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N396.5bn Multilateral Fund for New Development Bank as FG Applies for CBN's Licence Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja

The federal government has formally applied to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for an operational licence to float the proposed Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN). The DBN, initiated in 2014

by the last administration, is being configured as a wholesale development institution, designed to provide Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with lower interests and longer tenor loans, which have been considered the missing links

in the development of the real sector. The Federal Ministry of Finance yesterday confirmed the completion of the recruitment exercise for the executive management team of the DBN, adding that it had also formally applied for

the issuance of its operating licence from the apex bank. "The DBN, was conceived in 2014. However, its take-off had been fraught with delays. The President Muhammadu Buhari's administration inherited the project with a determination to resolve all

outstanding issues and set a target of 2017 for its take-off," a statement by the ministry's Director of Information, Mr. Salisu Na'Inna Dambatta, said. The DBN will have access to $1.3 billion (N396.5 billion), which has been jointly provided by the

World Bank, KfW (German Development Bank), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Agence Française de Development (French Development Agency). The emerging bank, the Continued on page 8

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Southern Kaduna: Religion Will Kill Nigeria If..., Warns Soyinka Osinbajo laments government’s inability to bring bigots to justice

James Emejo in Abuja Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, yesterday warned Nigeria against the dangers of religion bigotry, saying the country could not step forward to its manifest destiny unless the growing fanatical approach to issues of faith was moderated. “If we do not tame religion

in Nigeria, religion will kill us,” he said emphatically at the launch of a book, Religion and the Making of Nigeria, by Prof. Ayo Vaughan, in Abuja, adding: “Many Nigerians have paid the ultimate price because of religion and religion is now embedded in our society.” Vice President Yemi Osinbajo Continued on page 8

Executive, Legislature’s Disagreement over Closure of Abuja Airport Deepens

Buhari submits lists of ambassadors, drops Mamora

Omololu Ogunmade and Damilola Oyedele in Abuja

A showdown between the executive and the legislative arms of the federal government appears imminent over the proposed six weeks closure for repairs of the Nnamidi Azikiwe International Airport,

Abuja. Although the Senate had on Tuesday advised against the proposed closure, the Minister of State for Aviation, Mr. Hadi Sirika, told the upper legislative chamber yesterday that the executive would be Continued on page 8

Slain Soldiers in Renewed Boko Haram Attacks for Burial Today.. Page 9


L-R: General Counsel/Head Legal Regulation, Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE), Ms. Tinuade Awe; Chief Executive Officer(NSE), Mr. Oscar Onyema; and Executive Director, Market Operations and Technology (NSE), Mr. Ade Bajomo, at the Nigeria Stock Exchange 2016 Recap and 2017 Outlook held in Lagos ...yesterday dan ukana















PAGE EIGHT EXECUTIVE, LEGISLATURE'S DISAGREEMENT OVER CLOSURE OF ABUJA AIRPORT DEEPENS unable to take its advice to explore alternative ways of effecting the needed repairs at airport without shutting it down. The House of Representatives on its part was, however, divided over the issue, opting to invite Sirika to come and make further clarifications on the matter. Sirika, who was accompanied to the chamber by the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, told the senators that among all options available for adoption for the repair, closure was the most viable. Although Federal legislators have been very critical of the proposed closure of the airport, arguing that it would bring untold hardship to air travellers, they would, however, be unable to stop the executive from going ahead with its plan since the decision is the prerogative of the latter. Amaechi later left the chamber without making any submission. Sirika also disclosed that whereas the runway would be shut for only six weeks, the entire airport would be shut for six months. According to Sirika, the option of repairing a part of the runway while using the other, was not explored,

explaining that while the entire runway is being used, there have been several cases of pilots overshooting the runway. He said the situation would be worse if only half of it would be available for use because it could lead to accidents. Sirika who disclosed that the project would cost N5.8 billion with the exclusion of the cost of logistics, added that the logistics would involve the provision of buses and helicopters to convey passengers from the Abuja Airport to Kaduna and vice versa at the cost of the government. The minister who also disclosed that the government of President Goodluck Jonathan had in 2015, approved N1.2 billion for the repair of the runway without considering total closure, said after integrity test was carried out by this administration, the government found that the N1.2 billion earlier voted for the project by the immediate past government would no longer be sufficient to execute it. He also said another option available was to use the taxi way which he said would involve only the closure of the airport in the night. However, he said the option could not also be explored because it is the entire runway that needs to be repaired while the taxi

way can only accommodate smaller aircraft. He said if the option was adopted, the effects would be disastrous. Sirika, therefore, said it was the consensus of consultants engaged by the ministry and other ministry officials that closing the airport was the best option for now. According to him, the runway had failed beyond management, pointing out that it had initially been designed to last for 20 years in 1982, noting that it is only being considered for repair now 14 years after the expiration of its lifespan. He explained that the total closure had therefore become imminent in view of several accidents which had happened on the runway, some of which he said involved international airlines such as the Air France. He also rejected the option of engaging multiple number of contractors to hasten the execution of the work and ensure faster delivery, arguing that doing so would only be more risky and cumbersome. However, the senators reminded the minister of the rejection of the planned closure of the airport by the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), a body of professionals and experts which they felt should know better. Against this background,

the minister was asked to go back and consult members of the NSE, consider the option of constructing a second runway, come up with the cost of logistics during the repair and return to the Senate next Tuesday with results.

The House of Representatives was, however, sharply divided yesterday over the matter. The lawmakers, therefore, summoned the Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika and his team to appear before the House Committee on Aviation, to provide convincing argument on why there are no alternatives to the complete closure of the airport. The resolution followed a motion sponsored by Hon. Olufunke Adedoyin (Kwara APC) who called for a halt to the planned closure, and consideration of alternative methods to carrying out the renovation. "There exists new technologies that can be applied in such a way that the repair works can be undertaken at night, over the six weeks period while the airport remains in operation during the day time given that the earlier scheduled flights into the airport arrive

at 5.30am," she said. Adedoyin further argued that the re-routing of air travellers through Kaduna would subject them to danger of armed robberies, kidnappings and other sundry crimes along the Kaduna Abuja Highway. Her position was backed by Hon. Daniel Reyeneiju (Delta PDP), who said to rehabilitate a runway was not 'rocket science', but an exercise that could be executed at specific hours. Hon. Hassan Saleh (Benue APC) opined that there was an ulterior motive to the position of the executive. "There is more to relocating airlines to Kaduna than just resurfacing the runway. Even local contractors like Julius Berger can handle it," he said. Hon. Ayo Omidiran (Osun APC) who is a member of the Committee on Aviation, disclosed that she was part of the stakeholders' meeting organised by the ministry recently. "It is painful that the stakeholders were not carried along in the decision making process, and right there at the meeting, they expressed their discontent with the decision. Some of the representatives of the NSE (Nigerian Society of Engineers) said they know how it can be done without closing the airport, "Omidiran said.

Several lawmakers opposed the motion, particularly lawmakers from Kaduna State such as Hon. Muhammed Garba Datti, and Hon. Chanchangi. Hon. Adams Jagaba (Kaduna APC) said Abuja airport ranked among the worst in the world, and that the planned rehabilitation would elevate its status. "There is no international disgrace more than the potholes on what we call a runway...there is no alternative than Kaduna, Kaduna is a shorter distance than Minna," he argued. Hon. Aminu Suleiman (Kano APC) said the Federal Government could not have arrived at its decision without consulting experts. He added that the elites are opposed to the closure of the airport because they do not want to be subjected to the rigours of road travels. "The problem is that people do not want to travel by road to Kaduna. But airports are shut down for days when aviation workers go on strike. God forbid we are part of a decision that could lead to a disaster," he said. Referring the matter to the Aviation Committee following a voice vote, Speaker Yakubu Dogara urged that some pertinent questions be raised.

or Christians are in the team. When you are sick, nobody asks about the religion of the doctor. We only ask about competencies.” The vice president said religion had been a veritable tool in forging educational development of Nigeria but that “the manipulation of religion by the elites has led to the problem that we are facing. Nigerian elite will use religion when it is convenient and at other times they may use ethnicity or some other form of identification." According to him: "It is that frequent use of religion for manipulative tendencies that has led to our predicament. And this is because we always discuss the issues after conflicts where lives are lost and it thus make such discussions emotive. “Identification leads to advancement and so the elites report to religious and ethnic manipulation.” Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Mathew Hassan Kukah in his contributions lamented that religion had been used mainly for manipulating the people by northern elites. He said: “Unless we get round to defining what constitutes religion and in this particular case, the way

and manner in which the northern ruling class continues to use religion as a cover to perpetuate and subjugate the people, the problem will persist. "We may never prosecute anybody for killing in the name of religion precisely because we have been unable to separate criminality from religion.” Kukah said it had been impossible to prosecute anybody for religious violence because of the feeling that people could kill in the name of religion. According to him: “The dangerous crimes that have been associated with religion in any part of the north have never been a result of theological differences or disputation. It has always been about economic. “In Zango Kataf, it was the siting of a market, while in Bauchi, it was about someone being accused of using pork as suya. None of the conflicts started in the church or mosque. They are largely about economic opportunities.” The cleric noted that the book has offered an opportunity to think more clearly because “in northern Nigeria, schools that were built by the Catholics in Kaduna have now been given names of

Muslim heroes and heroines. “Would anybody take over a school built by Muslims in Nigeria and turn it into either St. Thomas or St. Margaret?” he queried. The reviewer of the book, Prof. Bolanle Awe, expressed concern that the two imported world religions have been mostly unfavourable to the cause of women. “Among the Christians, the Christian colonisers did not prepare the women for any active and positive participation in the development of Nigeria,” she said. Awe said women were provided education by the Christian colonial government primarily to make them ‘good wives,’ good hostesses and good monuments of society. According to her, women were not trained to participate in the higher echelon of government administration, adding that in northern Nigeria, where Islam predominates, the situation of women could be described as worse, saying they were not to be heard and even seen.

House of Reps Divided

Continued on page 9

SOUTHERN KADUNA: RELIGION WILL KILL NIGERIA IF..., WARNS SOYINKA who was also at the event spoke along the same lines, lamenting the endemic inability of the law enforcement arms of government to bring the perpetrators of religious violence to justice. “Very few people have been prosecuted for religious violence but none has ever been brought to conclusion; why are such cases never concluded? Too many cases of high profile murders that are not concluded in this country,” the vice president said. Soyinka, who spoke against the background of the recent killings in Southern Kaduna that had continued to fuel mutual mistrust among the diverse ethnic and religious groups in the country, said given the depth of the disharmony religion had caused among Nigerians, it had become necessary for government to encourage a more in-depth knowledge of religion that should be taught in the nation’s schools. “I would canvass for religious studies but not the study of religion,” he said, adding: “The innocent ones are the ones who often pay the ultimate price in religious crisis. Even as religious leaders cannot denounce the murdering acts of religion.” He regretted that religion

was inducing trauma and anxiety instead of solace that it claimed it could give, explaining that religion had become an ironic product of human inadequacy. “There is a monster always waiting to pounce on innocent Nigerians under the name of religion,” Soyinka said. The Nobel laureate decried the handling of killing of over 800 citizens in Southern Kaduna by both Governor Nasir el-Rufai and President Muhammadu Buhari. He decried the admission by el-Rufai that he paid killers of Southern Kaduna people to stop the carnage. He said: "What astonished me was not the admission by the governor but the astonishment of others at such governmental response to atrocity. There was nothing new about it. Has appeasement to religious forces not become a Nigerian face of justice and equity? First lethargy and then appeasement. Wasn’t Boko Haram’s Muhammed Yusuf a beneficiary of appeasement in a similar fashion? “If you ask why General Buhari did not act fast enough when these events take place, which degrade us as human beings, well it is perhaps he has been waiting for the governor of that state to send

money to the killers first for them to stop the killing.” He said it was no longer enough for religious leaders to simply condemn violence perpetrated by their followers. “What, however, concerns the rest of us no matter the internal wrangling, rivalries or controversies within any religion, is that the innocent are often those who pay the highest price. The nonadherents to one line of belief or another. Soyinka noted that religion in the history of Africa “has been a disastrous venture, a disaster in many zones and continues to be even so today.” Also, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who spoke at the event, lamented the country's inability to prosecute perpetrators of religious violence and other high profile murder cases in the country. The vice president who described the issue of federal character as a hypocritical tool in the hands of the elite in peddling influence observed that at critical times, they forget religion and ethnicity. “National character is very hypocritical. When we are playing football, we all clamour for the best legs because we want to win. We don’t ask how many Muslims

N396.5BN MULTILATERAL FUND FOR NEW DEVELOPMENT BANK AS FG APPLIES FOR CBN'S LICENCE statement added, is also finalising agreements with the European Investment Bank (EIB). It also clarified that the operations of the DBN would not in any way result in the elimination of the Bank of Industry (BOI), Bank of Agriculture (BOA) or any other existing development finance institution (DFI). "The operations of the DBN is clearly distinct from other development banks as it is focused on supporting small

businesses defined by size and not by sectors," the statement said. The clarification on the status of the DBN may have become necessary in view of the recent position of the management of BoI, which kicked against the Senate bill seeking to create a fresh development bank, National Development Bank of Nigeria (NDBN), saying the move was anti-people. According to the statement from the ministry: "The DBN

will provide loans to all sectors of the economy including manufacturing, services and other industries not currently served by existing development banks thereby filling an important gap in the provision of finance to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). "As a wholesale bank, the DBN will lend wholesale to microfinance banks, which will on-lend medium to long-term loans to MSMEs. The MSMEs contribute about

48.47 percent to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of Nigeria but have access to only about 5 per cent of lending from Deposit Money Banks (DMBs)," the statement noted. It added that "the influx of additional capital from the DBN will lower borrowing rates and the longer tenor of the loans, will provide the required flexibility in the management of cash flows, giving businesses the opportunity to make capital

improvements, and acquire equipment or supplies." "As the economy diversifies, the growth of the MSME sector will have a positive impact on the economy through employment generation, wealth creation and economic growth. "In fact, the recruitment exercise for the DBN has been finalised and a total of $1.3 billion would soon be released for the take-off of the institution," the statement stressed

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Slain Soldiers in Renewed Boko NEWS Haram Attacks for Burial Today

Two-Minute Briefing

Again, Buhari to Travel to Gambia to Persuade Jammeh to Step Down President Muhammadu Buhari will travel to Banjul, the capital ofThe Gambia, and Bamako, the Malian capital from today, January 13 to 14, 2017. The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, who announced this yesterday via a statement said while in Banjul, Buhari, as the Mediator inThe Gambia... Page 10




13, 2017 • T H

Again, Buhar i to Travel to Gambia to Per Jammeh to Ste suade p Down Meets service Email davidso

News Editor



Davidson Iriekpe,



chiefs No decis ion yet on deplo President order yment of force s army to comm in The Gambia wants Nigeria ence security to offer asylu exercise in Sout m to Gambian Tobi Soniyi, hern Kaduna Damilola Oyedele and presid



be accompanie Obi in d by Governors Abuja Aminu Tambuwal Our military is already engaged and Abiola Ajimobiof Sokoto State the North-east, in were discussed of Oyo State, President Muhammad in the the Ministers and we were u Buhari will of Foreign Affairs, and now in Southern Niger Delta to come to conclusion able still pursuing travel to Banjul, Interior and Defence. Kaduna. So let us be guided,” on almost all all Gambia, and the capital of The the North-east, its operations in intervention Dogara advised. the crises that are going Meanwhile Bamako, Hon. Sam capital from today, the Malian ECOWAS , ahead of the Onuigbu (Abia the country. The Southernon across South-eastern South-south and spearheaded by ECOWAS to be parts January 13 to mediation meeting PDP) said the offer Kaduna, the Niger Delta 14, 2017. Asked about the of the country. outgoing by Nigeria should the today with is issues and other President Jammeh President Buhari, and safer option, as a cheaper major crisis progress report The Special from Sambisa, the House Nigerians are areas failed well invested Adviser to and resolutions were discussed are continuing Buratai said: “We to relinquish power after losing President on Media the yesterday of Representatives in Gambia. last year presidential were passed. in “We did a similar our operations “Like Mr. Femi Adesina, and Publicity, provide urged president to polls. in According to and today Liberia thing in Liberia, Kaduna, I said, in the Southern that area, Lafiya Dole mandate an offer of who announced Director this yesterday asylum and the troops is being celebrated we have our troops Nigeria in via are still moving Public Relations, Brig. of Army being moved while in Banjul, a statement said a way to President Jammeh as as a growing democracy. Gen. Sani Usman, there to We all places, and they have already taken all over the area.” was Mediator in The Buhari, as the current boost mediation into the know if there is trouble, On whether in such statement. no iota of truth Nigeria believe operation is going on and presidential conundrum would be required I new directive he had received any meet with PresidentGambia, would threatening that very soon to intervene,” He said: he it will come from Yahya Jammeh said. to cause unrest to an end.” of The Gambia the COAS said. the president, Nigerian The attention of the in the and the President- coastal committee. The Minister Army Asked whether elect, Adama On deploymen for Defence, The resolution to a publication has been drawn Barrow, to continue the meeting discussed The followed the Mansur Dan-Ali, has said dialogue on the by online news Kaduna, he said t of troops to organisation adoption of a Gambia issue, there no political is decision “Our motion ’ indicating minister said “That situation by the troops in the West African Hon. Sani Zorro sponsored will deployyet on whether Nigeria the is not a national already in Southern Kaduna. are readiness of Nigerian issue (Jigawa APC) forces to The The statement country. We attack who said Gambia are and I believe the ECOWAS have our special forces Gambia with Army to operating working on that, would be joined said Buhari strengthensuch open offer would should President Jammeh the intention refuses reached we have not there along with all other security “to remove Jammeh.” Ellen Johnson-Sirle by President mediators. the hands of the to step down on January 19 agencies and any conclusion Usman added: when his mandate would af of Liberia we intend also on that.” Also speaking, Chairperson “This is not to true. “Grant of the Authorityand the Chief of have an exercise very Dan-Ali made have expired. Army Staff Economic Community soon in Army Consequently, Nigerian of family, if him asylum, and his Southern Kaduna this disclosure (COAS), Gen. yesterday while that would restore Community of West African briefing State House Buratai, said the presidentTukur parts of Plateau to cover some from wishes to disassociate itself peace Correspond to The Gambia, such false and indeed part ordered the commencem if that is what had of Kano ents after a Heads of State States (ECOWAS) would it security exists only in information that State. lengthy take, and Governmen the figment President Ernest t, be ready then Nigeria should chiefs meeting he and service army exercise code-named ent of an Also, in a move for it,” Zorro ‘Kunama the to douse tension, imagination of the medium. of the had with the president II’ in Southern Leone, and the Koroma of Sierra said. Nigerian The Chairman There of the Committee Presidential Villa, Aso Rock, at the to bolster the Kaduna in order not planningArmy, has said it was was no time or place Nigerian President of Ghana,immediate past on Foreign security situation Army Abuja. that to attack any The Affairs, Hon. John Mahama, in country, who is the co-meditato axis. foreign to the disclosed such information Nnenna meeting minister said that Elendu neither the Republic the medium. r of The line Ukeje, said the motion is deliberated on Buratai explained Gambian mission. of the security in with Nigeria’s “If there is any, that the exercise Gambia, where President would cover foreign policy situation in the country. Buhari Adesina said we is expected in objectives. parts of Plateau He said: “Major the West African them to name the officer challenge and nation travel to Bamako Buhari would or soldier security issue Kano States. Nigeria today. that gave them He added that 13 to participatelater on January intervene would be required to The clarification and when. For such information the army was and in the solve came the avoidance Africa–France 27th problems whatever amid speculations of of Summit. arise from a possible military doubt, Nigerian Army The summit Ukeje said, adding the impasses, is not planning to attack for Partnership that creating Peace and Emergence any country. , soft landing through asylum, a convened provide by French may President Francois an alternative. Hollande is aimed “If it comes to at strengthenin this, so that The cooperation between g Gambia African countries France and another does not degenerate into unstable African in the areas of peace and country,” security, economic she said. partnership and Some lawmakers development. opposed the Recognising motion by France in the role played would on grounds that the offer the send a wrong recorded in the successes so far dictators signal to with sit-tight of the regional implementation syndrome. The Speaker initiative of the House, against terrorism, Adesina said Buhari Yakubu Dogara, however would urged such reaffirm Nigeria’s their lawmakers to critically examine commitment position, to the war against global efforts on of asylum noting that the offer terror the need for improvedand underline indicate to Jammeh does not support for collaboration to address the “If it is put before dictatorship. menace of terrorism in the region. him and rejects it, fine, but it will clear he He said Buhari would use the the people of Nigeria, throughthat opportunity parliament offered the of underscore the the summit to “If crises erupts such.” efforts government in that country was making to and refugees improve spill over, can business environmen Nigeria’s handle we it while also t to attract more foreign IDPs? If it comes dealing with our R-L: direct investment. Lagos to confrontatio Adesina said the n, Finance, State Governor, Akinwunmi president would Nigeria will be required to Kemi Adeosun; Ambode; Minister put boots on the ground. Oyo State Olusegun of Can we afford that? during Osoba; former interim Governor, Abiola Ajimobi; Mines and Solid Mineral



We will Res cue Chibok

EDITORIAL The Gruesome Death of a Colonel

Olawale Ajimotoka n in Abuja

Students and staff of Command Secondary School, Ibadan, recently awoke to a gruesome sight: the bloody remains of the commandant b oodyrema nsofthecommandant of theirrschoo school, Co Col. AnthonyOkey Anthony Okeyim, ofthe m who had hissthroats throat slittbysuspected by suspected whohadh assassins. Page 15

POLITICS The Intrigues and Politics of Ndume’s

the APC South-west

Development, former Governor National Kayode Fayemi; of Ekiti State, stakeholders’ Chairman of APC, Chief Bisi his counterpar Niyi Adebayo; meeting in Ibadan....yes Akande; APC National Leader, former Governor of Ogun t for terday Bola Tinubu (fifth State, left) and others

Girls in Cap tivity, Presiden t

written to Buhari by Malala on January 6, for negotiations, female President Muhammad reminding governmenteducation, Part of the letter u Buhari has He also assured United of need to ensure the safe assured, however, read: “Rest governmen assured Malala of and speedy return Envoy for Global Nations’ Special of the in recent times t’s desire of other missing doggedness, Education, Malala Yousafzai, of federal girls as part commitment the over the responsibilit to take fact that their will attest to the humanity.’’ of activities to sincerity of the and education, reintegration back y for the mark the unrelenting efforts government’s of the Federal to Malala, the co-founder kidnap of the 1,000 days of Nigeria towards Government aspirationspersonal and professional the society is progressing to ensure the well. The safe return of the girls. federal governmen of the 21 Chibok ensuring the Buhari assured t believes that Malala Fund, was in 2012 of the that Malala of sustained safe return of the Chibok girls it is not girls still held remaining Chibok negotiations shot and too left unconscious girls, and year were released in October by to free the remaining indeed all others still last back to late for the girls to go Boko Haram. insurgent group, Chibok for the spearheadin by the Taliban for school, schoolgirls by The president furtherin captivity.’’ that in tune rest of their life, saying The assurance will be done and everything advocacy g the human rights Nigerian with his vow that military, recalled to ensure that Boko a letter signed was contained in the otherstate security service and the valiant act of Nigerian that Haram would not they women for education and for troops on be considered continue the pursuit fighting the Islamic security agencies. of their against in north-west of Pakistan, on January 10, Buhari’s behalf studies,’’ he insurgent group defeated without the rescue The assured. the order of of the Chibok of Information 2017, by Minister Buhari statement, however, said in their North-east bastion the Taliban, Buhari commende which had resulted personsgirls and all other innocent would Mohammed. and Culture, Lai of ongoing not divulge the details in the capture of Sambisa forest, for still her unflinching d Malala attending banned the girls from taken hostage by the last stronghold the insurgency negotiations to schools. disposition of the Boko It was in response towards the secure group. the release of Her release of the the girls to Malala elements, who kidnapped Haram gallantry to a letter ‘’They are due to the sensitive the being given of the girls in captivity rest international attention attracted nature of the from their school dormitoriesgirls comprehensive medical, those who have and prompted which Chibok in April in and psychologica nutritional regained the 2014. l care and support, freedom, adding: ‘’There their to appoint her United Nations and anyone who a Special Envoy is no for Global has seen them better example of the Education in fact that we are all linked addition by our common to her being conferment with a Nobel Prize.



Assures Mal ala





Removal POLITICS Until his sudden ouster onTuesday as the Senate Leader in a seem- ing palace T coup, Senator Ali Ndume, enjoyed the aura and beauty of the office.Though U simple and very accessible, he carried himself with consciousness of the exalted office in his daily transactions. His love and admiration for the office were visible to all but he did little or nothing to protect it. Page 17 T H I S D AY


13, 2017



Group Politic s Editor Olawa le Olaleye Email wale.o laleye@thisda 0811675981 9 SMS ONLY



The sudden latest of protrremoval of Senator Ali Ndume as the acted intrigues 2015. Omololu Sena Ogunmade that had rocked the uppe te Leader on Tuesday writes r parliamen ntil his sudden tary chamber is the as the Senate ouster on Tuesday since Leader in a seeming palace coup,

WEEKENDFILE Ademofe: The Trumpet Expresses My Ch ef of Army Staff Lt Gen Tukur Burata O awa e O a eye One officer and seven so d ers who were k ed n both Sunday and Tuesday attacks by the Boko Haram sect n C nk Gundu and O d Marte both on the outsk rts of Ma dugur Borno State cap ta have been s ated for bur a today n Ma dugur Th sday had reported exc us ve y yesterday the nvas on of C nk Gundu and O d Mata by the terror sts who k ed an officer and seven so d ers n both attacks A though the Theatre Commander Operat on Lafiya Do e Ma -Gen Lucky Irabor had den ed the nc dents as “tota fa sehood ” Th sday sources had ns sted the attack took p ace Unfortunate y wh e the bur a p ans were be ng conc uded the news came n of another attack by the Boko Haram sect n Kangaruwa an outsk rt of Ma dugur after Ma am Fator where the ate Co Abu A was k ed The ocat on the THISDAY source sa d was n 119 batta on under the 8 Task Force D v s on n Monguno

Wh e deta s of the attack was not c ear THISDAY earnt that the troops on the ground had mmed ate y sent for A pha Jet for support as we as support by troops from Baga to he p conta n the fire power by the terror st group The attack was st ongo ng n the even ng of yesterday wh st th s report was a so be ng put together Second L eutenant Ba Umar Corpora Idowu Shoney n and four other young so d ers were k ed n the Sunday attack n C nk Gundu wh e two other so d ers d ed from the O d Marte attack on Tuesday The e ghth person wou d ater d e from n ur es susta ned n O d Marte attack They have a been s ated for bur a today n Ma dugur be ng the operat ona base of the Armed Forces Umar was the most sen or personne among the deceased wh e Shoney n who was of the 53 Task Force Batta on was a corpora Shoney n had served at 81 D v s on n Lagos before he was moved to the 53 Task Force Batta on Two of the other so d ers who d ed

at the C nk Gundu attack o ned the army somet me ast year Asked what the prob em of the N ger an m tary was n conta n ng the threat posed by the Boko Haram terror sts the source sa d t was both of personne and ammun t on He c a med there were not enough men on the ground to conta n Boko Haram members who were usua y n the r thousands and a so argued that wh e the terror sts came w th soph st cated weapons the N ger an m tary most y had to dea w th AK47 “The prob em s of two personne and ammun t on You w see n our ocat ons very few so d ers to fight thousands of Boko Haram members They w a so come w th super or fire power and we on y have ust the AK47 to confront them That s fight ng from the po nt of d sadvantage ” he sa d However not much had been heard of the attack n Kangaruwa A though the m tary had ca ed for he p wh ch was sa d to be on the way as at press t me other v ta deta s were not yet estab shed

EXECUTIVE, LEGISLATURE'S DISAGREEMENT OVER CLOSURE OF ABUJA AIRPORT DEEPENS "Is t poss b e for us to repa r the runway w thout c os ng the a rport? If we must c ose the a rport are there better a ternat ves than Kaduna? These are quest ons we have to prov de answers to " Dogara urged

Fresh Ambassadorial List A so yesterday Pres dent Muhammadu Buhar sent a new st of non-career ambassador a nom nees to the Senate The Senate had ate ast year returned the ear er st sent to t by Buhar w thout g v ng any reason In the new st the pres dent dropped Senator O orunn mbe Mamora (Lagos) and rep aced former Nat ona Secretary of the defunct Act on Congress of N ger a (ACN) Dr Usman Buga e (Kats na) and former Deputy Governor of P ateau State Mrs Pau ne Ta en

Buga e and Ta en had ear er re ected the r appo ntments But the pres dent reta ned a former Supreme Court Judge Just ce George Oguntade on the st The pres dent a so acceded to the demand of Federa Cap ta Terr tory (FCT) for nom nat on on the st The nom nees on the new st are Dr Uzoma Ememke (Ab a State) Am nu Iyawa (Adamawa) Ma Gen Godw n Umo (rtd ) (Akwa Ibom) Chr stopher Okeke (Anambra) Yusuf Tuggar (Bauch ) Baba Madugu (Bauch ) Br g -Gen Stan ey D r ya (rtd ) (Baye sa) Steven Ugba (Benue) Baba Ahmad J dda (Borno) and Dr Etubom Asuquo (Cross R ver) A so on the st are Franc s Efeduma (De ta) Jonah Odo (Ebony ) Uyagwe Igbe (Edo) En o a A ay (Ek t ) Ma Gen Chr s Eze (rtd ) (Enugu) Su e man Hassan (Gombe) Just ce Sy vanus Nsofor (Imo) Am n Muhammad Da hatu (J gawa)

Nuhu Bama (Kaduna) Deborah I ya (Kaduna) Prof D Abdu kad r (Kano) Haruna Ungogo (Kano) Just ce sa Dodo (Kats na) Mohammadu Barade (Kats na) T an Bande (Kebb ) Prof Y O A u (Kog ) and Nuruddeen Mohamed (Kwara) Others are Mohamed Y sa (Kwara) Just ce George Oguntade (rtd )(Lagos) Modupe Ire e (Lagos) Musa Muhammad (Nasarawa) Ahmed Ibeto (N ger) Suzanne Fo ar n (Ogun) Jacob Daodu (Ondo) Afo ahan Adeyem (Osun) Ma Gen Ash m yu O an y (rtd ) (Oyo) James D mka (P ateau) and Dr Haruna Abdu ah (P ateau) A so on the st are Or Ngofa (R vers) Sahab Gada (Sokoto) Kab ru Umar (Sokoto) Hassan Ardo (Taraba) Gon Bura (Yobe) Garba Ga am (Zamfara) Cpt Ba a Ma r ga (Zamfara) Hab ss Ugbada (FCT)

R m


Thoughts Better Tell us about yourself. My name issV Victor Ademofe and I am Myname ctorAdemofeand the second child the familyyofthree of three. I thesecondch d innthefam am from Ifon in Ondo State. What inspires you into music? My inspiration is first and foremost from God. As a musicologist, I am equipped and trained to pick out sounds around me. Page 27



BUSINESS FGLosesN43.48bn Foreign Airlines BASA Remittances The federal government may have lost over N43.48 billion ($144 million) remittances paid by international airlines as reciprocity charges in the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) from 2014... Page 19

CITYSTRINGS Stemming the Hawking Menace


Ndume, enjoyed Senator Ali beauty of the the aura and simple and office. Though he carried himself very with consciousnaccessible, exalted office ess and admiratioin his daily transactions. of the His love all but he did n for the office were visible little He had believed or nothing to protect to it. among his colleaguesthat with his popularity automatic. However, , to sustain the his removal office was prior notice without on Tuesday must have taught any bitter lesson in no condition history that in Nigerian him a politics, is Ndume had permanent. rejected several calls the All Progressiv by his party, es Congress the office to Senator Ahmad (APC), to yield APC’s anointed Lawan, who candidate was President prior for the office of Senate to the emergence Bukola Saraki of emerged as on June 9, 2015. Lawan Senator eventually his replaceme nt The APC which on was bitter about Tuesday. of Saraki in the emergence 2015, of his emergencehad in its bid to put the pains wrote the Senate against its wish behind it, of Senate Leaderpresident to concede the offices and Deputy to Lawan and George Akume. Senate Leader positioned The party had Akume to be Lawan’s the height deputy of office in 2015. the race for Senate President’at s But despite the matter, he the party’s letter to Saraki on proceeded to portunists, who as Senate Leader announce rode on President deputy because and Bala Ibn Na’AllahNdume Buhari and APC’s popularity Muhammadu as his election, the Senate caucus Ndume with The developm in 2015 explaining decided the party and ent exacerbated the hostility so. of fact, consistent that he had as to win the intrigue Lawan as its new leader. was a matter But ly won of and would was held withouthow an APC caucus as they had the presidency towards meeting continue to election since 1999 thought Saraki that who ordinarily the knowledge of their preparedn win because having expressed popularity among its leader, of his his people. Senate President,ess to accept Saraki In the letter, should convene it. There were as the also he should Leadership,” entitled: “Notice of Change magnanimous have also been prominent personaliti other interventions APC senators enough to accede in by es including request. said: “This to the party’s of the House of Represent the Speaker inform Your Excellency after several to no avail. and the Senate is to The aftermath atives but all meetings held was January, instituted againstof the matter was a on Monday, that Ndume was 2017, and upon case soon consultati due deliberatio 9th of Senate Leader, not only excited by his Tribunal (CCT), him at the Code of Conduct status as hereby on, the APC Caucus n and during a plenaryhe had once told his colleagues assets declarationwhere he was accused of the Senate, wishes to notify that he still desired of Kwara State in his days as the of false President. However, to be Senate the leadership of the you of the change in Governor Senate – that Senate Leader an end on Tuesday this excitemen is still on-going in 2003. Till date, the t the new is now Senator matter coup, in CCT, although when in a seemingcame to representi beliefs that in Ahmad Lawan, he was ng Yobe North there view between Saraki of the recent rapprochem are Senate Leader replaced by Lawan as palace Kindly accept Senatorial District. the new assurance our esteem without any and the party ent matter may Ndume who regards and notice. leadership, s.” be struck out had best the prior earlier led Senate It was learnt very At the height to his sudden proceedings of Saraki’s trial soon. removal on replace Ndume,that following the decision day, left the was offered at the CCT, that chamber to a to was that he soft landing. The arrangemehe Assembly mosque, pray in the fateful Whip, Senator Ekweremadu and the National should ask Chief Olusola Adeyeye, but on nt confronted Ndume and assigned by to step down had been with the news his way out, he was Na’Allah their colleagues and to resign ahead plenary had choices, Lawan replace them with the of his removal to advise him also been adjourned party’s while were of the announce and Akume. The removal While Na’Allah claims ment. . was said him, he was that when they wanted There the action was came as a rude shock to to step down, nowhere to him. But to tell the offshoot Ndume in to have agreed by love for the be There were APC caucus of his characteri office, also insinuatiofound. and read by a letter written have stic him he was popularly rejected the offer, saying 9, of a meeting it held on Saraki, informing of left the chamber because ns that he might in the North-eas elected by his colleagues the plan where it claimed of fore knowledge Monday, to have agreed January traducers to advise him to resign. against Lawan’s t caucus of APC by would not to replace 13 votes But his three. The be deterred availability to North-eas by his nonas t. He therefore office was zoned of him, thus they were determined would resist insisted to the prompting that he the announcemget rid his replaceme mandate on pressure to dump his colleagues’ the on Tuesday. nt before the end of the ent of At the height altar of political solution. plenary held with Ndumeof the move was a It was learnt that Ndume at the Presidenti meeting two main reasons. late 2015 by was removed al Villa Vice President for First, he was bringing the the APC National Yemi Osinbajo in accused Senate into and Chairman, series of behaviour Oyegun, where disrepute through of John Odigiehe was advised and utterances a considered for peace to which senators to step embarrassing reign party. But Ndume both in the Senate down to the institution Prominent reportedly called and the acts which of such perceived embarrass . and Odigie-Oy eventually consumed Osinbajo ing interview he words to tell egun’s bluff and did not him was granted State in the Presidenti House correspond the was disappointhe highly placed men mince that he ted by their al Villa on December ents where he debunked Ndume was action. Senate’s earlier 19, 2016 position which whereas they said to have told them official claimed to of Mr. Ibrahim had rejected the confirmati had the audacity be democrats that Magu as the , they on to persuade man of the the mandate him to Economic and substantive ChairCommission colleagues to popularly given to him jettison Financial (EFCC) on December Crimes told them notserve as their leader. He by his Whereas the 15 last year. further to think he Senate had was one of an the op-


• FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 2017


R A T E S 18.5083% 16.6507%




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Group Busine

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ss Email chika.a Editor Chika Aman ze-Nw manzenwach ukwu@thisda achuku 0803329415 7

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Quick Takes

Arik Spend s N15.7B

Nigeria’s major on Jet A1 fuel, known carrier, Arik Air spent a as total of over N15.7 in January the Jet A1 in 2016. THISDAY investigations on aviation 219 litres of airline spent N1, 098, 019, revealed that Jet A1 by major 484.53 for a and Conoil. total suppliers Total In Nigeria Plc, of 9, 866, on 9, 280, 852February the airline expended Cleanserve N1, 064, MRS Plc, Conoillitres of the product and suppliers were207, 052.06 053, 558. 73 andTotal Nigeria Plc.In So Aviation, March for were supplied 9, 411, 972 litres of aviation the airline spent N950, fuel and the Also in April, by So Aviation, MRS Plc, products Arik Conoil and Total of N1, 009, 375, bought 9, 965, 551 litres Nigeria Plc. Conoil and Total 269. 19 and suppliers of aviation fuel at the cost were Nigeria Plc. N1,075, 147, In May the airlineSo Aviation, MRS Plc, 157. expended the fuel supplied 30 on the purchase of sum of 9, by 275, 808, 684.21MRS Plc and Total Nigeria958, 768 litres of aviation Plc. The airline for 9, 271, 528 Total and Conoil.In litres spent N1, July when aviationof Jet A1 supplied by able to buy MRS Plc, 8, scarcity got worse, Arik was supplied 322, 172 litres of Jet A1 L – R : Acting was for N1, 327, by So Aviation, Head, Corporate 616, The nation’s Regulation,T major carrier MRS Plc, Total Nigeria 436.70 and Services Division, inuade Awe; N1, 826, 193, also Bajomo, at the Chief Executive 349.15 in August purchased 9, 497, 447Plc and Conoil. Nigerian 2016 capital Nigeria Plc and at the cost of supplied by So market review Officer, Oscar Onyema,Stock Exchange (NSE), Aviation, MRS and 2017 outlook and Executive Pai Gamde; 424,309, 042. Conoil. In September Plc,Total the General Counsel Director, by the NSE in So Aviation, 85 for 7,173, 016 litres airline spent a total of Lagos…recentlyMarket Operations MRS N1, of & Technolog & Head, a total of 8, 590, Plc, Total Nigeria Plc aviation fuel supplied y, Adeolu by and 610 litres of Conoil. Arik N1, 668, 794, 895.03 suppliedaviation fuel in October purchased Plc and Conoil. at the cost of by So Aviation, aviation fuel In November Arik purchase Mrs Plc, Total Nigeria at the cost of d 8, 000, 635 MRS Plc, Total N1, 651, 852, litres of purchased 6, Nigeria Plc and Conoil 409.76 from So Aviation, and 021, 951 litres of fuel at the in December the airline Chinedu Eze cost of N1, 331, Emirates 296, 193. 56. Emirates, voted Introduces Specia AVIAT ION The federal government l Fares Airline Awards, the World’s Best Airline parastatals. have lost over may in the 2016 Skytrax and Business is offering Nigerian travellers THISDAYA ($144 million)N43.48 billion other introduce Class special EconomyWorld across its global return airfares to a then Ministrylearnt that the alternativ slot allocation paid by internatioremittances These aviation developm Class range of exciting as an ent. of Aviation funds used e and nal airlines or friends, or network.The airline said as reciproci to be in the scrapped the payment have yielded which would see and experienc those wanting destinations custody ty charges can take advantag response more revenues s in to to visit family Bilateral Air in the Airways of the defunct Nigeria e a new and to government. Service Agreemen e of this exciting destinatio Limited (NAL) 9th January the Internatio the request of (BASA) from t it was and 18th Januarylimited time offer by booking n, While Nigeria nal Air Transport before Associati liquidated. 16thJanuary 2016 due to 2014 to the end of between had since on (IATA), scrapped and 15th June 2017. Travel must take However, the decision from Lagos indicated 2017. Emirates which royalties, the payment place between Ministry of of the governm the to that Transport other countries of ent has justfederal airlines should its member $776 and to Dubai for example start said Economy Class fares to stop collecting the collect same Manchester from been stop charges without allowing these fares to Dubai from airlines still from $911, while $800, to Beirut from providing alternativ foreign airlines royalties to nations. paying operate return Business to their cities. that Manchester starts from $2,896, to e payment to operate freely to Nigeria It was gathered platform for Class from $2993. at the same The the airlines. Special fares Beirut from $2887 and destinations time governmand European carriers that mostly decision source said that These are royalty to to are allots the was self-servi to Delhi starts also available. Economya number of other selected for the frequenc payments foreignmultidesignations ent for the abrogatio campaigned was ng and from to never Class n the $924, of fares from payment done $937, to Bangkok of royalties to Chennai from by the foreign ies operated market carriers thus stifling of the country. in the interest through $932, to MumbaiLagos the while from $939, airlines for the local Guangzhou Nigeria to other countriesIATA and London from from airlines. Rather, destinations from Industry stakehold were still $1,111, Houston $960, to Kuala-Lum Heathrow from $948, studying the there are no where such airlines might have some pur to ers said from request, corresponding40 from $1,111, accruals $1,074, Nigeria and Singapore Beijing from hastily adopted massaged procity from could have reci- used parochial interests $1,123, Shanghai New York the from $1,321. the policy. As been Delhi starts The paymentNigerian airlines. the to upgrade and rebuild result, over 30 from $2,676, While return Business from $1,123, foreign carriersa in the Ministry of officials nation’s navigatio $2,466, to Bangkok to Chennai from that operate Class fares per passenge s are calculated provide of Aviation to quickly into nal aids, to adopt the Guangzhou from from $3,448, to London$2,582, to Mumbai from pay royalties Nigeria do not which years millions r and over the country’sairfield lighting policy to Heathrow from many airports at the from $4,590, $3,463, to Kuala-Lum According government. given deadline had not been accrued to of dollars have to $3,123, pur to or used to Singapore from Beijing from $3,463, to from $3,847,to New York were used Nigeria, which andsupport aviation agencies source from the authoritative in the and might not be given Shanghai THISD $3,993. for airport nearest Ministry of reduce from AY$3,463, • FRIDAY, and domestic the huge charges Transport, the ministry, a source said. possible time,” and JANUAR Y 13, 2017 Airbus Delive quickly carriers pay which “Since the to the ping spearheaded the scrapries Rise 8% Airbus posted scrapping of BASA funds an eight per of Acting did not its own forecasts cent riseFeatur in deliverieses Editor Continued last year, and pulled off by a comfortable margin on page 20 to set a companybeatingCharle s Ajunw Email ing in the race a last-minu te surge in charle Eromosele a orders s.ajunw record, Abiodun a@thi Reuters, the for new orders.Confirming to beat arch-rival Boe- sdayli European plane an estimate 688 aircraft ECONO MY published by maker said Nigerian businesse in more than 650 2016, compared with an on Wednesday it delivered New Zealand, s and ers around official company and a goal set the world standoth- the Executive Deliveries rebounde the European Togo, Thailand, Uruguay, by its finance forecast of gain about Secretary of to Nigerian director of more Union $1 the of its d at the Bahrain, Banglade chain.Airbus Shippers’ if Nigerian trillion annually (NSC), 28 member (on behalf the Philippin plane making year-end after problems than 670. sh, ratifies Hassan Bello. Council former Yugoslav states), the conference he president Fabrice in the supply Trade Organisa the World Chile, Swazilanes, Iceland, expected more On the contrary, Republic Bregier tion the Macedon than 700 deliveries last-minute told a news (WTO) West d, Dominic Trade Facilitatio of Mongolia ia, Pakistan, frenzy seen a, in 2017, , Gabon, the African rival,Nigeria’s n Agreeme Panama. engines and Others (TFA). nt has ratified Kyrgyz Republic, cabin equipmenlast year due to problems but without Ghana d’Ivoire, are: Guyana, and Côte t. in receiving The TFA will Concluded Canada. and recently the agreement Kenya, Grenada, Saint enter at Lucia, into once two-third submitte force instrume Myanmar Bali Ministeri the WTO’s 2013 nt of acceptan d its Nam, Brunei , Norway, Viet al Conferen membership s of the WTO the ce, ce to Ukraine, Darussalam, the TFA contains WTO. accepted the has formally provision for expeditin Zambia, In addition agreement. Georgia, Seychelle Lesotho, release g the movemen s to Ghana, Nigeria is following t, the Mali, and clearance s, Jamaica, WTO members TFA despite yet to ratify the have Cambod of goods, including goods in transit. Multiple entries Turkey, Brazil, ia, Paraguay, also by Nigeria’s promises made Hong also accepted the for foreign carriers TFA: Macao China, It sets out measure Ambassador Kong not the best the WTO, Ademola is to the United China, Singapore, the United Arab for our industry. s for Emirates, effective cooperation have to revisit Samoa, We must Adejumo States, Adejumo last between our policy on year promised. Malaysia, Japan, Mauritius, FederatioIndia, the Russian customs and other appropria foreign airlines that the n, Australia, authorities Botswana, agreement te Montene on Albania, Trinidad be ratified would bago, Kazakhstan, gro, and customs trade facilitation the Republic and To- Lanka, delegation when he led a Nicaragu Sri It further compliance issues. St. Kitts and of Korea, from the contains provision Nevis, Bank on a World Switzerla a, Niger, Belize, Madagascar, the Republic for technical assistanc courtesy visit s nd, of Moldova Chinese to China, capacity building e and , El Salvador Liechtenstein, Taipei, Hondura in this area. , s, Mexico, Lao PDR, Specifically, Arabia, Afghanis Peru, Saudi if ratified and tan, Senegal,



FG Loses N4 3. 48bn Fo Airlines BA SA Remittareign nces

CITYSTRING S Stemming the Hawking Menace

Trade Facil itation: Nige rian

Businesses, Others

to Save $1trn

Moved by the parents and plight of young girls the challeng guardians, an NGO, and boys who are force the d into haw Ugo Aliogo e to address this men Obi Ikenchukwu Foun king by their ace that expo dation has pick ses teenager s to abuses, ed up reports

