will improve pricing transparency in the market and reduce ownership risk. Value add strategies will be the most successful approach to acquisitions as there is a lack of well-priced quality assets available for trade.” Development returns are highest when focused on disrupting the sector or when addressing emerging demand and differentiating projects. Brand conversions present strong revenue upside prospects and they are well supported by the international brands in the current climate. The report also looks at lending on hotel developments in Sub-Saharan Africa, identifying that banks have continued to be prudent in their lending and conservative in their leveraging. “They are however becoming increasingly savvy, with more of a dedicated focus towards the asset class,” says Nijnens, “and are showing positive intent to get to grips with the sector. As lenders become increasingly knowledgeable, it will result in the most feasible projects receiving funding”. Another trend is the number of new lenders entering the sector through their existing relationships with diverse real estate players, which is deepening the lender pool. With a clear market opportunity, Nijnens says the next few years will be interesting to watch to see whether alternative and mezzanine lenders will enter the sector. Regional markets are increasingly diverse and out of sync, and the prospects and risks across the region vary immensely. In 2018, hotel performance has been mixed across the region, largely due to the impact of new supply entering the markets, as well as external demand pressures. West Africa has seen the most improvement in performance with commodity pricing on the up and

Hilton opens Legend Hotel Lagos Airport


S It continues to grow its presence in Africa by introducing new brands and entering new countries, Hilton has announced that it is on track to more than double in size in the next five years with the opening of the Legend Hotel Lagos Airport, Curio Collection by Hilton, last Monday. The hotel is the company’s first Curio Collection by Hilton in Africa. Legend Hotel Lagos Airport is located at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, which serves more than eight million passengers each year . The stylish hotel is adjacent to the airport’s private jet terminal and has an exclusive immigrations and customs desk in the hotel for private jet passengers. Handpicked to be part of the exclusive collection of one-of-a-kind hotels and resorts celebrated for their individuality, the hotel joins more than 60 Curio Collection hotels around the world. This is Hilton’s first hotel in Lagos and it is second in Nigeria,

with an additional seven hotels in its development pipeline for the country. Remarking, Hilton’s President and CEO, Chris Nassetta, said: “We continue to innovate in Africa with new brands and products, and we are pleased to introduce our Curio Collection brand here with the opening of Legend Hotel Lagos Airport. As the continent continues to undergo rapid urbanization, with the UN forecasting that the world’s 10 fastest-growing cities will all be in Africa by 2035, this hotel is a part of our strategy to connect guests to key cities and airport locations across the region.” Last year, Hilton launched the Hilton Africa Growth Initiative, which will support the conversion of existing hotels to Hilton brands with an investment of US$50 million over five years. During that period, Hilton expects to secure 100 conversion opportunities with some 15-20,000 rooms added to its portfolio to meet the growing need for quality branded hotels across the continent.

many economies thriving. East Africa has experienced good demand growth, yet occupancy has been under pressure due to recent supply growth. Performance in Southern Africa is stagnant as a result of the economic slowdown in South Africa, as well as the impact of the drought in Cape Town. Indian Ocean

performance continues to be very strong with an excellent outlook. Tom Mundy, Head of Research, JLL Sub-Saharan Africa, pointed out that “good quality assets, in sound locations with reliable income streams, remain attractive to investors. Improving transparency on the continent, while gradual, will under-

pin the investment case for real estate in Africa.” Nijnens concludes that “this pressure is resulting in an evolution of investment strategies to the region, and those who read the markets well, create relevant product, and innovate in their approach to the sector will reap the reward.”

•(From left): Manager, Food & Beverage, RadissonBlu Anchorage Hotel Lagos, Mr. Ahmed, Raza; Country Manager, Nigeria, Remy Cointreau, Mr. Xavier Carbonel; Remy Martin Brand Ambassador, Mr. Stephen Jimba; General Manager, RadissonBlu Anchorage Hotel Lagos, Mr. Kevin Kamau; and Director of Sales & Marketing, RadissonBlu Anchorage Hotel Lagos, Mr. Wellington Mpofu, at the Remy Martin cocktail in Lagos .

Akwaaba Travel Market, ADWT seal pact for Africa Diaspora tourism event in 2019


KWAABA African Travel Market has announced that it will collaborate with the United States-based Africa Diaspora Awards to organise a roundtable on Africa, tagged the; Africa Diaspora Tourism Conference. Making the disclosure in Lagos, organiser of Akwaaba Travel Market, Mr Ikechi Uko, opined that tourism remains the best way to build a sustainable relationship between the continent and its Disapora. According to Uko, the confab is expected to hold on September 23, 2019 as part of the 15th Akwaaba African Travel Market in Lagos. Also speaking on the collabora-

tion, the Executive Director of Africa Diaspora Awards, Kitty Pope said: “I am so excited to be a part of this project and 2019 marks the 400 years of the Trans-Atlantic slave Trade. This event finally reconnects Africa and its Diaspora in the right way through Travel and Tourism.” Similarly, Uko said, “We organised Africa Travel 100 Women Award in 2017 and women in Tourism groups in Africa took off and in 2018 we organised the Africa Travel 100 Awards for Tour Operators and organised the first African Tour Operators Summit and this event of Africa Travel 100 global Personalities will finally bring to-

gether all the major players in Africa and the Diaspora. This collaboration with Kitty Pope and her organization will help energise collaborations across the seas. “AKWAABA Travel Market has grown to become the most important African Tourism marketing platform in the West Africa attracting attendance from numerous visitors from over 20 Countries. This Travel Fair not only boasts a large amount of visitors but also excels in the promotion of the Exhibitors from the region’s leading Hotels, Airlines, Travel Agents, Tour Operators and similar industry Suppliers that participates in the event.”

According to Kevin Kamau, General Manager, RadissonBlu Anchorage Hotel Lagos, the partnership with Remy Martin provides an opportunity to leverage on the rich history and global acceptability of the brand to continue to enhance service quality to guests of the hotel. “Remy Martin is a premium brand that has got a rich history and global pedigree that the RadissonBlu brand is proud to partner in giving our guests a superlative experience,” Kamau mentioned. Also, Ahmed Raza, ManagerFood & Beverages, RadissonBlu Anchorage Hotel Lagos stated that Remy Martin is an established brand that will complement the delicious cuisines offering of the

hotel which will ultimately result to guests loyalty. Xavier Carbonel, Remy Cointreau Country Manager Nigeria says buying Remy Martin brand represent legacy and rich culture of fine premium French distillery. “The Remy Martin brand distillery is superior giving you same taste irrespective of the time in history. This uniqueness of the brand gives us an edge,” Carbonel affirmed. The partnership between RadissonBlu Anchorage Hotel Lagos and Remy Martin will see staff of the hotel travelling to France to learn the unique culture of the cognac brand to be replicated in enriching and elevating guests’ experience of RadissonBlu Anchorage Hotel Lagos, Nigeria.

RadissonBlu Anchorage partners Remy Martin for exquisite guests’ experience


ADISSONBLU Anchorage Hotel Lagos has partnered Remy Martin in Nigeria to continue to give its guests exquisite hospitality experience second to none. At an exclusive cocktail event at RadissonBlu Anchorage Hotel Lagos, guests and selected dignitaries of the hotel got a taste of the world famous French distilled cognac brand, Remy Martin XO, VSOP and 1738 Accord Royal. Stephen Jimba, Brand Ambassador of Remy Martin brand in Nigeria took the guests through the historical age and production of Remy Martin in France as well as gave insights on special tasting techniques that leaves the taste buds with exquisiteness.


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018

AVIATION Air Peace readies for Europe, reels out plans for newly-acquired aircraft Stories by VICTOR NZE


IR Peace has said it intends to bridge the gap created by the country’s inability to exploit the numerous air service agreements it signed with other countries when the carrier fully deploys its newly-acquited fleet of four B777 aircraft as well as the B737-Max. The airline’s chairman, Allen Onyema disclosed this when he stated that its orders, the Boeing 737Max will be deployed to service routes including Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Sharjah, Jeddah from Abuja, Dubai from Kano as well as London from Enugu among others. ”On the international scene, why did we buy four 777? Why did we order 10 brand new 737Max? You know the max has over 7000 nautical miles range. We brought all these equipment because we want to cover that gap that is making the government of the day worried and for people of this country. “Those 737Max, we don’t want Nigerians to fly through London to get to Amsterdam. We don’t want Nigerians to pay through their noses to get to their destinations Air Peace decided to bring these jets, the state-

of -the-art Boeing 777 and brand new 737Max in other to do these destinations direct for Nigerians. “We want to start flying Lagos to Paris direct with those max, we want to deploy another max from Lagos to Frankfurt. We want to deploy the Max from Lagos to Amsterdam. We want to deploy it to Milan, we want to deploy it from Abuja to Jeddah. We want to do Kano to Dubai, we want to do Enugu-London with it and some days we use our triple seven to London through Lagos where majority of people travel. “So the triple sevens are made for the London route, US route because of its range, meant for China because of its range too and cargo. It is meant in some days to go to Johannesburg because of the traffic there too. Most of the work like Mumbai and others will be done by the 737Max which will take like 180 passengers. “You are not going to go to Mumbai with full load of three hundred and seventy something that the 777 will carry so we decided to do that route with the 737Max. So what are we looking for again? An airline has emerged from this country to plug the gaps,” he said. On how the airlines has so far

achieved its business growth, the Air Peace boss attributed it to integrity, purposefulness and a sound business plan which the airline has followed to the letter. He said: ”Air peace growth to over 20 planes is not a sudden growth, it was planned, we have a business plan and we are following our business plan from inception till date. We have never deviated from our business plan. Part of the business plan was to make sure we establish integrity with the banks and we have done that 1000 per cent.

“Our growth was never sudden, it was planned since 2010. We told ourselves from year-four, year-five we will transit into buying new planes. Whatever number of planes we bought, those things were in our business plan. We never laundered money, never ploughs it into real estate. Whatever we are getting in aviation, we are putting it back in aviation and the banks are seeing the governance structure in Air Peace, seeing the Financial discipline they told you as much, the MDs of the banks told you themselves so we are asking

government to go out there and do international politics for us.” “The problem with Nigeria is that most people borrow money without any intention whatsoever to pay back, Air peace is different; we borrowed money when we wanted to float this airline, some from Zenith, majority from Fidelity Bank and then my Equity. We made sure we paid off our loans. We’ve borrowed money from Fidelity to buy more than 10aircraft and fidelity told you how it was, that we honoured our obligation to the letter.”

NCAA restores ATO certificate of Kwara Int’l Aviation College


IGERIAN Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has restored the Approved Training Organisation (ATO) certificate of the International Aviation College, Ilorin, in Kwara State. News of the restoration was communicated to the college through a letter dated 3rd October 2018 and titled “LIFTING OF SUSPENSION OF APPROVED TRAINING ORGANISATION (ATO) CERTIFICATE NUMBER: ATO/AA/004”. In the letter, the NCAA hinged its decision to restore the certificate on “the closure of a good number of the findings” by the management of the International Aviation College, Ilorin. Besides, it also noted “the remarkable commitment demonstrated in closing the remaining findings as verified during the recent Recertification Audit of your college.” The NCAA’s letter, which was signed by the Acting Director of Licensing on behalf of the Director General, however, expressed expectation that the College will “make every effort to close pending findings and notify the Authority as soon as possible.” The Approved Training Organisation (ATO) Certificate is issued in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Aviation Act 2006 and it authorises the College to carry

out training in the following areas: Private Pilot License Training (A); Commercial Pilot License Training (A); Single-Engine Rating Training (A); Multi-Engine Rating Training (A). Others include: Instrument Rating Training; Private Pilot License Training (H); Commercial Pilot License Training (H); Single-Engine Rating Training (H); and Flight Dispatcher Training. The International Aviation College, Ilorin was established by the Kwara State Government under the Bukola Saraki administration to provide world class training that will enable students to tap into extant opportunities in the aviation industry.

•Minister of Transport, Niger Republic, Hon. Dr. Mahamadou Karidjo, (fifth from left) welcoming the Managing Director, Overland Airways, Capt. Edward Boyo, (fourth from left) during the launching of Overland Airways’ LagosCotonou-Niamey flight in Niamey, Niger Republic in the presence of Director Gneral, ANAC, Niger Republic, Alh. Ahmed Ayaha, (third from left); Representative of H.E. Amb. Attahiru Haliru, Ambassador of Nigeria to Niger Republic, Mr. John Usman (second from left) and other officials from the aviation, business and diplomatic communities.

Dana Air rewards ‘Explore Nigeria‘ campaign winners


ANA Air has partnered Radisson Blu Anchorage to offer its passengers an exciting package when they fly from any of its destinations – Owerri, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Uyo to its hub in Lagos. Media and Communications Manager of Dana Air, Mr Kingsley Ezenwa, explained that the air-

line’s passengers can now enjoy an amazing weekend getaway at Radisson Blu Anchorage hotel Victoria Island Lagos. ‘’We are pleased to announce our partnership with Radisson Blu Anchorage to offer our guests an exciting total package when they fly from any of our destinations to Lagos. The package which is valid

VERLAND Airways has formally inaugurated its LagosCotonou-Niamey flights. The ceremony which took place, last Wednesday, flags off operations by the Nigerian carrier on the route which will be operated on Wednesdays and Fridays. The flights will depart Lagos at 19:00, arrive Cotonou at 19:30 for a brief stop-over and depart Cotonou at 20:00 to arrive Niamey at 22:00. The flights will leave Niamey at 05:00 on Thursdays and Saturdays to arrive Cotonou at 07:00

and continue at 07:30 to arrive Lagos at 08:00. Overland Airways’ Lagos-Cotonou-Niamey flights offer opportunities for travellers in Niger Republic to reach Nigeria and Benin Republic for business and pleasure. In addition, passengers may connect regional and long-haul flights from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos and Cotonou Airport to other parts of Africa, Europe, the Americas, Middle East and Asia. Chief Operating Officer of Over-

The new NUATE boss noted that welfare of workers will continue to remain paramount saying that the union has declared emergency in condition of service in the next one month in the aviation parastatals. Nnabue explained that a four point programme of leadership, security, welfare of members and financial autonomy has been mapped out for the union. He explained that estate valuers will be engaged to develop the NU-

ATE property at Beesan in Lagos national secretariat in order to construct a 45 room hotel. According to the NUATE President, this will enable the union not to rely on check off dues but to depend on internally generated revenue for self-sustenance. He said a new means of communication among NUATE members across the country will be introduce in order to keep members posted with activities of the union.

land Airways, Mrs. Aanu Benson, said the Lagos-Cotonou-Niamey flights will connect the Sahel region to the dense business and tourism opportunities in Cotonou and Lagos both in coastal West Africa, thereby stimulating trade and commercial activities in Benin Republic, Niger Republic and Nigeria. “We must bring to life the whole essence and meaning of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in the region. Overland Airways’ Lagos-CotonouNiamey flights promise passengers top quality services across its network,” she said. Essentially, the Lagos-CotonouNiamey flights will connect traders, business people and holidaymakers to the rich farming and livestock industry, especially the Wadata Handicraft Village that presents an assortment of leather products, and milk production in Niger Republic. The country has huge mineral resources that present business opportunities, and is home to UNESCO World Heritage Sites and other historical monuments, as well as fascinating traditional celebrations that attract international guests.

Overland Airways expands in West Africa with Niamey addition


Nnabue vows to fight against workers’ victimization, others


EWLY elected President of the National Association of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Comrade Ben Nnabue, has vowed to stop any form of victimisation of aviation workers in the country. Speaking in an interview with aviation journalists after his election in Asaba Delta state, Comrade Nnabue said NUATE under him will resist concession, casulisation and job loss in the aviation sector.

till December 31st 2018, comes with very good discount per booking and complimentary breakfast for two, amazing discounts at voyage restaurant and Spa,’’ said Ezenwa. Ezenwa further noted that the airline had to enter into a partnership with another brand reputed for its world-class services just to offer its guests a whole new getaway experience and the feeling that comes with flying the smartest way. “This is what is expected of a smart airline anywhere in the world. Guests should be able to book and get other value-added services based on the customercentric partnerships of the airline. These packages or benefits could come in form of cab services, hotel booking or shopping deals. Interested passengers are expected to provide Dana Air boarding passes of recent trips at least 48 hours to making their reservation or send a mail ordanamiles@flydanaair. com for details.’’ Meanwhile, Dana Air has rewarded the winners of its explore Nigeria campaign across Nigeria. The campaign which entails youths between 18-30 to do a video and market Nigeria’s tourist attractions at their various locations across Nigeria was in collaboration with Kinabuti, the producers of Dare2dream; a Dana Air sponsored youth empowerment and reality TV initiative. Dana Air is expected sponsor the trips of the winners to the various destinations of their choice.


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018

INSURANCE & PENSION Lagos Govt releases N795m to retirees A Stories by VICTOR NZE

NOTHER batch of Public Service Retirees under the Contributory Pension Scheme has been paid N795 million as accrued pension rights for the month of September 2018 by the Lagos State Government. Addressing the retirees at the 55th Retirement Benefit Bond Certificate Presentation Ceremony held on Wednesday in Ikeja, Lagos, the State Commissioner, Ministry of Establishments Training and Pensions, Dr. Akintola Benson-Oke said 9,804 retirees have received accrued pension rights of N40, 245 billion into their Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA) from inception of the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode-led administration. He reiterated that despite the huge funding obligations of the Contributory Pension scheme, Governor Ambode is committed

to the well-being of the pensioners in retirement, stressing that, for this reason, funds are released monthly into the Retirement Savings Account of employees and also accrued rights of retirees are paid to enable them have access to their RSA. Earlier, the Director-General, LASPEC, Mrs. Folasade Onanuga said that the State Government appreciates the retirees’ service to the State and wishes them well. She also educated the retirees on the move by the National Pension Commission to fulfil the provisions of the Pension Law on guaranteed Minimum Pension for life for retirees under the Programmed Withdrawal benefit option.

Property firm unveils flexible payment, rent insurance solution


EW housing solutions providers driven by technology, RentSmallSmall property sourcing group has stepped up delivery of tailored shelter supplies to Lagosians who have been under the influence of heavy yearly rental payment arrangement. The firm, powered by young entrepreneurs is Nigeria’s first ‘Ondemand Home Rental Solution’ with flexible payment and rent insurance. Addressing the media in Lagos on Thursday, the chief executive officer of the group, Mr. Tunde Balogun said “RentSmallSmall is focused on improving rental experience for tenants and reducing vacancy period and rate for landlords”. He explained that with the services of the company, prospective tenants have no need to worry about paying not only for one year at a go which many times, is very challenging and also, there is nothing like 10 percent agent fee and agreement fee. On how it works, he explained that “Our services are technology driven and all available and verified rentable apartments are paid on a monthly basis without the pains of paying for landlord and agent fees or upfront payment of one year or more. By our renting policy, after confirming interest in any available property, all you need to pay is one month and our properties for rent are coming with housing insurance”. “RentSmallSmall is partnering with Axa Mansard Home Insurance scheme and other companies that work together for the good of tenants. Explaining further, Balogun said “Landlords who are our partners stand to gain a number of seamless advantages over others that insist on collecting from one year upfront”. He said “Property owners on RentSmallSmall are on steady income throughout the year; tenants are screened and verified by RentSmallSmall ahead of parking; Rent default insurance is covered by Axa Mansard; and our com-

pany model and platform give high visibility to property in the market, thereby reducing vacancy period and undue wastage of finished properties. “Eviction of erring tenants under RentSmallSmall is faster as only one month notice is given as provided by the prevailing rent edit. On the advantages of RentSmallSmall platform to prospective tenants, Balogun averred that tenants enjoy easy access as the company reduces the amount of time spent searching for the perfect property. “Tenants can find property and move in within 48 hours or less. Tenants can use our platform to find residential home at close proximity to work place and in the process reduce commuting time and boom in productivity. “In terms of flexibility, RentSmallSmall is designed for flexible duration and payment which means tenants can stay as they need and pay as they stay. “On livability, the company ensures homes are livable for tenants throughout their stay by attending to issues in the apartment on time,” balogun explained. In her presentation, the Group Head, Partnership at Axa Mansard, Ms. Wurola Odesanya said her company partnered with RentSmallSmall based on the strategic solutions the company is coming with. She added that “With Axa Mansard home insurance, tenants will be at peace leaving in their apartments and enjoying their period paid for. Check at the company’s show that there are several available homes waiting for tenants in parts of Lagos Island and Lekki axis. The company also revealed that it is currently reaching out to landlords in parts of Lagos to partner with it so as to lift seamless housing supply in Lagos State. On the future plans of RentSmallSmall, Balogun averred that as Lagos coverage is growing, the company is considering expanding its services to the nation’s capital city of Abuja.

