Friday, November 26, 2021 Edition

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Friday, November 26, 2021/ Rabiʻ I 16, 1443 AH Vol. 38 No. 057 N200




Malam Wada Maida (1950-2020), founding Chairman, Board of the Peoples Media Limited


158 DAYS

. . . putting the people first


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Killing of Almajiri: Gov Bala vows to fish out perpetrators PG 9

Troops kill 90 terrorists in Borno, arrest 21, as 996 surrender >>PG 5

President Muhammadu Buhari (L) assisted by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (2nd R) in decorating ADC to the President, Lt.-Col Yusuf Dodo to his new rank of a Colonel during a Security Meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Thursday (25/11/2021)

Reps summon Fidelity Bank MD over unremitted NNPC funds 12 Centres of Excellence to gulp N12b - TETFund PAGE 6

AIG Baba Umar emerges Africa's Interpol Vice President PAGE 7

Niger Govt advocated insurance scheme for farmers PAGE 9

PG 5

Bauchi health workers to withdraw services over Govt neglect PAGE 8









Stock Watch Business Metro

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Troops kill 90 terrorists in Borno, arrest 21, as 996 surrender By Mashe Umaru Gwamna


he Nigerian Military said its troops have killed 90 terrorists in Borno and arrested 21 others. Speaking yesterday, while giving update on the military operations in the country, Brigadier General, Benard Onyeuko, Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, said the attack took place on 13 November, 2021.

He said the troops decimated BHT/ISWAP terrorist elements in offensive air strikes in a location within Baga near the Lake Chad. He added that the troops also repelled attack at Askira Uba in Borno State, and killed 50 terrorists. “In the course of these operations, no fewer than 90 terrorists were neutralized and 21 of them arrested. Also, 98 assorted weapons, including AK-47 rifles

and 2,589 rounds of ammunitions were recovered within the period. “Additionally, 7 kidnapped civilians were rescued, while a total of 996 BHT elements and their families comprising 203 adult males, 302 adult females and 491 children surrendered to own troops at different locations in Borno State. “All recovered items have been handed appropriately and rescued persons reunited with their families, while arrested

and surrendered terrorists have been profiled and handed over to appropriate authorities for further action,” he explained. He said several combat equipment, including gun trucks and other weapons were destroyed. “Also, their fighting vehicles as well as large caches of arms and ammunition were recovered during the encounter. “However, some of our gallant officers and soldiers paid the supreme prize,” he added.

World Analysis 22 Africa News


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Healthcare: Reps move to strengthen traditional Medicine as alternative Page 4



Feature 26 Sports Back Page

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L-R: The Chief Operating Officer of Peoples Daily newspaper, Dr Hameed M Bello receiving a book - The Governance of China written by President Xi Jinping; the Director, Political section of the Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China, Mr Du Sheng, and the Attache to the Embassy, Mr Zhang Hang when they paid a courtesy call on the management of Peoples Daily in Abuja on Thursday.

2022 budget will frustrate Ajaokuta Steel development initiatives - Al Makura By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he chairman Senate Committee on Solid Minerals, Mines and Metallurgy, Tanko Al Makura, has said the 2022 budget will frustrate the much desired development in Ajaokuta Steel plant and solid minerals development generally, over its failure to allocate special funds to the sector in the 2022 Budget. Al Makura, an immediate past Governor of Nasarawa State, said this while fielding questions from journàlists shortly after submitting the budget defence report of his committee to the Senate Appropriation Committee. He said “We found that the much desired growth in this sector may not be easily achievable without very special allocation to this ministry.” Speaking further, he said during the budget defence of the Ministry and agencies under his Committee, they discovered repetition of most of the items provided in the 2021 Budget, regretting that it has become like a stereotyping of budget for Solid Minerals development. To this end, the senator cautioned that if Nigeria truly desires economic

development and diversification, especially in the solid minerals sector in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, there must be some initiative in ensuring that the budget is pragmatic. “What we observed is that a lot of things that were provided for last year appeared to have come again this year. There appears to be some kind of stereotyping of the budget and if we really consider the need for economic growth and diversification which is very much sought for, there has to be some initiative in ensuring that the budget is a pragmatic budget. “The President considers solid minerals among the sectors that will drive the process of diversification, but given the paltry allocation to the ministry, such desired expectations may not be easily met”, according to him. He appealed to the committee to consider ways and means of finding a special funding to the Ministry of Solid Minerals, warning that otherwise, those things the Ministry is expected to achieve might not be realisable, especially looking at the concern and the passion Nigeria has for the Ajaokuta Steel Company. He lamented that for the past

two years when the initiative was put forward to reactivate the Ajaokuta Steel Company, there has not been any meaningful allocation to the company. “With that, the much expected takeoff or reactivation of the company might not be made, except where there is a special fund. I would like to request the chairman to look passionately into this request. “There is great hope for the solid mineral industry to grow. In the budget we presented today, the framework for effective growth is there, what is lacking is the funding, because there is so much talk about economic growth and diversification, which the solid mineral sector is supposed to drive among other sectors like agriculture, power. “This may not be realised if certain special consideration is not made to this Ministry to drive the process. Not only the solid mineral, which has the capacity to create wealth across the country because given the natural endowment, every state has in this country. There is no state that does not have one kind of solid mineral or another. “So, the government should take into consideration the widespread

presence of these minerals across the States and the funding should be in tandem with this multiplicity of opportunities across the states”, he said. Speaking earlier during the budget defence session with the Chairman of the Committee on Solid Minerals and Mines and Metallurgy, Chairman of the Appropriations Committee of the Senate, Barau Jubril, said a lot of money has been spent to revive Ajaokuta Steel Company, yet it has remained in a state of decay. He said the company has not been utilised to its installation capacity, saying the situation calls for the involvement of everybody to make sure the company is resuscitated, given its importance to Nigeria. Speaking also, a member of the Appropriations Committee, Smart Adeyemi, who is also from Kogi State, said solid minerals are very key to Nigeria’s socio-economic development. “As a nation coping with a large number of unemployed people, this sector is very important. It is key, it will help the nation in terms of job creation and employment opportunities.”



Coalition commends NASS over Bsc/HND bills By Abubakar Yunusa


coalition of higher National diploma of HND stakeholders has commended the 9th Assembly over the passage of a bill for an act to abolish and prohibit discrimination between first degree and Higher National Diploma (HND) holders. The coalition also commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s appeal to him to kindly bring this marvelous work of his administration to successful completion by signing the bill into law as soon as it is transmitted to him. Recall that the House of Representatives passed a bill seeking to end the dichotomy between university degrees and the Higher National Diplomas awarded by polytechnic. The bill proposes to make it a crime for any person or organization, both in the public and private sectors, to discriminate against HND certificate holders, which passed the third reading at the plenary on Tuesday. Addressing journalists yesterday in Abuja, the National Coordinator of coalition, Com. Sebastian Onyemaobi said that the coalition cannot appreciate two hollow chambers of the national assembly that have been crafted to address a major societal injustice and one of the key setbacks to technological growth and the nation’s quest for industrialization. He explained that the passage of this monumental bill has rekindled the joy, hope, and selfesteem of millions of HND holders who over the years have enmeshed in the abject of traumatization due to unwarranted discrimination at their various workplaces, both public and private sectors of Nigeria economy. “This bill passed by the national assembly will indeed provide succor and cushion to the dilemma of millions of Polytechnic and montechnic students who have been in contemplation on how to approach the bleak, uncertain workplace environment that awaits upon graduation from various polytechnic. “The signing of this epochmaking bill into law, all Nigerian and HND holders and indeed polytechnic system will work hard to live up to their expectations and justify the confidence reposed on them if this bill is signed into law. “We assured you that upon signing of this momentous bill into law, HND holders will be greatly propelled to utilize their talent and potential to the fullest and contribute immensely to the national development,” he said.


News Editor, Tobias Lengnan Dapam

Buhari commissions roads in Kebbi From: Ahmed Idris Birnin kebbi


resident Muhammad Buhari has Commission about 300kilometers roads from Sokoto, Tambuwa, Jega, koko and Yauri roads in Kebbi. The commissioning, which took place yesterday at Koko, designed to bring sanity to the roads users and ensures that development has reached all the communities. Buhari, who was represented by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, SAN said many of the initiated or inherited projects by the his administration would be completed and handover to the relevant authorities concerned, commissioned roads from the Sokoto -Tambuwal- Jega - KokoBirnin Yauri Road, Phase I & 2. He expressed optimism

that the project epitomizes determination of the government to improve the ease of doing business. “It is a manifestation of our resolve to provide more vista of job opportunities thereby enhancing productive engagement of our teaming population and economic value addition in line with the Federal Government policy to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty. It is a promise of change made and next level delivery established,” he said. He noted that the road project was commenced by the previous administration on 13th December, 2012. According to him, “with this development, I can confidently say that as we enter the final lap of the tenure of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Administration, we are entering a season of completion and delivery of projects including

those inherited from the past administration before we come on board”. Noting that the road has been built to the highest quality of design and workmanship, he called on the users tol avoid road abuse in order to ensure that it last for the designed service life. He said the road symbolizes success story of the capacity of Nigerians; the patriotic Nigerians who were employed directly to build this road, the scores of suppliers employed indirectly who are responsible for providing the machines utilized in the construction. “These are not only nation builders to whom we offer our salutations, they are the heart of the Nigerian economy, the micro, small and medium enterprises that drive our economic growth. “Now that we have this new and well-built road, we have duties to ourselves and to other

road users. One of those duties is to ensure that we drive in accordance with the law as stipulated in the Highway,” he said. Also speaking, the Minister of Works Babatunde Fashola thanked president Muhammad Buhari for releasing funds for executing capital projects as the road was due for rehabilitation but abandoned by the previous governments. He added that roads had been constructed across the three geo political zone in the country, assured Nigerian to rare round and support Buhari administration. Responding, the Kebbi State Governor Senator Atiku Abubakar Bagudu who also expressed satisfaction over the completion of the roads, commended the federal government for considering the masses and deliver the dividend of democracy. Gombe State G o v e r n o r , Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya ( R) in a warm h a n d s h a k e with Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami when the latter visited the Governor at the Government House, Gombe yesterday

CAPPA trains journalists on trans-fat reportage By Mashe Umaru Gwamna


n an effort to ensure trans-fat is eliminated in our food chain. The Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) and Trans-Fat Free Nigeria has organized a training workshop for journalists on how to set agenda and communicate good reportage on trans-fat to public . The two-days workshop tagged: “Journalists, Digital Media Training on Trans-Fat Reporting,” drawn journalists from various broadcast stations, prints, digital and online, was held recently in Abuja. Speaking in his opening remarks, Executive Director, CAPPA, Akinbode Oluwafemi,said the media has a critical role to play in agendasetting role to influence policies and regulations that will contribute to the elimination of Trans-Fat Acids (TFA) in the country. Olufemi called on the media to constantly engage citizens on the dangers associated with the consumption of food products that contain trans fat to wean them off killer food choices for healthier

alternatives. In his keynote address,Dr Salisu Abubakar of Nutrition and Dietetics Unit, Biochemistry Department and Africa Centre of Excellence for Population Health and Policy, Bayero University Kano (BUK), said,defined trans-fat as unsaturated fatty acids that come from either natural or industrial sources. “Naturally-occurring trans-fat come from ruminants (cows and sheep)” Abubakar explained that,industrially produced trans-fat are formed in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to vegetable oil, converting the liquid into solid, resulting in “partially hydrogenated oil. He said “Approximately 540,000 deaths can be attributed to the intake of industrially-produced trans-fatty acids annually. “High trans-fat intake increases the risk of death from any cause by 34 percent, coronary heart disease deaths by 28 per cent, and coronary heart disease by 21 percent”. According to him, there is an urgent need for action,setting

agenda to influence policies and regulations that will contribute to the elimination of trans-fat in Nigeria. He emphasized that the media’s has a key role to play in actualizing trans-fat free Nigeria . Similarly, Digital Communication Expert of Global Wave Digital,Laura Rodriguez,charged media practitioners to use online and mobile tools to engage relevant policy and decision makers to achieve trans-fat free in the country. Rodriguez,noted that “participating journalists should plan a branded day of action to call on policymakers for action, complete with media outreach, social media content, influencer engagement, live/offline events, and more. “They should also follow digital channels on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and actively monitor the hashtag #TransfatfreeNigeria. “This will help to keep track of campaign updates and identify individuals for interviews, as well as creating Twitter lists for Trans Fat-

Free Nigeria campaign. “It will allow you to keep campaign spokespeople, NAFDAC, other key decision-makers and others,’’she stated. The Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI), Hema Kahanchandani of called for immediate gazetting and full enforcement of TFA regulation in Nigeria. “In addition, the role of media in setting agenda for the actualization of Trans-Fat Free Nigeria cannot be overemphasized.” Kahanchandani recalled that in 2018, the World Health Organisation (WHO), called for the global elimination of industriallyproduced TFA by 2023 through what it called the “Replace Action Framework”. Meanwhile,Trans Fatty Acids Technical Advisor, Network for Health Equity and Development (NHED),Dr.Jerome Mafeni, said, it is possible for trans-fat to be eliminated from the world. By replacing them with more healthier food that save lives”.




Defamation: Three Niger former executives drag colleagues to court From Yakubu Minna

L-R: Chairperson Sealinks Consortium Ltd, Mrs Daphne Shell-Holma, Managing Director Nigerian ExportImport Bank, Abubakar Abba Bello, Onu of Itobe Land, AlhajiSalihuOcholi, Chairman Nigeria Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) Board, Vice Admiral Ishaya Ibrahim (rtd), Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral AwwalGambo, Kogi State Governor, AlhajiYahaya Bello, Director Navy Ministry of Defence, Mr FashinaKayode Julius and Managing Director NIWA, Mr George Moghalu at the flag-off of the survey and charting of the lower Rivers Niger and Benue, held in Lokoja. Photo: DINFO NHQ



hree Former Niger State of the All Progressives Congress (APC) executives have dragged their colleagues to Chief Magistrate Court Bosso for an alleged conspiracy and defamation of character. In a joint suit the State Former APC Chairman, Jibrin Imam, Secretary Barrister Muhammed Liman and Treasurer, Doctor Shaffi’i Abdulsalam, accused the State Former Party Acting Executives for conspiring and maliciously publishing and granting interviews alleging that they misappropriated the State party funds. The Duo prayed that the court to take into cognizance of the offences contrary to section ninety-seven and three hundred and ninety two of the Penal Code Law and tried the accused persons accordingly. Similarly, Lawyer to the defendants, Barrister Bukani, raised Preliminary objections that his clients were not personally served with court summon, adding that his complainants have another case in court seven, which he said is an off shoot of the court. The complainants lawyer, Barrister Leri, told the court that the presence of the accused persons was necessary considering the criminal case against them. The Chief Magistrate Court, Ibrahim Shaba, however adjourned for tomorrow for further hearing.

FG urged to restructure Ankpa power supply By Abubakar Yunusa


he Chairman of Ankpa Local government chairman, Hon. Ibrahim Abagwu has urged the federal government to restructure Ankpa light from the Geregu plan or any plant that will make the council have a steady power supply for at least,18 hours per day. Abagwu, made this appeal in his office, yesterday when he received the delegates from the headquarter of Federal ministry of power, Abuja. Abagwu,how was represented by the council Secretary of the council,Hon.Idris Ray Akus, said , “According to the information collected, Ankpa is currently generating power from Oturkpo local government area of Benue State, but they hardly supply power to Ankpa and this has results black out for months,if not years”. “True, Ankpa is suffering from shortage of power supply, and you know a cosmopolitan area like Ankpa needs power for business to strive effectively. Again, lots of electrical poles are at fault, and there are plenty villages that do not even have transformers. “ We are seeking the intervention of Federal Ministry of Power to help in providing concrete poles and transformers,”he appealed.

Healthcare: Reps move to strengthen traditional Medicine as alternative

By Christiana Ekpa


he House of Representatives yesterday resolved to devise strategies towards strengthening and developing traditional and alternative healthcare delivery in the country. The House equally mandated its Committees on Healthcare Services Health Institutions and Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring, to liaise with the Federal Ministries of Health, Industry Trade and Investment, Labour and Productivity, Science and Technology to ensure compliance.

The House also resolved that, the Federal Ministry of Health and NAFDAC should expedite action on the numerous drugs developed by Traditional Medicine practitioner currently lying idle in NAFDAC and determine their efficacy. The House resolutions followed the adoption of a motion on the Need to Strengthen Traditional and Alternative Medicine for Sustainable Health Care Delivery in Nigeria by Hon. Balarebe Shehu Kakale. Presenting the motion, Hon. Kakale said that the global outbreak of COVID–19

exposed the disproportionate burden of Nigeria’s over– dependence on imported medical, pharmaceuticals, devices, equipment and other related health services with more Nigerians demanding health care services that are local, homegrown, organic, close, conveniently accessible and affordable. He said “Concerned that failure to strengthen and adequately utilize alternative medical practices in the country undermines the sustainability of the domestic structures, denies Nigerians the opportunity to test

their usefulness in the prevention and cure of various ailments, and leads to waste of resources. “Aware that evidence has shown that Nigeria, in particular, has a plethora of medicinal plants scientifically proven to have immense health benefits but the country has failed to effectively use them. The House expressed concern that the lack of a sustainable domestic approach to healthcare delivery has resulted in a weak healthcare system in the country especially in efforts towards combating COVID–19 and other epidemics.

Court restrains Benue Govt from sale of Benue Links From: Uche Makurdi



enue State High Court Judge, Theresa A Igoche yesterday granted an interim injunction restraining the Governor of Benue State Samuel Ortom and four others from taking any step towards the sale, privatization or commercialisation of Benue Links Nigeria Limited. The Court made the order after hearing the application moved by Barr. Imoter Gbim-

Gbande , counsel to the plaintiffs(Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service, Technical and Recreational Services Employees and three others). While speaking to our correspondent on phone, Barr. Imoter explained that the action to privatize Benue Links violates Section 9 sub 2 of Benue State Privatization Law. According to him, the State Government had on 16th August 2021 published in Nations Newspaper and purportedly listed

enterprises for privatization with Benue Links inclusive. “My client were dissatisfied and wrote to Government but they were not forthcoming and so, they decided to file an originating summon seeking interpretation because Section 9 sub 2 of the privatization Law clearly listed the companies for privatization. “And in that section, Benue Links is not listed and as such, whatever that is not mentioned is not known by law. There is no legal backing upon which it should be sold and so, we are seeking

interpretation of the Privatization Law. “The intention of the Law is that those companies not functional should be privatized so that they can function well and not the other way round. ‘The contention is that the Privatization Law does not allow the Governemt in anyway sell companies that are functioning very well. We also, sought an exparte order and the court adjourned it to December 3, 2021 for the hearing of the motion on notice”, Barr. Imoter said.

of education: A panacea for the obstacles challenging national development in the 21st Century Nigeria”. Olumide, UNIBEN alumnus, lamented that the sets of Vice Chancellors at the moment cannot be compared to Vice Chancellors shortly after the first and second generations of Nigeria Universities were established in terms of wits and expertise. “That was the moment we laid the foundation for the collapse of the education system in Nigeria. Rather than be guided by the best standard practice and principles, we prioritised the education

systems that are administered in Nigeria on the basis of ethnicity, and son of the soil, crept into the education system and now hold sway. “Look at the first sets of Vice Chancellors we had Nigeria then and compare them with what we have in Nigeria today. For instance, the first Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos, was Prof. Enitan Njoku. He was from the South Eastern part of Nigeria. ‘The same school was at one time led by Prof. Gbadebo who was fathered by Ghanian. The first indigenous Vice Chancellor of University of Ibadan, UI, was Prof. Kenneth Nwaokadike,

born in Awka, the present Anambra State”, he stated. The NBA president called on Nigerians to galvanise support and vote for leaders that would prioritise education in Nigeria in 2023 and the retooling of the Curricula in the teaching of law and practice. “Without taking anything away from Anambra election, we must all all go out and register to vote and begin the process of our Country... This is the only way that Nigeria’s problems can gradually and effectively be resolved. They will try to discourage you that politics is a dirty game.

NBA blames introduction of quota system for ‘collapsed education’ By Osaigbovo Benin



he President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata, has declared that Nigeria education system collapsed when policy makers in Country laid the foundation for quota system on the basis of ethnicity and political patronage in place of meritocracy. He made the assertion while delivering the 46th and 47th Convocation Lecture of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) in Benin City, Edo State Capital where he spoke on the topic, “Re-prioritazation




Reps summon Fidelity bank MD over unremitted NNPC funds By Christiana Ekpa


he House of Representatives Committee investigating looted funds has summoned the Managing Director (MD) of Fidelity Bank, Nneka OnyealiIkpe to appear before it next week Wednesday over alleged falsified records and unremitted funds

from Nigeria National Petroleum Coopération (NNPC), The MD, is also expected to appear in respect of the recovered looted funds from the former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Allison which was traced to Fedelity bank. Out of the 153 million dollars of the looted funds from NNPC,

$40 million was alleged to have passed through Fedelity Bank. It would be recalled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) last week arrested the former MD of Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo over his role in the 153 million dollars recovered funds recovered from former NNPC

boss Allison. Meanwhile, there are indication that the former Fidelity Bank MD would be invited to appear alongside the current MD to give explanation on some of the issues raised by the Committee The above resolution was taken when different banks

appeared before the House investigative panel to respond to issues arising from the recovered looted funds from NNPC. The Chairman of committee, Adejero Adeogun (APC, Ondo) in his ruling threatened to issue a warrant of arrest should the MD refuse to appear on the next adjourned date.

