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Boko Haram Fights Back in Maiduguri Suburb, One Officer, Six Soldiers Killed Theatre Commander: It’s not true Army announces recovery of corpses of missing officer, 15 soldiers Olawale Olaleye in Lagos and Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri The Boko Haram terror group fought back on Sunday, invading Cinki Gundu, an

outskirt of Maiduguri, the Bornu State capital, where an officer and six soldiers were killed. Eight others were injured. Although military authorities

denied the latest incursion of the terrorists, less than two weeks after Boko Haram’s flag was presented to President Muhammadu Buhari as a mark of the military’s total subjugation

of the fanatical religious sect, THISDAY sources said Cinki Gundu is now being used as the terrorists’ operational base. “Outright falsehood,” MajGen Lucky Irabor, the Theatre

Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, the military taskforce clearing the North-east of the insurgents, told THISDAY in a text message last night. Irabor who had earlier

yesterday in Maiduguri addressed the press on the mop-up operations of the military where he said there were still pockets of Continued on page 8

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China Plans Fresh $40bn Investments in Nigeria Buhari pledges to honour agreements, severs relations with Taiwan Alex Enumah in Abuja The Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister, Wang Yi, has disclosed plans by the Chinese government to invest up to $40b in Nigeria as part of efforts aimed at deepening relations between the two countries.

The amount, which was announced by the minister during a joint briefing with his Nigerian counterpart yesterday in Abuja was in addition to other contributions China had made to Nigeria to support Continued on page 8

Senate Coup: You May Be Next Victim, Ndume Warns Ekweremadu Tinubu, APC govs, ministers, others meet in Ibadan today Olawale Olaleye in Lagos and Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja Sacked Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, yesterday warned against alleged sustained violations of parliamentary procedures, which he said

manifested in his sudden removal on Tuesday, warning that Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu might be the next victim of the alleged disregard for rules. Continued on page 8

UN to Investigate Killings A HELPING HAND FROM CHINA… President Muhammadu Buhari, Foreign Minister of China, Mr. Wang Yi; and Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Zhou in Southern Kaduna… Page 11 R-L: Pingjian, during Yi’s visit to the State House, Abuja… yesterday state house











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PAGE EIGHT SENATE COUP: YOU MAY BE NEXT VICTIM, NDUME WARNS EKWEREMADU Ndume spoke yesterday against the background of an emerging realignment of forces intent on establishing the hegemony of the ruling All Progressive Congress in the leadership of the Senate. The realignment fever has reverberated in the party’s Southwest wing where its leading lights,

including its National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the region’s governors and ministers as well as other leaders of the party meet today in Ibadan in a bid to close ranks and forge a common front in the cold permutations for power in 2019. Ndume spoke at plenary yesterday while raising Order 43 of the Senate

Standing Rules in reaction to his removal without his fore knowledge. He said the Senate was a national institution whose sanctity must be protected by members, insisting that he had done nothing wrong to warrant such treatment. He, however, admitted that he did not emerge as the Senate

Leader because he was better than his colleagues, adding that if he had been confronted with visible allegations of wrong doing, he would have voluntarily resigned. Disclosing that he had offered to voluntarily resign three times in the past; Ndume said he had received a list of 38 senators who signed the

notice of his removal, noting that the signatures showed that 38 colleagues had lost confidence in him, a situation he said showed that he lacked the moral ground to remain in the office. He added that even if it was only 10 of his colleagues who had signed the removal notice, the loss of confidence in him by 10 senators

was enough for him to throw in the towel but insisted that he had done nothing wrong. He said: "Mr. President, I discussed with you before the sitting that sequel to the event that happened yesterday in my absence - I went to

$60b and $80b in Nigeria, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to china last year had further opened up more areas of cooperation. “In area of infrastructure, which is one of the priority areas in the diversification programme of this government from oil to agriculture and infrastructure, the Chinese government has been showing a lot of cooperation with us,� the minister said. He identified transportation as one area the Chinese government had been very helpful to Nigeria. Meanwhile, Nigeria has withdrawn its recognition for Taiwan, pledging her support for one China in a move considered as part of efforts at strengthening its relations with China. Nigeria is, therefore, to withdraw all diplomatic relations with Taiwan as a country, as well as withdraw accreditation from Taiwan’s nationals. In addition, the Taiwanese office in Abuja would be shut, while it would be allowed to relocate to Lagos as a trade mission with skeletal staff. This position, which was contained in a joint statement by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of both Nigeria and China in Abuja yesterday, also saw the governments of the two countries reaffirming their mutual respect for

the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each other. Nigeria, in the statement reaffirmed that the “One China� policy was at the core of its strategic partnership with china. It said: “The Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria recognizes that there is only one China in the world; that the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China, and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. “The Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria reiterates not to have any official relations or engage in any official contacts with Taiwan, and supports all efforts made by the Chinese government to realize national unification�. On her part the Government of the People’s Republic of China while appreciating the gesture of Nigeria over the Taiwan issue reaffirmed her commitment to actively develop China-Nigeria strategic partnership across board. Speaking to journalists after the statement, Onyeama stated that the federal government took the decision to remove any iota of doubt in the minds of the Chinese people about Nigeria’s commitment to the unity of China.

He said: “On the issue of building trust, the international community has embraced one China and China is a member of the United Nations and we don’t want to leave any doubt on the issue,� adding: “We adhere to it completely and there is no ambiguity at all.� He said Nigeria as a nation would do everything to realize the one China policy as well as any effort that would promote the peace and well-being of the People’s Republic of China. According to Onyeama, China is one of the countries that has been in full support of reforms in the UN that would see Africa having two seats at the UN Security Council, saying it deserved to be supported in her unification drive. Similarly, Yi, while noting that the gesture would enhance the bilateral ties between the two countries, said China would not only respect the one Nigeria policy but would do everything to support the one Nigeria dream. He pledged the support of China in helping Nigeria overcome her security challenges as well as supporting the administration’s efforts at diversification of the economy, particularly in the area of agriculture and infrastructure.

and grenade were recovered from the BHT. Also, nine BHT adults and 18 minors were arrested during the operation." He said: "On 3 Jan 17 at about 1240hrs, four women and 13 children were apprehended by vigilantes at BUNI YADI and were later handed over to our troops. Preliminary investigation revealed that the women were wives of BHTs who fled from Sambisa Forest as a result of our operations. All suspects are in our custody undergoing investigation." The Commander also revealed that: "On 9 Jan 17, a surrendered BHT identified a male sympathiser as BHT spy to MONGUNO and identified 2 wives of BHT Amir from the arrested BHT members. "On 4 Jan 17 at about 1300hrs, own troops at KATARKO while on patrol along GUJBA-NANAMAJI road arrested 4 BHT suspects fleeing TALALA. Their names are Babagana Mohammedu from HONG in MICHIKA LGA, Usman Usman from FUNTUA Katsitna State, Murtala Dan-azimi from KOFAR GOMBE Bauchi State and Sanusi Dahiru from SAKWAYA in Jigawa State. Arrested suspects are in own custody undergoing further interrogation." He also said the persons who treat Boko Haram has been apprehended. He said: "On 5 Jan 17 at about 1030hrs, own troops and CJTF arrested 4 BHT suspects at SHUWARI village ahead of own checkpoint following a tip off that there were some BHT amirs lurking around. The suspects are Modu Auwami, Mamye Modu, Usman Kachanawa and Mallum Maji. During preliminary investigation, some local witnesses identified Modo Auwami as the one who used to provide medical treatment to injured BHT and had been seen wielding AK47 rifle on several

occasions. The other 3 suspects claimed they were abducted by the BHT but only spent few days in their camps. The suspects are all from DAGUMBA and GUMSHE in MAFA and DIKWA LGA respectively. The suspects are in custody undergoing further interrogation." He also said: "On 3 Jan 17 at about 1430hrs, own troops in conjunction with CJTF arrested four BHT suspects namely: Usman Alhaji Karama, Wakil Aga, Biye Kunti and Maimusa Khadi at SHUARI village close to custom house. The suspects were from DAGUMBA village in MAFA LGA and they all confessed to be BHT members. They claimed to have come to town to buy Tramadol tablets as they were arrested with 27 sachets of Tramadol tablets, 3 sachets of Cowbel chocolate and the sum of N5,040.00 only. They are all undergoing further interrogation."

Continued on page 9

CHINA PLANS FRESH $40BN INVESTMENTS IN NIGERIA her developmental activities. He said his country had invested about $45b in various projects in Nigeria and is at the verge of releasing another $40b. “China has already invested or financed a total number of $22billion projects here in Nigeria, another $23billion projects are on-going. In addition, we are also following up another over $40billion of investments, which are in the pipeline,� Yi said. The Chinese foreign minister had met earlier in the day with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, where the president pledged that Nigeria would honour all agreements signed with the People’s Republic of China. ‘‘This administration is very serious about infrastructural development. We want rail, road, power, skill acquisition for our people. We ought to have developed beyond this point, but we neglected infrastructure when we had the resources. ‘‘Now, we have to collaborate with you, and we will keep our side of the bargain in all the agreements we have signed,� Buhari was quoted to have said in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina. The president had visited

China in April, last year, as guest of President Xi Jinping, and the two countries signed memoranda of understanding on projects, running into billions of dollars. At the press briefing with his Nigerian counterpart, the Chinese Foreign Minister said the purpose of his visit to Nigeria was to implement the important agreement and cooperation reached between the Chinese and Nigerian presidents and at the same time work closely with Nigeria to ensure that the outcome of the FOCAC summit are well implemented here in Nigeria. “In order to achieve further development and prosperity of the two countries, we need to strengthen our political mutual trust, deepen complementarily between our developments, further expand practical cooperation and deepen our strategic partnership,� he said. He described Nigeria and China as strategic partners whose relations he noted had developed well. He, however, said when compared with the size, population and markets of the two countries, their cooperation had large potential to be deepened. The foreign minister said he was confident his visit would be successful in further strengthening the strategic partnership between

China and Nigeria. Earlier, Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, commended the Chinese government for her solidarity with Nigeria and Africa. He said the relationship between Nigeria and China was one that was very strong and had been going on for many years. While commending the Chinese government officicials for their yearly visit to African countries with a view to discussing substantive issues of development, he stressed that the visits were unique because they helped to display and show solidarity of the Peoples Republic with Africa. Onyeama said: “You know of course that the Peoples Republic of China has been meeting regularly with Africa and the forum for discussing technical cooperation with African countries, the acronym is FOCAC “The last one took place in South Africa last December and the government of China made available a total of $60b for Africa and a number of countries, including Nigeria are in discussions to see how much of that could be used to assist in the various projects that we have in this country.� He said aside the FOCAC issue, China had, so far, invested between

BOKO HARAM FIGHTS BACK IN MAIDUGURI SUBURB, ONE OFFICER, SIX SOLDIERS KILLED resistance by the insurgents that were being contained, however, admitted that an operation at Bulakesa village claimed the lives of an officer and four soldiers, while three other soldiers were wounded. He said 50 insurgents were killed in action while three AK47 rifles and several weapons and grenade were recovered from them, adding that nine terrorists and 18 minors were arrested during the operation. But THISDAY sources were emphatic yesterday that Cinki Gundu was under the control of Boko Haram, naming one Ba Umar, a second lieutenant, as the officer killed during the attack. A source added that one of the slain soldiers, a majority of whom were said to have newly joined the army five months ago in 2016, was identified as Corporal Idowu Shoneyin of the 153 Task Force Battalion. According to the sources, the Nigerian troops went on a fighting patrol at Cinki Gundu, when they came in confrontation with the Boko Haram fighters, who immediately opened fire on them, killing five on the spot in the first attack. “One second lieutenant and four soldiers were killed immediately in action in the first attack. The information just came in now (Tuesday) that they were killed on Sunday. Two out of those soldiers killed joined the army in 2016, not more than five months ago,� the source said, pleading anonymity as the military authorities might want to keep the information under wraps following their recent celebration for overcoming Boko Haram. Cinki Gundu is under Division 8 Task Force Headquarters in Monguno, Maiduguri, where the Boko Haram members are said to be in their thousands, being their new operational base. The source said it took the intervention of a

fighter jet from neighbouring Chad to stem the tide of attack and killing, saying “if not, the casualty would have been more than five in this particular attack�. He reiterated that it was the fighter jet from Chad that alerted the Nigerian troops of the danger ahead and asked them to retreat immediately because the Boko Haram members already outnumbered them. He said the fighter jet was able to repel their attacks before they eventually beat a retreat. Remains of the late officer and the four soldiers from the first attack, the source said, had been taken to and deposited at the Maiduguri Teaching Hospital. The soldiers, including Shoneyin, the source claimed, were killed while trying to rescue the officer, Umar, who had been run over by the Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) while trying to manoeuvre away from the Boko Haram fire power. “As it is now, Cinki Gundu is controlled by the Boko Haram�, he said, adding that it might have become their operational base, having been mopped up and chased out of Sambisa towards the end of last year. However, while the military was still smarting from the Cinki Gundu attack on its men, during which it lost five of its men, members of the Boko Haram sect, in a second attack, took the fight to the military at one of their locations in Maiduguri called the Old Marte on Tuesday night. Although the source was unable to give details of the Old Marte attack as it was still being monitored on the radio at the time of gathering the information. THISDAY gathered that about 10 casualties were also recorded at the incident, all of whom had been taken to the Division 7 hospital, while the sect members allegedly

made away with a lot of the Army ammunition. However, whilst two of the soldiers at the Old Marte attack were said to have been killed in action (KIA), eight others, the source said, were badly wounded in action (WIA). The Old Marte is also under Division 8 Task Force Headquarters in Monguno. The source, who also spoke briefly on the plight of the Nigerian military at the war front, lamented the ugly treatment being allegedly meted out to them, especially the fact that they are being less treated when compared to their colleagues in other wings of the armed forces, also at the same battlefield. “The Army pays the soldiers operational allowance of N30, 000. 00 every month instead of N45, 000. 00. The excuse the Army authorities gave is that N15,000.00 out of the money is meant for their feeding but their sister force, I mean the Air Force, is collecting its complete N45,000.00 in the same operation and yet, they eat outside of this same operational provision.� Irabor, however, denied that soldiers were being short paid.

Army recovers corpses of missing ofďŹ cer and 15 soldiers Meanwhile, corpses of an officer and 15 soldiers declared missing about two months ago by the Nigerian Army have been found along a riverbank in Borno, Irabor said yesterday. Addressing a press conference in Maiduguri on the successes recorded in the ongoing counter-insurgency war in the North-east in the last one week, Irabor said the corpses of the missing officer and 15 soldiers were found along Kamadugou River line. He said: "On January 5, 2017 at about 0745hrs, own troops in

conjunction with CJTF conducted clearance operation along DAMASAK – GASHIGAR road. The troops successfully cleared DUOMA, ASAGA, GASHIGAR and other surrounding villages. At ASAGA village, our troops encountered and dislodged some BHT elements. "Subsequently, the troops recovered corpses of one officer and 15 soldiers earlier declared Missing in Action during their dislodgment from GASHIGAR on October 16, 2016. The corpses were recovered along Kamadugou River line. Among the recovered corpses was that of Lt Col K Yusuf, the former Commanding Officer of 223 Tank Battalion. They have since been buried in Maimalari Cantonment Cemetery with full military honours. He added that: "On 8 Jan 17 at about 1125hrs, own troops in conjunction with CJTF conducted clearance operation to METELE village and encountered pockets of BHT which were successfully cleared. The troops also cleared all identified BHT hideouts from DOGON CHUKU toward TUMBUN RAGO. During the operation, six BHT were killed in action while two of our soldiers were wounded in action. The wounded soldiers are currently receiving treatment in our medical facility in Baga." He equally revealed that: "On 8 Jan 17 at 0830hrs, own troops conducted clearance operation in MANAWASI and GAREL villages. The troops encountered BHT at BULAKESA village. The troops successfully cleared the BHT with support from Air Component and dominated the village. Sadly, an officer and 4 soldiers were killed in action while 3 other soldiers were wounded. A total of 50 BHT were killed in action while 3 AK47 rifles and several weapons

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     ˾  THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2017


PwC: Nigeria Has Highest Percentage of People Living in Poverty Says, its financial system shows least progress Iyobosa Uwugiaren in Abuja The lack of an efficient and resilient financial system is still holding back inclusive and sustainable growth in emerging markets across the globe including Nigeria, a global financial and economy consultant, PwC Project Blue, has stated in its recent findings. The financial expert also said that Nigeria had the highest percentage of its population living in poverty, with its financial system showing the least progress of all the seven emerging markets: Nigeria, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa. ‘’In five of the eight key areas, Nigeria’s financial system scores significantly below PwC’s fit-forpurpose targets, holding back inclusive and sustainable growth. However, the success of Nigeria’s auto-enrolment pension model is a bright spot,’’ the respected institution said. The report is entitled: ‘Geared up for growth: Shaping a fit-for- purpose financial system’. In the paper, PwC sets out what an efficient, resilient and inclusive financial system looks like across eight key dimensions; and how

leading emerging markets – Nigeria, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa – rate against its ‘fit for purpose’ targets. The assessment highlights considerable room for further improvements in key areas, ranging from financial inclusion to pensions and protection. ‘’While growth in emerging markets continues to outstrip developed counterparts and hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of poverty, developing a well-functioning financial system remains critical to tackling poverty and sustaining economic growth over the long term’’, PwC added. ‘’This can’t be said about the other African country in PwC’s assessment. Not only has Nigeria by far the highest percentage of its population living in poverty, its financial system is also showing the least progress of all seven emerging markets. ‘’In five of the eight key areas, Nigeria’s financial system scores significantly below PwC’s fit-forpurpose targets, holding back inclusive and sustainable growth. However, the success of Nigeria’s auto-enrolment pension model is a bright spot.

Nevin ‘’Emerging markets need a robust and broad-based financial infrastructure to channel funds efficiently, draw people into the market economy and enable them to share in the benefits.’’ According to PwC, the financial system in Nigeria is significantly impeding growth. However, the good news for emerging markets in the PwC research is that all the seven emerging markets perform well on private sector lending, which is known to drive growth. With the exception of Brazil, the banking spread (difference between bank lending and deposit rates) in the emerging markets is also low,

improving borrowers’ ability to service debt. Another key area in which most of the seven emerging markets do reasonably well is controlling the size of their banking system. Only the size of China’s banking sector – compared to its economy – could raise systemic concerns. The organisation said that South Africa is on the right track, but with a long way to go. According to the assessment, ‘’Although poverty reduction has stalled in recent years and it has the worst income inequality of all seven emerging economies, South Africa is showing the most progress towards a fit-for-purpose financial system. Four of the eight key areas for a healthy financial system are already supporting inclusive and sustainable growth, and while more work is needed – for instance on the high levels of indebtedness – the country is moving in the right direction in the other four areas.’’ It further added that China and Indonesia are under-performing in number of key areas. Compared to the other emerging economies, the organisation said China has the biggest difficulties with its pension asset management

and the size of its banking system. ‘’China’s banks are facing a troubling collision of swelling balance sheets, high corporate debt levels and a rise in insolvency and default. Indonesia seems particularly off track when it comes to financial inclusion and a well-functioning housing sector’’, it stated. In the report, Hugh Harley, Global Emerging Markets FS Leader, believes policymakers, regulators and financial services organisations should be more active in shaping a fit-for-purpose financial system: “A fit-for-purpose financial system fosters inclusion, investment, access to credit and support for people when they retire, while promoting efficiency and protecting against systemic risks’’, Harley stated. ‘’The development of this financial system isn’t organic or passive. You shape it. Strong regulation and enforcement are essential for financial systems to develop, so regulators across different market sectors should get on the front foot and work together.” Dr. Andrew S. Nevin, FS Advisory Leader and Chief Economist at PwC Nigeria and Project Blue Global Leader, stresses that emerging markets should try

and learn from their peers: “Our analysis clearly shows that some markets are ahead of others in different dimensions. Ask yourself the question: what can we learn from each other’s experience? ‘’Specifically financial services organisations should realise that many of the ground-breaking innovations in FS are being spearheaded in Asia and other emerging markets. Without ageing legacy systems to hold them back, they have clean sheets upon which to harness the latest developments in technology and develop their own distinctive business models.” PwC Project Blue explores the major trends that are transforming the global economy and competitive landscape for financial services (FS) organisations worldwide. It also sets out the implications of these trends for public policy and regulation, and how governments and regulators can forge an efficient, resilient and inclusive financial system. PwC said its purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems, adding, ‘’We’re a network of firms in 157 countries with more than 223,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services.’’

claims of not attaining level 17 in the civil service cadre. Leading the campaign for his rejection, Senator Binta Garba, claimed that Ayine was on level 14 and was only the Cross River State Auditor-General for Local Governments and therefore lacked the requisite qualification to occupy the office. But her submission was countered by Senators Godswill Akpabio and Ahmad Lawan, who reminded the Senate about how Ayine participated and came first in the various examinations and scrutiny before his appointment. They further dismissed the claim by Garba that he had not attained level 17 as they recalled that the man had exceeded that level having had only three years to attain the retirement age of 60. The senators warned against throwing away the baby with the bathe water over unfounded allegations, which they said had always been common to such appointment. Following these submissions, others who had the intention to oppose the nomination were silenced as Ayine was later confirmed without a dissenting voice.

the present term of the government winds down to a close. Twice, attempts had been made to look at the state of the party in the zone as well as the development of the region within the collective of the federation. The first was the meeting at the Government House in Ibadan, which recorded about 50 per cent success, and the second, which held at the Government House, Abeokuta, Ogun State, but ended on a bitter note of rivalry. The state of the party in the zone, however, deteriorated before and after the Ondo State governorship election, which was believed to have sharply factionalised the APC along two interests: The Bola Tinubu Group and the President Muhammadu Buhari camp. Unfortunately, the rivalry had taken a messier slant as majority of those believed to be siding with the president are former allies of Tinubu, all of whom rose to political reckoning through his means and support. But whilst the accused have dismissed allegation of betrayal and backstabbing in the party and collective interest, nothing has shown that the house was one and the same, a development that could pave the way for a major political disaster in 2019. It is against this backdrop, THISDAY has learnt, that Akande requested for a meeting of all the stakeholders from the governors to the minister and of course, the central character, Tinubu, to sit at a table and explore peaceful options of co-existence in collective interest. Although there were feelers that Tinubu was not in the country as at yesterday afternoon, sources said he would eventually make it to the meeting as he had already confirmed attendance. However this meeting turns out, observers are of the view that it would further reveal either the underbelly of the crisis trailing the party in the zone or dismiss reports of the deep animosity believed to exist amongst the characters in the party from the zone.

SENATE COUP: YOU MAY BE NEXT VICTIM, NDUME WARNS EKWEREMADU pray, there was a change in leadership particularly affecting me and I felt it is important for me to be given the chance to defend myself. As I said, when I was nominated by my colleagues for the opportunity given to me to serve as the senate leader, I said one thing at that time and I want to repeat it today that as a senator, I am not better than anybody here and I also want to believe that all of us are equal in this Senate. "I thank God for the way and the courage God had given me to carry-on with my responsibility for the past one and half years l served as the Senate leader. So, I want to thank you my colleagues for the confidence you had in me. I thank God that throughout my service as the Senate leader, most of the times, my colleagues casually would say, leader we are proud of you. I was not found wanting for anything that I know and because the unity of this Senate is more important than myself, three times, I offered to resign if that would bring peace but I believe that God's time is the best. "You (Ekweremadu) are one of those that even warned me here to stop saying that I would resign but yesterday, I was not around; change of leadership was announced. In fact, if the number of those that lost confidence in me is not up to this number and I was made to know, I would resign because I did not become a Senate leader in order to lose the confidence of any of you and that is why I am concerned about the loss of confidence because as far as I know, I have not done anything. "But then, just like that, the Senate caucus has the right to say we have lost confidence in you and I think that should be now that I have said it. I think it's on record that I did not do anything to the best of my knowledge. I did not do anything but as I said, consciously 38 of my colleagues signed the notice. "So, if they signed that they have lost confidence in me at all, at least you will be confronted with allegations on what you have done and be given the chance to defend yourselves but as I said, since I have lost the confidence of some of you, even if it is 10 of

you, then I have no moral ground to continue to lead this Senate because that means there are some people that are not with me. "Having said that, I want to say that this Senate is an institutions that we must protect. How you protect the institution is to obey the rules and the tradition. If today, just like that, without telling somebody and he goes out and he's removed...If it is Ndume today and it's ok. It may be God forbid Ekweremadu tomorrow. "So, what I am saying is that anytime our colleagues err in one way or the other, we should be given the chance to say 'look, this is what you did and therefore, we have lost confidence in you but I thank God since there is nothing, I am grateful for that. So, I want to once again say thank you very much for the opportunity given me to serve as the Senate leader and I wish my brother, the new Senate leader well. We have been struggling for this for a long time. I hope and I wish you the best of service to this important institution," he said. But Senator Kabiru Marafa (Zamfara Central) disagreed with Ndume that his removal breached parliamentary procedure, arguing that the action was in compliance with Order 32 of Senate Standing Orders. He added: "I just feel it should be put on record because somebody can ask me or ask any person that when you did something, you didn't follow your rules and I want to say that as a member of this Senate, I was seated right here yesterday and I went through this thing and I know that Order 32 (6) provided for what we did yesterday." Earlier in the day, Senate President Bukola Saraki had said there was no crisis in the Senate over the removal of Ndume, saying the upper chamber was calm. "There is no crisis in the National Assembly, things like this do happen and as you said the institution is bigger than everybody and I am sure that he and everybody else will always work for the interest of the institution and for the interest of the country. Everything is calm, solid and fine," he told State House correspondents

at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Responding, Ekweremadu thanked Ndume for his services to the Senate and congratulated him for accepting his removal in good faith. "Let me on behalf of the rest of our colleagues, thank you for your services to the Senate and indeed to the National Assembly because you were a member of the House of Representatives' leadership. At some point, you came to the Senate and also held very important committee assignments and then rose to become the Senate leader. Those are services we cannot wish away. So, we would like to congratulate you for the manner you have accepted the position of things..." Ekweremadu said.

Senate Rejects Ban on Vehicle Importation The Senate yesterday rejected the federal government's move to ban the importation of vehicles through the land borders, saying it would further cripple the economy and result in the loss of 500,000 jobs. The Senate also mandated its Committee on Customs and Excise to investigate the circumstances surrounding the decision and urged the federal government to put the machinery in place for the regulation of vehicle importation through the approval of a designated entry point in each of the six ego-political zones of the country that has international land border(s). Moving a motion on the matter yesterday, Senator Barau Jibrin (Kano North), said closing land borders this time would only aggravate the plights of villages whose economy is sustained by vehicle importation. According to Barau, Nigerians have rejected the move because it is not economically expedient to ban the importation of vehicles through land borders given the ramification of such a policy on the economy. Barau noted that the move was spurred by an allegation that importation of vehicles through land borders no longer holds prospects for revenue generation as a result of large scale evasion of import duties. He said instead of stopping vehicle

importation through land borders, designating an entry for importation in each geo-political zone would make greater economic sense and enable the NCS to monitor and control such entries unlike the current situation where there are no particular entry points. Supporting the motion, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce said various persons put in positions of authority by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, who think of solving lingering problems by shutting down economic routes are only demonstrating their incompetence. He made allusion to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, which he described as "Murtala Muhammed Mall," run by various agencies, that he said generated huge revenues everyday but could not put in place functioning escalators and other simple facilities. He said such problems were caused by the appointments into offices of intellectually lazy persons, who lack ideas that can turn the institutions around. Murray-Bruce added that when the right people are put in positions of authority, there will be growth and advancement without contemplating shutting down economic routes before they can resolve a problem. "These people who want to shut down airport, shut down land borders are not qualified. I will tell President Muhammadu Buhari that the people you appointed are not qualified. The government cannot keep people in poverty...These people cannot shut down airport. They can't stop cars from coming into the country," he said.

…Confirms Ayine Also yesterday, the Senate confirmed the appointment of Anthony Ayine as the new Auditor-General of the Federation. His confirmation came on the heels of several petitions, urging the Senate to reject him on the basis of several allegations, including the transfer of his service from Cross River State to the federal civil service, being a cousin to the Head of Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita, and

Tinubu, APC Govs, Ministers, Others Meet In a renewed effort to put its house in order, the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has slated a meeting of its senior members for today in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, with a view to closing ranks ahead of the 2019 elections. The meeting, which is at the instance of the former chairman of the party and one time governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande, is conceived to see if the deep seated animosity amongst its senior and prominent members could be addressed in collective interest. In addition, the meeting, it was learnt would also address the issue of the development of South-west within the change agenda and see what progress has been made and how much more could still be made before




Ă?ĂĄĂ?ĂŽĂ“ĂžĂ™ĂœDavidson Iriekpen Ă—Ă‹Ă“Ă–, 08111813081

NEITI Exposes NPDC’s Failure to Remit $4.9bn to Federation Account Omololu Ogunmade Ă“Ă˜ĂŒĂ&#x;ÔË The Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparent Initiative (NEITI) yesterday told the Joint Senate Committee on Petroleum (Upstream, Downstream) and Finance that the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) failed to remit a whopping $4.977 billion to the federation account between 2010 till date. The group, which said the figure included $3.277 + $1.7 billion, therefore, recommended the prompt remittance of the sum along with another N68.2 billion. It also called for the recovery of all cash calls paid to NPDC in respect of the divested

assets totalling $148.29 million and N2.42 Billion. The disclosures were made at a one-day public hearing organised by the committee in the National Assembly. The Senate had on December 13, 2016, accused the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its subsidiary, the NPDC, of alleged unlawful and wilful misappropriation of public revenue to the tune of $3.487 billion and another $1.847 billion and consequently mandated the committee to investigate the allegation. The motion was moved by Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi West). Melaye said the nonremittances involved Oil

W’Bank: Nigeria’s Economy to Rebound, Grow by 1% in 2017 Obinna Chima The World Bank has predicted that the Nigerian economy would rebound from recession and grow by one per cent in 2017. The multilateral institution stated this in its January 2017 Global Economic Prospects report. Nigeria’s third quarter 2016 real gross domestic product (GDP) had contracted by 2.26 per cent from -2.06 per cent in the second quarter of this year, and -0.36 per cent in the first quarter. But the World Bank predicted that: “Growth in South Africa is expected to edge up to a 1.1 per cent pace this year. Nigeria is forecast to rebound from recession and grow at a 1 per cent pace. Angola is projected to expand at a 1.2 per cent pace.� According to the bank, subSaharan African growth was expected to pick up modestly to 2.9 per cent in 2017 as the region continues to adjust to lower commodity prices. Growth in South Africa and oil exporters was however expected to be weaker, while growth in economies that are not natural-resource intensive should remain robust. Global economic growth was forecast to accelerate moderately to 2.7 per cent in 2017 after a post-crisis low last year as obstacles to activity recede among emerging market and developing economy commodity exporters, while domestic demand remains solid among emerging and developing commodity importers, the World Bank said in the report. Furthermore, growth in advanced economies was expected to edge up to 1.8 per cent in 2017. Fiscal stimulus in major economies—particularly in the United States—could generate faster domestic and global growth than projected, although rising trade protection could have adverse effects. Growth in emerging market and developing economies as a whole should pick up to 4.2 per cent this year from 3.4 per cent in the year just ended amid modestly rising

commodity prices. Nevertheless, the outlook, it said, was clouded by uncertainty about policy direction in major economies. A protracted period of uncertainty could prolong the slow growth in investment that is holding back low, middle, and high income countries. “After years of disappointing global growth, we are encouraged to see stronger economic prospects on the horizon,� World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said. “Now is the time to take advantage of this momentum and increase investments in infrastructure and people. This is vital to accelerating the sustainable and inclusive economic growth required to end extreme poverty.� The report analysed the worrisome recent weakening of investment growth in emerging market and developing economies, which accounted for one-third of global GDP and about three-quarters of the world’s population and the world’s poor. Investment growth fell to 3.4 percent in 2015 from 10 percent on average in 2010, and likely declined another half percentage point last year. Slowing investment growth was partly a correction from high pre-crisis levels, but also reflects obstacles to growth that emerging and developing economies have faced, including low oil prices (for oil exporters), slowing foreign direct investment (for commodity importers), and more broadly, private debt burdens and political risk. “We can help governments offer the private sector more opportunities to invest with confidence that the new capital it produces can plug into the infrastructure of global connectivity,� said World Bank Chief Economist Paul Romer. “Without new streets, the private sector has no incentive to invest in the physical capital of new buildings. Without new work space connected to new living space, the billions of people who want to join the modern economy will lose the chance to invest in the human capital that comes from learning on the job.�

Mining Licences (OMLs) 61, 62, 63 valued at $3.4 billion and another OMLs 65, 111,119 worth $1.847 billion out of which it said NPDC had only remitted $100 million. Making submissions at the hearing yesterday, the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr. Waziri Adio, in his presentation, recommended that NPDC, should remit the figures and also as a matter of urgency, settle the consideration for the divested assets from the National Oil Company (NAOC) joint venture (JV). He added: “An investigation aimed at unravelling all issues surrounding the transaction involving transfers of the OMLs to NPDC, and overdue period taken to remit all liabilities should be initiated by the federal government.� He also said the federal government should review the proprietary rights, processes and transactions involving the assignment of OMLs from NAOC JV to NPDC by NNPC. He also tasked the federal government to review the

processes and transactions leading to the assignment of OMLs from SHELL JV to NPDC as well as the recovery of all cash call revenues paid to NPDC in respect of the divested assets totalling $148.29 million and N2.42 Billion. He also submitted that National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) and NPDC should provide details of all cash calls revenues paid on divested assets for review, adding that NPDC should provide proper account of lifting and payments to the federation account on fields operated on behalf of the federation for which cash calls were made. He further revealed that “the consideration computed by Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) with respect to the eight (8) OMLs assigned to NPDC from SHELL JV between 2010 and 2011 was $1.8 Billion and of this amount, no consideration was paid from the dates of transfer up till April 2014 when the sum of $100 million was paid, leaving

an outstanding balance of $1.7 billion as at the time of reporting. “NEITI believes that the assignments of the OMLs were not arm’s length transactions and were also undervalued. For instance, the Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) forensic audit report on NNPC in 2014 estimated the value of NNPC’s 55 per cent equity assigned to NPDC to be about $3.4 billion based on commercial value paid by third parties on the sale of SHELL’s equity (45 per cent) in the same OMLs.� However, in its presentation, NPDC, represented by its Managing Director, Yusuf Matashi, claimed that it was only withholding $1.7 billion out of which it said it had remitted $100 million into the federation account. But the NNPC, which failed to make any presentation at the event, said it aligned itself with the presentation of NPDC. But the committee disallowed the representative of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from making any presentation at the event, saying it would only take

presentations from the Governor of CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, or a deputy governor who were absent. Also yesterday, the Senate Committee on Works, threatened to arrest anyone who fails to respond to its summons. The Chairman, Senate Committee on Works, Senator Kabiru Gaya, issued the threat following the failure of Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and other directors in the ministry to attend an investigative public hearing on alleged fraudulent award of contracts in some parts of the country. The contracts involved were the LOT B2 construction of Mararaba - Mubi-Madagali-Michika Road in Adamawa and Borno States and LOT C3 - rehabilitation of the Zaria-Hunkuyi-Kafur-Gidan Mutundaya Road in Kaduna and Kano States. “Most of the clients are the ministry’s staff and even the petitioners blamed the ministry’s staff, and none of them is here, not even a representation,� Gaya said in disappointment.


L-R: Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Senator Abdulahi Adamu; former President and Chairman, Nigeria Zero Hunger Forum, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo; Chairman of UBA Plc and Sub-Committee Chairman of Resource Mobilisation, Zero Hunger Forum, Mr. Tony Elumelu; Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole; and Director, United Nations World Food Programme, Mr. Stanlake Samkange, at the launch of the Nigeria Zero Hunger Strategic Review Report in Abuja...yesterday

NUPENG Suspends Warning Strike Senator Iroegbu Ă“Ă˜ĂŒĂ&#x;ÔË The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has suspended its threeday warning strike that commenced yesterday, after a deal was reached with the government, international oil companies (IOCs), and other stakeholders in the industry over the issues. Speaking with iournalists at the end of the meeting that lasted over five hours in Abuja, NUPENG President, Igwe Achese, said having been satisfied with the commitment shown by the Ministry of Petroleum over

the issues, the union would suspend the strike. NUPENG had embarked on a three-day warning strike over casualisation, job security issue, non implementation of collectives agreement in the oil and gas sector in the country, and the bakarnisation of the ongoing divestment system that is currently taken place in the idustry. Meanwhile, the commitment by the IOCs was that all the oil companies should go and address the grey areas concerning welfare issues of their workers and report back their respective ministries within two weeks.

In the same vein, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, who presided over the meeting, said it would enforce compliance of the oil companies with agreement reached with the unions in the oil and gas industry. Also, Ngige directed the oil companies that did not show up for the meeting to appear before it on or before January 24, 2017, failing which the ministry would enforce relevance laws to compel them to appear. The minister further explained that meeting was to provide lasting solution to the lingering industrial

crisis in the oil and gas sector. He said: “A lot of agreement have been reached but not complied with by the IOCs and the LOCs as petition by the unions. is even more painful and regretful that NNPC has also not live up to their agreements. “So, the essence of the meeting is for us as reconciliators to arrest pending strike by NUPENG and PENGASSAN. And for the companies involved whether government or IOCs or LOCs to sit down with us and agree on timelines for the effective implementation of the agreement reached.�




UN to Investigate Killings in Southern Kaduna CAN accuses council of Ulamas of supporting killers Christopher Isiguzo Ă“Ă˜ Ă˜Ă&#x;Ă‘Ă&#x;ËœJohn Shiklam Ă“Ă˜

Ă‹ĂŽĂ&#x;Ă˜Ă‹Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽIbrahim Shuaibu Ă“Ă˜ Ă‹Ă˜Ă™ The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Dr. Agnes Callamard, has said she will probe the alleged killing of over 800 citizens mostly women, children and the elderly in Southern Kaduna by suspected herdsmen. She vowed that the perpetrators, when identified, would be brought to justice to provide reparations to victims. Callamard’s decision was disclosed yesterday by the Executive Director, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Mr. Adetokunbo Mumuni. SERAP, a Lagos-based civil society organisation, had sent a petition dated December 30, 2016, to the agency. In the communication sent to SERAP yesterday, Callamard said the UN had received the petition and would act on it “with great attention.â€? SERAP said: “We welcome the attention by the Special Rapporteur to the matter and her commitment to pursue justice and accountability with respect to the killings in Southern Kaduna.â€? SERAP had in its petition to Callamard expressed concern about the killings. “The killings in Southern Kaduna amounted to serious violations of the rights to life; to security of the human person; to the respect of the dignity inherent in a human being; and right to property guaranteed not only by the 1990 Constitution (as amended) but also the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Nigeria is a state party.â€? It alleged that the Nigerian authorities had failed to respect those human rights and neglected to exercise due diligence to ensure that the

rights were not violated by private individuals such as herdsmen and other unknown perpetrators. “Nigerian government should therefore be held to account for failing or neglecting to guarantee and protect the rights of the people in Southern Kaduna, regardless of whether such violations are directly or indirectly attributable to the state or its officials,� it said. SERAP therefore urged Callamard to prevail on the Nigerian authorities to: “Take measures to urgently secure the right to life, right to security and dignity of the human person and right to property of citizens in Southern Kaduna, and to prevent further attacks and killings by herdsmen and other unknown perpetrators.� It also called for an effective investigation into the circumstances surrounding the killings and to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice as well as provide reparations to victims. Meanwhile, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), yesterday accused the Kaduna State Council of Imams and Ulamas, an umbrella body for Muslim clerics in the state, of supporting the killings. The council of Ulamas had in a recent statement, accused the CAN President, Dr Samson Ayojunle, the senator representing Southern Kaduna, Senator Danjuma Laah, and the General Secretary of CAN, Rev. Musa Asake, among others, for allegedly inciting the crisis in Southern Kaduna, calling for their arrest and prosecution. But in a statement in Kaduna yesterday, Asake said the position of the Ulamas was a clear indication that they were part of those inspiring wickedness against Christians in Southern Kaduna. “With their position now, it is obvious that these Imams are part of the evil network desperately trying to decimate the Christian population of Southern Kaduna and the

Sultan to Muslims: Pray for Peace, Security in Southern Kaduna The Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) yesterday call on Muslims to intensify prayers for the restoration of peace and security in Southern part of Kaduna State. Sultan, in a statement signed by the JNI’s Secretary General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, also called on all and sundry to be “calm, restraint, eschew bitterness and discard all forms of hate speeches.� He affirmed the efforts of the JNI leadership striving towards achieving a sustainable peaceful co-existence. He equally urged security agencies to always take proactive measures in order

to nip in the bud future occurrences of sectarian violence in troubled areas. According to Sultan, there is a need for “responsible and responsive� leadership in addressing issues as they unfold so as to find lasting peace in our country. The Sultan also maintained that Nigerians should learn to be patient with one another, “live together in peace, harmony and mutual respect in order to move the country forward.� He implores government to step up its efforts in discharging her primary constitutional role of providing security and be just in dealing with the citizenry without fear or favour.

taking over of their lands by Islamists herdsmen terrorists,� CAN said, adding: “CAN wishes to state that the demand of these Muslims preachers has again reaffirmed their hypocrisy. To CAN, this is a surprising shameless, unveiled criminal support for evil.� This came as the Kano State chapter of CAN yesterday also faulted President Muhammadu Buhari’s crusade against corruption and the lethargic approach in addressing the alleged wanton killing of Christians in Southern Kaduna. The Chairman of the chapter, Bishop Ransom Bello said President Buhari’s action were reprehensible and lopsided. CAN said the anti-graft

war waged by the Buhari administration was targeted at a few persons, it said were not in the good book of the administration, adding that the crusade against treasury looters was partial. “He can’t win the war against corruption by fighting a few, he can’t win when his party members are protected, we all love this country, we should stop deceiving ourselves, we are living in deception,� CAN said. The body said the president had failed to develop the political will to address the crisis in Southern Kaduna appropriately. The CAN cautioned that the failure to act properly in surmounting the restiveness in

that part of the country would taint the incumbent federal government. Also, incensed by the wanton destruction of lives and property in Southern Kaduna, Kaduna state, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Southern Zone yesterday accused Governor Nasir El-Rufai of being the mastermind of the ceaseless killings of mainly Christians in the state, and asked President Muhammadu Buhari to not only intervene but also take decisive action on the matter. The Association insisted that the federal government should go beyond issuance of verbal directives to taking concrete and decisive

steps in quelling the crisis before it degenerated to an unmanageable dimension. CAN, in the 17 Sourthern States in two statements by the Secretary of CAN in the region, Dr. Joseph Aka Ajujungwa, and another by the Chairman of CAN in the South-East, Most. Rev. Prof. David Eberechukwu, declared that the group was holding El-Rufai responsible for the murder of hundreds of Christians in Kaduna State. They said it was regrettable that the governor, who took oath of office to protect lives and properties in the State was now looking the other way while residents of the Southern Kaduna were being slaughtered.