•Members of the Board of Directors of AIICO Insurance at the Extra-Ordinary Meeting (EOM) of the company which held Friday in Lagos

Lagos OTCI sensitises staff on financial wellness


EMBERS of Staff of the Office of Transformation, Creativity and Innovation (OTCI) were Friday sensitised by representatives of Stanbic IBTC Group on effective Pension Fund Management, Asset Management and other products rendered as well as services considered beneficial to Public Servants. The programme held at the Secretariat, Alausa is a subset of the Community of Practice, a platform for learning and knowledge sharing, organised by the Office, for members of staff to be adequately informed on best practices that would improve their lives and work ethics. The interactive and well-attended programme also had representatives of the Stanbic IBTC Group Mr. Olatunji Bolaji, Business Development Manager, Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers; Mrs. Jere Onogwu, Relationship Manager, Workplace Banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank; and Mr. Damilola Onileaja, Sales Consultant, Stanbic IBTC Asset Management, took turns to enlighten members of staff on various products and services managed by the institution for the benefit of Public Servants and the Public at large. While thanking the management and staff of the OTCI for the opportunity, the representatives encouraged participants and other civil servants to ensure they have a ‘Will’ ready or at least a ‘Letter of Administration’ to be adequately prepared for the future or any unforeseen events that would create anxiety for the families left behind. In a related development, Stanbic IBTC Bank, in collaboration with Creative Youth Community Development Initiative (CYCDI), and Covenant University, Ota, last weekend engaged the youth on better understanding of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their role in its attainment, in commemoration of the 2018 Global People’s Summit. The Global People’s Summit is organized by the Humanity Lab Foundation in partnership with the United Nations Office of Partnerships. It provides a platform for people and

organizations around the world, especially the youth, to participate via a digital platform in the conversation to make change happen in society. The event, aligning with the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York City, held at Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, and attracted students, the university community, non-governmental organizations, and development partners. It had the theme, “Reimagine Humanity: Changing the Status Quo,” In his welcome address, Vice Chancellor, Covenant University, Professor Aaron Atayero, represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof Akan Williams, expressed the institution’s delight to be partnering with reputable organizations to foster youth development, which aligns with the university’s core goal of raising a new cadre of leadership in Nigeria. He said the institution is committed to making the youth to develop self-belief, which will enable them become change agents and play a pivotal role in changing the narrative about the country. Stanbic IBTC Bank, the official partner to CYCDI InnoCreativa Youth Hub, made a presentation on “Funding Creativity and Innovation to achieve SDGs.” Head, Personal Banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Nkolika Okoli, said Goal 3 of the SDGs and thrust of this year’s summit, ‘Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages’ is in line with the Stanbic IBTC Group’s status as an end-to-end financial services solutions provider. In this role, the group caters for the needs of its clients at every stage of life through bespoke products and services. The bank’s product, the Stanbic BluEdge Youth Account, for instance, is targeted at helping students and the youth to have a healthy start in life by cultivating a savings culture very early in life. She emphasized that having a desired future entails being financially literate, which is essential to taking informed decisions and actions, adding that the Group is ready and willing to provide support and forge partnerships towards the socio-eco-

nomic development of Nigeria. The session, which included a panel discussion by students of Covenant University on the imperative of avoiding drug abuse, also dissected such issues as Decent Work and Economic Growth, Promotion of Health and Wellbeing, Development of Innovation and Creativity and Application of the University’s Core Values to Achieve United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in 2030. Live sessions were also beamed from New York. Foluke Michael, the CEO and Project Director of Creative Youth Community Development Initiative, noted that while access to high-level UN discussions is exclusive to world leaders, the Global People’s Summit leverages technology to give everyone a seat at the table and democratize access to information. In its second year, the online summit creates a space for real-time conversations that inspire and lead to innovative partnerships that catalyze action for the SDGs, an agenda for global development established by the UN in 2015. As the future belongs to the youth, Okoli said Stanbic IBTC Bank is dedicating resources towards addressing their needs. Such commitment necessitated the introduction of such initiatives as the Stanbic IBTC Youth Leadership Series, a youth empowerment motivational series, and the Stanbic IBTC Business Leadership Series, an annual event that facilitates the sharing of knowledge and information among local and international participants who are drawn from key sectors of the economy. “The popular saying that children are the leaders of tomorrow, as cliché as it may sound, holds true. But for us at Stanbic IBTC, we believe that the youths are the leaders for today and because we understand just how easily one can get distracted or discouraged by the different challenges we face in our lives, our youths therefore need to be aptly and constantly guided, mentored, inspired and motivated, not just to attain their goals but in order for them to actualize their full potential,” Okoli added.


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018


FIRS agrees amendment to insurance tax laws Stories by VICTOR NZE


EDERAL Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has agreed to propose to the National Assembly to amend Section 16 of the Companies Income Tax Act (CITA), which some insurance companies have raised concerns about. Chairman of FIRS, Mr Babatunde Fowler, made this disclosure last week at a seminar organised in Lagos by Leadway Assurance Limited with the theme ‘Taxation matters in Insurance Value Chain.’ During the programme, Mr Fowler, who was represented by FIRS Regional Coordinator, Mrs Toluwalase Akpomedaye, noted that some provisions of the laws that were unfavourable to the industry would be looked into and amended appropriately to allow a level-playing field to insurers. He called for a yearly tax interactive session by stakeholders to address tax concerns clogging the insurance business, adding that such sessions have helped foster understanding with other sectors. Fowler pledged FIRS’ commitment to the industry, stressing that the concerns expressed by operators were being looked into and charged operators to pay tax, adding that the economy needs tax to thrive. According to him, insurance plays a pivotal role in the economy as it seeks to help individuals and businesses manage risks by transferring and sharing their burden with the insurance carrier. “Over the years, the insurance industry has undergone significant

reforms and is a fairly developed sector. Insurance penetration in Nigeria is still very low and total contribution of the industry to GDP is within the one per cent range. There is need for stakeholders to work together to increase the size and contribution of the sector not only to GDP, but also to tax collection. “Generally, there are two broad categories of insurance business in Nigeria which includes Life insurance business and non-life insurance. Non-life insurance include fire, accident, motor vehicles, burglary, marine, G-in-transit, personal accident, loss of profit, public liability, workmen compensation, all risks, engineering policies, etc. Nigerian Re-Insurance Corporation acts as insurer to the insurance companies. “In Nigeria, there are many international and indigenous insurance companies. Insurance like any other economic activity is subject to the tax rules in Nigeria. Under the CITA, non-life insurance companies are taxed on the basis of their gross premiums and interest as well as other receivables less the following: (i) returned premiums (ii) premiums paid on re-insurance (iii) reserve for unexpired risks “Section 16 of the CITA set out specific rules with respect to the taxation of insurance business. CITA, having identified the specialised nature of the insurance business, dedicates a whole session of the Act to the taxation of the insurance industry, for the treatment of income derived from insurance business. Section 16(8) of CITA al-

Lloyd’s eyes Canadian marijuana market


LOYD’S is set to get into Canada’s cannabis market when recreational marijuana becomes legal there on Oct. 17, according to Hank Watkins, president of Lloyd’s America Inc. Watkins was speaking, Friday, at the 2018 Insurance Forum, an annual event in Southern California hosted by the Center for Insurance Studies, part of the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics at Cal State University Fullerton. The center regularly hosts speakers to bring together the insurance community. Past speakers include California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Robert Hartwig, former economist and president of the Insurance Information Institute. Watkins, who was outlining global opportunities and risks for the crowd of insurance professionals, educators and students, also talked about Lloyd’s City Risk Index, which measures the economic risk faced by 279 cities across the world from 22 threats in five categories: finance; economics and trade; geopolitics and security; health and humanity; natural catastrophe and climate; and technology and space. Those listed in the index are some of the world’s leading cities, collectively generating 41 percent of global GDP. Watkins pointed out that many of the emerging risks today are not the same risks people had to worry about 20 years ago. “More of the threats are manmade than natural,” he said, referring to threats like cyber and market crash.

Watkins also highlighted opportunities for the industry, including insuring the cannabis market in Canada. Lloyd’s pulled out of the U.S. medical marijuana market in 2015 largely due to the federal government’s stance that cannabis is to be considered a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. Following his talk at the forum, Watkins was asked to elaborate on what Lloyd’s may be doing in Canada’s cannabis market. He said that no official announcement has been made, but that Lloyd’s appointed brokers are already preparing to offer products for the cannabis industry.

lows the companies to deduct a percentage of the premium income into a reserve before arriving at the total profit for tax purposes,” the tax chief said. Managing Director of Leadway Assurance Limited, Mr Oye Hassan-Odukale, said the tax sessions would help improve the relationship between FIRS and the indus-

try. He noted that the event was part of his company’s contributions to the development of the industry and the economy. He agreed that there was need for the industry to have yearly interaction fora with FIRS and Lagos State Inland Revenue Service (LIRS).

•(From left): Head, Enterprise Risk Management, Mr Akinwande; Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications; Managing Director/CEO, Bode Opadokun; Executive Director, Tunde Mimiko; Head, Legal, Pauline Ogebe; Head, Retail, Dunni Oladokun; and Head, Claims, Jacqueline Agweh, all of FBN General Insurance at a press conference in Lagos to unveil three new simple insurance products into the market, Thursday.

Embrace retail insurance business to transform industry – NIA urges insurers


RESIDENT and Chairman of Council of Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) Eddie Efekoha, has called on operators in the industry to embrace retail insurance business in order to deepen insurance owner and awareness in the country. He disclosed this, Thursday, at the 2018 Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) Offices Representative Committee (ORC) workshop in Lagos, arguing that the retail insurance business has the capacity to turn around the fortune of the industry. He noted that operators have over the years, abandoned retail market thinking that there is no much income from that sector, forgetting that people within that bracket contribute more to the economy. He called on insurers to rethink their decision and focus on retail in

to boost the industry GDP and contribution to the economy. He urged participants at the event to be apostles of retail business and should ensure that whatever they acquired from the workshop is shared with others. Chairman, Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) Tope Smart, said retail business remains the future of the industry. “What we do is to chase the billions, leaving the people at the grassroots,” he said. He posited that the various targets set to deepen insurance penetration, will not be achieved until operators give the needed attention to retail business. “Many people do not know about insurance and we are talking of deepening insurance penetration. We cannot achieve this if the market women and others at the grassroots are neglected. If we want to take insurance from where

it is to the next level we need to address the issue of retail.” Also, the Director-General, NIA, Mrs Yetunde Ilori, in a paper entitled, ‘Retail Insurance Distribution Perspectives: Challenges and Opportunities’, urged operators to evolve broad range of relevant products that should be channeled through digital and non-digital channels. She canvassed the need to focus on SMEs, women, youths, agricultural producers, households and individuals, especially those in the informal sector. She called for reform of the distribution channels, stressing that the present channels limits effective utilisation of alternative distribution channels. She said that efforts should be made to take insurance business to over 96.4 million total adult population in Nigeria.

with agreed insured value up to N1 million for a premium of N40,000; N500,000, for a premium of N25,000 and N100,000 for a premium of N15,000 respectively and also covers third party property damage up to N2 million in all the three variants. On Flexi Home policy, he said the product is a home content insurance policy, designed to ensure adequate cover for customers’ treasured home including the contents and compensates the insured in the event of loss or damage to property belonging to the insured as a result of fire and/or allied perils. The products is available in four variants, namely: Flexi Home Bronze, Flexi Home Silver, Flexi Home Gold and Flexi Home Platinum for agreed insured value of N1 million, N2 mil-

lion, N3 million and N5 million for an annual premium of N7,500, N15,000, N20,000 and N30,000 respectively. On Flexi Guard, he said “Flexi Guard is a protection policy that pays compensation to the insured in the event of injuries, disability or death caused solely by external and visible event.” The policy is available in three variants of Flexi Guard Silver, Flexi Guard Gold and Flexi Guard Platinum. The policy covers among other things bodily injury, death or permanent disability to the tune of N500,000 for a premium of N1,500, N1 million for a premium of N3,000 and N2 million for a premium of N5,000. According to him, the product provides cover for other eventualities such as any form of accidents; strike, riot and civil commotion; Dog bite, wild animal attack as well as motorcycling either as a rider or as a passenger.

FBN General Insurance rolls out three products


BN General Insurance Limited, Thursday, unveiled three unique retail products aimed at deepening insurance penetration in the country. Speaking at the unveiling, Bode Opadokun, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), identified the products as Auto Flexi Insurance, Flexi Home Insurance and Flexi Guard Insurance. He said the products are simple, affordable and flexible, adding that they do not have depreciation and excess. He said Auto Flexi is designed to meet customers’ specific needs, stressing that it came out of customers’ requests. “We have seen several instances where some of our customers both

On his part, a representative of Pricewaterhousecooper (PwC), Mr Kenneth Erikume, disclosed that tax and insurance are two important aspects of the economy that are yet to live up to their potential, noting that insurance faces a lot of challenges and that strict application would kill the industry.

existing even prospective having issue of pricing. Pricing in terms of affordability and ability to pay the premium that is applicable based on the value of some of the vehicles.” Explaining further about the product, he said the products was designed to cover the insured against specific, pre-agreed losses; legal liability to pay compensation to a third party in the event of an accident that cause property damage or bodily injury to the third party. He noted that the policy also covers the insured in the event of damages due to an accident and fire damage up to the agreed value insured. The policy, according to him is divided into three variants of Flexi Gold, Flexi Silver and Flexi Bronze


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018

EQUITY & Capital Market

NSE out with guidelines for listing of Closed-End-Funds Stories By JEROME USHAKANG


HE Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has released Rules that would guide the investors on how to list Closed-Ended Funds (CEF) on the Exchange. The NSE in a statement said that an application for listing shall be made to the NSE by a Managing Company duly licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).SEC will also duly register the CEF and its securities. The registerd CEF shall have a Board of Directors which shall exclude the employees of any Fund Manager appointed to manage the Fund’s investments. At least one di-

rector shall be an Independent Director. The minimum fund size shall be at least N3 billion with at least 200 unit holders and a minimum free float of 15 percent with more than 50 percent of its shares held by five or fewer persons. To retain its listing on The Exchange, each CEF shall comply with the continuing obligations stipulated by the NSE. An existing listed class of equity shares of the CEF shall not be converted into a new class or an unlisted class unless prior approval has been given by the shareholders of the existing class in the CEF. It stressed that when calculating the net asset value per share, treas-

ury shares held by the CEF shall not be taken into account. It added that every listed CEF shall immediately notify the NSE in writing of any transaction involving the issuance or potential issuance of any securities other than unlisted, non-voting, or non-participating securities. Again,a CEF shall not proceed with any transaction under this Rule unless approved by the NSE.Failure to comply with this provision may result in the suspension and/or delist-

ing of the listed Issuer’s securities. The Issuer shall release a Circular relating to a resolution proposing to give the Issuer authority to purchase units of its own securities, and the Circular shall indicate: (a)If the authority sought is a general one, a statement of the Board of Directors’ or trustees intentions about using the authority; (b)The method by which the Issuer intends to acquire the units and the number to be acquired in that man-

FSD Africa partners SEC to strengthen Nigeria’s capital market


HE Securities and Exchange Commission, (SEC ) Nigeria has become the first capital market regulator to participate in a flagship pan-African programme designed to strengthen the continent’s capital markets. The Programme is aimed at unlocking capital and build investor confidence through improved regulations and compliance with international standards. Following the partnership deal, over a three-year period, FSD Africa, a United Kingdom (UK) Aid funded non-profit company, will provide funding to build the capacity of capital market regulators across the continent, providing world-class technical assistance, encouraging closer collaboration among regulators and conducting research to support the development of new policies and regulations. Through the programme, FSD Africa will assist SEC Nigeria in several ways. First, it will fund an institutional capacity audit to identify strengths and areas of improvement in the SEC Nigeria’s operations as well as provide support to implement recommendations. It will also help in promoting fintech regulation. Lastly, it will play a role in encouraging greater collaboration and knowledge management sharing with other African capital market regulators. Commenting on the agreement, British Deputy High Commissioner Lagos, Laure Beaufils said, : “Capital markets have an essential role to play to help unlock capital that can be invested in the real economy and that can contribute to job creation and inclusive growth. I am delighted that the SEC Nigeria and FSD Africa will be signing a new partnership agreement today. It is a testament to the importance we attach to this issue and to our commitment to deepen and broaden our trade and investment relationship with Nigeria. I very much look forward to working with the SEC on this in the future.” Also speaking,Acting Director General, SEC Nigeria Ms. mary Uduk said,“SEC Nigeria is excited about the cooperation with FSD Africa and the tremendous potential the various programmes hold in complementing our efforts to enhance capacity and further strengthen our ability to regulate the capital market. This collaboration will no doubt contribute to

the continued development of our market by facilitating access to capital by both the private and public sectors and enhance the competitiveness of the Nigerian capital market as a global investment destination.” In his remarks, Director, FSD Africa, Mark Napier stated that Well-functioning capital markets can play a vital role in support of inclusive economic growth by channeling long term finance into infrastructure and other largescale projects that create jobs and improve access to markets. Strengthening regulatory capacity in capital markets is an essential pre-condition for building investor confidence.” Meanwhile, as Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria represents a natural starting point for this new programme. In addition to Nigeria, the programme will be implemented in Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

CEO Nigerian Stock Exchange, Oscar Onyema.

IOSCO launches World Investor Week 2018 •To promote investor protection


HE International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has launched its second annual ‘[World Investor Week’ (WIW), following its success last year at attracting more than one thousand financial organizations to showcase their initiatives for promoting investor education and protection across the globe. IOSCO said that in Japan, where financial markets are the first in the world to open every morning, the Financial Services Agency inaugurated WIW with a formal ceremony at its headquarters in Tokyo, from October 1 to 7 2018. It stated that securities regulators, stock exchanges, international organizations, investor associations and other stakeholders from more than 80 countries are offering an array of activities to increase the awareness of investor education and protection in their jurisdictions. The activities range from the organization of workshops and conferences to local/national investor education campaigns, games and contests, and many of these events will continue throughout the rest of the year. Meanwhile, in addition to highlighting the importance of investor

education and protection, a key objective of the WIW is to foster learning opportunities for investors – a particularly important goal in the current context of rapid technological innovation and increasingly interconnected financial markets. Indeed, this year´s WIW not only seeks to promote the basics of smart investing but also to ensure that retail investors understand the risks associated with initial coin offerings, crypto-assets and other online investments. IOSCO added. According to IOSCO, in Brazil, participants during the week are using live sessions on social media to explain the rudiments of sound investing to the young; French groups are launching a radio campaign to spread the WIW´s key messages on investing wisely; US participants are holding an educational summit on investing for retirement; in Romania, students are debating financial issues in a public forum; Hong Kong stakeholders are staging an investor seminar titled Changing landscape. Changing risks; undergraduates. in Pakistan are competing in an inter-university stock trading contest; in Kazakhstan, a financial literacy Road-show is focusing on green and Islamic finance; and Zambian

entities are offering awareness programmes at schools and universities, workplaces and public forums, to name just a few of the many activities that are taking place in over 80 countries within the week. In addition, International groups are participating in WIW, which is endorsed by the Argentine G20 Presidency. The Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB), together with its 26-member organizations representing 175,000 certified financial planners (CFPs), celebrated World Financial Planning Day on 3 October 3, to complement the activities of WIW. FPSB´s activities focus on debt management, home ownership, retirement and investment planning, to promote financial literacy further and encourage consumers to assume more responsibility for their finances. The International Forum For Investor Education (IFIE) offers a variety of activities in support of WIW that help build capacity at both a global and regional level. The IFIE Americas Caribbean Working Group—representing 16 jurisdictions across the Caribbean— has launched a Caribbean-wide video initiative to present Voices of the Caribbean: Empowering the Caribbean toward financial independ-

ner; (c) A statement of whether the company intends to cancel the units or hold them in treasury; (d)If the authority sought is related to a proposal to purchase from specific parties, in which case, a statement setting forth the names of the persons from whom units are to be acquired together with all material terms of the proposal shall be provided; (e)Details of the price, or the maximum and minimum price, to be paid. This should be no less than the CEF’s NAV determined as of the specified date; (f) An explanation of the potential impact of the proposed buyback, including whether control of the CEF may be concentrated following the proposed transaction. The Issuer may be allowed to repurchase between five percent and 15 percent of its outstanding units pursuant to a general authorisation by the unit holders that such repurchase shall be carried out by way of a tender offer to all unitholders of that class. Notwithstanding any of the foregoing provisions, no share buy-back shall result in a breach of the 15 percent free float requirement. A Closed-End Fund shall only be liquidated as stipulated in its prospectus. The above are the general requirements for the listing of CEF. A CEF is a security that offers its shareholders partial ownership in an underlying portfolio of assets. CEFs are publicly traded and initially raise capital through an initial public offering, the proceeds of which are invested in a basket of securities. CEFs are closed to new investors wishing to purchase shares from the company once the initial shares are issued. However, existing investors can trade CEFs at market prices on the floor of The Exchange. A unit holder who wants to redeem his unit(s) for cash will have to do so through his stockbroker.

ence and resilience. Chairman of the IOSCO Board and the Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, Ashley Alder, said,“The global scale of World Investor Week and the encouraging collaboration between IOSCO members and their stakeholders in conducting these activities demonstrates IOSCO’s strong commitment to investor education and protection”. Also speaking, IOSCO Secretary General, Paul Andrews, said, “IOSCO welcomes this second iteration of World Investor Week as evidence that this annual event is gaining the momentum it needs to protect investors and prepare them for dealing with the challenges of increasingly interconnected and digitalized capital markets.” IOSCO is the leading international policy forum for securities regulators and is recognized as the global standard setter for securities regulation. The organization’s membership regulates more than 95 percent of the world’s securities markets in more than 115 jurisdictions and it continues to expand. Its Board is the governing and standard-setting body of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), and is made up of 34 securities regulators, with the Chief Executive Officer of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong, Mr. Ashley Alder, as the Chair of the IOSCO Board.


