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Kachikwu Unveils 20-Point Plan on Ending Militancy in the N’Delta 100,000 jobs to be created in each oil-producing state, Amnesty Programme to be decentralised Ejiofor Alike Nigeria lost billions of dollars in oil revenue at the peak of the militant attacks on oil and gas facilities in

the Niger Delta, which slashed oil production from 2.2 million barrels per day to 1 million barrels per day last year, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr.

Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu has said. To tackle the scourge, the minister also unveiled a 20-point agenda aimed at instituting permanent peace

in the oil-producing region. Speaking yesterday on “Oil Sector Militancy Challenges…Roadmap to Closure,” Kachikwu said in his monthly podcast

that the country lost billions of dollars at the height of militancy in 2016. According to him, the Niger Delta crisis, coupled with the 45 per cent drop

in oil production, worsened the financial challenges of the Muhammadu Buhari administration. Continued on page 10

Arik Suspends Flights to London, JohannesburgÖ

Pa g e 4 8

Wednesday 15 February, 2017 Vol 22. No 7972. Price: N250 TR


ABUJA 16∞ C≠ 33∞ C

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& RE A S O

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FG: Success of Eurobond is Proof the Economy is Recovering Starts review of TSA guidelines as inflows hit N5.2tn

Tobi Soniyi and Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja The federal government has said that the massive demand for its $1 billion Eurobond, which was oversubscribed by 780 per cent, was a demonstration of the strong market appetite for Nigeria and indicative of the confidence by the international investment

community in Nigeria’s economic reform agenda. In the current editions of the Presidential Villa’s newsletter called ‘Government at Work’, released yesterday, the government also gave 11 reasons it felt that the economy was on its way out of the recession. Continued on page 8

Court Orders Forfeiture of $9.8m Recovered from Andrew Yakubu

Shell, Agip seek discharge of seizure order on Malabu oil block Alex Enumah in Abuja and Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano

A Federal High Court sitting in Kano yesterday ordered the forfeiture of $9,772,000 and £74,000 recovered from a former Group Managing Director of the

Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Andrew Yakubu to the federal government. The order was sequel to an ex parte application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Continued on page 8

Fayose Slams Govt for Withholding Ekiti's UNION BANKÖ BI G, STRONG AND NIMBLE AT 100 L≠ R: Chairman, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Mr. Cyril Odu; Non≠ Executive Director, Union Bank, Mrs. Nike Akande; and Executive Officer, Union Bank, Mr. Emeka Emuwa, when the bank kick≠ started activities in Lagos yesterday on the Federation Account AllocationÖ Page 48 Chief celebration of its 100th anniversary abiodun ajala
















Presidency: Buhari is Home Sick, Will Soon Return Says he may call Nigerians

The presidency has once again informed Nigerians to expect President Muhammadi Buhari very soon, because he is no longer “enjoying his stay” overseas. Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to the President, Malam Garba Shehu made this known in an interview with Channels Television in Abuja yesterday. Shehu said: “As a matter of fact, we should be getting ready to see the president in flesh and that will be (as) soon as possible. “The president (himself) is looking forward to coming home to be with his people. “I don’t think he is enjoying any longer the extended vacation outside the country.” Shehu, who also reacted

to the remarks that trailed the president’s telephone conversation with the United State President Donald Trump on Monday, said it was very “undiplomatic” for some persons to demand for the release of the audio recording on the conversation. According to him, releasing the audio was unethical and against modern day civilization. “No, I don’t think so; I don’t think it is permitted in international diplomacy. I think if we had recorded Mr. Trump in this conversation, it would have offended our diplomatic relations. “I think the Americans themselves would not have recorded this conversation of president to president,” he said.

Shehu was also of the view that the conversation between Trump and Buhari will help boost the bilateral relations between Nigeria and the U.S. “Well, there wasn’t enough time to talk about everything. I think the point at what will follow is in the invitation that President Trump has extended to our president to come over. “That is the kind of opportunity that was presented to Nigeria, put all the issues on the desk,” he said. The president’s media aide also spoke on Trump’s Executive Order, which banned entry to nationals of seven countries coming to U.S. and placed a suspension on immigration by Syrian refugees, but which has been upturned by a Federal High

Court in the State of Washington and upheld by the Appeal Court. “As for their immigration policy, I think our president has been clear about one thing – the choice made by Americans as to who to lead them in this case, Mr. Trump, is entirely their own choice. “We have no business interfering with their domestic affairs. “As to the countries that have been barred, it has been clearly specified and Nigeria did not feature in the list,” he added. However, when asked about the results of the president’s medical tests which was the reason given for his extended vacation in the UK, Shehu said he has no information concerning it.

“No, we have no information on that (test results). If he had received them, he would have been on the plane back home,” he said. The presidency also revealed that Buhari may call to speak with Nigerians on the phone soon. The hint was dropped by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina during a live appearance on a political show on Channels television on Monday night. “Yes, he (Buhari) said maybe he will speak to Nigerians by phone, and I also say maybe,” Adesina said in response to a question on whether the president will speak to Nigerians after a phone call with President Trump.

He also reiterated that the president would only return when his doctors say it is okay to do so. He added: “The issue of his coming back is already in the public domain in the letter that was transmitted to the National Assembly. He said as soon as he has an ‘all clear’ on his health, he’ll be back. I think that issue has been settled “I communicate what has been told to me. Unless I receive a definite communication that says the president will be back on this date, then I can say so. “Otherwise, I’ll just be making a guess if I say anything that has not been said to me. Don’t forget that I’m a spokesman. I speak for somebody. I communicate what has been transmitted to me.”

beneficiaries; and the ongoing Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) payments across nine pilot states. “Strategic engagements with OPEC and in the Niger Delta have played an important part in raising our expected oil revenues. “Already, Nigeria's external reserves have grown by more than $4 billion in the last three months. “Collaboration with China, proceeding from President Buhari’s April 2016 visit, has unlocked billions of dollars in infrastructure funding. “Construction will begin on the first product of that collaboration – a 150km/hour rail line between Lagos and Ibadan, in Q1 2017. “The National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (NERGP), the federal government's medium-term economic plan, launched this February will chart a course for the Nigerian economy over the next four years (2017 – 2020),” the presidency added in its newsletters.

In a related development, the government announced yesterday that the Treasury Single Account (TSA) has recorded a total inflow of N5.244 trillion through mop-ups and direct debits by the central bank, since the government commenced full implementation of the scheme in August 2015. It made the revelation just as acting President Yemi Osinbajo canvassed for a more active cash management regime that is better aligned with debt management, as well as the development of new capital market instruments. The Account-General of the Federation, Mr. Ahmed Idris, who gave the update at a two-day retreat on the review of the implementation of the TSA, said the inflows bringing the amount in the TSA to N5.244 trillion was recorded on February 10, 2017. The retreat with the theme, “One Year Anniversary of Treasury Single Account: Benefits, Challenges and Way Forward,” had in attendance the Governors of Anambra and Kaduna States, Chief Willie Obiano and Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, respectively; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Bbachir David Lawal; Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun; and Managing Director of SystemSpecs, providers of the payment platform, Mr. John Obaro, among others. The TSA is a unified structure of government bank accounts, which gives a consolidated view of the cash balances of the treasury at any point in time and provides a window through which the government transacts all its receipts and payments. It is configured with a framework, which provides for multiple sets of linked accounts domiciled at the CBN. Giving a synopsis of the scheme, Idris acknowledged that the TSA was introduced in April 2012, noting however that it was not fully implemented largely due to the lack of political will on the part of the past administration. “However, the issuance of the TSA circular in August, 2015 coupled with the political will and enforcement, enabled us to achieve considerable progress on TSA implementation.

“As of 10th of February, 2017, the total inflow of funds through mop-ups and direct debits by the Central Bank of Nigeria amounted to N5.244 trillion,” the accountant-general said. According to him, implementation of the TSA had brought considerable gains to the federal government and the Nigerian economy, adding that the scheme succeeded in eliminating multiple banking arrangements with the attendant consolidation of 20,000 bank accounts spread over all the deposit money banks across the country. “This has further brought about transparency and effective tracking of government revenues. It has also led to blocking of leakages and abuse, which characterised public finance management before implementation. “The TSA has taken us out of the era of indiscriminate borrowings by MDAs and saved government charges associated with those borrowings, which amounted to an average of N4.7 billion monthly prior to the full implementation of TSA,” Idris said. The accountant-general noted that though the TSA has recorded considerable gains, there was need to evaluate the programme and identify more feasible ways to take it to the desired level. He said the scheme should also go beyond mere cash management, canvassing that “we should explore the inherent

FG: SUCCESS OF EUROBOND IS PROOF THE ECONOMY IS RECOVERING It stated that after two consecutive quarters of negative growth, the non-oil economy showed, in Q3 2016, a modest return to positive territory at 0.03 per cent. The newsletter attributed the marginal growth to the performance of the agriculture and the solid minerals sectors, both prioritised by the federal government. It said agriculture grew by 4.54 per cent in the quarter under review, of which growth in crop production at nearly 5 per cent was at its highest since the first quarter of 2014. Growth in the solid mineral sector was said to have averaged about 7 per cent. The second reason given by government was the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which it said substantially raised local rice production in 2016 – yields improved from 2 tonnes per hectare to as much as 7 tonnes per hectare in some states – and produced a model agriculture collaboration between Lagos

and Kebbi States. Thirdly, it said the Fertilizer Intervention Project, involving a partnership with the Government of Morocco for the supply of phosphate, was on course to significantly raise local production and bring the retail price of fertilizer down by about 30 per cent. Another reason given by government was the newly established Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN). Government said the bank was finally taking off, with initial funding of US$1.3 billion provided by the World Bank, German Development Bank, the African Development Bank and Agence Française de Development, to provide medium and long-term loans to MSMEs. One of the newsletters stated: “A new Social Housing Programme is kicking off in 2017. The Family Homes Fund will take off with a N100 billion provision in the 2017 Budget. (The rest of the funding will come from the private sector). “More than N800 billion

has been released for capital expenditure in the 2016 budget, since implementation started in June 2016. “This is the largest ever capital spend within a single budget year in the history of Nigeria. These monies have enabled the resumption of work on several stalled projects – roads, rail and power projects – across the country.” Another factor the government pointed was the implementation of the Social Investment and Empowerment Programme (SIP). According to the newsletter, all the four components of the SIP had taken off. It described the SIP as the largest and most ambitious social safety net programme in the history of Nigeria, with more than 1 million beneficiaries so far. They comprise 200,000 N-Power beneficiaries; 23,400 Government Enterprise and Empowerment (GEEP) Scheme beneficiaries; 1,000,000 Homegrown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP)

COURT ORDERS FORFEITURE OF $9.8M RECOVERED FROM ANDREW YAKUBU Commission (EFCC) seeking an interim forfeiture order of the recovered money to the federal government. The ex parte application was moved by Salihu Sani, counsel for the applicant. In her ruling, Justice Zainab B. Abubakar, who presided over the case, held that “the sum of $9,772,000 and £74,000 which are now in the custody of the applicant (EFCC) are in the interim forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria” Earlier this month, acting on a tipoff, operatives of the commission had stormed a building belonging to the former NNPC boss and recovered the staggering sums stashed in a huge fireproof safe. A few days after the discovery of the huge sums, Yakubu reported to the commission’s Kano zonal office where he admitted that he was the owner of both the house and the money recovered. Yakubu is still in custody assisting the EFCC with its investigation. Also, in another case, Shell Nigeria Exploration and

Production Company Limited and Nigeria Agip Exploration Ltd, a subsidiary of Italy’s Eni, and other individuals with interests in the Oil Prospecting Lease (OPL) 245, yesterday asked the Federal High Court (FHC) in Abuja to discharge the order of forfeiture, which it granted the EFCC). Last month, Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court had granted an order of interim forfeiture of OPL 245 to the federal government, pending the investigation and prosecution of suspects involved in the $1.1 billion Malabu Oil and Gas Limited deal. At the resumed hearing yesterday, Prof. Olaniwun Ajayi (SAN), representing the AngloDutch oil multinational, Shell, told the court that the first applicant had filed two applications. One of the applications is seeking the discharge of the forfeiture order to the federal government which the court made, pending the conclusion of the matter. According to him, Shell also wanted the court to dismiss or strike out the suit and grant

an order of stay, injunction or suspension of the effects of the interim order made by the court in favour of the EFCC, directing that OPL 245 be managed by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on behalf of the federal government, pending the conclusion of the investigation and prosecution of the case. The counsel argued that the execution of the action by the EFCC constituted a gross abuse of office and process of the court, adding that the process of procuring the ex parte order was unconstitutional and unlawful. In the application, the company held that the respondents misrepresented and suppressed the material facts in obtaining the order and prayed the court to discharge the order in the interest of justice. A similar application urging the court to set aside its earlier order in the interest of justice was also filed by Babatunde Fapohunda, counsel to the second applicant, Agip. The prosecuting counsel, Johnson Ojogbane, however told the court that he was unable to respond to the two applications

due to what he described as circumstances beyond their control. He asked the court for an adjournment to enable the prosecution to respond to the two applications. However, Shell’s counsel reminded the court of the prosecution’s claim of the urgency and public’s interest in the matter. He recalled that the application was filed over two weeks ago and wondered why the prosecution had failed to respond accordingly. He urged the court to give a short adjournment given the urgency of the matter and the public interest the respondents attached to it. Justice Tsoho adjourned the matter to February 27 to hear the two applications. The judge had granted the order following an ex-parte motion filed by the EFCC through Ojogbane. Justice Tsoho also ordered that the said property be managed by the DPR on behalf of the federal government, pending the conclusion of investigation and prosecution of all those involved in the transaction.

