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Nigeria needs restructuring

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EBATES about the future of Nigeria tend to easily descend to narrowed meaninglessness over the expectations of a few individuals. When the divisiveness that has been part of the country in the past few years is added, Nigeria, in an unsustainable manner being proposed for various forms of restructuring, to accommodate the demands of those who appropriate the

THE ORACLE TODAY COMMENT

country. FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo, with his letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, has opened another round of arguments about how to run Nigeria better. His admission to participation in making Buhari

The VOX POPULI SACRUM

president, and dissatisfaction with Buhari’s performance tended to personalise the issues. OBASANJO, in his lengthy letter wrote that, “The poor performance in government – poverty, insecurity, poor

economic management, nepotism, gross dereliction of duty, condonation of misdeed (if not outright encouragement of it), lack of progress and hope for the future, lack of national cohesion and poor management of internal political dynamics and widening inequality – is very much with us today.”

WHERE Obasanjo misses the point, always, is the supposition that he is Nigeria’s messiah. His references to other former leaders of Nigeria reeks of that redeemer complex and a certainty that if he was not at the centre of tings, they would

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WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 14, 2018

ISSN: 2545-5869

Today

VOL.3 No. 6 N200

Power brokers dump Buhari Father kills daughter in septic tank From NATH OMAME, Port Harcourt

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MEN OF POWER: Obasanjo, Buhari, Babangida, Abdulsalami

IBB’s letter exerts more pressure on President Danjuma, Abdulsalami in tacit support APC’s restructuring report distances party from President

By FELIX OGUEJIOFOR ABUGU

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he recent controversial letter written by former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (IBB) to President Muhammadu Buhari asking him not to contest the 2019 presidential election for a second term in office, may have confirmed fears that the nation’s power-broking triumvirate—Obasanjo, IBB and Abdulsalami Abubakar— may have finally ditched President Buhari, fearing his return to power for a second term could have deleterious effects on every effort, past and present, made towards achieving a united, democratically progressive country. In a letter whose authorship was initially denied by the IBB camp but later confirmed to be an authentic missive, Babangida told Buhari that time has come for the country to deliberately transfer power to the

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younger generation. “In 2019 and beyond, we should come to a national consensus that we need new breed leadership with requisite capacity to manage our diversities and jump-start a process of launching the country on the super highway of technology-driven leadership in line with the dynamics of modern governance,” the former military President’s statement, signed by his spokesman, Alhaji Kassim Afegbua, read in part. “It is short of saying enough of this analogue system. Let’s give way for digital leadership orientation with all the trappings of consultative, construc-

he father of a 19-year old girl, Chiburuoma Boms, found dead in a septic tank in the Elekahia area of Port Harcourt, in Port Harcourt Local Government Area (PHLGA), has confessed that he asked other members of family to dump her in the septic tank while she was still alive. Spokesman of the Rivers State Police Command, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, said the stepmother and stepsister of the victim who were arrested earlier by the Police have also confessed to participating in the killing of the young lady. “The father of the victim has confessed to masterminding the killing of the 19 year girl. He said she was still alive when he directed that she should be dragged into the septic tank where she later died,” Omoni told reporters in Port Harcourt. Omoni added: “ The father earlier escaped but was later arrested following useful information given to the Police by members of the public. The stepmother and stepsister arrested on the day she died have also Contd on page 2

Wike rejects Okorocha’s amnesty for Don Waney’s colleagues By VICTOR NZE

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eacting to the reported amnesty granted to the henchmen of killed cultist, Don Wanney, by the Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha following the surrender of arms by the criminal gang, the Rivers State chief executive, Nyesom Wike has declared that the pardon does not apply to his territory. Wike said the amnesty granted by Okorocha to cultists who killed 23 persons in Omoku will have no impact in Rivers State

• N20m bounty still stands A statement issued by the governor and signed by his Special Assistant to the Rivers State governor, Electronic Media, Mr. Simeon Nwakaudu, quoted the Wike as making the declaration at a bills-signing ceremony in Government House, Port Harcourt, Tuesday. Wike further assured that the wanted cultists who are kingpins of the Don Wanney gang would be brought to justice.

The Rivers State chief executive who also declared that the N20million placed on their heads still stands, stressed that the security agencies would be empowered to bring the criminals to account for their crimes. He said that the action of Governor Rochas Okorocha is a proof of the intelligence available to the Rivers State government that the All Progressives Congress (APC) Contd on page 2

Herdsmen as national bully - Ahamba


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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 14, 2018

NEWS Power brokers dump Buhari

Father kills daughter

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tive, communicative, interactive and utility-driven approach where everyone has a role to play in the process of enthroning accountability and transparency in governance.” Babangida took umbrage at the orgy of killing going on in the country, perpetrated mostly by Fulani herdsmen who invade farms in rural communities across the country and butcher farmers and their families, practically unchallenged. Describing the killings as ‘perplexing in their gory themes’, IBB said: “I get worried by their colourations. I get perplexed by their gory themes. From Southern Kaduna to Taraba State, from Benue State to Rivers, from Edo State to Zamfara, it has been a theatre of blood with cake of crimson. In Dansadau in Zamfara State recently, North-West of Nigeria, over 200 souls were wasted for no justifiable reason. The pogrom in Benue State has left me wondering if truly this is the same country some of us fought to keep together. I am alarmed by the amount of blood-letting across the land. Nigeria is now being described as a land where blood flows like river, where tears have refused to dry up. Almost on a daily basis, we are both mourning and grieving, and often times left helpless by the sophistication of crimes.” Accordingly, Babangida asked the government to put a stop to the killings, adding that the government should also tackle the Boko Haram menace by taking the battle “to the inner fortress of Sambisa Forest rather than responding to the insurgents’ ambushes from time to time.” Insisting that part of the solution to the crisis of leadership rocking the country at the moment lies in transferring political power to the younger generation, the retired tank general said: “In the fullness of our present realities, we need to cooperate with President Muhammadu Buhari to complete his term of office on May 29th, 2019 and collectively prepare the way for new generation leaders to assume the mantle of leadership of the country. While offering this advice, I speak as a stakeholder, former president, concerned Nigerian and a patriot who desires to see new paradigms in our shared commitment to get this country running. While saying this also, I do not intend to deny President Buhari his inalienable right to vote and be voted for, but there comes a time in the life of a nation, when personal ambition should not override national interest. This is the time for us to reinvent the will and tap into the resourcefulness of the younger generation, stimulate their entrepreneurial initiatives and provoke a conduce environment to grow national economy both at the micro and macro levels.” Babangida’s letter came barely two weeks after former President Olugegun Obasanjo wrote a similar letter to President Buhari, asking him to step aside in 2019 to allow healing in the polity, which, Obasanjo noted, has been polarised by Buhari’s ‘nepotistic tendencies’. In the widely publicized letter, which was released on January 23, Obasanjo wrote, in part: “President Buhari needs a dignified and honourable dismount from the horse. He needs to have time to reflect, refurbish physically and recoup and

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• The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Chikwendu Kalu, laying the foundation; flanked by Hon Blessing Nwagba (right), James Okpara, Commissioner for Housing (2nd left) and Barr, and Hon. Chukwudi Ogele, Chairman House Committee on Works and House Services. See story on page: 41

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annons boomed like never before, prompting frenetic staff, visitors and passers-by to inquisitively seek out what was happening at the headquarters of Umuahia North local government area of Abia State the previous Wednesday. Inside the Executive Chairman’s Conference room, gaily dressed men and women, wearing happy faces, were seated. On hand to receive them were the Council Chairman, Chief Chidiebere Nwachukwu, his Supervisory Councillors and aides...In this report, BONIFACE OKORO, in Umuahia, captures the merriment that attended Chigoziri Gabriel’s declaration of his intention to run for Abia State House of Assembly come 2019. As it turned out, a political support group, Oganihu Ohuhu, had come to the council to present Chigoziri Gabriel to the Council chairman. Gabriel is an illustrious son of Ohuhu clan, a well-known philanthropist.

‘Public Child’ declares for public office Leader of Oganihu Ohuhu, Chief Willy Ekeleme minced no words in telling Nwachukwu that their prized jewel, Chigoziri Gabriel was the preferred candidate of Ohuhu clan for the 2019 House of Assembly election. “Our people have unanimously chosen him to go and represent Umuahia North (Ohuhu) State Constituency come 2019. He is our son in whom we are well pleased. We trust that he will deliver,” Ekeleme said. Members of Oganihu Ohuhu applauded. Speaking in the same vein, a former Deputy Transition Committee Chairman of the Council, Chief Chinedum Obilor (a.k.a Fayose of Ohuhu land), urged all stakeholders in Ohuhu to ensure the emergence of Gabriel as the Peoples Democratic Par-

ty (PDP) candidate for Ohuhu House of Assembly contest. Obilor, without equivocation, warned that any attempt to deny Gabriel the party’s ticket would lead to a repeat of the 2015 scenario when PDP lost the House of Assembly election due to alleged imposition of candidate. In accepting the challenge to throw his hat into the ring, Chigoziri Gabriel, said his people literally conscripted him into the House of Assembly race. The London-based businessman said the clarion call on him by Ohuhu people to go and represent them at the House of Assembly came with enormous pressure. “I was inundated with calls to

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Abia Assembly recommends removal of Chief Judge From BONIFACE OKORO, Umuahia

• Summons Attorney-General for misleading Ikpeazu

bia State House of Assembly has recommended the removal of Justice Theresa Uzokwe as the Chief Judge of Abia State. The Abia lawmakers adopted the recommendation after deliberating on the report of the eight-man adhoc committee which investigated the allegations brought before the House against Justice Uzokwe. The report of the ad-hoc committee headed by the member representing Obingwa West State Constituency, Chidiebere Thomas Nkoro, disclosed that all the parties involved, including the accused and the petitioners, were invited for purposes of fair hearing but that the suspended Chief Judge failed to appear. The Committee said it found out that Justice Uzokwe was a signatory to the Judiciary High Court Account, physically assaulted fellow judges on many occasions and was in the habit of subjecting the judiciary staff to corporal punishment. “Justice Uzokwe conducts herself in a manner unbefitting of the respectable office of the state Chief Judge, through unprovoked and unwarranted altercations and assaults on her fellow judges, judiciary staff, government officials and even members of the public,” Nkoro re-

ported to the House. The House received from a civil society organization, Global Centre for Peace and Justice, a petition which it deliberated during plenary on January 26, 2018. The group, in a 16-page petition dated January 22, 2018 and addressed to the Speaker, leveled over 40 accusations against the Chief Judge bordering on gross misconduct, tyranny and obstruction of administration of justice in the state, denigration of the office of the Chief Judge and embezzlement; amongst others. The petition which was read on the floor of the House was endorsed by Dr ACB Agbazuere and O.O.Nkume, Executive Director and Director of Legal Services, respectively of Global Centre for Peace and Justice. After considering the petition, the lawmakers adopted a resolution suspending the Chief Judge from office and mandated the Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, to appoint an Acting Chief Judge, pending the outcome of the Assembly’s investigation. Governor Ikpeazu appointed and swore in Justice Obisike Orji as the Acting Chief Judge, but the National Judicial Commission (NJC) nullified

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the action, saying it made no input in the appointment of the Acting Chief Judge. NJC, therefore, suspended and queried Justice Obisike Orji for presenting himself to be sworn in as Acting Chief Judge when it had made no input and also directed the governor to appoint another Acting Chief Judge who shall be the next in rank to Justice Obisike. Bowing to NJC, Ikpeazu swore in Justice Onuoha Ogwe as the new Acting Chief Judge Monday. Meanwhile, the House of Assembly has directed the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr Umeh Kalu (SAN), to appear before its Committee on Public Petitions to explain his role in misleading the governor which led to the swearing in of Justice Obisike Orji as Acting Chief Judge, without first notifying the NJC. The directive followed a Matter of Urgent Public Importance raised by the Majority Leader, Engr. Chinedum Orji, on what he described as the failure of the Attorney-General to advise the governor aright on the need to first notify the NJC before swearing in an Acting Chief Judge. Orji said the inaction of the Attorney-General has exposed the state to public ridicule and created confusion.

admitted participating in the killing of the girl.” “The three of them are cooling their heels at the State Central Investigation Department (SCID), in Port Harcourt. They have confessed in their statements to have participated in killing her.” Omoni stated that three principal suspects who also took part in the killing of the 19 year old girl are currently on the run. “We know the identities of the three suspects and we are on their trail. They are moving from one place to the other to avoid arrest, but we shall get them. I cannot disclose their identities not to jeopardize ongoing investigation.” The Police public relations officer appealed to members of the public to assist the Police with useful information on their whereabouts,” expressing the hope that neighbours of the victim and the suspects would support the Police in ensuring that the young girl gets justice. Operatives from the Rivers State Police Command stormed Ibe Street, Elekahia last Thursday, January 24 to be precise, following a tip-off by neighbours of the victim who allegedly saw her father dragging her with the help of other accomplices into the septic tank where her body was dumped.

Wike rejects Okorocha’s amnesty Continued from pg. 1

planned to grant Amnesty to wanted cultists for political reasons. The governor berated the APC and her officials for politicizing security to the disadvantage of the rest of the country. “Just yesterday, the governor of Imo State granted amnesty to the cultists we declared wanted. These are cultists of the Don Wanney gang who killed 23 persons on New Year Day. “These are cultists who have been killing security agents. That amnesty offered by Governor Okorocha cannot cover Rivers State. These criminal cultists are still wanted for their crimes against Rivers State and her people,” Wike said. He stressed that it is wrong to introduce politics into security matters because nobody knows what the outcome will be in future. “There is no need playing politics with the security of lives and property. Before Governor Rochas Okorocha granted amnesty to those who killed our people, he did not deem it fit to call me. They should always weigh the implications of these actions to the security of the region. Whether you are in PDP or APC, there is no need to politicise security, “ Governor Wike said. The Rivers State governor said despite the obvious political sabotage against the security infrastructure of the state, the state government would continue to work towards improved security in the state.


The Oracle Today Wednesday February 14, 2018

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Wednesday February 14 , 2018

NEWS ACROSS THE NATION Don’t divert petroleum products – el Rufai warns From VICTOR NZE

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ADUNA State Government has warned petroleum products marketers against the diversion of the products to the black market. This is just as it further directed that petrol should be sold at N145 per litre. The state government which stated this after the state executive council meeting in Kaduna, Monday, In a statement issued by Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan, also disclosed that security agencies had been directed to monitor petrol stations day and night to ensure absolute compliance. The statement further explained that allocations to petrol stations would henceforth be announced in the media, and that government was collaborating with the Nigerian National Pe-

troleum Corporation (NNPC) to ensure the availability of the products in the state. Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, who presided over the state executive council, expressed regret over the hardships being encountered by members of the public over the difficulties arising from acute scarcity of the products, and assured that normalcy would be returned soon: “The government extends its sincere apologies to the members of the general public following the scarcity and diversion of the products in the state. It is quite unfortunate and I want to assure our citizens that we are working round the clock to resolve the matter. “I also want to make it clear, that all petroleum marketers and other stakeholders must comply with the resolutions of the state executive council in view of this development.”

Edo Govt, Military partner to curb crime From VICTOR NZE

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DO State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said the state government is concluding arrangements with the Nigeria Army to unveil its new security arrangement to curb crime in the state. The governor disclosed this at the Government House in Benin City, during a dinner organised in honour of the new General Officer Commanding (GOC) 2 Division, Nigerian Army, Major General Azinta Okwudili. “Edo State government will continue to sustain its cordial and excellent relationship with the Nigerian Army. We are ready to strengthen this collaboration as we incorporate the Nigerian Army into the new security framework in the state. “We are reinforcing the security structure in the state and seek the role of the Army Brigade in the state to assist us strengthen the security structure as we fine-tune arrangement to deal with security challenges,” said Obaseki. Continuing, Obaseki said: “The GOC, who is on inspection tour in

the state, was at a time the Commander, 4 Brigade, Nigerian Army, several years ago. He has shared brilliant and thoughtful ideas on how to assist the state sustain security and peace in the state.” On his part, the GOC, 2 Division, Nigerian Army, Major General Azinta who recently assumed command as the new GOC, assured the governor of the Army Brigade’s support, as there are plans to unveil more operations to fight crime within the 2 Division’s coverage area. Maj. Gen. Azinta dispelled rumours that members of Boko Haram have infiltrated states within the Army Division, adding: “The Chief of Army Staff has approved the commencement of Operation Crocodile Smile III which will be conducted soon. The Army will unveil more operations in 2018 to enable officers and men of the Division to be familiar with the terrain. “The 2 Division, Nigerian Army will continue to make sure members of Boko Haram and other criminal elements do not gain footing in the Division’s coverage area,” he assured.

Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Raji Fashola inspecting the Dualization of the Lokoja Benin Road - Section IV, Phase 1 Ehor - Benin City, Edo State, one of the road projects being funded with the N100 billion Sukuk Bond raised by the Federal Government in 2017, weekend.

INEC fixes February 10 for Katsina re-run poll T HE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed February 10 for rerun election into Mashi/Dutsi Federal Constituency. Resident Electoral Commissioner in Katsina State, Alhaji Jibril Zarewa disclosed this on Friday at a press briefing in Katsina. Zarewa said that election would be conducted in 15 polling units in Mashi and Dusti Local Government Areas of the state as ordered by the Election Petition Tribunal. He explained that re-run election would be conducted by 130 adhoc staff in nine polling units in Mashi local government and six polling units in Dutsi local government. It would be recalled that Alhaji Mansir Ali-Mashi of APC won the bye-election held on May 20, 2017,

following the death of the member representing the constituency, Sani Bello. However, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Nazifi Yusuf challenged the victory of Ali-Mashi at the tribunal over irregularities in the exercise. The tribunal consequently cancelled the results of the 15 poling units, and its decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal. Meanwhile, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has registered no fewer than 118,525 people in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) in Katsina State. The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Alhaji Jibril Zarewa, disclosed this to newsmen, Sunday, in Katsina. Zarewa said that 74,894 of the voters registered were males,

NYSC to Borno Govt: Move IDPs out of Orientation Camp

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he National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has appealed to Borno Government to move the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) out of its permanent orientation camp in the interest of peace. Alhaji Rabiu Aminu, the Coordinator of the NYSC in the state made the appeal in Katsina on Monday at the closing ceremony of the 2017 Batch `B’ Stream Two Orientation for corps members deployed to Borno and Katsina States “The NYSC is appealing to the

state government to close the IDPs camps at the permanent orientation camp in Borno with the aim of integrating the displaced persons into the society. “The integration of the displaced person into the society will allow the people to continue with their normal lives,’’ he said. The coordinator said that if the state government allowed the corps members to conduct their orientation course in Maiduguri, it would be cheaper for the government. “If the corps members deployed

to Borno State are allowed to do their orientation in the state, it will reduce the expenditure and risk of traveling to Katsina State for the orientation purpose,” he said. In her remarks, the NYSC Coordinator in Katsina State, Hajiya Ramatu Sanda said that the corps members were posted to four critical needs of the state which included education, agriculture, rural health and infrastructure. Sanda called on corps members to present themselves to their employers and be ambassadors of their states and schools.

“If you exhibit positive attitude to your employers, there is no doubt in my mind that they will go to any length to make you comfortable throughout the service year,” she said. The coordinator commended Katsina State Government for accommodating Borno State corps members deployed to the camp. In his contribution, the Special Adviser to Gov. Aminu Masari on Youth Development, Alhaji Ibrahim Aminu said that the Katsina Government had placed emphasis on education, agriculture, healthcare

while 43,631 were females. The commissioner said that they were issued with temporary voter cards in the interim and would be given the Permanent Voter Cards (PVC’s) in due course. He said INEC issued 2,800,000 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to the state. The commissioner further said that 2,740,000 PVCs had been distributed to the eligible voters across the state, adding that 60,000 persons had not collected theirs. “We are suspecting that the 60,000 PVCs yet to be collected may belong to the category of voters who may have been transferred out of the state. Nonetheless, we ensure that the PVCs are readily available with us in case their owners turn up anytime,’’ he said.

and infrastructure. “It is the state government belief that these key sectors of the economy cannot be achieved with concentration of efforts at the city centre. “The state government is building more roads, hospitals, schools and clusters of industries so that the corps members that specialised in various disciplines will be absorbed in those places for primary assignment,” he said. The NYSC deployed corps members posted to Borno State to observe their orientation camp in Katsina due to Boko Haram insurgency.


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NEWS ACROSS THE NATION Lassa fever: Edo procures two dialysis machines, drugs, others

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do State Government has commenced the installation of two dialysis machines, ventilators, x-ray machine, and has procured Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), drugs and other consumables required for the treatment of Lassa Fever patients. According to the state government, the equipment are to be installed at the Institute of Lassa Fever Research and Control, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH, which is the only specialist facility for the treatment of the disease in the West Africa sub-region. The installed equipment form part of the first phase of Edo State government-led revamp of the facility to provide adequate and prompt response to the recent outbreak of Lassa Fever in Nigeria. Reacting, state commissioner for Health, Hon. David Osifo, said: “The state government adopted multisectoral approach involving the Ministries of Health, Environment, Agriculture, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and Information, to halt the further spread of the outbreak.” It would be recalled that the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki had ordered the immediate release of N100 million for the procurement of four dialysis machines and other equipment and consumables to treat Lassa fever patients in the state. Meanwhile, the National Council on Health (NCH) in a meeting, last Monday, commended Edo State Government’s proactiveness in containing the disease, lauding the state for her “commitment to outbreaks preparedness and response.” “The NCH hopes to achieve better cooperation and coordination with the Edo State Government in responding to disease outbreaks,” remarked Minister of State, Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire. The state government is also working closely with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for case management and disease surveillance in the state.

Why we are taking free health campaign to citizens - Fayose

From VICTOR NZE

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kiti State Governor, Chief Ayodele Fayose, has said the state government is taking its free health programme to homes and farmsteads because many sick people can’t afford coming to towns to access quality health care services. He stated this in Ikere-Ekiti, Thursday, during the flag off of the programme tagged; “Ilera Ayo.” In a statement by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Idowu Adelusi, he quoted the governor as saying that medical personnel involved in the programme would be going to homes of the aged and even the seriously sick and assess their situations and make necessary recommendations. “People requiring being referred to higher level of health care facilities up to the teaching hospital level would be referred. Some sick people in far flung places such as Omuo for instance, may not even have the money for transport to the teaching hospital in Ado-Ekiti and when we go and meet them, that will be better”.

Asaba airport to be ready in four months -- Okowa

From VICTOR NZE

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ELTA State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has said the Asaba International Airport will be functional in the next four months. The airport was earlier last year commissioned for operation but the aviation regulatory agencies in the country faulted some of its facilities necessitating remodeling and reconstruction of the airport by the state government. Okowa who made the disclosure, weekend, at Kwale during a meeting of members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta North Senatorial District, further assured that his administration is committed to delivering dividends of democracy to Del-

tans, noting that the Asaba International Airport is very important to the socio-economic development of Delta and neighboring states. “I want to tell you that the contract for the construction of the Asaba Airport project has been awarded to Setraco. Setraco is a reputable company and in the last one week a lot of construction work has been witnessed in the airport,” he said, adding: “The company has a mandate of four months to deliver the project; the amount that Setraco quoted for them to deliver the job was lesser than the amount the contract was awarded the former contractor.” The Governor who scored his administration high in project delivery, disclosed that his administration has mapped out a holistic

programme to tackle flood in Asaba and Okpanam stating that while work has commenced in the construction of storm drains to check flood at the Direct Labour, Jesus Saves Roads, contract has also, been awarded for the construction of drains to check flooding of the Delta broadcasting Service, Mariam Babangida Way and Junior Staff quarters areas of the state capital while the contract to check flood water on Okpanam road will soon be awarded. While noting that the construction of a multi-billion naira secretariat complex will check accommodation problems of Ministries, Department and Agencies, Okowa thanked Deltans for their continual support. He congratulated members of the PDP for the success recorded

(From left): Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Opeyemi Oke; Wife of the Vice President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo; Wife of the Lagos State Governor, Mrs Bolanle Ambode; Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr Idiat Adebule and the Acting Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu at the official commissioning of Special and Sexual Offences Courts at the Rosaline Omotoso Court, Ikeja Lagos, Thursday.

by the party in the January 6 local government elections and called for a more united PDP where there will be mutual respect and understanding. Those who spoke at the meeting including the Chairman of the party in Delta North Senatorial District, Chief Moses Iduh commended Governor Okowa’s administration for providing good governance which has given a boost to the fortunes of the party in the state.

Power: FG’s policy direction in order – Asuquo rom ANIEKAN ANIEKAN, Calabar

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hairman of the House of Representative Committee on Power, Hon. Daniel Asuquo has stated that the government’s policies on Power, Works and Housing are on track, even as he called for support. Asuquo said this following the recent controversy between the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and members of the House of Representatives Committee on Power over frequency of visits to the House. Asuquo said this in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, while speaking on efforts made by the government to deliver uninterrupted power to the people. Asuquo, (PDP member representing Akamkpa and Biase Federal Constituency in Cross River State) maintained that “though it is unfortunate that the expectations of Nigerians have not been fully met, I can assure you that the government means well even though we have issues of implementation.

Herdsmen/farmers clashes politicised -- Miyetti Allah chieftain

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ORMER Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Chairman, Alhaji Mohammad Oroji, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), says Nigerians should stop politicising farmers/herdsmen clashes and allow government to address the issue properly. Oroji said on Sunday in Kaduna while addressing newsmen that “the issue of herdsmen and farmers has now turned into politics because some evil people are benefiting from it for their selfish interests.’’ He said it was a misnomer and outright selfish for anybody to deny the herdsmen the right to freedom of movement as guaranteed by the Constitution, just as it was evil and acceptable for anyone to kill. “The crisis of herdsmen and farmers is not true but politics, both have related peacefully for over 500 years in Nigeria together. “The government should take firm decision in addressing the

problem; people should stop taking laws into their hands. Anyone that starts any form of killings, the law should take its course no matter how highly placed or from whichever tribe. “No one has the right to kill any person, just as nobody has the right to say stop rearing animals

and stop farming, because we are all Nigerians. Nigeria is a country of all Nigerians, so no one should be molested; rearing of livestock and farming are all business.’’ Oroji therefore urged the Federal Government and the National Assembly to take firm decision in addressing the crisis.

“I call on the Federal Government and National Assembly to take a firm decision to address the issue for peace and progress of Nigeria. If those who are involved in these atrocities are prosecuted, all the nonsense would stop. It is the only way to address the problem.’’

Ambode releases N5.5bn to contractors for 181 inner roads From VICTOR NZE

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he Lagos State Government, Thursday, said it has released the sum of N5.563 billion to contractors to flag off the construction of the 181 roads spread across the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the State. In a statement by the State’s Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Ade Akinsanya, the Government said the construction of the 181 council roads was in fulfillment of the promise by

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to open up more inner roads across the State following the successful delivery of the 114 roads in September 2016. According to Akinsanya, the roads would be constructed in phases, noting that phase one will see the construction of one road each in the 20 LGs and 37 LCDAs of which contractors have been mobilised to move to site immediately. The Commissioner said the sum of N5,563 ,697,382.00 released was 30 percent payment for the construction of the 57 roads while

the total cost of the roads stands at N18,545,657,940.00. “The roads will be done in phases, already phase one has been released. This phase involves 57 roads cutting across the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas. To enhance immediately mobilization to site, 30 percent has been given to all the contractors upfront. This is in line with the magnanimity of Governor Ambode’s administration to ensure service delivery all year round,” Akinsanya said.


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NEWS

Igbo ‘unserious’ in politics – Lawmaker By OGE ONYEANUSI

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HAIRMAN of the Judiciary Committee in the Anambra State House of Assembly and House of Representatives aspirant for Onitsha Federal House on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Mr. Chigbo Enwezor, has lamented over what he termed ‘the un-seriousness of the Igbo in the politics of Nigeria.’ adding that ‘they are joking with their political destiny.’ This is also as the lawmaker described the Governors’ Forum and the Excess Crude Accounts as strange to the constitution of the country. Speaking in his constituency of-

fice at Onitsha when the APGA youths of Fegge South 1 Constituency came to endorse his ambition for the House of Representatives, Enwezor who is a legal practitioner, said politics was the highest thing anybody or group of people should invest in because it determines one’s fortune. He decried a situation where Ndigbo would be indifferent in registering for the voter’s card and even during election they hardly go out to vote on Election Day, ‘rather they stay indoors to watch television and play indoor games.’

“Ndigbo are playing with their destiny as politics is the highest investment we can make but we don’t care. One policy can crumble all our businesses in a day. You see how successive Federal Governments bend policies to favour one individual businessman” “I will go to the House of Representatives. I am prepared for it. I have the issues at hand. I need to speak so that the Federal Government will hear us. If you want to go to the House of Representatives, come and tell us what the issues are.”

Enwezor who represents Onitsha North 11 in the State House of Assembly said that ‘out of ignorance a lot of our people blame Federal Government, which collects a larger chunk of federal allocation but abandons their duties to State Governors.’ He condemned the recent insinuation by the Federal Government that the Governors asked it to take about two billion dollars from Excess Crude Account, saying that in the first instance Excess Crude is strange to the constitution so also is the Governors’ Forum.

Ogidigben Industrial Gas Park to fast-track economic growth -- Okowa

Lawmaker empowers constituents in Igboeze North/Udenu

By JONATHAN AWANYAI, Asaba

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ELTA State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has called for speedy take off of the Ogidigben Industrial Gas Park stating that the gas sector holds a lot of prospects for the economic development of the country. Speaking in Asaba, when members of the Steering Committee of the Ogidigben Industrial Gas Park led by Sheikh Mohammed Bayorh paid him a courtesy visit, Governor Okowa said that the Park was a litmus test for the development of the gas road map in the country. ”It is my hope that this project starts in earnest because it has been delayed for long, we need to fast track the project as it has been on the drawing board for too long and investors’ confidence is being affected. “This project holds a lot of prospect for us as a state and for the nation, we are truly ready to have reforms in the gas sector. It will aid our economic development, not only in harnessing our gas reserve but also providing jobs for our teeming youths,” he said, adding: “this project is the litmus test for the development of the gas roadmap in the country.” He assured that “the state is ready to provide the needed environment to ensure that the project begins immediately in order to build confidence among the investors and the community that have provided us with the land,” pledging the state government’s support for the development of the gas policy and road map of the investors. Earlier, Sheikh Mohamed Bayorh, Leader of the delegation and Executive General Manager, Alpha Grip Management Company, said they came to meet with stakeholders in the project to share ideas and

He insisted that the constitution stipulates that every month money accruing to the Federation Account must be shared by the three tiers of Government. He said the way out of the injustice and marginalization was that there should be restructuring and devolution of powers to the state Governments. “We are saying, we are not getting our fair share, the one we have, you came and took it to devolve their place alone. It is unacceptable. We must agitate. The war we are fighting is agitation within the confines of the law. There must be restructuring. We must reverse to regions or create two or more States in the South East to equilibrate other regions in the country. The activist turned politician said the 2019 National Assembly will decide it and that was the reason Chief Victor Umeh was sent to the Senate, saying that he will join him in the House of Representatives to collaborate with him in this struggle.

By THEO RAYS, Onitsha

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ember representing Igboeze North and Udenu Federal Constituency in the Federal House of Representa• Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa (5th right); PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus(4th left); tives, Hon. Denis Agbo,(alias IntegRivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike (3rd left); Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu (2nd left); Delta State rity) has carried out an impressive PDP Chairman, Barr. Kingsley Esiso (left) in group photograph with members of National Working Committee empowerment drive for his constit(NWC) in Asaba, weekend. uents by giving out laudable items to men, women and youth of the area. The items include; 10 tricycles, popularly known as ‘Keke Napep’, 40 motorcycles, 12 generator sets, 45 sewing machines, 15 grinding machines and 240 bags of rice. The items were distributed to selected people from the 30 wards mo State Governor Rochas OkoAccording to him, the end of re- of the next Governor and warned that make up Igboeze North/Udenu rocha has announced the estab- cession in the country had brought them against heating up the polity Federal Constituency based on the criteria applied by the benefactor lishment of six new tertiary insti- about significant improvement unnecessarily. tutions in the state. thereby halting the need for other “Choose your next Governor in a ceremony held at his residence. At a meeting with newsmen in avenues to supplement income, wisely; ensure you know his track Igboeze North has 20 wards while Owerri, Monday, Okorocha said just as he advised workers to record before you elect him. If you Udenu commands 10 wards. Speaking on the drive, Hon Agbo the step was part of plans to revo- resume their normal work sched- elect a greedy, fraudulent or power said that he is doing what he was lutionise the education sector in the ules, adding that failure to comply drunk person, it will surely manielected for, adding that the gesture state. would result in their immediate dis- fest. Becoming a Governor will not was in appreciation of the massive The new institutions are Univer- missal. change a bad person; it will only support he enjoys from the consity of Engineering, Onuimo; UniHe also advised the people of bring those attributes to the fore,” stituents.

Imo gets 6 new tertiary institutions, as Okorocha relocates ministries

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versity of Agriculture, Aboh Mbaise; the state to be wise in the election Ihitte Uboma College of Education; and Ehime Polytechnic. He added that National High School, Aroundizogu would become a College of Education, while Ahiara Technical College would be From JONATHAN AWANYAI, Asaba upgraded to a Polytechnic. He also announced plans to he new Flag Officer (F.O.C) change the location of some minisCommanding the Naval Lotries to decentralise development gistics Command Oghara, in the state. Rear Admiral Akinjide Akinrinade He said the Ministry of Tourism would be moved to Oguta, while has called for collaboration bethe Ministry of Niger Delta would tween the people and the Navy in be moved to Ohaji Egbema Local combating oil theft in the area. Akinrinade who made the call Government Area. He said the Ministry of Agriculture while taking over the former F.O.C, would be relocated to Ngor Okpala Rear Admiral Peter Onaji, comLocal government Area, while the mended men and officers of the Ministry of Sports would be moved command for their corporation they accorded him while he was to Dan Anyiam Stadium. He also announced the cancella- Commanding Officer. He praised the officers and men tion of two days off given to workof the command for the highest ers in the civil service for farming to help cushion the effects of the eco- standard of discipline and preparedness which enabled him achieve nomic recession on them. much success efficiently and pro-

he said.

Navy calls for collaboration to combat oil theft in Delta

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fessionally during his short moment in Oghara, remarking that the logistics command established ten years ago has lived up to the challenges and responsibilities for which it was established under his watch. “You have demonstrated the highest standard of discipline and preparedness that the Nigerian Navy project to the outside world”. Why advising the civil populace that the duty of combating oil theft, piracy, militancy on the water ways requires a collaborative effort”. He remarked further that the logistics command has successfully supported the three Naval Commands in Eastern, Western, and Central commands in their various command exercises where ships were deployed at sea to foster their constitutional roles of fighting

crimes of oil theft, piracy etc stressing that all these were made possible due to the efficient conduct of the officers and men of the command. The new F.O.C Rear Admiral Akinjide Akinrinade, while expressing his profound appreciation to the President and the Naval Chief for finding him worthy for his new assignment, pledged to build on the success story and achievements of his predecessor, assuring that he will do all it takes together with his team to move the command forward. He told the out gone F.O.C “whatever value you have added here, we will ensure we improve on it, we also know that the national threat is evolving and we will not relax on our part”.


