Tuesday, May 17, 2022 Edition

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Tuesday, May 17, 2022/ 16 Shawwal 1443 AH Vol. 39 No. 084 N200


Why I'll stand with Yahaya Bello, not S'West aspirants - Hafsat Abiola >>>PG 6



. . . putting the people first


317 DAYS

ICPC boss rallies global action against illicit financial flows PG 2

Ahead 2023 elections:

INEC Chair, CCB in court over assets declaration

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CJN warns judges to be impartial, shun corrupt acts

FCT Minister Malam Muhammad Musa Bello (7th right) in a group photograph with participants of the Senior Executive Course 44 of NIPSS and senior officials of the FCTA and members of the FCT Security Committee during the courtesy visit by the SEC participants to the Minister in Abuja yesterday

Police arraign man, 27, over alleged N68,000 phone theft


Don't add TETFund inaugurates NNPC, MTN among Editors reaffirm commitment chemicals to food, committee on thesis top-performing to defence of democracy, NAFDAC warns digitization taxpayers in 2021-FIRS press freedom PAGE 3












Stock Watch Business Metro

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World Analysis 22 Africa News


World News


ICPC boss rallies global action against Illicit Financial Flows


he Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, has rallied a global action against Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs), including a call for global framework on IFFs similar to corruption. Owasanoye made this call at a side event of the ongoing hybrid 54th Conference of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) taking place in Dakar, Senegal. Mrs Azuka Ogugua, ICPC’s Spokesperson, in a statement in Abuja said that the conference would focus on regional efforts to track, recover and return stolen assets from Africa through the IFFs. She said that the meeting was attended by representatives of member-countries of the Economic Community for Africa, heads of anti-corruption agencies

and international bodies. Addressing the meeting virtually, the ICPC boss emphasised the need for a global framework on IFFs as part of a determined commitment to tackle the menace. “The challenge we found ourselves today is that the rules have always been skewed in favour of those who export capital and against those who import capital. Corruption is a global issue and we have a global framework on corruption. “The IFFs is also a global issue but does not have a global framework. “A way out of the problem is to institute a global framework on IFFs which, among others, will address the huge financial losses suffered by African countries,” the ICPC chairman stated. He noted that the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war had complicated the financial resources of African countries,

hence the need to tackle the IFFs and stop further hemorrhage of the financial resources on the continent. Further to the global framework on IFFs, Owasanoye also proffered legal and policy measures that should be implemented by African countries to address the IFFs risk. These legal and policy measures, according to the ICPC boss include, review of agreements entered into with Multinational Corporations (MNCs), review of inimical double taxation agreements. Others are: enactment of laws, rules or regulations on unexplained wealth order or lifestyle audit, introduction of civil forfeiture of assets and beneficial ownership standards; and design of a framework for trans-digital transactions. The ICPC chairman also advocated tougher measures against corrupt state officials who

L-R: Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu with the United Kingdom Government’s International E d u c a t i o n Champion, Sir. Steve Smith, during the UK Education Champion and his delegation’s courtesy visit to the Federal Ministry of Education, yesterday Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo

I will change Nigeria from consuming country to producing one -- Peter Obi Digest

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collude with the MNCs against their countries. “African countries must understand that the MNCs split contracts. “The juicy parts of the contracts with MNCs are domiciled in their home countries while the non-juicy parts of the contracts are domiciled in Africa. “We need to deal with the MNCs’ collaboration by government officials who look the other way in international agreements,” he said. Earlier in her remarks, the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Rebecca Grynspan, said the global economy was under enormous stress due to COVID-19 pandemic, Russia– Ukraine war and climate change. Grynspan noted that IFFs posed a huge challenge to African countries in realising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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KG-CARES to boost Kogi’s entrepreneurship, economy — MD


he Kogi Enterprise Develoment Agency (KEDA), says KGCARES aims at boosting entrepreneurship and the economy of the state and the nation as a whole. KG-CARES is the Kogi COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus. KEDA Managing Director, Hajiya Rekiya Onaivo, made the clarification in a Statement by the Agency’s image maker, Ms Yemi Balogun in Lokoja. The MD expressed gladness and satisfaction with the flag-off and zonal sensitisation of Kogi- CARES across the state. Onaivo described the Result Area 3 zonal sensitisation, which began on May 9 to May 12 across the three senatorial districts, as “apt and very successful”. She said the zonal sensitization took place in Anyigba, Kabba and Okene, with relevant stakeholders fully represented. “KEDA is very satisfied that the sensitisation created massive awareness about the KG-CARES project and intimated the business

communities about the processes and criteria for participation. “KG-CARES Result Area 3 is a state-level intervention that seeks to mitigate the local effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Kogi by supporting the recovery of local economic activities among Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs). “We are equally happy that the sensitisation was declared opened by the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Folashade Ayoade, represented by her Senior Special Adviser on Administrative Matters, Mr Ephraim Amurawiaye, ” she said. KEDA boss explained that the aim of the sensitisation was to bring statewide awareness of the World Bank programme that would help Micro and Small Businesses stay in business. She acknowleged the support of Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr Olofu Yunusa-Gabriel, for being part of the programme held at Kabba. According to her, the commissioner’s encomiums in the activities of KEDA had spurred the

agency to do more for Kogi, for the desired growth and development. According to her, YunusaGabriel’s reiteration of the state government’s commitment to ensure that businesses that were adversely affected by COVID-19 pandemic were resuscitated, was a stimulus to the agency. The MD also thanked the State Cares Coordinating Unit and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Mr Ezekiel Shaibu, for their support to the success of the programme. Onaivo, however, called on women, youths and People Living with Disabilities (PWD), to take advantage of the opportunity and access the grants. She explained that beneficiaries would be verified by independent agents to ascertain whether they were qualified. The KEDA boss advised prospective beneficiaries to ensure that authentic information were provided to the agency, to avoid being disqualified from the KG-CARES

project. “Interested individuals and participants should be wary of all forms of fraudulent activities and report such to KEDA. “KEDA will not demand any form of payment to register beneficiaries,” she warned. High point of the event was the handing over of the Greivance Boxes to the vice chairpersons of the 21 local government areas for grievance redress purposes. “Prospective beneficiaries are highly encouraged to drop their complaints and grievances, as this will be handled appropriately.” She also thanked the traditional rulers who graced the occasions and their fatherly advice to propel managers to ensure that the funds were properly managed. Amongst them are the Ohi of Okene, Alhaji Isah Mamman, the Obaro of Kabba, Oba Solomon Owoniyi Owoyomade1, Ogohi Onu Anyigba, Alhaji Abu Shaibu Okolo, and Ohi of Okengwen, Obobayi Ihima, Prince Fuad Ado-Ibrahim. (NAN)




Abia APC senatorial aspirant vows to defeat PDP candidate in 2023


ep. Sam Onuigbo (APCAbia) has vowed to defeat the Senatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 general elections. Onuigbo is a serving House of Representatives member hinged his promised on the failure of the ruling PDP in the state in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja. Onuigbo, who is seeking to represent the people of Abia Central Senatorial District of Abia, is also the current House of Reps member, representing Ikwuano/Umuahia North/Umuahia South Federal Constituency of Abia State. He said that the PDP administration in the state had no basic evidence of good governance since its assumed power in the state as the people were already tired of PDP government. “The PDP is supposed to pose a serious threat to my ambition where there has been good governance but this time, the people are wiser and will vote the party out.’’ He said that the people of Abia had been voting for 24 years in the state for the PDP, “but this time the people will go for candidates that can deliver on their promises.’’ “My people have no basic of evidence of good governance, so why will they want to do the same thing after nearly a quarter of a century without result,” he wondered. Onuigbo said that the failure of the ruling party in the state to bring good governance would further enhance his chances in the race if given the ticket as the people were tired of bad governance. He said that his campaign would be would have the acronym “EAR” – E-Effectiveness, A-Accessibility and R-Responsiveness. The lawmaker said his intention was to be effective when in the plenary and during senate committee sittings “I will be accessible to my people who have used their power of their thumbs to elevate me to such a high position. “I am going to be responsive to the legitimate aspiration and concerns of my constituents, according to the resources and opportunity available to me. “The fact that they have used their thumb to elevate me should not make me inaccessible to them, so it is only when they are accessible they can come out to say their legitimate aspirations and concerns.” Onuigbo expressed confidence in winning the senatorial seat, adding that out of the four contestants that had purchased the APC expression of interest form, “I am far above all and I expect to win the primaries. (NAN)

Ag News Editor, Tobias Lengnam

Desist from adding chemicals to food, NAFDAC warns


he National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has again warned Nigerians to desist from the habit of adding chemicals to food for whatever reasons. The Director-General of the agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, gave the warning on Monday in Abuja in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). Adeyeye was reacting to alleged mixing of chemicals like Jatropha Curcas leaves, hypo detergent and potash with Akpu, which is also known as Fufu, to

make it rise, be soft and ferment. NAN reports that such practice was allegedly done in some parts of Ondo and Ekiti states, especially in the popular Fufu Market at Oke Lisa Street, Adjacent A-Division in Akure. The practice was also alleged to be going on at Ilu-Abo, Owode, Ogbese, Igbara-Oke, Igbara-Odo, Ifaki-Ekiti, Oba-Ile, all in Ondo and Ekiti, to make more gains. The NAFDAC director-general said that the agency was aware of the alleged practice and warned those indulging in the act to desist.

She said that the agency recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) where youth corps members would be made to sensitise citizens on such practices at the grassroots. She added that “it is true what some people do, but it is not all Fufu that have hypo-chloride in it. “This is why the engagement of the corps members is necessary, to explain to the people that they don’t need to add any chemical, except salt and sugar and must

also be minimised. “Too much salt could cause hypertension later-on in life, too much sugar, you are playing with diabetics, you don’t have to put chemical on food to make it to rise or whatsoever reasons. “Fufu has been an ancient food and chemical had never been added to it. “I don’t know what these people actually mean, may be to make it to rise or soften it, this has affected so many people’s health but the NYSC will be at hand to educate the people. (NAN)

Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao (M-front row); President of Nigerian Air Force Wives Association, Mrs Elizabeth Amao (5th R); officiating priests and Nigerian Air Force (NAF) senior officers, after the Interdenominational Church Service to march the 58 Anniversary of NAF in Abuja yesterday.

2023: NSPMC MD resigns appointment to contest


he Managing Director, Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC), Abbas Masanawa, says he has complied with presidential directive by resigning his appointment to pursue political ambition. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Masanawa, who is one of the governorship aspirants of Katsina State, has bought and submitted Expression of Interest and Nomination forms. President Mahummadu Buhari had through the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, directed all ministers and political appointees contesting for various elective positions to resign their appointments on or before May 16. Fielding questions from State House correspondents in Abuja, Masanawa said he had adhered to the president’s directives, saying he submitted his resignation

through the Office of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). He said: “Absolutely, I have abided completely with the presidential directive. And I’ve resigned my appointment as the managing director, and chief executive of Nigeria Security, Printing and Minting. ”I sent in my resignation through the chairman of the board, who also happens to be the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.” Asked if he has personally informed Buhari of his intentions, he said: “Yes through my immediate boss, who is the governor of the central bank of Nigeria. ”The governor of the central bank is the chairman of the board of Nigeria security, printing and minting.” Masanawa, who was screened by the All Progressives Congress Governorship Committee on Saturday, expressed the hope that

he would emerge victorious in the APC governorship verification exercise and the forthcoming 2023 general elections. Speaking on his achievements at Mint, Masanawa said he met moribund company, that was almost dead but was able to achieve the three mandates of President Buhari 100 per cent, including attainment of zero importation of the country’s currencies. “Our mandate was to see how we can reposition Mint towards four key mandates. Number one, to enhance profit generation. The company was making heavy losses before we took over. ”Second, enhance the production capacity of Nigeria security, printing and minting because when we took over more than 50 per cent of Nigerian currency was printed outside the shores of Nigeria. ”And our core mandate was to ensure we achieve zero importation of currency, that is

printing our currency in Nigeria. ”Thirdly, to enhance the welfare of our staff, because human capital is the most important asset in any organization. So if the people are not happy, they cannot give you their best. ”So these were the core mandates that we were given. And without being immodest, we have almost 100 per cent achieved all those mandates. ”As I’m talking, I can beat my chest and say 100 per cent of Nigeria’s currency is being handled by Nigeria Security, Printing and Minting. That is the first time since 2014.” Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has met behind closed door with Gov. Aminu Masari of Katsina State at the State House, Abuja, on Monday. When accosted by State House correspondents, Masari declined comment on the outcome of his meeting with the president. (NAN)




12 APC governorship aspirants share 1,517 delegates in Benue

From: Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


he All Progressives Congress, APC in Benue State has stated that there will be no manipulations during its forthcoming Governorship primary as 12 aspirants share 1,517 delegates. Publicity Secretary, Dan Morgan Ihomun who said this in telephone chat with our correspondent yesterday, intimated that 12 aspirants have been duly cleared to contest the primary slated for Friday 20th May, 2022. He also disclosed that over 1380 delegates including statutory delegates made up of former Assembly members, formers governors, senators etc., added the number to 1517. “Our party is putting forward a level playing field for every aspirant. Those who have gone through the screening and have been cleared are free”.

TETFund inaugurates committee on thesis digitization By Maryam Abeeb


he Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Arc. Sonny Echono, has inaugurated the Fund’s Thesis Digitization Project Steering and Coordinating Committee. Inaugurating the Committee on Monday in Abuja, Echono said the project was necessitated by the need for a National Academic Research Repository (NARR) given that numerous research outputs were lying dormant in libraries across tertiary institutions in the country. While saying the few existing repositories in the country are not available to national or global audiences, Echono said the ugly development prompted the intervention of TETFund’s Board of Trustees (BOT). “The Board of Trustees of TETFund, in a bid to redress the situation, initiated the Digitization of Thesis Project, tasking the Executive Secretary with shepherding a centralized mechanism that will form the basis for storing dematerialized academic output in electronic form, federated across all beneficiary institutions of the Fund. “Following this mandate, Management approved a consultancy, which conducted various interactive sessions and

surveys over a period of 9 months to identify how academic output in the form of thesis and other digital resources produced by undergraduate and Postgraduate students are stored, handled, and utilized. “ Part of the report submitted showed through comparative analysis of practices and approaches that our beneficiary institutions lag significantly in two key areas: “ 1. There is a lack of properly structured digitized theses available for integration into global digital repositories. 2. The absence of a National Academic Research Repository or a coordinated collection of institutional repositories. “ Undoubtedly, some of our beneficiaries have made significant progress in their efforts to digitize academic output. But sadly, the vast majority of beneficiaries - about 80%, have not even started or had any significant results to show for their efforts, whilst about 10% have digitized a considerable volume of their thesis,” Echono said. The TETFund boss said the digitization project would also address issues such as plagiarism, intellectual property, commercialisation of academic works, among others, adding that the scheme would begin in 100 institutions with a target of

dematerializing up to 2 billion pages of research materials. “The work has begun; by first championing a massive digitization drive and accelerating ongoing digitization of thesis efforts across all our beneficiary institutions, starting with 100 of those institutions that are least digitized, to reach up to two billion pages of research materials completely dematerialized, both old and new... “To ensure homegrown solutions are encouraged, we are working with the Committee of Vice-Chancellors (CVC) to embed “Eaglescan”. developed by them, as the plagiarism detection software, as part of the Project to ensure the academic integrity of all digitized resources. “ Further to this is the use of Galaxy Backbone to serve as the digital archive of the Repository, while the National Copyright Commission, as part of this Committee, will help advise on guidelines for the intellectual property related matters,” he said. Echono listed the terms of reference of the committee to include ;” Development and adoption of a Model Digitization Policy for our beneficiary institutions; Provide coordinating support and guidance for the Project Management team to implement this Digitization Project

I will change Nigeria from consuming to producing country - Peter Obi

successfully; Develop frameworks and procedures to ensure that the project deliverables are strictly adhered to”, among others. Responding, the chairman of the committee and Secretary General of Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, Prof. Yakubu Ochefu, pledged the readiness of his team to deliver on the task. Ochefu, who commended TETFund for initiating the project, said the scheme would turn around the fortunes of the nation’s education system. “The Committee that you just inaugurated represents a significant milestone in the educational trajectory of Nigeria. The project essentially lays the foundation for a national knowledge bank which we all agree is long overdue,” Ochefu said. Earlier in a goodwill message, the Executive Secretary of National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Prof. Idris Bugaje, described the project as a game changer, adding that it would not only end plagiarism in research work but would ensure easy access to information and networking by scholars. Bugaje called on scholars to leverage on the digital platform to transform their research works to real Nigerian technology.

L-R: Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum; pioneer National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Tijjani Tumsa; and Ekiti State Governor/APC President Aspirant, Dr Kayode Fayemi,during Gov Fayemi’s consultation visit to delegates in Borno State, yesterday.

From: Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


ormer Governor of Anambra State and one of the Presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Peter Obi has assured that if elected President in 2023, he will change Nigeria from a consuming country to a producing one. Mr Obi who gave the assurance while addressing Kaduna PDP delegates and officials at the party Secretariat. He lamented that Nigeria of today lacks quality leaders, hence the reason the country is still in a sorry state. He said, Nigeria and Nigerians today have been thrown into poverty than any other country in the world. “Nigeria is only into consumption and sharing with no tangeable investment into the future. We have all it takes to be a great country and that is why am assuring you today that if I get elected as President, I will take Nigeria from a consuming country to a producing country.

Group brainstorms on 2021 budget performance in Kaduna From: Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


group under the auspice of Kaduna Social Protection Accountability Coalition (KADSPAC) is partnering Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in Kaduna to track the fourth quarter of 2021 and first quarter of 2022 budget performance of Social Protection Interventions in the state. The Chairperson of KADSPAC, Jessica Bartholomew, stated this in the ongoing 2-Day Budget

Dialogue on Social Protection Interventions in Kaduna state holding in Zaria. She said the dialogue, supported by Save the Children International, SCI, was organized to ensure effective implementation of Social Protection Interventions by tracking budget releases, cashbacking and utilization. Jessica also added that KADSPAC will continue to prioritize tracking of public resources allocated in the annual budget for relevant

MDAs to ensure appropriate implementation that will benefit the poor and vulnerable households in Kaduna state. In his presentation, the Social Protection Specialist of SCI, George Akor, said Kaduna state has the capacity to fund Social Protection sustainability. According to him the state has N16.6 Billion in 2022 which is N600 M above what was planned for 2021. Akor however, said the deficit in the 2021 budget is striking,

according to him N128Bn was budgeted for SP implementation plan framework and only N9.1B was spent leaving a deficit of N96.5bn Participants also raised concerns on budget realism and the State’s capacity to sustainably fund social protection interventions. The issue of budget releases not translating to cash backing, which is hindering the capacity of MDAs to effectively implement the interventions, was extensively discussed.


Sylva withdraws presidential bid, back to office


hief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum, has withdrawn from the presidential race in the All Progressives Congress (APC) and has returned to work. A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who monitored development at the ministry in Abuja on Monday reports that Sylva withdrew having considered the enormous work at hand at the ministry. NAN reports that the Northern Solidarity Group had on May 9, presented the APC’s Expression of Interest and Nomination form to the minister to enable him to contest the party’s 2023 presidential primaries. An official at the ministry who chose to remain anonymous said Sylva withdrew from the race to support President Muhammadu Buhari in his quest to achieve a robust oil sector. “He promised to consult the leader of the country and his political leaders the day he was presented with the form. “He believes that concentrating on his work will attract more investments for the oil and gas sector. “He has consulted and he believes that the challenges at the ministry and oil and gas sector are enough issues for him to begin to deal with now than going to pursue presidential ambition at the expense of the nation. “The oil and gas sector is the mainstay of the economy and it is not like any other ministry somebody can just come in and take over. “It requires some measures of time for the person to understand what is happening in the system. “For the interest of the industry and the nation, he has decided to wave that personal ambition to see what he can contribute in the remaining part of President Buhari’s administration. “The implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 is very critical and he wants to continue to make his own contribution to the day-to-day running of the country and support Mr President for robust achievements,” the official said. Meanwhile, Mr Horatius Egua, Senior Adviser (Media and Communications) to the Minister of State for Petroleum, when contacted, confirmed to NAN that the minister was back to work. (NAN)



2023 Election: INEC Chair, CCB in court over asset declaration By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja


he Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), Professor Mahmiud Yakubu and Code of Conduct Bureau(CCB), have been dragged before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, over asset declaration. The plaintiff in the suit number, marked FHC/ABJ/ CS/33/2021, Hon. Emmanuel Agonsi, is praying the court to compel CCB to make his asset declaration form pubic. He is seeking an order of mandamus directing and

compelling the 1st Respondent (CCB) either by its staff, officers, privies, servants or otherwise howsoever described to issue, comply with and/or make available to the Applicant or his privies or Counsel, information and details of the Assets Declarations Forms of the 2nd Respondent (Prof. Yakubu) and his unmarried adult children kept by the 1st Respondent as requested in the Applicant’s letter of 17th December, 2020; as well as accept payment of the appropriate fees from the Applicant forthwith. The Plaintiff, through his counsel, Solomon Okon Apke,

Esq., also prayed the court for an an order of mandamus directing the 1st Respondent, either by itself, officer, staff or nominee to forthwith produce for the examination of this Honourable Court certified copies of the Assets Declaration Forms of the 2nd Respondent and his unmarried adult children submitted to the 1st Respondent for the period of 2007 — 2012 and 2015 — 2020 and any other ones declared thereafter. The plaintiff in the suit is also seeking the following reliefs; A declaration that the 1st Respondent has a statutory

and public duty to furnish the Applicant information and details concerning the 2nd Respondent as contained in the Applicant’s letter of request dated 17th December, 2020. A declaration that the refusal or failure of the 1 st Respondent to respond to or comply with the Applicant’s request as contained in his Letter dated 17th December, 2020 constitutes a refusal/ failure of the 1 st Respondent’s statutory and/or public duty to the Applicant and is therefore unlawful, illegal, abuse of powers, abuse of discretion and ultra vires.