Continued on page 10

TOP GAINERS NGN NGN FORTEOIL 2.70 56.70 PZ 0.57 12.16 UPDC 0.09 2.07 CHAMPBREW 0.08 2.35 FBNHOLDINGS 0.11 3.24 TOP LOSERS NGN NGN ETERNA 0.17 3.24 NIGBREW 5.93 112.82 CAP PLC 1.57 30.43 VITAFOAM 0.10 2.08 CAVERTON 0.04 0.90 HPE Nestle Nig Plc ₦600.00 Volume: 144.8 million shares Value: N1.91 billion Deals: 2,868 As at 14/02/17 See details on Page 40

% 5.0 4.9 4.5 3.5 3.5 % 4.9 4.9 4.9 4.2 4.2






FG Doles out N70m to 56 Local Inventors Dele Ogbodo in Abuja The federal government yesterday rewarded Mr. Ezekiel Izuogu with N10 million and 55 other inventors with N60 million for their efforts in the manufacture of unique scientific inventions and innovations. Presenting the cheques to the awardees in Abuja, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu said the grants arising from the result of the findings of the Presidential Study Committee on Inventions and Innovations (PSCII), was in line with the government’s resolve to encourage Nigerians making breakthroughs in new innovations, inventions and creativity for national development. Onu admitted that

creativity, inventions, and innovations are all critical factors in sustainable national growth and development, stating that this was the reason the PSCII was set up by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. The committee was inaugurated by the then Minister of Science and Technology 10 years ago. The objective of the grant, the minister said, is to enable local inventors improve and mass-produce their inventions for use in Nigeria as well as for export to the international market. He said: “Since the inception of this programme in 2005, 188 Nigerians across the six geopolitical zones have benefitted from it, after satisfying the selection process. “Over 400 interested inventors and entrepreneurs

submitted applications which were thoroughly scrutinised by the committee and 56 Nigerians were selected after authenticating their claims.” He further tasked the inventors to use the grant to improve, mass-produce and commercialise their products where necessary, and to register their patents. The minister said by embarking on the endeavour, their successes will lead to the development of small and medium scale enterprises which will in turn lead to wealth and job creation. In his remarks, Izuogu, who invented a perpetual emission machine known as the Imagneto Dynamics Machine, said science, technology and innovation remain the main drivers of Nigeria’s development.

“I made painstaking research on alternative energy when we embarked on the project, applying scientific knowledge to build the perpetual emission machine and that is what we have built and we are the first in the world to manufacture this. “Government and the organised private sector must not underrate Nigerians, the inventors here today are gifted and creative thinking people. “When commercialised, it means Nigeria now have an engine that can power a car for 50 years without fuel or oil. It can also power an airplane to fly to London at less than one-tenth the price because you will not be buying fuel. It can also power a bus and can power a whole lot of other things,” he said.


KACHIKWU UNVEILS 20-POINT PLAN ON ENDING MILITANCY IN THE Ní DELTA Kachikwu said the crisis resulted in attacks on oil and gas facilities and the sub-optimal performance of the refineries, stressing that Nigeria was unable to meet its international obligations as a result of the militancy. He said despite all efforts made by successive administrations to tackle the militancy in the Niger Delta, a permanent solution was never found. “The problem has been the absence of consistency, even before President Obasanjo’s administration and it went on with other governments – Yar’Adua and Jonathan’s,” he said. Kachikwu identified the steps taken to tackle the Niger Delta crisis to include the setting up of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the 13 per cent derivation for oil producing states. The minister also stated that the present administration has also made efforts to end the crisis by launching a seven-

point roadmap, engaging the oil-producing communities and sustaining the Amnesty Programme for the repentant militants. Kachikwu added that the President Buhari’s efforts to sustain the programme were being hampered by declining oil revenue, as the present administration only gets 55 per cent of the revenue that was available to previous administrations. He said the crisis has refused to abate despite the efforts, adding however that the administration led by Buhari was going to be very bullish in finding final solutions to the crisis. The minister said the administration is determined to tackle the militancy and achieve peace in the region. Kachikwu said the government would focus on the environment, adding that the Niger Delta has a rich environment that is suitable for tourism. To clean-up the environment, Kachikwu said Buhari would

continue to implement his seven-point agenda and other behind-the-scenes engagements of the relevant stakeholders. The first point on the 20-point agenda is for oil companies to engage the state governments and communities on issues affecting a particular state. The second point focuses on inter-agency collaborations between the Ministries of Petroleum Resources and the Niger Delta, as well as the NDDC. The third point is what he called a ring-fenced approach, stressing that the federal government would stop dealing with the militancy as a national issue and adopt a state-by-state approach. Kachikwu also said government would focus on creating 100,000 jobs in each of the oil-producing states in the Niger Delta in the next five years. The Amnesty Programme, according to the minister, will also be decentralised, explaining that the federal government can

no longer fund the programme alone as a result of dwindling oil revenue. Another plan under the agenda is to adopt what he termed as the “Security Holds Hands Approach”, aimed at strengthening security through the collaboration of all the relevant agencies. Kachikwu also identified peace and investment initiatives, stressing that peace encourages investment, while a crisis serves as a disincentive to investment. He added that there would be a core business focus wherein the federal government will continue to attract business opportunities to the Niger Delta. According to the minister, at the core of the militancy is economics, stressing that cottage industries and business startups will encourage violent agitators to shun militancy and engage in business activities. Another item on the agenda, he said, is for the government to focus investments on gas-topower projects for steady power

supply in the Niger Delta. Kachikwu also said that the federal government would provide incentives for peace keeping by boosting investments in the Niger Delta states that are peaceful and investor-friendly. He minister stated that oil companies would embark on the revamp of oil and gas infrastructure in the Niger Delta, while also focusing on the “clean-up of our mess”. In this respect, the minister said the president had launched the Ogoni clean-up exercise. Other aspects of the 20-point plan included the domestication of oil and gas business opportunities to achieve greater participation of the people of the oil-producing region without excluding other Nigerians. In addition, a development fund will be launched while also attracting foreign investors to the region. The federal government would also encourage education programmes in the Niger Delta to make the people embrace

education and shun militancy, the minister stated. Kachikwu also revealed that the Amnesty Programme would be launched on a state-by-state basis to create opportunities for 5,000-10,000 youths in each state, adding that the federal government cannot continue to fund the programme alone because of dwindling oil revenue. He also advocated for the establishment of an umbrella youth organisation in each state, even as the federal government partners the oil-producing states to create investments. The minister also identified justice for all the stakeholders as a major plank of the agenda, while policing for peace would remain critical to sustaining peace in the oil-rich region. On the security measures, the minister said the government would continue to strengthen the military and other security agencies to maintain peace, adding that it was no longer acceptable for the militants to hold the country to ransom.

financial year. “Moreover, since most of the cash resources moved into the TSA are extra budgetary, harvesting the fruits of the TSA’s implementation would entail that public resources be allocated in a manner that would enable total fungibility of cash. “We also have to fast-track measures around budget execution, using automated systems that support better public financial management. “A lot has been achieved through the Integrated Payroll and Personnel System (IPPIS), and unprecedented success has been realised through implementation of the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS). “Nevertheless, the pace of implementation needs to be sustained. “I am aware that the Federal Ministry of Finance along with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning and other stakeholders are rolling out

GIFMIS to support budget preparation and the entire commitment management processes of all federal MDAs. “When completed, GIFMIS will better support the TSA’s implementation and enable full realisation of its benefits.” In an interview with journalists on the sidelines of the retreat, the Managing Director of SystemSpecs described the TSA as a good development, which has added value to the economy. He admitted, however, that there were initial teething problems, which are already giving way. Obaro, whose company provides the platform for the implementation of TSA said: “For this kind of project, like I said, there would be the initial settling down issues, which was exactly what happened. Now things are reasonably settling down. “We can begin to speak to the real issues. Before now, there were a lot of peripheral issues. Now, we can begin to speak

of how to improve operational processes and the utilisation of massive data that is now readily available to the government. “This can be used for economic planning and a lot of other things can be derived from what is readily available.” Responding to questions on the unresolved issues, Obaro said: “Issues on the fees have been reasonably resolved but not completely resolved. We have effectively not been paid since May last year – almost a year. “We have not been paid but we believe in what we are doing. We have good cooperation from senior officials of government but we are assured that with the passage of time, these problems would be resolved. “And that is why we really don’t want to see it as a big problem. We believe the people are seeing the benefits of the platform we have provided, we would ensure that these issues are resolved in a fair manner.”

FG: SUCCESS OF EUROBOND IS PROOF THE ECONOMY IS RECOVERING potential of the TSA and identify the most economically viable options of resource utilisation and deployment, particularly under the present economic recession”. In his remarks, Osinbajo, who was represented by the Economic Adviser to the President, Dr. Adeyemi Dipeolu said with the implementation of the TSA, there was improved visibility of government revenues and cash flows. According to him, before the TSA’s implementation, it was difficult for relevant institutions to determine the federal government’s cash position in a timely manner. “Now the position is clear, with an average of N13 billion accruing to all government agencies every single working day. This improves decisionmaking and engenders efficiency in public financial management. “Another key outcome has been the elimination of the revenue and expenditure float. “Before TSA, it took an

average of 28 days to access cash after the revenue had been collected through commercial banks and about 21 days for MDAs to access their budgetary allocations after release from the treasury. “The differences in timing, which adversely affected budget implementation, have now been eliminated,” Osinbajo said. He noted that another significant success story of the TSA “is the removal of ways and means financing costs that were depleting resources available for service delivery through budget implementation”. The economy, Osinbajo added, is set to reap the full benefits of blocking the leakages in revenue collection that hitherto fuelled corruption and impaired growth. According to him, this improved transparency also discourages would-be offenders, as the information technology solutions deployed as a result of the TSA meant that there were no more hiding places.

These achievements, notwithstanding, Osinbajo said: “We can be under no illusion that the implementation of the Treasury Single Account is complete. “We need to take account of challenges that have emerged in the process with a view to addressing them.” The acting president said that there was need for a more active cash management regime that is better aligned with debt management and the development of new capital market instruments. “Moreover, it is important to consolidate on the gains so far and to align the process with present day realities. There remains more to be done to harness the benefits of the TSA’s implementation. “For instance, the reforms we have started with regards to the budget preparation must continue to completion. Ideally, the budget should be comprehensive and transparent and as much as possible enacted before the beginning of the






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Why are Corrupt APC Stalwarts Not under Probe, PDP Asks Buhari Onyebuchi EzigboĂ“Ă˜ĂŒĂ&#x;ÔË The National Youth Supreme Council of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to explain to Nigerians why it has not been able to prosecute any of the stalwarts of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) indicted for corruption.

The group said while the administration has found it easy to distract Nigerians with the purported recovery of funds from indicted persons from opposing parties, it has not seen reasons to tell Nigerians how much it has recovered from the its high-ranking officials who were also indicted for corruption. In a statement issued yesterday by the Youth Council’s

FG to Float Savings Bond for Nigerians, Says DMO DG Says Nigeria will never renege on maturing obligations James EmejoĂ“Ă˜ĂŒĂ&#x;ÔË

sustain the development of other segments of the bond market and The Director General of the Debt support government’s financing Management Office (DMO), Dr. needs.  Abraham Nwankwo, yesterday Nevertheless, Nwankwo disclosed plans by the federal further reassured domestic and government to float the Savings international investors that the Bond before the end of the first federation government would quarter. never fail to service any matured He said the objective of the loans and appealed to them not proposed offer was to deepen to express fear in that regard. national savings culture; He said government positive diversify funding sources for stance was further premised on the government and to establish expectations that the country a benchmark for bond issuers. would have started to export Nwankwo  explained up to seven different export that the planned federal products within the next five to government Savings Bonds seven years, thus, improving its are debt instruments usually liquidity conditions among others. offered by sovereigns with the Also  commenting on the aim of mobilising resources recent oversubscription of the from the public,  particularly $1 billion Eurobond offer,  he individuals and small savers- and said the Nigerian story had been offer guaranteed returns as well well received by the international as encourage financial inclusion. market, stressing that that Addressing journalists during economy had remained resilient a media briefing in Abuja, despite current challenges. Nwankwo said the savings He said the international bond is also expected to help investors were particularly individuals enjoy benefits which impressed by the various accrue to big investors in the initiatives been taken by the capital market and increase federal government to diversify access to funds available for the country’s revenue base,  investment in the economy and deploy technology, increase thereby facilitating gross capital capital expenditure as well as formation and increase in output boost agriculture significantly. within an economy. According the success recorded With a competitive fixed by the sheer oversubscription of interest rate which would be the Eurobond served as a vote of paid quarterly (four times in confidence and acknowledgement a year)- and which would be of government’s efforts to address announced by the DMO on present challenges. the first working day of every He, therefore, appealed month or as may be determined to Nigerians to renew their from time to time, the planned confidence in the administration of savings bond will accommodate President Muhammadu Buhari investment sizes of between to lift the people out of poverty a minimun of N5,000 and a in no distant time.  maximum of N50 million with He said the proceeds of the between two to three year- tenor.  eurobond would be deployed According to the DMO boss, to infrastructure to create there would a monthly issuance jobs and make the economy whereby subscription would open more competitive. He said same day the price is announced encouraging local production while investors would have five or import substitution would working days to put in their further reduce undue pressure subscriptions through distribution on the local currency. agents. The DMO DG said away Investors could subscribe from the success story of the through stockbroking firms eurobond offer,  investors trading on the floor of the are expected to examine the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE)  performance and re-align and accredited by the DMO to their investment priorities in act as distribution agents.   the country.  Meanwhile, the offer formed He added that the DMO part of the initiatives of debt would continue to unveil management agency as contained innovative products which are in its Strategic Plan, 2013- 2017, targeted at moving the country to deepen and broaden the FGN forward and ensuring it exits securities market in order to the current recession quickly. 