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018

MONEY Market

Finance Minister orders defunct Skye Bank’s directors investigation



INANCE Minister, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, on Friday directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), to investigate and prosecute Directors and Executive Management of defunct Skye Bank culpable for its eventual collapse. The operating license of Skye Bank Plc was last month revoked by the CBN and Polaris Bank Limited set up as a bridge institution, with the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) recapitalising it to the tune of N786 billion. The minister, spoke during her familiarization visit to the NDIC headquarters in Abuja, also ordered the investigation of other deposit money banks in liquidation, expressing serious concern over the spate of non-performing loans in the banking industry. She added that although the bail-out of distressed financial institutions was necessary in the interest of the stability of the banking system, emphasis should also be placed on the investigation and prosecution of delinquent Board Directors and Executive management of financial intuitions who abused the trust placed on them by depositors. The Minister urged the CBN and the NDIC to use the recent failure of the defunct Skye Bank Plc as an opportunity to deal decisively with any of its directors and management found culpable in the course of the investigations, to serve as a deterrent to other operators in the financial system as the federal government is no longer prepared to treatsuch serious infractions with levity. The Minister urged the CBN and NDIC to ensure that their monitoring role in the banking industry is continuous, because according to her, “if you capture these issues early, there is a better chance of us protecting these banks, protecting shareholders and depositors.” “The example of the recently wound-up Skye bank, now Polaris Bank is something we would look

into. We would find out what happened. Your investigation must be thorough, we are going to hold whoever is responsible for the failure of that bank,” Welcoming Hajia Ahmed earlier, NDIC’s Managing Director/Chief Executive, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, assured that the corporation will do all it can to assist in the recovery of all the debts owed the defunct Skye Bank and other banks in liquidation. He also expressed the corporation’s determination to ensure that the directors who perpetrated in insider abuse and other illegalities in running the affairs of the bank are investigated and prosecuted by appropriate authorities. The primary concern of the NDIC, he assured the Minister, is to ensure the safety of depositors’ funds and minimise the disruption of banking services. He further informed the Minister that since 1991, the aggregate payment to depositors, creditors and shareholders of 46 closed banks amounted to N11.75 billion, out of which the total payments to insured depositors of Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) amounted to N8.252 billion. The MD/CE also stated that a total of N2.89 billion was paid out to insured depositors of Microfinance Banks (MFBs) covering 81,657 individual accounts, while N69.6 million was also paid to insured depositors of Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs). A total number of 46 DMBs he stressed are currently in liquidation. The MD/CE thereafter assured the Minister that the corporation used the most appropriate failure resolution option in the case of the defunct Skye Bank, thereby saving over 6,000 jobs, just as the depositors can continue to operate their accounts with the new Polaris Bank Limited which assumed its entire assets and liabilities. Earlier, according to a statement by Mohammed Kudu Ibrahim, head, communication and public affairs of the corporation, quoted the MD/CE as informing the Minister that the total amount so far paid by the corporation under the Fiscal Responsibility Act amounted to N175 billion.

Responding, the Minister commended the NDIC for the thoroughness of its bank examination reports which have become acknowledged in the banking system, while also expressing appreciation to the corporation for the prompt payment of its contribution under the Fiscal Responsi-

bility Act, adding that the Federal Government regarded the NDIC as a critical player towards the actualization of its Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP). Meanwhile, the Minister who also visited the Nigeria Customs Service on familiarisation visit noted that its capacity to generate

•Top Nigerian CFOs during the 3rd edition of CFO Award held in Lagos ... recently.

Foreign reserves closes At $43.973bn


ATEST data on the website of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday, shows that the nation’s foreign reserves dropped into the $43 billion region on October 3, 2018. The nation’s reserves level closed at $43.973 billion down from previous day’s $44.025 billion. Nigeria’s reserves last touched that level on March 9, 2018, when it stood at $43.732 billion on its way up, until it got to its peak of $47.846 billion on May 11, 2018, and commenced a steady decline. Between Friday, September 28 and October 3, the data showed that Nigeria’s reserves level had dropped by $331.197 million, representing a decline of 0.74 percent. However, Isaac Okorafor, spokesman of the CBN, says the drop in the foreign reserves level has nothing to

do with the current political actors, explaining that it is rather a result of the “global squeeze on emerging markets, which was consequent upon increasing interest rates in the United States of America.” Speaking at the CBN Special Day at the ongoing 13th Abuja Trade Fair, Okorafor, Director of Corporate Communications at the CBN, said the ongoing reversal of capital flows is not peculiar to Nigeria, because some other economies are also negatively impacted by the recent hike in interest rate by the United States’ Federal Reserve. The situation, he assured, is the same with other developing and emerging markets like Turkey, Brazil, South Africa, Argentina and even China, assuring that despite the fall, the present $44 billion was capable of financing between 17 and 20 months

Kenya and Rwanda. The World Bank’s Chief Economist for Africa, Albert Zeufack, urged governments in the region to stop wasting money and instead boost productivity to support the region’s economic recovery. Zeufack said, “High public debt in some countries in the region,

combined with weakening currencies and rising interest rates, can endanger their ability to service those debts. “Policymakers in the region must equip themselves to manage new risks arising from changes in the composition of capital flows and debt.”

that provided them with the services, support and technology that enabled their successes. The finance industry is a dynamic sector that keeps Nigeria economy evolving. The awards will recognize finance executives, teams and leading finance organizations whose outstanding leadership practices have raised the standards of accountability within the profession, showcase brilliancy in managing organizations’ wealth and supported the nation’s economic growth. Mr Akin Naphtal, the CEO of InstinctWave says: “We cannot underestimate the role of the financial sector and its importance to national

development. It is an honour to celebrate with organizations at the forefront of promoting economic growth and lifting the veil on individuals that have contributed immensely to the sector.” According to him, robust financial unit is acute to the success of any organization – keeping the business financially sound, while implementing successful strategies. The 4th Nigeria Finance Innovation Awards night will provide an exceptional opportunity for stakeholders in the finance sector to network, entertain clients, and reinforce relationships with partners and reward staff with exceptional performance.

World Bank cuts growth forecast to 2.7% for Nigeria


HE World Bank has cut its economic growth forecast for Nigeria and other sub-Saharan Africa countries for this year to 2.7 percent from an earlier forecast of 3.1 percent. The bank last week said the cut was mainly because of slowerthan-expected growth in the continent’s bigger economies. It said the slower pace of the recovery in sub-Saharan Africa was explained by the sluggish expansion in the region’s three largest economies of Nigeria, Angola and South Africa. The region, which had posted a fairly fast average growth rate in the years leading up to 2015, suffered a loss of momentum in economic output after commodity prices crashed in 2015-16. In April, the World Bank had predicted that the recovery would gather pace this year, with average growth expected at 3.1 per percent, up from 2.3 percent last year. Lower oil production in Angola and Nigeria offset higher oil prices,

and in South Africa, weak household consumption growth was compounded by a contraction in agriculture, the World Bank said. The rest of the countries in the region have been growing steadily this year, the bank said, including those that do not depend on commodities, such as Ivory Coast,

Nigeria CFO Awards rebrands to Nigeria finance innovation Awards, holds in November


NSTINCTWAVE, Africa premium B2B event company has announced the 4th edition of Nigeria Finance Innovation Awards formerly Nigeria CFO Awards. The highly revered event is scheduled to hold at the Oriental Hotel Lekki on November 2nd 2018. Now in its fourth year, NFIA rewards success, product innovations and various experts contributing to the robust financial sector. The award is to showcase the efforts of financial firms, finance executives and their teams’ efforts towards organizations sustainability. It will also showcase excellent work that has been rendered by financial firms

much more revenue than it is currently doing, noted the poor salary structure compared to those of other revenue generating agencies. As chairman of the board of the NCS, the Minister promised to “find ways of increasing their salaries for greater efficiency.”

of imports. These, he assured, are way above the three-month internationally standard. According to Okorafor, not only does the CBN have the reserves to defend the naira, it is also sufficient to encourage small businesses to produce to boost the economy. Continuing, the CBN spokesman stressed: “It’s also on social media that our reserves dropped by $1.45 billion in one month. We are not politicians. Of course, I want you to understand that the reserves level is a moving figure; at times, it rises and other times, it comes down. And as we speak, it’s a little over $44 billion.” On reasons for the fluctuation in the external reserves, Okoroafor recalled “that there was a time we survived on even $23.2 billion, the economy was running. Now, we are over $44 billion and the reason why it’s going down gently is because there’s a global squeeze on emerging markets: the Central Bank of the USA which is the Fed had been raising interest rate and you know international capital goes to where it earns better returns.” “So, those who came into our economy to take advantage of the returns here seems to have found better returns in the US and it’s not just in Nigeria, it’s happening to South Africa, Egypt, Pakistan, Iran, Argentina, Brazil, Turkey even China.” According to him, “China has lost over 1.3 percent of its currency. Argentina lost 134 percent; Iran, India, some of them lost 18 percent, 17 percent, but here in Nigeria, our currency has gained six percent in the last one year. “You can see that the reversal of capital flows which is eating most economies and bringing about depreciation in their currency is not affecting us for two reasons we’ve built enough buffers of reserves to be able to tackle situations like these. “Secondly, we’re using the reserves to defend the value of our currency. So that also accounts for why it’s dropping.”




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The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018

Love and Living

...With Ireto Temofeh



How Ike forced Tina Turner to go to a brothel on their wedding night!


Name: Elizabeth Tel: 08103664687 • If you want to be our next ORACLE GIRL, e-mail or forward your photos/data to Call 07031028714.


Art experts say iconic Banksy painting Girl with Balloon that shredded is now worth DOUBLE


anksy has dropped the strongest hint yet that he was behind the shredding of his iconic artwork Girl With Balloon after it self-destructed moments after the gavel fell for more than a million at Sotheby’s auction. In an interview with Channel 4, the Bristol artist is reported to have quoted Mikhail Bakunin, telling flagship news presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy: ‘The urge to destroy is also a creative urge.’ The video captures the complete shock of everyone in the room as a shredder he secretly built into the frame whirred into life. A stunned member of auction staff can be seen on the phone to the winning bidder as the painting is destroyed in front of his eyes. Banksy posted the clip on his Instagram but then deleted it. In it, he reveals video of himself building the shredder. He explains: ‘A few years ago I secretly built a shredder into a painting in case it was ever put up for auction...’ However he may have inadvertently helped to reveal his own identity because other people filming the scene caught him on camera. The man who is believed to be the person who shot the video that Banksy uploaded bears a strong resemblance to Robin Gunningham who has previously

been named as the elusive artist. However, far from devaluing the art, experts believe that last night’s stunt may have actually doubled the price of the work because of the huge interest it generated. Immediately after the auction Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s senior director and head of contemporary art in Europe said: ‘It appears we just got Banksy-ed. But today Joey Syer, co-founder of MyArtBroker, said: ‘The auction result will only propel this further and given the media attention this stunt has received, the lucky buyer would see a great return on the £1.04million they paid last night. ‘This is now part of art history in its shredded state and we’d estimate Banksy has added at a minimum 50% increase to it’s value, possibly as high as being worth

£2million plus.’ As the sale concluded to a phone buyer the canvas suddenly passed through a remotely activated shredder installed in the frame and an alarm went off. Posting a picture of the moment on Instagram, Banksy wrote: ‘Going, going, gone...’ The artwork was photographed dangling in pieces from the bottom of the frame as auctioneers removed it from the wall. The Girl With Balloon, which was signed and acquired from Banksy by a mystery buyer in 2006, was the final piece auctioned in a contemporary art sale on Friday night. The framed stencil painting is one of Banksy’s most recognised murals, and the original appeared on a shop wall in east London, depicting a girl reaching towards a heart-shaped balloon.


This man was really lonely, so he posted an ad on a popular website. The ad said, simply: “Wife wanted.”He was surprised the next morning to find he had over a hundred replies in his inbox. Unfortunately, they all said the same thing: “You can have mine.”

t is a sultry afternoon in Tijuana, , and Tina Turner is anticipating what should be the most romantic night of her life. She is 22 and has just married blues musician Ike Turner. Dreamily, she wonders where he has chosen – some enchanted retreat, perhaps – for their wedding night. ‘Guess where we went?’ she exclaims more than half a century later in a soul-baring interview with The Mail on Sunday’s You magazine. ‘To a whorehouse! On my wedding night!’ Once inside, too fearful of her violent husband to turn on her heels, she was forced to watch a live sex show. The young woman from Nutbush, Tennessee, who grew up singing in a Baptist church choir, had been married just a matter of hours. ‘The experience was so disturbing that I suppressed it, scratched it out, and created a different scenario, a fantasy of romantic elopement,’ she says. Everyone knows something of the singer’s ensuing marital torment, which was chronicled unsparingly in a book, film and musical. Preacher’s son Ike – sexually rapacious, cocaine-addicted – physically abused her throughout their relationship, using everything from walking canes to a pot of boiling coffee. But until now Tina has never revealed what happened on the fateful day they married in the border city of Tijuana in 1962, when her notions of love were brutally upended. She never told anyone because she was ‘too embarrassed’. Now 78, and in frail health having suffered a stroke, cancer and kidney failure in the past five years, she sits in the garden of her Swiss chateau reflecting on the Mexican wedding and her remarkable life. She also talks openly of the death of her son, Craig, who took his own life aged 59 in July. She blames this – albeit indirectly – on Ike. By the early 1960s she was in thrall to her domineering lover and mentor, seven years her senior, and had already experienced his violent temper, just as she knew of his many infidelities. Yes, she was in love, but she could see that marriage to Ike would be disastrous. When asked, though, she was afraid to say no. They drove from California over the border to Tijuana, a city that, even then, had long lost its chic allure. Sailors were attracted by the cheap brothels. Eloping couples came for the ubiquitous ‘nuptial parlours’ offering cheap weddings. Only Ike came for both. Tina says: ‘People can’t imagine the kind of man he was – a man who takes his brand new wife to a live, pornographic sex show right after their marriage ceremony. ‘There I sat, in this filthy place, watching Ike out of the corner of my eye, wondering, “Does he really like this? How could he?” ‘It was so ugly. The male performer was unattractive and seemingly impotent, and the girl… well, let’s just say that what was on display was more gynaecological than erotic. I was miserable the whole time, on the verge of tears, but there was no escape. We couldn’t leave until Ike was ready, and he was having a fine time.’ She can hear the cries from those

telling her she should have ended the marriage (which would last 16 years) just as soon as it began. Instead she buried the experience. ‘Some things you don’t remember. Some things you don’t want to. Those memories dig into your gut.’ She adds that the ‘ceremony’ wasn’t much better. ‘Ike always had an angle. He must have figured out that Tijuana was the best place for a quickie ceremony. It probably wasn’t even legal. But there was no point in questioning his motives. ‘It would just make him mad, and that might lead to a beating. I definitely didn’t want a black eye on my wedding day. ‘Once we crossed over the border, we drove down a dusty road and found the Mexican version of a justice of the peace. ‘In a small, dirty office, a man pushed some papers across a desk for me to sign, and that was it. ‘I may not have had much experience with weddings, but I knew the occasion was supposed to be emotional and happy. There was none of that at this wedding. Nobody said, “You may kiss the bride.” No toasts. No congratulations. No mention of living happily ever after. ‘As bad as that was, what came next was even worse. As long as Ike was in down-and-dirty Tijuana, he wanted to have fun, his kind of fun.’ After the brothel visit, the newlyweds returned to Los Angeles. ‘By the next day, I was bragging to people, “Guess what? Oh, Ike took me to Tijuana. We got married yesterday!” I convinced myself that I was happy, and I was happy for a brief time, because the idea that I was married actually held meaning for me. For Ike, it was just another transaction.’ By his own admission, Ike’s affairs ran to three figures. His private quarters at their Los Angeles home were known as the Orgy Room. Tina finally left him after he hit her because she complained that he got chocolate over her white suit. He would later say in an interview: ‘Ain’t it part the woman’s fault if she stays around and lets me hit her?’ She found it was not easy to disentangle herself. Bullets were fired into one of the houses she moved to, and a car was burned. For a while, she carried a gun. When Tina walked out, she had 36 cents and a single handbag to her name. I didn’t wear fishnets and minis to be sexy Her raunchy stage act famously featured red-hot dance moves, leather mini-dresses and fishnets. Yet Tina Turner reveals today that she hated her sexy image and says there were eminently sensible reasons for her choice of outfits. ‘Fishnets are practical, they don’t run, and leather doesn’t show the perspiration on stage or wrinkle,’ she explains. ‘I only wore a mini because everyone knows you can’t dance in a dress past your knee.’ She believes today’s music stars flash too much flesh. ‘I think these days women are not wearing clothes, they are undressing as much as possible. Maybe the men are interested but I suspect it turns other women off.’ She adds: ‘If people thought I was Continued on page 34