Kaduna State People Democratic Party Chairman, Mr, Hassan Hyet, Former Governor of Anambra State and PDP Presidential Aspirant, Peter Obi and his Campaign Director, Chief Do yin Okukpe when the Asspirant meet with Delegates in Kaduna yesterday,

Be impartial, shun corrupt acts, CJN warms new judges By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja


hief Justice of Nigeria(CJN) Justice Tanko Mahmoud, has warned the newly appointed judicial officers in the country to shun corrupt practices in the discharge of their adjudicatory duties. The CJN, who is also the Chairman Board of Governors of the National Judicial Institute(NJI) gave the charge in his speech at the opening of the 2022 induction course for newly appointed judicial officers of superior courts held at the National Judicial Institute, Abuja. In his keynote address, CJN informed the fresh judges that the judiciary has no place for corruption, warning that anybody caught in the web of corruption would be severely dealt with.

“Distinguished Participants, let me inform you, if you are not aware that corruption has no place in the judiciary. He reminded the new judges that they need to possess outstanding qualities which sets them apart distinctively from other members of the society. “As Judges you are expected to display water tight integrity and be committed to your adjudicatory duties thereby shying away from anything that might dent your integrity. “These indispensable attributes of judicial officers include integrity, impartiality, honesty, transparency and the fear of God among others. “This can be achieved by conforming to the Code of Conduct for judicial officers, as the conduct and ethics of a judicial officer is immensely important in order for

the public not to lose confidence in the judge and by extension the judiciary as a whole. More so, the CJN enjoined the judicial officers to have a proper grasp of the law, practice and procedure in addition to mastering the art of judgment writing. “You must also go the extra mile of having the law at your fingertips. “A judicial officer who is not thoroughly abreast with the law is handicapped and at the mercy of not-too-faithful lawyers” the CJN stated. Also speaking, the Administrator of National Judicial Institute, Justice Salisu Abdullahi (rtd), hinted to the participants that as Ministers in the Temple of Justice, the need for them to imbibe judicial values cannot be overemphasized. “Your job as a judicial officer

is quite tasking and demanding. It involves long working hours, as such, it behoves on you to strike a balance in handling your day to day activities on the Bench and other affairs that will compete for your time and attention. However, Justice Abdullahi said the duties of judicial officers as prescribed by law, should always take precedence over all other duties and responsibilities. “Your status as judicial officers demands that you must be courageous, fearless, candid, uncompromising and firm in upholding the rule of law as you strive to attain judicial excellence at all times, as it goes without saying that the exercise of judicial discretion should be done judicially and judiciously, the Administrator stated.


NEWS By Abubakar Yunusa


he Director-General of the Yahaya Bello Presidential Campaign Organisation, Hafsat Abiola-Costello, has said she is standing with Governor Yahaya Bello in the race for the All Progressives Congress’ presidential ticket because she has seen in him qualities of the kind of leader Nigeria needs at this point in time. Abiola-Costello, daughter of the winner of the 1993 presidential election, late Chief MKO Abiola, said she chose Governor Bello over all other South West aspirants because she had seen in him true commitment to the progress of the country. The DG also reiterated that, with the ongoing work in the Campaign, she was very sure that her principal would be victorious at the primaries, notwithstanding the political stamina


Why I’ll stand with Yahaya Bello, not S’West aspirants -Hafsat Abiola of some others in the race. She said this on Monday while addressing journalists in Lagos ahead of the APC presidential primaries slated for May 30 and 31, in Abuja. Abiola-Costello, however, said Bello was a loyal and respectful person, who would carry everyone along after he emerges. On economy, she noted that statistics from the World Bank on states accountability rating in Nigeria indicates that Kogi ranks top among other states in the country. She said, “This is a man who met a debt profile of about N135bn in Kogi

when he assumed office in 2016, but has been able to reduce it to about N70bn. This is addition to his huge investments in education, agriculture, security and infrastructural developments. The World Bank accountability ranking of states in Nigeria evaluated Kogi as 2nd in 2017, 1st in 2018 and 2019. “The draft report for 2021 shows that Kogi scored 100 per cent in all the areas and from indications, the state will maintain the first position in 2021, judging from the draft report that was released just yesterday. “I am proud of GYB because of his development records in Kogi. This is

a governor that is always looking for progress and the development of lives of his people. This is me, a Yoruba, supporting someone from North Central. “There is no progress without demands, I lost my both parents, though unfortunately, because Nigerians believed in them. I’ve been working with GYB for a while and I have seen that he has the courage and intelligence to deliver Nigeria.” She said as one of the foremost presidential aspirants of the party, Governor Bello had reached out to party stakeholders in nearly all parts

of the country, adding that he stands a better chance to clinch the party’s ticket than others. The Director-General said, in terms of insecurity, the governor had been able to bring down the crime rates to the barest minimum, adding that through a well crafted management system, he had united all the groups in the multi-ethnic state. Abiola-Costello said the campaign team of Governor Bello had been interfacing with critical stakeholders of APC to present his development credentials, which would be replicated at the federal level.

Gov. Lalong decries threat to cultural heritage by globalisation


ov. Simon Lalong of Plateau has decried the threat to cultural heritage in the country by globalisation. The governor expressed the concern on Saturday during the annual cultural festival of Ilum O’Tarok, celebrated by the Tarok nation in Plateau, at the Langtang mini stadium, Langtang North Local Government Area . “I must re-emphasise the need for continuous propagation and sustenance of our rich cultural heritage that is under threat by globalization. “Many of our cultural practices are gradually being abandoned while our languages are fast disappearing by the day especially among our younger generation. “This is a concern that I want the Tarok nation to take very seriously considering the fact that other tribes also face similar threats,” he said . He commended the Tarok nation for the patriotism they displayed for their culture and tradition in every location they found themselves . “ I am happy that the Ilum O’Tarok has taken the lead in this new vista of cultural renaissance in Plateau State. “This is not surprising considering the patriotism and

sense of pride with which all sons and daughters of Tarokland hold and display their culture and tradition wherever they find themselves. “This is a good virtue that must be sustained at an event like this,”

he said . Lalong assured the Tarok nation of completing on going projects in their region saying the General Hospital at Mabudi in Langtang South local government and the Langtang Water Treatment

Plant were completed . He added that the Legacy project in Shishi would also be completed soon while the Gazum Road, Langtang-Garkawa Road and Kadarko Road would also be done.

The governor also commended the Tarok nation on their efforts to maintain peace and security in their area saying, the government was doing its best to end the activities of criminals and crises merchants in the state.

Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Mrs. Monilola Udoh (left), Director Foreign Affairs of Eco Polytechnic Federal Lonsan (EPFL), Mr. Kuttel Olivier (middle) and Director Excellence in Africa, Mr. Chenal Jerome (right), during a Courtesy Visit by Delegates from Switzerland Embassy to the Ministry recently in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo

NGO builds youths capacity for effective election participation


peak up and Stand Up (SUSU), an NGO, on Saturday held a sensitisation programme for youths in Dalcachi Community, Lugbe in Abuja, to build their capacity to participate in elections. The NGO said the move had become imperative, in view of the 2023 general elections scheduled to hold in 2023. Ms Gloria Emmanuel, an official of SUSU, said that the programme was to also encourage youths to take actionable steps. According to Emmanuel, her organisation will provide a platform for them to be registered with any political party of their choice as well as do their voter registration. She said that although youths constituted a large number of the population of Nigeria, their participation in politics was not felt . “The essence of this event is to promote the participation of young persons in

governance, SUSU is a project sponsored by The Voice, African Youth Movements and other organisations. “This is to bring about societal change using young persons because we believe in the power of young persons, that they have a voice which can be heard. “So my own thematic focus is governance and my topic is ‘Promoting the Inclusion of Young Persons in Active Politics’. “This means they have to, first of all get the voter’s card and get registered with a political party.” Emmanuel said that the SUSU programme was to aid collaboration between young people and decision-makers to address pertinent issues affecting them and various communities . This she said could be done by using four thematic areas such as governance education, employment, peace and security She said that the measure had become

necessary as her NGO had observed that young Nigerians were increasingly becoming aware of the issues facing their communities and Nigeria at large. The SUSU official said that while a lot of action and speaking out had been online, little have been done on ground to drive policy change, support interventions and promote collective responsibilities. Emmanuel said that was what SUSU was working to change because youth’s participation was much needed aid essential for a democratic society to function . The Guest Speaker at the ocassion, Mr Abe Fisayo encouraged youths to always speak out and demand accountability in order to reap the dividends of democracy. Fisayo also urged youths to join political parties and set agenda for politicians and refused to be used as thugs during elections. According to Fisayo, the will not be

able to change the political process without being a part of it. Chief Danlami Cheta, the Village Head, Lubge Dalcachi community, thanked SUSU for the initiative and for engaging the youth . Cheta also called on youths to fight for the development of their communities through active participation and demand for accountability and transparency. Mr John Bawa, the youth secretary of the community, said that youths were being faced with a lot of challenges. Bawa said that the challenges ranges from difficulty in registering for voter cards among others and appealed to INEC to open up the registration centres . He thanked SUSU for opening their eyes to some gimmicks of political participation, adding that the group would hence forth mobilise youths to join political parties and be active. (NAN)


2023: Atiku promises to restructure Nigeria


presidential aspirant on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and a former Vice-President of Nigeria, Ahaji Atiku Abubakar, has expressed his readiness to restructure Nigeria in order to boost national economy and security, if elected president. Atiku, who made this known during a meeting with PDP delegates on Sunday in Abia, said that he would transform the country, if given the opportunity. He said there is the need for the party to emerge victorious during the 2023 general election for the aspirations of the people to be realised. The aspirant said that his manifesto focused on five key areas, including national unity, economic development, national security, education and restructuring of the nation. “Together we can achieve all these goals if we unite as a party,” he said. Also, the Abia State Chairman of the PDP, Chief Asiforo Okere, said that the stakeholders are excited to receive the presidential aspirant. Okere said that the contributions of the presidential aspirant to the party would never be unappreciated. He prayed God to lead Abubakar aright and grant his desire of becoming the next president of Nigeria. (NAN)

2023: Atiku appeals for support From Yakubu Mustapha Minna


ormer Vice President and 2023 Presidential hopeful , Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has urged Nigerians to support his aspiration and vote the Peoples Democratic Party to return to power at all levels so as to unite and restore development of the country. Atiku was speaking in Minna party secretariat while addressing delegates. The aspirant stated that, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) can not unite the country nor accelerate development. The Presidential hopeful while reminding the Niger State delegates of his long standing relationship with them, urge delegates to sustain the friendship.



Police arraign man, 27, over alleged N68,000 phone theft A 27-year-old man, Segun Adegboyega, who allegedly stole an iphone 6s plus valued at N68,000, was on Monday brought before an Ado-Ekiti Magistrates’ Court. When the charge was read to the defendant, whose address was not provided, he pleaded not guilty.

The prosecutor, Insp Elijah Adejare, told the court that the defendant committed the offence on Jan. 3, 2022 at about 4:00 a.m., in Ifaki-Ekiti. Adejare alleged that the defendant stole the phone belonging to one Mr Femi Ogunleye. He said that the alleged offence

contravened Section 302(a) of the Criminal Code, Laws of Ekiti State, 2021. The prosecutor asked the court for an adjournment to enable him to study the case file and present his witnesses Counsel to the defendant, Mr Sunday Balogun, however, urged

the court to grant his client bail, with a promise that he would not jump bail. The Magistrate, Mrs Olubunmi Bamidele, granted the defendant N20,000 bail with one surety in like sum. She adjourned the case until June 16 for hearing. (NAN)

Former Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed; Chairman of Saraki’s Campaign & Advocacy Council, Prof. Hagher Iyorwuese; PDP Presidential Aspirant, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki; Former Governor of Kogi State HE Captain Idris Wada; Former Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris; and State Chairman of the PDP, Mr. Samuel Uhuotu during Dr. Saraki’s consultation session with PDP delegates in Lokoja, Kogi State.

Buhari hails APC stalwart, grassroots mobilizer, Hannah Egbo at 90


resident Muhammadu Buhari had joined leaders and members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to celebrate with party stalwart and grassroots mobiliser, Hannah Egbo, on her 90th birthday, May 17, 2022, rejoicing with the nonagenarian, whose strength, wisdom and courage continue to outstand. A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President

on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu on Monday said President Buhari felicitated with family members, friends and associates of Mrs Egbo, especially the Catholic Church, where she served and received awards as three-time President of Catholic Women’s Organisation (CWO) at both Parish and Archdiocesan levels, and remains a Lady of the Knights of St Mulumba and former President of

two councils. The President notedq the noble career path of the party stalwart as a nursing sister, who worked for many years in Agbor and Lagos, and scored many firsts as a midwife, representing Nigeria on the international stage and bringing lots of glory and honour to the country, the statement also. It added that President Buhari believed Mrs Egbo, who

is the matriarch of former Super Permanent Secretary, Late Chief ASN Egbo’s family, showed her love for God, training as a nurse and leadership qualities in all her responsibilities, and her motherly gestures have made a lot of difference in improving the livelihood of many. The President prays for the good health of the matriarch, the statement also said.

Traders’ association seeks govt support to reduce prices of commodities


lhaji Umar DanguraGwadongwaji, Chairman, Kebbi State Traders’ Association, on Sunday appealed to government at all levels to give necessary financial support to traders, to enable them to reduce prices of commodities across the state. The chairman made the plea during a meeting with his executive members and leaders of the association from 21 local

government areas of the state, in Birnin Kebbi. He said the call became imperative in view of current inflationary rates in the country, adding that the situation had grounded many economic activities, thereby forcing some traders to step aside. The chairman observed that prices of commodities were going up on daily basis, leaving the poor masses at the receiving end,

hence the need for government to come to their aid by ensuring moderate prices of goods. The support, according to him, will rescurcitate those whose capital was liquidated and enable them to bounce back to full scale business. Dangura-Gwadongwaji, however, noted with dismay, per unit cost of production of different commodities in the country and appealed for a softer

policy to enable companies to produce at lower rates. He also advised both Kebbi State and the Federal Government to intensify efforts to tackle the lingering security issues at Zuru, Yauri, Sakaba and Fakai, among other areas of the state. While appreciating the efforts of security agencies in the state, the chairman encouraged them to do more in ending the menace. (NAN)



NEWS Court hears PDP’s suit on Electoral Act, May 24 By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja


Federal High Court, Abuja has fixed May 24, to hear suit instituted against President Muhammadu Buhari by the Peoples Democtratic Party(PDP) on the

controversial section 84 (11) and (12) of the Electoral Act 2022. In the course of the proceedings, Justice Inyang Ekwo held that PDP’S suit bothers on the same section of the law in which a higher court had made pronouncement

that would bind on lower court. Consequently, he adjourned till the new date to enable Buhari and PDP address him on the effect of the Court of Appeal judgment in Abuja which declared the contentious section 84 (12) as Unconstitutional,

null and void. Responding, counsel to PDP, Joseph Daudu, SAN, pleaded the court should proceed to hear the suit as he made attempts to draw a distinction between the two case. Objecting, Oladipupo Okpeseyi

One of the beneficiaries of the economic empowerment from a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), Citizens’ Health Education and Development Initiative (CHEDI), funded through the World Bank Staff Community Connections Campaigns for 2022, in Abuja.

SAN, insisted that there was no difference between the Umuahia suit and that of PDP because the two are on the same section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act. Following the disagreement, the Judge held that all parties in the matter shall address him on May 24, on whether to abide by the Court of Appeal decision or proceed with the one before him. The section 84 ( 12) of the Electoral Act, orders all political appointees to resign from their positions 30 days to the conduct of the primary election that would produce candidates for elective offices in the 2023 general elections.

Odusanwo wins Tourism Personality of the Year award By Mashe Umaru Gwamna

2023: Why I want to be President, by Hayatu-deen By Osaigbovo Iguobaro


eoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential aspirant, Mohammed Hayatu-deen has advanced reasons why he should be elected as the President

of Nigeria in 2023 election. Hayatu-deen said the need to salvage the fortunes of the nation, inspired him to offer himself for the service of his homeland. He promised to uplift the nation from the current economic

conundrum and insecurity that seems to have the nation’s existence over the years. The PDP aspirant also promised to enhance the living standard of Nigerians and make the Country better with the

abundant resources if given the mandate. He added that “there is so much in to stabilize our country and create an enabling environment for everyone”.

Why many prominent politicians are defecting to NNPP – Founder


r Boniface Aniebonam, pioneer National Chairman and founder, New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), has described the gale of defections into the party as “a manifestation of divine intervention toward giving Nigeria the right leadership”. Aniebonam told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Sunday that that the new entrants were on a mission to rescue Nigeria from “the poor leadership it has suffered over the years”. “It is NNPP’s divine time to provide leadership in the country. NNPP is going to create a new Nigeria everyone will be proud of,” he told NAN. NAN reports that the political party has attracted leading politicians including Sen. Rabiu Kwankwaso, former Kano governor, defence minister and Ambassador. Others include Mr Ben Kure, Special Adviser (Political Affairs) to Gov Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna and Ali Makoda, Chief of Staff to Gov Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano. Last week 13 members of the Kano State House of Assembly defected to the NNPP, of the figure,

10 were from the PDP while three were of the APC. The Deputy Speaker, Alhaji Zubairu Massu, a member of the APC, joined his colleagues and defected to the NNPP on Friday. A chieftain of the APC in Osun, Mr Muslihudeen Adekilekun, also ran to the NNPP on Saturday along with thousands of his supporters. With even more high profile defections recorded in the SouthEast, North-Central and SouthSouth, Sen. Orji Kalu, former Abia governor and APC chieftain, had expressed fear that the trend could spell doom for the ruling APC. “The high profile defections to NNPP, especially in the North-West geo-political zone, should not be taken for granted by the ruling APC,” Kalu said recently while speaking on the ongoing debate over the geopolitical zone the presidency should go to, in 2023. Expressing fear that the defection could be as a result of the thorny zoning issue, Kalu opined that “the silent majority, who have a working conscience, could protest this injustice by supporting Alhaji Kwankwaso to clinch the presidential

seat in 2023 if the APC and the PDP field candidates from any other zone aside South East or North East” . But Aniebonam told NAN that all that was happening in other political parties was to fulfill the divine destiny of the NNPP that had been in existence for 21 years. “In its 21 years of existence, the NNPP now has office in all parts of the federation. The party has gradually become a movement all Nigerians must join. Everyone should join the winning team. “We are the beautiful bride in the north as it is and we hope to expand to all parts of Nigeria as the party to beat,” he said. He said that the NNPP, being a party with a divine mandate, would ensure that its primaries are fair to all, including to new entrants. Aniebonam said that the NNPP would transform Nigeria from being a consumption nation to a productive state, to address challenges. According to him, some of the challenges facing the nation are rooted in the bitter fact that Nigeria is no longer a productive state. “The fact that we are not a producing nation is responsible for

the myriad of problems around the economy and security. It is the cause of unemployment and many other challenges.” The NNPP founder said the panacea to youth restiveness was to move Nigeria from being a consumption nation to a productive nation. He said that NNPP was committed to engaging the youth by reviving all moribund companies to gainfully engage the Nigerian youths. Aniebonam said the party would invest in education and encourage both the learners and educators. He said that the party would provide right leadership to address most of the current challenges facing the nation. On women inclusion in politics, Aniebonam said that women were more prudent because of the fear of God, hence the plan of the party to provide them good representation in governance. Aniebonam, however, regretted that not many women were coming out to contest elective positions, pointing out that power was never served, but taken. NAN


he National President of the Institute for Tourism Professionals of Nigeria (ITPN), Chief Abiodun Odusanwo, has won the Nigerian Tourism Awards’ Tourism Personality Award of the year 2022. This was contained in a statement signed and issued by ITPN Secretariat. The statement said the award is in recognition of his selfless service in promoting the tourism industry in Nigeria. According to organisers of the Award, Odusanwo was tipped for the coveted award in view of his enormous contributions to the sustenance of professional practice and skill competence in the Nigerian tourism industry as well as the promotion of the sector for the socio-economic development of Nigeria. In a letter of notification of the award to Odusanwo signed by Efetobo Awhana, CEO of Nigerian Tourism Award, extolled the virtues of Chief Odusanwo as one who has dedicated his time and resources to the growth and development of the Nigerian tourism industry in an exemplary and outstanding manner worthy of recognition for the award of Tourism Personality of the year under review. The investiture of Chief Odusanwo for the Tourism Personality of the Year will hold at the 5th edition of the Nigeria Tourism Awards scheduled to hold on May 20th at the Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel Victoria Island, Lagos along-side other winners of the various categories in Tourism growth and development of the country.



2023: Bauchi Gov. canvasses support from Kebbi delegates

NEWS Reconciliation: Zamfara Senator gives up seat for former Gov. Yari

From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau


serving Senator representing Zamfara West Senatorial district, Lawal Hassan Dan’Iya, has declared unreserved support for former Governor Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar to contest his position as Senator from the zone for

the forthcoming 2023 general elections in the state. Senator Dan’Iya who made the declaration at a meeting with his teeming youths supporters from his constituency yesterday in Gusau, the state capital, said the meeting was organized with a view to plead for them to equally consider and support Abdulaziz

Yari as a candidate vying for the position of Senator come 2023 on the platform of APC. The Senator said he found it necessary to register his support for the former Governor Yari to replace him at the house of Senate for the perfect understanding and lasting peace to be restored in the ruling APC.

“The forces that always give confidence to the teeming party members which engaged into political disputes, have now reconciled and agreed to continue moving the party forward, and this is a clear indication that the ruling APC will sweep polls in 2023 general elections.”

From Ahmed Idris Birnin Kebbi


enator Bala Mohammed, a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential aspirant, has appealed to the delegates from Kebbi State to support his aspiration as he is ready to change the economy of the country if elected as the President of the country. He made this request yesterday while speaking with journalists shortly after the meeting with the party delegates at the PDP state secretariat. He added that his major priority if elected president is to put Nigeria on threshold of prosperity to reoccupy its fatherly position in Africa.

Saraki Kano farmers get reliable market as APPEALS collaborates with AFEX on impacts sustainability promises ti restore T peace in Nigeria L-R: National Chairman, African Democratic Congress (ADC), Chief Ralph Nwosu presenting the party Nomination Form to the Presidential Aspirant, Dr. Chike Okogwu, while the Party Deputy National Chairman, Diaspora Network, Hon.Kenneth Gbandi watches, during the reception in honour of Aspirant (Dr Chike), held yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo.