National President, Adai Edwin Adai, he gave instances of such allegations levelled against the former Governor of Rivers State and now Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, (SGF), David Babachir Lawal, as well as the alleged N500 million bribe by the multinational company, MTN to the Chief of Staff to the President, Alhaji Abba Kyari, and other APC stalwarts. “We read with amusement the purported reports by the federal government that it has recovered a total of $151 million and N8 billion through whistle-blowers but none recovered from looters in the present APC administration. “While we await the government of the day to tell Nigerians the names of those the supposed looted funds were recovered from through whistleblowers, we wish to encourage and applaud the

whistle-blowing policy and advise Nigerians to continue to demand good governance from this administration and not be distracted with the latest innovations of the ruling party. Adai said the most ridiculous aspect of the reports from the federal government was the naming of the former Group Manager Director (GMD) of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Andrew Yakubu, of $9.2 million without the mention of the remaining suspects and where the other monies were recovered. “Lest we forget, has the APC-led federal government recovered the N13.12 million loan the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, borrowed from one of the parastatal under his ministry, the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC)?  “The last has also not been heard of all the allegations of several misappropriations in Lagos State during the tenure

of the Minister of Works, Housing and Power, Mr. Babatunde Fashola. We are yet to get the full detail of the steps taken by this so-called anti-corruption administration against the allegations made by the Justices of the Supreme Court against the Minister of Science and Technology, Mr. Ogbonaya Onu, and Amaechi. “The judges are already in court defending themselves on several count charges of fraud and money laundry but President Buhari’s ministers are working freely and unhindered. “We are also waiting for the final report of investigations into the misuse of office and cases of corruption hanging on the neck of the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu. There is a saying that those who go to equity must do so with clean hands. “Nigerians will also remember the huge fraud and several cases of forex racketeering under this

administration. Nothing has been done and its still business as usual as friends and cronies of this government are buying dollars at a cheaper rates and making billions of naira by reselling same in the black market. “We therefore believe that the new so-called whistle-blowers successes recorded by the APC-led federal government is a distraction to divert attention from failures and incompetence of this administration. “We demand that the government publish the names of all those the monies were recovered from apart from the former GMD, Yakubu. “We also know for a fact that the only reason the ruling party is sending its anti-corruption watchdog against one of its financier in the 2015 general elections, Yakubu, was because he is preparing to run for governorship in Kaduna State in 2019 and the non-performing APC is not happy with this move,� he said.


L≠R: Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Ms. Nonny Ugboma; Chairman, MTN Foundation, Prince Julius Adelusi≠ Adeluyi; Chairman, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Pascal Dozie; and President Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Mr. Olusola Teniola, at the 2017 MTN Foundation≠ Muson Valentine Concert in Lagos .....yesterday  

Rate of Naira Counterfeiting Less Than 1%, CBN Insists Obinna Chima

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday put the total volume of counterfeit currency notes in the country from January to December 2016 at 0.0014 per cent or 14 counterfeit pieces out of one million bank notes. The banking sector regulator which apparently was reacting to Monday’s statement by one of its former Deputy Governor, Dr. Obadiah Mailafia, that 20 per cent of the currency in circulation in Nigeria was fake, described the statement by the ex-central banker as “spurious and grossly uninformed claims.� The CBN in a statement signed by its acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, noted that while the central bank acknowledged that no currency

in the world was immune from counterfeitingtout stressed that the rate of counterfeiting in Nigeria had been very minimal due to appropriate policies put in place by the Bank. It added: “Indeed, our records at the Bank clearly indicate that the prevalence of counterfeit notes in Nigeria from January to December 2016 was less than one per cent (0.0014%) or 14 counterfeit pieces out of one million bank notes. In line with our core value of proactivity, we have always endeavored to use strong security features to make it difficult for dishonest persons to counterfeit the currency. “In addition to that, we have carried out periodic massive nation-wide enlightenment of Nigerians on easy identification of fake bank notes and the reporting of such. We therefore find it rather curious that a

former high ranking official of the CBN would make such bogus and unauthentic claims apparently calculated to destroy confidence in our national currency and sabotage the collaborative efforts of the CBN and the federal government at ensuring enduring stability of the financial system. “The unfortunate implication of the fabricated claim of the said former official of the Bank, is that it gives the false impression that two bills out of every N10 pieces held by an individual is ‘fake’.� Furthermore, the central bank challenged Mailafia to make public the empirical evidence suggesting that 20 per cent naira currency in circulation was fake. “For the avoidance of doubt, the CBN frowns strongly at attempts to counterfeit the naira. We remain committed to

safeguarding the value of the naira by ensuring that our naira banknotes are not susceptible to counterfeiting. We also work constantly with relevant security agencies to monitor and check the activities of counterfeiters. “Members of the public are therefore advised to disregard the false alarm raised by the said former CBN official, be wary of the activities of counterfeiters and report any case of counterfeiting to the police and their banks,� it stated. Mailafia who made the disclosure while speaking at the opening session of a threeday public hearing on the 2017 budget appropriation process in the National Assembly, had also noted that when fake currencies of that magnitude circulate, original currencies become scarce, warning that “bad money chases away good money�.






Editor, Editorial Page PETER ISHAKA Email



Sonnie Ekwowusi writes that the Igbos should be fully involved in the affairs of government

nterestingly Vice-President Yemi Osibanjo has just reminded us that there is no law barring Nigerian citizens from holding/organising peaceful rallies in Nigeria. Osibanjo and Buhari’s handlers should do well to explain that to Buhari. Shedding of innocent blood is satanic. Most bloody-thirsty tyrants in history have ended up badly. Because blood also symbolises guilt, those who have shed innocent blood are haunted by the blood they had wittingly or unwittingly shed. For example, in Shakespeare’s Macbeth (Act 11 Scene 11), after the murder of Duncan, Lady Macbeth tries to get Macbeth to wish away the murder. Lady Macbeth: “These deeds must not be thought. After these ways; so, it will make us mad. Macbeth: “Methought I heard a voice cry ‘Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep’, the innocent sleep”. Then in his soliloquy, Macbeth experiences the great knocking at the door and how all the waters in the ocean cannot wash away the blood of the guilt: “Whence is that knocking? How is’t with me when every noise appals me? What hands are here? Ha! They pluck out mine eyes. Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather The multitudinous seas incarnadine, Making the green one red”. The traditional African cosmology is anthropocentric. In African cosmology man is the centre of existence. Human life is inviolable. Shedding of innocent human blood attracts severe punishments. In fact, shedding of innocent human blood is perceived as a big hindrance to progress. In Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo’s irreversible downfall started after he killed Ikemefuna, the boy that called him father. Therefore Nwodo is right in his said speech. Nigeria should stop spilling the blood of her innocent citizens. Whether it is the blood of Southern Kaduna Christians or the blood of Niger Delta militants or the blood of members of IPOB and MASSOB, every human life is precious. As I said on another occasion, failed federalism engenders secessionist agitations and separatist movements in Nigeria. So, if you abhor pro-Biafra agitations, do justice to the Igbos. If you hate Niger Delta militancy, then improve the living condition of the people of Niger Delta. Remedy the present lop-sided political appointments in Nigeria. Allow the citizens to exercise their right to religious liberty. Appoint competent technocrats to run the government irrespective of their tribes and tongues. If Nigerian federalism were functioning as it ought to; if the Igbos were fairly accommodated in the Nigerian union there probably would have been no pro-Biafra agitations today. The beauty of participatory democracy lies in creating equal opportunities for different people from different ethnic groups and different geo-political zones to meaningful partake in running of a government. In participatory democracy, the fears of every one across board are taken into account, whether the fears are real or imagined. In his said speech Nwodo also stated that the present lopsided political appointment in the Buhari government which highly marginalises the Igbos is


unconstitutional and therefore unacceptable. In his own words, “under the current federal government Igbo representation is abysmal and falls extremely short of the constitutional provisions for the reflection of federal character in the appointment into important government positions….” Nwodo is not alone in this assertion. Fiery-fighter and conscientious objector, the late Gani Fawehinmi, SAN, unceasingly bemoaned Igbo marginalisation. Prof. Wole Soyinka has also said that “the Igbo have been wronged desperately”. Igbos, according to him, “have been brutalised in a way that justifies their feeling that they were not part of the nation” On January 24, 2017, former President Olusegun Obasanjo stated that “the problem of marginalisation has been a major source of conflicts between ethnic and regional divisions in the country”. In order to redress the injustices done to the Igbos over the years, Obasanjo is at the moment campaigning that Igbos should produce the next President of Nigeria. I wager that if you take a trip to any Igbo state and see the dilapidated federal infrastructure therein you will come back disappointed. Particularly shameful and embarrassing are the federal expressways in Igbo states. Last October I travelled the dreadful Onitsha-Enugu Expressway. I must tell you that our vehicle got trapped inside one of the mighty potholes which looked like a “Bermuda Triangle”. Sad. Isn’t it? Therefore the Buhari government should improve the quality of the federal highways and federal infrastructure in the Igbo -speaking states. The general feeling is that President Buhari hates the Igbos. In fact, two out of every three Igbo persons you meet on Facebook, on WhatsApp, in beer parlours, in the markets, in stadia, in churches, etc., are likely to give you the impression that Buhari hates the Igbos. This is not good. Ethnic, cultural and religious differences notwithstanding, we are all members of the same human family. Therefore to debunk this general feeling commutative justice should be done to the Igbos. Having said this, Igbos should stop seeking consolation in Igbo marginalisation. As Nwodo rightly pointed out in his speech, the days of crying wolf over Igbo marginalisation are over. Certainly justice will not be delivered on a platter of gold. Therefore Igbos should seize the present moment and work out their salvation in Nigeria. Needless going about boasting that Igbos are great people. Action not words. “A tiger does not proclaim his tigritude, he pounces.”(Wole Soyinka). Therefore now is the time for Igbos to regain their rightful place in Nigeria. A river in turbulence is the fisherman’s gain. In other words, even in adverse circumstances, Igbos should re-strategise and re-prioritise to attain their destiny in Nigeria. For this to materialise, the Nwodo-led Ohaneze Ndi Igbo should be a real galvanising force. It should eschew bitterness, acrimony and rancour. Leaders of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo should stop watching their dirts in public. Nwodo should open up Ohaneze Ndi Igbo to the new world of ideas and strategy. Members of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo should learn to be humble. Ohaneze Ndi Igbo should be insulated from partisan politics. It should not allow itself to be hijacked again by self-serving politicians.



Transparency is the code for all financial transactions in Taraba State, writes Daniel Bisalla

hose who work closely with Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State, see him and discuss with him frequently in the course of their official duties must be very familiar with the lingo that is already defining the character of his administration. That lingo has its most frequently used words, popularised, as it were, by the governor himself. The words - “Investigate” and “Verify” - are Governor Ishaku’s favourite words of instruction to his aides who bring reports and memos for his attention. The two words which are similar in meaning are used deliberately by the governor for emphasis. There is no day he does not use those words and this says a lot about his commitment to thoroughness in the conduct of his official duties. Ishaku does not make rash and premeditated decisions based on sentiments. Someone even said that Ishaku would not rush to take action even if he was told that someone was in some corner of the state abusing him until he has thoroughly “investigated” and “verified” that report. That is how painstaking he can be in taking decisions. And the state is profiting immensely from this wholesome commitment to diligence and his sense of fairness and justice. He keeps an eagle eye on frivolous and self-serving reports, proposals and memos from his aides. This way he has been able to cut wastes, keep mischief makers in check and halt attempts by contractors to defraud the state through inflated contract costs. In today’s Taraba State, transparency is the code for all financial transactions in government. Those who take business proposals to Ishaku know that he does not approve anything until he has checked and cross-checked. This attitude will not surprise those familiar with his background. Ishaku came into the highest seat of political authority in the state with a rich private sector experience of

efficiency and accountability. He has since then tried to affect the way things are done in the government of Taraba State which he is superintending. Initially, it was like the proverbial act of taking the horse to the stream. But the result is now better with time. In taking major decisions, his aides in control of affairs in the ministries and at other units of decision making in government now do what the governor has taught them to do – that is, “investigate” and “verify” in order to be very sure. It is the reason Ishaku rarely makes mistakes in his readings and judgments on issues. There is no place this new way of conducting government business has benefited Taraba State more than in the Ministry of Works and Transport. The ministry handles a large number of projects worth billions of naira on behalf of the government. Any case of misjudgement on projects is bound to hurt the financial interests of the state. Roads construction and rehabilitation is a cardinal aspect of the government’s rescue agenda and most of them are done under the supervision of the Ministry of Works and Transport. A lot has been achieved already in the reconstruction of township roads and other state roads. The culture of investigating and verifying came in handy here and it brought a lot of efficiency into project implementation. Costs are not only efficiently verified and determined but contractors must first pass government’s verification tests for efficiency and dependability before they are awarded government projects. Dr Tafarki Agbadu, Commissioner for Works and Transport in Taraba State said the culture of prudence and accountability which Ishaku has introduced into the conduct of government business has helped in saving millions of naira which could have been lost through inefficient decisions. “It is the reason this administration has made a lot of impact in roads construction in the state in a short time”, he said. Some of the roads the administration

met in the most embarrassing conditions and which it reconstructed belong to the federal government. They are major roads used by thousands of people daily. For that reason, Ishaku felt obliged to step in and redeem the roads for the comfort of the people and to save the image of the state which is usually the first casualty of the poor state of these roads. One of such federal roads is the Jalingo – Kona road awarded to Moulds Nig. Ltd in February 2015. The federal government failed to mobilise the company and nothing was done on the project before the Ishaku administration came in. It was designed as a one-lane road without drainage. Ishaku rejected that idea of a single-lane design and changed it after the state had entered into a financial agreement with the Federal Ministry of Works. “They permitted us and moulds to proceed with the project and the new design. The job is now close to completion,” Agbadu said. It is one of the several federal government roads which the state government had redeemed with its own resources and has not been reimbursed till this day. In most cases, the projects were abandoned and the Ishaku administration intervened to save the situation since the roads are in the state and would benefit the people of state more. The 70-kilometre Jalingo - Sunkani – Garba Shedi road is yet another. It was awarded and completed by the previous administration in the state. The present administration paid its retention fee of N113 million. Both the money spent on the construction and the one for retention have not been refunded by the federal government. The story is the same for the 230 - kilometre Bali – Serti – Gembu road, the only road leading to Mambilla Plateau, the site of the proposed national hydro electricity power project. The reconstruction of the road is currently being done by the state government. All the narrow bridges on the road are being dismantled and remodelled. Sometime

last year, the road was almost cut off by a landslide and an emergency repair had to be carried out by the state after the federal government failed to respond to that emergency. Money spent on that job was well over N100 million. The refund is also still outstanding. Other federal roads in the state being reconstructed presently include Mararaba –Baissa – Abong, Takum – Katsina Ala Phase One, Takum - Bissaula and Donga – Mararaba. All the roads constructed or reconstructed by the state government on behalf of the federal government have been inspected and approved for reimbursement. What remains is for the reimbursement to be effected. More than 26 billion is outstanding in favour of the Taraba State government in this respect. Dr Agbadu said the coming of Ishaku is a huge blessing to the state. “He is diligent and hard working. He takes time to read every memo sent to him and he is always preaching peace.” He said peace that is being enjoyed today in the state is a product of the effort of the governor. “The governor had asked the people on assumption of office to give him peace so that he can give them development. We are happy that peace has returned and the development agenda has begun in earnest.” But what may slow down the pace of implementation of government’s development agenda is the dwindling resources arising from the national economic downturn whose impact is already telling on states and local governments in the country. “The political will is there in the person of Governor Ishaku. He has got very brilliant and vibrant ideas for developing the state. But funds are a major part of the limitations.” He urged the federal government to refund Taraba State’s money expended on federal projects in the state which is clearly more than N26 billion for the state to finance more projects. Bisalla wrote from Jalingo, Taraba State