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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 14, 2018

Crime Man arrested with human skull Stories by XAVIER NDAH

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man arrested by police detectives attached to the police Ogun State Command has said that the economic situation in the country has impacted heavily on him and he wants to become rich by all means. The 25 year old suspect Babalola Alex , an indigene of Ondo Town in Asese area of Ogun said he and his

friend now on the run decided to approach a native doctor who told them that there was a short cut to achieve their desire by producing a human head. The suspect was arrested at midnight of February 1, by operatives of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) during a routine patrol of the area. According to the police spokesman, Ogun State command, As-

• Alex

sistant Superintendent of Police, ASP, Abimbola Oyeyemi, his arrest followed an information from a member of the public who called the attention of men of the Federal Special Anti-robbery Squad , FSARS, operative that two men with a sack coming out of a nearby bush. The informant stated that he went into the bush to ease himself when he saw the two men hiding what looked like a human head in a sack. Upon the information, the Policemen went after the two men and subsequently got one of them arrested while the other one escaped. Police said upon searching the sack a human skull was discovered wrapped in a cellophane bag. The suspect, on interrogation said that an herbalist asked him and his escaped partner who he simply identified as Ijebu to bring a human head which he will use in preparing a charm that will make them rich. The suspect is still under interrogation to reveal the source of the human skull. The Baale of Asese, Chief Kasumu Sonola commended the FSARS team for their quick response and routine patrol of his area. He urged them to intensify the patrol in order to ridthe area of criminals. Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police Cp Ahmed Iliyasu has ordered a manhunt for the fleeing partner of the suspect and prosecution of the already arrested one.

Man arrested over N9m Fraud

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he Economic and Financial Crimes commission, EFCC, Lagos zonal office has arraigned one Obi Terry before Justice Mojisola Dada of the State High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos on one-count charge bordering on stealing to the tune of N9million. The defendant was arrested sometime in September 2017, following a petition received by the Commission from a complainant, Okezue Johnson. The complainant alleged that Obi and his Chinese wife, Liu Hiu Yong, became elusive after collecting the sum of N9m from him for the production and importation of Thermal Paper Rolls from China. The count reads: “That you, Obi Terry, between November 2016 and May 2017, at Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, dishonestly converted to your own use the sum of N9, 000, 000.00k (Nine Million Naira) property of Mr. Okezue Chinedu

Johnson”. The defendant pleaded not guilty to the count when it was read to him. In view of his plea, the prosecution counsel, Mohammed Usman, asked the court for a trial date and also urged the court to remand the defendant in prison custody. However, counsel to the defendant, Checthan West, told the court that he had a pending application for bail on behalf of his client. He, therefore, urged the court to admit his client to bail. In his response, Usman opposed the bail application moved by the defence counsel, adding that “My Lord, I was served with the application in court this morning. So, My Lord, I need some time to respond to the application, accordingly.” Consequently, Justice Dada adjourned the case to February 7, 2018 and ordered the defendant to be remanded in Ikoyi prison pending the determination of his bail application.

NDLEA goes tougher on Drug Traffickers

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ational Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has signaled its resolve to hold down any Airline from take-off on grounds of reasonable suspicion for illicit drugs. This followed the arrest of a suspected drug courier, Harriet Bolatito Solabi at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja with substances suspected to be prohibited drugs while on board a flight. Solabi was intercepted with a total of 5.5 kilogrammes of the illicit substances. She was recalled after she had checked in two giant bags said to have contained personal effects and had boarded an Ethiopian Airline flight No.910 to Addis Ababa while awaiting take-off. The drugs were concealed in the false bottom of the bags. The flight was held down from take-off until all the personal effects of Solabi were evacuate for security and investigation purposes, an action that is consistent with Aviation Policy. Solabi, aged 34, has travelled severally to South Africa without hitches until her arrest on her way to Johannesburg, South Africa with 3.9 kilogrammes of Ephedrine and1.6 kilogrammes of Methamphetamine. A single mother of a ten-year old daughter who holds a Higher National Diploma from Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, Solabi claimed to be a trader in fabrics which she normally travelled to South Africa to bring to Nigeria and distribute to her customers. Resident In Abaranje-Ikotun, Lagos, She claimed ignorant of the content of the bags which she was requested by her contact in Pretoria, South Africa to collect from an unknown person in Lagos. She had arrived Abuja from Lagos on a local flight for an

• Obi Terry

Man docked over N10.7m fraud

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• Chukwu onward flight to Johannesburg. Another suspect Victor Chukwu, aged 44 and a primary school dropout was also arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, upon arrival from Malawi with 59 wraps of Heroin weighing 865 grams which he had ingested. According to him, a black woman met him in a restaurant in Malawi and talked him into bringing the illicit substance to Nigeria. He was to call her upon arrival in Nigeria before a recipient would be directed to him. He said he had knowledge of the illicit substance but that he has been unemployed for years and to feed his family has been a problem. “Under my condition, I have to do anything that come my way to survive”, Chukwu said. He hails from Ata-Orlu,

• bags recovered from Solabi which contained the drugs Imo State and married with a child. According to Lawan Hamisu, Commander of NDLEA Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, recent seizures by the Command have showed South and East Africa route becoming more attractive to West African Drug Trafficking Organisations, with Malawi, Kenya and Tanzania featuring prominently as source of transiting Heroin from Pakistan to Nigeria with Ethiopian Airline as most preferred by these criminals. NDLEA at the Abuja Airport has in the last three months intercepted 26 kilogrammes of illicit drugs consisting of Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamine and Ephedrine through Ethiopian Airline alone with almost 50 per cent of the seizures going to South Africa.

he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos zonal office, has arraigned one Adamu Mohammed alongside his firm, Amdo Doguwa Nigeria Limited, before Justice Mojisola Dada of the State High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos on a three-count charge bordering on obtaining by false pretence and issuance of dud cheque. The defendant was said to have fraudulently collected a sum of N10, 710, 000.00k (Ten Million, Seven Hundred and Ten Thousand Naira) from the complainant, Shehu Bala, for the supply of animal feeds. However, the defendant allegedly failed to supply the items, contrary to his promise. The defendant was said to have later issued a dud cheque to the complainant. One of the reads: “That you, Adamu Mohammed, a.k.a. Adamu Adur Doguwa, and Amdo Doguwa Nigeria Limited, on or about the 10th day of November 2016, at Lagos within the Igbosere Judicial Division, with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N10, 710, 000.00 (Ten Million, Seven Hundred and Ten Thousand Naira) from Mr. Shehu Usman Bala by falsely representing to Mr. Shehu Usman Bala that the said sum of money was the cost of animal feed which pretence you knew to be false.” The defendant pleaded not guilty to the three counts preferred against him. In view of his plea, counsel to the

EFCC, Sesan Ola, asked the court for a trial date and also prayed the court to remand the defendant in prison custody. The defendant, who had no legal representation, could not respond to the prosecution’s prayer. Justice Dada adjourned the case to February 19, 2018 for commencement of trial and remanded the defendant in Ikoyi prison.

• Adamu Muhammed


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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 14, 2018

Crime

Two arrested for hijacking truck load of beer A Stories by XAVIER NDAH

suspected armed robber alleged to have participated in hijacking a truck-load of beer at gun point have been arrested by the police also caught is a female receiver of the product. The product, Trophy larger beer, valued at Two Million, Seven Hundred and Fourteen Thousand Naira (#2,714, 000) was to be delivered at Iragbiji, in Osun State when the armed men struck. The male suspect, Saheed Omotosho, and two other members of the syndicate, now at large, had hijacked the truck on its way from the brewery in Ilesha, also in Osun State. But, as fate would have it, police-

men attached to the Sagamu Area Command received a distress call to the effect that a truck-load of Trophy larger beer was hijacked by three armed men, and that the tracking device in the truck, with registration number LEW 615 XA, indicated that the truck was heading towards Sagamu in Ogun State. On the strength of the distress call, the Area Commander, Sagamu, ACP Ibrahim Sa’ad Muhammad, quickly put all his patrol teams on red alert, to be on the lookout for the hijacked truck. It was gathered that detectives were able to intercept the hoodlums on Sagamu/Ore Road while two of the hoodlums escaped with their arms and ammunition but Saheed Omotosho was not too

lucky, and was nabbed. The suspect, however, revealed that the product had been delivered to their receiver and later led the operatives to the said receiver, Adijat Azeez at Ode-Remo, where it was recovered and the receiver was promptly arrested. Meanwhile, the state Commissioner of Police, CP Ahmed Iliyasu, has ordered that the suspects be transferred to the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) for discreet investigation, while efforts at tracking down the fleeing gang members have been intensified. The CP equally implored members of the public to always report criminal acts to the police for prompt action.

Two robbery suspects arrested while planning another operation

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wo suspected armed robbers who have been in wanted list of the police have been arrested by the police Ogun state command while planning another operation. Their arrest followed an intelligence reports received by police operatives attached to the Redeemed camp division that a gang of robbers were hibernating at Kara area along Lagos/Ibadan express way where they were planning to launch robbery attack on the long bridge. Upon the intelligence report, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) Redeemed camp division Superintendent of Police, SP, Olaiya Martins quickly dispatched his Anti-robbery team to the scene where the duo of Jimoh Ganiyu, 22 and Al Amin Oyindamola, 21 were arrested. Preliminary investigation revealed that the two suspects with other members of the gang have earlier robbed residents of Adesan area of Mowe and that they came to Kara in order to plan for another robbery operation on the long bridge later in the night. ”We target broken down vehicles on the long bridge, we collect whatever we can from motorists. The major things we steal are mobile telephones and money. We don’t struggle with passengers, because once we show them gun they willingly surrender their belongings to us but please beg them (police ) to release us for we won’t do it anymore” Ganiu pleaded Recovered from them are one cut to size locally made single barrel gun, three live cartridges, one techno phone, three small bags and six assorted new clothes. They

have confessed being members of robbery syndicate terrorising Mowe, Ibafo and long bridge area of the state. Commissioner of Police,CP, Ahmed iliyasu has directed that the suspects be transferred to FSARS for discreet investigation,

he equally directed that other members of the gang must be hunted for and brought to book. The CP further appealed to members of the public not to relent in their efforts at partnering with the police to rid the state of crime.

• The suspects

• The receiver, hijacker behind the recorvered product and the vehicle

Job racketeer nabbed over N.4m fraud

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he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned one Mahmoud A. Sadiq, a suspected job racketeer, before Justice Lawan Wada of the Kano State High Court on one count charge bordering on obtaining by false pretence. The accused person allegedly obtained a sum of N410,000 (Four Hundred and Ten Thousand Naira) from the complainant under the pretext that the said money was to secure him a job at the Umar Musa Yar’adua University, Katsina. Investigation by the EFCC revealed that the accused person was not a staff of the University as he claimed; rather, a contract staff of Federal College of Education, Katsina.

The charge reads: “That you, Mahmoud A. Sadiq sometime in February 2017, at Kano within the Judicial Division of the High Court of Kano State with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of 441,000.00 (Four Hundred and Forty-one Thousand Naira Only) from one Abubakar Abba Ahmed by falsely representing that you would help him secure a job with the Katsina State University representation you knew to be false thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(a) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act. 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act”. The accused person pleaded not guilty to the charge.

• Items recovered from them

Suspected kidnapper shot dead

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uck ran against a member of kidnap syndicate alleged to have been terrorizing terrorizing Ilaro and its environs in the early hour of Friday as he was shot dead by men of Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, FARS, Ogun state command. The state’s police image maker ASP Abimbola Oyeyemi told The Oracle newspaper that the gang had earlier kidnapped one Sanni Dan Nasarawa and took him to a thick forest where they tied him down for seven days waiting for his people to pay ransom. Oyeyemi said luck however smiles on him when the rope they used to

tie him got loose while his abductors were fast asleep. The police source said the man escaped from his abductors and ran to the office of FSARS office in Abeokuta where he lodged the complaint. According to Oyeyemi,upon his report, the officer –in charge FSARS led by Dsp Uba Adam quickly mobilized his men and followed the victim to the forest where they searched from 6pm of 1st February up till about 4:00am of 2nd February before they came across the gang who engaged them in a gun battle. Police said the battle lasted for almost an hour and in the encounter,

one of the suspects was gunned down while others numbering about seven escaped with various degree of gunshot injuries. Recovered from them is one AK47 riffle loaded with 15rounds of ammunition. Commenting on the incident, the Commissioner of Police,Cp, Ahmed Iliyasu who was highly elated with quick response and gallantry display of his men appealed to members of the public especially hospitals as well as traditional healers to report anybody they see with gunshot injury in their vicinity. He equally assured residents of

• Mahmoud A. Sadiq Counsel for the prosecution, Musa Isah requested a date for hearing in view of the plea of the accused person. The defense counsel, I. M .Sheik, moved a bail application on behalf of his clients, which was granted in the sum of N100, 000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) with two reliable sureties. The case has been adjourned to March 27, 2018 for trial. “The accused is to be remanded in prison custody pending the fulfillment of his bail conditions”, the judge ordered.

• The suspect Ogun State of prompt Police re- the The suspect and confidence they sponse to any crime reported and have in the Police. urged them to continue to sustain


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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 14, 2018

POLITICS

Ekwueme: Ndigbo need new 2019 – Economy, educapolitical and economic frame- tion remain my focus in work Imo Pg 10

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‘Even on health grounds alone, Buhari should not contemplate second term’ Dr. Charles Aderemi Akintoye, a priest of Lagos State, was acting National Secretary of PDP and a Commissioner of Agriculture in Lagos State. In this interview with OBI OTESIRI, he declares that that there are political strategies that would enable PDP take over power from APC in 2019; that Buhari shouldn’t return in 2019 for the sake of his health, for the sake of Nigerian politics and for the sake of generation that is coming; that people should be given a fair chance in 2019 to make a decision of who comes back and who doesn’t come back, among other sundry issues. Excerpts: The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ended its National Convention amidst controversy; do you see the party having any prospects in 2019? Yes, there’s bit of controversy, a bit of disagreement, politics in high places but PDP would still remain the most established and biggest party in the whole of Africa. If we have differences, we would resolve them so as to get stronger and stronger. The convention had problems but they have been resolved and that (amicable resolution of the controversy) would eventually lead us to glory.

Now, it is 500 democracy! When one kills, one gets 500 and they tell you where to put it but when the masses are educated – total education as I said not just university degree alone- Nigeria would be a better place. Dogara once said that “fiscal indiscipline is as grievous a problem as corruption”. Do you concur with him? I concur totally with him. It is even the father of corruption. This is because if one tempers with the budget of a nation, one is not only destroying a sub-sector but the totality of what that nation stands for; it is even worse than pen-corruption and 10% corruption. Physical tampering is the worst offence anybody can commit against the nation.

What are the indices to show that PDP is prepared to take over power from APC in 2019? No doubts, there are strategies, tactics and developments. Some of them are secrets that cannot be revealed; political strategies that would enable PDP take over power from APC in 2019. There are lots of indices. As you have said, Nigerians are announcing that they are not happy with APC and that they may turn the table against APC in the next election.

Don’t you think the federal government and states are causing hyper-inflation and killing business with multiple taxes? One thing is that if only the economy is right, inflation would be deflated. We should improve on our economy and inflation, as I said, would be deflated. But in a situation that is global, there is global recession. And we are importer country, we don’t seem to produce anything and so inflation would still be high with us. The government should open avenues for new investors while old investors should be motivated. I wanted to do something last week but the man said I can’t run my generator on diesel. So, energy is important! Those are the factors. Those are a lot of things – transportation, education; hospitable hospitals must be there for the economy to grow. Now, most cannot go to visit medical doctors because of high registration fees. And now, people are going back to traditional medicines of roots and herbs. And now, an avenue should be created by the government for more industrialization of the country. It would even help unemployment which is another problem we have with the youths today.

So, do you think that Nigeria will be worse off if Buhari gets second term? If Buhari gets a second term, Nigeria may not be the worst for it. At least, anybody in government would do some performance. It may either be grade A, grade B or grade C; but is never total failure. But, it is highly advisable that Buhari shouldn’t return in 2019 for the sake of his own health; for the sake of Nigerian politics and for the sake of the generation that is coming. It is not very advisable that he should come back, mainly because of his health. Even his wife thinks so and we all pray for good health for him, but it is good for him at 75 years to go and rest and let younger generation put in their efforts. Now, how do you see to the outbursts of Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka and our former President Olusegun Obasanjo that he shouldn’t contest in 2019? It is their opinion! They only expressed their opinions, which is very good advice. As Obasanjo said, Buhari may not even take his own advice but at least, for the sake of Nigerians, let him consider what he has said. So, people have their opinions. There are some people out there saying that Buhari should come back and they are busy forming organisations. That is Democracy; that is politics. So, people can express their own opinion. There are a lot of people who are saying that Buhari has done well and that he should come

• Dr. Charles Aderemi Akintoye back; some are of the opinion that he has not done well and that he shouldn’t come back. The people should be given a fair chance in 2019 to make a decision of who comes back and who doesn’t come back. Where do you stand on this and how do we reinvent a new Nigeria built on peace and justice? We have to educate our people; when I say educate our people, I’m talking of total education; not just B.Sc, BA and what-

ever. Let the ordinary people be educated enough, be informed enough to be able to say A is better than B to run this country. We should move away from parochial balloting and electioneering where we just say it is our son; let him go and represent us. We should get to place where the market woman can say because of this kind of policy and policy, I’m going to vote for party A and somebody else would say I’m going to vote for party B and at that time, we are practicing real democracy.

How do you see the federal government’s plan to spend 1 billion from the excess crude account (ECA) to fight Boko Haram insurgency? It is a budget. It may be more; it may be less. But from the top of one’s head, one would see that 1 billion to fight Boko Haram’s not tenable especially when the army keeps telling us every day that it has decapitated the terror group, destroyed their strongholds and that what remains of them are just remnants! And so, I don’t think such budget allocation is necessary. I believe it is in excess; especially when Cont’d on page 11


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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 14 2018

POLITICS

Ekwueme: Ndigbo need new political and economic framework – Ezeonwuka The near scorched-earth policy of the Buhari Administration in the South East coupled with the uncertainty surrounding Nigeria’s political and economic landscape at the moment has remained a source of worry to Ndigbo and their leaders over the past few years. In an interview with The Oracle Today’s THEO RAYS in Oba, Idemili South Local Council of Anambra State, Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka (Ogilisi Igbo), a member of Board of Trustees (BoT) of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the acclaimed spiritual leader of the Igbo nation, said it’s time to work out a new political and economic framework in line with the legacies of the late former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme…

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he near scorched-earth policy of the Buhari Administration in the South East coupled with the uncertainty surrounding Nigeria’s political and economic landscape at the moment has remained a source of worry to Ndigbo and their leaders over the past few years. In an interview with The Oracle Today’s THEO RAYS in Oba, Idemili South Local Council of Anambra State, Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka (Ogilisi Igbo), a member of Board of Trustees (BoT) of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the acclaimed spiritual leader of the Igbo nation, said it’s time to work out a new political and economic framework in line with the legacies of the late former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme… The late former Vice President Dr Alex Ekwueme, who died in November last year, has been laid to rest. In a bid to immortalize him, the federal government renamed the Federal University at Ndufu Alike, Ebonyi State, established by the Administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. Are you okay with that? Yes, I am okay with that. But, we would have preferred that Federal Polytechnic Oko be renamed after him. Ahmedu Bello established University of Zaria and it was named after him. So there is nothing wrong in renaming Okopoly after Dr. Ekwueme, who brought it into existence. However, renaming a Federal University after the late former Vice President shows that the Federal Government is appreciative of his immense contributions to the development and growth of Nigeria. And like I said earlier, I’m okay with Alex Ekwueme University, Ndufu Alike, Ebony State. To Ndigbo in particular it is post Ekwueme era, what are those legacies you would like Ndigbo to copy from the late former Vice President? Considering the situation we the Igbo find ourselves, post Ekwueme era is a time of new political and economic framework in Igbo land. Yes, we need a new political and economic framework in line with legacies of the late former Vice President. Looking at the life and time of Ekwueme, there are many things we can copy from him to rejig the political and economic landscape of the southeast geopolitical zone. If you listened to the sermon delivered by the Primate of Anglican Church Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh during the burial service, he described Ekwueme as a one man university considering his intimidating academic credentials, political wisdom and selflessness towards nation building. Oko also described him as a community man who was very close to his native people despite his position as number two citizen in Nigeria. Primate Okoh pointed out that Ekwueme was a role model to politicians in the area of think home and being closer to those who elected them into office. On his part, former Foreign Affairs Minister and Ex-Secretary General of Commonwealth of Nations, Chief Emeka Anyaoku described Ekwueme as different from typical Nigerian politician: he was neither corrupt himself nor condoned any acts of corruption by others. So, as a ‘university’, community man and a different kind of politician, there are lots of things to derive from Ekwueme and the most important among all of them are his life of simplicity, humility and think-home philosophy. As an elected former Vice President, Ekwueme, until his death,

• Rommy Ezeonwuka had the honour as the Igbo only man to date to serve at the highest level of elected political but who never moved with siren and convoy of uncountable cars and intimidating security guards. He was simple and humble, but unlike him, Senators, Ministers, Directors-General and even House of Representatives Members move with siren and convoy of Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) with large number of mobile policemen and for what? They should all emulate Ekwueme’s life of simplicity and humility. Secondly, they should also emulate him in the area of think home philosophy. I am from Aguata, and I can tell you that as the Vice President, Ekwueme was at home with Aguata people making his contributions to the development and progress of Oko and Aguata at the same time. As Vice President, when he saw that Aguata, a densely populated council didn’t have a higher institution, he brought a federal poly. Most of our Senators and Reps don’t think home. They don’t even know what their people need neither do they make any effort to respond to the plight of the people who gave them mandate. That is most unfortunate because they are drawing us backwards. We won’t tolerate such Senators and Reps any longer. Come 2019, we are going to flush them out. We have to elect people who are simple and humble enough to listen to us, get closer to us and make meaningful contributions to the de-

velopment and progress of Igbo land. We don’t want siren blowing but service-oriented Senators and Reps members. During the Jonathan Administration, we had a Southeast Senator as Chairman Senate Committee on Works and a Rep as Chairman House Committee on Works but they did nothing about the federal roads in the Southeast because they were concerned about blowing siren. Enough is enough. You also talked about economic framework in line with Ekwueme’s legacies, what do you mean by that? Yes, when a Senator or a Minister or Reps attracts a project to Igbo land like Zik and Ekwueme attracted a university, polytechnic, roads and other things, it would boost the economy of the Igbo nation, but when they end up blowing siren and parading troops of security guards, they are worth nothing to us, so the new economic framework calls for those who were elected or appointed to represent us at Abuja to think home and attract developmental projects back home. Lest we forget, virtually all the federal roads in the southeast were constructed during Shagari and Ekwueme administration 1979-1983. I can tell you that business will change and improve in the Southeast if Onitsha Seaport is functional, business will improve in Southeast if Enugu-Onitsha Expressway is fixed, if Enugu

-Port Harcourt Road and other federal roads are fixed. Every day, they tell us they have made arrangements for the federal roads in the Southeast. Under Ekwueme as Vice President, federal roads were built, but our successive representatives have consistently failed to do something positive about them and that is why they have been in a dilapidated state for over 20 years. That poor representation at the highest level we must a stop to it. Furthermore, let me use this opportunity to talk about other areas where we can extend the economic framework using the private sector. The private sector in the southeast is still under analog while it has gone digital in the southwest. In the southwest businesses have gone into digital platform and progressive trend as Public Liability Companies (PLC) but in the southeast, business is still under analog as Me and Sons Nigeria Limited. Under Me and Sons Nigeria Limited, business establishments crumble after the death of the founder but under PLC, business goes on and on after the exit of the founder. Me and sons Nigeria Limited cannot boost or sustain the economy but PLC can boost and sustain economic growth. This is a major problem in the private sector in Igbo land because we lose products and also massive job opportunities when a founder of a particular firm dies and the children fail to sustain the firm. We have seen the death of substantial business firms as large companies, Industries and factories in Igbo land because the children of the founders failed to sustain the firms after the exit of their fathers. So, let me use this opportunity to call on Igbo business tycoon, merchants, industrialists and manufactures to push their businesses firms to PLC for sustenance as such will help boost the growth and sustenance of our economy. You have been a champion of the youth; what hope do you have for Igbo youth? The progress of Igbo youth lies in good governance on the side of the governors, quality representation on the side of the Senators, Ministers, Directors General, Reps and others who have say at Abuja, philanthropy from wealthy businessmen, bringing investments home by Igbos in other parts of Nigeria and oversea countries and moving from Nigeria Limited to PLC. Governors should create job opportunities through establishment of functional skill acquisition centers and provision of accessible soft loans, expanded programmes through agricultural initiatives like mechanized farming, through sports developments and through establishing something like mechanic villages and lots more. There are many ways a sitting governor can provide jobs for the youth and the governor of Anambra State Chief Willie Obiano has been doing just that and I believe he will do more in his second missionary journey in the Government House. Like I said earlier, we need good representatives in Abuja who can attract projects good enough to aid youth with job opportunities. These Abuja representatives can also facilitate jobs through federal establishments like police, customs, immigration, army, civil service, departments, agencies and parastatals if they are interested in helping the youth help themselves. That is why we need credible hands as Senators and Reps not siren blowers. Furthermore, we can respond positively to the plight of the youth if our wealthy businessmen can endeavour to render philanthropic works through alms lending. Some of the Igbo big boys and billionaires build churches, make huge donation and pay huge amounts of money as tithe to foreign pastors, but youth in their villages are jobless and hungry. If the Igbo in Abuja, Lagos, Kano, America, London, China and the rest of them in various parts of the world can bring some of their investment back home to build farms, factories and industries, the youth will get something doing. Not only that, if those making waves in the private sector can move their businesses from Nigeria Limited to PLC there shall be jobs for the youth. So the present and future of Igbo youth are bright if the governors and other categories of people I mentioned above live up to their billings.


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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 14, 2018

POLITICS ‘But, it is highly advisable that Buhari shouldn’t return in 2019 for the sake of his own health; for the sake of Nigerian politics and for the sake of the generation that is coming. It is not very advisable that he should come back, mainly because of his health. Even his wife thinks so and we all pray for good health for him, but it is good for him at 75 years to go and rest and let younger generation put in their efforts.’ Cont’d from page 9

we know that the present government as well as the past government had done so well in removing their heads, reducing their numbers and to the extent of releasing some of the girls. I don’t think we need that kind of money to fight Boko Haram. We should spend it on agriculture or some other places that would be of more benefit to the nation. Do you concur with ex-president Goodluck Jonathan that the ruling APC government has delivered more corruption than the promised change? That is subjective! You may not really know what this present APC government has done until they leave government. And when they leave government, if there is bigger corruption than the past, history and people will judge. At the moment, one cannot say the corruption now is worse than in the previous government. Right from the birth of Nigeria, there has been corruption. It is left for all of us to stand up and fight it than to start comparing which corruption is larger and largest. If one should bring an external auditor and he now looks at the book of past governments and says: it is administration A that was more corrupt than B, I would be able to judge. It is an academic exercise to say Jonathan’s administration was more corrupt than this administration. I don’t believe that! There must be some indices to show and compare. And that is the basis of research and some people get PhD for it. And how do you see the activities of these Fulani cattle herdsmen? Do you think the federal government is doing enough about the activities? The federal government is not doing much; by now, they should have curtailed the situation. The government has the might and power to be able to curtail it almost immediately when it started but it has now degenerated to a point that the federal government itself is totally embarrassed about the development. And President Buhari has just recently said that he is going to deal with the perpetrators of such heinous crime. Were the criminal activities of all these Fulani herdsmen rampant during the time of ex-president Goodluck Jonathan? No, they were not rampant and when we were younger until the President Jonathan’s administration, they don’t carry guns, they only carry sticks to guard their cows. Now, they have turned to guns! Can a herdsman buy AK47? Then, somebody must be providing these guns for them. It was never rampant when we were smaller; it is the last cow that they would beat well to fall in line with a stick but now, one sees an eleven-year old herdsman carrying AK47. He may not be able to buy such a gun; somebody must be providing it!

How do you think PDP can enthrone democratic best practices that would endear the party to the people? Each party has an ideology and they have their aims and aspirations as to how best to serve the people. It is a meritorious thing. If a government comes to power today, what it meets on the ground is what it is supposed to be focusing on and that is why there is this pledge for continuity in governance. When administration A leaves, it has done something; it has laid some foundation; it has created something and administration B should start building on it rather than say no, I don’t know about that; I must build my own; I must create my own legacy and things like that. So, PDP coming to power again would sit down; look at all those areas that needed immediate attention to benefit the people. Government is there to create situations that would benefit people; remove them from poverty. And one cannot say this is exactly what PDP would do or would not do but when times comes, it may be education that is to be focused on before agriculture or before this or before that. So, it is what is on the ground that dictates the area of budgetary and area of immediate development by government. It is what the incoming administration meets on the ground that would dictate the pace of their priorities and PDP would do that. How would you appraise various policies and reforms of the federal government under Buhari for almost these 3 years of his administration? Are we on the right path towards economic recovery? Well, we would say yes because the people that are in his administration are experts in their own area and I’m sure they go to the office every day to see how best to improve the economy. The only prayer is that they would be in a position to improve it but for the past two and half years, there is no indication that they have done much. Jonathan came out and says that, oh, I left government and we are about the second best economy in Africa at that time and 26th in the world. And God knows what we are today. Some people must be our leaders and lead us. I assume that this administration is not playing golf or playing draft. They meet everything A – Z on how best they can solve the situation. If only I’m to give them a mark today: they have not passed nor have they failed! Looking at the challenges facing Nigeria, what will be your advice to President Buhari? President Buhari should have an open door policy; let him change his cabinet to invigorate it; let him talk more to the people directly and listen to their needs and that would guide him towards success.

• Dr. Charles Aderemi Akintoye And now, what is your impression of the current National Assembly led by Senator Saraki? Yes, the senators are doing their work. Senator Saraki is a person whom I know very well. He is a brilliant and intelligent person who has been stabilizing the nation in one way or the other. The senate is in between the Executive and the Judiciary. And the senate has been doing a lot of stability to make sure that the executive does not have crisis, the judiciary is protected and they themselves (senate) are on the right track of formulating laws that would empower every Nigerian to achieve success. The Senate as well as the lower house, which is the House of Representatives, are all doing a good job.

How would you end this interview? We thank God for the gift of life to all Nigerians. We are part of the global world and the recession is global. The petrol price is not restricted to Nigeria. It is not different to what America would buy. We thank God for Nigeria and pray that Nigeria would be able to move forward and be one of the richest countries in the world for the sake of the on-coming generation. And I thank everyone – the Judiciary, the Senate – both the red carpet and the green carpet – as well as the Executive for working to keep the country together and going. Nigeria would outlive all of us and all we are saying is that we should leave it better than we met it for the generation that is coming after us.


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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 14, 2018

POLITICS

2019 – Economy, education remain my focus in Imo – Okey Ezeh As far as MR. OKEY EZEH is concerned, there is no free education in Imo State. He slams the state government’s claim of free education as ‘playing on semantics,’ Ezeh, a governorship aspirant in Imo State for the 2019 governorship election on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) maintains, in this interview with Correspondent COLLINS UGHALAA in Owerri, that his victory in the elections will,among others reposition education in the state, revive students loan/scholarship schemes. Excerpts: What is the outlook for you and your party this year? Most of the challenges will largely be economic. On the political scene too there will be challenges. And like you mentioned, this is a pre-election year, but I would rather we focus on the economic challenges because I think that the economy is at the heart of our survival as a people. Politics is about who controls what. If you look at the national budget you would see that 2018 is fraught with a lot of challenges. The budget is heavy on borrowing. It is one of the most controversial budgets in recent time, because we are getting closer and closer to the Nigerian economy as we know – an economy that is based on a mono product. The mono product which we have relied on over the years is oil. As the world moves on, fossil fuel is beginning to diminish significantly as an income earner. We keep talking about recession and drop in oil value, these things will only get worse because the world is moving towards alternative sources. Technology is improving battery capacity. What that means is that increasingly the consuming will demand less of oil. As a consuming nation that has relied so much on oil as its mainstay, we must not pay lip service to the diversification of our economy. If we must do that we must return to the basics, which is agriculture. We must rediscover agriculture which was our mainstay before the advent oil and the easy money that came with it. To rejig the economy we must rejig the productive sector. We must begin to invest in infrastructure. We must begin to put our resources into things that can create lasting value and not things that can create no lasting value. Therefore, 2018 is a pivotal year and if we handle the challenges well, I think we would gain a foothold on what the future holds for us as a nation. On the political side, of course elections are around the corner. The tragedy of the situation is that once election is around the corner politicking takes over and governance is abandoned. I think that the government should resist the temptation of abandoning governance and going into politicking full blast, because if you asked me, if we handle the governance angle well it would deliver political dividends. Considering the debt profile of this state, what would be your first priority if elected into office? The first priority I have for tackling the challenges of Imo State if elected governor is to sanitize our finances. You talked about the debt profile of Imo State, in elementary economics there two ways to ensure that one remains solvent in business. It is either you increase revenue or you reduce cost. It is not peculiar to Imo State because there are a lot of wastages in the system. Governance in an average state government is characterized by high overhead and I have looked at the figures in Imo State, we have unsustainable overhead in Imo. The cost of governance in Imo is unreasonably high. A state that generates an average of N3.2bn income every month and spends an average of N2.5bn as overhead,that is a recipe for disaster. Personnel cost is about N2billion. So if you look at it you would see that you are chopping off deficit every month. So the first thing to do is to find a way to cut down the overheads. I think the overheads are manageable. There are certain irreducible minimum a state government must operate with, but there are too many white elephants projects that a government cannot sustain. We must as a people learn prudence. It is not just enough for us to be prudent in our personal life and businesses. Even in our state and national business we can be prudent. We must look at the books carefully and ensure

that state is anchored on a system of viability. We must balance our income with expenditure. We must channel whatever resources we have to regenerative investments. We do not continue to spend on white elephant projects. We must develop a value for money culture. What it means is that if we have N1m to spend, it must be spent on a regenerative venture. What that means is a project that can produce a value chain, and when you create that value chain you are putting money into the local economy. For example, if as part of the free education project the government needs to provide school uniforms, desk, and so on, for the children and that government goes ahead to import school uniform from China, what has he done? He has not done anything. He is guilty of expropriation. But if you have to spend N1m and you want to provide school uniforms for a school or two, and you gather local artisans in that community and they provide the school uniforms, what you have done is building the local economy because you have been able to put money in the hands of the artisans. These artisans would in turn reinvest in the local economy and they would pay tax. So, it is a win-win situation. All too often governments that are guilty of expropriation do next to nothing on the regenerative aspect of spending or investment. In a situation where you are building roads and you bring Lebanese (I am not saying there is anything wrong with Lebanese), it is good to use them only when you are effecting a skills transfer, but when you have to do drainage or tar one kilometer stretch of road, or you need to build a small flyover or even buildings, and you bring expatriate workforce, I don’t think it makes sense. It is not Rocket Science. You once said Governor Okorocha’s administration in the state has only produced mass mediocrity under his free education scheme and that over 800,000 Imo youths were unemployed. But the government disagreed with you, insisting they have employed over 35,000 youths In what sectors were they employed. You see, we must be careful here. The economists would tell you the different types of employment. Some people are nominally employed but in the real fact they are not engaged in any productive venture. To me, that is not employment. They are unemployed but their unemployment is disguised as employment because they are not doing anything that is adding value. If I get a bunch of youths and sew khaki for them and say they are security people and every morning they walk around, at the end of the month I would give them some money. Maybe I pay them today and for the next six months I don’t have money to pay them, then I would say I employed them. That is not employment. But if I were to

• Okey Ezeh put these 35,000 youths into some agricultural venture, I create a feed mill, because all over the state we have cash crops that are rotting away, we can add some value to them. We could buy maize from local growers and store some in the silos. We can also decide to add some value to it by using them to process feed for poultry farms and all of that. Then I get some youths and organize them in cooperatives and put a little money in their hands and get them involved in the value chain, either as growers of the maize, as people working in the mills, people who would market it or people who would raise the poultry. If I now tell you that I have employed 35,000 people you could then see that they are employed, because it is either they are involved in the production of the maize, distribution, milling or raising the poultry. Either way, at every point there is some value that is added. People are making money and I don’t need to pay them salaries because they are generating something. Even if I say there is a company or organization that is doing it, you could see where the money is coming from. But if I just put your name on the register and say I have hired you and give you khaki to wear, you may have the feel-good factor and say there is a job, but in the final analysis there is no job and no value has been created. What will happen is that it would balloon the personnel cost and someone could complain that he didn’t pay the workers because his wage bill is high at N2bn or N3bn, but the production capacity is zero. How do you plan to improve on education in the state when elected?