From Mustapha Adamu, Kano

From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi


he Former Senate President and People Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Aspirant Dr. Bukola Saraki has promised to restore peace in the North-west and North East if elected as the president of Nigeria. He stated this on Monday while fielding questions from newsmen shortly after holding a meeting with the party delegates. He explained further that his target if elected the President of Nigeria is to change the economy of the country and eliminate the bandits.

he Agro Processing, P r o d u c t i v i t y Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support – APPEALS Project in Kano state has signed Memorandum of Agreement (MOAA) with AFEX for project impacts sustainability. AFEX is a commodity exchange company that provides solutions in trading, financing and market system development. Speaking during a tour to the facilities provided by APPEALS to its beneficiaries in Darki, Wudil Local Government and Balare in Ajingi Local Government areas of the state on Saturday, the Kano APPEALS Coordinator, Hassan Ibrahim said the collaboration would be of great benefit to the farmers. According to him, the visit was to sensitize the farmers on the linkage with AFEX, a company ready to uptake all the agricultural products they produced under APPEALS project, which runs on three

value chain of rice, tomato and wheat. He added that apart from agreement with AFEX as what he described as “automatic and reliable market” for the farmers, Ibrahim also disclosed that the state government, under APPEALS, had constructed 9 aggregation centres at different locations across the state and constructed access roads that link the fans with the markets. The Coordinator explained that the aggregation centre would serve as agricultural products’ collection centre where the AFEX would be supplied with the needed commodities and buy at reasonable prices. He added that the centres are equiped with moisture testing equipment, weighing balancing, among others, aimed at adding value to the agricultural products. “This would promote export and create automatic market with an ultimate livelihood improvement through increase in income of our farmers. This is the target of the Kano state Government

“The rationale behind collaboration with AFEX is to create automatic and reliable market where the farmers would sell their agricultural products without hinderence, aimed at increasing their livelihood. “Our today’s visit is a usual visit which the Kano state Government, under this projecd, intends to ensure sustainable agricultural development through agricultural business linkages. “You can see with yourself, under this project, we have constructed about 2.9 km road to link the farmers’ farms with the market. The state government, through this project has also constructed an aggregation centre, equiped with moisture tester, weighing balancing, among others, to ensure that value is added on their agricultural products. Today we have to interact with them; to hear from them and the the impact of the facilities provided for them,” Ibrahim explained. On his part, Kassim Abdulsalam, Sales Operation

Manager, AFEX in Kano and Jigawa, said the company engages in agricultural trading and supporting farmers with farm inputs, such as fartilizer, seeds and crop protection chemicals. He said the purpose of the collaboration with APPEALS is to aid in sustaining the project by empowering the farmers and boosting their production within the areas of operation of the project. “We want to help the farmers by providing inputs to the farmers and buying their yields with a better rate, aimed at improving their socioeconomic status. All the beneficiaries present had commended the APPEALS project for improving their production through provision of facilities and mechanization, adding that the project had indeed boosted and simplify their farming. They also praised APPEALS for the collaboration with AFEX, which according to them, gives them a reliable and controlled market to seel their produce.




NDLEA to partner NCWS to check drug abuse among women


he National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Monday promised to partner the National Council for Women Societies (NCWS) to address drug abuse among women. The Executive of NDLEA, Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), made the promise when the newly elected President of NCWS, Hajiya Lami Lau, led a delegation on a visit to the directorate in Abuja. Congratulating the new executive, Marwa noted that NCWS was central to the ongoing drug demand reduction and drug supply control efforts in Nigeria. He said that the level of drug abuse in the country was worrisome, hence the need for partnership with all stakeholders to reduce drug usage. The chief executive of NDLEA said that he was happy to know that NCWS had structures in local government areas and communities. “ When you look at the size of Nigerians that use drugs which is about 15 million, you will understand why some families and societies are being destroyed and terrible crimes committed. “Drugs are wiping out our future generation. Unfortunately, one in every four that use drugs is a woman. This may appear to be 25 per cent only. “But when considered that the women include mothers who are setting examples for children, you can understand the impact of this on a child,” he said. “The NDLEA boss said drug abuse by pregnant women could have adverse effects on the unborn children. Marwa said that women that used drug were afraid of stigmatisation, hence they do not seek help or treatment. He noted that of all the persons counseled and treated by the command, only five per cent are women. “This is the area that we call on the NCWS to support our partnership and advocacy for women to renounce drugs and seek help and treatment. “We will work with your state offices to sweep drugs off our streets as much as possible, but we need to face the demand end, hence the need for collaboration with the NCWS,” he said. Lami said the partnership between the two bodies to combat drug abuse was important in view of the disturbing prevalence of the menace among women in the country. She said that NCWS was worried by this and that was why the council had come to seek partnership with NDLEA to address drug abusive among women. (NAN)

Zoning: Northerners served only 2 years in PDP’s 16 -Bauchi Gov From Mustapha Adamu, Kano


overnor of Bauchi state, Senator Bala Mohammed, has said that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, should do justice to Northerners to zone the 2023 presidential ticket to northern Nigeria. Mohammed, who is a presidential aspirant in the PDP, noted that the Northern region ought to grab the presidential ticket because they served only two years in the party’s 16 years reign in power. Speaking at a meeting with Kano delegates ahead of the PDP presidential primary election, held at Lugard House on Sunday, Mr Mohammed explained that Olusegun Obasanjo served two terms from 1999-2007, adding

that “our brother, late Yar’adua, died in his second year in power.” “After his death, Jonathan Goodluck took over and spent six years. So, the party should do justice for the Northern part of the country in 2023 because we served only two years in its 16 years in power,” he declared. Mohammed lamented that Nigeria is in a mess, caused by incompetence, sycophancy and impunity of some politicians, declaring that “i am out to clear all these mess, to lead with docrum and honesty if given the mandate by Nigerians. “I am a competent aspirant for this position in view of my track record and pedigree in politics. We would clear all this mess created by incompetence, sycophancy and impunity.

“Nigerians are suffering. Masses are hungry because they are in poverty. Wejn we were in power, we enriched people. We ruled with respect and decorum. When PDP was in power, we ran a unifier government as all citizens fell love to one another,” he said. The governor also urged Nigerians to unite themselves and shun all acts capable of causing hatred and disunity in the country. “I advised and cautioned Igbo to stop agitating for cessation. I told them, they have a stake in this country. I gave them example with their population in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano. No need for that,” he said. The PDP presidential aspirant also declared that if he miss the ticket, he would support to anyone

that emerge as candidate, adding that “the priority is to save the country from its current difficult situation.” Mohammed also expressed his support to the creation of state police, saying that the security situation in the country calls for state governments to create their own security outfit for peace to reign again. “This is the practice in the US and other developed countries. We already have vigilante. Police alone can not protect us due to our population. “Insecurity is everywhere. In northwest, only Kano is safe. In northwest, only my state, Bauchi is safe. So, there is a need for state Police to check the security challenges proactively,” he advised.

Engineer Sule convenes security meeting on Deborah’s killing N asarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule on Monday held an emergency security meeting to stem any backlash from brutal killing of Deborah Samuel, a 200 level student of the Shehu Shagari Sokoto, just as he described her killing as unfortunate and condoled with her parents. Governor Sule appealed to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the state not to join the planned protest by the Christian community across the country, as according to him, both the federal and Sokoto state governments are taking steps to address the matter.

... Appeals to Nasarawa CAN not to join planned protest

He explained that the protest could be hijacked by hoodlums. The governor said that his administration was taking steps to protect the people and to ensure that a similar thing does not happen in Nasarawa State. “As you all know, Mr President has condemned it, the national assembly has condemned the killing, our Sultan has also condemned it, CAN has condemned this killing, the Northern Governors have come together also to collectively condemn this killing. And fortunately, some of

the people who are responsible for this killing have been arrested and we are going to follow to the conclusion of this. It’s unfortunate, very unfortunate, the way and the manner, the promising girl was killed,” he stated. Also, Governor Sule used the opportunity of the meeting to disclose recent successes recorded by security agencies operating in the state that saw to the arrest of a notorious bandit, Mai Kudi, as well as seizure of his arms including some AK-47. He commended the security

agencies for successes recorded in curbing banditry in Kokona, Nasarawa Eggon, Wamba, Karu and Akwanga local government areas.The governor equally appreciated the security agencies for effectively tackling some problems caused by the influx of herdsmen from Niger and Zamfara states to places like Bakin Kogi, Kuruwa village in Nasarawa local government area. He thanked them for their commitment and support for his administration and Nasarawa State.

3 aspirants jostling for NNPP’s 2023 presidential ticket – Founder


he New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) says at least, three aspirants have indicated intention to vie for its ticket to contest for the nation’s presidency in the 2023 general elections. Dr Boniface Aniebonam, NNPP pioneer National Chairman and founder, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Lagos. Aniebonam, who noted that the future of the party was bright with top politicians coming into the fold, singled out former Kano governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso as one of the big wigs that had attracted a mass of good will for the political group. According to him, the popularity of NNPP has continued to spread in the north and the south as it moves to provide a strong leadership that will create a new Nigeria in 2023. “NNPP is open for any Nigerian man that has divine calling to lead Nigeria at this critical critical.

Once it is within the time frame, the door is open. “At least three persons have shown intention to contest the presidency on the platform of NNPP. I have seen their posters. One is from the North, one from the South-East and another from the South-West. We expect more.” Aniebonam said that the party was available for credible aspirants whose dream was to create a new Nigeria. Explaining why the party was gaining more ground in the north than in the South, Aniebonam said that politics was “a kind of industry better understood in the north”, adding, however, that the party had also been spreading in the southern Nigeria. He said that the party had been creating awareness and was ready to popularise its ideals everywhere. “Within these two months, we have conducted congress elections from the ward, local government, state to national levels throughout

the federation. “NNPP is not a party of yesterday, it is a party that has been growing gradually. The gale of defections into its fold gave it a boost. We are in all parts of the federation. We are coming and will be there,” he declared. Aniebonam said that NNPP had been making waves in some parts of the Southwest, Southeast and South south, saying that the party would soon roll out its campaign strategy. On how NNPP intended to get credible candidates to fly the party’s tickets in 2023, Aniebonam said that there would be investigative procedure that would look at aspirants’ track record of integrity, capacity and experience. He said the party would be presenting candidates committed to bequeathing to Nigeria enduring infrastructure, economy and peaceful existence. “A cardinal policy of the NNPP is to sit the people of Nigeria

down to look at the issue of fiscal federalism and the need to live in peace,” he said. The NNPP founder called on the media to be bold toward building a Nigeria that would work for all. On the agitation for Igbo Presidency, Aniebonam said that the two major political parties that had such internal arrangement must respect that gentleman agreement and implement it. “The PDP and APC have been in power over time and should be faithful to their zoning arrangement. “In the NNPP, zoning is not our priority. We have never tasted power, we do not even know what is zoning. “As far as we are concerned, we are in search of a person that can make us show Nigerians that those things that have been our problems over the years can be resolved.” NAN




That condemnable Kaduna train attack


unmen, just two weeks ago, objection” for the contract, adding attacked a Nigerian Railway that the project would be funded from Corporation (NRC) passenger the N71.4bn budget of the ministry. train from Abuja to Kaduna. The He, however, noted that it was just passenger manifest showed there were a pilot programme and if it worked, 362 people “on board the AK9 train it would be replicated across the service” on March 28. A statement by country. He said the system would the corporation’s managing director, work in such a way that if the rail was Mr. Fidet Okhiria, subsequently, said, tampered with, it would send signals “Of the 362 validated passengers on to an observation platform. board the attacked AK9 train service According to a memo obtained on March 28, 186 persons on the by a national newspaper during the manifest are confirmed to be safe and Federal Executive Council meeting at their various homes (additional 14 of September 24, 2021, Amaechi persons confirmed safe today (last recommended that a firm, Mogjan Sunday)).” He announced that 8 Nigeria Limited, be given the contract passengers had been confirmed killed worth N3.7bn. The firm, which was in the attack and 22 reported missing incorporated on August 6, 2019, had by relations. recorded a turnover of just N84.9m. The train attack The memo said happened a day after ministers in the terrorists reportedly council questioned seized Kaduna the capacity of the International Airport, firm to deliver as took control of its well as the failure of navigation system and The company Amaechi to provide stopped all flights to enough detail on was also to be the efficacy of the and from the airport. However, that has equipment. paid upfront. been denied by the There was also military that said the Our investigation scanty record of attack happened six the company’s past pointed to kilometres outside the projects to prove airport. that it was capable a conflict of Be that as it may, of executing such this new face of terror, interest,” said a a project. “We in the very heart of had doubts about top Presidency the capability of a the nation’s military fortifications, is company, which was official. disturbing. Kaduna formed less than two hosts many of the military’s facilities years prior and had no track record and formations, yet, ironically, so of handling a contract of N3.7bn or a called bandits and terrorists are not contract on surveillance systems. The deterred. The state governor, Nasir company was also to be paid upfront. El Rufai, frightened by daring armed Our investigation pointed to a conflict men, has made an open call for of interest,” said a top Presidency external mercenaries. He is echoing official. his Borno colleague Prof. Zullum. It is important to note that it was Mercenaries or not is not the in the midst of this bureaucratic toing question now. What needs to be and fro-ing that the bandits struck, as openly addressed is the revelation by if some Insider leaked the indecision transport minister Rotimi Amaechi to them. The government did not that the government dismissed his accept its minister’s suggestion but recommendation of air surveillance offered none of its own. The rail of the rail network. He stated in his service became a sitting duck for the presentation that the Bureau of Public bandits to strike at and they did. The Procurement had reviewed his plan result of indecision is always painful and had given “a certificate of no as this train attack has shown.

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Letter to the Editor

Malaria: Tackling Life-threatening Disease for healthy citizenry By Aishat M. Abisola


n Nigeria, whenever a person falls sick or when a sign of sickness manifested people often assume and instantly relate the cause of sickness with Malaria. This is very common amongst Nigerians. But why should malaria be the first option that comes to mind? Come to think of it, When I was a child, I used to get sick very often and unsurprisingly, everyone’s first thought was that I had contracted Malaria. Ofcourse, the place where I lived then had a lot of mosquitos and therefore it was not absurd for other people to easily to believe and say that I had malaria. in most of the times I fell sick it was because of malaria, however, in several times it was just a brief and mild illness that could be treated without any fuss. Surprisingly, I never cared to ponder on this assumption in order to understand why it is like that. But thanks to the World Malaria Day that was celebrated recently, I was able to gathered my thoughts into understanding the whole assumption. World Malaria Day is celebrated on the 25th of April every year since its institution in 2007 by the WHO Member States at the World Health Assembly. This day gives the world the opportunity to be able look closely into areas that needs continuous investment and commitment for the prevention and control of malaria. The theme for this year’s World Malaria Day is, “Harness innovation to reduce the malaria disease burden and save lives”. In today’s society, there is, unfortunately, no tool or medication that could be use to completely get rid of Malaria. As such, there is a need for innovations and investment that will bring methods, antimalarial medication and other tools that will help speed up the fight against malaria. Despite all this, a large part of the world still suffers from this disease. As a person living in an African country that suffers from such a plight, I would be hardpressed to find someone who does not support or appreciate the work and assistance which the World Health Organisation has been rendering to make sure that, globally, malaria is completely eradicated. When one talks about malaria, it would be best to start with the definition. According to research and studies, malaria is a life threatening illness that is caused by plasmodium parasites which come from the bite of an infected anopheles female mosquito. To be more precise, there are 5 parasite species that are known to cause malaria in humans. I learnt that 2 of these parasites, P. falciparum and P. vivax, were the most threatening to humans. The articles that I read, said that P. falciparum is the deadliest and is the most common malaria parasite in Africa while P. vivax is the most dominant parasite in countries that are outside of sub-saharan Africa. Although, Malaria might not seem treatable or preventable but it could be. Nonetheless, it still has an upsetting impact on the health and lives of people globally. Some countries have the necessary tools to diagnose malaria in the early stages and control it while many countries lack the necessary resources needed for effective malaria screening. In some places, early diagnosis can help treat and control malaria. However, many countries lack the resources to carry out such effective screening. In the year 2020, there were approximately 241 million malaria cases globally and 627,000 deaths due to the disease, meaning that almost half of the world’s population was affected. Meanwhile, there were 14 million more cases in 2020 as compared to 2019, and 69 000 more deaths. An estimated 47.000 of these additional deaths were connected to disturbances in malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment during the pandemic. In 2021, the first ever antimalaria vaccine, called RTS,S (Mosquirix), got an approval from the WHO. The thing is that the vaccine is not for travellers to use by and is only made available for children living in certain parts of Africa. For travellers, there are pills that are available to help them prevent any infections. If you know what you are looking for, it is very easy to find the symptoms of malaria. If you do not keep a close eye, you can mistake malaria for a flu or fever. For uncomplicated malaria, you need to look out for: fever and chills, sweating, headaches, nausea and vomiting, body aches, weakness, mild jaundice, which can cause the

eyes to appear yellow, a higher breathing rate. Severe malaria is a life threatening medical emergency where all the organs in your body are at risk. The symptom of severe malaria are: severe anemia, blood in the urine, changes in blood clotting, impaired consciousness, changes in behavior, high acidity in the blood and body fluids, seizures, and a coma. Severe malaria is the most fatal kindof malaria and can lead to cerebral malaria which happens when parasitefilled blood cells block the small blood vessels to the brain and cause swelling or brain damage. Circling back to the beginning, some forms of plasmodiums can cause malaria to relapse in a person but if they can get early treatment and diagnosis, the same treatment can be used again in the event of a relapse. If someone were to get early treatment, they would be able to make a full recovery. The current treatment methods for malaria are: medication to remove the parasite from the bloodstream, hospitalization for those who have severe symptoms and intensive care, in some cases. From basic knowledge, medication is the most used method but most of the type of medication its factors are heavily on a few things: the plasmodium that kickstarted the disease, the severity of the symptoms, the location of where the person caught malaria, if they have taken any antmalarial drugs before and if the person is pregnant. Also, an important thing that I noticed is that people with complications could need a series of combinations of medications to survive. The time period for the malaria treatment is 2 days. In addition to all these, there is a malaria vaccine that is made available for children in Africa. My research into the treatment methods for malaria enlightened me on the main types of antimalarial drugs which are: chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, primaquine, artemisininbased therapy, atovaquone-proguanil. In Nigeria, although there are many ways to treat and diagnose malaria effectively, these methods are barely even useful to prevent the spread as well as to easily avoid deaths. Everywhere I look, there are mosquitoes and it feels like nothing is being done about them. Campaigns have been put in place and still running so that people, especially those in the indigenous areas, would be able to have clean environments to live as well as a peace of mind. Areas where mosquitoes are known to breed are cleaned up only to be reverted back to the way it was before. In my own opinion, in order to deal with this situation, we need to deal with it from the root. Indigenous people should be taught about the creature that causes malaria, how it does it, where it breeds and how to prevent it from harming them. They should be shown that there is a way to get rid of this menace permanently but that it can only be done with their cooperation. Mosquito nets should be given to the people and a regulation should perhaps be passed that every household needs to have at least 2 mosquito nets in their home to prevent any further infections. Mosquito repellents are a necessity and as such, their prices, along with the prices of mosquito nets, should be lowered so that they can be easily affordable and accessible. I also think that there should be more campaigns highlighting the need for this disease to be stopped. Whenever it is mentioned that millions of people, especially children, are dying due to a particular thing, everyone around the globe is willing to put an end to it. As shameful as this sounds, this fact needs to be taken advantage of for people to in this country to open their eyes and do something about malaria. The government, I believe, should or rather be proactive about the situation as they were given a loan by the World Bank this week for malaria intervenyion. It would be heartwarming and inspiring to see that the Nigerian government is trying its hardest to make sure that its citizens are free from this scourge of a disease. To quote T.R. Reid, “For the mass prevention of disease, mass education is a key weapon”. If the people of Nigeria, especially those at the grass roots, are not properly informed about this menace, how can we hope to end it without the loss of anymore lives? We cannot help anyone if we do not help ourselves first. I only hope that in the near future, this dark spot on the lives of many Nigerians, Africans, will be washed away with not even a tiny spot left. Aishat M. Abisola writes from Wuye District, Abuja aishatmohd03@gmail.com




Who are those pushing Jonathan Presidency? By Ibrahim Mustapha Pambegua


onathan was the first African president who conceded defeat called and congratulated the winner even before result was announced. His diplomacy performances since the time he left office have endeared him to many Nigerians. The former president should have kept a low profile, continued with his diplomacy engagement and advice the country where necessary. After an initial denial of rumours that he will join the ruling party, the former Nigerian president, Good luck Jonathan, has finally ditched his party. His defection to APC after long speculations has continued to elicit mixed reactions in the country. Prior to his defection, many signals emerged that the former president had stopped attending activities organised by his former party. The Bayelsa state’s gubernatorial election conducted in 2020 in which his former party lost to APC before court ruled in its favour suggested Jonathan’s indifferent to PDP affairs. Does Jonathan defection has to do with how the party treats him during and after the 2015 general elections? While the former president might have lost the 2015 election due to the zoning arrangements of PDP which he flouted and refused to abide, the betrayal and backstabbing that ensued among trusted party loyalists leading to his resounding defeat remains fresh in his mind.

The emerging of new PDP split group lead by Atiku Abubakar, Saraki, Tambuwal and other heavy party juggernauts who abandoned him at the tail end of party’s convention had wrecked great havoc to his re-election bid. With these notably politicians who deserted him returned to PDP, Jonathan would not feel comfortable staying with them. Jonathan by virtue of his position as former president should be the leader of the party. However, Nelson Wike, Rivers State governor has hijacked the party and has since been calling the shot. Wike and his surrogates have firmly controlled the party and failed to consult or engage the former president on party’s decisions. The in ability of PDP to respect or recognize Jonathan as their leader must have dampened his moral and forced him to change mind. One imagined how the former president who was governor, vice president and president under

PDP could suddenly ditch his benefactor. The former APC national chairman extra ordinary convention committee, mai Mala Buni, must take a credit for Jonathan defection. The Yobe state governor during his stint as protem chairman visited and subsequently woe him to APC. Does Malam Buni and his co-travellers sign a pact that in case he joins the party, they would throw their weight behind his presidential ambition? Jonathan did not only join the ruling party but also buy form through northern youth group. The Good luck Jonathan presidential ambition has raised some important questions. First, is the ruling party toeing the dangerous path of PDP by jettison its zoning arrangement? With Buhari completing his tenure, one will advice for equity and justice, there is the need for power to be shifted to South. Also, during its recent convention, APC opted for Abdullahi Adamu, a northerner as the National chairman.