Converting mosques to temporary school facilities will do a lot of good

he Emir of Kano, Mohammad Sanusi 11, recently advised northern governors to use mosques to offer primary education instead of constructing new classrooms in the midst of scarce resources. According to the emir, since there were many mosques in the northern part of the country, they could function as primary schools during the day time and in between afternoon and evening obligatory prayers. This would slash considerably the amount spent on school infrastructure while more attention and funds could be devoted to the training of teachers and welfare. “When you convert these mosques to institutions of learning in your domain,� said Sanusi, who was also former governor of Central Bank, “you simply bring education to the door steps of citizens at less cost.� Fortunately, many renowned scholars and Imams across the north are buying into the idea as long as the mosques are well kept and their sanctity observed. Ismaila Modibbo Umaru, Secretary of the Muslim Council of Nigeria in Adamawa State said communities could do well IN THE HISTORY OF ISLAM, to support the idea. TEACHING CHILDREN IN “During the time of MOSQUES IS NOTHING the Prophet, mosques NEW. MOSQUES WERE were centres of learnCENTRES OF LEARNING ing and scholarship, so AND SCHOLARSHIP our mosques can be used as classes so long as their sanctity will be respected as places of worship,� he said. Dr. Mansur Ibrahim, also an Islamic scholar in Sokoto, said parents who could not afford to send their children to even public schools would send them to schools “managed by our mosques.� In the history of Islam, teaching children in mosques is nothing new. Mosques were centres of learning and scholarship. The first ever school linked to a mosque was reportedly at Medina in 653 and by 900 “nearly every mosque had an elementary school for the education of both boys and girls.� Renowned Islamic universities like Al-Azhar and many of its contemporaries were

Letters to the Editor

former mosques. Indeed, Sanusi’s credited his recent suggestion to his trip to Fez, Morocco, where he visited a mosque performing its routine function as a place of worship, and a university. Sanusi’s inspired idea is evidently aimed at spreading literacy in the north where the number of out-of-school children has been on a steady rise. According to the latest report, over 10 million children of school age were out school in that region alone.










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t is known that some 50 million Americans trace their ancestry to Germany, some 30 million to Ireland, seven million to Israel, and the list goes on. Leonardo DiCaprio has been described as part-Italian, and Colby Lopez (Seth Rollins of WWE) as part-Armenian, part-German, part-Irish; Nicholas Nemeth (Dolph Ziggler of WWE) has also been described as part-Hungarian, John Cena of WWE as part-Italian, and the Bella twins of WWE as part-Italian, part-Mexican. Something is clicking into place here, and that something is innate. Really, that something is the attachment to the native gene (or however anthropologists would have us phrase this). Folks are not ashamed anymore to identify with their roots no matter how uncultured those original parts are today. Maybe this all about the desire to lessen identity crises. Europe is dealing with its worst case of identity crisis situation as we know it today, but this fact may not be obvious to the native-born Europeans championing the cause of multi-culturalism. There are some five million French citizens of Arab descent and there are sundry numbers of these Arabs in Belgium and the Netherlands; there are also some four million Germans of Turkish descent and there are sundry numbers of Brits who claim Asian (specifically India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka) descent,

o make matters worse, classrooms are an essential commodity, particularly in many rural communities with the result that children study under trees. In the urban centres that have the luxury of being provided with classrooms, many of them are dilapidated with leaking roofs, cracked walls and without windows. In many cases, children sit on the floor as there are no reading tables and chairs for them. The situation is not helped by the acute shortage of teachers, which in Sanusi’s words were “among the critical factors that lead to positive learning outcomes.� Recently, Hon. Adamu Jangebe, Education Board Chairman in Zamfara State made a depressing revelation on the condition of primary education in the state. He said no fewer than 300 public primary schools were manned by a single teacher each while many more schools in remote communities had none at all, leaving the children to their own devices. Yet without good education, the future of children is already mortgaged with the attendant danger of making them susceptible to anti-social vices. Indeed, ample evidence exists that the social miscreants and religious bigots, including the Boko Haram insurgents that have wrecked the North-east of the country today, are largely recruited from the army of uneducated people who grew up without any hope for their future. Most of the girls who are married off at tender age are predominantly from rural areas, and mostly with no education. It is therefore important for critical stakeholders in the north to heed Sanusi’s recent advocacy. It will do a lot of good.

too. Americans of European and Jewish roots have been happily integrated into mainstream America society, but the Arabs and hardcore Asians of Europe have spurned attempts at integration into the mainstream. These folks suffer from perennial case of identity crises and the reactionaries amongst these have sought to terrorise the European societies that call them citizens. There is a simple solution to this situation, really. The 50 million German-Americans, the 30 million Irish-Americans, the five million Arab-Frenchmen, the four million Turkish-Germans, etc, should set up Ăźber-funds that would be called “native cultural endowmentsâ€? and these endowments are the vehicles that provide ultimate connectivity with the places of origins by encouraging travels to the homelands and the owning of property in the homelands. Thus, Donald Trump, say, should be materially connected to the Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Leonardo DiCaprio to Turin, Nicholas Nemeth to Budapest, etc. This kind of material connection is what the Arabs and Asians of Europe are missing and the lack of such connectivity breeds frustration that drives these Arabs and Asians to seek to blow up their societies. Sunday Adole Jonah, Federal University of Technology, Minna



he rite of passage for the aged in the culture of Ogba people of Rivers State, Nigeria, peaks with a cultural carnival, which takes place in December/January. During the finale, various masquerades perform at the arena; each type comes in multiple, adorned in costume that proclaim its peculiarity and displays its choreography to specific percussion-based rhythmic patterns. The festival attracts tourists from far and near to Omoku, the local government headquarters, to witness what is considered a variant of Mardi Gras without the erotically suggestive undertones that characterise the New Orleans event. At the festival, people are usually in celebratory mood and events go on smoothly. However, there is a particular masquerade that is a lone-ranger and its entry ushers in chaos; its name is owha. It is machete-wielding and chases any and every person with the intent of inflicting injury hence it is put on a long leash with many able-bodied young men as handlers. When angered by the restraints from the handlers, the owha turns around, goes after the handlers and the event is in crisis until somehow it is brought under control and forced out of the arena. Thereafter, the festivities continue to a cheerful conclusion. Incidentally, the owha is relevant in other cultures in Nigeria where it is, naturally, known by other names. I spent my youth

in the United States during the screaming ‘70s and that remains a period I relished and still cherish. What I find worrisome in the current affairs in the US is that President Trump may not be aware of and appreciate the immense responsibilities that go with the enormity of powers incumbent in the office he now occupies. I think he needed to have gone through political apprenticeship (not Reality TV Apprenticeship) before emerging in the most powerful office in the world. Since taking office, it has been one contentious issue after another: Australia refugee deal, Mexico’s wall project and “bad hombres,� Germany euro accusations, putting Putin at par with Merkel, discriminatory travel ban that has drawn Americans to the streets and has been challenged by the judiciary; the word “ally� is now being redefined, alliances have been shaken to their roots and discordant tunes are consistently emanating from the erstwhile hallowed halls of the Oval Office. With what Kathleen Parker aptly referred to as “the perilous absurdities emanating from the White House� and the bullying of the other arms of government, free enterprise and the fourth estate now dubbed “the most dishonest people on earth,� not to talk of his obvious immaturity and irritability, Trump has shown every sign of the owha. O. Jason Osai, Rivers State University of Science & Technology Port Harcourt








Group Politics Editor Olawale Olaleye Email 08116759819 SMS ONLY


For Anambra 2017, the Gladiators File Out Again With the Anambra State governorship election billed to hold later this year, David-Chyddy Eleke writes on the top aspirants rooting to take the mantle of leadership in the state





ll things being equal, Anambra State will go to the polls in November of this year to elect a new governor for the state. Political gladiators in the state have already oiled their machinery in readiness for the time, just as secret meetings are continually held, and alignments and realignments made. Though the dramatis personae in the election would largely remain the same, the circumstances and conditions of the election would vary. For example, while a former governor, Mr. Peter Obi would be playing a serious part in the election, he would not be doing so as a sitting governor as he did in the election that produced the incumbent, Willy Obiano. Another serious difference that the election would witness is that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which had always been a serious opposition party in the state and which has now been led for over 10 years by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) would not be so much of a force to reckon with, as the All Progressive Congress (APC) has poached most of its members to its fold. While this year’s election would witness the most aspirants on the platform of the APC, contrary to the PDP it has always been, the APGA already has an automatic candidate in the incumbent, Obiano, who is Chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees, for whom the party has foreclosed the same intention from any other of its members. In no particular order, below are the top contenders for the governorship position later this year, and the factors that may shape their

performance in the exercise.

tions to people that matter in the corridors of power, his popularity among the youth and the aged because of his FC Ifeanyi Ubah platform, which he has used to uplift youths in the state, and his philanthropy, which has touched the aged respectively. If APC wants a man who can vie and win the governorship of the state on his own financial strength, Ifeanyi Ubah could be that man. But many contend that being rich and popular are not all that are needed for governance, moreso at the govenorship level, and this group of people think Ubah lacks the intellectual capacity to govern a complex state like Anambra State.

which the state’s assets were set ablaze. He has however tried to exonerate himself from it all, but the mere mention of his name brings back some unsavoury memories. May not exactly be his own Uba as his younger brother, Chris Uba was also in the forefront of happenings in those days. Some political analysts says he has already secured the ticket of the party for himself, using his godfather, Chief Obasanjo, and has also been the brain behind the blocking of the incumbent governor, Obiano from trying to form any form of alliance with APC at the centre as Obi did with PDP, even while in APGA. Uba hails from Uga, Aguata LGA, Anambra South senatorial zone.


Ifeanyi Ubah: Billionaire oil magnate and chairman of FC Ifeanyi Ubah is a young and rich politician from Nnewi North local government area which incidentally falls in Anambra South senatorial zone, one of the zones favoured for the governorship position of the state. He recently joined the APC in what was described as a secret defection, and has been making serious consultations with the powers that be in the party to fly its ticket. His major advantage in the race is his connec-

Though the dramatis personae in the election would largely remain the same, the circumstances and conditions of the election would vary. For example, while a former governor, Mr. Peter Obi would be playing a serious part in the election, he would not be doing so as a sitting governor as he did in the election that produced the incumbent, Willy Obiano

Andy Uba: He has been governor of Anambra State, even though it was just for 17 days only. Since the court sacked him from the position to make way for Obi to complete his tenure, and also stopped him from assuming power on the expiration of Obi’s first term as a governor-inwaiting, ruling that a fresh election was necessary to give Obi the chance to seek re-election, he has never hidden his quest to return to the seat he left about 10 years ago. He recently jumped ship, from the PDP to APC, though secretly too. He is regarded as a very experienced politician, also very connected, and to cap it up, he is rich. He has the capacity to run for the election on his own capability if wealth was the sole yardstick for measurement. Though Uba has a political structure with followers that can help him prosecute election, he is also very easily discreditable because of the role he played during the dark days of Anambra, when he was seen as the most powerful aide in the Chief Olusegun Obasanjo presidency in

Chike Obidigbo: Another APC member, Chike Obidigbo joined the party from the APGA. An industrialist, chairman of Hardis and Dromedas – a company that deals in cosmetics and other household products – he contested for APGA’s governorship APGA with Obiano in 2013 but failed. He accused the party of sabotaging him, after raising his hope, following the endorsement of his candidacy by the entire Anambra North traditional rulers, where Obi had insisted that the next governor must come from. In a recent briefing with journalists, Obidigbo noted that though he is new, and going by APC’s usual insistence on handing tickets only to old members, if the party wants someone who can win them the position, then they should consider him for the ticket. Godwin Ezeemo: He is a notable grassroots politician, who has impacted the people through his philanthropy. He has investments in the





F O R A N A M B R A 2 0 1 7 , T H E G L A D I AT O R S F I L E O U T A G A I N media, oil sector, haulage, tourism and many others. He is considered a rich man by every standard, and also known for his consistency. Ezeemo has supporters who are fanatical in their belief in him and also known to be a man of ideas. He is one politician who believes that things must be done right in the state if it must regain its glory. However, he does not seem to be lucky with political parties. Ezeemo contested the ticket of the ACN in the 2013 governorship election against Dr. Chris Ngige, who then was seen as the alter ego of the party in the state. He contested against advice from many people that no matter his popularity, he cannot win the ACN ticket from Ngige, who was seen as the owner of the party. The party was literarily snatched off him by Ngige then, and he was said to have been offered a place in APGA as the deputy governorship candidate to Obiano, to which he rejected saying, ‘being a deputy governor is like being a spare tyre, and if I take it, I would not be able to impact the state as I truly want to’. He then moved to the less known Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), and has since been the major financier of the party, and its leader too. Many believe that If Ezeemo vied in a more popular party, he would sail over other candidates, but he remains adamant over his belief that he would be governor of the state through PPA. He is one of the aspirants who are automatic candidates of their parties.