On March 12, 2015, Sarah Ibikunle was killed by a stray bullet in the LekkiPhase 1 arm robbery attack. She died while hawking fish, an activity which she did daily after school hours to raise money to support her aunty. Page 40 O Founder, Obi

Continued on page 20

Ikenchukwu Foundation , Princess Genevieve

n March 12, 2015,

Ikenchukwu, flanked by

students during

the 2016 OIF

Former Chairman

Captain Deleof Aviation RoundTable, Ore

seminar/co cktail party

Sarah thinking Ibikunle was killed by stray bullet a and to of how to put a meal get a place on their table Phase 1 arm in the Lekki- hawkers to lay on the dangers She died whilerobbery attack. therefore are breadwinnerstheir heads. Most their children regarding in their families, hawking fish, the family are faced with an activity the danger daily after the daily survival which of hawking “Most parents not assisting . to support school hours to raise she did hawkers income they realise. depends on the who put their we are still us as much as we street to hawk in their teens her aunty. Most female money in children on want but permanent Her death are are exchange dangers it usefulness hoping that when they scar has for money, sexually exploited poses to the not aware of the of this in see the On the flipside,in the heart of her left a lose their in the process Poverty safety of the render us the virginity. family. their support future they will they governmalso plays a major of the 15-year-o it has cut short Ikenchukwu role as well. child. “The OIF the dreams ent should ld teenage commend When late carries on in addressing it. a lawyer. efforts, but start to issues girl to become ed governm Many teenage ent poor in the society, whichaddress certain the Obi Ikenchukwu by the legacy of the their lives government noted that there is hawkers have families from through incidents being orphanages will need for to step up lost that akin to Ibikunle’s sending their prevent especially and vulnerab a voice for to hawk,” its efforts, it is necessary that may she noted. adding story le those children be that parents situations. She explained do this throughunder-age abused females, For many or even more serious are educated girls. We business is of these hawkers, that when advocacy support has initiatives, not the annual seminars , empowerment been provided the needed This and dangers fun, judging from and they the horrors year’s they and workshop to are go parents still eke out a engaging in street s. is of serious(2016) theme on child living daily. through in order to their hawking, hawking concern to The drive When the then governm wards prosecute “It is my our nation. of OIF was those ent can Foundation founder of the Obi Ikenchuk as a foundatio involved, stressing various state intention to work to wu bring the public with n, they are Ikenchukwu (OIF), Princess governm that the issue to curb and ent Genevieve through advocacy addressin told this story seminar/cocktail g the barest manage thisagencies in order sectors under and private children at on behalf minimum. menace to involved. party, the the 2016 OIF of the has moved with one umbre the audience were with OIF founder come with To this end, the foundatio lla notThe a strong comm the bereavedpity for the deceased another campaign n called ‘Off just to governmadded that: “We the Street speak the itment intention OIF family, but that was girl and to curb slogan ent, but organisations Into the Classroom idea is to hawking amon was focused not and individua also corporate the story. at achieving the childr them and I ,’ and educate take these kids off The drive ls who can g think the governme with the street the public them.” of OIF was en of schoo assist the work falls In her remarks, and to bring nt too because l ages. back to the umbrella with private sectors Some do not the Lagos think it is sioner government. a strong commitm under one State Commisa huge hawking among I also said for Women Affairs, have so 4 6ent to curb decen a foundatio responsibility on them, Mrs. Lola Akande, hawking children t housing, access to taskasupon should not n we have Some do not means of taken up be viewed have access of school ages. medic ourselves livelihood medicare, the ous clothing and as a to decent are, to how these to find out because clothing and dangers the ways as their meagre balanced diet,housing, hawkers areof the numereducate them children can be helped which includes incomes. They diet, due to balanced due by picking and and rape, abductiosubjected to street and start each to their meagr even death. bringing them them up from the n, accidents day incom e “We are not to She lamented es getting any the classroom. in government, the country that the economic support from FRIDAY JANUARY situation has caused collaborating but unfortunately send their 13, 2017 • T some parents we with them, wards on H I S D AY to the streets though they are in order to source to hawk are the family, stating additional revenue for that some parents will email:foreigndesk

INTERNATIONAL Trump Top Nominees Pompeo and Mattis Warn of Russia Threat President-elect DonaldTrump’s nominees for defence secretary and spy chief have been talking tough on Russia. General James Mattis, defence secretary nominee, warned NATO was under its biggest attack sinceWorldWarTwo... Page 46


Trump Top Nom inees Pompeo and Mattis War n of Russia Thr eat


The Amazing Qu ran Edited by: MJO


Email deji.mustap


President-elect nominees for Donald Trump’s nations. defence secretary Gary Miller/Islam and spy chief “I think (continued from iCity have tough on Russia. been talking important right now the most career military officer to serve last week) following example. secretary of defence thing is that we as General James recognise 50 in more than Scientifi the reality of years. what we deal c Approach secretary nominee, Mattis, defence with with Mr Putin and to the Quran Embryology warned NATO But the committee we recognise was under its truly scientific that he is trying will have biggest attack to approve an approach to to break the since World War Two, is possible because exception to the Quran A few including from Atlantic Alliance and that North rule which says years ago, a a the Quran Moscow. something that former military we take group of men the steps, the is not offered offers Saudi Arabia collected in Riyadh, integrated steps, staff must spend a minimum religious scriptures, Mike Pompeo, by other Quran which all of the verses seven years of Mr Trump’s diplomatic, economic, in particular, other pick to lead the out of office military and of the humandiscuss embryology – the in the and the Alliance before scientists demand.religions, in general. It being in the growth steps, working they can run the Pentagon. is what “Here is posed a threat CIA, said Russia with Today there who have ideas womb. They our in Mr Pompeo, said, and theories aboutare many people essence, what the Quran says. Is “asserting itself Europe and was where allies to defend ourselves works. Mr they took the it Trump’s These how the universe the we must,” he aggressively” people are all advice of the the truth?”In told the Senate choice for CIA director, men who Ukraine. scientific community in Armed over the Quran: “Ask faced to questions over Services Committee does not even place, but the a non-Muslimknow.” They chose, as it them. This is The pair were . happened, who bother to listen at the “I think it’s under elect’s growing the president- the scientific because within among several University of is a professor of embryolog cabinet choices the last century Moore, Toronto. His facing confirmation attack since World Warthe biggest US intelligen rift with the falsification community has demanded and he is the name is Keithy hearings. II, sir, and He ce communi . They say, “If that’s from Russia, author of textbooks ty. bother you have theory,a test of embryology – a world said Mr Mattis, a retired groups and with from terrorist dence” he had “every confi- way us with it unless you bring on do not They invited expert on the general and for us to prove in the US intelligenc with that theory him to Riyadh what China Mr Trump’s pick subject. doing whether what is a in and the for services. Such you the Pentagon chief, Quran e said, “This is South a test was exactly are wrong or said Russian not.” true? What can says about your subject. why the scientific If confirmed, China Sea.” listened to Einstein President Vladimir Their assessmen community Is it Putin was trying Mr towards the While he wasyou tell us?” t that state- century. He to divide NATO nicknamed Mad Dog Mattis, directed Russia beginning of the the help that he in Riyadh, they gave hackers meddled believe the came with a new theory for his in combative style, universe needed him the and said, US all would be the first he added.election was “sound”, three ways to prove works like this; and here “I the cooperation for whichin translation and all of he asked. are so surprised scientific communitywhether I am wrong!” So the his what he found that And he was subjected his tests, and within he changed In fact, in the theory to the one of course, this does six years it passed all three. Of in the his books, called Beforesecond edition of not prove that it proves that section about We Are Born… he was he said, “Thishe deserved to be listened great, but he included some the history of embryolog material that is my idea; and to because first edition y, to prove was if because of what you want to not in the me wrong, do Israel’s military try Quran was ahead this or try that.” This is exactly says it has of its time andhe found in the uncovered a believe tests. Some are what the Quran has – Dozens of scam by Hamas falsification do not in the Quran know whatthat those who militants to spy proven true), old (in that they have already persuaded to soldiers were in information know. other people and some install an applicahacking their on its soldiers by tion been I had the pleasure about that manoeuvres, forces Israeli army states, “If this book is notstill exist today. 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Youkept it a secret forever. that one should Do you look and bring some proof really should not unless you kind of thing find out more about it.then states theory.” because it is that Muslims This such a ridiculous In fact, overlook – but today largely is the you explain this when he was asked, “How not always, information as illustratedseem to Moore’s in the Quran?” do in the reply Dr. revealed!” was, “It could only have been divinely


Israeli Sold iers ‘Caught in Hamas Onli Honey Trap ne ’

SPORTS AFCON 20 2019: 9 Eag Eagles es D Draw aw SA S’Africa, ca LLibya, bya Seychelles After missing two editions back-toback, Nigeria’s Super Eagles appear to have received easy pairing in the draw for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations which took place last night. the host country of the Cameroon issthehostcountryofthe next edition after the 2017 in Gabon starting this weekend. Page 52

in Lagos






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News Editor Davidson Iriekpen Email, 08111813081

Again, Buhari to Travel to Gambia to Persuade Jammeh to Step Down Meets service chiefs No decision yet on deployment of force in The Gambia President orders army to commence security exercise in Southern Kaduna House wants Nigeria to offer asylum to Gambian president

Tobi Soniyi, Damilola Oyedele and Paul Obi in


President Muhammadu Buhari will travel to Banjul, the capital of The Gambia, and Bamako, the Malian capital from today, January 13 to 14, 2017. The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, who announced this yesterday via a statement said while in Banjul, Buhari, as the Mediator in The Gambia, would meet with President Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia and the Presidentelect, Adama Barrow, to continue dialogue on the political situation in the West African country. The statement said Buhari would be joined by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia and Chairperson of the Authority of Economic Community Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Heads of State and Government, President Ernest Koroma of Sierra Leone, and the immediate past President of Ghana, John Mahama, who is the co-meditator of The Gambian mission. Adesina said Buhari would travel to Bamako later on January 13 to participate in the 27th Africa–France Summit. The summit for Partnership, Peace and Emergence convened by French President Francois Hollande is aimed at strengthening cooperation between France and African countries in the areas of peace and security, economic partnership and development. Recognising the role played by France in the successes so far recorded in the implementation of the regional initiative against terrorism, Adesina said Buhari would reaffirm Nigeria’s commitment to global efforts on the war against terror and underline the need for improved collaboration to address the menace of terrorism in the region. He said Buhari would use the opportunity of the summit to underscore the efforts government was making to improve Nigeria’s business environment to attract more foreign direct investment. Adesina said the president would

be accompanied by Governors Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State and Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Interior and Defence. Meanwhile, ahead of the ECOWAS mediation meeting today with President Buhari, the House of Representatives yesterday urged president to provide an offer of asylum in Nigeria to President Jammeh as a way to boost mediation into the current presidential conundrum threatening to cause unrest in the coastal committee. The resolution followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Sani Zorro (Jigawa APC) who said such open offer would strengthen the hands of the mediators. “Grant him asylum, and his family, if that would restore peace to The Gambia, if that is what it would take, then Nigeria should be ready for it,” Zorro said. The Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Hon. Nnenna Elendu Ukeje, said the motion is in line with Nigeria’s foreign policy objectives. Nigeria would be required to intervene and solve whatever problems arise from the impasses, Ukeje said, adding that creating a soft landing through asylum, may provide an alternative. “If it comes to this, so that The Gambia does not degenerate into another unstable African country,” she said. Some lawmakers opposed the motion on grounds that the offer would send a wrong signal to dictators with sit-tight syndrome. The Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, however urged such lawmakers to critically examine their position, noting that the offer of asylum to Jammeh does not indicate support for dictatorship. “If it is put before him and he rejects it, fine, but it will clear that the people of Nigeria, through the parliament offered such.” “If crises erupts in that country and refugees spill over, can we handle it while also dealing with our IDPs? If it comes to confrontation, Nigeria will be required to put boots on the ground. Can we afford that?

Our military is already engaged in the North-east, in the Niger Delta and now in Southern Kaduna. So let us be guided,” Dogara advised. Hon. Sam Onuigbu (Abia PDP) said the offer is a cheaper and safer option, as Nigerians are well invested in Gambia. “We did a similar thing in Liberia, and today Liberia is being celebrated as a growing democracy. We all know if there is trouble, Nigeria would be required to intervene,” he said. The Minister for Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, has said there is no decision yet on whether Nigeria will deploy forces to The Gambia should President Jammeh refuses to step down on January 19 when his mandate would have expired. Dan-Ali made this disclosure yesterday while briefing State House Correspondents after a lengthy security meeting he and service chiefs had with the president at the Presidential Villa, Aso Rock, Abuja. The minister said that the meeting deliberated on the security situation in the country. He said: “Major security issue

were discussed and we were able to come to conclusion on almost all the crises that are going on across the country. The Southern Kaduna, the Niger Delta issues and other major crisis areas were discussed and resolutions were passed. “Like I said, in the Southern Kaduna, we have our troops being moved and they have already taken places, operation is going on and I believe that very soon it will come to an end.” Asked whether the meeting discussed The Gambia issue, the minister said “That is not a national issue and I believe the ECOWAS are working on that, we have not reached any conclusion on that.” Also speaking, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Gen. Tukur Buratai, said the president had ordered the commencement of an army exercise code-named ‘Kunama II’ in Southern Kaduna in order to bolster the security situation in that axis. Buratai explained that the exercise would cover parts of Plateau and Kano States. He added that the army was

still pursuing all its operations in the North-east, South-south and South-eastern parts of the country. Asked about the progress report from Sambisa, Buratai said: “We are continuing our operations in that area, Lafiya Dole mandate and the troops are still moving all over the area.” On whether he had received any new directive from the president, the COAS said. On deployment of troops to Kaduna, he said “Our troops are already in Southern Kaduna. We have our special forces operating there along with all other security agencies and we intend also to have an exercise very soon in Southern Kaduna to cover some parts of Plateau and indeed part of Kano State. Also, in a move to douse tension, the Nigerian Army, has said it was not planning to attack any foreign country, neither the Republic of Gambia, where President Buhari is expected in the West African nation today. The clarification came amid speculations of a possible military

intervention by ECOWAS to be spearheaded by Nigeria should the outgoing President Jammeh failed to relinquish power after losing in last year presidential polls. According to Director of Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman, there was no iota of truth in such statement. He said: The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to a publication by online news organisation’ indicating the readiness of Nigerian Army to attack Gambia with the intention “to remove Jammeh.” Usman added: “This is not true. Consequently, Nigerian Army wishes to disassociate itself from such false information that exists only in the figment of the imagination of the medium. There was no time or place Nigerian Army disclosed such information to the medium. “If there is any, we challenge them to name the officer or soldier that gave them such information and when. For the avoidance of doubt, Nigerian Army is not planning to attack any country.


R-L: Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode; Minister of Mines and Solid Mineral Development, Kayode Fayemi; his counterpart for Finance, Kemi Adeosun; Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi; former Governor of Ekiti State, Niyi Adebayo; former Governor of Ogun State, Olusegun Osoba; former interim National Chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande; APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu (fifth left) and others during the APC South-west stakeholders’ meeting in Ibadan....yesterday

We will Rescue Chibok Girls in Captivity, President Assures Malala Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari has assured United Nations’ Special Envoy for Global Education, Malala Yousafzai, of federal government’s unrelenting efforts to ensure the safe return of the remaining Chibok girls still held by insurgent group, Boko Haram. The assurance was contained in a letter signed on Buhari’s behalf on January 10, 2017, by Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed. It was in response to a letter

written to Buhari by Malala on January 6, for female education, reminding government of need to ensure the safe and speedy return of the other missing girls as part of activities to mark the 1,000 days of the kidnap of the girls. Buhari assured Malala of sustained negotiations to free the remaining Chibok schoolgirls by Nigerian military, state security service and the other security agencies. The statement, however, said Buhari would not divulge the details of ongoing negotiations to secure the release of the girls to Malala due to the sensitive nature of the

negotiations, Part of the letter read: “Rest assured, however, of the doggedness, commitment and sincerity of the Federal Government of Nigeria towards ensuring the safe return of the Chibok girls, and indeed all others still in captivity.’’ The president further recalled that the valiant act of Nigerian troops fighting the Islamic insurgent group in their North-east bastion resulted in the capture of Sambisa forest, the last stronghold of the Boko Haram elements, who kidnapped the girls from their school dormitories in Chibok in April 2014.

He also assured Malala of government’s desire to take over the responsibility for the education, personal and professional aspirations of the 21 Chibok girls that were released in October last year for the rest of their life, saying that in tune with his vow that Boko Haram would not be considered defeated without the rescue of the Chibok girls and all other innocent persons still taken hostage by the insurgency group. ‘’They are being given comprehensive medical, nutritional and psychological care and support, and anyone who has seen them

in recent times will attest to the fact that their reintegration back to the society is progressing well. The federal government believes that it is not too late for the girls to go back to school, and everything will be done to ensure that they continue the pursuit of their studies,’’ he assured. Buhari commended Malala for her unflinching disposition towards the release of the rest of the girls in captivity and those who have regained their freedom, adding: ‘’There is no better example of the fact that we are all linked by our common

humanity.’’ Malala, the co-founder of the Malala Fund, was in 2012 shot and left unconscious by the Taliban for spearheading the human rights advocacy for education and for women in north-west of Pakistan, against the order of the Taliban, which had banned the girls from attending schools. Her gallantry attracted international attention which prompted the United Nations to appoint her a Special Envoy for Global Education in addition to her being conferment with a Nobel Prize.




APC Begins Move to Restructure BoT, National Caucus NWC considers amendment to party’s constitution South-west leaders unite for regional strength

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja and Ademola Babalola in Ibadan The leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has commenced the process for the amendment of the party’s constitution to give backing to its plan to restructure two of its organs, the Board of Trustees (BoT) and National Caucus. To this effect, the party has received reports from the committees set up to re-organise and restructure the BoT as well as proposals on the aspects of the constitution that needed to be amended. THISDAY gathered that the party is to consider the proposed constitutional amendments at the meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) scheduled for next Monday. The present constitution of the party was adopted in October 2014. Part of the new thinking in the party is the doing away with the BoT and to replace it with ‘Elders’ Forum.’ As such, the NWC would consider the recommendations for the amendment of the party’s constitution to scrap the BoT. The BoT which is seen as the conscience of the party has the powers to intervene in all disputes and crisis in the party to ensure the stability of the party at all times. But the leadership of the APC said allowing another body as the BoT to exist side by side with the MWC and NEC will be unnecessary as their roles are bound to clash. Also being considered for pruning down is the membership of the national caucus of the party which is said to be unwieldy. It was learnt that the plan is for the NWC to deliberate on the proposals for constitutional amendment and to fix date for next meeting of the National Executive Committee (INEC) where the amendments will be rectified. According to the constitution of the party, membership of

the National caucus include the national chairman, deputy national chairmen -North and South, national secretary, national legal adviser, national treasurer, national Organising secretary, national woman leader, national youth leader, leader of the physically challenged, past and presidents, vice presidents of the country. Others are current presidential and vice presidential candidates, past and present senate presidents and deputy senate presidents who are members of the party, present and past Speakers of the House of Representatives and Deputy Speakers who are members of the party. The caucus is also made up of serving majority leader, whips and their deputies in the Senate and House of Representatives who are members if the party, past and present governors who are members of the party, SGF, chairman, deputy and secretary of the BoT, former national Chairmen and national secretaries. Meanwhile, following the cold war between the national leader of the APC, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and his erstwhile political ‘godsons’ currently serving as ministers under President Muhammadu Buhari and governors of the party in the South-west geopolitical zone, they have all agreed to shelve their differences for a better regional political strength. The meeting, which was at the instance of Chief Bisi Akande, and chaired by him and hosted by Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, saw Tinubu and Chief Segun Osoba join the four APC governors in the region to hold the parley with the six ministers from the region and some APC leaders at the National Assembly. THISDAY reliably gathered that the need to put Yoruba’s house in order with common front topped the agenda because according to a source privy to the over four hours meeting, “a house divided against itself

can never stand. We need to tell others that we are capable of putting our misunderstandings behind us and tell them that there is no more war in the house of Oduduwa.” At the end of the marathon parley, the leaders and stakeholders of the party promised harmonious and peaceful interpersonal relationship as they “resolved all contentious issues affecting the progressive block in the region.” The meeting had in attendance all the APC governors: Ajimobi (Oyo), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos) and former Governors of Ekiti, Segun Oni and Dr. Kayode Fayemi, currently serving as the Minister of Mines and Solid Mineral Development and one of the embattled godsons of Tinubu.

Others are the former Governor of Lagos and current Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babtunde Fashola, who had also fallen apart with Tinubu in post 2015 elections. Also at the meeting were a former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba; Senate Chief Whip, Olusola Adeyeye, Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbagabiamila, former Governors Olagunsoye Oyinlola (Osun), Niyi Adebayo (Ekiti). Other serving ministers in attendance were Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun;Information, Culture and Tourism, Lai Mohammed; Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, and the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole. The list also included Muiz Banire, the National Legal Adviser of the party.

Addressing Journalists, Osoba said: “All the members that we invited are here except the Deputy Speaker, Lasun Yusuf who is presently out of the country. We met principally to discuss all the things that may be affecting South-west and we have come out with a resolution to show that in the Southwest of APC there is unity of purpose’, the leadership is one, and we have resolved on all the issues that may be affecting the governance of this country and what should be the role and the influence that we should exercise as a group in the interest of this country and for the progress of this country. “We have examined what the government that we are all involved is bringing and we have resolved all the issues and all those that will be taken

to Abuja will be taken to Abuja by those concerned. We have related with our legislative members, leaders at the party level and we have related with all our governors, and I can assure you from now onward, there will be total harmony and consultations among our governors for the progress of South West Nigeria. South-west is the leader of progressives in this country and we are determined to reassert our influence in the progressive politics of this country for the betterment of Nigeria. Those are the issues that we discussed today. South West, we are the leaders of progressives in this country and we have determined to reassert our interest in the progressives politics of this country for the betterment of the South-west Nigeria. Thank you very much.”


Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (left), and Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, during a Consultative Forum on Service Delivary Innovative on Healthcare Challenges in Abuja.....yesterday Julius Atoi

NNPC Seeks More Royalty on Deep Offshore, Inland Basin PSCs Chineme Okafor in Abuja The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has proposed some key amendments to the royalty regimes of deep offshore and inland basin Production Sharing Contract (PSC) Act. The proposed increase, it said, would enable the Federal Government improve its PSC royalties collection from both deep water and inland basin oil production activities. A statement by the Group General Manager, Public Affairs of NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, on Thursday in Abuja said the proposal was made in a presentation to the Joint House of Representatives Committees on the amendment of

the PSC Act and an Act to establish the National Oil and Gas Museum and Research Centre in Oloibiri. The presentation, the statement explained was made by NNPC’s Chief Operating Officer, Upstream, Malam Bello Rabiu, who noted that it was imperative to effect the increment in royalties across all the categories to increase government revenue from them. “It is our opinion that the proposal to increase the royalty rate for terrains beyond 1000 metres, from zero per cent to three per cent, is commendable but it is necessary to also make corresponding adjustments in other categories,” Rabiu said in the statement. It noted that under the proposed

PSC royalty regime, the calculation of what would be due to the government shall be based on production and price to guarantee fairness and balance between PSC contractors and the government. It stated that for royalty based on production within a tranche of 50,000 barrels of crude oil per day (bpd), a tranche rate of 8.0 per cent should be made. Under a production tranche of 50,000 to 100,000 bpd, the royalty tranche rate would increase to 15.5 per cent and further to 28 per cent once the production surpasses the 100,000 bpd mark. According to the NNPC, to calculate royalty based on price, instances of prices coming under a $50 per barrel at any given time,

the tranche incremental royalty rate shall be zero per cent but the rate would increase to 0.30 per cent if the price hovers between the $50 to $100 mark. Similarly, it noted that a price regime of $100 to $130 should attract a royalty of 0.20 per cent while an increase of price between $130 and $170 should translate to a royalty rate of 0.10 per cent, while a price regime of $170 and above would attract zero per cent royalty payment. The NNPC added that it argued that in the alternative, the graduated royalty scale as provided in the PSC Act should be removed while the Minister of Petroleum Resources should be empowered to intermittently set royalties payable for acreages located in deep offshore

and inland basin PSCs through regulations based on established economic parameters. On the provision of investment tax credit, investment tax allowance and associated cost uplift and capital allowances to PSC contractors, the NNPC equally proposed an outright scrapping of the incentives. The NNPC said: “It is our opinion that these incentives have outlived their usefulness and are now impediments to the Federal Government’s revenue collection efforts. The use of such incentives can be terminated by an amendment of section 4 of the Act.” It called on the National Assembly to seek relevant input from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), to resolve the divergent

opinions regarding the methodology for the computation of the taxes, which would arise as a result of the proposed royalty regime. On the Act to establish the National Oil and Gas Museum and Research Centre in Oloibiri, the corporation recommended the establishment of the museum alone with clear budgetary allocation from the Federal Government under the control and management of the National Commission for Museum and Monuments. It stated: “It is better to refine and upgrade the capacity of the Petroleum Training Institute in Warri and the NationalCollege of Petroleum Studies, Kaduna, in order to avoid duplication of functions and more importantly ensure optimal utilisation of funds.”




Ekweremadu Won’t Decamp to APC, Says PDP No plans to impeach deputy senate president, says Na’Allah Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, cannot be forced to decamp to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). This came as the Deputy Senate Leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allah, has dismissed reports that the Senate Caucus of the APC is plotting to move against Ekweremadu. In a statement issued yesterday by its spokesman, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, the opposition party condemned the suggestion made by an APC senator, Kabiru Marafa, urging the deputy senate president to defect in order to retain his seat. The party described such call “as unconstitutional, undemocratic and to say the least, unbecoming of Marafa”. The PDP statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to a statement credited to Marafa on the floor of the Senate on January 11, 2017, in which he advised Ekweremadu to decamp to the APC in order to remain as the Deputy Senate President. “This call is unconstitutional, undemocratic and to say the least, unbecoming of Marafa. For the record, these are his words, “I am using this medium to call on Ekweremadu to simply decamp. Section 68(G) of the 1999 Constitution captures this. “Fortunately, there is no section or clause of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) that provides that one

must be a member of the ruling party before he/she can be elected into any position in the Senate or the House of Representatives. “Equally, it is very distasteful and uncharitable for any senator to stand on the floor of the hallowed chamber and ask his colleague to violate the Constitution by crosscarpeting from his own party to join the ruling party. Note that it is Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and not Senate of the APC. PDP said it was indeed laughable for Marafa to cite the internal issues in the PDP as a reason for Ekweremadu to decamp. “For the umpteeth time, let us re-iterate that there is no faction in the PDP. A party is only factionalised when its organs are in disarray but this is different in the PDP where all the organs are intact behind the National Caretaker Committee under the chairmanship of Senator Ahmed Makarfi. A mere rebellion by a small interest group within the party cannot be referred to as factionalisation of the party. “In view of the above, any member of the PDP using the current leadership disagreement caused by the rebellious group led by the former Borno State Governor, Senator Modu Ali Sherrif, as excuse to decamp is doing so at his or her peril. Marafa or any other member of the APC has no power to make such demands on a member of

the PDP. “Let us remind Marafa that Ekweremadu was elected as Deputy Senate President by majority votes from both the PDP and APC senators. Any attempt to remove Ekweramadu for being a member of the opposition party and not because of a constitutional breach or incompetence is a call for anarchy. “The current situation in the Senate where the Senate President and the Deputy Senate President are from different parties should not continue to appear strange to Marafa and his likes in a democratic system. For instance, in the Second Republic, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Umezeoke was from opposition National Peoples Party (NPP) while the Senate President was from the ruling party, the NPN, and both of them worked harmoniously with the cooperation of the executive in moving the country forward. “Finally, we call on our members

in the National Assembly to remain strong and united behind the Deputy Senate President with a determination not to allow the APC truncate our hard earned democracy through their undemocratic tendencies. To the APC lawmakers in the National Assembly, do not forget that Nigeria belongs to all of us and we must work together to protect her in order to advance our democracy.” Meanwhile, after the Senate removed the Majority Leader, Ali Ndume, from office in a surprise move last Tuesday, speculations were rife that the APC might be itching to also remove the Deputy Senate President to actualise its dream to assert the party’s control of affairs in the National Assembly. Some of the APC legislators were even quoted as saying that for Ekweremadu to have a reprieve, he has to defect from his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). However, Na’Allah said he was not aware of any such plan to

oust the deputy senate president by his colleagues. Speaking with journalists shortly after meeting with the leadership of the APC at the party’s secretariat in Abuja yesterday evening, Na’Alla said there was nothing like moving against Ekweremadu “All these things happened when I was out of this country. I was in Germany and it is not in my character to speak about what I don’t know. But as far as I am concerned, there is nothing near to that. As far as I am concerned, I am not aware. At least, I am back and I am in the office,” he said. He also said the APC would welcome the deputy senate president should he decide to join the party, adding that the party is a big family that will accommodate everybody. “Please, APC is a big family and everybody is welcome. We are strengthening the party based on our belief that this country needs to be united at this critical time of

our history. So, I am absolutely sure that it will be a very nice thing if he decides to come. It will equally be nice if we are able to see that any other person with the intention joins our great party. “I am telling you that I was out of the country when all these things happened and there is nothing I can say that will be accurate in view of the fact that I wasn’t around when all the politicking took place.” On his mission at the party secretariat, Na’Allah said: “This is the headquarters of my party and my national chairman requested to see me. That is why I am here. It has nothing to do with what transpired in the senate. If you want me to tell you why I am here, we have primary in Edo State to fill the vacancy left by the deputy governor who left the House of Representatives and I am the chairman of the committee and I just came to receive the normal briefing from my party.”


L-R: Children of the late Premier of the defunct Western Region, Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola; Chief Abayomi Akintola; Dr. Abimbola Akintola; Deputy President General, Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs Nigeria, Sakariyan Oloyiwula Babalola, representing the Sultan of Sokoto; Guest Speaker, Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye of the Department of Mass Communications, University of Lagos; and the event’s Chairman, Dr. YomiFinnih, at the formal launch of The Samuel Ladoke Akintola Memorial Foundation as part of activities to mark the 51st anniversary of the death of the late Akintola held at Afe Babalola Auditorium,University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos....yesterday

Non-passage of MTEF Delays Budget Debate N7.2 bn: House summons IG over misappropriation of 2016 budget Damilola Oyedele in Abuja The House of Representatives has said the delay in the passage of the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) has led to the inability to commence debate on the N7.3 trillion budget for 2017. The spokesperson of the House, Hon. Abdulrazak Namdas, briefing journalists yesterday however gave assurances that the MTEF would be passed next week, while budget debate would follow. “We cannot debate the general principles of the budget until MTEF is passed. Next: week, we would passe MTEF and the

upper week, we would lay the details of the budget and begin the processes.” Namdas said. Meanwhile the House at plenary summoned the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, to appear before its Committee on Police Affairs on January 19, 2017, after he refused to honour three previous invitations. The committee accused Ibrahim of misappropriation of the 2016 budget following the use of N1.2 billion approved for the purchase of 10 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC), for the purchase of 64 toyota hiace commuter vehicles, without approval from the National

Assembly. The Hon. Halliru Jika led committee also accused Ibrahim of diverting N6 billion appropriated for rehabilitation and reconstruction of 102 police stations, to other uses without approval from the National Assembly. A member of the committee, Hon. Gabriel Onyenwife, in a motion raised at plenary, said Ibrahim’s refusal to appear before the committee has stalled investigations into the diversion of the funds. The action, the lawmaker noted, constitute breaches of the Appropriation Act and a gross violation of the provisions of constitution.

Jika, speaking with THISDAY, said the police has violated the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 and the Public Procurement Act 2007. “Even the President himself wrote to the legislature seeking approval of virement of funds within the 2016 budget, and it was granted. So nobody is above the law. You cannot spend a kobo of appropriated funds without legislative approval. It is an impeachable offence,” he said. The lawmaker noted that the committee is simply exercising its mandate granted by the constitution.






Editor, Editorial Page PETER ISHAKA Email



The dissolution of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria is wrong, argues Charles Onunaiju

n a most uncharitable climb-down and repudiation of the famous sound bite of his inaugural speech that “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody”, President Muhammadu Buhari has stood down a subsisting Nigeria’s corporate governance code, a rule of extant law in Nigeria because of somebody. As if the law is from hell, the public officer entrusted with overseeing and implementing it was summarily dismissed and institutional governance mechanism, the board of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN) was dissolved. The council which is responsible for setting and promoting compliance with standards for accounting, financial reporting and auditing in Nigeria, had in the exercise of its statutory mandate, designed the code of corporate governance. Because of the fact that the code of corporate governance affected religious organisations and in the current instance applied to respected Christian religious figure, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, the whole mechanisms for corporate governance of public institutions were suspended. Minister of Industry, Trade and Industry, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah in executing the hatchet job claimed that government remains committed to restoring and enhancing market confidence and improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria. The fact that a court of competent jurisdiction has upheld the propriety of the corporate governance code when it was previously challenged brought home the reckless impunity which government demonstrated in repudiating the code and the entire institutional infrastructure through which it was designed and implemented. Religious groups cannot claim that they are beyond government and public oversight when they enjoy government patronage, ranging from import waivers, elaborate state security under the constitutional provision of freedom of worship. Even their serial internal wrangling are brought to courts for adjudication and courts are state or public institutions funded from public treasury. Nigeria is a secular state and while its laws are not biased or against any particular religious group, they are however inclusive of all groups. A framework of code of governance of public institutions implies unequivocally that all public institutions, including religious organisations that enjoy public order, security and freedom of worship guaranteed by the constitution, upheld by the state and is secured through the activities of a legitimate government institution. Any government therefore, that bends its rules midway to cater for a special interest no matter how powerful and influential, especially in such brazen manner as demonstrated in the instant case, shoots itself in the foot and seriously undermines its legitimacy. If the rule of the corporate governance code implied that a religious leader must step down on attainment


of certain age or within a specific period and Pastor Adeboye in deference to the rule, bowed out of the leadership of his church, why would the fuss of those who wish to cry more than the bereaved, force the government hands? After all, Christ himself bowed out of the church physically, thousands of years ago, and his church has grown more phenomenally since then. A country that want foreign investors, international respectability and even a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council, could with bravado suspend its law and summarily dismiss its public officers and disband a duly constituted board, because it needed to ingratiate to a certain section of its population or any particular person puts itself up for mockery. Any prospective foreign investor now knows that in spite of what the Nigeria’s existing laws say, they subject to twisting and even repudiation in the event their application hurt a powerful and influential person, group or section of the whole population. The fact that an uproar by a certain section or group could force government to abdicate its responsibilities in the enforcement of its laws, rules and regulation or to repudiate it, sends the wrong signal and in the instant case where it was done with fanfare, defines Nigeria as banana republic whose laws shares the fate of a mere snap of fingers by its leaders. President Muhammadu Buhari’s precipitate actions in the case of Pastor Enoch Adeboye and the FRCN, ostensibly to avoid the label of Islamic fanatic, desperate to undermine other religions is inconsistent with his famed courage and principle. Even if that law and corporate governance code, needed amendment or review, it must not be because of one particular person or any interest group; whether a religious group or not. The promise of President Buhari in his campaign is to restore Nigeria to a law governed and rule-based country, and his mantra that he belongs to everybody and to nobody”, encapsulates the vision. The idea of a republic is a community of free and equal citizens under the law and therefore harbouring and ingratiating to plutocrats, whether religious or economic is inconsistent with our republic. The Vice-President, Yemi Osibanjo, is both a Pastor in the Redeemed Church and also a senior lawyer both in the academia and in legal practice. However, if the decisions to suspend the extant Nigeria law on account of the interest of a special group, which he belongs, sit well with him as one would suppose, because he did not raise a whimper, then the country has serious challenge, even as president did not help matters Mr. Onunaiju, a journalist, wrote from Abuja

SUSTAINING DEVELOPMENT IN A RECESSION (2) The State of Osun has done remarkably in infrastructure development, writes Ileowo Kikiowo


hrough the State’s partnership with the World Bank, The Osun Agency for Community and Social Development Project (OSUN CSDP), has reached 1,073,129 beneficiaries in rural communities by committing at least N2 billion to several social developmental projects. The partnership is delivering 356 inclusive, gender sensitive and multi-sectoral micro projects, covering education, rural electrification, primary health care, transportation, potable water provision in 263 communities across the state. The government’s strategic investment in the critical basic education level has delivered training and re-training for over 21,017 teachers, giving the importance of these to the learning experience. So far, 277 model schools with 1,811 modern classrooms have been built or rehabilitated. The schools are being furnished with 26,922 sets of chair and table. Every school day in Osun, 253,000 elementary school children receive nutritious meals produced largely by local farmers, to boost health and cognitive capability at their formative stage, as well as boost local food production. The Osun School feeding programme is the longest running of its kind in the country. In six years, Osun has through its basic education agency, invested over N8.5 billion to build capacity, both in human and physical infrastructure. This investment in education is driven by the resolve of the

administration to equip the future generation of Osun with the best possible resources regardless of their background, so they can seek a better and prosperous future for themselves and consequently for the state. As many states became fiscally unstable and shortfall in federally collected revenues continued to challenge salaries payment, the government of President Muhammadu Buhari heeded Osun’s push for interventions by helping her and other states restructure commercial loans into FGN bond with reduced financial cost and freeing of cashflow in August 2015. The FG also granted a concessionary loan to Osun and many other states to clear backlogs of salaries and to restore treasury and fiscal stability of these states. The state government and the labour unions recognised that the current national challenge, resulting from dwindling revenues will continue to affect the payments of critical expenditure of government, which include salaries, wages and pension, after the exhaustion of the bailout funds. The labour unions agreed to accommodate the state government during this economic headwind, while the state government agreed to be transparent and carry the labour unions along. The state government and the labour unions also agreed that whatever is available as net revenues accruing from Federation Accounts and internally generated revenues (IGR) will be apportioned in such a way that

will take care of critical expenditure, wages, pension, salaries and other expenditure required to run government. This milestone agreement gave birth to the apportionment of revenue, called modulated salary. From August 2015 till now, the prudent management of concessionary loan (bailout) and its subsequent revenues by the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has ensured salaries are paid and workers keep their jobs, rather than embark on mass retrenchment; an alternate idea other state governments have toyed with. The salary regime ensures full salaries are paid to junior cadre in levels one-seven, while their senior counterparts are paid nothing less than 50 per cent or greater, depending on the level of income per month. The government’s infrastructure development efforts has already started yielding results as investments and production has been on the rise in Osun: In 2009, the famous International Breweries, Ilesa, known for Trophy brand which serves the South West and beyond, doubled its production capacity to cater for the boost in local economy. Tuns Farms, an indigenous poultry company, in partnership with small holder farmers, ramped up broiler production to position the state as the second largest broiler producer in the country. Omoluabi Garment Factory, a Public-Private-Partnership between Sam and Sara Garments and the State Government of Osun emerged as the largest Garment Factory in West Africa. An indigenous computer

assembly plant, RLG Adulawo also set shop in Osun as a result of the favourable infrastructure in the state. These and more are the direct and indirect investment results of the administration’s bet for a prosperous future and these efforts are paying off. Consequently, Osun developmental programmes have also impacted on the socio-economic profile of the state as reported by reputable institutions. In 2015, The Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) rated Osun second highest in human development index among the 36 states in the country. In 2014, Renaissance Capital (RENCAP) in its 36 shades of Nigeria economic review of states ranked Osun as the seventh largest economy in Nigeria, while in 2013 the NBS rated Osun as the state with the lowest poverty rate in Nigeria. In conclusion, was there a dearth in critical physical infrastructure in Osun before 2010? The answer is yes. Was there an urgent need to build the infrastructure? The answer is a resounding yes. Was the decision to debt finance the construction of the infrastructure a rational one amongst other options available? Yes! Has the state government properly managed the resultant downside risks involved in taking these steps? Yes! Nobody argues with results. The impact of the decisions taken by the present administration in the state continues to yield positive results from all available indices. Kikiowo wrote from Osogbo





The security agencies should sharpen their investigative skills and apprehend the killers of Anthony Okeyim

tudents and staff of Command Secondary School, Ibadan, recently awoke to a gruesome sight: the bloody remains of the commandant of their school, Col. Anthony Okeyim, who had his throat slit by suspected assassins. Okeyim who was recently promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General and waiting to be decorated was reportedly attacked in front of his official quarter by some criminals. “It is a pity that that such a gentleman, who was committed to his duty as a military officer and school commandant could be killed in a gruesome manner inside a military formation,” said a friend of the deceased. “There are posts mounted by infantry soldiers from the gate of the school and visitors are not allowed except if you have a genuine mission there.” Adekunle Ajisebutu, spokesman of the Oyo State Police Command said, “We are treating it as a case of suspected murder.” That a senior military officer could have his life snuffed out easily by assailants is yet another evidence of the worsening insecurity in the country. Indeed, it is a further indication of how DAILY, THE INCIDENCE OF MURDER AND OTHER much more unsafe ACCOMPANYING CRIMES ordinary Nigerians have become. If LIKE KIDNAPPING, the life of the comARMED ROBBERY AND mandant of a military BANDITRY ARE ON THE school could be taken RISE so easily, what is the fate of the students and staff of the school? While we commiserate with the family of the late colonel and the Nigerian Army, if ever any wake-up call is needed, this is it. This murder case, like many before it, raises serious posers. Suspicions are rife that something was amiss, particularly given the circumstances of Okeyim’s demise in relatively secure and gated premises. Who killed the colonel, and why? Intelligence is vital in criminal investigations. And

Letters to the Editor


from all indications, the investigative strategies often adopted by the police in the past were not effective enough to unearth the criminals. That perhaps explains why we have a long list of unresolved murders across the nation – from Dele Giwa, former chief executive of Newswatch magazine, Chief Bola Ige, former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to many uncountable ones of late. The killing of Col. Okeyim is yet another one in the myriad of security challenges besetting the nation. We therefore enjoin the security agencies to sharpen their strategies and fish out those responsible for this most heinous crime.





n the past, deaths of military officers like Okeyim had led to immediate reprisal attacks from the military, most often directed at wrong targets. Happily, this has not happened. But certainly, we cannot continue with this situation of mindless killings of innocent men and women, whose perpetrators roam our streets fully confident that the long arm of the law has no chance of apprehending them. There is little doubt criminals are becoming more audacious in the country. Daily, the incidence of murder and other accompanying crimes like kidnapping, armed robbery and banditry are on the rise. Yet the security forces have been less than able to deal with these crimes that have put the citizenry on the edge. Their encouragement comes not only from the lucrative nature of their anti-social acts but also from the fact that they are getting away with their crimes. Therefore, President Muhammadu Buhari, who rode to power on the back of the citizens’ discontent with his predecessor’s handling of the national security challenge must rise to the occasion by moving firmly against the rising crime wave. Obviously, the prevailing internal security architecture is inadequate to tackle this growing menace of killing at will. The way to go is for government to deploy all in its arsenal to make this and all other forms of crime in our country an unprofitable endeavour.