L -R; Minister of State for Agriculture , Mr. Heineken Lokpobiri; Minister ofTransport, Mr. Rotimi Ameachi; Special Adviser to the President on Media; Mr. Femi Adesina ; Minister of Mines and Soild Mineral Development, Kayode Fayemi; Minister of Defence , Brigedier- General Dan Ali (rtd); and Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, at the Federal Executive Council FEC) meeting in Abuja ...yesterday   

Metuh Asks Court to Summon Dasuki to Testify for Him Tobi SoniyiĂ“Ă˜ĂŒĂ&#x;ÔË A former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh, yesterday asked Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja to subpoena the  former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), currently in custody of the Department of the State Services (DSS), to testify as a defence witness in his trial. Metuh and his company, Destra Investment Limited, are charged with a seven-count of illegally receiving N400 million from the former NSA and money laundering. He was not in court as his legal team told the judge that he was still in the hospital. At the resumed trial yesterday, counsel to Metuh, Mr. Emeka Etiaba (SAN), reminded the trial judge, Justice Okon Abang of the subpoena pending before the court since last December, requesting him to order Dasuki to appear as a defence witness,

in line with the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA). Etiaba told the court that Dasuki is a key element in the charge preferred against Metuh and that his appearance in court was critical to the case of the defence. Responding to Etiaba’s request, the trial judge said the defence team should liaise with the prosecution and reach out to the authority detaining Dasuki to allow him appear in court. The judge said: “When you raised this matter earlier, I told you to liaise with the prosecution and reach out to the authority holding Dasuki. I am sure they will oblige you. Talk to the prosecution.� On his part, counsel to the second defendant, Mr. Tochukwukwu Onwugbufor (SAN), said it was the duty of the court to issue a subpoena to anyone to appear in court. He said the defence team had on December 2, 2016 prayed

the court to subpoena Dasuki to appear before it as the next witness on the ground that since the allegation against Metuh revolved around Dasuki, it was important for Dasuki to be a witness in the matter. Meanwhile, the defence team had at the resumed hearing of the proceedings yesterday presented a medical report from the National Hospital Abuja with details of Metuh’s health condition. The defence team told the court that Metuh was unable to appear in court because he was admitted at the National Hospital Abuja, from complications arising from spinal cord injuries. Etiaba said medical experts handling the defendant’s ailment were unable to give the specific date for his full recovery due to the nature of the ailment. He then asked the court for a three- week adjournment to enable the defendant to recuperate and also seek further medical attention.

Onwugbufor, on his part, told the court that he had seen the medical report and that what Metuh was suffering from was excruciating and required expert attention to ensure full recovery. Prosecuting counsel, Mr. Sylvanus Tahir, said he was not opposed to an adjournment, adding that the prosecution sympathised with the defence and wished the defendant quick recovery. “We have been served with the medical report of the defendant and we have little or nothing to say since the record speaks for itself. All we can say is that we extend our sympathy to the defence. “With regards to the request for a three-week adjournment, we are taking them by their word since the medical report did not give an indication about how soon the defendant will be discharged. I am not opposed to the adjournment,’’ Tahir said. Justice Abang consequently adjourned the matter till February 21 to 24, 2017, for continuation of hearing.








Editor, Editorial Page PETER ISHAKA Email

WHERE ARE THEYOUTHS OF THIS GENERATION? Steve Orji argues the need to prepare the youths for political leadership

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.�- Albert Einstein


igeria needs fresh political thoughts, as against the uninspiring climate of leadership fatigue being experienced in the country in recent times. Contemporary leadership thinking has shifted from the classical theme of experience, age, maturity to the post-modern dynamic of

innovation. Given the architecture of modern societies, governments around the world are voting significant resources in securing the future of their nations, by grooming young leadership talents, not just in political leadership, but in other streams of endeavour: business and other technocratic, vocational areas relevant to society. China in the last 10 or so years had unveiled new set of young leaders, who are stepping into the shoes of their forerunners. The major drawbacks in achieving sustainable political leadership succession in Africa, including Nigeria, may stem from two major reasons; first, the stereotypical perception of age, as synonymous with experience and wisdom. There is the superstitious belief within African societies that older persons should enjoy the eminence and rights to all forms of leadership, including political leadership. Political parties within their own internal democracies seem to welcome the idea of choosing older persons to bear the flag of party representations during elections. The cult of mediocrity which is apparent not only in the political culture of the nation but in all spheres of national life, is for no other reason than the persistence of sit-tight mentality of older political leaders, without them making deliberate, systematic plans to cede the political, technocratic leadership of the nation to the youths. Buhari for Instance had led the nation in time past, even though as a military head of state. He had equally held other eminent positions of service to the country, and after nearly three decades of his foray into national leadership, he reincarnates again, into mainstream leadership, albeit with foreseeable handicaps and incapacities, to administer a nation, strategically different, intensely more competitive, and sadly more divided, than what it was three decades past. It is mind-boggling, that it is still the same actors, those that entrenched and promoted the same values and national ethic, bedevilling the nation are the same people called upon to manage its destiny. At the point where we are, given the global shifts and trends, the growing complexities of the international community, development imperatives that rely heavily on technology and innovative leadership acumen, all but dictate a change in the leadership complex of Nigeria. For Instance, the average age of Nigeria’s serving ministers skirts around 60/70, and most of them may have lost not only


the occupational zest, but the matching intellectual rigour and contemporary resources to manage a post-modern economy. Erstwhile British Prime Minister, David Cameron, was in his 40’s when he took the helm, a graduate of one of British’ most erudite institutions, Oxford; likewise the present Foreign Affair Minister, Boris Johnson. Barack Obama, equally middle-aged had a most distinguished, antecedent, a Harvard groomed leadership prospect. The leadership bearings and dexterity of these world leaders could only be imagined by simply looking at their leadership footprints. It’s a heart-breaking irony that Nigeria having the most strategic Diaspora resources in Africa, many of whom are leading lights in important fields of learning, is right now crippled by dearth of constructive, visionary and progressive leadership. The era of political superstition has run its course. Nigeria had being imperilled by conservative political cartel syndrome, which made vigorous efforts to undermine the political enterprise, prospects and participation of youths in the mainstream of Nigeria politics. Now is the time for change. The youths have the power and number to recalibrate the political thrust and tempo of the nation. The political elite found the youths in the past, expendable political rockets, who they used and discarded, yet exploited their brains and innate creativity to launch their political shuttle to the orbit of power. The youths who were only deemed fit as political hatchet men, thugs and trouble makers can now retrace their steps. The youths of Nigeria can afford to wrestle the destiny of this nation from the hands of the current political predators, by refusing to be seen and treated as cheap foils. We shall refuse to be bought by cheap perks, monies and lusty political promises. We can channel our energies and creative resources, like the animal community did in Gorge Orwell’s epic novel, Animal Farm, to oust, the greedy, puerile and ethnocentric leaders who sold the nation on the cheap. We must infiltrate the parties and recreate their charter and form the hub- and spoke of its political visions. We must not fight, but with our sheer energy and thinking power shift the axis of power and swing it into the path of progressive vision and true greatness. The current leadership can also do much more by establishing a creative-synergy with the youths of the nation, bringing them under their wings, and facilitating the much needed transitional dream of handing the baton to the younger generation. Nigeria needs its best hands, abroad or elsewhere, without allowing the obstructive lacuna of tribe, religion and red tape obscure its vision of greatness. If Nigeria could for once muster the courage to put its best team forward, by giving the youths ample latitude to express their potential, the country would have taken a millennial leap in living up to its stupendous promise. I pray that happens soon enough before the curtain falls. Orji wrote from the United Kingdom

SUSTAINING DEVELOPMENT IN A RECESSION (1) Osun State is forging ahead with people-centred development despite the economic downturn, writes Ileowo Kikiowo


t a period when most narratives point to ‘The Recession’ as an excuse for the crippling growth/ performance across various governments, the story of the State of Osun presents a refreshing perspective as to how, against all odds, concise people-centered development is possible. While it may be easy to heap the blame of this economic downturn on the present leadership in the country, but like all sunsets, Nigeria arrived at this sorry pass, thanks to the mismanagement of our national economy by the immediate past federal administration. Lest we forget, the irredeemably corrupt administration ran Nigeria to the ground. Our national treasury was plundered by cronies, friends and lackeys of government and the ruling party functionaries. Coupled with the massive pillaging of our foreign reserve, one needs no soothsayer to predict our present economic predicament as a nation. While on the topic of mismanaged economies, it goes without saying that critical infrastructure in Osun before the inauguration of the government of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola in November 27, 2010, was largely in a comatose. Economic activities had largely slowed down with considerable capital flight and migration of citizens in search of a better life. Two options were available, one: continue in the traditional cosmetic governance: repaint a few state-owned buildings, patch a few roads

here and there, pay salaries of civil-servants, using over 70 per cent of the state’s revenue (civil-servants represent less than one per cent of the 4.2 million Osun resident), or two, position Osun towards the path of sustainable economic development by making a case for concerted investments and using creative means to raise fund for critical physical and human infrastructure that will in turn spur private investments and economic growth. A cross-section of road projects completed by the current Osun administration without any gainsaying, building roads, bridges, schools and hospitals among other physical infrastructure, creates jobs, enriches the local economy and gives access to market for farmers (many of whom dwell in the rural areas). If you ever wonder why more outsiders were crying than the ‘bereaved’ when the salary conundrum lasted, it was because majority of Osun people understood why the government aggressively pursued development of critical infrastructure across the state as it did. However, this came at a cost! Why debt financing for critical infrastructure? For such a small state in a country with high inflationary environment, high cement prices, currency exchange risks and non-existent steel industry (major components of construction), developing Osun into a 21st Century state became a major challenge, one which the Aregbesola administration tackled very well for

posterity’s sake. To wait for the time when the cost of building a school or of constructing a road to double would have been unforgiveable, not now that a dollar exchanges for N450, compared to then at N150. What option really existed before Ogbeni in 2010 other than to raise funds from the capital market at seven per cent lower than commercial bank interest rate? Osun opted for a mix of financing options to reduce risks and meet its primary statutory commitment. She followed a responsible borrowing regime by only committing 30 per cent of its revenues to debt servicing, leaving free cash-flow for critical and mandatory expenditure, such as salaries. With this, Osun began an aggressive infrastructure roll out in 2012 before the three-headed tragedy of: (a) blanket salary increment negotiated by the federal government of behalf of states in 2012; (b) 40 per cent crash in statutory allocation due to alleged theft of 400,000 barrel of oil per day in 2013; and (c) 50 per cent crash in the global price of crude oil and subsequent impact on statutory allocation. But for these, the State of Osun would have been just fine. As we speak, three super highways are under construction. These super highways consist of five bridges with each bridge at 90 per cent completion. Despite this biting recession, construction is ongoing because Osun secured an innovative promissory note purchase facility. Osun’s financial model worked perfectly by creating a pool of funds for infrastructure roll out

that can only be utilised strictly for such purpose; due to market regulations of such funding by 2014. Using this financial mix, the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregebsola rehabilitated and completed 230 states roads spanning 368km. His administration partnered local governments to deliver 226 council roads across the 30 local governments and the development area with a combined length of 216km. Osun in partnership with the World Bank, RAMP 2 programme, also delivered 250 km of rural roads to open up farms in rural areas. The state is on course to deliver the next set of 250 km. It is noteworthy that Osun is one of just six states selected to partake in this programme. In all, the government has so far delivered road infrastructure to the tune of more than 1000 km, opening up our rural enterprises and areas, connecting urban centres and positioning the state as a trade and production hub. Other construction projects delivered include 20 Elementary Schools and 22 Middle Schools all completed and in use. Many more are still under construction. Despite its limited resources, the State of Osun has continued to champion delivery of an integral human development agenda. Osun in the last six years has made unprecedented investments in security towards the greater welfare of the people. Kikiowo wrote from Osogbo



EDITORIAL STILL ON THE MALARIA SCOURGE The health authority needs to allocate more resources to contain the scourge

The Director, Malaria Project, Society for Family Health, Dr. Ernest Nwokolo, recently resorted to scary imagery to underline the depth of the malaria scourge in Nigeria. He said that with no fewer than 800 deaths recorded daily in the country due to malaria, Nigeria is burdened with two Boeing 747 plane crashes every day with no survivor. His data corresponded with the earlier submission made last April by Mr. James Entwistle, former United States Ambassador to Nigeria, during the World Malaria Day. According to Entwistle, an estimated 100 million malaria cases and about 300,000 deaths each year make Nigeria the country with the highest number of malaria casualties worldwide. The disease, going by available data, “is responsible for 60 per cent of outpatient visits to health facilities, 30 per cent of childhood deaths, 25 per cent of deaths in children under one year and 11 per cent of maternal deathsâ€?, said Entwistle who attributed the challenge to widespread fake and substandard medicines. However, Nwokolo said the number of deaths due to the scourge could be reduced drastically if Nigerians stopped embracing malaria as part of their lifestyle. “When Nigerians WHEN NIGERIANS imbibe all preventive IMBIBE ALL PREVENTIVE measures against MEASURES AGAINST THE the scourge,â€? said SCOURGE, INCLUDING Nwokolo, “including KEEPING THEIR keeping their environENVIRONMENT CLEAN, IT ment clean, removing WOULD GO A LONG WAY IN stagnant water from CURBING THE BURDEN OF their environment, MALARIA IN THE COUNTRY consistent use of long lasting insecticide treated nets and proper diagnosis before treatment, it would go a long way in curbing the burden of malaria in the country.â€? The World Malaria Report 2016 released a fortnight ago revealed some improvements in diagnostic testing for children and preventive treatment for pregnant women. For instance, national surveys in 22 sub-Saharan African countries indicated that about half of children under the age of ďŹ ve with a fever

Letters to the Editor









received a malaria diagnostic test in the public sector in 2015 compared to 24 per cent in 2010. Similarly, the number of pregnant women who received some form of preventive treatment also increased ďŹ ve-fold. But the report also painted the grave challenge standing on the path of eliminating the scourge: the enormity of the numbers of people aficted with the ailment. Sub-Sahara Africa still bears the greatest malaria burden with 92 per cent of the 212 million new malaria cases and 429,000 deaths worldwide in 2015. It is indeed instructive that the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) recently reported that no fewer than 51 million Nigerians tested positive to the malaria parasite in 2015, while a WHO survey revealed that the highest number of such cases occurred in the North West and North Central zones of the country. “Unless our government funds research by creating enabling environment, putting the right infrastructure in place and human capacity to do research, we cannot make progress,â€? said Dr. Sam Awolola, NIMR deputy director for research. In identifying the challenge to ending malaria in our country, Awolola painted the picture of a country unserious at dealing with a problem that claims the lives of many of our citizens on a daily basis. “Nigeria has a vaccine development laboratory but for many years, no money has been made available to run it. The American government has put close to $20 billion in developing genetically modiďŹ ed mosquitoes in the last 20 years, and up till now they have not been successful, but with us here, within one or two years we want results. Research is a long term venture, but result will deďŹ nitely come at the end,â€? he said. The latest World Malaria Report has charted a course towards gradual elimination of the scourge–the need for a coordinated and collaborative pan-African response and the need to plough additional funds to support international efforts. And as Nwokolo suggested, perhaps we need to continuously talk about malaria and its associated risks, preventive approaches and treatment “so that there would be a behavioural change.â€?

TO OUR READERS Letters in response to speciďŹ c publications in THISDAY should be brief (150-200 words) and straight to the point. Interested readers may send such letters along with their contact details to We also welcome comments and opinions on topical local, national and international issues provided they are well-written and should also not be longer than (9501000 words). They should be sent to along with the email address and phone numbers of the writer.



or some observers, a remarkable shift occurred on the road of Anambra State’s developmental journey in the last quarter of 2016. Governor Willie Obiano’s run of achievements in security, investment inflow, agro – allied ventures and micro, small, medium enterprises stimulus suddenly took a back seat for a burst in road construction. Not quite. The efforts on the regime’s cardinal programmes are continuing with the same old vigour but alongside these have come a renewed thrust in road rehabilitation. It is relevant to mention that the renowned playwright, Wole Soyinka, used his pre – civil war satirical play, The Road, to draw attention to the deplorable state of Nigerian roads and the human factor that increases the incidence of road accidents. In Anambra State, roads play a central role in the politics, governance and election narratives commonly shared by the people. It is a thread that has survived the shifts and turns of the state’s recent history, a tradition that has endured for some four decades. About 1980, during the second republic, the

political temperature of the state hovered around the controversy on the Ekwulobia – Ibinta – Umunze road status. It emerged that under the influence of the Vice-President, Alex Ekwueme, the federal government had signed a contract for the asphalting of the above named road linking several communities in the southern side of the state’s hinterland. But hardly had the excitement over the federal government’s attention on the road resounded before a bombshell dropped on the subject. Deploying a well – oiled propaganda machinery, the Jim Nwobodo – led government of the old Anambra State made it clear on very strong terms that it was opposed to the central government’s handling of the project, claiming that the road in question was a state road! Heads turned in amazement. The wonder was what a state government stood to lose if the financially strong centre government elected to tar the former’s local council road. And why not the state administration channels the resources it would have expended on the roads towards provision of other social amenities for the affected communities, thus, ensuring double benefits for the people?

The needless rivalry between the two tiers of government underscored the strategic importance of roads in the popular political economy. The vice-president belonged to a different political party from the governor of his home state and it was thought that political mileage would accrue from associating him with notable road projects in the state. The significance attached to roads created a dent in the common estimation of the administration of Chukwuemeka Ezeife, first elected governor of the new Anambra State. Against the background of the dire conditions of the young state which was just four months old when Ezeife became governor in January 1992, cross sections of the citizenry looked forward to massive and speedy government interventions in the area of road construction and social infrastructure. Critics held that the regime was largely bogged down with planning until its tenure was truncated at mid-term by the Sani Abacha coup of November 17, 1993. A somewhat different scenario played out with the Chinwoke Mbadinuju administration, the pioneer government of the fourth republic. Generally rated low in performance, the

regime’s failure to deliver on the roads and public works parameters was not because of any over – planning or lack of funds. For much of its four year reign, the regime was distracted by internal and external power intrigues. Chris Ngige, the current Minister of labour and Mbadinuju’s successor, proved to be the streetwise politician. Alienated and shaky at inception, the regime soon became the toast of many a citizen. The reason for the change of fortunes was simple. Aside an orchestrated confrontational stance against the Olusegun Obasanjo presidency and its foot soldiers in the state, the administration’s other outstanding achievement was in road construction. The regime left a legacy of durable roads in its 33 months in office although the geographical distribution of the roads was lopsided. Departing from the preceding government’s attachment to roads, the Peter Obi leadership had its political goodwill put to the test early in the life of the new regime. Many had looked forward to a continuation of the compulsiveness of his predecessor on roads. Obi’s concept of developing all sectors simultaneously meant that much time would be taken up by planning and reduced funds available for roads. Ifeanyi Afuba, Nimo, Anambra State








Group Politics Editor Olawale Olaleye Email 08116759819 SMS ONLY


Obuah: We Were in Bondage During Amaechi’s Era Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State, Mr. Felix Obuah, recently spoke to reporters in Port Harcourt, the state capital and dealt with some of the topical issues in the state’s body polity. Shola Oyeyipo presents the excerpts:


and ward. He can never win election in his village – Ubima. The people of Rivers State believe so much in PDP because we have a transparent leadership. We carry everybody along in whatever we are doing – from the leadership to the least person – because leadership is a collective thing and not about individuals.

hat is the state of the PDP in Rivers today? The Peoples Democratic Party is on the ground and very strong. It is the leading party in the state and there is no doubt that our choice of Nyesom Wike as governor is a good one. He is God sent to liberate the people of Rivers State from the grip of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and so far, he has done very well. He is making things easier for the PDP in Rivers State because when you elect someone who keeps to his promises to the electorate it is as good as keeping hope alive. So, the PDP is very much on the ground in Rivers State and I can tell you that we have never had it better like we have at the moment. Do you think Rivers PDP has recovered from the crisis it had following the exit of former Governor Chibuike Amaechi and his supporters from the party? Using the word ‘recovered’ is an understatement because we were in bondage during Amaechi’s tenure as governor. We have nothing to showcase for Amaechi’s eight years in power. The people of Rivers State suffered severe hardship during Amaechi’s reign and there were no development anywhere. But in less than two years of Wike’s administration, the state is wearing a new look. Virtually all the parties in the state are singing the same tune except the APC. We have about 31 political parties in Rivers State and 30 are working together. Members of the other political parties have been given appointments by Governor Wike and we are working as one indivisible body. We have never witnessed the kind of cooperation that we have today. So, we don’t regret losing Amaechi to the APC. It was good he left us. You sounded as if Rivers PDP is insulated from the leadership crisis, which seems to have torn the party apart at the national level. Is the crisis not affecting the party in the state? As far as I am concerned, there is no problem in the PDP. We had a convention in Port Harcourt, where we appointed a caretaker committee and the committee is doing well. Virtually all the elections that have been held since that convention had candidates sponsored by the committee. So, whoever is parading himself as PDP national chairman like Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, is an agent of destruction planted by the APC, but we are not bothered. We are marching on and they will never have their way in Rivers State or any other place in Nigeria. You accuse the APC of planting Sheriff to destroy PDP, but it is common knowledge that PDP chieftains, including your governor, invited him to lead the party. How do you reconcile that? Our governor has said it time without number that he never knew Sheriff from the onset. Because he believed in transparency and team play, there was no way that he would have said no when his colleagues introduced Sheriff to the leadership of the PDP. He has never been a lone ranger, so he worked with others with the hope that it was in the interest of the party. When his colleagues introduced Sheriff as a good man, he said okay, but it was not long before Sheriff showed his true character. His plan during the convention was to perpetuate himself in office. He wanted to be a life-time chairman of the PDP. He fixed the convention, but little did we know that he went back to connive with some members of the party to perpetuate himself in office. That was the first signal. So, we said the man is not truthful and we cannot work with someone

Why are elections in the state always characterised by violence? Developments in Rivers State are usually blown out of proportion. Rivers State is peaceful and not the way some people have painted it. Once there is election, you hear noise all over the place, but after the election, everything goes down. If the state is bad as they paint it, we won’t have investors coming down here. We have major construction companies working in various parts of the state and we have not heard about any disruption. Our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) is increasing. It is only during elections that you hear all sorts of tales about Rivers State to create the impression that there is insecurity in the state, so that they can muster enough security to aid their rigging the polls. But time has come when the people will say that no matter the number of security that you mobilse, you cannot have your way. Don’t you think that such resolve would be setting the stage for more violence in the 2019 general election? I said that time has come when the people will take their destiny in their hands because we are in a democracy and the people should be allowed to choose their leaders in free, fair and credible elections. No one should be imposed on the people. Amaechi is a desperate politician and his likes are the ones fuelling crises in the state. Obuah...Rivers is totally a PDP state

who is not truthful. That was the beginning of our resolve to look for someone we can trust. If we say that we don’t want you as chairman, why must you kill yourself? Yes, he has created some kind of confusion but God will vindicate us. Anyone using him to destabilise the PDP will not succeed. We don’t want Sheriff’s issue to distract us in Rivers State because the governor is focused on fulfilling his campaign promises. Are you satisfied with the outcome of the recent legislative rerun elections in Rivers State? I am not satisfied because everyone saw what

I have many reasons to leave APGA behind. The most important is that APGA got converted into a private company by two or three individuals. It was contrary to the original aims and objectives the founders of the party had in mind

happened. It wasn’t an election but a war. A situation where security agents connived with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deny the people their right is really unfortunate. In Rivers West senatorial district, where I come from, we won the election but it was not an easy victory. In Akuku-Toru and Asari-Toru, they held everybody hostage. It was because the people said their votes must count that we won the election. In Ogoni land, they never allowed election to hold. They carted away all election materials because they were desperate to return Magnus Abe to the Senate. You cannot force anyone on the people and we have said it that we will challenge the outcome of that election. Rivers State is PDP and PDP is Rivers State, and we have continually preached peace so that the people will choose their leaders. What informed your belief that the APC was desperate to return Magnus Abe to the Senate, and why is your party going to challenge his victory? Magnus Abe never won the election and the records are there. The people are crying foul because INEC connived with security agents to deny us our hard-earned victory. Senator Olaka Nwogu is the peoples’ choice and was duly elected, so, they should allow him to represent his people because that is the essence of democracy. But the PDP was accused of doing the same thing you have accused APC of when it was in power; that it didn’t allow elections to hold in Rivers State… What did the PDP do? You cannot because you want to be popular be feeding the president with wrong information. In the rerun elections that we held, Amaechi lost in his polling booth

Are you not afraid that the APC may take over Rivers State in 2019 given the outcome of the recent legislative rerun elections? We are not afraid of anything. Despite the challenges and the use of security agents by the APC, we still came out victorious. They know that none of their candidates can win election in Rivers State and that was why they wrote results and declared Magnus Abe winner of Rivers South East senatorial seat. APC members in Rivers State are defecting in their numbers to the PDP because they have seen the transparent leadership of Governor Wike. There’s nobody who will not appreciate good thing. What the governor has done so far is not for political gains. He has touched every part of the state. The roads, hospitals and schools that he is building are for the people of Rivers State irrespective of political leaning. The level of insecurity in the state was high during Amaechi’s government because of his desperation but you can see that normalcy has returned since Governor Wike assumed office. It is only Amaechi and his cohorts that are blowing the issue of security in the state out of proportion. Rivers State is calm and friendly. The police have said they will investigate the violence that led to the killing of their personnel during the rerun elections. What is your position on that? It is clear to everyone that the APC is desperate to bring down the PDP government in Rivers State. They never imagined that the PDP would still emerge victorious after all they did in the state. But they have failed to realise that God’s power prevails over every other power. That we are there today is ordained by God and no human being can pull us down. Nobody can pull down Governor Wike’s government no matter how highly placed. The government is built on a solid foundation and God is behind it.




Odunowo: I Want to Be the Next Ogun Governor A governorship aspirant in the All Progressives Congress in Ogun State, Chief Abayomi Odunowo, spoke to Femi Ogbonnikan on why he wants to be the next governor of the state from the Yewa axis. Excerpts: Why do you want to be Ogun State Governor in 2019? I am not nursing to become Ogun State governor in 2019, but my people are insisting that I should come out as one of the candidates in 2019, considering the issues they perceived on the ground and my love for the youths. I empower and mentor them in a lot of areas like personal development. And that is why they are pushing and pleading with me to throw my hat into the governorship ring of Ogun State. But right now, I am undecided whether I am going to go or I am not going to go.

shifts to Ijebu (Ogun East) axis come 2019, what do you think would be the lots of the people of Yewa/Aworiland? My brother, you are not more Yewa than I am. And I understand the issues with my people. I had gone round all the towns and villages in Ogun West four times. Some places I had to use Okada motorcycle, because they are not motorable. On some bridges, cars cannot pass. In many places, there is no potable water. Most importantly, there is no youth employment. Do you know that, Yewa people are predominantly farmers? There are no good roads for access to farm. And I know the problems of my people. And you can rest assured, it is number one on my agenda, if the people of Ogun State find me worthy and if I decide to contest and to be given to me, they should know that they are giving it to their son – both sides – Ijebu and Yewa.

Who are those people routing for you and from which? Everybody is aware, that I am a true indigene of Ogun State. My mother is from both Egba and Yewa, while my father is from Ijebu. In 2011, when I came out for the governorship seat, I came out from Yewa North Local Government Area. I could come out from any part of Ogun State that I have family lineages I can refer to if I choose to go into the governorship contest in 2019. And I could rather come out from Yewa or Egba or Ijebu axis, but considering the fact that, an Egba man is on the throne now for two terms, the two options available for me is Yewa and Ijebu.

You sound confident. Do you have political godfathers? What is the role of a political godfather? If I have political godfather, I would not be where I am today. I do not believe in it. I believe it overshadows your vision and they will not allow you to do what you want to do. My own godfathers are the Ogun State youths because they are the ones that are badly hit, with the level of decadence in the society. They are the ones I draw my strength from. So, I don’t believe that the older people that plunge Nigeria into this situation will go into any position to add values. But a lot of them are my political godfathers. One of them was our late APC State Chairman that just lost his life, Alhaji Roqeeb Adeniji (May his soul rest in perfect peace). He was very instrumental to my political success in many parts of Ogun State, because I got a lot of mentoring and tutelage from him. And my strength, politically still lies in Ogun West more than in any other place. I respect the elders and nobody is going to say that the elders do not have wisdom. So, their wisdom will help whoever is in number one position, if he listens.

If you are laying claims to Yewa/Awori axis, which particular area of Ogun West senatorial district are you from? Now, you want us to go into history? My great grandfather started Aiyetoro, in Yewa North Local Government Area and our family house is the one that is called ‘Agbole Emado’. History had it that we all migrated from Ile-Ife, the cradle of the Yoruba race, way back. But that is for a symposium discussion in the future. That implies your maternal home is from Aiyetoro? Yes, that was what I said, that my mother was from Aiyetoro, while my father is from Ijebu Ode. We are one of the few strong families with history in Ijebu Ode. My great grandfather was one of those that brought Islam to Ijebu Ode. So, my family is strong both maternally and paternally. And you can see, never in the history of Ijebu have two persons being Otunba from the same mother. It is myself and my brother and we have been Otunba people want me as governor

now for about six years.

I am a Nigerian and I have the prerequisite educational background, and I am old enough and passionate about my people. My objective is open and it is one to improve the living standard of the people of Ogun State through good governance. That is the sole factor that is propelling me to come into politics. If I choose to go for the 2019 governorship contest, that would be the only reason

When the chips are down, would people not insist you are from Ijebu, not Yewa? How many Obas in Yorubaland get their titles from their mothers’ places? Can you count? Or you want me to start counting for you? Anybody, that is insisting, is being mischievous and it really doesn’t make any difference from whether you are of maternal or paternal lineage. The important thing to me is have credible, preferable background to each and every area. Or what are we talking about? Why do you think you are qualified for this governorship? You are asking what qualifies me for the office? I am a Nigerian and I have the pre-requisite educational background, and I am old enough and passionate about my people. My objective is open and it is one to improve the living standard of the people of Ogun State through good governance. That is the sole factor that is propelling me to come into politics. If I choose to go for the 2019 governorship contest, that would be the only reason. Do you have the war chest to prosecute a governorship project? Not necessarily! There are a lot of meats and lies that go around expenditures to wanting to vie for the governorship position. I can

categorically tell you, that more than 15 per cent of people, that are sitting governors in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, did not have a 100 million naira when they started. And it is not the issue of money. Money is important, but that is not the sole deciding factor. And if anybody thinks it is the issue of money, then he is missing the point. What about the clamour for a Yewa/Awori governor? I am a Yewa man, and as well as an Ijebu man. I am sympathetic to Yewa cause, since 1976, that Ogun State was created. But politics is not all about sympathy; it is about people coming together for a common goal. And it is a game of numbers. If we from Yewaland really decide, that we have to be number one citizen, we need to act it, not just speaking it in our mouths. Whereby we are struggling for something and we are having five or six candidates from Yewa competing for the number one position, what do you expect? We have already been fragmented. So, I am very sympathetic and we have well qualified people within my people in Yewaland to be number one citizen, but dinner is not served a’la carte. We will have to work for it. And nobody gives you the number one position based on sympathy. It doesn’t work in power. Or do you think so? Let us assume that the baton of leadership

If you are prevailed upon to jettison your gubernatorial ambition and settle for one of the National Assembly seats, will you heed? There is no position I aspire to that is do-ordie. If it is the wish of my people, because it is their wish I want to serve, so be it. But what I do not compromise is my integrity under any guises. If anybody comes to tell you contrary, it is not true. Only my people will determine where they want me to go, because they are my support and they are my backbones. And they are the one that can say, “omo, come down”, and that is it. I work with the current governor in many capacities and I disagree in some issues based on my personal beliefs in the expectation of the people we used to achieve victory. Apart from that, he is my elder brother and “ko si nkan ti won nfi agba se n’ile Yoruba ayafi ki won fi re eniyan je”(there is nothing they do with old age in Yorubaland than to cheat the young ones). So, we will take it in good faith. Which are your key focus areas if elected governor? First and foremost, the educational system in Ogun State needs an emergency, because we are the worst in the South-west, currently. The rural infrastructure needs an emergency. The health sector needs an emergence and of course, the youth employment needs an emergency. And by the time we put all these things together with this one solution: improving the living standard of the people. If we put all these things together, that is what is going to happen, because the people are going to get jobs and traders will be able to get to the markets on time.




Acting Features Editor Charles Ajunwa Email

The Calabar Garment Factory

Bright Prospects for Calabar Garment Factory After fighting off spirited attempts to scuttle its establishment, Joseph Ushigiale who recently visited the factory reports that the Calabar Garment Factory is emerging as a pioneering outfit that will drive the lucrative outsourcing business for local and global brands


arring any last minute changes, President Muhammadu Buhari would again be in Calabar, the Cross River State capital for the official inauguration of the multi-billion naira ultra-modern Calabar Garment Factory. For governor of Cross River State, Senator Ben Ayade, it is a remarkable sign of good tidings and a befitting way to start 2017 in grand style given the political capital he would reap from the factory’s inauguration by the President. Ayade is no stranger to such inauguration; recall that he scored a first, last year when he went down on record as the first opposition governor whose state was the President’s first port of call immediately on assuming office, to inaugurate the Super Highway, a 260km route that would link the Southern with the Northern Nigeria. Started barely a year ago, the factory which stands conspicuously next to the Cross River State Pharmaceutical and Rice City companies currently witnessing a frenzy of construction works along the newly christened Industrial Boulevard, located along the President Goodluck Jonathan Bye Pass behind the Margaret Ekpo International Airport, has already been completed, equipped and ready for production. According to the state Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Peter Egba, the garment factory ranks among the administration’s first signature projects to

be delivered within its first year in office.

When we set up this factory, the intention was not just to create jobs but to guarantee that young men and women who have been challenged by circumstances of their births have the opportunity to better their lots. I’m so excited at what I am seeing here today – the number of people and their energy – and it is an indication that our factory has taken off. Remember, the factory has the capacity to create 3,000 jobs

“The idea is primarily to industrialise the state; the governor is deliberately initiating policies that would gradually change the perception of the state as a civil service and a mere tourism state to an industrial hub and wean the state off dependence on federal allocation.” He told THISDAY at the factory recently. He said “from the inception of this administration, the governor’s direction has been to decouple the state from waiting every month for federal allocation to a state that is largely driven by industries and agriculture. These are areas we have seen that we have great comparative advantages. Therefore, what the governor keeps emphasising is to utilise these comparative advantages we hold over other states in these areas to create a full value chain for agriculture and industries.” He told THISDAY that one of the major thrust of embarking on these two key sectors was because of the stark realities of the army of unemployed youths across the state. Egba acknowledged that with agriculture, the state has the opportunity to pull millions of indigenes from poverty and want, stating that it was for that reason that the administration is engaging in its current industrialisation push beginning with the garment factory. “We have already engaged over 1000 workers to begin work in the factory added to this are the multiplier effects that come with other ancillary services. We are currently planning to add restaurants,

warehouse and sick bay as we strive to empower the people. There are also plans to introduce microfinancing to the local farmers through the small holders’ scheme to grow cotton for the state to buy their produce as off-takers. “This is the first project on the newly opened Industrial Boulevard to start and be completed by our administration. This will be followed by the pharmaceutical and cosmetic as well as the Rice City factories to create a production hub for medicare supplies, fashion products and rice seed multiplication,” he declared. At the opening of the factory recently, Ayade explained that his concept of the factory was beyond creating employment opportunities. He said his idea is to provide a safety net for the underprivileged in the society as well as create a platform for skills acquisition. According to him, “When we set up this factory, the intention was not just to create jobs but to guarantee that young men and women who have been challenged by circumstances of their births have the opportunity to better their lots. “I’m so excited at what I am seeing here today – the number of people and their energy – and it is an indication that our factory has taken off. Remember, the factory has the capacity to create 3,000 jobs. “Truly, if you call yourself a leader, your focus should be on the vulnerable and the Continued on next page




weakest that we are engaging today. We will guarantee you good salaries, food and proper transportation.�Ayade urged the new employees, who he tagged ‘great fashion engineers’, to leverage on the opportunity to express their innate potentials and be the pride of the state. He said, “We want to show to the world that we have skills, great fashion engineers. I call you engineers because you are going to provide the skills that we have not seen before.� Egba disclosed that the factory has a capacity to employ 3,000 workers who will run on three shifts per day producing a minimum of 2,000 shirts per day. He disclosed that to forestall a future where the factory would be confronted with scarcity of raw materials, the state government has adopted the federal government’s backwards integration working closely with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to grow and process cotton. According to him, “we have already keyed into the federal government’s backwards integration scheme through the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers programme to grow cotton in the northern part of the state where we discovered the climate is quite favourable for cotton cultivation. Afterwards, there are plans to set up both ginnery and yarnery factories proximate to the farms to convert the cotton into yarn for the factory.� On the composition of the factory, Egba explained that the factory will operate a five line production chain running on three shifts; adding that there are 540 machines comprising industrial sewing, cutting tables, heat transfer, button fixer, and several machines for the production of jeans and different brands of t-shirts. He disclosed that so far, the factory has already received enquiries from the Nigerian police, Peace Corps, private schools and a host of other interested clients willing to place their respective orders for different clothing products. For now, he said the factory has already produced uniforms for

We want to show to the world that we have skills, great fashion engineers. I call you engineers because you are going to provide the skills that we have not seen before


staff, homeland security, green police and other state-based security outfits. Providing insight into the state government’s efforts to position the factory as a first choice outsourcing factory for global brands, Egba said “we have entered into an agreement with a Lagos-based firm to engage a reputable Indian company which will arrive Calabar very soon to audit our equipment and affirm our preparedness to provide cutting edge services to global brands. The firm will also be vested with the task of training our staff and prepare them for the task of partnering through outsourcing with global brands like GAP, NEXT, Mango etc. It will also be expected

to recommend where there are manifest gaps in the production value chain and how such gaps should be closed to ensure maximum productivity.� However, regardless of the significant milestone recorded by Ayade in delivering the garment factory, the path to the establishment of the factory was not without its own hiccups. In fact, it was strewn with thorns and dogged by controversy from day one. Ayade’s traducers had accused him of converting the garment factory, which was his former constituency project while he was senator to a state project. Ayade has denied this allegation. To corroborate Ayade’s position, Egba

explained that “the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) invited us to provide clarifications on the status of the garment factory and I categorically stated that the factory is a state government entity and also showed them evidence that it has right from the inception of this administration been budgeted for. “I think what people fail to come to terms with is that the project is being operated through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) approved by legislation to guide against official interference. The SPV authorised the warehousing of shares through Barr. Emmanuel Ubua and Dr. Edward Obiakachalla who are holding 1.5m shares each with the Ministry of Finance Investment (MOFI) holding 3m while the rest 4m are still pending unalloted until the need will arise to raise more capital for expansion,� he explained to THISDAY.