Willie Obiano: He is the incumbent governor of the state and will most likely pull the weight of incumbency. He is from APGA, and may likely not have anyone contending for the ticket of his party, just like Ezeemo. The biggest argument of his supporters have always remained that he has a right to complete the 8-year term of his zone, Anambra North senatorial zone. As much as he is trying to impress the people of the state with infrastructure, he will have his predecessor, Mr. Obi to contend with, as it is believed that the former governor will work hard to take back from him, what he had given him. Obi is reputed to have single-handedly given Obiano the governorship as an old secondary school friend, and a colleague at Fidelity Bank. But no sooner that Obiano took office than both men started bickering. He is also believed to have made lots of enemies in office by bringing in most of his Aguleri kinsmen, who determine who gets what from government. The task ahead of him is a daunting one, and his media aide, Mr James Eze acknowledged so when he said recently that Obiano who was out of the state for about one month had gone to rest, so that he will squarely take on those contesting his seat as it is an election year. Tony Nwoye: A member of the House of Representatives, who rose through student union activism to become a party chairman, and a big wig politician in Anambra. He had also run for the governorship in 2013 on the platform of PDP and missed it by whiskers. His loss was occasioned by the factionalisation in the party then, leading to multiple candidatures, but through the help of Obi, Obiano trounced him and all the other candidates. He is now in the APC, and also known to be young and popular. He may however have a problem of funds. In 2013, he was said to have had his aspiration sponsored wholly by billionaire oil magnate, Chief Arthur Eze, and whether Eze will sponsor his aspiration again is a question for another day. Anambra, however, has become averse to candidates who are sponsored by godfathers after the Ngige/Chris Uba saga. Nwoye hails from Nsugbe, a stone throw from Aguleri, the home of the incumbent governor in Anambra North, the zone favoured for the completion of their eight year term. George Muoghalu: He is a staunch party man, who will not easily jump ship just to contest election. That is how George Muoghalu is described in most quarters. He was a foundation member of the APP, and also remained in the party when it transformed to ANPP. He joined his colleagues in the party to make negotiations that saw to the emergence of the APC. He is trusted to be APC in blood and flesh, and said to be favoured for the ticket of the APC being the oldest member of the party among those gunning for the seat.


Another serious difference that the election would witness is that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which had always been a serious opposition party in the state and which has now been led for over 10 years by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) would not be so much of a force to reckon with, as the All Progressive Congress (APC) has poached most of its members to its fold



Moughalu is an old politician, but said not to be rich enough for the kind of funds required to run for governorship, especially in a state like Anambra. He hails from Anambra South, Nnewi precisely, and seems to have the support of the powers that be in the party, just as he may have backers to help him with funds is he is eventually favoured with the party’s ticket. Oseloka Obaze: A well-known diplomat, full of ideas, and coupled with a charismatic and dynamic personality, Obaze’s type, in more refined societies like the former central Bank governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo should be invited to come home and contribute their ideas to bettering the society, but not in Nigeria where less qualified people get nominations over more qualified pones. Obaze was invited back home to serve as the secretary to the state government by Obi, and he did not disappoint. He is seen as a man who would transform the state with his ideas if given the chance, but the odds against him are a legion. He does not seem to have the kind of money required for the contest, and is not known to have any visible godfather to back him up in that aspect too. Besides these, Obaze will be running for the election on the platform of an unpopular political party, UPP, founded by Chief Chekwas Okorie. He has launched an extensive campaign seeking to dislodge the incumbent governor, so as to complete the remaining four years of

the Anambra North people, where he comes from. It is still doubtful how he will bring that to reality. Alex Obiogbolu: A veteran governorship election contender in Anambra State, Obiogbolu is also a thorough bred gentleman and medical doctor full of ideas. He is a smooth talker and very eloquent in speech delivery. One can always tell that Obiogbolu will contest any governorship election in the state, even without him announcing his ambition, because he usually contests. A staunch and unwavering PDP stalwart, Obiogbolu has come near to clinching the seat in previous elections, but the factionalisation in the party has always taken the ticket taken from him. In all his attempts to seize government, Obiogbolu has always presented a clear and workable manifesto as to how the state could be transformed, but the trouble has always been how he can win the election. Like a few others in the race, He would have to seek the help of a godfather with loads of cash if he intends to win the election. Barth Nwibe: A multi-millionaire business man, Barth Nwibe was a financier of the ACN, before it joined other parties to metamorphose into APC. He is a staunch party man and will be contesting for the ticket of the APC for the election. He is not so much of an experienced politician, but has had a shot at the Anambra

South senatorial race before now. He is reputed to be the ‘second in rank’ in terms of popularity to Ngige, among all the old ACN members. How he fares in the contest for the APC ticket among the big wig politicians that have flooded the party will determine what he will be able to do in the main election. Nwibe is from Aguata area, which falls in Anambra South senatorial zone. Obinna Uzor: A lawyer, entrepreneur, businessman and philanthropist, Uzor is from Ihiala, Anambra South zone of the state. He may likely be the choice of the Catholic Church for the governorship position, that is, after Obiano who is also favoured by the church. He is a staunch Catholic who has favoured the church with his wealth, executing projects for them. He is also said to be the favourite aspirant of Ngige, who remains the leader of the party in the state, besides Muoghalu. Uzor is rich and popular. He has also endeared himself to the people of the state, and known to be a grassroots politician too. He has had more than a shot at the government house, but has never been lucky. Osita Chidoka: Rich, young, smart and popular former minister of aviation is also interested in the governorship seat. He is a core PDP man, and had recently declared that all those exiting the party to the APC were doing so to secure federal might to run for the election. He declared further that he would remain in PDP, saying Anambra is a PDP state, but was only lost to APGA because of a certain oracle (Peter Obi). But “now that the oracle is in PDP, APGA has lost its power, so Anambra will return to PDP.” Those who know him say he is seriously working and making consultations too on how to achieve his aim in the forthcoming election.




Acting Features Editor Charles Ajunwa Email

Lessons from Pakistan for Nigeria Pakistan and Nigeria share many things in common. For years, the two countries have battled terrorists and insurgents at the huge expense of financial and human resources. Iyobosa Uwugiaren, who was recently in Pakistan for five days, reports on the Pakistani army's battle against terrorists and the lessons for Nigeria


or those not very conversant with the reality in Pakistan, the mere mention of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan instills fear. And that perhaps explained the recent huge task by the Military Attaché to Pakistan Embassy (Nigeria), Col. Julian Muazzan James, in trying to persuade Nigerian media delegations including this reporter that his country was safe for them for a five-day working visit. The fear of the Nigerian media delegates senior editors from both print and electronic media, was plausible and logical. Few years ago, Pakistan was ranked by the Global Travel and Tourism Report of the World Economic Forum, as the “fourth most dangerous country in the world.’’ The report ranking countries on ‘Safety and Security,’ gave Pakistan a score of 3.04, while Finland, the safest country in the world, had a score of 6.7. What really instigated that frightening ranking, according to experts, were the acts of terrorism that have swamped the country for over a decade. Indeed, it was certainly fear-provoking. The documentation by the South Asia Terrorism Portal - being funded by the Institute for Conflict Management, shows that 21,527 civilians; 6,669 security personnel and 33,559 terrorists/insurgents totaling 61,555, had been killed as at January 2017 due to terrorism war in the country. The economic cost was also massive. The war against terror has cost Pakistan over $118.32 billion or Rs9,869 billion in the past 15 years, according to Economic Survey 2015/2016. The economic survey indicates that the conflict and instability in Afghanistan in the aftermath of 9/11 terrorist attacks and their regional implications had immense negative consequences for Pakistan. The report said the snowballing effect of these developments harmfully squeezed the overall growth rate in all major sectors of the country’s economy. Standard economic and trading activities were hugely interrupted, resulting in higher costs of doing business and significant delays in meeting the export orders around the globe. As a result, experts said Pakistani products gradually lost their market share to their competitors. Economic growth could not pick up as planned. An extensive share of treasurable national resources, both men and material, have been diverted to address the enormous security challenges and to repair damaged infrastructure during the last 15 years. But investigation by THISDAY, during a recent five-day visit to the country, shows that the frightening situation has tremendously

Pakistani army

changed in the last one year. By 2016, Pakistan has moved out of the top 10 most dangerous countries in the world. The Pakistan Army spokesman, Major General Asif Ghafoor and the Chairman, Senate Defence Committee of Pakistan Parliament, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, attributed the success to the military operations of the Pakistan Army in interviews with THISDAY in Islamabad, recently. Appraised as the sixth largest in the world in terms of active military personnel and the largest among Muslim countries, the Pakistan Armed Forces comprise three main service branches: Army, Navy, and Air Force - together with a number of paramilitary forces and the Strategic Plans Division Force. International experts in the military operation had regularly described the Pakistan Armed Forces as “the best-organised institution in Pakistan, and are highly respected in civil society.’’ The widely respected view among the Pakistan citizens is that since the founding of Pakistan, the military had played a strategic role in holding the state together, promoting a feeling of nationhood and providing a stronghold

Over 1,500 books and other hate material had been confiscated and 71 such shops sealed since the start of operation against terror. One of the areas the government is said to have focused on under the National Action Plan (NAP) has been to curb dissemination of hate speech and material. In this regard, 1,961 suspects have been arrested and 1,893 cases filed against clerics. Of these, 271 have been convicted while 826 cases are still pending before special courts

of self-sacrificing service. Genesis of the Terrorism War There is all-purpose consensus among many experts that terrorism was not a new phenomenon for Pakistan, that it has been an actuality for many years, but later acquired an aggressive length since the tragic events of 9/11 in the United States. Many political and military leaders notably the former Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, security personnel, ordinary citizens, women and children have been victims of the terrorism. Brigadier-General (retired) Mohmood Shah, former Secretary of Security for FATA, who was a key figure in the negotiation process with the tribal elders and drafting the agreement at the start of the war against terrorism, told THISDAY that the phenomenon of the war is complex with a host of internal and external influences giving rise to manifold centres of terrorism in the country. He argued that the actual activate for the blow-out of terrorism in Pakistan was, however, the iconic event of 9/11 and the subsequent U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2011, which later pushed Taliban forces into Pakistan tribal region where they created new bases and sanctuaries. The historical suggestion of the vicious crisis is that the roots of Pakistani society also had an element of sectarianism, which has been apparent since 2006. The argument was that Al Qaeda and the TTP joined with sectarian-based militant outfits to operate on a broad spectrum. 2006, according to many experts, was the year which worsened Pakistan’s internal security absurdity. Pakistan Army Operation against Terrorists The Pakistan Army spokesman, Major General Ghafoor, told THISDAY that there had been quite a few large scales military operations in Pakistan - all designed and targeted towards the local and foreign militants, since Pakistan started the global war against terrorism. The list of military operations include Operation Al-Mizan, Operation Rah-e-Haq, Operation Zalzala, Operation Black Thunderstorm, Operation Raah-e-Raast, Operation Sher Dil, Operation Rah-e-Nijat, Operation Koh-e-Safaid and Operation Zarb-e-Azb. According to ISPR (Inter Services Public Relations) of the Pakistan Army, the army launched a comprehensive operation “Zarbe-Azb” against foreign and local terrorists and their sanctuaries in North Waziristan Agency on June 15, 2014.The targeted group include: Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Al-Qaeda, the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), the

Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and the Haqqani network with nearly 30,000 troops participating in the operation with the help of the air force, artillery and tanks. Besides normal infantry troops, the Special Service Group (SSG) commandos also took part in this operation. The operations in his estimation were huge success. A Research Fellow in the Institute of Strategic Studies (ISSI), Asad Ullah Khan, told THISDAY in Islamabad that in the aftermath of the Karachi Airport attack on June 8, 2014, which resulted in the loss of the lives of 28 people including 10 terrorists, the decision to launch a broad well-targeted military operation against terrorists especially in the North Waziristan was taken. “Pakistan appeared to have made prominent success in 2016 in curbing the sources of violence that had been threatening peace and security not just in Pakistan but in the region,” the Ullah Khan stated. “There was a nearly 45 per cent reduction in the number of violence-related fatalities in 2016, which continued the trend of reduction from 2012; in fact, since 2014, there has been an overall reduction of nearly 66 per cent.’’ Ullah Khan who works in ISSI, which promotes policy-oriented research on the critical national, regional and international issues affecting Pakistan’s security environment, said the gain reflects the success of the Kinetic operations across the country by security forces, both military and civilian. Not many experts in terrorism including Brigadier-General (retired) Shah believe that over 98 per cent operation against terrorists in Pakistan has been achieved. And all the provinces in Pakistan: Balochistan; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; Punjab; Sindh; Capital Territory; Tribal areas; Azad Kashmir, and Gilgit–Baltistan have been cleared of terrorists with many of them either killed or smoked out to Afghanistan. The Pakistan Defence said that the most highlighting aspect of the operation until now is the targeting of the militants without any discrimination, saying no terrorist on the Pakistani soil will be spared in the on-going military operation. Besides being trained as a force for conventional warfare, military authorities said that Pakistan military forces have become well equipped and trained to fight unconventional warfare very effectively. “The ground forces are well acquainted with the terrain, area and local tribal population. The last decade, though witnessed a huge loss of civilians and military personnel, but was the hardest and most effective training Pakistan Army would ever undergo. There is a visible use of aerial




The Role of the Media The Director-general, External Publicity Wing, Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, Shafqat Jalil, said the media are not playing “any negative role by not bringing the activities of the terrorists or the suicide attacks prominently to newspapers or the electronic media.’’ His reason: celebrating the terrorist attacks can affect the media people negatively; so, giving glorification to activities of terrorists does more harm to the society. And the electronic media regulatory authority works closely with all channels to ensure compliance.