“In a situation where you are building roads and you bring Lebanese (I am not saying there is anything wrong with Lebanese), it is good to use them only when you are effecting a skills transfer, but when you have to do drainage or tar one kilometer stretch of road, or you need to build a small flyover or even buildings, and you bring expatriate workforce, I don’t think it makes sense.”

Let us get the facts right. There is really no free education in Imo State. What you have is a bursary system. There is some kind of subsidy and there is no free education, I mean at the tertiary level, because the Universal Basic Education (UBE) has been in place all over the country. So, Imo State has no uniqueness as far as that is concerned. You don’t talk about that because it obtains in every other state. So now, if you are talking about the much hyped free education in the tertiary institutions, that is where the controversy comes in. There is no free education to speak of. I think that what the government has done is to do a reversal of the Puerto Principle. May be the non-indigenes are charged more than the indigenes and at the end of the day you have more non-indigenes so that their payments could cover those of the indigenes. If you look at it well you would see that there is no free education. It is not even serving the local populace. But when we talk about mass mediocrity it is not a catchphrase. We are not trying to denigrate the efforts of the state government. It is mass mediocrity because most of the qualified lecturers and teachers have left the system. The motivation is very poor. The training is most non-existent. If you must have a quality workforce, there must be training and retraining and they must be well motivated. They must be conversant with global best practices. Recently we had an opportunity that was lost when the President of South Africa came to Imo State. We thought that it was indeed an opportunity to have some collaboration with the country and get the South African leader to bring in his Education Minister to create some kind of linkage with some tertiary institutions in South Africa had come. Why I said this is because, of the top 50 universities that are acclaimed in the world, the University of Cape Town is number 20. And we had the number one citizen of South Africa here in Imo State. We have Imo State University here. The founding father of that university, Sam Mbakwe, had the vision to go into an exchange programme with the University of Nebraska in the USA. I do not see why we cannot reenact that kind of cooperation. You asked whether I would dispense with the free education in the state, I am telling you that you don’t dispense with what does not even exist. There is no free education and you must get that right. People are just playing with semantics. What we have is a bursary system. We must bring back the students loans board and it must be vibrant.


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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 14, 2018

BOLD n BLUNT

Herdsmen as national bully In this report, MIKE AHAMBA, SAN writes that the unchecked herdsmen menace ravaging many parts of the country at the moment is akin to the unrestrained exploits of a school bully who acts with absolute impunity.

What bullying means Bullying is the act of using one’s advantage of strength, real or perceived, to force or coerce a real or perceived weaker person(s) to behave or react in a particular way; to forego some rights. I have introduced perception into it as against the presentation in the dictionary of real strength against real weakness because of my personal experiences about bullies as I grew up from childhood into adolescence, and thereafter. The neighbourhood bully generally believed that he/she was the strongest child in the neighourhood who could not be dared by the other children. His perception of his superior strength arose either from, oftentimes, his apparent size or the economic advantage of his parentage. Who dared to challenge or dispute his words or actions? Anyone who dared was usually brutalized into submission, at least psychologically. He was usually a scare to the other children most of whom thought that their own safety depended on their loyalty to the bully. He called the shots at will, until one of the other children would decide that enough was enough, and opt or volunteer to risk ‘belling the cat’. Then the self-adulated apparently strong big-bodied bully was seen to be no more than a mass of protoplasm bereft of enabling muscle, the bullying attitude being a means of shielding the reality of his weakness. Neighbourhood bully on the prowl It is a fact, which is self-evident that a neighbourhood bully, this time not a child bully and not without back-up strength, is on the prowl in Nigeria. He had carried on his business of cattle rearing before now all over the country with a stick and, sometimes, with a bow and arrows; was never considered a threat to anyone. There were no ‘clashes’ beyond the usual human societal friction between individuals. But, today he carries AK 47 rifles openly without an authorizing license. And nobody calls him to question but when one resists the destruction of one’s crop farm by his herd of cattle, he uses the AK 47 to kill or maim the owner(s) of the farm who are unarmed and, as seen to have occurred recently, not in the farm purported to be in issue. I am talking about the now notorious Fulani herdsmen who appear to be on a south-

• Chief Mike I. Ahamba (SAN)

• Chief Audu Ogbeh

• Leader of Miyetti Allah Bello Abdullahi Bodejo

ward march, ostensibly in search of feed for their cattle, but who are acting in a manner that suggests that they constitute an advance part of an intending invasion with land occupancy intent. It is common knowledge that these Fulani herdsmen on their own have no personal economic capacity to own a cow individually let alone herds of them; they cannot afford the AK 47 rifles they openly flaunt. Who owns the cattle, and who supplies the rifles and materials they use? In my humble opinion, these suppliers of the killer weapons are the patrons of Nigeria’s contemporary make or mar problem. It is as a result of the patronage of these political and business moguls that the erstwhile peaceful herdsmen have been turned

into neighbourhood bullies. They appear to have been guaranteed protection, or have cause to so believe; Hence, after they have perpetrated the carnage, they become phantom and appear to varnish into thin air, or so people are made to believe. It is difficult to accept that after committing the heinous crimes of murder, rape, defilement and infliction of grievous bodily harm, they are never apprehended. I submit that these sponsoring patrons are the real enemies of a united Nigeria who must be fished out, exposed and brought to book. Failure to do this will eventually bring us face to face with a more deadly Boko Haram-like episode right in the centre of Nigeria! Let us not forget too soon the origin of the Boko Haram war in the North East of

Nigeria. My position will be better appreciated if the story of Mohammed Yusuf, the original leader of the Boko Haram sect who was murdered in police custody, is recalled. This our dear nation has been kept in the dark as to who was or were behind the murder of Mohammed Yusuf. If we had discovered it, the Boko Haram menace could have been nipped in the bud or, at least, substantially weakened. The result of that failure is that we have been fighting a brutal war for close to a decade now. Remember the Otokoto saga in Imo State in 1996? Young Ikechukwu Okoronkwo was beheaded and the suspected culprit, Innocent Ekeanyanwu, was apprehended. A public resentment of the event led to a riot Continued on pg. 14

• The Killer Herdsmen


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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 14, 2018

BOLD n BLUNT Continued from pg. 13 the magnitude of which had never been seen in that part of Nigeria before, or since then. But because of the death of Ekeanyanwu the murderer, the ritualist sponsors who engaged him to procure the human head were never identified. Therefore, to discover and apprehend the patrons of these human butchers masquerading as herdsmen is a TASK THAT MUST BE DONE. Valid law must be obeyed Many people have postulated on the cause of the recent pogrom in Benue State. Prominent in this postulation is the Benue State Anti-Open Grazing Law. Firing the first salvo in this lame and defective justification of the massacre of families in that state, a leader of the Miyetti Allah herdsmen called for the repeal of the law as the only guarantee that the massacre would not reoccur. That amounts to a notice that the law is either repealed or he and his brothers would strike again. This was followed by the governor of Nassarawa State who openly declared before television cameras that it was the Anti-Open Grazing Law that triggered the violence. Then, there was the Minister of Defence, Brig-General Dan-Ali being quoted as also blaming the Benue State Law for triggering the attacks involving persons said by a Security Agency to be non- Nigerian Fulanis from other countries of West Africa. Cross border invasion or infiltration should be a source of concern to any country’s Minister of Defence, for it is his duty to stop such invasion or infiltration. Rationalizing the ‘invasion’ should not have been the Honourable Minister’s portion. But then, was it not in an effort to prevent further killing of innocent farmers and their families that the Law was enacted in the first instnace? Was it not a civil effort by a people whose cries had fallen on deaf ears to help themselves? If the federal government had intervened earlier to stem the tide of open murder of women and children preceded by shameless raping and defilement of the victims, perhaps the AntiOpen Grazing Law may never have been enacted. I hold the view that holding the Anti-Open Grazing Law responsible for the recent carnage in Benue State is like holding an antidote to a poison responsible for the poisoning. Let us not forget that this carnage is not happening in Benue State alone. Power to make law resides with legislature The Nigerian Constitution is very clear on the powers and responsibilities of the three arms of government. For the State legislature, the power to make law for the peace, order, and good government is clearly stated in Section 4(7) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN). Once enacted, it is a law, and must be obeyed. It does not fall on the leader of the Miyetti Allah herdsmen, or the governor of Nasarawa State, or any other person no matter how highly placed to justify the gruesome mur-

• Obudu Cattle Ranch, Calabar der of children sleeping in their homes because some people consider as inconvenient a law which is not void. Disobedience to an extant valid legislation is indiscipline, and when collectively done as some people now desire to do could lead to anarchy; and anarchy is a very dangerous past-time. Patriotic discipline demands that any person or group of persons who feels aggrieved by a piece of legislation should test its validity in a court or lobby for its repeal or amendment by the appropriate legislature. Section 4(8) subjects all legislations to the jurisdiction of courts of law and judicial tribunals established by law, not to whims and caprices of individuals, or to irresponsible use of guns and machetes on the preceded beneficiaries of law. The irreversible art of killing is not a solution to a detested law, and should not be seen to be in any form whatsoever. No justification for willful mayhem Desert encroachment is the latest justification being flaunted by some apologists in this country. But, the encroachment has been on-going for decades, and so have efforts been made to address the issue. But, if someone had to leave his home to some other person’s home in other to survive, is it proper that the anticipated hosts be first wiped out with their families, and their land taken over by force? This cannot bring peace between any guest and the host. The age of acquisition of land by con-

It is as a result of the patronage of these political and business moguls that the erstwhile peaceful herdsmen have been turned into neighbourhood bullies. They appear to have been guaranteed protection, or have cause to so believe; Hence, after they have perpetrated the carnage, they become phantom and appear to varnish into thin air, or so people are made to believe.

quest is long past. I heard Chief Audu Ogbe say on television that the issue was that Fulani problems had never been given adequate attention by the country. False! For whom were the nomadic schools which gulped billions of naira established? When did Nigeria start tackling social problems through official ethnic bias? That statement by the Honorable Minister was most regrettable. Perhaps, he forgot that there are more than two hundred fifty ethnic groups in this country. Maybe each of them should go on a spree of massacre of others to draw attention to its problem. We must find a solution to this problem, but not by robbing Peter to pay Paul. Those who have advocated ‘colonies’ for cattle should re-think. They should have a look at the meaning of the word “colony” in the dictionaries. In political history it connotes enslavement by conquest. How would it look for the Federal Government of Nigeria to be seen as a colonialists within her own territory? God forbid! Hmm, I am told that colony in Hausa language is ‘Zango’. Plenty of not-too-palatable history trails the existing Zangos in Northern Nigeria. Yesterday it was British, Spanish or French Colonies; today cattle are being positioned to become “Colonialists” in Cattle Colonies. Let us warn ourselves that in history, peoples, when faced with colonization or enslavement, have often preferred to die on their feet than live on their knees. We must not let it happen to us with our eyes wide open. In our Constitution, our social order is founded on the ideals of freedom, equality, and justice. We must all note that, and strive to apply it in anything that we think, say, or do. Treating this matter as issue of Fulani herdsmen/farmers is faulty. It is simply a case of an attempt at modern day acquisition of territory by some migrating Nigerians. This is the issue, which must addressed. The herdsmen are farmers or, should one properly say, agents of farmers. Their farming is not superior to crop farming. The nation needs both. I submit that the solution to this problem of feed for cattle is ranching as done in Brazil, Argentina, U.S.A., etc. Just as there are feeds for chicken in poultries, goats in goateries, pigs in piggeries etc, so are there cattle feeds in ranches. Cattle moving in the streets is an obsolete and mundane agricultural concept. Dr M.

I. Okpara, Premier of former Eastern Region of Nigeria, realized this immediately after independence, hence he set up the Obudu Cattle Ranch. Chief I.I. Murphy of Ogoja followed suit by privately establishing the Ichaka Cattle Ranch in that part of the country. I visited that ranch as a Corps Member. There may be other ranches. But somehow, people ate up the cattle in Obudu, and the ranch is now for tourism. Nobody in our political history has considered re-enacting the Okpara initiative. And this is 2018! I am almost certain that this territorial invasion which is threatening the country with a possible civil strife does not involve every Fulani. In fact, a majority of them may not be involved, or may not have sanctioned it. It is this silent majority that I now proceed to address. Most of us know about a man who once walked this planet. His name was Adolf Hitler. Members of Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist Party were called the Nazis. They were thought to be a bunch of upstarts. But eventually they had a leader called Hitler. Nobody gave them any chance of controlling power. But they did, and nobody cared. When they started the extermination of Jews and using people of colour for experiments, majority of Germans did not approve of it. But that majority remained silent. Germany was plunged into a deadly war, and lost. Every German, not Nazis alone, paid the price! So my brothers, the silent and disapproving Fulani, bear in mind that if the Fulani herdsmen are allowed to plunge this country into a fratricidal strife in the protection of their private business, the silent but presently uninvolved Fulani will suffer together with other ethnic groups. Let no one wallow in the belief that people would perpetually accept being massacred over their legitimate property. Let us not get to the point of self-help by the victim communities through self defence, which is legitimate under our Criminal Law. Once easily begun, as history has shown, it will not be easily quenched. Prevention will always be better than cure, and the time to prevent this impending calamity is now. Nobody is anybody’s Mumu in this country. May Godly wisdom prevail in this matter. Chief Mike I. Ahamba (SAN), Ugo Lorji, wrote from Owerri, Imo State.


The Oracle Today

15

Wednesday February 14 , 2018

NEWS Extra

Unwana Poly shut, as lecturers protest non-payment of allowances

By CHINEDU NWAFOR

M

EMBERS of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics in Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Unwana, Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Monday, caused temporary shutdown of the institution following a peaceful protest by the group over non-payment of their allowances by the school management. The ASUP members who were led in the protest by their Chairman, Mr Carl Nduka Nworu, said the failure of the management to pay them arrears of their Peculiar Allowances for upward of 13 months was the reason for the peaceful protest. The lecturers numbering over 200 carried placards with various inscriptions such as: ‘Rector our Peculiar Academic Allowance’; ‘Bursar pay us our PAA’; ‘say no to PAA withdrawal’; ‘Give us our PAA’ and ‘we are suffering’; among other inscriptions. They besieged the Rector’s and Bursar’s offices to register their grievances. In a chat with Journalists, the immediate past president of Mr Marcellus Mark Eze explained that “there was an agreement between ASUP and government in 2009/2010.” “This agreement is on three items which are teaching practice/SEWES, project supervision, and field trip which carry 3%, 3% and 1% of basic

salary respectively totalling 7%. And there is a government circular on it. Behold in January 2016 the Rector stopped paying us on the basis that government had withdrawn the allowances. As the Chairman of ASUP then, I asked him, where are the documents backing his claim because government does not operate in the air? “This year, because of the struggle we had last year, he started paying us. What he was doing was after paying salaries, he would pay it. Towards the end of last year, he started paying it together with the salaries. But January this year, they withdrew it again. What is the basis for the withdrawal?” he queried. “Already our pension deduction which is about 7.5% is still being discussed. Our salary is going down every day. If I bring my salary of 2015 and 2016, you will say sorry to me. Am I supposed to be going down instead of rising? He explained. Addressing the protesting lecturers in front of his office, the Rector, Ven. Ogbonnia Ibe-Enwo, said he was taken aback to see the lecturers with placards having reached an agreement with the ASUP leadership on the way forward. He explained that he had already begun processes to resolving their problems. The lecturers despite the Rector’s pleas and explanations, vowed to continually protest in the institution until all their grievances were resolved.

• Enugu State Governor, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (l) with his Lagos State counterpart, Akinwunmi Ambode, when he hosted the latter and his entourage at the Government House, Enugu alongside other dignitaries, who were in Enugu ahead of the burial of the elder statesman and former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme in Oko, Anambra State, last Friday.

Procurement procedures: BPP clamps Ezza South council boss down on MDAs bags ‘Best Performed Chairman’ award T By ANIEKAN ANIEKAN, Calabar

By CHINEDU NWAFOR

E

xecutive Chairman of Ezza South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Chief Sunday Ogodo, has won the 2017 prestigious Award of Best performed council chairman in the entre southeast zone. The award was conferred on Ogodo by an international non-governmental organization, the Exemplary Leadership Accolade International (ELAI), based in New York, United States of America. At the exemplary leadership lecture and award ceremonies held in Enugu at the weekend, the Country Director of ELAI, Barr. Emeka Okafor, explained that the group maintains high level of transparency and unbiasedness in selecting recipient of the award every year. Ogodo was handed over a brand new space wagon as a prize for winning the prestigious award by ELAI. Okafor eulogized Ogodo on his numerous achievements in less than one year in office, and described him as a role model in Exemplary leadership. Other prominent Nigerians who were also honoured by ELAI for exemplary leadership are; Enugu state Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and the Deputy Senate President of the Senate, Chief Ike Ekweremmadu.

In an interview, Ogodo who was highly elated said he was overwhelmed by the honour and pledged to do more for his people. Ogodo noted that despite the award he was not yet convinced within his conscience that he had done what he was supposed to for his people to deserve such recognition. “Really, I am very very grateful and delighted because I never knew that the little job I have done could go thus far. I don’t know that we still have such honest organisation. “I am not yet convinced within my conscience that I have done what I supposed to do for my people. I don’t know there is still honest organization like Exemplary Leadership Accolade International. “When I got the letter that I have been selected for the award, I was contemplating within my mind how they managed to assess my work because I was not contacted. The reason why I had confidence in them was that after they gave me the information, they didn’t ask me for any money unlike other nongovernmental organizations. “The award will spur me to do more. Like I said, I am not yet convinced that I have done what I supposed to do for my people but God through this group identified me out of the entire local government chairmen in the south-east zone.

he federal government through the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) has announced new measures in the 2018 fiscal year to eliminate corruption in public procurement and ensure that its ministries, departments and agencies adhere to the best practices. These measures include the setting up of a procurement surveillance team that will monitor the level at which MDA’s adhere to procurement planning in its activities. In addition to this, the government through the BPP shall not issue a “Certificate of No Objection” for projects that are not found in the procurement plans submitted by the MDA’s. Director General of the BPP, Mamman Ahmadu disclosed these in Calabar during a oneday retreat for federal permanent secretaries in the country with the theme: Public procurement for sustainable national development. According to Ahmadu, the level of adherence of MDA’s to existing public procurement laws is very poor and this has robbed the government of vital data which is needed for proper planning and development. “Compliance by the MDA’s to procurement planning requirements are still abysmally low despite the enormous benefits of

preparing procurement plans. “The refusal of the MDA’s to comply with the statutory requirements for a procurement plan has overtime denied the bureau of vital data that inhibits its capacity to conduct adequate planning. “Some MDA’s do not adhere to procurement planning procedures and have not performed very well; the highest performance which is 50% is not good enough. MDA’s are expected to adhere to procurement planning requirements because we want resources to be spent for the good of all. Capital expenditures is going downwards while recurrent expenditures is going upwards and so we are looking forward to a reversal of that this fiscal year through procurement planning”. He reminded the permanent secretaries that non submission of procurement plans constitutes an offence in line with section 58 (4) (h) of the Public Procurement Act and punishment includes 5 years imprisonment as well as dismissal from service and charged them to adhere to this statutory requirements this fiscal year. In her remarks, the Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo Ita charged civil servants in the country “to stand firm in due process and individuals and institutions who hope to do business with government must play by the rules.

This, she said is the only way to achieve 100% budget implementation. “While it is true that civil servants work under political pressure, we have a responsibility to stand firm in due process and resist attempts to subvert extant rules and regulations. The procurement process for 2018 will no doubt be a veritable platform for demonstrating this paradigm shift and for sending out clear signals that it is no longer business as usual”, she said. Also speaking, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Procurement, Senator Joshua Dariye called for total collaboration among all stakeholders to ensure optimum results in the nation’s public procurement practices. He maintained that the public procurement act was aimed at ensuring spread in projects and condemned the practice of recycling contractors in project procurement in the country.


The Oracle Today

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Wednesday February 14 , 2018

NEWS Extra

2019: Don’t cause divisions within PDP – Okowa cautions members

Bayelsa to deploy drones in crime fighting

By VICTOR NZE

By CLEM ONYEMAECHI, Yenagoa

A

HEAD of 2018 general elections, Delta State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa has urged members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) not to allow their political aspirations to cause division within the party. The Governor gave the advice, weekend, at a meeting of members of Delta North PDP at Kwale, Ndokwa West Local Government Area of the state. “With 2019 elections coming up, various groups are beginning

Wike signs N510bn 2018 Rivers budget into law

to cause trouble for us, but, we don’t want to go into the next election in groups, the more united we are, the stronger we will be as a people,” the Governor said, adding, “don’t allow your support for aspirants influence your decision because, you do not gain anything by working against the party.” The Governor continued, “College of Leaders should be established to comprise twenty persons in every local government area, we want unity in our party and we should avoid anything that can cause division in our party.” “Leaders must allow the people

to choose their candidates, as aspirants, we should be mindful of how we go about our campaigns because, primaries will come and go but, we will remain as party men, we will remain brothers and sisters,” the Governor said He congratulated local government chairmen and the councilors for their successes in the local government elections noting that the outcome of the elections shows that, “the spirit of love, the spirit of togetherness can only be found in the PDP, I appreciate all our leaders, our youths, our women.” The Governor who used the event to list some of his achieve-

ments in the state urged political appointees to pay their dues because, it is compulsory for them to do so. Senator Peter Nwaoboshi said a lot has been achieved by political office holders in the senatorial district while the Chairman of PDP in Delta North Senatorial District, Chief Alex Iduh expressed confidence that the party will remain strong in the area. Chairmen of the party in the different local government areas of the district rendered reports from their different areas and they expressed confidence that the PDP will remain stronger in their areas.

By NATH OMAME, P/Harcourt

G

overnor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike has signed the N510 billion 2018 Appropriation Bill into law. Wike who signed the budget, on Tuesday, in the presence of members of the Rivers State House of Assembly and the State Executive Council at Government House, Port Harcourt, emphasized that the budget will diligently implemented by his administration. He stated: “The government will fast track the implementation of the budget, which will lead to greater development of the state. I commend the state legislators for expediting the process that led to the passage of the 2018 budget.” “You passage of this budget means that we will expedite action on several areas of development. At present, we have already started work”. The governor also called on members of the Rivers State House of Assembly to work with relevant agencies to implement their respective constituency projects.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan (l) being welcomed to the meeting by the Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson (r) while Godknows Igali (2nd right) and Prof. Nimi Briggs (right) look on.

Bayelsa State Government says it has concluded arrangement to launch a crime control drone system to assist in the prevention of crime and criminality in the state. Commissioner for Science and Technology, Chief Blessing Ipigansi-Igbagara, who stated this while giving the score card of his ministry in the ongoing inter-ministerial/ agency briefing for the six years anniversary of Governor Seriake Dickson’s administration, said the mechanism was developed by an indigenous manpower and technology system in line with the present administration’s zero tolerance for crime and criminality. Igbagara said the system would have a direct link to the Police on patrol duty at different locations with about four drones with the speed limit of 150 kilometer per hour deployed to every police station in the state. According to him, since inception of the Dickson’s administration, the ministry has collaborated with Federal and Foreign Agencies in the area of training and capacity building to address manpower needs of the state, developing the data base of unemployed graduates. The Commissioner also added that the era of non-completion/ abandonment of projects by the recalcitrant contractors is over in the state as the Ministry of Science and Technology has developed a video monitoring system to monitor the activities of contractors handling various projects in the state. Giving a scorecard of his Ministry, Commissioner for Culture and Ijaw National Affairs, Mr. Austin Dressman commended Governor Dickson for approving the completion of 8 out of the 10 mausoleum at the Ijaw Heroes Park which houses the late Isaac Jasper Boro and General Oweiye Azazi.

Lagos Govt cautions firms over Woman, 40, kills self in Ebonyi industrial chemicals By CHINEDU NWAFOR

By VICTOR NZE

T

he Lagos State Government has urged firms in the manufacturing, oil and gas, construction, chemical and allied industries to ensure proper handling and storage of chemicals capable of causing health and environmental hazards to members of the public. Speaking at the international seminar on handling of flammable hazardous materials organized by Lagos State Safety Commission in conjunction with MTC Enterprise Ltd and Laboratory and Scientific Equipment Company (LASEC), Ketu, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations, Dr. Jemilade Longe said flammable materials can be quite hazardous where less attention is paid to the movement of chemicals. He stated that movement and handling of chemicals are riskassociated hence the need for organisations who utilise such chemicals to be safety conscious and familiar with its negative ef-

fects. He said the Lagos State Government, being responsible and responsive, places a huge priority on creating public awareness safety within the work and home environment. Longe maintained that various safety programmes embarked upon by the Commission portray the desire of the government to make safety consciousness a culture among Lagosians, which will, in turn, reduce or eliminate hazardous incidents across the State. While expressing confidence that the seminar will improve the attitude of chemical handling companies positively, he urged participants to extend knowledge from the seminar to colleagues, friends and relatives. In his remarks, the DirectorGeneral, Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr. Hakeem Olaogun Dickson commended the stakeholders of industries for cooperating with Government in its drive to ensure that every sector of the society is sanitised and safe for all.

He pointed out that despite the great benefits of chemicals to the society, they can equally be very detrimental to human health and life at large, assuring that the zero-tolerance safety campaign will be reinvigorated to drastically reduce fire outbreaks, ensure safekeeping of chemicals and promote safety in residences, schools and workplaces across the State. The West African Regional Manager of Laboratory and Scientific Equipment Company (LASEC), South Africa, Mr. Victor Menezes, who presented a paper on the theme: “Hazardous Materials: Knowing and Avoiding Risk” said chemical movement and handling often overlooked by industries is most responsible for health and environmental hazards. He advised stakeholders to ensure proper documentation, storage and usage of chemicals in their industries to prevent hazards within their work environment. The Secretary, Lagos State Safe-

A

woman identified as Nkemjika Oyibe from Ishinkwo, Abaomege community in Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi State has reportedly committed suicide. Her lifeless body was found hanging from a tree in Onyemem forest in the community. State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, ASP Loveth Odah while confirming the said the case has been reported to the Command for further investigation. She explained that the Town Union President of the community had reported to the command upon getting information from a hunter who discovered the lifeless body of the deceased. According to the police spokesperson, the town union president went to the forest with the elder brother of the deceased, Peter Onyibe to see the corpse for himself. “But I wonder why a person should commit suicide and the family did not suspect any foul play; unless the family knew that their sister was having problem and as a result of that, they were

suspecting she would committed suicide. “They should have also been eager to know what led to her committing suicide. There is a saying that life begins at 40, so someone taking her life at 40 sounds strange.” ASP Odah further explained that the corpse has been released to the family for burial since no suspect had been arrested in connection with the incident. A source from the community who asked not to be named in print collaborated the report that the family did not suspect any person in connection with the death of the deceased and added that the lady hung herself and had made similar attempts to commit suicide by taking drugs but she survived it. According to him, she had a mental problem and had disappeared on December 25, 2017 from public domain. The source further also told The Oracle Today that after several efforts in search of deceased, the family gave up the search only be alerted by a hunter who went to check on his trap that the deceased was corpse dangling on a tree in the forest.


The Oracle Today

17

Wednesday February 14 , 2018

BU$IN£SS •

Energy

Finance

Stock

Insurance

Aviation

Stronger oil prices quake 2018 budget By SOPURUCHI ONWUKA

P

P20

Travel UNWTO/CAF meeting: Committees submit interim reports P26

Insurance • Kachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum and Senator Udo Udoma, Minister for Budget and National Planning. group of 10 producing nations on the one hand, and key industrialized energy consuming countries gathered under the aegis of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on the other hand. Since late 2014 when the oil price began its descent from glorious heights above $100 per barrel to near $26/bbl in 2016, OPEC and its gang of resource dependent countries have been manipulating the market supply valves to annihilate technology driven and low margin shale, tar sand and other unconventional petroleum industries across the global. The measure came in response to rising volumes of supplies from the US shale industry which did not just confer the world’s biggest economy with energy independence but also caused shuffling of

CBN EXCHANGE RATES FEB. 6, 2018 Currency

Buying(NGN)

Central (NGN) Selling(NGN)

POUNDS STERLING 428.244 EURO 379.415 SWISS FRANC 327.0737 YEN 2.7757 CFA 0.5613 WAUA 443.5169 YUAN/RENMINBI 48.4185 RIYAL 81.2757 SOUTH AFRICAN RAND 25.3133 DANISH KRONA 50.9716

428.9465 380.0374 327.6103 2.7803 0.5713 444.2444 48.4984 81.409 25.3548 51.0552

429.649 380.6598 328.1468 2.7848 0.5813 444.972 48.5782 81.5423 25.3964 51.1388

niche shares in the export market. In its initial blunder at pushing unconventional oil and gas off the export market, OPEC had deployed its full production capacity to create a price bursting market supply glut that targeted the demise of thin margin shale industry. The resulting price crash rapidly plunged the weak economies of OPEC members into recession. Consequently, Nigeria’s economy went into recession with oil price crash of 2015 and 2016 when a barrel of premium Nigerian crude grades plunged below $40 per barrel for the first time in previous 10 years. The OPEC supply war against unconventional oil didn’t just financially distress unstable members; it also challenged technology developers to evolve cost efficient operation models that could sustain the shale industry during low

price curves. And with rising supply resilience from unconventional oil industry, OPEC reverted to its price band mechanism of production cut by its 12 member countries and later another 10 cooperating producers led by Russia. Consequently, OPEC ministers on November 30, 2016 finalized a deal to cut 1.2 million barrels per day (mbd) from October levels and hold production around 32.5 mbd from January 1, 2017 for initial six months. Non-OPEC producers led by Russia also agreed to cut output by 558,000 b/d in the first half of 2017, with Russia to cut 300,000 b/d. And in subsequent reviews of the production cut impact on the market, the coalition of producers extended the output ceiling till 2018 to sustain the visible gain in prices.

ROJECTIONS of revenue flow from export of crude oil, natural gas and other hydrocarbon liquids as captured in the government’s fiscal proposals for the year may have been rendered unreliable by the prevailing swings in the prices of petroleum liquids at international exchanges. Market pundits advise that oil dependent economies like Nigeria must adopt shrewd budget implementation strategies that must be elastic enough to accommodate boom burst cycles in export prices especially given the raging supply war among traditional suppliers, new suppliers, conventional petroleum plays and technology driven unconventional sources. Nigeria belongs to the league of traditional suppliers whose position in the market is being challenged by shale and tar sand industries in the American continent from where supplies from unconventional sources consistently threaten prices. Petroleum export receipts account for over 95 percent of the Nigeria’s total foreign exchange income, some 80 percent of total funding support to annual government’s budget and about 60 percent of government’s equity cash call for investments in oil and gas exploration and production joint ventures. Thus, fluctuations in the prices of crude oil directly translate to fiscal turbulence for the budget; and the appreciation or depression of crude oil value in the market place consequently determines the revenue performance of the budget It is in the foreground of market forces, therefore, that the 2018 federal budget of N8.612 trillion is feared to hang on the outcome of the raging battle between the two blocs of global supply factors: the coalition of members of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) plus Russia led

Energy Total builds deepwater production hub around Egina

African Risk Capacity, UN partner to increase insurance coverage P28

Cont’d on Page 20

Stock Market Highlights As At 6th FEBRUARY, 2018

Summary

ASI DEALS VOLUME VALUE EQUITY CAP S/N Coy (By Volume) Symbols Volume LASACO FCMB SKYEBANK TRANSCORP FBNH

43,866.80 6,253.00 673,754,653.00 N4,351,553,565.33 N15,741,882,624,413.70 Volume Value 181,836,863 89,603,965 79,995,613 59,178,414 38,555,240

5 Top Gainers Company

Last Close

Current

Change

FO N46.05 N48 1.95 STANBIC N46 N47 1 DANGSUGAR N21 N21.95 0.95 PZ N23.65 N24 0.35

4.23% 2.17% 4.52% 1.48%

Value(N)

REDSTAREX N5.5

N5.75 0.25

4.55%

N58,683,253.88 N256,034,487.64 N101,959,550.15 N129,302,745.34 N498,194,495.40

MOBIL UNILEVER FLOURMILL ZENITHBANK JBERGER AIRSERVICE

N210 N45.35 N32.4 N31.1 N27.3 N5.35

-2.78% -4.43% -4.71% -4.75% -4.71% -4.46%

N216 N47.45 N34 N32.65 N28.65 N5.6

-6 -2.1 -1.6 -1.55 -1.35 -0.25


The Oracle Today

18

Wednesday February 14 , 2018

BUSINESS

FIRS rakes in N4.03tn, contributes N2.78bn to Federation Account By VICTOR NZE

T

HE Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has collected a total of N4.03 trillion in 2017 representing 82.38% of government set target of N4.89 trillion. This is also as the service contributed N2.78 trillion to the Federation Accounts, representing 99.5 per cent of the target for 2017 (7.5 per cent more than 2016 performance). Executive Chairman, FIRS, Mr. Tunde Fowler, disclosed these figures, Thursday, in Lagos at the Palace of Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Babatunde Osuolale Aremu Akiolu 1. Fowler was in company of members of the House of Representatives, institutional board members of the FIRS and some members of the State Boards of Internal Revenue Service who paid a courtesy visit to the monarch as part of activities in the FIRS Management retreat in conjunction with Stakeholders/ National Assembly According to Fowler, FIRS’ collection of N4.03 trillion is N720 billion (22 per cent) more than the 2016 total collection figure of N3.305 trillion. The 2017 collection performance exceeded the 2016 collection performance of 78.75 per cent. An analysis of the collection performance indicates that non-oil accounted for 63 per cent while oil tax accounted for 38 per cent of the total collection. Stamp Duty recorded

the most increase in performance with 94 per cent. “With the support of the National Assembly, your support and that of other stakeholders, FIRS was able to collect over N4 trillion in 2017. This is an increase of over 20 per cent relative to our collection in 2016. We are hopeful that (NASS) going forward, FIRS will be able to fund this country through taxation,” said Fowler. At the retreat proper, the FIRS Chairman shed light on FIRS’ collection in 2017: “We all recall that beginning from the second half of 2014, there has been a sustained decline in the global prices of oil. Oil Revenue Generated by FIRS in 2014 – 2.45 Trillion; Oil Revenue Generated in 2015 – N1.29 Trillion; FIRS Oil Revenue Generated in 2016 – N1.16 Trillion; FIRS Oil Revenue Generated in 2017 – N1.52 Trillion. “This trend has had adverse effect on the ability of oil dependent countries to meet their development objectives. “For us in Nigeria, the decline in receipts from oil revenue and the concomitant decline in accruals to States from the Federation Account have placed many States in a financial quandary to the point where basic obligations such as the payment of employee wages has become a perennial challenge. This is not the first time Nigeria will experience economic slow-down as a result of