L-R: Wife of Kogi State Governor, Barr. (Mrs) Amina Oyiza Bello (second left), receiving the oďŹƒcial notiďŹ cation letter of the most valuable governor’s wife award (MVGWA) from Chairperson, ceremony organizing team, MVGWA, Dr. Bilikisu Magoro; Member, award committee, Mrs. Pauline Kadiya-Daze (second left) and Team Leader/Chief Executive OďŹƒcer, MVGWA , Mr. Tom Obulu, in Abuja recently ENOCK REUBEN


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FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello (right) and the CEO of Army Post Service Housing Development Limited, Brig. Gen. Mahe Bashir, during a courtesy visit to the FCT Minister in AbujaĂ–recently

L-R: Managing Director, LAPO MicroFinance Bank, Mr Godwin Ehigiamusoe; Divisional Head, Small and Medium Enterprises South, Bank of Industry, Mr AbdulGaniyu Mohammed; MD/ CEO, Fortis MicroFinance Bank Plc, Mr. Tiko Okoye; acting Managing Director, BoI, Mr. Waheed Olagunju; MD/CEO, Lotus Capital Limited, Hajia Hajara Adeola; and Executive Director, Commercial Services, BoI, Mr. Jonathan Tobin, during the BoI Cheque presentation ceremony to Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP) Scheme on lending Loan to beneďŹ ciaries(Micro Finance Banks) in Lagos, recently SUNDAY ADIGUN

L-R- Commissioner for Commerce and Industy, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru [ son of deceased] Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, professor Toyin Ashiru and Mr. Doyin Ashiru [ sons of the deceased] at the burial ceremony of Omoba [Alhaja] Nimota Moradeun Ashiru in Ijebu Ode...recently

Mr. Jide Buraimoh of woodbridge Leasing Ltd(right) receiving the Category: Provider of Credit to SMES of the Year. Award from the represenatives of Heriage Bank MD, Mr. Jude Monye ED, Heritage Bank plc at lCA’s Nigerian Crediit lndustry Award 2016 in

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (right)with Nigerian Special Envoy and Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, at the State House, Mombassa during the MinisterĂ­s visit to the President Kenyatta to canvass support for the Nigerian candidate in the forth coming African Union Commission




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L-R: National Treasurer, Association of Bureaux De Change (BDC), Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Murtala Gbadamosi; Acting National President, Aminu Gwadabe and Chairman, South west zone, Taiwo Ebenezer, at a press conference to announce publication of weekly forex rate for BDC in Lagos‌recently

Delay in Licensing Additional InfraCos Worries Stakeholders Stories by Emma Okonji Information and communications technology (ICT) stakeholders are worried over the continued delay in the licensing of additional infrastructure companies (InfraCos) by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). They are of the view that licensed InfraCos are supposed to provide the backbone on which licensed telecoms operators are supposed to ride on in offering broadband services across the country. However, they are wondering why the NCC was yet to license additional InfraCos, long after MainOne and IHS were licensed to cover Lagos and north central

TELECOMS respectively. The Chief Executive Officer of Pinnet Technologies, Mr. Lanre Ajayi told THISDAY that he could not understand why the NCC had to delay the licensing of additional InfraCos, after it had licenced MainOne and IHS since January 2015. Speaking on the delay in licensing additional InfraCos, two years after despite the continued promises of NCC to licence additional InfraCos, Ajayi said the delay is affecting quick rollout of broadband services across the country, since rollout of broadband services largely depends on broadband infrastructure, which InfraCos were supposed to provide.

“The move to license MainOne as InfraCo for Lagos and IHS as InfraCo for North central in 2015 was a welcomed development but industry stakeholders are worried that two years after, NCC is yet to licence additional InfraCos that would provide ubiquitous broadband infrastructure for operators to tap into and provide broadband service for the growing youth population in the country,� Ajayi said. He called on NCC to expedite action in the licensing of additional InfraCos owing to its importance in broadband development and penetration. Ajayi, who ruled out the issue of lack of interest on the part of would be InfraCos, as the possible reason for the delay,

said operators would be ready to operate as InfraCos in the country, since the issue of high forex rate has nothing to do with InfraCos, since the process is not by auctioning, where the highest bidder wins the licence. President of the Association Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Mr. Olusola Teniola, said for Nigeria to realise the National Backbone Network (NBN), the Open Access Model that was introduced by the NCC in deepening broadband penetration in the country, needed to be fully implemented to the ‘letter.’ He therefore called on NCC to expedite action in ensuring that the remaining Continued on page 24

Expert Advocates Friendly Policies for Spectrum Auction Worried that poor spectrum auction and management could stifle broadband penetration in the country, an information and communications technology (ICT) expert has called for more friendly policies that would determine the auction and management of spectrum licences going forward. The Chief Executive Officer of VDT Communications, Mr. Biodun Omoniyi, who spoke at a technology form organised by the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) in Lagos recently, said there was need for the industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), to come up with policies that will not

ICT only encourage operators to participate in spectrum auctions, but will also have the support of NCC in rolling out broadband services on the spectrum licence. Omoniyi is worried that too much emphasis were laid by NCC on raising money for government through spectrum sale, without considering the financial strength of the operator to roll out services after the operator must have bided and paid so much for spectrum licence. “NCC should maintain a balance between managing the spectrum as a source of revenue generation for the

government and promoting the ultimate growth and development of the sector and the nation as a whole by encouraging efficient and timely spectrum utilisation through subscriber friendly policies,� he said. He reminded NCC of one of its frequency management objectives, which clearly stated that NCC would from time to time, control and encourage the use of spectrum as an instrument for developing telecommunication, which is an essential infrastructure for stimulating the economic growth and social development of the nation. According to the VDT boss, huge investment in frequency

spectrum acquisition Justifies the necessity for greater government support and enabling environment. He cited the recent Pyramid Research Report, which stated that out of a total of about $32 billion invested in the Nigerian telecoms industry by the private sector over the last 10 years, about $4 billion or 16 per cent of the money was spent on spectrum and license fees. “Is spectrum auctioning still the best pricing model for frequency spectrum, considering the current economic situation,� Omoniyi asked, while also explaining that experts Continued on page 24




Intel Reveals Credit Card-size Computer


“With the right kind of technology investment and the support of government in providing the requisite enabling environment, Nigeria can effortlessly produce global billionaires from the ICT sector�

Chairman, Zinox Group Leo Stan Ekeh



   DELAY IN LICENSING ADDITIONAL INFRACOS WORRIES STAKEHOLDERS licences are given out within the first quarter in 2017. Teniola is, however, worried that both MainOne and IHS that were offered InfraCo license since 2015, were yet to provide the much expected broadband infrastructure in Lagos metropolis and the North central. “Also, Issues surrounding the project execution in each geo-political region will need speedy intervention by the federal and state government’s collaboration to avoid experiences observed in 2016 were the InfraCos that were awarded licences to cover Lagos and North central regions, were yet to make meaningful broadband infrastructure rollout in 2916,� Teniola said. EXPERT ADVOCATES FRIENDLY POLICIES FOR SPECTRUM AUCTION believe that auctioning can lead to high cost of services to users and exposes bankers to financial risks. He also asserted that huge upfront payments can lead to cash flow problems for service providers, while giving no chance to small scale companies. “May be it’s time NCC explored other pricing models or even mixed models for frequency spectrum sale,� Omoniyi said. He advised that in managing frequency spectrum for ultimate benefit of the telecoms industry and Nigeria, the regulator must consider ultimate benefit to the industry and the nation at large, which he said, is in the utilisation of the spectrum, not in auctioning the spectrum. “As such active government support by creating enabling environment to facilitate spectrum utilisation is crucial,� Omoniyi said. He also advised the NCC to consider encouraging indigenous investors through the right policy formulation that supports indigenous investors, since the bulk of revenue generated from spectrum utilisation by an indigenous company, remains in Nigeria.

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Govt’s Investment in ICT Will Create More Billionaires, Says Ekeh Emma Okonji The Chairman, Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh has said Nigeria stands a better position to create more billionaires, should government invest heavily in information and communications technology (ICT) that is currently driving global economies. “With the right kind of investment in technological platforms and the overwhelming support of the government in providing the requisite enabling environment, Nigeria can effortlessly produce global billionaires from the ICT sector,� Ekeh said. He made the disclosure recently when he was interviewed by the Cable News Network (CNN). Serial digital entrepreneur, Ekeh who has built arguably Africa’s most integrated ICT conglomerate – the Zinox Group – is confident that with significant investment in ICT, the challenge of youth unemployment, inadequate opportunities and growing restiveness among the youth can be arrested. For this to happen, however, the government has to actively engage the youths by investing massively in ICT which, in his opinion, has become the fancy of young people. Ekeh is a firm believer in the numerous opportunities which abound in the rapidly evolving ICT-driven future – a knowledge economy in which wealth is no longer the exclusive preserve of a privileged few. “The miracle of ICT is that it is the only profession in the world today that can make the child of a poor man to become

the richest man in the world. The challenge, however, is that majority of our youths are in a closed community in which the standards are still poor so they cannot exhibit their innate intellectual strength. As a result, they are seen as defeated and a lot of them are unemployed,� Ekeh said. “We are doing our bit to correct this situation but government support will go a long way in helping the country achieve more. Presently, Zinox is building digital training centres and tech hubs across the country and empowering many of our youths. We have also committed some significant

investment in a number of tech start-ups. Recently, we invested in an Ibadan-based software company – Xputer. Interestingly, some of the apps being created by the young chaps Xputer are driving the business processes of the major e-commerce outfits in the country. All they needed was a bit of exposure and support to help them scale up,� Ekeh added. “The same situation applies to many of our youth. Today, if you give these youths the right platforms, which I must say is not expensive, Nigeria can produce a minimum of 10 billionaires from the ICT sector in the next few years,�

he added. According to him, 99 per cent of youths today want to go into trending professions like lifestyle professions and that is what ICT really is. If government invests in this sector as it should, Nigeria is capable of producing several billionaires straight out of the technology space. Among his many tech ventures, Ekeh pioneered Zinox Computers, Nigeria’s first internationally certified and most popular indigenous computer brand which has powered several international conferences including the African Union conference in Gambia and the 18th Commonwealth

Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which held in Abuja in 2003, in addition to being severally deployed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the registration and successful conduct of elections in Nigeria. “We came with a computer with an in-built surge protector in line with the peculiar power challenges in Nigeria. At Zinox, we are closest to the people with 14 offices nationwide. Zinox has sold in every local government and town in the country today and the call centre is 24 hours. It’s a brand for Nigeria – global standard but specific to Nigeria,� he noted.


L-R: Cisco Chief Operating OďŹƒcer, EMEAR, John Donovan; Cisco Africa Senior Virtual Sales Manager, Yasmin Kirton; Signal Alliance Nigeria CEO, Adanma Onuegbu; Cisco Africa Partner and Commercial Lead, Tunji Akintokun, and Cisco EMEAR VP Partner Organisation, Tunji Akintokun, at the award presentation to Signal Alliance in Seychelles ...recently

Group Faults Calls for Removal of NITDA, NigComSat, Galaxy Backbone Dele Ogbodo in Abuja Technologists and computer professionals in the country has cautioned those calling for the removal of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Galaxy Backbone and the Nigeria Communication Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT) from the Ministry of Communications to Science and Technology Ministry. They called on the Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, to stop the plan of those calling for the removal of the three agencies, adding that such a move is not only retrogressive but also a backward step taken too far. The computer professional group gave the warning after the it visited the ministry in Abuja . The professionals called on the minister to prevail on the federal government to jettison the idea of moving some of the agencies out of the Communications ministry. The delegation of the computer professionals included the President of Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) , Prof. Sola Aderounmu, the Executive Secretary of NCS, and two former presidents of NCS. They all expressed their dissatisfaction over the call for the

removal of some agencies to the ministry of science technology. According to Aderounmu, in 2011, the federal government agreed with the entire members of NSC to retain NigComSat, NITDA and Galaxy Backbone under the ministry of communications. He said the agencies would be more relevant if they are allowed to remain in the Ministry of Communications to accelerate and deepen ICT penetration for sustained development and actualisation of ICT objectives needed for economic diversification Aderounmu argued that relocating the three agencies to the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology would get the nation about 15 years behind the country’s development plan. Aderounmu said: “NCS advocated for the retention of the NITDA, NIGCOMSAT, and Galaxy Backbone for better performance, effective coordination and cooperation in other to produce better result.� The body also called on government to properly fund the Ministry of Communications and amend the laws governing the agencies and the ministry accordingly. The NCS president said over 20,000 memberships drawn from professionals, stakeholders and interest groups are members of the society.

Shittu, while thanking delegates of the computer professional for their nation-

alistic contributions, declared that the emphasis should be to consolidate on the gains already

made by the ministry and its agencies towards diversifying the Nigerian economy.

NACC: America, Nigeria Ties Will be Stronger in Years Ahead Raheem Akingbolu Nigerians have been assured of a better business relationship with the United State in the years ahead. It has also been stated that a lots are being put in place to allow products from sub-Saharan African countries into the American market. The National President, Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), Olabintan Famutimi, who gave the assurance in an interview with THISDAY, also allayed the fear in some quarters that the incoming administration of Donald Trump would create bottlenecks for effective bilateral relationship between the two countries. According to him, rather than slowing down business, the administration would create enabling environment for businesses to grow. He pointed out that US lives on strong institutions that cannot be tampered with, rather it would be more solidified.

“The truth is that nothing much is going to change because everybody has been afraid that when a new government comes, things will go upside down. Let me assure you, I am so close to the American government. I was there during the elections and I know what is going on. The Americans live on strong institutions. No president would come and change everything. The system will not allow it. You will be able to thinker with some because the reality is already dawning on the new president. Some of the things he said he was going to do then are being playing down now that he has won. As we talk, he is talking a different language. From erecting a fence against Mexico, he said he is going to strengthen the ties. From cancelling Obama care, they are going to modify things. From banning all Muslims from entering America, they are going to look at case to case basis. So some things will change, but it is not going to be so radical or

fundamentally different from what it used to be,� he said. Speaking on how Nigeria can revamp her economy, the NACC president said the chamber has aligned with the federal government on the need to diversify from oil to strengthen other sectors of the economy, especially agriculture. He urged the government at all levels to show more political will towards the diversification from oil in 2017 as the country look to recover from the current economic recession and the pain of a mono-product economy. On the efforts being made to promote export into America, he said one of the chambers biggest focuses is how to promote export into America. “We are doing it firing on all barrels and we are recognised. The government is working with us, the American government is working with us; all government agencies are working through us presently. They know we are the authentic body that can make this happen.�





Advocacy as Catalyst for ICT Development Stakeholders in the information and communications technology sector believe that renewed advocacy will further boost development in 2017, writes Emma Okonji


nformation and Communications Technology (ICT) stakeholders have a common strategy with which they channel their resolutions to government for proper implementation. The strategy, known as industry advocacy, has paid off to a great extent in the past years and some stakeholders, who spoke with THISDAY, said they would continue with that strategy this year so as to press home most of the issues that are yet to be addressed by government. According to them, advocacy is key to growth and development of any sector, especially in a situation where we do not have powers to implement certain resolutions reached, which are in the best interest of the industry. “We see advocacy as a means of making government understands how the ICT sector works and what should be done to facilitate meaningful development in the sector. We are not law makers, neither are we decision makers, but our role is that of advocacy, by advising government and decision makers on what we think is best for the industry. Apart from being professionals, we are core operators and we understand the industry better, hence we are in a better position to advise government and policy makers on the right way to go,� the ICT stakeholders said collectively. The President, Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), one of the advocacy groups, Prof. Sola Aderounmu said: “As stakeholders, our duty is to continue to advise government on essential things that bothers on ICT, and we will not relent in our advocacy especially in 2017, until government listens and addresses our concerns.� Advocacy on communications tax bill The ICT industry, especially the telecoms sector, witnessed increased advocacies in 2016, from the telecoms consumer right group, like the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS), to the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) and the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), as well as from Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), the umbrella body of all Nigerians practicing computer and computational related programmes. One of such advocacies from NATCOMS, ALTON and ATCON, was in the area of the proposed communication tax bill that has passed the second reading at the National Assembly, which seeks to increase communication tax by another nine per cent. The President of NATCOMS, Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo and the President of ATCON, Mr. Olusola Teniola, where among the several Nigerians who protested the planned communication tax bill, and called on the National Assembly members to drop the idea, which they said would be inimical to telecoms growth in the country, as subscribers would be made to pay more for telecoms services rendered by telecoms operators. While NATCOMS threatened to drag the National Assembly members to court to seek redress, should the proposed communication tax bill be introduced, it also assured Nigerians that it would mobilise civil society organisations, Nigerian students, and coalition of Nigeria Consumer Association, for a five million man-match to the National Assembly in Abuja, to protest the proposed communication tax bill. For ATCON, its president, engaged the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and members of the Senate, over the proposed communication tax bill, where Teniola made a presentation, highlighting the dangers inherent in the planned bill. Teniola told Saraki and the Senate that the bill, if eventually passed into law, would exclude 10 per cent of the population of telecoms subscribers, which is over 20 million, from getting access to telecommunication services. Teniola explained that whereas the survival of the Nigerian economy is about attracting more citizens to gain access to internet and telecommunications services, the bill would cut down on access to ICT services. Both ATCON and NATCOMS have promised to continue with the advocacy on communications tax bill in 2017, and assured telecoms

Satellite dish as technology tool

subscribers that they would not give up the struggle in 2017, until the National Assembly listens to their advocacy. Advocacy on price floor for data services Recounting efforts made by NATCOMS to convince the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), through advocacy, not to introduce a new price floor for data services, which seeks to increase data tariff across networks, Ogunbanjo told THISDAY that NATCOMS would continue to press it on government and the NCC to drop any idea that would lead to data increase in the telecoms sector. According to him, introducing a new price floor for data is inimical to telecoms growth, especially at a time that Nigeria is passing through economic recession. Although he commended NCC for suspending the idea to introduce new price floor for data services in 2016, he ,however, said NATCOMS would continue to appeal to NCC in 2017, to ensure that what happened in 2016 in relation to new price floor, does not repeat itself. NCC had last year, introduced a new price floor for data services in the telecommunications sector, which is a template that sets price regulation for data service offering, but Nigerians, championed by NATCOMS, vehemently objected to it and made strong protest to NCC and the National Assembly, which compelled the NCC to suspend the idea, and asked all operators to revert to the old price floor, and to maintain the status quo until the conclusion of study to determine retail prices for broadband and data services in Nigeria. The Director, Public Affairs for NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo, who announced the suspension, said it became necessary, following the general complaints by consumers across the country, who perceived that the interim price floor would lead to hike in the cost of data services across networks. He said the decision to suspend the directive was taken after due consultation with industry stakeholders. Although NCC promised to revisit the issue this year and come out with a more acceptable price floor for data, which will be of international standard, Ogunbanjo said NATCOMS would continue to advocate for a price floor that would rather reduce the current data tariff across networks. Advocacy on policy implementation The Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) has also come up to say that it will engage the federal

government in the area of policy formulation and implementation that will accelerate growth in the ICT industry. Aderounmu, who blamed the non-patronage of locally manufactured computer by Nigerians and government agencies on poor policy implementation, said the situation has to change in 2017 through advocacy. According to him, Nigerians must learn to patronise local computers, like Zinox, Omatek, Beta, Brian among others, including locally developed software, and we need policy implementation to achieve this. President, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), Mr. Olorogun James Emadoye, is another stakeholder who believes government must wake up to its responsibilities in 2017 in the area of policy implementation that will drive local content development in the ICT sector. Emadoye, who blamed the federal government for policy inconsistencies and poor implementation, gave an instance where the federal government, through the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Ufot Ekaette, wrote a letter with Ref No SGF/OP/1/S.3/VII/795, to head of civil service commission, ministries department and agencies (MDAs) of government, on the need to patronise made in Nigeria products, including procurement of locally assembled computers and locally developed software. He said the letter directed all federal MDAs to comply with the directive, but expressed his dissatisfaction that such directive was never implemented. The situation, he said, has grounded several local manufacturers of ICT products and equipment in the country, while importation of ICT equipment still thrives in the country. Emadoye therefore called on government to expedite action in putting in place, policies and the right implementation that would support local content development in a sector where there are willing and talented people that could develop ICT equipment with global standard and best practice. Spectrum sale Speaking on the way forward on spectrum sales in 2017, industry stakeholders are of the opinion that most spectrum should be made free of charge, to enable smaller operators invest in spectrum licence. Speaking on the sale of two slots of 25MHz in the 5.4GHz spectrum for the delivery of wireless broadband in Lagos State by the NCC last year, industry stakeholders are of

the view that NCC should have allowed the 5.4GHz spectrum as free spectrum to be used free of charge by smaller operators who have the capacity to provide clusters of telecoms services in remote areas, but could not afford to participate in spectrum auction because of the heavy cost implication. Faulting NCC for auctioning the 5.4GHz spectrum, the stakeholders said they would channel more energy to the advocacy on spectrum sale and the need to make some spectrum free of charge in 2017, just the way it is done in other countries. Giving clarifications why the 5.4GHz spectrum was auctioned for N55 million, the Director, Spectrum Administration at NCC, Austin Nwaulune, said: “The 5.4GHz spectrum was not sold because NCC needed to make money for government. It was sold because NCC wanted to encourage smaller operators who needed the spectrum to rollout services, hence it was sold at N55 million, which is far lower that previous licences auctioned by NCC.� Service quality Commending telecoms operators for the quality of services offered in 2016, industry stakeholders, however, said the operators needed to improve in the area of data and voice, especially in festivity periods, where volumes of calls and data communications are generated. Giving instances of the challenges faced by subscribers during the last Yuletide, where it became difficult for subscribers in some locations to make hitch-free calls, Ogunbanjo said NATCOMS would continue to advocate for better service delivery, until the situation is addressed. He said: “Although service quality has improved tremendously, but there is still need for operators to do better in terms of data, since there is a paradigm shift from voice to data communication.� Ogunbanjo, who said there was slight improvement on service quality last year, also commended telecoms operators for maintaining cheap prices for voice and data services in 2016. According to him, aside fair pricing in telecoms services, the operators were able to introduce value added services and promotional activities that further dropped the prices of data services across networks in 2016. Now that the ICT industry has resorted to advocacy to address key industry issues, it will be of national interest if government listens and act fast.





Technology Innovation and Fear of Job Losses Emma Okonji writes that the alarm being raised by some that the rise of technology innovators in Africa could lead to job losses, is bound to dampen creativity in information technology on the continent The ability of young African entrepreneurs to use technology to solve problems is pushing the continent to the forefront of innovation. In South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania and other African countries, young technology innovators have come up with technology ideas and solutions that are already causing disruption to existing technologies and making life a lot much easier for people, but the potential for Africans in devising these game-changing technologies are beginning to be stifled by regulators and opposition groups, who are all out to stop the wheel of progress for fear of the future. The opposition groups are feeling threatened that the new technologies might displace them, and they are worried that jobs are already being threatened. The issue, which has turned out to become a continental issue, was extensively discussed by technology experts who attended the Hogan Lovells Africa Forum held recently in Johannesburg, South Africa. Experts’ views Africa’s innovative spirit has been lauded by influential voices including United States President Barack Obama, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the World Economic Forum (WEF). Yet, it is still a battle to convince some politicians, policy makers and workers in Africa to embrace information technology (IT), and not to stifle it for fear of future change or to protect the lumbering corporations of the last generation. Discussing the implications of the action of the opposition groups, delegates at the recent Hogan Lovells Africa Forum in Johannesburg, called for ‘light touch’ regulations and open minds. According to expert with Khonology, an IT company in the financial space, Michael Roberts, “In the industrial revolution people feared job losses, but what actually happened is that jobs changed.� “The way we create jobs in the future will not be the jobs of today. Technology will drive demands for different skills. Bringing more efficiency does not necessarily have to remove jobs, it can create different types of jobs - so we need to stop the fear,� Roberts said. The growth of the IT cloud, where people can buy software and hardware capacity on demand without heavy capital outlay, was great for African innovators, Roberts added, and explained that the cost of building and delivering something has gone through the floor, so for youngsters who are technologically savvy there’s a future. According to the Head of Policy, Analysis and Research at Multichoice South Africa, Aynon Doyle, “Luddites will always try to hold things back. That is clearly seen with taxi drivers attacking Uber drivers and retailers facing staff protests when they try to introduce self-service checkout lines.� Using IT to achieve more productivity with less resources would have a huge impact on Africa if innovation was encouraged, Doyle said, while calling on African governments to face up to the IT revolution, allow innovation to flourish and deal with the technology disruption that must come. Access to the internet alone isn’t enough, however. “87 per cent of South Africans have mobile phones but that has not increased the per capital income as their economic output has not increased. Watching YouTube is great but it is not economically beneficial,� Doyle said. “The question is how do we turn these technologies into economic value?�, Doyle said. Technology innovators’ zeal Despite the challenges and the opposition, Africa’s young IT entrepreneurs are certainly drawing the world attention. The World Economic Forum (WEF) last year included a session called: “Is Africa leading the innovation revolution?� which highlighted how young Africans are becoming technology generators, not just adopters.

ICT gadgets for creativity

In September last year, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg visited Nigeria and Kenya and declared that the future of the world would be built in Africa. In July 2015, Obama held his annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi and said: “Young people like you are harnessing technology to change the way Africa is doing business.� Africans are very capable of using IT to solve their own particular problems, believes Gaurav Bhandari, an associate of Kenyan law firm DV Kapila & Co. “We want to be able to provide solutions for ourselves. Europe and the rest of the world are looking to Africa not only for investment purposes but also to learn, to look at where we are going and what we are doing.� There is plenty to look at, he told the Hogan Lovells forum, with one of Kenya’s biggest successes so far being M-Pesa mobile money technology, which is now being adopted on other continents. “M-Pesa blossomed in Kenya because banks were very unfair to the common people – 80 per cent were unbanked with no access to debit or credit cards and ATMs. People are now able to send money from one phone to another via SMS, and this has transformed lives in Kenya,� Bhandari said. Almost $3 billion in the last quarter was transacted via the mobile payment platform in Kenya,� he said. Kenyan entrepreneurs are also creating excellent maternal healthcare applications and an app to let villagers buy solar power via a mobile phone and resell it to others, giving them a new income stream. “I don’t want to say Kenya is the birthplace of technology in Africa, but it’s the future,� Bhandari said. He reiterated that in a continent desperately needing more jobs, regulators must not snuff out these innovations. “Technology and regulations and politics are all intertwined. If they regulate IT and make the life of the youth even harder, the politicians will have a problem come election time,� he warned.

The Blockchain technology One new technology with potential massive ramifications for Africa is Blockchain, where blocks recording batches of valid transactions are stored in globally distributed ledgers. Blockchain provides proof that somebody owns something of a certain value and those records can not be stolen or hacked. “If an asset moves from one person to another it is recorded in this highly transparent system, so the potential to apply blockchain technology across Africa and use it to fight corruption was enormous, according to Roberts. It will have a major impact in the banking sector and other fields such as insurance, legal records and to verify contracts,� he said. An Associate Director with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in South Africa, Tielman Bothaan, reminded the Africa forum that since only 15 per cent of Africans have broadband access at home, mobile technologies were the future. “Healthcare providers expanding into Africa are using mobile technologies to do it. “In the midst of the university disruptions in South Africa, higher education institutes are asking how they can use IT to let people access quality education in different ways,� Bothaan added. Regulating OTT technology in Africa Although the issue of Over the Top Technology (OTT) is making the rounds in Africa, most regulators have vehemently opposed to its regulation on the continent.Others are still considering its regulation for fear of disrupting existing GSM technology for voice calls and data communications. Worried about the disruption that OTT technology is bringing to the telecoms industry in Africa, where new service providers are taking advantage of OTT technology to provide free services for voice communication through platforms like Skype and WhatsApp, telecoms operators in Nigeria have cried out to the telecoms industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), to make haste to regulate

the OTT technology. Telecoms operators have alleged that OTT is fast cutting down on their revenue streams, since they spent huge sums of money in paying for the GSM spectrum licences and for the building and expansion of their GSM networks. Their worries are that they have spent so much money in building the GSM network and that a situation where new service providers now bypass the traditional GSM network to offer voice services free of charge over the internet, is detrimental to the growth of GSM operators who had over the years, spent their monies in building the GSM network. Although NCC is yet to wade into the matter, its Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta has said commission would maintain its technology neutrality position, and regulate the activities of telecoms service providers, and not the technology with which they provide the services. Country Manager, Ericsson Nigeria, Johan Jemdahl, who joined other stakeholders in condemning the call to regulate OTT technology, said any attempt to heed to the voices of those calling for the regulation in Nigeria, would result in stifling telecoms growth in the country. “You cannot stop technology evolution. OTT services should not be regulated in any form. What the operators who feel threatened about the OTT services should do, is to look for alternative means to generate money, instead of fighting OTT operators. The regulator on the other hand, must not do anything that could stifle technology growth in the country,� Jemdahl said. According to him, over the years, technologies have been evolving globally and any attempt to regulate these technologies in some countries of the world, including African countries, would mean stifling the growth of technology in such countries. He therefore, advised telecoms operators not to feel threatened by the services rendered by OTT service providers, but should begin to think of innovative ways to serve their customers, without running out of business.





Intafact Foundation Offers N50m to Grow SME Business Stories by Emma Okonji Intafact Hero’s Foundation, a Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiative of Intafact Beverages Limited, has offered to pay a cumulative sum of N50 million to 120 indigenous youths of Anambra State to help them grow their small scale businesses. The initiative is designed to support and build the youths in the state who are regarded as the nucleus of future development. The donation was made recently when the Obi of Onitsha, His Majesty, Nnaemeka Achebe, hosted the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, during the award ceremony where the cheques were given out.

The measure is to address the difficulties faced by technology startups that have small business, but with great solutions that could address specific challenges. The niche about the initiative is the policy for Intafact as a company to be part of the community in which it does its business, investing in indigenes of its host communities so that both the company and the community can prosper and grow to be mutually dependent on each other. It is a movement that takes consumers away from large, impersonal big-box retailers and introduces them to the people doing business in their very own communities. According to the Obi, who is also the Chairman of the

Board of Trustees of Intafact Hero’s Foundation, the entries were generated from a pool of over 1,700 applications from budding entrepreneurs within the age range of 18-35 years who turned in their proposals for various business initiatives. Achebe said: “We were clearly impressed by the load of responses from the youths. As we can all see, this clearly are the signs that our people do not want to wait for opportunity to be thrust at them but would rather reach out and do something for themselves. Going by this trend, they shall possibly be employers of labour in the near future. I hope that the valuable lessons learnt during the training become lifetime lessons.�

While addressing the audience, Obiano said, “The state government and people are very happy that private organisations are collaborating with the government to fight poverty and unemployment in the state. This Intafact project has greatly empowered our young population to greater productivity through the scheme and we are satisfied with the progress which Intafact Beverages Limited continues to make. Our position derives from both the perspective of a government in whose territory it is based, and as investor in the company. Intafact Beverages Limited remains a case study in the investor friendly approach of the Anambra State government.�

The beneficiaries thanked God for the gesture from Intafact Hero’s Foundation, and they became more excited when they learnt that the seed money does not require repayment of any kind. Rather, it is most definitely an attractive financial consideration for entrepreneurs and small businesses with take-off cash available for start-up. The Intafact Hero’s Foundation programme is aimed at instilling a culture of entrepreneurship among the youth in South eastern Nigeria, especially those resident in Anambra state, by encouraging them to develop their big ideas into sustainable businesses or expand their existing businesses through

the provision of material and financial support. The scheme is a poverty alleviation programme aimed at creating sustainable enterprise development in its areas of operation. It is also designed to assist young people build enduring entrepreneurial business skills. For this purpose, the shortlisted 120 business owners were trained at the Chike Okoli Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies. There they were collectively mentored by Prof. Alex Ikeme and Prof. Ngozi Anyikwa. Thereafter, the short-listed business fledglings underwent five days grooming and submitted their business proposals, by which they were adjudged by a panel of five judges.

Ericsson, Cisco Extend Strategic Partnership on Wi-Fi Solutions Ericsson and Cisco are extending their strategic partnership to include a new Wi-Fi solution offering, named Evolved Wi-Fi Networks (EWN). EWN combines Ericsson’s 3GPP access, core networks and applications with Cisco’s Wi-Fi portfolio, to provide reliable Wi-Fi with the highest performance to Ericsson’s mobile, cable and other industries customers. The offering will include pre-integrated and verified solutions and will offer a range of benefits to include Indoor Small Cells; Operator Wi-Fi; Traffic Steering; Core Network Integration, among other benefits. Combining indoor Ericsson access networks with Cisco WLAN enables deployment in venues of both Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity. With Operator Wi-Fi, operators who have outdoor Ericsson access networks, could use Cisco WLAN to offer access to their subscribers. The Traffic Steering will allow integration of Cisco WLAN with either Ericsson macro or indoor access networks via Ericsson’s unique real time traffic steering feature enables operators to steer users between mobile and Wi-Fi access networks, ensuring the best end-user experience. The Core Network Integration is used for integrating Cisco WLAN into Ericsson packet core. Using trusted configurations will allow operators to offer all their core network services over Wi-Fi for multimode devices. Ericsson’s highly successful Wi-Fi calling capabilities already deliver seamless voice mobility over Cisco WLAN. Describing the features as unique, the Head of Region, North America with responsibility for the strategic partnership with Cisco and Ericsson, Rima Qureshi, said: “Our strategic partnership brings together the capabilities of two leading players in networking, mobility and cloud, creating the best end-to-end solutions and opportunities for our customers. By adding Wi-Fi solutions

into the partnership, we will enable our customers to offer best-in-class Wi-Fi in their networks, complemented by our leading 3GPP portfolio and services organisation.� The General Manager of the Service Provider Business Unit, Cisco, Yvette Kanouff, said: “With Wi-Fi traffic predicted to grow to 50 percent of the total IP traffic by 2020, a top priority for service providers is to deliver the best possible connected experiences to their customers. Through our extended strategic partnership with Ericsson, we are committed to providing Wi-Fi solutions of the highest quality performance and reliability.� The design and deployment of solutions based on the new offering will be handled by Ericsson’s services organisation, with full product support from Cisco. Ericsson’s capability to offer worldwide services will allow operators to adopt new business models and expand into new markets. EWN can be offered as a fully managed service with the global reach of more than 180 countries. This enables faster rollout times and ease of adaption of the solution. Ericsson and Cisco, the two industry leaders in the development and delivery of networking, mobility, and cloud, formed a global business and technology partnership in November 2015 to create the networks of the future. The partnership offers customers the best of both companies, ranging from routing, Datacentre, networking, cloud, mobility, management and control, and global services capabilities. The next-generation strategic partnership will drive growth, accelerate innovation, and speed digital transformation demanded by customers across industries. To date, over 250 active customer engagements have now started to turn into won deals. More than 60 deals, spread around the world, are in IP and services. The companies announced deals with three Italy, Vodafone Portugal, Aster Dominican Republic and Cable & Wireless in Caribbean in 2016.


L-R: Product Specialist, Value Added Services, MainOne Cable Company, Adeyemi Tanimomo; Director, Small, Mid-Market Solutions and Partners Group, Microsoft Nigeria, Oluwawemimo Adeniyi; Founder of GigaLayer, Ahmad Mukoshy; Chief Executive OďŹƒcer, MainOne Cable Company, Funke Opeke and Small, Mid-Market Business, Marketing Manager, Adeniyi Adebote, during the media launch of Microsoft/MainOne SME-In-A-Box Pro at Microsoft OďŹƒce, Victoria Island Lagos...recently

Qualcomm Chief Harps on 5G Samsung Forecasts Increase in As Next Generation Technology Q4 Operating Profit Speaking on the emergence of robots and driverless cars at the just concluded CES technology event in Las Vegas, Qualcomm Chief Executive Officer Steve Mollenkopf, said the global focus should be on mobile technology, in order to bring such innovations to life, proclaiming that 5G will be the most important revolution. According to Mollenkopf, Qualcomm, after powering smartphones with its mobile processing chips for both 3G and 4G, is now getting ready to capitalise on 5G, and offered some bold predictions on what it will mean for the global economy. According to a Qualcomm commissioned report, the company expects 5G to create up to 22 million jobs and produce $12 trillion in 5G related goods and services by 2035, bringing new business opportunities across new and existing industries.

Mollenkopf added that 8.3 billion smartphones will ship between 2016 and 2020, the equivalent of 50 smartphones per second. His speech centred around three key areas he predicts will take off with 5G networks; VR, autonomous driving and the internet of things, all enabling a number of real-life benefits through mission critical connectivity. “5G will be the tipping point and build on the foundations that have already been laid by LTE,� he said. “It will be the intelligence to create new things. 5G will make it possible to trust mobile when failure is not an option,� he said. The company also talked up its upcoming mobile processor, the Snapdragon 835, which it unveiled earlier this week at CES. It is designed to power AR and VR, as well as offer a better smartphone performance.

Samsung has announced that it expects its fourth quarter (Q4) 2016 operating profit to increase 50 per cent year-onyear, with brisk sales of chips and displays offsetting losses from its global recall of the Galaxy Note 7 in October. The world’s largest smartphone maker forecast operating profit for the quarter would hit $7.72 billion, its highest since Q3 2013, on revenue estimated at KRW53 trillion, which is down slightly from Q4 2015. For the full year 2016, Samsung predicted operating profit will increase nearly 11 per cent year-on-year to KRW29.2 trillion, with revenue rising marginally to KRW201.5 trillion. Samsung did not provide any additional detail on its 2016 results but it will release official earnings figures later this month. Analysts said a rebound

in memory chip prices and healthy sales of flat-panel displays helped Samsung make up for losses from the Note 7 debacle, Yonhap reported. Samsung is expected to announce the final results of its investigation into the Note 7 this month. The company said in November it is working with authorities in its home market and the US. The South Korea-headquartered company axed the Galaxy Note 7 in early October last year, after several devices caught fire. While the vendor initially blamed a faulty batch of batteries from another Samsung unit (Samsung SDI) for the problem and recalled 2.5 million units, it conceded defeat after some initial replacement devices featuring batteries from its other supplier, China’s Amperex Technology, were affected by the same problem.