Insurgency, banditry: Buhari again gives security chiefs matching orders NECO pays AD-HOC staff P involved in 2021 SSCE By Egena Sunday Ode

Maryam Abeeb, Abuja


ll ad-hoc staff involved in the conduct of the 2021 Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) for school based candidates have been fully paid, according to the National Examinations Council (NECO). NECO, in a statement by the Head, Information and Public Relations Division, Azeez Sani, stated that the ad-hoc staff includes, 18,243 Supervisors, 887 Assistant Supervisors and 65,159 Examiners. The payment which commenced last week has been concluded. The Council also expressed appreciation for the invaluable contributions of the Supervisors and Examiners in the success story of the Council over the years, and reiterates its determination to strengthening the existing cordial relationship between them. It however appeals to State Governments yet to pay the examination fees of their candidates who sat for the SSCE (Internal), to do so in order to facilitate the release of the result of such candidates. It would be recalled that the Registrar/Chief Executive, Prof. Dantani Ibrahim Wushishi had on 29th October, 2021 announced the release of the results of the 2021 SSCE for School based candidates.

resident Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday gave a fresh matching order to the nation’s security chiefs over the current insecurity across the country, occasioned by activities of bandits and insurgents. He charged them not to rest until all Nigerians are fully at rest from the current menace. Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, made the disclosure at the end of the National Security Council (NSC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja. Aregbesola said, the President after receiving briefs from all security chiefs, the security agencies and intelligence organizations on security nationwide, appreciated the successes and gains recorded by all of them. According to the minister: “He (President Buhari) is of the belief that

more must and should still be done. But he commended all of them for the progress we are recording on all fronts.” He added that the President ordered the armed forces and other security agencies, intelligence organizations, not to rest on their oars, notwithstanding the progress and efforts being made to eliminate insurgency, banditry, kidnapping for ransom, and all the other criminalities. He said: “The president said that we are not yet where we should be. That Nigerians deserve to live in peace. And that until we achieved that we will not rest.” The minister said President Buhari was particularly pleased with the outcome of the November 6th gubernatorial election that produced former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance

(APGA), Charles Soludo, as the Anambra governorship election. The minister said: “The President was particularly happy with the fact that a free and fair election was made possible by the INEC and our security agencies. And that that is a good assurance to all Nigerians, that we are committed to promoting democracy, that is in respect of Anambra election. “The President was particularly happy that a free and fair gubernatorial election held in Anambra. And he was quite happy that the combination of INEC and the security agencies, from the military to the police and all the other agencies made that possible with the support of the people and the government of Anambra. We all saw the outcome. With that there is no doubt as to the commitment of our administration to promoting democracy, and ensuring that 2023

is not in any way threatened.” Aregbesola said Buhari was also particularly happy with the news that the Head of INTERPOL National Central Bureau, Assistant Inspector General of Police, Garba Umar, has been elected Vice President (Africa) and Executive Committee Member of the International Criminal Police Organisation – INTERPOL. Aregbesola said: “And the council was briefed about the election today of a Nigerian, AIG Garba Umaru, who emerged out of the four other candidates, as the vice president of Interpol for Africa, which means that a Nigerian today, represents the 54 African nations at the Interpol level. The election took place today (Thursday), a couple of hours ago. And he emerged as the vice president of Interpol in Africa, representing the 53 African nations. That too was discussed, appreciated and applauded. From left: Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina; Minister of Environment, Sharon Ikeazor and the Permanent Secretary Mr Hassa Musa during the weekly State House Briefing at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Thursday (25/11/2)

Atiku commissions 4.4km road in Bauchi

From Ahmad Muhammad, Bauchi


ormer President Atiku Abubakar has commissioned the 4.4 kilometer Gombe road bye pass to Maiduguri road, in Bauchi state. The road was constructed by the Bauchi State Governor Senator Bala Muhammed Abdulkadir during his fist year in office Also, the road which was named after the former Vice president (Atiku Abubakar road) was one of the roads awarded for construction in 2019. Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar described governor Bala Mohammed as a construction Governor of the year. The former Vice President called on Government at all levels to prioritize provision of physical infrastructure to enhance job creation and economic empowerment. He said the country needs extra commitments in eradicating the wave of unemployment and insecurity gor that embarking on massive infrastructural development project is the instrument for achieving economic prosperity. while commending the Governor for

constructing the road, Atiku urged the governor to consolidate on his zeal towards impacting positively on the lives of the people. He said he was fascinated seeing the ongoing and completed projects which according to him will improve socio economic development. Atiku said the Bala Mohammed led administration is poised to improving the livelihood of citizens. He commended the governor for his patriotism abd commitment to the well being of the people, and urged the people of the state to continue to give the governor all the needed support to succeed. Atiku said that states controlled by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are doing excellently well as evident by the commissioning of projects in those states compared to the All Progressives Congress (APC) states, and called on the federal government to learn from the PDP states. “Let me start by commending you, because you have done very, very excellently well. For the few hours I have been in Bauchi today, I have been impressed by the infrastructural developments that I have personally seen not been told.

“ With these infrastructural developments, which range from roads, to housing, to primary health clinics, to the renovation loan of our schools for the education of our young ones” “These programmes that you have implemented and continue to implement, are the bedrock of development be it educational, health care delivery or any other aspects of development. “But, most importantly, these developmental projects have become instruments of economic empowerment.” “By economic empowerment, they have also created thousands of jobs for our teeming youths. Let me commend you for reducing the unemployment in the state and the country at large because it is this unemployment that creates security challenges that we are currently facing in this country,” he said. He adds that: “I wish the federal government will copy what the PDP governors and PDP states are doing in this country, because in every PDP state you go, you will find infrastructural development projects taking place. “I cannot recall any APC states that are

commissioning any projects. Therefore, your Excellency, you are virtually laying the pathway to the return of PDP in this state and in the country at large. I want to commend your contributions in that regard.” On his part Governor Bala Mohammed, Abdulkadir said that the road project which was conceived and executed by his administration was in fulfilment of his campaign promises to the people. He said: “We are here to commission the long-awaited commissioning of the 4.4 kilometers Gombe-Maiduguri road by-pass in Bauchi metropolis. This is a very strategic road by many respects, first, like every other road, it will promote economic activities that will improve the likelihood of the people. “Second, the physical development will enhance the aesthetic beauty of the state capital hence, moving us closer to achieving lofty the environmental plan we envisioned for modern Bauchi city. “Bauchi city metropolis has remained without a bypass on the eastern axis to decongest the traffic caused by the movement of heavy trucks into the city center and the central business areas with the attendant hazards and hardships.



NEWS Insecurity: Zamfara distributes food items to 200 widows From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau


he Zamfara State Government has distributed food packages to 200 women derived from 18 communities of ‘Yandoton Daji in Tsafe local government area with aim to cushion their hardship especially caused by the lingering banditry and other heinous crimes. Distributing the food items, the Zamfara State Commissioner of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hon. Fa’ika M. Ahmad, said the gesture was meant to alleviate abject poverty among the teeming women most of whom were rendered widows. Fa’ika, who urged the beneficiaries to ensure judicious use of the gesture, warned them to avoid being indulging into act of selling the packages as it was meant for good care of themselves and their helpless children. “Zamfara State Government under the leadership of Governor Bello Muhammad Matawalle would not fold arms to continue watching you and your innocent children starving, it is part of the government policy to ensure that adequate care is given for needed survival.

TETFund allocates N12b for establishment of 12 Centres of Excellence Maryam Abeeb, Abuja


he Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has allocated a sum total of N12 billion for the establishment of twelve additional Centres of Excellence (COEs) in Tertiary institutions. Recall that under the 2020 intervention, 12 TETFund Centers of Excellence were established in universities. This year, 12 more Centers will be established evenly in 6(six) polytechnics and Colleges of Education respectively. The executive secretary of TETFund, Professor Suleiman Bogoro, who disclosed this at the inauguration of the 12 maiden Centres in Abuja, on Wednesday said two were selected in each geopolitical zone of the country and are to be funded for a period of 5 years. The centres are; federal polytechnic Nasarawa, federal college of education, Pankshin (North Central), Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, Federal College Education, Yola (North east), Federal Polytechnic, Kaduna, Federal College of Education, Zaria (North

west), Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Alvan Federal of Education, Owerri (South East), Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, Federal College of Education (Technical), Omoku (south south), Yaba College of Technology, Lagos and Adeyemi College Education, Ondo (south west). While inaugurating the Centres, Bogoro charged them to hit the ground running by ensuring to strengthen the sustainability beyond the year 2026. “I’m delighted to welcome you all to this historic occasion, one that I hope will lay the foundation as well as define the trajectory for the transformation of our beleaguered Tertiary Education Institutions (TEIs) from mere ‘citadels of learning: where inputs and outputs have left much to be desired for far too long, to the springboard of Nigeria’s leap into the knowledge economy paradigm. “ In keeping with the established tradition that Higher Education Institutions are the bastion of intellectualism and the breeding ground for creativity, original thinking and innovation that shape and define civilizations and also drive

economies and development. “Having been painstakingly selected to host the second batch of TEffund Centres of Excellence (ICots), Whist it is appropriate for each of you here to feel justifiably proud for being deemed worthy of selection from among dozens of eligible candidate institutions. “I hasten to draw your attention to the huge burden of expectation that comes with your choice as the pioneer Beneficiary Institutions of this initiative with immense national significance. “There is but one true path to socio-economic and technological advancement - R&D- and the new 12 TCoEs (2 in each geopolitical zone of Nigeria, which we are to fund for 5 years with a grant of one billion Naira (N1billion) each, will be at the heart of the mechanism for the attainment of our national aspirations,” he said. The executive secretary noted that each selected institution is expected to implement its own approved TCOE, with the objective to address a specific national development challenge through preparation of professionals, applied research

From left: Director of Ventures, NYSC Headquarters, Prince Mohammed Momoh; Vice Chairman, Trade Union Congress, FCT Council, Wuyep Samuel; Deputy President, Federation of Agricultural commodities Association of Nigeria, Mr Sherif Balogun; Founder, Pledge Value for Value, Mr Babatunde Bamigboye, during a workshop on Sustainable Development in Nigeria, organized by ‘Pledge Value for Value’ in Abuja on Thursday (25/11/21).

IBB Varsity matriculates 5,493 students for 2020/21 academic session From Yakubu Minna


and associated outreach activities to partners, especially community services. He said one of the basic strategic aims for establishment of Centres of Excellence is to support strategic and applications-oriented research and expertise with potential industrial applications. “This means supporting national and global competitive research and development in strategic and applied sciences (including medicine and Engineering) with the aim of generating innovations. “This is usually done with a focus on government-defined priority areas, needed for technical development and industrial. “Bringing together the complementary resources application. This includes concentrating multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and translational research competence in order to further the development of products, processes and services, typically by focusing on problems that demand larger efforts than can be provided by smaller projects.


he Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University Lapai has matriculated 5,493 students out of 15,435 applicants that make the Institution as their first choice in their JAMB/ UTME for the session. The Vice Chancellor, Professor Abu Kasim Adamu disclosed this at the 15th Matriculation ceremony for the new students of the institution at the main campus in Lapai. Professor Adamu said that 4,703 students were admitted for regular degree programmes, 652 for part - time students and 137 students for long vacation training programme out of the total that were offered admission. He further revealed that 64 students are to benefit from the Vice Chancellor’s Scholarship Award across various departments for their academic outstanding as best students in performance which covers one year registration fees and accommodation expenses. The Vice Chancellor urged the new students to abide by all the rules and regulations and participate in lawful activities worthy in character and learning.

Okowa salutes Atiku at 75 By Nosa Akenzua, Asaba


he Delta Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has congratulated former VicePresident, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on his 75th birth anniversary. In a congratulatory message from his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba, the governor lauded the former Vice President for his remarkable commitment to the unity and progress of the nation through his remarkable economic and political activities. Okowa said Atiku’s wise

and consistent admonitions on national issues had been outstanding and impactful. He commended the exVice President and Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 elections for his inspiring role in the defence and promotion of democracy in Nigeria. He stated that the Wazirin Adamawa was a detribalised Nigerian, whose benevolence had impacted many lives beyond tribe, religion, gender, social status and partisan frontiers. “On behalf of the government

and people of Delta, I congratulate our great leader and patriot, former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, GCON, as he celebrates his 75th birth anniversary. “As a respectable leader and elder statesman, you have genuinely provided opportunities for people to eke out a living from their God-given potential with your massive investments in education, agriculture, media, hospitality, water and oil and gas. “You have made outstanding contributions to the socioeconomic and political growth of

Nigeria and we will continue to be inspired by your patriotism and love for this great country. “Over the years, you have remained a large-hearted, philanthropist and a people’s leader with mass followership across the country. “You bestrode Nigeria’s political landscape like a colossus and as you clock 75 years today, it is my prayer and that of millions of Deltans and every Nigerians that God will continue to strengthen you in your service to God and humanity,” he said.

COVID-19: Ministry trains youth volunteers on preventive measures By Nosa Akenzua, Asaba


one-day training on hand washing and clean Nigeria campaign on COVID-19 prevention for the National Youth Volunteers has commenced at Issele Uku, in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State. Declaring the training open yesterday, the Zonal Coordinator,

South South states of the body, Mrs Susan Offiono of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, enjoined participants to take the training seriously, saying that it would equipped them with the necessary knowledge that would be impacted on the residents in the various communities they would be posted to for sensitisation. The zonal coordinator, who

was represented by Mr Precious Elue Ainocha, disclosed that Local Government Area (LGA) WASH UNITS officers would support the programme implementation in their respective localities. According to her, the youth were expected to commence field implementation immediately after the training. She explained that the youths were

to go into the various communities to sensitise the people on the need to build decent toilets and embrace proper hand washing culture. She added that they were expected to visit schools and health centres in their respective areas of coverage and expressed the hope that the local government chairmen in the state would support the programme to succeed.



he Police have revealed the arrest of armed robbery suspect, recovery of one locally fabricated pistol and 21 rounds of Ak47 Ammunitions, in Nasarawa State. The suspect, one Victor Ayuba , 25 years old, of New Nyanya, who has been on the wanted list of the Nasarawa

Reps move to establish Federal Polytechnic in Oyo



Police arrest robbery suspect, recover ammunitions in Ado

State Police command for the offence of armed robbery was arrested; with a polythene bag containing the items recovered from him as exhibits. A statement from ASP Ramhan Nansel, the Police Public Relations Officer, of the Nasarawa State Command, said on 22/11/2021 at about

2135hrs, a distress call was received that unidentified armed men were shooting sporadically and disposessing innocent passer-by of their valuables at Ado junction, Karu LGA of the State. The statement read in part: “upon receipt of the

information, the Commissioner of Police swiftly deployed a detachment of Police Operatives attached to New Karu Division, led by SP Aaron Kaura to the scene; on sighting the Police, the bad boys/hoodlums took to flight in different direction but were given a hot chase by the gallant Police Operatives.

“The Commissioner of Police has commended the officers for a job well done and urged them to sustain the tempo and flush out criminals in the State. “The suspect will be charged to court upon conclusion of investigation at State Criminal Investigation Department, Lafia.”

By Christiana Ekpa


Bill to Establish the Federal Polytechnic, Ayete Town, in Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State has passed second reading in the House of Representatives. The Bill is sponsored by the member representing Ibarapa North/Ibarapa Central Federal Constituency, Hon Ajibola Muraina. Advancing his argument on the benefit of the Bill on the floor of the House, said it aimed to promote science and technology and polytechnics have a critical role to play in this regard. “When Nigeria adopted the 3-66-4 educational policy, the intention of the policy was to promote science and technology in the curriculum of secondary school education. “This policy is in tandem with STEM education. STEM education is the intentional integration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and their associated practices to create a student-centered learning environment in which student investigate and engineer solutions to problems, and construct evidencebased explanations of real-world phenomena with a focus on a student’s social, emotional, physical and academic needs through shared contributions of schools, families, and community partners. “For Nigeria to key into this concept, the polytechnics have a very crucial role to play, the establishment of this polytechnic is one of the several steps to promote and sustain STEM Education system Nigeria,” he said. He said the Bill would provide a legal framework for the establishment of the polytechnic, have a positive Ayete Town by creating job opportunities and attracting students and lecturers from other parts of the country thereby boosting its economic and social life. He said it would also enhance the economic capacity of the country, expand the space for admission to tertiary institutions in Nigeria, create alternative employment opportunities with focus on selfemployment and serve as a centre for research in science and technology . The Bill was unanimously passed for a second reading. The short title was read for a second time and the Bill was referred to House Committee on Tertiary Educational Services for further legislative action.

The Apo use tyre market sellers resisting the enforcement officers of the Standard Organization of Nigerian (SON) during the organization enforcement action on Sub Standards Tyres at the Apo mechanic market, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo.

AIG Baba Umar emerges Interpol Vice President By Stanley Onyekwere


he Head of Interpol National Central Bureau (NCB), Nigeria, Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG Garba Baba Umar, has emerged the elected Vice President (Africa) and Executive Committee Member of the International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO) - Interpol. AIG Garba was elected in the early hours of today, 25th November, 2021 in the 89th INTERPOL General Assembly currently holding at the Halic Congress Hall, Istanbul, Turkey. This was disclosed in a press release from Force Public

Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba, which was made available to Peoplesdaily, yesterday in Abuja. According to the statement, the year 2021 General Assembly, which have in attendance 470 Police Chiefs, Ministers and Senior Law Enforcement Officials from the 195 INTERPOL member countries, seeks to identify areas where the organization can reinforce the global security architecture and enhance collaboration against national and transnational crimes. It added that AIG Garba, one of Nigeria’s finest criminal investigators and professional strategic police manager, with over thirty (30) years policing

experience both at national and international levels, polled the highest number of votes in the elections. “With this appointment, which will span through a period of 3yrs, AIG Garba is expected to bring his wealth of experience to bear in coordinating INPERPOL operations targeted at ensuring a safer world for people and communities across the African continent. “This is in addition to drawing international policing support and cooperation towards advancing public safety and security, protecting the cyber space and generally addressing challenges faced by law enforcement officers

and policing managers in the continent. “The Nigeria’s delegation to the 89th INTERPOL General Assembly was led by the Honourable Minster of Police Affairs, Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, ably supported by the Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, psc (+), NPM, fdc. “The other members of the delegation are: the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa and the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo (represented by the Naval Provost Marshal)”, the statement read in part.




Insufficient fund hindering qualitative education - NAPPS

From left: A crosssection of corps members, during a workshop on Sustainable Development in Nigeria, organized by ‘Pledge Value for Value’ in Abuja on Thursday (25/11/21).

Maryam Abeeb, Abuja


he National President, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, Nigeria (NAPPS),Mr Yomi Otubela has said that the challenge of paucity of funds has been hindering the provision of qualitative education in the country. Otubela disclosed this at the 14th National Conference of the association in Abuja, on Wednesday, with the theme: “ Transformation and Innovation in Education:NAPPS-Future Proofing Nigeria Workspace”. Otubela said that majority of financial institutions were not willing to lend to the educational institutions at concessionary interest rates. According to him, paucity of funds, therefore, has a lot of impact on school growth and development as standard private school should be well equipped with facilities and aid learning. “The costs of providing these facilities are so enormous for average private school owners to shoulder without some form of intervention in form of collaboration. “ Given this challenge, NAPPS, at the national level, has partnered with first bank and FCMB to offer loans to our members at concessionary interest rates. “We thank God that quite a substantial number of proprietors have keyed into this arrangement with our partner banks to enjoy this opportunity. “ However. NAPPS at the national level is also committed to growing the NAPPS cooperative society into micro finance bank status where we can be of help to each other,” he said. Otubela also bemoaned the issue of multiple taxation saying that despite several passionate pleas to the authority to look into it, nothing has been done to review it. He added that numerous changes in the education policies with their attendant implication for curriculum implementation had been a cause of concern as curriculum implementation was pivotal for the achievement of educational goals. He, therefore, enjoined policy makers to always carry along various stakeholders in the process of policy planning and implementation. In the same vein, Mr Yaren Maikawuwa, from the Department of Senior Secondary, Gender Branch, Federal Ministry of Education, said the Federal Government had adopted practical education designed to meet the needs of her citizens in the area of technology and science. Maikasuwa, who represented the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, said this was helping the citizens to be self reliant and independent with a view to preferring solutions to the challenges.

CODE raises alarm over ‘abandoned’ constituency projects in Kaduna From : Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


civil society group, Connect Development (CODE) has raised alarm over what it described as dozens of poorly executed and abandoned constituency projects scattered across Kaduna. The program Associate of CODE Kingsley Agu made this assertion yesterday, during a Deepening Citizens interest Government Spending and Addressing the Accompanying Corrupt Practices ( DeSPAAC) meeting held, in Kaduna. According to him, 28% of the projects tracked in 2020 are abandoned while 22% are ongoing. He added that under 50% of Constituency projects in the state are completed despite that over N3.5B was budgeted for Constituency projects in 2020

and over N2.85B was budgeted for the same in 2021 which is a lot of money. Agu explained that CODE in collaboration with Community Monitoring Team( CMT) tracked Projects worth N1.2B across 23 projects in 18 Communities in 7 Local Government Areas of the State. He described the report of poorly and shoddily executed projects as heart-rending and unacceptable. He said based on the intervention of the Community Monitoring Team Some contractors involved in the shoddy project execution have been ordered to return to the site. “Findings in the course of the tracking exercise also indicated that the quality of many of the projects implemented was poor and substandard when compared with the quantum of funds

expended by the government to execute the projects. “DeSPAAC analysis of the bill of quantities for some of the projects tracked revealed that the contactors used inferior materials for construction and project execution, while some of those handling supplies and procurement contracts supplied inferior, cheap, and substandard brands and models of the items said to have been supplied, despite quoting high and sometimes outrageous prices in their bidding documents. “ For instance, many of the blocks of classrooms said to be constructed in the year 2020 are already looking dilapidated as of 2021 when the tracking exercise took place. “ The plastering, roofing, and painting of many of the classroom blocks were done shoddily, and in some cases, electrical wiring and fittings were not even done at all,

while they were all quoted in the bills of quantity accompanying the contract award.,” he said. In his remarks, the CEO and Founder of CODE Hamza Lawal, said the disturbing realities from the projects tracked, make it imperative for citizens to consistently beam the searchlight on constituency projects, from the planning to the phase of execution. According to him, citizens, the media, CSOs, community-based organizations, and importantly, the teeth actors need to stay the course and ensure that some measure of sanity is restored to the constituency project implementation process, not only in Kaduna State but all over Nigeria Lawal lauded the efforts of the Media and the Partner MacArthur, Foundation for always being there for the citizens.