TO OUR READERS Letters in response to specific 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.


ne of the hallmarks of good governance is continuity in policies, programmes and projects, especially those that are progressive and developmental. Political ideologies that are favourable to the growth and development of the people and the society are built and established on the structures of continuity as one government takes over and continues where the previous stopped. Therefore, continuity ensures effective resource management. This not only encourages development, growth and productivity, it also promotes the execution and completion of capital projects that are usually abandoned by subsequent governments who discard the ideologies of the previous government as they take up new ones. This has continued to be a source of wastage of public fund on abandoned projects. According to statistics, there are thousands of abandoned projects in Nigeria. Continuity is not just about a particular political party being in power over a long period. Rather, it about the ability of a government to have unity of purpose, focus and clear cut direction. It is about subsequent governments operating within and upon the same ideology and political principle which are ultimately beneficial to the people. Lagos State represents a shining example of the dividends of continuity in governance as it has enjoyed and is still experiencing tremendous growth and development which makes it a leading economic and industrial hub in the country. In the current political dispensation, the foundation for Lagos’ current political and economic development was laid by the then administration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu which actually set the pace and put in place the development template which subsequent governments in the state have continued to build on. The legacy of good governance enshrined in the state continues to

grow as the baton of leadership and authority passed from Tinubu to Fashola and now to Ambode. Subsequent governments have continued to work within the frame work of the Lagos Development Master Plan for a mega city since 1999. Lagos State has since enjoyed the dividends of the master plan while also blessed and endowed with visionary and proactive leadership. For instance, the immediate past governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), working with the master plan, consolidated on the achievements of his predecessor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, as he embarked on vigorous infrastructure development projects across the state. This is evident in the light rail project which he started and which the current administration of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has continued to creatively improve on. This is the beauty of continuity as Lagosians are now certain that the light rail project is a reality and there is no fear of it being abandoned. This was made possible because there is a genuine unity of purpose and agenda which breeds accountability. Past and present leaders in the state have been able to deliver on their mandates as they measure their performances against the backdrop of their unanimous vision and purpose and also gauge the pulse of the people for feedbacks on their performance through their various medium of feedbacks such as the Town Hall meeting, community interaction programmes, among others. The effectiveness of the Lagos Master Plan dating back to 1999 is particularly reinforced through the establishment of trail-blazing agencies such as the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency, Lagos Waste Management Authority, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, Bus Rapid Transport Scheme, KAI, Citizen Mediation Centre, just to mention a few. Through these agencies, lots of jobs have been created for Lagosians and revenues generated for the state while

also helping to advance the course of good governance. Presently, Governor Ambode is diligently working and consolidating on all the achievements of his predecessors and he is setting new pace and also breaking new grounds. As at now, plans are on to construct an International Airport in Lekki Free Trade Zone as well as two deep seaports in the Badagry and Epe axis. This will, no doubt, improve the commercial viability of the state and engender further development. Massive urban renewal projects are equally ongoing and the face of Lagos is fast changing with places like Ojodu Berger, Oworonshoki, Ketu, Ojota, Mile 12 and so forth being the better for it. The financial prudence of the incumbent administration in the state has helped to ensure that the state regularly meets up with its financial responsibilities across board. That all this is taking place in a recessional economy speaks volume of the great work that past and present leaders of the state have done to build a strong and economically viable state. The state is gradually being weaned from depending or waiting on the federal government for financial allocation, a point that has been proven once by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in 1999 when former President Obasanjo refused to release Lagos State Local Governments’ allocation. Through sheer administrative, financial and economic prowess, the state government was able to meet its financial responsibilities to the 20 local government councils and 37 local council development areas, without any financial support from the then federal government. It is noteworthy to say that the ground work and foundation for the Lagos that we now enjoy was laid at that trying time in the political history of the state, and a legacy of good governance, true leadership, exemplary service and sacrifice was established. All these are truly the beauty of continuity in a democracy. Temilade Aruya, Ministry of Information & Strategy, Alausa, Lagos






Group Politics Editor Olawale Olaleye Email 08116759819 SMS ONLY


The Intrigues and Politics of Ndume’s Removal The sudden removal of Senator Ali Ndume as the Senate Leader on Tuesday is the latest of protracted intrigues that had rocked the upper parliamentary chamber since 2015. Omololu Ogunmade writes


ntil his sudden ouster on Tuesday as the Senate Leader in a seeming palace coup, Senator Ali Ndume, enjoyed the aura and beauty of the office. Though simple and very accessible, he carried himself with consciousness of the exalted office in his daily transactions. His love and admiration for the office were visible to all but he did little or nothing to protect it. He had believed that with his popularity among his colleagues, to sustain the office was automatic. However, his removal without any prior notice on Tuesday must have taught him a bitter lesson in history that in Nigerian politics, no condition is permanent. Ndume had rejected several calls by his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), to yield the office to Senator Ahmad Lawan, who was APC’s anointed candidate for the office of Senate President prior to the emergence of Senator Bukola Saraki on June 9, 2015. Lawan eventually emerged as his replacement on Tuesday. The APC which was bitter about the emergence of Saraki in 2015, had in its bid to put the pains of his emergence against its wish behind it, wrote the Senate president to concede the offices of Senate Leader and Deputy Senate Leader to Lawan and George Akume. The party had positioned Akume to be Lawan’s deputy at the height of the race for Senate President’s office in 2015. But despite the party’s letter to Saraki on the matter, he proceeded to announce Ndume as Senate Leader and Bala Ibn Na’Allah as his deputy because the Senate caucus decided so. The development exacerbated the hostility of the party and the presidency towards Saraki as they had thought that having expressed their preparedness to accept Saraki as the Senate President, he should have also been magnanimous enough to accede to the party’s request. The aftermath of the matter was a case soon instituted against him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), where he was accused of false assets declaration in his days as the Governor of Kwara State in 2003. Till date, the matter is still on-going in CCT, although there are beliefs that in view of the recent rapprochement between Saraki and the party leadership, the matter may be struck out very soon. At the height of Saraki’s trial at the CCT, he was offered a soft landing. The arrangement was that he should ask Ndume and Na’Allah to step down and replace them with the party’s choices, Lawan and Akume. While Na’Allah was said to have agreed to step down, Ndume in his characteristic love for the office, rejected the offer, saying he was popularly elected by his colleagues in the North-east caucus of APC by 13 votes against Lawan’s three. The office was zoned to North-east. He therefore insisted that he would resist the pressure to dump his colleagues’ mandate on the altar of political solution. At the height of the move was a meeting held with Ndume at the Presidential Villa in late 2015 by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the APC National Chairman, John OdigieOyegun, where he was advised to step down for peace to reign both in the Senate and the party. But Ndume reportedly called Osinbajo and Odigie-Oyegun’s bluff and did not mince words to tell the highly placed men that he was disappointed by their action. Ndume was said to have told them that whereas they claimed to be democrats, they had the audacity to persuade him to jettison the mandate popularly given to him by his colleagues to serve as their leader. He further told them not to think he was one of the op-

Ndume...caught in crossfire

portunists, who rode on President Muhammadu Buhari and APC’s popularity in 2015 to win election, explaining that he had as a matter of fact, consistently won election since 1999 and would continue to win because of his popularity among his people. There were also other interventions by prominent personalities including the Speaker of the House of Representatives but all was to no avail. Ndume was not only excited by his status as Senate Leader, he had once told his colleagues during a plenary that he still desired to be Senate President. However, this excitement came to an end on Tuesday when in a seeming palace coup, he was replaced by Lawan as the new Senate Leader without any notice. Ndume who had earlier led Senate proceedings prior to his sudden removal on that fateful day, left the chamber to pray in the National Assembly mosque, but on his way out, he was confronted with the news of his removal while plenary had also been adjourned. The removal came as a rude shock to him. But the action was the offshoot of a letter written by APC caucus and read by Saraki, informing him of a meeting it held on Monday, January 9, where it claimed to have agreed to replace

Ndume who had earlier led Senate proceedings prior to his sudden removal on that fateful day, left the chamber to pray in the National Assembly mosque, but on his way out, he was confronted with the news of his removal while plenary had also been adjourned… The removal came as a rude shock to him

Ndume with Lawan as its new leader. But the intrigue was how an APC caucus meeting was held without the knowledge of its leader, who ordinarily should convene it. In the letter, entitled: “Notice of Change in Leadership,” APC senators said: “This is to inform Your Excellency and the Senate that after several meetings held on Monday, 9th of January, 2017, and upon due deliberation and consultation, the APC Caucus of the Senate, hereby wishes to notify you of the change in the leadership of the Senate – that the new Senate Leader is now Senator Ahmad Lawan, representing Yobe North Senatorial District. Kindly accept our esteem regards and best assurances.” It was learnt that following the decision to replace Ndume, Ekweremadu and the Chief Whip, Senator Olusola Adeyeye, had been assigned by their colleagues to advise him to resign ahead of the announcement. There were claims that when they wanted to tell him, he was nowhere to be found. There were also insinuations that he might have left the chamber because of fore knowledge of the plan to advise him to resign. But his traducers would not be deterred by his nonavailability as they were determined to get rid of him, thus prompting the announcement of his replacement before the end of the plenary on Tuesday. It was learnt that Ndume was removed for two main reasons. First, he was accused of bringing the Senate into disrepute through a series of behaviour and utterances which senators considered embarrassing to the institution. Prominent of such perceived embarrassing acts which eventually consumed him was the interview he granted State House correspondents in the Presidential Villa on December 19, 2016 where he debunked Senate’s earlier official position which had rejected the confirmation of Mr. Ibrahim Magu as the substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on December 15 last year. Whereas the Senate had announced on December 15 that in view of damning security report against Magu, it had resolved in its closed-door session not to confirm Magu as the EFCC boss.

According to Senate’s spokesman, Sabi Abdullahi, the Senate had consequently rejected Magu and advised President Muhammadu Buhari to send another candidate as his replacement. However, while the news of Magu’s rejection was yet generating controversy in the polity, Ndume announced at the Presidential Villa that Magu had not been rejected. He emphasised that Magu could not be rejected in a closed-door session of the Senate, where the decision was taken. Ndume also dismissed Senate’s call for the resignation and prosecution of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal, over alleged mismanagement of internally displaced persons (IDPs) funds in the North-east. The Senate therefore considered a situation where its leader whom it felt was duty bound to protect the sanctity of its resolutions became the one allegedly twisting it as embarrassing. This prompted Abdullahi to brief the press the following day where he affirmed that Magu’s rejection was the Senate’s official position and there was no going back on it. Second, THISDAY also gathered yesterday that the Senate found Ndume’s removal this time to be appropriate in view of the recent rapprochement between the Senate leadership, the APC and the Presidency. Ndume had emerged against the wish of the party, which had in June last year, recommended the nomination of Lawan as Senate Leader following his loss to Saraki in the race to Senate Presidency on June 9, 2016. But instead of abiding by the party’s decision, Saraki announced Ndume as the Senate Leader following his recommendation by the North-east caucus of APC to which the office had been zoned. Saraki said he could not alter the decision of his colleagues who had chosen Ndume for the office and rejected Lawan by 13 to 3 votes. The situation was seen by the party as an affront on it by Saraki whom it had accused of first emerging as Senate president against its wish and later failed to accede to its request to concede Senate Leaders’ office to Lawan. This generated bad blood between him, the Presidency and party leadership. Ndume would later tell an online medium that he was removed because he opposed the rejection of Magu through an unparliamentary norm. According to him, he had insisted that confirmation or rejection was not done in an executive session but in the open where the nominee will have the opportunity to defend himself. He said it was this insistence that pitted some of his colleagues against him, leading to his ouster. While formally reacting to his removal on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday, Ndume said he did not become Senate leader because he was better than any other senator but rather by the confidence reposed in him by his colleagues. Nevertheless, he expressed reservation on the way he was removed, observing that if the tradition of the Senate as a national institution was not preserved, the next victim of procedural breach could be Ekweremadu himself, who presided over that day’s plenary. Ndume who said he got a list containing 38 senators who signed the list for his removal, noted that the situation only implied that 38 of his colleagues had lost confidence in him adding that even if they were only 10, the trend still meant that he had lost the moral ground to remain in that office. However, he insisted that he was sure that he had done nothing wrong to warrant such a sudden loss of confidence which culminated in his removal.





Niger Delta Crisis and a Bleeding Economy Some of the events of the past few weeks in the country may be suggesting that President Muhammadu Buhari does not give a hoot about the crisis in the Niger Delta, writes Iyobosa Uwugiaren


t appears President Muhammadu Buhari still doesn’t give a damn about the vexed issues generating stifling tension in the troubled Niger Delta region. Perhaps so! At the peak of the nation’s economic recession last year, caused by a number of challenges, chiefly from low sale of crude to the sabotage of oil installations in the Niger Delta by the militants/agitators, there were conflicting suggestions by President Muhammadu Buhari’s men over the best possible way to respond to the issue. An insider told THISDAY that while the Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr. Ibe kachukwu-led group within the government, suggested dialogue to the vexed issue, some “political hawks” within the Villa toughly recommended strong military force in dealing with the matter “once and for all. A trained army General, Buhari was said to have adopted the option of employing the military force. However, the source said after months of deploying hundreds of the Nigerian’s troops to smoke out the militants blowing up oil facilities in the region, it became clear to the aging president that he could not win the war, before he decided to try a different approach. Reverting to Kachukwu’s wise counsel, Buhari later directed the Petroleum Minister to invite the aggrieved Niger Delta community/traditional rulers to his villa for talks. And not many key monitors of the region doubted then that the move could end a surge of sabotage, which had cost the nation billions of dollars in damages and exports. Drawing the delegations from all states in the Niger Delta, comprising the political leaders, traditional rulers, religious leaders, youth groups and other stakeholders, a meeting was later held in November last year between the Buhari-led federal government and the leaders of the region. But then, the president’s body language and his utterances at the meeting, an insider said, did not suggest that Buhari was serious about the option of dialogue that informed the invite sent to his visitors. “At the meeting, President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the destruction to the Niger Delta oil facilities, describing it as criminal. He told us that we knew the criminals, where they were, and directed us to go and talk to them”, one of the Niger Delta leaders from Edo State, who attended the meeting told THISDAY. The source added that although the president’s visitors did not condone the violence, they argued that the actions of the militants reflected wellfounded anger in the penurious Niger Delta region and the legitimate calls for a greater share of revenues generated from their lands. The region’s delegations were said to have told Buhari that meeting their demands, among them better roads, stable electricity and a long-promised university, would have shown the government’s goodwill, and they later presented their 16-point demand to the President. Not for a furious President. He was to have expressed annoyance over the audacity of the Niger Delta leaders, and later stormed out of the meeting, after just five minutes of meeting with them. “The government isn’t taking the issue seriously,” Barrister Ledum Mitee, a lawyer and advocate for the Ogoni, had told Financial Times. To be sure, the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), an umbrella body of the traditional rulers, elders, community leaders and other critical stakeholders of the ethnic nationalities that make up the Niger Delta region, recently stated that the N29 billion provided for in the 2017 national budget by Buhari to fight the militancy in the Niger Delta, was a clear sign that the federal government is not ready to embrace dialogue on the issue. The leaders, who met with Buhari said the budgetary allocation to fight militancy would further exacerbate the crisis in the region. A statement issued recently and signed by a member of the Central Working Committee of PANDEF, Dr. Alfred Mulade, expressed concern over a statement credited to the president’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, that the presidency was yet to identify credible leaders to negotiate with on


the problems in the oil-producing region. “The attention of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has again been drawn to some uncomplimentary remarks credited to the Senior Special Adviser to President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, to the effect that the presidency was yet to have credible leaders from the Niger Delta region to dialogue with. “This statement, coming from the presidency at a time when it has become very clear that the militancy and destruction of oil and gas facilities have abated, owing to the timely intervention of PANDEF, the umbrella body of monarchs, leaders and credible stakeholders of the ethnic nationalities of the coastal states of the Niger Delta region. “This intervention which has positively led to the cessation of hostilities by the armed agitators, in deference to the appeal by the leaders, has actually led to improvements in the crude oil production, which hitherto fell to 900,000bpd, relative to the production target of 2.2mbpd.” The umbrella of the pan Niger Delta group added: “To make matters worse, the government is reported to have earmarked a whooping N29 billion of oil revenue to fight militancy in the Niger Delta region. This, of course, will further exacerbate the crisis in the region, where PANDEF has been working assiduously to ensure permanent peace. “How on earth would government begin to think of this kind of huge expenditure, despite the dwindling economy, just to fight militancy, when the causative factors sufficiently articulated and presented to the president by PANDEF remain ignored?” The Chief E.K Clark-led group argued that the rise in crude oil production could not have been possible without the unification of all credible stakeholders under the aegis of PANDEF, adding that this explained the quality and diversity of the composition of its delegation that met with Buhari on November 1, 2016 in Abuja, where the position paper of the region was presented to the President, with a well-founded assurance to dialogue as a way out of resolving the lingering challenges in the region. He told THISDAY recently that at the meeting with Buhari and other fora, the Niger Delta leaders had consistently advocated for exchange of ideas and the urgent setting up of a dialogue team by the federal government to demonstrate credible commitment to resolving the crisis in the region. He, however, regretted that two months down the road since their visit to President Buhari, the federal government has not demonstrated any commitment to the dialogue process by the setting up of its team. “Curiously too is the fact that one of the items among the 16-point dialogue issues was the reopening of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State, which the government announced had been given positive consideration,

but has not seen the light of the day in spite of the fact that hopes had been raised and expectations heightened. “It is instructive to place on record that the Nigeria Maritime University, Okerenkoko, is an iconic project that touches the heart of the region. That the functionality of this institution will engender a sense of belonging, participation in speeding up the process of healing old wounds occasioned by age-long deprivations cannot be over-flogged,” he said. He urged the government to reopen the maritime university, saying it would confer credibility and goodwill to the federal government in the resolution of the crisis in the region. More so, when the facilities for the successful take-off of the university have already been domiciled and modestly developed in compliance with extant requirements and standards by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan in Kurutie, Delta State. Clark, nonetheless, promised to continue to plead with all agitating groups to continue to sustain the predominant peace and work towards dialogue, noting that this remained the best option for resolving the crises in the Niger Delta region. The Clark-led group is not alone in this seeming frustration. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), one of the noticeable militant groups in the region, also recently reviewed its support for the negotiations between the federal government and the rebel groups in the oil-rich region that had consistently attacked oil and gas facilities in the area. MEND, which passed a “no confidence vote” on Buhari-led government, accused the president of reneging on all the deals he entered into with the militants, stressing that the government’s handling of the issues was unacceptable. A statement by its spokesman, Jomo Gbomo, said as a condition for peace, the President should immediately act to preserve the peace process by officially commencing negotiations with the leaders and elders of the region. MEND accused Buhari of “arrogance” in the treatment of the issues raised by the leaders of PANDEF, noting that the government had not shown seriousness in dealing with the crisis. While stating that its members no longer trusted the current administration to have any meaningful dialogue with the region, the group, however, called for the immediate setting up of a federal government team to meet with PANDEF headed by Chief Clark to salvage the situation. “Without prejudice to the pre-2015 presidential election endorsement freely and voluntarily given to President Muhammadu Buhari on January 6, 2015, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) hereby categorically and unequivocally passes a vote of no confidence on the government of President Buhari. “Prior to and after his reluctant meeting with the traditional rulers, opinion leaders and stakeholders of the Niger Delta region, under the auspices of PANDEF on November 1, 2016, President Muhammadu Buhari has been carrying on arrogantly and making controversial, prejudicial, conflicting and contradictory statements about the politics and economy of the oil-rich region. “Since after he assumed the reins of power, President Muhammadu Buhari has always, for reasons best known to him, held the Niger Delta region in contempt, while accusing and/ or blackmailing the leadership of the region of not being ready for dialogue, whereas it is the federal government that is not ready or willing to name a team to dialogue with the people.” Similarly, the Niger Delta Avengers, which had claimed responsibility for bombing of many oil facilities in the Niger Delta region, also appears to be running out of patience with Buhari. In its recent post on its website, the group stated that it had launched two simultaneous operations to disrupt oil and gas activities in the region. The operations are identified as “Operations Wall of Jericho” and “Hurricane Joshua.” Expectedly, the Avengers’ threat did not go down with the Defence Headquarters, promising to deal decisively with the militant group. The

Avengers had in a statement by its Brig.Gen Mudoch Agbinib, said since its declaration of cessation of hostilities in the region, it was clear to the group that Buhari was not ready for any form of dialogue and negotiations with its people. “The world is aware that after listening to calls from our royal fathers, community leaders, stakeholders and members of the comity of nations, especially the governments of the United States of America, Great Britain and the European Union, we halted all actions,” the group had said However, amidst threats by different Niger Delta’s groups and counter threats by the federal government security agencies, especially the military, experts in conflict resolution said war would do no good in the economic strategic region. The sound argument is that resources for war may be sufficient to provide all-inclusive way out. The intelligent suggestion by experts in the Niger Delta crisis is that the federal government could resolve the vexed issue by employing dialogue, special education programme, compensation, infrastructure development and not militarisation of the region. On discussion, they explained that the Niger Delta needs genuine dialogue that would involve “tendering of apology” to the disadvantaged people, analyse past protests, address immediate concern and promise a rewarding future for the alleviation of their pains. Misbau Opeyemi Aminu, who has carried out several researches in the region, said the Niger Delta had realised the relevance of oil and gas to the nations revenue (85%) and relevance of Niger Delta region to electric power generation, saying “our primary source of energy for electricity – gas – account for almost 75% of the total source and it has become a weapon” for negotiations. Aminu added: “The truth may be bitter. Don’t blame the Niger Deltans but look back into the struggle against environmental degradation and neglect–livelihood denial, oppression and persecution. Their mentality, social behaviour and social structures have been destroyed over a long time. Restoring their trust, mind and brains to the Nigerian project will take a while. The lifestyle destroyed over the years cannot be corrected through the barrel of gun.” Aminu listed what he called the Niger Delta’s pain points as: destroyed farmland, destroyed aquatic life, polluted environment, inadequate or selective compensation, systemic inequality that favours non-oil producers to have more and juicy oil wells, while the bearers of wells linger in poverty, lingering joblessness among the youth, and lack of meaningful development/ dearth of infrastructure, among others. According to him, a lot of contracts were awarded to different contractors, such as roads, hospitals, schools etc by the Federal Government, NDDC, IOC, Banks, corporate organisations and others, either as developmental programme or as Corporate Social Responsibility projects that were financially mobilised but unexecuted due to the attitude and frustration from the people. On special education system, Aminu in an interview THISDAY recently, stated: “We need to design a special education system that offers basic education and addresses the mind and soul of the Niger Delta people. The education programme can be segmented into three: education system for the pupils in nursery, primary and secondary schools. While addressing the basic education initiative, a lot of emphasis should be placed on re-orientating the minds for a constructive future.” Aminu also recommended a modified amnesty programmes for the youth between ages 18 and 55 that would encourage special education (basic and mind education), skill acquisition, entrepreneurship, welfare packages and rewarding stake within the industry. He said a majority of the elders of 55 years and above, suffer the consequences of environmental degradation and as such, deserved “huge compensation, psychological appeasement or using opinion moulders to address their mind-set. It is obvious that we will need mind, body and soul to build our nation.”






NIBOR 18.5083% 16.6507%


17.7268% 20.3556%

Group Business Editor Chika Amanze-Nwachuku

Email 08033294157

D E C E M B E R ,


15.4261% 15.7513% 16.1576%


1 6 , 19.2703% 20.6120% 22.3006%


Quick Takes Arik Spends N15.7B on Jet A1


L – R : Acting Head, Corporate Services Division, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Pai Gamde; General Counsel & Head, Regulation,Tinuade Awe; Chief Executive Officer, Oscar Onyema, and Executive Director, Market Operations & Technology, Adeolu Bajomo, at the 2016 capital market review and 2017 outlook by the NSE in Lagos…recently

FG Loses N43. 48bn Foreign Airlines BASA Remittances Chinedu Eze The federal government may have lost over N43.48 billion ($144 million) remittances paid by international airlines as reciprocity charges in the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) from 2014 to the end of 2016 due to the decision of the Ministry of Transport to stop collecting the charges without providing alternative payment platform for the airlines. These are royalty payments for the frequencies operated by the foreign airlines from Nigeria to destinations where there are no corresponding reciprocity from Nigerian airlines. The payments are calculated per passenger and over the years millions of dollars have accrued to Nigeria, which were used for airport and

AVIATION other aviation development. These funds used to be in the custody of the defunct Nigeria Airways Limited (NAL) before it was liquidated. However, the federal government has just been allowing these foreign airlines to operate freely to Nigeria and at the same time government allots multidesignations to the foreign carriers thus stifling the market for the local airlines. Industry stakeholders said such accruals could have been used to upgrade and rebuild the nation’s navigational aids, provide airfield lighting at the country’s many airports or used to support aviation agencies and reduce the huge charges domestic carriers pay to the

parastatals. THISDAYA learnt that the then Ministry of Aviation scrapped the payments in response to the request of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which indicated that its member airlines should stop paying royalties to nations. It was gathered that mostly European carriers campaigned for the abrogation of payment of royalties through IATA and while other countries were still studying the request, Nigeria hastily adopted the policy. As a result, over 30 foreign carriers that operate into Nigeria do not pay royalties to government. According to authoritative source from the Ministry of Transport, the ministry, which quickly spearheaded the scrapping of BASA funds did not

Emirates Introduces Special Fares

introduce slot allocation as an alternative and which would have yielded more revenues to government. While Nigeria had since scrapped the payment of royalties, other countries still collect same from airlines that operate to their cities. The source said that the decision was self-serving and was never done in the interest of the country. Rather, some airlines might have massaged the parochial interests of officials in the Ministry of Aviation to quickly adopt the policy which deadline had not been given and might not be given in the nearest possible time,” a source said. “Since the scrapping of Continued on page 20

Trade Facilitation: Nigerian Businesses, Others to Save $1trn Eromosele Abiodun Nigerian businesses and others around the world stand to gain about $1 trillion annually if Nigerian ratifies the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). The TFA will enter into force once two-thirds of the WTO membership has formally accepted the agreement. Nigeria is yet to ratify the TFA despite promises made by Nigeria’s Ambassador to the WTO, Ademola Adejumo. Adejumo last year promised that the agreement would be ratified when he led a delegation from the World Bank on a courtesy visit to

ECONOMY the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hassan Bello. On the contrary, Nigeria’s West African rival, Ghana has ratified the agreement and recently submitted its instrument of acceptance to the WTO. In addition to Ghana, the following WTO members have also accepted the TFA: Hong Kong China, Singapore, the United States, Mauritius, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, Botswana, Trinidad and Tobago, the Republic of Korea, Nicaragua, Niger, Belize, Switzerland, Chinese Taipei, China, Liechtenstein, Lao PDR,

New Zealand, Togo, Thailand, the European Union (on behalf of its 28 member states), the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Pakistan, Panama. Others are: Guyana, Côte d’Ivoire, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Kenya, Myanmar, Norway, Viet Nam, Brunei Darussalam, Ukraine, Zambia, Lesotho, Georgia, Seychelles, Jamaica, Mali, Cambodia, Paraguay, Turkey, Brazil, Macao China, the United Arab Emirates, Samoa, India, the Russian Federation, Montenegro, Albania, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis, Madagascar, the Republic of Moldova, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Senegal,

Nigeria’s major carrier, Arik Air spent a total of over N15.7 on aviation fuel, known as Jet A1 in 2016. THISDAY investigations revealed that in January the airline spent N1, 098, 019, 484.53 for a total of 9, 866, 219 litres of Jet A1 by major suppliers Total Nigeria Plc, Cleanserve and Conoil. In February the airline expended N1, 064, 207, 052.06 on 9, 280, 852 litres of the product and suppliers were So Aviation, MRS Plc, Conoil andTotal Nigeria Plc.In March the airline spent N950, 053, 558. 73 for 9, 411, 972 litres of aviation fuel and the products were supplied by So Aviation, MRS Plc, Conoil and Total Nigeria Plc. Also in April, Arik bought 9, 965, 551 litres of aviation fuel at the cost of N1, 009, 375, 269. 19 and suppliers were So Aviation, MRS Plc, Conoil and Total Nigeria Plc. In May the airline expended the sum of N1,075, 147, 157. 30 on the purchase of 9, 958, 768 litres of aviation fuel supplied by MRS Plc and Total Nigeria Plc. The airline spent N1, 275, 808, 684.21 for 9, 271, 528 litres of Jet A1 supplied by MRS Plc, Total and Conoil.In July when aviation scarcity got worse, Arik was able to buy 8, 322, 172 litres of Jet A1 for N1, 327, 616, 436.70 and was supplied by So Aviation, MRS Plc, Total Nigeria Plc and Conoil. The nation’s major carrier also purchased 9, 497, 447 at the cost of N1, 826, 193, 349.15 in August supplied by So Aviation, MRS Plc,Total Nigeria Plc and Conoil. In September the airline spent a total of N1, 424,309, 042. 85 for 7,173, 016 litres of aviation fuel supplied by So Aviation, MRS Plc, Total Nigeria Plc and Conoil. Arik purchased a total of 8, 590, 610 litres of aviation fuel in October at the cost of N1, 668, 794, 895.03 supplied by So Aviation, Mrs Plc, Total Nigeria Plc and Conoil. In November Arik purchased 8, 000, 635 litres of aviation fuel at the cost of N1, 651, 852, 409.76 from So Aviation, MRS Plc, Total Nigeria Plc and Conoil and in December the airline purchased 6, 021, 951 litres of fuel at the cost of N1, 331, 296, 193. 56.

Uruguay, Bahrain, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Iceland, Chile, Swaziland, Dominica, Mongolia, Gabon, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Canada. Concluded at the WTO’s 2013 Bali Ministerial Conference, the TFA contains provisions for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit. It also sets out measures for effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues. It further contains provisions for technical assistance and capacity building in this area. Specifically, if ratified and Continued on page 20

Emirates, voted the World’s Best Airline in the 2016 Skytrax World Airline Awards, is offering Nigerian travellers special Economy Class and Business Class return airfares to a range of exciting destinations across its global network.The airline said those wanting to visit family or friends, or see and experience a new and exciting destination, can take advantage of this limited time offer by booking between 9th January and 18th January 2017. Travel must take place between 16thJanuary and 15th June 2017. Emirates said Economy Class fares from Lagos to Dubai for example start from $800, to Beirut from $776 and to Manchester from $911, while return Business Class fares to Dubai starts from $2,896, to Beirut from $2887 and to Manchester from $2993. Special fares to a number of other selected destinations are also available. Economy Class fares from Lagos to Delhi starts from $924, to Chennai from $932, to Mumbai from $937, to Bangkok from $939, London Heathrow from $948, to Guangzhou from $960, to Kuala-Lumpur from $1,074, New York $1,111, Houston from $1,111, Beijing from $1,123, Shanghai from $1,123, and Singapore from $1,321. While return Business Class fares to Delhi starts from $2,676, to Chennai from $2,582, to Mumbai from $2,466, to Bangkok from $3,448, to London Heathrow from $3,123, Guangzhou from $3,463, to Kuala-Lumpur from $3,847,to New York from $4,590, to Beijing from $3,463, to Shanghai from $3,463, and Singapore from $3,993.

Airbus Deliveries Rise 8%

Airbus posted an eight per cent rise in deliveries last year, beating its own forecasts by a comfortable margin to set a company record, and pulled off a last-minute surge in orders to beat arch-rival Boeing in the race for new orders.Confirming an estimate published by Reuters, the European plane maker said on Wednesday it delivered 688 aircraft in 2016, compared with an official company forecast of more than 650 and a goal set by its finance director of more than 670. Deliveries rebounded at the year-end after problems in the supply chain.Airbus plane making president Fabrice Bregier told a news conference he expected more than 700 deliveries in 2017, but without the last-minute frenzy seen last year due to problems in receiving engines and cabin equipment.

Multiple entries for foreign carriers is not the best for our industry. We must have to revisit our policy on foreign airlines

Former Chairman of Aviation RoundTable,

Captain Dele Ore



BUSINESSWORLD FG LOSES N43. 48BN FOREIGN AIRLINES BASA REMITTANCES payment of royalties there has not been any directive about what to do next. This would be handled by the Ministry of Transport because it was the Ministry that removed the payments, although in other countries it is the Civil Aviation Authority that negotiates BASA and frequencies with representatives of other countries. It is a peculiar situation in Nigeria that the Ministry has to do all these things,” the source added. The source noted that since the scrapping of BASA funds there has been funding gaps because “we don’t go to their countries, they come. We don’t have the capacity to operate international destinations, but the decision was taken too quickly by the Ministry of Transport. Overseas, you deal with CAAs. It is even our officials that fly to those countries to go and negotiate when we do not have our airlines to benefit from it. TRADE FACILITATION: NIGERIAN BUSINESSES, OTHERS TO SAVE $1TRN implemented, the WTO’s TFA could save Nigerian businesses at least N2.4 trillion annually in transaction cost. The amount is 15 per cent of the country’s average total trade value of N16.4 trillion annually which could be saved if trade facilitation processes, such as automation and single window platforms are effectively implemented. Speaking on the development, Managing director of Trade Development and Facilitation Consulting (TDAF) at the World Trade Centre II, Geneva, Switzerland, Tom Butterly, stressed that for developing countries such as Nigeria and Ghana, trade transaction cost can be more than 15 per cent, indicating a bigger need for West African countries to embrace the single window reform and ratify the TFA. Butterly said many countries are now focusing on implementing deep trade facilitation reforms, with the single window becoming a game changer.

Group Business Editor

Chika Amanze-Nwachuku


Tin-can Island Customs Generates N266bn in One Year Eromosele Abidun The Nigerian Custom Service (NCS), Tin Can Island Port command has announced that it generated a total N256.41 billion from January to December 31, 2016. This is against the N266.18 billion it recorded in 2015, representing a marginal difference of less than N10 billion. Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Bashar Yusuf in a statement said the revenue shortfall is attributable to some factors beyond the control of the command. The Tincan Island Command of the NCS, he said, is statutorily charged with the responsibilities of collecting/ generating revenue from all dutiable imports, accounting for same as well as facilitation of legitimate trade. “The command, during the year under review bagged the sobriquet of a “benchmark command” in view of the various remarkable achievements recorded by our command despite the various challenges of global recession. The operational architecture of the command is structured in a way that allows for checks & balances, especially the close monitoring of all declarations with a view to ensuring that all infractions are detected and necessary actions taken, to serve as deterrent. Consequently, the operational paradigm and

dynamics received a major boost as a veritable tool for facilitation of legitimate trade and adherence to due diligence in the discharge of our functions, “he said. He added that the command’s remarkable performance during the period under review attracted eulogies and encomiums especially from

the customs hierarchy. “These commendations which were communicated in four different letters at the instance of the CGC bore testimony to the appreciation of the Service. It is remarkable to state that at no time in the history of the Service has any Command received four letters

of commendation in a space of two months. That to us is a milestone which the command will sustain in the New Year and beyond. “First, I would like to thank Almighty God for his grace and of course the Comptroller General of Customs Col. Hamed Ali (rtd) and his management team for

providing effective leadership to the Service. The issue of integrity, transparency and due diligence which is encapsulated in the change mantra of the CGC has provided the needed impetus for the Service to thrive. In fact, no Command or officer would like to be a weak link in the value chain.


R-L: Managing Director, Candel Company, Mr Emmanuel Kattie presenting a tricycle key to Mr. Awolowo Olalekan during the presentation of gifts to winners of the ‘Candel Be A Millionaire’ promo in Lagos....recently

Despite Opposition from Senate, Stakeholders Insist on Abuja Airport Closure Chinedu Eze Despite the rejection of the planned closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja for major rehabilitation of the runway, industry experts have insisted that to avert major accident and ensure safety the airport must be closed for thorough and comprehensive work to be done. One of such persons is the former General Manager, Corporate Communication of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. Yakubu Dati said that all over the world airports with single runway are

closed when such major work is to be done on the runway, noting that if the initial plan were allowed for the airport to have a second runway this closure would not have been necessary. Dati, who is a specialist on airport operations, noted that there is an on-going repair work at the Heathrow Airport in London but the airport has two runways so there is partial closure, as the other runway is taking inbound and outbound flights. “If we had taken the bold step then to build a second runway the airport would not

have closed for this major repair but now closing the airport has become inevitable for a quality work to be done. The runway has to be closed because its middle which takes the weight of the aircraft at landing is caving in and needs serious repair work to fortify it, as it is projected that in the foreseeable future more aircraft would be landing at that airport,” Dati said. He also noted that those who oppose the closure needed to understand that an efficient work that could stand the test of time would not be done if the runway is put in partial

use while the work is going on. Before government’s decision to close the airport for comprehensive repairs, intermittent rehabilitation had been done at the runway over the years and it continued to deteriorate as it takes daily landings from aircraft of different sizes. The airport is second busiest in Nigeria after the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos. Many airlines have had their aircraft damaged by the runway, from the Saudi Arabia cargo airplane to South Africa Airways flight and the damage on Emirates aircraft at landing, which was one of the reasons

why the airline decided to pull its operations from the airport. Dati observed that there should be understanding between the federal government and the airlines on the closure of the airport because it is for the safety of the aircraft that would be using the runway, adding that if good job is done on the runway, it would still serve the country until a second runway is built at the airport. He said the runway life span was 20 years but it has been used 14 years beyond its expiring date, adding that a second runway at the airport is a critical necessity.

AgriBusiness/Industry Editor

Crusoe Osagie

Comms/e-Business Editor

Emma Okonji

Capital Market Editor

Goddy Egene

Senior Correspondent

Raheem Akingbolu (Advertising) Correspondents

Chinedu Eze (Aviation) Linda Eroke (Labour) Eromosele Abiodun (Maritime) Ejiofor Alike (Energy) James Emejo (Nation’s Capital) Obinna Chima (Money Mkt) Reporters

Nume Ekeghe (Money Market) Nosa Alekhuogie (Capital Market)

Customs Beef Up Security to Enforce Ban on Vehicle Importation Eromosele Abiodun In a bid to enforce the ban on the importation of vehicles through the land borders, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has directed its Headquarters Compliance Team and Federal Operation Units to join the resident officers of land borders to tackle violators of the new policy. Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd), who gave the order

in a statement, said despite the fact that 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 Nigerian market. The statement signed by the acting Public Relations Officer(PRO), Joseph Attah said over 10,000 vehicles are reportedly trapped within 10 days of the policy enforcement. He noted that vehicles

properly imported through the land borders between January 2014 and December 2016 was only 209,691 with N38.5 billion paid as duty while it seized another 5,998 with duty paid value of N10.2 billion. Ali maintained that although duty rates for vehicles at both land borders and seaports are the same, importers exploit the informality of land border trade and smuggle through the porous border or compromise some Customs Officers.

He has charged the antismuggling squads to ensure total blockage such that no desperate vehicle importer can smuggle any trapped vehicle. Counting the gains of the policies, the Customs boss said the channeling of vehicles to Sea Ports will enable suppression of smuggling, and create business and job opportunities with the emergence of bonded car parks in the country. Other benefits include the emergence of bank branches

and mechanic villages around the bonded car parks to create more jobs, optimal use of port facilities resulting from high vehicle cargoes, higher revenues for governments, and promote collaboration for agencies vehicle licencing and security agencies. Col. Ali has also urged stakeholders to see the inherent benefits of the policy and cooperate with the NCS as personnel strive to implement the fiscal policy of Government.





Seme Customs Nets N10.5 Billion Eromosele Abiodun The Seme Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has announced that it generated N10.5billion into the federation account from January to December, 2016. The Public Relations Officer of the command, Salenchang Taupyen, in a statement said the amount was realised from general cargoes and vehicles with duty and taxes accrued from escorted transit vehicles accounting for 56 per cent of the total revenue generated. He stated that the command has consecutively surpassed its monthly target for the month of November and December with a revenue collection of N1.2 billion and N1.5 billion respectively. He said the 848 seizures with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N608 million recorded within the review period showed a decrease in smuggling activities when compared to the corresponding period of 2015. According to him, “There was a corresponding decline in smuggling activities occasioned by the aggressive anti-smuggling operation of the Command in order to ensure total compliance with the policy thrust of the Comptroller General of Customs and the Service extant laws. “The enforcement unit of the command has succeeded in suppressing smuggling activities to the barest minimum. The anti-smuggling operation

of the Command in recent times is evident by the number of seizures made and the revenue generated by the Command in December, 2016. “The Command replicated the unprecedented feat recorded in the month of November, 2016 despite obvious challenges that would have ordinary crippled the revenue drive of the Command in the month of December. The repeated success was attributed to the doggedness and unflinching commitment of officers and men of the command who were prepared to succeed at all cost despite the many challenges that militated against revenue collection in the Command.” Commenting on the success recorded in December, Area Controller of the Command, Comptroller Victor Dimka stated that apart from the commitment of his officers and men, the feat is also attributed to the recent policy pronouncement of the federal government banning the importation of new and fairly used vehicles through the land borders. He said the policy statement brought about an upsurge in the number of vehicles escorted into Seme border which translated to the increase in the command’s revenue figure. Dimka further disclosed that the quest of the command to remain passionate and resolute in enforcing the fiscal policies of the Federal Government cannot be over

Commenting on federal government ban of new and fairly used vehicles, Dimka said that the quest of the command to remain passionate and resolute in enforcing the fiscal policies of the federal government cannot be over emphasized stating that the command is battle ready to implement the policy to the latter. “Because the wisdom of the federal government is above every common sense, the Command have strategised and is still re-strategising towards the implementation process bearing in mind that the dare devil smugglers can be brutal and deadly. However, the command is battle ready and equal to the task. “The way smuggling of rice was drastically suppressed by the command, it is also fully committed to implementing same for vehicles that will be smuggled through the land border after January 1, 2017,” he said. He added that the vehicle seat at the command has been disbanded and its officers redeployed to beef up border patrols for effective implementation of the policy. He urged the general public, stakeholders to be adequately sensitized and stay away from buying vehicles through the land borders to avoid losses. He said legitimate trade in new and fairly used vehicles into Nigeria would only be facilitated at the seaports.

NIMASA Redeploys Directors, Management Staff Eromosele Abiodun The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside has approved the redeployment of some senior management staff of the agency. According to the DG, the new postings are expected to reposition the agency towards meeting its statutory mandate as enshrined in the NIMASA Act and other enabling instruments. The redeployment exercise has Mr. Ibrahim Jibril as the Director, Strategic Management in the Office of the Director General;

Hajia Lami Tumaka, who was the former Head, Corporate Communications as the Director, Special Duties also in the Director General’s office; Mr. Abiodun Akinyosoye takes over as the Director of Administration and Human Resources while Mrs. Aishatu Jumai Musa is the Director, Planning Research & Data Management Services Department and Mr. Audu Abdulsalam is now the Director, Legal Services. Others include: Mr. Hassan El-Yakub Director, NIMASA Eastern Zone and Mr. Olayemi Abass Director, Western Zone; Mr. Anthony Ogadi Head, Ship-

ping Development and Abel Femowei as the Coordinator, Central Zone, Warri. Furthermore, Captain Sunday Umoren is now Head, Maritime Safety and Seafarers Standards Department of the Agency while Mr. Isichei Osamgbi is the new Head, Corporate Communications. The redeployment exercise comes on the heels of the recent promotion which saw the elevation of eight deputy directors as directors, 15 assistant directors to deputy directors while 56 grade level 14 officers were promoted to their next grade of assistant directors.

Strong Air Travel Demand Growth Returns The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced that global passenger traffic results for November 2016 showing the strongest demand growth in nine months. Total revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose 7.6 per cent compared to November 2015. Capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 6.5 per cent, and load factor rose 0.8 percentage points to 78.9 per cent. “Stronger demand for air travel reflects—and is supporting--a pick-up in the global economic cycle. As the stimulus effect of lower oil prices recedes in the rear view mirror, the strength of the economic cycle will play a

key role in the pace of demand growth in 2017,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General/ CEO. November international passenger demand rose 8.0 per cent compared to the year earlier, with airlines in all regions showing growth. Total capacity climbed 6.8 per cent, and load factor edged up 0.9 percentage points to 77.1 per cent. African airlines experienced an 8.2 per cent rise in demand compared to November 2015. Economic conditions in much of Africa remain challenging, particularly in the biggest economies of Nigeria and South Africa, but the upward trend in seasonally-adjusted passenger

traffic has reasserted itself more recently, supported by strong demand on routes to and from Asia and the Middle East. Capacity rose 5.1% and load factor climbed 1.9 percentage points to 66.3 per cent. European carriers saw demand increase by 8.3 per cent in November 2016, while traffic grew at an annualised pace of 12 per cent over the past five months or so. This suggests that the disruption caused by terrorism and political instability has lifted, against a backdrop of a growing Eurozone economy. Capacity rose 6.8 per cent and load factor climbed 1.1 percentage point to 80.8 per cent.


Taming the unknown


re you afraid of anything? Perhaps if you can’t name something you fear or dread, you can think of someone who has such an anxiety. For example, there are many people who are afraid of flying and who go to great lengths to avoid aeroplane journeys. With the state of our national security, there is increased fear of kidnappings and physical attacks. The irrational fears that people have are many and varied; fear of heights, fear of dark lonely roads, fear of open or enclosed spaces, reptiles, dug wells, underground tunnels, forests (no thanks to Sambisa!), manholes, birds, elevators, escalators, dentists, blood, doctors, rats, dogs, cats… and the list goes on. Irrational fears are about perceptions of risk. The height represents a fall, lonely roads are hideouts for robbers, open spaces expose you, closed spaces compress you, reptiles can kill, you can fall down a dug well, get lost in a tunnel or forest and never be found, fall down a man-hole – I think you have got the picture. Fear is often perceived as risk, with the notion that risk represents a real and present danger. Our minds have built up associations based on stories or films or previous adverse experiences with a skewed perception of risk as harm. More than that, the sense that your safety is in other people’s hands, that it’s out of your control, is often behind irrational fears like fear of flying. For instance, in the wake of an air tragedy, some travelers have been known to switch from flying to driving – leading to a drop in air passenger traffic while road use surged. But after having to deal with road checkpoints, accidents and long traffic delays on the expressways most people return to the skies. Available statistics indicate that flying is faster and safer than driving long distances. So risk management enables us to put a structure and framework around the unknown or what we fear, bringing it within control. To understand if there is a rational approach towards risk, we will examine one of the classic definitions of risk; Effect of uncertainty on objectives. Note that an effect may be positive, negative, or a deviation from the expected. Also, risk is often described by an event, a change in circumstances or a consequence (ISO Guide 73 ISO 31000; 2009) This definition helps us to think further about risk than we have addressed it thus far; we know that risk can be a combination of likelihood and impact, and that it can be positive or negative, but we are now looking at the effect of risk on objectives; and the fear that lurks in the shadows. When we are looking at the management of risk or what we call risk management, we are looking about identifying, analysing and responding to risk in the context of those objectives. The standard definitions of risk management are not so uniform as those for risk, but in the main there are references to the ‘processes’ or activities behind identifying, analysing and responding to risk; Coordinated activities to direct and control an organisation with regard to risk (ISO Guide 73 ISO 31000). This short treatise leads us to the concept of ‘enterprise’ risk management. We will tackle this in depth in a later article, but it’s worth saying that enterprise risk management or ERM is risk management for the whole organisation – i.e. enterprise wide; Imagine that you go to the doctor with

a bad neck, your back hurts and you are getting headaches. The doctor gives you some “Panadol” and tells you to come back if you don’t get better. At a visit to your mother at the weekend, she looks at you and asks how long you are spending at the computer each day. She can see you squinting in bright light and she observes the heavy bags under your eyes and tells you to do 10,000 steps outdoors each day for one month – and she’s going to check that you do it. You do as you are told, because you always obey your mother, and like a miracle, by the end of the month not only have you no aches and pains, but you are sleeping better and being more successful at work. Both your mother and the doctor exercised the same process of analysis, but the doctor couldn’t make the connection between the ailments and other non-verbalised issues so he treats the particular issues. Your mother made the connections and she treats the whole body. Enterprise risk management is the treatment of the whole body, whereas risk management deals with the particular risk area. This is why sometimes risk management is misunderstood; some people think it’s just about health and safety, or fire prevention. Others think that it’s about protecting the computers or data. If you ask someone in finance what risk management is to them, they would respond in terms of delegated authority levels and segregation of duties, someone in Human Resources would argue that it’s about taking up references and checking people’s backgrounds. Risk management is all of those …… and more. Enterprise wide, it is about treating the entire organisation, mapping the risks, their interconnectedness, and finding those risk responses that affect each part of the business. It’s about managing the unknown, and overcoming fear by controlling it. How do we overcome the fear of the present economic recession digging deeper and making daily life more difficult? We need to tackle the root cause of what led us to this sad state of affairs. Our dependence on oil as a main source of revenue is not entirely bad. The problem is that we did not react quickly to the oil price shock. There was no framework to foresee this danger, and therefore there were no quick responses. Will Nigeria be better in the long run? The answer is an outstanding YES, if we learn from this and put the right measures in place now. So fear is all together not bad. It could be a pointer to risks. We must embrace risk, and do the uncommon if the opportunity presents itself. Failure is a great learning opportunity. The risk management approach to controlling fear of the unknown is to strip away the fear and start with the rational basics, and then we can get to the root cause of what the problem is, strip it away or deal with it, or isolate it or change it or flip it into an opportunity. With these steps, we can rise from fear of the unknown and then begin to build success. Mbonu, studied Engineering, is an experienced Banker and Enterprise Risk Management specialist. Has undergone post graduate studies in Risk Management at Stern – New York University, and is a member of the UK Institute of Risk Management. Can be reached on 09092092046 (SMS Only); email:




FG Inaugurates Low Level Windshear Alarm System at Katsina Airport Dele Ogbodo in Abuja The Minister of Aviation for State, Mr. Hadi Sirika, has inaugurated the low level windshear and alarm system at the Umar Musa Yar’Adua International Airport, Katsina. Speaking at the ceremony, he said the airport has joined 12 other airports across the country with the low level windshear alert system(LLWAS), a facility which he said is capable of detecting dangerous wind shear that drops aircraft in low altitudes. The minister said the lack of low level wind shear facility across the nation’s airports has previously caused air fatalities in the country. According to him, the most recent being the Sosoliso aircraft which crashed landed at the Port Harcourt airport on December 10th 2005 and the ADC aircraft which crashed while attempting to take-off from Abuja airport on 29th October 2006 with 96 fatalities. “The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Maccido, several distinguished Nigerians and foreigners lost their lives in that crash,” he said. Other airports across

the country with the LLWAS built by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), according to him, include: Abuja, Benin, Calabar, Enugu, Ilorin, Kaduna, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos, Owerri, Port Harcourt, Sokoto and Yola. Sirika said wind phenomena generally affect air navigation and windshear is one of the most hazardous weather events to aircraft” adding that “windshear occur when the speed and or direction of wind changes abruptly. It is particularly dangerous during takeoff and landing when the aircraft is at low altitudes.” He said a recent study by the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) and NIMET established that winshear is prevalent in all parents of Nigeria even as AIB aircraft accidents investigations also found out that windshear phenomena was linked to some accidents. “Aviation safety and security are top priority issues for the present government. The successful installation of LLWAS at 13 airports in the country by NiMet is therefore in consonance with the aviation safety policy

of this administration,” he said. The agency, Sirika, added, has procured and installed other weather monitoring equipment including meteorological image receivers, stressing that it has increased the number of its upper stations to eight and established a modern information communication technology (ICT), infrastructure, which includes, computer clusters, for numeric weather prediction. In his remark, the Director General of the agency, Mr. Anthony Anuforom, explained that the windhear at the Katsina airport has the capacity to detect calm, steady winds, wind shifts in relation to the runway, wind gusts, sustained divergent winds, (which indicate windshear), or strong and sustained divergent winds (indication of microbursts) around the airport. He said the facility, built from NIMET internal generated revenue, is in line with the global best practices. He said NIMET is fully equipped to is taking meteorological services provided by it beyond the aviation sector to agriculture, other sectors and beyond the country.