Counting the Gains of Outdoor Advertising With about N5bn expended on outdoor advertising in Lagos State alone during the 2015 general election, the sector could attract more investments in years to come, writes Raheem Akingbolu With an investment strength running into billions of naira and ability to control 60 percent of Nigeria Total Out-of-Home Advertising spend, Lagos has consistently remained the happening zone for outdoor business. According to a book: ‘2015 General Election: The Politics of Outdoor Advertising in Nigeria’ the state is also home to some of the Africa’s iconic out-of-home advertising platforms. The book, written by George Noah, a former Managing Director of the Lagos State Signage and Advertising Agency, captures the different episodes of the political and economic undercurrent that characterised the outdoor advertising in the period leading to the 2015 general election. Cost and platforms Noah, who revealed in the book that vandalism and extension of election dates inflated costs during the period put the total spend at N5billion. He also did a breakdown of how the sum was spent by stating that it was distributed across different components of the outdoor advertising industry. This comprised: printers, installers, fabricators, graphic designers, outdoor vendors, media buying agencies, security, billboard owners and branding/communications companies and party agents amongst others. It also generated employment for thousands of ad hoc staff recruited by contractors to keep up with The book revealed that about N2.5 billion was spent on wall drapes and billboards – these included: 300 static and 40 electronic boards. It further stated that an estimated 40,000 street lampoles deployed gulped N1 billion; while 5,000 A-frame boards cost N350 million. About 5,000 stick-in-ground frames were deployed at the cost of N50 million. Three million posters and 500,000 T-shirts – were printed costing about N300 million and N400 million, respectively. An estimated 400 busses were branded costing N80 million. 200 branded vans and 250 branded cars were deployed gulping N45 million. “About 100 units of bus shelters were used costing N10 million. Other outdoor deployments including experiential activities, banners, hatboxes and indoor LEDs accounted for about N200 million,� Noah added. Giving further details about how both parties fared in their outdoor campaigns, the book stated that: “The APC appeared to be more prepared and organized, sprinting off the blocks a year before the elections. Officials and individual party members hoping to stand for election approached LASAA seeking advice on enabling rules, costs and key players in the outdoor sector.� LASAA’s intervention In the 148 paged book which is divided into 22 chapters, the former LASAA boss criss-crossed the various subjects and themes that set the tone for the tension that engulfed the outdoor industry during the period under review, distilling facts from fiction, and in so doing setting the records straight and offered insightful perspective on the narratives. The book gives an overview of the outdoor advertising sector in Lagos State. It further sheds light on LASAA’s guidelines geared towards ensuring decorous outdoor campaign during the period; the fault lines that exposed initial cracks in enforcing the guidelines; and complicity by law enforcement agents in the spate of impunity that marred outdoor political campaigns. The author dwells on measures that may be taken to guard against a partisan stance by law enforcement agents in future elections; the role played by groups such as the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) and the Goodluck Lagos Grassroots Project (GLGP) in escalating the crisis. He also addresses issues related to the PDP gubernatorial candidate, Jimi Agbaje’s open letter to LASAA. The roughshod approach adopted by the then PDP-led federal government, which culminated in the termination of all forms of outdoor advertising along major federal government roads in Lagos

State, is perspicaciously chronicled in the book. Noah also beams the spotlight on protests that occasioned the federal government’s actions. The book can indeed be divided in three main parts, the pre-campaign period, the campaign period and the post election moment. The first two chapters is an introduction of LASAA and some historic perspectives that led to the formation of the agency. In the chapter, the author offered refreshing overview of the outdoor advertising industry in Nigeria. In chapter two of the book, the author shed some light on some of the steps that LASAA took in anticipation of the usual frenzy atmosphere of outdoor advertising in Lagos during electioneering campaigns. For example, he mentioned about how a stakeholders’ forum was organised to issue guidelines in order to ensure that the issue of outdoor platforms did not constitute a nuisance on the public. In chapter three, the author began to zero in on the campaigns and some of the events that gave the earliest sign of the gory future ahead. He recalled how LASAA had to be quick off the mark in order to check some infractions and prevent situations from getting out of hands. But the real kernel of the story was reserved until chapter four, where the author began to unravel some of the challenges faced by the agency in its effort to enforce sanity in the outdoor industry in Lagos by ensuring that all the political parties played by the rules. And because that did not go down well with the power at the centre, force was introduced in a blatant attempt to intimidate LASAA. In subsequent chapter the book clearly narrated some of the underhand tactics adopted by the then PDP government in an effort to illegally claim billboards around Lagos State. The author recalled how the PDP resorted to blackmail and police intimidation just to have their way. The role played by the infamous TAN cannot be forgotten in a hurry. In chapter six of the book, the author explains in details ‘the wanton act of impunity perpetrated against the outdoor advertising sector by the group. He recalled how the group, which was led by Ifeanyi Ubah, flagrantly embarked obnoxious activities that resulted in about N350million loss of contract for two Lagos-based outdoor agencies. The author also narrated how at a point APCON ,a federal agency had to intervene to stop TAN, after the Registrar of APCON

thought he had had enough of their nuisance. Between LASAA and Agbaje In the book, Noah devoted one chapter to set the record straight on what transpired between LASAA and former Lagos PDP governorship aspirant Jimi Agbaje. But perhaps the highlight of the book begins from chapter nine where the author began to delve deeper into the crisis between LASAA and PDP. This was the moment when the then PDP controlled federal government moved in to forcefully seize the billboards on the federal highways. At that moment, according to the author, all the billboards on federal roads were shut down in line with federal directives, leading to huge loss of revenue for outdoor operators. The vent also stoked up intense tension in the industry, which made some operator to begin to fear for their lives and the survival of their industry. Going further in chapter 10, the author recalled that the move by the then FG to freeze all outdoor advertising exposure along its right of way was the thin edge of the wedge that precipitated a range of consequential actions. At the point, the author noted that the industry operators had been pushed to the wall and needed to find a way to express their misgiving openly. Still in that chapter, the writer narrated how LASAA alongside the civil society and outdoor operators embarked on open protest at Maryland bus stop. The writer has also done well to document the infamous role of the militia group Odua Peoples’ Congress(OPC) in the political equation. He recalled how the OPC held LASAA staff and the entire people of Lagos State hostage in a dangerous showmanship that demonstrated the desperation by the PDP to win at all cost. At this point, he noted that the security situation became tense that he was advised to take his safety more seriously. The author recalled how he had to change address and even employed two mobile policemen for round-the clock security. In a simple quote, Noah’s capture how his courage began to fail him because of the atmosphere of insecurity that had formed. “Suddenly, an innocent gaze from an unfamiliar person didn’t seem so benign anymore. Every motorcycle that rode close to my vehicle on the road became suspect. Just as every vehicle that kept showing up in the rear-view mirror seemed

to be on a sinister mission. In the same vein every street hawker that sidled up to my vehicle in the notorious Lagos Traffic jams appeared to have malicious intent.� The author went on to the more academic aspect of the election providing fact that will be very useful to researchers who needed to know each of the major parties deployed the outdoor to balance public opinion in their favor. It also delved into some of the different types of out-of-Home platform used during the elections. At this point he also zeroes in on chaotic poster war that took place in Lagos between supporters of the then Lagos Governorship candidate Akinwunmi Ambode and PDP candidate Agbaje. Supporters of both candidates went on a defacing-free spree that left behind funny looking billboards and poster of their candidates all around Lagos. Of course this skirmishes that played out of the streets of Lagos became a subject of interest to the press. Post election exercise In chapter 15 the author began screeching to a halt. This was the beginning of the post election moment for LASAA and there was an urgent need to restore the state’s aesthetics, which has been severely blighted while the campaign lasted. He also recalled how LASAA and Lagos State Waste Management Board had to form a partnership to implement a unique waste recycling initiative using the mountain of waste generated from the campaign materials. Of course as the dust settled on the election, many outdoor practitioners were left sulking because an occasion that should naturally bring them harvest have gone. Some have even lost non-political adverts for no fault of theirs’. But the author indicated, in the book, how LASAA had to sooth their pains with stimulus packages. In this book, Noah has been able to capture and preserve history both for posterity and research students who may want understand the critical place of outdoor advertising in political campaign. His expertly understand of the terrain and the process belies his robust three decade long acquaintance with the integrated marketing communication, spanning advertising, print and broadcast journalism. Of course the book also throws up some of the loopholes by way of weak regulatory framework and institution which provides the Continued on page 29




First Bank Stimulates Food and Beverages Industry Raheem Akingbolu, who witnessed the fiesta of flavours, a food and beverage fair, organised by First Bank of Nigeria, reports that the show further reaffirmed the commitment of the financial giant to the growth of SMEs in the country With the theme: ‘Food, Fun, and Family’, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, had successfully hosted the 2016 edition of its Fiesta of Flavours, a food and beverage fair showcasing the entertainment, art and business of food. Beyond the entertainment approach given the event, it was no doubt a reawakening move to encourage players in the food and drink industry. The event was hosted in partnership with Eventful Limited, a renowned event management company. The fiesta, which attracted many foods & drinks vendors, was designed by the bank to show its commitment to diversification of the economy through support for the business, art and entertainment of food across all sectors of the economy. Some of the highlights of the event include; cooking competitions, children’s cooking corner, celebrity chef cooking classes, exclusive wine tasting, among others. Some of the participants at the show, who spoke to THISDAY admitted that it was a good move that was capable of rescuing the economy and reawakening the players in the food and beverage sector. Though, it was designed to boost the Small Medium Enterprises(SMEs) sector of the industry, the two-day event achieved more than that for both the brand and participants, who were mostly small scale entrepreneurs. For the brand, it was another opportunity to create a robust affinity with its patrons. And for participants, the event remained an eye opener that would redefine their entrepreneurial spirit. Above all, by the second day of the event, when the curtain was drawn on the event, it was obvious that the economy was the biggest beneficiary from the initiative. Aside creating an opportunity for participants to learn how to make profitable businesses out of food and drinks, there was also a showcasing of a diverse range of local and international cuisines. Objective and evaluation Speaking on what the show was out to achieve, the Head, Media and External Communications at First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Mr. Babatunde Lasaki, stated that the financial company is always willing to support anything that would enhance development. He said: “As organisation, First Bank has always thrown its weight behind anything that would enhance development and empowerment in line with government’s decision to diversify the economy. What better way to promote that initiative than giving our support to the value chain of food industry and encourage the entrepreneurs in the industry. To us, the large food economy is an important part of the economy. We also believe food is the new oil. “Between last year and now, many organisations have seen that food is the new oil. The fact that we pioneered it and many people are now emulating it shows that there is huge potential there. This year edition is a lot bigger and livelier than the first edition. Last year was like a test run, this year more vendors showed up to showcase their talents,� One of the vendors, Mrs Anthonia Ojenagbon, who runs Silton African Kitchen in Lagos described the event as an exciting opportunity

Participants at the food and drink ďŹ esta

for players in the food and drink industry. The entrepreneur, who said she heard about it on the Instagram, said the patronage at the event was encouraging. “We are participating for the first time and we will continue to do so. We came in with the determination to ride on our unique selling point, which is ‘proudly Nigerian food’ to give the best to our customers. To me, First Bank has created a huge opportunity for food vendors to explore. Here, we serve Pepe snails called pepelicious snail, pepe gini foul and other mouth watering Nigerian dishes in a special way,� Another vendor, Oluwaseun Ayanlaja, who runs a company called; Chef-On-Wheels, specialising in cuisines from Asian, Indian, Germany, with a blend of Nigerian foods, said the event is an opportunity for her to step up her game. “The food fiesta has given me opportunity to further showcase my food and drinks to corporate guys and other members of the society. I will encourage government and other corporate organisations to key into this to develop the industry,� Economic importance Realising that support for the agricultural value chain and by extension food, will enable individual and communal self-reliance, self-contentment and self-sufficiency, the bank used the fiesta to take ownership of the food space to fully promote businesses that will build the sector, build revenue for development purposes, create employment opportunities and in the long run translate to national growth and development

In a statement signed by the bank’s Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Folake Ani-Mumuney, the organisation ventured into the food space as part of its interventions to support agriculture across the entire value chain as well promote economic growth and sustainability, especially in the face of dwindling oil revenue. “We are also keen on promoting a united community through the arts and Fiesta of Flavours would bring youths and families together to enjoy the entertainment value of food� she further stated. Speaking at the event, the CEO, Eventful, Mrs. Yewande Zaccheaus said her company was indeed pleased to partnered with FirstBank and thankful for the bank’s support in hosting fiesta. “Nigerians who participated learnt and experienced a lot about our food. It was a culinary journey to discover the splendid art of Food. Fiesta of Flavours and it showed that we have a rich heritage that can be expressed and exported all over the world. Considering the turn out and commendation from gusts, I think it met our expectation� Competitive edge Over the years, First Bank of Nigeria has remained a leading brand in the financial sector, by redirecting its functions to focus more on the commercial and retail segments of the market; it is obvious that it will continue to have a competitive edge in the market. In positioning and management, the brand has always made a brand statement that espouses its essence. Being a proactive brand

with rich heritage, the bank and its promoters have continued to ride on innovation and excellent banking service to give patrons unique customer experience. In a way, this has in return reflected on its balance sheet. As things stand today, it appears First Bank major competition in the financial sector is still First Bank. Like every good brand that understands the core message of positioning, the bank truly understands its competition and then works daily on its competitive advantage. All these were confirmed last year, when the leading retail bank brand, was officially recognised as the first financial institution in the country to achieve a transaction volume of 100 million transactions in a month by Interswitch Transnational -Africa’s leading integrated payment and transaction processing company. According to the Interswitch, this milestone feat was achieved in the month of December 2015 and represents the total transactions processed by FirstBank’s Front End Processor running on the Interswitch transaction switching platform which seamlessly links all financial institutions in Nigeria to facilitate better and quicker transactions across all platforms. As Nigeria’s leading financial institution with over 10 million customers, this achievement by FirstBank is said to be clearly aligns with its strategic intent to promote financial inclusion, support the cashless policy drive of the Central Bank of Nigeria and boost economic growth via e-payments across Nigeria and the African continent.

COUNTING THE GAINS OF OUTDOOR ADVERTISING cover for impunity and lawlessness, especially during election. Noah gives details of LASAA’s determination to restore sanity following conclusion of the elections, with the implementation of an Augean task – to rid Lagos of the visual blight caused by the unrestrained use of posters and other political campaign materials. The recycling initiatives undertaken by LASAA to dispose off over a million campaign posters deployed, with the support of the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and stimulus packages introduced thereafter – in

a bid to rekindle investment in the outdoor sector – also form topics of discourse. The popularity of A-Frames during the campaign period and airborne mediums that were overlooked, also form the backdrop of discourse. It wasn’t all doom and gloom. The 2015 political campaign period was also a time for thinking big in the outdoor industry, with innovative and ambitious structures that broke the mould, some of which had never been displayed before in Nigeria. This is also worth remembering and is summarised in

the chapters. There is of course a need for reflection and forward thinking, now, even as the electioneering wounds inflicted on the out-of-home advertising industry are yet to heal. It is in view of this that the concluding chapter underscores the need for proactive steps to be taken to foreclose a reoccurrence. The book moreso looks into the challenges faced by outdoor regulatory agencies during the period of electioneering, as well as the potential personal risks faced by personnel of these agencies. It ultimately seeks to prevent a

repeat of the controversial events that engulfed the outdoor industry in the course of campaigning for the 2015 general elections in Lagos State, while highlighting the positive and defining narratives that unfolded. So while the book is a great addition to the body of knowledge, it was noticeably too soft on the All Progressive Congress (APC) which was equally culpable in the disregard of rules. Nevertheless Noah has made a great leap forward in the preservation of Nigeria’s unique political history.




Technoserve Launches New Campaign Stories by Raheem Akingbolu ITechnoserve has launched a new campaign called “Call for Applications� which encourages communities to express interest in a Sunlight Water Centre. The initiative was said to have been conceptualised to provide safe, treated water for their communities and empowers local women from the community to be entrepreneurs “Clean water access is a

major health problem in Nigeria. The burden of limited access to clean water falls mostly on women who are typically responsible for fetching water, traveling substantial distances, waiting in line; purifying it to make it usable and/or drinkable; for other domestic uses,� the company said in a statement. According to the statement, Sunlight Water Center (SWC) is a ready-to-operate business that sells water and other services and products under

a commercial business model. The initiative, which is done in partnership with Unilever Plc, provides safe water at affordable rates and reduces the time and money women spend on collecting and treating water, thereby enabling them to instead pursue other income-generating activities and save and invest resources in their families and communities. The SWC model is designed to be fully sustainable as each site generates profits, to cover on-going costs and repay the

initial capital investment, which can then be reinvested in growing the network. Technoserve noted that eight pilot network of water centres around Abuja spanning Niger, Kaduna, Nasarawa and FCT regions, have already secured funding to build eight more centres. “Our long-term vision is to create a franchise network of 1,000 centres across Nigeria and other parts of Africa, reaching hundreds of thousands of water consumers,� the organisers said.

“Women entrepreneurs who have been consistently running these centres for over 10 months contribute greatly to the success of the centres. Each entrepreneur undergoes a rigorous assessment and interview process before selection to own and manage every aspect of the business,� they added. The organisers also noted that the ideal candidates for the project should possess previous experience running a shop or business, negotiating skills,

honesty, creativity, and be a natural community organiser. Technoserve also stressed that in terms of criteria for consideration of a SWC franchise, communities must be located in a well-populated Small Town or Semi-urban community (not a small village), face serious water shortage problems, be willing to contribute available community land which is centrally located, and easily accessible, and have quality women entrepreneurs to run and operate the center

Data Science Runs Free Boot Camp for Young Scientists As part of its vision to make Nigeria the data science outsourcing hub for Africa before 2019 and create one million new jobs in the next 10 years, Data Science Nigeria is holding an extensive learning boot camp between Friday 20 and Sunday 22 January 2017 in the Lekki axis of Lagos State. The boot camp will address varying capacity gaps in data science for beginners, intermediate and experts with specific focus on machine learning, R statistics and programming/Python for advanced data analytics. Data Science Nigeria is a professional-led non-profit designed to train and mentor young Nigerians through face-to-face, virtual online classes, project-based support and holiday boot camps. The ultimate intent is to raise a special breed of data scientists and knowledge entrepreneurs who will set up data science based businesses and attract foreign exchange to the nation. Data Science Nigeria is an initiative of MTN’s executive, Bayo Adekanmbi who previously served the company as the General Manager Business Intelligence and Chief Marketing Officer before proceeding on a 15-month academic sabbatical for his PhD research on the use of data science for understanding consumer social consumption

behaviour. The boot camp will run as a regimented learning session and will include virtual classes with foreign-based data scientists, self-paced online certificated courses and face-to-face session by local experts in Machine learning, Statistics, Python and R. Python Nigeria, a usergroup that promotes Python computer programming language in Nigeria will facilitate some of the practical hands-on session on Python programming. The free residential boot camp comes with an intensive requirement. All the world-be participants are expected to complete a 12-hour course on IBM and submit their completion certificates to secure a placement. Data Science Nigeria is driven by a compelling push to raise a new generation of world-class data scientists, who can tap into the over $125 billion big data analytics market. Available statistics from IDC Research Group already indicates a need for almost 200,000 people with deep analytical skills in the US by 2018, and a requirement of five times that number for positions in data management and interpretation capabilities.

China’s WeChat Seeks Slice of Apple’s App Store China’s largest mobile social media network WeChat is offering its 768 million users a function which allows them to by-pass app stores such as Apple’s APPL.O. The launch of “Xiaochengxu�, which translates as “mini programs�, challenges Apple APPL.O founder Steve Jobs’ idea of an app store overseen by the maker of the iPhone, the device which marked its 10th anniversary on Monday. App stores run by Apple and Google generate billions of dollars in revenue globally for them and China is a key target market as its users rely heavily on their phones for daily tasks ranging from grocery shopping to booking nail appointments. WeChat’s parent Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK) said in an e-mail on Tuesday that the function allows users to access merchants’ services without having to download

their apps. These would in the past have been downloaded via app stores run by Apple or local companies such as 360 and Tencent’s own platform for Android apps. Tencent said it had seen an “encouraging response� from merchants including Didi Chuxing,,,, JD as well as airlines, travel agencies and hotels. Tencent is not the first company to develop an in-app downloading platform. Chinese internet giant Baidu Inc (BIDU.O) launched a similar platform in 2013 which it called “Light App�. “The quality of the content will decide if the user will adopt it massively and drop their current app store, which I don’t think they will do,� said Alexis Bonhomme, co-founder of CuriosityChina, a Beijing-based marketing agency specializing in helping brands market on WeChat.


L-R: Regional Marketing Manager, South Region, Airtel Nigeria, Oluranti Owoborode; Managing Director, Anambra Broadcasting Service, Uche Nworah; Regional Operations Director, South Region, Airtel Nigeria, Veronica Onoja; N10million cash prize winner, Chinonso Ikezulumba; Special Adviser on Youth Empowerment, Anambra State Government, Dr. Onyeka Ibezim and Area Sales Manager, SouthDelta Zone, Airtel Nigeria, Christian Obiagwu at the Airtel Red Hot promo prize presentation in Awka, Anambra State...recently

Analysts, Experts Excited by Nigeria’s First Private Atelier The opening of Alter Ego Private Atelier in Nigeria by Alter Ego Project Group is already generating excitement among experts in the Nigerian luxury industry. Alter Ego Private Atelier offers bespoke luxury solutions through world-renowned Italian style with a touch of tailor-made interpretations. Alter Ego Private Atelier launched in Abuja on with an exclusive opening party for high profiled guests in Nigeria. Chief Executive Officer of Black Pelican Limited, and a partner with Alter Ego Private Atelier, Michael Owolabi, said the presence of the company in Nigeria signalled a new dawn for the luxury industry. According to him, this shows Nigerian luxury industry is coming of age. In an earlier report, Phillips Consulting confirm that luxury industry was indeed experiencing growth, adding that wholesale and retail trade accounted for about 21 per cent of Nigerian GDP, preceded only by the agricultural sector which contributed 35 per cent. The report also added that with a growth rate of about 10 per cent, the luxury sector is expected to continue to

be a key driver of the GDP, hence the growth prospect for luxury companies like Alter Ego Private Atelier remains bright in years to come. Alter Ego Private Atelier is already keying into the opportunity by offering bespoke services that covers different aspects of luxury living such as travelling and unique interior objects. “Alter Ego Private Atelier delivers top-of-the-range expertise in interior design & decoration and exclusive travel accessories,� CEO, Alter Ego Project Group, Julia Lantieri said. “VIP clients seek for comfort, aesthetics and exclusivity in every aspect of their lives. We are able to give the ultimate response to such sophisticated inquiry. Alter Ego Private Atelier in Abuja adheres to the philosophy of bespoke luxury solutions.� Before it berthed in Nigeria, Alter Ego Project Group has contributed to luxury lifestyle in major countries across Europe like Italy, France, Monaco, Croatia, Great Britain and The Russian Federation. With the quest to explore the African market, Alter Ego Private Atelier in Nigeria is confident to set new trends in luxury living on the continent.

Okeme, Former Unilever Chief, Moves to Remita Nigeria’s leading payment platform Remita/Systemspecs has appointed David Okeme, former Brand Building Director, Unilever as its Chief Marketing Officer. Okeme will be spearheading the marketing function of the company, as it makes inroads into the retail space. Until recently, the Marketing Director of Unilever Nigeria, Okeme has had an illustrious marketing career spanning countries and cultures. A multiple career-award winner, Okeme has initiated many successful traditional and digital marketing initiatives and will be operating as our Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)�. Remita/Systemspecs is Nigeria’s leading Indigenous payments company, and operator of the Treasury Single Account (TSA). Its already processing over $30 billion transactions. The immediate task is to transform the organisation from a B2B to B2C and C2C, as well as go international. Okeme has had a distinguished career with Unilever. His working experience with Unilever covers the entire four lanes of marketing: Brand

Building, Brand Development, Customer Development & and Customer Marketing. A career high point was his expatriation to Unilever Arabia, based in Dubai in 2008, where he looked after the Unilever Oral Care business in the Africa, Middle East and Turkey region. Upon successful completion of the expatriation stint, He was appointment to the Board of Unilever Nigeria Plc as Marketing Director in 2011. He is passionate about brighter life for African Consumers and one of his pet projects is listed in the Guinness Book of records. He is a 1990 graduate of the University of Jos, and obtained business education at the Ivy league institutions of London Business School and Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania. Recently, completed the Chief Executives Programme (CEP 21) of the Lagos Business School. A Fellow of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria. Currently, President, Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN), and Member, Executive Board, World Advertising Federation (WFA).




EU Privacy Proposal May How Apple Recovered Original iPhone Prototype in Dent Facebook, Gmail Ad Secrecy Revenue As the iPhone turns 10, considering turning the iPod The most prominent iPhone told BBC in an interview. “I Online messaging services such as WhatsApp, iMessage and Gmail will face tougher rules on how they can track users under a proposal presented by the European Union executive on Tuesday which could hurt companies reliant on advertising. The web companies would have to guarantee the confidentiality of their customers’ conversations and get their consent before tracking them online to serve them personalized ads. For example, email services such as Gmail and Hotmail will not be able to scan customers’ emails to serve them targeted ads without getting their explicit agreement. Most free online services rely on advertising to fund themselves. Spending on online advertising in 2015 was 36.4 billion euros, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB). The proposal by the European Commission extends some rules that now apply to telecom operators to web companies offering calls and messages using the internet, known as “Over-The-Top� (OTT) services, seeking to close a perceived regulatory gap between the telecoms industry and mainly U.S. Internet giants such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft. It would allow telecoms companies to use customer metadata - such as the dura-

tion and location of calls - to provide additional services and make more money, something they are barred from doing under the current rules, although the telecoms lobby group ETNO said they remain more constrained than their tech competitors. The proposal will also require web browsers to ask users upon installation whether they want to allow websites to place cookies on their browsers to deliver personalized ads. A previous leaked version would have forced browsers to set the default settings as not allowing cookies - small files placed on people’s computers when they visit a website containing information about their browsing activity. “It’s up to our people to say yes or no,� said Andrus Ansip, Commission vice-president for the digital single market. Online advertisers say such rules would undermine many websites’ ability to fund themselves and keep offering free services. “It will particularly hit those companies that ... find it most difficult to talk directly to end users and what I mean by that is tech companies that operate in the background and sort of facilitate the buying and selling of advertising rather than the ones that the user directly engages with,� said Yves Schwarzbart, head of policy and regulatory affairs at the IAB.

prototype that Apple ever lost was the iPhone 4 that was forgotten in a bar by an Apple engineer months before its actual launch. But things could have been a lot different if a stranger had found a lost original iPhone prototype that was left in an airplane by Tony Fadell, who was in charge of iPod engineering at the time. “Job had expressly told me it was totally top secret. He said he was going to fire anyone who tells the world,� Tony Fadell, who hasn’t been working for Apple since 2010,

was sweating bullets,� the former Apple exec said, as he was thinking about how he was going to explain to Steve Jobs that he lost an iPhone prototype. Fadell got off a plane, and the iPhone was missing. “I was walking through every scenario thinking about what could happen,� he said. “It fell out of my pocket, and it was lodged in between the seats!� Apple’s rivals are getting ready to follow the iPhone’s lead yet again

here are what the first reviews looked like in 2007. According to Fadell, today does not mark the iPhone’s 10th anniversary. It’s the phone’s 12-and-a-half year anniversary of the first iPhone, as development started years before Jobs actually took the stage to unveil it. A few days ago, a prototype iPhone leak indicated that Apple toyed with the idea of having a click wheel iPodlike UI on the iPhone. Fadell somewhat confirmed that to the BBC, saying Apple was


L-R: Comrade Segun Oni of Federal Polytechnic, Ede; Comrade Mohammed Eneji of Federal Polytechnic, Bida; President, Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Olusola Teniola; Comrade Olusegun Taiwo of Federal Polytechnic, Kaura-Namoda; Comrade Benjamin Rosemary of Federal Polytechnic, Auchi and Comrade Abdullahi Ilyas of Kogi State Polytechnic, when the students conferred an award of “National Outstanding Performance� on Teniola in Lagos...recently

Snapchat Becomes Latest Tech Firm to Pick London US Army Asks for Biodegradable Despite Brexit Ammunition Messaging app Snapchat said it would make London the home of its international operations, delivering another vote of confidence in Britain’s tech standing as the country prepares to leave the European Union. The company, which has 150 million daily users globally, will book sales in countries where it has no local entity in Britain rather than routing them through lower tax jurisdictions like Ireland and Luxembourg as some other U.S. tech companies do. Snap Inc, which plans to go public this year in the biggest U.S. stock market debt since 2014, said the UK’s strong creative industries made the country “a great place to build a global business�. Despite the uncertainty sparked by the Brexit vote, London has remained attractive to global tech firms due to its pool of talent in the creative and tech sectors, many of whom have come from Europe and further afield. The city’s position as a global financial hub also provides access to funding for start ups and capital for larger companies. Since the referendum decision in June, companies like Google (GOOGL.O),

Facebook (FB.O) and Amazon (AMZN.O) have increased their investment, to the delight of Theresa May’s government. “We believe in the UK creative industries,� Claire Valoti, general manager of Snap Group in the UK, said. “The UK is where our advertising clients are, where more than 10 million daily Snapchatters are, and where we’ve already begun to hire talent.� Snapchat started in 2012 as a free mobile app that allows users to send photos that vanish within seconds. It now employs more than 75 staff in London, up from just six a year ago. Google said in November it would hire another 3,000 engineers and other staff in a 1 billion pound investment in London. Facebook is expanding its presence by 50 percent, saying its engineers wanted to be in London, a city with an “amazing ecosystem� of technology and creative companies. The additional tech jobs may be dwarfed by the number of jobs that could go in the financial sector if banks relocate to remain in the bloc, and tech firms have expressed concern about how Brexit could affect them.

into an iPhone. “We were turning it into a rotary phone from the sixties,� Fadell said. “We were like, ‘This doesn’t work! It’s too hard to use’.� The exec also recalled that elsewhere at Apple, a team of engineers started working on a touchscreen Macintosh computer. “�They had been working on this in secret. It was the size of a ping pong table. Steve showed it to me and said, ‘I want to take that and put it on an iPod,’� Fadell said.

The U.S Army gets through a lot of ammunition thanks to the amount of training it carries out. But that ammunition doesn’t come without waste which slowly degrades over hundreds of years polluting whatever ground (and nearby water sources) it happens to fall upon. So the Department of Defense (DoD) decided to do something about it, and is requesting environmentally friendly ammunition for use during training exercises. The request was made via the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Specifically, the DoD wants “biodegradable training ammunition loaded with specialized seeds to grow environmentally beneficial plants that eliminate ammunition debris and contaminants.� The ammunition the DoD wants to replace with biodegradable alternatives includes “low velocity 40mm grenades; 60mm, 81mm, and 120mm mortars; shoulder launched munitions; 120mm tank rounds; and 155mm artillery rounds.� There’s also cartridge cases and sabot petals, which can either lay on the ground or end up buried beneath it. Apple, Carl Zeiss Developing Smart Glasses Yahoo to Change Name, Lose Marissa Mayer as Board Member

Nissan’s Latest Concept Car Lights Up in Autonomous Mode Report: Facebook to Start Showing Ads Inside Videos Sourcing the seeds for use in this new ammunition won’t be a problem as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) already bioengineered them so as not to germinate for several months, allowing time for the materials containing them to sufficiently biodegrade. The seeds can then take up any remaining contaminants as they grow, further reducing harm to the environment. As for what materials could be used to form the ammunition, the DoD points to materials used for manufacturing water bottles, plastic containers and other composite plastics already on the market today. Any contractor attempting to produce these bullets for the DoD will need to progress through a three phase SBIR process. Phase one involves demonstrating a production process for the biodegradable materials for 40mm-120mm training rounds. Phase two involves proving the fabrication process and passing government ballistic tests. Finally, phase three will involve working with ammunition contractors to turn the tech into a supply of training ammunition.

pproval Wi-Pay has been granted an approval-in-principle by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for international money transfer operations. In the letter received fr





NCDMB: Providing Unflinching Support for Local Industrial Devt The challenge before Nigeria in 2017, especially in the light of the economic recession in the country, is how to create more avenues for job creation for the growing number of unemployed educated youths. In this context, Omon-Julius Onabu examines the recent visit of the Nigerian Content Development and Management Board (NCDMB) to an engineering firm in Delta State


ecently, a team of the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) led by its Executive Secretary, Mr. Simbi Wabote, was in Delta State in continuation of its tour of facilities of indigenous firms in the country with its train stopping at a Warri-based firm. During his official tour of Lee Engineering and Construction Company Limited, at Ekpan, Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State, Wabote described the Nigerian Content Act, otherwise known as “Local Content�, as a potent tonic for Nigerians to invest in the economy of the country. He stressed the determination of the NCDMB to continue to support Nigerians who have invested their money in the country, saying it would to do all within its power to ensure the Nigerian investors build capacity to compete favourably with their counterparts elsewhere in the world under global best practices. Industrialisation Challenge Wabote, who said he impressed with the facilities at Lee Engineering Company, noted that indigenous companies in the country were increasingly demonstrating the capacity to compete with any international organisations in the world, adding that NCDMB would continue to support local indigenous companies to make Nigerians proud. He noted, “We will support Nigerian companies that have invested, that have developed capacity and continue to create employment for Nigerians. NCDMB will support those companies actively.� The efforts of Lee Engineering, the NCMB boss observed, were in tandem with the goal of the Board, which is that those jobs that could be done by Nigerians would no longer leave the shores of the country. He explained that compliance level has grown remarkably from a mere three per cent at the commencement of the “Local Content� journey to 98 per cent today, with Nigerians now manufacturing sophisticated equipment all by themselves. The satisfactory situation has fired the NCDMB’s resolve to attract more investment as new projects were needed to sustain the local content spirit. “NCDMB will do everything possible to attract investment because, if there is no project, there is no local content. Those investments will come and we will continue to use Nigerian companies, Nigerian manpower and we will use Nigerian equipment when we begin to manufacture equipment for the oil and gas sector.� Tour Rationale Wabote explained that the facility tour of indigenous companies in Nigeria was intended to prove wrong those critics who have insisted that Nigerian companies do not have capacity to do any major job. “This is part of my facility tour of indigenous establishments across the country. I was in Lagos (and) visited LADOL and Nigerdock and today I am here in Lee Engineering. The reason I am doing this is that most of the companies that come to me always say capacity does not exist in Nigeria, that they cannot find Nigerian companies that can provide those services and technology that they needed to develop facilities. So I say, let me go round myself and see for myself so that I can authoritatively challenge them when they come to have discussion on projects.� On the level of compliance with the local content law, Wabote pointed out that Nigerian companies that have established themselves in Nigeria have a very high level of compliance to local content, noting that from all the indigenous companies he has been to so far, almost all of them have about 95 to 98 per cent compliance. “I sincerely believe that if not for the Nigerian

Members of the NCDMB led by its Executive Secretary, Mr. Simbi Wabote and management sta of Lee Engineering and Construction Company led by its Chairman/ Managing Director, Dr. Leemon Ikpea, when the NCDMB visited the ďŹ rm in Ekpan, Delta State...recently

local Content law, most Nigerians would not have had the confidence to invest in Nigeria and I think that is one of the benefits of the Nigerian Content Act�, he said, adding, “It gave them an instrument and an assurance that their investment will not be in vain.� Job Creation What Lee Engineering and Construction Company and its Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Leemon Ikpea has going for them is, perhaps, the commitment of the local environment through meaningful empowerment of the people engaged by the company. According to Wabote, it is gratifying that Ikpea was preoccupied with expanding his Warri business base both in infrastructural upgrade and sheer workforce particularly at a time many businesses have relocated or were moving out of the Warri metropolis because of its alleged hostile business environment. However, as Wabote remarked during the facility tour of Lee Engineering at its premises in Ekpan, adjoining Warri, investing in people

in its operational environment represents the best form of security ultimately. He hinted that this was the best way to go especially in the nation’s quest for industrialisation spearheaded by Nigerian entrepreneurs and professionals who are determined to compete with their counterparts globally. He said Ikpea, the company’s chief executive, who also prides himself as a “Warri-Boy� having had his elementary schooling in Warri, was not just worthy of commendation but all the support and encouragement the Board could offer any indigenous firm. Such support is also a means of helping Nigerians to retain their jobs, he pointed out. Wabote said, “Many companies have left Warri and I am sure that it is because of the number of people you have been able to employ and the number of families that you have touched that gives you the confidence to still operate here. We are aware that others have had to close shop. The best security you can get is the people themselves. Let me assure you, NCDMB will do all it can to support you and make sure

our people retain their jobs, and that more are employed and more are trained.� Wabote commended Ikpea for keeping faith with the people of Warri, saying that despite the fact that many companies have left Warri, he has continued to do business there. He noted that Ikpea was expanding his company base in Warri at a time some companies were leaving the Warri axis, saying this has gone a long way in creating jobs for numerous Nigerians. Lee Initiative While briefing the Executive Secretary of NCDMB about the activities of his company earlier, Ikpea, said the company which started with a forty-foot caravan in 1992 now has branches spread within and outside the country with over 3,000 workers. He explained that the company’s services span across subsea engineering, topside engineering, well solutions, project planning and management, engineering, procurement, fabrication and constructions.