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018

True Confession I His girlfriend made me have always heard people say that men will be men. But I never knew that my husband would act like the so-called typical married man who cheats on his wife. Since he is a very good medical doctor, my husband managed to get a job abroad. Through his success in his medical practice abroad, he was also able to bring some of his brothers and sisters abroad. However, some of my husband’s brothers who weren’t fortunate enough to bring their families overseas with them, succumbed to the temptation of being with other women. Two of them have already broken their families in the process. My husband was always very critical of those his brothers who had broken homes. According to him, no responsible man would have a broken home. Therefore, I would never have believed if anyone had told me that my husband would ever be unfaithful to me, because he knew the implication. He knew that infidelity in marriage could lead to a broken home. When my husband got a job in the U.S., he took me and our three children along. We lived together in New Jersey where he worked for about 10 years until my husband started having nostalgic feelings about his motherland. He woke me up from sleep one night and said: “Martha, I’m seriously thinking of returning to Nigeria.” “Why?” I asked him. “Because there is no place like home,” he said. My husband advised that I return to the country to buy a piece of land in order to build a house for the family, while he would remain in the U.S. and be sending me money both for the construction of the family house and for the upkeep of myself and the children. He said I had to do these things in order to make way for him to return permanently to Nigeria after five more years in the USA. So I returned to the country according to my husband’s advice. I bought a piece of land in a choice location and began to build a house. My husband promised to visit us regularly. However, I started to suspect my husband of cheating around 3 years ago. When my husband first visited us in the country, he used to come straight to our house to sleep. But later on, he started acting strangely whenever he visited. For example, when he visited last April, he didn’t let me come and pick him at the airport. Before he boarded the plane from the U.S., he called me and said there was no point for me coming to the airport to wait for him. He insisted that I stay at home to take care of the children because he could and would find his way home by himself. To my further surprise, my husband checked into a hotel immediately on arrival, instead of coming straight to the house where I and the children were. From the hotel, my husband traveled to Abuja and came back two weeks later with an apology. He claimed to have gone on a very important business trip. According to him, it was for a business which demanded his immediate attention the moment he arrived the country. “My dear, oil and gas business is like that,” my husband had said to me. “It demands your instant and total attention.” I forgave him even though I knew he was

a better person

lying, but I didn’t forget. Days later, I started getting reports from people who claimed they had seen my husband on several occasions at the same hotel with a particular lady. So I dropped by the hotel unexpectedly. I caught him having drinks with a lady, whom he introduced to me as his “business partner.” That day, I let the issue of his infidelity rest without making any trouble. Three days later, my husband returned to America. Approximately six months ago, he visited Nigeria again and I suspected he was still seeing that particular woman. On my way to a popular mall called Justrite on a weekend afternoon, I recognized his car on the road. I stopped and watched from a safe distance. About five minutes later, my husband appeared and entered his car with that same woman I had seen with him at the hotel. He turned on the engine and turned the car around. The way he was now taking showed that they were headed towards the hotel. I forgot about what I wanted to buy at the mall and followed them from a safe distance. Trailing my husband and his mistress broke my heart. And I wept in my car as I secretly followed them to the hotel. While my husband drove straight into the hotel, I parked my car outside the hotel to avoid detection and sneaked inside. I managed to conceal myself until my husband and his mistress had gone into one of the rooms in the hotel. Then I bribed the hotel staff to tell me the number of the room

in which they were lodged. After getting the room number, I went and knocked on the door of their room. The first time I knocked, there was no answer, so I knocked harder. “Who is that,” came a male voice from inside the room. It was obviously my husband. I pretended as if I was a member of the hotel staff who had come to serve them free drinks. So, using a fake accent, I said: “The hotel manager sent me to serve you free drinks in appreciation of your patronage.” “Oh that’s good,” came my husband’s voice from inside the room. Not knowing it was me, he opened the door to receive the so-called free drinks. Immediately my husband opened the door, I pushed him out of my way and forced myself into the room. I saw the lady naked on the bed and pounced on her instantly. It was a big fight. I had a shoe in my hand and I hit her with it, and she fought back. But what pained me the most was that she mocked and insulted me as she fought me back. For example, after I had slapped her the first time, I tried to slap her again, but she held my hand and asked me: “When was the last time you had sex with your husband? When last were you intimate with your socalled man? Are you even sure he is still your husband?” Her words stung me. It was like a sword had pierced my heart. But everything she had said was the truth. Even though the hotel staff threw my husband’s mistress out of the

hotel, I went home that day feeling guilty. The fact was that after I had given birth to our last child, I practically stopped having sex with my husband. I refused to let him touch me on most occasions and I didn’t care about his feelings or protests. I realized that my husband had taken a mistress for himself because I had neglected and abandoned him instead of fulfilling my sacred duty as a good wife to sexually satisfy my husband. I realized that my husband’s mistress had done me good in the sense that she had at least told me the truth about the serious problem I had created in my marriage. And that realization made me resolve to change for the better. Her taunting words literally changed my life. I now understand why they say that every disappointment is a blessing in disguise. My husband’s mistress did good to me by saying those things she said to me, although she actually thought she was mocking and insulting me. I have learned the lesson she taught me. I am now a good or better wife. I now do everything expected of a good wife to please her husband. And I’m glad that my husband now looks much happier than he ever was and spends more time with me indoors whenever he visits, rather than going on suspicious outings and fake business trips. Your say: Call 07031028714.

How Ike forced Tina Turner to go to a brothel...

Continued from page 33 sexy, then it was their perception of me from energy and the dresses and the dancing. ‘On stage I worked, I danced, I sang. I didn’t perform sexy, I didn’t gyrate. ‘I have never been a sex-driven person, it has never been a priority for me. ‘After my first marriage, I didn’t have many men in my life, sex was not important. I didn’t sleep around. I was celibate for a year at a time until I met Erwin.’ In the subsequent divorce action she asked for no money or property. It was the price of freedom. The couple’s divorce was finalised in 1978 and Tina rebuilt her solo career, achieving £200

million record sales, comfortably eclipsing Ike’s own ventures. Before he died in 2007, aged 76, he spent much of his time trying unsuccessfully to erase his reputation as a wife-beater. Just a few months ago, Tina was forced to confront her past when Craig, the son she had aged 18, killed himself in his flat in Los Angeles with a gun which had belonged to Tina’s mother, Zelma. She says Craig grew up lonely. ‘I think he missed his mother a lot. I was always away, touring… and I blame Ike for not being able to be the mother I would have been.’ In her new autobiography – My Love Story – she writes of how Craig, aged two or three, would desperately want to sit with her when

she returned from a tour ‘but being told by Ike to go to his room’. She tells The Mail on Sunday: ‘I was as good a mother as I could be under the circumstances. I believe I made it up to Craig somehow, later. I don’t feel bad about it because that was my reality then. I had no options.’ Of his suicide, she says: ‘Craig took it [the gun] bought the bullets and planned his own death really well. He wanted to go. What I don’t know is why he would take his life so dramatically. That’s the mystery.’ Asked how she is coping since Craig’s death, she says: ‘I handle it with acceptance. I remember all the moments when he visited me. Like all boys, he was a bit of a pest, but he was still my son. I remember all the good things and the

bad.’ Tina married music producer Erwin Bach in 2013 after 27 years together. She is alive, she says, and off dialysis only because Erwin, 16 years her junior, donated a kidney. ‘We call it “the baby” because it’s like me being pregnant – it’s part of him, kind of a baby from Erwin!’ She had been ready to die, though. Tina has no qualms about dying and is a member of the assisted suicide organisation Exit. ‘I do not want to sit and suffer. I thought, “This is my time” and it was OK with me… ‘I decided I would rather just leave the planet… But my husband said, “No, no, no, Tina. I do not want another woman in my life. I am not ready to deal with that.” ’


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018

Relationships and Love Advice

I can’t get over his previous relationships

Love Search Women seeking relationship/ marriage Funke, 44, needs a man (widower or divorcée) of 50-55 years for a serious relationship. 08185083988.

Ngozi, 28, fat, jovial, fair, in Onitsha, Anambra state, needs a God-fearing and buoyant man of 45 years and above to take good care of her. 08022792682. Busayo, 33, single mother from Ogun, needs a hardworking Yoruba man between 34-40 years for marriage. 09096187179. Uchechi, 36, a graduate, tall, fair, needs a tall, fair, graduate, Igbo evangelist, pastor or God fearing Igbo man for marriage. 08052366993. Jenny, 38, Big, Busty, Needs An Igbo Or South - South Man Above 50 Years In Lagos Who Is Romantic And Caring. 08117340383.

Dear Love Doctor, I have been dating my boyfriend for about a year. I love him and he is good to me. He is funny and supportive and everything positive. However, We have fights about his past relationships. I cannot get over the fact that he got married twice and divorced twice, and now he is talking about marrying me. I always refuse whenever he tries to propose to me because I just can’t get over his past. I feel that if I marry him, he might divorce me too the same way he divorced others. What do I do? From Titilayo.

Love Doctor’s Advice: Dear Titilayo,


ighting with him over his past is like repeatedly beating a dog for having torn up your photo album. The damage is done and you can’t put the pictures back together. Likewise, what your guy has done can’t be undone; the baby that he created as a result of his infidelity won’t go away, nor can he take back the marriage. You say you keep fighting with him over what he’s done. We need to figure out why you’re doing this. Ask him why he divorced those women so that you will know what to avoid and what not to avoid. Again, you need to ask yourself if you really love him enough to marry him. If you don’t love him, then there is no point being with him. I’m wondering maybe you

also reject his proposal because you don’t actually love him and want to push him away before he does you permanent harm. In other words, do you think, deep down, that you don’t love him and can’t trust this man, and you don’t have the courage to quit the relationship? You’re going to need to really examine your heart and this man and evaluate whether he is someone that can be trusted. You need to find out why his past marriages failed and if he has changed. Find out if the breakups were his fault or not. That information will help you in making a decision. Have a serious discussion with him, and if you feel that he has changed and that he is now ready for a committed marriage, you may go ahead and

Announcements If your birthday is in the month of October, send your beautiful birthday pictures and let’s celebrate you! Send your birthday pictures now to ireto007 marry him. The fact that he has been divorced twice doesn’t mean that he would also divorce you if you marry him. Love, compatibility and commitment are three necessary ingredients for any marriage to work or last. In as much as you dig into his past and ask him necessary questions, check your love, compatibility and commitment levels to know if both of you love each other enough, are compatible with each other, and truly committed to each other to want to spend the rest of your lives together.

Do you have advice on this problem? Please share your thoughts. Call 07031028714 or 08131161840. Email: Do you have a marriage/wedding, birthday, anniversary or club or town meeting announcement to make? Call 07031028714 now!

Joy, 38, HIV positive, graduate, needs a young widower or single man from 43 years and above with the same status, for a loving and caring husband. 08184889175. Lora, graduate, works, HIV Positive, based in Jos, wants a HIV positive man of 35-40 years for marriage. 08090925014. E-Mail: Go to Call Love Doctor: 07031028714, 08131161840.

Men seeking relationship/ marriage Ugochukwu Raphael, 26, needs a rich sugar mummy who will help him financially. 08087720682, 07059911437. A man in Lagos wants a mature working woman who loves receiving oral sex or likes a man going down on her. 08077821830. John, an undergraduate in Akure, Ondo state, needs a lonely and sexually unsatisfied woman residing around the SouthSouth or South-West regions to care for. 08106969227. Emeka, 54, in Lagos, needs an educated woman between 32-35 years for a wife. 08118482541. Ogbonna, 40, from Ebonyi, in Abuja, business man, needs a working class lady between 3040 years for marriage. 09069054706. Bukky, 32, employed, good looking, needs an employed/business woman of 40-65 years in Abuja. 07057749475.


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018

It happened to me:

Dumping my girlfriend got her fired


met June at a time when I was a young man who was trying to “sow his wild oats” as much as possible — which is to say, I didn’t think I wanted to settle down any time soon. June worked in administration at a foreign embassy. While she was a shy sort of woman, I soon found she had a wicked sense of fun. She and I went on a few dates, going to dinner and movies, and we shared a few passionate kisses, and passionate sex — including once in a busy shopping centre parking lot! Around the same time, I met Lauren. Lauren made me feel like no women ever had before; she was funny, smart and, in a word, mesmerising. I soon found myself, against all my

previous protestations, falling in love with her. It became clear to me the only fair thing to do was tell June of my feelings for Lauren, and end our relationship. When I first broke the news to June, she was very calm and even joked about it. Everything seemed fine. But the next, day she sent me several angry text messages saying I had been selfish and dishonest towards her. For the next two weeks, I agonised over my behaviour. So I resolved to send June a note expressing my regret and to apologise. During our couple of months together June and I had never gone to her place, so I didn’t know her home address. All I knew was where she

worked: the foreign embassy. I bought a card with some flowers on the front and wrote a short message: Dear June, I’m sorry for the pain I’ve caused you, but wish you the very best for the future. You are a great person. — Rob Three days later, June rang me sobbing. All she could say was, “Why did you send that card?” I didn’t think my words were quite that moving, so I was a little bit baffled. But then she continued: “My boss opened the card and read it. He said the embassy wasn’t my personal letter box and that I could pack up

my things and leave.” Embassies are largely a law unto themselves, so there was nothing she could do. My card, meant to be a peace offering, had instead got June fired! I listened in shock as she told me never to speak to her again and hung up. I recently found out she’s now working in real estate. Lauren and I are still going strong — though I never told her about my fatal letter. Names in this story have been changed. Picture: Getty Images. *Do you have a story or comment about this confession? Call 07031028714.


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018

The Law and You

With Barr. Ken Akpom 08162016410

What you need to know about stealing and its punishment S STEALING ection 390 of the criminal code deals with the offence known as “stealing”. This section states that any person who steals anything capable of being stolen is guilty of a felony, and is liable, if no other punishment is provided, to imprisonment for three years. Also, if the thing stolen is a testamentary instrument, whether the testator is living or dead; or if it is a postal matter or any chattel money or valuable security, contained in any postal matter, the offender is liable to imprisonment for life. There are other categories of punishments provided by these sections for some other stealing commitments. There are a lot more which I cannot take here. However, consult any lawyer around you or still call on me for more details. To explain much further the meaning of stealing is section 383(1) of the code which states that a person, who fraudulently takes anything capable of being stolen or fraudulently converts to his own use or to the use of any other person anything capable of being stolen, is said to steal that thing. In Law, the composition of “taking” here is not important for the thief to take the thing completely to himself but mere moving of the thing before he is noticed and dropping it back constitutes stealing, and not just mere attempt to steal. In the aspect of fraudulent conversion as in section 383 (1), there is no statement on what constitutes a conversion. However, according to Atkin J. (as he then was) in one of the cases he decided states, a dealing with goods in a manner inconsistent with the right of the true owner amounts to a conversion, provided that it is also established that there is also an intention on the part of the defendant in so doing to deny the owner’s right. To further explain this, it means that a servant, who receives money for his master and converts it, is guilty of stealing. So many people today seem to be guilty of this type as offence. A government worker who inflates a contract award in order to benefit from what doesn’t belong to him, even after he has sworn an oath to be honest and truthful can be said to be guilty of converting government funds to his, and thereby is guilty of stealing government funds. Likewise, in domestic or family affairs stealing is also committed. A child who, without the knowledge and consent of his mother, enters his mother’s kitchen and opens her soup pot and removes a piece of meat from the pot and eats it is guilty of stealing. Recently, I was privileged to see some intrigues in a deceased, very rich man’s, family. The man married statutorily but appears to have confided more in his own relatives at the expense of his own immediate family. When the man died in a hospital, the extended family member rushed into the hospital, settled his hospital bills, took away his corpse to his home town, collected his death certificate from the hospital, broke into his wardrobes and safe in his bedroom and collected all his property documents and converted some to their own children’s use and denied the rightful family of their rights. When they met me to classify what these family members did, I simply told them that it is stealing. However, at Common Law, a corpse cannot be stolen since a corpse cannot be the subject of ownership. Stealing is also rampart, come to think of it, why is it that the crime rate is very high now in the country. Is it hardship or what? In order to make up the offence known as stealing, elements of fraud must be in place and there as six of them as set out in section 383 of the code. These elements are; 1. An intent permanently to deprive the owner of the thing of it. 2. An intent to part with it on a condition as to its return which the person taking or converting it may be

unable to perform. 3. An intent permanently to deprive any person who has any special property in the thing of such property. 4. An intent to use the thing as a pledge or security. 5. An intent to deal with it in such a manner that it cannot be returned in the condition in which it was at the time of the taking or conversion. 6. For money matter, an intent to use it at the will of the person who takes or converts it, although he may intend afterwards to repay the amount to the owner. Is it everything that is being stolen? No. Section 382 of the code lists things that are capable of being stolen. Every inanimate thing whatever which is the property

of any person and which is moveable is capable of being stolen. Likewise, an intimate thing of some person which is capable of being made moveable is capable of being stolen as soon as it becomes moveable. PUNISHMENT The punishment for stealing varies from terms of imprisonment to imprisonment for life. It is my candid advice to every good citizen of this country to be hardworking, honest, God-fearing and hopeful in life so as not to bring shame, disgrace and ridicule to their respective families because of stealing. Note, that ignorance of the law is never an excuse in law.

• Do you have questions or seek legal clarification on issues concerning your marriage, probate, property, etc? Call or send a text message to Barr. Ken: 08162016410, 08075763840. Email:


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018


With Douglas Omoyooma

How I am transforming entertainment landscape in Anambra State – De Don You recently relocated home, how long did you stay abroad? I grew up in Ezinifite before heading to Bauchi to learn trading. After that I came to Awka where I resided briefly before traveling abroad where I stayed for about eight years.

What inspired you to establish New World Hotel and Las Vegas Nite Club? The major reason is because as a kid, I have always wanted to do something that will benefit people. So when I came back I thought of many business ideas but settled on building hotels and clubs because of the employment it will create and also provide people a place to rest and enjoy themselves. You can’t imagine my joy when I see people propose to their girlfriends every week at my club. It also gladdens my heart to see happy couples coming to my hotel for honeymoon.

Umenwobi Abuchi Henry (De Don) is the CEO of New World Lounge & Las Vegas Night Club, Awka, Anambra State. The indigene of Ezinifite Aguata Local Government Area in Anambra State after spending eight years abroad returned home a couple of years ago and established New World Hotels and Las Vegas Nite Club. In this chat with The Oracle Today, he opens up on how he is driving the entertainment and hospitality scene in the state.

What is his take off capital? I don’t think I will be going into numbers but from the standard of the hotels, the two storey underground nite clubs, the VIP buildings and many other structures, anyone with a good knowledge of numbers would know it took quite a chunk of capital. And it didn’t just stop there as we keep investing often so as to keep elevating the standard What are your challenges doing business in Nigeria? In Nigeria we seem to lack the three most important ingredients required for the growth of businesses, they are power, good roads and security. Until these important things are implemented by the government, the country will continue to lag behind, business wise. As for the hospitalily business I’ll say power and security are the most important. The vast amount we spend on diesel every week can be channeled into something else if there’s a reliable power supply. Security is also another issue because if the country is not safe, people hardly go out. For businesses to be well patronized, the patrons must feel safe in the society.A lot has improved. Since the change in the security level of the state, hospitality business has surged dramatically. We need good roads and This is crippling many businesses not just only those in hospitality. I won’t lie to you, it hasn’t been easy. Has there been anytime he felt like quitting? I think most businessmen in the country would answer a big yes to this question. Even though profits may look good now and then, the challenges and hard work involved in setting up and growing a thriving business in Nigeria can sometimes be best described as almost impossible. But due to the mental and physical strength of average Nigerians, we tend to make the almost impossible possible. What is the secret to your success? Good service. We always make sure that our customers are well treated. That keeps them coming back. Next is security. I will say that our place is one of the safest places people can lodge or club with rest of mind. Then the types of events we host also count People love our activities. We have the white party which attracts the high and the mighty in Anambra State. We hosts jersey parties and we also do Champagne Night. We also host reigning pageantry winners from across the state. There is also Arabian Nights where the biggest boys and the biggest girls don Arabian attire. It is really a sight to behold. We just introduced two new events, one is the Mask Party and the second is Celebrity Night. The likes Terry G, D Prince, Vector, Nkoli Nwa Nsuka, Zubee Michael, Award winning film producer Lawrence Lurrenzo Onuzulike, Junior pope and host of others do visit our outfits. What brought me to where I am

• De Don today is mostly humility. I have two offices in my establishments but you can hardly see me in any of them. I am always everywhere ensuring that our clients are well taken care of. I make sure I am easily approachable. I like saying that I am a servant to our customers. Other things that add to our success stories are, security, people come to our hotels and clubs knowing fully well that they’re in a safe environment. Then neatness, anybody can go online and google From the images you’ll understand the standard we maintain when it comes to neatness. Another thing is creativity, we work with many talented and creative individuals to ensure that we keep being one of the best in the country. What can government do to create a better environment for businesses and entertain-

ment? We’re not asking the government to fund our businesses. All we ask for is a conducive environment just like is obtainable in many other countries. Let the government tackle the issues of power, good roads and security and people will be amazed by the speed of growth that’ll be witnessed by Nigerian businesses Where will we see your business in five years We’re actually working on an entertainment addition to our outfits since hospitality and entertainment go hand-in-hand. We plan to produce talented youths and turn them into something fantastic. That aspect will also employ a whole lot of people, adding to our initial vision of creating jobs for the youths. In five years we plan we shall be a reference

point in the industry. What is your advice for young people? Take it step by step and don’t rush! Don’t go into it just because you think you have money to throw around. Do it because you have the passion for it. There are many massive hotels and clubs all over Nigeria with no patronage. Before establishing a hotel, a club or both, ask yourself, what void are you trying to fill. If there are hotels and clubs already in the city where you plan to build yours, ask yourself what will make your own different from the others? Why would people leave where they normally lodge or club to start flocking to your own? Find out what those already on ground are lacking and add to things to your own. If you fill a void the sky is the limit.