Minister Commends FAAN on Improved MMIA Arrival Hall The Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed has expressed satisfaction with the state of the arrival hall of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos and commended the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) for a job well done. Ahmed made the remark Tuesday at the airport in Lagos during her one-day tour of the airport facilities. The minister noted that there has been an upgrade that shows an improvement in passengers’ experience, especially on the arrival hall of the MMIA. On the reason for the tour, Ahmed said it was meant to inspect the projects executed by the agency. “The reason why we are here is to inspect the projects under FAAN. The essence of

this is to see how well government’s resources are utilised. To also see and understand the challenges that the airport is facing so that when resources are to be allocated or disbursed, we will do it with the understanding of how they are to be used”, the minister said. Ahmed noted that her team would be writing a report and indicates what they have observed and also share the report with the authority for them to see what has been recorded as a result of the visit. On the level of ongoing projects at the airport, Ahmed said: “We have seen a number of projects at different levels of completion. We have seen a lot of good work that has been done. There are some projects that are suffering as a result of number of different challenges.

We have also seen the upgrade of the airport that shows an improvement in users experience, especially on the arrival of the MMIA”. Ahmed added that “We need to do a lot of work to upgrade the departure area of the airport. The luggage handling process is very problematic. It is largely manual and as a result of that, customers spend hours before getting their luggage. That needs to be addressed.” Confirming that some of the reports on the projects given to the Ministry tallied with what is on ground, the minister pointed out that progress has been made and a lot more still needs to be done. Ahmed was accompanied by officials of the Budget and National Planning Ministry and other stakeholders in the aviation industry including.


AIR WATCH Unruly Passengers


HISDAY has learnt that about two weeks ago at Katoka International Airport, Accra, a flight due for another West African destination was delayed and the passengers billed for the flight became restive. They started violent tantrums over the delay and the official in charge of security at the airport warned the passengers and told them unequivocally that the airport authority would not tolerate unruly behaviour from them. “We do not condone such behaviour. If you want to riot in the airport, you cannot do it here. You go to Nigeria and do it. This is not Nigeria,” the official said. And that was enough to calm the passengers who later were airlifted to their destination. Between December 2015 and early 2016, Turkish Airlines had issues of luggage delay. It was during the Yuletide and the Nigerian passengers had many bags they wanted to bring home. At that period the regular aircraft, which the airline dedicated to the Abuja- Istanbul route was taken for maintenance so the airline brought small body aircraft that could not take both the passengers and their luggage. The airline therefore decided to bring the passengers to their destination in Abuja first before bringing in the luggage, which did not come with the passengers. But on arrival the passengers disembarked and waited to collect their checked-in bags from the carousel but many of them did not get their bags. They became enraged and spontaneously ran to the tarmac, the airside and attempted to stop the Turkish Airlines aircraft from taking off. That action undermined the security of the airport and the passengers accessing the sterile area of the airport in such chaotic manner negated and compromised international security regulation. In reaction to that incident, the federal government suspended the head of security at the airport and another official connected to the incident for alleged laxity. Over the years Nigerian airports management has allowed passengers to ventilate their rage on airlines when their expectations are not met. While the airlines have their shortcomings, the airport management, including its security apparatus, usually stays out as spectators instead of making efforts to rein and curtail passengers’ outrage. About two weeks before 2016 Christmas, Arik Air flew into bad weather with its London to Lagos passengers. The airline’s aircraft, Airbus A330-200, which operates Lagos-New York flight was damaged by ground handling company at the JFK International Airport, New York, so the airline deployed its aircraft that operates Lagos-London flights to that route and used smaller aircraft, Boeing B737-800 to London, which airlifted all the passengers but not with all their luggage. So there were short landed bags. Although the airline claimed it informed the passengers before departure but on arrival when the passengers did not get their luggage they revolted against the airline and disrupted the airline’s flights, beat up the airline’s staff and destroyed its computers used to process and check in passengers. For the next few days, the airline was not allowed to operate its international flights and as Harmattan haze set in more flights were cancelled. It was a similar incident with Medview Airline, growing Nigerian airline that also operates Lagos-London and other international destinations. When the airline was unable to bring all the passengers luggage in the same flight that airlifted them the passengers who arrived few days before all their bags arrived with other flights, revolted and molested the CEO of the airline, Alhaji Muneer Bankole and other members of staff. Bankole explained to the passengers in a meeting that the

bags were dropped by the pilot in command of the flight in order to have appropriate weight for the aircraft to ensure safe flight operation. Bankole, however, noted that the reason to reduce the luggage arose because many of the passengers, instead of checking in the airline’s approved maximum bags of 27 KG, decided to check in 34KG bags. He explained that the passengers had insisted that was what was written on the ticket, thus creating a situation for some of the bags to be removed from the flight. THISDAY learnt that when flights are delayed or cancelled due to bad weather passengers usually protest against the airline. When there are technical problem and the airline delays or cancels flight for safety reasons, airlines are also blamed. But the airlines have their shortcomings. They do not keep the passengers abreast of events most of the time and they do not provide enough information to the passengers who are allowed to guess under anxiety until they become angry. Industry observers blame the security operatives at the airports and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) for their inability to manage the revolting passengers at any time, whether it is in domestic or international flights. One of the industry insiders also suggested that FAAN should ensure that the airlines announces to the passengers at intervals the sequences of preparations concerning their flights. During the Turkish imbroglio with the invasion of the tarmac by the passengers, the Director of Consumer Protection Directorate of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Adamu Abdullahi, noted that while the airlines must do everything possible to ensure that they meet passengers’ expectations, passengers must also abide by the regulations that guide air transport and activities at the airports, noting that resorting to violence does not solve any problem. Speaking in the same vein, the Chairman of Arik Air, Joseph Arumemi-Ikhide explained that passengers complicate problems when they disrupt airline’s activities because their demand are not met. He noted that the prerogative of every airline is to satisfy its passengers and when that objective is not met the airline usually makes correctional plan, which such disruptions disorganise, so it takes the airline longer time to solve your problem.” However, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said it has put plans in place to end the unruly behaviour of passengers at the airports. Spokesman of the agency, Sam Adurogboye who confirmed to THISDAY, said: “The official in charge of security section in the Authority has started deliberations on this. Such incidents must not be allowed again. In the interim, airlines must give adequate and truthful information promptly about their flights and challenges as they arise in order not to leave passengers in the dark and get them frustrated.” Airlines have to note that passengers become angry when they literally build walls between them and their customers.





The Need to Strengthen Domestic Airlines Stakeholders have warned that if the challenges faced by domestic airlines in 2016 persist this year, the industry would go under, writes Chinedu Eze “Inadequate supply of aviation fuel created uncertainty in flight scheduling. Passengers going to the airport to travel were not sure when and if the flight would operate

The year 2016 had many challenges for Nigerian airlines. Aviation fuel scarcity started from January that year till December. They faced the problem of accessing foreign exchange(fx) to take their aircraft for maintenance overseas, train their technical personnel and acquire aircraft spares. Operators and others in the sector say that 2016 was one of the worst years for airline business in Nigeria. There was a reduction in number of air travelers. The high cost of the scarce aviation fuel raised fares and many airlines left their aircraft on Aircraft on Ground (AOG) because they could take them out for checks. Some of the airlines did not have money to pay for the maintenance of the aircraft already taken out for checks because it was difficult to obtain fx. There was panic when Aero Contractors suspended operation. It is Nigeria’s foremost airline and the signal its withdrawal of service gave was that the industry was degenerating. The feeling was exacerbated when First Nation Airways, few days later, announced that it was also withdrawing service for two weeks. Luckily the two airlines came back to service. First Nation returned few weeks later while Aero Contractors returned three months. But airlines such as Discovery Air, which disappeared from the skies earlier in the year, never came back. Forex After a long outcry by the airlines to the federal government to give them access to fx, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) created a window for them and manufacturing concerns to access fx. But the modalities were still cumbersome and the airlines could not withstand the long wait as airline business is critical about time. An aircraft engine that suffered bird strike cannot wait for three months before the engine could be replaced and for the aircraft to become airborne again. The airline would suffer heavy financial losses and may not be able to meet its flight schedules when one aircraft is on AOG. The CEO of Medview Airline, Alhaji Muneer Bankole summed the CBN policy on fx to the airlines thus, “The CBN came out with a design which they call future, forward, spot; what it means is that you put your money for the next two months, three months, four months and you will be given allocation. In doing that you commit all your operational cash so everything has to cease until that two months; that is what it means. But we are hoping that things will improve. So when you look at the business of aviation it is all in dollars and I believe we are now looking at government to tell them what to do. Somebody right there needs to advise them to see aviation as a priority.” Also the Chairman of Arik Air, Joseph Arumemi-Ikhide said: “I think there is need for us to understand that the currency in aviation is in dollars. Like I said earlier on Medview and ourselves, we are taking naira from Nigerians who buy tickets, yes, we can spend the naira here, pay salaries and other things but we still need some dollars to pay for spare parts, services and other requirements.” So access to fx in 2017 will start a real turnaround for the airlines and would ensure that they would survive. Aviation fuel Inadequate supply of aviation fuel created uncertainty in flight scheduling. Passengers going to the airport to travel were not sure when and if the flight would operate. Director of Consumer Protection, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Adamu Abdullahi in reaction to the scarcity said, “What is happening is that there is aviation fuel shortage in the country. Since government decided to deregulate the importation of fuel, it also affected the importation of Jet A1 and therefore the product is scarce. We don’t refine

in December and January and after we resort to Category 1 thereafter.”

Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika

it locally. Kaduna and Warri refineries used to refine Jet A1 in this country and they don’t do so anymore. Now we depend solely on importation. “So for oil markers to go to the black market and buy dollar at N380 (now N490) per dollar, it is very, very expensive and by the time you bring your product to the country it is no longer economically viable. As you know, aviation fuel constitutes about 70 to 75 per cent of cost of the ticket you buy. So by the time the cost of aviation is added to the ticket we are in trouble. So airlines are doing business at a very, very expensive rate because their major cost of operation, which is aviation fuel has gone up by over 150 percent,” Abdullahi explained. He said that at about N280 per litre, aviation fuel is too expensive so oil marketers are not willing to import the product, adding that passengers are already paying fares, which have increased by over 50 percent and this would increase as Nigeria continues to import the product. “So if you buy aviation fuel at N280 per litre to operate. It is too expensive. So what we are experiencing now is that marketer are not willing to go ahead and import fuel at that price. We are already paying about 50 percent more on our ticket prices. By the time it gets worse that we would pay N50, 000 for one hour flight in Nigeria that is when we are going to really experience difficulties,” he said. By December last year, the oil marketers could no longer import and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has to import the product from Ivory Coast, but the question is, how long would it take for Nigeria to get permanent solution to the aviation fuel scarcity. Landing Aids and Airfield Lighting Airlines and pilots said two major setbacks in flight operations in Nigeria are the lack of airfield lighting in most of the nation’s airports and the obsolete and lack of Instrument Landing System (ILS) and other navigational aids. According to some pilots, about three years ago some of these navigational aids were in good working condition but over

time they continued to degenerate due to poor maintenance and lack of replacement. The pilots are even demanding for the upgrade of ILS to Category two or three so that aircraft could land during the harmattan haze. The Chairman of Airlines Operators of Nigeria (AON), Captain Nogie Meggison said most navigational aids at the airports are not working because they are obsolete and in Nigeria the airports have Category 1 Instrument Landing system, which means that flights cannot operate when the weather is below 800 meters visibility, depending on the airport. He said that many of the airlines have grappled with suspension of operations due to the difficulty they go through and the failure of government to take action to rectify these problems. “On December 27 visibility in Lagos was about 500 meters so most international and local flights had to be diverted to Cotonue (Tuesday night, December 27, 2016), which is rather unfortunate. The issue of the harmattan haze is a yearly seasonal occurrence as Nigeria has mainly raining (Thunderstorms) and dry seasons (Harmattan). The Deputy Managing Director of Arik Air, Captain Ado Sanusi has therefore advised government to provide Category 3 equipment so that during Harmattan it will be deployed at the airports. He noted that although the equipment is expensive but it could be used during the period of adverse weather when Harmattan haze sets in, from December to January. “It is expensive to maintain Category 3 A Instrument Landing System because of the maintenance of runway, provision of airfield lighting and maintenance of power because power supply is very, very important. You cannot afford to have power supply interruption when landing at low visibility. It could be expensive to maintain it for 12 months in a year. The critical time we need this equipment is in December, so why don’t we have the capacity to have that Category 2 or Category 3 ILS and we make sure the service is available

High Charges Many industry operatives and observers agree that the charges leveled on domestic airlines by aviation agencies are outrageously high, especially as government is not assisting the airlines in any other way as it is done in other countries. They noted that government ought to provide soft loans to these airlines to enable them come out of the current economic morass caused by recession and deficient infrastructure at the airports, which curb flight frequencies. Chairman of Arik Air, Arumemi-Ikhide said: “Domestic airlines are given multiple charges, they are expensive and they are not actually necessary. The government itself has to contribute something to air travel in Nigeria. If you say you want to leave air transport to the private sector, then give the airport control, give everything to the local airlines; yes they need to do that. If you say you want to hands off aviation then don’t say you are concessioning the airport because you can’t concession and give the airports to others, while the real work is being done by the airlines.” There have been calls for the reviews of these charges as one of the industry insiders say that aviation agencies like the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), NAMA and NCAA generate their major revenues from the foreign airlines and noted that government could give the domestic airline waiver as palliative to make them operate profitably and also survive. Going forward Arik Air chairman said that the airlines must work together so that they could succeed in targeting collective interests and achieving collective objectives. “I think everybody has its own strategy and the only way to come out of it is if the airlines, I mean the functioning airlines come together and talk. They mustn’t merge but I think it is lack of cooperation; lack of discussing strategies to tackle the problem is what is worrying us. I think confronting it alone will not help. We need the cooperation of Air Peace and Medview and Dana to work together and form a body to strategise. One person cannot strategise, so we need to strategise and look at it and actually get it done. If we don’t do that then I think we are not going to get anything done and that is the truth. The system is taking advantage of lack of corporation among us and again we should not allow armchair critics and armchair operators to meddle into what is not their business.” Meview CEO also said: “The first thing is what the current government should do. Government needs to support its own. It should create the enabling environment to make the airlines survive. Airline is the only product that you have in your country in terms of building your economy that will market you and boost your image outside your shores.” It is a consensus among stakeholders that the Nigerian government must step in and adopt a strategy to help save the airlines by creating a friendlier operational environment.





De Juniac: African Airlines Face High Costs At the recent International Air Transport Association global media day in Geneva, Switzerland, the Director-General and CEO of IATA, Alexander de Juniac said there is improved air safety in Africa, but the airlines face high costs in their operations. Chinedu Eze who was there, brings the excerpts: In 2012 there was ministerial meeting in Nigeria over air safety, it was agreed that in 2017 every airline in Africa should be International Air Transport Association (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certified, how far has IATA gone in realising that goal and do you think that African airlines need protection from external competition? Many African airlines are suffering from external competition coming from Gulf carriers, Turkish Airlines and European carriers. And I have been a chief executive officer (CEO) of an airline, which has a big footprint in Africa. So this competition is not always favourable to African airlines, but I think that for African airlines, there are two issues: internal issues, which deals with internal costs; they have an increase in their costs and secondly, the consistent investment in infrastructure that the local governments (country’s government) have to do in airports, in air traffic control. To take the example of Kenya Airways, the airport has taken too much time to build or renovated, now it is done. I have not been there since one year but it has been finished one year ago, as far as I remember, but it took too long. And it is key because it is a full service company with a hub. So the quality of your hub is a key factor for the competitiveness of your company. And interestingly what Gulf states or Singapore have understood is that it is a natural strategy to enhance and to develop aviation and it is based on investment on infrastructure, airport traffic control, helping the national carriers or carriers. It is a consistent effort. Do you agree that most governments in Africa look at airlines as a source of revenue instead of looking at it as catalyst to economic development? I can tell you it is not only in Africa, it is the case everywhere. The cash box is their life; you put taxes and charges as a cash property. And that is a problem for the business. What we try to do in IATA is to convince the governments that putting the tax of one dollar, one euro per ticket is a severe hit on the profitability of the airline when an airline earns 7.54 dollar per ticket. But it is difficult to make governments understand such a simple thing, first of all. Secondly, on the contrary, if they reduce charges and taxes it brings much more prosperity, jobs, trade that over compensates the reduction in charges. But it is difficult to understand that from any government, especially African government. Perhaps we should be all active in defending this type of ideas, not only with the ministry of transport, which are our natural counterpart, but with the ministry of finance. We have to demonstrate the value of aviation, what it brings in terms of GDP, job rollover and secondly what are the consequences of increasing charges and taxes. Well, there are negative consequences and comparatively the positive consequences of lowering this type of charges, which are key. Some airlines pulled out of Nigeria because they could not repatriate their funds, what do you think would be the consequence in future? We are pushing government to organise the repatriation of funds and we are trying to organise, to use our clearing houses to be able negotiate a kind of plan to repatriate that. We have that problem in Nigeria, in Egypt, in several countries, Venezuela is not in Africa but it is the biggest problem we have in our hands. What we can do is to have a coordinated approach of the country with our members, saying if we don’t have the money we ban Nigeria or Venezuela, but we cannot do that. We have managed to reduce the block funds from Nigerian and we have been working closely with the government. Quite successful is the case of Egypt and Nigeria; but Angola and Venezuela are not successful. In Sudan it is successful but the amount is lower, $350 million, but it is also a problem. But where

It is the same in India except that the Indian government has totally changed their mind recently and they have put together an aviation strategy, which is very ambitious. Because they think it is now more and more mass transportation, you need various types of airlines, full service, low-cost airlines to address the lower middle class. I think we need to advocate that we are not anymore an elitist transportation. The Indian government always told me that train are much more important than planes for years because trains are transporting billions of people every day. With the exit of the foreign carriers from Nigeria, for example, do you think that the local airlines can rise to the challenge? I think the national carriers can do that. The key point perhaps is for the local government (federal government) whether is Nigeria or any other country, to create positive and a favourable environment, lowering charges, making the business accessible and easy and make it a consistent policy. What we see is that in countries that have chosen aviation as a top priority like the Gulf countries, they have put together a consistent policy with air traffic control, airport, tourism, airline everything is built, designed to favour their transport system. De Juniac

we have the biggest problem is Venezuela, the airlines have given up. They have stopped flying to Venezuela, which is a disaster when you think about it. African airlines have already lost their market share on the international market, how do you reconcile this? First of all, we think that opening borders, lowering barriers, implementing the Yamoussoukro Declaration, which is open skies for Africa will be favourable to the industry. It is always favourable to the industry, there will be winners and losers but it will be favourable because it boosts their traffic. And in Africa what is missing is internal (local or sub-regional) companies (airlines) serving each country (intra regional connectivity) that is the big problem. And the competition is not coming from the Gulf or from Air France or Turkish, to address from point to point routes, going from one African country to another because they serve Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Paris but they do not serve a lot of internal connections. And that is the point in which we push African countries or African businessmen to create companies (airlines). I have done that in my past life, pushing Air Cote D’Ivoire; so it should be done everywhere. You have protectionist reactions, which is typical of Africa. The sad story is that we have an agreement with the Yamoussoukro protocol that should be implemented. Africa was ahead of the other continents; it is a pity that it has not been implemented properly. The protocol was really clear and forward looking. Some governments in Africa are beginning to shake off their responsibility of managing the airports; they are beginning to see concession as the ideal thing to happen to them. What is your view on concession? What we say is that we want governments to be cautious about privatisation of airports. We say to them, be careful because privatisation of airports has not led to cost efficient, technology efficient infrastructure. The experience we had from Australia, from Chile, from Europe is not convincing. So we say beware of course we understand that to run the airport as operations, privatising or even concession is much better than having civil servants doing the job, that’s for sure. Then we come to the process of choosing the concessionaire, which in many countries is based on the man who is buying at the highest price. So it means that the cost increases, at the end of the day the bill is sent to the airlines. And we say in the choice of the concessionaire

What strategy do you have to grow air transport in Africa? You know we have in IATA a global aviation they always should look at other criteria. We favour privatising the operation through strategy. We know in Europe it is clearly an the concessionaire with a process that is only infrastructure problem; there is major problem of based on choosing the man who is paying infrastructure. In Africa you have an infrastructure the highest price, we say to government be problem; you don’t have enough airlines in cautious about privatising the ownership of the continent, which means the continent is the infrastructure, be careful because you may underserved. privatise a local monopoly that may go out of They said after Middle East, Africa is control. If you do that be able to implement a strong regulatory body. And frankly there is the next biggest market do you think that nowhere in the world, perhaps, except in the UK projection is correct? The question is, is it realistic? Yes it is realistic that the regulation has been successful. In France it is a nightmare, the state owns 54 percent of provided that we have a consistent policy of privatised airport, the privatized monopoly of developing companies, training, safety and the airport makes very big money 42 percent or investments; otherwise it will not work. And 30 percent profit. In many cases we see this type there is a point, which is probably more sensitive of problem when we privatise the ownership of in Africa; it is political stability and security. the infrastructure. The real point is, if we could In some areas it has created many problems, phrase that in a synthetic way, the appropriate North Africa, in Kenya the security issue has regulation is to find the right balance between hit tourism in Kenya. In Ivory Coast the traffic public and private interest when we talk about has been stopped for months due to social critical infrastructure for our country, which the political unrest five or six years ago. One government has to invest in. But how much? of the reasons the Gulf countries are doing That’s where the regulation has to find the well is because their states look politically right balance. But to say the government after stable and safe, very secure. One of the key privatizing the infrastructure can wash its hands requirements for aviation growth in Africa is and do nothing is crazy. It is totally not efficient. the development of the middle class and I think that we have seen a bit of disappointment in Africa. I think the rich are getting richer and What is IATA doing about training? We have big training programme addressing the middle class hasn’t really developed as airlines or addressing African authorities. We have much. I saw some statistics coming from the to meet the demand addressed by the African World Bank that has shown that the middle states. I think what we could do in Africa is to class has increased not as fast as we expected. involve more of the international institutions, But as many countries of the world the gap the African Development Bank, the World Bank between the poor and rich has also widened. etc.; these type of organizations, the KFW in We are pretty optimistic about the increase Germany, these institutions have funds that in number of the middle class. could be directed to aviation. What is your evaluation of IATA OpOpen skies for African is supposed to erational Safety Audit (IOSA)? The IOSA programme is a very big success, address cross border initiative? If we can we do that we will but it is not and as you know it is has been mandatory for totally in our hands, it is in the hands of the IATA members but many none IATA members government. We can promote these kinds of are using IOSA, including some of the low cost ideas, when we look at the way the Western airlines. What we need to do is to modernise part of Africa has managed ASECNA, (which the programme because after 10 or 20 years it provides air traffic control services to French has to be enhanced. What we have to do is to West Africa) it is doing quite well. If there is a digitalize IOSA to be able to make and to put similar association in East Africa or South Africa together the bulk of data we are gathering from we welcome that, it is much easier for us and it the programmes to enhance the level of safety. If we believe that safety is based on a better is much more efficient for the industry. knowledge of what is happening everywhere, Do you agree that the major challenge what the solutions are, what the best practice is making African government know that can be, digitalizing IOSA is a key issue. And then probably we have to enhance the way air transport is not elitist? You are right to say that many governments we operate in certain airlines to be even more view us as a kind of elitist transportation system. strict or tougher than we have been.





Ex-Raying Shipowners’ Strategies for 2017 As stakeholders in the maritime sector takes steps to overcome some of the challenges of 2016, Eromosele Abiodun ex-rays the Shipowners Association of Nigeria’s plans for 2017


If there is a year all stakeholders in the Nigerian maritime sector would never want to see again, that year is certainly 2016. Everything that had to go wrong went wrong in the sector with even the biggest players laying off over 50 per cent of their staff members. The year started with the foreign exchange crisis and the hangover from the ban on 41 items from the official foreign exchange window. While importers, shipping companies and terminal operators waited endlessly for things to improve, it never did. As a matter of fact they went downhill. The situation would have been better if the federal government had an idea how important the port is for the nation’s economy. However, it was not all bad news. On July 13 this year, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed the former Chief of Staff to the Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, Ms HAdiza Bala-Usman as the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA). Her appointment brought respite to the industry following her effort to carry out the needed reforms in both the NPA and the industry as a whole. Her efforts could, however, not undo years of bad trade policies. During the year under review, seaport operations in Nigeria was badly hit by some ill-conceived trade policies including the hike in the import duties of vehicles and rice as well as the introduction of a fish quota system by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan. The ports also suffered from the restriction of 41 items from accessing the official foreign exchange window by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Indications that Nigeria was on a journey to recession came early in 2016 when the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced that the country recorded a decline of N793.5 billion in the first quarter merchandise trade to close at N2.72 trillion from N3.51trillion in the fourth quarter of 2015, the first time in the last seven years. The bureau attributed the decline in the first quarter activity to a sharp drop in both import and export trade. Also, data at the NPA showed that 341 vessels entered Nigeria in September 2016, the lowest in nine months and a fall from 400 recorded in August 2016. Cargo throughput also dropped from 6.3 million metric tonnes in January this year to 5.6 million in September, which is also the lowest in the year. The statistics also showed that a total of 3,347 ocean-going vessels called Nigeria as at the end of third quarter so far this year, estimated at about 100,152,274 metric tons. The breakdown showed that the Lagos Port Complex Apapa received 318 vessels in the third quarter as against 301 in the second quarter. Tin Can Island Ports

received 406 vessels in third quarter, against 368 in the last quarter; Rivers Ports, 80 ships against 84 in the previous quarter; Onne received 152 vessels against 163; Calabar Port, 51 against 52; while Delta Port received 132 against 109. Forging ahead Meanwhile, in a bid to overcome the setbacks of 2016 as a result of the economic meltdown, the Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) has outlined some strategies that it hopes will help its members stay afloat in 2017. President of SOAN, Greg Ogbeifun in a goodwill message to members at a meeting in Lagos, said the association witnessed tremendous growth and achievements in 2016, “Which has impacted positively on our industry as evident by the show of support and attendance by distinguished key industry and government leaders/chieftains at our end of year dinner/ gala event.” “This would not have been possible without your moral, financial and numerous other supports. I have always said that my tenure as president of the association will primarily focus on bringing industry, national and international recognition and acclaim to SOAN. To the glory of God, and working with the support/cooperation from my exco and our esteemed members we have achieved this goal. The success of this goal naturally has opened up new and numerous opportunities and of course challenges for the association and the members.” However, he said the dramatic fall in crude oil price which has gravely affected businesses in the Oil and Gas sector, has taken its toll on the business of its members. According to him, “Most of our vessels are now laid up without jobs and the few vessels still engaged are working for such low charter rates that many owners can barely break even. It is necessary for us to look for avenues to diversify our business interests. “It is my belief that collectively we have gained substantial knowledge, experience and expertise in ship ownership, management and operations such that we can explore how to deploy these expertise in participating in the Crude Oil Tanker Fleet being encouraged by the industry and government as strongly highlighted in the paper presented by the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) at our gala night.” Cadetship training berths scheme Ogbeifun stated that the impact of the inauguration of the Cadetship Training Berths scheme has generated a lot of interest such that SOAN is now being approached by various organisations and individuals requesting for their candidates to be given a place in this

scheme for sea time training. These, applicants he added, have expressed their willingness to pay for such opportunities on our vessels. “As we know, the importance of training these cadets cannot be over emphasised, as we are the ultimate beneficiaries from this scheme since they would end up as well-trained officers to provide the much needed personnel to man our vessels. “Even vessels that are not working but are manned whilst waiting for job opportunities can have cadets on board and their time on such vessels will still count towards their Sea Time eligibility. This scheme can be co-ordinated in a way that there will be no cost to the vessel owner and in fact owners can be paid for providing their vessels for the scheme,”he said. He disclosed that one of the international oil companies (IOCs) has indicated their willingness and desire to work with SOAN, to support vessel owners in the training of our Tug Masters and Chief Officers in institution that carryout Simulation Trainings such as Charkin Maritime and Offshore Training Centre and PEM Offshore. The IOCs, he added, have also indicated that some of the trainings could be carried out in Holland and would be sponsored by the IOC, “They are waiting on us to develop this initiative further.” Nigerdock approaches SOAN He disclosed that the management of Nigerdock has approached SOAN that they would like to meet with it to explore areas of mutual benefits in the New Year. He added: “This opportunity may enable us negotiate a special discount for our members who may wish to patronize Nigerdock for dry dock and repair jobs on our members’ vessels. “As you know, during the gala event, in my welcome address I made a request to the Lagos State government for land to be allocated to SOAN to build the SOAN Centre. The representative of the governor in his response advised that we send a formal letter requesting for the land allocation. We have already submitted the request letter to him and this would need to be followed up. “There is now a need for us to organise workshops to address issues affecting members and their business. There are a lot of statutory requirements by various authorities and agencies which such workshops will assist members in complying with the following: MLC Act and Seafarers Condition of Service and requirements of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC).” IOCs and stakeholder engagements Ogbeifun disclosed that the stage is now set for SOAN to engage the IOCs and other critical

stakeholders to deliberate on matters that affect its members going forward. “Members would be required to come up with issues affecting us and our businesses so we can engage appropriately in the interest of Members. From the foregoing, it will be necessary for us to establish committees that will develop the various issues identified above and provide solutions to them. All members of the association should be encouraged to belong to one committee or the other. All members by now must have received an electronic copy of the Audited Financial report for 2015/2016 Financial Year. This is in fulfilment of my pledge at our inauguration to exercise the highest standard of financial discipline and accountability as we owe you the members this. “Discussions are currently ongoing with the auditors in setting up proper accounting procedure within the Secretariat. This you will agree with me is required of an association such as SOAN. In addition, they are also to advise us of the statutory requirements expected of us as regards compliance with annual returns, FRC registration among others,”he said. Membership regularisation He said there is need for all SOAN members to regularise their membership yearly by paying the annual dues as soon as practicable to keep the association running. He said: “Membership cards will be issued to financial members. We intend to identify and discuss with critical service providers in various areas such as hotels, airlines, shops and other market outlets with a view to negotiating discounts for SOAN card carrying members. “As you are aware, the tenure of the present Exco for which I am President ends on the 31st of March 2017, by which time our Constitution requires that a general elections be held and a new Exco formed.” “In view of this, a returning officer will need to be appointed at the next general meeting expected to hold in the last week of January 2017 to co-ordinate the election which I suggest should hold in the last week of February 2017. It will be necessary to review the current offices constituting the Exco, learning from the experiences in the last couple of years, to more effectively run the association. “From our experience there is need to restructure the Exco to better position the Association to manage the inevitable growth opportunities facing SOAN. Before the general meeting in January, we hope to circulate more information on the proposals we have on some of the points raised above for your consideration,”he stated.





Indomie: Thriving Despite Economic Meltdown Eromosele Abiodun writes that despite the economic downturn in the country some companies are thriving and putting a smile on the faces of Nigerians While signing the 2016 budget into law last year, President Muhammad Buhari described the current economic situation in Nigeria as the worst in our national history. In the same vein, the 2016 World Bank Business Report revealed that Nigeria remains one of the world worst places to do business mainly due to cost of operating in our environment. Among the 189 countries surveyed, Nigeria ranked 169th. Despite this situation some organisations are still trudging on. This is because those who survive harsh and life-threatening conditions are not those with the will but rather people who understand how to, in addition to the willingness. Inasmuch as Nigeria is one interesting place to be, the unsettling and anti-human conditions are enough to deter anyone from investing in the country. However, this does not take away the huge opportunities the country has to offer. Over the years, it has become obvious that more and more Nigerians are being smouldered by the economic and security challenges in the country. It has got to the point that the faith of many has been shaken or dissolved, owing primarily to the aforementioned challenges. Some are, however, still making Nigerians smile while some products have disappeared. Among those who are surviving against all odds is Indomie Instant Noodles. Since its entrance into the Nigerian noodles market in the 80’s, Indomie Instant Noodles seems to keep evolving from ‘better to best.’

Art of Survival Despite the harsh economic situation which affected businesses in 2016, Indomie offered more value to consumers by launching the new chicken flavour variant named “Indomie Bellefull”; it was an immediate consumer delight. Unveiling the new product, the General Manager, Dufil Prima Foods Plc, Mr. Girish Sharma, referred to the new product as a brain child of an extended consumer research and survey: “We are launching the new Chicken flavour product from Dufil Prima Foods called Indomie Bellefull for our valued consumers, and it is borne out of the brand’s effort in catering for the growing need of the family and easing the task associated with purchasing multiple packs of already available Indomie SKUs for meals on the home front.” The launch of the Indomie ‘Belleful’ also served the opportunity for rewarding winners of the Indomie Bellefull comedy challenge, in which the overall winner received a cash prize of N1 million, while five other runners-up received a N100,000 cash prize each and a year supply of Indomie Instant noodles. Aside from producing consumer satisfying brands Indomie has also come up with several corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives in Nigeria such as Indomie Independence Day Awards for Heroes of Nigeria popularly called IIDA. The award is a reward platform to identify and celebrate outstanding display of heroism and selflessness in children who are not likely to be regarded as heroes and most often relegated to the background of history, never to be remembered. IIDA for Heroes of Nigeria 2016 had three lucky winners and each went home with N1,000,000 worth of scholarship for social, physical and intellectual bravery categories. Visually impaired 14-year-old Salisu Ibrahim is a pupil of Special Education Centre, Bauchi. Another winner was a nascent inventor, Babatimileyin Daomi. He was just 15 year old but invented a vacuum cleaner, a power bank, a portable fan, self-watered flour vase and a functional radio. The other winner was another 15-year old, Favour Unwene from Ikono, Akwa Ibom State in the social bravery category for saving a life. One cannot forget in a hurry the much talked about Indomie campaign in 2016; ‘You Like No Other’. This campaign took over the media as the innovative method deployed in the campaign is uncanny and remains one of the most successful campaigns as Consumers rushed to get packs that suggests their thoughts. The TY Bello, 2-Baba (TuFaceIdibia), Alibaba,

Winners of the Indomie IIDA award

Ice-Prince, Olajumoke, MI Abaga, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Yemi Alade, Denrele and a host of other celebrities were included in the ‘You Like No Other’ campaign. The beautifully crafted celebrity packs had distinctive lines like ‘Photographer Like No Other’ for TY Bello, ‘Lyricist Like No Other’ for MI, ‘Model Like No other’ for Olajumoke, with each bearing a perfect caricature picture of the celebrity. Also in 2016, 12 postgraduate students from different universities across the country received the Indomie M.Sc Nutrition Scholarship awards. The scholarship was worth N450,000 each. The scholarship was the eight edition of the laudable CSR initiative. The initiative was instituted in 2009 for Nigerian students studying nutrition and dietetics at masters’ degree level with the aim of assisting in the training of high level nutrition and dietetics manpower in the country. The students became eligible for the scholarship award after their application was screened by a panel. Rewarding Students Speaking at the cheque presentation ceremony, Brand Manager, Indomie Instant Noodles, Mr. Amber Yadav said: “The scholarship scheme is a noble course which the brand is pleased to be associated with. He said the scheme serves as a means to give back to society and most especially to the field of Nutrition and Dietary which is synonymous to the brand.” In spite of having the first-to-the-marketadvantage which the brand paid its due for, Indomie continues to improve on quality rather than rest on its oars. Indomie is indisputably the brand to beat as no other instant noodle can rival its quality and still remain in business at that high level of commitment to standards. Dufil’s flagship brand, Indomie Instant Noodles, has been enabling food vendors to own kiosks and small business outlets all over the country, thereby providing jobs to thousands of jobless Nigerians; the emergence of Dufil Prima as the labour friendly organisation of the year by Nigeria Entrepreneurs Awards is seen by stakeholders as well-deserved and many arrows will point to Indomie’s contribution

to the group. The question of how a brand becomes a super brand has long been answered by Indomie Instant Noodles. A super brand is not restricted to any category in the mind of the consumer and Indomie’s repeated upstaging of brands from diverse categories that have been the numerouno for decades and centuries at different fora is a great testimony to the quality of the brand. The noodles segment has continued to grow with many brands joining the fray, however, this has not affected the share of mind of Consumers for Indomieas the brand is still the first choice noodles. The many consumer oriented awards received by the brand is a solid confirmation that the Indomie brand has unlocked a satisfaction gap other brands have been struggling with, 2016 is a testament to this fact. The leading global instant noodles brand has continued to set itself way apart from competition as consumers’ first choice in the noodles category by consistently adding unrivalled value to its offerings. These offerings have not only been appreciated by the consumers who by predilection for taste and quality have consistently made the product the best in the comity of brands. Last year proved to be one of the most rewarding calendars for the brand as it received several accolades. Despite the harsh economic realities plaguing businesses the brand, made by Dufil Prima Foods, still impressed consumers and stakeholders. Consumer support for the brand saw it cart away multiple awards at the Advertising Association of Nigeria (ADVAN) Awards in Lagos. Indomie was unanimously voted the best in three major categories overshadowing other global heavyweights: The Brand of the Year 2016 (Most prestigious award category) with Coke and Heineken finishing as Runners up. Brand Manager of the year 2016 was won by Brand Manager, Indomie Yadav while the New Brand Revitalisation 2016 Award went to the brand for Indomie Bellefull. The brand only came second in the Digital and Social Media Category. Indomie had earlier won ‘The Best Consumer Brand of the Year’ (FMCG category) in the popular City People’s Awards.

Research Findings According to an international research conducted by a research firm, Kantar Worldpanel, Indomie topped Africa’s most chosen noodles brand ranking for 2016. The research firm’s study covered 15,000 brands, 200 categories, 44 countries and five continents, representing 74 per cent of the global population; Indomie attained the number one position in fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) category across Africa. Indomie vied with some of the biggest products in Africa and the world such as Coca Cola, MTN, Unilever, Etisalat, P&G, Nestle, Nigerian Breweries, First Bank, Guinness, PZ Cussons, Friesland Campina, Airtel, Stanbic IBTC, Honeywell, Cadbury, Grand Oak, Nigerite amongst others. Still relishing the several awards, Indomie received yet another award based on consumer preference for the brand. The fourth edition of Brand Footprint report took place in November in Lagos with an award ceremony that saw Indomie Instant Noodles clinching ‘The Most Chosen Brand in Nigeria Award’. Runners-up at the awards were other international giants such as: Peak Milk, Cowbell Milk, Maggi, Milo, Klin, Bournvita, Ajinomoto, Onga and Dano respectively. Brand Footprint report gives marketers, brands and agencies solid bases on which to make business decisions that could lead to success. Brand Footprint ranking reveals the influence consumers around the world have through their buying decisions for fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands. The report highlights the opportunities that brands could exploit while leaving footprints in the minds of consumers and rewarding brands with high quality such as Indomie Instant Noodles. Also, Indomie has over the years become a household name in homes, offices, eateries and schools in Nigeria. Aside from making the most delicious noodles in the market, the brand is well-known to have enabled direct and indirect employment and made the reward of its consumers a priority with several consumer benefit activities such as the just concluded ‘You Like No Other’ campaign.






Acting Features Editor: Charles Ajunwa Email:









Ademofe: The Trumpet Expresses My Thoughts Better Victor Ademofe is probably the best example of how to play jazz music. Over a thousand recordings, he has been heard around the world. He recently had a recording collaboration with the velvet-toned Yoruba gospel singer, Tope Alabi. Ademofe believes there is more to music, when he said, “music is the fuel that will eventually take the vehicle of my life to its final destination,” in this interview with Adedayo Adejobi Tell us about yourself. My name is Victor Ademofe and I am the second child in the family of three. I am from Ifon in Ondo State. What inspires you into music? My inspiration is first and foremost from God. As a musicologist, I am equipped and trained to pick out sounds around me. By this, anything I hear can inspire me. And I would say that music found me when I was about four years old. I had started to play, and sought after by many music promoters back in the days. It is obvious to me that it is the gift of God deposited in me. Why the trumpet? The trumpet is just one of the instruments I play. It expresses my thoughts better than I would have spoken them. What was the first song you ever played? I actually can't remember the first song I ever played but I remember the first song I ever recorded for a man named (Mr. Sogunro) over 18 years ago. Share the experience of being a musician My experience as a musician has been awesome being that I have had opportunity of meeting great people who have impacted me in diverse ways, It has given me a platform to inspire the generation next through my music, lifestyle and my teachings..


Give us a take on how these guys affected your playing I have studied Clifford Brown and Nathaniel over 10 years and I picked up techniques, improvisational approaches and melodic/ harmonic sense.

What are your high and low points? Honestly speaking, there hasn't been a low point. There are times things don't work the way I had anticipated but I don't allow what is not working dictate my mood and happiness.

How do their works inspire you or push you in new direction? Their works are like foundations on which I built and then diversify into the inspirations I have.

Do you feel fulfilled as a musician? Yes, I do to a larger extent. Reason is, there is more to me than just music. Music is the fuel that will eventually take the vehicle of my life to its final destination. There is more to music than just performance. Why are you branching to mainstream singing and performance, especially being a man who has always been behind the scene as a recording musician and performer? I believe so strongly that every diligent disciple will someday become an apostle. I have worked with so many people over the years, from Lagbaja, Asa, Cobhams, Sunny Neji, Tee-mac, Mike Aremu, Wole Oni, Bez, Iyanya, Omawunmi,Timi Dakolo, Waje and many others. I have come to realise that who sent you is more important. The timing for my message is now. Who is your mentor? I have many mentors in different areas; spiritual, economic, family, musical and academic mentors. But I can say categorically that Nathaniel Bassey has been a great influence on me since year 2000. I have been with him since then and the impact over me has been amazing. What are your guiding principles and philosophies to life? My principle is to love God and fellow man, hard work and devotion to my purpose. Talk about your new single ‘Jehovah’. What influenced it? My new single is actually a remix of the original which was released on May 20, 2012. It is one song in the album that I get a lot of comment, remark and appreciation for.

You seem like thoroughly modern jazz musician- coming at music from so many different angles. Besides, your writing scores for movies and the jazz performance, what are the other parts to making ends meet as an uncompromising modern jazz player? I must first say that being a musician is a great experience. I make ends meet from directing music and teaching choirs of churches, studio recordings and from teaching music. What does it feel like living with the trumpet? With the trumpet, I have met some many people and I have also been to places. All thanks to the Almighty.


Why the collaboration with Tope Alabi? What spurred that? Why the collaboration? A good question. I never met Tope Alabi before the idea of collaborating with her. I was inspired by the Spirit of God to feature her on this single and I went all out with a friend (Abiodun Akilo) who works with her on legal matters. That was how it all started. How has the reception been? To be very candid, the reception for this song has been mind blowing. Any project/collaboration in the pipeline? I am at the moment working on my second album project which is likely to feature some living legends of our time. What is your assessment of the Nigerian

music industry? The music industry is a fast growing industry with its peculiarity, though too crowded because many people who don't have business being there are now patrons. Regardless of the number, God is still spotting out His own and giving them a message and a voice. How do you cope with the ladies as a young, skillful musician? Coping with the opposite sex hasn't been an issue all the way. People are as close to you as you want them to be. Who are your trumpet models and why? I have Clifford Brown as an international model, and Nathaniel Bassey as a Nigerian model. Also, I listen to other great players numerous to mention

Engineers that don't work with horn players much often don't understand the difficulties or the techniques for getting a great sound. I understand that you have strong feelings about how people mic your horn. How do you balance your sound? This is a very technical question. Well, sound as a medium of music is what determines how appealing an instrument is. Every instrument has its own sound and with this knowledge I make sure every amplification doesn't take away the natural sound, which is what is tweaked a little here and there. You have toured with many artistes, what was it like touring with these groups and what challenges did you have staying in shape as a Christian? Touring is fun and every great musician look forward to it. I toured with Lagbaja, Asa, Sunny Neji, Mike Aremu and Sotiris Papadopoulous.