RANDOM THOTS Viable Structure Former Secretary General of ComĂ—Ă™Ă˜ĂĄĂ?ËÖÞÒ Ă’Ă“Ă?Ă? Ă—Ă?Ă•Ă‹ Ă˜ĂŁĂ‹Ă™Ă•Ă&#x; ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ–ĂŁ ĂŒĂ–Ă‹Ă—Ă?ĂŽ ĂšĂ™Ă™Ăœ Ă?Ă?ĂŽĂ?ĂœĂ‹Ă– Ă?ĂžĂœĂ&#x;Ă?ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ? Ă?Ă™Ăœ ÞÒĂ? Ă?Ă™Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂžĂœĂŁËŞĂ? Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ?ĂœĂšĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă™ĂœĂ—Ă‹Ă˜Ă?Ă? and called for the scrapping of the 36 Ă?ÞËÞĂ?Ă?ËŞ Ă?ĂžĂœĂ&#x;Ă?ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ? Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽ Ă“ĂžĂ? ĂœĂ?ÚÖËĂ?Ă?Ă—Ă?Ă˜Ăž åÓÞÒÞÒĂ?Ă?ÓâĂ¤Ă™Ă˜Ă?Ă?Ă‹Ă?Ă?Ă?ĂŽĂ?ĂœĂ‹ĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă&#x;Ă˜Ă“ĂžĂ?Ë› Ă˜ĂŁĂ‹Ă™Ă•Ă&#x;Ëœ Ă“Ă˜ Ă’Ă“Ă? Ă?ĂĄ Ă?Ă‹Ăœ Ă—Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă‹Ă‘Ă?Ëœ Ă?Ă‹Ă“ĂŽË? ËŤĂ’Ă? ĂœĂ™Ă™Ăž Ă?Ă‹Ă&#x;Ă?Ă? Ă™Ă? ÞÒĂ? Ă?Ă™Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂžĂœĂŁËŞĂ? Ă?Ă™Ă˜ĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă&#x;Ă“Ă˜Ă‘Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ?ĂœĂšĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă™ĂœĂ—Ă‹Ă˜Ă?Ă?ĂžĂ’ĂœĂ™Ă&#x;Ă‘Ă’ Ă˜Ă™ĂžĂŽĂ?ĂšĂ–Ă™ĂŁĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă“ĂžĂ?ĂœĂ“Ă?Ă’Ă’Ă&#x;Ă—Ă‹Ă˜Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ—Ă‹ĂžĂ?ĂœĂ“Ă‹Ă–ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă™Ă&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă?Ă—Ă™ĂœĂ?Ă?ĘŠĂ?Ă“Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ–ĂŁĂ?Ă‹Ă–Ă–Ă?Ă?Ă™Ăœ Ă‹ ĂœĂ?Ă‹ĂœĂœĂ‹Ă˜Ă‘Ă?Ă—Ă?Ă˜Ăž Ă™Ă? ÞÒĂ? Ă˜Ă&#x;Ă—ĂŒĂ?Ăœ Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽ Ă˜Ă‹ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ? Ă™Ă? ÞÒĂ? Ă?Ă?ĂŽĂ?ĂœĂ‹ĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ Ă&#x;Ă˜Ă“ĂžĂ? Ă™Ă? ÞÒĂ? Nigerian federation from the existing ͔͗ ĂĄĂ‹Ă?ĂžĂ?Ă?Ă&#x;Ă– Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽ Ă˜Ă™Ă˜Ě‹Ă Ă“Ă‹ĂŒĂ–Ă? Ă&#x;Ă˜Ă“ĂžĂ? ÞÙ Ă—Ă&#x;Ă?Ă’Ă—Ă™ĂœĂ?ÚÙÖÓÞÓĂ?Ă‹Ă–Ă–ĂŁĂ‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ă?Ă™Ă˜Ă™Ă—Ă“Ă?Ă‹Ă–Ă–ĂŁĂ Ă“Ă‹ĂŒĂ–Ă?Ă?ÓâĂ&#x;Ă˜Ă“ĂžĂ?Ë› Ă?ĂžÞÒÓĂ?ĂŒĂ?ÞÒĂ?Ă—Ă‹Ă“Ă˜


Ă˜ ÞÒĂ? Ă?Ă&#x;ĂœĂœĂ?Ă˜Ăž Ă?ĂœĂ‹ Ă™Ă? Ă?Ă?Ă™Ă˜Ă™Ă—Ă“Ă? ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă“Ă™Ă˜Ëœ Ă—Ă‹Ă˜ĂŁ Ă“Ă‘Ă?ĂœĂ“Ă‹Ă˜Ă? ĂĄĂ™Ă&#x;Ă–ĂŽ Ă‘Ă–Ă‹ĂŽĂ–ĂŁ ËÎÙÚÞ Ă’Ă“Ă?Ă? Ă˜ĂŁĂ‹Ă™Ă•Ă&#x;ËŞĂ? ĂœĂ?Ă?Ù××Ă?Ă˜ĂŽĂ‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ËœĂ?Ă?ĂšĂ?Ă?Ă“Ă‹Ă–Ă–ĂŁĂ“Ă˜ÞÒĂ?Ă?Ă™Ă˜ĂžĂ?âÞĂ™Ă?Ă Ă“Ă‹ĂŒĂ“Ă–Ă“ĂžĂŁĂ‹Ă˜ĂŽÞÒĂ?ĂŽĂ?Ă?Ă“ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă™ĂœĂ˜Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă‹Ă–ĂŽĂ?Ă Ă?ÖÙÚ×Ă?Ă˜ĂžË›ÖÞÒÙĂ&#x;Ă‘Ă’ÞÒĂ?Ă?Ă‹ĂžĂ?Ă™Ă?ÞÒĂ?Ă?âÓĂ?ĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ ͕͘͘ Ă–Ă™Ă?Ă‹Ă– ÑÙàĂ?ĂœĂ˜Ă—Ă?Ă˜Ăž Ă?Ă™Ă&#x;Ă˜Ă?Ă“Ă–Ă? Ă‹ĂœĂ™Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽ ÞÒĂ? Ă?Ă™Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂžĂœĂŁ Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ăœ ÞÒĂ? Ă?Ă&#x;Ă‘Ă‘Ă?Ă?ĂžĂ?ĂŽ Ă?ĂžĂœĂ&#x;Ă?ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ? Ă“Ă? Ă˜Ă™Ăž Ă?Ă–Ă?Ă‹ĂœËœ ĂĄĂ’Ă‹Ăž Ă“Ă? Ă?Ă–Ă?Ă‹Ăœ Ă“Ă? that each of the proposed six zones or ĂœĂ?Ă‘Ă“Ă™Ă˜Ă? ÚÙĂ?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă? Ă?Ă–Ă?Ă‹Ăœ Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽ ÚÙĂ?ÓÞÓàĂ? Ă?Ă™Ă—ĂšĂ‹ĂœĂ‹ĂžĂ“Ă Ă? Ă‹ĂŽĂ Ă‹Ă˜ĂžĂ‹Ă‘Ă?Ă? Ă“Ă˜ ĂžĂ?ĂœĂ—Ă? Ă™Ă? Ă—Ă“Ă˜Ă?ĂœĂ‹Ă–Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ˜Ă‹ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ‹Ă–ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă™Ă&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă?˛ËĂ?Ă•Ă?ĂŽ ĂŒĂŁ ÞÒĂ? Ă‹ĂŒĂ&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ‹Ă˜Ăž Ă’Ă&#x;Ă—Ă‹Ă˜ ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă™Ă&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă?Ëœ ĂĄĂ’Ă“Ă?Ă’Ă‹ĂœĂ?Ă‹Ă Ă‹Ă“Ă–Ă‹ĂŒĂ–Ă?Ă‹Ă?ĂœĂ™Ă?Ă?ÞÒĂ?Ă?Ă™Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂžĂœĂŁËœ

Ă“Ăž ĂĄĂ™Ă&#x;Ă–ĂŽĂ˜ËŞĂž ĂŒĂ? ĂŽĂ“ĘŠĂ?Ă&#x;Ă–Ăž ÞÙ Ă—Ă™ĂŒĂ“Ă–Ă“Ă?Ă? Ă–Ă‹ĂŒĂ™Ă&#x;ĂœÞÙĂ—Ă‹Ă˜Ă‹Ă˜ĂŁĂœĂ?Ă‘Ă“Ă™Ă˜Ă‹Ă–Ă?ĂžĂœĂ&#x;Ă?ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă™Ăœ Ă“Ă˜ĂŽĂ&#x;Ă?ĂžĂœĂ“Ă‹Ă– Ă?Ă™Ă—ĂŒĂ“Ă˜Ă?Ă? Ă?Ă™Ăœ ĂœĂ?Ă Ă?Ă˜Ă&#x;Ă? Ă‘Ă?Ă˜Ă?ĂœĂ‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ë› ÙåĂ?Ă Ă?ĂœËœ ÞÒĂ? ĂšĂœĂ™ĂŒĂ–Ă?Ă— Ă“Ă? ÞÒËÞ Ă?Ù×Ă? Ă?ÞËÞĂ? ÙàĂ?ĂœĂ–Ă™ĂœĂŽĂ?Ëœ ÙÞÒĂ?ĂœĂĄĂ“Ă?Ă? Ă•Ă˜Ă™ĂĄĂ˜ Ă‹Ă? ÑÙàĂ?ĂœĂ˜Ă™ĂœĂ?Ëœ ÖÙàĂ? ÞÒĂ?Ă“Ăœ Ă?âĂ?Ă–Ă&#x;Ă?Ă“Ă Ă? ÚÙåĂ?ĂœĂ? Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽ Ă‹Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă? ÞÙ Ă–Ă&#x;Ă?ĂœĂ‹ĂžĂ“Ă Ă? Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă&#x;ĂœĂ“ĂžĂŁ àÙÞĂ?Ă?ÞÙÙĂ—Ă&#x;Ă?Ă’Ë›Ù×Ă?ÑÙàĂ?ĂœĂ˜Ă™ĂœĂ?ĂšĂœĂ?Ă?Ă?Ăœ Ă‘Ă™Ă“Ă˜Ă‘ Ă?Ă‹ĂšĚ‹Ă“Ă˜Ě‹Ă’Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽ Ă?Ă Ă?ĂœĂŁ Ă—Ă™Ă˜ĂžĂ’ ÞÙ Ă?ÙÖÖĂ?Ă?Ăž Ă?ĂœĂ&#x;Ă—ĂŒĂ? Ă?ĂœĂ™Ă— ÞÒĂ? Ă?Ă?ĂŽĂ?ĂœĂ‹Ă– Ă‹Ă–Ă–Ă™Ă?Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ĂœĂ‹ĂžĂ’Ă?ĂœĂžĂ’Ă‹Ă˜ËÖÖÙåÞÒĂ?Ă“ĂœĂ&#x;Ă˜Ă“ĂžĂ?Ă?ÙÖlapse into zones or regions where they Ă’Ă‹Ă Ă? Ă–Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ăœ Ă?Ă™Ă˜ĂžĂœĂ™Ă– ÙàĂ?Ăœ ÞÒĂ? Ă‹Ă Ă‹Ă“Ă–Ă‹ĂŒĂ–Ă? Ă™Ăœ Ă‘Ă?Ă˜Ă?ĂœĂ‹ĂžĂ?ĂŽ ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă™Ă&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă?Ë› Ă’Ă‹Ăž Ă“Ă? ÞÒĂ? Ă?ĂœĂ&#x;â Ă™Ă? ÞÒĂ? Ă—Ă‹ĘľĂ?ĂœË&#x;Ă—Ă‹Ă”Ă™Ăœ Ă™ĂŒĂ?ÞËĂ?Ă–Ă? -Abimbola Akosile





Education under adverse conditions, in a bid to reduce inequality

How Can Nigeria Best Tackle Inequality in 2017? Inequality has been identified as one of the major hindrances to development globally. In Nigeria, there are unequal gaps between the rich and the poor, and despite quota system and federalism principle, inequality also exists among social, religious, educational and income strata, with the poorest in the society the worst affected. In order to nip growing masses anger in the bud and ensure an evenly balanced society and corresponding development, how can Nigeria best tackle inequality in 2017? Abimbola Akosile


* The best way to tackle inequality in 2017 is to go back to 1984 War Against Indiscipline (WAI), which was put in place by then President Muhammadu Buhari, who is also in power now. Here, whether you come out of your airplane; no matter who you are, you must join the line like anybody else to get what you want. People must be treated equally if we are ever to get rid of inequality in Nigeria. - Hon. Babale Maiungwa, U/Romi, Kaduna

Top tip:

Transparency in governance


Ensure equal rights for all


Investment in infrastructure

Radical tip:

Abolish quota system!

* Inequality will always thrive where there is no accountability and transparency. Government should be more transparent in her dealings with the electorate. The one thing I thought that this administration would tackle was the plight of federal pensioners. Some of these federal pensioners live in abject poverty and many of them cannot afford the daily drugs they need to survive. It’s really sad that while the government is dishing out monthly stipends to the poor and vulnerable on the outside, it has chosen to ignore the poor and vulnerable within its own family. We curse ourselves as a nation when we do this. Most have not been paid in years, while many have died waiting, yet there are no news over when their arrears would be paid. Over the years, secrecy in governance has also cost us so much in stolen wealth as well as lives. - Mr. Buga Dunj, Jos, Plateau State

Total no of Respondents:






Highest location:

Lagos (6)

* How can that take place here in Nigeria? Please forget about that happening! - Mrs. Mary Ayeni Tehinse, Lagos State * I believe it is time we abolish the quota system in our governance because it is not doing any good for Nigeria. Instead it is causing harm over the wrongful appointments of unqualified personnel. Let us dwell on merit appointments which can come from any zone that can produce the best hands that will move Nigeria forward. 2017 is our year of recovery on our economy which went into shambles in 2016. We need good ideas that can help Nigeria to come out of recession, despite party, religious and tribal differences. God bless Nigeria. - Mrs. Ijeoma Nnorom, Lagos State

* Only true federalism can solve ethnic bigots and all that about inequality in Nigeria. - Mr. Foluso Ogunmodede, Lagos * An egalitarian society is rather more utopian than real. Inequality is a global and divine challenge we can gain from positively. Life is generally unfair to all living things as inequality exists virtually in all spheres of life. What is equally needful is moderation, love, unity, discipline, mindset, strategies, wise policies, prompt implementation e.t.c. will guarantee real growth than bemoaning inequality as an impediment. After all, many disadvantaged species have very often outshined their superiors variously by aptly converting their chances. We need disciplined leadership to grow. - Mr. Apeji Onesi, Lagos * The Federal Government should see to it that the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to work with the civil society to promote massive awareness of fundamental human and constitutional rights to all households across the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Nigeria. - Mr. Feyi Akeeb Kareem, Coordinator, Campaign for Democracy and Human Rights (CDHR),

Aniocha South Local Government Area, Delta State * The best solution to the challenge of inequality is massive and sustained investment in infrastructure, education, security, research, genuine leadership, governance mindset and financial discipline e.t.c. Creativity is key here and the environment plays a vital role too. Equal opportunities will propel Nigeria higher. Discrimination causes complex with avoidable negative ripple effects. The gap between the rich and the poor makes the poor see no good reason to invest their efforts even when and where they are very capable. The poor easily feel detached and not carried along. This slows down progress negatively, which shouldn’t be. God bless Nigeria. - Miss Apeji Patience Eneyeme, Badagry, Lagos * Although there is no country without inequality, the level varies from place to place. In the United States, there are white people roaming homeless on the streets of Las Vegas, while others live in mansions and control billions of dollars. In places like India, the caste system clearly demarcates the populace along social lines which are very strict in terms of opportunities offered in life to the disadvantaged. In South Africa, apartheid persisted for years and the colonial powers were active supporters in the repression of blacks until a national icon Nelson Mandela attempted to reverse the trend; although there is still discrimination and xenophobia in the African country. Nigeria has a very pronounced case of inequality and if not tackled urgently, it could boomerang out of control. The ongoing killing in Southern Kaduna is a case study. Other indicators in this country are stark differences in educational level, social status, religious affiliation and financial muscle. One question that should be asked is why have the state governors not succeeded in complementing the federal government’s efforts at addressing inequality over the years? Instead of deploying federal allocations and internally generated revenue to plug inequality gaps in their states, some of these governors devised unique ways of diverting the funds into private pockets and turn around to blame other sections of the

country for inequality and discrimination. Let the government prosecute those leaders - including former and serving governors - who steal funds meant for development and for redressing inequality gaps. Nigeria is rich enough to cater for her huge populace; the problem is that over 90 per cent of the commonwealth are accessed by less than 10 per cent of the population, another classic case of inequality. Also, let each citizen enjoy equal rights to life, freedom, employment and shelter, where applicable. May God help us. - Mr. Olumuyiwa Olorunsomo, Lagos State

Next Week: Is the FG Still on the Right Track? ÓÞÒÞÒĂ?Ă—Ă&#x;ÖÞÓÚÖĂ?Ă?Ă’Ă‹Ă–Ă–Ă?Ă˜Ă‘Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă&#x;ĂœĂœĂ?Ă˜ĂžĂ–ĂŁ ĂŒĂ?Ă“Ă˜Ă‘Ă?Ă‹Ă?Ă?ĂŽĂŒĂŁÞÒĂ?Ă?ĂŽĂ?ĂœĂ‹Ă–Ùà Ă?ĂœĂ˜Ă—Ă?Ă˜Ăž Ă“Ă˜Ă?Ă–Ă&#x;ĂŽĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă?Ă?Ă™Ă˜Ă™Ă—Ă“Ă?ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă“Ă™Ă˜ËœĂ—Ă™Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ ÚÙàĂ?ĂœĂžĂŁËœĂšĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă“Ă?ĂžĂ?Ă˜ĂžĂ?Ă™ĂœĂœĂ&#x;ĂšĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ËœĂ’Ă“Ă‘Ă’Ă?ĂœĂœĂ‹ĂžĂ? Ă™Ă?Ă•Ă“ĂŽĂ˜Ă‹ĂšĂšĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ËœĂ‹ĂŒĂ&#x;Ă?Ă?Ă™Ă? Ă?ËœĂ’Ă“Ă‘Ă’ĂœĂ‹ĂžĂ?Ă™Ă? Ă&#x;Ă˜Ă?×ÚÖÙã×Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ‹ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă–Ă“Ă˜Ă‘Ă—Ă‹Ă˜Ă&#x;Ă?Ă‹Ă?ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ Ă?Ă?Ă?ĂžĂ™ĂœËœĂ—Ă‹Ă˜ĂŁĂšĂ?ÙÚÖĂ?Ă?ÞÓÖÖĂŒĂ?Ă–Ă“Ă?Ă Ă?ÞÒĂ?Ă?Ă&#x;ĂœĂœĂ?Ă˜Ăž Ă‹ĂŽĂ—Ă“Ă˜Ă“Ă?ĂžĂœĂ‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă’Ă‹Ă?åÒËÞÓÞÞËÕĂ?Ă?ÞÙÞËĂ?Ă•Ă–Ă? ÞÒĂ?Ă?Ă?ĂšĂœĂ™ĂŒĂ–Ă?Ă—Ă?Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ“Ă?Ă—Ă‹Ă•Ă“Ă˜Ă‘Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă™ĂœĂžĂ?ÞÙĂŽĂ™ Ă?Ă™ËœĂĄĂ’Ă“Ă–Ă?ÙÞÒĂ?ĂœĂ?ĂžĂ’Ă“Ă˜Ă•ÞÒĂ?ÑÙàĂ?ĂœĂ˜Ă—Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ‹ĂžÞÒĂ? Ă?Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂœĂ?Ă?Ă‹Ă˜Ă˜Ă™ĂžĂ?ÙÚĂ?åÓÞÒÙĂ&#x;ĂžĂ‹Ă˜ÙàĂ?ĂœĂ’Ă‹Ă&#x;Ă–Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽ Ă‘ĂœĂ?Ă‹ĂžĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă™Ă–Ă–Ă‹ĂŒĂ™ĂœĂ‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜åÓÞÒÙÞÒĂ?ĂœĂ‹Ă?ĂžĂ™ĂœĂ?˛Ù ĂŁĂ™Ă&#x;ËœĂ“Ă?ÞÒĂ?Ă?Ă?ĂŽĂ?ĂœĂ‹Ă–ÑÙàĂ?ĂœĂ˜Ă—Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ?ÞÓÖÖĂ™Ă˜ÞÒĂ? ĂœĂ“Ă‘Ă’ĂžĂžĂœĂ‹Ă?Ă•ĂžĂ™ĂĄĂ‹ĂœĂŽĂ?ĂŽĂ?Ă–Ă“Ă Ă?ĂœĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ÞÒĂ?Ă‘Ă‹Ă“Ă˜Ă?Ă™Ă? ĂŽĂ?Ă Ă?ÖÙÚ×Ă?Ă˜ĂžÞÙÞÒĂ?Ă?ÓÞÓäĂ?Ă˜Ă?Ă™Ă?ÞÒÓĂ?Ă?Ă™Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂžĂœĂŁËŁ Ă–Ă?Ă‹Ă?Ă?Ă—Ă‹Ă•Ă?ĂŁĂ™Ă&#x;ĂœĂœĂ?Ă?ĂšĂ™Ă˜Ă?Ă?ĂŽĂ“ĂœĂ?Ă?ĂžËœĂ?Ă’Ă™ĂœĂž Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ó×ÚÖĂ?ËœĂ‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ?ÞËÞĂ?ĂŁĂ™Ă&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă&#x;Ă–Ă–Ă˜Ă‹Ă—Ă?ËœÞÓÞÖĂ?Ëœ Ă™ĂœĂ‘Ă‹Ă˜Ă“Ă?Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ËœĂ‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ–Ă™Ă?Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ë›Ă?Ă?ĂšĂ™Ă˜Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă’Ă™Ă&#x;Ă–ĂŽ ĂŒĂ?Ă?Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂŒĂ?ÞåĂ?Ă?Ă˜ÞÙÎËãĚ™ Ă‹Ă˜Ă&#x;Ă‹ĂœĂŁÍŻÍ°ĘśĂ™Ă˜ĂŽĂ‹ĂŁËœ Ă‹Ă˜Ă&#x;Ă‹ĂœĂŁÍŻÍ´ĚšÞÙ, greatbimbo@gmail.comËœabimbola. akosile@thisdaylive.comË›Ă?Ă?ĂšĂ™Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ă˜ĂžĂ? Ă?Ă‹Ă˜Ă‹Ă–Ă?Ă™Ă?Ă?Ă˜ĂŽĂ‹Ă?Ă’Ă™ĂœĂžĂžĂ?âÞĂ—Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă‹Ă‘Ă?ÞÙ 08023117639 Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽËšĂ™Ăœ08188361766Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽËš Ă™Ăœ08114495306Ë›ÙÖÖËÞĂ?ĂŽĂœĂ?Ă?ĂšĂ™Ă˜Ă?Ă?Ă?ĂĄĂ“Ă–Ă–ĂŒĂ? ĂšĂ&#x;ĂŒĂ–Ă“Ă?Ă’Ă?ĂŽĂ™Ă˜Ă’Ă&#x;ĂœĂ?ĂŽĂ‹ĂŁËœ Ă‹Ă˜Ă&#x;Ă‹ĂœĂŁͯ͡





Boost for education; Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal inspecting ongoing works at the new Government Secondary School under construction in Balle, Gudu LGA of Sokoto State‌recently

Gov Abubakar to Allocate Houses to Bauchi Civil Servants As Waba pledges workers’ support Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi As Bauchi State government cleared all outstanding workers’ salaries in December 2016, Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar has unveiled his administration’s commitment to the completion of two housing estates initiated and abandoned by the immediate past administration to be allocated to middle cadre of civil servants. Abubakar stated this recently while receiving president of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabaled State Chairmen of the NLC in the North-eastern states on a visit to commend him for being one of the first states to clear all outstanding workers’ salaries. The governor announced

that with the payment of over N300 million to a private estate developer who signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the immediate past administration for which the state government failed to meet its own part of the agreement, his administration has taken over the Alhaji Shehu Wunti housing estate. Abubakar therefore announced that with the takeover of the Shehu Wunti estate which is being tarred and completed by the Bauchi state government the houses are to be sold to middle-cadre civil servants. He said negotiations have also been opened with the state government for the immediate takeover and completion of Bauchi Unity Housing Estate for which another private

developer obtained loan from Mortgage Bank and commenced executing the housing estate project. He said when the negotiation passes through, government will complete the housing estate and allocate them to civil servants at affordable rates. The governor said his administration ensures that all government policies are deliberately formulated, because “Bauchi state is essentially a civil service state� stressing that his administration paid the first backlog of workers’ salaries owed civil servants by the past administration within the first two weeks of his assumption to office in 2015. “The entire N8.6 billion bailout was utilised to pay workers’ salaries which boosted the

economy of the State while over 80 per cent of the refund received from the Paris Club funds was used to clear all salaries and pensions� the governor said. He said governance is about doing the right thing to make the people happy and workers’ welfare is a continuous affair in spite of the problems in the economy of the nation He said “meaningful projects are being executed because of the prudent management of resources which have already started yielding successes�. On gratuity, which he called a national problem, the governor said “the Debt Management Office (DMO) and the Budget Office are working on floating bonds for states to clear all the backlogs of retirees’ gratuity�. The NLC President, Comrade

Waba flanked by the NLC Chairmen of the North-eastern States, said his visit to Bauchi State was in recognition of the “complete clearance of workers’ and outstanding salaries and pensions respectively�. Waba said “You are an exceptional leader. With people like you at the helm of affairs democracy will thrive�, pointing out that the NLC was aware of the liability of unpaid workers’ salaries since the past administration and “Bauchi is today one of the few States that are up to date�. He assured the governor of workers’ unalloyed support to the government’s anticorruption war, maintaining that they would add value to governance by being dedicated to their work. The NLC president lamented

that despite huge resources received in some states of the federation, payment of workers’ salaries are not being prioritised, and commended the governor for “transparent and accountable� disbursement of the bailout funds and the Paris Club refund. The labour leader observed that the “economy can be kick started when money is put in the hands of many and circulated�, maintaining that when salaries are not paid, the economy becomes comatose. He urged other States to copy the Bauchi experience in order to mitigate crimes in the country, and commended the governor for executing projects that have direct bearing on the life of the common man in spite of paucity of resources in government coffers.

NGOs Network Hails FG’s Decision on the Financial Reporting Council Abimbola Akosile The Nigeria Network of NGOs (NNNGOs) representing over 2,000 not-for-profit organisations in Nigeria has welcomed the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to reconstitute the Financial Reporting Council (FRC). The Network gave the commendation in a press release issued in Lagos and signed by the Media and Communications Manager, Mr. Kunle Idowu. According to the release, “The

Nigerian Not-for-Profit sector was upset yet again by the actions of the FRC in releasing the Not-for-Profit Organisations (NFPO) Code in October 2016 despite earlier submissions to the Council on the need to ensure robust engagements with the wider civil society community before the code is released. “By this singular act the President has shown our sector and the world that it stands ready to uphold the protection and strengthening

of civic space in Nigeria. We have seen around the world and at an alarming rate efforts by various governments to restrict the operational space for civil society through laws, policies and practices to limit the ability of people to come together to act for a just world. “Our sector remains guided by the ultimate believe that a robust governance system is extremely positive, for both not-for-profits and wider society. “In recognition of the impact

and contributions of our sector to the growth and development of the nation’s economy, we call on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Trade and Investment to ensure that the civil society community is included in the process of nominating members of the Council since there is a code released by FRC for the not-for-profit sector too. “As a Network, we hope to continue to use our organisational capacity – including convening power, community

management excellence and insight generation to engage with the FRC and its new leadership on the NFPO Code�, the release noted. The contentious FRC Code, which has been put on hold, sought to put a rein on the tenure of the leadership of religious organisations and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), and also to limit a leader’s tenure to 20 years. The Code, which led to an administrative change in one of the largest churches in Nigeria,

also caused the sack of the former Executive Secretary of the Council, Mr. Jim Obazee. The Nigeria Network of NGOs (NNNGO) is the first generic membership body for civil society organizations in Nigeria that facilitates effective advocacy on issues of poverty and other developmental issues. Established in 1992, NNNGO represents over 2000 organisations ranging from small groups working at the local level, to larger networks working at the national level.





“People must be clear that if government accepts the recommendations that we will make to intervene, it is not to give the Discos (Distribution companies) a golden parachute, but first to protect citizens from price hike in terms of power for now and also to keep the subsectors so that they don’t lose their businesses� - MINISTER OF POWER, WORKS AND HOUSING, MR. BABATUNDE FASHOLA, SPEAKING IN ABUJA

IPC Educates Shomolu Community on Govt Budgeting Oluwafunke Lasisi

NGO Seeks Urgent Action against Illegal Settlements in Lagos Abimbola Akosile A civil society organisation, Safe Habitat has called on the Lagos state government and relevant stakeholders in the state to show serious interest at the rate aliens from neighbouring countries and criminals fleeing from other parts of the country are creating illegal settlements in some riverine communities in the state. The group with focus on environmental safety in a recent statement by its Executive Director, Ade Williams said “we are concerned about information reaching us that some aliens and criminals fleeing from law enforcement agencies have formed the habit of creating illegal settlements and shanties in some water front communities especially in Eti-Osa local government area of the state, where they constitute environmental nuisance and launch criminal attacks against residents of Lekki, Ikoyi, Victoria Island and others.� Williams said the earlier government and other stakeholders take decisive action against such settlements and shanties the better for the environment, lawful residents and business development of the area and the state as a whole. The CSO commended the state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode for taking similar action last year to rid Ikoyi and Victoria Island of such an environmental nuisance. He said past governments in the state had summoned the same will to cleanse Kuramo beach of criminal activities in 2007 by dislodging illegal settlers erecting shanties there. “We recall that some concerned residents of Eti Osa had petitioned complaining of the incessant harassment, nuisance and robbery being perpetrated by the occupants of the shanties at Ebute-Ikate, Elegushi. Following that, the Ikate Elegushi Residents Association also wrote another petition to the Lagos State Task Force, Alausa, Ikeja, to further complain about the unwholesome activities of the occupants of the shanties in the same community. “We can also remember that sometime in September 2014, 2016, a fight reportedly broke

A settlement in Lagos out at the shanties at Ebute Ikate, Ikateland between rival groups of Delta/Eastern extraction on the one hand and their Egun counterpart on the other as a result of which one Ogosu, the Egun cult leader allegedly killed one Daniel Edet who belonged to the rival group; but due to the timeous intervention of policemen from Ilasan Police Station, the clash was prevented from escalating into a full-fledged internecine, tribal war. “These are just a few of the several incidences

of environmental nuisance in that part of the state we can mention now, in addition to the current security threat these shanties constitute to the entire state at the moment. We dare say that it will be in the interest of everyone if the state government and the relevant stakeholders will be pro-active now and save residents and the environment of further nuisance by removing these shanties and dislodging their illegal occupants�, the statement added.

The International Press Centre (IPC) has trained members of the community of Shomolu on Budget Literacy and Monitoring to educate them on how they can lobby for their needs from the government officials and representatives. The programme, which was implemented in Lagos early this year, had engaged six Local Community Development Areas (LCDAs) for development goals with the support of UKAID and ActionAid titled ‘Strengthening Citizens Engagement in Electoral Process (SCEEP)’. Speaking at the training Programmes Director, the Centre for Ethics and Cultural Orientation, Mr. Michael Awopetu said communities should understand the major basics of budgeting and endeavour to participate in its preparation so their needs can be fulfilled. He further said community members should not be passive and expect government to provide their needs without tracking, monitoring, supervising, challenging, supporting or make contribution towards their requests before the government. He explained that the importance of monitoring and tracking will bring about development, elimination of corruption, avoid diversion of job and fund, bring about trust and good relationship between the government and its people among others. He said budget makes every government responsible at their various positions but if there is no proper examination from communities on what government is about to do around them, then they will take what they want because there is nobody to challenge them. While shedding light on budget tracking, Awopetu said community leaders have the right to meet the Local Government Chairman or any other Government official to know what they have to do for their community because budgets are prepared in two ways. Budget preparation, he said, involved two ways which are zero and implemented budget; therefore members in a community should be able to find out if the budget favours them or not before it gets to the final destination where it cannot be amended. Therefore, he advised that communities should take every government official and representative as very important both at the local and federal level as they may be of help to them. Awopetu also advised members of the communities to lobby for their needs by knowing the right person to meet at the government level to ensure their needs are implemented. Also, while speaking further on the roles, responsibilities, expected obligations and actions of citizens in engaging with budget process, he said communities should follow government annual report, engage government officials and representatives in their community affairs and needs at any point in time, meet commissioners and Ministry officials, community participation with counterpart funding by lobbying, and participate at all levels until the jobs are done to the community’s satisfaction. At the training programme, Director, Institute for Media and Society, Mr. Lere Oyeniyi educated the community on what budget is all about and its cycle, adding that apart from being a national orientation, everyone should go through it one way or the other on a daily basis in his or her house. He said it is the right of any community to go to the government to request for their needs because in a given community there must be development since they have the right to vote and elect their representatives.




Acting Features Editor Charles Ajunwa Email:

Stunted Development: Breeding a Nation of Under-performers While Nigeria continues to struggle to improve its human development indices, experts have identified stunted development, a chronic form of malnutrition that affects the mental and physical development of over 11 million Nigerian children, as a causative factor hampering that ambition. Martins Ifijeh writes


ver wondered why some countries are developed and economically stable with everything working for them, while others continue to labour to gain the same established economy without success? Wonder no further. Some nations address the root cause of poor economy right from the childhood of their citizens through proper and adequate nutrition, while others focus on other areas that have no bearing on the mental and physical development of their young citizens. This is because several studies, including a report by the American Society of Nutrition have established a link between adequate nutrition before a child’s fifth birthday and the child’s high intelligent quotient and his ability to contribute meaningfully to the society around him. The study shows that a well nourished under-five year old child would develop a high cognitive prowess and physical capacity to add to a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) through proper learning and decision making abilities, while a malnourished child may grow up to become suboptimal adult with under-performing economic abilities later in life, which on the long run would affect the economic strength of the country negatively. For instance, global childhood development experts believed the economy of the United States continue to maintain consistency largely because chronic malnutrition, otherwise known as stunting, which alters the mental and physical health developmental process of children under five is hardly associated with the country, hence children grow into adults with full potential to learn and add their quota to the country’s economy. But the same cannot be said of most developing countries, especially in Africa and Asia where over 90 per cent of the approximately 170 million stunted children of under five years come from. While Asia accounts for 56 per cent of stunted children globally, Africa accounts for 36 per cent, according to the WHO; a fact which experts have used to argue that most Asian and African countries remain the less economically strong nations of the world because of chronic malnutrition. Sadly in Africa, Nigeria, which prides itself as the giant of the continent has the highest burden of the condition with over 11 million children said to be stunted with little or no attention by stakeholders and the government to address the scourge. Experts say with the level of stunting in the country, if not tackled as quickly as possible, Nigeria may never grow into a developed country as envisaged. No wonder, recently, the Senate Committee Chairman on Health, Senator (Dr.) Lanre Tejuoso, during a presentation at the Nutrition Committee Dialogue n Abuja last month raised the alarm that there was a huge drain on Nigeria’s GDP due to poor child development and micronutrient deficiencies as a result of stunting that has affected several millions of Nigerians. “Some have grown into adults but without meaningfully contributing to the country’s GDP while over 11 million children below five years are still grasping with the silent killer in the country.” A narrative that suggests, if not checked, the next generation of Nigerian citizens may also end up contributing less to the country’s GDP. According to Tejuoso, who, since his appointment as the Senate Committee Chairman on Health, has identified malnutrition as a scourge in the country that must be eradicated if the country must succeed in giving the dividends of democracy to the citizens, said if Nigeria continues this way, it would continue to contribute

11 million Nigerian children still suffering from stunting

the second highest number of child deaths in the world and will be unable to meet global nutrition targets adopted by the World Health Assembly. “One third (33 per cent) of children in Nigeria under five years of age suffer from chronic

Most malnutrition happens in the first 1000 days of a child’s life from conception to the child’s second birthday, and children lose up to 10 IQ points if they do not receive adequate nutrition and care in the first 1000 days of their lives. This early damage is essentially irreversible, with impaired cognitive development, reduced learning ability and lost productivity in adult years. Once the 1000 day window is closed, the potential of these Nigerians to lead productive lives will have been significantly decreased forever

malnutrition or stunting which is even more prevalent among the poorest Nigerians. Half of the children in the poorest 40 per cent of households are stunted,” adding that, “nine of the North-east and North-west states, comprising Bauchi, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina,Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe, Zamfara, have rates of child stunting that exceed 50 per cent, which is well above the highest rates of malnutrition in countries in Africa,” he said. While adding that some states in the South have stunting as low as nine per cent, he said the stunting gap between the North and the South was widening and would lead to greater economic disparities in the future. But was optimistic that since some states have managed to virtually eliminate stunting, it demonstrates that the problem can be tackled effectively if proactive measures were taken. Tejuoso believed malnutrition perpetuates poverty by reducing children’s brain development, their ability to learn and to be productive citizens during their adult years, adding that stunted children learn less in school; are more likely to drop out of school and will subsequently earn less as adults. Research by Amy Rose of North Michigan University, USA in 2010, showed that the developmental process associated with memory, mood, mental clarity, increased intelligence quotient, emotional and mental well-being is being altered when a child under five years is malnourished or is deprived of essential nutrients needed for optimal development, adding that this causes slow learning capacity in affected children. On specifics, Rose said there was a huge correlation between iron deficiency in children and the inability to solve simple maths, adding that, an iron deficient child has a short attention span and could hardly be attentive enough in class to learn. “A child with low amount of zinc will most likely have issues with memory. While a well fed child would easily memorise something within a day, it may take the zinc deficient child three weeks. Also a protein deficient child would most likely be passive, withdrawn and

lethargic in school, all of which negatively affects learning abilities in children,” she explained. Rose recommended in the research that parents and the society should pay special attention to the nutritional needs of infants and children under five years, as this determines how much impact they will make in life due to what has been learnt. She resonated the much popular phrase, “We become what we eat,” which most Nigerians and its leaders take for granted. Associated health risks of chronic malnutrition in children Apart from stunting, wasting and underweight, a Nutrition Officer with Oyo State Ministry of Health, Alhaja Alarape Khadijat, said chronic malnutrition in children, especially for those below ages two could lead to incessant recurrent illnesses due to the decreased immune system in them, and that in almost half of the cases, it may lead to death, thereby leading to the high mortality caused by malnutrition in the country. “Malnutrition can also make the children prone to nutrition-related non-communicable diseases in their adulthood, such as diabetes and hypertension.” This is even as she added that a malnourished child has a greater chance of dying from diseases like measles and diarrhea when compared to healthy children. A study conducted by Orphan Nutrition, a humanitarian organisation based in the U.S., showed that a deficiency in one nutrient may lead to a deficiency in another nutrient. For example, deficiency in iron, magnesium and zinc can cause anorexia and thereby result in reduced intake of other important nutrients such as protein. Low lipid intake can also affect the absorption of important fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A and D. It also showed that zinc and protein deficiencies can retard bone growth and development, putting a child at risk for long-term complications. The sorry state of Nigeria’s malnutrition According to Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (2013), Nigeria has the second highest number of malnourished children in the world,




STUNTED DEVELOPMENT: BREEDING A NATION OF UNDER-PERFORMERS just second to India, and way ahead of Somalia, Syria and other war-torn countries, as well as those with weaker economic strength. The survey also showed that Nigeria has the highest number of stunted children under age five in sub-Sahara Africa with 37 per cent of all children stunted, 18 per cent wasted, while 29 per cent are underweight. “Malnutrition, an underlying cause of death, accounts for more than 50 per cent of under five mortality in Nigeria,” the study shows. A UNICEF Communication Specialist in Nigeria, Geoffrey Njoku, has stated during a UNICEF media parley in Oyo State that in the South-west alone, about 22 per cent of the children under five were stunted, but was quick to add that the gloomy statistics from Nigeria does not represent children of the poor alone. According to him, children of the rich also suffer from the menace also, as it was not exclusive to poor people alone. “About 13 per cent of children of the rich in the South-west are stunted,” he added. Collaborating this, Tejuoso said stunting was not only exclusive to children of the poor alone, but those of the rich were also affected, hence the country must make intervention in this regard as priority in order to save not only the lives of the younger generations, but to be able to prepare them for the task of putting the country’s economy on the global map, as is the case of developed countries. Way to go Tejuoso said for Nigeria to reduce the high incidence of stunting, it must focus on implementing a set of proven high-impact nutrition interventions in the health sector aimed at reducing child stunting, anemia, iodine deficiency and other nutritional conditions that impinge on productivity and human capital. “For example, iodine deficiency is the single largest cause of mental retardation. And it can be solved by adding iodine to the salt we all consume,” he said. He said the various interventions should include improving women’s nutrition, improving access to micronutrient supplements (Vitamin A, iron, zinc) through health systems; improving the quality of the food through micronutrient fortification, change behaviours of family members at critical points during the pre-pregnancy period until a child’s second birthday, early and exclusive breastfeeding, appropriate complementary feeding, hand washing, among others. “In addition, it would be important to establish linkages with other sectors, for example with the agriculture sector to promote biofortication of crops with vitamins and minerals, ensure that agriculture extension workers are trained on both the production and the consumption side, and other relevant nutrition-sensitive agricultural practices, including technologies that reduce women’s work loads,” he said. The Senator, who emphasised that one of the main bottlenecks to scaling up key interventions against stunting was financing; said government at all levels should increase the budgetary allocation for malnutrition in the country, “especially with the increased incidence of the scourge in the North-eastern part of the country due to Boko Haram activities in that region, the government and all stakeholders should savage the country from economic downturn in future through eradication of stunting in the country.” He called for coordination mechanism to

Senator Tejuoso calls for interventions against malnutrition

manage intervention programmes and maximise the efficiency of current spending. “Priority should be given to coordination: Developing a mechanism (led by Government) to coordinate donor assistance for nutrition to maximise efficiencies, increase coverage of interventions by scaling-up high-impact interventions (maximising allocative efficiency by prioritising interventions that have the maximum impact). “There should also be crowding-in private sector financiers, such as the Dangote Foundation, the Power of Nutrition and others. There should also be monitoring and evaluation: setting up mechanisms to track results and lessons learned, so as to make adjustments in real time to maximise effectiveness,” he emphasised. Giving the total financing cost to address chronic malnutrition in Nigeria, he said about US$350 million was needed yearly to tackle the scourge, adding that this represents approximately US$10 per child in the country. “This kind of intervention is an investment that would avert over three million cases of child

Nigeria requires about $850 million annually to scale up a set of 10 nutrition specific intervention that would avert three million cases of stunting, save 183,000 lives and yield $2.8 billion gains in economic productivity

Prof. Adewole

stunting yearly, save over 180,000 children’s lives, save about 8.7 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), and on the long run push Nigeria to becoming one of the strongest world economy, as is the case with developed countries with minimal issues of stunting. The expected rate of return on this investment is between 20 to 25 per cent,” he emphasised. He decried that while many donors were contributing to this agenda, and estimates suggest that currently about US$50 million was being spent each year by donors in Nigeria on these issues, actions are not coordinated and efficiencies of scale have not been maximised as yet. “While this scale-up seems ambitious, it is feasible to start with maximising the efficiency of current spending, as well as prioritising scale-up of the most cost-effective interventions based on World Bank estimations of allocative efficiency,” he added. He also called on the citizens to make concerted efforts to avert stunting through exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a child’s life. “Breastfeeding should continue along with other nutritious baby foods for the next 1000 days of the child’s life. “Most malnutrition happens in the first 1000 days of a child’s life from conception to the child’s second birthday -- and children lose up to 10 IQ points if they do not receive adequate nutrition and care in the first 1000 days of their lives. This early damage is essentially irreversible, with impaired cognitive development, reduced learning ability and lost productivity in adult years. Once the 1000 day window is closed, the potential of these Nigerians to lead productive lives will have been significantly decreased forever. “Nutrition programmes targeted at the first 1000 days age group can increase school completion by one year raise adult wages by 5-50 per cent, and children who escape stunting are 33 per cent more likely to escape poverty as adults,” he added. Meanwhile, the World Bank has said Nigeria requires about $850 million annually to scale up a set of 10 nutrition specific intervention that would avert three million cases of stunting, save 183,000 lives and yield $2.8 billion gains

in economic productivity. According to the Lead Health Specialist and Global Lead on Malnutrition, World Bank, Meera Shekar, said while states in Nigeria with high poverty rates suffer from the highest prevalence of stunting, there exist simple interventions outside the health sector with potential nutrition impact to reverse the negative trend. “Some of these interventions include community programmes for growth promotion, vitamin A supplementation, therapeutic zinc supplements with ORS micronutrient powders, deworming tablets, IFA supplementation for pregnant women, iron fortification for staple foods like rice, maize, complimentary food for preventing Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) as well as Community Management of Acute Malnutrition for severe malnutrition,” the health specialist noted. The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, recently, reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to reducing the prevalence of stunting in the country. His ministry, recently provided a $1.5million grant to Sokoto State Government under the Saving One Million Lives Programme, which will take off this January across the State. The Sokoto State government, through the Permanent Secretary in the State’s Ministry of Health, Almustapha Othman, said in addition to maternal and child health issues and immunisation, a major part of the grant will be focused on tackling malnutrition. ”Nutrition is key in ensuring the successful implementation of the programme across the 23 local governments of the state. ”That is why the state government has concluded plans to upgrade the nutrition unit in the ministry to a full pledged Department. This is sequel to the tremendous importance that the state government attaches to nutrition,” he said. While advocates against stunting believes if every state across the country and the federal government make it a priority to tackle malnutrition, there will be less burden of the scourge, Nigerians will continue to watch if truly the government and the stakeholders will handle the burden this 2017.