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018


Between Jim Iyke and Mr. Taxi


I shot The Delivery Boy to create awareness about Boko Haram – Nodash


he brains behind Delivery Boy, a movie that was screened at the just concluded The 8th Lights Camera Film Festival, held at Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos, Nodash has revealed that he shot the flick in order to create awareness about terrorism in Nigeria. In a chat with TS Weekend he said: “A few years ago Nigerians woke up to the reality that there was a terrorist group in the country and some of their suicide bombers were Nigerians. Most people found this strange because Nigerians are regarded as some

of the most self-preservative people on the planet. So, why suicide? “I was told not to make this movie. Three of the actors I casted and the production designer I hired turned down the project after reading the script. They all agreed it was a good script but they felt uncomfortable talking about the issues the film x-rays. On the financial side, people felt it was crazy making a self-funded movie that would likely not be allowed to screen in Nigerian cinemas,” Nodash added. Delivery Boy is the story of a run-

away teenage suicide bomber and his newfound ally, a young prostitute who must rely on each other to survive the night while searching for answers to the terrible secrets that made them who they are.They are both running out of time and they soon realise they need each other to achieve their goals. Their journey takes them through the underbelly of the city exposing the hidden backside of the African society and its dangerous culture of silence in the presence of evil.

Quilox boss wins primaries for house of representatives in Oyo state


hina Peller has won the primaries for the house of representatives seat under the All Progressive Congress (APC). The popular nightclub owner will be representing Iseyin, Itesiwaju, Kajola, and Iwajowa federal constituency of Oyo state during the 2019 general elections. He announced his victory on his Instagram page on Friday, October 5, 2018. “My profound gratitude to all members of our great party, the All Progressive Congress (APC) for making me the candidate for the 2019 House of Representatives election seat of Iseyin/Itesiwaju/Kajola/Iwajowa federal constituency. My special thanks goes to His Excellency, Governor Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi, the party leaders and stakeholders of the four local governments in our constituency, particularly the delegates whose informed decisions yesterday led to my emergence as the candidate. “I am humbled by the trust you have reposed in me, and I promise that I will not betray it, as I accept your nomination wholeheartedly. To my co-contestants, we have all done well, nobody is a loser, we are all winners as I have only emerged to represent our party in the forthcoming general election, and subsequently, by God’s grace at the House of Representatives in 2019. So, now is the time for us all to remain together as one big family that we are, move forward and strategize together for the greater challenge ahead of us, which is winning the main election, not for me, but for our great party and the people. “To all our teeming supporters and electorates in Iseyin/Itesiwaju/Kajola/ Iwajowa federal constituency, I congratulate you as this moment symbolizes the beginning of a new dawn for us all. The ugly old ways are ending, it

here is controversy trailing Nollywood bad boy, Jim Iyke as the owners of Mr Taxi App, an internet enabled transport platform have dismissing his alleged claim of owning the company. Speaking, Chief Operating Officer of the company, Mr Austin Nnaemeka, at a press conference said: “Jim Iyke is my friend, and I brought him in as a brand ambassador of the company, just like Rachael Okoli and other celebrities here, but he started asking questions that were out of his scope. “He later started looking for a way to sway us into making him a shareholder, and then started parading himself as the owner of the company. He was warned once, and again, making it two times before we relieved him of his job. “I am using the opportunity of this press conference to state emphatically that Mr Jim Iyke is not the owner of Mr Taxi, and has no contribution in the company, that is what I want to tell you today,” said Nnaemeka, who was accompanied by staff members of the company, including; the legal adviser and chief executive officer.

Uche Jombo, Ini Edo collaborate for Heaven on My Mind


ctress, director and producer, Uche Jombo is set to hit the cinemas with her new movie ‘Heaven on my Mind on December 7. The highly anticipated movie which finished filming in March 2018 is the first collaboration between Uche Jombo and Ini Edo as co-producers and will be released under their film companies, Uche Jombo Studios and Minini Empire Production. The movie tells the story of Ben Peters marriage. He is a business man who is hard working and is married to a sexy wife who is a goal getter, hardworking and intelligent woman who never denies him sex. The movie fetures Uche Jombo, Ini Edo, Mercy Aigbe, Ray Emordi, Andrea Chika Chukwu, Femi Adebayo, Adunni Ade, Eric Ogbonna and Yvonne Nwosu. Uche Jombo revealed that Heaven on my Mind is a breath of fresh air when it comes to storytelling, production and casting. She said; “Heaven on My Mind is really a breath of fresh air when it comes to filmmaking. The story, production, cast and crew members brought their A-Game to the table. It is refreshingly different and I had massive fun and joy filming this.” On this being her directorial debut, Uche said; “I mean we all get to a point in life when you just know that it is time to do something you really enjoy and take it to the next level. For me, directing this movie is a huge mark in my books and I really appreciate everyone who had faith in me. Not only did I get to act with some of the most talented actors in the industry, I also got a chance to bring out the best in them through the lens. It was an amazing experience.”

At last, Dayo Amusa’s That Which Binds Us lights up cinemas

• Shina Peller is almost a time for healing. Give me your supports, by joining me in the quest to making our constituency a point of good reference to all and sundry. Thank you all. God bless APC. God bless Oke-Ogun. God bless Oyo State & Nigeria at large. #Shinaayo2019 #togetherwecan,” he wrote.

Congratulations to Shina Peller on his victory in the primaries and we hope he scales through at the general elections. Another person who might be coasting to green chambers next year is media personality, Stephanie Coker’s husband, Olumide Adenirokun.

Actress and producer, Dayo Amusa is shaking cinemas with a new blockbuster movie as the actress returned to the cinemas October 5, with the movie That which binds us. The movie follows the story of a family’s tale of love, betrayal, human weakness, individual deficiencies and sacrifices. It aims at bringing disputed broken families together and helping family grasp the importance of staying together amidst challenges. Speaking with Dayo Amusa concerning her expectations for the movie she said: ‘That which binds us’ is more than just entertainment, I want people to be able to relate with the story and also get to know the importance of family values..I hope it cuts across as many people as it can and touch a whole lot of audiences. “Also I want people to enjoy it, learn from it and pick one or two lessons from it because there’s a lot of things to learn from this movie”


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018

NEWS St John’s College Alor celebrates Diamond Jubilee By MADUABUCHI KALU


n November 3rd 2018, all roads will lead to St. John’s Science and Technical College Alor, Anambra State for the celebration of the school’s Diamond Jubilee. One major aspect of the St. John’s Science and Technical College Diamond jubilee celebration is the honour and award of the title of ‘Omeluora St. John’ on one of the illustrious sons of town, Chief PAN Okafor. According to the letter conveying the Diamond Jubilee celebration of ST. John’s Science and Technical College Alor, which was made available to the Oracle Today, the Diamond Jubilee celebration will climax with the award to Chief PAN Okafor, who the school said it was honouring in recognition of his commitment and support to the cause and aspirations of the school. The Oracle Today can authoritatively report that this is not the first time that Chief Okafor will be recognized by his town (Alor) for his immense contributions to the town’s development. It is in recognition of his selfless services to Alor Town that he was conferred with the title of “Dim Alor” by his people. He is also conferred with a chieftaincy title of Atuwashe of Egbe land in recognition of his contributions to the peace and development of that community to show that his community development strides is not restricted to his homeland. The award of the title of ‘Omeluora St. John’ on Chief Okafor will hold on 3rd of next month at the school ground to bring the celebration to an end if the content of the notification letter to Chief PAN Okafor is anything to go by. The information contained in the notification letter urged Chief PAN Okafor, who is founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sound Lab Nigeria Limited, to attend the honour and award ceremony with his family and friends. The letter was signed by the three main signatories of the school that include Rev. FR. A. Nzomiwu, the school’s manager, DR. C.M. Afunugo, National President SJCAOBA and Mr. Samuel Otubah, School Principal. Chief PAN Okafor is a retired Custom Officer, who called it quit when the ovation was loudest to go into private business. He is a devout Catholic and he is well known for his philanthropy. He is one of the pillars of St. John Paul II Catholic Church, an outstation of St Mary’s Catholic Church Isolo. Meanwhile, the as part of their 2018 harvest, the Central Working Committee (CWC) of St. John Paul II Catholic Church, an outstation of St. Mary’s Catholic Church Isolo yesterday (Sunday) rolled out the programme of activities as it concerns this year’s harvest. The programme of activities as rolled out by the Publicity subcommittee on behalf of the Central Working Committee (CWC) has it that on October 14, there will be the unveiling of the harvest “theme/ banner”. On the 21st, there will be a special family/society thanksgiving while 2426 will be observed as retreat ending with a vigil. On the 28th, the event of day will be showers of blessing while Nov. 4th will be observed as Thanksgiving for all families though all the families will not go for thanksgiving at the same time.

Navy shuts illegal maritime academy, arrests proprietor From Ini Billie, Uyo


igerian Navy Ship Jubilee in Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom State, has arrested the proprietor of an illegal maritime institution, Merchant Seaman Academy, located in Essien Udim local government area and closed down the school. The proprietor, Mr. Adams Pius was arrested alongside four other persons for operating the maritime academy without requisite qualification. It was gathered that the activities of the academy had been stopped in 2013 but resumed in 2016 and was defrauding innocent Nigerian youths seeking admission into tertiary institutions through the Joint

Admission and Matriculation Board. The Executive Officer of the NNS Jubilee, Captain Suleiman Ibrahim, said during the raid of the facility that the activities of the institution and similar ones across the country had been proscribed by former President Goodluck Jonathan as they do not have the capacity to train merchant navy. He explained that the navy received intelligence information that the same institution which was proscribed had again started operations, adding that for that reason, NNS Jubilee stormed the institution and shut it down indefinitely. “In 2013, the then President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan outlawed this kind of institution which claimed

that they are training merchant sailors because they do not have the capacity to embark on this kind of training. So, they were proscribed. “When we got intelligence information about the existence of this place sometimes ago that the institution was training young innocent Nigerians to be merchant sailors, we raided it and the institution was temporarily closed. “This year we received intelligence that the same school has resumed training young Nigerians in maritime studies in spite of the fact that there is no authority for them to do so. “That has led to our raiding this place and shutting it down once more and also to find out from the

• Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike (r) shaking hands with Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who emerged winner of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential primary which held during the National Convention of the party at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Sunday

Wike, Okowa hail Atiku’s victory, congratulate PDP on successful convention By VICTOR NZE


elta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa has congratulated former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on his victory in the presidential primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). This is also as his Rivers State counterpart, Nyesom Wike, thanked all the party’s delegates and stakeholders for ensuring a successful and peaceful National Convention in Port Harcourt. Okowa who extended his goodwill message to the former Vice President in a statement issued on Sunday by his Chief Press Secretary, Charles Aniagwu in Asaba, said Atiku’s victory at the PDP Presidential primary is a victory for the party and Nigerians, adding that he will defeat the ruling APC in 2019 election. He expressed optimism that having won the party’s ticket, the former Vice President would leverage on his track record as an entrepreneur and great employer of labour to grow the nation’s economy. Governor Okowa further applauded other aspirants who took part in the keenly-contested primary and urged them to uphold the values and philosophy of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by coming together to support Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in the forthcoming general election, in a bid to ensure the PDP emerge victoriously. The Governor noted that the PDP

values internal democracy, describing the success of the primary election as another testament to the PDP’s democratic credentials. He also assured members of the party and Nigerians that the party would not rest until they return the country to the part of good governance, rule of law as well as security of lives and property. “Congratulations to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar on winning the PDP Presidential ticket to contest the 2019 general elections. I have no doubt that Alhaji Abubakar’s track record as an entrepreneur and great employer of labour will be replicated in growing the nation’s economy which will stand him in good stead in the elections”. “I would also like to commend all the participants in the keenly-contested Primary. I would like them to uphold the values and philosophy of the PDP by joining hands to support Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in the forthcoming elections. “As a party, the PDP is serious about internal democracy in the party, and the success of the Presidential Primary, with 12 aspirants, further validates our party’s democratic credentials. “Let me assure our party men and Nigerians that we will continue to work hard to lead Nigeria to the next level of its development journey” he said He congratulated the National Chairman of the Party, Prince Uche

Secondus and members of the National Working Committee as well as all other organs of the party on the success of the PDP National Convention in Port Harcourt. Governor Okowa also used the opportunity to appreciate members of the 2018 National Convention Planning Committee for their dedication to duty which led to the success of the Convention. Meanwhile, Wike has congratulated Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the PDP for the 2019 Presidential Election. Governor Wike personally extended his congratulations to the Former Vice President after his election was announced by the chairman of the National Convention Planning Committee, Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa. The Rivers State Governor who was in company of his Akwa Ibom State counterpart, assured that he will continue to work for the success of the PDP. Governor Wike thanked all PDP delegates and stakeholders for ensuring a successful and peaceful National Convention in Port Harcourt. The Former Vice President paid tribute to the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike for his personal commitment to the success of the party. He also thanked the people of Rivers State for their support for the transparent process.

proprietor what authority he has to continue training young innocent Nigerians when he fully knows that the school does not have the capacity for this kind of training,” he said. The NNS Jubilee also handed all the four suspects and 19 students, consisting of 17 males and two females to the Divisional Police Officer of the area. Ibrahim explained that he had briefed the Commissioner of Police in Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi, who had asked the DPO to take charge of the situation. The proprietor, Pius, 46, said his passion to run the academy as a mono-technic for the training of young Nigerians in shipping and security management technology, led him to set up the school. He revealed that the school had applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission and received a Memorandum of Understanding, and also to the National Board for Technical Education which sent its accreditation team to the academy for accreditationof programmes. He said all the programmes of the academy had been fully accredited. He said, “I have the accreditation certificate. As I am talking to you, the students passed through JAMB to gain admission into the academy. We don’t send text messages to students through fraudulent means as alleged. “We go into the Central Admission Processing System, and once a person gets admission from the CAPS, JAMB will send the names of those students to the porter, it is then the students will contact the school for admission.” One of the students, Mr. Anieto Ugonna Solomon from Oguata in Anambra State, told our correspondent that he applied to JAMB which sent him to the school through a text message. He said his first choice was Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka while his second choice was the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede. He lamented that he did not know how he got admission into the MSA through JAMB, noting that he was only aware of the school through the SMS which he thought emanated from JAMB. Another student, Olim Joseph, from Ogoja, Cross River State, said he had been in the school for the past two years studying marine engineering. He added that he did not include maritime study in JAMB but because of the admission JAMB sent to him, he had to study the course. He said, “I got here through a text message from JAMB that I have been admitted into this institution. I was asked to call a number that had been attached to the text for further information. It was on this strength that I came to this place from Cross River. “The fees depend on the voyage. Those students who are for the first voyage pay N191,000 and those who are in their second voyage pay N150,000. A voyage lasts for four months.” Observations from our correspondent showed that there was no pond, stream, river, or sea around the school. The school is sited in the bush, about a kilometre or so from the community. It was also observed that two students were peered into a room without door or window. Some of the students told our correspondent that they often find snakes in the classrooms and the school’s premises.


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018

NEWS Taraba Govt evacuates 383 students from University of Jos over killings


araba State Government said on Friday that it had evacuated 383 students from the University of Jos following renewed killings in the Plateau capital, with a student confirmed dead. The Special Adviser to Gov. Darius Ishaku on Students Affairs, Mr Samson Tor-Musa disclosed this to newsmen in Jalingo. Tor-Musa told journalists that the state government took the step following a distress call from the students of Taraba origin studying at the university. He explained that the discovery of the car belonging to the missing rtd. Army General in Jos, led to the escalation of tension in the university, leading to the death of a student. “The pond where the car of the missing army general was found is located close to one of the university hostels; so, there was tension following the discovery. “The University has confirmed one student dead; but when we got to the school, we discovered that a prospective student from Takum Local Government area of Taraba was also killed in the incident. “We were able to evaluate 383 out of 423 students from the state because some had left on their own before we got to Jos.” Tor-Musa, who said the condition of the students was pathetic when they got to the school, added that the state government had since reunited the students with their families. A parent of one of the students, Mr. Andetarang Irammae, thanked Ishaku for his support and quick intervention in the evacuation of the students.

Nigeria’s disabled population hits 19m -- NPC


ational Population Commission of Nigeria (NPC) has estimated that no fewer than 19 million persons are living with disabilities in Nigeria. Chairman of the Commission, Mr Eze Duruiheoma (SAN), announced this during the 73rd UN General Assembly General Discussion of Agenda 28 on Social Development at the UN headquarters in New York. The World Bank estimates that one billion people, or 15 per cent of the world’s population, experience some form of disabilities and the prevalence is higher for developing countries. The population chief said Nigeria had existing policy that reserved certain percentage of vacancies for the disabled, adding the corporate organisations were also encouraged to reserve two per cent for the disabled population. “As a result, government is implementing measures to promote and enhance the entrepreneurial skills of many of our 19 million Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).

“This is executed through training in various vocations and provision of relevant tools to enable them to embark on economic ventures of their choice. “Furthermore, corporate organisations in Nigeria are encouraged to reserve two per cent of their vacancies to PWDs in support of the existing policy in the public sector.” He said Nigeria recognised the importance of implementing policies that bridge social inequality gap through poverty eradication, social integration, full employment and decent work that target especially the disability population. “As part of our commitment to the continuous implementation of the relevant provisions of the 2002 Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law the National Senior Citizen Act 2018 early this year. “The Act mandates all tiers of government, including institutions in the country, to establish National Senior Citizens Centres to ensure

proper care, training, integration, orientation and re-orientation of senior citizens. “This highlights the need for, and ensuring full utilisation of potential and expertise of the elderly, while recognising the benefits of increased experience through age, as well as strengthening intergenerational solidarity,” Duruiheoma said. Similarly, a pre-retirement vocational training is being provided to officers prior to disengagement from the public service to enhance investment of retirement benefits and guarantee income security as a means of eradicating poverty, he said. “Waivers are also extended to treatment provided for the elderly in government hospitals in some states in the country,” the Nigerian population chief said. He said Nigeria’s recently-revised National Population Policy now accorded special attention to ageing and the aged, and provided strategies for improving their welfare through investment in healthy age-

Dogara congratulates Atiku over victory


peaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, has congratulated former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, on his emergence as the presidential flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The speaker said this in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Turaki Hassan, Sunday in Abuja. Abubakar won the PDP Presidential ticket with 1532 votes out of the total 3221 votes cast by 36 states and the FCT, According to the results of the poll announced by Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa, Chairman of the PDP 2018 Special National Convention Planning Committee at the end of the party’s convention on Sunday in Port Harcourt, Gov. Aminu Tambuwal came second with 693 votes, while Sen. Bukola Saraki placed third with 317 votes. Dogara said that the task before Alhaji Atiku was now to unite with other aspirants to work toward the success of the party in the 2019 elections. He expressed confidence that with proper strategies and consensus, the party would win the 2019 elections. “Come February 2019, PDP will lead Nigeria to the transformation that we so dearly desire as citizens of this dear country,” he said. The speaker commended other aspirants for accepting the outcomes of the exercise, stating that their dedicated involvement was the foundation that would lead the party to victory in the presidential elections.

• Members of the Asaba Branch of the Asaba Ladies League, a non-governmental philanthropic organisation, led by their National President , Mrs. Rose Nwosu, at one of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps in Asaba to distribute relief items donated by them

NUT to Ortom: Recruit more teachers in Benue


igeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in Benue has called on Gov. Samuel Ortom to recruit more teachers to fill the vacancies in schools. The NUT Chairman in the state, Mr Michael Yiaseh, made the appeal in Makurdi on Friday while addressing teachers during the 52nd Commemoration of World Teachers’ Day.