Nwawulu-Egeonu: Giving Succour to Women Uju Tracy Nwawulu-Egeonu is the founder of Women Excel Forum, a non-government organisation established to empower women through hand skill jobs and knowledge with a goal to grow and balance the life of at least 80 per cent of African women, writes Anayo Okolie It is no longer news that women are underrepresented in leadership positions and form a large group of unemployed people in Africa especially. There have been agitations by several groups asking for more or equal participation in leadership positions. It is easier for men than women to get elected to high political offices and to get top executive positions in business than women. Nevertheless, there is little consensus on why women remain under-represented in these fields. Reasons such as family responsibilities, inexperience, or women not being tough enough, are however, cited less frequently as significant barriers to female leadership. Despite above reasons responsible for low participation of women in leadership position, women are still of the view that everyone should receive equal treatment and not be discriminated against based on their gender. Also, as part of her to encourage equal participation of women in leadership position, a 26-year-old graduate Business Management at Cape Coast University Accra, Ghana, the founder of Women Excel Forum, Uju Tracy Nwawulu-Egeonu believes that empowering women through hand skill jobs and knowledge can go a long way to balance both women and men participation in leadership position. Women Excel Forum is a non-government organisation powered by Women Excel Development Initiative created to empower women. Women Excel Forum was first registered in Ghana and now in Nigeria No doubt, so many women have made names in the country but have they made any efforts to ensure equal participation of women in leadership position? The Women Excel Forum has been a source of inspiration to women and through social media.


Unlike many women, who would rather prefer to channel their strength and money into business and family affairs, Nwawulu-Egeonu, who is the daughter of Hon. Benson Nwawulu, representing Ogbaru 1 Constituency in Anambra State House of Assembly, decided to plant her resources in empowering women. Speaking on decision of establishing Women Excel Forum, Nwawulu-Egeonu said “our aim is to educate and empower women to have the courage to acquire leadership positions and appointments in order to defeat the gender inequality associated in women verses men in power. “We also aim to cut down the several agitations on women leadership. Unlike other NGOs, we are very passionate about educating and preparing efficient and effective women for leadership positions.

“We also aspire to create more job opportunities for at least 80 per cent of African women, thereby boosting herself actualisation to a level where she can be a great addition to the society and the economic growth. “Due to my passion and zeal to help in the growth of the nation, we have an event taking place in February that can give women the platform for free skills acquisition. Between February 20, 2017 to march 2, 2017, Women Excel Forum will be training 30 women freely on hand beaded accessories. “After the training, they will also be given substantial amount for business start up. We have an organised follow up team to mentor and guide them on this process. I chose to start with a free beading class because that is what I do and I have trained over 100 students in professional bead making both home and abroad. We are however opened for sponsorships and partnership with NGOs, companies and other personalities.” Nwawulu-Egeonu , who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Tranons Bead and Accessories and also supports the agitation to create equality in law and in social situations, such as in democratic activities and securing equal pay for equal work. In practice, Nwawulu-Egeonu said the objective of gender equality is for people to acquire equal treatment throughout a society, not just in politics and workplace but also in other policy-designated sphere. According to her, “Women Excel Forum was initiated by Women Excel Empowerment Initiative. It is a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) established to empower women through hand skill jobs, knowledge and also provide employment with a goal to grow and balance the life of at least 80 per cent of African Women.

“Women Excel Forum has inspired and touched lives through the social media and workshops with the help of sponsors and other NGO companies across the globe.” Women Excel Forum, Nwawulu-Egeonu said was determined to impact women with skills that encourage them to play a vital role in the growth of the economy. “We give women a platform to network, work, create and add value. Members of this esteemed forum contribute daily to the growth of the society and indeed women excel has come to stay. Together with the support of our men, we hope to impact in the lives of every woman.” For Nwawulu-Egeonu, “We live in a culture that is shifting by the minute. In this era, joy at work was a pipe dream. You were told that if you kept your eyes on the prize-power and authority-then you would be "successful." But what does that mean? In this model, no one is happy and thriving. Command and control creates an environment in which employees are starved of autonomy and then get drunk on power once they get to the top of the ladder. Everything is out of balance, and the company suffers.” Therefore, Nwawulu-Egeonu said “the essence of leadership is shifting from telling everyone what to do, to empowering others to come up with the best and brightest ideas that have never been thought of before. How then do you empower people to be their best? Help them know their vision. “They say give a man a fish and you feed him for a day but teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Through my second company Tranons Bead Academy produces one of the best handmade beads; we have graduated over 100 students in Ghana and Nigeria. They are now becoming professional bead makers,”

Majek’s Short Memories Charles Novia I read an interview on THISDAY Newspaper online on Majek Fashek and in one of the questions, the reporter asked him if he had problems with Charles Novia and Azuka Jebose and Majek replied that we defrauded him and went on a rant on how he's being owed by November Records. My first reaction was to ignore it. And there are reasons why I ignore first hand anything negative which comes from Majek about me. I remember a few years ago, when he was under the management of a lady called Hajia or something, Majek went on television, perhaps at her instigation, to say he was suing me for $3 million dollars for shooting a movie on him! I laughed and laughed when I saw that interview on television and ignored the sensation it caused. Pressmen started calling me for days to find out my reaction. I would always say 'No comment'. But there was one journalist who kept on persisting and would keep on calling and calling for my reaction. He said “the country respects what you did for Majek in bringing him back to limelight with the 'Little Patience' album. It's shocking that he's talking about suing you for producing a film on him. Please let the world know your reaction.” I replied him “My friend, what I'm going to say is off the record and I say it to you because we are friends. I am a Bini Man. Majek has Bini blood. He is my elder brother. Fate and divine matrix used me in 2005 to bring him back to the music scene at great expense and risk to my life with his last album. I gave my all to promote that man and that album. My life stopped for years in pushing Majek back to the scene. Do you expect me right now to be exchanging words with him in the papers over a project which he's aware of? Listen, this brother of mine has issues with his health and my personal code of conduct would never ever make me exchange words with a brother... It's


not proper and it's not done where I come from, so give me a break please.” The journalist was touched. He told me later that “when I hung up the phone after you made that statement, tears came out from my eyes. You made sense. You are a human being.” It's that same notion I still have till today. Majek Fashek is someone I respect and have managed and worked with for years before I moved on. I will be very careful about having verbal exchanges with him or his new management over things he says about me. November Productions Publicists would professionally make press statements when the need arises. However, I will just make something clear on a personal level here. The 2005 'Little Patience' album, released by my record label, November Records, was licensed to my label after due negotiations with Coral Music USA, owned by Charlie D'agostino. November Records paid a tidy sum in dollars for the licensing of that album for the African market. We had a contract signed and the terms

of the contract were clearly spelt out. At the signing, Coral Music made it very clear that on no account should personal royalties (if any after we discussed the possibility of the album being pirated) be paid to Majek Fashek from November Productions outside the contract for that album. The contract had a provision for some cents to be paid to Coral Music after net calculations in the advent that the album sold a calculated amount of numbers. When November Records released the album in 2005 after spending a huge amount on heavy promotions on the project, the like of which had never been seen before for a long time, the album went to the top of the charts for weeks across the country. The release of the album got thousands of copies off the shelves in the first week. However, the album was massively pirated back then. Massively. I made this known to Charlie D'agostino of Coral Music in a mail and he understood the situation in the correspondences we had, the e-mails I still have. However, out of my love and respect for Majek, who would call me from America to plead for funds for upkeep, I would send him funds and sometimes get Azuka Jebose to do it because we could not bear to see the man in a financial crisis. In those conversations I made it clear to Majek that we had paid huge licensing fees to Coral Music and he would say he never got a dime from them as the American label deducted his expenses from his sales and concerts, which is a standard process in the music business. Feeling bad that Majek was in a financial quandary in America while we were heavily promoting his album back here, I decided to help him get money in Nigeria by getting major shows for him on the back of the success of the album. I got him into the first THISDAY Music Festival in 2006. ..After that event, I got Majek another gig at the 2006 Calabar Carnival in December. He flew back in with Azuka and we all traveled

to Calabar for the gig where he performed at the stadium in front of a crowd and an impressed Governor Donald Duke... Thereafter, more offers for more shows started coming. Because of the fragility of Majek back then and his frail and dishevelled looks, the agreement was that he would only breeze in and breeze out for shows with minimal exposure to the press and public. But in 2008 or thereabouts, Majek unannounced flew into Lagos and decided not to go back anymore. I wasn't aware of his coming, neither was Azuka. And there was nothing I could do. He had his plans and wanted to do his thing. All the years of PR and image making for him, done to build him back as a major brand, went up in smoke. It wasn't long before people and press men started calling me about seeing Majek on the streets and in bars, begging for food and stuff. Somehow, I had become intricately linked with Majek and his personal indiscretions were affecting my corporate and personal brand. I took in all in my stride but officially severed professional links with Majek Fashek a few months later. I have gone to this length to narrate some portions of this tale to give a background of my professional and personal relationship with Majek through the years. He's still my brother and late 2015 when he was in rehabilitation in Abuja, I saw him at the Abuja airport after we were on the same flight from Lagos and he kept telling everyone that “this is the man who did the magic in my career. He brought out 'Little Patience' and put me on billboards.” I offered to sponsor any music video from his new work for free with no strings attached. 'Just to help your work. I don't want anything. It will be my contribution' I told him. He was excited about it. That offer still stands. Anytime he is ready, all he has to do is to get across to me and the music video directors I have penciled down for the project will take care of it.

30/ NEWS


Etisalat Driving a New Dawn for National Development When the management of Etisalat Nigeria in 2013 announced the birth of a new football initiative, the Etisalat U-15 School Cup, the news was received with wild jubilation within and outside the football family and sports community in general. The reason was not for want of such agegrade competitions in the country for there were several ones already in existence, and neither was it for a perceived rivalry with the other football competition sponsors. The noble ideal that the Etisalat School Cup espouses is encapsulated in its brand vision of creating credible platforms that promote and celebrate creativity. The Etisalat School Cup had started in that year as a five-a-aside tournament with the pilot phase hosted by Lagos State; three years down the line, it has assumed a national status with equal acceptance and growing participation across the length and breadth of the nation. The recently concluded 2016 edition is a testimony in reference. For over three months, Nigerian youths of secondary school status with budding football talents from 32 states relished the opportunity created by the School Cup to showcase their talents Over 3,025 school teams made up of 16 players each took part in the competition which ran in phases beginning with the State Finals and then the regional play-offs before climaxing at the National Finals hosted by Lagos. Given the nation’s multi-cultural nature, the Etisalat U-15 School is objectively set

Mary Ekah

L-R: Manager, Sponsorship Etisalat Nigeria, Orah Egwu; Permanent Secretary, Ministry, Youth and Sports Development, Enugu State, Mrs. Herietta Ngozi Ani and Head, Regional Sales, South East, Etisalat, Okechukwu Nwaeze with the Champions Trophy during a courtesy visit to the ministry as part of the activities marking the kick-off of Etisalat School Cup season 3 Regional Play-Offs in Enugu State

to connect and unite people from different parts of the country using the universal language of football. It is targeted at promoting shared life values, especially among the younger generation. The company’s Director, Brand and Experience, Elvis Ogiemwanye emphasised this goal recently while offering insights on the project. “For us at Etisalat, football goes beyond winning medals and laurels; we are mindful of those life values that help people to become

responsible members of the society even while pursuing their dreams. We want to instill these values in children for the well-being of the society. So, it is about the friendship and the connection it brings. It is also a good platform to teach these students life values such as team work, discipline, tolerance and sportsmanship,” he said. Etisalat’s tendency for creating platforms is arguably second to none in the industry.

Start a Creative Revolution in Nigeria, COSON Tasks Buhari Mary Ekah Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) has requested President Muhammadu Buhari to give marching orders to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, to kick start an intellectual property and creative revolution in Nigeria. At the big ‘open house’ event at COSON headquarters to mark ‘No Music Day’ 2016 held recently, which was attended by several artistes and several media representatives, COSON said that this period of economic recession in Nigeria should provide important soul searching for the Nigerian nation. Insisting that the era when the Nigerian economy was almost completely dependent on oil and gas is in the nation’s past and will not come back, COSON insisted that Nigeria’s future will have to be built on the creative ingenuity of the Nigerian people. Delivering the 2016 official address on the state of the Nigerian music industry, COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, said the creative ingenuity of the Nigerian people can be seen in how wide Nigerian music, movies, literature, fashion, programming, and similar products of the creative endeavour originating from Nigeria are in demand across the world. According to

As part of the Lagos State government's commitment to increase the literacy level in the state, the government recently kicked off the training for the 1,000 facilitators for the state's adult literacy programme - Eko Nke Koo (Lagos is learning). The training which is billed to run in three batches between January and March, kicked off the January batch with 250 facilitators trainees. Speaking during the opening ceremony in Lagos, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh, noted that the training is aimed at equipping the facilitators towards meeting the specific needs of the adult learners. Urging the participants to maximise the opportunity the training

A late deadline entry for the submission of entries for the 13th Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), the Premier Africa Film Awards, has been slated for today, Friday January 13, 2017. Filmmakers are expected to submit their feature, short, animation and documentary work for consideration in nearly 30 film categories of the awards while nominations will be announced on April 15, 2017. The 13th edition of the AMAAs will be held May 20, 2017 and televised globally. Only films produced and released between July 2015 and December 2016 may be entered for this celebration of African cinema. Each completed entry form for 2017 entries must be accompanied by all the supporting materials listed on the submission forms, including the synopsis of the film, the list of credits, marketing stills of the movie, filmographies of the directors and producers, copies of the movie in 3DVDS or a hard drive plus a compulsory online submission via Vimeo and proof of the right to submit. All films must indicate the year of copyright. The Africa Film Academy will not accept any film that exceeds the 120-minute run as a feature or a short film that is longer than 40 minutes. International submissions can be made on: and also on To stay up to date with the latest information regarding the 13th African Movie Academy Awards or for nomination submissions, visit the African Movie Academy Awards Web site at The Africa Movie Academy Awards was founded in 2005, mostly held annually in Nigeria. Its aim is to facilitate the development and showcase the social relevance of African film and cinema. The awards are presented to recognise and honour the excellence of professionals in the film industry. This includes directors, actors, and writers, as well as to unite the African continent and the Diaspora through arts and culture. Over the years, numerous international media representatives, Hollywood celebrities, Nigerian politicians, other African politicians, journalists, film industry professionals, and actors and actresses have attended the award presentation across the world.

Foundation Extends Love to Communities Godbless Eduviere

COSON boss, Okoroji with some top Nigerian musicians at a recent function

him, this is clearly an area in which Nigeria has significant comparative advantage and what is needed is the spark to light the fire and the result will be confounding. “We believe that President Muhammadu Buhari can give a marching order to both his Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo who has the training and the intellect to fully grasp the issues and his Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama who for several years was a respected Director at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), to create real change in Nigeria. These gentlemen have the ability to kick-start an intellectual property and creative revolution in our

country, which can change the story of Nigeria forever. Then we can inspire our citizens to create and invent things of value with the assurance that every work of creativity and invention will be protected by the nation and every creator and inventor can enjoy the fruits of his or her labour,” Okoroji said. He said people in the creative industry have continued to request for a proper engagement with the government so as to make the knowledge and creativity driven economic future possible. He expressed the hope that the government would react appropriately to this request so that the important work can begin in earnest.

Lagos State Starts Training for 1,000 Eko Nke Koo Peace Obi

AMAA 2017: Entry Closes Today

presents in contributing to the state's dream for a better Lagos, Bank-Olemoh said that the training would make the job a lot easier for them. Adding that they should see themselves as key catalysts towards achieving the set goals for the Eko Nke Koo programme. Speaking further, the SA who noted that the February and March batches would comprise 250 and 500, respectively said, "Training and capacity development is very integral part of the programme and we are committed to it. This training will be the first of its series aimed at equipping the literacy facilitators that will be deployed to the centres. "The trainees will gain the necessary knowledge and skill to help us reach our goal of increasing the literacy rate across the state. Upon completion, of the training, the trainees will join the existing

485 facilitators already in the system,” he said. Enumerating some of the steps taken by the LASG to further widen its reach out mechanisms to adult learners in the state, Bank-Olemoh hinted that it has initiated partnership with religious organisations, NGOs, among others. "To achieve the set goals of increasing access for adult learners and growing the retention rates, the government has initiated partnership with religious organisations as well as NGOs, market and mechanic associations, and private sector partners to scale up the number of literacy centres across the state from the current 532 centres to 1000 in 2017." The Director, Agency for Mass Education, Mrs. Oluwakemi Kalesowo in her remarks said that the training would help the participants deliver excellent result on the assigned task.

As part of its vision to preach and practice what love is capable of doing in spite of the travails, intrigues and bitterness in the society and the world at large, an NGO called, Ladies and Gentlemen-Rhythms Foundation a.k.a LG-Rhythms, has decided to extend its act of love to communities. Speaking on the topic, ‘Let there be love’, during a press conference held recently in Apapa, Lagos, the President, Dr. Titus Adeniye Ale, commended the selfless service of members and appreciated them for their love and undiluted loyalty towards the goals of the NGO. He revealed that LG-Rhythms is a group of people who believe that love is the essence of living and no matter the problem under the sun, if there is love, it will be solved. “It has been critically analysed that if everyone believes in what love is capable of doing, and then there will be little or no stress at all in all facets of our life,” he said noting that so far the journey for LG-Rhythms, has been interesting and challenging. “Since its creation, the Foundation has offered major assistance to the less-privileged, which includes our annual charity walk against breast and lung cancer, business interconnectivity, empowerment programmes amongst others. “We have staged two major empowerment programmes recently during which both LG-Rhythm members and non-members successfully learnt new skills, new trade and gained wider knowledge at relatively no cost,” Ale noted. The Foundation, he said, also took off its Star Guest programme with the legendary icon, Onyeka Onwenu and other notable artistes like Emeka Ike, Gloria Anozie-Young, Bakky Adeoye and others and it was great success. Speaking further, he said, “Currently, we have established LG-Rhythm Micro-finance Scheme. This is to attach great premium on financial independence of members, and we believe that if we empower our members in terms of capacity buildings, we should also go the next step of empowering the deserving trainees with interest-free loan to support them in their business. And we have made it mandatory to all our members to make sure that in whatever they do, they should take into consideration a kind of charity that should go to the less-privileged. I therefore use this opportunity to announce that in 2017, we are coming out with another beneficial programme that will impact on the lager society. This impact will be on community service.”



Abidemi Demuren Showcases ‘Unity in Diversity’ Mary Ekah Family and friends recently converged at the Didi Museum, Victoria Island, Lagos, to witness the debut art exhibition by Abidemi Demuren, prolific and talented artist. Tagged, ‘Unity In Diversity’, the exhibition showcased over 19 stimulating art pieces, all emanating from Demuren’s diverse pool of muse which varied from the popular drummers at Owambe parties, to the wheelbarrow pushers in Lagos markets, or his musical influences and recycling habit. Born in the late 70s in Lagos, Demuren grew up in the golden era of comic books, during which he spent any money he had on books, including illustration books, drawing books, colouring pencils and anything else he could find to drift off into his own world. At an early age, he started recreating ideas and thoughts as they appeared in his subconscious. The love of art and being able to put pencil, pen, ink, and colours to paper was his joy. If you could think it, Demuren could draw it. As talented as he was in art, he was also exceptional in music. Starting from his early years in the church choir where he played the drums, he also thought himself how to play the piano, flute, guitar and later, the saxophone. At school, he struggled in almost all phases of coursework except art. He saw words as reflections on mirror hence the difficulty sometimes confusion with words. But that difficulty had an exception, a gift, as we would later call it - Clarity of Imagery! Concerned about his academic performance, his parents took him for evaluation at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, United Kingdom, where he was diagnosed with some form of Dyslexia. Thus, at the age of 15 years old, he proceeded to the U.S. to further enhance his development at The Maple Brook School, one of the leading child development schools in the United States. He obtained a High School Diploma from the institution in 1996. He studied College Studies in Commercial Arts at Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie, New York from 1996 to 1998. He later studied Animation and Graphic Design at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Along the way, he also picked up ceramic sculpting and pottery. His style of Mixed Media has won several art contests, including 4 New York State regional art installations. In the quest to feed the urge of normalcy of achieving a degree, his quest still brought him back to his love - his love of art: That simple expression on paper. The journey and travails of slow pace of life development has its toll but through it all, he never quit and was more than determined to continue.

Viewers admiring Abidemi Demuren's artworks duirg his recent exhibition

Abidemi Demuren Artwork

They say Art and Dyslexia are a PicturePerfect combination, with some of the world’s great artists like Pablo Picasso, Leonardo Da Vinci, Auguste Rodin and Jackson Pollock all

Abidemi Demuren Artwork

known to have some form of dyslexia and still achieving great success. Following in their footsteps, Abide moved back to Nigeria a couple years ago yearning to share his vision

and art with the place where it all started. He has uniquely combined his own view of the African culture with his Art, which can be seen in some of the work.

Adeboye Gives Hope of Better Life at Prison Mary Ekah The General Overseer Worldwide of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, on December 28, 2016, paid a visit to the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons, as part of the Kirikiri Maximum Prison end-of-year service and medical outreach by the church. At the prison where the cleric conducted a short service with inmates as well as officials of the prison, he assured everyone present, most especially inmates who have been sentenced to death, that whatever dream they have regardless of the circumstances they have found themselves, would come to pass. “I am brining this message to assure somebody here that He is a faithful God, that He is not asleep. He’s on His throne and He is watching everything that is going on. He asked me to assure whoever that person is, that according to Ecclesiastics 7:8 “better is the end of a thing than the beginning…” What you are now and where you are now is not the end of your journey,” the cleric said during his message at the prison’s cathedral. Speaking further, he said, “As young man, Joseph had two great dreams and each dream suggested that he was born to be great. The only mistake he made was that he told his relatives about his dreams and that was where the problem started,” adding, “ I still don’t know who God has sent me to today, but that person is in this hall.” Time was given to some of the inmates and ex-convict to testify on the wonders of God in

Adeboye during his recent visit to Kirikiri Maximum Prison, Lagos

their lives. Some who have spent decades in the prison testified of how they were miraculously freed recently after they were sentenced to death by hanging. While some other inmates testified of how they have been favoured even while in prison just because they had the anointing from Adeboye, whose trademark is to visit the prisons every two years. A youth pastor of the RCCG, Akolade Arowolo, who has been sentenced since 2014, to die by hanging for the murder of his wife, Titilayo and

has since remained in the Kirikiri Maximum Prison also testify of how God had redeemed him even when had been condemned to die, expressing the hope that someday he would be freed by the grace of God. “The word of God has made me free, even though I am still here. But I believe very strongly that someday I would be a free man,” Arowolo said, adding, “I was sentenced to death in February 2014 and literarily I was dying emotionally, spiritually and otherwise. Then

December 21, 2014, Daddy GO came for a visit to the Kirikiri Prisons. That visit for me, was Jesus coming for me. And from the message of hope that the GO gave to us here and also from the privilege I had to meet with him, and he spoke with me and prayed for me - I did not just touch him on his garment, but I touched him - and from that point on, I got my life back. I remembered that he is a man of grace and he is my father and my pastor and that I could tap into the grace upon his life again. I said God, prove to me that you are God forever in this incident. Although I am on the death roll, let your mercy set me free. Although I am still here, every sickness I had in my body has gone and I believe God can do mightier things in my life,” he noted. Several other requests were made to Adeboye who at the end promised that RCCG would continue to do more in the prison. “I want you to know that I have noted your request and I will do my very best to see that the requests are met. Before I came up here, I was talking with my son, your boss that I will definitely take up the case of those who are condemned to death with the highest authority in the nation. But you must pray along with me. I am here today because my heart is with you. I have come here today because I have special love for you, otherwise I would not be here considering the kind of busy schedule that I have these days. And whatever we can do to alleviate your pains, by God’s grace, we will do as quickly as possible,” Adeboye assured.



Daniel Chimezie Okeke - My Destiny Deal Title: Daniel Chimezie Okeke - My Destiny Deal Type of book: Autobiography Author: Adolphus Areban Abraham Publisher: Express Concerns International Limited Year of publication: 2016 Date of book presentation: January 07, 2017 Book reviewer: Professor Vincent C. Okore Introduction I feel highly honoured, to have been requested to review the book that tells the story about my town’s man. The book has graphically described the pathway through which Providence has led him, moving from grass, as it were, to grace. This book satisfies every description of an autobiography. I have had the privilege of reading a number of biographies and autobiographies. Characteristically, all of them present a descriptive image of the principal moving from a condition of apparent hopelessness to that of glory and societal or spiritual success. The life of Mr. Daniel Chimezie Okeke follows the same Providence-guided transition. In his own case, however, it is that of a hopeless orphan transformed into an affluent business mogul, through whom many other people have also been favoured. It is an interesting story. It is a lesson for all. It teaches that he whom God has destined to become a blessing, the Lord will equip with necessary determination, spirit, energy, endurance, perseverance, tolerance and guidance. The initial ugly states in the life of such a person will only be preparatory, and then a passing mirage. The fact of nature is that at the spark of creation of a human life, God installs the programme of a lifetime in the emerging embryonic cell. The resulting human being must inescapably follow that graph of life and, so, whatever occurs during the individual’s journey through life, must strictly be in accordance with that divine master plan. That is called Destiny. It is a done deal, which God seals for and with the individual. Therefore, the phrase, “Destiny Deal”, strikes me as the most fitting title for a book that, more or less, mirrors a man’s destiny. Every man’s life is a veritable lesson for others to discern. The life of Mr. Dan Okeke is no less so. I want to thank Dan for, in his characteristic generosity, offering the entire global reading audience the benefit of a peep into his life, the story of which he could, otherwise, have reserved for his immediate family members, intimate friends and confidants. As we take advantage of this magnanimity, I invite us to absorb the story with an open mind, and with the aim of learning from the life of a successful man. It is my assignment, as a reviewer, to whet your appetite for the delicious meal that has been encapsulated within the pages of this excellent exposé. Written in the style of a classic, almost every page is decorated with boxed excerpts for emphasis or attention. I assure you that this book is a worthy reading. If you suffer inertia for reading, I am almost certain that by the time you go through this review, you will probably begin to shed off your lethargy for reading, at least for the sake of the book. I encourage you to collect copies of the book for yourself and your loved ones. It will be worth an investment. Circumstances of his birth and infancy The Character, Dan Okeke, was born in Ubila Ututu, which is part of the present-day Arochukwu Local Government Area of Abia State, Nigeria. I would like to quote him as he explicitly describes the circumstances of his birth and childhood. “I was not fortunate enough to grow up under the nurture and warmth of my mother. Before I could mutter ‘Mama’ like other infants, the cold hand of death struck and snatched Mama away from mother earth. And thus, was started for me, a tortuous beginning that took Providence not much to put right.” Only a relatively small number of people, worldwide, can make this kind of statement about the circumstances of their birth. Most citizens of the world are normally nurtured to maturity by their biological parents. Majority of those who are not so lucky often end up in ruins. Sometimes, we inadvertently refer to God as the Father of the fatherless, or Mother of the motherless. In some situations, this approbation turns out to be real and visible. Considering the circumstances of Daniel Okeke’s infancy, it is right to say that, indeed, God adopted him right from the moment he became motherless, seven months into his life on earth. No one has ever

Martin was to be the fulcrum that God used to propel Dan to greatness. Yet, another human angel that bore Dan on her wings was his aunty, Mgbokwo Okore. Till date, Dan remembers, with intense gratitude, the role this aunty played at a time he had almost been abandoned to die after a dangerous snake bite. Mgbokwo took passionate care of him and eventually brought him to a herbalist who cured him of the snake bite. Once again, Dan defied death by the whisker’s breath, under a very precarious circumstance.

seen God with physical eyes. Each time we “see God” He appears to us only in human forms, in the forms of living persons. So, from the age of seven months and throughout the period of his infancy, motherless Dan encountered God in the person of his grandmother. God, through grandmother, caught Dan and shielded him from the obvious vulnerability of motherless babies. Therefore, Dan is correct in saying that, from the beginning, it took Providence not much to put things right for him. See how it all happened. In the absence of his mother, seven-month-old Dan needed breast milk to survive and grow, like every other baby. Grandmother was too old to produce breast milk, but through her instrumentality, God made other younger mothers to volunteer, in turns, to breast feed Dan. In that way, he grew up as a robust, healthy baby, despite the several attempts supposedly made by his departed mother to take the infant along. Beside grandmother, the closest person to Dan, as he was growing up, was his earthly father. His father, Mr. Anthony Okeke, of blessed memories, was popularly known as Teacher Anthony. He was a multi-talented man. Apart from being a highly respected teacher, he was a wise community leader, an arbiter in cases of conflict between individuals or communities, a farmer, and palm fruits merchant. Even at an early age, Dan was his father’s most favoured child. The relationship between Dan and his father could metaphorically be described as the water without which palm fruits cannot be processed into valuable oil. And so, because of their remarkable closeness, Dan earned himself the sarcasm, “handbag of his father.” Not minding the derision, Dan stuck tenaciously unto his father and, thus, learnt a lot about the traditions and histories of his family and people.. Dan started school in Ubila-Amaetiti Primary School, the same school where his father was a teacher. When he graduated from primary school, he was enrolled in Umunnato Secondary Technical College, Ututu. Dan’s father was poised to play that human ladder with which Dan was to climb to greatness. Dan describes it thus: “Father wanted me to take after him. He wanted me to be great and attain a height no one else in the family had ever ventured… Father wanted to give me the best of everything. Most especially he wanted me to be well educated.” But those lofty plans were cut short by the sudden and most unexpected death of his father, at a time when Dan had just been promoted to Class 2 in the secondary school. The death of his father at that time appeared like the sunset of Dan’s life. But, it was not to be, for God had positioned some angels on his path to lift him up to his destined height. It can be said that the first human angel, as it were, in whose hands Dan began his journey of survival was his grandmother. If grandmother did not invoke the rare and unusual initiative of inviting younger women to breastfeed Dan, when his mother died, as he was only seven months old, how could he have lived? Whatever Dan has grown to become today was made possible because he lived through those unsure early days of his life. Thanks to grandmother. Worthy of mention also are Mr. G. O. K. Aluoko, and Miss Grace Kalu (teachers in Umunnato Secondary Technical College) as well as Rev. Benard Ubuo (Dan’s pastor at that time). These people whom God called at that point in time, answered the call, and voluntarily contributed, out of their meagre resources, to ensure that Dan’s school fees were paid. Rev. Ubuo and his wife, in addition, took Dan in, fed him and gave him a room in their residence. Following his father’s death, another person who showed much love and support to Dan was his uncle, Mr. Martin Ebi. Several times, Martin Ebi contributed towards his school fees and provided Dan with school uniforms. Later on (as is well described in the book), Uncle

His challenges, disappointments and ordeals The first major disappointment that Dan experienced in life came soon after his father’s untimely death. A number of people who came to console the family over the death, promised to shoulder the family’s financial responsibilities, including sponsoring Dan’s education, if only “to show appreciation for your father’s kindness towards us…” But the reality was that they all backed down on their promises immediately the man was laid down into the grave, thus dashing Dan’s raised hopes of attending an elite secondary school, as pre-planned by his father. Under such conditions, Dan found himself having to relocate from one village school to another depending on the direction from where a flicker of help could come. From Umunnato Secondary Technical College he moved to Ututu Secondary Commercial School (aka Okpukpu mmuo), with virtually nothing to be consoled by. You can read details of his harsh and unenviable experiences in these village schools in Chapter 4 of the book. His haters and hurters Among the people Dan was supposed to grow up under their care was his stepmother. Dan writes in the book that rather than receive love and care from his stepmother, he constantly received hatred, envy, maltreatment, neglect and open antagonism. Dan claims that the malice got to a crescendo when his father died in an excruciating circumstance. Dan was only thirteen years of age when his father died. It was as if Dan had lost all he lived for. There were no consolations, and no respite. Hope was replaced with hostilities and false promises by people around him. Turning points in his life The first happening that can be called a turning-point in Dan’s life was when Uncle Martin Ebi, his mother’s younger brother, invited him to leave the village and come to Port Harcourt. At that point Dan did not even have money to pay his fair to Port Harcourt. He pleaded repeatedly with his stepmother for help, but she would not budge. He then decided to trek, come what may, from Ubila Ututu to Port Harcourt. Providentially, at that critical moment of decision making, two of his friends, Isaac Kalu and Kalu Uka, appeared from nowhere and offered him some monetary assistance. Isaac Kalu doled out 25 naira, and Kalu Uka complemented with 15 naira, making a total 40 naira. That was all Dan had in order to start the long journey to Port Harcourt. Dan says of this marvel, “I will forever be grateful to these good friends of mine whom God used to rescue me…” Accepting to go to Port Harcourt at that time was one of the wisest steps that Dan took in his life, and that singular decision placed him on the trajectory to greatness. God used his uncle, Martin Ebi, to connect him to an endeavour that was to become for him a transformer from poverty to affluence. Uncle Martin was determined to stir up the latent entrepreneurial skills in Dan. So, on arrival in Port Harcourt, Martin put him into various trades, starting from the hawking of bar soaps, to the hustle and bustle of rice trade. At that time, Dan was slim and fragile. At all times, the rice business requires sufficient delivery of brainpower, as well as brawn and stamina. Dan had the brain, but one could not say the same about his having the kind of brawn and stamina needed to haul bags of rice through a bustling market. And so, before too long, things got to the brink, and Dan threw in the towel against the rice business, and informed Uncle Martin about his decision. Not giving up, Martin went ahead and introduced him to John Okeke, his friend, who was into the business of “clearing and forwarding”. That one clicked, and Dan jumped for it. That was it. One thing led to another. Dan’s personal charisma and hard work stirred up admiration

for him from many people, some very influential. Among such people who took liking for Dan were Mr. Solomon Azuma and Chief B. B. Umeh. God, once again favourably, flung those men at Dan. Solomon Azuma was the owner of a clearing and forwarding company, while Chief Umeh was a Senior Customs Officer. While Dan was still an apprentice under Solomon, Chief Umeh spotted him and intuitively adopted him as a son. Thus, Dan providentially fell into very good hands. Chief Umeh, in addition to maintaining Dan on a weekly stipend of 500 naira, for rendering no service, whatsoever, to him, also got him a job in a major shipping company, Panalpina. From there, Dan was propelled like a meteor into the world of clearing and forwarding business. Today, Dan Okeke is a proud owner of a very successful shipping company named, “Express Concerns”. The following persons have also made, and are still making, impressionable impacts in his shipping business: Mr. Solomon Asaad of Saipem Contracting Company Limited, a foreign shipping company; and his very close friend and confidant, Chief Okafor Itam. There are many sides to Dan Okeke’s entrepreneurial acumen. Despite the fact that he has stirred up a lot of oceanic waves in the shipping business, Dan has also been very successful in the real estate business. In addition, Dan is into big-time importation and sale of motor vehicles. To underscore his business vasatility, he has also taken a step to make a mark in the hospitality business with the completion of a hotel in Port Harcourt in 2016 under the Swiss Spirit Franchise. The hotel consists of two blocks with a total of 148 rooms, swimming pool, underground snooker bar, VIP Lounge, Italian Restaurant, 4 Conference rooms, one banquet hall, video conferencing facilities, regular restaurant, and bar to provide the guest with a lasting experience. His spirit of generosity Dan is an extremely generous man. You may say he is generous to a fault. He extends his generosity even to his adversaries. Out of magnanimity, he always wanted to immortalise his late father. That led him into recovering a piece of land bought by his father, which was snatched by the original owners after the death of his father. In the process of recovering the piece of land, he was made to pay twice the going price of the land, and he willingly paid. In addition to paying for the land, Dan went ahead and sponsored the original land owner’s son, who wanted to register for the WAEC O-Level examinations. Dan stopped at nothing to acquire back the land, if only to use it and honour the man, his father, who influenced his appreciation of the value of determination and hard work. As the glorious face of God started shining on him, Dan built his first house. Surprisingly, the people he offered the house to live, for free, were children of his stepmother. That is the generosity of a man with a large heart. The book contains photographs depicting some donations Dan had made to his family and native community of Ubila Ututu. These include a country home for his family, and a block of classrooms for Ubila-Amaetiti Primary School, his alma mater. Others are: a residential home serving as a memorabilia in honour of his father, borehole water supply to his native community, and a customary court building donated to the government of Abia State. Among other extraordinary manifestations of his generosity are: donation of a Mercedes Benz V-boot car to the State Overseer of his Church, the Apostolic Faith Church, in Port Harcourt; and donation of four Toyota Sienna vans in support of the youth empowerment programme of the government of Chief Theodore A. Orji of Abia State. Dan extends his generosity, even beyond his immediate frontiers, to people he may not have known too well. A number of times, because of his open mindedness and easy trust in other people, he has been swindled of huge amounts of money (running into millions of naira). You will read about “The Spanish Swindle” in chapter 15 of the book. Conclusion I want to conclude this review with just one statement that summarizes the lesson I, personally, have learnt from Dan’s story. Success is the reward of sincere adherence to your own Destiny Deal – God’s plan for your life. Adolphus Areban Abraham, the author of this book is also the author of "Arrows of Jacob Red Stew" and "Return to Canaan" both published in 2013. He can be reached on



Lufthansa: Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt Passengers to Enjoy Internet Services Enroute Europe, Middle East, Northern Africa Internet access also on inner-European routes Send emails from a height of 10,000 meters, do your online shopping while soaring over the Alps, stream videos above the clouds - and all of that with broadband quality. Soon, passengers of Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines will be able to go online on shorter journeys too - as they have already been able to do for some time on long haul flights like on the Nigerian routes. “This great news means that passengers from Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt can connect seamlessly to the internet while traveling to any destination in Europe, Middle East and Northern Africa,” says Mr. Robin Sohdi Lufthansa country manager in Nigeria. Last summer, Lufthansa received the socalled Supplemental Type Certificate for the Airbus fleet A320 from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and successfully concluded all the necessary preparation work. Now the next stage of testing on Lufthansa and Austrian routes will start, initially involving five aircraft in each case. Passengers who fly on these aircraft will be offered free Internet use during this test phase. The analysis of the user behaviour will provide the data necessary to further enhance the service ahead of its market launch. Harry Hohmeister, member of the Board of Directors of Deutsche Lufthansa AG and responsible for Hub Management, says "I am pleased that we can soon offer broadband Internet to our passengers on inner-European flights, giving them the chance to have a seamless digital experience. Since the launch of Lufthansa Flynet, it has been our goal to offer added value on board to our customers through innovation - and that also includes our Internet provision." In the first quarter of 2017, the number of Lufthansa aircraft fitted out with Internet access will rise to around 20. One by one, the entire Lufthansa A320 fleet is to be equipped with the latest advanced technology by the middle of 2018. The re-fitting of all 31 aircraft at Austrian Airlines is planned to be completed before the end of April 2017. As well as

Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines, Eurowings also has plans to bring the Internet on board its aircraft – estimated launch is to be by the end of the first quarter 2017. A total of 69 Eurowings aircraft are to be fitted with the systems by the summer of 2017. Lufthansa passengers can gain Wifi access to the Internet using their own mobile devices. As well as email services, applications such as video streaming will be possible too. Market launch of the new service is scheduled to take place sometime during the first quarter of the year. Customers will then be able to choose between three different service packages - FlyNet Message for EUR 3, FlyNet Surf for EUR 7 and FlyNet Stream for EUR 12 per flight. Whilst FlyNet Message only allows the use of messaging services such as email, WhatsApp or iMessage, FlyNet

Surf also enables passengers to surf the Internet. With the FlyNet Stream service package, streaming is also possible. The packages can be paid for by credit card or via payment services such as Paypal. The Internet service of Lufthansa Airlines and their technology partner Inmarsat uses the latest broadband satellite technology (Ka-band) and provides seamless, reliable coverage on short haul and mid-range flights via the Inmarsat network Global Xpress (GX). Inmarsat partner Deutsche Telekom will be the Internet Service Provider for Lufthansa passengers. Lufthansa Technik is responsible for the fitting of all the systems and components, as well as dealing with the required Aviation regulations and other statutory authorisations. They are fitting out the entire Airbus A320

family of the Lufthansa Group Airlines with the latest Ka-band satellite technology. By spring, almost 100 aircraft are scheduled to have been equipped. The aircraft can be fitted with the required antennae and routers on a series of ten production lines, working simultaneously, at the Lufthansa Technik sites. On account of the only minimally-invasive adjustments needed to the aircraft structure, the rapid re-fitting of even large fleets is possible - generally involving just four days downtime per aircraft. Lufthansa Systems is providing the necessary technical infrastructure for Internet connection on board. This includes the network operations in the aircraft - the technical pre-requisite for Wifi on board - as well as the provision of the necessary software for the operation of the FlyNet portal, through which the customer gains access to the net. Within the framework of their global partnership, Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik are in addition providing a modern, multi-functional digital platform (BoardConnect) to enable digital use cases ranging from entertainment to ancillary revenues. Both Lufthansa Group Airlines and external customers will profit from this strong cooperation arrangement. As long ago as 15 January, 2003, Lufthansa was the operator of the first commercial long haul flight worldwide to have broadband Internet access. The service had to be taken off the market in 2006 despite its technically reliable system and its growing popularity with passengers, because the necessary "Connexion by Boeing" satellites ceased operations. Since the end of 2010, Lufthansa has again been offering broadband Internet access on its inter-continental flights - once again as worldwide first. And since June 2015, FlyNet has been available on all current 107 Lufthansa long haul aircraft, With the addition of the Boeing 777 to the fleet, the group's subsidiary SWISS also started offering Internet on its long haul flights; for the short haul and mid-range, its introduction is currently also under consideration.

ITB Speed Dating Day: An Effective Way to Network This year ITB Berlin is organising two speed dating events on 9 March that will enable buyers as well as bloggers to establish valuable links with exhibitors from around the world in the shortest possible time. In the morning the members of the exclusive ITB Buyers Circle can meet national and international exhibitors at the ITB Speed Networking event. In the afternoon, at the ITB Blogger Speed Dating event, experienced bloggers can make use of eight-minute time slots to talk to representatives sitting opposite from the global travel industry. The new ITB matchmaking tool makes it easy to arrange appointments for both events.

At ITB Berlin 2017 the ITB Speed Networking event will be taking place for the third time. This is where senior buyers who belong to the exclusive ITB Buyers Circle can get to know exhibitors at previously booked brief appointments. The ITB Speed Networking event will take place from 9.30 to 11.00 a.m. on Level B in the CityCube Berlin. Using the new ITB Matchmaking Tool participants can book appointments in advance. Personal invitations will be sent to exhibitors, who can invite co-exhibitors to register for the event too. Buyers and exhibitors can provide information on key themes in their profile

and also emphasise particular interests. This makes it easier to find exactly the right conversation partners. Only participants who have pre-booked may attend the networking event and they will receive an appointment list beforehand. During the eight-minute time slots participants can exchange information, establish new contacts, find out about destinations and products, and expand their business interests. Additional details and contact information on the ITB Speed Networking event can be found at SpeedDating/. At the ITB Blogger Speed Dating event

exhibitors and bloggers can make use of eight-minute appointments to get to know each other and talk about joint ventures, for example, or exchange ideas on future collaboration. Using the ITB Matchmaking Tool up to nine appointments can be set up in advance. The ITB Blogger Speed Dating event will take place on Thursday, 9 March 2017 from 4.30 to 6 p.m. in Hall B in the CityCube Berlin. Due to extremely high demand registration for the 2017 Blogger Speed Dating event is now closed. Information on the ITB Blogger Speed Dating event can be found at TradeVisitors/Blogger/.

TANZANIA Plans 3 Million Annual Tourist Arrivals Tanzania is not ready to join the East Africa Community (EAC) joint tourism market, it has been learnt. Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) Managing Director, Devota Mdachi, told The Citizen in an exclusive interview that the country’s priority was not joint marketing of East Africa as a single tourist destination, but unlocking potential that would increase the number of domestic and foreign tourists. The joint tourism drive is hinged on the EAC single tourist visa launched in February 2014 in Nairobi as an initiative of the presidents of Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda under the so-called “Coalition of the Willing”. The three countries, which had decided to move forward with the integration process as others caught up, also launched the single customs territory and northern infrastructure

A resort in Tanzania

development corridor. The visa is meant to allow foreign tourists to visit the three East African countries using one multiple-entry permit. Tanzania

and Burundi, which were not part of the coalition, said they would join in when they were ready. “We don’t oppose the aim of turning the region into a single tourist destination, but our priority is to build our capacity and enable us to fully exploit the potential existing in our country. Tanzania is endowed with enormous tourism potential, which has yet to be fully exploited. We lead in East Africa in terms of tourism resources,” Mdachi said. She added that under the five-year tourism development plan, Tanzanian aims to increase annual tourist arrivals to 3 million from the current 1 million. However, this was not without its challenges. “We face the chronic problem of low budget for tourism promotion. We have to raise more funds for marketing our tourist attractions

first before thinking about joining the regional market. We have a very low budget compared to Kenya,” Mdachi said. In October, the acting Director of Trade and Investment in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Bernard Haule, was quoted saying no agreement had been reached on a single tourist visa, adding that member states were still discussing the issue. TTB chairman Thomas Mihayo supported efforts to promote tourism in Tanzania and make the country among the leading destinations in Africa in the league of Morocco, which draws 12 million tourists annually. He said TTB had entered into agreements with Morocco and Dubai on tourism promotion through training local experts. Source:






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Masturbation and Your Manners

am a firm believer that masturbation has an effect on our ‘self control muscles’ and hence our manners. The statistics may shock us as at least 80 per cent of both men and women have masturbated at one point or the other. The preponderance of masturbation has led to many motions for and against it in recent times. However, I’ll like to explain my conviction on masturbations impact on self control. Masturbation leads to a release of and increase dopamine in the brain. Now dopamine is the brain’s reward and pleasure centre. Over activating this reward centre leads to loss of self control, craving and an increased tolerance of sugar. Which all point to one phenomenon – addiction. Masturbation works like sugar as sugar also has a similar effect on dopamine levels in the body as masturbation. Excess intake of sugar leads to sustained increase of dopamine levels which is why people eventually get addicted to sugary foods. Take the United States for example which has one of highest rates of sugar consumption in the world, it also has the highest number of obese people in the world (surprisingly, excess sugar is the reason for excess weight gain and not fat). Now obesity is a function of a lack of self control which all boils down to high dopamine levels in the body as a result of excess sugar. Intake of alcohol, nicotine and heroine for example send dopamine into overdrive which explains why it is common to fine people addicted to this substances. My anti-masturbation position is premised on the fact that as a dopamine enhancer it leads to decrease in self control. This may also account for why homosexual masturbate more than heterosexuals. I have heard of people so addicted to masturbation that they would excuse their selves during board meetings to “jerk off”.