Ebola: Final Trial Provides High Protection against Disease Martins Ifijeh with agency reports An experimental Ebola vaccine was highly protective against the deadly virus in a major trial in Guinea, according to results published in The Lancet recently. The vaccine is the first to prevent infection from one of the most lethal known pathogens, and the findings add weight to early trial results published last year. The vaccine, called rVSV-ZEBOV, was studied in a trial involving 11 841 people in Guinea during 2015. Among the 5837 people who received the vaccine, no Ebola cases were recorded 10 days or more after vaccination. In comparison, there were 23 cases 10 days or more after vaccination among those who did not receive the vaccine. The trial was led by WHO, together with Guinea’s Ministry of Health, Medecins sans

Frontieres and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, in collaboration with other international partners. “While these compelling results come too late for those who lost their lives during West Africa’s Ebola epidemic, they show that when the next Ebola outbreak hits, we will not be defenceless,” said Dr. Marie-PauleKieny, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation, and the study’s lead author. The vaccine’s manufacturer, Merck, Sharpe and Dohme, this year received Breakthrough Therapy Designation from the United States Food and Drug Administration and PRIME status from the European Medicines Agency, enabling faster regulatory review of the vaccine once it is submitted. Since Ebola virus was first identified in 1976, sporadic outbreaks have been reported in Africa. But the 2013–2016 West African Ebola outbreak, which resulted in more than 11 300

deaths, highlighted the need for a vaccine. The trial took place in the coastal region of BasseGuinée, the area of Guinea still experiencing new Ebola cases when the trial started in 2015. The trial used an innovative design, a so-called“ring vaccination” approach - the same method used to eradicate small pox. When a new Ebola case was diagnosed, the research team traced all people who may have been in contact with that case within the previous three weeks, such as people who lived in the same household, were visited by the patient, or were in close contact with the patient, their clothes or linen, as well as certain “contacts of contacts”. A total of 117 clusters (or “rings”) were identified, each made up of an average of 80 people. Initially, rings were randomised to receive the vaccine either immediately or after a 3-week delay, and only adults over 18 years were offered

the vaccine. After interim results were published showing the vaccine’s efficacy, all rings were offered the vaccine immediately and the trial was also opened to children older than six years. In addition to showing high efficacy among those vaccinated, the trial also shows that unvaccinated people in the rings were indirectly protected from Ebola virus through the ringvaccination approach (so called “herd immunity”). However, the authors note that the trial was not designed to measure this effect, so more research will be needed. “Ebola left a devastating legacy in our country. We are proud that we have been able to contribute to developing a vaccine that will prevent other nations from enduring what we endured,” said Dr. KeÏta Sakoba, Coordinator of the Ebola Response and Director of the National Agency for Health Security in Guinea.





By Goke T. Akinrogunde 07036777348; 07029126776

Understanding Menstrual Pain, Cramp


As noted above, the use of hormonal contraception can improve or relieve symptoms of primary dysmenorrhea, especially the more potent long acting ones like Norplant (usually buried under the skin and lasting five years plus) and injectable Depo-provera (lasting some three months). As noted above, menstrual cramps are thought to be related to the naturally occurring prostaglandin, which causes the uterus to contract. If a woman does not ovulate, it is unlikely that she will encounter cramps during her period. For this reason, physicians often prescribe oral contraceptives to ease painful periods. However, it should noted that birth control pills cause abnormal bleeding in some women.

ometimes, menstrual pain is used synonymously with menstrual cramps, but the latter may also refer to menstrual uterine contractions, which are generally of higher strength, duration and frequency than in the rest of the menstrual cycle. Menstrual pain, which is medically described as dysmenorrhoea is a female medical condition of pain during menstruation that interferes with daily activities. The pain of dysmenorrhea can come in different modes, including sharp, throbbing, dull, nauseating, burning, or shooting pain. It may precede menstruation by several days or may accompany it, and it usually subsides as menstruation tapers off. Sometimes, menstrual pain exists with excessively heavy blood loss during menses, especially in symptomatic fibroid cases. Types of menstrual pain Secondary dysmenorrhea The term secondary dysmenorrhea is used when symptoms are attributable to an underlying disease, disorder, or structural abnormality either within or outside the womb (uterus). Secondary dysmenorrhea is diagnosed when menstrual cramps are caused by other conditions such as endometriosis, fibroid tumors, pelvic adhesions, and ovarian cysts or by the use of an interuterine device (IUD) for birth control. Usual appropriate treatment of the implicated ailment (where this is possible) would normally result to an end of the menstrual pain in the victim. Primary dysmenorrhea On the other hand, the term primary dysmenorrhea is used when none of the aforementioned is detected. Some research findings indicated that dysmenorrhea occur approximately in 25% of women, this is probably an under-estimation. Reports of dysmenorrhea are greatest among individuals in their late teens and 20s, with reported cases usually declining with age. The prevalence in adolescent females has been reported to be between 67.2 per cent and 90 per cent. It has been generally noted that childbearing relieves menstrual pain, although this does not always occur. Signs and symptoms The main symptom of dysmenorrhea is pain

Menstrual pain occurs in more than 25 per cent of women

concentrated in the lower abdomen, in the navel region or at the lower region of the abdomen. It is also commonly felt in the right or left abdomen and the pain can also radiate to the thighs and lower back. In some cases, symptoms often co-occurring with menstrual pain include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, headache, dizziness, disorientation, hypersensitivity to sound, light, smell and touch, fainting, fatigue and general irritability. Symptoms of dysmenorrhea often begin immediately following ovulation and can last until the end of menstruation. This is because dysmenorrhea is often associated with changes in hormonal levels in the body that occur with ovulation. Hence, in some cases, the use of certain types of birth control pills prevents the symptoms of dysmenorrhea, because the birth control pills stop ovulation from taking place. Causes Generally in all women in their reproductive age, during a woman’s menstrual cycle, the innermost lining of the womb (endometrium)

thickens in preparation for potential pregnancy. After ovulation, if the ovum is not fertilized and there is no pregnancy, the endometrium built-up uterine tissue is thus not needed and thus shed as the menses. Molecular compounds called prostaglandins are released during menstruation, due to the destruction of the endometrial cells, and the resultant release of their contents. Release of prostaglandins and other inflammatory mediators in the uterus cause the uterus to contract. These substances are thought to be a major factor in primary menstrual pain. When the uterine muscles contract, they constrict the blood supply to the tissue of the endometrium, which, in turn, breaks down and dies. These uterine contractions continue as they squeeze the old, dead endometrial tissue through the cervix and out of the body through the vagina. These contractions, and the resulting temporary oxygen deprivation to nearby tissues, are responsible for the pain or “cramps” experienced during menstruation. Controlling menstrual contraceptives



NSAIDs and other pain relievers The class of pain relievers known as Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Diclofenac etc - are effective in relieving the pain of primary dysmenorrhea. The drawback however is that in some individuals they can have side effects of nausea, dyspepsia, peptic ulcer, and diarrhea. People who are unable to take the more common NSAIDs, may be prescribed alternative medications as these medications are best avoided by peptic ulcer patients. NSAIDs can be used around the clock as soon as one notices the first sign of your period can help to reduce the severity of cramps in many women by inhibiting the release of prostaglandins. Of course, be sure not to exceed the daily maximum as described on the medication’s label. Acetaminophen (paracetamol) also helps the pain, but it does not have the effect on prostagladins. Regular physical activity often reduces cramping in some women. Similarly, supplementing diet with zinc and calcium has been found to reduce cramps, bloating, and related symptoms. Physical measure - Heating pad A warm bath with the use of aromatherapy or a heating pad on your lower abdomen or back has been noted to help with menstrual pain. In the absence of a heating pad, a heating pad substitute can be made at home. In same vein, there are documented cases of individuals who measures in form of special program of physical exercises and related physiotherapy measures who reported respite from menstrual pain / cramps in the course of the program.

One-on-One Lockjaws may not be Tetanus I have had muscle spasms including facial & lockjaw for a couple of years now and I have complained to several doctors to no avail. I want clarification on the following puzzles: Can Tetanus stay in the body for 20/25 yrs? Is there any laboratory test to diagnose Tetanus? What do I do? I am 46. Richard Dear Richard, Your case and questions sound quite interesting. For one, it is unlikely that an individual can have tetanus for a period of twenty years as an ongoing illness. It will be nice and most appropriate to look elsewhere in order to rule out other disease conditions that can present in similar manner as the one you are thinking of as a possible tetanus presentation. Tetanus rarely had an incubation period lasting months, commonly the incubation period is a question few days to

two weeks, which is the period that spanned from the time of contact with the infecting organism (Clostridium tetani, a bacteria that commonly resides in the ground and similar places) and the time that lockjaw (trismus) was first noticed. On the other hand, the time of on-set of tetanus is the time in-between the commencement of Trismus and the first muscle spasm. Generally speaking, the longer the time of on-set, the better is the outcome of tetanus in the patient. As to your request about laboratory tests that needed be done to rule out if your present complaint amounts to a possible case of tetanus, I have the following to say: the truth is that there are no routine blood tests that can be used to diagnose tetanus. The diagnosis of tetanus is primarily based on the presentation of tetanus symptoms and does not depend upon isolation of the bacteria in the implicated wound. This is because it is known that the bacteria are recoverable from the wound in only 30 per

cent of tetanus cases. In other words, 7 out of 10 cases of tetanus may not have traces of tetanus bacteria in the affected wound, notwithstanding the fact that they have clinical presentation of the diseases. On the other hand, tetanus bacteria have been isolated from wounds of individual who do not have tetanus; hence, such laboratory tests are not specific and reliable for diagnosing tetanus. Although, I will quickly note here that one test which is almost diagnostic of tetanus is the “spatula test”, which is performed as a clinical test, not a laboratory test, for tetanus by the attending doctor. It involves touching the inside of the back wall of the throat (posterior pharyngeal wall) with a sterile, soft-tipped instrument, and observing the effect. A positive test result is the involuntary contraction of the jaw (biting down on the “spatula”), and a negative test result would normally be a gag reflex attempting to expel the foreign object. The spatula test had been noted in research study to have

a high specificity with ‘zero false-positive test results’ and a high sensitivity with ’94 per cent of infected patients produced a positive test result’. Although, at 46 years old, depending on where you were born, the chances are high that you had anti-tetanus vaccination in early childhood especially if you were born in the Nigerian urban setting where aggressive vaccination was the norm in mid-sixties and the subsequent years. This implies that if you are so fortunate you may presently have some baseline immunity against tetanus; anyhow, I will advise you to further the discussion with your doctor for possible anti-tetanus vaccination schedule. In conclusion, my guess is that you probably have a condition different from tetanus; you should see a doctor for further guidance on the right thing to do and expectations from possible treatment. Best wishes.




FG, May & Baker Sign MoU for Commercialisation of Nutraceutical Products to Combat Sickle Cell Disease Dele Ogbodo in Abuja The Federal Government through the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO) and May and Baker Nigeria Plc, yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the commercialization of Nutraceutical products to combating sickle cell disease and malnutrition. At the signing ceremony between the Institute and the Pharmaceutical Company, the Minister of Science Technology, Mr. Ogbonnaya Onu, in Abuja, said the country stands to save over N56 billion from importation of the products. He said: “It is envisaged that the product when fully commercialized would help to alleviate the pains of over 40 million black people suffering from the disease. “Commercial potential for the product is very high for the investor as it is estimated that the annual demand for the product is in excess of 90,000 metric tonnes with estimated N50 billion in revenue.” The products, Onu, said have been evaluated and found to be potent in eliminating or

reducing the effect of health and nutrition challenges confronting the Africa continent or black race in general. According to him, the partnership which is a public private partnership in linking research findings to commercialization will enhance the growth of manufacturing concern, job creation and use of local raw materials. Onu, said one of the cardinal objectives of the ministry is to shift the country from resource to knowledge based economy. While commending May and Baker for the collaboration, he said: “Government is fully in support of this partnership between FIIRO and May and Baker, as it will make Nigeria to shift from being a consuming and dependent nation to being a market place for the production of these food supplement globally. “This partnership will create jobs and wealth thereby reducing poverty in the country. I call on May and Baker to take these 2 products to the world through this collaboration with FIIRO as you have the capacity to do so.” The ministry, Onu, said determined to help Nigeria

grow from resource based to knowledge based economy, adding that the Director General of FIIRO, Mrs. Gloria Elemo, has been specially commended by the ministry for linking research findings with NASCO Foods and May and Baker Plc. According to the minister, the production and Commercialization of the products will help malnourished children in the North east and other Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps faced hunger and malnutrition. In a remark, Elemo, said the Institute strategic collaboration with the Pharmaceutical giant

is one of the approaches that the Institute has considered and adopted to partner with relevant organizations that can make significant contributions to the realization of its mandate through linking research findings to industries and then commercialization of the products to the market. She said: “This is based on the realization that the Institute on its own cannot make the much desired impact without collaborating with relevant private sector organizations. “Most especially collaboration with strategic partners/ organizations which could

commercialize the Institute’s many innovations bringing them out from the shelves to the market. According to her the collaboration, could not come at a better time than now when the nation is looking inwards to bailing out the economy from recession using the instrument of science, technology and innovations to stimulate the economy. Elemo said: “It is important to know that in the process of commercialization of indigenous technologies, jobs will be created, wealth will be generated, foreign exchange will be conserved, national

GDP will be enhanced through the productive sector of the economy. “More importantly, the self esteem that would accomplish the feat of bailing out our economy from recession through home grown solutions cannot be quantified.” In a remark, the Managing Director, of May and Baker, Mr. Nnamdi Okafor, said the collaboration affords both organizations to do something great for the country through using indigenous research and local raw materials to develop potent products for sickle cell patients and malnourished children across the country.

MDCN Boss Completes Meritorious Service Recalls trying moments Kuni Tyessi in Abuja The immediate past registrar and chief executive officer of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), Dr. Abdulmumini Ibrahim, has bowed out of the Council after completing a two tenure meritorious service. Ibrahim who referred to staff of the Council as the greatest asset therein, said more funding for the organisation was needed in tackling it’s challenges and encouraged stakeholders to renew their practising license. The former boss who was filled with nostalgia as he spoke concerning disciplinary measures on erring doctors and the Act that established the Council, recalled how he was abducted, and referred to it as one of the risks associated with the job, especially in the face of truth. He encouraged the staff to be law abiding and extend the same cooperation to the in-coming registrar. “The main challenge is funding. It is not as adequate as been thought. When talking of funding, it is expected from the government aspect and also from stakeholders. Like any other organisation, funding from government can always never be enough. The collection we do from stakeholders in the name of practising license, letters of good standing, registration and other services we offer is barely adequate because we have a lot of defaulters who do not want to be current in their licensing.” ”The Act in setting the Council is very clear about procedures that deal with disciplinary action in disciplining a doctor. First, there must be a complaint,

which we receive almost on a daily basis. The complaint will be investigated but before investigating the complaint, the doctor involved must be confronted for him to be aware that there has been a complaint against him. The complainer is subjected to investigation by the investigation panel and fair hearing is given. Both the doctor and complainer face the panel. “At the end, if a prima facie case is established against the doctor, he/she will face the disciplinary tribunal. The tribunal like any other court of law has the same status just like the High Court and conducts its proceedings in public because journalists and other interested individuals are allowed to come and watch. At the end of the deliberation and arguments between the prosecutor and defence and the doctor is found wanting, he/she is sanctioned according to the law. “I can vividly recall while I was acting in Lagos, the then registrar had a rough time with the Council and was sent on suspension while I was asked to act, he went to court and got a court injunction to return to his office and in the course of doing that, I think the law enforcement agents were not helping him to enforce the judgement and I had to be attacked in my own house, abducted and was to be taken straight to Ikoyi Prison that time. “However, the prison protested that they hadn’t seen any warrant for me to be detained there. The whole office rose against it and it was not easy for him. I’m so grateful to my creator, the Almighty God and to my staff who are the greatest asset of this organisation.”


L-R: Commissioner for Health, Lagos State, Dr. Jide Idris; Wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode; and Chairman, House Committee on Health, Hon. Segun Olulade, during the Town Hall Meeting on Maternal & Child Mortality Reduction, in Lagos ...recently

Marbella’s Beauty Spa Helps Women Prevent Hair Loss To provide waxing, other treatment services Thousands of women in Lagos battling with hair loss due to use of weavons, wigs and application of jell and other hair chemicals can now breathe a sigh of relief as Marbella’s Place, a beauty and treatment spa is set to offer preventive and cosmetic care. The spa believed instead of using artificial hair and unfriendly chemicals, natural hair can as well be made beautiful to achieve a more natural look, thereby preventing hair pull. Speaking during the opening of the Spa in Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, a co-Founder, Qifdiyya Dantata, said natural hair with natural treatment makes African women attractive and beautiful. “That is why part of what we are trying to achieve at the spa is for Africans to embrace their natural hair. If you come to Marbella’s Place, we make your hair in a very unique way. It might look simple but it sure must be classy,” she noted. The Spa is co-owned by Rahma Dantata. She said apart from helping women embrace their natural hair and prevent hair loss, the spa also offer henna tattoo, waxing, facials, body massage, manicure and pedicure, hair styling & grooming, nail arts, among others. Adding that looking healthy and beautiful are key areas the spa gives priority.

“One thing we realise in vogue now is the henna tattoo, which we have started offering as well to Nigerians. Though some school of thoughts believe it is an Hausa thing, the truth is, anyone can do it. It originated from Arab and India. Henna is always used to adorn young women’s bodies as part of social celebration. Most people attribute it to marriage or fertility celebration, but it’s beyond that, it is meant to beautify the body and it comes in different designs. You can draw it anytime and it only lasts on the body for one week. Any tribe can have it on. It brings out the beauty in ladies,” she added. “Marbella’s Place believes in the entrepreneurial agenda of the current administration to ‘buy Nigeria to grow the naira’. In view of this, the company seeks to launch its own line of locally made refined beauty products for use on all skin types sometimes this year as well as empower young women in the fashion and beauty industry with subsequent vocational trainings for the year round. “Virtually all our services are unique and special. Our ambience is very welcoming and glamourous. In some places, they don’t pay attention to little details to make a salon business grow. We try as much as possible to employ enough

staff in other to put everything in place. Another thing is the environment and our location is easily accessible,” she added. Qifdiyya, who studied marketing in her first degree and Human Resource Management in her second degree emphasised that Marbella Place would rather make up a customer to look natural rather than looking like a doll, as it’s the case with most beauty saloon. “We make you look exactly beautiful in a natural

way. You could still see your natural beauty as well as the make-up instead of making you look like a complete different person,” she said. The beautician, who is also good in hairdressing said all services offered by the Spa were affordable. She said Marbellas Foundation, a subsidiary of the company will be reaching out to the less privileged this Valentine season with a themed activation.

Bill Gates to Invest N140 on HIV Prevention Device The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is investing as much as $140 million to support development of a tiny implantable drug pump it believes could help prevent people in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere from becoming infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The matchstick-size pump is being developed by Intarcia Therapeutics Inc., a closely held Boston biotechnology company. It can hold six or 12 months ’supply of medicine and is designed to deliver microdoses continuously to patients, ensuring they stay on the treatment. The new investment, which Intarcia announced recently,

comes amid a flurry of fresh efforts to develop HIV prevention strategies. Last week, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases announced a global 4,500-patient clinical trial to test whether injections every eight weeks of an experimental HIV drug, cabotegravir, from U.K.-based ViiV Healthcare is effective in preventing HIV infection. Last month, the first efficacy study of an HIV vaccine in seven years was begun in South Africa. This is “one of the most exciting years ever in HIV prevention,” said Mitchell Warren, executive director of AVAC, a global HIV advocacy organisation supported by the Gates Foundation.


T H I S D AY Ëž Ëœ ÍŻÍ°Ëœ2017


CBN: OccupyCBN Protesters Are Blackmailers Obinna Chima The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday described a group known as Wailing Wailers as “paid hirelings,� saying they are a bunch of “blackmailers fighting for the interest of those who want to destroy the Nigerian economy.� The central bank in a statement last night, said the group which goes by the tag OccupyCBN had threatened to protest efforts of the CBN to conserve scarce foreign exchange. In a statement, the CBN Ag. Director of Corporate Communications, Mr. Isaac Okorafor described them “as paid agent of some selfish interest groups and enemies of the Nigerian economy.�

He said further that “the allegations are totally false and fabricated.� According to him, there is no iota of truth to the allegations of forex manipulation and round-tripping levelled against the CBN by the group. Okorafor said that the CBN did not allocate or sell any $12 million to anybody. He challenged the group to show proof, stating that such thing was not possible under the new forex system. He stated that “these paid agents of selfish interests and the enemies of the Nigerian economy will fail in their bid to distract the CBN and the Federal Government from their focus on the diversification of the Nigerian economy away from import and crude oil dependency.� The CBN spokesman pointed

out that “some powerful interests want the CBN and government to reverse the policy on conservation of forex and sabotage the ongoing efforts to wean Nigerians from senseless importation�. He opined that they want to create markets for importers to the overall detriment of the Nigerian economy. He went further to state that no amount of blackmail will make the CBN allow a practice whereby our farmers and industrialists who have invested heavily and employed our youths in the production of Nigerian made rice, fish, industrial starch, palm produce, wheat, tooth pick, wines, etc, would be made to close their farms and factories again.

PwC: Emerging Markets Still Deprived of Fit-for-purpose Financial Systems The lack of an efficient and resilient financial system is still holding back inclusive and sustainable growth in emerging markets. Policymakers, regulators and financial services organisations should more actively shape a financial system that is fit for purpose. These were the findings of a new PwC report titled: “Geared up for growth: Shaping a fit for purpose financial system.� For Nigeria, specifically, the report said: “This can’t be said about the other African country in PwC’s assessment. Not only has Nigeria by far the highest percentage of its population living in poverty, its financial system is also showing the least progress of all seven emerging markets. In five of the eight key areas, Nigeria’s financial system

scores significantly below PwC’s fit-for-purpose targets, holding back inclusive and sustainable growth. However, the success of Nigeria’s auto-enrolment pension model is a bright spot.� According to PRNigeria, in the paper, PwC set out what an efficient, resilient and inclusive financial system across eight key dimensions; and how leading emerging markets – Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria and South Africa – rate against its ‘fit for purpose’ targets. The assessment highlighted considerable room for further improvement in key areas, ranging from financial inclusion to pensions and protection. While growth in emerging markets continued to outstrip

developed counterparts and hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of poverty, developing a well-functioning financial system remains critical to tackling poverty and sustaining economic growth over the long term, the report added. Emerging markets need a robust and broad-based financial infrastructure to channel funds efficiently, draw people into the market economy and enable them to share in the benefits. In the PwC research, all seven emerging markets performed well on private sector lending, which was known to drive growth. With the exception of Brazil, the banking spread (difference between bank lending and deposit rates) in the emerging markets is low, improving borrowers’ ability to service debt, the report stated.

FG to Sell Diaspora Bonds in March after Eurobond Issue The federal government will issue a debut diaspora bond by March to raise funds from Nigerians abroad, after completing a $1 billion eurobond sale this month, a finance ministry source told Reuters yesterday. Nigeria is in its first recession in 25 years and needs to find money to make up for shortfalls in its budget. Low prices for crude and militant attacks in its crude-producing heartland, the Niger Delta, have slashed its oil revenues. It first announced plans to sell diaspora bonds in 2013 to raise between $100 million to $300 million, but the government at the time could not finish appointing bookrunners for the sale before an election that swept the opposition into office. The government plans to borrow up to $10 billion, with about half of that coming from foreign sources as it seeks to boost overseas loans to plug funding gaps and lower costs. But so far only the African Development Bank has publicly confirmed a budget support package of $1 billion. The government has held talks for months with the World Bank, China and other institutions to fund the budget gaps. In December, the government appointed Citigroup, Standard Chartered Bank and Stanbic IBTC Bank to manage the $1

billion eurobond sale, which it hopes to begin marketing in January. Remittances are the secondlargest source of foreign exchange receipts in Nigeria, after oil revenues. Citizens living abroad send at least $10 billion home annually. Nigeria is the world’s fifth-biggest destination for international remittances after China, India, the Philippines and Mexico, with five million Nigerians living abroad sending money back to relatives, according to Western Union. Meanwhile, the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), a panAfrican multilateral institution based in Nigeria, is likely to make a debut U.S. dollar sukuk issue by early February, banking sources close to the deal told Reuters yesterday. If AFC makes a final decision to go ahead with the proposed debt sale over coming days, the sukuk will be issued in two or three weeks through a private sale, a banking source familiar with the transaction said. At least one of the banks arranging the transaction is based in the United Arab Emirates, the source added. A spokeswoman at AFC declined to comment. A private placement normally requires less documentation than a bond listed on a public exchange.

The sukuk would be structured with a murabaha format, a popular cost-plus structure in Islamic finance, and use Nasdaq Dubai’s platform for murabaha transactions, according to a report by Moody’s Investors Service, which assigned a provisional A3 credit rating to the Cayman-domiciled special purpose vehicle. “We will see more sukuk issuance from Africa-based issuers over the next few years� as borrowers seek to expand their investor bases, global head of Islamic finance at S&P Global Ratings, Dr. Mohamed Damak said. “Another reason for issuers in Africa to choose the sukuk route is that sometimes sukuk can be cheaper than (conventional) bonds in terms of cost of funding, especially when it attracts significant interest from the market.� AFC obtained a 15-year, $50 million line of financing from the Saudi Arabia-based Islamic Development Bank in 2015. It issued a debut $750 million conventional bond in 2015, a five-year deal that offered a 4.375 percent coupon. Last year it issued a 100 million Swiss franc bond. That paper, with a maturity of three years and 150 days, pays a 0.85 percent coupon and was arranged by Deutsche Bank and UBS.



JUNE 2016 Broad Money (M2)


-- Narrow Money (M1)


---- Currency Outside Banks


---- Demand Deposits


-- Quasi Money


Net Foreign Assets (NFA)


Net Domestic Assets(NDA)


-- Net Domestic Credit (NDC)


---- Credit to Government (Net)


---- Memo: Credit to Govt. (Net) less FMA


---- Memo: Fed. and Mirror Accounts (FMA)


---- Credit to Private Sector (CPS)


--Other Assets Net


Reserve Money (Base Money)


--Currency in Circulation


--Banks Reserves

3,685,473.98 ˞ÙĂ&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă?Ě‹

MANAGED FUNDS Initial Price (N) Stanbic Balanced Fund

Buying Price(N)

Selling Price



Stanbic IBTC NEF




Stanbic SIBond




Stanbic IBTC Ethical




Stanbic IBTC GIF



UBA Balanced Fund



UBA Bond Fund



UBA Equity Fund



UBA Money Market Fund



ARM Aggressive Growth Fund



ARM Discovery Fund



ARM Ethical Fund



ARM Money Market Fund

13.1030 (Yield % )


OPEC DAILY BASKET PRICE AS AT WEDNESDAY 21, DECEMBER 2016 The price of OPEC basket of fourteen crudes stood at $52.25 a barrel on Wednesday, compared with $51.99 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Rabi Light (Gabon), Minas (Indonesia), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela).

SOURCE: OPEC headquarters, Vienna


T H I S D AY Ëž Ëœ ÍšÍşËœͺ͸͚;

Nigeria’s top 50 stocks based on market fundamentals



% Change





Div. Yld

Price/ Book Value

01 Guinness Nig Plc










02 Forte Oil Plc.










03 Total Nigeria Plc










04 Mobil Oil Nig Plc



























05 Dangote Sugar ReďŹ nery Plc 06 7-Up Bottling Comp. Plc 07 International Breweries Plc



















09 Julius Berger Nig. Plc










10 Flour Mills Nig. Plc










11 Okomu Oil Palm Plc




























14 Fidelity Bank Plc










15 FCMB Group Plc



















17 Diamond Bank Plc










18 Custodian And Allied Insurance Plc










19 National Salt Co. Nig. Plc










20 Sterling Bank Plc










21 Wema Bank Plc



















23 Cadbury Nigeria Plc










24 Mansard Insurance Plc










25 PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc










26 Continental Reinsurance Plc










27 Honeywell Flour Mill Plc










28 Wapic Insurance Plc










29 Skye Bank Plc










30 Unity Bank Plc










31 Resort Savings & Loans Plc










32 Cement Co. Of North.Nig. Plc










33 UACN Property Development Co. Limited










34 Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc










35 AIICO Insurance Plc










36 Fidson Healthcare Plc



















38 Mansard Insurance Plc










39 PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc










40 Continental Reinsurance Plc










41 Honeywell Flour Mill Plc










42 Wapic Insurance Plc










43 Skye Bank Plc










44 Unity Bank Plc










45 Resort Savings & Loans Plc










46 Cement Co. Of North.Nig. Plc










47 AIICO Insurance Plc










48 Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc










49 UACN Property Development Co. Limited










50 Fidson Healthcare Plc










08 Oando Plc

12 Transnational Corporation Of Nigeria Plc 13 U A C NÂ Plc

16 Cap Plc

22 Glaxo Smithkline Consumer Nig. Plc

37 Glaxo Smithkline Consumer Nig. Plc





% OF MARKET CAP Annotation - MA* = Simple Moving Average


Table 1 Market Statistics Mkt Indicators

Open 10-Jan-1

NSE All Share Index NSE Market Cap (N'Trillion)

26,346.24 9.07

26,385.80 9.08

0.15% 0.15%

109.25 8.51

109.62 8.54

0.34% 0.34%

Thisday BGL 50 Index Thisday BGL 50 Market Cap (N'Trillion)

Close 11-Jan-17

Change %

Table 3 Top 5 Gainers Stock

Open 10-Jan-1

Okomu Oil Palm Plc Presco Plc Cadbury Nigeria Plc Diamond Bank Plc Wema Bank Plc

Close Change % 11-Jan-17

40.17 40.10 9.28 0.97 0.50

44.27 44.19 9.49 0.99 0.51

10.21% 10.20% 2.26% 2.06% 2.00%

Table 4 Top 5 Losers Stock

Open 10-Jan-1

Guinness Nig Plc Julius Berger Nig. Plc UACN Property Development Co. Limited Fidson Healthcare Plc Honeywell Flour Mill Plc

Close Change % 11-Jan-17

80.00 38.58 3.15

74.90 36.66 3.00

-6.38% -4.98% -4.76%

1.27 1.29

1.21 1.24

-4.72% -3.88%

NSE All Share Index appreciates by 0.15% Market pulse on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) today – Wednesday, January 11th, 2017, ended on a positive note as market closed green. This was further highlighted by positive performance from the NSE Subsectors: Banking, Insurance and Consumer Goods (Save Oil & Gas). Trading activities decreased in volume as 197.45m shares worth of N1.05 billion in 3,410 deals exchanged hands today. This is a decrease from the 372.85m shares worth of N1.33 billion in 4,068 deals which exchanged hands on Tuesday. Topping in volume terms are: Union Bank of Nig. Plc, Diamond Bank Plc and Transnational Corporation Of Nigeria Plc, while Union Bank of Nig. Plc and Forte Oil Plc. ended trading as the most active stocks in value terms. The All Share Index (NSEASI) closed negative with 0.15% (+39.56) increase to close at 26,385.80 from 26,346.24 the previous trading day. Market Capitalization appreciated in tandem to N9.08 trillion from N9.07 trillion of prior trading day. Similarly, the Thisday BGL 50 Index followed suit with a decrease of 0.34% to close at 109.62 from 109.25 recorded at the end of the previous trading day, while its market capitalization stood at N8.54 trillion from N8.51 trillion of the previous trading day. A total number of 19 stocks gained on the bourse today while 16 stocks declined, leaving 64 stocks unchanged. Okomu Oil Palm Plc emerged as the day’s toast of investors as it topped the Thisday BGL 50 Index gainers’ list with a gain of 10.21% to close at N44.27 per share. It was followed by Presco Plc with a gain of 10.20% to close at N44.19 per share. Others on the gainers list include: Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Diamond Bank Plc and Wema Bank Plc; while on the decliners’ list, Guinness Nig. Plc emerge with a loss of 6.38% to close at N74.90 per share. It was followed by Julius Berger Nig. Plc with a loss of 4.98% to close at N36.66 per share. Others on the decliners list include: UACN Property Development Co. Limited, Fidson Healthcare Plc and Honeywell Flour Mill Plc.

REQUIRED DISCLOSURE This report has been prepared by BGL Plc. BGL Plc does and seeks to do business with companies covered in its research reports. As a result, the ďŹ rm may have a conict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this report. Investors should use this report as one of many other factors in making their investment decisions.

For more details go to




Market Rebounds on Renewed Interest for Agriculture Stocks Goddy Egene and Nosa Alekhuogie Gains by agriculture stocks, Okomu Oil Palm Plc and Presco Plc yesterday helped to lift the market to the positive territory after the bears resurfaced the previous day. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) rose by 0.15 per cent to close at 26,385.80 compared with a

decline of 0.88 per cent on Tuesday. Investors’ interest in Okomu and Presco contributed to the return of the bulls to the market. Okomu led the price gainers with 10.21 per cent followed by Presco Plc appreciated by 10.20 per cent. Both stocks outperformed the market last year, returning 32.5 per cent and 21.5 per cent in that order. In fact, the agric sector led others on the Nigerian bourse


last year. Commenting on the development, analysts at Meristem Securities Limited had said the agriculture sector had outperformed others for the second year consecutively. “The agric sector which contributes about 29 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) was amongst the few to record positive output growth (+4.54 per cent) as at


third quarter (Q3):2016. We attribute this to heightened government focus, coupled with the favourable policies which were implemented in the course of the year. Also, as evident from the earnings releases of the companies, the devaluation of the naira which is stifling activities of palm oil importers, resulted in a top-line boost for Okomu and Presco. We posit that investors’ ap-


petite towards the sector will remain healthy in the coming year as the federal government continues its quest for revenue diversification,� they had said. Airline Services & Logistics Plc was also among the price gainers yesterday, rising by 4.9 per cent, while May & Baker Nigeria Plc gained 4.4 per cent. The Managing Director of May & Baker Nigeria Plc, Mr. Nnamdi Okafor had last month


has assured stakeholders of the company of steady performance and improved returns despite the challenging operating environment. According to him, the macroeconomic challenges notwithstanding, the company’s sales have been trending at some 13 per cent growth while the management has maintained efficient cost control to mitigate the effect of the macroeconomic headwinds on the bottom-line.




Trump Brands Claims of Compromising Material ‘Sick and Phoney’ US President-elect Donald Trump says allegations Russia has compromising material on him are“fake news, phoney stuff”, put together by “sick people”. He was replying to allegations carried in some US media that his election team colluded with Russia and there were salacious videos of his private life. In his first briefing as president-elect, he also said for the first time Russia had been behind hacking attacks. He also confirmed handing total control of his businesses to his two sons. The press conference was scheduled for Mr Trump to give details about his business affairs but was dominated by the allegations of the compromising material. Mr Trump said the claims “should never have been written and should never have been released”. “It’s all fake news, it’s phoney stuff, it didn’t happen,”he said, saying that “sick people” had “put that crap together... it’s an absolute disgrace”. He thanked the news organisations that chose not to run with the claims, which have been circulating for months. Intelligence agencies reportedly considered them sufficiently relevant to brief both Mr Trump and President Barack Obama last week. Mr Trump would not confirm he had been briefed but he then said there had been a “lot of people in the room”and that it would be a “tremendous blot” on the reputation of intelligence agencies if they had been responsible for leaking the details.

“That’s something that Nazi Germany would have done,”he said. A 35-page dossier of allegations had been published in full on Buzzfeed and reported by CNN. Mr Trump called Buzzfeed a “failing pile of garbage” and accused CNN of “going out of their way to build it up”. The allegations claim Russia has damaging information about the president-elect’s business interests, and salacious video evidence of his private life, including claims of using prostitutes at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Moscow. Denying any such claims, Mr Trump said that as a high-profile person he was extremely cautious about all that he did when travelling abroad. Russia has also strongly denied the allegations. Dmitry Peskov, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, said they were “pulp fiction” and a“clear attempt to damage relations”. Mr Trump said he“respected” Mr Putin for putting out a statement. Mr Trump was also asked about the hacking scandal that dominated the US election campaign, with US spy agencies concluding Russia was behind the hacking of Democratic Party emails. Mr Trump said for the first time“I think it was Russia”, but added that “we get hacked by other people”. Media captionFBI head James Comey refuses to answer whether ties between Russia and Donald Trump are being investigated

Kardashian Robbery Probe: Driver, 2 Others Freed; DNA Found French investigators have released a chauffeur for Kim Kardashian West and two other people in their probe into the robbery of more than $10 million worth of jewellery from the star’s Paris apartment in October. The driver’s brother and 13 others, including two women, remained in custody Wednesday night after a round of arrests this week, according to the Paris prosecutor’s office. Authorities are focusing on the possibility that the robbery was an inside job. The Paris prosecutor’s office said chauffeur Michael Madar, 40, was among three people released overnight, including a woman. Madar is believed to have driven Kardashian the night of the robbery. Madar and his brother Gary Madar, 27, work for the same car service company and were among those arrested Monday. The younger Madar and four other people still in custody are suspected of a direct role in the robbery, the office said. Investigators have

also found the DNA of one suspect, Aomar Ait Khedache, a 60-year-old Algeria-born French citizen, at the scene, it added. The suspects arrested Monday ranged in age from 23 to 72 and included several people known for prior robberies and other crimes, according to a police document seen by The Associated Press. A French investigating judge may travel to the United States to speak with Kardashian West. The jewels have not been recovered. In neighboring Belgium, the Antwerp prosecutor’s office would not comment Wednesday on reports that the stolen goods might have been smuggled to Antwerp, a major jewel trading center. Thieves are believed to have forced their way into the private apartment where Kardashian West was staying during Paris Fashion Week, tied her up and stole the jewelry. Kardashian West has not commented publicly since Monday’s arrests.

Later in the briefing, he suggested the outcome was justified, saying “look at the things that we learned... Hillary Clinton got the questions to the debate and didn’t report it”. He added: “If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability.” Mr Trump did not answer directly when asked whether his team had communicated with Russia during the election campaign, but he did say that any hacking by Mr Putin must stop.“He shouldn’t be doing it. He won’t be doing it.”s are“fake” Michael Cohen, a lawyer to Mr Trump named in the 35page dossier, denied a specific

claim that he went to Prague in August or September 2016 to meet Kremlin representatives to talk about the hacking. “I’ve never been to Prague in my life. #fakenews,”he tweeted. Reince Priebus, Mr Trump’s chief of staff, called the dossier report“phoney baloney garbage”. US media suggest the alleged salacious videos were prepared as “kompromat” - compromising material collected about a politician or public figure in order to create a threat of negative publicity, if needed. The allegations began circulating in political and media circles in recent months. The BBC understands they are

based on memos provided by a former British intelligence officer for an independent organisation opposed to Mr Trump in Washington DC. Sources say the CIA regards them as“credible”. The original intention was to derail Mr Trump’s candidacy, reports say. The BBC first saw the documents in October but has been unable to verify the claims included. Several material inaccuracies have been highlighted in them. However past work by the British operative was considered by US intelligence to be reliable, US media say. The existence of the documents

was first reported by Mother Jones in October. US spy agencies say Russia was behind the hacking of Democratic Party emails during the presidential campaign. They say the order came from the Kremlin to sway the election for Mr Trump and away from Mrs Clinton. But so far Mr Trump has failed to explicitly agree with the conclusions of the intelligence services. And he has condemned those who oppose good relations with Russia as “fools”. Russia has denied any involvement in the hacks and accused the US of conducting a witch-hunt.

Donald Trump

Palestinians in Israel Strike over Home Demolitions Palestinian citizens of Israel have announced a nationwide strike after Israeli authorities demolished 11 Palestinian homes. “We condemn the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally for these crimes, that reflect his racist mentality and aim to divert attention away from his scandals,”said Mohammad Baraka, the head of the High Follow-up Committee, a representative body for the Palestinian citizens of the state. In a statement issued on Tuesday, the committee stressed the importance of standing in unity and joining ranks to repel “the new attack that the government has taken against us”. The homes were demolished on Tuesday in the city of Qalansawe

in central Israel, on the pretext that they were built without a permit, but Palestinians say their permit applications are almost always denied causing them to build their homes illegally.  The strike is taking place across all Palestinian towns within Israel and in all areas of public life, including schools. Activist and professor of architecture Yosef Jabareen said half a million Palestinians face displacement in Israel and East Jerusalem.  “Five hundred thousand people living in 100,000 homes within Israel and East Jerusalem are under threat of having their homes demolished,” Jabareen told Al Jazeera. Approximately 56,000 of those homes are in the Negev region in the south, the

triangle in central Israel, and in the Galilee region in the north, while the other 44,000 homes are in occupied East Jerusalem. During the past two decades approximately 5,000 Palestinian homes in Israel have been demolished, Jabareen estimates. “There is an obvious plan to halt any prospect of Palestinian cities naturally developing and expanding as our population grows. There is systematic ghettoisation of our towns and a strategy to confine us within our existing spaces.”  Palestinians have jurisdiction over only 2.3 percent of the entire state land, causing severe overcrowding in towns and villages and the building of houses without the required permits. 

Since the creation of the Israeli state in 1948, no new Palestinian towns or cities were built, in contrast to the 600 Jewish municipalities that have been developed, according to Adalah, the legal centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel.  “It is so hard to develop our towns because there are no construction master plans for our cities,” said Jabareen.“Israel is a very central state - all the planning decisions have to come from the government which will not make moves to develop our villages. If it were up to local authorities, we would not have this problem.”  There are 1.7 million Palestinian citizens of Israel who exist as second-class citizens in a“state for the Jewish people”. 