Bauchi health workers to withdraw services over Govt neglect From Ahmad Muhammad , Bauchi


he Bauchi State Union Of Volunteers And Temporary Health Workers has given the state government 14 days within which to address their plights or risk loosing their services across hospitals in the state. The Chairman of the Union, Comrade Yusuf Aliyu Fada who made this known while addressing press conference at the Bauchi Emir Palace Primary Health Care Center PHC , noted that series of efforts by the union to get Government support has proved unsuccessful. The Chairman said that the aim of establishing the union, presently with 2,897 members was ensure support to the government by ensuring effective healthcare service delivery in the state as well as create avenue for job creation for its members. Fada claimed that his members have been carrying out effective healthcare services across the state in

which over 100 healthcare facilities are headed by them without even monthly stipend or been employed even on casual bases. Fada noted that despite being volunteer workers, members of the union have been raising funds among themselves to purchased medical consumables and drugs to render free medical services in the hard to reach areas of the state. The Chairman, who decried that there were five promises made by the government of Bauchi state to his union, said non has been fulfilled to date. According to him, the first promise, was made during the 2019 election manifesto presentation that was done by the present Governor at the DEC conference hall. “During the event, I stood up on behalf of the volunteer health workers and asked the the Governor who was then contesting for the seat on whether he will consider the plights of my members if he emerged the governor and he promised to do so within first one hundred days in office,

that he will casualize our members”, the chairman recalled. He said after the said hundred days in office, the union has written several letters to the Governor to remind him of his promised but to no avail. “As a result of that, we had organised for peaceful demonstration to government house to register our grievances but before you know the information reached the government and we were immediately summoned to a meeting at the government house. “We had the meeting with the then Commissioner of health and the Chief Security Officer (CSO) government house. The CSO told us that if not that the governor has travelled, he would have personally attended the meeting to hear from us directly. “But he assured us that whatever we discussed would be transmitted to the governor as soon as he comes back”, the chairman of the union explained. He further revealed that during

the meeting, they were promised employment within June to July of 2020, that government is going to lift employment embargo to employ health workers in which about 70 to 80 percent of the job slots is going to be members of his union. According to him, the present administration in the state has failed to fulfill the promise it made that within one hundred days in office, they will casualize his members. Fada, who announced the decision of the union to embark on indefinite strike after the two-week ultimatum by withdrawing volunteer services across hospitals, stressed that the union is taking the action because the state government has neglected them. According to Fada, “we don’t want to embark on any strike, however, we are left with no option than to go for it after the expiration of the two weeks notice we are issuing today if the government failed to take the needed action”. Reacting to the development, the State Commissioner of Health, Dr Samaila Dahuwa said that the state government was looking into their plights with a view of employing them.



From Ahmad Muhammad, Bauchi


he Bauchi State Governor Senator Bala Muhammed Abdulkadir has described as sad and unfortunate the smashing of the skull of an 11-year-old Qur’anic school pupil otherwise known as Almajiri, in Kofar Wambai area of Bauchi Metropolis. The Governor, who stated this yesterday after he paid a condolence visit to the family of the deceased, reiterated that his administration would not condone any form of crime and criminality in the State He pledged to collaborate with security agencies and fish out the culprit and punish him, in order to serve as a deterrence to others. Represented by the State Commissioner Ministry of Religious Affairs Umar Babayo Kesa, Governor Bala, advised all communities in the State to continue to be vigilant and to alert the nearest security agencies to respond to any suspicious movement for prompt action. He said government would not take it lightly with anybody


Killing of Almajiri: Gov. Bala vows to fish out perpetrators found wanting over the death of this innocent boys , he directed Security personnel to track and arrest anybody found to have had hands in this dastardly act.. On his part, the State Chairman of Traditional Quranic School Bauchi State, Alaramma Zakariyau Dauduwo expressed dismay over the

killing of the innocent pupil. He said they will continue to pray to Allah to expose who ever has a hand in killing of the demised boy . The Qur’anic Teacher of the pupil Alaramma Muhammadu Auwalu expressed their gratitude to the state government for their concern.

He said the biological father of the deceased take the incident as an act of Destiny ,even though they will not stop government and security agencies from doing all they could to arrest those that commit this dastardly act to book . Recall that last Saturday , an unknown person lured two Quranic

School pupils to corner pledge to give them food but instead he took stone smashed the skill of one of them and removed his brain , the other boy run home with blood stain all over his body. The boy died after the incident, and he has since been buried according to Islamic rites.

Niger Govt advocated insurance scheme for farmers From Yakubu Minna



iger state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has advocated for farmers to have an insurance scheme to cushion the effect of the loses they sometimes suffer. Bello made this call when he received the ‘State Sector-Specific Investment Incentives’ Policy document from the Feed the Future of United States Agency for International Development, (USAID). He added that document policy from Dominic Graham, Chief Party and Managing Director of Feed the Future, when implemented will go a long way in attracting and propelling agroinvestors into the state. He assured that an implementation committee will be set up by the government which will ensure proper and adequate monitoring and also encourage local farmers in the state to meet international standards. According to him the state is doing well in producing the crops identified as target value chains but suggested that the policy should consider how to improve on the capacity of farmers and value addition through technical assistance. Earlier in his presentation, the Chief of Party, Dominic Graham, said the rationale behind the policy document, is to facilitate the promotion of investments, remove all unnecessary control and create an atmosphere that guarantees transparency while encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship in the state.

From left: Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Mrs Olusola Idowu; Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mr Clem Agba; Chairman of Community of Practice (COP) forum of Commissioners of Budget and Economic Planning, Solomon Elisha and Commissioner of Economic Planning, Delta State, Dr Barry Gbe, during a town hall meeting/dinner of COP with State Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning in Abuja on Wednesday (24/11/21).

Why Okowa will finish strong in all sectors - Ifeajika By Nosa Akenzua, Asaba


he Chief Press Secretary to Delta Governor, Mr. Olisa Ifeajika, has said that the Governor, Sen. (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, would finish strong in all sectors of the state’s economy. He said that though the governor had been outstanding in the provision of good roads and bridges across the state, he had also made great impact in other sectors, including job and wealth creation and youth development. Ifeajika made this known while speaking on a Delta Broadcasting Service (DBS) Television programme, “Delta TV Guest” in Asaba, on Wednesday night, which our correspondent monitored. He said that having superlatively distinguished itself in the area of road construction, the Okowa administration would in the remaining part of the tenure, bring all the sectors to the same level of attention. He explained that other sectors enjoyed same attention as roads, but that the sector stood because of its tangibility and critical role in any economy. The governor’s spokesman noted that the magnificent new central secretariat named “Obi (Prof) Chike Edozien Secretariat”

after the Asagba of Asaba, the traditional rulers’ secretariat, the three new universities and the film village and leisure park were some of the projects signposting the governor’ even attention to all sectors. “Anybody that has come to Delta for instance, must have heard of the new central secretariat in Asaba, which the governor in his humility and wisdom, has named after the Asagba of Asaba, Obi Prof. Chike Edozien, which by the grace of God, would be inaugurated by the Vice President of Nigeria on Monday, the 29 of November, 2021. “The person it’s named after, and the personality chosen to inaugurate it, shows that there is a lot of premium attached to that structure by the governor and his administration. “It will interest you to know that the college or conference of heads of service led by the Head of Service of the Federation, while in Asaba for a conference last year, saw and acknowledged that the Secretariatis the best in Africa. “Governors have come, journalists and other professionals and group have also come and they have all acknowledged that it’s the best in Africa. “We also have the traditional

rulers council secretariat. It was out of pragmatism and wisdom that the governor built that. so, it’s not just building houses or accommodations for residential purposes but the Government took time to do these ones that were clearly in deficit, and I am sure that in 2022, attention would be given more to residential genre of housing for Deltans,” to CPS said. On youths and wealth creation, the spokesman said that the administration had 2015 done quite a lot in the development of human capital through the office of job and wealth creation, with such programs as YAGEP, STEP and so on, noting that there were also other schemes for the youths under the Ministry of Youths Development, including Rural Youth Skill Acquisition (RYSA) programme. He disclosed that the latest of them all was the Girl Empowerment and Skills Training (GEST), which the governor in his wisdom and affection is using to capture and empower girls within the age bracket of 18 to 30 years. “The programme started with the training of 450 girls last year, but because of the huge success it recorded, the governor became increased the number by 100 per cent in the 2021 edition.

So, we have 900 of them who are undergoing training in the programme this year. “The governor has also promised that by next year, the number of beneficiaries may be further increased by another 450. “So, as we go ahead, the scheme is being expanded because the government, under Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, attaches so much premium to the development of youths,” Ifeajika stated. He said that not everyone would be employed into the public service due to limited openings, and disclosed that it was at that backdrop that the state government identified areas through which youths could be developed and gainfully employed. “And, the good news is that the youths are happy, they are rushing to get engaged, and our governor is also happy about it, particularly as it has to do with the women folk.” On defections from other political parties to the People Democratic Party (PDP ) in the state, Ifeajika affirmed that Delta was a PDP state, adding that successive administrations in the state had all done so well that nobody could push them away and that whoever was joining the party in the state was doing the right thing.




River Niger dredging: Project to provide over a million direct, indirect employments - Bello By Abubakar Yunusa


overnor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, has said the ongoing hydrographic survey and charting of the Lower Rivers Niger and Benue Rivers Niger and Benue; from Lokoja to Burutu, at completion would provide over 2,000,000 direct and indirect jobs. Flagging off the commencement of the project on Wednesday, Bello lauded the initiative, which was birthed by the Private Public Partnership of Nigeria Exportimport Bank Plc in collaboration with the Nigerian Navy and National Inland Waterways Authority. The Governor, through his Chief Press Secretary, ONOGWU Muhammed, asserted that these Rivers (Niger and Benue) have remained one of the most critical natural assets that held good prospects for economic diversification in Nigeria while he assured that at the end of this survey and charting project, various inland and river ports along the coast that have hitherto become moribund, would be reactivated. He pointed out that the Federal Government of Nigeria, have under the Presidential Economic Diversification Initiative (PEDI) introduced several policies and programmes aimed at diversifying Nigeria’s economy as well as improving the welfare, security and prosperity of Nigerian citizens and the current initiative was premised on such intention. The Governor attested that the project would similarly facilitate the handling of bulk imports from the coastal areas and the export of solid minerals and agricultural produce from the hinterland. He noted that nautical charts and other publications to be produced from this survey would support maritime security agencies to mobilise resources at a critical place and time of choice for the attainment of set national security objectives. He therefore urged various stakeholders to seize this golden and historic opportunity to work harmoniously and assiduously towards the completion of this important national survey within the shortest possible time.

Post COVID-19: FCT Minister tasks African women on building economies

By Stanley Onyekwere


he Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has tasked African women to be at the heart of rebuilding countries’ economies, values and future, just as she identified women as born managers of resources. Aliyu, who spoke virtually at the ongoing African Women Conference (AWC) holding in Kigali, Rwanda, also asserted that women were mostly affected at the peak of COVID-19 pandemic as they have the core responsibility of ensuring the wellbeing of members of their homes and communities. She, however, lamented

that the continuous under representation of women in the public space, in both elective and political appointments, has been the single most-important factor hampering the availability of economic opportunities. Aliyu further said; “In this conference, therefore, we must work to ensure women are at the forefront of leading the economic growth Africa desires, be part of policy making and implementation, and women should work towards the agenda of gender and social inclusion policy to protect women and female children in our various countries. “The development and growth of a nation would only be achievable

when women are equal partners in growth with men. The current reality is that in most African countries, women have relatively weak socioeconomic status and their successful empowerment must necessarily connect and feed their labour into the flow of economic development.. “Asides the negative impact on their economic status, women also have had to grapple with all forms of Gender-Based Violence: for illustration, increased domestic abuse, sexual harassment, rape, amongst others, were reported during the lockdown”. The Minister, who argued that given the population and innate potentials of women in

contributing to the political and socio-economic development of any country, it behoves on the state to map out workable strategies that would ensure the effective empowerment of women at all levels. She noted that doing so, would enable the womenfolk to maximize their potentialities and further help consolidate the gains that contemporary democratic opening provides especially in the post COVID-19 era. This year’s African Women Conference has the theme: “Women’s Participation in Building An Inclusive and Sustainable Post COVID-19 Economy”. Members of the House of Representatives, Kaduna state Caucus, during the their press briefing on the insecurity on the Abuja Kaduna road, at the National A s s e m b l y yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Media: FG unveils 13-member task force to oversee audience measurement service By Mashe Umaru Gwamna


he Federal Government through the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has unveiled a 13-member Task Force to oversee and deliver the Audience Measurement Service on Nigeria Media Platforms. In a statement issued in Abuja yesterday, Special Assistant to the President (Media) Office of the Minister of Information and

Culture,Segun Adeyemi. The Minister said the approval followed the recommendation of the Task Force’s membership by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON). He directed the NBC and APCON to collaborate to set a framework for the operations and activities of the Task Force, in order to ensure that the Audience Measurement Service comes into effect in the first quarter of 2022.

APCON and the NBC had earlier announced the appointment of First Media and Entertainment Integrated (Nigeria) Limited (FMEIL) for the development and delivery of audience measurement service on Nigeria Media Platforms in order to deepen advertising spend, improve theadvertising and broadcasting ecosystem and increase investment in advertising and broadcast media content. According the statement, members of the Task Force are:

Tolu Ogunkoya - Chairman,Femi Adelusi - President MIPAN,Steve Babaeko - President AAAN, Mrs. Bunmi Adeniba - President ADVAN, Mrs. Jibe Ologeh President EMCOAN,Yinka Oduniyi - President ITPAN,Guy Murray Bruce - President IBAN. Others are Kadaria Ahmed Member,Mrs. Pauline Ehusani - Director, NBC, Mrs. Ijedi Iyoha - Director, APCON,Garba Bello Kankarofi - Member,Hajia Sa’a Ibrahim - Member and Joe Mutah - Secretary.

Jigawa Assembly dispels impeachment rumours against Speaker From Mika’il Tsoho, Dutse


he Jigawa Atate House of Assembly has dispelled the rumours of planned impeachment against the Speaker, honourable Idris Garba Kareka, describing the rumours as fake news. This was disclosed by the chairman House committee on information, youth, sports and culture, Muhammed Adamu while speaking to news men. “It is a fake news from those don’t wish the state well, the assembly members and the speaker include the executive arm are in good working relationship any reports alleging plot to impeach the speaker is fake.

“Such issue was never discussed by the members, the house must have a reason if it must impeach the speaker; what is the reason? No senator is meddling in the affairs of the house, we are independent, can those peddling such false rumours come out and prove their allegation,” the lawmaker queried. Furthermore , Adamu said such statement were just imaginary fiction by some groups outside the party trying to create confusion in the state. According to him, the Assembly was concerned about the well being of the state, that made the lawmakers not to be attending seatings for some times while attending seminars and workshops outside the state

confirm that he don’t know the speaker’s where about. When asked about the Speaker’s whereabout, the Chairman House committee on information said : “I don’t know, I can not say to be frank an sincere”. “Is not my business to be watching some one movement and the speaker inclusive, so that is not something serious to pay attention or waisted time”. It could be recalled that, some national dailies reports that there is a plot to unseat the speaker also the member representing Jahun constituency on alleged been sponsoring by a serving Senator from the state. According to the reports, the move to

remove the speaker is in relation with the gubernatorial position in the state in 2023 as indication emerged that the speaker and the said Senator we’re all eyeing the office. It had been said the Senator in question is nurturing ambition of becoming next Governor of the state in 2023 is making frantic efforts to unseat the Speaker by coercing some members of the state house of Assembly to commence the impeachment process of the Speaker The speaker was said to be in an odds with the state governor Muhammad Badaru over the 2023 governorship seat. He was conspicuously absent in a series of political events hosting the governor.





Will Blinken blink?

.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Nigeria yesterday as part of a threenation African trip that began in Kenya and will end in Senegal. Before leaving home, Blinken on Wednesday said that Washington had removed Nigeria from its list of countries with religious freedom concerns.

He will meet with President Muhamadu Buhari and other top government officials, including the vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and foreign affairs minister, Geoffrey Onyeama. They will discuss cooperation on global health security, expanding energy access and economic growth, and revitalizing democracy, according to a U.S. State Department release last week.

That day he made an annual Blinken will give a talk on announcement of the countries on the list, naming Myanmar, U.S.-Africa policy, emphasizing China, Eritrea, Iran, North the value of democracy. This Korea, Pakistan, Russia, year alone, the continent has Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and witnessed successful military in Chad, Guinea Turkmenistan as countries coups and Sudan, of particular threatening concern. He also decades of placed Algeria, progress toward Comoros, Cuba democracy. and Nicaragua on The timing of a watch list for Nigeria’s omission Expectations religious freedom, and Blinken’s on the Blinken and designated couldn’t have visit are armed groups, including Islamic been coincidental. understandably high for the State and several It obviously was of its affiliates, as intended to ease simple reason that the trajectory entities of concern. But Nigeria, which frayed nerves in the of President Joe Africa was added to the Nigerian government Biden’s policy hasn’t been list for the first time over America’s in 2020, was not acceptance of a clear since taking January redesignated. panel’s finding that office this year. Yes, The timing of soldiers “massacred” one of the first things he did Nigeria’s omission protesters on and Blinken’s October 20, last year, was signing an executive order couldn’t have in Lagos lifting travel bans been coincidental. imposed by his It obviously was intended to ease frayed nerves predecessor, Donald Trump, in the Nigerian government on Muslim countries including over America’s acceptance of Nigeria - a move that was a panel’s finding that soldiers widely praised. But after that “massacred” protesters on nothing. The expectation is October 20, last year, in Lagos. that things will move faster In Abuja, Blinken is expected and clearer on that front after to discuss the COVID-19 Blinken’s visit. pandemic, climate change, Meanwhile, we say, Blinken, revitalizing democracies, and barka da zuwa. security issues.

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Letter to the Editor

Nigeria as FDI destination in Africa: Slowly, steadily winning the race By Musa Ilallah


he recent report that Nigeria has become Africa’s third most attractive destination country for Foreign Investment opportunities, should not come as a surprise to many observers of the country’s giant strides in recent times. Organised by a South African financial services company called Absa, the Absa Africa Financial Markets Index 2021, AAFMI surveyed 23 countries in Africa and used six pillars to rank their openness and attractiveness to foreign investment. AAFMI stated that Nigeria scored 63 points to occupy the third position while the first and second positions went to South Africa and Mauritius with 86 and 70 points respectively. It is noteworthy that the process that saw Nigeria emerge 3rd was based on six pillars put forward by AAFMI which are market depth; access to foreign exchange; market transparency, tax and regulatory environment; capacity of local investors; macroeconomic opportunity; and enforceability of financial contracts. Records show that Nigeria’s performance across the six pillars were: market depth, 62; access to foreign exchange, 20; market transparency, tax and regulatory environment, 86; capacity of local investors, 44; macroeconomic opportunities, 69 and enforceability of standard master agreement, 100. The report stated that nine countries in the index, including Nigeria, have introduced products that could be classified as green or sustainable and emphasised that, “green bonds are the most popular instrument, being at investors’ disposal in seven countries.” The AAFMI evaluated financial market development in 23 countries and highlighted economies with the most supportive environment for effective markets. The aim was to show present positions, as well as how economies could improve market frameworks to bolster investor access and sustainable growth. The 2021index was produced by the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum, OMFIF and sponsored by Absa Group Limited. It showed that only seven countries scored up to 50 basis points against 14 countries that reached 50 points last year. The good news is that the report noted that Nigeria was also among countries that are using technology in their stock exchanges to boost retail participation. It noted that Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched FinPort, a fintech and innovation portal to assist fintech businesses to understand the regulatory requirements for the Nigerian capital market. It added that the SEC would be rolling out a regulatory incubator for fintech seeking to conduct capital market activities. Regrettably however, AAFMI did state that Nigeria has continued to perform poorly in access to FX and has imposed administrative controls that expanded the number of goods subject to import restrictions, enforcing existing export repatriation rules and restricting FX supply to certain windows. “While these measures restricted capital outflows and helped keep reserves stable, market liquidity remained below pre-pandemic levels. The volatile FX market and the delays in the repatriation

of foreign currency out of Nigeria caused further problems. Despite a rebound in oil prices and remittances, the FX shortage persists as imports recover faster than exports. All these factors contributed to Nigeria’s poor performance in Pillar 2,” the report said. It is however heart-warming that, according to the report, Nigeria has kept its official borrowing relatively low, and this is kudos to the economic sure footedness of the Buhari administration “At 8.4 per cent of GDP, it has the best debt profile, boosting its ranking by five places to fifth. However, with oil prices expected to remain relatively low, the debt ratio is expected to go up,” the report further stated. Also noteworthy is the fact that Nigeria, as stated in the AAFMI report, has continued to make strides in creating an enabling investment environment for foreign investors, with the necessary regulatory developments and policy initiatives. This is in addition to enacting enforceable netting-off provisions in the country’s Companies and Allied Matters Act of 2020. International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) has published a legal opinion on Nigeria’s insolvency regime, elevating it to an acceptable level of international best practice in netting-off and insolvency. In the words of the Interim Chief Executive Officer, Absa Group, Mr. Jason Quinn, while commenting on the aims of the index: “The index has become a benchmark for the investment community and Africa generally to gauge countries’ performance across a host of indicators important for financial market development. “We are extremely proud of the annual report, which has become a critical toolkit for countries seeking to strengthen their financial markets infrastructure.” Now in its fifth year, the index records countries’ openness to foreign investment and is an objective indicator of the attractiveness of Africa’s capital markets, intended for use by policymakers, investors and asset managers around the world. The 2021 index also stated that digital developments such as digitalisation, fintech innovation and exploration into central bank digital currencies increased and spurred financial market transformation through the automation and digitalisation of trading platforms and regulatory processes. Today one can confidently say that digital technologies are reshaping financial markets in many countries. Beyond improving accessibility, digital innovations can make capital markets more efficient and competitive, attracting investors and issuers. It is gratifying that despite the numerous challenges staring Nigeria in the face, the country is being acknowledged by Nigerians and outsiders alike as a country doing very well on its economic, social, security and other critical sectors. This rating by AAFMI of Nigeria certainly calls for full blown celebrations by all and sundry in the country. I for one, I feel extremely happy and excited about this rating. It gives me hope and confidence that my country, Nigeria, is working under PMB. MUSA ILALLAH EMEKA ANYAOKU STREET ABUJA




Poor leadership: Principal or instrumental explanation for Nigeria’s underdevelopment?