My anti-masturbation position is premised on the fact that as a dopamine enhancer it leads to decrease in self control. This may also account for why homosexual masturbate more than heterosexuals.

I have had many chances to masturbate as a testosterone pumping young virile black man. However in every instance where I resisted the urge, I found out that I was able to ascend to higher levels of calm, composure, awareness, concentration and insight. Corroborating this position is a hypothesis that the excess sexual energy we don’t waste by not masturbating builds up into the lower parts of our bellies which are the body’s energy centres for confidence and assertiveness. This position also states that when you feel nervous you feel butterflies in your tummy conserving sexual energy drowns out those butterflies. When people lose weight they testify to the salubrious effects that follow thereafter. When people exercise they share anecdotes of the positive changes noticed afterwards. When people meditate they rhapsodize on its power to affect anxiety, stress and increase concentration. In the same vein masturbation is an exercise that can eventually evolve into a habit and if not controlled eventually into an addiction. If you are convinced to masturbate, I encourage you to look out for its after effects if they are positive you might then as well just be on the right track but if they turn out negative, you may consider a paradigm shift. If you would like to speak with me personally on this issue on which I have exchanged thoughts with people in the past, I would obligingly love to listen to you. I sincerely wish us all the best in taking the best decisions in living the best possible lives that we can. You could purchase a copy of my book on etiquette titled PROPER MANNERS AND ETIQUETTE IN ANYTHING AT ANYTIME AND ANYWHERE at the price of N3,500 at our corporate head office at 340 - 344 Ikorodu Road, by Idi-Iroko Bus Stop, Maryland, Lagos. Or call 0811 266 1635 or 0802 312 6010 to have a copy sent to you.

Masturbation works like sugar consumption as it also has a similar effect on dopamine levels in the body. Obesity is a function of lack of self control which all boils down to excess intake of sugar leading to sustained high dopamine levels in the body and eventually addiction



‘Proper Records Management Can Assist in Curbing Corruption and Insecurity’ The Lagos State Records and Achieves Bureau is a state agency established for permanent custody, regulation and control of records and achieves of the government of Lagos State Government and other archives or historical records of entities operating in the state. Its Director General, Mr. Biodun Onayele in this interview with Mary Ekah, explains how the organisation’s proper records and achieves management can assist in finding sustainable solution to the menace of corruption and insecurity in Nigeria sensitise people on the importance of records and achieves management. And what we do here on that, are to source for erudite scholars to talk on contemporary issues and we invite the public to come and listen to these people and then know how records and achieves can be used to solve certain threatening issues in the nation. For example, the theme for the last year’s event was, ‘Corruption and Security Challenges in Nigeria: The Place of Records and Achieves Management’. This theme indicates that the way out of this seemly hopeless situation we have found ourselves in the nation today requires concerted efforts of both the government and the people. It also indicates how proper records and achieves management can assist in finding sustainable solutions to the menace of corruption and insecurity in Nigeria. When people keep and access available records in our achieves, the corruption and insecurity in the nation will be curbed to certain extent.

What exactly do you do at the Lagos State Records and Achieves Bureau (LASRAB)? This institution is an establishment of government and our main objective is to keep records for Lagos State. We are interested in regulating, preserving and disseminating accurate records on Lagos State and of course anybody that needs information on Lagos State can come here. We function as a one-stop shop for anybody shopping for information on Lagos State and also as a back-up for Lagos State government institutions and for them to keep records with us. You talk as if you are so accessible to the general public for people to access information from you. How possible is that? There are two ways. Anybody can come here and ask for information and use our facilities and to do that you get registered and we charge you for our services, depending on what you want to do. And for government agencies, as a databank, they must have kept information with us; all they need to do when they need such information is to write a formal letter. And sometimes they want to take decision, and need data to take informed decisions and so we provide them the data they need.

What is your vision for LASRAB in few years to come? My vision is to see an institution that would meet all the needs of not just Lagos State but the nation as a whole in terms of information for people who want to do serious scholarly work. An institution like this is meant for demographers, historians, researchers, journalists and all that. But most times the cost and effort to put in trying to access information in doing honest job, is so much that sometimes they are discouraged. So my vision is to be able to meet everybody’s needs, so that when they get here, they can get all the information they need to do their jobs very well. Right now we are regarded as the new face of records and archieves management in Nigeria but we want to go beyond that, we want to be ranked amongst the best internationally and that is why we are setting standards for ourselves, we are constantly challenging ourselves on best practice. So I’m envisaging a situation where people will be coming constantly to this place so that we might need to expand. And one of the things that we have been able to achieve as fallout of our 2016 International Records and Achieves Day deliberation was the resuscitation of History as a subject in the school curriculum. For whatever reason, it was removed but after our deliberation, we were rightly informed that government has returned it to the curriculum.

How long has the establishment been running? By law, we came on board in 2007 but I was appointed as the DG in 2014 but before then I was the Bureau Secretary. Would you say this organisation has been able to achieve its aims? To a large extent it has even though we still have room for improvement. You see, knowledge is power and when you need information to take certain decision, sometimes the time frame between getting the information and taking that decision is so short and rather than start running around to get the information, you have here a one-stop shop where you can get the information you need as long as that information is not classified. And we have been able to create awareness that something like this actually exists and that people can come. And we have also been able to educate people on the importance of keeping records even for their personal development. People generally believe that keeping papers can be very troublesome and so they just throw them away but we have been able to make people know that even for your personal growth, you have to keep records because at one point or the other, you would need them to do one thing or the other.


How do you keep these records? Most of these records come in paper form and some of them are fragile but right now, most of them come in electronic and digital forms. What particular challenge do you face trying to keep the records as desired? In Lagos State, we pride ourselves as Centre of Excellence and we have to live up to that billing and that poses a lot of challenges on us. First, we have this culture of secrecy where you seek for information and people demanding why you want to have that information. And that is not a challenge peculiar to government information only but to people generally. We also have issues on preservation, funding and most importantly, lack of reading culture because when you have so many documents and people are not interested in coming to make use of them it becomes an issue. What efforts have you made to ensure that


some of these challenges are overcome? We do that through various means. From time to time, we organise exhibitions meant to showcase the various aspects of Lagos State so as to stimulate interest and attract people to this place. We also encourage facility tours by secondary school students, tertiary institutions where they come in here and we show them around while they ask questions which we

answer and that also stimulate interests. And of course, we have this international programme which we hold every June 9, a day being set aside by the International Achieves Day, which is organised by the International Council on Achieves (ICA); it is an international event but we are the only organisation in Nigeria that observes it and we have been doing that since 2011. The aim of the yearly event is to

How significant is your organisation to the growth of the nation? I must first stress that as an institution of Lagos State government, our duty is first to keep records for Lagos State. We are interested in keeping records and also discouraging people from the erroneous view that Lagos is no man’s land. People, who don’t know their past, cannot appreciate their present and then project for the future. And the importance of keeping records cannot be overemphasised. It promotes good governance and accountability, it serves as evidence of the past and recent actions or activities, it helps in taking informed decisions, it help in identifying rights and responsibilities, it engenders patriotism, create jobs and also it serves as societal or organisations’ memory in terms of innovations, experience, history, culture heritage and so on. And that is why all government agencies are mandated to keep their records with us at LASRAB. Our job is to regulate and ensure that all government agencies keep records according to international standard records keeping and to do that, we have to set standards for them through regulations and we have to ensure that we enforce those regulations on these government agencies.


L-R; Groom’s Parebt, Mr. Poju and Abimbola Oladinni; Bride, Oluwafunke; former Deputy Governor of Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore; Groom, Seun; Bride’s parent, Mr. Ola and. Ilemobola Ogundiran, during the wedding ceremony of Mr. & Mrs. Seun Oluwafunke Oladinni in Lagos...recently


L-R: Baale of Jeje, Baale Ayinde Jejelaiye; Past Council Chairperson, Stella Agbogun; Baale of Makoko, Yaba LCDA, Chief Raymond Adekunle Olaiya; Chief Host, Centennial District Governor, 404b-2 Nigeria, Lion Taiwo Adewunmi and Community Chairperson, relieving the hungry, Lion Mercy-Aje Omosun, during the worldwide week of service to fight hunger, Lion District 404B-2 Nigeria in Lagos ...recently KOLAWOLE ALLI

L-R; Bride's parents, Engr. & Mrs. Charles Okoro; Sponsor, Mrs Mayaki; Couple, Paul Okoye and his wife, Steph; Groom parents, Sir and Lady Ray Okoye and Sponsor, Chief Steve Mayaki during Paul and Steph's wedding ceremony at the Catholic Church of Divine Mercy, Lekki, Lagos....recently

Former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi paying homage to Igwe Ralph Ekpe of Enugu-Ukwu ,during his Ofala celebration in Enugu-Ukwu...recently

L-R; First runners up, Precious Babs Olorunkemi, Winner, Akpobaro Ejiroghene (seated centre) was crowned the new Queen Esther, and the 2nd runners up. Torimiro Kemi, at the Queen Esther Bible costume pageant competition organized by Rev Chris Okotie of Household of God Church Lagos...recently

L-R: Bishop of Anglican diocese of Udi, Bishop Chijioke Anioke his wife, Comfort; parents of the groom, Prof. Agu Gab Agu and wife, Edna; couple, Mr & Mrs. Ernest Agu; mother of the bride, Mrs. Mary Nnaji and Rev. Sustenance Eze, during the wedding ceremony of Ernest and Oluchi, in Enugu State.......recently

R-L; Mr. Emmanoel Olurotimii Ogunkola, Sijuade Ogunlola and Adesoji Ogunkola at the wake-keep night for their late mother, Mrs Mary Olayinka Ogunkola in lbadan...recently



Tambuwal: Sokoto’s Action Governor Clocks 51

Tambuwal...A patriotic leader

On January 10, 2017, Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, celebrated his 51st birthday. Peter Uzoho examines the achievements of this action governor Indeed, there is much to celebrate as Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, on January 10, 2017, marked his 51st birthday. Whether birthday party was organised on this great day or not, it would certainly not stop encomiums from pouring on him as a great achiever. In less than two years of his ascendance to the most exalted political position in the state, Tambuwal, through his purposeful and responsive leadership, has transformed the Caliphate to a cynosure of all eyes. Since May 29, 2015, when he came on board as the executive governor of the state, he has vigorously pursued the business of governance with all his God-given endowment. Tambuwal who has his eyes fixed on the administration’s set out targets, has accelerated the pace of development in the hitherto underdeveloped state. Within a short period of time, he has made enormous impact and has changed the face of the state. In the civil service sector, he has provided a home renovation loan to 1,000 civil servants in the state, and has laid the foundation for Workers’ Estate. Tambuwal has also settled the payment of gratuities for 1,902 retirees. The governor has recruited over 500 unemployed citizens into the state civil service with different qualifications. In his radical approach towards giving compulsory education to children in the state, he has launched the policy of criminalising parent’s refusal to send children to school; has recruited 500 teachers to tackle the shortfall in personnel in public secondary schools in the state. Tambuwal has also ordered immediate payment of counterpart funding for training of primary school teachers whose services will be employed after the completion of the training. As an ardent believer in the oneness of the country, he prohibited the discrepancy in the payment of school fees between indigenes and non-indigenes in all public schools in Sokoto. The governor equally signed an MOU with the Usman Dan Fodio University for the training of nurses and midwives with the intent to deploy them to all parts of

the state. He offered automatic employment for all Sokoto indigenes who study health related courses in schools. He has facilitated the increment in allowances of itinerant health workers in the state; flagged off the distribution of free life-saving drugs to pregnant women and nursing mothers who gave birth in public hospitals and private healthcare centres under government supervision in the rural areas. To help industrialise the state, the governor has concluded plans to set up a fertiliser plant in the state, with a capacity of producing 100,000 tons of fertiliser and creating 5,000 job opportunities to the state indigenes. Born on January 10, 1966 in Tambuwal Village in Sokoto State to Waziri Tambuwal, he attended Tambuwal Primary School, Tambuwal, Sokoto State, where he obtained his First School Leaving Certificate in 1979; and Government Teachers’ College, Dogon-Daji, where he obtained the Teachers Grade 11 Certificate in 1984. He then proceeded to Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, where he studied Law, graduating with an LLB (Hons) degree in 1991. He completed his one-year compulsory legal studies at the Nigerian Law School; Lagos obtained his BL and was called to the Bar in 1992. Besides studying for his law degree, he has also attended several courses abroad, among which are the following: Telecoms Regulatory Master Class–Bath UK, 2004; Lawmaking for the Communications Sectors –BMIT, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2004; Regulating a Competitive Industry-UK, Brussels, 2005; Tulane University – International Legislative Drafting, 2005; Stanford Graduate School of Business – Influence and Negotiation, 2008 and KSG Harvard – Infrastructure in Market Economy, 200 Among his professional affiliations, Tambuwal has been a very active member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) over the years. He started off as Public Relations Officer of the NBA, Sokoto State chapter between 1996 and 1997. He was a member of the Constitution Review Committee of the NBA (1997–1998). He was the Sokoto branch Secretary of the

Association (1997–1998) and Assistant National Financial Secretary of the NBA (1998–2000) From 2000 and 2002, he was the 1st Assistant National Secretary of the association. He is also a member of the Body of Benchers, Nigeria; International Bar Association, and the American Bar Association among others. Tambuwal started learning the legislative ropes from 1999 to 2000, while working as Personal Assistant on Legislative Affairs to Senator Abdullahi Wali, the then Senate Leader. In 2003, he decided to run for a legislative seat as representative of the Kebbe/Tambuwal Federal Constituency. He was elected into the House of Representatives on the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). Few months to the 2007 general elections, he defected to the Democratic People’s Party (DPP), alongside the former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa. But when the DPP denied return tickets to former ANPP legislators, Tambuwal swung back to the ANPP, where he eventually succeeded in picking up a ticket for the election. But then again, when the ANPP governorship candidate for Sokoto State in the 2007 election, Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko dumped the party for the PDP, Tambuwal also followed suit. While in the House, he held several offices. In 2005, he was the Minority Leader of the House until he defected to the PDP. Upon his re-election to the House in 2007, he was also elected the Deputy Chief Whip. He was elected as Speaker between June 2011 and June 2015. At various times, he has been a member of several committees including the House Committees on Rules and Business, Communications, Judiciary, Inter-Parliamentary and Water Resources. He was also a member of the House Ad hoc Committee on Constitution Review. He was chairman of the Ad hoc committee that reviewed the report of the controversial power probe committee headed by Ndudi Elumelu; Chairman, House Sub-Committee on the Bill for an Act to Amend the Land Use Act, and acting chairman, House Committee on Power.

He was leader of the Nigerian delegation to African, Caribbean, Pacific and European Union Parliamentary Assembly (ACP-EU) and served as Vice-Chairman, Economic Committee ACP-EU, held in Prague, Czech Republic in April 2009. On 28 October 2014, Tambuwal formally defected from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party to the opposition All Progressive Congress. In April 11, 2015, Tambuwal contested and won the governorship election of Sokoto State. He was inaugurated on 29 May 2015. Refreshingly, he set out to differ by coming up with genuine, insightful and visionary ideas to turn around, not only the day to day course of life, but initiatives that would also alter the face of the society. To celebrate this rare leader, people from within and outside the state have been sending their congratulatory messages to him not as charity but as a reward of his patriotic service to the state and nation. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, in a congratulatory message signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Adamu Hassan, described Tambuwal as a patriotic and courageous leader, saying “over the years, you have exhibited uncommon dexterity and high sense of patriotism in the discharge of your duties while serving at different leadership levels in the National Assembly, the NBA and now in your beloved state of Sokoto. “As your successor and former colleague, I have noted with admiration the exceptional records of achievements and indelible footprints you have left behind as a member, minority leader, Deputy Chief Whip and Speaker. “I salute your indomitable courage, unequivocal commitment and invaluable contributions to the independence and stability of the legislature. “You are a source of inspiration and a shining example for all of us and indeed the younger generation. ”I salute your uncommon courage and unequivocal commitment and contributions to the independence and stability of the legislature,” he said.





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The Obazee Code


ur prayers are with Obazee. That is the best place to start this conversation with Nigerians today. Yes, he did not lose mother, father, wife or a child during this contentious week that politics mixed with religion in Nigeria, but he lost a livelihood. So it is natural to extend condolences. Thirteen years ago, the world woke up to a controversy created by a code. With film and a book, Dan Brown, the author of The Da Vinci Code nearly rocked the foundation of faith of Christians everywhere. Classic controversy. This January, the ex- Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC) chief, whose adroit tactics failed in the face of religion, Jim Obazee, implemented his own code that pitted spiritual authority against political authority in Nigeria. Epic controversy. Believe me: everything that has code is suspect, and as usual comes with controversy. Think of Code of Conduct Bureau, dress code, and The Dan Vinci Code I wouldn’t recommend Obazee’s tactics to anyone serving in a government, where politics is mixed with religion, but I will recommend his gut and courage. In case you’re wondering: Obazee touched the most sensitive part of Nigeria as a country with the implementation of the code and the responses showed the sentiment we have to religion as a nation. I have always said it that general overseers and Islamic leaders have cult-following that continues to make them a deity of sort. You can find the details in the churches and Islamic societies like Ahmadiya, Ansarudeen, NASFAT and in the caliphates. Symptomatically, most of the comments I have seen on The Obazee Code make it look like the code is an issue only with the Redeemed Christian Church of God or just the Christian


faith or that Obazee is another anti-Christ. Really, Obazee as the harbinger of the code made it easy for himself to be targeted in the aftermath of the controversy that eventually consumed him and his job. I felt pity for him. In November 2012, Obazee had called out the RCCG leadership in Nigeria on tax and tenure. At the annual conference of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN), Obazee delicately said: “We want to release our Statement of Accounting Standards (SAS) 32 because we want churches and charities to begin to present accounts. They just file returns to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and so long as they pay the N1000, they are home and dry. But we are saying that they must report their financial transactions in proper format. “Also, once charity organisations engage in non-charity activities, they would have to submit those goods for taxable purposes. A country is not run by oil, but by tax. Go to the internet and you see all the branches of the Redeemed Christian Church in United Kingdom, you will see their accounts and over there, they fully

disclose the amount collected as a church. But in our own, people are asking me: “Jim, do you want God to render account.” That speech may be why Obazee, whom I met a few years ago as a minister in one of the RCCG parishes, precisely, the Victory Center, on Iju Road, Agege, is now deemed to be working against the church. But why the unnecessary ruckus about this code, when the code clearly says, “in the case of religious or cultural organisations, nothing in this code is intended to change the spiritual leadership and responsibilities of Founders, General Overseers, Pastors, Imams and Muslim Clerics, Presidents, Bishops, Apostles, Prophets, e.t.c. which are distinguishable from purely corporate governance and management responsibilities and accountabilities of the entities.” The code even allow founders or leaders of faith to have lifetime spiritual role in section 9.4(c). I’m very open to religious organisations submitting their balance sheet annually, have no exemption from tax, if doing profit-making business in addition to charity, and a leader not holding more than one governance position of general overseer or Imam, because accountability is the very foundation of Christianity and Islam. Yes, before The Obazee Code, accountability and transparency codes have been written in the bible and to be a Christian you must submit to this will of God. So I’m unenthusiastic about a church or mosque without structure, where general overseer is the treasurer and the secretary. On the president side, people have questioned the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari in terminating the appointment of Obazee, but if you calculate the cost for Buhari, it will be better to do away with Obazee than entering the inferno of religion that may cost him/his party the 2019 election.

But the persons Buhari should sack are still in his government running anti-corruption agency and having access to classified information as secretary to the government. They did more damage to his government than The Obazee Code. All things being equal, I’m not very sure how Obazee would have succeeded in a government populated by religious leaders, including his own minister at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, the counsel of whom he ignored. The Obazee Code cannot be said to be perfect really, because going after the civil society groups is something Nigerians must be vigilant about. To be sure, the story of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is a good signal to how quick government interference of any form can destroy anything. Now, there are rumours from the usual suspects that Buhari wants to Islamise Nigeria and that is why he pushed Obazee out and brought in a “Muslim” to head FRC. Please perish the thought. The new man at the FRC, Adedotun Sulaiman, should not be categorised based on his name. The only thing I have found is that he’s a thoroughbred professional who mentored Enelamah himself and the duo have actually walked the earth hand-in-hand for at least two decades. In a testimony while sharing his upward trajectory in his career with cdnet, Enelamah paid tribute to three people. The new helmsman at FRC is one of them. “I got the basic training and foundation necessary for a successful business career from Dick Kramer and Arthur Andersen. Dotun Sulaiman also played an important role in my career development. In particular, he counseled me to qualify as a Chartered Accountant, and this provided a very valuable foundation for my business career.” For now, it’s goodbye to Jim Obazee and




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Lessons from Kerry's Parting Lines

verything that has a beginning has an end, even if it is a political assignment or public service. Of course many will argue that there are peculiar cases in Africa where political leaders try to hold on to power ‘forever’ or till they are kicked out via violent, and often fatal, public protests. That said, the honourable manner in which the former President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria handed power over after his electoral loss, and, recently in Ghana, the graciousness of the defeated incumbent President John Mahamain accepting the decision of the people of Ghana should inspire change in the attitude of other African leaders who love to cling to power perpetually. Not even the ‘bad egg’ case of the defeated President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia who has refused to relinquish power to Adama Barrow, the winner of the last presidential election in Gambia, should alter the trailblazing examples cited in Nigeria and Ghana towards improving democratic processes in Africa. And as America undergoes a period of political transition, there are valuable lessons we can learn as we seek to better our lots on this continent.This piece draws particularly from the out-going Secretary of State of the U.S., John Kerry’s memo. Having served as the U.S.’ topmost diplomat since 2013 during which he conducted highly laborious and delicate diplomatic negotiations around the world with considerable records of worthy accomplishments, Kerry will be bowing


from the coveted position as the tenure of his principal, President Obama, ends on 20th of January 2017. But the renowned diplomat is not leaving without sharing some powerful nuggets which include home-truths essential not only for the future of America but also that of the rest of the world. In some lines from his exit memo to his boss, President Obama, and in effect to the American people, a close observer would easily deduce that Kerry was somewhat also talking on the reality that a government like the one currently in Nigeria needs to rise to the challenge before it instead of living in denial, and trading blames. “American greatness is a fact but not an entitlement. It cannot be taken for granted. It must be demonstrated and earned by every generation. It demands the best from us, and

the best within us. “The world will be watching to see whether we – the American people – remain up to that challenge. “There is not a scintilla of doubt in my mind that the answer is yes, but we will have to work at it, together, and make the investments that leaders have a responsibility to make,” he said. Just imagine America that has shown, and continue to demonstrate greatness in virtually all areas of human development is still conducting serious self-assessment and not resting on its oars. Are you not wondering what the matter is with the self-acclaimed “Giant of Africa”, Nigeria, whose gaits are rarely felt on the continent in terms of sound development? The bottomline is that Nigeria revels more on superficiality than reality. And this is where Kerry’s admonition becomes even more imperative for Nigeria, and other countries whose efforts on governance and socio-economic necessities cannot be seen to be enduring. As such the government of Nigeria must take a detour from its fixation on worthless trademarks. Isn’t it a shame to keep mouthing the largest economy in Africa while most of our consumables are products of different foreign countries? Expectedly, the human development indexes from the continent’s biggest remains a big embarrassment to the outside world. And our standing on the ease of doing business ratio remains nothing to write home about. Similarly, the state of our infrastructure remains as appalling as ever with little or no effort towards aggressive rejuvenation of the condition.

Seriously, a nation that is deeply concerned about greatness should understand that the stability of its aviation infrastructure is critical to government’s earnings and effective trade and investment transactions in the country. Therefore the shabby manner of handling the decision on the closure of a major international travel route, like the Abuja airport in Nigeria, is just an example of how deplorable governance is within that sector of the economy. Thus, the international airlines that have been reported to have frowned at the temporary alternative route are very well within their senses. They know that such improvement is a continuous action where they come from and such is never taken for granted as it seems to be a culture of negligence in Nigeria. And also, they are aware of the dire security challenge in the country especially within the part of Nigeria that has been flagged as flash points of violence by most foreign countries. Truthfully, Nigeria has got so much to do to attain greater heights, and to reiterate Kerry’s words “It demands the best from us, and the best within us”. And this greatness cannot be achieved while we continue to shy away from critical responsibility of the state, which tends to prolong the evil days. As, for instance, there is nothing ingenious in the resolution of the country’s oil corporation to seek alternative sources of crude oil supply for its refinery in the North because pipelines that supply it crude from the Niger Delta region are often destroyed by the spate of militancy in the region.





Heritage Bank and Agriculture Financing Nonso Awih-Williams writes that the recent provision of a N2 billion loan facility by Heritage Bank, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme, to Triton Aqua Africa Limited for a fishery production chain, will boost the federal government’s agriculture promotion policy The cheering news of the slight rise in the price of crude oil in the international market and the seemingly relative calm in the Niger Delta (as reflected in the reduction in the breaching of pipelines and other oil production or lifting facilities in the zone), will ultimately translate to more foreign currency in the coffers of the Federal Government, especially given that the 2017 budget of the federation is largely predicated on earnings from oil – pegged at projected production and export levels of 2.2 million barrels per day. Nevertheless, it is doubtful if the country, at least in the short term, can earn enough foreign exchange, particularly the United States Dollars, to meet the between $3 billion and $5 billion needed for the sustenance of projected expenses on the importation of food items in 2017. Even then, experts agree that even if the requisite volume of foreign exchange ever becomes available, the Muhammadu Buhari administration would be cautious given the dangers the continuous reliance on imported food items pose to its efforts to create jobs as well as develop and diversify the Nigerian economy. Indeed, the essence of the administration’s Agriculture Promotion Policy (APP), launched some months ago is to encourage massive local investments in the critical agricultural sector with the aim of achieving key goals of food security; import substitution; job creation; and economic diversification. As captured by Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture, during the policy’s launch, the government expects the private sector to lead in the implementation of APP through promotion of agricultural investment and financing programmes or initiatives. The recent provision of a N2 billion loan facility by Heritage Bank in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme, to Triton Aqua Africa Limited (TAAL), for setting up of fishery production chain, has been widely acclaimed as a worthy example of what the government is aiming at. Though it is estimated that Nigerians consume about 2.7million metric tonnes of fish annually, only 800,000 metric tonnes of that amount is produced locally. As such, just like several other food products, the country has had to rely on importation to augment the shortages with an estimated cost implication of about $700m annually in terms of foreign exchange. The partnership between Heritage Bank and TAAL, also known as Triton, will help reverse this trend. Specifically, the company is expected to use the loan facility to expand its aquaculture businesses with the setting up of nursery/hatchery for the production of fingerlings and brood stock, and earthen ponds for catfish and tilapia in Lagos, Oyo and Osun States. With the support of Heritage Bank and the CBN, the firm of Triton Aqua Africa Limited is executing a strategy of backward integration of increasing local production to reduce importation of fish. The company will also help small-scale farms increase their fish production by making fingerlings easily available to them. In the short term, the loan support is expected to help Triton double its current production capacity of 25,000 metric tonnes with a projection that the company will scale up its production to 100,000 metric tonnes in five years. The partnership between Heritage Bank and Triton Farms would help boost local production, conserve scarce foreign exchange, enhance food security, and

Fish bond

ultimately result in the creation of hundreds of new jobs, thus fitting snuggly into the Buhari administration’s APP agenda. Industry experts insist that the long-term tenure of the facility from Heritage Bank is a vivid demonstration of the fact that Nigeria’s financial institutions are positively responding to the complaints or fears of investors and farmers about the peculiarity of funding the agricultural sector. The complaint over the year was that while agricultural projects have long-term gestation periods, the funding provided by the banks was always of short-term duration. This mismatch in expectation between the lenders and the loan beneficiaries had over the years proved to be a major hindrance especially in the funding of big tickets projects in the agricultural sector of the economy. Farmers and potential investors in the agriculture sector had consequently always accused the banks of preference for funding only projects with quick turnaround but without much value to the country in terms of job creation and contribution to the country’s development. However, living up to its philosophy of Create, Transfer And Preserve Wealth, Heritage Bank has taken agriculture as one of the prime sectors, which can be used to empower individuals and communities in terms of creating wealth from the soil and through the entire value – chain using value addition and industrialization. Therefore, the bank, in spite of its relatively young age, has been supporting various agricultural ventures across the country. Key among such initiatives is Heritage Bank’s multi-billion Naira partnership with the Oyo State government. Under the initiative, the bank is supporting the Oyo State Agricultural Initiative, OYSAI, a programme designed to revive agriculture, boost agro-allied businesses and massive empowerment programme for both youth and women across the state

through the creation of thousands of jobs in the sector. This huge, albeit laudable, project that is spread across 3,000 hectares of land in 28 of the 33 Local Government Areas of Oyo State, is in three stages: food crop cultivation, cash crop/horticulture and food processing. Heritage bank is supporting agro investors involved in this initiative with funds and advisory services and indications are that the programme has already led to more than 20 per cent increase in food production in the State. Heritage Bank is also supporting thousands of small holders’ farmers in Kaduna and Zamfara States in rice and soybeans production under the Anchor Borrowers Programme. The management of Heritage Bank believes that such funding supports in the critical agricultural sector are necessary if the objectives of the Buhari’s administration to diversify the nation’s economy using, particularly the agricultural sector, are to be attained. The administration targets a GDP growth of six per cent – 12 per cent, allowing agricultural household income to double in 6 – 12 years. Undeniably, most of the ventures in the sector fall within the Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSME) sectors of the economy, which Heritage Bank in close collaboration with CBN has been championing. The bank’s initiatives in the agriculture sector can therefore be seen as extension of the strong support it has provided to MSMEs with specific targets on key sectors pivotal for national economic growth like ICT, creative industry and of course, agriculture. It was in recognition of the Bank’s track record on this score that apparently influenced its selection by the CBN as its pilot partner for the execution of the N3billion Youth Innovative Entrepreneurship Development Programme,(YIEDP). The programme is aimed at creating sustainable wealth and employment in the country with focus

on dependable job creating sectors such as agricultural value chain (fish farming, poultry, snail farming), cottage industry, mining and solid minerals, creative industry (tourism, arts and crafts), and Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Also, the bank in partnership with the Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL) empowered 100 aspiring start-up entrepreneurs under the Young Entrepreneurship Business Training Programme (YEBTP), a six-month intensive course involving grooming, mentoring and financing. In addition, Heritage Bank Limited has also been in partnership with the Nigerian Youth Professional Forum (NYPF) to support entrepreneurship and education in the country with N500 million Young Entrepreneurs and Students (YES) grant. The bank’s focus on empowerment of the youth population stem from its belief that the nation’s youth population would ultimately produce future leaders that would help to positively reshape and reposition Nigeria, hence the imperative that they be properly groomed and provided with enabling opportunities and platforms to actualize their potentials. With its assortments of innovative support for the growth of the productive sector of the economy, Heritage Bank is not only actualising its vision of partnering with individuals, organisations and governments to create, preserve and transfer wealth across generations, but is also playing a crucial role in helping to achieve the government’s ambition of diversifying the economy. Clearly, Heritage Bank is showing the way as financial institutions in the country are becoming resolute about financing the critical agricultural sector and by extension, aiding efforts to diversify the nation’s economy. ..Dr. Awih-Williams, an agriceconomist, wrote from Abuja



CITYSTRINGS Stemming the Hawking Menace

Acting Features Editor Charles Ajunwa Email

Moved by the plight of young girls and boys who are forced into hawking by their parents and guardians, an NGO, the Obi Ikenchukwu Foundation has picked up the challenge to address this menace that exposes teenagers to abuses, reports Ugo Aliogo

Founder, Obi Ikenchukwu Foundation, Princess Genevieve Ikenchukwu, flanked by students during the 2016 OIF seminar/cocktail party in Lagos


n March 12, 2015, Sarah Ibikunle was killed by a stray bullet in the LekkiPhase 1 arm robbery attack. She died while hawking fish, an activity which she did daily after school hours to raise money to support her aunty. Her death has left a permanent scar in the heart of her family. On the flipside, it has cut short the dreams of the 15-year-old teenage girl to become a lawyer. Many teenage hawkers have lost their lives through incidents that may be akin to Ibikunle’s story or even more serious situations. For many of these hawkers, the business is not fun, judging from the horrors and dangers they go through in order to eke out a living daily. When the founder of the Obi Ikenchukwu Foundation (OIF), Princess Genevieve Ikenchukwu told this story at the 2016 OIF seminar/cocktail party, the audience were moved with pity for the deceased girl and the bereaved family, but that was not the intention OIF was focused at achieving with the story. The drive of OIF was to bring the public and private sectors under one umbrella with a strong commitment to curb hawking among children of school ages. Some do not have access to decent housing, medicare, clothing and balanced diet, due to their meagre incomes. They start each day

thinking of how to put a meal on their table and to get a place to lay their heads. Most hawkers are breadwinners in their families, therefore the family survival depends on the daily income they realise. Most female hawkers in their teens are sexually exploited in exchange for money, in the process they lose their virginity. Ikenchukwu commended government efforts, but noted that there is need for government to step up its efforts, adding that it is necessary that parents are educated

The drive of OIF was to bring the public and private sectors under one umbrella with a strong commitment to curb hawking among children of school ages. Some do not have access to decent housing, medicare, clothing and balanced diet, due to their meagre incomes

on the dangers their children are faced with regarding the danger of hawking. “Most parents who put their children on the street to hawk are not aware of the dangers it poses to the safety of the child. Poverty also plays a major role as well. When government should start to address certain issues in the society, which will prevent poor families from sending their children to hawk,” she noted. She explained that when the needed support has been provided to parents and they are still engaging their wards in street hawking, then government can prosecute those involved, stressing that as a foundation, they are addressing the issue through advocacy on behalf of the children involved. The OIF founder added that: “We speak not just to government, but also corporate organisations and individuals who can assist them and I think the government too because the work falls back to the government. I also think it is a huge responsibility on them, so as a foundation we have taken up the task upon ourselves to find out ways as to how these children can be helped and educate them by picking them up from the street and bringing them to the classroom. “We are not getting any support from government, but unfortunately we are collaborating with them, though they are

not assisting us as much as we want but we are still hoping that when they see the usefulness of this in the future they will render us their support in addressing it. “The OIF carries on the legacy of the late Obi Ikenchukwu by being a voice for the orphanages and vulnerable females, especially those under-age abused girls. We do this through advocacy, empowerment initiatives, annual seminars and workshops. This year’s (2016) theme on child hawking is of serious concern to our nation. “It is my intention to work with the various state government agencies in order to curb and manage this menace to the barest minimum. To this end, the foundation has come with another campaign slogan called ‘Off the Street Into the Classroom,’ the idea is to take these kids off the street and educate them.” In her remarks, the Lagos State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Lola Akande, said hawking should not be viewed as a means of livelihood because of the numerous dangers the hawkers are subjected to which includes rape, abduction, accidents and even death. She lamented that the economic situation in the country has caused some parents to send their wards on the streets to hawk in order to source additional revenue for the family, stating that some parents will




Students entertaining guests during the 2016 OIF seminarcocktail party in Lagos

instruct their children not to go to school in order to hawk, while they sit back at home doing nothing, thus converting the children to breadwinners of their family. “The children are on the streets hawking for many reasons some of these children are the breadwinners of the families because of the difficult situation of their families, while some parents could be suffering from debilitating ailments such as HIV/AIDS, therefore they cannot go out to do things for themselves so these children are forced to take up the responsibility of hawking on the street in order to eke out a living,” she noted. Akande who was represented by one of the Directors, Mrs. Alaba Fadairo, noted that the state government on realising this challenge, came up with a lot of strategies part of which were that within the hours of 8am-2p.m all children of school ages must be in school, adding that the state also provided free education for children living in the state irrespective of the child’s ethnicity, all that was required was the child was resident in the state. She added: “We have put mechanism in place to ensure that children found on the street will be taken to appropriate government agency, these agencies include the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation. “There are some television programmes going on in Lagos State to enlighten parents and guardians on the need for their children to be off the street because children are exposed to danger on daily basis. The government also has the responsibility of empowering the parents that cannot afford to take good care of their children, the government ensures that parents are empowered through skills acquisition initiatives so they are trained to earn a living rather than send their children to hawk. “The government also provides skills acquisition centres where children who are not academically fit can learn a vocation and after the programmes government provides appropriate equipment to establish them. It has been observed that if these children are not well catered for; they will become misfits in the society. There will be penalty for parents sending their children to hawk when they are supposed to be in school; undertakings will be signed by such parents before their children will be given back to them. “It is not restricted to children but also adult who hawk, they will be employed, there is the arrangement to employ about 600,000 people in the state. Currently about 1000 people have been employed into the Lagos State Traffic Maintenance Agency (LASTMA) profession and about 50,000 will be employed as direct or indirect labour. Government has zero tolerance to all forms of hawking be it children or adult, there are provisions put in place for children caught hawking to be taken away from the street and given education.” On July 4, 2016, the Lagos State govern-

A cross section of participants during the 2016 OIF seminarcocktail party in Lagos

Most parents who put their children on the street to hawk are not aware of the dangers it poses to the safety of the child. Poverty also plays a major role as well. When government should start to address certain issues in the society, which will prevent poor families from sending their children to hawk

Founder, Obi Ikenchukwu Foundation, Princess Genevieve Ikenchukwu delivering her speech

ment took a bold step to ban hawking in the state and to enforce the Lagos State Street Trading and Illegal Market Prohibition Law 2003 which restricts street trading and hawking in the metropolis. The law affects the sellers and buyers. Therefore offenders either pay an option of 90,000 naira or spend six months in prison. The law is operational in the state and a total of 49 persons have been prosecuted due to this law. Sections seven and eight gave jurisdiction and power to the Special

Court to order the seizure and public auction of items impounded from street traders. Section 10 of the law, also prescribes a N5000 fine or three months imprisonment upon conviction. Ending the practice of hawking may not be the right step in the appropriate direction; the state governments have failed to address the conditions which compel people to take to hawking as a source of survival. Therefore, if the needed infrastructures are not tackled, the practice will continue despite the stiff

penalty for offenders. If the state abdicates it duties, lawlessness takes over the land. According to the United Nation Children Education Fund (UNICEF) exploiting the labour of a child means employing a person below the age of 15 years and paying him/ her less than the minimum standard wage. Trafficked children are made to work as hawkers and petty traders, beggars, car washers, bus conductors, farm hands or cattle rearers. One of the basic principles of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child is that every child must be protected against all forms of exploitation, indecent or degrading treatment, including child labour, abduction and sale.




Analysts Predict Slight Drop in December 2016 Inflation Obinna Chima Analysts at FSDH Merchant Bank Limited have predicted that the December 2016 inflation rate (year-on-year) would drop marginally to 18.44 per cent from the 18.48 per cent recorded in the month of November 2016. They held the view that the expected decrease in the inflation rate would be driven by lower than anticipated price increases within the food and non-alcoholic beverages division, as well as the base effect. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) is expected to release the inflation rate for the month of December 2016 on January 16. The monthly Food Price Index (FPI) released yesterday by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) showed that the FPI remained relatively the same in December. The index was marginally down by 0.07 per cent, compared with its revised November figure. Year-on-year, it grew by 12.02 per cent. According to the FAO, the performance of the Index was largely driven by a sharp fall in sugar prices. “Our analysis indicates that the value of the naira remained stable at the inter-bank market while it depreciated at the parallel market by 2.65 per cent to close at $/N491 from $/N478 at the end of November. The depreciation in the parallel market led to an increase in the prices of imported consumer goods in Nigeria between the

two months under review. “The prices of food items that FSDH Research monitored in December 2016 moved in varying directions. The prices of vegetable oil, palm oil, meat, fish, sweet potatoes, onions and Irish potatoes were up by 25 per cent, 21 per cent, 14.2 per cent, 12.5 per cent, 7.1 per cent, 4.2 per cent and 4.17 per cent respectively. The prices of tomatoes and beans were down by 5 per cent and 4.49 per cent respectively. The prices of rice, garri, and yam remained unchanged. “Our model indicates that the price movements in the consumer goods and services in December 2016 would increase the Composite Consumer Price Index (CCPI) to 213.35 points, representing a month-on-month increase of 0.96 per cent . We estimate that the increase in the CCPI in December will produce an inflation rate of 18.44 per cent,” they added in a report. Also, the Financial Derivatives Company Limited forecast a decline in headline inflation rate to 18.3 per cent, the first change in the YoY direction in 14 months. “ If our forecast is correct, this will be a 0.18 per cent decline from November’s inflation rate. This is the first time that headline and month-on month inflation will switch trajectories. This can be attributed to waning base year effects. However, we do not expect this development in the monthly rate to be a permanent one.

“The change in direction is what the fiscalists and doves in the monetary policy committee need to support arguments for an accommodative monetary policy stance to complement the fiscal stimulus,” the research and investment firm stated. However, in their own estimate, the Economic Intelligence Group of Access Bank Plc forecasts inflation rate (yearon-year) in December to remain at 18.5 per cent, the same as in November. The Access Bank analysts explained: “Our methodology adopts an autoregressive analysis of past prices, while it recognizes all the assumptions used by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its computation of monthly composite consumer price index (CCPI). “The moderate easing of pressures on the parallel FX market in December following the central bank’s special intervention FX auctions in late November and early December contributed to the stability in seen in the price index in December. “Price movements for major commodity groups in the food basket remained unchanged, while the slight price increases in some commodities were offset by downward price adjustments in others. Based on an independent survey, vegetable oils, tomatoes, and noodles saw slight uptick in price, while the price of rice, plantain and potatoes trended downwards.

CBN to BDCs: We Won’t Devalue Naira The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has told Bureau de Change (BDC) operators it does not intend to devalue the naira and will support it at current levels, especially with a recent rise in oil prices, the head of their association said on Thursday. Reuters quoted the President of the Association of Bureau De Change of Nigeria (ABCON), Aminu Gwadabe, to have said the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele told the group in a meeting it was looking at ways to boost dollar liquidity on the official market to eliminate the spread to the parallel market.

The government has been pressing retail operators to narrow what it says is a damaging gulf between the naira’s official rate - currently N305 to the dollar - and the parallel rate. On Tuesday the operators set their first ever reference exchange rate for the naira at 399 per dollar ahead of the central bank meeting. “With the recovery of oil prices, CBN (Central Bank of Nigeria) has no intention of devaluing the currency and intends to support the naira at the present level,” Gwadabe said, quoting the central bank governor. Central bank data showed

foreign exchange reserves rose 6.68 percent to $26.65 billion at Jan. 10 from a month before, the highest level since May, driven by a rise in crude prices. The bank appealed to operators to follow the rules in order to avoid sanctions and curb speculation on the currency. Meanwhile, the naira dropped to N495 to the dollar on the parallel market yesterday, weaker than the N492 to the dollar it closed the previous day. The development was attributed to weaker forex supply in the market, as demand continued to rise.

Fidelity Bank Rewards Loyal Customers with N9m in Promo Six customers of Fidelity Bank Plc yesterday won a total of N9 million in the fourth draw of the bank’s ongoing ‘Get Alert in Million’ promo. While four customers won N1 million each, one customer won N2 million and another N3 million. These included Baba Ali Yusuf, a customer of the bank’s Maiduguri branch, who won N1 million; Samuel Benjamin Idoroh in Abuja, who also won N1 million; and Bolanle Gbadebo of Ado-Ekiti. Others were Attah Maria Edugwu, in Lagos who won N1 million; Frank Chukwudi Sebastine in Port Harcourt who won N2 million and Ifeanyi Victor who won the star prize of N3 million. Speaking at the draw held at the bank’s head office in

Lagos, its Executive Director of Shared Services, Fidelity Bank, Mrs. Chijioke Ugochukwu, said the initiative was to improve the financial wellbeing of customers of the bank. “At the draw today, we would be giving out N9 million to six customers. In addition to this, there would be 12 consolation prices of refrigerators and generators, all to be won. It is noteworthy that at the end of this draw, we would have given out a total of N41 million in cash and 48 consolation prices. “However, much more importantly, we still have N64 million on the table, waiting for both account holders and prospective customers to win.” Prior to yesterday’s draw, the bank executive director

said three draws had been conducted since the promo started four months ago and so far, 55 winners had emerged, while a total of N32 million had been won and duly distributed to all the winners. “We want to make sure that more people who have interest in this promo are able to participate and get the benefit fully. To demonstrate our commitment to reward our customers, we have started rewarding customers in the second week of the year, with the fourth monthly draw. December last year was a month of bumber alerts in Fidelity Bank and in Nigeria as customers that emerged winners were rewarded,” Ugochukwu said.