This development has further buttressed that, South will produce the next president. Moreover, with Jonathan joining the presidential race, what will be the future of south-west politicians, especially Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who sees his contest as life time ambition. It is not understatement to say, the victories of president Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 and 2019 are to the credit of Tinubu and other south-west politicians. If APC fields Jonathan, the south-west politicians will unite and reject the party. To them, having played the second fiddle in the previous elections,2023 ticket should be exclusively reserved for them. If the ticket is not given to them, there is every tendency of antiparty, as these politicians will enter into alliance with either PDP or Kwankwaso’s NNPP to ensure APC loses election in the region. Second, who are those dragging or promoting Jonathan presidency and what are their motives? It was reported that, Jonathan presidency

What will happen if the opposition PDP finally settles for Atiku Abubakar as their candidate? Will APC stick to Jonathan presidency? The former president had received an accolades globally for conducting free and fair election in 2015

has a tacit support of two northern governors. One from northwest and the other one from north east. If their plan works as scheduled, Jonathan promised to pick one of them as running mate. The legal technicalities that may await the former president will unarguably discourage APC to give him its ticket. Jonathan took an oath of office twice. If he is allowed to contest and luckily wins the poll, Jonathan will take his third oath of office which is unconstitutional. This will open up serious court litigations. What will happen if the opposition PDP finally settles for Atiku Abubakar as their candidate? Will APC stick to Jonathan presidency? The former president had received an accolades globally for conducting free and fair election in 2015. Jonathan was the first African president who conceded defeat called and congratulated the winner even before result was announced. His diplomacy performances since the time he left office have endeared him to many Nigerians. The former president should have kept a low profile, continued with his diplomacy engagement and advice the country where necessary. If the former president throw his hat on the ring, what will be his fate during and after the 2023 general elections? Ibrahim Mustapha Pambegua, Kaduna State. 08169056963.

How to make States viable By Cheta Nwanze


e have a lot of work to do in this country with regards to making our states viable and it begins with having the right people in the National Assembly and at the State Houses, because we can’t continue to have a situation where, as an example, you can’t register births and deaths in the entire country (one of the items on the Exclusive Legislative List) without Federal Government’s approval. That is, to put it simply ridiculous. I was in Oxford a few weeks ago and met with a professor there who does quite a bit of work on and in Nigeria. Naturally, we go talking about a country he apparently loves and his sadness at Nigeria’s failure to work was very clear. In all the things he said, a few things caught my attention. I will focus on two here: “Each time I consult on a federal project, it takes a lot of work to get things done. The number of interest groups one has to carry along is absurd. But each time I work in a state, things get done pretty quickly.” I’ll talk about this first comment in a future piece, but the second thing I want to highlight is this other gem: “There is so much focus on Lagos in the Nigerian imagination that I think

is unfair. Governments should be scrutinised across states because the failure of the states has led to the overburdening of Lagos.” I took issue with most of this statement, but let’s dispense with the one I agree with very quickly: considering that Lagos is the tiniest state in Nigeria geographically (0.39% of Nigeria’s land area), it has a very high share of the country’s population. According to the 1991 census, Lagos, with a population of 5.7 million, had 6.4% of Nigeria’s population. By 2006, Lagos had 9 million people, also 6.4% of the population. We have not had a population census since 2006, but in 2011 and last year, the National Bureau of Statistics and National Population Commission did projections of the population based on

random samplings of the EAs (Enumeration Areas) established in 2006. For 2011, Lagos was projected to have 16 million people (10.4% of Nigeria’s population), and in 2021, it was projected at 21 million people or 10.4% of the population. These figures made me go back in time to previous censuses, and I found that in 1952 and 1963, Lagos was 1.21% of the population. For me it is curious: why was the population share relatively static between specific points, and went up sharply at other points? It made me look at Abuja, for which we only have census figures for 1991 and 2006, and projections for 2011 and 2021. Abuja’s percentages are 0.42 (1991), 1% (2006), 1.2% (2011) and 1.7% (2022). In other words,

Abuja is growing faster than Lagos in relative terms. This brings the question, why? Nigeria, sadly, is still federal led. A holdover of our military era where it is the Federal Government that dictates most of what happens in the country. This is shown in money flows and where people move to in their quest for relatively secure government jobs. Lagos was Nigeria’s capital for 87 years and we cannot take away this history. There isn’t much you can do in Nigeria without getting Lagos involved, so it’s a bit misplaced when we say (or imply) “forget Lagos, what are the other states doing?” Let’s take the “simple” act of bringing in Foreign Direct Investment to the country. Many businesses that want to attract FDI register

This shows in Internally Generated Revenue numbers. Basically, only Lagos and Ogun states routinely make more in IGR than they do from the Federation Account Allocation Committee, and Ogun’s “success” is a result of its proximity to Lagos

first in Lagos (or Abuja) before opening the main office where they want to domicile. It’s simply for practical purposes, it is easier for their foreign partners to “stop” in either Lagos or Abuja, plus all the regulators are in either city, so it makes sense to have a major office in one or both cities for “government relations.” The result though, is that when such investments finally do show up, they are as FDI for either Lagos or Abuja. This shows in Internally Generated Revenue numbers. Basically, only Lagos and Ogun states routinely make more in IGR than they do from the Federation Account Allocation Committee, and Ogun’s “success” is a result of its proximity to Lagos. We have a lot of work to do in this country with regards to making our states viable and it begins with having the right people in the National Assembly and at the State Houses, because we can’t continue to have a situation where, as an example, you can’t register births and deaths in the entire country (one of the items on the Exclusive Legislative List) without Federal Government’s approval. That is, to put it simply ridiculous. Cheta Nwanze is a partner at SBM Intelligence




On wills probate practice, administration of estates in Nigeria By Adewale Kupoluyi


n Nigeria, the Islamic form, as practiced by Muslims is called the Wasiya and has no required formality except that it must be in respect of only one-third of the deceased’s estate unlike the English form that is governed by statutory authority, which varies from state to regions. On the other hand, a trust can be defined as an equitable obligation binding a person, who is called the trustee, to deal with property over which he has control, which is called trust property for the benefit of persons, who are called beneficiaries or cestui que trust, held in a fiduciary by one party for the benefit of another by the trustees, who are known for their reliability, integrity, and faithfulness Learning, they say, is a continuous exercise. This time around, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ibadan Branch Continuing Legal Education Quarterly Seminar Series presents an opportunity for a discourse at the Aare Afe Babalola Bar Centre, Ibadan, Oyo State. The lead paper titled, “The Law and Practice of Wills Probate and Administration of Estates”, was delivered by Prof. Babatunde Oni of the Department of Private and Property Law, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos State, which I found worth sharing. According to the don, due to some problems, which are usually encountered in the distribution of estates and hence, estate planning is beginning to get more attention. He stressed that the inevitability of death and retirement as a result of old age makes it mandatory for a person to leave a good estate plan to avoid acrimony and conflicts often associated with improper estate planning, saying

irrespective of one’s financial situation, it is key to have an estate plan, which is like a roadmap on how a testator wants his properties to devolve upon his demise or intervivos. The guest speaker disclosed that the main objectives of estate planning include tidying up one’s affairs, providing support for one’s spouse and children, minimising the cost of payable estate taxes, transferring property to one’s heirs and legatees in terms of devolving a plan detailing one’s wishes as to the use and distribution of his wealth, preparing for future illness, disability or retirement before and after death. According to him, to achieve an effective estate planning, there are number of estate planning tools such as wills, trusts, gift intervivos, estate plan by instrument of contract, and estate plan by operation of law. A will is a testamentary and revocable document, voluntarily made, executed and witnessed according to law by a testator with sound-disposing mind wherein he disposes of his property subject to any limitation imposed by law and gives such other directives as he may deem fit to his personal representatives otherwise known as his executors, who administer his estate in accordance with the wishes manifested in the will, which takes effect after death while someone, who makes a will is called a testator if he is male or testatrix when female. In Nigeria, the Islamic form, as practiced by Muslims is called the Wasiya and has no required formality except that it must be in respect of only onethird of the deceased’s estate unlike the English form that is governed by statutory authority, which varies from state to regions. On the other hand, a trust can be defined as an equitable obligation binding a person, who is called

the trustee, to deal with property over which he has control, which is called trust property for the benefit of persons, who are called beneficiaries or cestui que trust, held in a fiduciary by one party for the benefit of another by the trustees, who are known for their reliability, integrity, and faithfulness. He added that trust is not a legal person like an individual or a company, capable of owning property and for there to be a trust, property must be subject of a trust, so the property would be owned by a trustee or trustees, who may be individuals or corporate organisations. The Professor identified some of the problems facing estate planning through trust in Nigeria to include finding a suitable person to act as trustee, perfecting of a trust, and heavy cost of administration. To sort out the controversies, the office of the Administrator-General and Public Trustee, which is a branch of the Ministry of Justice, deals with the administration of estate and it gets involved in trusts usually by court orders, which may occur in the process of administering estates that have minors as beneficiaries by protecting the interest of beneficiaries that the court had ordered the office to hold such property in trust for, as against vesting the assets in personal representatives. A legal title cannot be held by a minor, as there is no objection to the land being held in trust for such a person, as stated in Section 7(a) of the Land Use Act, Cap 202, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990. The guest speaker observed that challenges facing corporate trustees in estate planning to cover financial crimes and confidentiality, conflict in management and administration of trust, challenges of variation of trust as well as regulatory constraints. He stated further that probate practice had to do with the

procedure of administration of the estate of the deceased after his death in terms of the procedure used for the grant of probate and letters of administration while applications for probate or letters of administration are made to the probate registry and that while a probate confirms the authority of an executor, a letter of administration where it is granted, confers authority of an administrator, as affirmed in the case of Ademola v. Sodipo (1989) 5 Nigeria Weekly Law Reports pt.121 329. However, controversies may arise in this process. For instance, where two or more persons are entitled in the same degree to probate. In this case, the registrar may validly grant probate to the other person without notice to the other persons entitled in the same degree, saying this is recipe for disputations where there are, and when two or more executors are appointed in a will and only one person applies for probate, the grant may be resisted by other executors that are excluded from the grant, saying what is safe to do is to be fair to all parties to prevent the truncation of the process. The search for the testator’s will begins after the burial ceremonies and that the original copy of the will is often kept at the probate registry and if the will is in the custody of the testator or any other person, it is sent to the probate registry within three months of his knowledge of the testator’s death. He informed that the will must be read in the probate registry or any place that the probate registrar determines and he shall be the supervising officer, but where the will cannot be found and there is reasonable ground to believe that a person has knowledge of any testamentary document of the testator,

the court may summarily order that such a person be examined or interrogated regarding the document in court. Prof. Oni, who is also the Principal Partner, Babatunde Oni & Co, admitted that the administration of estate, either through probate or letter of administration, is a technical one that requires expertise that is laden with the problems bordering on death certificates; influence of customary succession in the grant of probate and letter of administration; conflicts among the executors, administrators and beneficiaries; delays in obtaining letter of administration and probate or manual filling; high cost of obtaining letters of administration or probate; and matters pertaining to next-of-kin; among others. The legal luminary recommended that most of the identified problems can be tackled through the practice of trust intervivos and gift intervivos, introduction of a digital and electronic filing system to eliminate manual processing of files at the probate registry, improved service delivery, adequate training of probate registry staff, introduction of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism into the administration of estates law, and allowing for instalmental payment of estate duties. In addition to the Professor’s rich presentation with appropriate legal authorities, more Nigerians should embrace the practice of wills writing. The bitter truth is that death is inevitable and no one knows the time, how, and where; writing of wills is never a death sentence, but a necessity in the journey of man in life. Dr. Kupoluyi writes from Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Ogun State.

Nigeria’s future in the face of ASUU strike By Femi Oluwasanmi


he in ability of the government to win the war against Boko Haram since it emergence in 2009 ought to serve as a wake up call to the political class that education is the best method to recalibrate minds in a away that will be useful to the society and minimize the risk of being used as an instrument of distabilization. Much has been said and written about the imbroglio between the Federal Government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) with suggestions flowing from different quarters on how to minimize the effect of the impasse on the dream and aspiration of students in Nigeria especially, putting into consideration the astronomical surge in crime rate and other social vices threatening the future of the country. However, the in ability of the government to translate these to reality further raises questions on the nature and character of the political class in Nigeria. ASUU had on February 14, 2022, commenced a four-week industrial action before announcing a roll-over on March 14 for another two months which was later extended by 12 weeks on May 7 with a great threat of mother of all strike should the government fail to implement the letter in the renegotiated agreement made with the union in 2020. This threat resurrected and resonated series of protest growing across the country. Unfortunately, the government seems not to be moved by this outcry with its cavalier posture to the lingering strike. This could be deduced in the action of the minister of state for education Hon.

Chukwuemeka Nwajuiba who despite the ASUU strike went ahead and purchased the most expensive form of the century from the ruling party, APC at the rate of 100 million naira. While it is the constitutional right of the minister to aspire to represent the country at the apex position, the timing of the collection of the form seems to portray lack of empathy for the future of the country, exposed the nature of the political class in the country and justifies the reasons for the refusal of the union to suspend the strike despite the plead from different organisations and individuals begging for the suspension of the strike. Prior to this period, the union has embarked on series of industrial actions to drive home almost the same demands. Since the return to democracy in 1999, the union had embarked on strikes for more than sixteen (16) times for almost the same reasons apart from the payment system that was included in the demand in the recent time. Cumulatively, the strike has led to the suspension of academic activities for more than 51 months and consequentially caused serious delay by elongating the period of students in school beyond the normal schedule. Due to the delay, some students have been denied the opportunity to participate in the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) scheme because of the age limit. This has aggravated the pity condition of some graduates trapped at the “colony of unemployment” created by the policy somersault and inconsistencies of those entrusted with the nation’s common patrimony. An attempt to avoid this ugly situation seems to have provoked the growing outcries calling the government

to do the needful so that the students can return to class. Unfortunately, while the protest continues to spread like “harmattan fire”, the political class across the country continue to politicking toward 2023 election with less attention to the avoidable lockdown on the tertiary system. As a matter of fact, the height of this cavalier attitude is the conversion of the strike to a political tool by both the ruling and opposition parties with the side talk from those at the corridor of power on the reason parents and guidance should caution their children and wards from participating any protest. A call that was adherent to by most of the parents that are yet to recover from the shock of “Black Tuesday”. “Black Tuesday” in Nigeria was on 20th October, 2020 when the military rained bullet on peaceful protesters at Lekki tollgate for demanding an end to police brutality and epileptic governance in Nigeria. Till date, the reports of most of the committees set up to unraveled what transpired at the scene are yet to be made public. What seems to be the loudest justification for the military intervention at the protest ground was the presence of the hoodlums. Yet, a government that experienced such hoodlums invasion is creating another fertilized ground for protest that might degenerated to another horrific display. A responsive and responsible government will never allow a citadel of learning to be shut down because it is the transformation center where minds are built and taught how to react to things in a way that will not draw back the wheel of

the society. This means that an opposite of this is tantamount to the manifestation of things that will lead society to a state of “motion without movement” and anarchy. No wonder despite the huge human and natural resources in Nigeria, the country seems to be lagging behind in the comity of nation. For years the country has continued to revolve in the circle of the ten (10) most poverty infected countries with a sideline on the attendance of countries trending the path of failure. This “scarcity in the midst of plenty manifestation” might not be unconnected with the recurring ASUU which has aggravated the rate of half baked and quarter baked graduates across the country. For years, ASUU demands have always been an improvement in the standard of the Nigerian university system with their welfare being considered in the scheme of things. These demands are justifiable looking at the deteriorating state of public primary and secondary schools across the country. This ugly experience has placed adequate teaching at the mercy of private primary and secondary schools while those at the public schools continue to struggle like a seed that fell on the rock with no much strength to grow. Should the public university degenerated to this level then the gap between “have and the have not” will be wider which can post a grave danger to the corporate existence of the country in the future. The glimpse of this could be deduced from the increase in the rate of attacks on private universities. Not too long ago at Kaduna State, some students were kidnapped by armed group with a ransom of 800 million

naira before they were begged to reduce the amount of the ransom. Some of the students that were kidnapped are yet to recover from the trauma of the saddened event while some of the parents never recovered from the financial damage occasioned by the ransom paid. An attempt to prevent the reoccurrence has led to an unprecedented increase in the military presence on most of the private universities compuses. The fear of breaking through the fortification has increased the number of students traveling abroad with most of the political class taking the lead in the trip to foreign universities and sharing the pictures of their children graduation/ convocation for the whole world to see. Those in this category are wife of the president, Asha Buhari, the vice president Prof Yemi Osibanjo, among others. Forgetting that the untrained children constitute a grave threat to the society. The in ability of the government to win the war against Boko Haram since it emergence in 2009 ought to serve as a wake up call to the political class that education is the best method to recalibrate minds in a away that will be useful to the society and minimize the risk of being used as an instrument of distabilization. Unfortunately, the cavalier attitude of the those at the corridor of power to the Nigerian education system seems to suggest otherwise. Hence, there is need to enact a law that will mandate all the political office holders to put their children in public schools. Starting from primary school to higher institution. Femi Oluwasanmi writes in from Ibafo, Ogun State.




Editors reaffirm commitment to defence of democracy, press freedom


he Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has rounded off its Town Hall Meeting/Capacity Building Conference in six geopolitical zones, during the week with the last one in Port Harcourt, the South-South zone, resolving not to buckle under any circumstances in its historic duty in defending and promoting the cause of democracy and press freedom in the country. The NGE said that having contributed immensely to the sustenance of democracy in the country, including putting the lives of many of its members on the line - via constant harassment, brutalization and death, its members are now more equipped and energized by the training to discharge their constitutional role of holding government accountable to people. The editors who commended the US Embassy in Nigeria for sponsoring the regional training workshop for 350 editors across the six geopolitical zones, urged the Embassy to also support stepdown trainings for line editors and reporters. In a communiqué signed by NGE’s President, Mustapha Isah and the General Secretary, Iyobosa Uwugiaren, the editors explained that having consistently put down their lives in the defence of democracy, they have also resolved to take the gauntlet by sifting from the array of aspirants angling for the presidency, governorship, the national and state assembly elections in order to ensure that

•Round off town hall meeting/ capacity building training for 350 editors •Commend US Embassy for huge support the electorate are provided with credible information to make informed choices in the democratic process. ‘’Editors have resolved to assist in ensuring that frivolous and unserious candidates, as well as those who have not demonstrated any capacity for leadership, are weeded out from the race. ‘’That ahead of the 2023 general election, editors should engage more with other stakeholders like civil society groups, the Independent National Electoral Commission, security agencies and others in deepening the democratic process. ‘’The editors should also ensure that the parties and their candidates are properly guided along issuebased campaigns and discourage campaigns anchored on exploring the ethnic, religious and regional divide that tend to put the country asunder’’, the editors stated. Noting that the media thrives better under a democratic rule, the NGE explained that the media has contributed significantly more than any section of the Nigerian society in enthroning, promoting and sustaining the cause of democracy in Nigeria. ‘’While other sections of the society were pummelled under military dictatorship, the media stood like the rock of Gibraltar and had the effrontery to look the

military in the eye. ‘’Unfortunately, in spite of the huge human and material resources of the country, many years of democratic rule have not brought significant development in different sectors to meaningfully impact on the lives of the Nigerian people. But the media will not give up in the its defence of democracy’’, the editors added. Amidst increasing misinformation, disinformation and deliberate falsehood in cyberspace, the editors also resolved to explore the use of fact-checking tools to verify stories as part of the process of erasing the credibility gap. According to the editors, ‘’There is need for the media to always use fact check tools to verify its stories. And that no matter how reliable a source has been in the past, the media should always be circumspect about any disclosures from any sources by double checking the information.’’ Noting that the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) can assist the media to deal with the problem of anonymity of sources, particularly when confronted with legal matters, the editors said that there is a need for the media to make more use of the Act as part of the move to instil greater credibility on its stories. Arising from the conversations at the conferences in the six geo-

political zones, the editors said that while regulation of media practice will accord media professionals greater respect like other groups, pandering to the antics of a government, which has consistently shown abrasive zeal to hamstrung the Nigerian media - to solely regulate the media, will be harmful to its survival. ‘’This is more so given its insidious use of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) codes to clamp down on stations that give vent to anti-government opinions. ‘’Editors agreed that the media should endeavour to regulate professional practice and also ensure proper corporate governance on the part of the owners of media houses, in order to guarantee adequate supply of working tools, better working environment and improvement in staff welfare’’, the editors further added. Editors commended the NGE leadership, led by Mustapha Isah, for ‘’lifting the bar of engagement’’ via the training workshop, which has not only enriched their knowledge but also created a platform for further social networking amongst members. For: Nigerian Guild of Editors Mustapha Isah President Iyobosa Uwugiaren General Secretary

Niger PDP aspirant applauds party over free, fair measures From Yakubu Mustapha Minna


eople’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant, Engineer Abdullahi Isah Jankara has applauded the party over

measures put in place to ensure free, fair and enabling environment during the upcoming party primaries. He made the commendation in an interview after meeting with the the State Party executives in

Minna, saying that the party has made available the delegates’ list for every aspirant. Jankara stressed that the action was aimed at having access to the list openly so as to maintain nuetrality and equal opportunity

to all contestants for ensuring a credible party primaries. He emphasized that the state is in need of development following a long period of decay in various sectors of human and social development.