By Jerome-Mario Utomi


here is no gainsaying that Nigeria is plagued with development challenges such as widespread poverty, insecurity, corruption, gross injustice and ethnic politics. Also, evidence abounds that the nation is in dire need of attention/support from, interventionist’s organizations (private and civil society organization), to help unleash economic development, promotes growth and structural change, with some measures of distributive equity, modernization in social and cultural attitudes, a degree of political transformation and stability, an improvement in health and education so that population growth stabilizes, and an increase in urban living and employment. What is yet to be uncovered is/ are the principal and instrumental factors that set the stage for this unending national malady, as well as give it a boost to thrive unhindered in the country. To many, corruption is the principal factor exacerbating the nation’s underdevelopment. It is the single reason Nigeria has remained underdeveloped. Corruption has eaten so deep into the fabric of the nation, so much so that it has become a threat to the very existence of the nation. Talking about corruption is almost like wasting precious time on an issue that has come to stay and not in any hurry to leave. To some, the challenge is rooted in the ‘Federal Character Principle’ which was introduced into the 1979 Constitution, to among other

responsibilities; promote peace, stability, sharing of power and resources amongst the states, has contrary to expectations failed to achieve the primed principle but, lowered education standards in the country, compromised standards and professionalism in the nation’s civil service by ignoring meritocracy. The rest are on the one hand, particularly of the view that existence of weak institutions daily undermined by strong figures, region and ‘political Maradonas’ breeds national mediocrity. Others on the other hands blames the nation’s deformed Federal System which have not only made the centre more attractive with federating states stripped of valuable responsibilities/ autonomy but made the nation stand in an inverted pyramid shape with more power concentrated at the top and the base not formidable enough making collapse inevitable if urgent and fundamental steps are not taken, Definitely, this piece agrees with most of the reasons above being responsible for the situation/ challenge in the country. However, I would like to add to what I have just observed above that the problem in the country would need to be looked at in a wider and, indeed, deeper context of the evolution and development in the wider human society particularly in Nigeria where corruption has held all square bound At this point, the question may be asked; what impact has leadership had on the development of the nation? Are political leaders

in Nigeria patrons or profiteers? Again, looking at the multiple layers of formal and informal political leadership in post colonial Nigeria where political leaders are the primary holders, controllers and the distributors of power and resources, it elicits the question as to whether poor leadership is a principal or instrumental factor impeding the development of the country? To add to the contest, talking about principal or instrumental factors impeding the development, Sylvester Enomah clarifies the concern in his book entitled ‘the Nature of Metaphysics’. According to him, as the term designates it, instrumental cause means a thing or instrument that aids the agent or the principal cause in the process of causation and in the achieving of the effect. In this case, the instrument is subordinate to the principal cause for direction, principles and initiative. The instrumental cause is handicapped in determining the nature and the character or the type of effect the principal cause intends. Secondly, the effect is always attributed to the principal cause. Hence, the consequences of the casualty be it a praise or blame is directed or addressed principally to the principal cause and not to the instrumental cause. The principal cause is intelligent and has the knowledge of what should be the effect of the cause; the instrumental cause may be unintelligent and may not know what may happen or be the effect of the cause. Even if the instrumental cause knows, it is not responsible

for the effect of the causality as such. The instrumental cause is not responsible on the condition that it is a non-living entity, and if it is a living thing, it is at the lower level of existence, for instance, lower animals like dogs. If the living entity is a man, the effect is not attributed to him, or he is not responsible on the condition that he is handicapped, i.e. he cannot hear, think, see, and smell, reason, mentally depraved, under age or under threat. From the above explanation, it is deductible in my views that leadership challenge is the principal factor responsible for Nigeria’s underdevelopment while corruption, system of government are but instrumental reasons. Even Barrister Lee Kuen Yew, pioneer prime minister of Singapore shares similar views. Let’s listen to him; my experience of developments in Asia has led me to conclude that we need good people to have good government. However good the system of government, bad leaders will bring harm to their people. On the other hand, I have seen several societies well-governed in spite of poor systems of government, because good, strong leaders were in charge. I have also seen so many of the over 80 constitutions drafted by Britain and France for their former colonies come to grief, and not because of flaws in the constitutions. It was simply that the preconditions for a democratic system of government did not exist. Again, sometime in May 2016,

the Prime Minister of Britain, David Cameron, described Nigeria and Afghanistan as “fantastically corrupt” in a con­versation with the Queen. Cameron had said, “We’ve got some leaders of some fantastically corrupt countries coming to Britain… Nigeria and Afghanistan, possibly the two most corrupt countries in the world.” Closely related to the above is the reality that the managers of our nation’s economy continue to go against the provisions of the constitutions as an attempt to disengage governance from public sector control of the economy has only played into waiting hands of the profiteers of goods and services to the detriment of the Nigerian people. While the nation continues to lie prostrate and diminish socially and economically with grinding poverty and starvation driving more and more men into the ranks of the beggars, whose desperate struggle for bread renders them insensible to all feelings of decency and self-respect, the privileged political few continue to flourish in obscene and splendour as they pillage and ravage the resources of our country at will. Finally, the truth is that if nothing is done to alleviate this appealing situation, it will hopelessly confirm why the nation is stumbling. Utomi is the Programme Coordinator (Media and Public Policy), Social and Economic Justice Advocacy (SEJA), Lagos. He could be reached via;jeromeutomi@yahoo. com/08032725374.

Roles of the youth in emergence of a new Nigeria By Tufayl Olamilekan Adelakun


ccording to a recent study carried out by Mercy Corps, many of the active members of terrorist groups – especially in the West African region – willfully joined or were forcefully conscripted from the large pool of unemployed youth. The Nigerian youth must seek to contribute their quota to building a peaceful nation by embracing peaceful coexistence across divides. When the Giant of Africa gained her much-expected independence from the British colonial government, the joy on the faces of Nigerians that witnessed the celebration had no bounds; there were great expectations that heralded the event. But alas! More than 60 years later, the sickening situation of the country has cast aspersions on her future. The question that keeps ringing in the heart of many is: is this the same country the founding fathers laid the foundations of in 1960? Moving further, we have two options as we seek to address the challenges bedeviling this blessed country. On one hand, is managing the poor condition of the country where corruption, insecurity, poverty, and injustice are the order of the day. While on the other end, choosing to chart a new course for

a new Nigeria where justice, peace, progress, national development becomes the order of the day. This can only be championed by energetic, passionate citizens who are hungry for development and greatness. The global youth population: between the ages 15 and 24 years according to the United Nations Organization (UNO) is estimated at 1.8 Billion – 19% of the world’s population. Africa possesses the highest youth in the world, with Nigeria possessing the highest youth population in Africa. The youth is of course the key stakeholder in championing the course for a new Nigeria. The subsequent paragraphs suggest the roles the Nigerian youth can play in charting a new course: Of utmost importance to building a better and new Nigeria is the need for young people to explore the political space of the country. Young people have innovative ideas that are useful assets to national development and as such, there is a need for them to participate in the political process. Reflecting on our history during the first republic shows us young people playing active roles in the governance of the country. Col Yakubu Gowon became the Head of state at the age of 28, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo became the

Head of state in 1976 at a young age. Alhaji Shehu Shagari and Ibrahim Waziri became Federal Ministers in their 20s. This is a strong indicator that young people can be strong agents of national development in the emergence of a new and better Nigeria, provided that they are ready to play an active role in the political space. Young people also have a key responsibility to play in building a peaceful and safe Nigeria because the young people across the globe are key stakeholders in peacebuilding. According to a recent study carried out by Mercy Corps, many of the active members of terrorist groups – especially in the West African region – willfully joined or were forcefully conscripted from the large pool of unemployed youth. The Nigerian youth must seek to contribute their quota to building a peaceful nation by embracing peaceful coexistence across divides. The Central African Republic is a good model that has exemplified this. One of the key initiatives that were adopted by the young people in peacebuilding is through the inter-faith platform of the Central African Youth (PIJCA) whose aim was to prevent and manage sectarian conflicts in the country by promoting peace and rebuilding the affected communities. This group’s

activities were very prominent at the peak of the violence in Bangui as the initiative succeeded in persuading the belligerent groups in working towards a peaceful mediation. In addition, young people must learn to deploy their knowledge in addressing the challenges bedeviling the nation through effective means such as national dialogue. Algeria was able to interrogate the major factors that were responsible for the various challenges facing young people and find local solutions to these identified issues using peaceful dialogue methods. Dialogue remains a key tool in peacebuilding and, as such, there is a need for the voices of young people to be heard from the local to the national level by giving them the chance to express their grievances. Going further, without any iota of doubt, young people across the globe have an extensive network within their various communities, and the fluency with which they use social media to disseminate their messages are unique assets to the promotion of love, tolerance, and national development across the globe. Social media, if properly deployed can be used to help spread peace, encourage dialogue, sensitize young people across all divides, religions, ethnic groups,

political affiliations. The Nigerian youth must collectively deploy social media in promoting values that can strengthen national unity. In Conclusion, young people represent not only the key stakeholders in national development but also a key risk factor if they are not properly harnessed. Hence, to build a new Nigeria, young people are the key pillars that the country depends on. The National Youths Development Policy asserts that: Youths are the foundation of a society. Their energies, inventiveness, character, and orientation define the pace of development and security of a nation. Through their creative talents and labor power, a nation makes giant strides in economic development and socio-political attainments. In their dreams and hopes, a nation founds her motivation; on their energies, she builds her vitality and purpose. And because of their dreams and aspirations, the future of a nation is assured. Adelakun Tufayl Olamilekan is a recent Graduate of History and International Studies from Lagos State University. He can be reached out to on:




Climate change and the future of food security in Nigeria By Churchill Okonkwo


xpert value judgment about potential risks of drought due to climate change/variability and what should be done is not the role of scientists, but policymakers. Yet, it is the scientists that will lay out the elements of risk to help policymakers evaluate what ‘critical’ drought that could result from climate change entails. This piece, to mark the 2019 World Water Day, will focus on the future of food security in Nigeria in the face of climate change. The theme of the 2019 World Water Day, marked on 22nd of March is ‘Leaving no one behind’. This theme was adapted from the central promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that as sustainable development progresses, everyone must benefit. As we make progress in the agricultural sector, the question on my mind is whether these agro-farming improvements are sustainable in the face of climate change. Will the peasant farmers that produce over 80% of Nigeria’s agricultural output be left behind in the climate change era? Per the estimate by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FOA) of the United Nations, Nigeria has a very low level of irrigation development (less than 2 percent of cropped land). Thus, there is a high reliance on rainfed agriculture. In the absence of irrigation, rained lands, especially

those in the semiarid and Savannah agro-ecological zones of Nigeria will remain fragile, threatened and unsuitable for sustainable food production. What will be the impact of climate change on the more than “7 million” Nigerians that are currently actively employed in agriculture? Extensive studies on rainfall variability show that regional climate change and associated climate variability is likely to affect the availability of water from the year 2032 across West Africa, especially the Sahel. This climate information on future drought is the foundation that should guide our current investment in agrobusiness. During a severe and prolonged drought in a new climate era, will there be sufficient water/moisture to support the current investment in the agricultural sector on a longterm basis? Will the agricultural sector in Nigeria have the capacity to respond? During drought, some surface water will dry up, groundwater will be depleted, threatening food production in across the Sahel and Savannah regions, the present food basket of Nigeria. This will result in the collapse of the current agro-based economy. It is only this understanding that can precipitate informed discussion, then, informed policy directives that will empower relevant authorities to take meaningful action. The failure of the farming

programs, such as the Operation Feed the Nation (OFN) and the “Green Revolution” initiated under Olusegun Obasanjo and Shehu Shagari should be a reminder that a well-intended agrarian revolution can go wrong. A holistic framework and strategy for sustainable water governance systems for an agrobased economy are thus essential. With only about 40% of the 84 million hectares of arable land in Nigeria cultivated, the challenge for the government is, therefore, not how to improve on this per se, but doing so in such a way to withstand prolonged severe drought. The key to this readiness is the maximization of the use of ground and surface water for irrigation purposes where applicable. Chinua Achebe wrote that “A man who lives on the banks of the Niger (river) should not wash his hands in spittle.” The good people of Nigeria that live on the banks of Rivers Niger, Benue, Imo, Cross River, Gongola, Hadejia, Kaduna, Katsina-Ala, Ogun, Osun, Owena, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara Rivers etc. should not face food scarcity under any climate change scenario. The development and execution of a master plan that will involve the efficient use of perennial water resources across Nigeria is a shortcut to ensuring food security. In the face of increasing population and uncertainties from climate change, these enormous water resources potential should

be fully utilized by the state and federal governments. All we need to do is take advantage of technological innovations to tap these untapped water resources at our backyards. Think of the capacity (cubic liters) of irrigation water we can easily harness from these untapped resources. The promotion of largescale water management schemes to provide water resources for agriculture can thus guarantee enough water for year-round farming under present and future climate change scenarios. The lesson from the glitch in the production of tomatoes in Nigeria in 2016 that resulted in an astronomical increase in prizes with untold hardship is that any prolonged drought in the Savanah belt northwards will be catastrophic. Therefore, in addition to developing the agricultural sector in the northern parts of Nigeria that are more prone to severe drought, the federal and state governments should also invest heavily in the food baskets in the south. The antiquated mindset focused on developing agriculture in a drought-prone region without adequate irrigation facilities should be modernized. The Nigerian government should push for, develop and harness the irrigation potentials of our water resources. They should provide policy guidelines aimed at strengthening all River Basin

Authorities for integrated water resources management at the subregional and watershed scale. In the face of climate change, managing surface and groundwater through small-scale irrigation will be essential in sustaining food production in rainfed areas. This irrigation programs should be tailored to the local and ecological peculiarities of watersheds. Water availability for agriculture during severer drought will give farmers the security they need to risk investing in other productivityboosting technologies, such as fertilizers and improved seed. This is how to put the nation on the road to food security. Finally, per the Food and Agricultural Organization (FOA) of the United Nations, “Food security exists when all people, always, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food for a healthy and active life.” For Nigeria to have access to sufficient food, always, we need a new paradigm in food security. Such a paradigm should be aimed at guaranteeing food security by creating an agricultural sector that is equipped with irrigation facilities to withstand years of drought. It’s only after we have done this, that we can guarantee food security for all Nigerians in the climate change era. Churchill Okonkwo, Ph.D. is of the African Center for Climate Change Science and Policy Research, Washington D.C.

The trucks and its contribution to jungle justice in Lagos

By kareem Itunu Azeez


s a common norm, in the place I come from, when one thing happens, it usually trend and continue in that same way and in that same vein. It is out rightly condemn able with all margins one could judged the atrocities committed on a daily basis in the name of survival, by this youths, or generally men and women, in Nigeria lately- from selling of babies, stealing of female under wears, stealing and other terrible things done for money, the greatest slave master. It is true that the people no longer regard the police force, talk less of fearing them, the police force who are now like beggars on the streets, they have never gone on strike, and however the poor condition they carry out their duties, they continue to remain on streets and roads and ultimately with their ever present roadblock. Lately this menace and irregularities in our security system, has led to citizens been protectors of themselves, amidst the high crime prevalence. The judgment is instant once caught in the act, the street courts are unitary, everyone judges you with rubber tires, petrol and in few minutes, the suspect seems to understand the subjective meaning of fare well. It was just a Monday morning, 18th of march 2019, another unfortunate fellow, fell prey to this harsh and trial

judgment by the ever angry mile two mobs. Witnesses has it that, he was a bike thief, who wanted to snatch a motorcycle from its owner, this owner was hesitant in releasing it. Even in the presence of cutlass and various cuts. Although sadly the victim of the cuts died after some hours due to loss of blood, but the criminal also went to the world beyond. Some say they were two, the other escaped when he realizes the bombshell is about to be unleashed, but the other, as angrily narrated by one witness is “hardened criminal” he machete the bike man thrice, one at face, neck and eventually the nose, which resulted into severe hemorrhage, people came immediately when they hear the sound of “Thief thief” from the dyeing bike man, and at once we was apprehended and beaten to a plum, by the angry mob. Other sources say, their were two different criminals, who unfortunately met their waterloo the same day, one was been beaten in the present of the Nigeria soldiers, he was a suspect said to have stolen money, but was caught in the act, no one gave room for due process, but the irate mob, pounce on both and were burnt to ashes, viewed in the image below, This sad scene took place at the busy mile two industrial estate, opposite Fatgbems filing station, and till date no police or any government officials have been seen or present at the scenes, and we have a sitting

governor or rather a commissioner of police. Well, sadly the questions and many questions we continue to ask even with excess evidence, is how do this thugs or criminals get their sophisticated weapons..? AlthoughThe people no longer believed in the security system, the first question still would be, how do they get the guns they use? How do they still walk free after some days of been handed to the police? How have they become so courageous to do this terrible things during the day? And so many other questions that need answers. The country is extremely hard, but it isn’t a reason to make others cry to be satisfied, neither is it, an opportunity for the streets to showcase their anger by passing judgment at instant to unfortunate fellows. And one of my many question is, how do we get here? And where do we go from here? The people do this for two major reasons, one is that, so that others would see this as deterrent and see how painful a torment they pass through before death, secondly, its a sign of a failed security system. Like I said earlier, the police were created as the peoples closest friends to protect and promote civil peace in the society and neighborhood, but recent times have shown to us, how unreliable they can be. Some sources even went ahead to prove how the so call police aid armed robbery, the people no longer regard them as anything else, but uniformed thieves, so heartbreaking. Sadly this has resulted into the

dreaded state of lawlessness, abuse of power, and possibly if not handled seriously, some state of anarchy, and who knows, it could be anyone’s family member one day that may fall prey to this Jungle Justice. A colleague of mine narrated a scene, of how about six guys with weapon attacked a woman who just arrive from the Seme-boarder, with goods, inside her truck, they ask to stay calm, in his words, “una dey collect salary monthly, but this na our own salary, so make una just stay calm but if you wan form actor see am ” they were shown guns. And there they were there till all robbery actions took place. This is technical and bold robbery or rather friendly robbery, but what state would the woman be. As usual, we always will say, let the government provide jobs and security, people will work, and this crimes would reduce, but tragically, wen the moral standards is low, definitely, the society is in trouble, we are just coming out of “Benz and Pants” scenario, now its the return of Jungle Justice. A state of lawlessness. The government is partly to blame, because the area in question is usually a busy place, a federal road, who has been blocked by various empty tankers heading to the badlands of Apapa, this tankers had been there for God knows how long, and not ready to leave their any moment from now. This is why many traffic hold ups are at rise, cars and trucks all vying for space to pass, and at night, this

men of the underworld see this as an opportunity to carry out their bad acts. During sunlight, even other places where truck are now used as temporary homes, you will see tragic states of the nation, immoral acts happening to school girls,and hawkers, who are lured by this tanker drivers, sometimes one might be lucky to escape the grips of hungry thugs, who do not have job, but to attack their unsuspecting victims, carting away their wealth. All because of the bad roads. It is true that instant judgment which usually is always death, may be effective when it comes to reducing such bad trends, but let us also remember we are a people bounded by government, state under the jurisdiction of a system of government, if the police have failed the people, as the current situation is, whereby we now have soldiers everywhere, even at the scene of the situation it was soldiers controlling the mobs, but few of them cant control civilians who wants their will to prevail. I therefore urge the Lagos state government, to look into this growing menace, before it becomes uncontrollable, and even more importantly the various trucks and tankers on our highways, all this are also part of why crimes are on a geometric progression. kareem Itunu Azeez is aPublic Affairs Analyst



News Women demand arrest parents of outof-school children From: Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


overnor of Kaduna State, Nasiru El-rufai have been enjoined to enforce the Kaduna State Child Welfare law, by arresting and prosecuting Parents who encourage their children to drop out of school. This point was made by a woman leader in Makarfi Local government area of Kaduna State, Hajiya Aisha Muhammed. Muhammed gave the charge while fielding questions from the media at a town hall meeting on Social Protection Policy and Girl Education organized by Save the Children International(SCI) in collaboration with Kaduna Social Protection Accountability Mechanism (KADSPAC) held in Makarfi yesterday. According to her, poverty is not the main reason that forces many children to be on the streets today rather it is the Ignorance and arrogance of some parents that encourages such acts. She added that in the state education is free, but some parents are not taking advantage of it rather prefer to send their wards to the streets for begging and hawking. The leader of women in the grassroot, however, said the Government Social protection policy for the poor and vulnerable is a welcome development but the parents must also play their parts to ensure that the efforts are not jettisoned. In his remarks, the chairman Makarfi Local Government Area, Engr. Kabiru Muazu Mayere said his administration will focus on girl’s child education and ensure the implementation of Kaduna state Social protection policy in the area. The Chairman who was represented by the Executive secretary, Shuaibu Alkassim said there are some interventions by the council for people living with Disabilities(PWDs) in the area. He also said during the Covid-19 lockdown the local government distributed palliatives to the poor and vulnerable Similarly, the Social Protection Champion in the Local government, Ibrahim Bako Tanko said girls child education is a commitment Nigeria made with the United Nations ( UN). He noted that the local government must work towards ensuring that barriers to girls’ Child education such as; Sociocultural, insecurity, access, among others which hitherto affects the girls’ child education must be addressed.