MARCH 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 • Source - CBN

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 % ) • Monetary Policy Rate - 13%

OPEC DAILY BASKET PRICE AS AT, WEDNESDAY, 5 JAN 2017 The price of OPEC basket of thirteen crudes stood at $52.71 a barrel on Wednesday, compared with $53.13 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations.The OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Rabi Light (Gabon), 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



Nigeria’s top 50 stocks based on market fundamentals



% Change





Div. Yld

Price/ Book Value

01 Dangote Cement Plc










02 Nigerian Breweries Plc










03 Guaranty Trust Bank Plc































210,252,385,836.87 -44.58





07 Access Bank Plc










08 Lafarge Africa Plc










09 United Bank for Africa Plc










10 Ecobank Transnational Incorporated










11 Presco Plc










12 Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc










04 Nestle Nigeria Plc 05 Zenith Bank Plc 06 Seplat Petroleum Dev. Co. Ltd

13 Unilever Nigeria Plc










14 FBN Holdings Plc










15 Guinness Nig Plc










16 Total Nigeria Plc









































-0.05 -2,438.97






















23 Julius Berger Nig. Plc










24 Flour Mills Nig. Plc










25 Okomu Oil Palm Plc




























28 Fidelity Bank Plc










29 FCMB Group Plc










30 Diamond Bank Plc



















32 Sterling Bank Plc










33 Custodian And Allied Insurance Plc










34 National Salt Co. Nig. Plc










35 Wema Bank Plc



















37 Cadbury Nigeria 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 UACN Property Development Co. Limited










48 Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc










49 AIICO Insurance Plc










50 Fidson Healthcare Plc










17 Forte Oil Plc. 18 Mobil Oil Nig Plc 19 Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc 20 7-Up Bottling Comp. Plc 21 International Breweries Plc 22 Oando Plc

26 Transnational Corporation Of Nigeria Plc 27 U A C N Plc

31 Cap Plc

36 Glaxo Smithkline Consumer Nig. Plc





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


Table 1 Market Statistics Mkt Indicators NSE All Share Index NSE Market Cap (N'Trillion) Thisday BGL 50 Index Thisday BGL 50 Market Cap (N'Trillion)

Open 11-Jan-17

Close 12-Jan-17

Change %

26,385.80 9.08

26,330.39 9.06

-0.21 -0.21

109.62 8.54

109.42 8.52

-0.18 -0.18

Table 3 Top 5 Gainers Stock

Open Close Change 11-Jan-17 12-Jan-17 %

United Bank for Africa Plc Diamond Bank Plc Sterling Bank Plc Access Bank Plc Zenith Bank Plc

4.70 0.99 0.75 6.40 15.19

4.93 1.02 0.77 6.57 15.50

4.89 3.03 2.67 2.66 2.04

Table 4 Top 5 Losers Stock

Open Close Change 11-Jan-17 12-Jan-17 %

Forte Oil Plc. Fidson Healthcare Plc National Salt Co. Nig. Plc UACN Property Development Co. Limited PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc

81.29 1.21 8.25 3.00

73.99 1.11 7.63 2.85

-8.98 -8.26 -7.52 -5.00




Market reverses one day gain as Index sheds 0.21% Market pulse on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) today – Thursday, January 12th, 2017, ended on a negative note as market closed red. This was further highlighted by negative performance from the NSE Subsectors: Banking and Consumer Goods (Save Insurance and Oil & Gas). Trading activities decreased in volume as 179.43m shares worth of N1.49 billion in 2,928 deals exchanged hands today. This is a decrease from the 197.45m shares worth of N1.05 billion in 3,410 deals which exchanged hands on Wednesday. Topping in volume terms are: United Bank for Africa Plc, FBN Holdings Plc and Access Bank Plc, while Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Forte Oil Plc ended trading as the most active stocks in value terms. The All Share Index (NSEASI) closed negative with 0.21% (-55.45) decrease to close at 26,330.39 from 26,385.80 the previous trading day. Market Capitalization depreciated in tandem to N9.06 trillion from N9.08 trillion of prior trading day. Similarly, the Thisday BGL 50 Index followed suit with a decrease of 0.18% to close at 109.42 from 109.62 recorded at the end of the previous trading day, while its market capitalization stood at N8.52 trillion from N8.54 trillion of the previous trading day. A total number of 13 stocks gained on the bourse today while 23 stocks declined, leaving 63 stocks unchanged. United Bank for Africa Plc emerged as the day’s toast of investors as it topped the Thisday BGL 50 Index gainers’ list with a gain of 4.89% to close at N4.93 per share. It was followed by Diamond Bank Plc with a gain of 3.03% to close at N1.02 per share. Others on the gainers list include: Sterling Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc; while on the decliners’ list, Forte Oil Plc emerge with a loss of 8.98% to close at N73.99 per share. It was followed by Fidson Healthcare Plc with a loss of 8.26% to close at N1.11 per share. Others on the decliners list include: National Salt Co. Nig. Plc, UACN Property Development Co. Limited and PZ Cussons Nigeria 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 firm may have a conflict 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




Equities Market Will Recover this Year, Says NSE Chief Executive Officer Goddy Egene and Nosa Alekhuogie The Nigerian equities market is set experience a positive performance this year after recording three consecutive years of decline. The market ended 2016 with a decline of 6.17 per cent, which was an improvement on the 17.4 per cent recorded in 2015. However, speaking on the market outlook for 2017 in

Lagos yesterday, the Chief Exchange Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar Onyema said investors should expect a positive performance this year. According to him, the capital market is a subsector of the Nigerian economy and the World Bank has projected that the economy will recover from its recession in 2017 with a modest growth of 0.6 per cent.




Onyema, therefore said based on the positive forecast and the initiatives being in place by the NSE, investors should be optimism about recovery of the market in 2017. He said the Nigerian capital market will do a better job at promoting its unique value proposition to both global and domestic investors. We expect investors to continue to keep a close eye




Daily Summary as of 22/02/2016 Printed 22/02/2016 14:36:10.010


on the divergence between the interbank FX rate and other exchange rates in the country. Accordingly, a convergence of FX rates in the country and the performance of listed corporates will determine the level of market activity in the short term,” he said. Onyema disclosed that the NSE will take an adaptive approach to strategy execution in 2017, noting that in

6 6 12

30.00 34.00

12,629 11,640 24,269

374,530.15 421,345.20 795,875.35

19 19 31


1,078,511 1,078,511 1,102,780

1,358,964.30 1,358,964.30 2,154,839.65

5 68 13 86 86

0.77 1.13 20.47

33,500 6,740,423 65,995 6,839,918 6,839,918

25,070.00 7,635,453.96 1,344,425.15 9,004,949.11 9,004,949.11

13 13


31,970 31,970

1,409,214.78 1,409,214.78

5 5 18


28,901 28,901 60,871

154,716.48 154,716.48 1,563,931.26

6 24 7 98 135

2.85 118.85 20.00 99.00

190,900 53,000 15,200 429,541 688,641

528,079.00 6,201,924.95 293,757.00 42,728,789.84 49,752,550.79

9 9


166,476 166,476

28,285,937.95 28,285,937.95

54 38 6 12 1 29 140

5.61 19.00 1.37 6.86 6.65 1.27

2,120,306 314,421 40,000 119,863 433 3,285,739,119 3,288,334,142

11,610,520.13 5,953,792.96 55,716.00 842,442.48 2,736.56 4,074,348,894.07 4,092,814,102.20

11 54 65

17.86 700.00

18,825 98,360 117,185

329,518.50 68,567,962.00 68,897,480.50

11 11


99,050 99,050

420,455.00 420,455.00

13 21 34 394

21.90 28.00

36,887 133,117 170,004 3,289,575,498

820,034.75 3,737,067.92 4,557,102.67 4,244,727,629.11

82 51 21 25 200 41 16 147 11 15 67 676

4.10 1.49 15.60 1.21 16.70 1.07 1.76 2.95 5.30 0.63 0.98

3,962,506 2,163,396 278,470 790,900 4,847,312 1,969,858 1,204,932 8,586,418 39,752 501,617 5,920,564 30,265,725

16,210,255.82 3,314,106.88 4,136,459.40 958,864.34 80,963,793.44 2,115,552.11 2,087,767.85 25,302,954.71 205,645.40 316,018.71 5,813,502.17 141,424,920.83

14 8 2 3 7 10 1 1 46

0.80 0.90 0.50 0.50 2.06 0.76 0.50 0.50

200,107 276,500 5,004,000 1,000,000 351,540 327,285 37,708,135 10 44,867,577

160,838.67 251,350.00 2,502,000.00 500,000.00 720,728.80 245,325.31 18,854,067.50 5.00 23,234,315.28

1 1


4,760 4,760

4,950.40 4,950.40

31 7 105 7 20 170 893

2.46 4.00 0.85 14.15 1.31

1,149,464 27,041 31,257,120 38,035 708,255 33,179,915 108,317,977

2,830,722.84 104,002.06 26,613,309.20 537,985.34 931,556.31 31,017,575.75 195,681,762.26





the immediate future, the NSE will focus on achieving its goal of becoming a more agile and demutualised exchange and will fast track efforts towards developing innovative products such as exchange traded derivatives to provide investors with tools to better weather economic realities in 2017. “We intend to strengthen our thought leadership efforts with

policymakers to drive policies that will free up the system and promote the ease of doing business in Nigeria. We believe that incentive schemes for sectors of the economy that can support a pivot to export led economy will be beneficial, and systematic removal of impediments to doing business and therefore reduction of leakages will attract private sector investments,” Onyema said.


MAIN BOARD GLAXO SMITHKLINE CONSUMER NIG. PLC. MAY & BAKER NIGERIA PLC. NEIMETH INTERNATIONAL PHARMACEUTICALS PLC Pharmaceuticals Totals HEALTHCARE Totals ICT IT Services TRIPPLE GEE AND COMPANY PLC. IT Services Totals ICT Totals INDUSTRIAL GOODS Building Materials ASHAKA CEM PLC BERGER PAINTS PLC CAP PLC CEMENT CO. OF NORTH.NIG. PLC PORTLAND PAINTS & PRODUCTS NIGERIA PLC LAFARGE AFRICA PLC. Building Materials Totals Electronic and Electrical Products CUTIX PLC. Electronic and Electrical Products Totals Packaging/Containers BETA GLASS CO PLC. Packaging/Containers Totals INDUSTRIAL GOODS Totals OIL AND GAS Energy Equipment and Services JAPAUL OIL & MARITIME SERVICES PLC Energy Equipment and Services Totals Integrated Oil and Gas Services OANDO PLC Integrated Oil and Gas Services Totals Petroleum and Petroleum Products Distributors CONOIL PLC ETERNA PLC. FORTE OIL PLC. MOBIL OIL NIG PLC. TOTAL NIGERIA PLC. Petroleum and Petroleum Products Distributors Totals Exploration and Production SEPLAT PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY LTD Exploration and Production Totals OIL AND GAS Totals SERVICES Automobile/Auto Part Retailers R T BRISCOE PLC. Automobile/Auto Part Retailers Totals Courier/Freight/Delivery RED STAR EXPRESS PLC Courier/Freight/Delivery Totals Printing/Publishing LEARN AFRICA PLC Printing/Publishing Totals Transport-Related Services AIRLINE SERVICES AND LOGISTICS PLC NIGERIAN AVIATION HANDLING COMPANY PLC Transport-Related Services Totals Support and Logistics CAVERTON OFFSHORE SUPPORT GRP PLC Support and Logistics Totals SERVICES Totals EQTY Board Totals Daily Summary (Equities) Activity Summary on Board ASeM CONSUMER GOODS Food Products MCNICHOLS PLC Food Products Totals CONSUMER GOODS Totals ASeM Board Totals Daily Summary (Equities) Activity Summary on Board PREMIUM FINANCIAL SERVICES Banking ZENITH INTERNATIONAL BANK PLC Banking Totals Other Financial Institutions FBN HOLDINGS PLC Other Financial Institutions Totals FINANCIAL SERVICES Totals INDUSTRIAL GOODS Building Materials DANGOTE CEMENT PLC Building Materials Totals INDUSTRIAL GOODS Totals PREMIUM Board Totals Equity Activity Totals





32 4 6 69 69

25.33 0.94 0.69

551,998 16,020 597,000 1,779,083 1,779,083

13,903,164.18 15,299.40 412,110.00 15,902,796.63 15,902,796.63

1 1 1


500 500 500

805.00 805.00 805.00

16 9 4 6 10 31 76

24.00 9.30 35.78 8.62 3.36 80.50

110,727 40,229 26,700 142,300 299,900 14,373,223 14,993,079

2,707,053.97 362,501.29 992,680.00 1,227,076.00 966,480.00 1,157,057,077.16 1,163,312,868.42

6 6


134,500 134,500

204,240.00 204,240.00

5 5 87


24,529 24,529 15,152,108

1,165,135.50 1,165,135.50 1,164,682,243.92

2 2


24,262 24,262

12,131.00 12,131.00

90 90


3,827,573 3,827,573

13,288,632.05 13,288,632.05

21 7 8 21 7 64

18.34 1.84 342.00 150.00 145.00

81,125 100,300 20,300 16,295 13,699 231,719

1,505,034.50 182,832.00 6,595,470.00 2,396,080.60 1,959,692.96 12,639,110.06

33 33 189


389,934 389,934 4,473,488

124,037,602.56 124,037,602.56 149,977,475.67

1 1


941 941

470.50 470.50

5 5


32,870 32,870

127,756.40 127,756.40

13 13


624,500 624,500

538,430.00 538,430.00

1 22 23

2.29 4.00

4,588 251,094 255,682

10,001.84 1,001,583.80 1,011,585.64

1 1 43 1,811


10,000 10,000 923,993 3,428,226,216

16,000.00 16,000.00 1,694,242.54 5,785,390,675.15

2 2 2 2


270,464 270,464 270,464 270,464

327,261.44 327,261.44 327,261.44 327,261.44

306 306


13,929,679 13,929,679

159,605,439.23 159,605,439.23

278 278 584


10,438,552 10,438,552 24,368,231

39,515,087.18 39,515,087.18 199,120,526.41

35 35 35 619 2,432


38,770 38,770 38,770 24,407,001 3,452,903,681

5,304,666.00 5,304,666.00 5,304,666.00 204,425,192.41 5,990,143,129.00

2 2 2 2 2 10 10 10

2,330.00 2.33 6.02 11.09 18.07

3,000 20 20 20 15 3,075 3,075 3,075

6,986,000.00 46.70 120.20 221.80 270.65 6,986,659.35 6,986,659.35 6,986,659.35



FridAY, jAnuArY 13, 2017 • T H I S D AY


NSE Confirms Planned Listing of Medview, Jaiz International Bank The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) will list Medview Airline at the end of this month to be followed by the Jaiz International Bank Plc. The Chief Executive Officer of NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema stated this yesterday while reviewing the performance of the capital market for 2016 and outlook for 2017 in Lagos. The market recorded only one primary listing in 2016 when the shares of The Initiates Plc were admitted to the Alternative Securities

Market (AseM). But there are brighter prospects this year as Onyema yesterday confirmed the listing of both companies in the first quarter of this year. According to the NSE boss, while Medview will be listed at the end of January, Jaiz Bank will follow shortly. If eventually listed, Medview will be the third airline to list on the exchange ADC Airlines and Albarka Airlines, which are now defunct. Onyema said the

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

market will see a revival of supplementary listings, return of the new issuance market and some initial public offering (IPOs) since the equity market is a forward indicator of the economy. Meanwhile, he disclosed that the NSE will enhance its cross-border integration efforts via African Securities Exchange Association’s (ASEA) African Exchange Linkage Project (AELP) model and the West African Capital Market Integration (WACMI) program.

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 11-Jan-2017, unless otherwise stated.

“We will also continue our engagement efforts with the government to promote the listing of privatised state owned entities (SOEs), as well as engage with the private sector issuers for listings across all of our product categories. We anticipate that secondary market activity will be challenged initially as the impact of various policy measures work their way through the system. However, we expect to see a revival of supplementary listings, return

of the new issuance market, and potentially one IPO since the equity market is a forward indicator of the economy,” he said. According to him, from the NSE perspective, there are specific factors that will determine the pace of global economic activity in 2017. “These include political developments in the West under the emerging “new world order”, as populist sentiment towards nationalism and protectionist economic

policies take effect on global trade and immigration; pace of global fiscal and monetary policy implementation;) oil price averaging $55 per barrel as forecasted by the World Bank following the decision of OPEC to limit output and a subsequent improvement in the outlook for commodity exporters; and ) continued growth in Asia’s largest economies (i.e. China, India, Japan, etc.) and recovery of other emerging and developing economies.

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 129.48 Nigeria International Debt Fund 215.95 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

100.00 Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn 129.53 1.77% 216.03 1.03% Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn 0.70 -1.07% Offer Price

Yield / T-Rtn


17.25% Bid Price 12.57 291.72 22.50

Offer Price 12.95 300.52 23.18

Yield / T-Rtn 1.84% 1.58% 0.72%



16.78% Bid Price 106.18

Offer Price 106.93

Yield / T-Rtn 1.04%

1.00 1.00 16.46% 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 1,088.62 110.96 100.00 $103.83 $103.20

Offer Price 1,089.83 111.73 100.00 $104.15 $103.42

Yield / T-Rtn -0.16% -0.55% 15.83% -0.38% -0.36%




FIRST CITY ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1 462 2596 Fund Name Bid Price Legacy Equity Fund 0.94 Legacy Short Maturity (NGN) Fund 2.58 FSDH ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: 01-270 4884-5; 01-280 9740-1 Fund Name Bid Price Coral Growth Fund 2,187.95 Coral Income Fund 2,116.22 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 0.95 0.53% 2.58 0.40% Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn 2,212.49 -0.99% 2,116.22 0.57% Offer Price 1.00 1.70 1.00

Yield / T-Rtn 17.13% -0.07% 15.81%

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 0.33% Lotus Halal Fixed Income Fund 1,011.89 1,011.89 0.20% MERISTEM WEALTH MANAGEMENT LTD Web: ; Tel: +234 1-4488260 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Meristem Equity Market Fund 9.84 9.93 1.86% 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 13.03% 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 0.33% 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 1,839.76 1,850.06 0.47% Stanbic IBTC Bond Fund 153.58 153.58 -0.25% Stanbic IBTC Ethical Fund 0.77 0.78 0.65% Stanbic IBTC Guaranteed Investment Fund 188.03 188.03 0.61% Stanbic IBTC Iman Fund 132.32 134.09 1.94% Stanbic IBTC Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 17.43% Stanbic IBTC Nigerian Equity Fund 7,609.34 7,709.38 0.42% 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 9.83 10.00 2.04% Zenith Ethical Fund 11.16 11.27 2.28% Zenith Income Fund 16.77 16.77 1.51%


NAV Per Share

Yield / T-Rtn

11.41 124.03

1.01% 0.05%

Bid Price

Offer Price

Yield / T-Rtn

8.67 75.04

8.77 76.44

-1.25% -0.98%

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


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

2.71 6.88 11.69 15.42 125.52

2.75 6.96 11.79 15.62 127.52

-1.43% -2.12% -2.54% -3.30% -3.33%

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.





Trump Top Nominees Pompeo and Mattis Warn of Russia Threat

The Amazing Quran – 2

President-elect Donald Trump’s nominees for defence secretary and spy chief have been talking tough on Russia. General James Mattis, defence secretary nominee, warned NATO was under its biggest attack since World War Two, including from Moscow. Mike Pompeo, Mr Trump’s pick to lead the CIA, said Russia posed a threat in Europe and was “asserting itself aggressively” in Ukraine. The pair were among several cabinet choices facing confirmation hearings. Mr Mattis, a retired general and Mr Trump’s pick for Pentagon chief, said Russian President Vladimir Putin was trying to divide NATO

nations. “I think right now the most important thing is that we recognise the reality of what we deal with with Mr Putin and we recognise that he is trying to break the North Atlantic Alliance and that we take the steps, the integrated steps, diplomatic, economic, military and the Alliance steps, working with our allies to defend ourselves where we must,” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “I think it’s under the biggest attack since World War II, sir, and that’s from Russia, from terrorist groups and with what China is doing in the South China Sea.” If confirmed, Mr Mattis, nicknamed Mad Dog for his combative style, would be the first

career military officer to serve as secretary of defence in more than 50 years. But the committee will have to approve an exception to a rule which says former military staff must spend a minimum of seven years out of office before they can run the Pentagon. Mr Pompeo, Mr Trump’s choice for CIA director, faced questions over the presidentelect’s growing rift with the US intelligence community. He said he had “every confidence” in the US intelligence services. Their assessment that statedirected Russia hackers meddled in the US election was “sound”, he added.

Israeli Soldiers ‘Caught in Hamas Online Honey Trap’ Israel’s military says it has uncovered a scam by Hamas militants to spy on its soldiers by hacking their mobile phones after posing as women on social media. Members of the Palestinian group found the soldiers online, then tried to strike up a friendship using the fake identities, an officer told reporters.

CHANGE OF NAME I formerly known and addressed as MISS ADETORO OMOSOLA ADENIJI, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS ADETORO OMOSOLA SADIKU. All former documents remain valid. The general public should please take note. I formerly known and addressed as

MISS LATIFAT AGHARESE BELOOSAGIE, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS LATIFAT AGHARESE OKARA. All former

documents remain valid. The general public should please take note. I formerly known and addressed MISS OLAITAN MARY as SALAMI, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS OLAITAN MARY POPOOLA. All former documents remain valid. The general public should please take note. I formerly known and addressed as MISS AMINA YUSUF PETERS, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS AMINAT ANIEKAN ASUQUO. All former documents remain valid. The general public should please take note. I formerly known and addressed as JOY



now wish to be known and addressed as JOY AJEGBELEN ILENRE. All former documents remain valid. The general public should please take note.

I formerly known and addressed as MISS UCHE SANDRA KANIKWU, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS UCHE KANIKWU TUNIKA . All documents remain valid, Nursing midwifery counsil of Nigeria and the general public should please take note. I formerly known and addressed as MISS OLUWASHOLA ALABA AYANTUGA now wish to be known and addressed as MRS OLUWASHOLA ALABA SHITTU. All former documents remain valid. The general public should please take note.

Dozens of soldiers were persuaded to install an application that controlled their phone cameras and microphones. However, the officer said Hamas was not able to uncover any major secrets. Most of the soldiers were low-ranking, he added, and the scammers were interested

CHANGE OF NAME I formerly known and addressed as UGOH AGATHA, now wish to be known and addressed as ONUH AGATHA RITA. All former documents remain valid. The general public should please take note. I formerly known and addressed as IYAH MOSES AKPEMBENG, now wish to be known and addressed as IYAH MOSES. All former documents remain valid. The general public should please take note. I formerly known and addressed as GBADEBO ADETUTU WAZLIAT, now wish to be known and addressed as GBADEBO ADETUTU RACHEAL. All former documents remain valid. The general public should please take note. I formerly known and addressed as ALHAJI SULEMAN AHMED, now wish to be known and addressed as DR. IDOGHOR SAMUEL AKINTOLA. All former documents remain valid. The general public should please take note. I formerly known and addressed EMMANUEL ADUKE as OMOFADEKE, now wish to be known and addressed as OJOSIPE EMMANUEL ADUKE OMOFADEKE. All former documents remain valid. The general public should please take note.

I formerly known and addressed as MRS NWABUEZE JULIET AMAKA, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS NWABUEZE JULIET NDIDIAMAKA. All former documents remain valid. The general public should please take note.

in information about Israeli army manoeuvres, forces and weaponry around the Hamas-dominated Gaza Strip.


I affirm that I wish to include my middle name in my BVN registration thereby changing the registration name from VICTOR LAWSON to VICTOR IBIGONI LAWSON. All former documents remain valid. Relevant Authorities and the general public should please take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME

This is to notify the general public that my name was wrongly written as MRS FASHUYI BEATRICE instead of MRS FASHUYI BEATRICE KIKELOMO. Henceforth, my correct names remain MRS FASHUYI BEATRICE KIKELOMO. All documents remain valid, Union Bank and the general public should please take note.

Edited by: MJO Mustapha Email

Gary Miller/IslamiCity (continued from last week)

Scientific Approach to the Quran


truly scientific approach to the Quran is possible because the Quran offers something that is not offered by other religious scriptures, in particular, and other religions, in general. It is what scientists demand. Today there are many people who have ideas and theories about how the universe works. These people are all over the place, but the scientific community does not even bother to listen to them. This is because within the last century the scientific community has demanded a test of falsification. They say, “If you have theory, do not bother us with it unless you bring with that theory a way for us to prove whether you are wrong or not.” Such a test was exactly why the scientific community listened to Einstein towards the beginning of the century. He came with a new theory and said, “I believe the universe works like this; and here are three ways to prove whether I am wrong!” So the scientific community subjected his theory to the tests, and within six years it passed all three. Of course, this does not prove that he was great, but it proves that he deserved to be listened to because he said, “This is my idea; and if you want to try to prove me wrong, do this or try that.” This is exactly what the Quran has – falsification tests. Some are old (in that they have already been proven true), and some still exist today. Basically it states, “If this book is not what it claims to be, then all you have to do is this or this or this to prove that it is false.” Of course, in 1400 years no one has been able to do “This or this or this,” and thus it is still considered true and authentic.

Falsification Test I suggest to you that the next time you get into dispute with someone about Islam and he claims that he has the truth and that you are in darkness, you leave all other arguments at first and make this suggestion. Ask him, “Is there any falsification test in your religion? Is there anything in your religion that would prove you are wrong if I could prove to you that it exists – anything?” Well, I can promise right now that people will not have anything – no test, no proof, nothing! This is because they do not carry around the idea that they should not only present what they believe but should also offer others a chance to prove they’re wrong. However, Islam does that. A perfect example of how Islam provides man with a chance to verify it authenticity and “prove it wrong” occurs in the 4th chapter. And quiet honestly, I was very surprised when I first discovered this challenge. It states (Surah An-Nisa, 4:82): Do they not consider the Qur’an (with care)? Had it been from other Than Allah, they would surely have found therein Much discrepancy. This is a clear challenge to the non-Muslim. Basically, it invites him to find a mistake. As a matter of fact, the seriousness and difficulty of the challenge aside, the actual presentation of such a challenge in the first place is not even in human nature and is inconsistent with man’s personality. One doesn’t take an exam in school and after finishing the exam, write a note to the instructor at the end saying, “This exam is perfect. There are no mistakes in it. Find one if you can!” One just doesn’t do that. The teacher would not sleep until he found a mistake! And yet this is the way the Quran approaches people.

Ask Those Who Have Knowledge Another interesting attitude that exists in the Quran repeatedly deals with its advice to the reader. The Quran informs the reader about different facts and then gives the advice: “If you want to know more about this or that, or if you doubt what is said, then you should ask those who have knowledge.” This too is a surprising attitude. It is not usual to have a book that comes from someone without training in geography, botany, biology, etc., who discusses these subjects and then advises the reader to ask men of knowledge if he doubts anything. Yet in every age there have been Muslims who have followed the advice of the Quran and made surprising discoveries. If one looks to the works of Muslim scientists of many centuries ago, one will find them full of quotations from the Quran. These works state that they did research in such a place, looking for something. And they affirm that the reason they looked in such and such a place was that the Quran pointed them in that direction. For example, the Quran mentions man’s origin and then tells the reader, “Research it!” It gives the reader a hint where to look and then states that one should find out more about it. This is the kind of thing that Muslims today largely seem to overlook – but not always, as illustrated in the

following example.

Embryology A few years ago, a group of men in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia collected all of the verses in the Quran which discuss embryology – the growth of the human being in the womb. They said, “Here is what the Quran says. Is it the truth?”In essence, they took the advice of the Quran: “Ask the men who know.” They chose, as it happened, a non-Muslim who is a professor of embryology at the University of Toronto. His name is Keith Moore, and he is the author of textbooks on embryology – a world expert on the subject. They invited him to Riyadh and said, “This is what the Quran says about your subject. Is it true? What can you tell us?” While he was in Riyadh, they gave him all the help that he needed in translation and all of the cooperation for which he asked. And he was so surprised at what he found that he changed his textbooks. In fact, in the second edition of one of his books, called Before We Are Born… in the section about the history of embryology, he included some material that was not in the first edition because of what he found in the Quran was ahead of its time and that those who believe in the Quran know what other people do not know. I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Keith Moore for a television presentation, and we talked a great deal about this – it was illustrated by slides and so on. He mentioned that some of the things that the Quran states about the growth of the human being were not known until thirty years ago. In fact, he said that one item in particular – the Quran’s description of the human being as a “leech-like clot”(‘alaqah) [Ghafir 40:67] – was new to him; but when he checked on it, he found that it was true, and so he added it to his book. He said, “I never thought of that before,” and he went to the zoology department and asked for a picture of a leech. When he found that it looked just like the human embryo, he decided to include both pictures in one of his textbooks. Although the aforementioned example of man researching information contained in the Quran deals with a non-Muslim, it is still valid because he is one of those who is knowledgeable in the subject being researched. Had some layman claimed that what the Quran says about embryology is true, then one would not necessarily have to accept his word. However, because of the high position, respect, and esteem man gives scholars, one naturally assumes that if they research a subject and arrive at a conclusion based on that research, then the conclusion is valid.

Skeptic’s Reaction Dr. Moore also wrote a book on clinical embryology, and when he presented this information in Toronto, it caused quite a stir throughout Canada. It was on the front pages of some of the newspapers across Canada, and some of the headlines were quite funny. For instance, one headline read: “SURPRISING THING FOUND IN ANCIENT PRAYER BOOK!” It seems obvious from this example that people do not clearly understand what it is all about. As a matter of fact, one newspaper reporter asked Professor Moore, “Don’t you think that maybe the Arabs might have known about these things – the description of the embryo, its appearance and how it changes and grows? Maybe they were not scientists, maybe they did some crude dissections on their own – carved up people and examined these things.” The professor immediately pointed out to him that he [i.e., the reporter] had missed a very important point – all of the slides of the embryo that had been shown and that had been projected in the film had come from pictures taken through a microscope. He said, “It does not matter if someone had tried to discover embryology fourteen centuries ago. They could not have seen it!” All of the descriptions in the Quran of the appearance of the embryo are of the item when it is still too small to see with the eye; therefore, one needs a microscope to see it. Since such a device had only been around for little more than two hundred years, Dr. Moore taunted, “Maybe fourteen centuries ago someone secretly had a microscope and did this research, making no mistakes anywhere. Then he somehow taught Muhammad and convinced him to put this information in his book. Then he destroyed his equipment and kept it a secret forever. Do you believe that? You really should not unless you bring some proof because it is such a ridiculous theory.” In fact, when he was asked, “How do you explain this information in the Quran?” Dr. Moore’s reply was, “It could only have been divinely revealed!”




Rivers Rerun: PDP Alleges Arrest, Detention of 21 INEC Ad-hoc Staff Commission denies knowledge of incident Party crying wolf, says APC Police decline comment

Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State has alleged that the the Special Joint Investigation Panel on the Rivers Rerun election set up by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has arrested and detained 21 ad-hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), who took part in the legislative re-run election in the state and served in areas where candidates of the party won. The party said the INEC ad-hoc staff were arrested Wednesday night and detained at the State Criminal Investigation Department in Port Harcourt. A statement issued yesterday on behalf of the state Chairman of the PDP, Felix Obuah, by his media adviser, Jerry Needam, said those arrested were transferred to Abuja yesterday afternoon and that they were being forced to confess receiving money from the state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, the PDP, and its candidates to influence the victory of the party in the re-run election in the state. Obuah said according to the source at the state CID, more arrests would be made and those

arrested would be transferred to Abuja and paraded during a press conference that would be organised by the Police High Command, in conjunction with the top leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC). “This latest development undoubtedly, is a confirmation of the fact that the police committee led by its chairman, Mr. Damain Okoro, that arrived the state on January 11, 2017, is on a mission of witch-hunt against the state governor, Wike, the PDP leadership and candidates of the party, who emerged victorious in the December 10, re-run election in Rivers State,” he said. He emphasised: “Although, the police authorities have actually made no pretence about their biased role on issues surrounding the exercise in the state, with the premature sack of six of their men attached to the governor, and their refusal to question the conduct of Mr. Akin Fakorede during the election, but of much concern is what these activities portend for our democracy and the image of the Police and other security forces who swore oath of allegiance of neutrality and to defend, protect and respect the provisions of the constitution of Nigeria and rights of all citizens, and who are maintained by tax payers’

money, not only those of the APC, but all Nigerians. “It is unfortunate that the police under the current Inspector General of Police, have so abused their constitutional responsibilities and have now turned into a security arm of a political party, the APC. He said the party had expected the police to be more professional, objective, apolitical, and uphold the tenets of the constitution and regulations as contained in the Electoral Act, relating to the role of security agencies in an election. “Regrettably, the police in the case of Rivers State have become a tool of witch-hunt by the federal government and certain Rivers politicians of the APC,” he said. He called on well-meaning Nigerians “to rise against this ugly trend and abuse of responsibility by the Police high command and the APC leadership in trying to silence the

opposition by wrongly indicting innocent citizens, the Rivers State government and leaders of the PDP in the state”. But the INEC in the state has said while it was aware that the police investigation team had sought and obtained the permission of the commission to interview its ad-hoc staff, it had no knowledge of their arrest and detention. The state Resident Electoral Commission (REC) of INEC, Aniedi Ikoiwak, also said he was not aware the ad-hoc staff were through with their testimonies before the panel or if they were transferred to Abuja. The police have also refused to comment on the allegations. The state Police Public Relations Officer, Nnamdi Omoni (DSP), told THISDAY that he was not competent to react to the allegations as it was targeted at the Force Headquarters. “I cannot comment on the

allegation. That is clearly outside my jurisdiction since it has to do with the Force headquarters,” he said. Also reacting to the allegations, the state chapter of APC said the PDP was only crying wolf as it should have no business as to whom the police interrogates to get at the truth of what happened during the rerun. The state Publicity Secretary of APC, Mr. Chris Finebone, said in a statement yesterday, “The APC notes with shock that Rivers PDP is accusing the Nigeria Police of becoming the security arm of APC. This is a joke taken too far by every decent standard in politics. “We recall that in the same press statement PDP accused the Nigeria Police of arresting 21 ad-hoc staff of the Independent INEC, who took part in the legislative re-run election in the state. While the APC will not

attempt to speak for the Nigeria Police, we wish to state that the PDP is simply crying wolf and this is typical of them and therefore not surprising to many. We do not see why the PDP should be too worried that ad-hoc staff of INEC or indeed anybody is invited by the Nigeria Police to assist it on any issue. How that becomes a source of worry for the PDP is baffling to us. Could it be a confirmation of our long-held suspicion that PDP smuggled their members into the INEC ad-hoc staff list in order to do their bidding? Or could the investigation of the ad-hoc staff possibly lead to the unravelling of possible extent and dimensions of compromise of INEC officials by Gov. Nyesom Wike and the PDP hence the apprehension and false alarm?” He said the PDP was jittery because the INEC ad-hoc staff could make confessions that would indict the party.

Nigeria May Lose Another $550m Abacha Loots to US, Sagay Warns Tobi Soniyi in Abuja The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), yesterday in Abuja warned that Nigeria was closed to losing another $550million stolen fund recovered from the family of late military Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, to the United States. Sagay, who spoke at a press briefing on asset recovery and asset return held in Abuja, said what the federal government wanted is an unconditional return of the country’s stolen wealth. He said: “Nigeria presently stands to lose another $550 million recovered from the Abacha’s family to the US contrary to the earlier promise by the US to return same to Nigeria.” According to him, the amount represented a separate tranche from the earlier $480 million forfeited to

the US following a court judgment in August 2014. He said the government had demanded that the money be returned to Nigeria unconditionally. Sagay explained that stringent conditions for repatriation being given by the countries, particularly the U.S in which some of the nation’s stolen wealth are stashed contradicted the earlier promises made to the government. He therefore appealed to Nigerians in Diaspora to join the recovery efforts of the federal government. The chairman of PACAC said: “This is the time for Nigerians in Diaspora and every friend of Nigeria to get involved in the advocacy to recover stolen assets, not in just in words but in deed. “We need no apologies from recipients of stolen assets. Our demand is the unconditional return of our stolen national patrimony.”

Presidency: Nigeria Has Not Cut Ties with Taiwan Tobi Soniyi in Abuja The presidency has dismissed as incorrect reports that Nigeria has cut ties with Taiwan. A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, said: “The correct position is that the official relationship between Nigeria and Taiwan has been at

the level of trade representation and this has not changed from what it used to be. “Taiwan trade office is the only Taiwanese representation in Nigeria and Nigeria’s trade office in Taipei is our only representation in Taiwan. “Nigeria recognises and will sustain the “One China” policy and nothing has happened so far to change that level of relationship.


Former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan (left), presenting condolence letter o the wife of the late former Governor of Niger State Senator Zaynab Kure in Minna....yesterday

Buhari: Corruption Remains Nigeria’s Worst Problem Tobi Soniyi in Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja said corruption ranked the ‘‘very worst” of all the major problems confronting Nigeria. A statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina said Buhari spoke while receiving recipients of the 2016 Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM) at the State House. The president said the ruling political party, All Progressives Congress (APC), had identified three major challenges facing the nation as insecurity, poor economy, and corruption, noting that corruption was the most debilitating of all the ills.

‘‘Nobody disputed the fact that they were the major problems of Nigeria, and we campaigned on those three planks. As a government, we believe you cannot administer a country you have not secured, so we focused on security. ‘‘The economy is also down, therefore, we are not sparing any effort to revive and diversify it, so that our people, particularly the youths, can get jobs. The third problem, and the worst of them all is corruption,’’ the President declared. Buhari told the awardees that the country was in a terrible shape when the administration came into power in 2015, with oil prices falling to as low as 37 dollars per barrel, from peak

periods of over 100 dollars in previous years. ‘‘There was no money in the treasury,’’ he added. ‘‘We were producing less than one million barrels of oil per day, from the 2.2 million barrels we used to do. The country was in a terrible shape, but luckily, the people understand, and are cooperating with us.’’ Commending the 2016 merit award winners, Prof. Omowunmi Sadik for distinguishing herself in the Sciences, and Prof. Tanure Ojaide, in the Humanities, President Buhari described their contributions to the academia and national development as ‘‘quite fundamental’’. In separate remarks, the award recipients, who had

their investiture last year, December 1, 2016, commended the government on the anticorruption war, noting, however, that more enlightenment campaign needed to be done on how corruption slows down development. The dons also canvassed more funding for research, and appreciated the federal government for the National Order of Merit, ‘‘as nothing can be compared to being honoured by your own country.” The Chairman of the Nigerian National Merit Award, Prof. Moses Etim, who led the team, said 73 awards had been given out since 1979, when the desire to identify and reward creative excellence among Nigerians was instituted into the NNOM.




Army Sues Premium Times over Alleged False Publication As Editor kicks, demands apology

Emma Okonji The Nigerian Army has told its lawyers to institute legal action against Premium Times, an online news site for allegedly publishing series of false and malicious news against the Nigerian Army and the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai. The Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman, who made the disclosure, said the action of the Nigerian Army to go to court, was prompted by the refusal of the online publication to retract the stories, despite several warnings by the army, backed with a letter dated December 22, 2016, calling for retraction. The letter which was signed by Major General IM Alkali, accused Premium Times of publishing false stories against the Chief of Army Staff and the Nigerian Army, over insurgency in the North-east, without verification from the army. Alkali had in the letter, asked Premium Times to retract the stories and publish same before December 31, 2016, but the online publication stood its ground, and had rather demanded for an apology from the army over its threat issued against the staff of the medium. Based on its refusal to retract the story, the army briefed its lawyers and asked them to institute a legal action against the publication, Usman said in a statement. According to him, “The Nigerian Army has instituted a legal action against an online publication, the Premium Times, over its failure to retract and apologies over

false, subversive and malicious publications against the person of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai and the Nigerian Army. All efforts to make the medium make amend proved abortive. The medium however remained adamant and recalcitrant. Consequently, the Nigerian Army has briefed it’s lawyers to institute legal action against the medium.” But rather than retracting the publication, Premium Times has written the Nigerian Army, through its lawyer, Barrister Jiti Ogunye, demanding apology from Buratai. The Editor-in-Chief/Chief Operating Officer, PREMIUM TIMES, Musikilu Mojeed, who confirmed the letter in a statement, said on Wednesday, the newspaper published a letter dated December 22, written on behalf of Mr. Buratai, by I.M Alkali, a Major General, accusing Premium Times of “unwarranted serial provocative, unauthorised, libelous and defamatory publications. According to Musikilu, the letter from the army, expressed displeasure with three stories published by the medium between October and December last year. The army described the stories as “false, unsubstantiated, and unprofessional” but provided no evidence to back its claim. Musikilu however said that Premium Times, on Tuesday, through its lawyers, delivered a detailed response to the Army, affirming its stories, and unequivocally rejecting the demand for retractions and apology. The paper, instead, asked the army to write a letter within seven days of receiving its reply,

withdrawing the allegations and threats against it and its staff, or risk being sued. Ogunye, the newspaper’s principal counsel, who signed the response, took the army to task on the “grave implications” of its letter, and describing the army’s letter as a threat to the well-being and life of Premium Times’ staff. “By your letter you have threatened the lives of our clients, and our clients are thus obliged to put the public on notice that should any harm come to them, you, the Chief of Army Staff and the Nigerian Army should be held accountable,” Ogunye wrote. He said the “chilling threats” contained in the army’s letter was an affront on the constitutional guarantee of civilian control of the army and the freedom of the press. “It is our view that all working journalists and news outlets are entitled to some protection from

public officers, especially of the military and security agencies who are charged with the duty to secure and protect Nigeria and Nigerians, their lives and property, and maintain law and order, but who often, because of the uniqueness of that duty and for reason of the exclusive bearing of arms and control of our commonly owned ordinance, assume very erroneously that they are above the law,” Ogunye said. He rebuked the army for describing Premium Times,’ stories as “unprofessional” saying military and other public officials were not in a position to question the paper’s professionalism. “The penchant of public officers to flippantly, arrogantly and ignorantly label media reports and stories and journalists ‘unprofessional’ once they are affected by media reports and stories must be deprecated with decorous pungency. Sir, you are not in any position at all to teach

our client media professionalism, ethics and standards,” the paper said. “It really can be exasperating and disconcerting to see public officers condescendingly castigate journalists, many of whom are not only internationally acclaimed and celebrated but who also have up to forty years of practice as journalists under their belt,” the letter stated. Ogunye also criticised the army’s penchant for claiming exclusivity of patriotism and national sacrifice. “Sir, the Nigerian Army of which you spoke so glowingly is an heir to a military that unpatriotically subverted, many times, constitutional governance in Nigeria, plunged Nigeria into a three-year internecine civil war, committed unspeakable rights violations against the Nigerian people and thwarted the efforts of Nigerians to restore democratic governance to Nigeria,” Ogunye

told the army in his letter. Part of the letter read: Even under the current civil government, the officers and men of the Nigerian Army continue to carry out acts that threaten the survival of democratic governance. The roles played by officers and men of the Nigerian Army in the Ekiti State Governorship Election in 2014; the insertion of the Nigerian Army in the partisan allegation that the WASC School Certificate of our President, Muhammadu Buhari; the seizure and confiscation of newspapers nationwide during the Presidency of Goodluck Jonathan by men and officers of the Nigerian Army under the guise of looking for terrorist elements; and the recent killings that attended the insistence on right of way by the Nigerian Army against the adherents of the Shiite Islamic Sect in Zaria, in which hundreds of civilians lost their lives, are cases in point.

Biafra: Court Fixes Feb 10 to Rule on Kanu’s Application Alex Enumah in Abuja The Federal High Court in Abuja hearing the case of the Leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, and three others over alleged treasonable felony has fixed February 10 to rule on a motion by the defendants seeking to quash the charges against them. Justice Binta Nyako yesterday fixed the date after listening to submission of counsel in the matter. Kanu, and his co-accused, Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi are currently facing an amended 11-count charge slammed against them by the federal government. The charges range from treasonable felony, terrorism and illegal possession of firearms. They however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges. At the last sitting, counsel to the first defendant, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, had informed the court of pending applications seeking to quash the charges against the four defendants. He also informed the court of another application challenging the competence of the charge against the defendants. The court, though did not take the

applications, however ordered the prosecution counsel to file his reply and serve it on the defence and fixed January 12 for the adoption of all processes. At the resumed trial yesterday, Defence lawyers argued that the proof of evidence upon which their clients are being tried does not established any prima-facie case against them. Ejiofor therefore urged the court to quash the charges against the defendants on grounds that the prosecution’s proofs of evidence failed to link the defendants with the alleged offences. Responding, prosecuting counsel led by Suaibu Labaran who vehemently opposed the application, insisted that the applications lacked merit and urged the court to consequently dismiss it. He insisted that the defendants are guilty of the alleged crimes and should therefore face their trial. The judge however adjourned till February 10 to decide on the application. Meanwhile, a large crowd of demonstrators demanding the release of the IPOB leader and his co-accused had continue to gather outside the premises of the Headquarters of the Federal High Court, Abuja.


R-L: Recipient (Sciences), National Order of Merit (NNOM) , Prof. Omowunmi Sadik; President Muhammadu Buhari; Prof. Moses Etim; Chairman, NNOM Board, Prof. Tanure Ojaide, recipient (Humanities); and his wife, MAnne, during the courtesy visit by the 2016 NNOM award recipients to the Presidential VillainAbuja...yesterday GodwinOmoigui

Fayose: Senate’s Rejection of Buhari’s Policies Signpost no Confidence Vote Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has hailed the National Assembly for standing firm against the anti-people policies of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government of President Muhammadu Buhari in recent times. Fayose said: “Persistent rejection of the President Buhari’s policies by a National Assembly that is controlled by his own party is an indirect way of passing vote of no confidence on the president and a call to action by the president and his men to take proper stock.” The governor, who expressed happiness that “even the National Assembly members have now seen what he had seen since the beginning of the present APC led federal government and are

now standing up in defence of the ordinary Nigerians, who are suffering as a result of bad policies of the federal government.” In a release issued yesterday by his Special Assistant on Public Communications , Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said it was heart-warming that the National Assembly helped Nigerians to prevent the planned data tariff increase, with the National Communications Commission (NCC) suspending the new minimum pricing template for data services by mobile operators in deference to the Senate resolution. The governor said; “In the last few months, the National Assembly as an institution has come to the aid of the suffering masses of Nigeria by stopping the federal government bad

policies. “Some of such major interventions were the stoppage of the planned data tariff increase, resolution urging the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to suspend the ban on the importation of vehicles through land borders, and opposition of the planned closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, for the repairs of its runway and the diversion of flights to the Kaduna airport. “Particularly, even though elementary should know that ban on the importation of vehicles through land borders would cause loss of several thousands of jobs and further make vehicles unaffordable for ordinary Nigerians, the federal government adopted the policy without minding its adverse effects

on Nigerians. “Also, they knew that a complete shutdown of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and diversion of flights to the Kaduna airport will endanger the lives of both local and international air travellers that will have to travel by land from Kaduna to Abuja and further jeopardise the economy of the country. “Instead of closing the Abuja airport completely, why not use the VIP section? “It appears this government of President Buhari is just here to inflict hardships on Nigerians and I commend the National Assembly for standing firmly on the side of the masses by showing to the whole world that the president and his government no longer enjoy the confidence of the people, especially the suffering masses.”