APC crisis: Ganduje reconciles with Barau, withdraws from Senate race From Mustapha Adamu, Kano


overnor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has reconciled with Barau Jibrin, Senator, representing Kano North Senstorial District, Peoples Daily has gathered. Recalled that Ganduje and Barau were at loggerheads when the later joined former governor of the state, Ibrahim Shekarau to form a faction in the All Progessives Congress, APC, immediately after the party’s state congresses late last year. While Mr Shekarau is set to leave the party, Barau had reportedly resolved to remain in the party to contest the Senate with the governor in the same Senstorial District. However, this newspaper gathered that Ganduje and Barau had reconciled when they met in Abuja to undergo screening for the Senate contest. Inside sources said the duo had held a reconciliatory meeting, facilitated by some party’s stakeholders, and eventually resolved the matter amicably. It was gathered that part of the reconciliation, the governor agreed to withdraw his senatorial ambition for Barau, who was said to have already obtained the nomination form. The Secretary of the APC, Zakari Sarina, when contacted in a telephone on Monday, confirmed the development, saying “it is true. The report is true.

375 people benefit from free MTN medical treatments in Gombe From David Hassan, Gombe

N CIS retires, advises officers against misconduct


he Comptroller, Imo Command of the Nigeria Immigrations Service, Mr Okey Ezugwu, has advised officers of the service to always be of good conduct and guard against living above their means. Ezeugwu, who gave the advice at a retirement party organised in his honour by officers of the command in Owerri, said that living above one’s means could lead to misconduct. He urged them to improve themselves academically and on the job in the course of their service and plan for their living after retirement. He equally advised them to set high standards and endeavour to achieve the positive goals they set in order to accomplish much for themselves. The comptroller urged them to adopt acceptable standard practice expected of para military officers as well as shun irregularities and misconduct in the discharge of their

duties. Ezeugwu noted that planning well while in service and maximising their resources would help them to avoid giving in to temptations when they found themselves under pressure. “Disclose your income to your family, it doesn’t make you a weakling. “It will rather help you to manage undue expectations and ensure you achieve your goals within your means. “It is not every money that you are offered that you must accept even when nothing is attached to it. “Nothing good comes easy, try to plan ahead so you won’t find yourself under unnecessary pressure,” he said. The outgoing comptroller further urged them to aspire to be role models by doing what was right at all times regardless of who was affected. He also advised them against nepotism, tribalism and favouritism in service.

Earlier, the Zonal Coordinator, NIS, Assistant Comptroller General (ACG) Evangeline Ejiogu, described Ezugwu as an achiever who accomplished a lot during his years of service. She applauded his efforts aimed at improving the command and also the officers for their support and cooperation. Mrs Ejiogu enjoined the officers to emulate Ezugwu as he had distinguished himself through commitment, exemplary service and hard work. In her remarks, the Passport Control Officer in Imo, ACI Helen Ford-Oti, congratulated the retiree for his “excellent service” to the command and for showing good example. The Deputy Comptroller of Immigration in the command, DCI Uchenna Onuoha, noted that Ezugwu had left a legacy worthy of emulation and commended him for an exemplary leadership. (NAN)

o fewer than 375 people were said to have received free medical treatments through Mtn initiative in Gombe state. The chairman Mtn foundation Prince Julius AdelusiAdeluyi stated this during the commissioning and handing over of medical equipments donated by mobile telecommunication MTN foundation at the federal teaching hospital Gombe on Friday. He said since inception of MTN foundation in 2004 which commence its activities in 2015, over 250 communities have benefited from the imitative in 36 states. According to him, the foundation came up with 950 projects with the aim of providing a conducive environment for the populace. Prince Adelusi-Adeluyi said the foundation donated furniture to some schools and installation of ICT in one of the local government area in Gombe state.



By Musa Baba Adamu


he Adegboyega Oyetola Campaign Council has described as absurd, unthinkable and totally unacceptable the boast by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke that he had acquired enough money in hard currencies to buy Osun and its people for the July 16 Governorship contest. In a statement signed by its Director-General, Senator Ajibola

Inuwa upbeat on victory, as APC screens Gombe Gov ahead of 2023 elections By Christiana Ekpa


overnor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State has expressed confidence over the victory of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in the forthcoming 2023 general election, even as the Party’s ad hoc Committee screened him in Abuja on Sunday. The APC Governorship screening committee headed by Senator Abubakar Sodangi ahead of the party’s primary elections. A statement issued yesterday by the Director General of Press Affairs, Government House, Gombe, Ismaila Uba Misilli, said Governor Inuwa, who is standing unopposed in the APC Governorship primary election in Gombe State, arrived at the screening venue in Abuja around 2:pm and was received by party officials and panel members. In a brief chat with newsmen after his screening, the Governor described the process as smooth and commended the panel members, as well as the party leadership. Recall that, while submitting his expression of interest and nomination forms which were purchased and presented to him by friends, associates and political support groups, the Governor was upbeat about victory for APC in Gombe State and the country at large.

Osun not for sale to highest bidder Gov Oyetola tells Adeleke, PDP Basiru, the Campaign Council declared that Osun was not for sale to the highest bidder, just as it noted that on daily basis, the PDP candidate is proving to the Osun electorate that he had nothing to offer. Senator Ademola, the PDP candidate had over the weekend during the party’s Osun Central Campaign rally, said “Osun people, you are the ones to decide. If it is about money, I have enough. I came with plenty money (hitting his pocket with his right hand). And it is not only naira, I came with dollars, pounds and Euro. This time around in Osun, it is fire for fire.” Reacting to Ademola’s comment, the Oyetola Campaign Council said: “Osun people are not

gullible. We have left them in no doubt of the quality our party, the APC and our Administration are made of, including the capacity of our candidate to deliver in the past three and half years. We have proved through our inclusive governance strategy that our people are our strength and that we do not take them for granted and we will never take them for granted. This explains why in spite of the way the 2018 election went, our administration began infrastructure intervention from Ede, the hometown of the PDP candidate. “Osun people are enlightened, they Know that the State and its citizens are not up for sale to the highest bidder. Therefore, the PDP candidate should keep his money.

Or better still, he could deploy those resources to establish industries to provide jobs for the people. This way, he will also be supporting the present Administration’s noticeable efforts in the last three and half years to industrialise the State and change its narrative as a Civil Service State, to one bubbling with economic activities. “It is on record that the Oyetolaled administration has since inception taken concrete steps to open up the State for investments, and has been able to attract a number of investments into Osun, contributing to the economic growth of the State. “We assure the PDP candidate that, like the Administration did to other players in the private sector,

we will provide a level playing ground for his business to thrive and ensure Osun and its people derive maximum benefit from the investment. The Campaign Council also cautioned Adeleke against overheating the polity with his incendiary comments and violent tendencies, wondering what he meant by saying ‘it’s fire for fire this time around’. “As a responsible party, we urge Senator Adeleke and his party to embrace peaceful conduct and decorum in their political engagements and electioneering. We must avoid any comment or action that can jeopardise the peace and stability of our State,” the statement added.

Governor Samuel Ortom and PDP Presidential Aspirant, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, at Dr. Saraki’s meeting with Delegates in the Benue State Capital, Makurdi.

2023: Ebonyi APC chairman denies extorting House of Assembly aspirants By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he leadership of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in Ebonyi State on Monday denied hiking prices of forms and extorting House of Assembly aspirants. Over 25 State House of Assembly aspirants had at the weekend protested and petitioned the national leadership of the

party, asking its Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, to warn the State APC chairman, Stanley Okoro to stop extorting and screening them out. Okoro, had, however frowned at the allegation against his person, describing it as a sham, phoney and feigned. He described the purported House of Assembly aspirants as desperate individuals who want

to create tension, and hit up the polity in Ebonyi, ahead of the 2023 general election. He said the APC is prepared to win the election and continue with the leadership of the state. “Why do some people take pleasure in hitting up the polity for no just reason. I also learnt that the aspirants who purchased their expression of interest and nomination forms at Abuja are

claiming that they have petitioned the National leadership and other stakeholders of the party to intervene over the most foolish allegation. “This shows how desperate and confused people can be over nothing. Lawyers will always say “you cannot place something on nothing and expect it to stand”. Let them continue to display their desperation and torment”.

Presidential aspirant promises to rescue Nigeria from total collapse if elected By Abubakar Yunusa


presidential aspirant on the platform of Action Alliance (AA), Samson Odupitan, yesterday assured Nigerians that he can fix the country from total collapse if elected president in 2023. Chief Odupitan said this after submitting his nomination and expression of interest forms to the AA headquarters in Abuja. He also bought the House of Assembly for all female aspirants across the 36 states, including the Federal Capital Territory,

Abuja. He also pledged to reduce the cost of governance and electioneering campaigns to make sure ordinary people can represent the interest of their people. “I have the key to fixing this nation, I have the key to fixing this country in terms of insecurity, financial making, how to manage the resources available,” he said. Speaking on what would make his government different from others, he explained that community and grassroots programmes, saying he wants to make the community take the decision, while they

would work with them accordingly. He also explained that the national budget is designed to favor the rich against the masses, even as he however vowed that each community in Nigeria would benefit from his government. “In my administration, the budget would be done in such a way that it would benefit the masses because I will make them my topmost priority. “It is not what I wish to do for the community, but it is what the community wants us to do for them. My input would be there, but the community’s input should be

our topmost priority,” he said. He also promised that his Administration would rejuvenate the Ministry of Science and Technology in such a way that Nigeria would not import toothpicks, and spanners, saying that if the Ministry was in the right place, it would create job opportunities for the youths. One of the beneficiaries, Rose James Jacob, who is vying for the House Assembly seat in River State, appreciated the AA Presidential aspirant, saying that she can deliver her Constituency in the 2023 general election.




Osun 2022: Babayemi, Adeleke settle rift despite claims, law suits By Musa Baba Adamu


L-R: Daughter of the Sun Publishing Limited, Neya Iyere Kalu; Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; the Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan; Senator Orji Uzor Kaji and former Governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori during the Sun Awards ceremony at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, recently

Minting Company MD, Masanawa resigns, pursues guber aspiration in Katsina


he Managing Director of Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC), Abbas Masanawa, has said he has complied with the presidential directive by resigning his appointment to pursue his political ambition. NAN reports that Masanawa, who is one of the governorship aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Katsina State, has bought and submitted Expression of Interest and

Nomination forms. Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had, through the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, ordered all ministers and political appointees contesting for various elective positions to resign their appointments on or before May 16. Answering questions from State House correspondents in Abuja, Masanawa stated that

he had adhered to Buhari’s directives, saying he submitted his resignation through the Office of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). “Absolutely, I have abided completely with the presidential directive. And I have resigned from my appointment as the managing director and chief executive of Nigeria Security, Printing and Minting. ”I sent in my resignation through the chairman of the

board, who also happens to be the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria,” he said. Asked if he had personally informed President Buhari of his intentions, he said: “Yes, through my immediate boss, who is the governor of the central bank of Nigeria. ”The governor of the central bank is the chairman of the board of Nigeria security, printing and minting.” (NAN)

2023: Group alleges plans to frame, arrest Ekweremadu, supporters By Musa Baba Adamu


he Ikeoha Campaign Organisation says it has uncovered plans to frame, arrest, and detain supporters of the former Deputy President of the Senate and the prime governorship aspirant in Enugu State, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, ahead of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary elections in the state. It also alerted the public to alleged plans to unleash cultists on Ekweremadu’s supporters. The campaign organisation revealed this on Monday in a statement signed by the DirectorGeneral, Charles Ogbo Asogwa, calling on the heads of security agencies and the leadership of the PDP in Enugu State to take note and nip the plots in the bud. He said, “Credible intelligence has alerted us to sinister plans to plant arms, ammunitions,

and other implicating items on the properties of notable Enugu and PDP chieftains resolutely supporting Senator Ike Ekweremadu’s gubernatorial ambition. “The aim is to arrest, arraign, and have them consigned to the Correctional Centres (Prisons) to ensure that they are out of circulation until after the primaries and 2023 general elections. “Nigerians should recall that the Chairman of the PDP in Okpatu Ward, Udi LGA, Paulinus Ugwu (Ayaya), is still detained in the Enugu Correction Centre (Prisons) on trumped-up charges and refused bail by the Enugu State Judiciary for many months now. His continued detention is primarily to keep him away from the primaries where he is a statutory delegate. “Likewise, several of our supporters have been charged

to court for baseless offences to weaken our struggle for a New Enugu State”. The Organisation said it was equally in possession of credible intelligence pointing to plans to use a confraternity group to intimidate and attack its supporters. “They also plan to unleash a particular confraternity group on Ekweremadu’s supporters to intimidate and muscle them out of their legitimate political convictions and choices”, the group said. “It is recalled that during our 6th May 2022 press conference, we projected graphic footage and images of attacks unleashed on our supporters at the instance of or by government officials some of whom were clearly shown or confessed in that footage and pictures. This was most dastardly and widespread during the 30th April 2022 three-man delegates

election and all the incidents dating back to 2021 have been formerly reported to the law enforcement agencies. “Consequently, we wish to alert the Inspector-General of Police, Director-General of the Department for State Security (DSS), Commandant-General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, the military service chiefs, the General Officer Commanding 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, and all the security agencies with a view to relating with their relevant commands to ensure that the evil plots do not come to pass. “Likewise, this is a call on the leadership of the PDP in Enugu State to work with the relevant security agencies and party leaders to ensure that every plot capable of jeopardizing the party’s cohesion and chances in the forthcoming elections is thwarted”, the campaign organisation concluded.

he factional gubernatorial candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dotun Babayemi, has settled his rift with Senator Ademola Adeleke, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recognised PDP gubernatorial candidate in the 2022 Osun gubernatorial election. In a statement made available by Olawale Rasheed on behalf of Senator Adeleke after the peace meeting held on Sunday, it was revealed that the move was in line with Adeleke’s philosophy of brotherhood and partnership for all in the interest of the Osun people. The meeting, which was brokered by the national leadership of the party, was aimed at seeking a united front for the PDP to ensure a landslide victory for the PDP in the guber poll. Adeleke who declared that he was in support of all inclusive efforts geared towards electoral victory for the party stressed that defeating the APC was the most important task before all the party leaders. He said, “I support an all-inclusive effort towards electoral victory. “To this end, I welcome my colleagues who may be aggrieved for one reason or the other. As I always reiterated, we are not enemies but the same political family with a common political enemy. Defeating the APC is therefore the most important task before all leaders of PDP for now. “As our national chairman always noted, Osun is a gateway to PDP victory at 2023. Our victory in Osun is the much-needed energy for the party to win national elections. We are therefore calling on all our leaders to forget the bickering of the past and join hands to record success in July.” But when contacted for more clarification on the meeting, the Director of Media, Omooba Dotun Babayemi Campaign Organisation, Kayode Oladeji, said the meeting had nothing to do with the disagreement over the governorship primary of the party. Oladeji maintained that the meeting was for the reconciliation of the party as a whole and for any gubernatorial matter. According to him, “The committee met with the two factions over the forthcoming presidential primary. “There is a delegate election coming up on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday for the presidential primary. The meeting agreed on the national delegates. The two groups divided the Osun slots, instead of going for primary they have both agreed. It is the court that will decide on the Osun State governorship primary, it is not true that one person has stepped down for another.” Recall that in the run-up to the gubernatorial election in Osun State, Babayemi despite the recognition of Senator Adeleke as the PDP gubernatorial candidate by INEC still claimed to be the authentic candidate. Also, Adeleke despite the INEC recognition has been facing court suits instituted to challenge his candidature.



Abia APC senatorial aspirant vows to defeat PDP candidate in 2023


ep. Sam Onuigbo (APCAbia) has vowed to defeat the Senatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 general elections. Onuigbo is a serving House of Representatives member hinged his promised on the failure of the ruling PDP in the state in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja. Onuigbo, who is seeking to represent the people of Abia Central Senatorial District of Abia, is also the current House of Reps member, representing Ikwuano/ Umuahia North/Umuahia South Federal Constituency of Abia State. He said that the PDP administration in the state had no basic evidence of good governance since its assumed power in the state as the people were already tired of PDP government. “The PDP is supposed to pose a serious threat to my ambition where there has been good governance but this time, the people are wiser and will vote the party out.’’ He said that the people of Abia had been voting for 24 years in the state for the PDP, “but this time the people will go for candidates that can deliver on their promises.’’ “My people have no basic of evidence of good governance, so why will they want to do the same thing after nearly a quarter of a century without result,” he wondered. Onuigbo said that the failure of the ruling party in the state to bring good governance would further enhance his chances in the race if given the ticket as the people were tired of bad governance. He said that his campaign would be would have the acronym “EAR” – E-Effectiveness, A-Accessibility and R-Responsiveness. The lawmaker said his intention was to be effective when in the plenary and during senate committee sittings “I will be accessible to my people who have used their power of their thumbs to elevate me to such a high position. NANNAN


Benue guber primaries: APC clears Lawani, Ode, Shija, others aspirants By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he All Progressives Congress (APC) has cleared twelve Benue State aspirants, ahead of the Friday governorship primary election in the state. Dan Morgan-Ihomun, the state APC Publicity Secretary, said this when he spoke with newsmen

on Monday in Makurdi. Morgan-Ihomun promised that there would be no manipulations at the governorship primaries, insisting that all aspirants would be given a level playing field. “There will be a level playing field for every aspirant in order to elect the best candidate,” MorganIhomun said.

“It’s the delegates that will elect who will be our candidate for the 2023 governorship election. “We do not have a preferred candidate, whoever they elect for our party he will be acceptable.” According to Morgan-Ihomun, about 1, 517 delegates would take part in the Friday primaries. The aspirants cleared included

former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Michael Aondoakaa, Mr Terwase Orbunde, former Chief of Staff to Gov. Samuel Ortom and Mr Herman Hembe. Others were Mr Sam Ode, Chief Steven Lawani, Mr Mathias Byuan, Chief Barnabas Gemade and Prof. Terhemba Shija.

L-R: Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa; Lagos State Deputy Governor, Obafeni Hamzat, APC Presidential Aspirant, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at the APC Leaders meeting where Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat were presented for second time, recently in Lagos.

Ex-Jigawa governor rejoins PDP, to contest senatorial seat By Musa Baba Adamu with agency report


former governor of Jigawa State Saminu Turaki, on Monday, rejoined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ending his sojourn in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). Turaki returned to the PDP alongside top APC politicians from his district including a former Commissioner for

Women Affairs in the state, Ladi Dansure. The former governor told reporters in his Kano residence that he rejoined the PDP to move Jigawa forward and to liberate people from the dictatorial rules of the APC. “As a leader I didn’t join PDP to get any position but, rather I will do my best and lead the party to victory in the forthcoming 2023 general election,” he said.

However, PREMIUM TIMES learned that Mr Turaki is contesting for the Jigawa North-west senatorial district An aspirant for the seat under the PDP, Nasiru Roni, has stepped down for him, sources told PREMIUM TIMES In his remarks, the state’s PDP chairperson, Babandi Gumel, said, the former governor rejoined the PDP with thousands of his supporters. He said Mr Turaki was

welcomed by the entire family of the PDP in Jigawa including former governor Sule Lamido. The PDP chairman assured the defectors that the party will be fair to all members new and old. Mr Turaki, who served two terms as governor of Jigawa from 1999 to 2007, is facing a 32-count charge of misappropriating N36 billion while in office.

2023 elections: It’s too late to tinker with timelines – INEC


he Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it is too late to tinker with the schedule of activities for the 2023 general elections. Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, stated this while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja. Okoye spoke against the backdrop of the two months extension of deadline for the conduct

of parties’ primary recently sought by Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC). According to him, any change in the June 3 deadline will affect other activities for elections. “The timetable and schedule of activities released by the commission are derived from the constitution, the Electoral Act and the Regulations and Guidelines of the commission. “The chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood

Yakubu, made it clear that our timetable and schedule of activities and the terminal date for the conduct of party primaries are firm and fixed. “The political parties are proceeding with their congresses and primaries. The commission will not tamper with its fixtures, as doing so will affect other activities and constitutionally-circumscribed timelines. “Certainty is key to planning, and the commission is committed to its timelines. Political parties must

brace up to the challenges posed by the Electoral Act 2022,” he said. Okoye, who said that the commission was already engaged with lots of activities, said it would amount to arbitrariness to adjust the election timetable. “INEC is preparing for Ekiti and Osun governorship elections as well as 18 by-elections, while party primaries is a small subset of work of the commission. “The commission is engaged in procurement of sensitive and non-

sensitive materials, and we will assess and renovate our state and local government offices. “INEC will also receive, print and display thousands of nomination forms. Moreover, we have trained and deployed hundreds of monitors for the congresses and primaries,’’ he said. Okoye, therefore, stated that it was too late to interfere with the timelines, stressing that the commission had released the timetable and schedule on Feb. 26.


By Abubakar Yunusa


igital freight forwarding startup, Topship has raised a $2.5 million seed round from institutional and individual investors. With the funding, the company seeks to create the easiest way for African businesses to export and import parcels and cargo to their customers, suppliers, and distributors worldwide. The funding was led by Flexport and backed by Y CombinatorSoma Capital, Starling Ventures, Olive Tree Capital, Capital X and True Capital. The individual investors in the round include Immad Akhund, Mercury CEO, and Arash Ferdowsi, co-founder of Dropbox. Topship was founded in 2020 during the pandemic when cofounder and CEO Moses Enenwali noticed a surge in merchants’ needs for shipping parcels and cargo outside Nigeria. He had built relationships with these merchants following his time with logistics company ACE Logistics


Nigerian startup, Topship secures $2.5 million to boost international shipping and e-commerce fulfilment provider, Sendbox. According to Enewali, Topship allows 1,500 merchants to move cargo and parcels from Nigeria to over 150 countries. Although it can help Nigerian merchants receive parcel deliveries from the other way round, they can only

accept cargo deliveries from the U.S., the U.K and China. Enewali said the company is exploring other revenue streams, including trade financing and customs clearance charges. The company has recorded a 50% month-on-month revenue growth since getting into YC this January.

“I think what YC does more than anything is just push you to dive as deep as possible in understanding your users,” said the CEO about Topship’s revenue growth after YC. “Looking into the future, a lot of it’s coming from that ethos of the user being the most important

piece of the puzzle, and we have to be obsessive about it. We’re taking all the learnings and insights that we’ve learned from our users over the past five months or six months and building it into the product in a merchants-focused way,” he said.