Ministry mulls implementation of self-assessment tool for staff performance By Amaechi Agbo


he Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in compliance with the Federal Government’s directive to adopt an automated Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) for staff performance, has organised a one-day training for its staff to implement and drive the directive. Speaking at the training programme, the Permanent Secretary, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, represented by the Director, Special Duties, Mrs. Fausat Lawal, said the tool designed by the Bureau for Public Service Reform

(BPSR) is to enable ministries and agencies assess their strengths and weaknesses and subsequently employ the outcome of the selfevaluation as a management tool to create continuous improvement in the service. He explained that the exercise was not only in compliance with the government’s directive but also expected to be used to set priority for an action plan to further reposition the ministry for optimal performance. The Permanent Secretary, therefore, urged the management and staff of the ministry selected for the training to maximally cooperate

with the BPSR team for the success of the initiative. Earlier, in his opening remarks, the Director-General, Bureau of Public Service Reform (BPSR) Mr. Dasuki Arabi, said SAT is a webbased tool designed to find out the strengths and weaknesses of an organisation to determine areas that need further strengthening. Arabi, who was represented by Head, Strategy Innovation and Research Department, Mrs. Mercy Okon said, explained further that it is used to assess or diagnose the current health of an organization, examine its strengths and weaknesses to ascertain its

performance. “The self-assessment tool contains 100 statements of good practices with a rating scale which will result in sections and result charts and priority areas for action planning”, he said. He added that the exercise is just to assist the organisation’s performance and promote service delivery while urging the participants to be open-minded in their responses. The SAT methodology constitute 3 focal groups structured into Directorate, middle and junior cadre officers and each were taken through the assessment exercise. M a n a g i n g Director/CEO, Nigeria Deposit I n s u r a n c e Corporation (NDIC), Mr. Bello Hassan (middle), with members of the House of Representatives Committee on Insurance and Actuarial Matters, during the retreat on strengthening N i g e r i a ’ s F i n a n c i a l Safety-Net: The role deposit Insurance (DI), in Lagos yesterday.

Security Chiefs charged to end banditry on federal highways By Christiana Ekpa


he House of Representatives yesterday asked the Security Chiefs to take immediate steps to end act of banditry on the nation’s highways. The House resolution followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance on the spate of attacks by armed bandits on the Abuja/Kaduna road, sponsored by Hon. Mohammed Nalaraba who called for the House intervention over the increasing insecurity on the nation’s highways. In his lead debate, Hon. Nalaraba who raised alarm over security reports that bandits were regrouping at Rijana village along the Abuja/Kaduna highway, expressed displeasure over the non-response of security agencies despite of the information, nothing has been done to flush them out. It directs all security related committees in the House to constantly liase with the security Agencies on what they are doing and brief the leadership of the house on

a monthly basis and also brief the entire house on a quarterly basis. While noting that there were reports that bandits has built their hide out at Rijana village on the Abuja/Kaduna highway from where they operate unhindered, he expressed grief over the rationale why security agents have not been able to flush them out of the community, saying “Rijana is not like the Zamfara forest. It is a small community and these bandits have regrouped there and if care is not taken, they will soon move to Suleja and then to Abuja.” He also underscored the urgent need to roll out measures aimed at ending the rising security challenges in the country which has claimed the lives of many innocent persons without any sign of it abating, He lamented that on Sunday, bandits again attacked innocent travellers on the Abuja/Kaduna high way, killing and abducting Nigerians, adding that the operation of the bandits continued unabated on Monday, Tuesday and even Wednesday without security agents

curbing their activities. He argued that Nigerian roads, especially the Kaduna/Abuja road which is one of the busiest roads in the country are no longer safe, especially on weekends, adding that the situation is such that even senior military and security officers with their convoy can no longer travel on the road. To this end, he stressed the need for the House to direct security agencies to take immediate action to flush out the bandits from the hideouts and make the roads safe for Nigerians to travel for their businesses. In his remarks, Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai said attack by bandits on Nigerian road has become a daily affair inspite of the huge investment on security. “The House recalled that in 2019, the federal government took N1 billion and invested it on security without recourse to the National Assembly. But we supported the move in the interest of all. “In 2020, a lot of money was again budgeted for security. But a

lot of lives has been lost which have gone unannounced. But because a politician is killed now, it has become a national issue. “We are in the process of working on the 2022 budget and I am aware that a large chunk of money in the budget is going to security even when Nigerians are dying. “Abuja/Kaduna highway is one of the busiest roads in the country. It is the road used by our farmers in the north to transport their produce to the market in the south. If we can’t go to Kaduna or other parts of the north, then why are in the National Assembly? “We have committees on security in the House. We should mandate them to brief the leadership of the House on a monthly basis on what is happening with security in the country and also brief the entire house on a quarterly basis.” To this end, the House mandated the Chief of Army Staff, the In spector General of Police and Heads of other security agencies to take necessary proactive steps to end banditry in the country.


By Christiana Ekpa


he Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) has said it will welcome its presidential ticket from any region in the country. Falalu Bello, the Party’s National Chairman, disclosed this while receiving one of the party’s presidential hopefuls, Madam Patience Ndidi Key, at its national secretariat in Abuja.


We have not zoned presidencial ticket to any region – PRP National Chairman He told the presidential aspirant and her supporters at the secretariat that the party has not zoned its presidential ticket to any region, stressing that everyone is free to seek the ticket of the party.

He said, “The party has made the presidential ticket available to all zones in the country in order to ensure credible Nigerians aspire for the number one seat for stability and to restore Nigeria’s

lost glory.” He called on Nigerians with the country at heart to aspire for elective political offices, saying that it is only with credible leaders that the country would move forward in

all spheres of life. Responding, Madam Patience Ndidi Key, the presidential hopeful, explained that her visit was to express her ambition to join the presidential race.

2023: APGA Give women more slots in elective positions – Reps Deputy Chief Whip welcomes organised by the National Institute for occupied by the women in the National only.” By Christiana Ekpa Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman, DG of Legislative and Democratic Studies Assembly. persons willing She said the women are looking for NILDS, noted that a report by the Centre he Deputy Chief Whip of the (NILDS), UN Women and UNDP in a situation where they would be entitled for Democracy and Development House of Representatives, Abuja, to address She alleged that the seats in the to seats, saying, “Give us assurance that (CDD) indicated that the 2,970 women Nkiruka Onyejeocha, has called for more slots of elective positions to National Assembly are reserved mainly these seats will be contested by women, who were on the electoral ballot in the yearnings of it is not a dash, it is not for free, it will be 2019 general elections, represented be reserved for women contestants for for men. The Deputy Chief Whip, who contested for but it will just be for only only 11.36% of nominated candidates. various positions in the 2023 general He added that in the end, only 62 represented the Speaker of the House women. Meaning that on the day of the elections. Abia people She made the call at a capacity of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, election the 360 seats can be contested women were elected, representing


By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in Abia State has said that it will welcome persons who are willing to contest elective positions in 2023. The party also restated its promise to run an open-door policy for all members, insisting that the internal democracy must be observed and followed in selecting the candidates of the party for the 2023 elections. The party leadership made its position known in a statement by the APGA Chairman in Abia, Reverend Augustine Ehiemere, made available to newsmen in Umuahia, the state capital, on Thursday. The Abia leadership formally announced that four governorship aspirants have indicated interest to use its platform to run for the coming 2023 elections in the state. It further revealed that two of the aspirants are from the major political parties in the state while the other two aspirants are technocrats from the diaspora. According to the party, “We hope to receive other major aspirants as the day unfolds. We encourage prospective members to visit the secretariat at Plot 128 Aguiyi Ironsi Layout, Umuahia, the state capital.” The party also used the medium to commend the national chairman of APGA, Ozomkpu Victor Ike Oye for his transparency and resolve to ensure that there is fairness and diligent observance of internal democracy in choosing the party’s candidate in the Anambra Election and his further resolve to follow same for the selection of APGA candidates at all levels come 2023. The state leadership, however, reiterated that there is no sacred cow in its fold, warning that it shall not condone any of such, no matter how highly placed the person may be, as its overall interest and that of the people of Abia supersedes every individual personal ambition or interest.

building for female legislators politicians and civil society organisations on lobbying and lawmaking in Nigeria,

lamented that with the few seats occupied by women, there are calls for more men to take over seats being

for by everybody, but there shall be an additional seat that will only be for women, so parties will field women

4.17% of the elected officials, representing a decline from the 2015-19 figures.

Minister of State Environment, Barrister (Mrs) Sharon Ikeazor Speaking while the Perm Secretary ministry of Environment, Engr Hassan Musa, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, SSAP Media and Publicity, Mallam Shehu Garba, Director PRS Mr Stanley Jonah and Director of Press Saghir el Mohammed looks on during the State House weekly Press briefing Guest of the week Minister of State Environment at the Presidential Villa. PHOTO;

Kwara PDP tasks Gov Abdulrazaq on citizens security By Musa Baba Adamu


he Kwara State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has tasked Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, to wake up to his responsibilities and rescue citizens from the current insecurity in the state. Reacting to the murder of a kidnap victim, Adegboyega Onijala, the PDP alleged that despite reported cases of kidnappings and killings in different parts of the state, “the governor has

not demonstrated any commitment to deal with the situation.” The party in a statement in Ilorin on Thursday by the state Publicity Secretary, Tunde Ashaolu, condemned the murder of Adegboyega Onijala noting that ” the spate of kidnap for ransom and ritual killings in Kwara State in recent times is worrisome and quite unfortunate.” The party lamented that criminal elements including kidnappers and ritual killers now operate freely in different parts of the state, destroying

lives and throwing families into a state of sadness. “What is more worrisome is that the state government, saddled with the responsibility of protecting lives and property, appears helpless in securing the lives of Kwarans who live in perpetual fear of attacks and kidnappings,” it added. The party charged security operatives to investigate the sad incident and bring the perpetrators to book. It commiserate with the family of

the victim and the people of Isin Local Government Area in general. Recall that the Police on Wednesday recovered the corpse of Adegboyega Onijala who was kidnapped at about 7pm by unknown gunmen last Saturday in Olla community of Isin Local Government Area of the state. He reportedly died at the hands of the kidnappers in the forest as a result of the severe machete cut injuries inflicted on him during the attack.

Buni approves recruitment of 27 Pharmacists in Yobe By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


obe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, has approved the recruitment of 27 pharmacists to boost manpower in healthcare delivery in the state. A statement by his Director General of Press and Media Affairs,

Mamman Mohammed said Buni gave the approval following a request by the State Drugs and Medical Consumables Management Agency. “The Agency requested for recruitment of the pharmacists to have the required skilled manpower for effective services and additional improvement in healthcare delivery

in the state. “According to the approval, government would employ 23 graduates of pharmacy and four Pharmacy Technicians, to improve the manpower requirement of the Agency. “The Governor also approved the placement of the 23 pharmacy

graduates on CONHESS Salary scale 9/2 while the technicians are to be placed on CONHESS scale 7/2. “The recruitment is in tandem with the Governor Buni administration’s drive to make healthcare delivery accessible and affordable to the citizenry”, the statement said.




Okowa APGA cheiftain, Obiokoye says EFCC felicitates allegations against Obiano a ruse Atiku at A 75 By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


ov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has congratulated former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on his 75th birth anniversary. The governor in a message by his Chief Press Secretary, Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba on Thursday, lauded Atiku for his remarkable commitment to the unity and progress of the nation through his outstanding economic and political activities. He said that Atiku’s wise and consistent admonitions on national issues had been outstanding and of great impact. He commended the ex-vice president and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 elections for his inspiring role in the defence and promotion of democracy in Nigeria. Okowa said that the Wazirin Adamawa was a detribalised Nigerian, whose benevolence had impacted many lives beyond tribe, religion, gender, social status and partisan frontiers. “On behalf of the government and people of Delta, I congratulate our great leader and patriot, Atiku Abubakar, GCON, as he celebrates his 75th birth anniversary. “As a respectable leader and elder statesman, you have genuinely provided opportunities for people to eke out a living from their God-given potential with your massive investments in education, agriculture, media, hospitality, water and oil and gas. “You have made outstanding contributions to the socioeconomic and political growth of Nigeria and we will continue to be inspired by your patriotism and love for this great country. “Over the years, you have remained a large-hearted, philanthropist and a people’s leader with mass followership across the country. “You bestrode Nigeria’s political landscape like a colossus and as you clock 75 years today, it is my prayer and that of millions of people of Delta and every Nigerian that God will continue to strengthen you in your service to God and humanity,” he said. (NAN)

Chieftain of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Barrister Ifeatu Obiokoye, who is also the Special Adviser to Governor Willie Obiano on Political Matters, has said the alleged placement of Governor Willie Obiano on the watchlist of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) did not emanate from the anti-graft agency. Recall that the media was awash with report that EFCC wrote a certain letter to the Nigeria Immigration Service, purporting that Governor Willie Obiano was on its watchlist and should not be allowed out of the country after the March 17th, 2022 handover ceremony. Reacting to this, the SA said the letter was a mere fabrication because it did not bear the letter-heading of the EFCC, not

signed by any principal officer of the anti-graft agency and equally has no name written on it and also not published in the organisation’s website; not even in national newspapers. Obiokoye said, “Is the letter an official statement of the EFCC? If it is the official position of the EFCC, then it will come with an official statement signed by a principal officer of the EFCC and the statement will be posted on the official website of the EFCC for the whole world to know that it is the official position of the EFCC. “For me, I see an infantile game trending considering the fact that we have barely four months to the departure of the governor and until EFCC comes out an official position, I refuse to accept the fact that that publication is trending in the social media is the official position of the EFCC. “A letter that is trending is

said to have been written by the EFCC to the Controller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service. No letter has been published in the national dailies for the public to see. The Controller General in question has not confirmed to the general public that he received any such letter. “The writer of the letter has also not confirmed officially to the general public that any such letter emanated from the EFCC. I will be mindful to advise the general public especially APGA members worldwide not to have deviated from the joy we are enjoying as a product of the election that we just won. “I think this is another game by mischief makers which is part of the contraption that followed the last governorship election. The elections have come and gone and we think this is the time to give Anambra a chance for peace.” Obiokoye reechoed the fact

that no details of any kind or any crime being investigated were given in the purported letter to the Nigeria Immigration Service allegedly barring Governor Willie Obiano from travelling out of the country. He said he also believed that every public officer ought to be on the watchlist of the EFCC unofficially because according to him, the EFCC is there to ensure that every public office holder ran his office according to the law. The legal luminary, however, maintained that the alleged letter from the EFCC remained a fabrication and should not be taken seriously by members of the public, urging the citizenry to disregard the rumour as it is a distraction from the glory of the just concluded governorship election everyone is currently savouring in the state and the world over.

President Muhammadu Buhari, Supported by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo SAN while Wife of the ADC Dr. Hindatu Bashir looks during the decoration with his new rank at the State House Abuja. PHOTO;

Senate Committee decries 2022 Budget of judiciary By Musa Baba Adamu


he Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters has made a request for additional funding of the judiciary in next year budget. Senator representing Ekiti Central and Chairman of the Committee, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele presented the request before the Senate Committee on Appropriation on Thursday at the National Assembly complex. Investigation revealed that the Executive arm of government made a provision of N120 billion for the judiciary in the 2022 Budget. Speaking with newsmen after his presentation before the Senator Jibrin Barau led

Appropriation Committee, Senator Bamidele who disclosed that his Committee made a request for additional N10billion for the judiciary maintained that the budget estimate was inadequate, considering the enormous responsibilities before the judiciary. Senator Bamidele said apart from the challenge thrown up by terrorism, there is the need to deploy technology in the dispensation of Justice. He said:” As we speak, there are people awaiting trial as a result of insecurity: call them gunmen, bandits, terrorists--- whatever you call them, the truth is, there is so much additional burden on the judiciary. Of course, there must be fair hearing for suspects

apprehended, and it is additional responsibility for the judiciary. So, they need more money. The COVID has also made it imperative to deploy technology for virtual hearing. All of these demand money, we are taking of all levels of Court: from Magistrate,to the Supreme Court, aside the special Court like Arbitration. “So, both Committees in both chambers are asking for more money for the judiciary.” Asked about the secrecy surrounding the budget of the judiciary, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters dismissed it as a non issue as he noted that it was not peculiar to the judiciary.

“It isn’t our responsibility to monitor their expenditure but it is important that whatever is allocated under the National Judicial Commission is judiciously used. “The secrecy you talked about isn’t peculiar to the judiciary. No one is asking about the budget of the Department of State Serviced or National Intelligence Agency. Their budget (judiciary) isn’t up to one percent of the entire budget. We may choose to sensationalise it, but public interest is better served if the budget of the judiciary is at least one percent of the entire budget. We need a well funded judiciary so that it’s independence isn’t compromised.”


By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


nambra State Government has said the recent smear campaign against the Governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is being masterminded by the candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and other political parties who were defeated in the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State. In a statement issued yesterday by the State Commissioner for Information, C. Don Adinuba, the state government said it is still the same people who have never wanted the election to hold in the election that are playing the same game. The statement titled ‘EFFC’s Inelegant Drama over Anambra Governor’, noted that everything that can be wrong with politically motivated statements is wrong with that issued by EFCC. While observing that the EFCC knows full well that it is acting inelegantly in the current instance, the commissioner said it explains why the Commission tried as much as possible not to make an official public statement on the alleged placing of Chief Obiano on the watch list. The statement said “Governor Obiano is out of the country currently. And he travelled through one of the country’s international airports. He did not disguise himself, but rather left the country with his identity fully disclosed at the necessary immigration point. “The EFCC sounded more inelegant when it claimed in the sponsored press report that it received intelligence reports that the governor plans to “flee” from Nigeria once he hands over power next March 17 to the newly elected Anambra State governor, Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo. “Chief Obiano has never left any person in doubt that he will relocate to his base in the United States once he finishes his tenure. As early as Wednesday, March 4, 2020, he announced his decision to a meeting of the Anambra State Council of Elders, comprising such personages as the erstwhile Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe who is also the chairman of both the Anambra State Council of Traditional Rulers and the Southeast Council of Traditional Rulers; a former Anambra State governor, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, among others. “Governor Obiano has a whole four months to remain in office as the Anambra State chief executive. Nobody in Nigeria can circumscribe his constitutionally conferred immunity which shields him from both criminal and civil prosecution. The EFCC went too far to announce in November that it is observing him. We are not aware of any state governor who had up to four months to be in office and the EFCC went on to sponsor media reports that he was being investigated. “The whole nation knows those behind all the present histrionics about Obiano. They are those who didn’t want the November 6 election to hold. They are those in high places who unsuccessfully canvassed for emergency rule in Anambra supposedly on security grounds.



Anambra govt slams APC, PDP over EFCC smear campaign against Obiano “They are those who masterminded the Birnin Kudu High Court charade in Jigawa State over the APGA leadership and, more importantly, the authentic APGA candidate in the November gubernatorial election in Anambra State.

“They are those responsible for the sacrilege of a customary court in Abuja issuing criminal summons to Professor Soludo, a former Central Bank of Nigeria governor. These people are still fighting the gubernatorial battle on behalf of their badly defeated friends and political

associates in the Anambra vote. They will fail badly, as they have done in the recent past. “The EFCC should not allow itself to be used by politicians who are mere birds of passage. Its ongoing Anambra drama is in bad taste. It did not serve Governor Obiano any notice. Nor did

it invite him to answer questions about his service record. It just went to the press. Yet, the governor is willing to answer any questions about his years in office. After all, he has received a prestigious award from the United Nations Development Programme for social service integrity”.

Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo (left) presenting a souvenir to His Excellency, Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello at the flag-off of the survey and charting of the lower Rivers Niger and Benue, held in Lokoja. Photo: DINFO NHQ

Enugu govt reiterates commitment to open govt, inclusive budgeting process By Musa Baba Adamu


he administration of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, through the State Ministry of Budget and Planning, yesterday, held a One Day Citizens’ Engagement on the 2022 Budget, at Nike Lake Resort, Enugu. The event, according to the Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Dr. David O. Ugwunta, was in line with Gov. Ugwuanyi’s commitment to openness in governance and all inclusive budgeting process as well as a requirement of the State’s Fiscal, Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) programme. Addressing participants at the event, Gov. Ugwuanyi represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Simon Uchenna Ortuanya, reiterated his commitment to the underlining principles of transparency, accountability, fiscal discipline, inclusiveness and partnership in governance. Gov. Ugwuanyi maintained that his administration from inception signed

up to the open government partnership which transcends into openness, inclusiveness and transparency in the state’s budgetary procedure. Stressing the need for citizens’ engagement in the preparation of the 2022 budget, the governor stated that the exercise provides a veritable platform for citizens of the state to make inputs on developmental projects they want the government to execute in the next fiscal year. Gov. Ugwuanyi pointed out that his administration has put an end to the era where the people were presented with a catalogue of budgets that were never executed, adding that the state government has always taken practical steps in identifying people-oriented projects that are achievable in line with Section 14 sub-section 2 of the Nigerian Constitution. He emphasized the premium the state government places on the welfare of residents and security of lives and property, urging citizens at the event to maximize the opportunity and make inputs that would help in the development of the state.

In his address, the Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Dr. Ugwunta commended Gov. Ugwuanyi for his transparency and accountability in governance, maintaining that “the essence of the citizens’ engagement was to carry the citizens who are the sole beneficiaries of all the government projects along in all the activities of the government”. Ugwunta added that “in preparation for the 2022 budget, it is expedient to elicit inputs from the citizens of what they want the government to do in the next fiscal year and beyond”. He noted that despite the dwindling revenue witnessed in the 3rd Quarter of 2021; the state government has remained committed to appropriate utilization of available resources towards human capital and infrastructural development of the state. Some of the participants at the event were Commissioner for Finance, Mrs. Adaonah Kene-Uyanwune and members of the State Executive Council (EXCO); members of the State

Council of Traditional Rulers led by HRH Igwe Amb. Lawrence Agubuzu; Civil Society Organizations led by Barr. Cromwell; Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Enugu State Chapter; Rev. Emmanuel Edeh; President-General of Town Unions, Sir Paully Eze; Women Group led by Mrs. Vera Ezeugwu; Chairman, Lead Network Africa; Mr. Chukwuma Ephraim Okenwa; Chairman, National Union of Journalists, Enugu State Chapter, Mr. Rex Arum; former State Accountant General and Special Adviser to the Governor on Financial Matters; Dr. Sir Pascal Okolie, and Permanent Secretaries. Others include delegations from the National Youth Council of Enugu State Students; Nigerian Youth Parliament, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS); National Youth Council of Nigeria led by Hon. Barth Okoh; Enugu State Female Comrades; National Youth Assembly of Nigeria; Heroine Foundation; Amaka Chinwuba Foundation, and Connected Development, among others.