The theme of the Teachers’ day is: “The Right of Education Means the Right to a Qualified Teacher’’. Yiaseh said that many teaching vacancies existed in schools across the state owing to retirement of teachers, saying that there was need to fill such vacancies. “Arising from the retirement of a lot of teachers in 2018, coupled

Court slams N600m on EFCC


High Court in Port Harcourt has slammed a N600 million in exemplary damages on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for investigating and subsequently declaring two officials of the Rivers state government wanted. Justice George Omereji in a fundamental human rights matter brought by the Accountant General of Rivers state, Frederick Abere and a retired Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Local government Affairs, Lekia Bukpo, restated that the EFCC has no right to investigate the State government or its officials. Justice Omereji said he is embarrassed by the actions of the anti-graft agency; EFCC who he said failed to appeal the judgments against it but resorted to self-help by inviting the officials. He added that the EFCC should

first vacate the subsisting order made by Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court before taking any action on accounts of the State government. Justice George Omereji also said the Letter of invitation of the EFCC is in disobedience to the court order and malicious adding that only the Rivers state House of Assembly has the right investigate the financial activities of the State government. The court however declared that three hundred million naira each be paid by EFCC to Federick Abere and Lekia Biokpo as as exemplary damages. Speaking with correspondent in an interview, Counsel to the two officials of the State government, Dike Udenna said verdict of the court addresses actions of Federal agencies who take the Judiciary for granted.

with deaths and teachers leaving for greener pastures, the need for filling of these vacancies cannot be over emphasised. “Therefore, we want to appeal to the governor to fill the vacant positions as soon as necessary. “Most classrooms require more facilities to enhance teaching/learning, ‘’ Yiaseh said. He noted that families of some deceased teachers had yet to get retirement benefits. The NUT chieftain explained that since 2010, teachers had not received `Leave Grant’, while omission of teachers’ names from payment vouchers had yet to be fully addressed. Yiaseh disclosed that Nigeria was celebrating the Teachers’ Day for the 21st time while NUT Benue was making the day the 18th time. The NUT chairman advised teachers to update their knowledge in order to remain relevant in the computer age and cautioned against unnecessary procedures. “You must follow necessary procedures by obtaining permission before going for further studies to avoid unpleasant consequences,’’ Yiaseh said. He, however, commended Gov. Ortom for the full implementation of the N18,000 national minimum wage for primary school teachers.

ing and integration into life-long learning programmes. He added that the Nigerian Government remained irreversibly committed to implementing social policies that impacted positively on the lives and well-being of all Nigerians, regardless of social status, creed and affiliations. “This is based on President Muhammadu Buhari’s conviction that the implementation of people-centred and all inclusive sustainable development policies remain a strong parameter for measuring the success of any credible government,” he said. He explained that Nigeria had begun implementation of an ambitious three-year medium-term economic development strategy: ‘Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP)’. Duruiheoma said the ERGP would fast-track the realisation of the objectives of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the overarching social-economic goals of Agenda 2063 of the African Union. “Fundamentally, EGRP was designed to place the country’s economy on a trajectory of upward growth, sound social infrastructure, global competitiveness, as well as ensuring environmental sustainability for all Nigerians. He said a National Social Investment Office has been established within the Office of the Vice President, to guarantee effective coordination, implementation and to facilitate access to a broad range of social development opportunities and benefits for all citizens. Duruiheoma said a potent feature of the social welfare programmes related to the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) scheme, saying it had continued to provide monthly stipends to one million poor and vulnerable households in Nigeria. He said a veritable component of the CCT was the concept of ‘Market Money’, disbursting micro credit loans with a zero interest rate to another batch of one million market traders across Nigeria. “Bridging youth empowerment inequality through provision of jobs and development of innovative ideas is at the very core of our government policies and programmes. “Consequently, the N-Power Youth Employment Scheme, created to facilitate employment generation for a total of 500,000 graduates in the country, has successfully deployed over 400,000 graduates to the agricultural, health and teaching sectors all over the country. “The non-graduate component that targets annual employment of 100,000 artisans has also created jobs for more than 30,000 youth till date,” Duruiheoma said. He said the Nigerian Government was scaling up the creation of innovative hubs through the establishment of technological smart villages across the country to unleash the innovative potential of youth and bridge the technology divide in the country. Duruiheoma said in terms of mainstreaming youth into all aspects of governance, Buhari had created the Office of Special Adviser on Youth Matters and signed into law the ‘Not-Too-Young-To-Run’ bill. “This has undoubtedly triggered more interests from the Nigerian youth population in the office of the President in the coming presidential election in February 2019,” he said. He pledged Nigeria’s usual cooperation to the global community, adding the country remained committed to its international obligations, programmes and strategies that promoted social development for citizens.


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018


A’Ibom APC members protest candidate imposition by Akpabio From Ini Billie, Uyo


ll Progressives Congress (APC) members in Oron Federal Constituency, Akwa Ibom State have protested attempts to impose a former Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr. Victor Antai as the party’s candidate for the area. The APC members protested with placards carrying inscriptions like, “Oro Federal Constituency say no to imposition; Godswill Akpabio, enough is enough; Stay clear from Oro, Akpabio,” and were seen tearing posters of aspirants and other candidates. Mr. Eddie Akaduh, one of the APC members from the area said the people of the constituency will resist attempts by Senator Godswill Akpabio to dictate and control the politics of Oro ethnic nationality. He said Oro was not the jurisdiction of Akpabio, and that it was unbecoming for Akpabio to come from Annang, his ethnic group, to foist a stooge on the people of Oro ethnic group. “We will resist Akpabio from imposing a candidate on us after Dr. Robinson Edumoh had contested and won in the primary. Akpabio is not the one to tell Oro where they should go. He has caused untold hardship in Oro and deprived us the right to produce a governor. Let him leave us alone,” he said. Another member of the party, Mr. Daniel Frank, said he was unsure what Akpabio was still looking for in Oro, adding that Akpabio can show his love for Antai by imposing him on Annang people and not on any candidate who won the primary elections in the constituency. It was gathered that Antai, a recent decampee from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who contested against Senator Nelson Effiong representing Akwa Ibom South in the National Assembly lost, and neither bought a form nor stood for election for the House of Representatives. Antai was one of the two commissioners sacked by the Akwa Ibom State governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel over his involvement in planning and organising the reception prior to Akpabio’s defection to the APC. He was also among persons who received Akpabio at the Ibom airport on Akpabio’s arrival in Akwa Ibom for his defection reception in Ikot Ekpene Stadium. Meanwhile, an APC aspirant for Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly in Essien Udim State Con-

stituency, Mr. Samuel Ikpa said Akpabio abducted and incarcerated him to pave way for Akpabio’s aspirant. Speaking with journalists yesterday in Uyo during a protest and solidarity visit by his kinsmen from Midim community in Uyo, Ikpa said he was subjected to inhuman, cruel and barbaric treatment by the former governor in a bid to make him accept his (Akpabio’s) demand. He said, “On the night of Sunday September 30, 2018, I was invited by His Excellency, Senator Godswill Akpabio to his residence in Ukana Ikot Ntuen for a meeting. The agenda of the meeting was not made known. “On my arrival in Ukana Ikot Ntuen, I met other aspirants including Nse Ntuen, Etido Ibekwe, Abom Ephraim Okon, Joseph Inyang and Anthony Etim who were already seated. Also seated were his Excellency, Senator Godswill Akpabio, Ibanga Akpabio, Etekamba Umoren, Emmanuel Sunday Akpan, Godwin Afangideh, Sir Simon Etim, Nsentip Akpabio, Ubokutom Nyah and a host of other personal staff and family members. “Senator Akpabio asked me and all other candidates for the House of Assembly to step down for his cousin, Nse Ntuen and vaguely promised to use other positions in the incoming state and federal governments to compensate us. “I pleaded with him to reconsider his position and allow the will of the people to prevail. I reminded the senator of the enormous effort and resources expended on campaigns already, the goodwill of teeming supporters who are yearning for change and whose trust I cannot betray, and the need for true progressive culture of politics to be entrenched in the best interest of democracy. “My position infuriated Nse Ntuen who then accused me of being an agent of malice and chronic opponent of Akpabio’s directives. Senator Akpabio rose up and physically assaulted me and ordered his security details to arrest me. I was dragged like a common criminal out of the meeting room. “My brother, who was waiting outside, was shocked to see the assault on me and sought to know what was happening. He too was promptly arrested on the orders of an enraged and bitterly angry Akpabio. Both of us were roughhandled, beaten, assaulted and thrown into a van and our phones were seized,” he alleged.

• All Progressives Congress (APC) members in Oron Federal Constituency, Akwa Ibom State protesting the imposition of a former Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr. Victor Antai as the party’s candidate for the area

Cross River seedlings factory records first harvest


ross River State Rice Seeds and Seedlings factory which was commissioned few months ago by President Muhammadu Buhari has recorded its first seeds harvest. The factory with the capacity to generate over N14 Billion as revenue annually to the state will process seeds and seedlings for hybrid rice cultivation for local consumption and export. The factory has the capacity to employ 3,000 youths out of the street. Speaking shortly after witnessing the harvest at the Ayade Industrial Park in Calabar, the state governor Prof. Ben Ayade said: “Indeed what you witnessed today is a seed production and multiplication process but the process to which you have seen today is to provide hybrid seeds for the farmers to buy, cultivate and the result will be doubled yield compare to what they are known to harvest before now.” According to the Governor, ‘’Our focus which is in partnership with the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) is to see how we can effectively drive the Federal Government’s rice value chain programme in such a manner that will create wealth among farmers as well as make farming attractive to lure younger ones for sustainability and continuation of the process even after we leave office.” The Governor while explaining the basics of the initiative, pointed out that, ‘this method of process

THE ORACLE BUSINESS ARENA I formerly known as OKOLI CHINYERE MERCY now wish to be known as AGUOLU CHINYERE MERCY. All former documents remain valid. N.Y.S.C. Banks and general public take note.

seeds will help farmers prevent crop related diseases because here the seeds are produced using pure clay soil with zero nutrients devoid of micro-organism or bacteria that may cause harm to seeds.” Continuing Ayade explained: “What you see as you take your seedlings is that it comes out very clean and as neat as anything because if you take the typical Nigerian soil, you won’t get this, which is why our yield is very low because the seed sack is often impregnated with lots of bacteria, the micro node is very heavy, so, even before the seeds would establish itself after planting, the nematodes and all bottom dwelling bacteria would start degrading and attacking the cotyledon directly and up take the nutrients that allow the catalyst of the seed to sprout.’’ Reasoning that restructuring the nation would help in creating wealth, Ayade maintained that a State like Cross River will be lagging when the restructuring of the nation is fully embraced especially with the loss of its oil wells, hence his focus is on industrialization drive including agriculture, using intellectual money and ensuring that the dream of the Seaport and the 275km Super Highway comes to bear in order to align with others that are today recognized as oil producing States. Urging Cross Riverians to be patience with him Ayade said: “We are already preparing for the fu-

ture. We have taken a quantum leap, taking a blind leap into the future. In the days before, they used to say, look before you leap but today, in a digital world you leap before you look, when you leap and see that you are leaping into danger and by God’s infinite mercy and your own smart thinking, you’ll know how to land in such a way that you will be safe and by the time you land you will pick the treasure.” According to the South African consultant to the farm, Mr. Koos Mostert, “Today is quite a great moment in Cross River. We have today demonstrated to the world that indeed, our seeds and seedlings factory is ready to supply hybrid seeds and seedlings to rice farmers in Cross River and in Nigeria as a whole to ensure food security,” adding that “Nigeria will have no need to import rice because in no distant time, Cross River will be flooding the country with their desired seeds and seedlings as the factory capacity is fully automated and suitable for mechanized farming.” Mostert said the South African partnership with the state will ensure that the plant was fully supported with the necessary modern farming inputs to boost food sufficiency, employment generation for the teeming unemployed youths and young school leavers as it seeks to create wealth for the state and its citizenry.


I formerly known as MISS UZOEZIE CYNTHIA CHIOMA now wish to be known as MRS OBIEZE CYNTHIA CHIOMA. All former documents remain valid. N.Y.S.C. Banks and general public take note

I formerly known as OKOLI AUGUSTINE OKEY now wish to be known as IFECHUKWU AUGUSTINE OKECHUKWU. All former documents remain valid. banks and general public take note

I formerly known as ABANA CHUKS JAMES now wish to be known as EGONU CHUKWUDI CYRIL. All former documents remain valid. Please Banks and General Public take note.

I formerly known as OGUNJOBI EMMANUEL DARE now wish to be known as OLUJOBI EMMANUEL DARE and my correct date of birth is 11th October, 1976. All former documents remain valid. Banks and General public take note



The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018


Lagos APC primaries: Tinubu, Adeola win, Ashafa loses


enator Gbenga Ashafa has lost his bid to return to the Senate, for a third term on the platform of the All Progressives Congress from Lagos State. The 63 year-old senator lost by a wide margin, the primary for the Lagos East ticket to a four-term House of Assembly member, Bayo Osinowo, according to the results announced Saturday by the All Progressives Congress (APC) Electoral Committee of the National Assembly and State House of Assembly primaries in Lagos. Ashafa was expected to run unopposed in the primary as Osinowo was not originally cleared by the National Working Committee of the APC to stand in the election. It was not clear when the NWC gave Osinowo the nod to run for the seat. As far as the Ashafa Support Group is concerned, the result may be a nullity as Ashafa only went into the primary for affirmation. In other words, he ran against himself. “Hon. Bayo did not scale through the screening of the party and so could not contest an election. Senator Gbenga Ashafa only came out to be affirmed by his constituents”, the group tweeted on Friday. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the primaries, including a repeat of the senatorial primary election, were held on Friday. The senatorial primaries initially held on Thursday, but were cancelled and rescheduled owing to logistic issues. Announcing the results in Ikeja, Chairman of the committee, Mr Lucky Imasuen, said the primaries were contested for the three senatorial seats, 24 House of Representatives and 40 state House of Assembly seats. In the results of the senatorial primaries, Imasuen said Sen.Oluremi Tinubu, who was unopposed, polled 89,494 votes to emerge as candidate for Lagos Central. For Lagos West, the committee chairman said the incumbent, Sen. Olamilekan Solomon emerged winner with 378,906 votes, as against the 1,179 votes scored by Mr Kayode Opeifa and Mrs. Areago Olopade’s 1,275 votes. Imasuen, a former Deputy Governor of Edo State, added that a member of the state House of Assembly, Mr. Bayo Osinowo defeated the incumbent Sen. Gbenga Ashafa with 247,743 votes to emerge candidate for the Lagos East Senatorial district. He disclosed that Ashafa, the incumbent, polled 20,385 in the primary. Imasuen said the details of the House of Representatives and state House of Assembly primaries results were ready and that they would be released later. He described the exercise as peaceful and successful. “The primaries were peaceful and successful. We thank the state chapter led by Tunde Balogun for the support for the committee. We also thank all other stakeholders including all members of our party in the state for making the conduct a success,” he said.

All Nigerians must unite to sack Buhari -- Wike


ivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that all Nigerians irrespective of political affiliation must rise up to sack the most inefficient Federal Government since the country gained independence. Addressing journalists after a Thank You Visit by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential candidate and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar at the Government House Port Harcourt, late Sunday, Wike said that all PDP leaders and well-meaning Nigerians have a duty to form a united front to sack the failed APC Federal Government. He said though different party leaders supported different aspir-

ants, with the emergence of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as the party’s Presidential Candidate, all hands must be on deck for the good of the country. “We have no party that will salvage the country other than the PDP. A candidate has emerged and we owe it a duty to see that the party takes over from the most inefficient and ineffective party in control of the FG. “We are one family. You may support aspirant A or B, but once a candidate emerges, you owe it a duty to make sure your party returns to power. We are doing everything we can to ensure that we don’t give APC any gap. They have failed Nigerians and we will take over in 2019,”

said Wike. He said that the successful hosting of the National Convention in Port Harcourt has once again shown that Port Harcourt is a peaceful location for national events. “My happiness today is that the convention was successful and it went on without hitches”, he said. In his remarks, PDP Presidential Candidate and Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar said that the entire country must work towards ending the failed APC Federal Government in 2019. He said: “The entire country needs a new government. Definitely, we don’t need APC to return to power in 2019”. He said the country has gone

through challenges ranging from recession, unemployment, insecurity and lack of unity. He said the country needs to chart a new direction in the interest of the people. Atiku said that it is time for the people of Rivers State to consolidate their support for the PDP in the state. He said: “I came to personally congratulate the Governor, people and Government of Rivers State and also thank him for hosting a most successful convention “. Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar was accompanied on the Thank You Visit by Former Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Former Anambra State Governor, Mr Peter Obi, PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, Senator Ben Murray Bruce, Senator Sam Anyanwu, former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Austin Opara and Edo State PDP Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih. Governor Wike received Atiku alongside Rivers State PDP Chairman, Bro Felix Obuah, Chief of Staff, Engr Chukwuemeka Woke and Chief Sergeant Awuse.

Shehu Sani: You are on your own -- Presidency tells El-Rufai

T • Returning Officer for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary in Taraba State, Captain Idris Wadda (r) presenting the state governor, Darius Ishaku, who was also the sole candidate, with the certificate having emerged winner of the poll which held at the main-bowl of the Jolly Nyame stadium, in Jalingo

2019: Buhari kicks off early campaigns after APC affirmation


resident Muhammadu Buhari promptly launched his campaign for a second term in office early on Sunday morning after being overwhelmingly endorsed as candidate by 14,842,072 members of the All Progressives Congress across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Taunting the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, which had governed Nigeria for 16 years, up till May 2015, President Buhari asked the party, also holding its convention simultaneously in Port Harcourt, what it did with all the money earned under its watch. “Fellow Nigerians, think how much PDP Governments earned between 1999 to 2015. Think what they did with it. Infrastructure down! Security down! 18 local governments of Nigeria under control of a hostile army of insurgents. Reserves depleted! Bankruptcy around the corner. “What did they do with your money?”, Buhari asked in a tone indicative of fireworks to be expected in the weeks ahead for the electioneering campaign. President Buhari thanked all eligible members of the party who stepped down their ambition to allow him emerge as the party’s sole aspirant and now its candidate. “I thank you all for your encouragement and support, and I will not disappoint the people of Nigeria,”he said. The president paid special tribute to the party’s national leadership and its founding fathers and the Na-

tional Presidential Convention Committee for organising what he called a perfect convention. He maintained that the Federal Government was tackling corruption head-on, and it is also rebuilding the economy and developing infrastructure, saying that the APC was proud of its achievements. He also said that his recent interactions with the international community have been very encouraging, adding that the international community was giving the Nigerian government the necessary support. The 14.8 million votes that Buhari received from APC members in a direct primary was announced early Sunday morning by the Ekiti State Governor elect, Dr Kayode Fayemi who was the chairman APC Presidential Primary Election Committee. Fayemi had also chaired the APC Convention in Lagos in 2014 that elected Buhari as the party’s candidate. The result was later affirmed by no fewer than 7,000 delegates from across the federation and the FCT through a yes vote. The delegates were made up of three from each Local Government Area elected at the party’s recent state Congresses aside the statutory delegates. Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo who is the Chairman APC National Presidential Convention Committee, described Buhari as the antidote for all political locusts”. “He is the insecticide for all political termites and the saviour of the

oppressed and downtrodden, and the best president for the people. “We are impressed by his exemplary honesty, sincerity and commitment to a greater Nigeria,” he said, adding that President Buhari has positively impacted on the lives of Nigerians in the last three and half years. He called on Nigerians to vote for him again in 2019 to enable him consolidate on his achievements and take the country to greater heights. Ajimobi said the convention had opened a new chapter in Nigeria’s political history and called on APC members not to succumb or be distracted by the negative propaganda of the opposition. “We have a job to do, let us all join hands with President Buhari and roll up our sleeves for the task ahead,” he said. APC National Chairman, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, formally presented President Buhari to the convention as the party’s 2019 presidential candidate, amidst cheers from delegates and other party members. “I hereby formally present President Muhammadu Buhari as the candidate of our party for the 2019 presidential election to everyone here and to Nigerians, and by the grace of God, victory shall be ours,” he said. Present at the convention, were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, APC Governors, National Assembly members and party delegates from the 36 states and FCT.

he Presidency has distanced President Muhammadu Buhari from a letter in circulation, which alleged that the President had authorized the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai to “deal with traitors and disloyal members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), especially Sen. Shehu Sani. President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Sunday. According to the presidential aide, the president is not aware of any such letter, let alone authorising anyone to deal with any party member. “The presidency wishes to distance President Muhammadu Buhari from a letter currently in circulation, which alleges that the President had authorized a governor or anyone else for that matter to deal with traitors and disloyal members of APC, especially Senator Shehu Sani. “We wish to confirm that the president is not aware of any such letter, let alone authorising anyone to deal with any party member. “Given President Buhari’s record, it is inconceivable that he would usurp the role of the party leaders and instruct anyone to punish a party member. “In the light of above, we would like to appeal to the general public, especially members of the press, to ignore false or unauthorised information intended to attribute to the president any action which is not in line with his character,’’ the statement said. It would be recalled that El-Rufai of Kaduna State had last week visited the Presidential villa twice over political developments in his state. El-Rufai, who vehemently opposed the decision of the APC National Working Committee (NWC) to clear Sen. Shehu Sani as the sole candidate in the race for APC-Kaduna Central, said the fate of the senator “lies in the hands of the party delegates in the state”. The national body of the APC had on Sunday reiterated that Sani remained its only senatorial candidate from Kaduna Central.