She said Pakistan was recently upgraded from a frontier economy to an emerging market in the MSCI index, saying this is an important signal given a changing global landscape, especially for emerging and developing economies. She said Pakistan needs to rely on the strength of its own policies to generate more growth and jobs, join the group of dynamic emerging markets. According to the IMF Chief, “Just three years ago, the country was on the brink of an economic crisis. Today, and thanks to the authorities’ homegrown programme of reforms that the IMF supported, the economy is on a much stronger footing. Public finances have improved considerably, external reserve buffers have been rebuilt, and growth has been gradually strengthening. These are very encouraging developments. “Pakistan has also made important strides in growth-supporting policies. A clear example is the power sector. Not everything has been resolved, but disruptive power outages have come down from about nine hours to one hour per day for industries, and from eight to five hours for urban consumers. “Costly and inefficient subsidies were reduced. These subsidies disproportionately benefited the more affluent. And the accumulation of power sector arrears, also known as circular debt, has also significantly decreased. These are major achievements.’’ She added that Pakistan had equally made huge important achievements on the budget revenue side, saying by closing tax loopholes and setting up a more targeted approach to widen the tax base, revenue collection improved by 2 ½ per cent of GDP over the past three years. “Having achieved such difficult reforms, the economy has come a long way. Now, with a more resilient economy and growth picking up, Pakistan has reached a moment of opportunity. It can now embark on the next generation of reforms to generate higher and more inclusive growth, and tap into the dynamism of emerging economies,’’ the IMF boss further stated. She said Pakistan could do better: higher public investment in infrastructure can help. For instance, continuing support for projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will not only promote growth and job creation, but will also facilitate regional integration. Another way Pakistan can boost growth, according to the IMF, is by improving the business climate by strengthening governance and enabling the private sector to thrive. Pakistan ranks 117 out of 168 countries in perceived corruption. She added: “Increasing access to education is crucial, especially in Pakistan where youth comprise about 60 per cent of the population. IMF research suggests that improvements in education have contributed importantly to reducing income inequality within countries. “Currently, education outcomes in Pakistan remain weak. One out of every 12 children in the world that does not attend school lives in Pakistan. I am aware that access to education is a key concern for the Pakistani citizen. “Bolstering public investment in education from 2½ per cent of GDP to emerging market average around four per cent of GDP will be essential to prepare the workforce with the necessary skills and make Pakistan more competitive on the global market.’’ Beyond education, she added that there is also a need for Pakistan to improve women’s participation in the economy, saying closing gender gaps in economic participation could boost GDP by up to a third. The Vice-Chancellor of University of the Punjab, the largest university in Pakistan, Professor Zafar Mueen Nasir, told THISDAY that the country is hugely engaged in education reform in order to play a very important role to reforming the country.

Pakistan: Emerging Market in the World Economy After the war, the Pakistan Foreign Affairs Minister and his Information counterpart said that the country was fast emerging market in the world economy, in spite of huge financial and human resources devoted in the war against terrorism in the past 16 years. To be sure, the Managing Director, International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, stated late last year when she visited Pakistan that ‘’hard work and reforms were starting to pay off’’ in the country.

Lesson for Nigeria? An expert in counter-terrorism, BrigadierGeneral (retired) Shah, advised Nigeria's government to learn from Pakistan in its fight against terrorism, saying Nigeria - the most populous country in Africa, has both human and financial resources to root out terrorists. Describing Nigerian Army as highly professional, he said monitoring the activities of religious groups, investing hugely in intelligence gathering and ensuring effective government presence in all parts of the country, will assist in its war against terrorism.

support in recent operations as compared to the earlier ones,’’ a Pakistan military source told THISDAY. Besides, more classy and precise weapons have been used by Pakistan military in the recent combat missions. Pakistan National Action Plan against Terrorism The Pakistan Minister of State, Ministry of Information Broadcasting and National Heritage, Marriyum Aurangzeb, said that the National Action Plan against terrorism formulated by the present Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, has given huge push against war against terror in the country. She told THISDAY that a 20-point declaration, agreed to in the All Parties Conference called by the Prime Minister immediately after the terrorists attack on Peshawar school, which killed 148 people, most of them children, was later announced by Sharif. These points, according to the Pakistan spokesperson were unanimously agreed to in a marathon meeting of leaders of all the political parties after a session of 11 hours. The points included the implementation of death sentence of those convicted in cases of terrorism. Special trial courts under the supervision of Army were created. The duration of these courts would be two years; militant outfits and armed gangs were banned from operating in the country; and NACTA, the anti-terrorism institution was strengthened. In the action plan, there is strict action against the literature, newspapers and magazines promoting hatred, decapitation, extremism, sectarianism and intolerance; there is registration and regulation of religious seminaries; ban on glorification of terrorists and terrorist organisations through print and electronic media. “After the devastating terror attack on a Peshawar school, which killed 148 people, most of them children, Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif partially lifted the six-year moratorium on executions as part of a 20-point National Action Plan (NAP) to combat terrorism,’’ the Minister of State added. On his part, the Senate Defence Committee Chairman said that the Pakistan’s legislators passed the 21st amendment to the constitution and the Pakistan Army Amendment Bill to temporarily allow military tribunals to try militants accused of waging war against the state. Consequently, about 300 death row prisoners were hanged since the government lifted a six-year moratorium on death penalty on December 17, 2014. The terrorists were convicted for involvement in killing of civilians as well as of personnel of law enforcement agencies. There were death sentences for seven more militants for their involvement in the Peshawar school massacre and an attack on a bus carrying members of the minority Ismaili community. It was gathered that security forces have carried out 54,376 combing operations so far under NAP, and as results of these 60,420 arrests were made. Similarly, 3,019 intelligence based operations were carried out and 1,388 intelligence reports were shared with intelligence agencies. The law enforcement agencies (LEAs) were said to have also sealed 102 Islamic seminaries for fanning extremism and frozen Rs1 billion in funds of proscribed militant groups. The government has closed down 87 madrassas in Sindh and 13 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa; two seminaries have been sealed in Punjab the largest province, where a number of students were found in contact with banned groups. The LEAs have also identified 190 seminaries that receive funds from abroad. As part of the strategy to choke terror financing, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) was said to have frozen Rs1 billion in 126 accounts linked to proscribed organisations. The LEAs was also said to have recovered Rs251.2 million in cash, which was being traded through Hawala and Hundi. The government also recovered Rs19.77 million from suspects involved in the 2004 ‘Chowk Yadgar Operation’ in Peshawar. Over 1,500 books and other hate material had been confiscated and 71 such shops sealed since the start of operation against terror. One of the areas the government is said to have focused on under the National Action Plan (NAP) has been to curb dissemination of hate speech and material. In this regard, 1,961 suspects have been arrested and 1,893 cases filed against clerics. Of these, 271 have been convicted while 826 cases are still pending before special courts.

Editor, Nation's Capital THISDAY Newspaper, Iyobosa Uwugiaren, alighting from a military helicopter in Pakistan...recently

The government had also cracked down against the misuse of loudspeakers. As many as 7,000 cases have been filed and 6,855 alleged hate-preachers arrested. Of them, 1,482 have been convicted of hate mongering on loud speakers. Under the NAP, 97.9 million SIMs have been biometrically verified and 5.1 million SIMs have been blocked, according to the Minister of Information. And the process was completed in just three months. THISDAY further gathered that formulation of a comprehensive policy to deal with the issue of Afghan refugees was kick started, beginning with registration of all refugees. Consequently, 3,416 Afghan Refugees were said to have been deported, including 2,844 from KP, 195 from Balochistan, one in Islamabad and 376 from FATA. In the Karachi operation, investigation revealed that the Rangers Pakistan Army has arrested over 58,000 criminals. Of them, 9,570 were absconders while 630 were proclaimed offenders. Others apprehended during the operation included 1,731 murderers, 713 terrorists, 517 extortionists and 118 kidnappers. Security forces also recovered 15,612 illegal weapons during the operation. The Governor of Punjab, Pakistan, Malik Muhammad Rafigue Rajwana, told THISDAY in his office in Punjab that the National Action Plan (NAP) implemented by Punjab Police had produced positive results, as noticeable decrease in terrorism cases has been observed. Records show that under the supervision of the Inspector General (IG) of Police, the last few months has witnessed 33,772 combing operations in which 994,118 people were questioned, 5,549 cases registered out of which 980 cases were registered under Foreign Act violation. During the period also, 6,162 general hold ups were held, in which 24,436 suspected criminals were arrested. Similarly, 122,800 vehicles without number plates, unauthorised and tinted glasses were impounded during the hold ups. Taking action against the display of arms, 2,851 cases were registered while 189 weapons were confiscated during the operation. The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) was also said to have arrested 40 hardcore activists and detained 69 during the period. On violation of Tenancy Act, 7,328 cases were

Pakistan has also made important strides in growthsupporting policies. A clear example is the power sector. Not everything has been resolved, but disruptive power outages have come down from about nine hours to one hour per day for industries, and from eight to five hours for urban consumers

registered, in which 11,036 were arrested and 1,754 were convicted. On publication of hate material, 547 cases were registered, in which 580 violators got arrested and 35 were convicted. The governor added that with the implementation of NAP, the heinous crime graph has decreased in Punjab. According to details, 27 per cent decrease was recorded in murder cases. In 2014, the reported cases of murder were 5,282, as compared to less than 1,000 in 2016. Similarly, crime against person was also reduced by 11 per cent to 43,437, which were 48,759 in 2014. The Chief of Staff, 11 Corps, a military base in Peshawar, Major General Imdad Hussien, said the Army has witnessed 95 per cent success of its war against terrorism; with over 90 per cent of the Internal Displaced Persons returned to their homes; and 85 per cent of the houses destroyed rebuilt. Speedily, the war against terrorism in Pakistan is coming to an end. The Pakistan Foreign Minister of State, Mr. Syed Tariq Fatemi, said that war against terror has been a long battle, in which everybody has since realised very well that if they get rid of terrorism, many of their problems will be solved, saying the economic and stability challenges are tired to security challenges. “With that everybody came on board to help the government fight terrorism. For now every branch of the society is on the same page to get rid of terrorism,’’ the Foreign Affairs Minister told THISDAY. He added that at this critical moment, the implementation of the National Action Plan against terrorism demands true national unity, which must be shown practically. He said the political leaders had pledged not to manipulate their regional and provincial differences at the cost of the national interests so as to grab political power. In order to castigate the conspiracy of the external enemies against the integrity of the country, he argued that the political leaders, media, religious scholars and human rights groups have agreed to work together.









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Quick Takes Ecobank Targets 90m Customers

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) said it plan to increase its customers to 100 million by 2020 from 10 million currently, using technology. Lenders in sub≠Saharan Africa, where studies revealed about a third of people have accounts, have been using mobile and Internet banking to recruit new customers, cut operating costs and create new income sources. Speaking at the launch of EcobankĂ­ s new mobile banking application in Kenya, the bankĂ­ s Chief Executive OďŹƒcer, Ade Ayeyemi told newsmen that this would help the group reach more users in 33 African nations where it operates. ĂŹ Without technology we cannot go anywhere,ĂŽ Reuters quoted him to have said.The application will let users move funds and buy goods across its markets, helping to boost trade in Africa and creating more of a single market on the continent, the CEO of theTogo≠ based institution said. Ayeyemi said the Ecobank mobile banking platform would rst focus on customer transactions and boost savings, before oering loans. ĂŹ You donĂ­ t lend to people until they know the art of savings,ĂŽ he said. During the launch of Ecobank Mobile app in Nigeria last year, Ecobank NigeriaĂ­ s Managing Director, Charles Kie had said: ĂŹ Nigeria is a leading hub for entrepreneurship and technology for Ecobank, so this is why we chose Lagos to launch the Ecobank Mobile App. ĂŹ This new product will allow customers in Nigeria to grow their businesses by giving them a convenient and secure way of banking.ĂŽ


L≠R: Acting Managing Director, Bank of Industry (BOI), Mr. Waheed Olagunju; Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar, and Director Global Companies, New York, Mercedes Gonzalez, during the bank of industry (BOI), fashion master business class with fashion entrepreneurs, in Abuja...recently

W’Bank: In Lagos, Two Out of Three Persons Live in Slums Obinna Chima A new World Bank report has stated that in Lagos, two out of three people live in slums. The report released on Monday also noted that Africa’s cities had been growing in population, stating that adding the size of another Nigeria to cities in the continent, by 2025, would have a critical role to play in their countries’ economic growth. According to the report, improving conditions for people and businesses in African cities by aggressively investing in infrastructure and reforming land markets would be the key to accelerating economic growth, adding jobs, and improving city competitiveness. The report: “Africa’s Cities: Opening Doors to the World,� noted that to grow economi-

BANKING cally as they are growing in size presently, Africa’s cities must open their doors and connect to the world. Africa’s urban population stands at 472 million people today. “As cities grow in size, another 187 million people will be added to urban areas by 2025. In fact, Africa’s urban population will double over the next 25 years, reaching one billion people by 2040.� “What Africa needs are more affordable, connected, and liveable cities,� World Bank Vice President for Africa, Makhtar Diop said. “Improving the economic and social dividends from urbanisation will be critical as

better developed cities could transform Africa’s economies.� The report noted that Africa was urbanising at lower incomes than other developing regions with similar urbanisation levels. In 1968, when countries in the Middle East and North Africa region became 40 per cent urban, their per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was $1,800 (2005 constant dollars). And in 1994, when countries in the East Asia and Pacific region surpassed the same threshold, their per capita GDP was $3,600. “By contrast, Africa, with 40 per cent urbanisation, today has a per capita GDP of just $1,000. This means that every dollar of public investment in cities needs to be done as efficiently as possible, and leveraging as much as possible other sources of finance – from private sector,

international partners, and citizens. “Rapid urbanisation at lower incomes has meant that capital investment in African cities has remained relatively low in the region for the past four decades – at around 20 per cent of GDP. “In contrast, urbanising countries in East Asia – China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea – stepped up capital investment during their periods of rapid urbanisation,� the report added. Lacking capital investment, the report emphasised that investments in African cities’ infrastructure, industrial, and commercial structures have not kept pace with concentration of people, nor have investments in affordable formal housing. In Continued on page 24