Group drums support for PDP Chairmanship candidate in Gwagwalada By Mashe Umaru Gwamna


socio - political organisation known as Friends of Kassim Association (FKA) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has called for the support of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon Kasim Zuba come 2022 election as the chairman of Gwagwalada area council

in the FCT. The Founder and Chairman of the group, Comrade Remigius Ezennwa, who is also the Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) made the disclosure recently in Abuja while addressed journalists. Ezennwo said that among the reasons why they had been calling for the support of the candidate were is

that,the PDP candidate had held many positions both in the private and public sectors . He Reiterated that as an indigene of Zuba, being the commercial hub of the area council, he would be in a better position to ensure that the revenues in the area council are prudently managed for the interest of the people of the area council and FCT in general.

He beckoned of different tribes in the FCT and other tribes to support the PDP candidate ambition. He also called on all the religious bodies to shun sentiments and give the candidate their support. He also advised the PDP candidate to keep the pace at which he has been,as well as he should play politics without bitterness.



Stock Watch: Thursday, November 25, 2021 Low

OPEN Volume Close High

2.80 3.15 0 1.94 3.94 0 0.27 0.27 0 0.64 0.64 0 4.60 8.60 0 37.00 68.30 0 3.79 4.21 0 9.65 10.05 0 31.50 34.00 0 1.90 1.92 0 18.45 18.45 0 1.72 1.84 0 23.25 23.25 0 0.20 0.20 0 0.20 0.20 0 6.10 6.10 0 1.75 1.75 0 186.00 186.00 0 6.00 6.65 0 14.60 14.55 0 1.80 2.00 0 3.37 3.37 0 4.30 4.70 0 14.00 14.00 0 7.35 7.80 0 1.62 1.65 0 1.91 1.96 0 4.95 4.95 99 0.33 0.33 0 21.85 21.85 0 29.60 30.70 0 0.20 0.20 0 12.20 13.05 0 32.60 32.95 0 72.00 72.00 0 1.18 1.18 0 1.53 1.53 0 31.50 31.50 0 0.51 0.54 0 0.20 0.20 0 23.25 23.25 0 0.44 0.44 0 0.30 0.30 0 1.36 1.36 0 0.72 0.72 0 0.52 0.49 0 1.83 1.83 0 2.45 2.45 0

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5.80 6.00 ACCESS -0.35 3.94 3.94 AFRIPRUD 0.00 0.27 0.27 AGLEVENT 0.00 0.64 0.64 AIICO 0.00 8.60 8.60 BERGER 0.00 67.00 67.00 BETAGLAS -1.30 3.79 3.79 BOCGAS -0.42 9.65 10.05 CADBURY -0.40 31.50 31.50 CAP -2.50 1.90 1.90 CAVERTON -0.02 18.45 18.45 CCNN 0.00 1.72 1.72 CHAMPION -0.12 23.25 23.25 CONOIL 0.00 0.20 0.20 CORNERST 0.00 0.20 0.20 COURTVILLE 0.00 6.10 6.10 CUSTODIAN 0.00 1.75 1.75 CUTIX 0.00 186.00 186.00 DANGCEM 0.00 6.00 6.25 DANGFLOUR -0.65 14.60 14.60 DANGSUGAR 0.05 1.80 2.00 DIAMONDBNK -0.20 3.37 3.37 EKOCORP 0.00 4.30 4.30 ETERNA -0.40 14.00 14.00 ETI 0.00 7.45 7.60 FBNH -0.35 1.62 1.67 FCMB -0.03 1.92 1.98 FIDELITYBK -0.04 4.95 4.95 FIDSON 0.00 0.33 0.33 FIRSTALUM 0.00 21.85 21.85 FLOURMILL 0.00 29.60 29.60 FO -1.10 0.20 0.20 FTNCOCOA 0.00 12.20 12.20 GLAXOSMITH -0.85 33.50 33.50 GUARANTY 0.55 72.00 72.00 GUINNESS 0.00 1.18 1.18 HONYFLOUR 0.00 1.53 1.53 IKEJAHOTEL 0.00 31.50 31.50 INTBREW 0.00 0.53 0.53 JAIZBANK -0.01 0.20 0.21 JAPAULOIL 0.00 23.25 23.25 JBERGER 0.00 0.44 0.44 JOHNHOLT 0.00 0.30 0.30 LASACO 0.00 1.36 1.36 LEARNAFRCA 0.00 0.72 0.72 LINKASSURE 0.00 0.52 0.52 LIVESTOCK 0.03 1.83 1.83 MANSARD 0.00 2.45 2.45 MAYBAKER 0.00

Stock Close Gain UPL 1.14 0.13 LIVESTOCK 0.52 0.01 SOVRENINS 0.21 0.03 OKOMUOIL 60.00 1.80 GUARANTY 23.50 0.55

Low 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

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0.11 0.21 0 0.21 0.21 MBENEFIT 0.00 0 0.43 0.43 0 0.43 0.43 MCNICHOLS 0.00 0 1.05 2.05 261 2.05 2.05 MEDVIEWAIR 0.00 0 124.80 184.80 0 184.80 184.80 MOBIL 0.00 0 0.20 0.20 970 0.20 0.20 MULTIVERSE 0.00 0 3.50 3.50 0 3.50 3.50 NAHCO 0.00 0 18.00 18.00 0 18.00 18.00 NASCON 0.00 0 78.50 78.70 0 79.50 79.50 NB 0.80 0 0.78 0.78 0 0.78 0.78 NEIMETH 0.00 0 2.60 2.60 0 2.60 2.60 NEM 0.00 0 552.20 552.20 150 552.20 552.20 NESF 0.00 0 1,475.00 1,475.00 0 1,475.00 1,475.00 NESTLE 0.00 0 1.60 1.65 0 1.60 1.60 NPFMCRFBK -0.05 0 4.60 4.80 0 4.60 4.75 OANDO -0.20 0 80.00 76.20 0 80.00 80.00 OKOMUOIL 3.80 0 64.00 64.00 0 64.00 64.00 PRESCO 0.00 0 0.50 0.50 0 0.50 0.50 PRESTIGE 0.00 0 12.30 12.30 0 12.30 12.30 PZ 0.00 0 4.20 4.20 0 4.20 4.20 REDSTAREX 0.00 0 0.20 0.21 0 0.20 0.21 REGALINS -0.01 0 0.50 0.50 0 0.50 0.50 RESORTSAL 0.00 0 0.21 0.23 0 0.21 0.22 ROYALEX -0.02 0 640.00 640.00 405 640.00 640.00 SEPLAT 0.00 0 0.20 0.20 0 0.21 0.21 SOVRENINS 0.01 0 46.50 46.00 0 46.50 46.50 STANBIC 0.50 0 102.00 102.00 122 102.00 102.00 STANBICETF30 0.00 0 1.97 1.96 0 1.97 1.97 STERLNBANK 0.01 0 203.00 203.00 0 203.00 203.00 TOTAL 0.00 0 6.10 6.10 632 6.10 6.10 TRANSCOHOT 0.00 0 1.15 1.21 0 1.16 1.18 TRANSCORP -0.05 0 9.60 9.60 0 9.60 9.60 UACN 0.00 0 1.74 1.92 0 1.74 1.74 UAC-PROP -0.18 0 7.60 7.80 0 7.90 7.95 UBA 0.10 0 6.00 6.05 0 6.00 6.05 UBN -0.05 0 2.89 2.94 0 2.89 2.91 UCAP -0.05 0 36.30 37.00 0 36.30 36.30 UNILEVER -0.70 0 0.27 0.27 0 0.27 0.27 UNIONDAC 0.00 0 1.00 0.99 0 1.00 1.00 UNITYBNK 0.01 0 2.04 1.97 0 2.14 2.14 UPL 0.17 0 0.23 0.23 0 0.23 0.23 VERITASKAP 0.00 0 4.50 4.99 0 4.50 4.50 VITAFOAM -0.49 0 11.30 11.50 0 11.30 11.65 WAPCO -0.20 0 0.40 0.40 0 0.40 0.40 WAPIC 0.00 0 0.59 0.61 0 0.59 0.61 WEMABANK -0.02 0 21.20 22.70 0 21.70 22.50 ZENITHBANK -1.00 0 Copyright © 2019 NgTradeOnline

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Stock Close Loss DIAMONDBNK 1.30 -0.10 BOCGAS 2.59 -0.22 VITAFOAM 3.50 -0.39 DANGFLOUR 6.00 -0.45 UAC-PROP 1.74 -0.18


Afreximbank signs US$1.04bn deal with NNPC at IATF2021

By Etuka Sunday


frican Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has signed a $US1.04 billion facility with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to finance the exploration of petroleum. The agreement was concluded yesterday in Durban during the second intra-Africa trade fair, which opened on 15 November and runs until 21 November. TheFact Nigeria reports that the transaction comprises a PreExport/Shipment Finance Facility underpinned by a Forward Sale Agreement (FSA) and Offtake Contracts from the NNPC acting as the Borrower and Seller. NNPC would enter an FSA within which it shall deliver 35,000 barrels of crude oil per day. The proceeds of the facility will boost tax revenues and foreign currency receipts and create thousands of jobs in the oil and gas refining value chain, all by more than US$2.4bn to the immediate benefit of the government thereby improving the balance of trade and Gross Domestic Product in Nigeria – Africa’s largest economy. Signed by Mr. Umor Ajia, NNPC Executive Director and Group Chief Executive Officer on behalf of NNPC, the transaction complies with Afreximank’s mandate to promote local content in Africa’s Oil and Gas and other mining industry and generate foreign receivables into Africa. While lauding the deal as very innovative, Afreximbank President and Chairman of the Board of Directors Prof. Benedict Oramah explained the Bank’s decision in the context of the world’s climate change agenda, saying this is a case of adopting a balanced approach. Prof. Oramah added that Africa is more of a victim than a perpetrator in the emission of destructive greenhouse gases, contributing only a meagre 4%, while a majority of the Continent, ironically having been left behind development wise, still has to depend on fossil fuel for survival, and should thus not bear the brunt of the punishment for the mistakes of others. “Stopping development for parts of Africa today to achieve a clean environment for the whole world tomorrow is utterly foolhardy,” quipped Prof. Oramah.


NCC to Revitalise Telecom Special Numbering Service Segment T he Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is taking a decisive regulatory move to ensure sustainability, profitability and fair competition in the Special Numbering Service (SNS) segment of the nation’s telecommunications sector. A statement signed by Ikechukwu Adinde, Director, Public Affairs said yesterday this move informed the decision of the Commission to hold a Stakeholders’ Forum on the ‘Determination of Call Termination Rate for Special Numbering Service Providers in Nigeria. ‘ The forum, held at the Conference Room, NCC Head Office in Abuja on Tuesday, November 16, 2021, was well attended by representatives of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), Special Numbering Service (SNS) providers and other stakeholders who participated actively in the discussions. Addressing the gathering, the Director, Policy, Competition and Economic Analysis at NCC, Yetunde Akinloye, said the meeting was convened following the extensive work of a committee set up by the Commission to look into the issues and complaints emanating from the SNS segment of the telecoms market. A key concern

according to her, was the perception of high cost of delivering services to endusers in the SNS segment. Accordingly, Akinloye stated that, “This meeting is convened to discuss issues pertaining to the special numbering services (SNS) segment of the Nigerian telecommunications market. Statutorily, the NCC is the custodian and manager of the toll-free and nontoll-free numbers licenses, on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria”, she said. She explained that owing to the scarce and finite nature of the numbers in the sector, the NCC, as the regulator, was under obligation to ensure the utilisation of the numbers by the licensees in a way that delivers value to the final consumers and ensures sustainability of the industry. “The SNS has been in existence for the past 15 years, with some licensees actively engaged in the segment. However, we have noted some observations and complaints from different quarters on the use of these numbers. We have observed, for instance, that there has been no effective utilisation of the numbers” she said. Akinloye also said the Commission

had observed that the uptake of the numbers has been abysmally poor, contrary to NCC’s expectation as the sectoral regulator. She stated that NCC has also received complaints from the licensees regarding the perceived high rates aand charges by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) who are owners of the major infrastructure being used by SNS providers to deliver services to end users. According to her, based on this, the NCC set up a committee to do a thorough review of the market segment; research similar markets in other jurisdiction for benchmarking; and determine the appropriate call termination rates, through proper investigation, consultation and stakeholder engagements. She said the Committee had done extensive work in this regard and as part of its rule-making process and regulatory transparency, the NCC has organised the consultative forum “to share outcomes of the Committee’s findings with the licensees, discuss the regulatory interventions that need to be taken and get inputs from all MNOs, SNS providers and other relevant stakeholders.” Also speaking during the meeting, Director, Technical Standards and

Network Integrity, NCC, Bako Wakil, lamented that the SNS segment of the market has not been fully maximised because of the cost elements involved. However, Wakil said, if cost can be reduced, there will be greater benefits from economies of scale. “So, there has to be a way of making people use the service more if the price is appropriate. In the last 15 years of introducing SNS providers, there are less than 3,000 people using the service and yet, we have licensed additional number of players in the segment. Therefore, we are looking at profitability, sustainability and vibrancy of the Value-Added Service segment,” he said. After taking inputs from representatives of MNOs and SNS providers at the forum, a new date was fixed for the second phase of the stakeholders’ forum at which more contributions will be taken to enrich the quality of decisions in that regard. While the second meeting of the Forum has been scheduled to take place in Lagos on 14th December 2021, the NCC has urged stakeholders to submit additional inputs and send to the Commission by November 30, 2021 for timely assessment and collation before the second meeting.

L-R: Executive Director, Vision-Ons Leadership Development Initiative, Comrade Emmanuel Johnny; Chairman, Advisory Board, National Council for Civil Society Organizations (NACCSO), Pastor Timothy Ademola, Director General, South West Youth Foundation, Otunba Eniola Temi Tope and the Chairman, Joint Civil Society Stakeholders Alliance, Comrade Jonathan Udofia, during a news conference on support for ongoing reforms in the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) by the commandant General, held yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo

FAAC: FG, States, LGs Share N671bn As October Revenue By Etuka Sunday


he Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) has shared a total of N671.910 billion October 2021 federation account revenue to the Federal, States and Local Governments Councils. This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting for November, 2021 held in Lagos State. TheFact Nigeria reports that the N671.910 billion total distributable revenue comprised Distributable Statutory Revenue of N363.849 billion, Distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue of N154.844 billion, Exchange

Gain of N3.217 billion and N150 billion augmentation from the Non-Mineral Revenue. In October 2021, the sum of N24.591 billion was the total deduction for cost of collection and N30.864 billion was total deduction for statutory transfers, savings and refunds. The balance in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) was $60.860 million. The Director, Information, Press and Public Relations, OAGF, Henshaw Ogubike in a statement said, the communiqué confirmed that from the total Distributable Revenue of N671.910 billion, the Federal Government received N284.292 billion, the State Governments received N209.838 billion, and the Local Government

Councils received N156.282 billion. The sum of N21.498 billion was shared to the relevant States as 13% derivation revenue. The distributable Statutory Revenue of N363.849 billion was available for the month. From this amount, the Federal Government received N180.551 billion, the State Governments received N91.578 billion and the Local Government Councils received N70.603 billion. The sum of N21.118 billion was shared to the relevant States as 13% derivation revenue. In October 2021, the gross revenue available from the Value Added Tax (VAT) was N166.284 billion. This was lower than the N170.850 billion available in the month of September

2021 by N4.566 billion. The sum of N4.789 billion allocation to NEDC and N6.651 billion cost of revenue collection were deducted from the N166.284 billion gross Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue, resulting in the distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue of N154.844 billion. From the N154.844 billion distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue, the Federal Government received N23.227 billion, the State Governments received N77.422 billion and the Local Government Councils received N54.195 billion. The Federal Government received N1.495 billion from the total Exchange Gain revenue of N3.217 billion. The State Governments received N0.758

billion, the Local Government Councils received N0.584 billion and N0.380 billion was shared to the relevant States as 13% derivation revenue. The Federal Government received N79.020 billion, the State Governments received N40.080 billion and the Local Government Councils received N30.900 billion from the N150 billion augmentation from the Non-Oil Mineral Revenue. According to the communiqué, in the month of October 2021, Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT), Oil and Gas Royalties and Companies Income Tax (CIT) decreased considerably. There was a slight decline in Value Added Tax (VAT) while Import Duty and Excise Duty increased marginally.




IATF: Multilateral financiers discuss trade initiatives in Durban

By Etuka Sunday


ultilateral financial institutions on Tuesday discussed their role in promoting trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), an ambitious plan to create the world’s largest free trade zone since the founding of the World Trade Organization. The conversation took place during a panel discussion at the Intra-African Trade Fair, launched in 2018 to give the AfCFTA, which came into effect this year, impetus. Solomon Quaynor, Vice President at the African Development Bank, said between 2020 and 2021 the Bank planned to invest about $2 billion in projects related to the free trade zone, and to mobilize a further $2 billion from partners. The projects include regional infrastructure

and industrialization. Quaynor, VP for the Private Sector, Infrastructure & Industrialization, said the African Development Bank was ready to scale up funding after prioritizing the response to the Covid-19 pandemic and maintaining its triple-A credit rating. “One of the impacts (of the pandemic) is that we had less resources to support the capitalraising efforts of the African multilateral financial institutions that we are already equity investors in. However, this is the time to turn that around,” Quaynor told the audience in Durban, the South African port city hosting this year’s IntraAfrican Trade Fair. Serge Ekué, President of the West African Development Bank, said the pandemic had once again proven that “cash is king” -- as evidenced by the trillions of

dollars made available by the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank through their asset repurchasing programs. For its part, the West African Development Bank made €500 million available to governments and the private sector to fend off the impact of the pandemic. “Tier-one capital is critical. We need to strengthen that…From our experience, we know where the market is…The question is: How do we strengthen our tierone capital to fully play our role?” Ekué said. Sanjeev Gupta, Executive Director of the Africa Finance Corporation, said the pandemic had proven that the continent was capable of generating homegrown solutions. The AFC acted swiftly to “understand where the stresses are in our portfolio, where cash was required immediately, where projects could be delayed

or deferred.” “After that, we looked at our own balance sheet. We looked at our capital structure, our own liquidity, and we did what, I think, any responsible institution should have done…and that is to see whether our rating itself stands the test,” Gupta said. Armed with its A3 Moody’s rating, which was affirmed during the crisis, Africa Finance Corporation could approach the markets “with a serious degree of confidence.” Over the last 18 to 20 months, it raised roughly $22.5 billion of new cash in various forms. “This, to me, tells us that, if we focus on what is in our control, which is project development, making projects bankable, managing the projects in terms of crisis, money is available out there…As a matter of fact, there are buckets of capital out there,”

Gupta said. “There is a shortterm bucket, then there is quite a large growing bucket around what I call tier-two interests, where people are interested in putting 15 to 18-year tier-two capital, and, interestingly, there is a huge bucket now under the theme of resilience and climate.” The panel also included Emmanuel Assiak, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Fund for Export-Development in Africa, Admassu Tadesse, President and CEO of the Trade and Development Bank Group, Dr Sidi Tah, Director General of the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, and Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation. The Intra-African Trade Fair ends on Sunday 21 November.

Work in progress on Elebele Bridge being constructed by the Bayelsa government in Ogbia Local Government Area of the state on Wednesday (17/11/21).

Orjiako steps down as Seplat Energy Chairman

By Etuka Sunday


eplat Energy Plc announces the decision of its Chairman, Dr. A.B.C. Orjiako to step down as Chairman and from the Board of Directors of Seplat Energy Plc. Dr Orjiako notified the Board of Directors of his decision yesterday, November 17, 2021. In order to facilitate an orderly transition Dr Orjiako would remain as Chairman until the next Annual General Meeting in May 2022, when an Independent Chairperson will take over. Dr A.B.C. Orjiako is the cofounder and pioneer of Seplat

Energy. Since 2009, as Chairman of the Seplat Energy Group, Dr. Orjiako has taken the Company through a number of acquisitions and was the driving force behind Seplat Energy becoming the first and only Nigerian corporate to dual list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Main Board of the London Stock Exchange in 2014. The Board of Seplat Energy thanked its Chairman for his strategic vision, drive and limitless energy to create Nigeria’s leading indigenous independent energy company. Dr. A.B.C. Orjiako, Chairman

of Seplat Energy plc, commented: “The past twelve years at Seplat Energy have been exhilarating for me. As Chairman, I am proud that the Board, Management and entire Staff of Seplat Energy were able to achieve several enviable milestones and exceptional successes, notably the acquisition of eight oil and gas assets, expansion of the Oben and development of the ANOH gas plants and the dual listing on both the Nigerian and London Stock Exchanges - a first by a Nigerian company”. “While there were challenges along the way, we overcame these

by the special grace of God, the outstanding performance and professionalism of each member of the Board and Management, and the sterling efforts of our staff. I will continue to give my utmost energy and commitment to the Company until I step down from the Board at the next AGM,” he said. Mr. Basil Omiyi, a Senior Independent Director of Seplat Energy plc, commented: “On behalf of all members of the Board, I would like to thank Dr A.B.C. Orjiako for his immense contribution as a co-founder and Chair of Seplat Energy since

inception.” “He has been Chairman during both exciting and challenging times, and his dedication has been constant throughout. The Board and Management look forward to working with him during the transition period and we will miss his insight, expertise and leadership when he finally steps down in May,” Omiyi said. The Seplat Energy Chairman’s decision to step down and be replaced by an Independent Chairperson is a testament to the strong corporate governance and best practices he instilled in the Board.