Nigeria’s inflation rate hits eightmonth high at 16.82% By Abubakar Yunusa


he consumer price index, which measures the rate of increase in the price of goods and services, climbed to 16.82 per cent in April 2022 on the back of surging food and gas prices. With the development, it means that the headline inflation rate slowed down in April when compared to the same month in the previous year. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said this in its Consumer Price Index (CPI) report for April 2022, released on Monday. The figure represents the highest rate recorded since August 2021 which is 0.9% points higher than the 15.92% recorded in the previous month (March 2022). “On a month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 1.76% in April 2022, compared to 1.74% increase recorded in the previous month,” the report reads. “Similarly, the urban inflation rate increased to 17.35% (year-onyear) in April 2022 from 18.68% recorded in April 2021, while the rural inflation rate increased to 16.32% in April 2022 from 17.57% in April 2021.”

Commandant Intelligence ResponseTeam (IRT) Mr. Olatunji Disu throwing more light on the activities of the suspects during their parade at IRT Headquarters on Friday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Create special FX trading window for BDCs, ABCON tells CBN


he Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to establish BDCs’ autonomous foreign exchange trading window (BAFEX) with a determined maximum daily limit. The association said it would enable eligible BDCs to access dollars from banks, autonomous markets, and diaspora forex widows at the prevailing market prices. ABCON said this in a statement issued over the weekend at the conclusion of its national executive council meeting in Lagos. Speaking at the meeting, Aminu Gwadabe, ABCON president, said the creation of the BAFEX window is one of the strategies that the association came up with to save the naira

from further decline and enhance exchange rate stability. Gwadabe said the depreciation of the naira against global currencies was due to pressure from rising dollar demand without sufficient liquidity to meet the demands from retail end users, manufacturers and other key players in the economy. The ABCON boss also requested for enhancement of existing BDCs’ automation portals to file transaction returns on CBN/ ABCON/NFIU/NIBSS portals for effective regulatory monitoring and supervision. He sought the creation of an automation portal to encourage the registration of undocumented and unlicensed operators for effective monitoring, identification and tracking of their transactions.

The president said the reluctance of the CBN to open new windows through which foreign exchange can be attracted to the economy remains a key factor in the naira’s continued fall. He said there is an urgent need to review the guidelines on BDC’s scope of operations to include participation in payment space, such as agency banking, point of sale (PoS) services, inbound and outbound forex transfers, ATM forex services, to reflect the global business model practice. Gwadabe said ABCON developed multiple applications for BDCs’ transformation from being CBN cash dispensers to globally competitive entities with the capacity to attract foreign capital flows to the economy. “We support any measures that would lead to compliance

with the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT), supporting CBN’s exchange rate stability policies and security agencies to punish any BDC operator breaching corporate governance and compliance guidelines,” he added. “It is our sincere belief that the BDCs need to be integrated back officially to ensure their continuous potent role in exchange rate stability management.” Following the apex bank’s decision to stop the sale of forex to BDCs, ABCON has continued to make repeated calls for the restoration of the forex sale. On Friday, the naira depreciated against the US dollar to close at N419/$ at the official market and N595/$ at the parallel market.

BU$IN€SS NNPC, MTN among top-performing taxpayers in 2021-FIRS



Abubakar Yunusa Abuja


he Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has listed the Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited as the country’s highest taxpayer in 2021. It also listed Nigeria Liquified Petroleum Gas Company Ltd as the most supportive taxpayer for the year. Johannes Oluwatobi Wojuola, special assistant on media and communication to the chairman of FIRS, said this in a statement released on Monday. According to Wojuola, Muhammad Nami, executive chairman of FIRS, commended the companies for being

consistent in contributing towards providing necessary funds for the government despite the economic conditions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. “The FIRS is pleased to celebrate the top-performing taxpayers who contributed to her success in 2021,” the statement reads. “The service surpassed its tax collection target in 2021 and, in doing so, crossed the N6 trillion threshold for the first time. “The feat recorded by the service was made possible by the uncommon leadership of the President, Commanderin-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria —

Muhammadu Buhari, the active support of our supervisory Ministry, the backing of the national assembly and its leadership as well as the cooperation of all other stakeholders in the tax area. “The combined efforts of all taxpayers made it possible for the Service to achieve the tax revenue collection of 2021, which provided our governments with necessary funds to meet their social contracts with the citizens.” The list of top-performing taxpayers includes Mobil Producing Limited, Star Deep Water Petroleum, MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited, Chevron

Nigeria Limited, Total E & P Nigeria Limited, Airtel Networks Limited, Nigeria Petroleum Development Company Limited, Nestle Nig. Plc. It also included Dangote Cement, Nigeria Breweries Plc, Total Upstream Nigeria Ltd, Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals Ltd, NIG Agip Oil Co. Ltd, British American Tobacco Marketing, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Stanbic IBC Bank Plc, and Lafarge Africa Plc. The statement added Northern Cables Processing and Manufacturing Limited (NOCACO) and Ikeja Electric Plc as most improved companies in tax filing and VAT compliance.

Airline operators announce flight disruption over scarcity of aviation fuel Abubakar Yunusa


igerian airlines, under the aegis of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), say there will be disruption of scheduled flight operations over the growing scarcity of aviation fuel popular as Jet-Al. Obiora Okonkwo, chairman, United Nigeria airline and spokesperson of AON, said this in a public notice issued on Monday. The statement said that the scarcity of aviation is impacting negatively on the seamless conduct of air transport operations and “would lead to flight rescheduling, and, or, cancellations”. “The Airline Operators of Nigeria wish to alert the public of impending disruptions to scheduled flight operations of members of the association. This development is being forced on members by the growing scarcity of aviation fuel popular as Jet-Al,” the statement reads. “The scarcity is impacting negatively on the seamless conduct of air transport operations and would lead to flight rescheduling, and, or, cancellations. “However, the association and its members are working very hard, and in alliance with product marketers, government and relevant stakeholders, to ensure availability and proper pricing of aviation fuel in the country. “While pleading the understanding of the flying public in the face of this reality, we also promise to do all that is necessary, and within our powers, to restore normal flight schedules as soon as possible.”

Two weeks ago, some airlines had complained about the rising cost of aviation fuel and threatened to shut down operations. The proposed strike was

aborted after Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house, convened a meeting of all stakeholders in the industry, including marketers and the Central Bank of Nigeria. After the meeting,

Gbajabiamila said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) agreed to provide the aviation fuel at N480/litre pending when the carriers would be granted a license to import the commodity.

Allen Onyema, vicepresident of AON, had said the rising cost and fuel scarcity can be addressed if airliners are allowed to purchase aviation fuel directly.

.FCT Malam Muhammad Musa Welcoming the leader of Senior Executive Course 44 of NIPSS Prof. Sunday Ochache on a study tour of the FCT Residence during a courtesy call to the Minister yesterday

UBA processes over 25,000 transactions in 4 months


frica’s Global Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc says it has processed over 25,000 transactions in the last four months. The bank was able to achieve this by leveraging cutting-edge technology to enhance its service provisioning to meet its customers’ demands. The transactions successfully processed by the bank between January and April 2022, include

requests for Personal Travel Allowance, Business Travel Allowance, Medical bills payment, Upkeep, and School fees payment. This feat is quite huge considering the fact that other banks have not been able to process more than 10,000 transactions within this period. It is also a testament to how technology is revolutionising financial services. Over the years, UBA has invested

in robust technological platforms to support the seamless integration of services in a bid to satisfy the unique needs of its customers in this digital era. “It has also provided access to trade links across most of its digital channels, making it easy for customers to perform transactions from the comfort of their mobile phones. “The bank has continued to

leverage its presence across Africa to create an avenue for trade between countries/individuals whilst facilitating easy payment for goods and services rendered across these borders. “It continues to support businesses with processing Form M and Form Q for the importation of goods, Export Trade – Form NXP (commercial export) and NCX (noncommercial export).

BU$IN€SS BUA Foods Aquires first of two shipping vessels for sugar export operations




UA Foods, one of Africa’s leading FMCG companies has taken delivery of the first of two shipping vessels to augment its sugar export operations to the West African market, which kicked off successfully earlier this year. BUA Food’s export of refined sugar will benefit the economy, providing alternative source of income, while significantly diversifying the company’s markets. The vessels will depart and berth at BUA’s port and terminal increasing export capacity while reducing operating cost. The Mitsubishi of Japan built vessel is named MV Bundu – after the area in which the refinery is located. The vessels

cargo capacity is suited to enhance quick and sustainable delivery of more refined sugar in the face of growing export demand from across the African region. The refined sugar of high-grade quality is processed from BUA Foods’ ultramodern sugar refinery located in Port Harcourt. This state-of-the-art refinery with a capacity of 750,000 metric tons, is also equipped to process all grades of sugar. “As we drive our business for growth with focus on sustainable returns, and benefit to all our stakeholders and the Nigerian economy, owning a shipping vessel is an important step in BUA Foods strategy” said the Chairman BUA Foods

Plc, Abdul Samad Rabiu. “We see an increased and continued demand for refined sugar across the region with an attendant increase for logistics support to aid timely delivery, which is why we need to strengthen our current capability with an owncontrolled asset as we advance further in our business strategy. These new vessels will create operational efficiencies in our business and open possibilities for new services.” With these acquisitions, BUA Foods is well-positioned to take advantage of the AfCFTA, considering its investments in the food sector over the years. “Owning a vessel to export sugar is a

crucial enabler of flexibility and agility in our total supply chain as it allows our customers to tackle time-critical fulfillment challenges due to timely availability of their goods,” said MD BUA Foods Engr. Ayodele Abioye. “As we expand our customer base into the region, we strongly believe in working closely with them towards meeting and surpassing their needs in time and in full”. To further strengthen its export drive, a second shipping vessel is expected to arrive by the end of the second quarter of 2022 to promote cross-border trade to businesses across the West African region and other African countries.

R-L: Deputy Director SERAP, Kolawole Oluwadare; Channels Tv Presenter, Kayode Okikiolu;Program Officer,SERAP, Folashade Arigbabu; President, NUJ, Christopher Isiguzo; Lagos NUJ Chairman, Adeleye Ajayi, and CSP Akilalu Alex during the launch of Data and digital rights Monitor by SERAP held in Lagos,

May & Baker Plc declares dividend payment of N0.30 Kobo to shareholders

By Abubakar Yunusa


ay & Baker Plc has announced a dividend payment of N0.30 kobo per 50 kobo ordinary shares for the financial year ended 31 December 2021. This dividend payment will be subject to shareholders’ approval at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and appropriate withholding tax. According to the disclosure filed with the Exchange (NGX), shareholders are to ensure their names are registered in the Register of Members by the qualification date of May 17, 2022. On Friday, June 3rd, 2022, the dividend which amounts to N518

million will be disbursed electronically to ordinary shareholders whose names appear on the Register of Members as of Tuesday, May 17th, 2022, and those who have completed the e-dividend registration and mandated the Registrar to pay their dividends directly into their bank accounts. The company’s registrar is Veritas Registrars Ltd and the e-dividend mandate form can be downloaded or filled online on the registrar’s website. May & Baker Plc has 1,725,234,886 outstanding shares and a market capitalization of N7.59 billion at the time of filing this report. The company’s shares opened trading on the 6th of May, 2022 at N4.40 per

share and closed at N4.40 per share Meanwhile, May & Baker Plc had recently released its Q1 2022 financial results for the period ended 31 March 2022, reporting a profit of N195 million, representing a 21% decline year on year. Revenue of N3.34 billion was reported in the full-year period compared to N2.70 billion in the same period of 2021. Earnings per share were recorded as N0.11 kobo against N0.14 kobo recorded in the corresponding period of 2021. Year-to-date, the company’s shares have appreciated by 9.45% from N4.02 at the beginning of the year to N4.40 at the time of writing this report

Cedrus to bridge investment gap in Nigeria, Africa – CEO By Abubakar Yunusa


he Chief Executive Officer, Cedrus Group Africa, Olubusayo Adeniyi, has said the group is bridging infrastructure gap to boost investment into Africa and the country. He spoke during a press briefing in Lagos ahead of its upcoming programme tagged ‘Cedrus 5,000 Plus Africa SMEs’, aimed to position SMEs to become better players locally and internally. Adeniyi said, “Cedrus Group Africa is an investment banking firm. We are globally minded, and Africa focused. We actually exist for the purpose of bridging the gap in infrastructure in Africa and every other jurisdiction we are represented. “We discovered that Africa has not actually been an investment origination and destination. We are here to use innovative means to provide investment solutions to the various needs.




Bello receives NIPSS Course 44 participants, harps on boosting LGA governance By Stanley Onyekwere


he Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, has expressed optimism that participants of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Senior Executive Course 44, will in the course of their studies proffer solutions to the challenges confronting governance at the Local Government level. He made this assertion yesterday, during a courtesy visit by a delegation of the course participants led by Prof. Sunday Ochoche, at the banquet hall of the Life Camp Residence of the Minister. Speaking on the theme of the 2022 Senior Executive Course which is “Strengthening Local Governance in Nigeria: Challenges, Opinions and Opportunities”, Bello noted that Local Governments, or Area Councils, as they are called in the FCT, by being the tier of government closest to the citizenry, have very strategic roles to play in delivering dividends of democracy to the grassroots populace. He listed some of the basic dividends to include basic education, agriculture, primary health care and security. The Minister also noted that governance at the local level was fraught with many challenges, and expressed optimism that Course 44 would proffer solutions that would strengthen governance at that tier of government. He equally revealed that some of the most effective and efficient senior officials of the FCT Administration were graduates of the Senior Executive Course and pledged the support and cooperation of the FCTA to the participants during their study tour of the FCT. In his remarks, Prof. Ochoche, expressed appreciation to the FCT Minister for the high quality of participants sponsored by the FCTA to the Institute. He explained that every year, very senior and accomplished men and women from different sectors dedicate 10 months, interrogating critical national issues and proffering ways to advance the Nigerian project. He stressed that effective local governance involved the Federal, State and Local Governments, traditional institutions, as well as Non-

Governmental Organizations. While thanking the FCT Minister for the warm hospitality received from FCTA officials, he invited the Minister to the NIPSS campus in Kuru for the presentation of the FCT Report by members of the Senior Executive Course 44. In his welcome remarks, FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola stated that the Administration would be happy to tap into the wealth of knowledge and experience of the participants to build an FCT all Nigerians would be proud of. According to him, FCT Administration was conscious

of the expectations of Nigerians and it was determined to fulfil its mandate by repositioning the Administration to meet demands of a fast paced and very dynamic society. Adesola disclosed that the Administration has therefore created the Economic Planning, Revenue Generation and PPP Secretariat to tap into and maximally utilize the many economic possibilities in the FCT. Also present at the event were Rear Admiral AA Adesope, the Directing Staff of the delegation, the FCT Commissioner of Police Sunday

Babaji, FCT Commandant of the NSCDC, Sector Commander of the FRSC Mr Oche Ogar Samuel, and Chief of Staff to the FCT Minister, Malam Bashir MaiBornu, Mandate Secretaries, heads of SDAs in the FCTA, religious and traditional leaders. In a related development, Chairman, Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Abdullahi Candido reiterated for local government administration be strengthened for effective service delivery to the people at the grassroots. Candido, who spoke while having an interactive session with the participants of the

NIPSS senior executive course 44 on a study tour of the council, noted that local governance remained very critical to inclusive development of the nation, hence the need to boost the system. According to the leader of the NIPSS delegation, the aim of the study tour was to have an interactive session with experts as well as stakeholders on the field. He add: “We need to have this understanding to be able to craft out perfect policies across the country that will contribute to strengthening governance at the interest of the people”.

AMAC Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu Candido, making a presentation to Prof. Sunday Ochoche, leader delegation and participants of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Senior Executive Course 44, during a study tour of AMAC, yesterday in Abuja.

FCT-IRS introduces electronic tax clearance cert to check forgery By Stanley Onyekwere


n a bid to checkmate activities of fraudsters, who could forge tax document in Abuja, the nation’s capital, the FCT Internal Revenue Service (FCT-IRS) has introduced Electronic Tax Clearance Certificate (E-TCC) The Acting Executive Chairman of the Service, Mr. Haruna Abdullahi disclosed this during his engagement with the members of the House Committee on Public Accounts at the National Assembly on Monday in Abuja. Abdullahi, in a statement signed by Head Corporate Communications, FCT-IRS, Mustapha Sumaila, explained that the E-TCC had fortified the process thereby making it difficult for anyone to forge such document because of the of the introduction of QR code. He said this effort would help the Service not to be short-changed as well as boost revenue for the FCT, and repositioned it gor improved service delivery.

He noted that Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC) is a document issued by the Tax Authority to certify that an individual or a business is compliant with the appropriate requirements as stated by law within a stipulated period of time usually for the three preceding years. He however, quoted the section 85 of the Personal Income Tax Act 2011 as amended, which states; “Whenever the relevant tax authority is of opinion that tax assessed on the income of a person for the three years immediately preceding the current year of assessment has been fully paid or that no tax is due on income or that the person is not liable to tax for any of those three years, it shall issue a tax clearance certificate to the person within two weeks of demand for the certificate by that person or give reasons for the denial”. According to him, while issuing a tax clearance certificate, due diligence must be carried out to ensure certain conditions were met by the taxpayers and satisfied by tax

authority. He stated that application for TCC must be made and duly endorsed by the taxpayer and annual income declaration form A and three years income declaration form must also duly completed and signed by the taxpayer. The FCT-IRS boss also noted that personal emoluments which comprise of wages or salaries, including allowances, benefits in kind, gratuities, superannuation or pension schemes and any other income derived solely by reason of employment are declared. Abdullahi added that income declared must be verified, satisfied and evidences of such income be sited while benefit in kind must also be verified based on section 4 of PITA 2011. Also, the chairman advised that taxpayers should always endeavour to declare their incomes accordingly with evidences that would be satisfactory to the mangers of the tax authority while due diligence would be carried out appropriately within

the stipulated time. “It is evident that the issuance of the TCC is at the discretion of the Service in its justification based on the items listed in section 31 of FCTIRS Act, 2015 and PITA, 2011 (as amended) may issue or not issue a tax clearance certificate” he concluded. In his remarks, the Chairman House Committee on Public Accounts, Mr Oluwole Oke urged general public or taxpayers to report any violation of the law concerning issuance of TCC to the management of FCT-IRS. Oke said FCT-IRS should consider legislative arm as collaborator who would work to ensuring smooth operation of the service. “We will support you in whatever way to generate more revenue in the FCT, try to have record of all the people resident in Abuja, the data is important, ask for bank statement to know the actual tax to collect. “We will support FCT-IRS and help the Service to bring more people to the tax net” he pledged.


world news



Buffalo shooting: ‘Bodies were everywhere’


itnesses to a racially-motivated attack at a New York state supermarket have been describing the horrific moment an 18-year-old white man pulled out a gun and began a shooting spree that left 10 people dead. The attacker, dressed in military gear, drove into the car park at Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo at about 2.30pm (19:30 BST) and began livestreaming his rampage via a camera on his helmet. “When I first saw him shooting he shot a woman, he shot a deacon, he shot another woman... and then he went in the store and he started shooting again,” eyewitness Grady Lewis told reporters. Katherine Crofton, a retired firefighter and doctor, told the local paper she had been playing with her dog and smoking a cigarette when she heard a shot from her front porch. “I didn’t see him at first, I turned around and I saw him shoot this woman,” she said. “She was just going into the store. And then he shot another woman. She was putting groceries into her car. I got down because I did not know if he was going to shoot me.” The suspected gunman has been identified in court documents as Payton Gendron, of Conklin, New York. Of the 13 people shot, police said 11 were black. The authorities say it was a racially motivated attack in what is a predominantly black neighbourhood. Inside the “packed” supermarket, operations manager Shonell Harris told Buffalo News she was putting out groceries when the shooting happened. “I heard a noise, and then it got louder and closer, and everybody started running”, she said. Hearing the gunshots, Ms Harris said she made for the back exit, and ran around to the front of the store to look for her daughter, who was also working inside the supermarket. At the front of the store, she said she saw the gunman, clothed “like he was dressed for the army”, shoot another person. She then ran back around to the back exit, where she found her daughter. “I just grabbed her, I hugged her,” she said. “It’s like a nightmare... you see this on TV, you hear about it on TV... but I never thought I would be one of them.” Three people were shot dead in the car park and the other seven were killed inside the supermarket, police said. As the shooter entered the store, a security guard named by local media as Aaron Salter - a retired police officer - fired multiple shots, but the gunman’s bulletproof vest stopped one that hit him, police said. He then killed the guard and

stalked through the store firing at other people. The local paper has named two others who died in the attack - supermarket customers Ruth Whitfield and Katherine Massey. A vigil was held for Ms Whitmore, 86, on Saturday night. A church deacon who worked as a driver was also killed, Buffalo News reports. Jennifer Tookes, who had been shopping in the store with her cousin when the shooting started, told NBC News that her cousin had hidden in the supermarket’s freezer until the gunfire stopped. Ms Tookes added that she saw three bodies lying outside the car park when she escaped outside: “One was right by the door. One man was by his car. Another girl was right there.” Ken Stephens, a member of a local antiviolence group who was at the scene, told the New York Times: “Bodies were everywhere.” Media caption, Watch: Mayor speaks of pain in wake of deadly shooting Witness Katherine Crofton said that after

the shootings inside the supermarket, the gunman came outside. “The guy walked out of the store, the cops were just screaming at him, and he just stood there,” she said. “It was like he wanted them to shoot him.” The attacker was arrested by police and has been charged with first-degree murder. Afterwards, local residents gathered at the scene. Among them was Marilyn Hanson, 60, who told The New York Times she had raced to the store after hearing the news to make sure her daughter, who lived nearby, was not hurt. Finding her safe, Ms Hanson - who shops at the store often - said: “My daughter was so scared because that could’ve been me in that store.” “If a black man did this, he’d be dead, too,” she added, referring to the fact that the suspect had surrendered and had been taken into custody by police. A member of the local government council, Ulysees Wingo Sr, said most of the shoppers at

the supermarket were black and that he knew some of the victims. “This is the largest mass shooting to date in the city of Buffalo,” he told reporters. “I don’t think anyone here in the city of Buffalo thought that something like this could ever happen, would ever happen.” Saturday’s attack in Buffalo is thought to be the worst mass shooting so far in the US in 2022, and will also further inflame the bitter political battle about gun control in the US. Some 40,000 deaths a year involve firearms in America, a figure that includes suicides. Meanwhile, hate crimes in the US hit a 12year high in 2020, with over 10,000 people reporting offences related to their race, gender, sexuality, religion or disability. Crimes against Asian and black Americans in particular surged that year, FBI figures suggest - although as police are not mandated to submit hate crime data to the FBI, those numbers are thought likely to be an undercount.