N1.2bn Share Fraud: NSE Absolves itself of Negligence Goddy Egene The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has absolved itself of negligence and complicity in the misappropriation of N1.2 billion being proceeds of shares of a former Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), Mr. Arnold Ekpe. Partnership Securities Limited (PSL), which is a registered member of the NSE, sold Ekpe’s ETI shares valued at valued at N1.2 billion without remitting the proceeds into his account. Lawyers to Ekpe, Sofunde Osakwe Ogundipe

CAPITAL MARKET & Belgore, had blamed the NSE’s negligence for fraud. However, in a letter signed by the NSE General Counsel/ Head of Regulation, Ms. Tinuade Awe, the exchange denied any negligence and complicity in the matter. According to the NSE, a review of the Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS’) records revealed that neither the CSCS nor the Exchange was aware that Ekpe had opted for the settlement of the proceeds of sales by PSL directly into his

bank account. “The records further showed that the Direct Cash Settlement form, completed by your client (Ekpe)‌.was not submitted to CSCS by PSL in direct contravention of the Exchange’s rules. There being no information as to your client’s bank account details, reliance was properly placed upon Rule 16.3(c)(2) of the exchange Rulebook 2015, Part 1 in making the payments to PSL. The exchange can therefore, not be liable for such fraudulent concealment or for the deliberate actions of PSLâ€?, the NSE stated in the letter. The exchange noted that

under the X-Alert platform of CSCS, Ekpe was duly notified and received not less than 80 telephone alerts on transactions made by PSL on his behalf, particularly relating to his shares in ETI between June 30 and October 14, 2016. “Your client was, therefore, aware as of early July 2016 that the proceeds from the sales of his shares were not remitted directly into his bank account but neglected to contact CSCS to query the transactions. Notwithstanding the above, your client failed to inform CSCS, Continued on page 24

Heritage Bank Repositions

Heritage Bank Plc said it has restructured its operations in a bid to enhance greater eďŹƒciency and resource optimisation. This, it said was in line with its growth and industry innovative agenda as well as to strengthen its business across all markets where it operates. According to a statement from the bank, the restructuring process was to upscale the institutionĂ­ s activities in the strategic sectors of the economy as well as deploying apt expertise and competences to speci c business areas where it enjoys comparative business advantage. Speci cally, the bank aďŹƒrmed that the reform was part of its strategic eorts to enhance customer experience, drive a digital transformation and improve its productivity and creating synergy. It hinted that the recent restructuring came after a review of its sta composition, the bankĂ­ s strategic direction vis≠‥ ≠ vis desired industry standards and service deliverables. Under this restructuring, the bank said it recently elevated some members of its workforce with higher responsibilities in line with its strategic direction to sustain enhanced performance while those were aected by the exercise had been adequately compensated. ĂŹ There is no doubt that the banking industry like other sectors within the Nigerian economy is going through a challenging and seemingly downward trend, hence the move was part of the bankĂ­ s strategic plan to maintain an eďŹƒcient workforce that will enable the bank achieve its vision of being the Nigerian most innovative banking of choice in service delivery, superior returns to its various stakeholders all in contributing to the growth and development of the nationĂ­ s economy.

ABF Holds in Ethiopia

The fth edition of the Africa Business Forum (ABF) expected to hold in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia will be held for the second time in the country. The event holds on March 1, 2017, under the Patronage of Saudi Sheikh Mohammed Al Amoudi, one of the largest investors in Africa, Forbes ranked billionaire and Ethiopiaí s biggest employer. Ahead of the conference, the Africa Business Forum B2B Investment meeting was held successfully at the Dubai World Trade Center Tower, to welcome potential investors to Africa. Since its creation in 2014, The Africa Business Forum has become one of the most important bi≠annual gatherings in Africa and the Middle East. Africa Business Forum presents an invaluable opportunity for investors to connect with clients from across industries and from around the world. Ï We are very excited about the level of enthusiasm we have received from speakers, sponsors and attendees for this unique conference,Î the founder and chairman of Africa Business Forum, Mr. R. Ahmed said.

“If you have recession, you have to open a situation room, where experts will be monitoring the economy daily. These experts will work to on ways to get the country out of the situation� Former Deputy Governor, CBN

Obadiah Maila a



BUSINESSWORLD W’BANK: IN LAGOS, TWO OUT OF THREE PERSONS LIVE IN SLUMS addition, the report explained that because of this lack of connection, African cities have been among the costliest in the world both for businesses and for households, leaving cities “out of service and closed for business�. It noted that African cities are 29 per cent more expensive than cities in countries at similar income levels. African households face higher costs relative to their per capita GDP than do households in other regions – much of it accounted for by housing, which costs them a full 55 per cent more than in other regions. “In Dar es Salaam, for example, 28 per cent of residents live at least three to a room; in Abidjan, 50 per cent. And in Lagos, Nigeria, two out of three people live in slums. “Adding to this, city dwellers pay around 35 per cent more for food in Africa than in lowincome and middle-income countries elsewhere. Overall, urban households pay 20 – 31 per cent more for goods and services in African countries than in other developing countries at similar income levels. N1.2BN SHARE FRAUD: NSE ABSOLVES ITSELF OF NEGLIGENCE the exchange or any other regulatory authority of PSL’s deliberate infraction of the capital market rules for over three months. The exchange asserts that, had your client informed it at the earliest opportunity, that proceeds from the sale of the his ETI shares were not being remitted directly into his bank account, in spite of his selection of this option, the exchange would have been better placed to prevent the fraud by PSL and mitigate the losses suffered by your client as a result of PSL’s deliberate actions,� it added. The NSE said while denying the allegation of negligence in its entirety, it reiterated that it takes its mandate on investor protection very seriously in accordance with the prevailing regulatory environment and modern industry best practices.

Group Business Editor


ARMHIIL Invests $552m in Amandi Energy Power Plant in Ghana Nosa Alekhuogie ARM-Harith Infrastructure Investment Limited (ARMHIIL), manager of the ARM-Harith Infrastructure Fund (ARMHIF), has announced ARMHIF’s investment in Amandi IPP in Ghana. Consequently, the company said it has commenced construction of the $552 million Amandi Energy Power Plant, a 200 megawatt (MW) combined cycle, dual-fuel power project in Aboadze, Ghana. Amandi Energy Limited, said in a statement that Amandi IPP is the only large scale base-load independent power generation project in sub-Saharan Africa that has achieved financial close so far in 2016. The Amandi Project, it stated, will be crucial in helping meet Ghana’s growing power needs. “Once constructed, the plant will be one of the most efficient power plants in the country and will produce more than 1,600 gigawatt hours per year, energising up to one million Ghanaian households. The $552 million investment required for the Amandi Project comprises $134 million in equity from the sponsor group, which includes Endeavor Energy, Amandi Founder Group, Aldwych International, Pan African Infrastructure Development Fund 2 (PAIDF2) managed by Harith General Partners, and ARMHIF. “The $418 million in debt financing is provided by a group of lenders, including the U.S. Government’s development

finance institution, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), which will provide a $250 million loan; CDC Group plc, which will provide an $83 million loan; as well as Nedbank Limited and Rand Merchant Bank, “it stated. It added: “Taken together with the $868 million Azura-Edo IPP in Nigeria, for which financial close was successfully achieved around this same time last year, ARMHIF is now invested in two

significant power assets that give further credence to the Fund’s West Africa strategy. ARMHIF, through these two investments, has successfully helped close $1.42 billion of infrastructure projects in West Africa to date. ARMHIF has a robust pipeline of further deals under development, including a 100MW Solar Power IPP under development for Northern Nigeria. Through the smart deployment of capital and management of infrastructure

assets, ARMHIF aims to make, in a profitable way for investors, a solid contribution to improving infrastructure in West Africa, and Nigeria.� ARMHIIL Managing Director/CEO, Opuiyo Oforiokuma, commented: “We appreciate the confidence and support of our investors, especially the pioneering Nigerian Pension Fund investors in ARMHIF who were the first Pension Funds in Nigeria to commit to an

Infrastructure Fund. We see from examples around the world, and now in Nigeria, that Pension funds are a viable source of funding for infrastructure. As the main source of long term institutional savings in Nigeria today, valued at approximately $25 billion, our Pension Funds are ideally suited to the long-term investment horizons over which infrastructure projects are typically implemented.�


L≠R: Senior Brand Manager, La Casera Company, Ruth Ode; 2nd Place Winner, La Casera Golden Moment Radio Campaign, Akwuruaha Godspower; Managing Director, BD Consult, Tola Bademosi; and Marketing Manager, La Casera Company, Bello Yusuf, at the presentation of prizes to winners in La Casera golden moments radio show In LagosÖ recently : ETOP UKUTT

Dangote to Launch 25,000 Hectares of Rice Outgrower Scheme in Sokoto Iyobosa Uwugiaren in Abuja Dangote Rice, a subsidiary of Dangote Group, is set to launch in Sokoto State its multi-million naira 25,000 hectares of rice outgrower scheme with a prospect of hundreds of thousands of employment opportunities for the rural communities’ inhabitants. A statement by the group quoted the President of the Group, Aliko Dangote, as disclosing at the weekend that the company would tomorrow flag off w a pilot project of 500 hectares by Gonroyo Dam, in Goronyo community.

Gonroyo Dam is the second largest in the country after Kainji. According to the statement, the flag off ceremony which would be performed by the state Governor, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwa, would witness seedlings being distributed to the primary local farmers who would in turn plant the seed after which Dangote Rice company would purchase from them for milling and final processing. Sokoto State is the second after Jigawa out of the 14 states spread across the state where Dangote Rice plans to operate outgrower scheme

to empower local farmers and create job opportunities for community dwellers and reduce migration to the cities. Dangote Rice projects in the 14 states, when operational, would generate a significant number of jobs and increase take-home income for smallholder farmers, while diversifying Nigeria’s economy and reducing the nation’s food import bill. Statistics from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) estimates that rice demand in Nigeria reached 6.3 million MT in 2015, with only 2.3 million MT of that demand satisfied

by local production. This local production shortfall leaves a gap of 4.0 million MT that is currently being filled through formal importation of rice or illegal imports over land borders. “By the end of 2017, Dangote Rice plans to produce 225,000 MT of parboiled, milled white rice. This will allow us to satisfy four per cent of the total market demand within 1 year. Our model can then be successfully scaled to produce 1,000,000 MT of milled rice in order to satisfy 16 per cent of the domestic market demand for rice over the next five years,’’ the statement added. “Due to the

current economic crisis, domestic prices for agro-commodities have risen dramatically over the last 12 months, making local agriculture an attractive investment. Dangote Rice Limited seeks to take advantage of this economic trend and the favourable policies laid out in the FMARD’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda. “Dangote Rice has a mandate to locally high-quality milled, parboiled rice for the Nigeria market. This goal will be achieved by sourcing the raw material (paddy) required from the Dangote Rice Outgrower Scheme.’’

Ă’Ă“Ă•Ă‹Ă—Ă‹Ă˜Ă¤Ă?Ě‹ĂĄĂ‹Ă?Ă’Ă&#x;Ă•Ă&#x; AgriBusiness/Industry Editor Comms/e≠Business Editor

Hope Rises for Arik after AMCON Take Over

Capital Market Editor

Chinedu Eze

Senior Correspondent

There are indications that Arik Air which management was taken over on last week by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigerian (AMCON) has started going through a new lease of life. According to the head of AMCON media consultant, SY and T, Simon Tumba, within 24 hours of intervention by the government, “Arik Air started

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Ă‹Ă’Ă?Ă?Ă—Ă•Ă“Ă˜Ă‘ĂŒĂ™Ă–Ă&#x;(Advertising) Correspondents

Ă’Ă“Ă˜Ă?ĂŽĂ&#x;äĂ?(Aviation) Ă“Ă˜ĂŽĂ‹ĂœĂ™Ă•Ă?(Labour) ĂœĂ™Ă—Ă™Ă?Ă?Ă–Ă?ĂŒĂ“Ă™ĂŽĂ&#x;Ă˜(Cap Mkt) ÔÓÙĂ?Ă™ĂœĂ–Ă“Ă•Ă?(Energy) Ă‹Ă—Ă?Ă?Ă—Ă?ÔÙ(NationĂ­ s Capital) ĂŒĂ“Ă˜Ă˜Ă‹Ă’Ă“Ă—Ă‹(Money Mkt) Reporters

Ă&#x;Ă—Ă?Ă•Ă?Ă‘Ă’Ă?(Money Market) Ă™Ă?Ă‹Ă–Ă?Ă•Ă’Ă&#x;ÙÑÓĂ?(Maritime)

receiving assistance to be able to offer flight services.� In a statement made available to THISDAY at the weekend, Tumba said: “Following AMCON’s intervention, it has now being gathered that virtually all of Arik’s trade creditors are being owed, staff salaries have not been paid for between 4- 6 months, and of the 28 aircraft in Arik’s fleet, only 10 are in operation. “Due to AMCON’s interven-

tion, flights are operating and the insurance cover for the aircraft, which would have expired # on Sunday, February 12, has now been sorted and trade creditors and fuel marketers have been assured that all indebtedness will be looked into. They have offered to support the new management to get operations run smoothly. Flight schedule may therefore be realigned to match the 10 aircraft in the fleet, while also sorting out the

myriad of problems confronting the airline,� Tumba said According to him, it was obvious that without government intervention Arik would have virtually stopped operation by today. “AMCON is making efforts to return the aircraft in various parts of the world in repair yards, with the aim of stabilising the airline to offer safe, secure and timely services to customers,� he added.