Buhari Approves New Management for River Basin Development Authorities Tobi SoniyiinAbuja President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the reconstitution of the Executive Management of River Basin Development Authorities under the Federal Ministry of Water Resources. A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu said the the appointments were with immediate effect. The Anambra-Imo River Basis Development Authority: Rev. Michael Nwabufo, Managing Director, Michael C. Nwachukwu, Executive Director, Dr. Nweze B. Obasi, Executive Director, Agricultural Services, Benjamin Aneke, Executive Director, Planning and Design. Mrs. Ngozi C. Uche, Executive Director, Finance and Administration Benin-Owena River Basin Development Authority: Saliu O. Ahmed, Managing Director, Modupe V. Olalemi – Executive Director, Engineering, Agbetuyi O. Bamidele, Executive Director, Agricultural Services, Olumese E. Charles -- Executive Director, Planning and Design, Akinya Folorunsho Samson, Executive Director, Finance and Administration. Chad Basin Development Authority: Abba Garba, Managing Director Babagana Uroma, Executive Director, Engineering,

Dr. Abdu K. Tashikalma, Executive Director, Agricultural Services, Modu Surum, Executive Director, Planning and Design, Falmata Maina Dalatu (Mrs.), Executive Director, Finance and Administration Cross River Basin Development Authority: Bassey E. Nkposong -- Managing Director, Esin Winston Mosembe -- Executive Director, Engineering, Dr. U.A. Essien, Executive Director, Agricultural Services, Mr. I.I. Udoh, Executive Director, Planning and Design, Mrs. Okpata Egbe, Executive Director, Administration and Finance Hadeja-Jama’re River Basin Development Authority: Dr. Ado Khalid Abdullahi, Managing Director, Abubakar Mohammed, Executive Director, Engineering Ma’amun Da’u Aliyu, Executive Director, Agricultural Services, Umar Kura, Executive Director, Planning and Design, Mohammed Awwal Wada, Executive Director, Finance and Administration. Lower Benue River Basin Development Authority: Mahmoud O. Adra, Managing Director, Mathias U. Udoyi, Executive Director, Engineering, Samuel J. Ochai, E.D. Agricultural Services, Emmanuel Yepwi, Executive Director, Planning and Design, Richard N. Ndidi, Executive Director, Finance and Administration. Lower Niger River Basin

Development Authority: Dr. Adeniyi Saheed Aremu, Managing Director, Abdulkarim Mohammed Bello, Executive Director, Engineering, Tajuddeen A. Affinih, Executive Director, Agricultural Services, Olawale Victor, Executive Director, Planning and Design. Abu Atsumbe Abdullahi, Executive Director, Finance and Administration Niger Delta River Basin Development Authority: Tonye David-West, Managing Director, Okwonu Benson, Executive Director, Engineering, Ikuromo E. Joshua, Executive Director, Agricultural Services

Dr. Austen A.T. Pabor, Executive Director, Planning and Design, Mr. Isaac Akpoede Otuorimo, Executive Director, Finance and Administration.Ogun-Oshun River Basis Development Authority: Olufemi Olayemi Odumosu, Managing Director, Iyiola Rufus A. -- Executive Director, Engineering, Bolanle A. Olaniyan, Executive Director, Agricultural Services, Adesanya Mutiu Omoniyi -- Executive Director, Planning and Design, Olayiwola A. Baruwa, Executive Director, Finance and Administration. Sokoto Rima River Basin

Development Authroity: Buhari Bature Mohammed, Managing Director, Jafar A. Sadeeq, Executive Director, Engineering, Sanusi Mai-Afu, Executive Director, Agricultural Services, Murtala Dalhatu, Executive Director, Planning and Design, Faruk Madugu Gwandu, Executive Director, Finance and Administration Upper Benue River Basis Development Authority: Abubakar Muazu, Managing Director, Mukhtar Umar Isa, Executive Director, Engineering, Dr. Abdulhameed Girei -- Executive

Director, Agricultural Services, Yusuf Daniel Ajemasu – Executive Director, Planning and Design, Mr. Haruna N. Musa, Executive Director, Finance and Administration. Upper Niger River Basis Development Basin Authority: Prof. Abdulkarim M. Ali, Managing Director David Emmanuel, Executive Director, Engineering Dr. Abdu Aminu Omar, Executive Director, Agricultural Services, John Bature Gimba, Executive Director, Planning and Design Alhassan Bawa Ugbada, Executive Director, Finance and Administration.

Jaiz Takaful Unveils Profit-sharing Insurance Concept in Nigeria Jaiz Takaful has rolled out first-of-itskind insurance products intended to share profits with participants/ clients. Takaful is an Islamic insurance concept based on the Islamic principle of Taawun known as mutual benefits. Takaful subscribers have a bond among themselves as participants who agree to jointly indemnify the loss or damage that may come upon any of them out of the funds or contribution pool. Most importantly, at the end of a business year, any profit made under Takaful will be proportionately

shared among its participants and shareholders in relation to the scale of their investment. The contract of Takaful as a business venture is based on the Islamic profit-sharing of Al-Mudarabah principle. Subscribers of Takaful shall be entitled to share profits on contributions paid in consideration for their participation in Takaful products, to be provided by Jaiz Takaful Insurance Plc subject to declaration of profit at the end of the financial year. Takaful operations will in no

doubt change the dynamics in the Insurance industry where individuals who were hitherto very skeptical about the conventional insurance now have Takaful as an alternative, in addition to a speedy settlement of claims as well asdistribution of profit to participant at the end of the year. The MD/CEO of Jaiz Takaful Insurance, Momodu Musa Joof, said their products are inspired by the need for customers to benefit from the contributions they pay as policyholders. He added that the concept is

very transparent and practical. Takaful has come to address all the objectionable about conventional insurance (Riba, Interest, Maysir). Jaiz Takaful Insurance is a public limited liability company registered with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and regulated by National Insurance Commission (NAICOM). It is among the first full-fledged Takaful insurance providers in Nigeria which are shariah compliant and it is now open for business to Muslims and non-Muslims across Nigeria and beyond.




Help Rally Igbo Support for FG, Atiku Tells Nwodo PDP hails president-general’s election Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja Former Vice President and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar, has urged the newly elected president of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, the Ohanaeze, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, to assist in mobilising his people to support President Muhammadu Buhariled administration. While congratulating Nwodo on his election as PresidentGeneral of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex socio-cultural organisation of the Igbo nation, Atiku urged him to galvanise his kinsmen to proffer solutions to the myriads of issues of interest to the Igbo people and Nigerians in general. In a statement issued by his media office yesterday, the former vice president said Nwodo’s election: “Is auspicious coming at a time when the Igbo nation, nay, the entire Nigerian federation is facing challenges of nationhood, and needs men and women of knowledge and goodwill to get the country out of this challenge.” He said Nwodo could not have assumed leadership at a better time. Atiku noted that Nwodo ranks very high among the many quality men and women in the Igbo nation who could fill the position of Leader of Ohanaeze, and for the mantle to have fallen on the former Minister of Information attests to the high esteem in which he is held in Igbo land and beyond. The APC chieftain commended the leadership of Ohanaeze for

holding a hitch-free and rancourfree election thereby showing that democratic transfers of power in our society can be carried out in a harmonious manner. Atiku urged the new executive of the group and the generality of Igbos to join hands with the new President-General to proffer solutions to the myriads of issues of interest to the Igbo people and Nigerians in general. The former vice president called on Nwodo to also mobilise the Igbo people to give maximum support to the government of President Muhammadu Buhari in his effort to re-position and unite the country, adding that political unity and peace are important for economic development to take place in the country. Atiku pledged his readiness to work with the new leadership of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo to further a national agenda that will make all Nigerians proud of their country. Meanwhile, the National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has expressed joy at the emergence of Nwodo as the as the PresidentGeneral of Ohanaeze Ndi-Igbo. Meanwhile, the PDP has said it is ready to work with the new leader of the Igbo nation to drive the cause of national development. In a statement issued yesterday by the Secretary of the Caretaker Committee, Senator Ben Ndi Obi, the party urged the presidentgeneral to use his office to chat the way forward for the Igbo nation in the political equation of this country. “I write to congratulate you

APC NWC Grills Kwankwanso Deputy senate leader meets Oyegun Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja The leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday waded into the brewing crisis in the North-west zonal chapter of the party as it summoned Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso to explain his role in the crisis. Also yesterday, the Deputy Senate Leader, Bala Ibn Na’Alla, came to interface with the national leadership of APC and to brief the party on the recent change of guards in the office of the Senate Majority Leader. Kwankwaso who arrived at the party secretariat at about 2.30 pm yesterday, met with the party’s National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, behind closed-doors for about 30 p.m. and stormed out with his aides in tow, shoving aside media men who wanted to interview him. The quarrel among the party men began when the APC zonal Women Leader (North-west), Hajia Aisha Kaita, alleged that the North-west National Vice Chairman of the party’s Inuwa Abdulkadir, could not account for the millions of naira of the party funds meant for campaign, an allegation that is threatening

the unity of the zonal chapter of the party. However, Abdulkadir, on his part, accused the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufa’I, and the former governor of Kano State of sponsoring allegations of fraud against him due to their bitterness in the manner in which the national leadership of the party handled the crisis in both state chapters. THISDAY gathered from sources at the meeting that Kwankwaso came to explain all that he knew about the brewing crisis which is said to be linked with the earlier face-off between him and Kano Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje. It was gathered that Kwankwaso expressed displeasure with the way the crisis in the Kano State chapter was handled by the Senator Mohammed Magoro-led committee which investigated the removal of the former Chairman of the Kano State chapter of the party, Haruna Doguwa. Regarding the misunderstanding between the Kaduna State governor and the vice chairman, it was learnt that it had to do with the move to resolve the conflict el-Rufai has with Senator Shehu Sani, who represents Kaduna Central district.

on your well-deserved victory as the President-General of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndi-Igbo. We were delighted at the news of your victory. “We were confident you would emerge the President-General of the Igbo umbrella body, having proven in the past, of your capacity and competence with the various positions you have held such as second republic minister under President Shehu Shagari, minister

of information under General Abdulsalami Abubakar, having served meritoriously in those offices, we have no doubt that you will bring your wealth of experience to bear in this exalted office. “Your emergence would no doubt restore the moral compass of the group and return it to the glorious visions of its founding fathers; and set it on course to chat the way forward for the Igbo nation in the political

equation of this country. “I am aware of your past contributions to the development of this body, I recall with nostalgia our joint involvement in reorganising Ohanaeze Ndigbo, when some of us came together under the able leadership of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Senator Arthur Nzeribe, Uche Chukwumerije, Prof. ABC Nwosu, your good self and my humble self, which led to

Ojukwu becoming the chairman of the strategic committee of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo. “With that at the back of my mind, it is very clear to me, you are firmly on a familiar terrain and would act decisively to uplift the Igbo Nation at home and in diaspora with pride and dignity. “As you embark on your new responsibilities, we wish to assure you of the continuous cooperation of the PDP in the affairs of Ndigbo.


Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam (left), waving to the students of Government Secondary School, Yunusari, when he visited to inspect the ongoing rehabilitation and expansion of the school .....yesterday

IjawYouths: Buhari Pushing Our People to the Wall Stop harassing ex-president’s family, protesting youths tell president Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu and Emmanuel Addeh inYenagoa Youths of Ijaw descent under the Ijaw Youth Council, Worldwide (IYC) yesterday accused President Muhammadu Buhari of frustrating efforts at achieving peace in the Niger Delta. The leadership of the organisation stated that the region had been “pushed to the wall” by the president who has deliberately refused to set up a negotiating team 90 days after the leaders and elders of the region met with him in Abuja. Yesterday’s outburst by President of the IYC, Udengs Eradiri, also coincided with a statement by the a popular ex-militant leader, Africanus Ukparasia, who vowed to resist any attempt to wreak fresh havoc on oil and gas facilities in the region. The former Commander of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) was ostensibly referring to

the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), a militant group that has vowed to resume its onslaught on critical infrastructure in the creeks of the oil-rich area after it claimed that President Buhari was not interested in the scheduled talks. Ukparasia, formerly known in the creeks in the region as ‘General Africa’, warned the avengers to stay away from the region especially his home state, Bayelsa. The former militant who now oversees the state Waterways Security Task Force (BSWSTF), spoke in Yenagoa during a patrol of the creeks of the state. He said that the security outfit which he heads would not joke with its mandate to secure the creeks of the state and stop the nefarious activities of the avengers and their ilk. “We advise Bayelsans to report any suspicious movement in their communities as it is the duty of all to be vigilant against the nefarious activities of criminals who cause problems to give the military reason to invade our communities for

innocent people to suffer,” he said. He added that the outfit legally established by the federal government in collaboration with the Bayelsa state Government would work with the security agencies to maintain order in the state. But the concerned Ijaw youths covering the nine states of the Niger Delta yesterday said President Buhari should be blamed if there’s fresh crisis in the region. Meanwwhile, protesting Igbo youths yesterday crippled business activities within Enugu metropolis as they asked the federal government to face the myriads of problems in the country and stop further harrasement of the family of former President Goodluck Jonathan and the wife, Patience. The protesing youths who were in hundreds also demanded a public apology from the Nigerian Police over the raid of the Abuja home of former first lady. The police authorities had declared that the residence was raided following a tip-off that

money was stashed in the place. However, the youths who stormed Enugu metropolis after submitting a letter at the Enugu State Police Command said Mrs. Jonathan deserved public apology since nothing was found in her home. A spokesman of the group, Mr. Nwachukwu Kachukwu David, who addressed journalists called on the federal government to face various challenges facing the nation instead of engaging in unnecessary witch-hunt. He declared: “Power supply has gone from bad to worse; many homes could not buy rice for Christmas; economic policies have crippled businesses but instead of finding solutions, Buhari’s government is chasing after innocent citizens.” Nwachukwu further stated: “The entire Igbo Youths stand here today to unequivocally condemn the ceaseless harassment of our daughter, former first Lady, Patience Jonathan.




Lagos Gets Supreme Court’s Nod to Challenge Appeal Court’s Decision Freeing Al-Mustapha, Shofolahan Tobi Soniyi in Abuja The Supreme Court has granted Lagos State the leave to challenge

the Court of Appeal’s judgment which set aside the death sentence passed on the former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the late military

Police Arrest Socialite Putting Chain on Girls in Lagos The Lagos State Police Command has arrested a socialite, Mike Eze-Nwalie Nwogu popularly known as ‘Pretty Mike’ for dehumanizing young girls by turning them into human puppies with chains round their necks. Nwogu, a 30-year-old club owner in Ikeja area of the State, was arrested on Wednesday by the police on the orders of the Lagos State Government after news emerged on social media of the development. The suspect, in pictures which had since gone viral on the internet, was seen putting leash on young girls and leading them to a wedding in Lagos. The development caused outrage from many quarters with people calling on government to act fast to put a rein on such type of bizarre anti-social behavior. Nwogu was said to be cooperating with investigation

and had given useful statement to the police and was released after given an undertaking to desist from putting any woman or man on a leash to dehumanize them. According to the undertaking, Nwogu admitted knowing his action was against the law, but pledged not to further indulge in such behaviour. The undertaking read in part: “I, Mike Eze Nwalie, A.K.A Pretty Mike of 21A Magodo GRA, Luma Street, do hereby undertake to stop whatever act of putting girls on a leash or any other degrading treatment to ladies and guys. “I am aware that such act offends the law of the State of Lagos and if I repeat it again, there will be legal act towards me. “I undertake to issue a letter of apology to the public effective from tomorrow on all my social media platforms.”

Head of State, General Sani Abacha, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha and Lateef Shofolahan by the state High Court for the killing of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, wife of the late Chief MKO Abiola. The apex court in a brief ruling on the application by Lagos State for permission to re-open the case out of time, granted the request for the Lagos to challenge the Court of Appeal decision of July 12, 2013 that discharged and acquitted AlMustapha from the murder case. Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Walter Samuel Onnoghen, in the ruling of a panel of seven justices, ordered Lagos State to file its notice of appeal within 30 days. The decision of Justice Onnoghen on the Lagos application argued by Osunsanya Oluwayemisi, a Senior State Counsel in the Lagos Ministry of Justice followed the consent of Al-Mustapha’s lawyer, Mr. Joseph Dauda (SAN), not to oppose the application.

The acting CJN said by the decision of the apex court, the time for Lagos to appeal against the findings of the Court of Appeal on the celebrated murder case was extended from July 12, 2013 when the appeal court judgment was delivered till yesterday. The coast is now clear for the Lagos to challenge the no guilty verdict granted in favour of AlMustapha and his co-accused. Lagos had filed its notice of appeal out of the time allowed by court’s rules to challenge a judgment of a lower court. It then required the leave of the Supreme Court before the appeal could be deemed to have been properly filed. The state had therefore sought the permission of the apex court to allow it challenge the Appeal Court findings of Justices Amina Adamu Augie, Rita Nosakhare Pemu and Fatimo Omoro Akinbami on ground of miscarriage of justice in the matter.

The state, had in the application, prayed the apex court to allow it to exercise its constitutional right to test the validity and correctness of the decision of the Appeal Court. Lagos said the appeal raised legal and factual issues especially the question of whether there was any direct or circumstantial evidence establishing the guilt of Al-Mustapha. It justified its lateness in filing the appeal on the ground that it set up two legal teams to review the circumstances of the case and the verdict of the Court of Appeal. The government said that it took a long time for the two legal teams to present their findings and recommended that an appeal should be filed and sustained. Lagos is asking the apex court to uphold and restore the death sentence by hanging passed on Al-Mustapha by a Lagos High Court on January 30, 2012. Al-Mustapha and Lateef

Shofolahan, the driver of the late Kudirat were arraigned before a Lagos high court on a two-count criminal charge of conspiracy to commit murder and the murder of Kudirat Abiola on June 4, 1996 in Lagos State. In the judgment of the high court delivered on January 30, 2012 by Justice Moji Dada, the accused persons were found culpable as charged. They were consequently sentenced them to death by hanging. However at the Court of Appeal approached by AlMustapha on April 27, 2012 for the review of the trial and the conviction, the three-member appellate court justices in a unanimous judgment of July 12, 2013 voided the decision of the high court, set it aside and discharged and acquitted the accused on the ground that the evidence against them was not strong enough to warrant the death sentence.

Ajudua’s $8.4m Fraud Trial Stalled Again Aknwale Akintunde The trial of a one time Lagos socialite, Mr. Fred Ajudua, over allegations that he defrauded former Chief of Army Staff, General Ishaya Bamaiyi (trd), of $8.4million was again stalled yesterday following an application he filed to challenge the power of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to prosecute him. The EFCC charged Ajudua for allegedly collecting various sums of money from Gen. Bamaiyi while the duo were in custody at Kirikiri Prison, Lagos. According to EFCC, Ajudua alongside his accomplices allegedly defrauded Bamaiyi at the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons, where he and the other fraud suspects were remanded for alleged murder of late Alhaja Kudirat Abiola. The anti-graft agency also alleged that Ajudua and others fraudulently claimed that $1m out of the total money collected from Bamaiyi was for financial assistance for the treatment of Justice Olubunmi Oyewole’s father, who was handling Bamaiyi’s case then. Also, the former Chief of Army Staff, was said to have parted with the money in foreign currency to also bribe some eminent personalities to intervene in his case where he was charged alongside Major Hamza Al-Mustapha for the alleged murder. He was latter discharged and acquitted by the trial court. The suspects were said to have informed Bamaiyi that Oyewole’s father, was admitted at Saint Nicholas in Lagos and the $1million was meant to assist the

judge in treating his father. EFCC said the offences of conspiracy and obtaining by false pretences contravened Sections 8(a) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud Related Offences Act. No. 13 of 1995 as amended by Act No. 62 of 1999. However, Ajudua co-defendant, Oluronke Rosulu, who was Justice Oyewole’s Court Registrar, opted for separate trial and was last year sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by Justice Lawal-Akapo. Ajudua’s trial was originally before Justice Kudirat Jose but was last year transferred to Justice Josephine Efunkunbi Oyefeso. At yesterday’s proceedings, Ajudua who wore white caftan opposed EFCC’s effort to re-arraign him on an amended charge. Ajudua’s lawyer, Mr. S.A Quakers (SAN), told the court that under the Administration of Criminal Justice Law, the EFCC has no powers to prosecute his client. Quakers also raised objection against the amended charges stating that his client cannot be arraigned on the new information before the court since the anti-graft agency failed to obtain his witness statement. Responding, EFCC lawyer, Seidu Atteh, countered the argument saying that it was not necessary for the EFCC to obtain statement from defendant simply because the charges were amended. Atteh pointed out that Ajudua had personally refused to volunteer any statement to the commission over the allegations against him. Justice Oyefeso insisted that parties should harmonise their arguments instead of presenting them peace-meal.


L-R: Inspector General of Police, Idris .K. Ibrahim; Director General, Department of State Services (DSS); Lawal Musa Daura; and Chief of Army Staff; Lt-General Tukur Yusufu Buratai, after the security meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja ....yesterday . Godwin Omoigui

Ondo: Police To Prosecute Killer’s Father James Sowole in Akure The Ondo State Police Command said yesterday that it would prosecute Mr. Olanrewaju Afolabi, the father of the boy who allegedly killed his friend with a dane gun in Ondo town , Ondo State on Wednesday. The State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for the Ondo State Command, Mr Femi Joseph said Afolabi would face prosecution for his negligence saying that he shouldn’t have left the gun at the reach of the boy. Afolabi’s son, Ayo, 11, reportedly killed his friend, Comfort Emmanuel, with his father’s dane gun at Ayeyemi area of the Ondo town while playing with the gun when the father was not aahome. The development led the state

police command to arrest and detain both the father and his son for interrogation . He said, “ We will round off our investigation, the father of the boy would be charged to court on Monday . He would be charged for negligence. The law would certainly take its due course. “ There is nothing we can do to bring the deceased back to life, the only thing we can do is to ensure justice is done to the matter by arresting the man and take him to court to go and defend himself before the law and tell court why he allowed the negligence to happen” On the issue of the son, the PPRO explained that the command would seek legal advice on what to do about the boy. He said the boy was still in the custody of the command at the press time .

One dies as Gbagy Residents, Fulanis Clash in Niger Laleye Dipo in Minna

Residents of Gbagy community in Niger State and Fulanis again clashed in the Sabon-Ndaga village near Minna on Thursday evening the second of such incident within 48 hours. One Fulani man was said to have been killed in the latest crisis. The police which described the incident as a “ reprisal “ blamed the Gbagy’s for the latest disturbance. Police Public Relations Officer DSP Bala Elkana who confirmed the incident said the timely intervention of the police stopped the incident from escalating. Elkana said reinforcement of security men had been despatched to the troubled community. Last Tuesday evening four people were killed in a clash between members of the two tribes.

The clash was over the refusal of the Gbagy’s to allow herdsmen to graze their cattle on their farmland a development that degenerated to a free for all during which dangerous weapons were used by both parties resulting in the casualty. In the meantime the Niger state governor Alhaji Abubakar Sani. Bello has warned the warring communities to toe the line of peace saying that without peace there could be no development. Governor Bello who visited the troubled communities on Thursday said government would not take lightly people taking laws into their hands. He said the disturbance was the handwork of rumour mongers warning that they would be apprehended and prosecuted according to the law.




Group Sports Editor Duro Ikhazuagbe Email

AFCON 2019: Eagles Draw S’Africa, Libya, Seychelles

Duro Ikhazuagbe After missing two editions back-to-back, Nigeria’s Super Eagles appear to have received easy pairing in the draw for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations which took place last night. Cameroon is the host country of the next edition after the 2017 in Gabon

GROUP STAGE (Qualifiers) (Group A) Senegal E’Guinea Sudan Sao Tome/ Madagascar (Group B) Cameroon Morocco Malawi Comoros/ Mauritius (Group C) Mali Gabon Burundi Djibouti/South Sudan (Group D) Algeria Togo Benin Republic Gambia (Group E) Nigeria South Africa Libya Seychelles (Group F) Ghana Ethiopia

Sierra-Leone Kenya

starting this weekend. Gernot Rohr’s men were drawn in Group E along with South Africa, Libya and Seychelles. In 2015 Eagles similarly had same soft pairing with South Africa and Congo DR but ended up missing the cut as Bafana Bafana snatched the ticket from Nigeria with a nailbiting 2-2 draw in Uyo. Congo finished as group runners up. It is the first time that both

Libya and Seychelles will be in the same group with Nigeria in an AFCON qualifier. While reacting to the draw yesterday, Director of Communication at the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Ademola Olajire, told THISDAY last night that the draw was not as simple as it appears. “It is going to be tough going by what is currently happening in African football. We all know

South Africa and what they are capable of doing. Seychelles may appear minnow but they can be as difficult as the South Africans. The Libyans too are no push over that is if you recall that they played in the finals of the 1982 edition against Ghana’s Black Stars,” observed the NFF spokesman. Olajire however insisted that the federation was not going to leave anything to chances. “We are going to take one game

at a time. With six matches to play, it is clear to all that any slip can be very costly,” he noted. Also in the draw, Tunisia and Egypt were placed with Niger Republic and Swaziland in Group J; defending AFCON champions Cote d’Ivoire are in Group H with Guinea, Central Africa Republic and Rwanda; Ghana will slug it out in Group F with Ethiopia, Sierra Leone and Kenya, while Group D has

Algeria, Togo, Benin Republic and Gambia. The winners of each group will join the hosts Cameroon in the final tournament as well as the best three runners-up in all 12 Groups. The qualifiers will kick off with the preliminary round which will be on 20-28 March 2017. Match-day 1 of the group stage qualifiers will commence on 5-13 June 2017.

(Group G) DR Congo Congo Zimbabwe Liberia (Group H) Cote d’Ivoire Guinea Central Africa Rwanda (Group I) Burkina Faso Angola Botswana Mauritania (Group J) Tunisia Egypt Niger Republic Swaziland (Group K) Zambia Mozambique Guinea-Bissau Namibia (Group L) Cape-Verde Uganda Tanzania Lesotho

Super Eagles celebrating the 2-1 victory against Zambia in the 2018 World Cup qualifier in Ndola … last year

Mikel Makes Losing Nigeria Continues Surge in FIFA Ranking Debut in China Femi Solaja

Super Eagles Captain, John Mikel Obi made his debut for Tianjin TEDA yesterday, in their 2-1 friendly defeat to Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Under-23 at the Tianjin Olympic Center Stadium. Wearing jersey no. 10, the midfielder was unable to rescue Jaime Pacheco’s men from bowing to the German youth side in the friendly encounter. Zhou Tong got TEDA’s lone strike as Mikel was replaced in the second half alongside debutant, Wang Dong and Zhou Liao and Goodley.

The Nigeria international left Chelsea on a free transfer, having been allowed to depart the Stamford Bridge after failing to make an impression on the first team under Antonio Conte. TEDA continue their winter training in Tianjin as they step up preparation for the new season having placed 11th in the Chinese Super League with 36 points from 30 games. Mikel’s new club has won the Chinese Super league three times before-1960,1980 and 1988 and they have won the FA CUP twice-1960 and 2011.

Super Eagles continued their steady surge in the latest FIFA Rankings released yesterday by the world football governing body. Gernot Rohr’s men moved up one place to seventh in the continent while also climbing to 50th spot globally. Despite not playing any game in the period under review for the classifications, Nigeria still was able to accumulate three more points to stand at 619. The January lift was good news to Nigerian football fans who were disappointed that

Eagles dropped one spot in the December ranking despite beating Algeria 3-1 in a World Cup qualifier in November, 2016. Last month, Eagles were placed eighth in Africa and 51st in the world with 616 ranking points. Nigeria’s best placing in the FIFA rankings was fifth, a position attained in 1994 following an impressive display of winning the Africa Cup of Nations and their debut World Cup appearance that year in the United States. Senegal, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria are the top five sides in Africa while

Argentina retains her place at the summit of the ranking. Small Southern African nation of Swaziland, meanwhile, reached her best ever position of 99 in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. In the world ranking, Lionel Messi’s Argentina remains top. Argentina finished 2016 out in front of arch rivals Brazil to inherit the ‘team of the year’ title from Belgium, displaced from the FIFA summit by the Edgardo Bauza-coached Albiceleste in April. The top 34 positions remain unchanged with Brazil and Germany in the

second and third placed teams respectively.Chile and Belgium complete the top five in descending order of global ranking. The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on 9 February 2017. AFRICA’S TOP TEN Senegal Cote d’Ivoire Egypt Tunisia Algeria Congo DR Nigeria B’Faso Ghana Morocco

AJC: Marylove Maintain ACCESS/LAGOS MARATHON ‘Olumide, Others Need Time to Catch Up with East African Marathoners’ Good Run in Lome Nigeria continued her great form at the 2017 ITF/CAT African Junior Championship West and Central Africa qualifiers holding in Lome, Togo as no fewer than seven of her players were victorious on the second day of action at the tournament featuring 15 countries. With four wins from five matches on the opening day, the defending champions stepped up the gear enjoying

the highest number of wins as hostilities hot up at the Stade Omnisports, Lome. Marylove Edward had her match against Kouma Niangadov of Mali stretched to Thursday following poor visibility and the 12-year-old double forehand and double backhand player posted a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win to enhance her chances of qualification from the round-robin preliminaries.

Top Kenya marathoner, Alice Timbilil, yesterday praised the courage of two Nigerian marathoners, Oluwaseun Olumide and Ronke Olumudi who have vowed to win the ultimate prize of $50,000 at the February 11, 2017 Access Bank/Lagos City Marathon but was quick to add that such wishes remain mere dream for now. With a personal best of

2:25.03, Timbilil who was second at the 2016 edition of the Access Bank /Lagos City Marathon in 2:38.49, said: “The feats of British runners like Paula Radcliff, the Japanese, the Chinese and even the Americans have shown that one does not need to be born in high altitude, be a Kenyan, Ethiopian, or East African to excel in marathons and road races but it does

not happen overnight. Timbilil however have a word of advice for the two Nigerian road runners: “It will take many years of consistent hard work and competitions for Nigerian and indeed West African road runners to get to the level attained by the East Africans in road races.” She however welcomed the idea of Nigerians embracing

marathons and road races since Kenyans too are also moving into short sprints, throws and jumps, “The more the merrier, it will be great to have Nigerians on the international marathons and road races circuit, they are our brothers and sisters, that means more money for Africans and Africa from the highly lucrative road running circuit.”





Suarez Warns Barca over Messi’s Fresh Contract

Luis Suarez has warned Barcelona that they must do everything in their power to keep Lionel Messi happy. The Uruguay ace hailed Messi as “the best in the world” after his Barcelona team-mates crowned a superb Copa del Rey comeback against Athletic Club, with the holders triumphing 4-3 on aggregate. The Argentine, though, is reportedly unsettled at Camp Nou, with talks over a new contract uncertain after Barca CEO Oscar Grau warned that the club have to be “strict” with their budgets. After the 29-year-old multiple Ballon d’Or winner inspired Luis Enrique’s men to a stunning triumph in midweek, Suarez seemed to offer a veiled warning to the club’s leadership, stating: “He has that something. He is the best in the world and it shows in every game. Trailing 2-1 from a highly charged first leg at San Mames last week, Suarez had put the hosts ahead on with his 100th goal for the club. It was also the 300th goal that Barcelona’s famed MSN front three have managed since they first played together in 2014 and Neymar got in

on the act by winning and converting a penalty early in the second half. Athletic’s Barcelona-born wideman Enric Saborit levelled the tie on aggregate with a 51st-minute header but Messi stepped forward 12 minutes from time to send home a whipped free-kick off the base of the right-hand post. Messi’s prowess from such positions is becoming less surprising by the match in 2017, after he also converted from dead-ball situations in the first leg and at Villarreal on Sunday to snatch a 1-1 draw in La Liga. With Barcelona five points off the pace in the top flight, having played a game more than Madrid, Suarez conceded it was important to stay on track for a third consecutive Copa del Rey crown. “[The win] changes a lot,” he said. “It’s what we wanted and needed. “We were reassured that we are working well and the results would come.” Suarez hit three figures in his 120th Barcelona appearance and added: “The important thing is that the goal I scored served to help us advance in the Copa, which is what we wanted.”

Messi... Suarez wants Barcelona to keep him at all cost

Arsenal Trio Bag New Contract

West Ham Reject £20m Payet Bid from Marseille

Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny and Francis Coquelin signed new deals with Arsenal yesterday, and Goal can reveal the exact length of each extension. The French trio have all committed to the Gunners on long-term deals after extensive talks over the past few weeks. Giroud, who has scored nine goals for Arsenal so far this season, has extended his deal by two-years which will take him to 2019, while Koscielny and Coquelin have signed until 2020 and 2021

West Ham have rejected a £20 million bid from Marseille for want-away Dimitri Payet, despite the player going on strike, Goal understands. Manager Slaven Bilic confirmed yesterday that Payet has told the club that he wishes to leave and it is understood that an offer was subsequently tabled by his former club. Sources have confirmed that the bid from Marseille was made in recent days and was quickly rejected, with the fee deemed to be too low by the Hammers. It is understood that the bid included a bonus of £2.5m if they qualified for the Champions League. Nevertheless, the 29-yearold will not be a part of the matchday squad for tomorrow’s encounter with Crystal Palace and Payet has informed the club that he does not wish to play for them again. West Ham had reportedly promised to sell the Frenchman in the summer but it is understood that he wishes to leave this month. The Hammers valued Payet at £60m in the summer

respectively. “We are very pleased that three important members of our team have committed to us for the long term”, manager Arsene Wenger told the club’s official website. “Francis has made tremendous technical strides over the past few years because he’s so focused every day. “Olivier has big experience in the game now and has become a more and more complete player since joining us.

2017 DOAMF Charity Golf: Qualifier Set for January 14 More than 160 golfers will compete in the qualifying round of the 2017 DOAMF Charity Golf Tournament holding at the Golf Section of Ikoyi Club 1938 in Lagos on Saturday, January 14. Players who scale through the one-day qualifier will be drawn alongside invited players and guests at the final of the DOAMF Charity Golf Championship slated for Saturday February 4, 2017. The event, which is in its seventh edition, has evolved to become the biggest charity golf event in the country, hosting over 200 players yearly from qualifier to the final. According to the Coordinator of the Tournament Organising Committee, Mr. Pat Bassey, “We are glad to be back on the golf course to tap into golfers’ goodwill as well as give an account of how the DOAM Foundation has touched many lives with the resources that donors and sponsors have made to the Foundation since the 2016 tournament. “The annual DOAMF

Golf Charity Tournament is a platform to offer participants a different golfing experience. There is some measure of fun and surprises that keep players eager and desirous to be part of the Charity event, in addition to the satisfaction of helping a life through DOAMF”, he said. More than 66,000 lives have been impacted from donations received through the golf event since the golf event started. The DOAMF Charity Golf funds have been channeled to support social causes in the specific areas of education, health and medical intervention within needy families and communities. “In the last six years, projects supported include Scholarship Awards, Renovation/ Rehabilitation of health centres in rural communities (Mowe in Ogun State and Amaimo in Imo State), building and equipping an Accident and Trauma centre at Mowe in Obafemi Owode LGA, Ogun State, Sickbay, Lavatory and library projects (in various schools across the country).”

amid fears of an influx of offers from elite clubs and their current stance is that they will not sell their prized asset. Payet left Lille to join Marseille in 2013 and spent two years at the club prior to his £10m switch to the Hammers, though the player suggested in October of 2015 that he was “forced” to leave the club. Despite links with the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona during Euro 2016, where Payet shined, no bid has been forthcoming from a European giant and he has now set his heart on a return to Stade Velodrome. Marseille are now bankrolled by American billionaire Frank McCourt and it is unclear if a second bid will be tabled, as the transfer saga threatens to run until deadline day. Since moving to England, Payet has scored 18 goals and produced 25 assists in only 66 outings with West Ham and Bilic did not attempt to hide his disappointment at developments yesterday. “We have said we don’t want to sell our best players

but Dimitri Payet does not want to play for us,” the manager told reporters. “We are not going to sell him. “I spoke to the chairman and this is not a money issue. We gave him a long contract because we want him to stay. “He is refusing to play for us. I have a team to manage. He’s probably been tapped up. Until he changes his attitude and shows the

commitment the club have shown him he is out of the team. “We had a conversation a couple of days ago but this began 10 days or so ago when the window opens. “I feel angry. We gave him everything. I feel let down, angry, disappointed. I understand the players now are being tapped up. The team gave him everything.”

Schneiderlin Escapes Man Utd with £24m Everton Switch

Morgan Schneiderlin has ended his Manchester United exile by sealing a £24million switch to Premier League rivals Everton. France midfielder Schneiderlin was unable to break into Jose Mourinho’s


first-team plans at Old Trafford, playing just 11 minutes in the Premier League across three last-gasp substitute appearances. Signed from Southampton in July 2015, United have allowed Schneiderlin to leave for an initial £20million, with Everton signing the 27-year-old to a four-and-a-half-year deal. He is the second player to join the ranks of Ronald Koeman’s side this month, following former Charlton youngster Ademola Lookman in moving to Goodison Park.

Gov Udom Urges Akwa Utd to Imbibe Dakkada Spirit Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has commended the state owned Nigeria Professional Football League side, Akwa United FC for changing its jersey colour to Orange in the spirit of Dakkada. Speaking when he received an update on the preparedness of the team for the new NPFL season from the state’s Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Monday Uko and the

club Chairman, Mr Paul Bassey, in Uyo yesterday, Gov Udom said the change of colour was sign that the team has imbibed the new order of transformation and spiritual rebirth. “Akwa United must rise up to the faith of greatness as true representatives of the Akwa Ibom People. I welcome whole heartedly your decision to change the jersey to the state colour of orange in the true

spirit of Dakkada. This is the new order and as Dakkada Ambassadors you should traverse the length and breadth of this country propagating the moral transformation and spiritual rebirth that is now the hall mark of our great state,” stressed the governor at the brief ceremony. Udom also noted that Akwa United as the sports flag ship of the state, it is also what unites all Akwa Ibomites.

“It is what unites us. It cuts through all barriers including political and we must therefore ensure that we keep the flag flying anywhere we go to.” He promised to get a new bus for the team, “since air travel which was such a credible option has become very unreliable we will do everything in our power to support you. Just go ahead and win your matches home and away.”





Friday, January 13, 2017



& RE A S O

Price: N250


MISSILE Ndume to Senators “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” – Former Senate Majority Leader, Ali Ndume reflecting on the irony of his sack without being given a fair hearing by his colleagues.


Nigeria Without Obasanjo I n the exorbitantly defining days of the better part of 1966, Governor Hassan Usman Katsina pronounced a vision on the impending fate of Officer Olusegun Obasanjo and Nigeria. In the high noon of the vengeful bloody counter coup of July 1966-peculiarly characterised by non-discriminate targeting of Southern Nigerian victims, Obasanjo had to be spirited to safety. The task fell on Usman Katsina and he fulfilled it with the passion of a proprietor and mentor. He arranged two armoured carriers to hedge the vehicle (front and back) ferrying his protégé to the Kaduna airport. Instructed by unseen higher powers, he warned that -nothing must happen to him, Nigeria is going to need him in the future. I stand on the authority of a no less involved personality than Mrs Oluremi Obasanjo to make this recall. They don’t come more credible than that, do they? Obasanjo began to fulfil the prophecy soon enough. The fulfilment started in earnest with the event that would set the tone for the lifelong cantankerous relationship between him and Professor Wole Soyinka. At the declaration of hostilities between Biafra and Nigeria, Emeka Ojukwu appointed and charged his friend, Brigadier Victor Banjo (one of the more colourful characters of the civil war) to launch a Biafra Army offensive, blitzkrieg style, on Lagos; occupy Western region and capture Yakubu Gowon. In one of the remarkable episodes of the civil war, Banjo swept through the Mid-West and in no time was knocking at the door to the Western region at Ore. Acting a different script from the one handed down by Ojukwu, and in collaboration with Wole Soyinka, Banjo struck an independent course of action. They called it the ‘Third force’ and their mission was to abort the civil war, neutralise Gowon and Ojukwu, and seek a neutral progressive solution. Rather than fight through the West, Banjo and Soyinka chose to intimate the Nigerian Army rear commander at Ibadan, a fellow Yoruba, with their plan and solicited him to grant the Banjo led Army a safe passage to Lagos. The rear commander, Obasanjo, promptly disavowed the Yoruba parapo conspiracy, declined the request and swore abiding allegiance to the Nigerian Army. It was in the same station that he saved the military career of Ibrahim Babangida who was scheduled for Army court-marshal-on account of inviting and serenading his fiancé, Mariam king, at the Army officers mess in violation of military regulation. In a subsequent resounding echo of Usman Katsina’s revelation, Obasanjo was the Nigerian commander whom providence appointed to take the Biafran Army surrender and ended the war in January 1970. The next phase of the prophecy was the 1975 military coup that brought him to power as second-in-command to the late Murtala Mohammed-whom he succeeded as Military head of state, following the assassination of the latter in the aborted coup of 1976.

Obasanjo It was in this capacity and in this phase that his bond with the Northern political establishment was cast in concrete. To their mutual political prosperity, he interchangeably played the role of mentor and protégé to the mythical Kaduna mafia, the most successful and consequential Northern establishment pressure group. According to Nvendanga Jibo, ‘comprising a loose group of young northern Nigerian intellectuals, civil servants, business tycoons and military officers residing or conducting businesses in the former northern capital city of Kaduna during the end of the first republic, the Kaduna mafia achieved most success during the first era of Obasanjo’s government, where many of its members were appointed to key positions of power and used its alliances to obtain patronage and disburse favour to friends and associates. Famous members and allies include, Adamu Ciroma, Mamman Daura, Ibrahim Tahir, Shehu Musa Yar’adua, Mahmud Tukur and Mohammadu Buhari’. Contrariwise, it was also in this phase that an incipient uneasy relationship with the Yoruba political establishment escalated into full blown estrangement. The Yoruba, who tended to be more passionate than hard headed in matters concerning the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, quite unjustifiably, blamed him for the loss of Awolowo at the 1979 Presidential election. If his preference as successor in 1979 was not Awolowo then the latter couldn’t have done more to ensure that Obasanjo’s wish came to pass. This is the only interpretation in which the choice of Phillip Umeadi from the South-east as Awolowo’s running mate within the context of the political configuration of Nigeria, made sense. If Awolowo were to score a hundred percentage points of the votes cast by the South-east and South-west combined, he would still come short of victory at the Presidential election by a wide margin.

Against the background of the role he played in the civil war, it required a special leap of faith to expect a better outcome than the margin of his defeat in the Biafra territory. Given that he voted for Shehu Shagari in the Presidential election coupled with his Freudian slip that the best candidate may not win, it is true that Awolowo was not Obasanjo’s favourite candidate but in the end, this preference was quite irrelevant to the outcome of the election. In an unprecedented fashion and seeking a fall guy for the declining political fortunes of the Yoruba leader at the Presidential level, Obasanjo was designated the official enemy of Awolowo’s Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN. And the designation was taken so seriously as to warrant the near expulsion of the Party’s crown prince, Bola Ige in a marathon Party convention trial-for getting politically chummy with their pet hate. At the conclusion of the 1983 general elections in which his Yoruba stronghold was violated with the declaration of dubious victories for the (Northern region dominant National Party of Nigeria) NPN, in Oyo and Ondo states, Awolowo reverted to his pre-civil war cold war mode with the North. The main Yoruba casualty of this political relapse was Obasanjo, who was then derided as ‘Northern stooge’. In the search for evidence to substantiate this camp’s betrayal allegation, the Olufemi Olutoye incident was called to service. A high ranking member of the Obasanjo’s military government, Olutoye had, in the spirit of Yoruba consanguinity, raised ethnicity laden issues in (for your ears only) little talk with the head of state. In the counter spirit of Nigerian nationalism-often synonymous with Northern hegemony compliance, Obasanjo called in his Hausa-Fulani deputy, Shehu Yaradua, and demanded Olutoye repeat his Yoruba camaraderie whisper in Yar’adua’s presence. Olutoye’s compulsory retirement from the Army was announced within the hour on the National radio. Stacked on this cumulative background, Obasanjo became subject to two dialectically opposed perceptions-the one precipitating the other. To the North, he is the trusted detribalised Nigerian and to the Yoruba, (given the reality of Nigeria’s ethno regional denominated politics), he is deemed a sell-out. Given this reality, any mission to grow beyond the comfort of the ethnicity regulated politics is guaranteed to be a hard sell, at least in the short term. This weak sociological base for Nigerian nationalism has been compounded by the quite unhappy lived experience of its citizenship. The sociological theory is that Nigerian nationalism is hindered by the fact that there is no continuity between state and society in the sense that the Nigerian state did not evolve from a common linguistic Nigerian nationality the way Germany, France and Italy evolved from prior German, French and Italian identities and linguistic nationalities. The societies and nationalities that preceded Nigeria were the Yoruba, Efik, Berom etc.

The double jeopardy constraining the evolution of Nigerian nationalism is that the totality of group experiences of Nigerian citizenship have tended to be negative (socio economic retardation, mutual political chauvinism and violent upheavals et al)thereby fuelling the inner consciousness rejection of the Nigerian identity-at least, since 1966. There is no pre-1966 Nigerian region-Western, Eastern, Northern, Mid-West, that would not have fared far better were they (and Nigeria) to remain undisturbed by the Military coup termination of the first republic. My submission therefore, is that Nigerians have become increasingly alienated from Nigeria and that anyone perceived as an active personification of this Nigeria (like Obasanjo) would be collateral damage of this resentment. The mistake inherent in his standpoint is the assumption that-as currently structurally constituted, there is an intrinsic value to being a Nigerian and that the identity is sufficiently value laden and should be preferred to a less inclusive identity. He is right and wrong. There is intrinsic value to the inclusive Nigerian identity but not as currently configured. Lacking the skill of a good diplomat, of coating a bitter pill with a sweet taste, the good half of his proposition often gets lost in his provocative military drill personality. This is the reason why non-Nigerians tend to appreciate him more than fellow citizens who bear the burden of Nigerian citizenship. Arguably the most successful Nigerian leader-(save the dark spot of joining the multitude of African leaders to commit the sin of seeking to stay beyond the constitutional welcome) there is the general disappointment that he frequently falls short of his own high standards. In and out of office, he characteristically adds value and has an outstanding work ethic. He is probably Nigeria’s biggest farmer and the most committed amongst his peers in the thirst for knowledge. His public interventions in times of political stalemate and crisis often prove decisive even if those interventions tended to default on the side of preserving the status-quo. He is the most valuable status-quo Nigerian and his pan Nigerian political reach surpasses that of any other Nigerian leader. For all the exaggerated shortcomings of Ibrahim Babangida, he is the only other living Nigerian ruler who comes near him in the attribute of Pan Nigeria patriarch. As Nigeria gravitates, once again, towards implosion, both have their tasks cut out for them. Obasanjo has largely fulfilled the 1966 utility vision of Hassan Usman Katsina-who would be smiling down on him from the world beyond. The bad news is that, in its present oppressive and suffocating structure and form, not many citizens wish Nigeria to endure. This is why the country would for long continue to require the services of its greatest proponent and field officer-and why it is difficult to envision the survival of this Nigeria without Obasanjo and his disciples.

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Friday 13th January 2017  
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