Organic agriculture: ARDS sensitises farmers, extension agents By Stanley Onyekwere


s part of measures to ensure the safety of food that are consumed, the FCT Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS), has sensitised farmers and extension agents in the nation’s capital, on the adoption of organic agricultural practices. The ARDS organised the sensitisation workshop, through its department of agricultural services, aimed at raising the awareness of FCT populace, especially farmers on how they can integrate organic products that meet up with the required

standards in their various agricultural vocations. Declaring the workshop open yesterday in Gwagwalada, ARDS Acting Secretary, Mallam Ishaq Abubakar Sadeeq, said the Secretariat will continue to explore all available opportunities to reach out to various stakeholders such as cooperative groups, women in agriculture, youth as well as other relevant organisation towards not only promoting the practice but enhancing their access to organic products. Sadeeq explained that organic agriculture is a practice which involves the use of natural materials which are of plant

and animal origins for the production of food that are safe for consumption. According to him, going forward, the Secretariat will intensify measures to increase awareness, provide technical support through extension agents, develop market infrastructure to enhance access to organic agricultural products. He also added ARDS will strengthen existing synergy between producers, consumers marketers, exporters and NGO’s, increase the conduct of multidimensional trials on soil, crops organic fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides as well as increase

access of registered organic farmers to subsidised inputs The ARDS boss while reassuring FCT residents of the FCT Administration’s determination to ensure the safety of food that are consumed, adds “our ultimate desire is to make food our drugs, not making drugs our food”. Similarly, in her welcome address, Director, Agric Services, Mrs. Ihekandu Francisca, said the FCT has joined the league of organic agricultural destinations, which many states in the Federation have adopted for their farmers. She reiterated the organic

agriculture is a healthy alternative to conventional farming with higher nutritional value, longer shelf life and high value for money. On his part, Chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council, Mustapha Adamu Danze, commended the ARDS for the initiative, which will go a long way in boosting healthy productivity in the agriculture sector. Represented by his Chief of Staff,Tanko Ibrahim, urged the participants to take advantage of the sensitisation to promote organic food production, which will improve food security and living standard in the Territory.

Unpaid arrears: LEA teachers begin indefinite strike By Stanley Onyekwere


eachers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Primary School have commenced an indefinite strike over non payment of their outstanding entitlements by the Six Area Council chairmen. The strike followed elapsing of a five day warning strike of the teachers, their secondary school counterparts resume classes Thursday. The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) had about a week ago met with the minister of FCT Malam Muhammad Bello on the need to resolve the arrears issue, but the minister’s efforts to stop them failed. Chairman NUT FCT wing, Stephen Knabayi announced the strike Wednesday night, while fielding questions from newsmen at the end of the union’s emergency state wing executives Council (SWEC) meeting at Gwagwalada in Abuja. He disclosed that the union decided to direct the primary school teachers to continue with the strike action due to lack of commitment by the six area councils’ chairmen to pay promotion arrears and other entitlements of their members. Knabayi explained that the union has examined the commitment and assurances of the FCT Administration to effect the payment of the secondary schools’ teachers in November and December, resolved to direct the secondary schools’ teachers to resume classes across the FCT today (Thursday), being 25th November 2021. One of the primary school teachers at Giri Primary School, Isah Shugaba confirmed the strike, said “ yes, I didn’t go to school today because of the directive from our leaders. They ask us not to go, and truly we are waiting for our arrears”.

Founder / Chief Executive Officer, Le-Look Bags Academy, Chief (Mrs) Chinwe Ezenwa, (2nd right) flanked by the Outstanding Graduating Students of the Academy, , Miss Susan Pusa (right), Treasure Gift Arua (2nd left) and Zainab Yusuf, during the Le-Look Academy Steam Flagship Entrepreneurship and Life Skills 6-month course Graduation ceremony, held yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo. .

Adesola harps on collective approach to improve city’s aesthetic By Stanley Onyekwere


he Permanent Secretary of the FCT Administration (FCTA), Mr. Olusade Adesola has called on Residents, Government Agencies and private organisations in the FCT to join hand with the FCT Administration to beautify and maintain the city’s green areas, open spaces and buffer zones as part of Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR). Adesola made the call during an interactive meeting with different private organisations and

government agencies in Abuja. He noted that even though, the FCT Administration has over the years done extremely well to maintain and beautify the city’s green areas, open spaces and buffer zones, it has become necessary to bring onboard relevant stakeholders in the territory to contribute their quota to further improve the territory’s aesthetic. He further used the opportunity to appeal to residents to take personal responsibility to protect government critical

infrastructure from vandalization and theft, adding that all hands must be on deck to safeguard the city’s infrastructure. The Permanent Secretary assured residents of the Territory that the present leadership of the FCT Administration is working assiduously to make life meaningful for them through massive upscaling of the infrastructural development of the city. Earlier, while delivering a welcome address, the Director of Parks and Recreation, FCTA,

Hajiya Risikatu Abdulazeez, disclosed that already the Department of Parks and Recreation had developed a 3 landscape concepts for stakeholders to adopt. She called on all stakeholders to adhere to the stipulated guidelines such as 25m setback from the road shoulder must be grassed and maintained green without trees, ensuring that the land use of the area remains green area, security of the green area shall be the sole responsibility of the organization, among others.



world news

Channel deaths: More boats arrive after 27 people drown


ore people have made the perilous journey across the English Channel, a day after 27 people drowned in the deadliest crossing on record. A group wearing life jackets were seen huddled together onboard a lifeboat near Dover on Thursday morning. Those who drowned on Wednesday included 17 men, seven women - one of whom was pregnant - and three children, France’s interior minister Gerald Darmanin said. Five people have been arrested in connection with the fatal crossing. Mr Darmanin said regional prosecutors had launched an investigation into aggravated manslaughter. He said two survivors were in a critical condition in a French hospital, where they are being treated for severe hypothermia. One is Iraqi and the other Somali, he told RTL radio. It was earlier reported 31 people had died, but the total was revised down overnight into Thursday. The alarm was raised on Wednesday after a fishing boat crew spotted several people in the sea off the coast of France. Home Secretary Priti Patel told MPs she had spoken to her French counterpart and offered to put more officers on the ground and continued to push for joint patrols of

the Channel. She said Wednesday’s incident was a dreadful shock but not a surprise, adding: “It is also a reminder of how vulnerable people are put at peril when in the hands of criminal gangs.” Downing Street said the scenes of people continuing to arrive in boats on England’s south coast showed the need to crack down on traffickers. “It illustrates that we absolutely need to step up our work with our French counterparts to dismantle this horrific trade which preys on vulnerable people,” the prime minister’s official spokesperson said. Earlier, immigration minister Kevin Foster said the UK was determined to smash the “evil” business model of people traffickers, who he said were sending people into the Channel’s dangerous waters on flimsy boats. “Those who organised that boat yesterday would have just viewed these people... who passed away, as just a profit-making opportunity,” he told BBC Breakfast. Despite yesterday’s deaths in the Channel, the crossings continued this morning. Around 40 migrants have been brought to Dover by the lifeboat charity the RNLI. It’s windy on the water and extremely cold - but the determination to get to the UK remains as strong as ever.

However, no more boats have been making the crossing this afternoon due to high winds. The task is now under way to establish the identities of the people who died. That may prove problematic, as many migrants take to the water without any paperwork. Another key concern is why their boat sank - was it overloaded, was the sea too rough, or could it have been hit by a passing ship? The French authorities have described the boat as very flimsy. In previous years, crossings tend to fall dramatically in autumn. That hasn’t happened this year. That’s because the route has become so lucrative for the people smugglers who charge migrants around £3,000 each to get on a boat.

Boris Johnson said on Wednesday that while the UK and France had agreed more needed to be done, there had been “difficulties” persuading the French “to do things in a way that we think the situation deserves”. Meanwhile, French president Emmanuel Macron told Mr Johnson “he was expecting the British to cooperate fully [and] abstain from instrumentalising a tragic situation for political purposes”. Since the start of the year, 1,552 smugglers have been arrested in northern France and 44 smuggler networks dismantled, Mr Macron said. Despite this, he said 47,000 attempted Channel crossings to the UK took place this year and 7,800

migrants rescued. Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the UK should be working with the French authorities in the makeshift camps, where the power of the people smugglers was “far greater” than that of the authorities. He told the BBC’s Political Thinking podcast he was “sick of the home secretary playing to the headlines on this with grand statements about what she’s going to do… but actually not achieving anything”. The UK has pledged to pay France €62.7m (£54m) during 2021-22 to help secure the borders. It comes as asylum claims made in the UK have risen to the highest level in nearly 20 years, with 37,562 applications in the year to September. The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby called for a better system based on “compassion, justice and co-operation across frontiers”. Dr Waheed Arian, a former refugee from Afghanistan who is now an NHS doctor, said people needed to understand why people in conflict zones fled their homes. “They flee because their life is in danger, they are fleeing persecution,” he said. “They are not coming here because they can find better jobs, they are coming because the alternative is death for them.”

Ahmaud Arbery: Three US men guilty of murdering black jogger


hree white men have been found guilty of killing a black jogger last year in a case that became a rallying cry to racial justice protesters. Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was shot on 23 February 2020 in a confrontation with Travis and Gregory McMichael and their neighbour, William Bryan. The defendants said they acted in self-defence during a citizen’s arrest; prosecutors said race was a factor. The men now face minimum sentences of life in prison. A mainly white jury of 12 people deliberated for about 10 hours before returning their verdict at around midday on Wednesday. The trio were found guilty of murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal intent to commit a felony. In February the three men will face another trial in a federal hate crimes case, alleging that they targeted Arbery because he was black. How did Ahmaud Arbery die? Arbery was out jogging in the afternoon on the outskirts of the coastal city of Brunswick in Georgia. The elder McMichael, a neighbourhood resident, told police he believed Arbery resembled the suspect in a series of burglaries in the suburban community of Satilla Shores. Police have said no reports were filed regarding these alleged breakins, and no stolen property was found in Arbery’s possession.

The McMichaels armed themselves with a pistol and a shotgun and pursued Arbery, who was unarmed, in a pickup truck through the neighbourhood. Bryan later joined the pursuit. The jury heard a 911 call in which the elder McMichael told an operator: “I’m out here in Satilla Shores. There’s a black male running down the street.” The younger McMichael testified during the trial that he tried to talk to Arbery while the two were still in their truck and Arbery never responded. He got out of the truck and fired his shotgun at Arbery during a struggle. Travis McMichael claimed self-defence, saying Arbery grabbed at his gun. Three shots were fired. A post-mortem examination showed Arbery had two gunshot wounds in his chest, and a gunshot graze wound on the inside of one of his wrists. Gregory McMichael, 65, his son Travis, 35, and their neighbour William “Roddie” Bryan, 52, were arrested in May 2020. Prosecutors alleged that Travis McMichael used a racial epithet and an expletive directed at Arbery as he lay on the ground. The men deny racism. Why race hung over this case By Aleem Maqbool, BBC News In making their case, prosecutors may have chosen not to overtly focus on the fact that Ahmaud Arbery was

a black man and his killers were white, but it is not hard to see why this murder has been widely viewed through the lens of race. Arbery’s parents had been upset by the way defence lawyers portrayed their son as having been in the wrong for running away from the armed strangers and for turning to try to fight for his life when they cornered him. The fact that these men viewed Arbery as a threat, though they had no evidence he had done anything illegal; that they felt they had the right to arm themselves and chase him; that when police officers arrived on the scene they comforted the killers, not immediately tending to the young man who lay writhing on the ground; the fact that no arrests were made for more than 10 weeks and only then after a video of the killing went viral, all look to many observers as vestiges of a brutal bygone age. ‘We conquered the lynch mob’ Outside court on Wednesday dozens of people, some displaying Black Lives Matter signs, cheered as the verdicts were read. Arbery’s father, Marcus Arbery, was seen crying and hugging supporters. “He didn’t do nothing,” the father said, “but run and dream.” He also told reporters: “We conquered the lynch mob.” Arbery’s mother, Wanda CooperJones, thanked the crowd and said she did not think she would see this

day. “It’s been a long fight. It’s been a hard fight. But God is good,” she said. Of her son, she said: “He will now rest in peace.” Arbery was enrolled at a technical college to study to become an electrician at the time of his death. The Rev Al Sharpton, a civil rights figure and cable TV host, said outside court: “Let the word go forth all over the world, that a jury of 11 whites and one black in the Deep South stood up in a courtroom and said that black lives do matter.” After learning his fate, Travis McMichael turned as he stood to leave court and mouthed to his mother: “Love you.” Prosecutor Linda Dunikoski said: “The jury system works in this country, and when you present the truth to people and they see it, they will do the right thing.” Bryan’s attorney, Kevin Gough, said his team was “disappointed with the verdict, but we respect it”. US President Joe Biden said the convictions showed that America’s criminal justice system is “doing its job”. But he added that the killing was “a devastating reminder of how far we have to go in the fight for racial justice in this country”. What was the key footage? Video was central to this case. The first key piece of footage was a 36-second mobile phone clip showing Arbery’s death.

That was filmed by William Bryan, who was in a vehicle following Arbery, and it surfaced publicly on 5 May 2020. The clip shows Arbery trying to bypass a pickup truck ahead of him on the road and then struggling with Travis McMichael. There is muffled shouting and three gunshots are heard. The elder McMichael is seen standing in the bed of the pickup as the pair struggle. The clip sparked a nationwide outcry and was swiftly followed by criminal charges. Five days later footage from a surveillance camera emerged, showing a black man in a white T-shirt - believed to be Arbery - at a home construction site shortly before the shooting. He is seen walking on to the site and looking around for a few minutes before jogging down the street. During the trial, the site’s owner, Larry English Jr, testified that the man in question had not disturbed or damaged his property during the visit. Mr English said cameras had spotted other people - including children and a white couple trespassing on his property, but he never authorised the McMichaels to enter his property or confront anyone. Jurors were also shown police bodycam footage from the aftermath of the shooting. Source: BBC




Ethiopia’s Tigray crisis: What’s stopping aid getting in?


ighting between government and rebel forces, as well as roadblocks on key transport routes, has been preventing trucks carrying desperately needed food aid from entering Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region. But for the first time in over a month, a convoy of around 40 trucks has set off from the neighbouring Afar region on route to Mekelle, the Tigrayan capital. More than five million people are in dire need of humanitarian assistance in the Tigray, Afar and Amhara regions, according to the United Nations. Aid convoys have been blocked The only viable overland route into Tigray has been through the neighbouring Afar region. But no aid trucks has entered Tigray via this route since 18 October and more than 300 trucks have been stuck at Semera, unable to set off due both to the fighting and bureaucratic delays. To give a scale of the urgency of the situation, the UN says 100 trucks a day need to cross into Tigray to meet the needs there. The US international development agency (USAID) says the conflict is “now one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.” Both sides accused of disrupting aid To the south of Tigray, pro-government forces in the Amhara region have been preventing supplies getting through. Fighting has also spread into this region, displacing more people and making the routes insecure. The US has accused the TPLF fighters of attacking and looting aid warehouses in

Gambia’s truth commission recommends prosecutions


hose who bear the greatest responsibility for the crimes committed during the presidency of Yahya Jammeh in The Gambia should be prosecuted, according to head of a commission that has been looking into the events that took place during his 22-year rule. He stepped down from the presidency in 2017. Lamin Sise has just handed over a 17-volume report to President Adama Barrow. This was the result of months of hearings at the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC). Mr Sise did not name those who should face justice but in a statement the commission said: “To forgive and forget with impunity the violations and abuses... would not only undermine reconciliation but would also constitute a massive and egregious cover-up of the crimes committed”. The findings have not yet been made public and the presidency now has six months to respond. Some 250 Gambians and foreign nationals died because of human rights violations under Mr Jammeh’s rule. During the TRRC hearings, nearly 400 witnesses gave chilling accounts of alleged state-sponsored torture, rape, and enforced disappearances. The handing over of the report comes just days before the country goes to the polls in its first post-Jammeh presidential election.

Fuel trucks that had received approval by the government to proceed to Tigray on 14 October were denied transit at a checkpoint in Afar, forcing them to return to Semera. The movement of humanitarian workers has also been affected by the escalating fighting. Regular flights between Mekelle and the capital Addis Ababa have now resumed after they were suspended on 22 October as the government launched a series of airstrikes against targets in rebelcontrolled areas. “The government of Ethiopia has created de facto blockades, making communications, banking, and other vital services needed for aid efforts almost nonexistent,” says USAID.

the areas they have captured in the Amhara region. It says the fighters have also been restricting the flow of aid into areas under their control. It’s also been impossible to bring in aid by road from Sudan, into western Tigray, an area under the control of groups supporting the Ethiopian government. And now, with the route via the Afar region severely restricted, the problem has become particularly acute.

Huge increase in Zimbabwe budget amid high growth


imbabwe’s economy is expected to rebound from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and grow by over 7% next year, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube has announced. The growth will be spurred by a strong agricultural season and higher global commodity prices, the minister said while presenting the annual budget. Next year the government will focus on financing agriculture as well as improving relations with Western nations. Mr Ncube described the budget as a people’s budget, one that lowers taxes and increases spending on social services. Spending on health services will take up 14% of government expenditure including a pledge to revamp dilapidated public hospitals. Overall spending will amount to $9bn (£6.8bn), twice as much as last year, partly financed by raising so-called sin taxes on cigarettes and alcohol.

Humanitarian convoys are facing severe problems accessing the region, as the conflict escalates The delivery of fuel, which is needed for the movement of aid and water trucks, and the operation of power generators has also been restricted by the government. No fuel truck has entered Tigray since early August and some organisations suspended operations after fuel stocks got depleted in late September.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has accused the TPLF of blocking humanitarian aid Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has accused the rebels of blocking humanitarian assistance to Mekelle through the Afar region. The TPLF has denied the accusation and instead blamed the government. “They are using conflict that is taking place in areas where there is no traffic whatsoever and he is giving all kinds of excuses and pretexts to obstruct food convoys,” Getachew Reda of the TPLF told the BBC. Foreign Affairs Minister Redwan Hussein has also accused certain, unspecified, humanitarian organisations of working to arm the TPLF, claiming the government had caught them delivering weapons and equipment to the rebels.

Ancient Avenue of Sphinxes to be opened to public

Pandemic led to increase in violence against women - UN


fter more than 70 years of stop-start attempts to excavate a 3km-long ancient walkway in southern Egypt, the 3,000 year-old Avenue of Sphinxes in Luxor will today be opened to the public. The walkway, which will be lined with hundreds of sphinxes, connects the city’s two greatest temples of Karnak and Luxor. The opening ceremony will incorporate elements of an ancient festival which travelled down the walkway each year. This will include musical compositions inspired by stories written on the walls of the temples in hieroglyphics. It’s hoped the event will boost Egypt’s ailing tourism sector, battered by political turmoil and a crippling pandemic. This will include musical compositions inspired by stories written on the walls of the temples in hieroglyphics. It’s hoped the event will boost Egypt’s ailing tourism sector, battered by political turmoil and a crippling pandemic.


ne in two women report that they or someone they know have experienced violence since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a study commissioned by UN Women It says that violence against women has become what it terms a “shadow pandemic”. Women have also reported feeling less safe at home as conflicts between adults living together has increased. Furthermore, the research suggests that three in five women think that sexual harassment in public spaces has worsened since the pandemic, which has limited their access to employment, essential services and recreational activities. Out of the 13 countries surveyed, Kenya recorded the largest proportion of women 80% - who said that they or a woman they know had been the victims of violence since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Thousands march in Sudan to reject deal with military


housands of people in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, and other cities have held protests to keep up the pressure on the country’s military leaders. In the capital’s twin city of Omdurman, security forces fired tear gas at demonstrators opposed to last month’s

coup. They had rallied to pay tribute to dozens of colleagues killed by Sudanese security forces in recent weeks. They also denounced a recent deal with the military that saw Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok reinstated to his post.

Prominent political parties and Sudan’s powerful protest movement have opposed Mr Hamdok’s decision to sign the accord with the military. Some have called it a betrayal or said it provided political cover for the coup. Source: BBC



N e w s F r o m A S I A New technologies impress visitors at 2021 World Manufacturing Convention By Li Junjie, Xu Jing, People’s Daily


ew business models and forms, new technologies, and new products in the manufacturing sector amazed visitors at the 2021 World Manufacturing Convention (WMC) held in Hefei, east China’s Anhui province, from Nov. 19 to 22. Over 400 enterprises, including leading companies in emerging industries and hidden champion enterprises in the manufacturing industry segments, showcased their achievements at the event’s exhibition area, which covered an area of 43,000 square meters. To make the spillovers of the 4th China International Import Expo (CIIE) held earlier this month continue, the 2021 WMC, also the 4th of its kind, invited a number of internationally renowned companies that took part in the CIIE to be exhibitors at the grand event of the manufacturing sector. Liu Hao, a resident in Lu’an city, Anhui province, was so amazed by the foldable screen of the laptop he saw at the exhibition booth of LCFC (Hefei) Electronics Technology Co., Ltd. at the 2021 WMC that he immediately told his friends about it. The foldable screen has been applied mainly to increase the portability of laptops, said Qian Li, director of public affairs at LCFC, adding that users can switch between the modes of laptop screens as needed in life and work.

Visitors watch agricultural machinery exhibited at the exhibition area of the 2021 World Manufacturing Convention at the Hefei Binhu International Convention and Exhibition Center, east China’s Anhui province, Nov. 20, 2021. (Photo by Wang Biao/People’s Daily Online) At the artificial intelligence (AI) exhibition area of the 2021 WMC, a robot that plays Go game (Weiqi) attracted a steady stream of visitors. Equipped with an AI engine supported by reinforcement learning technologies, the robot has reached the level of 9-dan professionals, the highest level for Weiqi players, according to Huang Jie, an algorithm researcher at iFLYTEK, a Chinese intelligent speech and AI company that

developed the robot. It can be used for Go game training, helping improve players’ strategies in a targeted manner and providing auxiliary information for professional players to think more creatively, Huang pointed out, adding that interaction with the robot can also help more teenagers understand the charm of Weiqi culture. A contactless smart integrated cooker exhibited at the 2021 WMC was also eye-catching.