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018

NEWS Cont’d from page 2 from his seat, walked to him to congratulate him. He told the PDP presidential flag-bearer and delegates: “I want to congratulate my brother and friend Atiku for emerging victorious in the PDP convention in Port Harcourt. You haven’t missed an opportunity to prove how much of a unifier you are. The Rivers State government and its entire people shall throw our weight behind you.” Abubakar is a consummate player in the handling and harnessing of delegates. Apart from delegates from the South West, South South and South East that arrived early and did their accreditation in the afternoon, the Northern delegates began arriving at the venue of the convention well after 6pm. The strategy was straightforward: to avoid other aspirants from reaching out to them. All the aspirants were involved in this scheme. But Abubakar, it was reliably gathered, made sure that delegates from the Northern States under his belt were adequately sequestered from external influences of any sort. Governor Seriki Dickson and Senator Ben Murray Bruce made sure that Bayelsa State delegates were comfortably for the former Vice President. Former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi who led the South East delegates was on ground to coordinate the delegates for Alhaji Abubakar. With delegates from Bayelsa, Edo, Abia, Anambra, Enugu, Ebony, Imo States well-fortified for the former Vice President, agents working for him assiduously gleaned scores of delegates from Akwa Ibom and Cross Rivers States to add to hundreds of well-confined delegates from the North that had been secured for Abubakar While Peter Obi harnessed the South East delegates for Abubakar, former Governor of Ogun state, Otunba Gbenga Daniels and director-general of his campaign rallied bloc votes from South West delegates, excluding Ekiti State, which was exclusively controlled by out-going Governor Ayodele Fayose.

How, why Atiku won Atiku is the best choice for the PDP, says Jonathan Meanwhile, former President Goodluck Jonathan while reacting to the choice of Alhaji Abubakar said he was the best among the 13 presidential aspirants that contested for the PDP’s presidential ticket. “We have chosen the best candidate for the party. Atiku was the most prepared candidate for the office of the president. He worked very hard for it and today the party has rewarded his efforts. We have chosen a candidate that can defeat the APC in 2019,” Jonathan enthused. Congratulating Alhaji Abubakar, Jonathan described the former Vice President as ‘a man who has the capacity to take the country to greater heights.” In a statement signed by his me-

dia assistant Mr. Ikechukwu Eze, “I congratulate His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar, Waziri Adamawa, and by the grace of God and the votes of Nigerians, the next President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Our party members have spoken and have nominated you as the candidate for the forthcoming Presidential election. I am convinced that you have all it takes to take Nigeria to greater heights and transform her into a hub for prosperity and happiness. Congratulations. “ Speaking on the implication of Abubakar’s nomination as the PDP flag-bearer, Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chikwendu Kalu noted that the transparent nature of the PDP presidential primary election would unite the party and help Atiku beat Buhari in 2019 because the president has performed

woefully. Kalu disclosed that there was no anointed candidate, adding that unlike previous PDP primaries, no candidate had emerged before the Port Harcourt presidential primary election. “It will be equally interesting to know that this is the first time in the history of our political party and indeed, that of all the party primaries in Nigeria, that a candidate did not secretly emerge before the convention. Nobody knew who was to emerge this time around,” he contended. “Even when we were having a caucus meeting of the South East, we were just carrying on and saying, okay, let us see how we can bring out about three aspirants that have all it takes to change the political narrative of this country. “So, we narrowed it down to Abubakar Atiku as the first per-

•Oshiomole raises Buhari hands after the President’s adoption as APC Presidential candidate at the party recent convention in Abuja

...firms may clash over refining mandate Cont’d from page 2 earnings and balance of payment. According to The Oracle Today investigations, one of the major grouses of the OPTS in their lingering disagreement with government borders on the sanctity of contracts. It would be recalled that former President Olsegun Obasanjo had in 2004 directed oil firms operating various production agreements with the government to commence local refining of half of their production. The directive, however, failed to spark any investment as the mainly foreign companies argued that the requirement was not part of their contractual agreements. Dr. Kachikwu did not provide details of how the directive would work or whether any consultation had been made in that regard. Besides, most of the minister’s past declarations concerning re-

habilitation of existing refineries never materialized, and deadlines for revamping the refineries first fixed for December 2015 have been shifted continuously until the new 2019 deadline. The minister, however, said the 2019 deadline for revamping the process plants of the nation’s three refining companies is still valid, adding that other plans are being driven to support private investments grow cumulative local refining capacity to over 1.5 mbd by 2020. Apart from the 210,000 barrelsper-day Port Harcourt Refinery, the 125,000 barrels-per-day Warri Refinery, and the 110,000 barrelsper-day Kanduna Refinery, Dr. Kachikwu pointed at the 650,000 barrels-per-day Dangote Refinery as a major source of new local refining capacity. He said government’s modular refining programme would yield another 200,000 barrels per day

as more and more investors plug into the programme to optimize crude value. “From modular refineries, we will be able to process about 200,000 barrels of crude and put them into the system,” the minister assured. He said the federal government was driving the establishment of modular refineries through the financing model being managed by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and free custom duty charges and other waivers to enable the investors bring in their equipment. The minister said several investors were developing greenfield refineries that would cumulatively deliver about 1.5 mbd local refining capacity in a few years. He said: “There is the Dangote Refinery in Lagos with the bumper capacity of 650,000 barrels; the Niger-Nigeria refinery that will refine up to 100,000 barrels; the

AGIP one which is a 150,000 barrels refinery that will be located in Bayelsa State and the one led by a Chinese consortium that we are finalizing, which would do a co-location. We have two co-location refineries possibilities, each of them promising 100,000 barrels.” He restated government’s commitment to rehabilitation of the nation’s four refineries managed by the NNPC by 2019, adding that the corporation has been handed a target to raise processing capacity to about 500,000 barrels of crude oil daily. He regretted that continued importation of refined petroleum products costs the nation huge sums of money, describing it as a waste of foreign exchange and deprivation of citizens of jobs. When all the refining plans have been fully implemented, he said, the country would become the crude processing hub of the African continent.

son, seconded by Bukola Saraki and Aminu Tanbuwal. So, we were now saying, whatever happens, these were they people that we may go ahead and support.” He also noted that another positive development was the voluntary undertaking by the contestants to support whoever emerged from the primary. “All the aspirants that participated, I was there and listened to them attentively in the course of their speeches, there was something common in all their presentations and submissions: they vowed that whichever way it went, they would remain in the party and support whosoever that emerged as the flag bearer of the PDP in the 2019 Presidential election. “So, any person that followed what really transpired throughout the convention would tell you that it was fair, free and credible. And there is nothing to make any of the aspirants and, indeed, the entire PDP family to be worried about anything.” Kalu added: “So the implication is that democracy has been deepened within the rank and file of the party. Everybody saw justice; not only seeing that justice was done but justice was seen to have been done in this circumstance. “As far as I am concerned, it has deepened democracy and it will cement the relationship of the aspirants and, indeed, the entire members of the PDP. “In fact, the world should be applauding PDP for being able to conduct a free, fair, credible primary election.” Another PDP stalwart, Chief Chris Nwokocha maintained that PDP has a material in Atiku with which the party could easily rout Buhari and delete APC from the political history of Nigeria. “Atiku is a popular choice. He won almost half of the whole votes, leaving the rest to scramble for remaining votes,” he said. “After the result was announced, Bukola Saraki spoke on behalf of all the aspirants, saying that they accepted the outcome, that it was good and promised that they were going to join hands together with Atiku. “They said they were happy that the exercise was transparent and credible; that the people have spoken through the delegates of the party, so they will abide by that result. And it was a free, fair and credible primary election, which all the aspirants confirmed and concurred. “The implication is that PDP has gotten it right. The implication is that PDP is going into the battlefield next year with an acceptable candidate by the generality of PDP members and stakeholders to fight a common enemy. “I have the confidence, very much so, that Atiku will defeat President Buhari in the 2019 presidential poll. “Atiku has been around, he has the experience, he has the goodwill, he also the wherewithal, the war chest; he has the funds. “He is an astute and established businessman that can raise the required funds to fight the battle; he has built bridges across the various divides of Nigeria. So we believe he will confront Buhari and all PDP members will join hands.” According to Nwokcha who is also a public affairs analyst, “Nigerians have finally seen a rallying point with which they will use to confront and defeat Buhari and APC.”


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018


AFCON qualifier: Siasia, others admonish Eagles against Libya

After-match of FIBA World Cup:

D’Tigress ranked 19th


• Super Eagles of Nigeria Stories by MADUABUCHI KALU


ORMER Super Eagles’ striker and coach, Samson Siasia has advised the Super Eagles ahead their double header African Cup Nations qualifier scheduled for Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital against the Mediterranean Knights of Libya this Saturday. “It is true that the Super Eagles did well at the World Cup but that should count for nothing in this encounter because this is a different case entirely. To play a team like Libya, it is not going to be easy. “If you want to go to the Nations Cup, you must ensure that you are a team to reckon with, it is true that the Super Eagles played at the World Cup you know, but playing a team like Libya is not going to be easy. “The fact is, do the Eagles know the Libyan players well? You cannot go to a party without knowing your enemy. “The current Super Eagles’ players should make sure that they know the strength and weaknesses of the Mediterranean Knights in order to be in a better position to confront them. “If they know that; it will give them a better game plan to execute their plans,” Siasia advised. Meanwhile, former international, Godwin Okpara has equally lent his voice ahead of the game and he says it is going to be very tough. “Yes, it is not going to be easy. It is really going to be a tough game. “What I would like our players to do is for them to just go there and do what they love to do, you know. “They should just go right there and play their normal game and ensure that they secure victory,” Okpara said. It is recalled that the Libyans in their encounter against second placed South Africa, secure a draw against the Bafana Bafana away in South Africa and as it is, they top the group with four points same with South Africa but with superior goal advantage. That encounter was the second group game and in their first group game against the weeping boys of the, Seychelles, they ran away with victory

and pocked the maximum points just like South Africa did against Nigeria in Uyo where the stunned Eagles with 0-2 win. They Super Eagles are placed 3rd in their group with three points after beating Seychelles away in Victoria. It is only a point that separates both first placed and second placed teams from Eagles who are third on the log. It is expected that Eagles will make the most of the opportunity by handing the Libyans comprehensive defeat

to brighten their chances of securing one of the two tickets from the group for 2019 Africa Cup of Nations competition which Cameroon are billed to play host to. Nigeria have not participated in the last two editions of the competition as they failed to qualify to defend the trophy they won in 2013 in South Africa in 2015 and again, the three time continental champions failed to make it last year. It is hoped that the Gernot Rohr

coached side will be able to secure a qualification ticket at the end of the qualifiers and possibly win the trophy to crown Amaju Melvin Pinnick’s exploits in Nigerian Football administration. Also speaking, former Eagles’ goal tender, Ike Shorunmi said hark work cannot be substituted with laziness, hence there is need for the Eagles to work hard and ensure that Nigeria do not miss out of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

Rufai not happy with Eagles’ recruitments


ORMER Super Eagles goal tender, Peter Rufai is not a happy man at the moment reason being the way invitation to the national team has become an all comers affair, saying it is eroding the quality of players in the national team as it was not the method players of his period were recruited to the team. He, therefore, is of the opinion that the national team should not be made an all comers affairs rather only the best should be invited to the national team like it was done during his time. He explained that the country no longer look at the pedigree of players before calling him to the national team. Speaking further he explained that it is unfortunate that players who do not play regularly in their various clubs and others in obscure club sides in various obscure leagues now dominates the Super Eagles. “I don’t think that there is a set standard a player should attend before his invitation to the national team, the Super Eagles,” Rufai began. “You have to result to google to find out details of some players we parade in the national team now. But in our days, your performance and the club you play for determined your invitation to the nation-

al team in my days. “I was looking forward to taking over from Emmanuel Okalla, Best Ogedengbe, Joe Erico and Peter Fregene but now people stroll into the national team from obscurity,” Rufai said. As a matter of fact, Rufai is saying that the way and manner some unknown players invade the Super Eagles through the invitation extended to them by Gernot Rohr is doing a lot of harm to the nation’s flagship football team, the Super Eagles. It is like the former national team goal tender is speaking the minds of many Nigerians. While majority agreed with Rufai, others are looking at it from a different perspective. For those who do not share Rufai’s thought on the invitation of some players who are plying their trade in some obscure leagues across the globe, it is not the fault of these players that they are not playing in the so called big clubs or league but due to lack of opportunity, they are playing for these clubs and league. They maintained that playing in division two or three of some league does not mean that those who are playing in the top flights are quite better but the fact that everybody cannot be at the top at the same time makes it imperative that some will play in the lower divisions.

OLLOWING D’Tigress heroics at the just-concluded 2018 Federation of International Basketball Association (FIBA) Cup, the Nigeria women basketball team, D’tigress have risen to 19th in the latest FIBA world ranking after reaching the quarter-finals of the2018 World Cup in Spain on Friday, October 2018. It is recalled that D’Tigress made history as the first African team to win a game at the FIBA World Cup despite losing their first game in their group game but had to bounce back to record their first group game against Turkey who had beaten them in their friendly encounter before the championship. The Nigerian Women followed that victory over Turkey up by avenging Super Eagles’ World Cup lost to Argentina as they defeated the highly rated Argentines to zoom to the quarterfinals of the competition to confront the game’s world’s super power in the game, the United States women basketball team where they suffered a defeat. It is important to note that D’Tigress are the first African team to have reached the quarterfinals of FIBA World Cup. Their historic run in Tenerife, Spain which was ended by the United States saw them jump 15 spots from 34th in the world, making them the biggest climber for the month of October. Nigeria placed 8th overall out of the 16 countries that featured at the World Cup. D’Tigress 15th position ranking is the continent’s best ranking in recent times and it is hoped that they will build from this extra ordinary exploit in their future engagements. With their exploits in Tenerife, all eyes are now on D’Tigress who surprised even their coach Otis Hughley who commended the exploits of the gallant Nigerian women even in his excitement declared that the team can play without a coach.

•Peter Rufai, Ex-Super Eagles’ keeper •D’Tigress of Nigeria

Benitez slammed with £60,000 fined for referee comments


EWCASTLE manager Rafael Benitez has been fined £60,000 after accepting a charge for commenting about the referee prior to his team’s Premier League game against Crystal Palace last month. The Spaniard was responding to Palace forward Wilfried Zaha, who had said he was not being protected by referees. Benitez said he had “confidence” in match official Andre Marriner. The Football Association constituted the comments as improper conduct and/or bringing the game into disrepute. FA rules state managers are not allowed to talk about specific referees prior to a game. Zaha had said he believed he would need to have his leg broken

before opponents were shown a red card. Benitez responded: “I am surprised because normally the FA deal with these comments. I have a lot of confidence with Andre Marriner. “He has a lot of experience, even if his record with our players is not that great in terms of red cards. He is an experienced referee. “Zaha is a good player, no doubt about that, but I think the FA have to deal with his comments. I think Andre Marriner will not have this in the back of his head. “The way that he [Zaha] plays, normally, he will receive more tackles than other players because he likes to run at players. It won’t make any difference for our players.”


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018


It’s time to revive our league, Obuh tells Amaju



OLLOWING the recent reelection of Amaju Melvin Pinnick as the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, former Flying Eagles’ coach, John Sam Obuh, has called on Amaju Melvin Pinnick to pay adequate attention to the domestic league having substantially done well for the country’s international football. According to Obuh, there is no reason all attention should be focused on international football to the detriment of the domestic league. Obuh made the call in telephone interview with the Oracle Today Sports during the week while airing his perspective on the reelection of Pinnick as the NFF’s President last week in Katsina. Amaju defeated three other contestants to break the jinx of the inabil-

ity of the country’s football governing boss to return after serving their first term in office. He defeated the immediate past president of the Federation Alhaji Aminu Maigari, former Secretary General, Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi and Chinedu Okoye. “Well, I don’t really know how my response will be in respect of the hon. Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Barrister Solomon Dalung declaration that he didn’t know anything about the NFF’s elections. That to me is strange because I believe that should not be the position because he is the man who supervises sports in this country. “However, what I want to say in respect of the Minister’s position on the NFF’s elections is that Nigeria is an independent country that is governed by laws. If the Minister is saying that he didn’t know anything about the NFF’s elections, then there is need

for Amaju and other stakeholders to come together and resolve their differences. “There is need for whatever gray areas that will bring trouble in the near future to be resolved once and for all to enable him have a peaceful rein in his second coming. “What Nigeria Football suffered within the short period of the leadership tussle in July and August is unquantifiable. No true Nigerian would like such a situation to come up again. That is why I am calling for total resolution of every gray area in our football,” Obuh said. “And again, since Nigeria is affiliated to FIFA, there is also need for the country to abide or respect FIFA statues in line with the way football is run in other countries. That is why I said there is need for stakeholders to come together to resolve the gray areas so that our football can move

CAF Confed Cup: Enyimba’ll qualify, Oduah declares


ESPITE Enyimba’s home defeat in the hands of visiting Raja Casablanca of Morocco last Sunday in the first semifinal match of this year’s CAF Confederation Cup Championship at the Enyimba International Stadium, former member of Nigeria Football Association (NFA), Prince Isidoreh Oduah is very optimistic that two time African champions, will emerge victorious in the return fixture in Morocco to zoom into the final of the competition. According to the Anambra State born football administrator, nobody should write off Enyimba because of the setback they had in Aba because such things do happen in football. He said that Enyimba were one team that have the indomitable spirit that every successful side normally possess. “My take on Enyimba’s home defeat to Raja Casablanca is that despite that lost; Enyimba will qualify for the final. They will avenge the defeat in Morocco I can assure you,” Prince Oduah began. “You see, in football, these things do happen. It is a wake-up call for

the people’s elephant not to be complacent when they go for the return leg in Morocco and I know that they will make it. “This is not the first time this type of thing is happening. It has been happening to a lot of teams and with determination and hard work, such teams at the end of the day emerged victorious and I believe that is what Enyimba are going to do,” he said. Continuing he said: “I could remember that it happened to Enugu Rangers in those days but Rangers were able to upturn the defeat and moved on in the championship. So, this is not the first time this will be happening and I believe that this is not the first time it will happening to Enyimba either. “I know that Enyimba are a formidable side. When former governor Kalu was in-charge of affairs in Abia State, Enyimba were the toast of African football and I believe the incumbent, Dr. Okezie Ikpezie is in full support of the team. “He should provide them with all that they required to do the country proud. He should realize that

Enyimba are representing over 180 million Nigerians. This is a national project that should be given all the necessary support to succeed. “As for me, I have no doubt in the ability and capacity of Enyimba to avenge the defeat and end up winning the trophy for the first time,” Prince Odua said.