FirstBank ATMs dispense N2.8 tn

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irst Bank has said its Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) dispensed over N2.8 trillion from January 2017 to December 2017 The bank’s Group Head of E-Business, Mr Chuma Ezirim, said in a statement in Lagos, Monday, that the bank also accounted for 37 per cent bill payment services on ATMs in the nation’s banking industry. In the statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Ezirim said that about 402,102 bill payments were made through Firstbank’s ATMs in 2017, while airtime worth about N1.7 billion was purchased through the machines. The official said that the bank had the highest number of ATMs, having deployed 2,897 of the machines across the country. He said that the bank would continue to cater for the financial service needs of its customers in line with its strategy to drive convenience and ease in banking. “The bank’s ATMs have unique functional features which include bills payment, cash transfer, air-time top-up, cash deposit, among others,’’ he said. According to him, the bill payment option is the non-cash transaction feature on the ATM that makes it easier for customers to pay for cable TV subscriptions, post-paid phone bills, and pre-booked airline tickets, among others. He noted that the transactions could be executed through the quick teller option on any of the bank’s ATMs. “First bank is currently responsible for over 15 per cent of inter-bank transactions and 21 per cent of airtime vending. As active mobile network users in Nigeria are over 142 million, and the need to recharge

is in the increase, the bank’s ATMs also provide the platform for easy top-up. “To further enhance convenience, Firstbank’s ATMs operate the cash deposit function which allows customers to deposit funds without entering a banking hall. “The bank’s ATMs are also equipped with cardless functionality that makes it easier for non-bank customers to deposit or withdraw money from the ATMs without a debit card,” he said. He said that the developments were aimed at meeting the needs of the bank’s customers and reaching out to the under-banked and the unbanked. “Our mission is to remain relevant in the lives of our customers by continually working and making banking services a more convenient experience,’’ he said.

fluctuations in global oil prices. “This retreat, and what it hopes to achieve is part of efforts to ensure that we act differently this time around by looking beyond oil as the mainstay of our economy. By putting our hands together in contribution to our set goal, I am confident that we will surpass our past results and we’ll be well on our way to the future we hope to achieve. Fowler noted that though collection increased by 20 per cent relative to 2016, the Cost of Collection went down to 2.49 per cent in 2017

relative to the 2.60 per cent cost of collection in 2016 and 2.62 in 2015. This, the FIRS Chairman noted, attests to the growing efficiency in collection by the Service and to which the embrace of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) tools contributed. Earlier, responding, the Oba of Lagos, who disclosed that he pays as much as N350 million in tax every year, told his visitors that Lagos does not discriminate against anybody just as the state will not accept any injustice from any quarters

Participants at a training organised for staff of the Lagos State Ministry of Establishment, Training and Pensions

‘Nigerian banks not structured to fund SMEs’

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RESIDENT, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Mr Adetokunbo Kayode, has declared that the continued management of the funds for Small, Medium and Enterprises (SMEs) by banks in Nigeria remains a weak link in the financing of small businesses. He said this during his inauguration as the 10th President of the Chamber in Abuja, Tuesday. “We all appreciate government’s interest to support SMEs, especial-

ly on the issue of funding. But the management of the SME funds by the banks is a very huge issue, a weak link in the chain. We all know our banks are not structured to fund SMEs. The organized private sector is therefore ready to help canvass and develop new concepts of alternate funding mechanism for SMEs. This will include finance leasing, peer certification for scrutiny of facility for SMEs,” he said. Kayode also called on the Federal Government to fully operate

CITA-PUMA partnership to reposition Lagos in Jet A1 market By VICTOR NZE

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viation fuel supplier in Nigeria, CITA and global energy giants, PUMA have signed an agreement that will ensure security of fuel supply for airlines flying in and out of Nigeria to tank up in Africa’s second largest Jet A1 market. This is as parties involved in the new alliance stated that the partnership will not only provide supply security but also provide reliable, microbe free jet A1 that will assure safe operations in the market. Managing Director/Chief Executive of CITA, Dr. Thomas Ogungbangbe, while speaking at the CITA/PUMA Launch in Nigeria with theme: ‘The Journey of Excellence’

The royal father who noted that 60 or 70 per cent of FIRS collection comes from Lagos, said he is sending a letter to the Senate President Bukola Saraki to draw his attention to the 1851 treaty, which the colonial government signed with Oba Akintoye: that three per cent of all taxes collected in Lagos will go to the Oba, while 2 per cent of all exports will go to Oba Akintoye. “While I am not asking that this be paid to me now, it could be paid to the Lagos State Government,” he said.

stated that the jet fuel aspect of aviation has been riddled with challenges.’ “You will all recall that, the jet fuel sector of the economy has grappled with challenges – not devoid from the challenges experienced by the larger economy, a situation that in recent times, led to airlines having to stop-over in other countries for jet fuel supply,” said Ogungbangbe. Continuing, Ogungbangbe said: ”As soon as the downward slide of crude oil in the world market became a continuum, some market indices became confused, foreign exchange became scarce and expensive, so, jet fuel price was going down in the international market but the local market was steadily going up. What a Contago? Hedging became difficult as futures spot price became lower

than present selling price.” He further explained that on the 6th November, 2014, the Central Bank threw Jet fuel out of the RDAS, excluding an essential product that is not produced in Nigeria “Overall, the trading conditions faced by CITA are not showing any signs of getting easier. If anything, the deterioration in our market accelerated with exit of some foreign airlines, receivership of airlines that held about 70 per cent of the domestic air traffic, reduction of flight frequencies, withdrawal of services from some airfields, reclassification of some licenses and suspension of operating licenses of some domestic operators. I think these illustrate just how difficult conditions became in the country.”

the National Economic Council and urged state governments to replicate same. According to him, that is the body that will help plan the economy, where critical policies are determined, adding that said this would bring the era of reactionary and ad hoc policies to an end. He advised that government at all levels should imbibe the ideal that governance was for the welfare of the people, and that to achieve that, there must be a national vision, just as he explained that vision 20:20:20 died the day it was launched because the government did not conceive, birth and own it. “A government must set up its own high ideals and with passion, chart a mission course to achieve that vision,” he said. The ACCI president called for an end to the emphasis by government agencies on revenue collection. “All these agencies have their core mandates; we want agencies in 2018 and beyond to concentrate on their core function which is to support enterprises to grow, rather than their unbridled demand for payment of revenues. “All these make doing business very harrowing and unprofitable. It is unacceptable for a people to pay for compliance with the law. Agencies ought to make it easier, cheaper, to obey the law, then make

Cont’d on page 19


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Wednesday February 14 , 2018

BUSINESS

Why we acquired Konga – Zinox By SAMSON AKINTARO

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n a deal that is bound to change the e-commerce landscape in Nigeria, the Zinox Group, an integrated Information Communication Technology (ICT) solutions conglomerate and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), has said its acquisition of Konga, was driven by its strong desire to revolutionize e-commerce on the African continent. Speaking on the transaction that saw Zinox acquired 99 percent shares of Konga, the Head of Corporate Communications, Zinox Group, Mr. Gideon Ayogu said: “We have always had an interest in Konga and another big one you know very well but our priority was Konga first because of her integrated nature of four quality companies in one. Konga is a world-class,

professionally-run company whose landmark strides in the sector have gone a long way in ushering millions of Nigerians into the ease and convenience of online shopping and boosting the conduct of ecommerce in the country.” He added: “Today, many Nigerians can attribute their first experience of e-commerce to Konga.com and we are excited to be a part of this remarkable story. Many shoppers can also attest to the speed and efficiency in delivery that characterizes Kos-Express, the company’s logistics arm, which is arguably the best in the sector at the moment. In addition to positioning the business on a path of profitability in the short term, our long term plans are focused around seeing Konga well established in other African capitals.

“Furthermore, we will be unveiling a lot of new initiatives soon and we advise shoppers and merchants alike to look out for these innovations which will radically reshape the average customer experience of e-commerce in Nigeria and on the continent.” According to details of the deal, Zinox Group, one of Africa’s biggest technology group would assume ownership of the e-commerce platform, Konga.com which remains as one of the biggest players in the sector; KOS-Express, the world class logistics arm of the business and KongaPay, the company’s integrated mobile money payment channel with over 100,000 subscribers. The acquisition is seen as a major development that could see e-commerce in Nigeria finally unlock the massive revenue potential in the

global multi-billion-dollar industry. In addition, the move is expected to see Zinox make a bold return to an industry it pioneered in Nigeria with the launch of BuyRight Africa.

‘Nigerian banks not structured SMEs’ Cont’d from page 18 breaking the law very expensive,” he said. Kayode said the chamber would move from an amorphous organogram to a structured organisation. According to him, the chamber will set up a secretariat with four centres, including business entrepreneurship, skills and technology centre and the Abuja trade and convention centre. National President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Com-

Arik Air resumes Garden City Express from MMIA 2 By VICTOR NZE

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rik Air is set to resume its Garden City Express which enables customers to fly direct to the heart of Port Harcourt City from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Terminal 2(MMIA2) terminal in Lagos. The daily flight service which commences on February 12, 2018 will depart from MMIA2 Ikeja, Lagos and arrive at the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) Base Port Harcourt, a 10 minutes’ drive from down town. Arik Air which maintains a well-resourced terminal at NAF Base Port Harcourt assured passengers of premium customer service. Commenting on the Garden City Express, Arik Air’s Chief Executive Officer, Captain Roy Ilegbodu said the service eliminates the almost one hour drive passengers arriving into the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa normally endure while traveling to Port Harcourt City. “We are delighted to offer this premium service to our customers who are time conscious and desire to cut the long drive from Omagwa to Port Harcourt City. This service will offer a great travel experience with our dedicated terminal at NAF Base Port Harcourt and efficient flight crew.” This is Arik Air’s first and only scheduled flight departing and arriving in MMIA2 Lagos.

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he Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has urged electricity distribution companies (Discos) in the country to emulate the Enugu Distribution Company’s (EEDC) commitment towards meeting the commission’s statutory requirements. General Manager, Consumer Affairs of the regulatory body, Dr. Anthony Akah, who made the call in a commendation letter to EEDC, also pointed out that the on-going asset and customer enumeration exercise being carried out by EEDC was a “benchmark which other Discos would be required to emulate”. The Oracle Today had gathered that the commendation came

merce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Mrs Iyalode Lawson, also called for support from members to achieve its planned goals for the benefits of the association. Lawson advised the president to carry out his vision through public policy advocacy tools and in-depth knowledge. “The association believes that with the inauguration of the president, the chamber will achieve more remarkable increase in prestige, membership and finances. I look forward to the establishment of new ventures while existing ones continue to thrive,” she said. Lawson said NACCIMA would support Abuja Chamber to advocate for policies and programmes that could benefit the private sector and encourage the growth and development of enterprises in Nigeria.

Bayelsa Govt. slashes LG wage bill by N344m By CLEM ONYEMAECHI, Yenagoa

B • A cross section of participants at the maiden edition of the Stanbic IBTC Youth Leadership Series held in Lagos

Lagos Assembly passes power supply, land use review bill agos State Government has passed the Embedded Power Supply Project bill as well as the review of the Land Use Charge Law, aimed at boosting the state’s economy in 2018. The power project, which is expected to deliver an estimated 3,000 Megawatts to homes

and industries, while the revised Land Use Charge Law had been designed to improve the values of property in the State. The State’s House of Assembly had last week announced the passage of two bills expected to provide the legal framework for the programmes by enacting the Lagos State Embedded Power Supply Law 2018 and the

shortly after EEDC’s Manager GIS, Uche Anyalewechi, gave NERC update on the progress of on-going numeration project, at the commission’s office in Abuja, recently. Tagged; “Asset and Customer Enumeration Exercise”, our reporter gathered that EEDC had flagged off the exercise in 2017, with Enugu State as pilot state, in the scheme that is expected to extend to other states within EEDC’s franchise areas. Confirming the development in an interview with our reporter, in Enugu, EEDC’s Head of Communications, Emeka Ezeh, described NERC’s praise as huge moraleboost, and assured that the company would continue to introduce more customer-oriented schemes in the future. According to him, EEDC had since

commenced the project, a statutory requirement of NERC, “using Geographical Information System (GIS) technology, which enables us to efficiently map out entire electrical network system by updating our database and capturing all electrical assets within the network, with each part of the infrastructure registered on the map”. Eze also explained that the project, which he said, would improve decision-making in the company’s future operations, is as well aimed at facilitating comprehensive metering of all electricity customers; easy identification of all electrical assets and their state; identification of all existing customers; and effective power distribution and monitoring through remote sensing, among others.

By VICTOR NZE

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NERC lauds EEDC on customer enumeration

From CHUKS EZE

com which was challenged by the absence of credit card and e-payment infrastructure when it was launched over 12 years ago.

Lagos State Land Use Charge Law 2018. Both laws are expected to be signed into law this week by the State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode. Speaking on the development, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Kehinde Bamigbetan said the two strategic laws were part of the grand plan of the present administration to boost the economy and make life easier and comfortable for the people. “The Embedded Power Supply programme will provide the enabling environment for the private sector to generate not less than 1000 megawatts every year in the first phase of three years by using gas to produce power and distributing the electricity to consumers. “As enabler, the Lagos State Government will guarantee the off-take of the generated power. This new product is expected to expand the distribution network and increase metering capacity of the electricity distribution firms in Lagos State including Eko Distribution Company and Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company.”

ayelsa State Government has stated that the wage bill of eight local government councils in the state has now been reduced from N1.389 billion to N945 million. Commissioner for Local Government Administration, Dr. Agatha Goma who disclosed this in an interview, weekend, said the development has freed more funds for the councils to embark on rural and infrastructural development projects with direct impact on the people at the grassroots. It would be recalled that the state government had embarked on measures aimed at weeding out those illegally employed in the local government councils, including those who were overdue for retirement, a move the state government claims had significantly brought down the hitherto over-bloated wage bill. Goma said there has been a progressive reduction of the over bloated wage bill of the councils due to the sustained efforts of government to sanitize the public sector. “As at December 2015 the wage bill of the eight Local Government Areas was one billion three hundred and eighty-nine million. This was later reduced to one billion three hundred fifteen million in April twenty-sixteen and later in July last year, the wage bill was reduced to one billion one hundred eighty-nine million and in December, it was one point one billion and currently stands at nine hundred and forty-five million.


The Oracle Today

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Wednesday February 14 , 2018

ENERGY

Total builds deepwater production hub around Egina • Says project on time, budget By SOPURUCHI ONWUKA

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OTAL Exploration and Production Nigeria (TEPN) Limited may become the first multinational player in the country to build a deepwater production cluster that would leave an enduring infrastructure for future development of own and third party assets. The company also declared that its Egina deepwater field development project which was sanctioned in 2013 has continued to progress through critical onsite and facility fabrication stages towards commissioning in 2018 or early 2019. Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Ahmadu Kida-Musa, told The Oracle Today that the Egina deepwater field development which would be the third consecutive big ticket project to be delivered by the French multinational oil major in deep offshore Nigeria is on time and on budget. He said the project has scaled critical development stages, achieved industry shattering safety milestones, raised the bar for Nigerian Content compliance and performance and also achieved Africa’s first synchronized fabrication and integration process seamlessly delivered from two locations in Nigeria and South Korea. The Oracle Today reports that the Egina deepwater development project cost has been a subject of legislative investigation following allegations of variation in the cost of procurement and services. The Eginal deepwater oilfield discovered by Total in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 130, in one of the deepest terrains ever explored

offshore Nigeria is operated by the company in partnership with General Theophilus Danjuma’s South Atlantic Petroleum (SAPETRO) under a production sharing contract (PSC) with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which represents government’s interest in the asset. Under the PSC model, the operator is authorized by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and NNPC to deploy private resources in exploration, development and production on total risk basis. He declares hydrocarbon finds to government upon which cost templates are jointly agreed on, and development and production projects begin. Any cost variation is also approved by government through NNPC and DPR, as the risk bearer is expected to recover all costs through initial production volumes before government joins in profit sharing. Mr. Kida-Musa told The Oracle that cost variation has never featured in Egina development project despite the galloping inflation that escalated cost of goods and services in the country and across the globe. According to him, cost has not increased by a dime from the initial $16 billion approved for the project in 2013, regretting that sensational media reports has dented the reputation of the lofty pioneering initiatives taken by the company to tame costs, optimize local capacity and boost the confidence of Nigerian oil industry service professionals. On how the company has maintained the initial project cost across six years of consistent devaluation of the Naira, he explained that Total adopted a busi-

• Egina FPSO arrives Nigeria for in-country topside integration. ness model that targeted cost savings and optimization of Nigerian Content in delivering key projects in order to develop and domicile the right set of skills for in-country job execution. He pointed out that use of local content was cheaper, faster and process efficient, adding that Total beat back the impact of inflation on the Egina project by optimizing use of Nigerian Content, integrating its global project team into one Nigerian workforce while building permanent infrastructure for sustainable lo-

Stronger oil prices quake 2018 budget Cont’d from Page 17 Since late 2016 when the coalition began its control on market forces, price of crude oil has broken through $50 per barrel ($50/ bbl) through $60/bbl and temporarily topped $70/bbl before lowering to the higher ends of $69/ bbl last weekend. Brent for April delivery traded up 52 cents at $69.41/bbl in London last weekend after rising to $69.67 same day. The global benchmark last touched $75 in late 2014. The surge in the prices of the commodities, especially crude oil and natural gas liquids, in the international commodity markets has set a new price trend that hosts positive outlook for

the Nigerian federal budget for 2018 which was premised on $45/ bbl and 2.3 million barrels per day. But it has also shattered the critical assumptions upon which the government’s fiscal proposals for the year are erected, and set the ground for traditional accountability issues surrounding the annual government budgets in the country. The new price templates for crude oil emerging from positive outcome of producers’ supply manipulations already prompted the national legislature to quickly alter the oil price benchmark from $45/ bbl to $47/bbl. But financial analysts that focus on the prices of crude oil as primary index of global economic growth predict that

the producers’ price correction measures could possibly double the Nigerian revenue targets from petroleum exports. In a report where Goldman Sachs Group hiked its short-term crude oil price forecast for the year by about 33%, it stated that the Brent crude grade is estimated to reach $75/bbl over the next three months from previous estimate of $62/bbl. It added that Brent is expected to climb to $82.50 before July. “The rebalancing of the oil market has likely been achieved, six months sooner than we had expected,” Goldman’s analysts wrote. “The decline in excess inventories

cal capacity growth. The company in a separate statement explained that some news reporters mistook Egina project’s total budget as the cost of the Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) unit which is only a unit of the whole project, explaining that the Egina project has a Total budget of $16 billion covering all activities of the project including the operations in the 6 technical packages. It listed the technical packages to include Drilling & Completion; Subsea Production Systems (SPS); Umbilicals Flowlines and Risers (UFR); Offloading Terminal Buoy (OLT); FPSO ; and Project Field Operations. The Oracle Today reports that Egina FPSO, which is part of the Egina project, was constructed in South Korea: it arrived Lagos on January 24, 2018. When finally deployed, Egina would be the largest FPSO ever installed in Nigeria. Six out of the 18 topside modules were fully fabricated in Nigeria and would be integrated on the FPSO at the local Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI-MCI) yard at Ladol Free Zone, Lagos. Within the next 6 months, the integration of the six locally fabricated topside modules at the SHIMCI Yard before its final sail-away to the Egina field will be another a game changer in the country’s history of deep offshore oil and gas projects.

Total stated that the Egina project would also be a remarkable achievement in local content development in Nigeria. On the business model supporting the company’s deep pocket investment in the project, Mr. Kida Musa explained that Total was taking comprehensive evaluation of future developments in two contiguous deepwater fields under its development. With three floating production vessels anchored in OMLs 130 and 138, Mr Kida Musa said the company would consider tying in future developments into the existing facilities to optimise capacity and blow down costs. He said the clustered production facilities would confer commerciality on smaller discoveries earlier considered sub-commercial within the region. Also, he said, gas harnessing from contiguous fields have become cheaper and simpler with a developed conduit that channels produced gas from OML 130 to conventional offshore AmenamKpono production platform which feeds NLNG Limited with natural gas from Total’s offshore production sites. “This would be the first time a Nigerian deepwater field if designed to produce routine gas flaring, explaining that Egina field development has brought the Nigerian petroleum industry to the forefront of global offshore development technology,” he said.


The Oracle Today

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Wednesday February 14 , 2018

ENERGY

Lekoil to kick off Otakikpo Seismic ... Completes technical evaluation on OPL 325

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NDIGENOUS marginal field player, Lekoil, has declared intention to begin preliminary exploration processes with seismic data acquisition on operated oil mining lease (OML) 11 license area. The survey which is being conducted by Sinopec Changjiang Engineering Services (Sinopec) is expected to complete in June. Lekan Akinyanmi, LEKOIL’s CEO,

said: “The acquisition of 3D seismic data will provide valuable information to unlock further value at Otakikpo. Sinopec has a reputation for high-quality data acquisition and we are pleased to be working with them.” According to source familiar with events in the company, Lekoil will start the acquisition of 3D seismic on the marginal field after permits

were issued and the mobilization was completed. The sources have it that the company has already activated line cutting while making preparations for seismic recording operations. Following the completion of this seismic acquisition, Lekoil said it would process and interpret the new 3D seismic data. Meanwhile the company has

completed technical evaluation on OPL 325. Lekoil holds a 62% equity interest in OPL325, through Ashbert Oil and Gas Ltd. The block is located offshore in the Dahomey Basin, straddling the western Niger Delta, 50 km south of OPL 310. Lumina Geophysical carried out a geophysical evaluation of approximately 800 sq km of 3D seismic data provided by LEKOIL. As a result of this seismic review, Lumina identified and reported on a total of 11 prospects and leads on the block, estimated to contain potential gross aggregate oil-in-place volumes of over 5,700 million barrels (un-risked, Best Estimate case). Lumina’s efforts focused primarily on the Paleocene section of the block, generating new structural and stratigraphic maps using 3D

pre-stack time migration seismic data. These maps were used in the volumetric approach to come to an estimation of potential resources in OPL325. Lekoil intends to farm-down a portion of its working interest in OPL325 following a detailed prospect/lead risking study. “This independent report underlines our belief in the prospectivity of this asset that was part of our original Dahomey Basin study. The deep water turbidite fan play is particularly exciting for OPL325. As one of Lekoil’s key assets, we are delighted to have third party endorsement of our prospective resources, and our significant equity holding in the block gives us plenty of optionality for the next phases of exploration,” said Lekan Akinyanmi, the company’s CEO.

NNPC invites private investment in pipelines

N • Otakikpo marginal field.

Brent Crude price on long flight

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il and gas analysts at BMI Research expect the value of Brent Crude oil to continue rising over the next few years, according to a new report published by the company. Oil and gas analysts at BMI Research expect the value of Brent Crude oil to continue rising over the next few years, according to a new report published by the company. In the report, the analysts forecast that Brent will increase to $75 per barrel in 2019, $78 per barrel in 2020, and $80 per barrel over 2021 and 2022. This forecast is significantly higher than the Bloomberg Consensus, which sees Brent Crude at $63 per barrel in 2019, $67 per barrel in 2020, $66 per barrel in 2021 and $63 per barrel in 2022. “Over the medium term to 2022, we are bullish on crude prices, with strengthening global demand outstripping supply growth,” BMI analysts stated in the report. The analysts highlighted that the lower oil price environment over the past three years has led to a tapering of the global projects pipeline beyond 2020. These delays to final investment decisions are expected to combine with persistent decline rates on existing production assets to lower total supply growth, according to BMI. “Whilst we believe higher prices will elicit a strong supply response from the US, the growth will be unable to plug the demand gap,

pushing the market into a sustained deficit from this year,” the analysts stated. BMI expects to see Indian and Chinese demand continue to perform well over the next few years, according to the report. “Both markets’ consumption is forecast to remain robust over the coming years, alongside broader economic growth and growing consumer demand for light distillates and petrochemicals,” BMI

analysts stated. “Together the two markets compromise of almost half of the emerging market demand basket and will continue to be the fulcrum of demand growth over the next decade,” the analysts added. BMI conceded that rising fuel prices posed ‘some risk’ to emerging market consumption, but said this wasn’t sufficient enough to derail growth.

igerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is seeking private investors in the development of more pipelines in the country in order to enhance wheeling of petroleum products across the nation. Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said private investors could help repair and build up the country’s pipeline infrastructure to enable Nigeria export more oil. Speaking to the new board of NNPC’s downstream unit, Nigerian Pipeline Storage Company (NPSC), Baru said the company should form partnerships with

Indian oil tanker disappears with 13,000 tons of fuel

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ndian flagged export tanker is missing along the coast of Gulf of Guinea with a cargo of 13, 000 tons of the premium motor spirit also called petroleum in the Nigerian market. The Oracle Today gathered that

Oil service companies upbeat

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ilfield services companies around the globe will face stronger demand for their services in 2018, BMI Research stated in a new report. Oilfield services (OFS) companies around the globe will face stronger demand for their services in 2018, according to a new report from BMI Research. Oil and gas analysts at BMI believe that recovering onshore activity in the U.S. will boost demand for drilling and completion services this year, and expect recovering markets outside the U.S. to further support OFS in 2018. “As some of the industry’s most vulnerable companies to

the fall in crude prices, rising commodity prices and strengthening demand for onshore services is reviving this sector after a three-year contraction,” BMI analysts said in a statement. “Having retired or pulled back from a number of segments since 2014, we expect OFS firms will redeploy assets into the field this year as investment activity begins to recover,” the analysts added. In the report, BMI highlighted that the rise in crude prices had already boosted revenues at the top global OFS companies, as upstream developers increase spending. “At Schlumberger and Halliburton, Q4 17 revenue rose by

the private sector and double the number of its pipelines over the next 10 years. “Your work also is to look at refurbishing these pipelines and storage along a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement by getting willing private companies to invest in these pipelines,” Baru said at the NPSC board inauguration. NNPC owns and operates gas pipelines which feed power plants in the country. Baru also said the state oil company was ready to engage security agencies to protect pipelines against any act of economic sabotage.

15.1 percent year-on-year, 47.7 percent year-on-year, respectively,” the analysts stated. Outside of the U.S. BMI analysts expect a pick-up in activity along the Atlantic Margin surrounding Latin America and West Africa, as majors return to high-impact exploration to support reserve replacement. “However, we caution that global activity will rise at a more modest rate outside of the U.S. given longer lead times and higher breakevens at many conventional projects. This will leave more slack in the international OFS market, thereby limiting cost inflation over the course of the year,” the analysts said.

the vessel was reported missing last weekend and concerted search for a missing oil tanker provided no results last Monday. The vessel, Marine Express, was carrying more than 13,000 tons of gasoline and went missing in the Gulf of Guinea, according to a statement from Anglo Eastern, the ship’s managing company. There is also no word on the fate of the 22 Indian nationals who were onboard at the time of the vessel’s disappearance. In a tweet, a spokesman for India’s Foreign Ministry, Raveesh Kumar, said a search for the ship is underway. “Our Mission in Abuja is in touch with the authorities in Benin and Nigeria for their help in locating the ship and is constantly monitoring the situation,” he said.


The Oracle Today

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Wednesday February 14 , 2018

e-Platform

Nigeria needs Cloud Computing, IoT for economic transformation – Oracle Stories by SAMSON AKINTARO

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OR Nigeria to transform her economy and reach its full potential of being the fastest growing economy in Africa, more attention must be paid to adoption of technologies. This is according to the global technology company, Oracle, which highlighted Cloud Computing, Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence as the key technologies that Nigeria needs to drive transformation. Speaking at an event in Lagos, Adebayo Sanni, Managing Director, Oracle Nigeria, said a number of socio-economic challenges facing the country can be can be tackled using technologies. “The issue of waste management and traffic, for instance can be easily addressed with IoT. Social issues such as lack of access to healthcare can also be addressed using technology” he said. According to him, the problem of corruption and the need for transparency in government can be tackled using the blockchain technology. Already, Sanni said Oracle is currently partnering some state governments in Nigeria on technology projects, which he believes will help the country in many ways. While emphasizing the need for enterprises and governments to embrace cloud computing to achieve maximum security of data, Sanni noted that industries are now being disrupted by cloud computing as currently being witnessed in the Nigerian transportation sector, with the operations of Uber and Taxify, whose apps are leveraging on the cloud to revolu-

tionize the sector. Sanni, who was delighted that Oracle Cloud is now gaining momentum in Nigeria, said with cloud computing enabling unmatched speed, value and better return on investment (ROI); businesses and public sector entities in Nigeria are accelerating their digital transformation initiatives with Oracle. The Oracle MD elaborated on the key factors driving the rapid adoption of the company’s cloud solutions in Nigeria while also highlighting key technology trends, organizations in Nigeria are expected to adopt in 2018. “Cloud is now a mainstream approach in Nigeria and we are increasingly seeing business leaders opt for solutions that allow them to free up resources for creating unique customer experience; drive innovation or reduce ownership costs”, said Sanni. “Over the past few years Oracle has invested in expanding its footprint, increasing the workforce and introducing latest cloud solutions in the country. This sustained engagement has helped us support the digital transformation initiatives of a host of organizations and thus drive solid momentum for Oracle cloud in Nigeria”. During the event, Oracle has also made some predictions on how technology will affect Nigeria in 2018. According to the company, enterprise security will become company job number one priority with much of it being automated. “We will see companies turning to cloud for security and that will be the key driver of cloud because companies cannot on their own handle the cyber-security threats

• From left: Oluwole Abegunde; Senior Telecom Media Research Analyst at IDC, Adebayo Sanni MD Oracle Nigeria, and Peter Daniels, Strategy and Agility lead for Wema Bank at the Oracle event in Lagos. that are increasing per second”. It added this year; Artificial Intelligence (AI) will also cement its lace in enterprises. By the end of 2018, most customer support in will be conducted by chatbots, blockchain will emerge as a transformational technology and IoT will evolve from individual components to an integrated platform, while regulated industries

will move to the cloud en masse” Oracle said in its 2018 predictions. “With IDC projecting the country’s ICT market to grow to USD 10Bn in 2018; Nigeria is fast emerging as the hotbed of technological innovation in Africa and we are working with customers that sit right on the edge of this potential,” added Sanni. “In a market defined by growth, development and

9mobile, Bango boost mobile payment solutions with 9pay

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igeria’s most innovative telecommunication company, 9mobile, in partnership with Bango, the leading global mobile payments company, has launched a new operator-billed payments solution known as “9pay” for Google Play users. With 9pay, customers can pay for an array of media, games, apps and digital content on Google Play store. “Customers can open and fund a 9pay account by dialing *500# or visiting 9pay. com.ng. All funds are securely warehoused and monitored by UBA Plc. Alternatively; they can complete this process while they are in the play store. 9pay customers will also be able to use their accounts to pay for an exciting array of services online like lottery, collect change digitally and pay for web services. This great new step also ensures that local developers of apps and games will find it infinitely easier to monetize their offerings” the company said in a statement. Chief Product & Information Officer, 9mobile, Otuyemi Otule, noted that 9mobile was happy to expand its mobile payment solutions in Nigeria, which has a combination of a highly unbanked and highly mobile-first population. He

added that 9mobile’s 9pay offers millions of consumers a means of making important financial transactions, including sending and receiving money, receiving change from merchants, topping up air-time and much more. “We are delighted to enable customers place the charge for content and services from Google Play on their 9pay account. This launch is a significant addition to the value of mobile payments for our customers,” Otule said. According to the CEO of Bango, Ray Anderson, “It’s instructive to note that 76 percent of all online traffic in Nigeria is from mobile devices. Smartphone adoption is growing rapidly, with Android accounting for over 60% of the mobile Operating Systems market share in Nigeria as at 2016. 9mobile and Bango target a high impact in Nigeria - approximately 150 million subscribers, which will be more than any other African country”. Anderson said, “With a high Android devi ce penetration and low banked population, Africa has become a prime market for transformative mobile payment solutions. Direct Carrier Billing and stored value systems such as 9pay provide a safe, simple mechanism for increasing access to digital content and services.”

“Enabling 9mobile to launch 9pay as a payment option on Google Play is an important milestone for Bango, to further increase our footprint in Africa and give millions of consumers access to the digital revolution.” He added that the Google Play store pre-installed on all Android devices will enable millions of Nigerian consumers to participate in the m-commerce experience.

• Boye Olusanya, CEO 9Mobile.

change, Oracle Nigeria has focused on redefining the capabilities of cloud, the potential of technology and the relevance of innovation. From the ubiquity of next-generation cloud to the reliability of blockchain, we continue to invest in solutions and services that will help bring transformational change for our customers”.

iSON Technologies partners OutSystems to deliver low-code solutions for Africa

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SON Technologies and OutSystems have announced a strategic partnership focused on helping organizations in African and Middle Eastern regions achieve digital transformation faster. iSON Technologies, the leading IT player catering to the African and Middle Eastern markets, said it will use the OutSystems low-code platform to accelerate digital transformation initiatives in the regions. OutSystems combines the power of lowcode development with advanced mobile capabilities, enabling visual development of entire application portfolios that easily integrate with existing systems. The partnership is aimed at empowering enterprises to quickly create and deliver effective, innovative and compelling enterprise-grade applications. iSON Technologies is focussed in transforming large organizations. With OutSystems, it now has an in-house development solution for replacing existing legacy systems and developing additional functionality with a short time to market. The joint solution will enable organizations in telecoms, BFSI, Real-Estate, Oil and Gas, Manufacturing, Retail and other sectors to rapidly capitalize on market opportunities. Speaking about the partnership, Akshay Grover, Chief Growth Officer said, “OutSystems is one of the most advanced low-code platform and it is consistently rated a leader by the analyst community. The partnership is a win – win with the sectors’ desire to come up to speed to cater to its customer’s needs. As we focus on digital transformation for organizations in the African and Middle Eastern regions, this partnership will empower us to deliver enterprise mobility solutions fast.”


The Oracle Today

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Wednesday February 14 , 2018

e-Platform

SureRemit raises $7 million for MDXI assures customers digital voucher system rollout of 100% power uptime A

Stories by SAMSON AKINTARO

S

ureRemit, a non-cash remittance platform majority-owned by Nigeria based fintech holding company, GreenHouse Capital, has raised $7 million on the initial coin offering (‘ICO’) market. This is aimed at boosting the adoption of Blockchain technology and Cryptocurrency in Nigeria. SureRemit is a non-cash remittance platform using blockchain technology to help immigrants earmark and send funds home. Using a digital voucher platform and network of local merchants across African and other emerging markets, SureRemit offers an affordable, non-cash alternative for sending money to family and friends at home. SureRemit charges users 0 percent transaction fees, making it a cheaper option than Moneygram. Several prominent cryptocurrency investors including Hashed, South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency fund participated in the round. Hashed has previously backed several notable blockchain and blockchain-enabled projects including Airswap, Ethereum, and Simple Token. The fund’s decision to join in SureRemit’s pre-sale ICO signals growing interest in the potential for cryptocurrency to further alleviate remittance challenges in emerging markets where recipients remain largely disconnected from financial markets. The platform also gives the sender visibility and control over what the remittances can be put towards by specifying use-cases: digital vouchers from specific local merchants can be purchased and settled instantly on the SureRemit platform. Whether funds are used for utility bills, medical treatment, or groceries, SureRemit ensures that sending a few hundred dollars to family is no longer subjected to fees of 7.45% -- the global average. Using blockchain, SureRemit can bypass the traditional banking system and connect customers directly to local merchants, who pay a small commission fee on each transaction. This development builds on GreenHouse Capital’s focus on identifying new ways for blockchain and cryptocurrency to

transform African markets. In collaboration with current and prospective portfolio companies and public institutions, GreenHouse Capital plans to harness blockchain technology to accelerate Africa’s growth via the ICO market. “The implication of growth capital outside of equity financing is huge. It means SureRemit can scale its operations without additional capital from existing shareholders. SureRemit is just one of our 10 fintechenabled portfolio companies that can potentially leverage blockchain to address a specific market gap, particularly in Africa. We’re happy to take the lead on blockchain and cryptocurrency implementations on the continent,” says Kelechi Nwokocha, a member of the investment team at GreenHouse Capital. Since spinning off from Venture Garden Group in 2016, GreenHouse Capital has amassed investments in 14 leading technology companies, including mobile lending company Mines.io, human ATM network provider ESL, and Appzone, a noted Afri-

can banking platform provider. In 2017, portfolio companies Flutterwave and Helium Health raised millions of dollars in growth capital from international investors including Greycroft Partners, PayPal, and Y Combinator. GreenHouse Capital said it is excited by the opportunity for SureRemit to leverage the ICO market to fund future growth. The company said it foresees blockchain becoming a conduit to tackling Africa’s significant infrastructure challenges. “Whether for payments, power, or identity, GreenHouse Capital envisions blockchain’s decentralized system as a critical tool for addressing some of Africa’s greatest market gaps. SureRemit is re-engineering Africa’s remittance market and highlights the wide array of potential applications of blockchain to drive Africa’s development. This ICO raise is arguably the most successful offering in Africa to date and will likely propel future offerings on the continent” it said.