Ukraine war: Russia’s invasion not going to plan, Nato says


ato’s secretary general says Russia’s war in Ukraine is not going to plan and that its attempt to capture the eastern Donbas region has “stalled”. Jens Stoltenberg also said Ukraine could win the conflict. Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) estimates Russia has lost about a third of its ground combat force since the war began in February. The Russian invasion has been hampered by stiff Ukrainian resistance and logistical issues. Its initial goal appeared to be to sweep across the country and topple the Ukrainian government. Instead, Russia has withdrawn from areas around the capital Kyiv after failing

to capture it and since mid-April has been focusing its efforts on two eastern provinces. In Ukraine’s second city of Kharkiv, officials say Russian forces have withdrawn from to the border and that residents were returning. “Russia’s war in Ukraine is not going as Moscow had planned,” said Mr Stoltenberg. “They failed to take Kyiv, they are pulling back from around Kharkiv, their major offensive in Donbas has stalled. Russia is not achieving its strategic objectives.” Mr Stoltenberg was speaking at a meeting of Nato foreign ministers. On top of the military setbacks, another consequence of the invasion is that Russia will likely face an expanded Nato with Sweden and

Finland set to join. . Russia’s President Vladimir Putin sees Nato as a security threat to Russia and invaded Ukraine in part to stop it joining Nato. In its assessment, the MoD’s estimate of Russia’s losses cover men killed or wounded and equipment destroyed or captured. The MoD said Russia’s Donbas offensive had “lost momentum and fallen significantly behind schedule”. It said Russia was constrained by “continued low morale and reduced combat effectiveness”. The British Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, said Ukraine’s allies must keep up its military support to help it “push Russia out”. On the ground. Ukrainian forces are

counterattacking in the city of Izyum, regional governor Oleh Sinegubov said, something that could complicate Russian plans to capture the Donbas. However Ukraine’s military also acknowledged setbacks in its latest updates, saying Russia was advancing in several areas in the region. There has been no let up for the remaining Ukrainian forces in Mariupol, with Russia continuing its bombardment of the steelworks where they are holed up. Video purportedly from inside showed men checking their phones and playing chess. And in western Ukraine, the governor of the Lviv region said missiles had targeted military infrastructure. Source: BBC



e w s


Mali pulls out of military G5 Sahel group


he Mali military junta says it is withdrawing from the G5 Sahel nations fighting jihadist groups in the Sahel and West African region. It cited lack of progress. The G5 Sahel, which also includes Chad, Burkina Faso, Niger and Mauritania was set up in 2017 to fight armed groups that have killed thousands of civilians and soldiers in various attacks since 2012 in the region. This could mean further isolation of Mali, which is under sweeping sanctions imposed by ECOWAS, the regional bloc. But the Banako junta is also ramping up defence cooperation with Russia and Rwanda following growing anti-French sentiments and the severance of a 2014 defence pact with Paris after France announced pulling out its forces from Mali.

Dennis Ombachi: Kenyan Olympic sevens player coping with bipolar disorder


or Dennis Ombachi, confiding in his coach helped him take his first steps towards getting treatment for his mental health issues. The Kenya rugby sevens international, who played at the 2016 Olympics, is taking a break from top-level sport after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which can cause extreme mood swings. During Mental Health Awareness Week, Ombachi is keen to let others in a similar situation know that they are not alone. “Lots of us go through this, and not many of us are willing to seek help,” the 31-year-old told BBC Sport Africa. “So for me, it’s just to tell them it’s treatable. It’s something you can live with and it doesn’t change your quality of life whatsoever.” As well as being part of the sport’s debut at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Ombachi also played for Kenya at the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens and the Commonwealth Games in 2014. Sevens is a fast-paced and energetic sport but, throughout his career, Ombachi’s mood would suddenly dip and he would find himself losing interest in training, craving solitude or crying in the shower after matches. Eventually he told his national team coach Innocent Simiyu about his struggles before the World Cup Sevens in 2018. “I had been going through the issues since my latter days in high school and my early sporting career,” Ombachi said. “When I was selected to go play, I think it was against Australia and Singapore, I didn’t show up for my flight. “That’s when the coach pulled me aside. I told him what I’ve been going through over a couple of years, what I’m feeling and I’m really thankful the coach really understood. “He told me to go back home seek some help. I just picked the closest friend because I hadn’t even talked to my family or any close person around me about it.”

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f r i c a

Somalia’s presidential election: Where just 329 people vote


y the end of Sunday, Somalis should know who their next president is, but this longdelayed vote only involves the country’s 329 MPs and takes place in a heavily fortified area. The unusual circumstances highlight Somalia’s security issues, as well as the lack of democratic accountability. The capital, Mogadishu, is in total lockdown until Monday morning. The MPs have started to cast their ballots in what is expected to be a closely fought contest. The winner among the record 35 candidates will also have to deal with the impact of the ongoing drought. But the big task is to wrest control of much of Somalia from al-Shabab. The al-Qaeda-linked Islamist militant group continues to dominate large parts of the country and carries out frequent attacks in Mogadishu, and elsewhere. The federal government is backed in its fight against al-Shabab by the African Union, in the shape of some 18,000 troops, and the United Nations. Somalia has not had a one-person-one-vote democratic election since 1969. That vote was followed by a coup, dictatorship and conflict involving clan militias and Islamist extremists. The instability is one of the reasons why Somalia has been unable to hold direct elections. This is only the third time that the indirect election for president has been able to take place in Somalia itself. Previous ones were held in neighbouring Kenya and Djibouti. Who is running for president? Four candidates dropped out at the last minute, leaving 35 still in the race. They include current President, Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo”, two former presidents, Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, and a former prime minister, Hassan Ali Kheyre. These four, along with the President of Somalia’s Puntland region, Sa’id Abdullahi Deni, are considered to be the frontrunners. Their manifestos focused on political

Voting is taking place in an airport hangar Past elections were marred by allegations of stability, improving security and economic vote buying with candidates reportedly offering reforms. Fawzia Yusuf Adam, a former foreign money in exchange for support. What has al-Shabab said? minister, is the only woman among those who In previous elections, al-Shabab threatened want the top job. and even kidnapped clan elders after How will the vote take place? This vote was supposed to have happened condemning them for participating in what it last year when Mr Farmajo’s four-year term saw as an un-Islamic poll. This time around, its response to the ended. But political differences and instability delayed the poll and the president remained in elections has been more muted, with fears that its members or sympathisers may have power. The MPs who are choosing the next president secretly sought parliamentary seats in a bid to were themselves elected by delegates nominated undermine the system from within. The fear was publicly expressed by by the country’s powerful clans. They are gathered in a large airport hangar in neighbouring Djibouti’s President Omar Guelleh the well-guarded Halane Camp. This is the main in 2020, when he was quoted as saying: “I fear military base of the AU’s mission in Somalia we will end up with a parliament indirectly (Atmis), as well as the home of diplomatic controlled by al-Shabab because they’ll have bought the support of some of the MPs.” missions and aid agencies. Some analysts felt Mr Guelleh was Voting is by secret ballot. Both houses of parliament vote in a first exaggerating the possibility of al-Shabab gaining round, with the top four candidates progressing a foothold in parliament, but there is no doubt that it is a major political force in Somalia. to a second round. What are the challenges facing the next Whoever wins that second round will govern president? the country for the next four years.

Kenya elections 2022: William Ruto picks Rigathi Gachagua as running mate


enya’s Deputy President William Ruto, one of the frontrunners in this year’s presidential election, has picked businessman Rigathi Gachagua as his running mate. Mr Gachagua is facing trial on charges of corruption and money-laundering worth $65m (£53m), which he denies. He is from Kenya’s largest community, the Kikuyu, whose support is vital in Kenya’s ethnically charged elections. For the first time since independence, neither of the favourites is Kikuyu. Mr Ruto’s main rival, opposition leader Raila Odinga, was also due to announce his running mate on Sunday but has delayed it until Monday - the deadline set by the electoral commission. The race between the two is expected to be close, with President Uhuru Kenyatta backing his former rival Mr Odinga rather than his own deputy. Speaking after the announcement, Mr Gachagua said he would work with Mr Ruto to address the country’s ailing economy. Mr Ruto is the presidential candidate of the Kenya Kwanza (Kenya First) coalition, which comprises more than 10 political parties. Mr Gachagua has previously worked as a district officer and once served as the personal assistant of President Kenyatta during his stint as minister in charge of local government. Since 2017, he’s served as the member

Rigathi Gachagua (L) said he would work with William Ruto (R) to address the country’s ailing economy of parliament for Mathira constituency in Central Kenya, which has produced three of Kenya’s four presidents - Jomo Kenyatta, Mwai Kibaki and Uhuru Kenyatta. On Saturday, residents of Mr Gachagua’s hometown protested at delays in naming Mr Ruto’s running mate. With no prominent Kikuyu politician running for president in the coming elections for the first time in history, the choice of a running mate is seen as crucial, and has been dominating headlines and social media.

Both Mr Ruto and Mr Odinga have set their eyes on the Central region which is expected to have a big say in who becomes Kenya’s next president. Politicians from the area have insisted that whoever gets into State House must guarantee the interests of the community. Ethnic Kikuyus, and people from the wider Central region, have massive influence on both the economy and politics. Candidates know that their support on 9 August will be crucial. Source: BBC



N e w s F r o m A SI A Shireen Abu Aqla: UN condemns killing of Al Jazeera reporter


he UN Security Council has condemned the killing of veteran Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Aqla and called for an immediate probe into her death. The move followed outcry on Friday after Israeli police hit mourners at Abu Aqla’s funeral. Police said they acted after being pelted with stones. Abu Aqla, 51, was shot dead while covering an Israeli military raid in Jenin in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday. Her death has caused a surge of anger. In a statement released on Friday, the Security Council said its members called for “an immediate, thorough, transparent, and fair and impartial investigation into the killing, and stressed the need to ensure accountability.”

Though the statement showed a rare case of Security Council unity on an issue related to Israel, reports quoting diplomatic sources said there were difficult negotiations over the text’s contents. China succeeded in pushing the US to get rid of paragraphs denouncing abuses committed against the media globally, defending their freedom and urging their protection while covering military operations, news agency AFP reported. Instead the text said that “journalists should be protected as civilians.” During Abu Aqla’s funeral on Friday, her coffin almost fell as police, some using batons, waded into a crowd of Palestinians gathered around it. Footage showed a standoff between police and Palestinians gathered around

the coffin in a hospital compound, before officers pushed the crowd back, with some beating and kicking mourners. Israeli police said on Saturday that an investigation into the incident was being launched. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said he was “deeply disturbed” by the confrontations between Israeli security forces and Palestinians and the behaviour of some police. Mr Guterres also said he was “moved by the outpouring of sympathy from the thousands of Palestinian mourners over the past two days,” which he said was a “testament” to Abu Aqla’s work and life. Abu Aqla, a 51-year-old Palestinian American, was a veteran correspondent for Al Jazeera’s Arabic news channel and had reported on the Israel-Palestinian conflict

for two decades. A preliminary report by the Palestinian public prosecution service said the sole source of gunfire that killed the journalist on Wednesday was from Israeli forces, which were conducting a raid in the city of Jenin. Palestinian authorities have already described her death as an assassination by Israel, which for its part has said that it remains unclear whether she died from Israeli or Palestinian fire. An Israeli military interim report on Thursday said the fatal shot could have come from “massive fire from Palestinian gunmen”, or possibly from “a few bullets” fired by a soldier “at a terrorist who was firing at his vehicle”.

Delhi office fire: Dozens killed as fire sweeps through building


t least 27 people have been killed and others are missing after a fire swept through a four-storey office building in Delhi. More than 70 people were inside when the fire started and witnesses said some jumped out of windows to escape. Women made up the majority of the office’s workers. The BBC found distraught family members waiting outside a local hospital for news. A short circuit is thought to have started the fire. Two brothers who owned a CCTV manufacturing company which was housed in the building have been arrested in connection with the incident, according to authorities. Police are also seeking to talk to the owner of the building. One of the women missing is 19-yearold Pooja, who is her family’s main bread winner. At the Sanjay Ghandi Memorial Hospital in western Delhi, her 14-year-old sister Moni told the BBC her and her mother had run to the hospital as soon as they had heard about the fire. “She had gone to office at nine in the morning. She worked as data entry operator. She didn’t have her phone, so, she couldn’t give us a call.” Her mother stood completely silent next to her younger daughter, unable to speak. Moni asked how her family would survive without her sister if she was not found alive. There were more than 100 others like Pooja in the office on Friday. Ismail ran to the burning building after

to her. Many of the office workers were attending a conference on the second floor when the fire broke out. It is reportedly where most of the bodies were found. “When the building caught fire, there was no door to escape,” she said. “How could my daughter save herself?” Two engineers who were in the office said the building’s only exit was blocked by rubbish and they had had to jump from the first floor to escape the raging fire.

Among those missing is Pooja, 19 his 21-year-old sister, Muskan, phoned him from inside. “I saw her trapped in the building as I reached there. I told her to escape by the rear door,” he said. But he has not heard from her since. Ismail and his relatives have gone looking for her in every hospital. He even went into the burnt-out building after the fire was extinguished, injuring his hand on broken glass, in the hope of finding her.

“We are tired now searching for her but getting no clues. We wish that we could have saved her,” Ismail said. ‘There was no door to escape’ Sunita, another woman waiting at the hospital, said her 20-year-old daughter Sonam was missing. Bursting into tears, she said that she had searched everywhere for her daughter - who worked on the second floor - but had been also unable to find out what had happened

They said the exit had immediately filled up with smoke and leaping flames, and their only option had been to break the glass of the first-floor windows and jump to the ground. Offering his condolences, Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised 200,000 rupees (£2,118; $2,580) to next-of-kin in compensation for each death. Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that DNA tests would be used to identify the bodies, which had been “charred beyond recognition”, the Hindustan Times reported. Seven bodies have so far been identified, said police. A local official, Jogi Ram Jain, said preliminary reports suggested a short circuit had caused the fire and that the building did not have proper fire safety certification. Fires are common in India, with building safety laws often ignored by builders and residents. In 2019, a large fire swept through a bag factory in the capital, killing 43 workers.

lam Ara: Search for the lost film that gave birth to Bollywood


lam Ara was described as a ‘swashbuckling tale of warring queens, palace intrigue, jealously and romance’ Earlier this month, a group of archivists in the western Indian city of Mumbai recovered what now appears to be the only surviving link with the first Indian talking film. Led by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, an award-winning filmmaker, archivist and restorer, they stumbled upon a vintage machine which had been used to make prints of Alam Ara (Ornament of the World), the 1931 film that has disappeared. The Chicago-made Bell & Howell film printing machine was lying idle in a rented shop selling saris. Originally owned by the film’s producer and director Ardeshir Irani, the machine was later purchased by Nalin Sampat, who also owned a film studio and a

processing laboratory in Mumbai. “This is the only surviving artefact of Alam Ara. Nothing really survives of the film except this,” says Dungarpur. The Sampats had paid 2,500 rupees in 1962 to buy the machine. Their lab continued to print films, mainly produced by the stateowned Films Division, on it until 2000. “It was just another printing machine but held a lot of emotional value. We stopped using it after cinema went digital,” Sampat says. For the past decade, Dungarpur - he runs the Film Heritage Foundation, a Mumbaibased non-profit film archive - has been trying to find a copy of Alam Ara without success. He even gave out a call on social media. One tip led to enquiries with a film archive in Algeria, which reported it had a number of old Indian films. But the archive asked him to come and

check, which Dungarpur has not been able to. Another tantalising clue is the film archives in Iran. Around the time Irani was shooting Alam Ara in Mumbai, his studio was also making Lor Girl, the first talking film in Persian language. “Irani used the same background actors wearing the same costumes for both Alam Ara and Lor Girl. Alam Ara has disappeared. Lor Girl is available in the archives in Iran,” says Dungarpur. India’s most-well known film scholar and archivist PK Nair once said he refused to believe that Alam Ara is “permanently lost”. Nair, who died in 2016, himself went hunting for the film and met surviving members of the Irani family. One member of the family told him that “a couple of reels must be lying around somewhere”. Another said he “had disposed

off three reels after extracting silver from it”. Alam Ara was shot on nitrate film, which has higher silver content than other film bases. It is possible, says Dungarpur, that the films had been destroyed after stripping them for silver to earn money when the family fell upon bad times. “Such was the case with countless other films too”. India has a shoddy record in preserving films. Most of the 1,138 silent films made between 1912 and 1931 do not exist anymore. The state-run film institute in Pune has managed to archive 29 of these films. Prints and negatives have been found dumped in shops, homes, basements, warehouses and even in a cinema hall in Thailand. Filmmaker Mrinal Sen found prints of an old Bengali talkie lying around in an old house where he was shooting a film in 1980. BBC






Ukraine: The children’s camp that became an execution ground


ince Russian forces were pushed back from Kyiv at the end of March, the bodies of more than 1,000 civilians have been discovered in the Bucha region - many hastily buried in shallow graves. The BBC has learned that around 650 people were shot in what a senior police official has described as executions. Sarah Rainsford has been investigating what happened at a children’s summer camp - now being treated as a crime scene. *This report contains material some readers will find disturbing* It is easy to miss the killing spot at first in the gloom. But in a cold, damp basement on the edge of the woods that made Bucha a popular get-away spot before the war, five Ukrainian men were forced to their knees and shot in the head. To the right of the entrance, there are stones coated in blood that has turned dark red. Lying among that is a blue woollen hat with an exit hole in one side and its rim soaked in blood. In the wall, I counted at least a dozen bullet holes. A couple of steps away are the remains of a Russian military ration pack - an open can of rice porridge with beef and an empty packet of crackers. A name daubed in graffiti on a wall is a reminder that the scene is a children’s camp. But when Russian troops moved into Bucha, just outside the capital, in early March, Camp Radiant became an execution ground. The story of the summer camp killings is chilling but so is this detail: more than 1,000 civilians were killed in the Bucha region during a month under Russian occupation, but most did not die from shrapnel or shelling. More than 650 were shot dead by Russian soldiers, according to a senior police official. Now Ukraine is searching for their killers. Volodymyr Boichenko lived in Hostomel, just up the road from Bucha and near the airfield where the first Russian forces landed to try to overthrow Ukraine’s government. When his sister Aliona Mykytiuk decided to flee before the fighting reached her, she pleaded with Volodymyr to join her. He was a civilian, not a soldier, but he wanted to stay and help. So he spent the days searching Hostomel for food and water to bring to neighbours, including children, who were trapped in their cellars by the constant shelling and Russian airstrikes. A chatty 34-year-old, who had travelled the world in the merchant navy, Volodymyr phoned his family from Hostomel most days to reassure them he was safe. Aliona would wait nervously for his brief calls: she knew he had to move to higher ground to get a connection and if the shelling was heavy it was impossible to leave the bomb shelter. As supplies ran low, she urged her brother to try to escape but by then the roads were blocked. The last time Aliona heard from him was on 8 March. Volodymyr wasn’t the demonstrative type, but that day he told his sister not to worry about him. “He said ‘I really love you,’ and that was so painful to hear,” Aliona sobs, rubbing her eyes hard but unable to stop the tears. “There was fear in his voice.” Four days later, Volodymyr was spotted by neighbours close to Promenystyi, as it’s known here, or Camp Radiant. Then he disappeared. In March, the fighting around Kyiv was intense and the small town of Bucha was at the epicentre. The withdrawal of Russian troops in early April revealed scenes that shocked the world: the bodies of residents slumped in the streets where they’d been shot. Moscow tells anyone who will listen that the killings were staged, an idea that is as twisted as it is patently false. Determined to hold those responsible to account, Ukrainian investigators are busy collecting the hard evidence on territory now back under their control. “We don’t know what Putin’s plans are, so we are working as quickly as possible in case he drops a bomb and destroys all the proof,” says Kyiv regional police chief, Andrii Niebytov.

Nelson’s Dockyard is today a bustling yachting hub and tourist attraction That evidence includes a field full of civilian cars pierced with multiple bullet holes, now piled up on the edge of Bucha. They are vehicles that were shot at when families tried to flee. One still has a length of white cloth at the window, hung to show the soldiers that its occupants were no threat. Step too close, and you catch the sickly smell of death. When the bodies beneath Camp Radiant were discovered on 4 April, Volodymyr Boichenko was among them. Aliona had spent weeks frantically calling hospitals and morgues. That day she was sent a photograph to identify. She knew it was her brother before it had even downloaded. “I hate them with every cell of my being,” Aliona cries, about Volodymyr’s killers. “I know that’s wrong to say about people, but they are not human. There was not one patch on those men’s bodies that was not beaten.” The five men had been found crouching on their knees, heads down and hands bound behind their backs. “We know they had been tortured,” the police chief told the BBC. “The Russian army has crossed the line of how war is conducted. They were not fighting the military in Ukraine, they were kidnapping and torturing the civilian population.” Neither the Prosecutor’s Office nor the SBU security service will disclose details of ongoing investigations, but some Russian military were so careless at covering their tracks that there are likely to be considerable clues to work with. Ukrainian territorial defence units have even discovered lists of soldiers at some abandoned positions. One appears to be part of a rota for litter duty, another includes passport details and mobile phone numbers. With such a vast volume of work - more than 11,000 potential war crimes cases registered so far - Ukraine’s security services have called on more digitally savvy civilians for help. “I feel some call of duty,” said Dmytro Replianchuk, a journalist at slidstvo.info who worked to expose corruption within Ukraine’s law enforcement bodies before the war. Now he’s joined forces with prosecutors, scouring the internet for extra data to help catch suspected war criminals. “I understand it will be so hard and a lot of cases won’t be solved. But in these weeks, it’s important to find as much information as possible,” Dmytro explained.