•Prince Oduah

forward. That means Amaju should play the role of a father who accommodates every of his children even if some of them are not behaving the way he expects them to behave and that is maturity in action. Moving further, the former Sharks FC of Port Harcourt and Enugu Rangers sweat merchant said: “Well, what I expect from Amaju on this his second coming is to bend backward to develop our league. “Our league is yearning for serious attention. He has really done well in our international football but the same cannot be said of our domestic league. “Now that he has achieved what his predecessors couldn’t achieve by returning to power after, I wish he could devote more time and energy to the development of our league. Its importance cannot be over emphasised. “A situation whereby he left the running of the league to those around him to do whatever pleases them in the name of running the league does not help the league. That is why many people are aggrieved particularly the club owners. I wish he should exert his authority as the president of the country’s football governing body to revive our league. “Of course he should take the right steps to develop our league because he does not have any other chance of doing so after this time. “I believe if he devotes the type of energy, passion and time that he put in our international football we will certainly get good result. “More importantly, he should ensure that all the aggrieved people are carried along in order to have peace in our football. “He must have heard comments for and against him before and during the elections, he should try to look into those comments against him with a view to making amends and for those comments for him, he should continue or even improve on them. That is what makes a good leader. “I pray that his second term will usher better things to Nigeria Football considering what he had already done in his first tenure. “He really performed in respect of our international football and the politics of the game. I wish him the best of luck,” Obuh said.

Bosso dumps FC Ifeanyi Uba over unpaid wages


ORMER Flying Eagles’ and Niger Tornadoes sweat merchant, Ladan Bosso, has dumped FC Ifeanyi Ubah, otherwise called Anambra Warriors over unpaid wages and salaries. The Niger State-born football tactician left the Nnewi-based football outfit last week following months of unpaid wages and salaries of players and officials. According a reliable source from the Nnewi-based football club, it is not only Bosso that is owed by the proprietor of the club, Dr. Ifeanyi Uba, who recently had his dream of going to the Red Chambers of the National Assembly quashed by his party, All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) following his inability to get a waiver to enable him qualify to contest the senatorial primaries of his party but the players of the club are also suffering months of unpaid salaries. This development has become a recurrent decimal in Nigerian football and urgent steps need to be taken by those who are running the league in the country to save players and officials from untold hardship with members of their families. A situation where players labour for a club and at the end of the day they are given the short end of the stick does not speak well of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) which the organisers said they wanted to position to enable it be attractive to players from other countries. The question is; how could a wellknown billionaire not being able to pay the salaries and wages of players and coaches of his club? Despite consistently saying he has passion for the development of the game in the country. There is no doubt that he has tried in the past in contributing to the development of the game in the country but it does not make any sense for an oil and gas mogul like him to be known as one who is just paying lip service to the development of the game by not paying his players and officials of his club. These people, he should realize do not have any other means of livelihood and they have dependents. How do they take care of themselves and their families and yet he wants to get the best out of them. It does not make sense. It is recalled that penultimate week; Dr. Ubah contested the position of Chairman of Chairmen of club owners during the NFF’s elections in Katsina but lost. Now, by leaving the club over unpaid salaries and allowances of players and officials Bosso has confirmed the stories making the rounds that FC Ifeanyi Uba are one of the clubs owing players and officials, months of arrears salaries in the NPFL. With debt of several months of arrears of salaries of players and officials hanging on his neck, he went to contest for the position of Chairman of Chairmen, what an irony. That is enough to disqualify him from contesting for that position. The earlier clubs stop denying players and officials their legitimate wages and salaries the better for the game. There is no doubt that this is one of the reasons our local league players do not stay long before leaving our shores for greener pastures abroad. It is absolutely immoral for any employer to deny his staff his legitimate wage as the Holy Book made us to understand that a worker deserves his wage and that his wage should be paid him before even the sweat on his body dries up.


The Oracle Today Wednesday October 17, 2018

NEWS Mission lauds arrest of S/African policeman accused of killing Nigerian


igeria Consul General in South Africa, Godwin Adama, has welcomed the arrest of eight police officers accused of torturing and killing a Nigerian in Vanderbijlpark 2017. Adama told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in a telephone conversation from Johannesburg that the arrest was a welcomed development. The CG said that the officers were arrested by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) He commended the IPID, who he said assured the mission of a thorough investigation and they had kept to their word. “They had constantly briefed us on the case and we commend their seriousness in the approach in bringing justice to Nigerians in this case. “It will set a new standard in prosecution of cases involving Nigerians in South Africa. It will also send a strong message out. The envoy also expressed appreciation to the government of South Africa for creating the enabling environment for justice to prevail. He also expressed hope that the accused would be convicted to serve as a deterrence to others. Adama also commended Nigerians, who stood firmly with the missions, to exert pressure on its intervention on the issue of hostilities against Nigerians in the area. He lauded them for the support when the mission organised a joint meeting with the police and community leaders in the area to discuss the issues and requests for thorough investigation on the matter.

2019: UDP chooses broadcaster, Balogun, as ACPN adopts Ezekwesili From Chuks Collins, Awka


he United Democratic Party (UDP) on Saturday, at its special Convention in Awka elected a United States of America-based media practitioner, Mr Ishola Balogun as its presidential flag bearer in the forthcoming 2019 general election. The 59-year old Molecular Biology expert and television programme host who owns and runs Amen Radio/Television in USA said he would make job creation, youth/women empowerment, security and unity his main priorities. He also called for the de-emphasis on money in the nation’s polity so as to enable the best hand/brains come forward and participate actively in nation building. He lamented the state of affairs in the country today, blaming past and

present leaders for running the nation aground. To him, the present system of government has no definition but an admix of confusion orchestrated by a host of confused mostly illiterate persons who lacked the zeal, love and tenacity to lead themselves or families let alone a nation like Nigeria. He urged all the patriotic sons and daughters of the nation who believed in the nation not to despair as he was willing and ready to harness their great budding potentials to give the nation’s growth a real push when he wins the election next year. Meanwhile, the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) has adopted Dr Oby Ezekwesili, a former Minister of Education and co-convener “Bring Back Our Girls movement”, as its presidential candidate for the 2019 presidential election.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the candidacy of “Madam Due Process” as she was fondly called, was ratified at the party’s convention on Sunday in Abuja. The party had also re-elected its incumbent National Chairman, Alhaji Ganiyu Galadima, and other national officers for another four years. Speaking after her endorsement as the party’s presidential candidate and after she was presented with its flag, Ezekwesili said if voted as the country’s next president, she would ensure an all-inclusive government. She also promised to offer equal opportunities to all Nigerians irrespective of tribe or gender. Ezekwesili, a former Vice President of the World Bank, said the 2019 elections would be a defining moment and would provide opportunity to unite and galvanise the potentials of the country.


Nweke: Ebonyi commissioner decries incessant deaths in state’s broadcast medium


2019: Nigerians desire credible polls -- PDP

he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has stated that the transparent conduct of its National Convention which produced its Presidential Candidate was a testament that Nigerians are ‘peaceful, orderly and desirous of credible processes at all levels of political engagement.’ The party also declared that its just-concluded presidential primary election had demonstrated its strict adherence to democratic rules, principles of transparency and fairness. The party which made the remark in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Sunday in Abuja, said the success showed that citizens, irrespective of their individual and group interests, were capable of holding peaceful and credible elections that met global standards. “Simply put, in the PDP Presidential primary, every vote counted. We invite the whole world to note that the PDP conducted its presidential primary and a clear winner, Atiku Abubakar, emerged, without any form of disagreements or reliance on heavy security. “This shows that Nigerians are peaceful, orderly and desirous of credible processes at all levels of political engagement. Ologbondiyan restated PDP’s determination to dismantle rigging machinery and return credible processes in all spheres of Nigeria national life. Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar won the PDP Presidential ticket with 1532 votes to defeat other contestants including Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State who came second with 693 votes, and President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, who placed third with 317 votes.

The 55-year-old Ezekwesili christened her campaign mantra as “Project Rescue Nigeria”. “I bring you a message of hope, that I and millions of supporters will march in solidarity to ensure that Nigeria gets a new focused leadership in 2019,” she said. Also speaking, the ACPN National Chairman, Alhaji Ganiyu Galadima, said the party was out to give hope to Nigerians, adding that Ezekwesili would not let Nigerians down. “We appreciate Ezekwesili for pitching her tent with the party and we have resolved to work with her to emancipate Nigerians,” he said.

• (From left): Rivers State PDP Chairman, Bro Felix Obuah; Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike; former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus; and former Anambra State Governor, Mr Peter Obi, during a Thank You Visit by the ex-VP at the Government House Port Harcourt, late Sunday

2019: Donald Duke emerges SDP Presidential candidate


ormer Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, has emerged as Presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) for the 2019 general election. Duke polled 812 votes to defeat his close rival, former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, who polled 611 votes at the party’s National Convention held at Old Parade Ground, Abuja. The Convention Returning Of-

ficer, Dr Abdul Isiaq, declaring the results of the presidential primary election at the early hour of Sunday, said Mr. John Dara, former Special Assistant to Lt. General Theophilus Danjuma, former Defence Minister, scored 104 votes. He also announced that former Ambassador and former Minister, Prof. Iyorwuese Hagher polled 72 votes; former Ambassador, Felix Osakwe scored 10 votes,

Okowa mourns former Information Minister, John Odey


elta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, Sunday, commiserated with the government and people of Cross Rivers over the death of Mr John Odey, a former Minister of Information and Communications. The governor’s condolence message was contained in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Charles Aniagwu, on Sunday in Asaba. Okowa described the demise of “the strong political ally’’ as painful, noting that the late statesman was a strong pillar of support in Cross Rivers and the entire South South Geo-political Zone.

“I was shocked to hear of the passing on of Chief John Odey. He will be missed by thousands of people whom he had assisted in one way or the other. “His role in politics and the development of his community, state and nation will remain an inspiration for other political actors. “My condolences to his family, close associates and the people of Cross River State,’’ he said. He recalled that late Odey was also a former national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and one time Cross River commissioner for agriculture and former state treasurer of the PDP.

while the number of invalid votes was 63. Duke in his acceptance speech, described his emergence as collective victory for all aspirants that participated in the contest, as well for the party and the nation. He said that primary was just a step in the contest, saying he will go through the nation to campaign and sell the party and its polices to citizens. Duke called for the support of all aspirants, the party officials and Nigerians to win 2019 general election, saying “we will reawaken in Nigerians that yearning that we are destined to be, but we cannot do this alone.” He said that Nigeria was not a divided nation but a country of common purpose. “What divides us is inadequacy and wants, because in the face of this survival of the fittest comes in, which ought not to be so because there is more than enough for everyone.” He said if Nigerians were productive and abide by rules and regulations , the nation would grow from strength to strength. “This is what good governance is all about and that is what I stand for.

bonyi Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, Sen. Emmanuel Onwe, has decried the incessant deaths in the state-owned media, Ebonyi Broadcasting Corporation (EBBC). Onwe expressed the regret on Sunday in Abakaliki while addressing the management and staff of the corporation over the death of Mr Samuel Nweke, the late ViceChairman, Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) and a staff of the corporation, killed by suspected armed robbers on Saturday. Onwe noted that though such deaths were recorded directly and indirectly at the corporation, none of its staff had experienced such brutal, wicked and lawless fate. “The gentleman attended an official function and had every confidence of returning home in one bit. “Having traveled so far, he was within minutes of getting home when wayward, devil-possessed animals inflicted such horrendous attack on him and this warrants all of us to bow our heads in his honour. “This is due to what has befallen his family, the corporation and Ebonyi as a whole as I feel we should gather to understand that whatever we do here, every single minute and hour spent here counts. “We will individually be grieving for Nweke, and praying for his family and that such tragedy be averted for every of us in the corporation,” he said. “Nweke was a dedicated and industrious journalist who paid his dues and acquitted himself creditably in the profession,” he said. He had ordered the suspension of normal operations of the corporation between 6.30 p.m. of October 6 to 6.30 p.m. of October 7, to promote a brief programme on Sam’s life and times to honour him. Umahi had in a reaction, condemned Nweke’s brutal killing and urged security agencies to unravel the circumstances behind his death. Umahi in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Emmanuel Uzor, noted that his death was a great loss to the media profession, his family and the entire state. Nweke was among delegates from the state attacked by suspected armed robbers at Nkalagu Ebonyi on their way back from NUJ National Delegate Election held in Abeokuta, Ogun State. Nweke until his death was a principal reporter with the EBBC.

WEDNESDAY October 17, 2018



racle Today


ISSN: 2545-5869

Tony Ojobo: The clinical brand oxygenator T

HE Public Affairs Department, PAD of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has benefited from the superintendence of two great and wonderful men that I know and worked with. The first is Dave Imoko, UgwuAro, avuncular and thoroughbred public servant who retired from NCC some years ago. Imoko’s defining and unique selling power was the rare creative ability to make meaning of and effortlessly live with two contradictions – the essentially anachronistic, often counterproductive and frequently sickening civil service rules, and the dynamic, competitive and strategyoriented principles of contemporary public relations practice. Imoko gave an eloquent demonstration to the message Wole Soyinka persuasively conveyed in his timeless play, The Lion and The Jewel – the necessity to blend tradition with modernity, rather than agonize perpetually over seemingly irreconcilable differences. As director, Public Affairs at NCC, Imoko was quite amazing and distinctive, and he could crack a stone with public relations despite the stymieing limitations of the public service orthodoxy. His attitude greatly helped me to endure the paradoxes of the civil service because I had sequentially considered my presence in the civil service as misplaced until I met Dave Imoko. His patience, perseverance and faith in man as a trove of intellection to explore and treasure are standards worthy of eternal love and practice. He made me to feel I was an integral part of his life whenever he called me to his office, and after usual pleasantries he would say to me: “I sent for you to bounce some ideas off you”. It was a privilege I will forever cherish. Now, to the brass tacks. The second man – who is the subject of this narrative and who bestrode the Public Affairs Department at NCC like a titan that he is – is Tony Ojobo, Imoko’s successor. I had been interacting with Ojobo as a senior colleague of mine at NCC before his deployment to Public Affairs Department in 2012. I recall a colleague met me after the redeployment was announced and asked me how Ojobo was going to cope with public affairs duties. I remember I told that colleague of mine that Ojobo holds a postgraduate degree in brand management. And so, as Ojobo arrived at PAD – over, beyond and above the handover notes – he acted as if he had a psychological, mental and spiritual conversation with Imoko. Ojobo took the mantle of leadership and as in a 100-meters relay sprint; he hit the ground running and proceeded to improve upon the fortunes of NCC’s public affairs management tradition. Armed with the requisite intellection and the supernatural grace, Ojobo took a scientific look at the PAD structure, made necessary re-engineering and set the department on an enviable path that remains a national and international model in public sector public communication and stakeholder relationship management. An amazing media encyclopaedia, Tony Ojobo superintended PAD in a remarkable and sustainable manner. The emergence of NCC on the radar of key social media networks today was entirely Ojobo’s idea. It was he who created the Online Media and Special Publication Unit of PAD – a unit I had the honour and privilege to lead. As I write, I can effortlessly recall anecdotal incidents explicating Ojobo’s




•Tony Ojobo rare character traits. The most striking is his frankness. You will always know where you stand with him, and I consider that character trait as very defining in the galaxy of matrices of leadership. He will never equivocate or identify with double standard. If you are under his tutelage and on top of your schedules as professionally as possible, rest assured you are Ojobo’s friend and he will always defend you all the way. Indeed, he would take up your battle as a personal challenge, irrespective of your ethnicity and religion – two volatile nauseating circumstantial classifications of identity that have taken over the Nigerian social landscape as fault lines. Ojobo’s tribe is indeed very rare, especially in the Nigerian bureaucracy which is essentially a microcosm of the Nigerian reality. I remember one of the instances when I was so notionate and ‘invited’ some troubles. Ojobo put out the fire and in the process he saved my career at the Commission with the way he handled the matter. He already knew the facts and without talking to me, he initiated and prosecuted my defence on the bases of his knowledge of my person and the content of the memo I had written in that regard. So, Ojobo became my advocate, handled the brief pro bono and like a piece of cake. He did what many certified lawyers would need repeated briefings to handle successfully. Tony Ojobo’s sense of duty and work ethics are professionally unassailable. As his supervisee, if it is established that you are linked with or involved in any malfeasance,

you will certainly get into trouble with him – he delivered that homily repeatedly at the Departmental Weekly Meetings. If you work with Ojobo, you can never be idle because there won’t be time for idleness, and if you forcefully create time for idleness, it would ricochet badly. You must work and work hard to perfection. Under his tutelage, it was not sufficient for a task to be done, it must also be great. For him, however phenomenal a concept is, there is always room for improvement. You cannot just be busy as Ojobo’s supervisee, you must be productive. In other words, you cannot be buried in an activity trap; you must come forth with results in a concrete, remarkable and measurable manner. It is an unvarnished record that Ojobo nursed and nudged members of his team in PAD to design and implement bouquet of activities that proactively engaged NCC stakeholders within his purview. That explained why the PAD became a benchmark for innovative multistakeholder relationship management, and the reason NCC’s imprimatur is an indelible signpost of any national and international telecommunication activity of significance. Tony Ojobo is a team leader in the real sense of the words. A man for whom every action communicates. An organic marketer and reputation manager, Ojobo believes you must be a great brand yourself to be able to reposition a brand. Branding comes naturally to him, but not solely because he is a certified brand manager. His story speaks so eloquently to the fact that the

brand pedagogy (as many pedagogies) is essentially an icing on the cake of the learning curve. Indeed, some patterns of branding education merely reinforce appropriate and auspicious attitudinal dispositions for people who are genetically constituted as living brands. So, it suffices to say that Ojobo’s persona and conduct partly explain NCC’s migration from a preeminent national brand to an international marque too important to be ignored. It is thus fitting that he received so many awards for his exemplary feats. And those honours and classic performances were instrumental to some of the honours of NCC, and equally constitutive in swelling the trove of garlands of laurels on NCC. Ask Ojobo questions about NCC and he would offer you satisfactory answers with a degree of intensity that will spur a new appreciation of the Commission and perhaps nudge you into a scientific exploration. If anyone needs to be an exemplar of what is good about the public service, if anyone needs to be a justification, a metaphor for the critical role the public sector ought to play in uplifting the nation, Tony Ojobo is just the perfect paradigm. Indeed, to locate Ojobo in the national civil service that is perceived as inefficient and evidently underwritten by ethical and financial corruption is a confounding allegory and paradox. Yet, he made such a beautiful career of it. Cerebral, debonair and discerning, Tony Ojobo is unashamedly Igbo but a uniquely patriotic Nigerian. His passion for Nigeria’s development explains why he feels every one of us must put in his best at his desk because it is what we do individually that incrementally shapes Nigeria’s development. I particularly admire his work ethics, his thoughts on scholarship, his commitment to Kingdom stewardship, respect for people (however they are circumstanced), as well as his healthy hatred for oppression, prejudice, inertia and complacency. As a Minister of the Gospel, Tony Ojobo – like anyone with his predilection – knows that life is a gift. He says it repeatedly. He enjoys every bit of life while it lasts but he does so in meditation and mindful of his fellow man – his commitment to other people’s wellbeing and happiness is also exemplary and terrific. Ojobo is instrumental in deepening my love for the Igbos. He is one of the legs of the tripod – that trio I often refer to as the Enugu Triumvirate, as he complements the other two great men from Enugu – HRH Frank Nweke II (Frank Nweke Jr as he then was) and Emeka Mba – who ‘Rule my World’. As Tony Ojobo exits NCC after almost two decades of eventful career – if I return to work for the nation’s telecoms regulatory authority – I will particularly miss him greatly. I will miss his attention to details. I will miss his clinical approach to communication and stakeholder relationship management. I will miss his objectiveness, pragmatism and dispassionate methodological preferences. I will miss his phenomenological approach to public relations practice. I will miss his ability to turn a simple birthday celebration of a staff into a signature event. I will miss his frankness, his insistence on task delivery within the timelines, and I will miss his comradeship and the fact that he watched my back like an angel. I will miss the life and blood that he infused into NCC and public sector public communication management. I will miss his distinctive capacity to oxygenate NCC events. In short, I will really miss Tony Ojobo, Nigeria’s public sector’s most clinical brand oxygenator.

The Oracle Today is published by The Oracle Newspapers Limited. Head Office: 116 Awka Road, Onitsha. Lagos Office: 25 Remi Fani-Kayode Street, GRA Ikeja. Abuja Office: 1st Floor, Plateau House, Central Business District, Abuja, FCT. ISSN: 2545-5869 Email:, Twitter: Facebook: Website: Advert hot lines: 09078310060, 09061836916. Editor: FELIX OGUEJIOFOR ABUGU.

Wednesday October 17, 2018 Edition  

How, why Atiku won

Wednesday October 17, 2018 Edition  

How, why Atiku won