Firm to launch digital platform for healthcare professionals

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eading global provider of information, innovative technology solutions and human data science, IQVIA, formerly known as Quintiles IMS, has announced plans to launch a digital healthcare platform. The move, the company said, is aimed at deepening networking and collaboration among health care providers and helps stem the ugly trend of inter-professional rivalry in Nigeria’s health industry “IQVIA HCPSpace is a platform designed to bring together all specialties and sub specialties of Doctors - Pharmacists, Nurses, Medical Laboratory Scientists, and all other Healthcare Professionals, where they can connect to peers, follow Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), discuss medical cases, establish public/private groups, view videos for increased knowledge, earn Continuing Professional Development, CPD points from content provided by approved bodies and KOLs, find jobs and career opportunities across multiple regions in Africa and the Middle East” the com-

pany said. The platform is device-independent, mobile-responsive and optimized, and available for free download as native IOS and Android apps in the relevant app stores. As a social tool that leverages technology and human insight, IQVIA HCPSpace will radically alter Nigeria’s health landscape for good, according to experts. Speaking on the impending launch, Country Manager, IQVIA West Africa, Pharm. Remi Adeseun said, “we believe in collaboration and networking in an environment that can be trusted and one which is dedicated to verified healthcare professionals across Nigeria, Africa as a whole and the Middle East. The IQVIA HCPSpace will help improve the Healthcare Professionals’ practice, patient experience and produce desired healthcare outcomes.” It would be recalled that a Communiqué was issued at the end of the InterProfessional Collaboration Symposium organized by the Nigeria Academy

gainst the backdrop of perennial power challenge in the country, General Manager of the MainOne Data Center subsidiary, MDXI, Mr. Gbenga Adegbiji has said that the MDXI data center is achieving almost 100 percent power uptime availability, with a surmountable over 90 percent of that power coming directly from the national grid. He stated this while reacting to a report published in the media that was quoted to another data center operator who complained that power is a key problem across Africa and Nigeria’s power issues are on a larger scale and more constant than experienced globally. Adegbiji debunked the myth that power hungry industries such as data centers cannot successfully operate in Nigeria, claiming its company has enjoyed 90+ percent power uptime since 2015 and is poised to achieve 95 percent availability in 2018, based on a growing partnership with a local power distribution company. During an interview at the data center recently, Adegbiji stressed the MDXI facility was purposebuilt to mitigate all challenges that global businesses may have in a Nigerian data center. He mentioned that before constructing the data center, the company realized 24x7 power supply was a critical challenge for businesses requiring high availability colocation infrastructure within Nigeria and invested in a direct private connection to the National grid through newly privatized Eko Electricity Distribution Plc. “We recognized the crippling impact of downtimes, the peculiarities of the Nigerian power environment as an albatross that had forced many companies to relocate outside Nigeria and ensured MDXI was established with the most robust electricity power and back-up arrangements, in line with the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) ANSI/TIA-942, the leading Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard for Data Centers. Though we made provision for the full complement of generators and diesel tanks with capacity of over 100,000 liters to secure the data center’s operations and guarantee 99.995% availability, we also partnered with Eko Disco and co-invested in a dedicated 33KV feeder and line connection to the National Grid through the Ajah sub-station. Connecting directly to the grid provides us access to multiple power generating plants and guarantees backup in the event that one power plant goes down. This was a capital investment of hundreds of millions in substation equipment and dedicated power lines which bypass all ‘last-mile’ challenges encountered in electricity distribution. This has guaranteed an increase in power availability at the data center from 50% average commercial power availability to between 95% and 98%” Adegbiji said.

of Pharmacy in collaboration with the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN. The event which held on May 11 2017 at the University of Lagos encapsulated an 8-points resolution, and identified the concept of universal communication and collaboration among healthcare professionals that is yielding documented benefits and gains in the healthcare sector across the world.

• IGbenga-Adegbiji-Managing-Director, MDXi


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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 18, 2018

ISSN: 2545-5869

VOX POPULI SACRUM

www.oraclenews.ng

EDITORIAL

Nigeria needs restructuring, not letters Cont’d front page 1

not work. What were Obasanjo’s mistakes while in office? Does he ever believe that he made mistakes? HE referred to former President Goodluck Jonathan thus, “Even the horse rider then, with whom I maintain very cordial, happy and social relationship today has come to realise his mistakes and regretted it publicly and I admire his courage and forthrightness in this regard.” Obasanjo was not done yet, “He has a role to play on the side line for the good of Nigeria, Africa and humanity and I will see him as a partner in playing such a role nationally and internationally, but not as a horse rider in Nigeria again.” Jonathan, according to Obasanjo, with his one vote, has determined, that in a democracy, Jonathan will not be the President of Nigeria again. WHAT does one make of someone who speaks in those ways, and still appropriates democratic credentials? Obasanjo’s attitude and imposition of his prescriptions are the major flaws in his supposed mission to rescue an obviously sinking ship. HE asserted, “President Buhari needs a dignified and honourable dismount from the horse. I only appeal to brother Buhari to consider a deserved rest at this point in time and at this age. President Buhari does not necessarily need to heed my advice. But whether or not he heeds

it, Nigeria needs to move on and move forward.” SHORT of telling the people to hit the streets and lead themselves, he said, “Democracy is sustained and measured not by leaders doing extraordinary things, (invariably, leaders fail to do ordinary things very well), but by citizens rising up to do ordinary things extra-ordinarily well. Our democracy, development and progress at this juncture require ordinary citizens of Nigeria to do the extra-ordinary things of changing the course and direction of our lacklustre performance and development. If leadership fails, citizens must not fail and there lies the beauty and importance of democracy,” HIS recourse to God, the Almighty clothes his intention with a veneer of goodness. Anyone who knows the self-seeking interests of Obasanjo would not be surprised that he would throw anything, everything at it. “God of Nigeria has endowed this country adequately and our nonperformance cannot be blamed on God but on leadership,” he said. “God, who has given us what we need and which is potentially there, will give us leadership enablement to actualise our potentiality. Last time, we asked, prayed and worked for change and God granted our request. This time, we must ask, pray and work for change with unity, security and progress. And God will again grant us.” OBASANJO proposed a coalition. “We need a Coalition for Nigeria, CN. Such a Movement at this juncture needs not be a political party but one to which all wellmeaning Nigerians can belong. Of course, nothing should stop such a Movement from satisfying conditions for fielding candidates for elections. It is our human duty and responsibility so to do. Failure to do this will amount to a sin against God and a crime against humanity.” THE pendulous swings of his intentions started showing from this point. What does Obasanjo want, a movement or a political party? The speed with which the coalition was launched tells a story. Its population with Obasanjo’s acolytes is the fuller story. IN the democratic setting he has premised the movement on, with large numbers of Nigerians joining, Obasanjo had dictated that “Coalition for Nigeria must have its headquarters in Abuja. It is a coalition of hope for all Nigerians for speedy, quality and equal development, security, unity, prosperity and progress. It is a coalition to banish poverty, insecurity and despair.” How did he decide where the coalition would be headquartered? FORMER President Ibrahim Babangida issued a letter, within hours it was denied as emanating from him, and then restated as being his, still on Buhari’s administra-

tion. The letter essentially rated the performances of Buhari in security and the war against corruption low. BABANGIDA in the controversial letter wrote, “In the fullness of our present realities, we need to cooperate with President Muhammadu Buhari to complete his term of office on May 29th, 2019 and collectively prepare the way for new generation leaders to assume the mantle of leadership of the country.” HE continued, “Modern leadership is not just about “fighting” corruption, it is about plugging the leakages and building systems that will militate against corruption. Accountability in leadership should flow from copious examples. It goes beyond mere sloganeering.” THE two former leaders, strident as they were in their letters, said nothing about restructuring Nigeria. Many have agreed that no policies would survive if they were not premised on administering Nigeria as federating units, with power devolved to those units, on many matters. DID they forget? Was their agenda of a better Nigeria a federation clogged by the weight that the central government bears, the excuse for the allocation of resources to the centre, resources that are wasted in irrelevances? IF the duo’s omission of restructuring of Nigeria was deliberate, a mistake, or their conviction, whatever it was shows that their analyses of the present and future of Nigeria do not rest on any solid grounds. ALL the agitations in Nigeria - resource control, security, Fulani herdsmen, unemployment, falling education practices, corruption – in various ways have a nexus with the unmanageable powers of the central government, which has made governance ineffectual. SENTIMENTS of the interventions should not befuddle the judgments of Nigerians about how different a government that ignores the imperatives of restructuring would be.

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.


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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 18, 2018

OPINION Who and where are the criminals?

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veryone is talking about crime. Tell me, who are the criminals?”So sang, more than forty years ago, the Jamaican artiste Peter Torsh in his album “Equal rights”. Today, that question has become extraordinarily pertinent in our beloved country Nigeria. Here in Nigeria, we talk of crimes: armed robbery, kidnapping, and now, murder by herdsmen. But who and where are the criminals? Are we pretending not to know them? And are we pretending not to know where they are? But our God of JUSTICE looks on! Nigerians are familiar with the drama of parade of suspects. On prime time television, the police treats us to it. Some men and women are apprehended by the police, made to sit by dangerous weapons, and paraded as criminals. And the story ends there. We hear of no prosecution, no conviction, no sentencing. Apart from the fact that such drama amounts to media trial, pronouncing them guilty even before they are arraigned as prescribed by law, we never get to know if indeed they are the criminals. What has happened to the many suspects paraded in the media by the Nigeria Police? And what has happened to the dangerous weapons supposedly seized from them? Our government and its security agencies, if indeed they are responsible and accountable, owe Nigerians some credible explanations. The recent terrorist acts of herdsmen and the way the federal government has reacted—its spokespersons and the security agencies—bear a disturbing resemblance to the issue of dramatized parade of suspects. The laws of this country were broken by those who butchered citizens of Nigeria the way they would butcher their cows. First, the reactions of leaders of Miyetti Allah, by way of self-implication, did little to hide the identity of the criminals. Secondly, govern-

tions the government has a non-negotiable moral obligation to answer. Setting up a committee to prevent a reoccurrence is a good idea. But that does not justify the fact that these murderers are still walking and talking freely. It is cruel and cynical to subject security matters to the manipulation of our religious and ethnic differences. It is utterly unbecoming of statesmen to prioritize political calculations over the value of life and property. Every Nigerian citizen is special. The rights that belong to us by virtue of being human beings and citizens are to be protected at all times. It is no longer news that our country has become a bye-word in the comity of nations. The international community looks with wonder at a country so tall on promise but short on delivery. The way our government not, on the one hand, say these butchers ment officials came up with contradictory mishandles matters of security gives the are Nigerians in need of accommodation by rest of the world the impression that we explanations. fellow Nigerians, and, on the other hand, Some government officials blamed it on cannot govern ourselves. Little wonder the fact that the herdsmen were not treated turn around and say they are foreigners. derogatory words are used to describe us. The two explanations amount to a simple as Nigerian brothers. We were told the But we can, and we must change the negaherdsmen acted in such unparalleled barba- fault of logic. No public office holder who tive perception by doing things the right rism because they were not accommodated offers such explanations deserves to spend way. At this point in time, the matter of one more minute in office. He should either security must be rightly addressed without by their fellow Nigerians. We were treated tender his resignation or be fired. He cannot sweeping any item under the carpet.It is by to the tale that the herdsmen committed such heinous crimes because of a law made be counted upon to secure the people. far more important than getting elected or But apart from the fact that such utterby a state government. We were told, by re-elected in 2019. ances insult the intelligence of Nigerians, the Inspector General of Police, that the Since the federal government controls the killings were consequences of communal they beg the issue. The issue is neither the security agencies, we Nigerians must insist nationality nor the ethnic affiliation nor the clashes. In other words, clashes among that this government furnish us with credcommunities of Nigerians. The Minister of religious identity of the herdsmen. The issue ible answers to these and related questions: Defence, for his part, even went as far as is the crime they committed. In Nigeria, the who and where are the criminals? Where crime of murder is punishable by law. Our painting the picture of murderous herdsare the people who kill Nigerians? Why have government cannot pretend not to know men as Nigerians denied access to grazing they not appeared in court? What is the fedwho the criminals are. The issue is: where route by farmers. Then, in grotesque coneral government and its security agencies tradiction, the Directorate of State Security are the criminals? Why have leaders of waiting for? Miyetti Allah not been called in for interrosaid perpetrators of this crime were not gation? Nigerian herdsmen but members of the His Eminence, Islamic State in West Africa. Since security is de facto in the hands of Anthony Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie the federal government, these are quesOfficials of the federal government can31st January, 2018

Let’s embrace APC’s restructuring for good of country By EHICHIOYA EZOMON

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e learn in the Holy Books (John 1:45-46) that when Philip, one of the newly-recruited disciples of Jesus, met Nathanael, he told him, “We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” And Nathanael asked, “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip answered, “Come and see.” The above biblical reference illuminates the background to the August 2017 empaneling of the “Committee on True Federalism” by the All Progressives Congress, which hitherto demonstrated a lukewarm attitude to or simulated ignorance about the importance of and necessity for restructuring of the country. Mid 2017, the APC and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party tangled over the matter. Buffeted from all sides, the APC Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, reportedly asked: “What’s restructuring? I don’t know the meaning of restructuring.” While Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State vociferously dismissed the issue as being purveyed by “those who are out of power,” and President Muhammadu Buhari would rather canvass “attitudinal change and reorientation,” it appeared restructuring and its adjuncts were never mooted and/ or promised by the APC pre-2015 elections. Thus, the PDP stepped on the throttle, accusing the APC of abandoning the core elements of its Manifesto, and pledging that if voted into power in 2019, it (PDP) would restructure the country. Sensing it was about to lose the debate, the APC retorted it was for “true federalism and devolution of power” - interestingly, two items central to the “forbidden” word: restructuring. Subsequently, the party set up the Gover-

nor el-Rufai-headed committee, with many watchers of the polity alleging it was a smokescreen by the APC to buy time, while others cast doubts on its ability to do a feasible job owing to its headship by an “antirestructuring crusader.” But to connect that biblical passage, not only did something good come out of the APC committee, but it also trod where angels feared to walk, by suggesting the control of all mineral resources, including oil and gas, by states where the minerals are located. However, instead of saluting the report and the wisdom that informed it, critics forgot so soon, and deliberately picked and chose, and induced selective amnesia about the restructuring committee: why and how it came about, and its terms of reference. Three classes of critics emerged, with one declaring that the APC hurriedly put a committee together to cobble the report aftermath of the explosive and damning letter written by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to President Muhammadu Buhari. The second group said the report was self-serving, aimed at garnering supports for the APC ahead of the 2019 elections; and the third class of critics alleged that the report was nothing but a seriatim of the 2014 National Conference outcome. The first arm of the critics’ argument: that the committee and its report were goaded by the Obasanjo letter is preposterous as it’s absurd. How could a committee of that magnitude and mandate be put together, and in a few days went round the country, engaged over 8,000 persons in the process of its research, and collated and wrote a report in four volumes just because of an Obasanjo letter? Secondly, weren’t those soliciting restructuring used it as bait for the 2019 general

elections: that the people should vote for only the candidate(s) and party that preaches, and “is very serious” about restructuring of the country? So, what is wrong if the APC hitches a ride in the wagon, to enhance its electoral chances in 2019? And thirdly, why won’t the proponents of the adoption of the 2014 National Conference report rejoice that “about 80 per cent of the recommendations of the APC committee” was lifted from that report? After all, that was the source of their beef with the APC-led Buhari government: its alleged refusal to adopt and send the report to the National Assembly for consideration and implementation. It’s about time we put aside our differences and embrace the APC restructuring proposals that more or less cover the most contentious matters, which have plagued the polity even before Nigeria’s Independence in 1960. As enjoined by Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, elder statesmen, Tanko Yakassai (previously opposed) and Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, and other persons and groups, let’s see the APC recommendations as pan-Nigerian. Picking holes in and holding out on the report will not serve the decadesold yearnings of Nigerians. Why concern ourselves with how much of the 2014 National Conference recommendations was included in the APC committee report, rather than how to put the party, the Presidency and the National Assembly’s feet to the fire, for a quick and thorough implementation of the propositions, so they would not be kept in abeyance, like those of 2014, till after the 2019 polls. As advocated by those that have set politics aside and endorsed the approvals, and for the love of country, and solutions to the myriad of problems facing Nigeria, we

should obligate the Buhari administration to execute the report before the 2019 elections. Assuredly, Chief Odigie-Oyegun, the APC chair, perhaps realizing the party has been thrown a lifeline by the committee’s report, has pledged all-inclusive inputs and expeditious completion. We should escort the APC to the finish line. Mr. Ezomon, Journalist and Media Consultant, writes from Lagos, Nigeria.

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


The Oracle Today

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Wednesday February 14 , 2018

Travel & Hospitality C/River to upgrade Tinapa, Obudu

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he Cross River State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mac Creeds and Tom Consortium for the upgrade of Tinapa Lakeside Hotel and Obudu Mountain Resort in Obanliku Local Government Area, which are two of its prime tourism assets. The agreement was signed on behalf of the state government by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Joe Abang, and the state Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr. Eric Anderson. According to the Principal Partner, Mac Creeds and Tom Consortium, Mr. Kanu Signor, the consortium in collaboration with technical partners from South Africa and Spain, will invest N5billion into the projects. “We are here to sign the MoU with respect to Tinapa Lakeside Hotel and Obudu Mountain Resort. The two locations are the most primed tourist destinations in Nigeria. As investors who are in partnership with our foreign counterparts from South Africa and Spain, we have decided to invest in the upgrade of the facilities and bring it to what it is meant for. “We intend to hit the ground running by January. We are going to invest N5billion. The construction will start as from January. ‘‘We intend doing a bridge that will link Tinapa with Calabar International Conference Centre to ease vehicular access. So, we are looking at doing substantial work within the first 12 months and we would not shut down while doing the construction work,” Signor said. Anderson said that the facility upgrade will further bring the tourism potential of the state to limelight. “We have entered into an agreement with Mac Creeds and Tom Consortium to take over the management of Obudu Mountain Resort and Tinapa Lakeside Resort. ‘‘In Cross River, we are known as one destination for tourism. This agreement will only affect the hotel element of Tinapa Business Centre and not the entire facility.”

UNWTO/CAF meeting:

Committees submit interim reports Stories by VICTOR NZE

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AIN Organising Committee of the 61st Meeting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation Commission for Africa (UNWTO/CAF to be hosted by Nigeria, this June, last Wednesday, in Abuja received interim reports from its seven subcommittees set up for a successful hosting of the global event. The reports were received by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Mrs Grace Etsu

Gekpe, who doubles as the Vice Chairman of the committee at a meeting which reviewed activities of the units. The Main Committee, inaugurated by the Information Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Jan. 23, is drawn from various organisations including government Ministries, Departments and Agencies. The World Tourism Organisation is the leading international organ in tourism and responsible for promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.

• Chairman of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar (r) with the Co-Chairman, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, at the Rivers State Government House, Port Harcourt, when they paid a courtesy visit to the Rivers State Government House Port Harcourt.

FTAN marks 20th anniversary, honours members

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EDERATION of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) has concluded arrangements ahead of its 20th anniversary with plans in top gear to honour selected individuals who have contributed to the growth and development of the federation, as well as the tourism industry in the country. The event is expected to hold on February 27.

FTAN President Alhaji Karim Saleh Rabo, while speaking on the 20th anniversary, said it very important for the federation to mark the milestone, noting that the association was very mindful of the role the individuals to be honoured played in the association and it was just proper that the y should be recognized at this auspicious occasion. He disclosed that those to be be

Hilton expands to Cape Verde

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ilton Hotels marked the official opening of its spectacular new resort on the Island of Sal in Cabo Verde (Cape Verde), announcing the company’s debut in the country and further growing the brand’s portfolio of world-class resorts in Africa. Speaking at the event, Hilton’s Area Vice President of Operations for Africa and Indian Ocean, Jan van der Putten said: “Cabo Verde is a fast-growing tourism destination that offers amazing weather year-round, a rich culture and

The 59th meeting of the organisation’s Commission, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, awarded the hosting right of the 61st edition and a technical seminar on Tourism statistics to Nigeria. The Commission’s meeting is principally a gathering of African Ministers of Tourism with delegates from the 51-member states of the regional commission. THe sub-committees whose activities were reviewed included Publicity and Media; Transport, Ceremonial as well as Secretariat and Accommodation.

pristine beaches, and we look forward to welcoming visitors to Sal with our world-renowned Hilton service and hospitality. We have an incredible product here and we expect to drive great business and opportunity to the hotel and to Cabo Verde as we look to expand in the country.” Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort boasts of a stunning natural stone pool set within a lush tropical garden. Guests can enjoy a 24-hour fitness center, a kids club with a children’s pool and a nautical center for diving and sailing adventures.

The hotel also features a beauty salon and Hilton’s signature eforea Spa concept with a wet area and eight treatment rooms. Hilton’s president for Middle East, Africa and Turkey, Rudi Jagersbacher, and the company’s area vice president of operations for Africa and Indian Ocean, Putten, were joined at the hotel’s opening ceremony by the country’s Prime Minister, Ulisses Correia, Justice Minster Janine Lelis, the hotel’s owners, and a host of dignitaries, ambassadors and guests.

honoured during the anniversary celebration were just the first set, adding that that FTAN ‘intends to equally honour others who have contributed later in the year.’ “The award is in three categories. Among those to be honoured in the ‘A’ category are: Rear Admiral Isaac Sunday Areola, Alhaji Tukur Mani, Mrs. Theresa Ezeobi, Dr. Franklin Adejunwon, Mr. Goodie Minabo Ibru, Mr. Charles Abel, Chief Mike Amachree, Alhaji Wada Yinusa, Chief Tarzan Balogun, Chief Frank Nneji, Mr. Ogbeni Tope-Awe, Mr. Jemi Alade, Alhaji Munzali Dantata, Otunba Segun Runsewe, Chief Samuel Alabi, Chief Tomi Akingbogun, Mr. Ikechi Ukoh, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Mr. Charles Ukomadu “Category ‘B’ award recipients are ‘Corporate Friends’ of FTAN. They include: Eko Hotel and Suites, Sheraton Hotel, Hotel Rosebud, Nanet Suites. “The ‘C’ category of awardees will comprise the post humus awards for service to FTAN. Recipients will include: the late Mr. Matts Ebaboje Da’Silva, the late Dr. Kingsley Onuoha, the late Apagun Oluwole Olumide, and the late Madam Grace Bentu,” said Rabo.

Africa, M/East record 10.5% growth in air travel

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light bookings for travel to Africa and the Middle East grew by 10.5 per cent in 2017, with a growth that is also expected to continue in the first quarter of 2018, according to a study by ForwardKeys, the future travel forecast company, which anaylsed about 17 million flight booking transactions a day. The study also reveals that bookings are currently 11.2 per cent ahead of where they were at this time last year. The growth in 2017 has come from around the world, with the Americas up 14.1 per cent, Europe up 11.6 per cent and Asia Pacific up 19.0 per cent. It has been caused by three principal trends. First is a recovery from terror attacks that hit North Africa in 2015, second is a wave of changes to visa regulations which have been designed to attract visitors and third is strong growth of a few origin markets, most notably China. In Africa, impressive growth was recorded by Tunisia, 29 per cent up on the previous year. The country suffered three bad terror attacks in 2015, which decimated its tourism industry. At the end of 2016, European tourists started to trickle back and in July 2017, the United Kingdom government withdrew an advisory against travel to the country. Egypt provided another similar highlight. The highlights are strong outbound markets, most notably Argentina, from where bookings are 34 per cent ahead of where they were this time last year. Other promising source markets for the Middle East and Africa include Spain 28 per cent ahead, Australia 22 per cent ahead, India and Turkey both 19 per cent ahead and Canada 17 per cent ahead. “For travel to the Middle East and Africa, both the past year and the outlook for the coming quarter can be summed up in just three words: ‘Double-Digit Growth’. Whilst the continuation of the Qatar diplomatic crisis gives cause for concern; there are more reasons to be optimistic. From the start of this year, Rwanda is granting all visitors, regardless of their origin, a visa on arrival; Saudi Arabia is about to introduce new e-visas for tourists; flights to Egypt from Russia are due to resume in February and the FIFA World Cup, taking place in Russia this summer, is likely to produce a short-term lift in transit passengers,” said Olivier Jager, CEO, ForwardKeys.


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Wednesday February 14 , 2018

AVIATION Air Peace aquires new jet, sets up subsidiary

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NDIGENOUS carrier, Air Peace taken delivery of one of the six 50-seater new generation Embraer 145 jets it recently acquired, Thursday. The aircraft which touched down at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos is expected to operate under the carrier’s newly established subsidiary, Air Peace Hopper, which incidentally is also the first time a Nigerian airline would establish a subsidiary to manage an arm of its flight operations, following the tradition of some of the big carriers in the world. A statement issued by Air Peace quoted its Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Allen Onyema as describing the arrival of the new aircraft christened; ‘Nkechi Ezewusi (Nee Onyema)’ and birthing of the subsidiary as a milestone in the airline’s vision of uniting Nigeria through air connectivity and ending the travel nightmares of its many underserved cities. “The arrival of our latest new generation aircraft marked 5N-BUY has once again underscored our determination to bring Nigeria together through air connectivity and fix the air travel difficulties of many unserved and underserved cities in the country. We are even more pleased that the arrival of the aircraft marks the beginning of our subsidiary, Air Peace Hopper. Another of the six Embraer 145 jets we recently acquired will arrive in Nigeria in less than a week’s time. “We will organise our plan to link many cities in the North and South of Nigeria under the subsidiary. Under Air Peace Hopper, we hope to connect routes such as Enugu-KanoEnugu, Benin-Port-Harcourt-Benin, Port-Harcourt-Kano-Port-Harcourt, Lagos-Warri-Port-Harcourt-WarriLagos, Lagos-Warri-Abuja-Warri, Lagos-Kaduna-Lagos, Lagos-Sokoto-Lagos, Abuja-Sokoto-Abuja, Abuja-Bauchi-Abuja, Lagos- Makurdi-Lagos, Lagos-Jos-Lagos, among others. This will not only open up and energise the economies of the different cities and states, but also create massive job opportunities for the people. “I remain focused in our determination to transform air travel in Nigeria, Africa and beyond. In three years, we have increased our fleet to a size of 24 aircraft. We are currently pursuing a massive route expansion project. We are launching our Lagos-Kano-Lagos and KanoAbuja-Kano services on February 12. This will be followed three days after with the inauguration of our Lagos-Yola and Abuja-Yola operations on February 15. Four days after, we will commence our flight operations to Freetown, Banjul and Dakar on February 19. Other cities on the West Coast of Africa will join our route network shortly. We are also finalising preparations for our flight operations to international destinations, including Dubai, Sharjah, Guangzhou-China, London, Houston, Mumbai and Johannesburg,” Onyema was quoted as saying. In a related development, the carrier has announced plans to inaugurate its Kano and Yola services on February 12 and 15 respectively.

African airlines passenger traffic grows by 7.5% – IATA Stories by VICTOR NZE

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HE International Air Transport Association (IATA) has disclosed that African airlines recorded a 7.5 increase in passenger traffic in 2017 compared to 2016. Director-General of IATA, Mr Alexandre de Juniac, who made this known in a statement, Thursday, posted on its website, said that the capacity of African airlines rose at less than half the rate of demand (3.6 per cent), while load factor jumped from 2.5 percentage points to 70.3 per cent. “While indicators in South Africa are consistent with falling economic output, Nigeria has returned to growth, helped by the recent rise

in oil prices,’’ he said. According to de Juniac, global passenger traffic statistics for 2017 showed a 7.6 increase compared to 2016, which was well above the 10year average annual growth rate of 5.5 per cent. He said the rate of demand growth slowed to 6.2 per cent in December 2017, compared to December 2016, which was largely owing to less favorable comparisons to the even stronger growth trend seen in the year-ago period. “The year 2017 got off to a very strong start and largely stayed that way throughout the year, sustained by a broad-based pick-up in economic conditions. “While the underlying economic outlook remains supportive in

2018, rising cost inputs, most notably fuel, suggest we are unlikely to see the same degree of demand stimulation from lower fares that occurred in the first part of 2017,’’ de Juniac said. According to him, in 2017, more than four billion passengers used aviation to reunite with friends and loved ones, to explore new worlds, to do business, and to take advantage of opportunities to improve themselves. The IATA boss said the connectivity provided by aviation enabled goods to get to markets, and aid to be delivered to those in need. “Aviation truly is the business of freedom, liberating us from the restraints of geography to lead better lives.

•Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Med-View Airline Plc, Alhaji Muneer Bamkole, (2nd left) speaking others from left, Executive Director, Business Development, Alhaji Isiaq Naallah, Senoir Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Air Atlanta, Mr. Baldvin M. Hermannssion and Director Sales Air Atlanta, Mr. Magnus Asgeirson at a press briefing, Monday.

Med-View Airline suspends Dubai operations

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ED-VIEW Airline has announced the suspension of its recentlylaunched Dubai operations till March 24 when its B737-300ER returns from complete refurbishment in the United Kingdom. Speaking during a press briefing in Lagos on Monday January 29, the managing director of Med-View Airline, Alhaji Muneer Bankole stated that passengers who have booked with the airline will be flown to their destinations via interline arrangements. Bankole said the airline will continue to maintain their Jeddah schedule every Thursday vis Kano until the issue of Biometric, which is now a requirement is resolved. “We will continue to maintain our Jeddah schedule every Thursday via Kano until the issue of biometric , which is now a require-

ment, is resolved,” Bankole said. Med-View boss added that the Lagos -London route will now be serviced by an alternative aircraft currently in operation, adding that it will still maintain its three weekly flights. This is coming just as the airline said it is in no way indebted to the Gatwick Airport Authorities nor its European handlers, Mendez. Reacting to allegations that it was due to debts that its operations in the last few days were hindered causing its passengers challenges, Bankole said the airline has paid the Gatwick Authority £1.45million as at, Monday January 29 and that it can be verified. “While we want to leave the past behind us, it is imperative to say that we have issues with our European partners over aircraft we leased from them.

From all indications, this aircraft has not been able to meet our requirement in providing the necessary capacity. The United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority (UKCAA) has been supportive of our efforts when it dawned on them that the issues had to do with aircraft. “Consequently, we have taken measures on our Lagos-London route, which will now be serviced by an alternative aircraft currently in operation. We will also maintain three weekly flights. We have shut down Dubai operations till March when our aircraft B767-300ER christened ‘ABEKE’ returns from complete refurbishment in the United Kingdom. Passengers who have booked with us will be flown to their destinations via interlink agreements.”

“Aviation can do even more in 2018, if supported by governments that recognise and support our activities with smarter regulation, fairer taxation, cost efficient infrastructure and borders that are open to people and trade,’’ he said. Meanwhile, IATA, in its just released full-year 2017 data for global air freight markets indicates that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs) grew by 9.0 percent, representing a more than double the 3.6 percent annual growth recorded in 2016. This is as African carriers’ posted the fastest growth in year-on-year freight volumes, up 15.6 percent in December 2017 and a capacity increase of 7.9 percent Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), rose by 3.0 percent in 2017. This was the slowest annual capacity growth seen since 2012. Demand growth outpaced capacity growth by a factor of three. Air cargo’s strong performance in 2017 was sealed by a solid result in December. Year-on-year demand growth in December increased 5.7percent. This was less than half the annual growth rate seen during the middle of 2017 but still well above the five-year average of 4.7 percent. Freight capacity grew by 3.3percent year-on-year in December.

Etihad increases Abu Dhabi–Lagos frequency

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tihad Airways has reaffirmed its commitment to Nigeria with the announcement of two additional weekly flights on the popular Abu Dhabi–Lagos route, taking it to a daily service. The new Tuesday and Thursday services will start on 1 May 2018. The route will continue to be operated by a two-class Airbus A330, with 22 Business Class seats and 240 in Economy. Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad Airways Executive Vice President Commercial, said: “Nigeria is an important market for Etihad and our home of Abu Dhabi. The airline is committed to offering attractive schedules and choice to our guests travelling between Lagos and the UAE capital as well as convenient connections to destinations including the GCC, India and Asia. “Since launching the Lagos route in July 2012, Etihad has carried almost 600,000 passengers between our hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport and the commercial heart of Nigeria. It is pleased to be able to support the high demand for our service by soon operating the route on a daily basis.”


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Wednesday February 14 , 2018

INSURANCE & PENSION Yellow Card insurance scheme records sustained growth

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ver 220 insurance companies are currently involved in the operations and issuance of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Yellow Card insurance covers in 13 countries across Africa. Annually over 190,000 cards are issued, with a premium income of over US$10million generated and over 700 claims are handled and processed. This was revealed by Mr Richard Mokua, IT Expert in the Regional Customs Transit Guarantee (RCTG) and Yellow Card project. This was during his presentation on the Yellow Card Insurance System to the first COMESA Digital FTA workshop in Seychelles. He added that the Scheme settled one of the biggest single claim amounting to US$400,000 to a client in 2012 in DRC. “To give an example, over 800 trucks with Yellow card covers cross daily between Ethiopia, Djibouti and Sudan,” Members to the Yellow Card Scheme are Burundi, DR Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Yellow Card is a regional third-party motor vehicle Insurance Scheme recognized by all participating member countries as a valid third party insurance protection. It was established through a Protocol signed in 1986 by COMESA Member States (then PTA) to address the challenges of barriers to transport and trade development in the region.

Embrace Lagos Health Insurance Scheme – CMD

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hief Medical Director of Alimosho General Hospital, Dr. Madewa Adebajo has called on members of the public to embrace the proposed Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme being introduced by the State government for provision of excellent health service delivery to the entire residents of the State. He noted that the initiative will not only assist in reducing the rate of avoidable deaths arising from negligence but will also help residents pay adequate attention to their health challenges and ensure effective health management. Dr. Adebajo made the call over the weekend at an event held in honour of the hospital’s retirees at the premises of Alimosho General Hospital, Alimosho. The CMD stated further that the State’s health insurance has been designed to suit all social classes of the society and all levels of income earners. He urged Lagosians to key into the vision of this administration for the health sector, stressing that the health insurance scheme is cheaper compared to the cost of accessing good healthcare services or with what is currently obtainable in all healthcare establishments across the country.

African Risk Capacity, UN partner to increase insurance coverage

Stories by VICTOR NZE

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HE African Risk Capacity (ARC), an agency of the African Union, and the United Nations’ Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) have announced a new partnership which will see the two organisations work together to increase insurance coverage against climate risks for African states. The multilateral deal which was announced at the African Union’s Annual Summit in Addis Ababa, last Tuesday, commits ARC and ECA to

build the capacity of their 33 common Member States by embedding risk management investments into government planning through policy development. ARC and ECA also will share expertise and commit financial resources to joint analytical work in areas of economic and climate risk research in order to promote risk transfer instruments. The UN estimates that Africa will see the adaptation costs of climate change rise to $50 billion per year by 2050.

“This partnership marks a bold new phase of heightened collaboration on combatting the effects of climate change in Africa,” said Mohamed Beavogui, DirectorGeneral of ARC Agency. “The future of disaster risk management is an increasingly urgent economic issue, and ECA’s unique expertise will complement ARC’s work serving its Member States and building preparedness and resilience on the continent.” In the four years that ARC has offered insurance coverage to its Member States, it has

paid out more than USD $34 million to Member States affected by drought events. These resources have assisted over two million people affected by climate disaster. “Climate change is one of the biggest threats to Africa’s economic and social development,” said ECA Executive Secretary Vera Songwe, adding: “We believe that efforts like our partnership with ARC will help move the needle, so that African countries can be well-guarded against these threats, and they can thrive.”