Migrant Crisis: Germany Sees Massive Drop in Asylum Seekers Germany says 280,000 asylum seekers arrived there in 2016, a drop of more than 600,000 on the previous year. The German interior minister said that the decrease was due to the closure in 2016 of the Balkan route and the migrant

deal between the EU and Turkey. The record influx of 890,000 people came as migrants and refugees travelled through Greece and the Balkans. They headed for Germany after Chancellor Angela Merkel ordered a temporary open-door

asylum policy. Her decision to suspend EU rules on registering asylum seekers in the first EU state they entered was aimed at the growing number of Syrians fleeing the conflict in their country, but large numbers of people of other nationalities made the journey too.

Migration has become a heavily politicised issue in Germany ahead of federal elections in the autumn. As voters punished her CDU party in regional polls last year, Mrs Merkel acknowledged that the migrant crisis could have been handled better.


     ˾  THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2017


Cadbury Nigeria Gets New MD, Moves to Improved Performance Goddy Egene The Managing Director of Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Mr. Roy Naaman is to quit at the end of the month and will be replaced by    Mr. Muhammad Amir Shamsi. Namaan took over the running of Cadbury Nigeria January 2015 as the board appointed him to reposition the company for better performance.   Cadbury Nigeria Plc had hoped to consolidate its market share and tap into other

expanding markets in West Africa with the appointment of Namaan. When he was appointed, Mondelçz International, which is the parent firm of Cadbury Nigeria had  stated that Naaman, as a highly experienced brand professional would lead the snacks group’s expansion in West Africa and deliver consistent and strong profit to shareholders. “In Roy, we are very pleased to gain a highly experienced leader, with

A Mutual fund (Unit Trust) is an investment vehicle managed by a SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) registered Fund Manager. Investors with similar objectives buy units of the Fund so that the Fund Manager can buy securities that willl generate their desired return. An ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) is a type of fund which owns the assets (shares of stock, bonds, oil futures, gold bars, foreign currency, etc.) and divides ownership of those assets into shares. Investors can buy these ‘shares’ on the

a strong track record in driving sustained and profitable growth. In his previous role, Roy was instrumental in spurring business expansion in southern Africa and the Caucasus. He is a most valuable addition to our company,” Romeo Lacerda, President, Markets, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, Mondelçz International, had said. However, the company has not made significant progress since 2015. For

floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. A REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) is an investment vehicle that allows both small and large investors to part-own real estate ventures (eg. Offices, Houses, Hospitals) in proportion to their investments. The assets are divided into shares that are traded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. GUIDE TO DATA: Date: All fund prices are quoted in Naira as at 10-Jan-2017, unless otherwise stated.

instance, the company posted a decline of 46 per cent in profit after tax in 2015. Specifically, Cadbury Nigeria recorded a revenue of N27.825 billion for the year ended December 31, 2015, showing a decline of nine per cent from N30.518 billion, while profit after tax stood at N1.153 billion in 2015, down by 46 per cent to N2.137 billion in 2014. The company is heading towards a dismal performance in 2016, having posted a loss for the nine

months ended September 30, 2016. Cadbury Nigeria posted a turnover of N21.326 billion for the nine months in 2016, up marginally from N21.073 billion in the corresponding period of 2015. Cost of sale rose from N14.671 billion to N16.848 billion, while a loss after of N842 million was recorded in 2016, compared with a profit of N28.55 million in the corresponding period of 2015. Although the management of Cadbury

Nigeria did not give reasons for the exit of Namaan, stakeholders said it might not be unconnected with the continued efforts to reposition the company. According to the Cadbury Nigeria, Shamsi will resumed as the new MD on February 1, 2016. President of Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr. Boniface Okezie said that the new management should work on returning the company back to profitability and ensure payment of dividends.

Offer price: The price at which units of a trust or ETF are bought by investors. Bid Price: The price at which Investors redeem (sell) units of a trust or ETF. Yield/Total Return: Denotes the total return an investor would have earned on his investment. Money Market Funds report Yield while others report Year- to-date Total Return. NAV: Is value per share of the real estate assets held by a REIT on a specific date.

DAILY PRICE LIST FOR MUTUAL FUNDS, REITS and ETFS MUTUAL FUNDS / UNIT TRUSTS AFRINVEST ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1 270 1680 Fund Name Bid Price Afrinvest Equity Fund 128.93 Nigeria International Debt Fund 215.87 ALTERNATIVE CAPITAL PARTNERS LTD Web:, Tel: +234 1 291 2406, +234 1 291 2868 Fund Name Bid Price ACAP Canary Growth Fund 0.69 AIICO CAPITAL LTD Web:, Tel: +234-1-2792974 Fund Name Bid Price AIICO Money Market Fund ARM INVESTMENT MANAGERS LTD Web:; Tel: 0700 CALLARM (0700 225 5276) Fund Name ARM Aggressive Growth Fund ARM Discovery Fund ARM Ethical Fund ARM Money Market Fund AXA MANSARD INVESTMENTS LIMITED Web:; Tel: +2341-4488482 Fund Name AXA Mansard Equity Income Fund AXA Mansard Money Market Fund CHAPELHILL DENHAM MANAGEMENT LTD Web:, Tel: +234 461 0691 Fund Name Nigeria Global Investment Fund Paramount Equity Fund Women's Investment Fund FBN CAPITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234-81 0082 0082 Fund Name FBN Fixed Income Fund FBN Heritage Fund FBN Money Market Fund FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Institutional FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Retail FBN Nigeria Smart Beta Equity Fund FIRST CITY ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1 462 2596 Fund Name Legacy Equity Fund Legacy Short Maturity (NGN) Fund FSDH ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: 01-270 4884-5; 01-280 9740-1 Fund Name Coral Growth Fund

100.00 Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn 128.98 1.34% 215.96 0.99% Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn 0.70 -1.18% Offer Price

Yield / T-Rtn


17.25% Bid Price 12.51 290.95 22.57

Offer Price 12.88 299.72 23.25

Yield / T-Rtn 2.63% 4.10% 2.35%



17.06% Bid Price 106.22

Offer Price 106.97

Yield / T-Rtn 6.60%

1.00 1.00 16.43% Bid Price 2.15 9.32 84.01

Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn 2.20 5.58% 9.56 -5.41% 86.16 3.57%

Bid Price 1,088.13 110.79 100.00 $103.85 $103.19

Offer Price 1,089.34 111.56 100.00 $104.07 $103.40

Yield / T-Rtn -0.20% -0.70% 15.00% -0.41% -0.37%




LOTUS CAPITAL LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1-291 4626 / +234 1-291 4624 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Lotus Halal Investment Fund 1.00 1.02 0.19% Lotus Halal Fixed Income Fund 1,011.88 1,011.88 0.19% MERISTEM WEALTH MANAGEMENT LTD Web: ; Tel: +234 1-4488260 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Meristem Equity Market Fund 9.71 9.79 0.44% Meristem Money Market Fund 10.00 10.00 15.98% PAC ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1 271 8632 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn PACAM Balanced Fund 1.05 1.07 6.56% PACAM Fixed Income Fund 10.37 10.54 0.34% PACAM Money Market Fund 10.00 10.00 10.00% SCM CAPITAL LIMITED Web:; Tel: +234 1-280 2226,+234 1- 280 2227 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn SCM Capital Frontier Fund 108.46 109.34 6.52% SFS CAPITAL NIGERIA LTD Web:, Tel: +234 (01) 2801400 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn SFS Fixed Income Fund 1.25 1.25 0.30% STANBIC IBTC ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1 280 1266; 0700 MUTUALFUNDS Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Stanbic IBTC Balanced Fund 1,838.63 1,848.92 0.41% Stanbic IBTC Bond Fund 153.41 153.41 -0.36% Stanbic IBTC Ethical Fund 0.77 0.78 0.65% Stanbic IBTC Guaranteed Investment Fund 187.93 187.93 0.56% Stanbic IBTC Iman Fund 129.72 131.45 -0.07% Stanbic IBTC Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 17.33% Stanbic IBTC Nigerian Equity Fund 7,579.22 7,678.72 0.02% UNITED CAPITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 803 306 2887 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn United Capital Balanced Fund 1.11 1.13 8.56% United Capital Bond Fund 1.22 1.22 15.47% United Capital Equity Fund 0.66 0.68 -1.24% United Capital Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 13.00% ZENITH ASSETS MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1-2784219 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Zenith Equity Fund 9.90 10.08 2.82% Zenith Ethical Fund 11.16 11.27 2.28% Zenith Income Fund 16.76 16.76 1.46%

REITS Bid Price 0.92 2.58

Bid Price 2,202.19

Coral Income Fund 2,115.05 INVESTMENT ONE FUNDS MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 812 992 1045,+234 1 448 8888 Fund Name Bid Price Abacus Money Market Fund 1.00 Vantage Balanced Fund 1.68 Vantage Guaranteed Income Fund 1.00

Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn 0.94 -1.06% 2.58 0.36% Offer Price 2,227.23

Yield / T-Rtn -0.33%

2,115.05 0.51% Offer Price 1.00 1.70 1.00

Yield / T-Rtn 15.87% -0.16% 15.84%

NAV Per Share

Yield / T-Rtn

11.41 124.03

1.01% 0.05%

Bid Price

Offer Price

Yield / T-Rtn

8.57 74.95

8.67 76.33

-2.38% -1.11%

Fund Name FSDH UPDC Real Estate Investment Fund SFS Skye Shelter Fund

EXCHANGE TRADED FUNDS Fund Name Lotus Halal Equity Exchange Traded Fund Stanbic IBTC ETF 30 Fund

VETIVA FUND MANAGERS LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1 453 0697 Fund Name Vetiva Banking Exchange Traded Fund Vetiva Consumer Goods Exchange Traded Fund Vetiva Griffin 30 Exchange Traded Fund Vetiva Industrial Goods Exchange Traded Fund Vetiva S&P Nigeria Sovereign Bond Exchange Traded Fund Bid Price

Offer Price

Yield / T-Rtn

2.79 6.91 11.98 15.46 129.88

2.83 6.99 12.08 15.66 131.88

1.43% -1.70% -0.16% -3.05% 0.00%

The value of investments and the income from them may fall as well as rise. Past performance is a guide and not an indication of future returns. Fund prices published in this edition are also available on each fund manager’s website and FMAN’s website at Fund prices are supplied by the operator of the relevant fund and are published for information purposes only.




FG Extends Citizenship to 335 Foreigners Approves N1.735bn for Sabke Dam in Katsina Tobi SoniyiÓØÌßÔË˿ The federal government has granted Nigerian citizenship to 335 foreigners. The 335 were chosen from 500 applications received by the government. The Minister of Interior, General Abdulrahman Dambazzau (rtd), disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of a meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari. The minister said the last time such exercise was done was in 2013. This, he said, explained the backlog of applications. He said government  rejected 165 citizenship applications The minister was accompanied by the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman

Adamu, andthe Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina. Danbazau said out of 500 applications that were considered, 335 were recommended for citizenship approval to FEC and that the council gave its approval yesterday. The 335 citizenship applications that were approved, he said, included 245 citizenship by naturalisation and 90 citizenship by registration. He said: “The Ministry of Interior memo is granting of citizenship to non Nigerians who applied. This is a procedure that takes a number of steps. The last time this was done was in 2013. We have some backlog of these applications. “Over 500 applications that we considered, out of these,

335 were recommended for citizenship and this memo was brought to council to that effect. Citizenship is either by naturalisation or by registration. “There are 245 that applied for citizenship by naturalisation and the requirements to be met are clearly stated in section 26 of the constitution.  “Then there is citizenship by registration and that is what is popularly known as Nigerwives which is for women in foreign countries who married to Nigerian citizens. That is also clearly spelt out in section 27 of the constitution.  “So, the requirements are there and we considered them. Those who met the

requirements, the advisory council recommended and sent to council for approval. “So, today, FEC approved the recommendations of those who applied, 335 of them. 245 by naturalization and 90 by registration,” he said. He explained that some of the applications were disqualified based on preliminary investigation. The minister said: “This is because, there is representation of all the agencies where these applications are taken. So, it is not just the issue of criminality, there are requirements laid down in the constitution and each of these requirements must be met by every applicant.

“The moment any applicant doesn’t meet any of the requirement, check section 26 and 27 of the constitution, they are clearly stated there. If there are security issues, the security agencies will bring them out to say that a person belongs to a given group in-terms of security risk. But apart from that, we followed the rules and regulations, those constitutional requirements must be met.” Meanwhile, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N1.735 billion for completion of the water supply project in Sabke Dam in Katsina State. The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu

disclosed after the FEC meeting held in Abuja yesterday. He said the council also considered memo for the upgrade of some software for the operations of National Pension Commission (PENCOM) and memo to provide information system for the mining sector. Adamu said: “We presented two memos, one had to do with the completion of the water supply project in Sabke Dam in Katsina State at the cost of N1.735 billion. This is an abandoned project and in line with the current government’s commitment

Cont’d on Pg 48

Abia Governorship Tussle: Supreme Court Postpones Hearing of Appeals as Justice Augie Recuses Self Tobi SoniyiÓØÌßÔË

30, 2016, filed by Friday Nwosu, through his counsel, A. C One of the justices of the Supreme Ozioko on the grounds that Court on the panel hearing the the “application appeared to appeals that emanated from the be partially overtaken by event.” Court of Appeal judgment in The said application had the Abia State governorship prayed the court to hear and election tussle, Justice Amina determine the appeal based on Augie, yesterday withdrew the appellant’s brief only. from the matter. The Court of Appeal in Abuja Augie said she was had in August last year upturned withdrawing from the matter the judgment of Justice Okon in view of the allegation of bias Abang of the Federal High Court levelled against her by one of Abuja which sacked Ikpeazu from the parties in the appeal. office as governor of Abia State. According to her, she cannot The court, in a unanimous sit on the panel hearing two of decision vacated the June 27, the appeals numbers 10 filed by 2016 judgment of Justice Abang. Samson Ogah as well as the one The Appeal Court held that filed by the Peoples Democratic Abang   erred in law and Party (PDP) on the grounds that occasioned a miscarriage of there was a resentment by one justice against Ikpeazu. of the parties in the appeal, Justice Helen Ogunwumiju She said the party had accused who delivered the lead her of not properly constituting judgment, held that Justice Abang the four-member panel of justices “committed a grave violence of the Court of Appeal that against one of the pillars of heard the petition challenging justice” relating to fair hearing. the election of Okezie Ikpeazu as The court said Justice Abang governor of Abia State in Owerri, placed the law on its head when the Imo State capital, when she he directed the Independent was the presiding justice at the National Electoral Commission division. (INEC) to issue fresh Certificate On that note, the five-member of Return to Ogah. of justices of the Supreme Court While upholding Ikpeazu’s hearing the appeals adjourned appeal, the court awarded the matter to a date that will be N100,000 cost against Ogah communicated to all the parties and resolved all the five in the matter. issues raised in the appeal Justices Bode Rhodes Vivour in favour of Ikpeazu. who presided over the panel said She held that the judgment once a judge is accused of bias of Justice Abang was grossly in any case, the ideal thing to erroneous because it was do was to withdraw from the based on inadequacy of matter. tax receipts that could not He said a new panel would be be visited on the appellant reconstituted to hear the appeals.  (Ikpeazu) and added that, Vivow promised to contact the “after reading through the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria judgment several (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, times,  I was amazed at to get a date that will not be how the trial Judge arrived too far so as to dispense with at his conclusion of perjury the appeal as soon as possible. against the appellant when there Earlier, the court had struck out was no evidence of forgery an application dated December against him.”


Managing Director, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), Yusuf Matashi; Chief Operating Officer, Upstream, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Rabiu Bello; representing Group Managing Director, NNPC; and Managing Director, Nigeria Engineering and Technical Company, (NETCO), Siky Aliyu at a public hearing of Senate Joint Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Petroleum Resources (Downstream) and Senate Committee on Finance to investigate the allegation of non-remittance of $33.48bn by NNPC and NPDC in Abuja.... yesterday    

Witness Says Lagos Land Registry Has No Record of Properties Linked to Saraki Tobi Soniyi ÓØÌßÔË An operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Mr. Michael Wetkas, has told the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) in Abuja that the Lagos State Land Registry does not have the record of existence of properties at 15A and 15B MacDonald Street, Ikoyi allegedly belonging to the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki.  Wetkas who is a prosecution witness in the trial of Saraki on alleged falsification of assets declaration said the investigating team he led was told in writing by the Lagos State Land Registry that the existence of the properties at No. 15A and 15B MacDonald Street, Ikoyi was not in its record. The witness who was re-examined by the lead prosecution counsel Mr.

Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) based on his earlier evidence-in-chief stunned the tribunal when he admitted that the EFCC based its assumption that Saraki owned the properties on the claim of a presidential committee on sales of the federal government properties. Wetkas said his investigating team was informed by the Presidential Committee that Saraki bought the properties through a company, Carlse Investment Property, when he was Governor of Kwara State. Jacobs had re-examined the witness based on the contradiction and confusion on the identities of the properties linked to Saraki but the witness maintained that he did not go to the federal land registry to clarify issues on the disputed property ownership. Evidence of Wetkas on May 11, 17 and 18 last year had raised confusion and contradictions on which of the

properties actually belonged to the defendant. “We based our assumption that the defendant (Saraki) owns the property at No. 15, MacDonald Ikoyi on the response of the presidential committee on the sales of the federal government properties to the effect that the property was alienated by one company Carlse Investment Property,” the witness said. The witness also maintained that he never interrogated or obtained statements from Saraki on any issue of asset declaration or asset ownership. He further said the claim of Saraki that he bought some properties from proceeds of his business transactions could not be disputed by him because he never investigated the business operation scheme of the Senate President. Meanwhile, the trial   has been adjourned till January 17 by the tribunal Chairman,

Mr. Danladi Yakubu Umar. Lead prosecution counsel had applied for one week adjournment on the ground that his other witnesses from Lagos were not around to testify yesterday. Earlier, the leader of the defence team and former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice Mr. Kanu Agabi (SAN) had pleaded with the tribunal to be just and fair in the trial of the charges brought against his client by the federal government. He said Saraki and the legal team were not happy to be coming to the tribunal and have been looking forward to a day the charge would be terminated in peace to the defendant and to the nation. “I pray your lordships to stand up for justice and free us from this case to stop coming here. That is our prayer” Agabi told the tribunal.   




Buhari Pledges to Work with New Leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Okorocha congratulates Nwodo, Opara for election

Tobi Soniyi ÓØÌßÔË President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said he looked forward to working with the new leadership of the pan-Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo. Buhari, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, congratulated Chief John Nwodo on his election as the President-General of the group. The president said he believed that Nwodo was eminently qualified for the job, given his long years of distinguished service to the nation, which included, Minister of Civil Aviation in the Second Republic under President Shehu Shagari and Minister of Information and Culture during the administration of General Abdulsalami Abubakar. The statement said: “As Nwodo prepares to settle down with his team to implement his vision for Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the President appeals to Ndigbo as well as the wider community of Nigerians to support the new leadership to fulfill their mandate in these challenging times.” Buhari said he

looked forward to working with the new leadership and assured Ohanaeze Ndigbo that his administration would continue to be a partner-inprogress in implementing suggestions, measures and programmes to advance the unity, development and prosperity of Nigeria. The president wished the Nwodo-led Ohanaeze Ndigbo a peaceful and prosperous tenure. Meanwhile, Governor of Imo State, Chief Rochas Okorocha, has congratulated Nwodo on his deserving election as the new President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and said that the delegates to the election and indeed, Ndigbo in general have made a wise choice. The governor also expressed happiness for the elections of DIG Hilary Opara (rtd) and Mr. Uche Okwukwu as the Deputy National President-General and Secretary-General respectively of the Igbo apex body. He charged Nwodo and his team to bring their wealth of experience to bear in piloting the affairs of the Pan-Igbo organisation and pursue those policies that would quicken or accelerate the development and growth of Igbo land in particular and Nigeria in general.

FG to Introduce New Trade Policy to Disallow Dumping ’Investor confidence on the rise’ James EmejoÓØÌßÔË Nigeria’s Chief Trade Negotiator, Mr. Chiedu Osakwe, yesterday said trade remedies were being drafted to tackle disruptive trade practices particularly dumping of substandard products in the country. He said government was working in collaboration with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to draft both infrastructure and bill that would put an end to current dumping menace. He also said the high governance standards set by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has continued to attract the “keenest and deepest expression of interest” by foreign investors in the Nigerian economy. He would not give details of some of the foreign investors as most of them are still undergoing negotiations. Speaking during an interactive session with journalists in Abuja,  Osakwe, who is also the Trade Adviser to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Okechukwu Enelamah, also said the government was working on the review of existing trade policies to reflect the dynamics of the global economy and

accord priority to the emerging digital or internet economy. He said the enhancement of products standards remained a major concern for the current administration, adding that there are several practical work being done towards standards improvement so as to make Nigerian products more readily acceptable in the international market. Such standards would also be consistent with the those set by WTO.  He also clarified that the country was yet to ratify the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union adding that Nigeria would not be stampeded into singing agreement which is not in its favour. However, he said the trade document was still being scrutinised. He said: “We need to use trade policy to correct imbalances in global trade. “ He held that Buhari’s leadership was critical to reducing barriers to trade with other countries. He added that the WTO is expected to hold Nigeria’s fifth trade policy review in June, a step that could further boost confidence in the economy. 

According to Okorocha, with the outcome of the Enugu election, one can conveniently vouch that the future is very bright for Ndigbo both at home and in the diaspora and that Ndigbo could not have made better choices than

the personalities that emerged in Enugu. He assured the new Ohanaeze executive of the cooperation of the governors in the South-east and added that the unity of Ndigbo including their leaders should

be strengthened now, more than ever before, while ensuring that Ndigbo get their due in corporate Nigeria. The governor also commended Igbo leaders like Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Senator Ken Nnamani, Igwe

Alfred Achebe of Onitsha, Chief Okwey Nwodo, Prof. ABC Nwosu and others, who made the election a hitch-free exercise. He wishes the new leaders of Ohanaeze Ndigbo a successful tenure.


L-R: Members, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Etannibi Alemika; Femi Odekunle; Chairman, PACAC, Prof. Itse Sagay; Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; Members, PACAC, Bolaji Owasanoye; Sadiq Isah Radda; Bala Usman, during a courtesy visit to the vice president at the State House in Abuja....yesterday

You are Biased, Wike Tells IG’s Panel on Rivers Rerun Ernest ChinwoÓØÙÜÞ ËÜÍÙßÜÞ Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has told the Special Joint Investigation Panel on Rivers Rerun election set up by the Inspector General of Police (IG), Ibrahim Idris, that it was established with a predetermined goal,  with the aim of  assisting the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the election tribunal.   Wike also announced that the state government has gone to court to challenge the setting up of the panel, with the Chairman of the panel, Damian Okoro, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, as one of the defendants, hence the people of the state will not participate in the activities of the panel.  The governor said the panel  is biased,  with an agenda targeted against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its members, while shielding policemen used by the APC to commit electoral fraud.  Wike spoke yesterday at the Government House, Port Harcourt, when the Nigerian Police Special Joint Investigation Panel on Rivers Rerun paid him a courtesy visit. He expressed regret that the Nigerian Police was

being used to protect the interest of a particular politician in the state.  His words: “I must tell you  with all honesty that my people and I will not participate in the sitting of this panel. We have challenged the setting up of this panel in court. “Let there be a judicial pronouncement on this matter. It will enrich our jurisprudence. This panel has not shown us that it will not be biased.” He added: “All these activities are orchestrated so that APC will use the materials therefrom at the tribunal. “Even you as the chairman of the panel cannot say from  your conscience that you are not biased.” The governor regretted that the Police High Command attempted to deny video evidence of the invasion of Rivers East senatorial district Collation by Akin Fakorede and his SARS personnel.  He also wondered why the police has refused to make public how DSP Alkali was killed, simply because the person indicted was a commissioner under the Minister of Transportation.  He said: “The same Akin Fakorede who was caught on video after he invaded the Rivers East senatorial

is the one who is arranging witnesses for the panel set up by the IG. “Nobody is investigating the case of Rivers APC printing fake result sheets which the police is trying to sweep under the carpet.” He wondered why the IG set up a panel when he had already made conclusions as enunciated in his letter to the Rivers State Governor.  He said since the IG knew those who perpetrated the crime during the rerun legislative elections, why did he go ahead to set up a panel.  “We believe that the panel has already taken a decision.  We are convinced that the essence of the panel is to witch-hunt our people and we have evidence to show. We

cannot because of one man’s interest, destroy the state. “Already, you have dismissed policemen attached to me without even hearing from me. This is the same panel that claims it is investigating the conduct of all policemen during the rerun legislative elections,” he concluded. Earlier, Chairman of the Nigerian Police Special Joint Investigation Panel on Rivers Rerun, Mr. Damian Okoro, said the panel was in the state to interface with the governor on what transpired before, during and after the rerun elections.  He added that the panel would also examine the role of security personnel during the rerun legislative elections. 

Angelina Uzoatu Passes on The distinguished educationist and Catholic women organiser, Mrs. Angelina N. Uzoatu, has passed away. Married to the pre-eminent educationist and Odu of Umuchu, Chief Stephen N. Uzoatu who predeceased her, she was born on July 5, 1932. In her career, she trained generations of pupils and led the Catholic women with uncommon distinction. Uzoatu is survived by the poet and journalist Uzora

Maxim, the novelist and businessman Isidore Emeka, and the broadcaster Chinwe Immaculata, presenter of the popular programme “Aguata Ekenenu” on Purity FM, Awka, Anambra State. Uzoatu departed with these famous last words: “With God everything is good.” She will be buried in the Uzoatu family compound in Umugama village, Umuchu, Aguata Local Government Area, Anambra State on a date to be fixed by the family.




FRC: No Ratification for Corporate Governance Code, Says House To investigate agency’s activities, regulations Damilola Oyedele ÓØÌßÔË The corporate governance code enacted by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) of

Nigeria was not ratified by the National Assembly which empowered the agency to set regulatory guidelines for commercial entities and not-

FG EXTENDS CITIZENSHIP TO 335 FOREIGNERS to complete ongoing and abandoned projects as much as possible that the continuation and completion of this project was approved. “Council approved outlined business case for the concessioning of the Gurara 30 megawatt hydro power plant which is suppose to fit into the industrial area of Kaduna city.” The minister also disclosed that he inherited 117 ongoing and abandoned projects when he assumed office in November 2015. He said he inherited debt profile of N89 billion comprising claims by contractors. According to him, N250 billon is needed to complete the 117 ongoing projects. Adamu said: “Our task has been to concentrate more on completing some of these projects so we set out to do a technical audit early last year on these projects based on which we prioritized them - top, medium and low priority. “Some projects that were thought not to be worthwhile were cancelled. This project approved happens to be one of the top priority project that is why we are willing to spend little more money to get the value for which the project was intended. “We are going to continue like that and we hope to complete at least 25 per cent of that 117 ongoing projects in the 2017 budget. We were able to complete one last year which was the Central Ogbia Water project, the next one will be the Northern Ishan in Edo State. “These projects cut across water supplies, dams, hydro power and irrigation. They are all being accorded their own priority. That technical audit has helped us in prioritizing our capital projects in 2016 and it helped us to prepare

in 2017 budget to enable us have a clear view of which project we want to do.” He said that the government in the next two years will deemphasising on new projects so that ongoing projects can be completed. “Most of these projects have direct impact on the citizenry and so there is no reason why they should be abandoned. This year we will continue to complete these projects notwithstanding that they were initiated by previous government. It doesn’t mean we will not embark on new projects but we will only do new projects that are very critical to the current infrastructural requirements. “For instance, from 2018 in the ministry of water resources, we intend to embark on setting up additional irrigation and hydro projects. These are the two priority areas for the next three four years. “So while we are doing these projects we will be praying for new projects so that by the time those projects are completed we will now have an overlap so that as we are finishing some we are starting other ones. “Everyone is going to be under the framework of the National Water Resources Masterplan which was revived and updated from 2016 to 2030 in accordance with water resources roadmap approved by President Muhammadu Buhari in June last year. “Some projects had reached advanced staged while others were stuck due to lack of budgetary allocation for several years. For the northern Ishan project for instance we need additional N200 million to be injected into the project which is far less compared to what has been spent which is close to N3 billion. Once the stolen and vandalized components are fixed we will be ready to commission the project.”

PUNCH Staff Loses Dad Pa Michael Afolabi Akintoye, a community leader in IkareAkoko, Ondo State, is dead. He was 87. A Christian wake will hold in his honour on January 27, 2017, at his home in IkareAkoko. His remains will be buried on Saturday, January 28, 2017, at Ikare-Akoko. A commendation service at the Christ Apostolic Church, OkeIgbala, Okela, Ikare –Akoko, will hold after the burial. Pa Akintoye is survived by many children and grandchildren. Among them

is Seth Akintoye, Manager, Editorial Training & Language Control, PUNCH Nigeria Ltd.

Pa Afolabi Akintoye

for-profit organisations. This was the position of the House of Representatives arising from a motion of urgent public importance debated yesterday. Not seeking legislative approval for the code as it relates to heads of Not-for-Profit organisations has resulted in its misapplication resulting in what can be deemed as a national embarrassment, the lawmakers said. Ousted boss of the FRC, Mr. Jim Obazee, came under fire for enforcing the code which stipulated maximum 20 year tenure for heads of Not-for-Profit organisations, under which religious bodies are categorised. The controversial code might have led to the resignation of

the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Enoch Adeboye as head of the church last weekend. The House, in adopting the prayers of the motion sponsored by Minority Leader, Hon. Leo Ogor, also directed its Committee on Delegated Legislation and Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to investigate the activities of FRC and thoroughly examine its regulations. Ogor argued that the governance code formulated by the council as relates to the heads of not-for-profit organisations, usurps the powers of the National Assembly as stipulated in Section 4 of the 1999 Constitution. “The National Assembly has

not in any way approved the corporate governance code as it did with the building code,” he said. Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai (Delta PDP) backed Ogor’s arguments. “Every delegated legislation done by any agency must be forwarded to the N’Assembly for ratification. This was not done in this instance,” he said. Ossai further argued that tenureship of religious bodies is determined by God, and should not be interfered with, by the government. Hon. Istifanus Gyang (Plateau PDP) harped on the need for more oversight of agencies, particularly those with powers of delegated legislation. “Whenever we are making

laws for these agencies, we must ensure we do not endow them with utmost powers, such that they do not start making regulations that infringe on the constitution,” Gyang said. In another development, the House has scheduled for debate, the proposed closure of the Nnamdi Azikwe Airport, Abuja from March 8, 2017 for rehabilitation of the runway by the aviation ministry. The Senate already opposed the move. The matter was mentioned as a matter of urgent public importance by Hon. Funke Adedoyin (Kwara APC). In line with House Rules, it would be debated on the next legislative day, today.


R-L: Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II; and Executive Director, HANSMAG Nigeria Ltd., Mr. Gbenga Awofionaye, during a courtesy visit by the Ooni of Ife at Lagos House, Ikeja....yesterday

Edo Election Tribunal Rules on Modalities for Inspection of Voting Materials Adibe EmenyonuÓØÏØÓØ City After weeks of legal fireworks bordering on technicalities and modalities, the Edo State Governorship Election Tribunal which finally kicked off in Benin City yesterday, has ruled on the modalities to be adopted for the inspection and scanning of ballot papers by parties in the case. The three-man tribunal headed by Justice Ahmed Badamasi ruled that only one representative from each party should examine ballot papers after scanning, adding that inspection of ballot papers must commence bewteen 9a.m. and 6p.m. and a break observed between 1p.m. and 2p.m. on week days.  The tribunal further ordered

that absence or late arrival of any parties shall not hinder scanning or inspection of ballot papers, inspection or scanning already done shall not be repeated and that inspection or scanning must be conducted on Saturday between 10a.m. and 4p.m. This came as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) tendered documents upon which the party’s petition is based which it claimed contained evidence of how the September 28 election was allegedly rigged in favour of the All Progressives Congress  (APC). Yusuf Alli (SAN), lead counsel to the petitioners, namely the PDP and its candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, tendered the documents before the tribunal and counsel to the

respondents in the case, namely the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr Godwin Obaseki and the APC. Alli, who noted that petitions are volumnous, described the documents as “non-contradictory, adding that the onus was on the petitioners to prove their case with well documented evidence. Documents tendered by the PDP counsel included all the Form EC8A, which contained the declaration of the entire result marked as exhibits PO1; Form EC8D as exhibit PO2; Form EC8C as exhibit PO3 and Form EC8P, which contains 185 copies of results from the 192 wards in the 18 local government areas of Edo State as exhibit PO4. However, lead counsel

to the INEC, Governor Obaseki and APC, Onyinye Anumonye, Ken Mozia (SAN) and Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) respectively objected, arguing that respondents must be given time to examine and mark the document and that the respondents should be availed of the petitioner’s schedule. After conversing with learned colleagues on the side of the respondents, counsel to the PDP, Alli, suggested that Thursday, Friday and Saturday be used to inspect the documents so that the petitioners can be allowed to tender their documents on Monday. Counsel to the respondents agreed to the proposal upon which the tribunal adjourned sitting to January 16, 2017.




Obasanjo Inaugurates Scheme to End Hunger by 2030 James Emejo Ă“Ă˜ĂŒĂ&#x;ÔË Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo,

yesterday inaugurated the Zero Hunger Strategic Initiative aimed at putting an end to hunger and

IPOB IdentiďŹ es Uwazuruike among Masked Witnesses to Testify against Kanu Emmanuel UgwuĂ“Ă˜Ă—Ă&#x;Ă‹Ă’Ă“Ă‹ The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has alleged that  the founder of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Chief Raph Uwazuruike, was among those lined up to be used as masked witnesses in the ongoing trial of IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and his co accused. IPOB had previously disclosed that its intelligence gathering showed that a Ghanaian and a Camerounian had been procured by the DSS as prosecution witnesses and had been undergoing “coachingâ€? at the DSS facility at VGC, Abuja. In a statement issued yesterday by the head of media and publicity, Emma Powerful, IPOB further revealed that Uwazuruike and one Chijioke Mbaneri from Enugu State and “some unscrupulous elements in Biafra landâ€? have also been enlisted by DSS to testify against Kanu and his co-accused. It specifically urged Uwazuruike “to retrace his stepsâ€? in the interest of the Biafra struggle for self determination. Uwazuruike, who is now leading a faction of MASSOB known as Biafra Independence Movement (BIM) has reportedly denied working with the federal government and its security agencies to testify against Kanu.  He said there was no need for him to offer himself as a prosecution witness and if he had chosen to do so it would be

in an open court and not under the cover of a mask. Nonetheless, the IPOB head of media and publicity insisted that the organisation has concrete evidence of Uwazuruike’s name featuring in the list of prosecution witnesses, adding that “the IPOB intelligence unit across the country uncovered plans and names of those to be used by the federal government to testify against our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.� “The federal government and her security agencies especially the DSS arranged for these unscrupulous elements in our land to jail Mazi Nnamdi Kanu who is bent, against all odds, on liberating the people of Biafra from the shackles of bondage and servitude from this contraption called Nigeria. “It is unfortunate that Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, who was among those championing the cause of Biafra before now, will suddenly change over night against the leader of IPOB worldwide, Kanu and the struggle for Biafra because of the promises made to him by the federal government and the DSS,� IPOB said.. The group said it was aware that the leader of BIM-MASSOB was motivated to change his stance “because of material things irrespective of the numerous murders in cold blood of our brethren since the inception of this struggle for independence of the people of Biafra.�

BBOG Urges FG to Be Transparent Kasim SumainaĂ“Ă˜ĂŒĂ&#x;ÔË The BringBackOurGirls Movement (#BBOG) yesterday urged the federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari to raise the bar on accountability and good governance even as it fights corruption at all levels of government in the country. The group frowned at what it describes as an abuse of funds meant for developmental purposes under the President’s watch. It added that Nigerians are not yet fully convinced that a minimum standard of accountable governance has been achieved as seen in a number of occasions which it would like to once again bring to the President’s attention. BBOG in a statement made available to journalists  yesterday in Abuja and jointly signed by the Oby Ezekwesili and Aisha Yesufu on behalf of the group stated that, while it is important

for Nigeria as a nation to recover the loot from past government officials and their cronies, “it is equally important to note that the public has expectations that cases of corruption will be thoroughly investigated and speedily prosecuted and concluded and that the guilty will in reality be jailed. “ The group noted that, accountability would therefore instruct all the law enforcement bodies, the Bar and the Bench to fully align with public agitation, demand and expectation. It said, “Already, the public has begun to cast suspicious glances at the enforcement and sanctions groups for the worrying signals that ‘they have often dropped the ball as the weakest link’ even when there is strong political commitment to punish bad behaviour in the country. The Judiciary in particular must thus rise to the expectation of citizens to see crime properly sanctioned consistently and compliant with due process. 

poverty in the country by 2030. He said the launch ushers a new journey to redefine the destiny of hundreds of millions of people in Africa in general and Nigeria in particular. The five- year scheme would bĂŠ piloted in four states including Ebonyi, Benue, Ogun and Sokoto and would aim towards unlocking the the potential of the country and ensure that the nation emancipate from the shackles of hunger and poverty. The former president is the Chairman of the Nigeira Zero Hunger Forum which produced the Nigeria Zero

Hunger. Strategic Review Report. He said:�The Zero Hunger in Nigeria cannot bÊ left to governments alone, neither can it bÊ left to the civil society not the sector alone. There must bÊ strong support for farmers at all levels and for producers or farmers organizations, and government must additionally povide the right policies.� The actions recommended in the report would bÊ implemented in all the 36 states including the FCT from January 2017 while the forum would support, encourage and monitor progress in the four pilot

states, according to Obasanjo adding that the Governors of these states have already agreed to implement the Zero Hunger Road Map a priority. He said the forum had put time frame for the achievement of the goals, adding that by January 2019 eight more states would be added to the focal states and by January 2021 all 36 States including Abuja would be keyed in. He said:�There’s never been a shortage of good prescriptions and reports for reducing hunger in Nigeria but the implementation of these have been poor and unsustained�

He said with the establishment of the Nigeira Zero Hunger Forum situated at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), recommendations contained in the synthesis report and individual subcommittee reports would all be implemented. Meawhile, Chairman, Hiers Foundation, Mr. Tony Elumelu who spoke on behalf of the sub committees said the private sector has a major role role to play in the achievement of the Zero Hunger and urged the federal and state government to provide the enabling environment.


Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello (left), being decorated by the state Chairman of the Legion of Ex-Service men , Capt. Johnson Ogur rtd) in Lokoja ....yesterday  

NSE: Closure of Abuja Airport May Prolong Nigeria’s Recession Petitions Buhari, says Kaduna is not an option Chineme Okafor Ă“Ă˜ĂŒĂ&#x;ÔË The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has said closing down the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja completely for a six-week repair of the runway was capable of stretching Nigeria’s economic recession further, and could cost her more than necessary for the job. The NSE in this regard, said yesterday at a briefing in Abuja that it had written to President Muhammadu Buhari to clearly state its views on the government’s adopted strategies for the repairs. It said the adopted strategies were unusual and uneconomical, and could have been better planned without creating alternative air traffic routes in Kaduna. Speaking at the briefing, NSE President, Otis Anyaeji, said the government’s strategies did

not take into account standard engineering methods for such works which are less costly. He added that to close an airport of Abuja status was akin to shutting down the economy of the country which would further distress Nigeria’s economy. Anyaeji explained that there were previous airport runway repair models the country could have adopted instead of closing down Abuja for Kaduna. He noted that NSE’s assessment of Kaduna showed that it was not an option at all on the back of its inadequacies and security threats to passengers. He also said the Abuja airport can be fixed incrementally without closing it down completely. “The aviation sector is a part of Nigeria’s transportation network and contributes significantly to the socio-economic growth

of Nigeria. Any disruption in the operations of this sector, particularly at an international airport that connects Nigeria to the rest of the world, has a huge impact,� said Anyaeji. He further explained: “The NSE has carried out an extensive and robust review of the phenomenal and devastating impact which the proposed closure of Abuja airport would impose on the competitiveness of our economy, which is already steeped in deep recession. “To close down an airport in a country is like shutting down the economy. The repercussions are so much and this should be considered especially as we know that we are in recession.� He listed some of the past repair strategies that validated NSE’s stance against the government’s plans, saying: “A good example is the Uli airport runway which was kept open

during the Civil War through quick fixes to crater caused by exploding bombs. “Another example is the replacement of the aging Frankfurt Airport runway in 2005, closure of the runway was not an option. All work was scheduled in a seven-and-a half hour night-time window over 300 nights in 15m section of the runway. “We have written to the president demanding that the government conducts itself in a professional manner and look to how other airports have been repaired. If other countries have done this, then it can be done because Kaduna or even Minna are not options. “There are still inadequacies in Abuja airport which necessitated the ongoing expansion and other upgrade works, Kaduna certainly does not have the capacity to handle the traffic that will come,� Anyaeji noted.