Because of interactive aerial imaging technology, the cooker’s buttons are shown virtually in the air, thus effectively avoiding oil stains, according to Geng Dexue, a staff member of Anhui Easpeed Technology Co., Ltd., developer of the smart integrated cooker. “The interactive aerial imaging technology we developed independently has been applied in health care and other fields. At the beginning of this year, contactless self-service machines equipped

with the technology were put into use in many hospitals in Anhui,” Geng noted. Many cutting-edge technologies and advanced products were also put on display at the event, including quantum computing, high-end new energy vehicles, the 6th-generation flexible display screen, and panchromatic laser. The 2021 WMC not only provided a stage for products but generated orders and benefits for companies. During the event, China Aviation Lithium Battery Technology Co., Ltd., based in Changzhou city, east China’s Jiangsu province, inked an agreement with Hefei to expand its industrial base in the city, according to Peng Danli, project director of the company. The company signed a cooperation project worth over 20 billion yuan (about $3.13 billion) with Changfeng county, Hefei, in August, Peng disclosed. Among all the projects signed during the WMC held in the past three years, 1,643 projects or 93.8 percent had been registered, and 1,518 projects or 86.6 percent had seen their construction work begin as of the end of October, said Zhang Hongqiang, leader of a team established to facilitate the signing of projects at the WMC as well as director of a bureau under the commerce department of the province, adding that 662.16 billion yuan of funds for the projects had been in place.

China keeps stable, healthy development of its national carbon emissions trading market By Kou Jiangze, People’s Daily


rading volumes on China’s national carbon emissions trading market hit one billion yuan ($156.63 million) as of Nov. 10 since the scheme officially started online operation on July 16. Emission quotas for carbon dioxide stood at 23.44 million tonnes. As the world’s largest carbon trading market, it involves a total of 2,162 power generation companies, representing 4.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. The market is another milestone marking China’s active efforts to cope with climate change and promote green development. The national carbon emissions trading market is a policy tool that makes the right to carbon dioxide emission tradable under market mechanisms. It is able to effectively optimize the allocation of the scarce resources of emission quotas. In practice, the market can urge enterprises to fulfill their responsibilities of emission reduction and accelerate technological advancement and industrial upgrading through incentive mechanisms, so as to achieve established goals at a lower cost. It is of vital significance for peaking carbon

Photo taken on Nov. 9, 2021 shows a wind farm in Shuicha township, Taihe county, Ji’an, east China’s Jiangxi province. (Photo by Deng Heping/People’s Daily Online) dioxide emissions and achieving carbon neutrality. Currently, most of the deals reached on the market come from the power generation industry, a sector that ensures a very solid first step of the scheme. This industry is a major consumer of coals and a primary source of carbon emissions. Besides, it boasts a high level of automation and standardized data management. The early involvement of the sector in the carbon emissions trading market

can better achieve the goals of pollution and emission reduction. Therefore, China, focusing on the power generation industry, initiated the trade of emission quotas among major emitters earlier this year. Multiple approaches must be taken to ensure the healthy operation of the carbon emissions trading market, and first of all, authentic and accurate emission data must be acquired. China has carried out data accounting, reporting and verification for

years in the power generation, petrochemical, steel and aviation industries, laying a solid foundation in this regard. In the future, the carbon emissions trading market will be expanded to other industries. Data management will be further enhanced, and complete data accounting, reporting and verification systems established, to reinforce information disclosure and the construction of the credit system. To maintain a reasonable

price of carbon emissions on the carbon emissions trading market is an important task. A low price could harm the positivity of enterprises to reduce emissions, while a high price may put heavy responsibilities on them that are beyond their capabilities to shoulder. China will further improve relevant institutional construction, introduce an offset mechanism and a trading mechanism for carbon finance derivatives, guide market expectation, and gradually enrich trade categories, methods and entities, to make the price of carbon emissions reasonable. The construction of the carbon emissions trading market is complicated and systematic, which cannot be achieved at one stroke, and China is making continuous exploration with its practices. Starting from its energy structure and conditions for marketization, and enhancing systematic planning to promote the stable and healthy development of the national carbon emissions trading market, China will be able to advance the green transition of its economic and social development, and lay a solid foundation for peaking carbon dioxide emissions and achieving carbon neutrality.






Why this city is Europe’s best kept cycling secret R ui Mendes says that when coronavirus first arrived, the business he helps to run had to slam on its brakes and skid to an immediate stop. Mr Mendes is a director at a Portuguese firm called Rodi, one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of bike wheels. “At the pandemic’s onset many clients [bike firms] started to postpone orders, fearing what might happen,” he says. “We ended up stopping production.” To try to save jobs and salaries, the 300 employees agreed to immediately take a three-week holiday. But then a month later things dramatically changed for the better, as millions of people across Europe took up cycling during the pandemic. “From April things turned completely,” says Mr Mendes. “Orders doubled, the market just exploded. Apprehension gave way to relief as the employees realised that the pandemic wasn’t going to threaten their jobs.” Portugal is the largest manufacturer of bikes in the European Union, a fact many people outside of the country might not know. Last year, more than 2.6 million bikes were made in Portugal, according to official EU figures. That was more than one fifth of the total 12.2 million bicycles produced. Italy was in second place on 2.1 million, and Germany ranked third with 1.3 million. Portugal doesn’t have any big bike brand names, instead it mainly does manufacturing for foreign companies. For example, one of its largest producers - RTE - makes bicycles for French giant Decathlon. Another - FJ Bikes Europe - is owned by Taiwan’s Fritz Jou Manufacturing. The industry is concentrated around one small city - Agueda in central Portugal, some 75 km (47 miles) south of Porto. In addition to the businesses that build full bikes, there are also firms, such as Rodi, that make bike parts or accessories. In total, there are more than 60 factories, and almost 8,000 people employed in the sector in and around Agueda. João Filipe Miranda says that his business will post a revenue figure of €27m ($30m; £23m) this year, “our best since the company’s foundation” in 1940. João Filipe Miranda says that gear parts maker Miranda has enjoyed its best-ever year Mr Miranda says that while Portugal’s bike industry is “known for its quality”, it also benefits from offering its European customers much shorter supply chains than rival manufacturers based in Asia. Portugal is further helped by the continuing

Portugal’s bike and bike parts manufacturers have seen a big rise in orders

The company - Miranda - makes components for bicycle gears, including those for electric bikes.

The popularity of cycling has soared across Europe since the start of the pandemic

Rui Mendes says that he and colleagues went from despair to relief within a month tariffs put on Chinese bike imports in to the European Union. These extra fees or duties currently stand at up to 48.5% for standard bikes, and as high as 79.3% for electric ones. Yet, Gil Nadais, secretary general of the trade body for the Portuguese cycling sector - Portugal Bike Value - says the pandemic was the main driving force behind the industry’s continuing boom. “Covid brought a new opportunity to the sector, since it ended up incentivising healthier lifestyles [across Europe].” Mr Nadais adds that industry is expected to see total exports rise between 20% and 30% this year. But have Portuguese people themselves got more into cycling since Covid? That does appear to be the case, even in the capital Lisbon and second city Porto, where people were traditionally seen as adverse to cycling due to the steep and often cobbled roads in both areas. In Lisbon the use of bikes, including electric ones, to help get up all the hills, has risen by a quarter since the start of the pandemic, according to one report. And Fernando Chicarini, the owner of Lisbon’s oldest bike shop - Armazéns Airaf, which was founded in 1951 - says his sales have soared by 40% since the start of the pandemic. He has also seen a big rise in the number of people wanting him to fix their old bikes. Miranda supplies bike gear parts to a number of bicycle firms “People who already owned bicycles, but didn’t use them regularly, or at all, showed up for repairs, revisions, and restorations,” he says. Back at the Rodi parts factory, Mr Mendes says they sold 500,000 bike wheels and three million wheel rims in 2020, a combined 35% hike compared with 2019. “We were lucky that those of us in the bicycle sector didn’t suffer as much as workers in other industries,” he adds. Source: BBC




FOCAC: For an Even Stronger AfricaChina Community with a Shared Future By H.E. Amb. CUI Jianchun


rom November 29th to 30th, the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will be held in Dakar,Senegal (the current African co-chair of the FOCAC). In the face of changes and a global pandemic unseen in a century, ministerial officials from Nigeria, China and other 54 FOCAC members, including the African Union Commission, will overcome difficulties to gather together and discuss plans for friendly cooperation and draw a new blueprint for future cooperation. Three years ago, at the 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit, leaders from China and African countries had unanimously decided to build an AfricaChina community with a shared future, that assumes joint responsibility, pursues win-win cooperation, delivers happiness for all, enjoys common prosperity, enjoys common security and promotes harmony between man and nature, meanwhile also determined to elevate the Africa-China comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership to ever higher levels and set a fine example for the efforts of building a community with a shared future for mankind. China is the world’s largest developing country, while Africa is the continent with the largest number of developing countries. Both sides share a lot in the common cause of development. The nature of Africa and China cooperation has always been mutually beneficial, effective and results-oriented, which are also the unique advantages of the FOCAC. Over the past 21 years since its inception, FOCAC has developed stronger mechanisms and produced remarkable results in practical cooperation. It has now turned itself as a pacesetter for cooperation with Africa and a fine example of mutually beneficial cooperation in the world. United by the FOCAC, Africa and China have become close partners on solidarity against the COVID-19 pandemic. Facing the pandemic, China and African countries have taken robust, proactive and effective measures together. The Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on solidarity against

COVID-19 was held in June 2020, which demonstrates the strong will of the two sides to defeat the pandemic. The Chinese government has provided multiple batches of emergent medical supplies and vaccine donations to African countries. Chinese hospitals have been paired up with 43 hospitals in 38 African countries, and China has trained more than 20,000 African health workers. The construction of new headquarters building of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention(Africa CDC) has commenced by the Chinese side ahead of schedule. Till now, nearly 40 African countries have used COVID-19 vaccines from China, while several among them are conducting joint manufacture with China in their own countries. These concrete efforts give true meaning to the Africa-China community with a shared future. Guided by the FOCAC, Africa and China have become steady partners on political consonance. In the relations with Africa, China has always followed the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith and the principle of pursuing greater good and shared interests, by valuing sincerity and equality and pursuing common interests. At the same time, China always appreciates the strong support given by Africa in international arena, especially its solid commitment to the one-China policy. China would never forget that, 50 years ago, thanks to the decisive vote of developing countries, including Nigeria and other 25 countries in Africa, China had restored its legitimate seat in the United Nations. In recent years, among the countries cosigning the Joint Statement in support of China at the UN Human Rights Council for

Cui Jianchun is Ambassador of China to Nigeri

safeguarding the international principle of non-interference, more than half of them are from African continent. In September this year, with the initiative of China and African, 78 countries made a statement at the Third Committee of the 76th session of the UNGA, calling for the elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, which bears the common interests of the developing countries.

Boosted by the FOCAC, Africa and China have become inseparable partners on mutually beneficial cooperation. Over the past 20 years, China’s trade with Africa has raised 20-fold, making China Africa’s largest bilateral trade partner for 12 years in a row. In the first nine months of this year, ChinaAfrica trade volume reached $185.2 billion, increased by 38.2% year on year. In terms of investment, by the end of

China supports African countries in independently exploring a development path tailored to their own national conditions. Countries, when interacting and cooperating with Africa, should respect the African people’s choice, listen to their voices and play a truly constructive role in Africa’s economic recovery and development through more concrete actions benefiting the local people.

2020, China’s investment stock in Africa had exceeded $43.4 billion, covering more than 50 African countries, making China the fourth largest investor in Africa. In terms of infrastructure, Africa has become China’s second largest market for overseas contract projects. Under the auspices of FOCAC, China has built or upgraded over 10,000 kilometers of railways, nearly 100,000 kilometers of roads, 120 million kilowatts of installed power capacity, 150,000 kilometers of communication backbone networks, over 400 medical facilities and 1,200 educational institutions for Africa, creating more than 4.5 million jobs. China welcomes the official launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) on January 1st, 2021, believing that it would turn a new page for Africa-China economic cooperation. China supports African countries in independently exploring a development path tailored to their own national conditions. Countries, when interacting and cooperating with Africa, should respect the African people’s choice, listen to their voices and play a truly constructive role in Africa’s economic recovery and development through more concrete actions benefiting the local people. With the theme of “deepen China-Africa partnership and promote sustainable development to build a ChinaAfrica community with a shared future in the new era”, the upcoming FOCAC Ministerial Conference would definitely inject new impetus into the Africa-China comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership, and make new contributions to upholding the overall interests of developing countries and advancing world peace, stability, development and prosperity in a post-COVID era. It is my belief that, by building on past achievements and working together closely, Africa and China could build an even stronger community with a shared future, so as to bring more tangible benefits to the two peoples. (Cui Jianchun is Ambassador of China to Nigeria)






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V/ball Division 1 League: Kada Kings continues unbeaten run K ada Kings continued their unbeaten run at the ongoing 2021 National Volleyball Division 1 League with an emphatic three straight sets victory over Wikki Spikers of Bauchi. Kada Kings thrashed Wikki Spikers of Bauchi 3-0 (25-19, 2518, 25-22) to recored their ten straight games win at the indoor sports hall of Moshood Abiola Stadium, Package B in Abuja. The Head Coach of Kada Kings, Jonathan Thaj while speaking to newsmen after the game, expressed satisfaction over the performance of his team against the formidable Wikki Spikers of Bauchi state. Thaj also revealed that his side is physically and technically better than his opponent adding that his team played according to instructions given to them before the game. He said, “I feel satisfied with the victory because the boys are good, they training a lot and I am happy their training is manifesting in the second phase of the 2021 National Division 1 League. I believe that anytime or anywhere we meet Wikki Spikers, they will definitely lose to us because our boys are playing systematic Volleyball. “When you compare my boys individuals, they are better than Wikki Spikers that was why I remain calm on the bench because they took instructions before the game.” Thaj further noted that Kada

Kings will know their fate when they lock horns against Caliphate Spikers of Bauchi on Thursday. He said, “For now, Kada Kings have taken the trophy already; I am going to celebrate my trophy immediately we beat Caliphate Spikers of Sokoto State. The win

over Wikki Spikers of Bauchi has given us the edge against all the teams here; it is left for others to fight for second position.” Day 3 results of the second phase of the 2021 National Division 1 League in Abuja:

ABM of Katsina v Kwara United VC 0-3 (22-25, 14-25, 28-30) Caliphate Spikers of Sokoto v Spartans VC of Yola 0-3 (22-25, 24-26, 12-25) Kada Kings v Wikki Spikers of Bauchi 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-22)

Day 4 Fixtures: Oluyole Spikers of Oyo v Caliphate Spikers of Sokoto (2pm) Spartans VC of Yola v ABM of Kastina (4pm) Wikki Spikers of Bauchi v Kwara United VC (6pm)

Dare congratulates NTTF election By Albert Akota


he Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has congratulated the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation(NTTF)on the successful election of four Nigerians into various bodies of the

International Table Tennis Federation(ITTF). The four Nigerians nominated and elected into the Executive Council and the various Commissions of the International Table Tennis Fédération (ITTF) Sports Minister Sunday Dare described the feat as remarkable and a huge

blessing to Nigeria. He said, “with the pedigree of the persons in the African Table Tennis Federation(ATTF) and now the ITTF, the sports(Table Tennis) is set for an unprecedented upward swing.” The Permanent Secretary Alhaji Ismail

Abubakar said the victory of the quartet at the ITTF congress in Houston, Texas is in line with the Ministry’s objective of getting as many qualified Nigerians as possible into leadership positions in their different International Sports Federations.

Experts are saying that the achievement in Houston, Texas at the ITTF congress is unprecedented in the history of sports. Nigeria has become the first country, in recent history, to produce four persons in the board of any International Federation.

Nwosu replaces Mike Brown as head Coach of D’Tigers to Angola






Hakim Ziyech out of AFCON 2022


ince his fallout with the national team head coach Vahid Halilhodzic, Hakim Ziyech hasn’t received any international call-ups and that trend is seemingly set to continue into the future with Ziyech unlikely to be called up for next year’s AFCON tournament, scheduled to be held in Cameroon from 9th January to 6th February. According to Moroccan outlet Al Ahdath Al Maghribia on Thursday November 25, Halilhodzic decided not to call up Ziyech, with his belief that the Chelsea player will not be able to withstand the high heat and humidity that characterize the climate in Cameroon during this period of the year. Halilhodzic also feels that Ziyech’s physical condition is not up to the requisite standard. Those claims sound preposterous no matter how many times you read them, so of course Ziyech’s omission has nothing to do with those aforementioned reasons, and everything to do with the differences between the player and the manager. The Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) will try to act as a peacemaker, and try to persuade Halilhodzic to reconsider his stance.

Nwosu replaces Mike Brown as head Coach of D’Tigers to Angola


ulius Nwosu has been appointed as coach of the Men’s senior national team of Nigeria, D’Tigers to replace Mike Brown. Julius, 51, will lead former African champions to Angola the venue for the African World Cup Qualifiers. The former NBA and D’Tigers star was one of the delegation that left Nigeria for the competition on Tuesday. The Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) had released the 11-man list of players that who had arrived in Angola to execute the World Cup Qualifiers. Top on the list marked the return of Ike Diogu who missed the 2020 Olympics. Fir the first in a long while, three home based also made the final cut. The Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) had released the 11-man list of players that who had arrived in Angola to execute the World Cup Qualifiers.





AFCON 2021: CAF threatens to take opening match away from Olembe Stadium


ecretary-General of the African Soccer governing body Veron Omba MoSengo has issued a warning to the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the African Cup of Nations that the opening game of the tournament will be elsewhere if they failed to do the needful by November 30th 2021. The football complained that the work on the exterior of the stadium is yet to be complete and no progress has been since his last visit. “Regarding the Olembe stadium, know that if everything is not settled by November 30, 2021, the opening match will take place elsewhere. “The state of progress of the exteriors of the Olembé stadium, the delivery of which is promised for November 30, 2021, seems without progress since my last visit dating from the 22 October,” he said. In addition to the Olembe stadium, CAF underlines other concerns at the level of the Bangou site, where the lawn of the training stadium would be impractical and the work unfinished. She also expresses concerns about the COVID protocol, Marketing and intellectual property, stadium management, volunteer management, customs procedures, etc. Taye Taiwo and Oduamadi ADVERT: NEWS: KANO: LAGOS:

. . . putting the people first


The corps member as true national hero I

t is the dream of every tertiary institution graduate in Nigeria to adorn the NYSC brown khaki uniform. We have been regaled with tales of how newly deployed corps members wear their attires posing for the cameras and sending the photos to their parents and other loved ones. The feeling is usually ecstatic and a dream come true. Parents and guardians are also not left out of the euphoria. You could easily hear parents discussing about their wards deployed for the mandatory youth service year in a loud tone. This is the NYSC, the scheme that has continued to serve the critical purpose of national integration and nation building amongst the teeming youthful population in the country. Welcome to the world of the NYSC, where people from various ethnicity and religion converge pursuant to a common goal in the country’s interest. I have, on numerous forums, canvassed for improved funding for the operations of the NYSC due to its critical role in the socio-economic development of the country. My position has been hinged on the invaluable role the one year service period plays in the lives of our youths. We should also remember that some youths have, as a result of their engagement in the NYSC, realized their potentials and set out to conquer in their various life endeavours. Some have also met their life partners, while some have been beneficiaries of goodwill from parts of the country they found themselves. And the list goes on. Beyond all of the above mentioned, I believe that a critical aspect of the NYSC has been neglected for a long time: the corp members themselves. Their sacrifices and efforts in important health, educational and agricultural sectors have not been given adequate recognition. From NYSC doctors to teachers that are rendering

0806 564 8620 0814 292 9046 0803 587 5846 08074420617


By Kolawole Abe invaluable services in public hospitals and schools to the deployment of corp members during elections in the country. While it is sad that some paid the supreme price in service to the country, it does not by any stretch of imagination diminish the fact that the Corp members are the true national heroes. One needed to tour rural communities in parts of Nigeria and see the level of bonding exhibited between corp members and members of the host communities. In most cases, despite the language barrier, corp members find a way to interact and live in peace in their host communities. I dare say corp members live the life of patriots, who leave the comfort of their homes to places, they have not visited before in most instances and blend to their culture and way of life throughout their service year, making contributions to the growth and development of the area. If this is not an act of patriotism, I don’t know what else to call it. Call it the life of sacrifice. You won’t be

service year. But we can’t all but be grateful that the leadership of the NYSC in recent times has been actively introducing reforms that further empower corps members to be well equipped as entrepreneurs through its skill acquisition and entrepreneurship development programme.

wrong too, because we are availed daily with tales of corp members doing exploits in their places of primary assignment. It’s on record that schools have been built, vocational centres erected and a host of other notable projects mainly executed by corp members from their savings and donations from charitable individuals and organizations. Corp members have also been active as first-line responders in times of crisis, as evident in times of the coronavirus pandemic, the Ebola epidemic and cholera outbreaks in some parts of the country.

The proposed NYSC Trust Fund would indeed be a game-changer because the full manifestation of the potentials of corp members would be availed the country. And Nigeria would be better for it. I think it is time for every corp member to take their pride in place as true national heroes in the scheme of affairs in the country. Your sacrifices towards a great and better Nigeria are outstanding and appreciated. Needless I say more, the corp member is an embodiment of strength, resilience and dexterity. We must admit and recognize this much in our quest for greatness as a people and as a country.

It is also on record that some communities in Nigeria depend on the services of corp members in their education sector because of the value they bring to the table year in and year out. The list is endless and why every corp member must rise in defence of the NYSC scheme.

To all the corp members out there giving their best, I salute your courage in the face of danger; I salute your contributions to the socioeconomic development of Nigeria, now and always. And to all prospective corps members, may your road be rough!

Abe is a former PRO of Most times, I wonder how NANS and wrote from Akure. the country would have fared without the services of corp members who dot the nook and cranny of the country Killing of Almajiri: Gov. working tirelessly during their Bala vows to fish out perpetrators - News

It is also on record that some communities in Nigeria depend on the services of corp members in their education sector because of the value they bring to the table year in and year out. The list is endless and why every corp member must rise in defence of the NYSC scheme


We don here!

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