Pension rights:

Lagos Govt. pays N723m to 149 retirees

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From right: CEO, Microsoft Group, Mr Bill Gates; Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Chairman, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote alongside MInister of Budget and National Planning, Mr. Udoma Udo Udoma, at the 2018 World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

‘High number of uninsured Nigerians worrying’

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RESIDENT, Insurance Industry Consultative Council (IICC), Mrs Funmi Babington-Ashaye, has said the high percentage of Nigerians that are still uninsured remains a major concern to the council. Babington-Ashaye said this on Friday in Lagos at a seminar organised for journalists by the council with the theme “Role of Media in Deepening Insurance Penetration.” The IICC was formed with the objectives of raising the profile of insurance Industry and increase its relevance to the nation’s economic growth. Babington-Ashaye, who is also the President of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), said over 90 per cent of Nigerians were living without insurance. She said wrong perceptions, among others, had hindered Nigerians from taking insurance policies. Babington-Ashaye said Nigerians could not revive collapsed businesses, buildings or repair

their vehicles involved in accidents because they lacked insurance policies that could provide fund to mitigate the losses. “My plea to Nigerians is that it is better to be five years early than to be five minutes late. I implore Nigerians to henceforth take insurance policies suitable to their lifestyles.” she said She urged media practitioners to support the industry still in its infancy. The insurance industry today is in a precarious state due to the various unfolding dynamics and it is calling for change of operations and strategies by operators. “The industry would be able to stave these besetting odds and maintain an acceptable image in the eyes of the public only if the media show understanding and appreciation of the times. It is only when the insurance industry exists and is thriving that insurance correspondents could also have a safe and comfortable nest.” On his part, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Council Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Mr Fatai Adeg-

benro, urged Nigerians to believe in insurance. He said insurance companies were regulated by National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and the Market Development and Restructuring Initiative (MDRI) initiated by the Commission had enhanced prompt claims payment. Adegbenro, therefore, urged media practitioners to support the industry by clarifying any information they obtained before publishing.

he Lagos State Government has continued the payment of accrued pension rights to its retirees with the disbursement of N723m into the Retirement Savings Accounts of 149 retirees of the State Public Service. The State Commissioner for Establishments, Training & Pensions, Dr. Benson Akintola, who disclosed this, Tuesday, at the 47th Retirement Benefit Bond Certificate Presentation Ceremony in Lagos, said the well-being of the retirees has been the driving force of the State Government’s commitment to regular funding of pension obligations. Dr. Akintola informed that the State government has expended N33,943 billion in form of accrued pension rights to 8,409 retirees in the last 30 months, noting that this is separate from the regular monthly contributions into the RSAs of active workers. “We have been able to clear the backlog of outstanding pension obligations we met at the inception of this administration and we are forging ahead to ensure that fresh liability arrears from recent retirements are systematically cleared. We assure all retirees that your labour in Lagos shall not go unrewarded and you will not retire into penury”, he assured. On her part, the Director-General, LASPEC, Mrs. Folashade Onanuga said that the Contributory Pension Scheme ensures that employers fulfill their obligations to workers and does not entail stressful verification as it is in the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS).

Borno Govt. releases N1bn for payment of gratuities, allowances

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orno Government said, Thursday, that it released N1 billion for payment of gratuity of retired civil servants in the state. The Head of Service (HoS), Alhaji Yerima Saleh, made the disclosure in a statement issued in Maiduguri. “Gov. Kashim Shettima has just approved N1 billion for payment of gratuity to retired civil servants, permanent secretaries and judges as well as arrears of leave trans-

port grant for serving workers. “This is in addition to the N2 billion approved in 2017, in continuation of payment of allowances to retired and serving members of the state civil service,” Saleh said. The HoS reiterated the commitment of the government to provide an enabling working environment and improve workers’ welfare. He called on the workers to reciprocate the gesture and be dedicated to duty.


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Wednesday February 14 , 2018

INSURANCE & PENSION

Insurers introduce cryptocurrency theft cover

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AJOR global insurers are starting to offer protection against cryptocurrency theft, willing to tackle daunting challenges it brings rather than miss out on this volatile and loosely regulated, but rapidly growing business. So far only a few insurers sell such insurance, including XL Catlin, Chubb, and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance. Yet several others told Reuters they are looking into theft coverage for companies that handle digital currencies like bitcoin and ether, which trade between anonymous parties. Such efforts so far have garnered little attention, but the emergence of an insurance market marks an important step for the nascent industry’s mainstream recognition. The risks are clear: digital currency investors have already lost billions from dozens of cryptocurrency hacks, technical errors and fraud. Many hacked exchanges later shuttered. On Friday, Tokyo-based exchange Coincheck became the latest casualty, reporting a loss of around $534 million worth of coins to hackers. For insurers the challenge is how to cover those risks for customers they know little about, who use technology few understand and represent a young industry that lacks troves of data insurers usually rely on in designing and pricing coverage. Christopher Liu, who heads American International Group Inc.’s North American cyber insurance practice for financial institutions, said the answer is to find an established business with a similar risk profile and try to adapt what works there. “It’s sort of akin to a digital armored car service,” he said about cryptocurrency firms. “If there is a problem – like an accident or a robbery – that’s going to be the accumulation of all these exposures.” Liu says AIG began researching cryptocurrency theft coverage in 2014 and has written a few such policies, but remains in an “exploratory phase.” Greg Bangs, head of XL Catlin’s North America crime coverage underwriting recounts how the firm had to become its own expert on the new technology by talking to key players and potential clients before developing bitcoin theft insurance. “The first challenge for us was to figure out if there was a product

here.” XL Catlin now offers annual crime coverage of up to $25 million per incident, Bangs said. Jackie Quintal, who advises financial institutions for insurance broker Aon Plc, said part of her job is to tell legitimate digital currency companies from shady ones, something that often gets cleared up even before an insurer gets involved. “If someone is hesitant to provide information and they don’t have answers to compliance questions, they tend to disappear on their own,” she said. Still, insurers spend more time than usual scrutinizing everything from security and storage procedures, the scale of their operations, to the people involved – a process that can take several months. “Some bitcoin exchanges and wallets weren’t anticipating the level of underwriting and due diligence that they undergo when they approach the market,” said Matt Prevost, who heads Chubb’s North American Cyber Product Line. Insurers like Chubb are betting that cryptocurrencies will gain wider

recognition even if the new business now represents only a tiny sliver of the global $720 billion per year commercial insurance business. Digital coin sales raised more than $5 billion across nearly 800 deals in 2017, according to venture capital data provider CB Insights. There are no estimates yet how much of that has been insured or of total premiums collected. Cool on ‘Hot Storage’ Many insurers remain wary of the new business. Some, like Great American Insurance Group, an American Financial Group Inc. unit, offer protection from employee theft to companies that accept bitcoin payments, but avoid outside risks, such as hacking. The company added the coverage to its standard employee theft policy in 2014. Lloyd’s of London, the world’s largest insurance marketplace, was providing insurance to the exchange, according to a person familiar with the matter. Reuters could not determine the terms or the scope of the coverage and a Lloyd’s spokesman declined to discuss Coinbase.

He said that member companies have written a small number of policies for cryptocurrencies in recent years and Lloyd’s was requiring members to proceed with caution and use additional scrutiny of cryptocurrency companies. Some insurers are not yet convinced the cryptocurrency business is large enough for premiums to cover possible losses. “We’re looking at it, but does it make sense to offer a market for that?” said Frank Scheckton, president of Great American’s Fidelity Crime Division. Right now, costs act as a deterrent for small firms and startups, said Ty Sagalow, chief executive of Innovation Insurance Group LLC, which has been developing coverage for cryptocurrency companies since 2013. “It’s an expensive product that many companies can’t afford,” he said. Annual premiums for $10 million in theft coverage would typically run at about $200,000, or 2 percent of the limit, insurance experts say. That compares with about 1 percent

or less for traditional financial clients, depending on the company, loss history and other factors. Currency volatility is another concern. While coverage limits shield insurers from wild swings, the impact for clients can be dramatic. For example, a $10 million policy signed in January 2017 would cover 10,957 bitcoins at the time, but only 923 if a hack happened a year later. Cameron Winklevoss, co-founder of Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange and custodian, argues insurance should not be an investor’s primary concern. As a registered New York trust company, Gemini carries state-mandated insurance against employee theft, computer fraud, and fund transfer fraud, but has no coverage for hacking, Winklevoss, who founded the firm with his twin brother Tyler, said. “The key is to look for regulatory oversight that ensures that an exchange is doing what it should be doing so that it doesn’t get to the point where you have to fall back on an insurance policy,” he told Reuters.

• Dignitaries, including the Solicitor General/Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs. Funmilola Odunlami representing the Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem at the official launch of the Electronic Real Estate Litigation System (the Lis Pendens electronic system) in Lagos.

NAICOM collaborates with state governments on insurance T he National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has disclosed that it is currently leveraging on the Governors Forum to enable more Nigerians to get insurance. Deputy Commissioner for Insurance (DCFI), Mr Sunday Thomas, announced this at a seminar in Benin City, the Edo State capital. The seminar, with the theme, “Expanding Frontiers for Insurance Market Development and Penetration in Nigeria,’’ was organised for journalists. Thomas said the alliance would enable every household in the country to have access to insurance and enhance the industry’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). He recalled that in 2010, Nigeria’s insurance sector was ranked fourth in Africa in terms of premium income. He also added that the sector was 10th in terms of insurance den-

sity (premium per capital) and 8th in terms of penetration. He said the poor ranking in the international sector informed the decision to take some corrective steps. The DCFI said that there was a positive correlation between insurance and economy development. “A virile insurance industry is a good indicator of economic growth,’’ he said. He announced that the industry’s contribution to GDP was currently 0.48, contrary to 0.72 per cent predicted for 2012. He explained that the Market Development and Restructuring Initiative (MDRI) of 2009 was NAICOM’s project, to reduce insurance gap and increase the industry’s contribution to GDP. “The project was to grow Gross Written Premium (GWP) from N164.50 billion in 2009 to N1 trillion in 2012. It aimed to reduce insurance gap from 94 to 30 per cent in

2012.” he said He said the targets had not been reached, but the industry in 2016 and 2017 recorded GWP of N325 billion and N350 billion. Thomas said the commission had also kicked off the second phase of the MDRI to enable it to realise the targets, as he further disclosed that the commission had signed agreements with several agencies like the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and Federal Fire Service (FFS), to enforce compulsory insurance. Meanwhile, NAICOM has stated that micro insurance would improve the living standard of many Nigerians. Commissioner for Insurance and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NAICOM, Alhaji Mohammed Kari, represented by the Deputy CFI, Mr Sunday Thomas, at the same forum, said as part of NAICOM`s determination to improve financial inclusion, particularly the under-

served and excluded segment, it had reviewed and released the Micro-insurance Guidelines of 2013. He said that the guidelines became effective from January 1. Kari urged Nigerians living without any form of insurance policy due to lack of funds to buy micro insurance policies to back up their existence. The commissioner said that the commission had over 500 applications from companies seeking licences to become full-fledged micro insurance operators. He also urged Nigerians to take advantage of micro insurance to improve their lifestyles. The commissioner, however, said that there were 18 micro insurance windows through which micro insurance policies could be purchased till June 2019. “This has given the insurance companies that are micro insurance window operators, 17 months to become full-fledged

operators by obtaining the licence. By June 2019, the windows would no longer exist and only operators that obtained lincences to become full-fledged micro insurance operators would be able to sell the policies,” he said. He said that the commission would soon commence the second phase of the Market Development and Restructuring Initiative (MDRI) aimed at deepening the market penetration. Kari urged the media to play its role to educate the public about insurance and its benefits, adding that the media was a partner in that regard.


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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 14, 2018

Anniversary

One year of making Umunneochi different • Barrister Okey Igwe keeps his word

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N one year of being the Chairman of Umunneochi Local Government, Barrister Philip Okey Igwe is keeping his campaign promise of service. He said was beginning. The gathering applauded as he listed the challenges that the LGA faced and how in one year he, and his team, had tackled them. Barrister Igwe called for more cooperation among the residents of the LGA for attainment of more successes. He explained that without peace there was not much that could be attained. Areas that have held his attention have been electrifying the LGA, a project that had been on the drawing

board for decades, which he finally connected to the national grid. Other locations in the LGA would enjoy electricity in subsequent phases of the projects. Security to protect the investments in infrastructure has seen the purchase of vehicles for the guards employed to protect the transformers. Roads, water supply, markets, redemption erosion sites, as well as maintaining peace in the LGA that is a transit point for many people from different parts of the country, have been other attention areas in the first year. Barrister Igwe as he marked the first anniversary

Barrister Philip Okey Igwe Chairman, Umunneochi LGA

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu with Barrister Philip Okey Igwe, Chairman of Umunneochi LGA, during the Governor’s 2017 visit when he promised that electricity would be in Umunneochi soon.

last December noted the support of the Abia State Governor Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu and his wife Mrs. Nkechi Ikpeazu, both of whom have visited Umunneochi. Motorcycles, sewing machine, and food items were also handed out to some residents of the LGA as part of the empowerment programmes. He sought the people’s support for the Governor and the programmes of the administration, noting that the promise that he made to Umunneochi on electricity had been delivered on recorded time. Some of the projects were executed with resources from renowned philanthro-

• Barrister Igwe inspecting work at the Nkwoagu Amuda/Leru Road erosion site

Deputy Governor of Abia State Chief Oko Chukwu, who represented the Governor at the commissioning of the electricity project.

pist Prince Chris Odinaka Mainland Oil & Gas Limited, LGA, include empowerment Igwe, Chief Executive Of- whose other contributions programmes for youth and ficer of Chrisnak Group, and to the development of the women.

• Mrs. Ikpeazu laying the foundation for the borehole project during her visit to Umunneochi

• Umunneochi Neighbourhood Security inaugurated under the Administration of Barrister • Umunneochi is connected for the first time to the national grid, after years of dashed hopes Okey Igwe to protect people and infrastructure


31

The Oracle Today Wednesday February 14, 2018

Anniversary

• Transformers for the first phase of the Umunneochi LGA electrification project

• The collapsed Ndiawa-Leru Road that is being repaired by Umunneochi LG.

• One of the completed roads

• The water project that was also commissioned

• Finally, Umunneochi is connected to the national grid


32

racleToday

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33

The Oracle Today Wednesday February 14, 2018

Love and Living

...With Ireto Temofeh

MODEL OF THE WEEK

LOVE NEWS

Incredible! Man impregnates daughter and plans to marry her

A

n American man has been arrested for incest after he dumped his wife and had a baby with his daughter who was given up for adoption. Steven Walter Pladl, 42, and his biological daughter Katie Rose Pladl, 20, were arrested last week at their home in Knightdale, North Carolina, after Steven’s estranged wife told police that he impregnated their daughter. According to warrants, Katie was adopted out of state after she was born. When she turned 18 she used social media to find her biological parents, KRON 4 reports. In August 2016, Katie went to live with her parents and their two other children in their home near Richmond, Virginia. The warrants state that Steven and his wife legally separated three months later, in November 2016 The wife told authorities that the month she moved out of the home Steven had been sleeping on the floor of Katie’s bedroom. The wife also said that she learned her daughter was pregnant and that Steven was the father in May 2017 after reading one of her other children’s journal. According to the warrants, Steven had asked the two younger children to refer to Katie as their step-mom, although she was their

sibling. After learning about the pregnancy, the wife said she contacted her estranged husband and asked if he had impregnated Katie. He allegedly admitted the baby was his and said they planned to get married. Katie posted an Instagram photo in July stating that she and Steven had gotten ‘married’, although they legally cannot do so. Police said at some point after May 2017, Katie and Steven moved to Wake County, North Carolina together. Arrest warrants were issued for them in November 2017 and they were arrested at their Knightdale home in January. Authorities said when they were arrested a baby boy was with them. Warrants revealed the baby was born in September 2017. The father and daughter are being held in the Wake County Detention Center pending extradition to Virginia. They have been charged with incest with adult, adultery, contributing to delinquency. Steven and Katie were each issued a $1million bond. Steven bonded out of jail, but Katie remains behind bars. It’s not clear whom the baby is in the care of.

Name: Oluchi Tel: 08164007657 •

If you want to be our next ORACLE GIRL, e-mail or forward your photos/data to ireto007@yahoo.com. Call 07031028714.

ODD NEWS

Jennifer Lopez flaunts curves as she changes costume EIGHT times for concert

A

nd now Jennifer Lopez, 48, brought the glamour of her All I Have tour to Minneapolis on Saturday night as she headlined the DIRECTV NOW Super Saturday Night concert, wowing the excited crowd with not one but eight costume changes during the two-hour spectacular. The Ain’t it Funny songstress looked sensational as she showcased her incredible curves and renowned derriere in an array of figure-flaunting looks as she worked the stage with sizzling and sharp dance moves while raising funds for the Hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico. The global superstar - who celebrated her one-year anniversary with beau Alex Rodriguez - made sure to have all eyes on her as she slipped into a leopard print catsuit which accentuated her tiny waist and slender pins at

the pre-Super Bowl concert. Her skintight one-piece featured a daring halterneck silhouette which drew attention to her ample cleavage as she entertained the crowd with her musical catalog. She aided the leopard print piece with a matching biker jacket and added inches to her diminutive height in a pair of complementing heels. Jennifer worked her long honey-hued locks into a tight curl while sporting a dramatic smokey eye for her energetic performance. Jennifer later upped the ante in a skimpy red lingerie stage ensemble, which left little to the imagination as she danced sensually on awhite leather chaise longue under red lights. She strutted out onto the stage in a revealling red sequin coat which teased at her underContinued from Page: 34

Romantic Joke

MARRIAGE

In the first year of marriage, the man speaks and the woman listens.I n the second year, the woman speaks and the man listens. In the third year, they both speak and the neighbors listen.


34

The Oracle Today Wednesday February 14, 2018

True Confession

Shame! My mother is sleeping with my boss! • Your touch makes me shiver in ecstasy.

M

y name is Ameze and I work with a GSM company. But since my mother came from Benin to stay with me in Lagos, things haven’t remained the same in my office. One day, I decided to take my mum to the office and introduce her to my boss, a senior manager, out of joy that my mum had come to stay with me. But to my surprise, my mother adopted a fondness or rather, lust, for my boss. Whenever I returned from work, she would ask me questions about what he wore to the office, how handsome he looked, and what he did. But I never took offence until my mother began to pay me surprise visits at work. She’d come unannounced to my office during break with an excuse. Then she’d sit and chat with my boss at length under the guise of ‘greeting him’. My mother’s behaviour irritated me, but I never understood until I started hearing gossip months later that my mother was sleeping with my boss. I learned my boss usually took my mother to one hotel. But I didn’t ask my mother. Neither did I ask my boss. I just kept them quiet. But I couldn’t believe it when my boss asked me out

one day. When a lizard nods its head, it does not always mean yes.I pretended as if I had agreed to go out with him even when I knew my mother was sleeping with him. He’d taken me for a fool, thinking he could eat his cake and have it. But I was determined to show my boss that he was the real fool. So I reported him to the director. I told the director everything that was going on between my mother and my boss, the senior manager. The director was displeased and invited my boss to his office. When my boss came, the director washed him down, saying he should be ashamed of himself for sleeping with the mother of a staff. The director asked my boss what he would do if his wife found out he was committing adultery with the mother of a staff. According to the director, the two families would be torn apart. The director then warned my boss to keep off me and told him the implication of causing a scandal in the office by sleeping with my mother. If I had my way, I’d make sure newspapers carry the name of my boss and his adulterous relationship with my mother. But because I don’t want my mother disgraced, I have to conceal it. But it

hurts. My mother makes it hurt more by saying she did it for me. According to my mother, her affair with my boss would guarantee me job security. I would never get sacked because my boss would always watch my back since he is her lover. And I would enjoy fast promotions too because of what she’s doing. I hate the idea of my mother acting

like a whore because she wants me to progress in life. I believe what is mine will be mine. And I’ve threatened to disown my mother or send her back to Benin immediately if she doesn’t stop sleeping with my boss. • Call or text your reactions to this story to 07031028714. Email: ireto007@yahoo.com

Jennifer Lopez flaunts curves... Continued from Page: 33 wear-inspired look underneath as she wrapped glittering garters around her thighs. Approaching the chair, she disregarded her statement jacket, showcasing her curves in a torso-hugging corset and black Brazilian-cut underwear. Keeping to her skin-flashing ways, she later changed into a fringe detailed purple leotard before swapping again for another tassel-detailed piece which boasted a glittering catsuit underneath. Other costumes she donned for the occasion included for a black mesh catsuit, and then switched to a loose jersey that read ‘J LO’ and the No. 13 - one of the many odes to A-Rod - and even used a baseball bat as a prop during Jenny from the Block. Though Super Bowl 52 is happening Sunday night, when the New England

Patriots take on the Philadelphia Eagles, Jennifer said during the high-octane gig that ‘the big show is tonight.’ ‘You get full time, you get over time ... we can do whatever we want to do. There are no censors, ain’t no time delay. We came to play.’ She was joined o stage by Ne-Yo for a duet of All I Have; and let DJ Khaled work the audience up while she changed outfits to close the show with Let’s Get Loud. Saturday’s concert raised awareness for post-Hurricane Maria relief and recovery effort in Puerto Rico. AT&T said it would match charitable contributions up to $200K to the Hispanic Federation, and it would give a $1 donation to the Hispanic Federation for every tweet using the hashtag #JLoNOW. Jennifer told the wowed audience she wanted ‘to help all of our friends in Puerto Rico who are still trying to rebuild their lives. Together we can do great things.’


35

The Oracle Today Wednesday February 14, 2018

Relationships and Love Advice

‘Ever since I lost my boyfriend, I find it hard to date any guy’

Love Search Women seeking relationship/ marriage Bimpe, 34, needs a responsible, employed man. 08184384600. Joy, 29, a caterer in Lagos, from Delta Igbo, needs a responsible, matured, working man based in Lagos for marriage and job support. 08158522286. Gloria, 42, from Cross River, wants a mature and responsible man that is HIV positive between the ages of 45 to 50 years ready for marriage. 09094582013. Joyce, 26, in Lagos, romantic, wants a caring sugar daddy who can also help her get a job. 08050572880.

Dear Love Doctor, Please, I’m a girl of 22 years. My name is Lilian. I’m from Akwa Ibom State. I lost my boyfriend two years ago. Ever since then, I have found it very difficult to date any other guy, because of those deceivers. Doctor, please advise me on what to do. Thanks, Lilian.

Call Love Doctor: 07031028714, 08131161840, 08077821830 for Counseling, infertility & Direct Hookup.

Love Doctor’s Advice: Dear Lilian,

I

feel your grief. But thank God it is not so bad because you were not married and you’re not a widow now. Do you know how widows feel when they lose their husbands? Nevertheless, you don’t seem to have too much difficulty getting over the loss and falling in love again. The problem is that youdon’t trust the new guys you meet. You see them rightly or wrongly as deceivers. It is normal to be suspicious of a new man in your life, especially if you were closely attached to your late boyfriend, because you don’t know what to expect. However, if the problem is getting a faithful guy, take your time & keep searching until you find one you’re compatible with. Also take time to understand him and give him a chance. Understand thatpersonalities are different and individuals express love in their own diverse & unique ways. So you shouldn’t expect all guys tobe like your late guy. Again, not all men are deceivers. If your late guy was good, it means other good men exist. So don’tgen-

eralize, and don’t be unrealistic in your expectations of a new man in your life. Instead, focus on his personality, and learn to adapt to life with a new man, because in life change is constant. Open your heart to love & don’t judge a man till you know him. However, at 22, your studies should be your priority. So don’t rush things. Practical tips for bereaved singles include: 1. After you’ve lost a loved one, take time to get over the loss and don’t rush into a new relationship immediately. Every injury needs time to heal, so give your injury time to heal. It will heal on its own. Some injuries take longer time to heal, while others heal faster. 2. Know that it will take time before you can begin to feel normal again, especially if you were already engaged, about to wed, or in a long or serious relationship. 3. Try to understand the truth of life that “things change,” “no condition is permanent,” “God gives

Sarah from Jos needs a HIV positive man of 35-40 years for marriage. 08090925014.

& takes” or “Anything can happen at anytime,” so live every day as though it is your last. 4. Don’t despair or think that you will never marry because your lover died. I know some ladies who say that they cannever marry because their fiance or boyfriend died. That is the wrong way to go. It will only deepen your injury,prevent it from healing, and ruin your life. 5. Be patient, because it might take time before you find someone else to marry. Keep yourself happy & keep searching. 6. If lonely, get involved in an activity that’ll keep you busy (like going to the library to read), adopt a pet or make new friends, male or female, to keep you company. 7. If you seek marriage, join a dating forum or call me. Finally, remember that love is like lifebecause it goes & comes. So, if love left you once, know that you will surely experience it again. Don’t give up!

Do you have advice on this problem? Please share your thoughts. Call 07031028714 or 08131161840. Email: ireto007@yahoo.com Do you have a marriage/wedding, birthday, anniversary or club or town meeting announcement to make? Call 07031028714 now! Note: If you have fertility problems like childlessness, inability to conceive or get pregnant, miscarriages, fibroid, low sperm count, STDs, or need a male child or female? Call 07031028714, 08131161840.. Love Doctor can help you succeed in your marriage/ relationship.

Men seeking relationship/ marriage Kunle, 39, needs a companion or sugar mummy. 09069672839. Nathaniel, living in Abuja, huge, works, needs a honest and trustworthy lady who is ready to genuinely love and settle down for marriage. 08124647578. Francis, 35, from Benue state, in Lagos, businessman, needs a responsible lady between 30-34 years for marriage. 07066418095. Sam, a senior citizen, needs a lady from Ebira land, Kogi State. Tall, not fat, busty. Age: 45 years and above. Should be comfortable financially. 07066070500. Ephraim, a pastor, not buoyant, needs a buoyant girl of 20-30 years with big hips and big bust for marriage. Email: ugochukwuodor@yahoo.com


36

The Oracle Today Wednesday February 14, 2018

It happened to me:

I

was 16 years old. I had just moved from the Midwest to the East Coast. I got my first job at a pizza place. The 23-year-old manager began hitting on me right away. I fended him off over and over again even though I was flattered by his desire. During this time, I was growing closer with a boy my age who also worked with us. We began dating and it was wonderful. I found out his mother had died of breast cancer the year before and my heart opened up to him. Now it was just him, his dad and his brother. We spent all of our shifts working together exchanging smiles, looks, and the occasional pat on the ass. We didn’t go to the same high school so that was our only place to be coy and flirt with each other until we felt comfortable enough to hang out alone. We would leave to go to either his dad’s house or mine and have sex, watch movies and enjoy each other’s silly company. Many date nights and every Friday, the whole Pizzeria went to cosmic bowling. He was very sincere, charming, gentle and so funny. He always had me laughing. We coordinated Halloween costumes -- he was a zombie and I was a zombie princess. We were cute. We both lived with our parents so I remember a lot of sex in the car. Yet, at a certain point, I couldn’t resist my manager any longer. I secretly loved the attention he showered me with and I eventually gave in. I don’t know exactly why I did it. The thrill and adrenaline rush of doing something I knew I shouldn’t have been. The sort of “I know something and you don’t” childish mentality I had at the time. He was in a committed long term relationship and I had become close friends with his girlfriend. My boyfriend and I would even spend the night in their guest room close to our work. I was not a victim. I made an active decision to cheat on my boyfriend and have sex with someone else. I began having sex with him all of the time. At night when the restaurant closed, in the booths people sat and ate in (disgusting I know). I would go to his apartment, have sex everywhere -- the couch, the floor, their bed, the shower. I would park far away from his building and walk in the back so his neighbors wouldn’t notice how frequently I was there. I found a thrill in this routine and embraced it. My boyfriend and I and my manager and his girlfriend went on many double dates. My boyfriend and I would still spend the night at their place. I became closer and closer to his girlfriend. I knew what I was doing was wrong and hurtful on so many levels, yet I continued this lifestyle for many months. When leaving my manager’s place, I felt like the world knew that I was secretly trying to slip out of the apartment complex. But still I didn’t change a thing. On a Wednesday night at the beginning of January, my manager’s girlfriend called me and asked if she could come to my parents’ house to talk to me. She had never been there before. I was very alarmed. I thought she had found out what had been going on between her boyfriend and me. I started thinking of all the lies I could. I am 30 now, yet I can recall her entry into my home so vividly. We went back into my parent’s room to speak privately because my room was in the basement; it seemed like too long of a walk for what I thought was about to ensue. I just wanted to get this confrontation over with. As my stomach was doing flips thinking of how I was going to explain my affair with her boyfriend, her words melted the world away. She was coming to tell me that my boyfriend had died in a motorcycle accident only an hour before. At the time, we used AIM to communicate. I had messaged with him and few hours before and he told me he was going for a ride. That was the last time we “spoke.” What I had envisioned as a skirmish between two girls over a guy was was literally about life and death, about so much more than my teenage stupidity. After she got out the first words -- that he had crashed his motorcycle around a steep curve -- everything became a blur. I cried for three days. I cried so much that when it came time for the funeral all of the tears

‘I was cheating on my boyfriend when he died’

were dried up and gone. I was just a zombie. I have never been a religious person. But once he died,I believed he could see everything, know everything that I had been doing to him. How much I had wronged him, lied to him, and had continuous sex with someone he had become very close friends with. I also felt something I didn’t think I would feel; anger. I was angry that he had died not only because of the loss of his beautiful life, but because I felt caught. The shame of this reaction weighed on me so heavily I can still feel the heaviness today. Yet his death did not change my habits. I continued having sex with my manager. His girlfriend took me in and tended to me as though I was her child. She took such pity on me for having lost my boyfriend to a deathly accident. I would spend the night in the guest room, but I never spent the entire night alone. My manager would come in and we would have sex after she fell asleep. Even the night before the funeral, I had sex with him in the same bed I had shared with my boyfriend. I have never come to terms with this specific act of complete lack of respect to my boyfriend who had passed, and the wonderful woman who was nursing me out of my depression.

I went to the funeral with my manager and his girlfriend. He picked out a white rose for me to put on his casket. My manager was one of the pallbearers. Seeing him walk along holding my boyfriend’s casket was too much to bear. Yet I still could not shed another tear. I had found this comfortably numb space in my mind and I just stayed there. At the time I don’t think I realized the scope of my actions, and how they would affect me for the rest of my life. I have harbored this “I am an evil person” mentality ever since. People will tell me I’m a good person and I secretly think to myself, You have no idea the damage I have done. I kept my job at the Pizzeria for about a month. I tried to work there without thinking about my boyfriend, but I kept expecting him to be around every corner. One day my manager’s girlfriend showed up to surprise me with a very nicely framed picture I had never seen of my boyfriend and I on Halloween. It is still in my bedroom to this day. I suppose I torture myself with it. It’s a reminder not only of him but her as well; the thoughtfulness of the frame, of surprising me, of trying to lift my spirits. And the whole time I was having sex with her boyfriend.

That day she came and gave me the picture, I later quit and walked out. She never found out about the affair, but I was left to harbor so muchpain that here I am still writing about it nearly 15 years later. Now it was just his father and his brother in a house where there used to be a family of four. I could never even express my sympathies to his Dad; my guilt was too all-consuming to share comfort with others. Would I be able to find peace with myself and those choices I made as a 16-year-old? If I could speak to my boyfriend now, I would acknowledge what I did to him. Own up to it and tell him how I have felt the burden for years. I would tell him I never meant to hurt him, only to pursue my own desire of being wanted, by anyone. That I had such a deep, deep insecurity that when I was presented with two different lovers, I couldn’t say no to either. I doubt any of this would make him feel better, but at least I could try to explain. I’ll never get that chance. Nevertheless, getting this story out was therapeutic in itself and at the very least, I hope that someone can learn from my mistakes. • Do you have a story or comment about this confession? Call 07031028714.


37

The Oracle Today Wednesday February 7, 2018

Love & Living

Was Ekwueme a wealthy African? NO!

I

DID search and research all I could lay hands on about his life and strides. Sad to say but I have concluded that the recently buried former vice president of Nigeria, Alex Ekwueme was not a wealthy African. Given all he did and all he was and with his name a popular brand known across Africa and beyond, it is unbelievable but true. He just wasn’t a wealthy Africa. I tell you why! When a wealthy – I am not confusing that with rich? – African dies, his circumstances are evident. He would have acquired enough places named after him, by him, that waiting for anyone to do would seem a waste of time. He would write his name in good if he wanted. If he had another preference of colour, how would use it. He knows nobody would query his decisions. He dares anyone to do so, and fall into the waiting fangs of hundreds of people, paid and unpaid, who would pounce on you in his defence. Alex Ekwueme easily passes as the most educated Nigerian after whom a federal university is now named. He found his way early in life, never depending on family or kin. That’s how come he earned a scholarship to study Architecture in the US. He went ahead to show himself a true architect. Beyond buildings and other infrastructure, he designed much more. While he ended up practising Architecture, the alumnus of King’s College, Lagos, he had these academic attainments, further attesting to his

Ify ARONU ifyaronu@gmail.com

intellectual prowess that glowed in scholarships and awards that he garnered • Architecture and City Planning, BSc, University of Washington, US, where he was one of the four pioneer Fulbright scholars from Nigeria • Sociology, BSc, University of Washington • History, Philosophy and Constitutional Law, BA, University of London, external candidate • Law, LLB, University of London • Urban Planning, Master’s, University of London • Architecture, PhD, University of Strathclyde, Scotland • Law, BL, Nigerian Law School Ekwueme Associates, Architects and Town Planners were noted as the foremost indigenous architectural firm in Nigeria. Alex Ekwueme founded

it and later ventured into hospitality business establishing several hotels in the South East. Talk about a strong mind for business and patriotic heart to invest in a country that he believed in, he had both. One would have thought that he venture into politics in 1978 would have marked more prosperity for his businesses. The firm was established. It was famous. It had capacity to do great works. Nobody would have bothered if he made more money through his position. Rather than do this, Ekwueme shut down his practice for politics. Ekwueme lived for and designed the Nigeria that we now have. Nigeria’s zonal structure was born in his heart and that has become a key feature of our nationhood. With that plan, he saved for us the Nigeria that we still have. We can only hope that God has

gifted us another like Ekwueme who will on manifestation improve on that design to sustain Nigeria. Still, he was not a wealthy African because the African definition of wealth is strange, laid back yet powerfully believed and upheld still. The idea of wealth in Africa is to have great means, a large family and being overly proud of one’s wealth and worth. Ekwueme was never known to be haughty or proud trampling others just because he could. He envisioned a Nigeria where the masses were empowered to lead worthwhile lives. In the African context therefore, he is clearly not wealthy but in fact a model of African greatness. Twice he offered himself to his party to practise those principles that he said were at the root of a better Nigeria. Twice his party rejected him. Ekwueme has done his part, he did the needful in his time by recommending the zoning structure, it is high time forward looking young Nigerians who desire to be great thought of a super structure for the country. We await the new generation likes of Ekwueme. RIP Nigeria’s iconic super architect of all times, Alexander Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme. Please send your comments and suggestions to ifyaronu@gmail.com

On pastors, churches, voters’ card registration

N

IGERIA is a very religious nation, and we can confidently boast of having the highest number of churches in the world and it would be a feat incontestable by other nations. The more challenging feat would be being able to number the churches corrects. Churches sprout in Nigeria. Where you imagined they would be there, each spawning new doctrines on about any issue. Sometimes it is difficult to know whether one is at a political party rally, or a church, as the messages can address audiences on both platforms. We also record many worshippers weekly for services and this is a good, however, we can maximise this good news in achieving a whole lot on the political front. After a couple of findings, I believe many Christians go to church more often than they would a voting centre, so I believe this can be a good thing, depends on how we choose to look at it. Dear Pastors, Bishops, Reverends, Clergy and Spiritual Fathers, I understand you are tending to the flock of Christ on earth, and your efforts are commendable, but there is an aspect of life that we are ignoring and overlooking: our sojourn on earth. I was in a conversation with some friends online and the topic was on those religious organisations who say they do not vote during erec-

M

e& ore

Maureen Alikor maureenalikor@gmail.com

If possible, could you also try to have INEC station a registration centre at the entrance of the church, because one of the very many excuses many people give for not going for their registration is not having time to leave their places of work or business on work days; we should understand this challenge and come to the rescue. tions because they are NOT OF THIS WORLD. This got me wondering how you can live in a place and totally ignore the need to make decisions that will make the place better. I am still trying to imagine if these same persons live in homes and not bother to sweep, clean or tidy their immediate environment. Plus, I also wonder why these persons also happen to own and make use of mobile phones, a creation of man.