Lagos Accuses Federal Registry of Constituting Nuisance in Ikoyi Begins clean-up exercise in Ikoyi, VI, Lekki fortnight Gboyega Akinsanmi The Lagos State Government yesterday accused the Federal

Marriage Registry of constituting grievous environmental nuisance in Ikoyi though unacceptable use of road infrastructure

Gambia: Lawmaker Proposes Offer of Safe Haven for Jammeh Damilola OyedeleĂ“Ă˜ĂŒĂ&#x;ÔË˿ A member of the House of Representatives representing Gumel/Maigatari/Sule Tankarkar federal constituency of Jigawa State, Hon. Mohammed Sani Zorro, has advocated the offer of a safe haven for Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh, to encourage him to hand over power. Jammeh has said he would not handover to his opponent, Barrow, who defeated him in the last presidential polls, despite initially conceding

defeat. The development has caused tensions in the coastal country. Leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) with Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, are currently exploring mediation to ensure a peaceful transition of power. Zorro brought the matter up as a motion of urgent public importance at plenary yesterday. In line with House Rules, it would be debated on the next legislative day, which is today.Â

by its patrons. The state government also said it would begin the clean-up of Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Lekki in a fortnight, noting that the second phase would involve all inner streets of the designated areas. The Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, disclosed this yesterday after a meeting of the Special Task Force on Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Lekki the state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode set up last year. Ambode had in August 2016 constituted the task force under the chairmanship of Bello aimed at removing illegal structures in Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Lekki; ridding the areas of street traders and abandoned properties; and enforcing the original

masterplan of the areas. But at a session with journalists yesterday, Bello disclosed the plans of the state government to begin the second of the clean-up exercise that had brought relative sanity to the areas. The chairman accused the Federal Marriage Registry of constituting environmental nuisance and violating the state’s traffic laws for failing to provide parking facilities for its patrons. He lamented that the patrons of the Federal Marriage Registry in Ikoyi often “constitute nuisance by indiscriminately parking on the road,� thereby asking the registry “to find solution to it or risk impounding the contravened vehicles and prosecution of the owners.� Bello explained that the

clean-up exercise, which would enter its second phase in a fortnight, would involve a total clean-up of the inner streets of the designated areas in a fortnight time. He said the committee “will now focus on all the inner streets of Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Lekki. For all those who have been dislodged from the major streets but are finding their way back to the inner streets, this is a clear warning that the task force is coming after them. “The earlier they realise that there is no place for street traders, illegal shanties or abandoned properties in the area, the better for them. We are also going to embark on a mop up operation on all the areas that have already been cleared by the task

force. “The effort is to ensure that in any instances where we have some of the dislodged traders or operators of shanties that have returned, they will not only be removed but prosecuted.� The chairman explained that an improvement on the second stage of the clean-up exercise would be the presence of Mobile Courts to try all offenders on all days of the operation. He commended the various agencies involved in the clean-up exercise for the efforts made to ensure the level of success already recorded in the first stage of the exercise, urging them not to rest on their oars because the exercise is going to be a continuous one.

Al-Makura,Ortom to Meet over Communities Headsmen’s Activities George Okoh Ă˜Ă‹Ă•Ă&#x;ĂœĂŽĂ“ Governor Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State yesterday disclosed that he would be mediating along with his counterpart in Benue State, Samuel Ortom to bring about lasting peace between Fulani herdsmen and their hosts in communities in Benue and Nasarawa States. The governor who had a meeting with Ortom on the issues of insecurity affecting the border towns of Agatu, Guma, Logo and Loko where herdsmen and farmers had had persistent crises over grazing, said they had agreed to visit Agatu Local Government Area in Benue State to mediate between Fulani herdsmen and Agatu indigenes . He said there was a need for peaceful coexistence in the boundary towns of Benue and Nasarawa where both the Tiv people and Agatu people exist on both side of the divide. He said he remained committed to achieving peace between residents of Agatu in Benue State and Loko in Nasarawa The security council of both states, including traditional rulers would visit Agatu on January 18, 2017. Meanwhile, following the lukewarm attitude of the Benue State House of Assembly (BSHA) in passing the Anti Grazing bill presented by the state government,the group yesterday led a peaceful protest to occupy the state assembly complex demanding that the bill be passed to forestall renewed attack by Fulani Herders on Benue communities. Members of the group led by

Reverend Father Moses Mffa, Nath Apir and Pastor Dave Ogbole chided the assembly for being insensitive to the plight of victims of Fulani herdsmen attack in the state. According to Apir while addressing the Speaker of the assembly Terkimbir Ikyange said he was disappointed with the speaker for not keeping to the promise to pass the bill last year. One of the victims the attacks, a Reverend Father, Solomon Mfa, lamented the inability of the federal government to check the excesses of the herdsmen whom he believes, have sinister occupation agenda asides grazing cattles in the Benue valley. He said members of MAFO decided to occupy the assembly due to a no action by the assembly. He warned the assembly that if the issue was not resolved on time, the Benue people would have no choice but to permanently occupy the assembly. In his reply to the group, the Speaker Ikyange congratulated the movement for pressing for the passage of the bill, while also calling for time to enable the assembly to pass the bill. He said there are some rough edges to the bill that needed to be sharpened up even as he assured that the assembly would be conducting a public hearing over the bill. He also added that the assembly was aware of the plight of the victims of the attack and are making frantic effort to ensure such attacks do not re-occur.


A cross section of traditional rulers at the burial of the former Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abdulkadir Kure, in Minna....yesterday

ReďŹ neries Resume Kerosene, Diesel Production, NNPC Claims Chineme OkaforĂ“Ă˜ĂŒĂ&#x;ÔË The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday said its refineries in Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Warri had all resumed production of diesel and kerosene. A statement from the Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu, in Abuja stated that the resumption of refining of diesel and kerosene by the refineries would balance the gap in demand and supply of the products in the country. The statement quoted the Managing Director of Warri Refining and Petrochemical

Company (WRPC), Solomon Ladenegan, to have said on the production level of the Warri refinery, that the plant had been doing well since the Crude Distillation Unit (CDU) was improved on on Saturday, January 7, 2017. Ladenegan, the statement explained, said the refinery resumed production last Saturday at about 10:22hrs, with its functioning CDU. He said the plant now refines two million litres of kerosene and three million litres of diesel daily. “This morning, we have pumped the products to PPMC and they have started loading. They

are going to load up to 1 million litres of DPK and AGO. The products are there in the tank and we are doing everything to get them to the market,� Ladenegan said in the statement. It also quoted the Managing Director of the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC), Dr. Bafred Enjugu, to have stated that the Port Harcourt Refinery was producing three million litres of diesel daily, and undisclosed millions of kerosene. Enjugu, it explained, said operators of the refinery were happy they rehabilitated the old Port

Harcourt Refinery where production of diesel was being carried out by themselves without foreign expertise deployment. For the Kaduna Refinery, the statement noted that it has also come back to work, producing millions of litres of white products to ease out the situation in supply and distribution of petroleum products nationwide. It said beside the products from the refineries, the NNPC has made arrangements for additional supply intervention through direct import of petrol, diesel and kerosen to sustain products availability across the country.Â




36,000 Nigerians Illegally Migrated to Italy in 2016 Illegal migrants from Nigeria account for 21 per cent of the total 171, 299 immigrants that braved the Mediterranean odds

to arrive Italy in 2016. Figures from the Italian interior ministry according to The Cable, estimated the

Customs Charges Anti-Smuggling Squads to Ensure Total Blockage of Trapped Vehicles Ndubuisi FrancisÓØÌßÔË The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hammed Ali (rtd), has charged the anti-smuggling squads to ensure total blockage to prevent desperate vehicle importers from smuggling in trapped vehicles from the land borders. The NCS had on January 1, 2017 enforced a complete ban on the importation of vehicles through the land borders, a development which has reportedly resulted in tens of thousands of cars being trapped. A statement issued by the NCS’ Acting Public Relations Officer, Jospeh Attah, said Ali had directed operatives of the Headquarters Compliance Team and Federal Operations Units to compliment the resident officers of land borders to effectively beef up security and enforce the federal government policy on non importation of vehicles through the land borders. He stated that apart from being a statutory function of NCS to implement government fiscal policies, as Nigerians, the advantages and opportunities inherent in the policy is

a motivation to ensure compliance. “Regrettably, despite Nigeria’s bigger and more equipped port facilities, statistics has shown that more than 90 per cent of vehicles imported to neighbouring countries are normally on transit to Nigeria market. “Though duty rates chargeable for motor vehicles at both land borders and seaports remain the same, importers of these vehicles exploit the informality of land border trade, since they are not usually manifested for Nigeria ports to either smuggle through the porous border or compromise some customs officers and that of other agencies to short change the nation,” the statement said. The NCS Comptroller General charged the anti-smuggling squads to ensure total blockage such that no desperate vehicle importer is allowed to smuggle in any of the trapped vehicles. The statement listed the merits of the policy, adding that channelisation of motor vehicles to seaports will enable suppression of smuggling as well as creating business and job opportunities with the eventual emergence of bonded car parks for vehicles around the country, among others.

Three Remanded for Stealing N25m Belonging to Fayose’s Personal Assistant Victor Ogunje ÓØÎÙÕÓÞÓ Three persons identified as Bamidele Temitope, 36, Afolabi Sunday, 42, and Shuaib Amidu, 67, were remanded in prison custody for allegedly stealing the sum of N25 million belonging to Mr. Sunday Omosilade, Personal Assistant to Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose. The police prosecutor, Caleb Leranmo, told the court that the accused persons committed the offence on December 29 at the state Government House Lodge in Ado-Ekiti. Leramo alleged that the accused persons did conspire together to commit felony to wit stealing, thereby committed an offence punishable under section 516 of Criminal Code, Cap C16, laws of Ekiti State 2012. The prosecutor also alleged that the accused persons, on the said date, did unlawfully stole $50,000 belonging to one

Sunday Omosilade. He said the accused persons thereby committed an offence punishable under section 390 of the Criminal Code, Cap C16, Laws of Ekiti State 2012. He said the accused become an accessory after the fact of felony to one Afolabi Sunday when he changed $20,000 stolen money to naira denomination for one of them. According to him, the offence contravened section 519 of the Criminal Code, Cap C16, Laws of Ekiti State 2012. The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges, while their counsel, Mr. Busuyi Ayorinde, applied for their bail but the court told him to formalise his application. Chief Magistrate Adesoji  Adegboye consequently remanded the accused persons in prison custody. He adjourned the case to January 16 for further hearing

the “perilous Mediterranean crossings in their bid to emigrate to Europe, “The dangers and rigours of the expeditions entail extreme negative prospects compared to the vibrant opportunities that Nigeria as a nation is still blessed with,” said the statement, signed by U. Onwuanukwo, on behalf of the SGF.” According to Frontex, the European Union border agency, some 181,000 migrants eventually arrived in Italy last year from North Africa, the highest number ever recorded. It was 20 per cent more than last year. The largest group of migrants arriving were Nigerians, Eritreans and Guineans, the agency added.

record of Nigerian arrivals at 36,000, most of them claiming they were running away from Boko Haram insurgency or Niger Delta crisis. The estimate was as of November 2016. The Nigerian government was briefed by Italian authorities on this development late last year. “Most Nigerian migrants pictured in this milieu, are motivated by economic and pecuniary interests,” said a spokesman to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal. From all indications, government might soon begin a campaign to dissuade the young Nigerian “opportunity seekers” from embarking on

Nigerians, along with Guineans, also formed the bulk of migrants rescued at sea, especially in November, said Frontex in a report published on December 9. The flow of Nigerian immigrants to Italy via the Mediterranean backdoor began in 2008 and declined for five years. From 2013, the number jumped. In sorting out the migrants, Italian and European authorities have been able to distinguish between migrants from war-torn states, such as Syria, from the hordes of economic refugees from Africa. “The flow from Syria and Iraq is somewhat contingent while that from Africa is structural,” Mattia Toaldo, senior policy fellow at the

European Council on foreign relations, said. “Some European citizens welcome refugees from Syria while support for African economic migrants among public opinion is extremely low.” Italy, meanwhile, has reopened its embassy in Libya to enable its officials work with Libyan government to stem the flow of immigrants, through the Libyan route - the most popularly used by Nigerian migrants. Marco Minniti, the Italian interior minister, announced the decision on Monday. The embassy was closed down in 2015, along with all other western embassies as the north-African country descended into violence.


A peaceful protest by members of Odimodi, Beniboye and Isiayegbene Communities against Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited and Hydrodive Nigeria Limited in respect of the contract for the repairs of the 48 inches export pipeline located at Odimodi and its Federed Communities at Wharf Road, Apapa, Lagos...yesterday


Police Commission Set to Recall 95 Disengaged Staff, Following Court Ruling Dele OgbodoÓØÌßÔË The Police  Service Commission (PSC) has said the commission is set to recall the 95 staff wrongly disengaged from its service in 2016, following judgements from the National Industrial Court. Speaking with THISDAY yesterday, the Head of Media of the commission, Mr. Ikechukwu Ani, said the commission has since approved the recall of the staff and had also put in place processes for their immediate resumption of duty, adding that their recall letters is being processed. He admitted that the  commission  would continue to operate within the confines of the rule of law and would not detract

from its position to obey judgments of Courts of competent jurisdiction. He said: “The commission wishes to state that it has not declined to comply with the judgment of the National Industrial Court in Suit No. NICN/ABJ/11/2014 of 7th October, 2016, where it was directed to recall some of its staff disengaged due to irregular appointments. “The commission has since approved the recall of the staff and has also put in place processes for their immediate resumption of duty. Their letters of recall are currently being processed.” However, he said it was also instructive to explain that the affected staff were only inherited by the present commission which

did its best to regularise their defective recruitment but to no success. He said: “The immediate past commission, against laid down rules and regulations guiding recruitment into the federal public service, issued letters of appointments to people without due process. “There was no advertisement for vacant positions, no interviews held and no financial provision for payment of their salaries. The newly recruited staff worked for five months without salaries.” He said the present commission led by Sir. Mike Mbama Okiro (rtd), on resumption o f d u t y, w r o t e t o t h e Accountant General of the Federation requesting for payment for the said staff but

the request was turned down because the recruitment did not follow due process. According to him, the new staff were therefore not captured in the budget and the Integrated Personnel Payroll System (IPPIS). He said: “The Commission also wrote to the presidency for a waiver which was also turned down. It was after these efforts that the Commission invited the affected staff for a meeting where they were briefed on the situation and advised to go pending the regularisation of the exercise. Since then, efforts had been on-going to resolve the matter. “The Commission however has decided to recall them in line with the judgment of the National Industrial Court.” 


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Group Sports Editor Duro Ikhazuagbe Email

Outrage Greets Sorry State of Abuja Stadium Pitch Senator Ogba stages one-man protest as IfeanyiUbah FC wins Charity Cup on bald turf Femi Solaja

In the 33rd minute, Ghanaian Olamilakan Adeleye was forced Rangers new signing, Daniel Etor and Godwin Aguda, defender of Ifeanyi Ubah, Kojo by injury to give way to Stephen The much advertised Charity Cup tormented the FC Ifeanyi Bah was sent off after his second Eze. Both teams struggled to match between Federation Cup Ubah defence at the start of this booking for a late tackle. The Nnewi outfit suffered thread passes on the bumpy winners, IfeanyiUbah FC and encounter inside an almost empty further setback when captain pitch as the first half ended Nigeria Professional Football stadium. League champions, Rangers International FC of Enugu yesterday was overshadowed by the sorry state of the Abuja National Stadium mainbowl pitch that hosted the tie. The match which was to officially kick-start the new NPFLseason of turned out to be an advertisement of the country’s poor management of monuments. The multi billion naira Abuja edify that hosted the 8th All-Africa Games in 2003 now a shadow of itself. The state of the pitch, which ordinarily should not have staged a match of that magnitude, led to the Chairman of Senate Committee on Sports, Senator Obinna Ogba to abandon the VIP stand and opted to seat among the fans in the stands. Some senior management staff of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) tried  in vain to parley him not to hit up the polity with his movement to the popular stand. THISDAY checks revealed that the zero budget of the Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, for the maintenance of the facility may have been responsible for The bumpy pitch of Abuja National Stadium – INSERT: NFF oďŹƒcials appealing to Senator Ogba why the entire complex, including the football pitch is in its present sorry state. The Abuja National Stadium Rotimi in the United goal.  which was one of the best facilities Nigeria Professional Football League the Enyimba defence.    If the first half belonged to ‘The Pride of Rivers’ were the on the African continent as at the (NPFL) heavyweights, Enyimba time it was built has become a and Rivers United on Tuesday dominant side in the first half and United, the second was pretty much ghost of itself with dangerous played out an entertaining 0-0 were extremely unfortunate not to all about the People’s Elephants reptiles and weed taking over draw in a high-profile pre-season finally get off the mark in the 35th as they pinned the Port Harcourt minute when Anaezemba missed side to their half for most parts.  friendly match in Calabar. the whole complex.  Osadiaye, Ifegwu Ojukwu, United started on the front foot at an open goal with a right-footed Sadly, Sports Ministry staff whose offices are inside the the UJ Esuene Stadium and should drive which flew marginally wide.  Stephen Chukwude, Ikechukwu The visitors continued to enjoy Ibenegbu and Mfon Udoh all came complex have abandoned their have opened the scoring in the offices for fear of being bitten by third minute but Emeka Ogbugh the better of the goal scoring close to scoring for the two-time snakes and scorpions which crawl failed to reach Bolaji Sakin’s cross opportunities in a frenetic half African champions in a second with Ogbugh fluffing his lines half that ebbed and flowed.  on the far side.  all over the premises. Ibrahim Mustapha missed the Emeka Atoloma also had a clear twice within a minute as the first In the 2016 best chance of the game, four budget,  N83,416,015,167 billion sight of goal but failed to score in the period came to an end.  Enyimba also had their moments minutes after the restart as he was budgeted for the Youth 19th minute following impressive and Sports Ministry, the youth work by Nzube Anaezemba too, most notably in the 36th minute managed to plant a free header department which takes care of and Lukman Mohammed who when Joseph Osadiaye’s fierce long wide from two yards after he was National Youth Service Corps and combind delightfully to carve open range drive failed to trouble Sunday played in by captain, Udoh on the Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre (CLTC) took substantial part of the budget with a whopping N74,007, 622,305 billion (NYSC-N72,875, 300,832billion and CLTC N1,132,321,473billion). Osewa is fast becoming a slow The ministry’s headquarters was Nigeria began her defence of the Umar Fouma of Mali 6-3, 6-2 expected to get N7,762,617,332 2017 ITF/CAT African Junior starter as he had to come from a in the boys’ category. Nigeria’s billion being the total for its Championship West and Central set down to win four of his five fine run was somehow dented recurrent and capital expenditures.  Africa qualifiers yesterday in an matches at the last AJC in Pretoria as Toyin Asogba fell 6-0, 6-3 to The NFF was expected to receive impressive note with most of her in South Africa where he lost to Kpadonu of Togo in the girls’ N1,149,250,310 billion while the players securing victories in their Damien Laporte of the Seychelles National Institute for Sports (N.I.S.) opening matches at the tournament in the final. “It was a very difficult and tough received N496,525,218 million. The holding in Lome, Togo. Wilson Igbinovia was the first match. The Ivorian opponent was budget did not mention any fund disbursement  to all the 26 national among the Nigerians in action to playing with so much powerin the sports federation many of whom bag a victory by beating Maiga first set and Osewa kust don’t know All things being equal, Nigerian Quattara of Burkina Baso 6-1, 6-2 how to contain him. However, he international Asisat Oshoala will join are in comatose. The sports federations in the boy’s 16 and under category. (Osewa) took control of the game the bandwagon of players moving comprising about 26 sports were It was a dream AJC debut for the in the second match which he to China any moment from now. similarly not given any fund in 13-year-old, who was the surprise won convincingly; the same thing According to feelers exclusively element in the Nigerian team after happened in the final set,â€? Nigeria’s gathered by, the 2016. Meanwhile, 10-man FC playing his way to the team during coach, Mohammed Ubale said after ebony complexioned striker is the match. IfeanyiUbah yesterday clinched the camping in Ekiti. about to join a yet to be disclosed In the girls’ 16 and under, Chinese club only 9 months after But while Igbinova had it easy, the Charity Cup after they beat a disappointing Rangers 4-3 on Michael Osewa was made to work Omolade Aderemi also triumphed she pitched tents with Arsenal penalties after both teams failed off his socks before beating Haya over Dami Kouche of Togo 6-1, ladies. to score within regulation time. Koune of Cote d’Ivoire 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. 6-0 while Michael Ayoola defeated Oshoala spent the 2015 season

without neither side getting on the scoreboard. Despite their numerical advantage, the Flying Antelopes were disappointing with ‘The Anambra Warriors’ the more

enterprising team. Rangers introduced Ocheme Edoh for Etor late in the contest, but they still failed to break down their opponents forcing the game to be decided on penalties.

Enyimba, Rivers United in Goalless Thriller in Calabar the right. It was a good workout for both sides with just days to the start of the 2016/17 NPFL season and the Enyimba trainer, Gbenga Ogunbote voiced his sentiments to the Rivers United official website, after the game. “I am still not completely satisfied (with the state of my team) but it is still a team in the making.  “We should have scored some goals in the game and we need to work on correcting those mistakes.  “Even if we had won (against Rivers United), we still would have had a few things that we need to

perfect,� he said. The United technical manager, Stanley Eguma also spoke to the media afterwards.  “It was a good game and Enyimba played well.  “We had scoring chances but failed to convert them and that is something that we really need to work on.  “All the same, that is why these sort of matches are played; to help us identify and correct mistakes,� he said.  Rivers United and Enyimba will both open their respective league campaigns with tricky home fixtures on Sunday. 


Igbinovia, Osewa Win as Nigeria Makes Impressive Start 16 and under. Nigeria’s Oyinlomo Quadri will be in action on Thursday as she bid to defend the girls’ 14 and under title she won in

Abuja last year. The tournament which is open to 15 countries serves as qualifiers for the AJC billed for March in Pretoria.

Oshoala Also Heading to China with Liverpool, where she became the first player from Africa to feature in the Women’s Super League. She scored three goals in 12 league appearances for the Reds. On the international stage, Asisat has represented Nigeria with distinction at youth and senior level. In 2014, she was player of the tournament at both the Under-20 World Cup and the

African Women’s Championship. She was named best player and was the highest goal scorer at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. She was named best player and second top goalscorer with the Super Falcons team who won the 2014 African Women’s Championship. She was also named the BBC’s Women’s Footballer of the Year in 2015.




AFCON 2017…

AFCON 2017…

No Regrets for Zaha against Three Lions Wilfried Zaha has no regrets about turning his back on England in order to play for Cote d’ Ivoire at the African Nations Cup, the Crystal Palace winger said on Tuesday. Zaha switched his international allegiance late last year to compete for the Ivorians, who are bidding to retain their Nations Cup crown at this year’s finals in Gabon, which start on Saturday. He was born in Abidjan, but brought up in London from the age of four, joining Palace when he was 12 and going on to win two caps for England. “I left for England and I did not return to the country (Cote d’ Ivoire). So I did all my schooling in my adopted country and it was most normal that I played for the England youth teams,” Zaha in an interview, published in French on the Ivorian Football Federation’s website. “For the past four years, I have had ample time to analyse my situation and to take into account the solicitations of the Ivorian Football Association. “Now I have made my choice. Now I want to play with the Ivory Coast. It has been rewarding, firstly because I am proud to play for my country, then because the Ivorian selection has quality players and has always been a reservoir of

talent. So I made the right choice and I do not regret it.” The winger made his debut in a friendly on Sunday, coming on in the second half to set up the winner as the Ivorians beat Sweden 2-1 in Abu Dhabi. He won a second cap yesterday when they complete their preparations with another friendly in Abu Dhabi, against fellow finalists Uganda. “I want to be able to give the best of myself to the team and contribute with my teammates to winning more titles. I want to be able to offer the country a third Nations Cup, make Ivorians happy. That is my ambition in the short term. Then we need to qualify for the 2018 World Cup,” Zaha said. Zaha successfully applied to Fifa to change his international status despite playing for England in friendlies against Sweden in November 2012 and against Scotland in August 2013. The Ivorians play in Group C and begin their campaign on Monday in Oyem against Togo. They will also meet the Democratic Republic of Congo and Morocco in the group stage. Meanwhile, Zaha scored his first goal for African champions as they trounced Uganda 3-0 yesterday in a warm-up match for the 2017 Cup of Nations.

Khazri Cleared to Compete at AFCON Tunisia’s Wahbi Khazri will be fit to play at the Africa Cup of Nations despite suffering an ankle injury in a friendly international on Sunday, the Tunisian Football Federation said on Tuesday. The 25-year-old Sunderland winger was carried off on a stretcher in Cairo on Sunday when his team lost to Egypt in a warm-up match before the weekend start of the tournament in Gabon, raising an alarm about his availability.

“It’s not a serious injury. It’s a benign ankle sprain, he will be able to play in Gabon,” the federation said in a statement on its website. Khazri is one of Tunisia’s best hopes for the tournament despite a lack of game time for his Premier League club over the last few months. Tunisia face Senegal, Algeria and Zimbabwe in Group B at the Nations Cup. They face Senegal in their opening game on Sunday.

Kalou Assures Fans of Better Results Veteran striker Salomon Kalou believes Cote d’ Ivoire will raise their game after a poor qualifying campaign and win a second successive Africa Cup of Nations title. The Elephants looked anything but defending African champions as they struggled to make the 2017 tournament in Gabon from a group including modest rivals Sierra Leone and Sudan. The Ivoriens survived a late goalmouth scare to draw 1-1 at home against Sierra Leone last September and finish just one point above their final matchday opponents in the standings. The form of the west Africans subsequently improved with a home win over Mali and away draw against Morocco in 2018 World Cup qualifiers. They also visited Euro 2016 hosts and runners-up France in November and forced a morale-boosting goalless friendly international draw.

Kalou, poised to compete at his fifth Cup of Nations tournament, sees similarities with the trophy-winning 2015 Africa Cup campaign. “We also battled in the previous qualifiers, losing heavily in Cameroon and also failing at home to the Democratic Republic of Congo. “But by the time we got to the knockout stage of the finals in Equatorial Guinea, we were producing outstanding football and scored three goals each in victories over Algeria and DR Congo. “The final against Ghana was a tight, tense affair and our experience and calmness shone through in the post-match penalties shootout.” The West African nation won 9-8 on spot-kicks following 120 goalless minutes. After the champions-to-be fluffed their first two penalties, Kalou was among nine consecutive Ivorians to score


Egypt Look Set to Rekindle Glory Days The Pharous Egypt return to the African Cup of Nations after a seven-year absence with a new generation looking to rekindle the glory days of three consecutive titles before the 2011 uprising exhausted Egyptian football. Watching football has for decades been a favourite pasttime for millions of Egyptians, especially with the national team who won the title in 2006, 2008, and 2010, making them one of the strongest teams in Africa and the Middle East. But after 2011 this passion was rolled back among many fans due to memories of violence and was dimmed in a faltering economy. “Egypt returns to the tournament under totally different circumstances,” Karim Ramzy, the managing editor of the independent Yallakora website, told AFP. “Egypt’s national team has drastically changed in comparison to the team which last participated in the tournament,” said Ramzy. The tournament kicks off on January 14 in Gabon with Egypt drawn in Group D alongside

Ghana, Uganda and Mali. Out of the 23 players called up by Argentinian coach Hector Cuper, 19 are playing for the first time in the tournament, including Roma star Mohamed Salah. Conditions drastically changed in Egypt amid the political and security turmoil that has engulfed the country since the January 2011 uprising that toppled longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak. These disturbances impacted football, reflected in the team’s absence from the tournament in 2012, 2013, and 2015, despite winning seven tournaments before, a continental record. The national team does not receive the same level of support as it did under Mubarak, whose sons Gamal and Alaa used to visit training sessions and attend matches. “Political and economic challenges” led to a reduced interest in football, said Ramzy. “Under Mubarak, there was nothing in the country more important than football. It was more important than presidential and parliamentary elections,” he said. Very little airtime is dedicated

to the team’s participation in the tournament on satellite channels which are more occupied with the country’s political and economic crises. With the retirement of golden era stars Mohamed Abou Treika, Ahmed Hassan, Wael Gomaa, and Mohamed Zidan, more room was made for younger players. In addition to Salah, the line-up includes other prominent players such as Mohamed Elneny, Ramadan Sobhi, and Ahmed Elmohamady who play for the English clubs of Arsenal, Stoke City, and Hull City, and Kahraba who plays for the Saudi club Al-Ittihad. The Egyptian team’s line-up includes 10 professional players based abroad, the biggest number in tournament history. Still, the fans fear the lack of experience of the newer players, although the participation of legendary goalkeeper Essam Al Hadari and defender Ahmed Fathy, who won three tournaments, could boost the newcomers. “Egypt’s return carries big gains for this generation of players,” Ahmed Hassan, the captain of the

team that won three consecutive titles,” told AFP. “There is a lack in experience and no interaction with African teams for many of the players, and it is possible that Egypt’s performance does not rise up to the audience’s aspirations,” said Hassan. Still, “Egypt always does well in tournaments,” says Hassan. In Egypt winning this tournament was an outlet for the fans frustrated at not qualifying for the World Cup since 1990. Watching the games has been a chance for family and friends to unit behind the national team despite turmoil. Football matches in Egypt have held behind closed doors in empty stadiums void of fans since 19 Zamalek fans were killed in February 2015 and 72 Al-Ahli fans perished three years earlier. “I hope it becomes a big opportunity for Egyptians to come together behind one team that is playing under Egypt’s name, especially after the country went through a terrible phase of polarisation,” added Hany Hathout, a presenter with private eXtra News channel.

Odds against Renard for Third Title Herve Renard is looking to do something in Gabon that no coach has done before and win a third Africa Cup of Nations title with a third different country. The Frenchman leads Morocco into the tournament having won the title with the Cote d’ Ivoire years ago and with Zambia, the last time it was held in Gabon in 2012. However, Renard, 48, knows it will not be easy with his Morocco side shorn of several key players due to injury. “We would like to do it, but it is easier said than done,” Renard said during a press conference in Paris organised by beIN Sports. “When we came into the tournament with Ivory Coast we were not in sparkling form so that is what makes me think

everything is possible in a competition like the African Cup.” Only two coaches have won the Cup of Nations three times, with Charles Gyamfi achieving the feat in charge of Ghana in 1963, 1965 and 1982. Hassan Shehata also won it three times with Egypt between 2006 and 2010. Just getting out of their group would be an achievement for Renard and Morocco, however. They had already lost midfielders Younes Belhanda, Oussama Tannane and Watford’s Nordin Amrabat to injuries before twinkle-toed Southampton star Sofiane Boufal withdrew with a knee injury at the weekend. Any team would struggle to overcome such losses, even if Morocco still have quality at

their disposal, not least in the shape of Juventus centre-back Mehdi Benatia, the captain. The Atlas Lions will come up against DR Congo, Togo and Renard’s former team the Ivory Coast in Group C in Oyem as they look to go beyond the group stage for the first time since reaching the final in Tunisia in 2004. “The hardest part will be this first round with Ivory Coast and DR Congo, two massive teams, as well as Togo,” Renard said. “I put pressure on myself because I am not afraid to say that not reaching the quarterfinals would be a failure. I didn’t take the job to not go beyond the group stage, even though we are in a very difficult section.” He added: “Morocco have

not done anything in a major competition for 15 years now. That is a long time and there is a lot of expectation.” While Renard led the Ivorians to glory two years ago, Moroccans could only look on – their country, African champions once in 1976, had given up the hosting of the tournament to Equatorial Guinea over ebola fears and were thrown out as a result. “The fact that I have had a lot of success in recent years also makes people think that alone can make the difference. But that doesn’t matter, what matters is the spirit of the team and the way we go into our matches,” added Renard, who had a brief and disappointing stint in charge of Lille in his native France after leaving the Elephants.





Thursday, January 12, 2017



& RE A S O


Price: N250

MISSILE Shettima to UNICEF, Others “The ICRC is doing a very good job. We also appreciate the efforts of the Norwegian Refugee Council, the Danish Refugee council and the International Organisation for Migration. The UNHCR is also doing a good job. But we don’t know what other UN agencies are doing. We only see them in some flashy bullet proof jeeps; apart from that, we hardly see their impacts” – Borno State Governor Shettima, accusing UN agencies of exploiting Boko Haram victims.


Obaze, Accountability and the Church


hile only a few people would query the rationale for sacking Mr. Jim Osayande Obaze, the Executive Secretary of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC), the timing of the decision has raised some fundamental questions, especially given the suspension by the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechuckwu Enelamah, of the controversial corporate governance code that led to the action. Yet, I had more than three years ago warned in my column, “One Central Bank, Four Governors”, that Obaze is unfit for the kind of responsibility he was saddled with. As I wrote back then, the story can be traced to 1982, when the Nigerian Accounting Standards Board (NASB), a private sector initiative was established in collaboration with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN). Ten years later in 1992, then military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, converted the NASB into a government parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Commerce. In 2003, the NASB Act was passed by the National Assembly with the primary functions to “develop, publish and update Statements of Accounting Standards to be followed by companies when they prepare their financial statement, and to promote and enforce compliance with the standards”. Following a critical appraisal of the NASB by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2010, the then Executive Secretary, Mr. Godson Nnadi began a process for establishing a new body that would not only regulate accounting and auditing standards in the country but would also be independent of both ICAN and ANAN. Shortly after he commenced that process, Nnadi was appointed Finance and Economic Development Commissioner in Enugu State where he hails from. Before he left, Nnadi handed over to his protégé, Obaze who saw to the drafting and eventual passage of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC) Bill in May 2011. I have it on good authority that, either due to compromise on the part of the National Assembly committee that was to provide oversight or out of negligence, the lawmakers simply endorsed the draft presented to them by Obaze without any input. Even at that, there is nothing in the FRC Act 2011 (which I once took the trouble to read) that empowers Obaze to be interrogating CBN Governors as he tried with Sanusi Lamido Sanusi in 2013, harassing promoters of commercial banks as he did last year with Stambic IBTC or compelling church leaders to vacate their positions as he recently attempted with some dubious guidelines. But the controversy has also thrown up the question of whether churches and mosques are above accountability. That needs to be addressed. Whatever may be Obaze’s excesses, and he is a man renowned for sundry acts of recklessness, his problem started in December 2012 when he announced that the FRC had designed an accounting system for churches, mosques and other not-for-profit organisations that would compel them to report their financial transactions periodically from January 2013. To achieve this objective, he unveiled the Statement of Accounting Standards (SAS) 32 which stipulates that the financial statements

Obaze of such organisations shall include Statement of Accounting Policies, Statement of Financial Position, Statement of Activities (income and expenditure), Statement of Changes in Net Assets, Statement of Cash flows, Notes on Accounts and Five-year Financial Summary. I don’t know how much compliance there has been in that direction but Obaze once lamented publicly about the challenge he was facing. “In keeping other peoples’ money, you have to prepare account. That is why churches fought me so badly, took me to court as a person and then my office too. Mosques and orthodox churches freely complied, but those Pentecostal churches called me to ask questions. They said ‘this church is church of God and we are accountable to God.’ And I told them: ‘Very good, so you must take this church to heaven, you can’t operate it here’. When public funds are involved, government needs to ensure proper accountability” he said at the time. Since not-for-profit organisations exist for social, religious, educational, professional or other charitable reasons, and their income are not captured in the tax net, Obaze has a point.

Even when a non-profit organisation may have assets and may be profitable, the accruing funds are expected to be deployed in pursuit of the goals for which those institutions were established; and not to be shared by some promoters. Yet, we all know that there are religious and other non-government organizations in our country that are established and run like family businesses. That is not right. In most civilised societies, donations to churches, mosques and other religious centers are well documented not only for record purposes but also to ensure that the sources of those funds are not from criminal enterprises like money laundering, drug trafficking, graft etc. For instance, during the 2010/2011 academic year when I was in the United States with my family, we were worshipping at the Chapel of Resurrection Parish of RCCG in Cambridge, Massachusetts. On the church offering/tithe envelope, you have to write your name, address and phone number along with the amount being paid. I once asked the Pastor why I had to fill all those details and he said they were important for the American authorities that would examine their books. However, Obaze overreached himself by the guidelines that prescribe how many years church leaders can spend and the lines of succession. That is the point being missed by some commentators, including my friend, Pius Adesanmi. What Obaze tried to do is not done anywhere in the world and even Pius is well aware of the Yoruba adage that if you do what nobody has done before, you will bear the kind of consequence nobody has suffered before. Besides, the global best practice for churches, mosques and other not-for-profit entities, even as outlined by the FRC National Code of Corporate Governance 2016, is “Comply or Justify non-compliance” so you wonder where Obaze derived his powers from. The FRC guidelines, as the Stanbic IBTC Chairman, Mr Atedo Peterside, stated during

the week should neither alter nor supersede the law. And if anybody should know, Peterside should, as Chairman of the 17-member committee that drafted the subsisting “Code of Corporate Governance in Nigeria”. The publication, which is in the public domain, is a product of the work done between June 2000 and October 2003 by the committee at the instance of the Security and Exchange Commission and the Corporate Affairs Commission. “Attempting to treat people in different businesses, situations, organisations, ownership structures etc in the same way is akin to prescribing the exact same diet for all Nigerians irrespective of their weight, height, health status etc. Nobody except the Catholic Church should seek to force term limits on the Pope” Peterside said. Obviously a power monger, Obaze spent most of his period in office fighting needless battles that did not in any way advance public good so it came as no surprise that he was ‘relocated’ from the office he was using to terrorise others. I believe President Muhamadu Buhari took the correct decision and if, rather uncharacteristically, he acted very swiftly on a matter that has potentials for causing a breach of public peace, he should be commended, not condemned. To the extent that they are registered under the Companies and Allied Matters Act, religious bodies are not above the law but you need a mature person of sensible temperament to handle matters that concern faith, especially in a country like Nigeria. With the appointment of a respected professional like Mr. Adedotun Suleiman as the new chair of the FRC Board, I feel very confident that guidelines that will take into account our national sensibilities, while at the same time promoting transparency and accountability in the public arena, will be produced. That is good for a society like ours where religion has become an industry with which some charlatans exploit the people.

Buhari, Sall and Jammeh’s Defiance


was already in bed around 10Pm local time in Dakar, Senegal (11pm Nigerian time) on Sunday when my host peeped into my hotel room to ask: “I am going to see the President, want to come along?” I don’t know any reporter in the world who would not jump at such opportunity. Driving into the Palace, as they call the official residence of the President of Senegal, an old colonial edifice built in 1902, was without much fuss. Inside the building, we were ushered straight to the dinner table where we met President Sall, his wife and their three children, two male and a female. The Salls are evidently a normal family that dotted on their last child, a young boy who said he would want to be a pilot and spoke impeccable English just like his dad. A geologist by profession, it was enjoyable chatting with Sall, 54, who was elected in 2012, after defeating the then incumbent Wade, who was at the period seeking a controversially third term in office.

While I do not know much about Senegal to write about Sall’s stewardship, it was nonetheless a refreshing time with him until we left at exactly 1.20am (Nigerian time) which was 12.20am local time. He said he would be departing for Abuja by 6.30am for the ECOWAS meeting on the crisis in The Gambia. By then, I had learnt a lot about the mutiny in Cote D’ivoire where soldiers went on strike last week as well as the attempts by the ECOWAS leaders, including President Muhamadu Buhari, on the resolution of the political crisis in The Gambia. Fortunately for me, when Sall was receiving us on arrival, I had been introduced to him as a former presidential spokesman in Nigeria and not a journalist so he had no reason to be on his guard, as most people usually are when with reporters. That gave me ample opportunity to ask probing questions at the dinner table without raising any suspicion about my interest. And I found him not only forthright but also a self-assured leader.

I started by reminding Sall of what he already knows: that whereas the problem in The Gambia may be a challenge for ECOWAS, it is one that his country (Senegal) would have to deal with on behalf of all of us. He agreed with my summation before also expressing optimism that it would be resolved before January 19. He was confident that Yahya Jammeh would go because the consequences of doing otherwise, as Sall explained it, would be too much for the Gambian dictator who would likely not want to commit suicide. According to Sall, raising the stakes by Jammeh may prove to be no use for him at the end, given that Charles Taylor of Liberia also negotiated his way out of power before he was apprehended three years later under circumstances that were not particularly edifying for Nigeria. But Sall believes that he and other African leaders have a responsibility to ensure Jammeh’s exit without damage to his country and Senegal will definitely play a decisive role in that direction…

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