Volodymyr Boichenko had travelled the world

A white flag did not prevent this car from being attacked We found one potential clue among the litter at Camp Radiant - the wrapping from a parcel sent by a woman named Ksyukha to a Russian soldier whose own name and military unit are clearly marked. Unit 6720 is based in Rubtsovsk, in the Altai region of Siberia. It has been linked to Bucha before when soldiers from the town were caught on CCTV sending giant packages to relatives full of goods that they had looted from Ukrainian homes. We can’t be sure yet whether soldiers from Rubtsovsk were based at

the children’s camp, or were there when the men were killed. The police first need to establish a more precise time of death. “We are working on it, but it’s not a quick thing,” Mr Niebytov explains. “But that camp was a headquarters so there would have been a commander. The soldiers could not have executed anyone without the commander’s knowledge. So we will first find the organisers and then look for the implementers.” Source: BBC









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TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2022

New Super Eagles coach, Jose Peseiro to earn $70,000 monthly Stories By Amaechi Agbo


espite having a poor Curriculum Vitae with no knowledge of African football, new Super Eagles Coach, Jose Peseiro will earn seventy thousand dollars ($70, 000.00) as monthly salary for initial 12-month contract. Although details of the contract agreement between the Nigeria Football Federation l, NFF and the newly announced Head Coach of the Super Eagles are not open in the public, it has been gathered that the 62-year old will sign an initial one year contract with the NFF subject to renewal if his performances merit extension The NFF issued a press statement on Sunday announcing it had settled for the 62-year-old, the federation was silent on the details of the contract agreement with the Portuguese manager. It was gathered the new Super Eagles Head Coach will receive $70,000 monthly (over N29m) from which he would pay his two incoming personal assistants. It was further learnt that the NFF is signing just a year’s deal with Peseiro with an option for another year depending on how things turn out in the initial 12 months. Among other clauses in his contract, Peseiro is expected to watch 60 per cent of domestic league games as he has been mandated to discover homegrown talents for the national team. Peseiro Emerged Cheapest Option While a handful of other coaches were also shortlisted for the Super Eagles job, Peseiro in the end turned out to be the cheapest option. Sources familiar with the NFF’s recruitment process said other coaches that could have been hired for the national team were either not affordable or not

available for the job. “A number of other coaches were also contacted but it is either the salary they were asking for was too high or they were not even favourably disposed to a national team job at the moment,” a source at the NFF told PREMIUM TIMES “Peseiro turned out to be the cheapest option for the NFF and that was why they settled for him.” This is the second time the NFF is announcing Peseiro as the coach for Nigeria having hurriedly done the same on the eve of the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Cameroon. Then, it was announced that the Portuguese will be an observer while Austin Eguavoen will be solely in charge of the Eagles at the continental tournament. The ‘appointment’ of Peseiro by the NFF was, then, contained in a communique issued after the NFF’s executive council meeting held on December 29, 2021. Peseiro’s Poor CV José Vitor dos Santos Peseiro, 62, is a Portuguese who played as a striker in his days and has wide and varied experience coaching clubs and national teams across four different continents: Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. An educationist with a degree in physical education/sports sciences, Peseiro has top-level coaching qualifications/training and has coached at Sporting Lisbon, FC Porto, Panathinaikos, and Rapid Bucharest. He also had stints at Sporting Braga, Victoria Guimaraes, Al-Hilal, Al-Wahda, Al-Ahly Cairo, Sharjah FC, and Real Madrid, as well as serving as Head Coach of the Saudi Arabia and Venezuela national teams. Though well-travelled and with vast experience, Peseiro appears to have more sack letters than trophies but it would be out of place to outrightly conclude he will

Jose Peseiro

not succeed with the three-time African champions, Nigeria, From Panathinaikos to FC Porto to Braga and even Saudi Arabia, there has hardly ever been any happy ending wherever he has found himself. That said, the Portuguese tactician has some notable moments winning silverware, with the last being the league

title with Al-Ahly. He is saddled with rebuilding the Nigeria team to a formidable one and his first outing will be leading the Super Eagles for the upcoming tour of the United States of America. There, the three-time African champions will slug it out with Mexico and Ecuador in friendlies.

Super Falcons Striker, Oshoala wins Golden Boot with Barcelona Femeni


espite missing a number of topflight matches owing to injury, the 27-year-old has wrapped up the gong after scoring 20 goals Nigeria striker Asisat Oshoala has emerged as the top scorer in the women’s Spanish Primera Division with Barcelona Femeni. The 27-year-old Super Falcons forward achieved the feat after scoring 20 goals in 19 league appearances and will share the award with Brazilian Geyse Ferreira, who managed 20 goals in 27 appearances for Madrid CFF.

The award was confirmed on Sunday after Barcelona finished the season with a 2-1 victory against Atletico Madrid at Estadi Johan Cruyff. In the game that saw both teams reduced to ten players, Oshoala was introduced in the 63rd minute for Jenifer Hermoso but she could not add to her tally of goals. Barcelona scored through Irene Paredes in the 11th minute before Aitana Bonmati made it 2-0 in the 23rd minute. Amanda Sampedro pulled a goal back for Atletico in the 64th minute but this was after their player Merel van Dongen has been sent off

for a second bookable offence. Barcelona were also not spared as goal scorer Bonmati was red-carded in stoppage time. It was versus Sporting de Huelva that Oshoala scored for the first time in the league this season in a 6-0 victory on October 18. She also had one assist to her name during the campaign. Oshoala switched to Barcelona in July 2019 from Arsenal, for whom she made 13 league appearances in total, scoring two goals. In topping the goal scorer’s chart,

Oshoala, who stayed out of action for eight weeks this campaign owing to injury, became the first Nigerian to achieve the feat. Her goals also helped Barcelona to win the league title unbeaten with 30 wins in 30 games. The team scored 159 goals and conceded only 11. Barcelona and Oshoala will now shift their focus to the Uefa Women’s Champions League final where they are scheduled to take on Lyon at Juventus Stadium on May 21. They will then take on Real Madrid in the semi-final of the Copa de la Reina at Santo Domingo four days later.

AFCON 2023: Mauritius Repkace Sao Tomé and Príncipe, to Face Nigeria in June PG30 >>>PG30


S P Stories By Amaechi Agbo


igeria’s male U-20 national team the Flying Eagles will Tuesday battle the Baby Elephants of Cote D’Ivoire in the semi-final of the 2022 West Africa Football Union, WAFU Zone B U-20 Championship in Niamey, Niger Republic The winner of the match will qualify for the 2023 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations which holds in Egypt from 18 February to 12 March next year Group B winners Nigeria will confront the second – placed team in Group A, Cote d’Ivoire in the second semifinal of the ongoing WAFU B U-20 Championship. Ladan Bosso’s wards will file out against the Ivorians at the Stade General Seyni Kountché at 8pm, after the first semi final between Benin Republic and Burkina Faso at the same venue. Ibrahim Muhammad and




Flying Eagles battle Baby Elephants in 2023 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations qualifier

Ahmed Abdullahi scored the goals that consigned African champions Ghana to a 2-0 defeat last Sunday, before the Flying Eagles drew 2-2 with Burkina Faso on Wednesday. The latter’s 2-1 defeat of Ghana earned them a place in the last four. Despite scorer Ahmed Abdullahi’s injury that has knocked him out of the tournament, Coach Ladan Bosso is confident that his boys will rise to the occasion against the Ivorians and pick a ticket to Egypt. The Flying Eagles defeated defending champions Ghana 2-0 in their opening Group B match and played 2-2 with Burkina Faso to qualify for the semi-final

Flying Eagles team

AFCON 2023: CAF CC Final: Olisa Ndah returns home with Orlando Pirates Mauritius Repkace Sao S Tomé and Príncipe, to Face Nigeria in June


he Director of Competitions of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Mr Samson Adamu has confirmed to newsmen that Mauritius won a case it filed against Sao Tomé and Príncipe concerning their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations preliminary qualifying fixture, and will therefore join the combatants in Group A of the qualification series starting next month. Victory for Mauritius at the CAF Disciplinary Committee means they now join Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau in Group A of the six-match phase that ends in March next year. Nigeria will play Sierra Leone in Abuja on Thursday 9th June and then play Mauritius on Monday 13th June. Mauritius had filed a protest against São Tomé and Príncipe, who won their preliminary qualifying fixture, insisting that one São Tomé player had tested positive for covid-19. “The matter became somewhat more interesting because the player at the centre of the controversy is the one that scored the only goal of the match,” said our source at the time.

uper Eagles defender Olisa Ndah will be on parade when Orlando Pirates of South Africa take on RS Berkane of Morocco in the final of this year’s CAF Confederation Cup at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo on Friday. Ndah played for the Super Eagles’ squad at the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon earlier in the year and is on the books of the popular South African club, nicknamed Bucaneers. Pirates won the old-style Africa Champion Clubs’ Cup in 1995. Ndah, who also played for the Nigeria U23 squad at the U23 AFCON in Egypt in 2019, won the Nigeria league title with Uyo darlings, Akwa United FC before moving to the Rainbow Nation. To reach the final of Africa’s second most important club competition, Pirates defeated Al Ahli FC of Libya 2-0 in Johannesburg in the first leg of their semi final, before losing by a lone goal in Libya on Sunday. Berkane were 1-0 losers to TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo but turned things around by winning the return leg 4-1 in Morocco, also on Sunday. The Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo – venue of several FIFA World Cup and AFCON qualifiers

Olisah Ndah

involving the Super Eagles, as well as continental matches involving Akwa United FC – will on Friday play host to the first continental Cup Final in

Nigeria in 18 years. The last time an Africa Clubs’ Cup Final was held in Nigeria was on 12th December 2004, when Enyimba FC

defeated Etoile Sportive du Sahel of Tunisia on penalties at the National Stadium, Abuja to claim a second successive title.







Waldrum calls Ebi, Oshoala, Ordega, 29 others to H

ead Coach Randy Waldrum has invited 32 players to the camp of the Super Falcons as the Cup holders get set for a two-week training camp in Morocco ahead of the 12th Women Africa Cup of Nations holding in that country, 2nd – 23rd July. Goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie, defender and captain Onome Ebi, midfielders Rasheedat Ajibade and Toni Payne, and forwards Francisca Ordega, Desire Oparanozie and Asisat Oshoala are among those called to the two-week intensive training programme. Thenff.com learnt that the training camp will start on 18th June in the North African kingdom, with all players already advised to arrive in Rabat on 17th June. Nine –time champions Nigeria will play in Group C of the 12-team tournament alongside South Africa’s Banyana Banyana, Botswana and Burundi. Nigeria’s first match of the competition, at which Africa’s four flagbearers to next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand will emerge, is against the Banyana at the Complexe Sportif Prince Abdellah in Rabat on 4th July. Super Falcons For Training Camp In Morocco Goalkeepers: Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC, France); Tochukwu Oluehi (Maccabi Kishronot Hadera, Israel); Rita Akarekor (Nasarawa Amazons); Yewande Balogun

Super Falcons players celebrating after scoring against Ivory Coast in Abuja in March

(Coppermine United, USA) Defenders: Opeyemi Sunday (Edo Queens); Glory Ogbonna (Santa Teresa FC, Spain); Onome Ebi (En Avant Guingamp, France); Osinachi Ohale (Deportivo Alaves, Spain); Ugochi Emenayo (Konak Belediyespor Izmir, Turkey); Ashleigh Plumptre (Leicester City, England); Nicole Payne (West Virginia

University, USA); Michelle Alozie (Houston Dash, USA); Akudo Ogbonna (Edo Queens) Midfielders: Peace Efih (Kiryat Gat, Israel); Amanda Uju Mbadi (Atasehir Belediyespor, Turkey); Halimatu Ayinde (Eskilstuna FC, Sweden); Charity Adule (Deportivo La Coruna, Spain); Toni Oyedupe Payne

(Sevilla FC, Spain); Regina Otu (Minsk FC, Belarus); Christy Ucheibe (SL Benfica, Portugal); Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico Madrid, Spain); Rita Chikwelu (Madrid CFF, Spain); Suliat Abideen (Edo Queens) Forwards: Anam Imo (Pitea IF, Sweden); Francisca Ordega (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Desire Oparanozie

(Wuhan Chegu Jianghan, China); Vivian Ikechukwu (WFC Gintra, Lithuania); Chinonyerem Macleans (GSK Gornik Leczna, Poland); Chinwendu Ihezuo (Meizhou Hakka Club, China); Ifeoma Onumonu (NY/NJ Gotham FC, USA); Uchenna Kanu (Tigres Femenil, Mexico); Asisat Oshoala (FC Barcelona, Spain)

FIFA U-17 World Cup: Flamingos off to Addis Ababa on Wednesday


ead Coach Bankole Olowookere has picked 22 players for Friday’s FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup qualification final round, first leg match between Nigeria and Ethiopia in Addis Ababa. The

delegation will travel to Addis Ababa on Wednesday. After home-and-away victories over the Democratic Republic of Congo and Egypt, the Flamingos have a final hurdle to negotiate against a

team that sensationally sent South Africa’s Bantwana packing with a 3-0 win in Johannesburg. Olowookere’s girls are also to be dreaded, having scored 14 goals and conceded none in

their four qualifying matches so far. They defeated DR Congo 8-0 on aggregate and handed Egypt a 6-0 aggregate spanking in the third round. Friday’s match will hold at the Abebe Bekila Stadium in

Addis Ababa starting from 4pm Ethiopia time (2pm Nigeria time) and will be superintended by Namibian officials. The return leg is already scheduled for the National Stadium, Abuja on Saturday, 4th June.

Bayelsa Queens beat Rivers Angels in NWFL Premiership Super 6 opener


uper Falcons striker, Monday Gift scored a late as Bayelsa Queens got all three points against perennial rivals and defending Champions Rivers Angels in the opening match of the 2022 NWFL Premiership Super 6. Rivers Angels had the better

possession in the early stages of the first half, but failed to take their chances and were however punished in the 33rd minute through influential midfielder Bokiri Joy. The Bayelsa Queens Legend netted, after a group of Rivers

Angels defenders allowed a loose ball to go past them inside their penalty area. Rivers Angels left full back Rafiat Imran leveled in the 76th minute through a well placed freekick, from about 40 yards. The defending Champions

continued to threaten upfront with Maryann Ezeanagu, Chiamaka Okwuchuku and Brume Ikhekua, but couldn’t go past Bayelsa Queens Cameroonian goalkeeper Ange Gabrielle. At the tick of time, Loanee, Gift Monday took advantage of

a counter attack to beat Rivers Angels Ghanaian Goalkeeper Adjei Charlotte to give her team a hard fought victory. Rivers Angels will face Delta Queens tomorrow by 4pm tomorrow at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin.

. . . putting the people first

TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2022


SPORTS An investment summit with a difference LATEST

Pogba set to rejoin Juventus on a three year deal


erie A giants Juventus will be resigning Paul Pogba from Manchester United in the summer. The French midfielder has his contract at Old Trafford ending next month and hence will be moving to the Italian capital as a free transfer having failed to agree to a new deal said to have been offered by the Premier League giants. According to Foot Mercato, Juventus will be moving to Turin as the management at Paris Saint-Germain, who were also interested in the player, are split over his potential arrival. Should he sign, Pogba will be in his second stint at Juventus having been with the club between 2012 and 2016. Despite being offered a threeyear deal, the player wants to be handed another year. According to the reports, PSG sporting director Leonardo is also pushing to sign the Frenchman, but club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi is not as convinced about his arrival as they are currently focussing on retaining Kylian Mbappe.

NLO embarks on twoweek break, transfer window opens


he Nationwide League One Secretariat hereby wishes to inform all the Nationwide League One Clubs that the league will commence two weeks break from Monday 16th to 31st May 2022,” organisers announced on Monday The NLO Secretariat expects the clubs to use this break to fortify their teams by registering additional players to boost their teams. The NLO will also use the window to play the NLO22 Division Two League scheduled to commence from Sunday 22nd to Saturday 28th May Taye Taiwo and Oduamadi 2022.



t was bound to happen sooner than later. The only surprise perhaps is that it is coming some three years into the administration’s tenure which is one year to end of its first tenure. We all are aware that in Nigeria, the last year of any government’s tenure is subsumed in politicking with much energy and attention devoted/diverted towards election campaigns and the litigations therefrom. So, one had expected this summit to happen latest by the second year of the governor’s assumption of office. I guess, the COVID pandemic contributed to its delay. Even before he was sworn in, Governor Abdullahi Sule had done a kind of SWOT assessment of Nasarawa State - its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges. So, he came prepared with a clear vision of where he wants to take the state to. Being an industrialist, this centred on the economy— growing the state’s economy and to wit, creating wealth, improving the citizens’ standard of living by attracting small, medium largescale industries anchored on the state’s comparative advantage in the areas of agriculture and solid minerals. Studies have shown that the best way to accelerate economic development and so banish poverty so to speak, by creating employment is through industrialization because of its multiplier effects. So, one of the very first acts of the governor was establishment of the Economic Advisory Council composed of experts and chaired by Professor Koyinsola Ajayi (S.A.N) which then produced the policy framework document known as the Nasarawa Economic and Development Strategy (NEDS), detailing the state’s roadmap to economic growth. One of the state’s goal is to be among the three most competitive states in Nigeria by year 2023. To this end it has established the Nasarawa Investment Development Agency (NIDA). Recall that the Nasarawa Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) was among the organisations that were scrapped by Sule’s predecessor. Now, it has been revamped, reformed with an apparently higher mandate. In 2021 it attracted over 500 million dollars worth of investment into the state. The Nasarawa Investment Summit, the first of its kind in the state was meant to crystalize the government’s efforts towards attracting more investors into state, reinforce its concept of public private partnership, bring current and would be investors as well as government on to a dealing table where the state’s investment prospects are showcased for them to choose from. It is different in that what states in Nigeria had

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Tuesday Column

By VICTORIA NGOZI IKEANO vikeano@yahoo.co.uk 08033077519 been organising so far and which Nigerians are more familiar with, are Economic Summits. Thus, the Nasarawa Investment Summit is about the first such summit in Nigeria. An Investment Summit is more appropriate than an Economic one given the ultimate objective. I foresee states renaming their ‘Economic Summit’ to the more appropriate ‘Investment Summit’. Another unique thing about the Nasarawa Investment Summit was establishment of a ‘Deal Room’ right at the venue where investment deals are struck. As at the time I wrote this piece the summit was still on-going so I could not get figures of the number and net worth of investment deals concluded.It is also noteworthy that the summit was wholly sponsored by corporate organisations. A fourth unique thing about this inaugural Nasarawa Investment Summit is the unveiling of the Small Claims Court handbook by the state’s chief Judge, Justice Aisha Bashir-Aliyu who happens to be the first female chief judge in the north central zone. She revealed that the Small Claims Court which meant to give investors confidence in the judiciary is the first to be established in the north central zone, adding that some 132 “small claims” have been filed since its establishment. Creation of this court is especially useful for small and medium-scale enterprises/ entrepreneurs that abound in our societies. Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, Special Adviser to President Mohammadu Buhari on Ease of Doing Business remarked that the Small Claims Court which goal is to make access to Justice easier is part of the reform initiatives of the Ease of Doing Business aimed at creating a conducive environment for investors. It had been established in

a few states like Lagos, Kano, Edo. Expectedly, this Investment Summit, attracted an array of very important personalities and investors, both local and international’ They included Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who is chairman of the National Economic Council, former Ghanaian president, John Mahama who gave an insight into his economic policies during his presidency, Edo state governor Godwin Obaseki, described as an ‘economic governor’, former Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, etc., etc. Senator Abdullahi Adamu, the state’s first elected executive governor said that the state was a rural setting when he assumed office in 1999, so much so that the office of the then local government chairman had to be used as a kind of Government House. He noted that a lot of efforts had been put into developing the state as witnessed by its transformation. According to Senator Adamu until recently, the state had not been able to gain as such, from its abundant solid minerals, adding that it is blessed with abundant raw materials for industries. Senator Al-makura who handed over to incumbent Governor Sule, also lauded the summit, stating that it would give businessmen and investors confidence in Nasarawa state. Incidentally, both former governors/senators chair committees that are germane to the state’s investment drive. Senator Adamu before his resignation from the upper chamber following his recent election as national chairman of APC was Senate Committee chairman on Agriculture while Al-makura is the chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Solid Minerals. Chairman of the Nasarawa state Economic

Prsident of Dangote Industries Limited, lead sponsor of the Summit who Governor Sule sill calls ‘boss’ to this day who(having worked as managing director of Dangote Sugar before his election) and has substantial investments in Nasarawa state, reiterated his group’s commitment to the state’s economic growth

Advisory Council, Professor Ajayi who also doubles as chairman of the Nasarawa Investment Summit disclosed that they hope to make the state one of the largest economies in Africa as he welcomed all to the “the Deal state”. Prsident of Dangote Industries Limited, lead sponsor of the Summit who Governor Sule sill calls ‘boss’ to this day who(having worked as managing director of Dangote Sugar before his election) and has substantial investments in Nasarawa state, reiterated his group’s commitment to the state’s economic growth. Governor Sule himself gave a background to the Summit’s theme, ‘Diamond in the rough, the making of a new investment frontier’. He reeled out figures to show that the state was making progress in its investment quest, including tripling of its internally generated revenue. Nasarawa is stepping up its efforts to further improve on those statistics. In his presentation, Mahama Ghana former president harped on the importance of infrastructure development – roads, schools, hospitals and the like. He also stressed the need to invest more on capital projects than on consumption, enthrone transparency and accountability, among others. The erstwhile Ghanaian president urged policy makers to always prepare for the uncertainties of the future as well as take into consideration global events that could affect the economy. Vice President Osinbajo’s address was interspersed with facts and figures about Nasarawa state. It was as though the state was his favourite book he was reading. DirectorGeneral Strategic Comminication and Events, Yakubu Lamme did a good job as master of ceremony with his melliflous voice. About ten investment ready deals were expected to be signed on first day of the summit.


I will change Nigeria from consuming to producing country - Peter Obi

We saw it in Anambra!

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