Well, this rant is targeted at EVERY CHURCH OWNER, RESIDENT PASTOR, ASSOCIATE PASTOR, GENERAL OVERSEER, ZONAL and PARISH PASTORS and PRIESTS; while we are still winning souls for Christ and also helping the already won souls not backslide, can we also include civic responsibility to our curriculum or sermon outline and these new addition is going to do ALL OF US in Nigeria and in the world a whole lot

of good. Could you also try to teach your church audience that participating in elections is part of our responsibilities on earth? Is it not important for your congregation to make contributions that can improve Nigeria though casting their votes for the candidate they believe can do the job, instead of just complaining? To further encourage your flock to participate fully in the nation’s electoral processes, could you ANNOUNCE it from the PULPIT or ALTAR? If possible, could you also try to have INEC station a registration centre at the entrance of the church, because one of the very many excuses many people give for not going for their registration is not having time to leave their places of work or business on work days; we should understand this challenge and come to the rescue. If we really care about the kingdom of God and gospel, then we also understand that Nigeria was created by God TOO, and should care of I in godly manners, which would be another way of preaching the gospel. Please send comments and suggestions to maureenalikor@gmail.com


38

The Oracle Today Wednesday February 14, 2018

The Law and You Cattle trespass and trespass to land With Barr. Ken Akpom 08162016410

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ecently, there have been series of discussions on the menace of Fulani herdsmen and their impetus in using sophisticated weapons in killing innocent farmers and citizens of this great Nation. They failed to understand that there is a law on cattle Trespass and Trespass on Land. It is in view of these facts and so many others that I write on this topic. Enjoy your reading. Generally and legally, trespass can summarily be said to mean any wrongful entry, whether forcible or not, as well as merely, or wrongfully placing a material object on land. The courts are still regarding the action of violent entry as a valuable means of preventing breaches of the peace which may likely occur when one person wilfully enters, without the consent and permission, the land of another. Trespass is a tortious offence and is no longer limited to the maintenance of public peace and order. The most frequent form of trespass which involves personal entry into another person’s land (the plaintiff) by non-owner the defendant, is through his procurement into land or building of the plaintiff. Here, the slightest crossing of the boundary of another’s (Plaintiff’s) land is sufficient to be termed as trespass “since every invasion of property be it so minute is a trespass”. Putting one’s hand through the entrance of another person’s property or even sitting on the wall of his fence is an offence actionable with the recovery of damages in law. However, where the non-owner of a property consciously enters and places himself upon the land of another person, he will be liable in trespass not minding the reasons of his honesty, though he mistakenly thought that it was his own land or that he has a right of entry or that the land was a public land or that he acted under any other mistake of fact or law. It is very important to note that an intentional trespasser is strictly liable for all damage caused by his presence on the land of another whether the damage done to such a land is wilfully or accidentally. I mean that where such happens; the trespasser(s) will be liable not only for the deliberate acts caused by him/them but also for any accidental damages like injuring the owner of the land, etc. Likewise, trespass can take place by a non-owner of a property or land remaining on land after, his right of entry has come to an end. Refusal or omitting to leave the plaintiff’s land without right by the defendant tantamount to a trespass.

CATTLE TRESPASS This is a cause of action where cattle in the possession or control of the owners known in law as defendants are either intentionally driven on the land of another known in law as the plaintiff or the cattle stray independently to such a land. This tort explains that any owner of an animal (like cattle) is bound to take care that such an animal does not stray on to the land of another person. When such happens, the owner of such an animal is liable for any trespass be it or not that the animals escaped due to the owner’s negligence is immaterial. In analyzing the tort in the case of Cox v Burbridge (1863) 143 E.R. 171 at p.174, per Williams .J. established the following principles in case and even in others. (i) “Cattle” is meant to include bulls, horses, mules, goats and pigs. It does not include dogs and cats but it is extended to include fowls. Dogs and cats were exempted because of the following reason; It is impossible to keep them under the same re(a) straint as cattle. The propensity for damage through straying for (b) dogs and cats is negligible compared with that of larger and heavier animals like cattles and horses. (ii) Only a person who has an interest in the land trespassed upon can sue when such a trespass occurs. This means that a mere licensee on such a land has no right of action, as in the case of Manton v. Brocklebank (1923) 2 KB 212. (iii) The Plaintiff can recover damages done not only for harm to his land and crops but also for injury to his animals and that inflicted upon the plaintiff (ie the owner of the land) himself.

LANDS v. FLETCHER the defences include default of the owner of the land (failure) to maintain an adequate fence when he is under a duty to do so. Singleton v. Williamson (1861) 158 E.R 533. Secondly, a situation where a stranger (i.e. third party) drives the defendants cattle to the plaintiff land and finally, where the trespass by the cattle is caused by an act of God like flash of lightening as to put terror and fears into the cattles that they stampede for safety on to the land of the plaintiff. I want to comment a bit on these defences and to relate it to the recent issues of cattle rearers menace in Nigeria. Firstly, these Nigerian cattle rearers erred in law by taking laws into their hands in killing and murdering innocent farmers and citizens of this our great nation, Nigeria. They may have very good defences to put up but for the fact that they refused to follow due processes in handling their case, then they have no case. LIABILITY FOR DANGEROUS ANIMALS Any person who keeps a dangerous animal which causes damage to another is imposed with strict liability. And for this discussion animals are categorized into two namely; (a) Animals ferae naturae ie. Animals in the species normally known as dangerous animals like elephants, lions, leopards, tigers, gorillas, etc. (b) Animals mansuetae naturae. This is a species of animals normally categorized as a harmless though some may have vicious disposition. This class include cows, horses, goats, camels, cats and dogs. Note; Animals in the category (a) above are conclusively presumed dangerous therefore, the keeper of such an animal is liable for any damage. On the other hand, where animal/s in the (b) category above discussed causes damage, the keeper of the animal will be liable , only if: (a) the particular animal had a vicious tendency (b) the keeper knew of that tendency.

(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8)

Trespass by wrongful entry Trespass by remaining on land Trespass by placing on land Continuing trespass Trespass by relation Trespass as between co-owners Trespass abinitio Trespass by chattels

Let me explain briefly these few: (a) Trespass by remaining on land:- The offence of trespass is committed by a person when having entered another’s land lawfully, he remains there after his right of entry has elapsed. According to Salmond, op.cit. p41, “To refuse or omit to leave the person’s land is as much a trespass as to enter originally without right”. For example, if Obi pays for admission into the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos to watch a wrestling contest between Dick Tiger and Boy Alinko, and thus enters lawfully, will become a trespasser if he omits to leave the stadium at the end of the contest, or if having misbehaved, his admission ticket and permission to be in the stadium is revoked by the stadium management and he ignores a demand from the authority to get out. It is worth noting that the position of a tenant in a land who “hold over” by remaining in possession of land after the expiration of their tenancies is a bit different from my earlier explanations. Whereas the Spectator of the boxing contest as I had earlier explained becomes a trespasser if he omits to leave the premises within a reasonable time after the end of the contest for which he was permitted with the purchased of the entry ticket to be there, whether or not the management of the stadium has asked him to leave, a tenant who holds over at the end of his tenancy does not become a trespasser, unless and until the Landlord has required him to give up possession and quit the premises.

Trespass by placing things on the land:- This hap(b) pens when any material is placed on the land of another, or NEGLIGENCE the bringing on to another person’s land any object into diIt is the duty of keeper of animals like the cattle rearers to rect physical contact without lawful justification. take care that their animals do not become a source of harm It is essential for liability in trespass that the placing or proto others. Any such neglect will be viewed as negligence by jecting of object on another person’s land should be DIRECT. the keeper. Please this column can be used to project your image or that of your business and sponsors are welcome. DIFFERENT ACTS OF TRESPASS TO LAND DEFENCE TO CATTLE TRESPASS Call or email me for further discussion. +2348075763840, There are many different acts of trespass to land but I shall The cattle herdsmen issue in Nigeria appears to be of dif- only list and highlight the following; +2348162016410. Email: kenakpom@yahoo.com ferent dimension to the situation under review. Under RY-

• 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: kenakpom@yahoo.com


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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 14, 2018

ENTERTAINMENT

With Douglas Omoyooma

I’m too proud to beg – Krazee Legs The musical act known as Krazee Legs is not your everyday run-off-the-mill physically challenged Nigerian you come across on the streets. He is an accomplished athlete, fast rising musician and he is dreaming of the stars. DOUGLAS OMOYOOMA recently caught up with him at popular celebrity hangout, O’Jez Bar & Restaurant, Lagos, where he performs every Friday and engaged him in a chat. He was all smiles as he opened up on his journey, his challenges earning a living and why he can’t stoop to beg for a living.

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pening up on why he chose not to beg like many in his shoes, he said: “I am too proud to beg. In our own tradition in Benue State where I am from, we don’t beg. That will be a disgrace to my family and tribe. I am using my talents to get what I want in life and God has been fateful.“I want to be on top of my game. I want to prove to the world that disability is a gift. If I can rise from nowhere and win a medal at an international tennis championship and become what I am today, you too can be what you want to be.”What message does he have for physically challenged people? “They should not give up,” he said. “Yes, life is not easy but they should pray to God because with him, everything will work out. You don’t have to go by the road side and beg. You can empower yourself, discover your talents and the sky will be the limit for you. If I can come from nowhere and be here today, that means there is ability in disability. So hold onto your dreams and aspire to be the very best.”

gos where the action is. In my state there are many challenged people but they are not being supported. “I realised that if I am to make a headway I would have to take my coach’s advice and that was how I got here but along the line, I realised that I just couldn’t do without entertainment which gives me money unlike sports where it is only when there are events that money comes but entertainment gives me money frequently so I went out in search of a place where I could be entertaining. When I came I had an aunty so I was staying with her on the island. “Sometimes when I went out for shows I hung out with my friends and slept under the bridge in a Keke Marwa or inside the stadium. That was when my friends told me O’Jez was the place to be. Then MC Shakara was the MC here. The first time I performed the audience was blown away so I decided to stay put at O’Jez and here we are today. Things moved very quickly and from here, I started going for shows in Apapa, Festac Town and wherever my services were needed Childhood and my label owner, Engineer Joseph Born to a family of six, Krazee Legs’ en- Odobeatu was giving me all the supcounter with poverty was firsthand. After port.” his dad passed on in 1999, life became a nightmare. He recalls: “We lived in a-one- Debut album room apartment. My parents were strug- How is his debut album, Walagling. lagolo doing? “The response Mum was a teacher and dad a civil serv- has been overwhelming. ant. Things improved and we moved to a Walangolo my debut album three bedroom flat but then dad died in has been making waves 1999 thingså things became very difficult. and people just love me. It It affected me seriously and I realised that is a five tracker featuring it was only mum shouldering all the re- tracks like Promise and sponsibility so I dropped out of school. Fail and I Need Some“It wasn’t easy. it was rough and tough. body among others.” I was not going out because when ever I And he is dreaming did go out, people couldn’t stop looking of collabos as well and at me and pitying me. Some even made Tuface idibia is top on fun of me and discriminated against me. the list. He says: “TubaBut I had a few friends who would have ba of course. he is my none of it and it fired me up and I began inspiration and means to hang out and I the world to me. After noticed to my shock that with my so many years, he is still change in attitude, people started com- hanging in there. That ing around me and wanting to talk to me. is why a want a collabo From there i realised that there is more to with him.” life, I could mingle with anybody and be what I want to be. “That was when I met a friend, MC Bad International recogniMouth who just loved what I was doin- tion gand he took me to a show at Silverbird Thanks to years of handGaleria in Abuja. That was what opened work and dedication. Krazee the doors for me. I was earning up to N50, Legs made Nigeria proud last 000 per show. Sometimes we had big year at an international Lawn events and I made as much as N100, 000 tennis Championships dedicated to per show.” physically challenged people where he won a bronze medal. Opening up on the O’Jez Music experience he continued: “That was in Today, by shed dint of hand work, he has June of last year in New York. I was very landed a record deal with O’jez and late happy. There was no prize money atlast year he dropped his debut album enti- tached to it but I was glad I could make tled Walangolo. my country proud. I never believed I Recounting how he hooked up with his could travel out of Nigeria but there I record label he continued:* “*That was was making my country proud in the when I came to Lagos to pursue a career US. I broke down and I wept for joy.” in sports after my coach called me. He said that I had to move down to La-

Krazee Legs


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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 14, 2018

Entertainment

I love sex – Lorraine Lionheart

• Launches Tasso

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otsawana sex siren, Lorraine Lionheart has sensationally declared that she loves sex. She made this disclosure in a telephone chat with TS Weekend when she opened up on her Podcast, Tasso, which was launched on February 1 and dedicated to discussing issued around sex. She said: “I love sex. Its that simple. I am passionate about sex education and I have always been the awkward one amongst my friends who talks more openly about sex and often made people uncomfortable. This is nothing new to me, I am just taking something I do on a daily with a small group of people and sharing it on a larger scale because I feel it is necessary. “Even if you have only ever had one sexual experience or none at all, your story is vital and there is always someone who needs to hear it for very positive reasons” For each episode the host will interview a great variety of people from all walks of life, including those with religious views on the subjects and those from medical backgrounds, traditional, spiritual, herbal and modern.

“The world of sex is full of untold truths, assumptions, myths, confusion and frustrations. These affect our lives by causing us to loose an important sense of connectedness with our bodies and our sexuality. Talking about sex is just as important as having it. “Sex in some way or another is something so many people have in common and dropping the stigma about talking openly about it can bring people together,” Lorraine Lionheart added.. commenting on what inspired the name, she continued: “The name is abbreviation for The African Sex Show Online and I aim to engage mostly the African online community all around the world. The podcast will specialise in topics about sex and sexuality in black communities and I am specifically targeting this demographic because I recognises that sex is still a taboo subject among people of colour. The singer also revealed that the first episode of Tasso will be exclusively about sex dolls, something she feels would be a good icebreaker since many Africans are currently talking about sex dolls. Tasso Podcast will be available on • Lorraine Lionheart iTunes, spotify and sound cloud.

s Nigerian economy hopes for a green new year, the biggest event that will shift the nation, and shape the scheme of things in the fibres of the most populous black nation in history is about the rock the City of Lagos like a tsunami. According to a statement from the organisers, the event is put together by Stakerrs Communications Ltd and will hold on February 17, at the Landmark Event Center, Victoria Island, Lagos, and will commence by 10:00am prompt. “This will be the biggest entrepreneurship event of 2018 as as 1500

guests will be converging from diverse industries. Skakerrs Fest is an iconic gathering of global entrepreneurs from around the world on the continent of Africa for the sole purpose of networking, inspiring and educating budding entrepreneurs in African states through the stories and lessons of men and women who rose from struggles of passion for socioeconomic relevance to becoming phenomenal entrepreneurship giants; contributing landmark values to the Speaking, President/Founder, Mr Adewale Hassan during a press conference held at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja

All set for Skakerrs fest A

Lagos, on February 3, said that the event will include facilitators in sports, entertainment, fashion, media, manufacturing and much more and they will be telling their stories and provide insight that will inspire budding entrepreneurs. Envisioned as an annual rendezvous, the event will celebrate true African business heroes and address developmental and growth challenges confronting rising entrepreneurs with a target of empowering at least 10 budding entrepreneurs for a quantum leap in their industries.

Agatha Amata shoots debut cinematic movie, Disguise

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red Amata’s ex-wife and CEO of Rave TV, Agatha Amata is on the marchagain. As you read this piece, she has wrapped up plans for the shoot of her debut cinmenartic movie entitled Disguise featuring IK Ogbonna and DKD among others. According to the mother of two who is credited with running Nigeria’s longest running taljk shopw, Insode Out, the movie revolves around what women really want from their men. She said: “IK Ogbonna plays lead in the movie and his role is fabulous to say the least. I am making a return to movie making and this is my first cinmenatic movie. Disguise premierwes at IMAX Studios, Surulere, Lagos, on Thursday, February 15 and it promises to be an exciting evening as celebrs will storm the Red carpet and there would also be an authograph signing session.”

How I landed distribution deal with UK based platform – Vumomsé

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hese are definitely happy times for US-based Cameroonian afro beat gospel artiste, Vumomsé. Following the recent release of his latest single, If No Be God, featuring afro-pop singer, Kiflex, Vumomsé, has netted a distribution deal with UK based distribution company, Okay Music. Confirming the development, the artiste said: “I am so excited. I am currently working with Okay Music, a UK based company that will be distributing all my songs henceforth. “The deal was cemented between the Company and I with the influence of African music business man and artiste, Wax Dey of Calabash Music. I released If No Be God on December 8, which happens to be my birthday with a first-of-a-kind online party.” The Rakata Master as he is popularly known, If No Be God was produce by B.O Boy and the video was directed by Cameroon’s US based director, MT Muna.

• Vumomsé

Davido acquires new Bentley

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inger, Davido has acquired a new Bentley estimated to be worth millions of dollars. The act had taken to social media earlier in the week and posted images of him and a representative of the company in the US posing before the brand new Bentley.

• Ebuka and Cynthia during their Wedding

Ebuka Obi-Uchendu & Wife Cynthia celebrate 2nd Wedding Anniversary

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t has been two years since media personality Ebuka Obi-Uchendu and his wife, Cynthia tied the knot! Celebrating their anniversary today, Ebuka took to his Instagram to share the photo above and captioned it: Two years today since I completely handed you my mumu button without question… Thank you for being the best ride-ordie I could ever ask for. And for being

the one with a sharp business mind. Rooting seriously for your new baby @sl__clothing I love you so much!!! Happy anniversary babe Cynthia also shared a video from their wedding day which she captioned: Like I know I’m proper cool and all but See how excited he is to be marrying me. Happy second Anniversary to

us baby. I can’t believe how fast two years has been . Thank God for the genuine friendship and understanding we have . Thank God for taking us from strength to strength . I’ll always be your ride or die . I’ll still fight everyone that tries to mess with you (as you like to form diplomatic and I’m the straight shooter) lol. Cheers to many more blessed and happy years to come ! I love you baby …

Sammy unleashes official audio and video for Don’t Go

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3M Music RnB artist, Sammy is back with a smashing new single for the Valentine season entitled Don’t Go. In a telephone chat with Oracle Today she said: “Don’t Go centers around a guy who dedicated more time towards his career than his woman and this eventually led to several conflicts between them. I am dedicating this to my fans at this special season of love.” The video was directed by Solomon a.k.a Solzz.


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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 14, 2018

NEWS

Power brokers dump Buhari Continued from Pg 2

after appropriate rest, once again, join the stock of Nigerian leaders whose experience, influence, wisdom and outreach can be deployed on the side line for the good of the country. “I only appeal to brother Buhari to consider a deserved rest at this point in time and at this age. I continue to wish him robust health to enjoy his retirement from active public service. President Buhari

does not necessarily need to heed my advice. But whether or not he heeds it, Nigeria needs to move on and move forward.” “I do not expect General Abubakar to write his own letter but I think they are all in agreement that Buhari has done his bit and should go,” a key political actor and well informed source, who would not want to be identified, told The Oracle Today in Abuja. “For all you know, they may have discussed this

From BONIFACE OKORO, Umuahia

Abia Assembly begins construction of Conference Centre

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HE Abia State House of Assembly took a bold step towards addressing the accommodation problems facing by laying the foundation of an ultra-modern Conference Centre, which would also help to save the state huge revenue spent on producing the state’s annual budget. The building, which is expected to be completed within one year, is designed to have halls for Committee works/sittings, seminars and conferences that would take large audiences, besides well-equipped offices for the Appropriation Committee. Performing the foundation laying ceremony Monday, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Chikwendu Kalu, explained that the building would have two or three offices dedicated to the Appropriation Committee where the state’s budget would now be printed, instead of taking it to another State, as has been the practice over the years. “We are getting this Conference Centre or Auditorium to be in place so that each time we have any con-

• Wants to cut costs

ference or public hearing, we will do in a conducive environment. He said it does not speak well of the Assembly to invite their constituents from the 24 State Constituencies to a public hearing or any other form of interaction without a befitting auditorium to interface with them. “Another thing is that we are lagging behind in facilities for purposes of executing our appropriation duties. Most times, we need to travel from here to Kaduna for purposes of printing our budget and all things incidental thereto. This hall has a provision for about two, three wonderful rooms that will be well equipped so that each time we have the need to print our budget; it will now be done here instead of travelling to Kaduna state. This hall is going to serve us in the various aspects of our legislative duties and at the end of the day, we will be at par with other states that have moved on,” he added. According to him, going to Kadu-

during their not-too-coincidental meeting in Adis Ababa, Ethiopia at a recent AU conference, and come to a certain agreement.” Babangida was not in Adis Ababa. But, the release of his letter/statement would appear to have been informed by an agreement that another weighty voice be publicly added to Obasanjo’s to send a strong signal that the power elite would want a change of leadership at the centre come 2019.

na to print the budget eats deep into the finances of the state. As a former Chairman of House Committee on Appropriation, the Speaker said “each time I am travelling to Kaduna, I feel so bad because you have to mobilize the entire team of the Planning Commission and at the end of the day, they may spent about a week at the expense of the state. I have to tell you the truth, a lot of money is expended on going to Kaduna to print the budget and we want to curb such expenditure.” Rt. Hon. Kalu said the decision to embark on the project was unanimously taken by the lawmakers and he used the opportunity of the foundation laying ceremony to praise the leadership of the House and his colleagues for being supportive of the project. Chairman, House Committee on Works and House Services, Hon. Kennedy Ogele, said the Assembly could not host conferences because of lack of spaces but expressed optimism that the House

“If you watch, the government’s reaction to the ‘advice’ of the elder statesmen and former President/ Heads of State has been at best tepid, at worst confused,” added the informed source in Abuja. “Ordinarily, you would have seen sabre-rattling in its worst form from Lai Mohammed or some other government spokesman gasping at the impertinence of the advice. Instead, for the very first time, Lai Mohammed reacted to a criticism of Buhari

could boast of hosting the Southern Legislators Forum when the building is completed. Commissioner for Housing, Barr James Opara, commended the House for embarking on the projecting, pledging his ministry’s support and assistance to ensure the realization of the project on schedule. He also commended the lawmakers for having excellent cordial working relationship with the Executive arm of government in the state, particularly with the governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu. In his vote of Thanks, the Clerk/ Permanent Secretary of the House, Sir John Pedro Irokansi, said the dream of the lawmakers to own a befitting Conference Centre would soon be actualized with the takeoff of the project and commended the Speaker for embarking on the project. Leader of the House, Engr. Chinedum Orji, was among the legislators who witnessed the foundation laying ceremony.

‘Public Child’ declares for public office Continued from pg. 2

come home and serve my people. At first, I rejected the invitation because I desired to concentrate on my business. But my people persisted, saying they wanted somebody of my hue to represent them in Ohuhu constituency. On a second thought, I said if my people say they want me to come and serve them, I should oblige them. I started consultations. “I have consulted with personalities, villages, traditional rulers and the eight wards in Ohuhu and they gave their consent that I should run. That is why I have come today to inform you of my ambition,” he told the Umuahia North Council chairman. “Mayor,” he added, “I am here today to inform you that I have decided to contest for the Ohuhu constituency seat in the Abia State House of Assembly. I have come to appeal for your support, blessing, direction and financial assistance.” The Federal Polytechnic, Okotrained Accountant, who returned to Nigeria late last year, said the outcomes of his consultations, have convinced him that his people actually requires his services in the political front, hence his decision to make his aspiration public. Gabriel is not new to political contests. Between 1997-1998, he contested for the same position on the platform of CNC (Congress for National Change) and won but they death of General Sani Abacha brought about the scrapping of

democratic structures. His dream was cut short. He went for the councillorship position in his ward under All Peoples Party (APP) at the dawn of the current democratic experience and won. But sooner than later, his name got missing from the result sheet. “I didn’t bother myself as I saw it as the will of God,” he said. Then he travelled abroad. Why is he bothering himself with politics even when he is a successful businessman in his London base? Gabriel said it is the urge to give back to society. “I lost my mum at the age of three. My dad died in 1990. So, I am a child of many parents, brothers, friends; in fact, I am a public child. I benefited from everyone. That is why I am giving back to the society,” he explained. This circumstance of his life also remains the driving force of his enviable philanthropy. He is reputed to have built houses for indigent families, bought vehicles to support some Ohuhu businessmen and spends heavily on scholarships to Ohuhu children. Unveiling fully-paid tuition scholarship for 25 Ohuhu undergraduates is on the cards this year. “I am giving back to the people because I received from them. I do it for the sake of God,” Gabriel said, stressing that his motives for joining politics include his desire to bring about “transformation: more development, prosperity and government for the people.” “I want to make sure that my people benefit

Chigoziri Gabriel (Stainless)

from the dividends of democracy,” he declared. Receiving his guests, Chief Nwachukwu assured Gabriel of his support, saying it would be difficult for a party to go into election with a candidate of Gabriel’s character and candour and lose. “I have accepted what you have

said. I will do my best to ensure that this dream is realized,” Nwachukwu said, stressing that “in this era, it is the electorate that send people to represent them; it is no longer by the personal desire and financial muscle of an aspirant,” adding that the mass followership he enjoys was his greatest asset.

in a rather very civil manner. It tells me that something is really going on with regard to Buhari’s 2019 ambition that these leaders are privy to that we are not, of course.” Asked what he thought would be the position of Lt. General Theo Danjuma, another of the power brokers, on the matter, the source said he expected Danjuma to be “in agreement with his fellow generals.” “With Taraba constantly under attack by herdsmen while Buhari is doing practically nothing about it, Danjuma is believed to be even angrier than Obasanjo and others, but, he is doing some work at the moment for the government on the North East Development Commission and probably hasn’t found it germane to speak out just yet,” the informed source further noted. “But, I believe they may all— Obasanjo, Danjuma, Babangida, Abdulsalami et al-- have come to an agreement, even if tacitly, that, even if on health grounds alone, Buhari should step aside in 2019 for a stronger, healthier, more accommodating person to take over.” Other sources who spoke with The Oracle Today were of the view that, indeed, the entire national political establishment may well be distancing itself from Buhari. According to an APC source in Lagos, the vote for comprehensive restructuring by the party as evident in the report of the el-Refai Committee on the matter is enough sign that the party leadership is distancing itself from the anti-restructuring stance of President Buhari, which seems to have polarized the nation along ethnic, regional and religious lines. “Remember, only last October, in his Independence Anniversary speech, Buhari disavowed restructuring completely, saying that what Nigeria needs is a reform of the governance process not restructuring,” the APC source recalled. “Now, it says a lot about what is going on that an APC Committee on restructuring headed by el-Rufai, the President’s man-Friday in thoughts, words and action came out with a report so comprehensively in support of restructuring that you would think Buhari was a President who won election as an independent candidate! It is really interesting what is going on.” Whether APC is merely playing politics of deception with the el-Rufai Committee report on restructuring, as PDP has insinuated (the report, in most part, resembles the 2014 report of the National Conference organized by the PDP-led federal government of President Goodluck Jonathan), only time will tell. However, according to another political topnotch in Abuja, the groundswell of non-partisan opposition to Buhari’s come-back bid stems from “genuine fears that if the country were to be run like this for another four years, it would be disastrous for everybody, indeed.”


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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 14, 2018

PUBLIC NOTICE AND CHANGE OF NAME THE RIGHTEOUS HANDS FOR JESUS MINISTRY INT’L

SOLID FAITH IN JESUS GOSPEL CHURCH

SUSTAINING THE FAMILY OF CHRIST MINISTRY INT’L

This is to inform the general public that the above named MINISTRY has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission Abuja for registration Under part ‘’C’’ of the companies and Allied Matters Act of 1990.

This is to inform the general public that the above named CHURCH has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission Abuja for registration Under part ‘’C’’ of the companies and Allied Matters Act of 1990.

This is to inform the general public that the above named MINISTRY has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission Abuja for registration Under part ‘’C’’ of the companies and Allied Matters Act of 1990.

THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1 PAST. OYEM OKECHUKWU CHRISTOPHER 2 ONNEH GODDAY 3 AJEH PRINCE 4 PAST. (MRS) OKECHUKWU DEBORAH

TRUSTEES: 1 PAST. OFUONYE ONYEBUCHI ISRAEL 2 ETEKUME HENRY 3 OFUONYE NGOZI JENNIFER 4 EJEJE FELICIA

TRUSTEES: 1 APOSTLE MOJUME NWANNE GODWIN 2 MOJUME CHUKWUWEIKE ANDREW 3 OKOWI FELIX 4 AUGUSTINE ANAM

President / G.O

President/ G.O Secretary Member Member

President/G.O Secretary Member

AIMS & OBJECTIVE To preach the gospel of our lord Jesus

AIMS & OBJECTIVE 1) To preach the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ 2) To reconcile sinners to God through the gospel

AIMS & OBJECTIVE (1) To preach the gospel (2) To bring the body of Christ together in love as one

Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, plot 420 Tigris Crescent, Off Aguiyi Ironsi Street Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication.

Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, plot 420 Tigris Crescent, Off Aguiyi Ironsi Street Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication.

Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, plot 420 Tigris Crescent, Off Aguiyi Ironsi Street Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication.

Signed Past. Oyem Okechukwu Christopher President/ G.O

Signed PAST. OFUONYE ONYEKACHI ISREAL President/ General Overseer

Signed APOST. MOJUME NWANNE GODWIN President/ G. O

DIVINE GRACE IN CHRIST MINISTRY INT’L

ELEVATED GLORIOUS CHURCH OF CHRIST INT’L

WORD OF ETERNITY MESSENGERS MINISTRY

This is to inform the general public that the above named MINISTRY has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission Abuja for registration Under part ‘’C’’ of the companies and Allied Matters Act of 1990.

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TRUSTEES: 1 PAST. IZU OGOCHUKWU AUGUSTINE 2 DEACON AZUBUIKE .P. OTTAH 3 OSIRIM MICHEAL 4 PAST. (MRS) IZU JULIET

TRUSTEES: 1 APOSTLE ADELABU ADEBISI President/ G. O 2 EVANG. GANDONU TAIYELOLU GABRIEL 3 EVANG. OFOAYEJU OGHENERO JOSEPH 4 PAST. LAWRENCE HYCENT

TRUSTEES: 1 PAST EMENONYE CHRISTIAN 2 OBED ACHA 3 ALEXANDA BILOTU 4 DANIEL ESEKA

AIMS & OBJECTIVE (1) To propagate the gospel of our Lord Jesus (2) To preach the gospel through signs and wonders

AIMS & OBJECTIVE To preach the gospel of Christ

President/ G.O

AIMS & OBJECTIVE To preach the gospel of Christ Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, plot 420 Tigris Crescent, Off Aguiyi Ironsi Street Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. Signed PAST. IZU OGOCHUKWU AUGUSTINE President/ General Overseer

THE FINAL AND SECOND COMING OF CHRIST MISSION INT’L This is to inform the general public that the above named MINISTRY has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission Abuja for registration Under part ‘’C’’ of the companies and Allied Matters Act of 1990. TRUSTEES: 1 REV. CALEB OVERCOMERS President/ General Superintendent 2 PAST. FAITH ADENIKE OVERCOMERS Member 3 PAST. FORTUNE .E. UKUTEGBE Secretary 4 PAST. OBIODOGWU AUGUSTINE Member AIMS & OBJECTIVE 1) To preach the gospel of Jesus Christ 2) To raise a generation of believers that will swallow death alive Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, plot 420 Tigris Crescent, Off Aguiyi Ironsi Street Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. Signed REV. CALEB OVERCOMERS President/ General Superintendent

Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, plot 420 Tigris Crescent, Off Aguiyi Ironsi Street Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. Signed APOSTLE ADELABU ADEBISI President/ General Overseer

FIRE OF GRACE BIBLE MINISTRY INT’ L This is to inform the general public that the above named MINISTRY has applied to the Corporate Afffairs Commission Abuja for registration Under part ‘’C’’ of the companies and Allied Matters Act of 1990 TRUSTEES REV. ALEDARE STEPHEN PST. MRS ROSE ALEDARE DEACONESS AYO SAKA BRO AUGUSTINE UCHEBENU AIMS & OBJECTIVE

President/General Overseer

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President/ G.O

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This is to certify that NWACHUKWU RONALD .O. And NWACHUKWU RONALD OKWUDIWA is one and the same person. Now wish to be known as NWACHUKWU RONALD OKWUDIWA. All former document remain valid. Banks and general public take note.

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The Oracle Today

43

Wednesday February 14 , 2018

NEWS

Why we obeyed NJC – Ikpeazu By BONIFACE OKORO, Umuahia

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BIA State Government has explained that it resolved to abide by the directive of the National Judicial Council (NJC) by swearing in another Acting Chief Judge, Justice Onuoha Ogwe, because of its desire to ensure that peace and stability reigned in the state judiciary. Abia State judiciary has been steeped in controversy since the suspension of the state Chief Judge, Justice Theresa Uzokwe, on January 22, 2018, when the State House of Assembly recommended her suspension over alleged gross mis-

conduct, tyranny and financial recklessness. Acting upon the recommendation of the House, the Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu appointed Justice Obisike Orji as the Acting Chief Judge and immediately swore him in. However, the NJC faulted the manner Obisike was sworn in, saying the commission made no input and directed that he (Obisike) be suspended while the next judge in rank to him in the state be sworn in as the new Acting CJ. Swearing in Ogwe, Monday, at the Executive chambers of Government House, Umuahia, Ikpeazu said he had no choice

but to comply with the NJC’s directive “to ensure peace and stability in the state judiciary.” “Our desire is to stabilise the judiciary in Abia for justice delivery. The state is willing to cooperate with NJC to stabilise the state judiciary,” he said. He expressed optimism that under the leadership of the new Acting CJ “Abia judiciary will have a breath of fresh air.” Justice Ogwe, while responding, thanked the Governor for

his courage to accept the directive of NJC, and pledged not to betray the confidence reposed in him. The state Attorney General, Chief Ume Kalu, SAN, had earlier in a press briefing, made a case for the NJC to be lenient in handling Justice Obisike who he described as a victim of circumstance. “The powers of the NJC to mete out disciplinary measures on erring judges are incontestable.

We lend our voice to the NJC to consider all the surrounding circumstances leading to the swearing in ceremony and tamper justice with mercy. Hon. Obisike Orji is a victim of circumstance,” Kalu said. The Attorney General explained that the state did not wish to spark any controversy between the NJC and the state House of Assembly, but was only out to ensure good governance.

Herdsmen killing: APC’s approach ’pretentious’– PDP By JONATHAN AWANYAI, Asaba

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he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rose from a meeting of its National Working Committee (NWC) and its Governors’ Forum in Asaba, Delta State, castigating the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)’s approach to the incessant and unabated killing spree of innocent people by rampaging herdsmen in the country as “pretentious”. It further condemned the party’s resort to setting up of a committee in the face of a national emergency and called on President Muhhammadu Buhari to come clean and stop the killings. “We strongly condemn the unabated killings across the country. We call on Mr. President to come out clean on the herdsmen killings and address the nation on how to end the carnage. The President must take responsibility on the protection of lives and property of Nigerians which is the most important of his responsibilities. We believe that

the Federal Government’s decision to set up a Committee to address the issues of herdsmen killings is a pretentious approach to a matter that requires firm action and leadership by the President in line with his oath of office to protect all Nigerians irrespective of creed, tribe and political affiliation”, the PDP said. The PDP also carpeted the ruling APC as “a later day convert of restructuring” who is “merely paying lip service to a matter of national importance”. The party stated that it has mandated its national lawmakers in the National Assembly to immediately “commence the process of initiating a Bill to address issues bothering on restructuring”. The party also rejected the idea of unilateral withdrawal of $1billion from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) under whatever form or guise. The six paragraph communiqué was jointly signed by its National Chairman, Uche Secondus and Chairman of its Governors Forum, Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State.

Senate urges Health Ministry to enforce ban on Tobacco Advertising

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he Senate has urged the Ministry of Health and other relevant enforcement agencies to ensure the comprehensive prohibition of Tobacco Advertising Promotion and Sponsorship such as cigarette advertisement. It also urged the Ministries of Health, Education and Information and Culture at the Federal and state levels to work together to ban advertisement of the product within and on windows and stores. The senate equally called on the Ministry to ban location of Point of Sales (POS) of tobacco products within 100 metres of all schools. The Senate’s resolution was sequel to a motion on “the Need to Immediately Ban Tobacco Companies from Targeting School Children in Nigeria” sponsored by Sen. Oluremi Tinubu (APC-Lagos), at plenary on Tuesday. Tinubu lamented that there was a deliberate ploy by Tobacco Companies to position tobacco adverts and signs within 100m of schools to stimulate children and youths into early interest in the use of tobacco products.

She noted that a survey carried out by Nigeria Tobacco Research Group in five states across four geopolitical zones, unearthed the location of Tobacco Products Point of Sales within visible distance of schools. “Several distances were being 100m or less away from schools.”

• Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai (l) welcoming President of the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA), Dr. Muheeba Dankaka, who led a delegation of his Executive Council on a courtesy visit to the Kaduna State Government House over the 39th Kaduna International Trade Fair, holding from February 24 to the 3rd of March, 2018, in the state.

Bayelsa Govt, community bicker over reconstitution of GMoU team CLEM ONYEMAECHI, Yenagoa

he people of Amatu II community of Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State have condemned alleged plans by the Bayelsa State Government to sack and reconstitute the Iduwini Development Foundation (IDF) Board for the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU). The Oracle Today gathered, last Monday that the state Ministry of Mineral Resources, which is the supervising ministry, would handle the process on behalf of

the government. However, the community has warned that any attempt to dissolve the current IDF board would throw the area into another crisis. Spokesman of the community who is also the community leader, Paul Oweipade in a statement issued on Monday in Yenagoa warned the Ministry of Mineral Resources not to carry out its planned “arbitrary action” of terminating the tenure of the IDF board in the interest of peace. He insisted that the call for nominations for new community trust members would generate bad

the wealth and development of the state. “Today we are here to witness another milestone in the health care delivery in the state through the welfare scheme which is designed for selected widows in the state, is meant to pay them a monthly stipend of 5,000 naira and enroll them into the state contributory health insurance scheme to cater for all their health needs. The state government will pay for their premiums monthly”, he said, adding, “A total of 5,555 widows drawn from the 270 wards in the state will participate in the scheme”. “I want to extend His Excellency’s goodwill to all Deltans as once

you have a healthy people, you will have a wealthy nation as they will contribute to the development of the nation”, he added. He explained that the welfare scheme was another addition to the prosperity agenda as over 1,200 youths and ward Liaison Officers were presently benefitting from the Government Empowerment Scheme He commended the Government Special Project Committee, organisers of the event, for their diligence and cooperation in bringing the event to fruition and enjoined all the participating widows to register with the Contributory Health Commission to enable them benefit from the welfare scheme.

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Delta Govt. flags off social welfare scheme for widows By JONATHAN AWANYAI, Asaba

D

elta State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has flagged off the Delta State Social Welfare Scheme for Widows with over 5,500 widows benefitting and a promise that no Deltan would be left out in the prosperity for All Deltans agenda. Speaking at the ceremony, Governor Okowa, who was represented by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Nicholas Azinge, said the scheme would take care of the financial and health needs of the widows in the state as only a healthy people can contribute to

blood and cause conflict in the community. He, therefore, advised the ministry to first dissolve and reconstitute the Chevron GMoU of Dodo Rivers Regional Development Board (DRRDB). According to Oweipade, the community was worried that the ministry had continued to overlook the tenure of the Chevronoperated GMoU board which, he noted, is being run by a single chairman for the past 14 years. worrisome to Oweipade is what he referred to as “double standards and circumventing public service rules” by government for failing to ask the chairman of the Chevron GMoU board, who he said also doubles as a member of the state Local Government Service Commission, to step down. Said Oweipade: “The people of Amatu II community are calling on the Bayelsa State Ministry of Mineral Resources to discharge its duties equitably without double standards by helping the community to interpret and implement the Operating Principles and Procedural Guidelines of the Chevron GMoU of DRRDB, where one person has served as a board chairman for more than 14 years. “We are appealing to the ministry to first dissolve and reconstitute the GMoU board of Chevron DRRDB before planning to do same for IDF GMoU board in our community in the interest of peace.


44

The Oracle Today Wednesday February 14, 2018

NEWS

Be sincere in implementing APC report on restructuring – Jonathan to FG

By CLEM ONYEMAECHI, Yenagoa

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ORMER President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has stated that only a holistic and sincere implementation of the recommendations of the report on restructuring by the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) would encourage inter-ethnic harmony and development in the country. Jonathan said this on Thursday when he received the Governor of Bayelsa State, Henry Seriake Dickson, who led a high-powered delegation of Ijaw leaders to the former President, to brainstorm on the All Progressives Congress (APC) Committee’s Report on Restructuring. Jonathan, Dickson and the top Ijaw leaders called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the All Progressives Congress to be sincere with the implementation of the recommendations of the party’s committee led by Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State. “I am pleased with the caliber of people who came with the Governor to brief me on the issue of the recommendations of the APC Committee on restructuring. I must say that I am happy with the role being played by the Governor on this issue of restructuring. Ethnic nationalities must not speak with discordant tones on such pertinent issues. I am pleased that Dickson is coordinating the Ijaw Nation. “I am also pleased that the APC set up a committee to look into the grey areas to come up with these recommendations. When we were in government, we came up with a confab and several issues were addressed which if sincerely implemented would encourage relationship in the country. A sincere implementation of the recommendations on these grey areas will make the country to move forward,” said Jonathan. A statement by the Special Adviser to Governor Dickson on Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, on Thursday quoted Jonathan as having said that, the issues which fell under the purview of the committee were exhaustively treated during the 2014 National Conference whose sincere implementation would definitely move the nation forward. He said that, it was a good idea that the APC was able to set up a committee to look into the same grey areas, which featured promi-

CHANGE OF NAME I formerly known as MISS OKAFOR BEATRICE CHIZOBANow wish to be known as MRS UDOGU BEATRICE CHIZOBAAll former documents remain valid, General public take note. I formerly known as MISS ONYEKA JANE OBY Now wish to be known as MRS OBIAGWU JANE OBY.All former documents remain valid, General public take note.

nently in the deliberations of the 2014 Conference. Jonathan commended Governor Dickson for playing the leadership role of coordinating the thoughts of the Ijaw people on the sensitive issue of restructuring, adding that the Governor must be appreciated for ensuring that the Ijaw Nation did not speak with discordant tones on the issue of restructuring. He stressed that he was pleased that Governor Dickson was performing the leadership role in accordance with his expectations by coordinating the Ijaw Nation on the topical issue. Speaking also, Governor Dickson said that he led the delegation of the Ijaw leaders to the former President on a consultative meeting and to brief him on the steps the Ijaw had taken to build bridges of understanding in the pursuits of what is right in the country. He explained that, the meeting focused on the issue of restructuring and the moves being made to bring about a just, fair and egalitarian Nigerian society. Dickson noted that, the recommendations contained in the report of the APC committee were the same as those contained in the 2014 National confab. He said: “As you all can see, this is a highpowered delegation of Ijaw elders and leaders from all the zones from Ijaw nation. I am leading them to meet and consult with our respected leader, the former President and also to brief him on steps we are taking; steps we will continue to take to unify our people to build bridges of understanding and to support all that is right and

• Professor Ben Ayade (Left) presenting a gift to Mrs. Winifred Oyo Ita during her visit to the Cross River State Government House. good, not only in this region, but across the nation.” The meeting was a follow up to an earlier

meeting of top Ijaw leaders at Kiagbodo, the country home of Pa Edwin Clark on January 20, 2018.

Benue Killings: IPOB condemns arrest of Gboko DPO By THEO RAYS, Onitsha

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he Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) has the arrest of Mr. Bur Doolor, the serving Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Gboko Divisional Headquarters in Benue State over alleged killing of Fulani herdsmen in the area. IPOB in a statement issued by the Director of Media and Publicity Emma Powerful, a copy of which was obtained by The Oracle Today, in Onitsha, said the arrest of DPO of Gboko police

station in Benue State for failure to use police resources to protect invading Fulani herdsmen is ‘a pervasion of reason and logic which can only be obtained in Nigeria where reason and common sense is always in short supply.’ “We condemn the criminal silence of the weak majority and those that claim they are leaders of the various socio-cultural organisations that litter the political landscape in Nigeria. The humiliation and arrest of DPO Bur Dooior a native of Tiv is indicative of the crass insensitivity of those at the helm of security de-

Ojukwu varsity V-C goes tough on campus cults By IBE NWACHUKWU

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uthorities of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU), Anambra state have reminded students of the institution of the need to guard against cult groups and cultism on campus, warning that anyone caught would be rusticated and handed over to the police for prosecution, as directed by the federal government. Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Fidelis Okafor who sounded this note of warning at the weekend during the matriculation ceremony of about 4,300 under graduates and 16 post-graduates of the university, disclosed that a powerful and dynamic security network have been established and mandated to monitor and apprehend cult members on campus. According to Okafor, “woe unto the student that will be discovered to be a cultist in this university. If anybody approaches you to join a secret cult, do not hesitate to make a report to the security department of the university, or to the Dean of Students Affairs, or to any priest on campus. The image of this university has greatly improved in the

eyes of the public and cannot therefore be compromised through deviant behaviour of a few student miscreants”. The VC further disclosed that the university has shown itself as center of excellence by laurels win in recent international, national and state competitions in various fields, adding that it has been ranked second to University of Benin , by the Joiunt Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) as the institution that strictly complied with the JAMB’s guidelines of admission, as well as ranked as the 67th best university out of the 140 federal, state and private universities in the country. He also expressed satisfaction that the university has turned out its third batch of medical doctors trained at the university’s college of medicine, Awka, adding that the formal induction by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCAN) of the last batch of doctors was performed in October, 2017, thus maki9ng the university become one of the 29 universities in Nigeria approved for the training of medical doctors.

cision making in Nigeria. Had the DPO been a Fulani man he would not have been arrested. In Nigeria today, there is one law for Fulani people and another for the rest of us. “We must recall that a few days back, at the height of the genocide in Benue, President Buhari went on record to say he was not in a hurry to take action against his fellow Fulani who were the ones doing the killing. Suddenly the death of 7 Fulani terrorist herdsmen have spurned the presidency into action. Those in doubt about the real motive of this administration can now see it very clearly that Fulani lives, even that of terrorists are more valuable than that of law abiding citizens. “Even the most vocal defender of this brutal Fulani dominated cannot excuse this blatant apartheid going on in Nigeria. Since the continued killing of the innocent citizens in the country by Fulani terrorist supported by Fulani dominated army and police officers in Nigeria security apparatus, the IG of police, Chief of army staff including the Director DSS never for once deemed it necessary to send men of Nigeria army and police to protect lives and properties of those affected. Instead they send their soldiers and police to protect the killers while harassing and intimidating helpless citizens. “Why arrest the non-Fulani DPO of Gboko because of the death of 7 Fulani terrorists, whereas in neighboring police stations manned by Fulani DPOs are being promoted even though the greatest killing of innocent civilians happened under their watch. We also wonder why Nigerian Army and Police chiefs never considered it necessary for once to arrest those police and army officers who masterminded the massacre of innocent and unarmed civilians on 30th of May 2016 as documented by Amnesty International. How about those civilians massacred in cold blood at National high School Aba on 9th February 2016, who was arrested for their deaths? The statement read”.


45

The Oracle Today Wednesday February 14, 2018

SPORTS

No crisis in NBBF, Dalung informs FIBA Stories by MADUABUCHI KALU

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IGERIA’S Sports and Youth Development Minister, Hon. Solomon Dalung has declared that there is no crisis in Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF). Dalung made declaration when he received a delegation of Federation of International Basketball Association (FIBA) fact finding team on the purported crisis in the NBBF from FIBA Executive Director, Alphonse Bile on Monday. According to Hon. Dalung, the purported leadership struggle in NBBF is none existence, saying that the election which brought Musa Kida was free and fair. He maintained the position of the government is that there is no crisis in Nigeria Basketball Federation. In his words: “The position

of government is that there is no crisis in Basketball. We only heard and read in the papers of allegations against government of interference in basketball elections. “Can a spectator take a shot from outside the field and the referee records it as a goal? Tijani Umar did not register to contest or obtain an election form and therefore, could not have contested for the presidential post. “If he obtained election form, then he could have gone to the Appeals Committee to register his grievances but he couldn’t appeal because he didn’t even buy a form, therefore he wasn’t even eligible to protest.” The Minister told the threeman delegation including the FIBA Executive Director Africa, Dr. Alphonse Bile, Special Advisor to FIBA Secretary General,

Mr. Lubomir Kotleba and FIBA Competition Commission member Fode Amara Conde, that Tijani Umar was a government nominee for 8 years and never complained of government interference until government decided to have democratically elected federations devoid of government nominees. “What is the definition of government interference? Is it when government directs that there must be popular elections with a democratized space or when government nominates 155 members of the board?” Barrister Dalung appealed to FIBA to support Nigeria in the development and training of coaches and officials which he said is very significant to sports development. He also urged FIBA to consider giving Nigeria the hosting rights for a World Championship someday.

• Solomon Dalung, Sports & Youth Dev. Minister.

Rohr to open W/Cup Camp in Austria with 35 Players T echnical Adviser to the national team the Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr, says he would open camp in Austria for the 2018 FIFA World Cup with 35 players. According to the FrancoGerman football tactician, he wants three players for each of all the outfield positions, and probably four or five goalkeepers. He maintains that there are still so much vacant places to fill before his a World Cup squad takes shape. “The idea is to have three players for every position in camp from where I would probably pick the best two each and three of the five goalkeepers for the World Cup in Russia. Some home-based players who

Rohr declared. “We have set a target to reach the quarter final of the World Cup and for this reason, we have taken only the best players who are fit and in good form. We have a good programme going to Russia with series of friendly games that will put us in shape for the World Cup” When asked if the form of Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Dele Ajiboye who participated at CHAN has solved his goalkeeping problem, • Rohr, Super Eagles Manager. Rohr said that he would still have a look at Dan Akpeyi competed at CHAN in Morocco will join and Vincent Enyeama bethe camp because of their good showing fore submitting final list. in the African Nations Championship,” “Akpeyi and Enyeama are

Parker wants Joshua’s belts not his fame- Higgins

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oseph Parker’s promoter, David Higgins says his boxer, Joseph Parker is not interested in fame rather he is interested in taking Nigerian-born British boxer, Anthony Joshua’s world heavyweight titles. According to Higgins, the 26-year-old New Zealander is preparing for his unification clash against Joshua in Cardiff on March 31, with three of the major world belts at stake. Parker can become a worldwide star if he defeats Joshua, an Olympic gold medallist with a perfect 20-fight record, but Higgins insists his fighter’s main motivation is to become the sole champion in the division. “I don’t think fame is what’s

driving Joseph at all,” said Higgins. “He has a huge extended family to look after, but I think achievement and satisfaction are a big part of it. “It’s not about fame or money, but they are by-products of doing your best and succeeding. But really, it’s a lofty goal, shoot for the stars and try to unify the division. “No one has really done that since Lennox Lewis and so I think that will be very motivating.” Joshua has questioned whether Parker can handle the enormity of the occasion, with both champions expected to attract a huge crowd of media and fans. But Higgins says Parker witnessed the big-fight hype in the early stages of his career when he appeared on an undercard for a

Wladimir Klitschko world title defence in 2014. “He won’t be fazed at all. To him, it will be another boxing ring,” said Higgins. There might be some people that might be overawed, but Joseph Parker is not one of them. “Whether it’s in the North Pole or Timbuktu, or the Millennium Stadium, the preparation will be the same; the mindset will be the same. “One thing we know about Joseph is that side of it won’t faze him. He’s got a job to do, he knows what it is, and he’ll take it very seriously. “There might be some people that might be overawed, but Joseph Parker is not one of them.”

still in contention for World Cup places if they are in good health, fitness and good form. But Ezenwa and Dele have been good, and if they continue to improve, we will love that because World Cup is a big stage,” Rohr stated.

He commended the NFF for the way they sorted out the players’ bonuses and allowances adding that this will allow the team to concentrate on the game with assurance that their money is safe.

8-year-old cancer patient granted wish to see Bolt, dies

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n eight year-old cancer patient, Jerodene Bailey, who requested to see legendary Jamaican sprint star, Usain Bolt while in her silk bed has had her wish granted as the world fasted man paid her a visit in her hospital bed. Sadly, Bailey has lost her battle against the deadly disease despite having her wish met by Jamaican super star. Bailey’s video appeal to Bolt went viral on social media as she appealed for sprinting sensation, Usain Bolt to visit her while in hospital. The eight year old lost the battle with cancer at the weekend after a long struggle with the illness. She had been in hospital while her condition deteriorated, but had maintained a strong spirit and managed to share moments on social media site Facebook with thousands of well-wishers who had admired her striking personality.

It was through Facebook that she made an emotional appeal to Bolt to pay her a visit “in real life”. “I am a big fan of Usain Bolt! So, Usain Bolt, if you are hearing me right now, I wish I could see you in real life,” young Bailey recorded in her video message, noting that she was “very ill”. Her wish would eventually come true when the sprinting superstar saw the video and made good on a promise to visit her. She was said to be delighted by his visit, though she was physically weak. From that visit, even more persons became interested in Bailey’s struggle, and, by January 27, the Optimist Club of Mandeville had dropped off a cheque at the University Hospital of the West Indies with the hope that she could continue to fight the dreaded disease.


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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 14, 2018

SPORTS

Mikel, Moses, others to miss Eagles Congo friendly Sports Ministry decamp athletes

Stories by MADUABUCHI KALU

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S Nigeria intensifies her World Cup preparations in order to have a successful outing in Russia, some of the regular players or what may be described as regular player in the team such as Captain John Obi Mikel, Victor Moses and Jude Odion Ighalo amongst others may not participate in the team’s farewell friendly against Congo DR in Abuja or Uyo on May 28, source has disclosed. The Super Eagles are expected to bid the country farewell before they depart to Russia and of course they will be having President Muhammadu Buhari hopefully at the venue of the friendly match. According to a reliable source, the like of John Obi Mikel, Victor Moses and Odion Jude Ighalo among some other senior players will not feature in the game because the Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr wants to use the friendly to test some fringe players in the squad. The Oracle Today Sports was reliably informed that Rohr is to draw a list of 35 players for the friendlies from which 23 will eventually make the final cut for the Mundial. It was also disclosed that those who participated in the World Cup Qualifiers and a few players who participated at the African Nations Championship that held in Morocco are expected to be among the 35 man list before the final of 23. Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Ifeanyi Ifeany an about four others who

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participated in CHAN will be in the 35 man provisional list of Gernot Rohr when it is released. It is true that at the beginning of the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN), the home-based Eagles were written of due to their poor start to the championship but as the championship progressed the team kept improving until they get to the final of the competition. Before that final many stakeholders had already written them off but Coach Yusuf kept faith with his boys saying despite their shortcoming they were doing well and at the end of the day these that wrote them off had to swallow their vomit. “Mikel, Moses, Odion Jude Ighalo and some other big players may

not be of the match against Democratic Republic of Congo. These players are not expected to feature in the first phase of camping which is going to be either Abuja or Uyo. Home based players and some other fringe players from Europe are going to prosecute the friendly that is organised for the team to bid the country farewell ahead of the World Cup. “Rohr is compiling a list of 35 players with those who prosecuted the World Cup Qualifiers expected to dominate it. The final list of 23 is expected to come out on June 4 about days after the friendly match against England,” the source disclosed. Meanwhile, Arsenal legend, Ian Wright has suggested that Alex

Iwobi be one of the players who should line up alongside with Pierre Emerick Aubamenyang. This suggestion that Iwobi should be one of the players that should line up alongside Aubamenyang may not be unconnected with the trust that Wright has in the ability of the Nigerian international. Iwobi has been improving just as Arsenal have disclosed that Aubamenyang’s current No4 jersey is a temporary measure as he will be handed Iwobi’s Jersey No17 at the end of the season and you may ask why. Well, it is only Arsene Wenger and Arsenal could answer that question, but that is what report emanating from the Emirate Stadium is saying.

Lagos City Marathon: LASTMA announces traffic diversions

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ll is set for the 3rd edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon which holds on Saturday, February 10 as all vital arrangements for a hitch-free marathon has been concluded according to the organizer of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) sanctioned event. The annual marathon event was first staged in 2016 even as the previous two editions recorded huge successes. It is equally expected that the Saturday event will be successful like the two previous editions. The maiden edition of the marathon was won by Kenyan Abraham Kiptom in the male category. The Kenyan, a Gold labelled marathoner, did not surpass the time of 2:11:36 set before the Lagos City Marathon. Hosea Kipkeboi of Kenya came second with a time of 2:16:34 and Debebe Tolosa of Ethiopia came third with a time of 2:16:40. In the female category, Hussain of Ethiopia came first with 2:38:36 and Alice Timbul of Kenya came second with a time of 2:38:49 while Aberash Fetase of Ethiopia returned 2:39:09 to

place third. The first Nigerian male is Philip Sharabutu with a time of 2:30:51, while Eliya Pam returned as the second Nigerian male athlete with a time of 2:31:41 and Peter Maham came third with a time of 2:39:07. The first marathoner went home

with 50,000 dollars, the second place winner carted home 40,000 dollars and third place 30,000 dollars. Meanwhile, the Lagos State Transport Management Agency (LASTMA) has announced traffic diversion as part of effort to ensure a hitch-free Lagos City Marathon.

A statement issued last in Lagos by the Transport Agency said the event will kick off at 6am from the National Stadium Surulere and terminate at Eko Atlantic City, Victoria Island, thus necessitating traffic diversions.

• 2nd edition of Access Bank Lagos City Marathon starting point, National Stadium Surulere, Lagos..

he Ministry of Sports and Youth Development have reduced the number of athletes in Nigeria’s camp preparing for the 2018 Commonwealth Games tagged “Gold Coast 2018” to ensure that the coaches concentrate only on athletes capable of winning medals at the quadrennial championship. In a bid to ensure that the country is not going to Australia for jamboree, all the eight able bodied table tennis players and four women were decamped leaving only the three Para table tennis players trained by Coach Sunday Ogunsanya in camp. It was learnt that foreign-based table tennis players will be arriving the shores of the country soon. In boxing, you have in the women category the like of Caroline Linus 51kg, Aishat Oriyomi 51kg, Yetunde Oduayo 60kg and Fadilat Tijani are all in camp. According to information reaching The Oracle Today Sports, the essence of decamping most of the athletes is to separate the boys from the men since there is a level of performance expected of any athlete at the international tournament like the Commonwealth Games and if an athlete does not meet such standard, there is no gain taking such athlete to the tournament. At the various camps scattered all over the country such as Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt the story is the same. It is hoped that the action taken by the Sport and development Ministry will not backfire.


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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 14, 2018

SPORTS Eagles deserves commendation not crucifixion – Chukwu

Stories by MADUABUCHI KALU

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ORMER captain and coach of the national team the Super Eagles, Christian Chukwu, has called on Nigerians to give the silver winning Super Eagles rousing welcome and not criticism following the team’s humiliating defeat in the hands of Morocco in the final of this year’s African Nations Championship that just ended in Morocco. According to Chukwu, this not the time to trade blames or criticisms of team because it is too late in the day therefore instead of dwelling in the past we should come back home and do our homework so that in two year time when the competition will be staged again we will be able to per-

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resident Muhammadu Buhari will host the Nigerian Bobsled and Skeleton team to this year’s Winter Olympic Games when they return from the tournament in South Korea. The President’s assurance of hosting the team was announced

form better than we did in Morocco. He explained that reaching the final of the tournament was enough for the team to be given commendation considering the fact that they never had adequate preparations before the championship bearing in mind that football is a game of where by you win some and lose. Chukwu bared his mind on this and some other issues bordering on Nigerian Football in exclusive interview with The Oracle Today Sports on Monday. “Well, I would say that I have mixed feeling concerning the thrashing of the Super Eagles Team B by their Moroccan counterparts in Sunday’s final of this year’s African Nations Championship which was played at The King Mohamed V Stadium in Casablanca,”

Chukwu began. “As for me, there is no gain crying over spilt milk. The deed has been done. We have been beaten we have been beaten. And so for me, I do not think that this is the time for us to start criticizing the team or crucifying them on account of the match against Morocco. “This is because there is no amount of criticism that can change the result. So it is too in the day for us to start criticizing them. It would have been better to do that before the championship or before the match,” Chukwu opined. Continuing he said: “I think there is no need for us to continue to criticize the team rather as far as I am concerned, they need commendation not criticism. As far as I am concerned, that the team made it to the final is enough to give

them a rousing welcome. They should be celebrated because nobody even gave them any chance in the first place but they were able to get to the final which means if they are given the right atmosphere they could perform better,” Chukwu said. Speaking further the immediate past General Manager of Enugu Rangers queried the role of the Technical Adviser of the national team, Gernot Rohr in all these in the team’s poor outing against the Atlas Lions of Morocco. According to him, the Technical Adviser should be held responsible because he is the head of the technical crew of the national teams. Chukwu wondered whether Rohr’s only responsibility as the Technical Adviser of the national teams is for the main team saying if it is so, it is wrong.

Buhari to host Winter Olympic team after Games by his Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Hon. Abike Dabiri during the send forth organized by the Nigerian Bobsled and

• Nigerian Bobsled and Skeleton team to the Winter Olympics, Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga at Sharaton Hotels.

Skeleton Federation for the team made up of Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga at Sharaton Hotels in Lagos. In the words of Dabiri: “Win or lose, President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to host you at the Villa when you return. You are all winners, already,” Dabiri informed the girls who will be flying Nigeria’s flag at the Winter Olympics for the first time. Meanwhile, the President of Bobsled and Skeleton Federation of Nigeria, Chief Solomon Ogba used the occasion to heap praises on the Nigerian quartet who toiled to qualify for the Games without government support. “Credit must go to this iconic Nigerian quartet who enters the history books as the first women to represent not only Nigeria, but also Africa at the Winter Olympics,” Ogba said. Continuing he said, “This is a

product of Nigerian determination to break new grounds and achieve what has never been done.” Responding on behalf of other members of the team, the Captain of the team, Seun Adigun said they were overwhelmed by the level of acceptance and support from Nigerians and the corporate community. “We are going to Korea with the weight of the country and the continent on our backs. We have resolved not to fail.” Adding his voice, The Chef de Mission of the Nigerian team, Otumba Gbenga Elegbeleye expressed confidence in the ability of the team to make Nigeria proud at the games. “While I cannot stand here and start raising expectations, the girls themselves have demonstrated a lot of determination and with the Nigerian spirit in them; I know they can win something.”

Tinubu advocates Govt. support for Diaspora Nigerians

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ormer Lagos State governor and the national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu has thrown his weight behind Nigerian Bobsleigh and Skeleton team to perform well at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games scheduled for Pyeongchang, Korea Republic, from February 9 to 25. The former Lagos chief executive gave his support to the history making Nigerian Bobsleigh and Skeleton team last Wednesday when the Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Younghoan Lee paid him a courtesy visit and presented him with a model Winter Olympics Torch. The former Lagos State helmsman used the occasion to solicit for government support for Diaspora Nigerians as he recalled that the Nigerian Bobsleigh and Skeleton Team are purely Diaspora Nigerians who through hard work; qualified the country and Africa to her first Winter Olympic Games in Bobsleigh and Skeleton events. He said, “The Nigerian Bobsleigh and Skeleton team should continue to strive. The mere fact that they are very creative and determined to participate is a great pride to Nigeria. We should as much as possible give them support and encouragement to win medals,” Tinubu began. “The Sports Ministry should encourage Nigerians in the Diaspora, who have opportunities to engage in as many sports as possible whether they are related to winter or not. That would keep the country’s flag flying in sports. “Even though we don’t have winter or snow in Nigeria, we have Nigerians in the Diaspora that will represent the country at the Winter Games and they have made us proud to be the first to qualify from Africa.” Continuing Tinubu said: “The torch means a lot to me. I am not the only Nigerian out of over 200 million people to be singled out and presented with this Olympic Torch. This is very important to me and the country,” Tinubu declared. Lee said the Olympics would help enhance Nigeria’s relationship with Korea. He said, “We present this model of the Olympic Torch to Tinubu, for the friendship and relationship between Korea Republic and Nigeria. I also want to suggest to Tinubu to help open more ties between Nigeria and Korea and also use the opportunity to visit Korea and watch the Winter Games with Nigeria competing in two competitions, the Bobsleigh and the Skeleton events.”


WEDNESDAY February 14, 2018

The

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racle Today

VOX POPULI SACRUM

ISSN: 2545-5869

Agenda for my President, today, beyond

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IGERIANS need a President who would understand that we behind and need to run faster than we have ever done, if we are to make anything meaningful out of Nigeria and its peoples. My President does not have to wait until 2019, or stop work after winning the election. He has to rescue Nigeria. Listed are some of the most pressing areas. I have left out security, knowing that it would be tackled in the next few months. Seven-point programme War Against Corruption Food Security Accelerated Power Supply Integrated Transport Network Free Education Devolution of Power Accelerated Economic Growth Affordable Health Care When my President deals with these areas, he would have Nigerians eating off his hands. The Nigerian is tried of the talks; he wants to see the works. Agriculture & Food Revamp the River Basin Authorities Reclaim the desert by tree planting programmes and growing alfalfa grass, and other legumes for livestock nutrition Institute land army scheme across the nation Transportation Embark on a National Infrastructural Development Programme as a PPP that will ensure the construction of 4,000 kilometres of super highways Build up to 200km of modern standard railway lines annually Renovation and modernisation of the ports to enable them cope with growing traffic Encourage maritime cruises and pleasure boats for recreation and tourism Complete the dredging of River Niger Power supply Expansion of electricity generation and distribution of up to 40,000 megawatts in four years Make power available from renewable energy sources such as coal, solar, hydro, wind and biomass for domestic and industrial use, wherever these prove viable Mineral & steel development Create jobs, alleviate poverty and provide critical infrastructure, invest heavily in the abundant solid mineral resources in all parts of Nigeria. Explore bitumen to drastically reduce the cost of road construction

Education Reinstate Teacher Teaching Colleges Target up to 10% of annual budget for this critical sector Offer free and qualitative primary and secondary education to all but to tertiary level for women Ensure a greater portion of expenditure on university education is devoted to science and technology oriented courses. Establish at least six new universities

Media Respect the fundamental rights of Nigerians to freedom of speech and submit to the provisions of the freedom of Information Act.

of science and technology with satellite campuses in various States Support education for persons living with disabilities. Establish six centres of excellence to address Special Education Re-introduce Nigerian History and Civics in all secondary schools Health Prioritise the reduction of infant mortality rate by 2019 to 3% Reduce material mortality by more than 70% Reduce HIV/AIDS infection rate by 50%, other diseases by 75% Improve life expectancy by additional 10 years on average Increase the number of physicians from 19 per 1000 population to 50 per 1000 Increase national health expenditure per person per annum to about N50, 000 (from less than N10, 000 currently) Increase the quality of all Federal Government owned hospitals to world class standard within five years Invest in cutting edge technology such as tele-medicine in all major health centres in the country Provide free ante-natal care for pregnant women, free health care for babies and children up to school going age and for the aged and free treatment for those afflicted with infectious disease such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS Boost the local manufacture of 70 percent of pharmaceuticals and make drugs for HIV/AIDS available Access to capital Create at least five new development banks: 1. Bank for Construction and Infrastructure 2. Bank for Education 3. Bank for Commerce and Small Enterprises 4. Bank for Health and Social Services 5. Bank for Agriculture (Strengthened and Expanded) The interest Rates of these Banks will not exceed a single digit. Oil & Gas Make the industry and Nigeria one of the world’s cutting edge centres for

clean oil and gas technologies, scientist, mega structure installation drilling, progressing, production engineers supported with best services and research facilities Modernise the NNPC and make it the national energy champion Enforce the government mater plan for oil companies to end flaring that pollutes the air and damages people’s health and ensure that they sell at least half of their gas production within Nigeria Speedily pass the much-delayed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and ensure that local content issues are fully addressed Make Nigeria the world’s leading exporter of LNG Encourage the emergence of modern modular refineries products and reduce importation Promote optimal domestic gas utilisation for LPG and CNG Environment Refuse disposal and management Desert/encroachment control Erosion and afforestation programmes Bush burning prohibition Industrial pollution as well as oil and gas pollution legislation Pollution from house hold generators Noise pollution and flooding control Dredging of our major rivers. For special achievement of these and other sanitations we shall establish a National Environmental Marshall corps. Housing Emergence of one million housing units per annum both by direct social housing programmes Programme will bring into place about 30 million jobs nationwide annually. Human Rights Uphold and enforce the Fundamental Human Right as enshrined in Chapter IV of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999. Abide by the United Nation and African Union Charters on Human Guarantee the independence of the Judiciary Equip the police, other law enforcement agencies to enhance operational performance

The Niger Delta Mitigate the environmental degradation of the Niger – Delta areas, occasioned by oil exploration and gas flaring activities Douse the tension in the Niger-Delta areas because of youth restiveness Restore the confidence of the citizens from Niger-Delta areas in the oneness of the Nigerian nation Construct navigational bridges across big rivers and swampy lands to link isolated islands in the Niger-Delta Gas flaring in the course of mineral oil mining activities shall be discontinued Special focus on the funding and operational efficiency of the Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Persons living with disability No Nigerian suffers any form of discrimination as a result of disability Disability will be considered when constructing public infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, railways, airports, marine transport facilities, public buildings, transport terminals, etc; and when designing working tools and other equipment, including sporting equipment, to be used by the physically challenged. Create National Commission for persons with disability in Nigeria National Security & defence Establish a well-trained, adequately funded equipped and goals driven Serious Crime Squad to combat terrorism, kidnapping, armed robbery, militancy ethno-religious and communal clashes nationwide. Begin widespread consultations to amend the Constitution to decentralise the police command and expand local content by including community policing Take renewed measures to secure our borders Establish a National Coast Guard to protect our coastal waters Conflict resolution, national unity & social harmony Establish a conflict Resolution Commission to help prevent, mitigate and resolve civil conflicts within the policy Ensure Nigerians are free to live and work in any part of the country irrespective of ethnic and religious by removing State of origin, afflictive tribe and replace these with State of residence A President who does all these would have touched all parts of Nigeria, and taken the country notches out of the present despondency. PS: If the agenda reads too familiar or political, do not despair. All the items were taken off the manifesto of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the 2015 election. These promise, and more, are still on APC’s website. Any President, who can do these, gets my vote in 2019.

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: oracletoday2016@yahoo.com, Twitter: @oraclenews.ng Facebook: oraclenews.ng@facebook.com Website: www.oraclenews.ng Advert hot lines: 09078310060, 09061836916. Editor: FELIX OGUEJIOFOR ABUGU.

Wednesday February 14 Edition  

Power brokers dump Buhari

Wednesday February 14 Edition  

Power brokers dump Buhari

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