However, the industry think-tank, Aviation Round Table (ART) has reacted to the takeover of Arik Air management. According to the President of ART, Gbenga Olowo, “We all saw it coming to Arik and may be others more than a year ago. ART first quarter breakfast meeting in 2016 appraised the very poor situation of Nigerian airlines and rose with unambiguous communique on the way forward.

T H I S D AY ˾˜ͯͳ˜Ͱͮͯ͵




Emezi: Future of Life Insurance Business in Nigeria is Bright Ebere Nwoji Among all the classes of insurance business, life insurance has the brightest future but the operators are only scratching the surface in terms of product marketing and distribution among Nigerians. This was the position of the General Manager Marketing, African Alliance Insurance Plc, Mr. Ikechukwu Emezi on the status of life insurance business in Nigeria. Emezi, in a recent chat with THISDAY on the performance of his company’s agency system in the marketing of life insurance in different parts of the country, said there are a lot of potential in life insurance business in Nigeria, but that unawareness level has remained very high. This, according to him, accounts for underdeveloped

nature of the business . He said if Nigerians are aware of what insurance can do in their day to day living and what they stand to gain, they will include insurance expenses in their daily budget. “Awareness, is a major problem, if people are aware of what insurance can do, and the succor insurance can give to them, they will not hesitate to buy insurance. “There are three things involved when one takes life insurance policy, one is either the person dies and the sum assured is given to the beneficiaries, or the policy matures and he takes his benefit. “People should be educated not to look at life insurance from the perspective of death. The benefit can come at maturity, there is also investment element in it as well as financial protection. If you

take a life insurance cover and you live up to maturity period, it will be given to you to carry on with your life. So is not only on death, is one product that offers three things in one, there is investment element, there is financial protection opportunity “, he explained. Emezi, who said African Alliance, ranks third among life insurance specialist companies in Nigeria, informed that the company’s target is to occupy first position in life insurance underwriting. He said the firm, is a front liner in effective use of agency system in life insurance distribution nationwide. According to him, agents, account for success recorded by the company annually adding that this is why the company organises annual agency award ceremony meant to reward its agents that excel in production.

Anchor Insurance Pays ‘Loss of Employment’ Claims to 120 Job Losers Against the backdrop of economic recession plaguing Nigeria’s economy, culminating in loss of jobs by many, insurance sector operators said they are handy to bring succor to affected employees, who acted wisely to take insurance cover against job loss. Anchor Insurance is one of such insurance firms as it has recently in this regard put smiles on the faces of 120 workers from and outside financial institutions who were relieved of their duties as a result of restructuring exercise embarked by their employers to survive the recession. These include those who lost their jobs in 2016. At the presentation of Anchor Insurance Loss of Employment (LoEIS) claims cheques to the beneficiaries, who had adequately taken cover against sudden loss of employment while in full employment, the company advised that it is important that every employee helps protect him/herself from market risks through insurance policy like the Anchor Insurance loss of employment cover. Aderemi Adesibikan, one

of the beneficiaries of claims paid by the company, and a former employee of Heritage Bank, while receiving her claims cheque, narrated her experience, recounting that, she got laid off as a result of restructuring exercise which took place in the bank in December 2016,According to her, it was an occurrence she never expected adding that she would have been seriously devastated despite her severance package from the bank, With the insurance policy she took, she said she was better off adding that she would remain grateful to Anchor Insurance for introducing such insurance cover that will enable her earn income in the next 24 months while searching for another job. In her words “this is really a shock absorber.” Gbenga Ademola, a former staff of Zenith Bank, who is a full beneficiary of the scheme, said, the only regret he had was not to have insured his full salary, He was however happy that with his sum assured, he would successfully carry his financial responsibility until he gets another job. Eberechi Ige, another benefi-

ciary who is a former employee of UBA Plc also appreciated the innovativeness of Anchor Insurance for designing such a product. She recounted her experience as someone who has insurance culture; hence, embracing the product was not an accident. The General Manager Retail division Anchor Insurance, Uzoma Ofurum, while presenting the cheques on behalf of the Managing Director, of the company, congratulated the beneficiaries for taking wise step to s a f e g u a rd t h e i r employment income against sudden loss of job. He further reiterated that beyond any adverse economic state of Nigeria, it is expedient and wise for employees that value their jobs to take appropriate measures to safeguard their employment income through insurance covers such as Loss of Employment Income policy. He noted that lack of salary but huge unpaid bills could be devastating and can lead to financial depression or even death especially for employees whose retirement age is still far.

NAICOM Confirms Pius Apere, MD/ CEO of Linkage Assurance The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has confirmed the appointment of Pius Apere as the substantive Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of Linkage Assurance Plc. Apere was appointed acting managing director on January 1, 2017 following the exit of former managing director of the company. A Nigerian/United Kingdom trained insurer and actuary, Apere will bring to bear his wealth of experience garnered over the last 30-years on the

Linkage brand for more value creation for shareholders and the insuring public. The Company is undergoing a restructuring both in human capital and technology, having launched seven new retail products recently which market analysts, said marks a new beginning in the life of the underwriting firm. A letter from NAICOM dated February 3rd 2017, signed by Pius Agbola, Director, (Authorisation and Policy) for the commissioner of insurance and addressed to

Chairman Board of Directors, Linkage Assurance Plc reads in part “Having reviewed your application, the supporting documents presented, and the interaction had with the Commission. The Commission is pleased to convey approval for appointment of Dr. Pius Apere as the managing director/chief executive officer of Linkage Assurance Plc.” Apere holds a B.Sc from the University of Lagos, M.Sc and PhD in Actuarial Science from CASS Business School, City University in London.





Nigerians. This is an opportunity to bring back ÙßÜÜßØØÏÜÝÐÜÙ×ÖËÞÏËßÞËÞϘ×ËÕÏÞÒÏ× better and help them excel. ÙßÜÞÒÖ㘠ÎÙ áÏ áËØÞ ÞÙ ÍÙØÝÓÎÏÜ ×ÓØÓ ×ËÜËÞÒÙØÝÌÏÐÙÜÏáÏÑÏÞÞÙÞÒÏÑÜËØÎʨØËÖÏˣ ÒÓÝáÓÖÖÒÏÖÚÞÒÏË×ËÞÏßÜÝÙÐÞÒÏÝÚÙÜÞÒÙØÏ their skills and get ready.







Lessons to Learn from N10bn Share Scam Goddy Egene writes that while efforts are being made to resolve the latest infraction in the capital market involving billions of naira, there are lessons to be learnt by all stakeholders The Nigerian capital market is currently going through a rough patch just like the nation’s economy. It is usually assumed that the stock market’s performance reflects the mood of a nation’s economy. The Nigerian stock market has recorded a decline for three consecutive years (2014, 2015 and 2016) and the economy is already in recession. The tepid performance is caused by several factors that have driven investor confidence to its lowest ebb. The factors include: investors’ drift to fixed income securities, exit of foreign investors due to foreign exchange (forex) challenges and poor corporate results engendered by difficult operating environment. While market regulators are working hard to restore investor confidence, those efforts are under threat following a major share scam involving a leading stockbroker, Mr. Victor Ogiemwonyi, who is the Managing Director of Partnership Securities Limited (PSL). The scandal estimated at N10 billion, relate to misappropriation and diversion of funds realised from sale of clients’ shares involving PSL and other companies in the Partnership family-Partnership Investment Company Plc; Life Care Partners Limited and SBDC Microfinance Bank Limited. The allegations Ogiemwonyi was alleged to have misappropriated funds of PSL’s clients valued over N10 billion. However, the client, who first raised the alarm is Mr. Arnold Ekpe, a former Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI). According to Ekpe, the PSL boss sold his ETI shares valued at N1.2 billion without remitting the proceeds into his account. Ogiemwonyi was also alleged to have misappropriated $80,000 belonging to Ekpe. Explaining the allegation, Ekpe’s lawyers, Sofunde Osakwe Ogundipe & Belgore, said his client gave PSL an exclusive mandate to dispose of the ETI shares at N16 per share within three months spanning July to September, 2016. The lawyers noted that in compliance with the Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc rule for such transactions, Ekpe filled in a number of forms including the CSCS account creation form, client’s bank details, and the investor’s bank account update form for direct cash settlement. They added that considering that the fact that Ekpe has filled the necessary forms as required under the CSCS rules, the proceeds of the sales ought to be paid into his account in compliance with Rule 16:3 of the Direct Cash Settlement (DCS). According to the lawyers, instead of paying the money into Ekpe’s account, Ogiemwonyi sold the shares and paid the proceeds into his account. They accused the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), CSCS and Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC) of complicity and connivance hence the stockbroker succeeded in paying getting away with the proceeds. Ogiemwonyi’s response Responding to the allegations, Ogiemwonyi, in a letter dated October 17, 2016 and titled “Admission of Outstanding Indebtedness of N1,237,245,095 and $80,000 to Mr. Arnold Ekpe,� acknowledged that Ekpe gave him a mandate to sell the shares and also accepted owing him N1.237 billion. According to the letter signed by Ogiemwonyi, “Further to our mandate to sell your 96,077,872 shares of ETI at a fixed price of N126 per share, we confirm that the shares were sold by us for a total sum of N,537,245,952 out of which N300,000,000 has been paid to you. We confirm that outstanding proceeds from the sale have been mis-appropriated by us and we undertake to meet the obligation of N1,237,245,095 and $80,000.� Other complaints Apart from Ekpe, a group of other investors, who are also clients of PSL, alleged that the company defrauded them through one of its subsidiary, PICO by floating a product called Partnership Securities Deposit Account (PSDA). The PSDA allows investors to deposit their

NSE oor

portfolio (shares) with PICO for trading activities and the company pays the investors interest for the use of their shares while the value of the shares in terms of dividends and units are maintained. The investors embraced the product and deposited their shares with PICO. Unfortunately, the investors accused PICO of neither paying the promised interests nor return their shares to them. Narrating their ordeal, Mr. Sola Alabi, Mr. Godwin Anono, Chief Samuel Solasi said they have over N230 million trapped in company through PSDA. For instance, Alabi said: “Mr. Ogiemwonyi called me to say that since I have some shares that are not being traded over the years that it would be good for me if his company could manage those shares and generate 10 per cent returns and that this would be paid to me twice a year. When I look at the proposal, it was reasonable and the man involved is a (former) prominent Council member of the NSE, I trusted him. I did not enter the deal with an unregistered operator and it was not that he offered me a fantastic return, but a reasonable return. The deal was such that I can back out at anytime I wish. When in 2014 the returns were not forthcoming, Ogiemwonyi started giving one excuse or the other; that the returns are being reinvested, it was then I realised that he was playing me, hence, I demanded for my shares which could not be returned to me.â€? Alabi and other investors, therefore requested that Ogiemwonyi be made to refund their money. SEC’s Findings Following complaints to SEC, it conducted an investigation into operations of PSL. In an official memo dated November 18, 2016, with reference: SEC/ENF/INVTG/CMOF4284/16, on “Findings of the Special Examination Conducted on Partnership Investment Company Plc (PICP), and PSL between 7 and 11 November 2016,â€? confirmed alleged shady activities of the companies. The findings partly revealed: “That the firms’ operations did not maintain separate accounts for all clients’ funds as there was clear evidence of comingling of funds. A review of PSL’s trading Account No ‌ with Access Bank showed direct withdrawals of funds, which were used for purposes other than trading on behalf of the firm’s clients; “That in the December 31, 2015 audited financial statements of the firms filed with commission, the total deposit from customers was stated as N1,607,844,000. However, a review

of the group’s asset management activity report as at December 31, 2015 revealed a liability of N10,494,961,104.95. The firms therefore understated the liability of total deposit from customers by 84.7 per cent; and “That a client of PSL, Ekpe, gave the firm a mandate to sell 96,077,872 units of Ecobank ETI at the price not less than N16 per share and also filled in a direct settlement mandate that the proceeds be remitted directly into his account. The shares were however sold at a cumulative average price of N13.49 per share. The proceeds of sale, the sum of N1,237,245,095 was thereafter misappropriated by the firm.� NSE’s response The NSE denied any complicity and connivance in the share scandal, saying it has zero tolerance for market infractions. According to the Exchange, following receipt of the complaint dated 16 October 2016 by Ekpe against PSL, it immediately took certain actions. For instance, the Exchange sent a notice of suspension to PSL on 17 October 2016 and the firm was suspended from trading on all floors of the exchange, effective 18 October 2016. “The exchange on 17 October 2016 urged the CSCS to request the settlement bank to place N42,499,761.20, being the proceeds from the sale of ETI shares for Mr. Ekpe made by PSL on 14 October, but due to settle on 18 October 2016, into a special CSCS bank account in order to prevent the proceeds from settling into the account of PSL. The sum of N43,301,792.70 being the proceeds of sale less statutory charges was paid to Ekpe’s Union Bank Plc. account on November 3, 2016. “The Exchange on 19 October 2016 formally informed the SEC of the complaint and requested a joint examination of PSL and its associated companies. This formal notification was a followup on an earlier oral notification to relevant personnel of the commission shortly after receipt of the complaint on 17 October 2016. “The Exchange thereafter held a meeting with Mr. Ekpe, his solicitors McPherson Barristers & Solicitors (McPherson) and PSL on Monday 24 October 2016 to address the issue and take necessary steps towards recovery of the sums misappropriated and sanctioning of PSL upon conclusion of investigation. “Pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding between the exchange and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on 31 October 2016, the Exchange filed a petition before the EFCC in respect of the complaint on the fraudulent misappropriation of the sum

of N 1,237,245,000 and US$80,000.00 belonging to Ekpe. “The exchange also sought the assistance and collaboration of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through the ‘Other Financial Institutions Supervision Department’ (OFISD) to conduct a joint examination of SBDC Microfinance Bank (SBDC), an associate company of PSL, for the purpose of tracing and recovering the funds. This assistance is currently ongoing. “The exchange and SEC conducted a joint examination on PSL (7 – 11 November 2016) to determine the extent of the financial exposure, protect clients’ assets, and settle investor’s complaints. The final report of the NSE and SEC joint examination is yet to be released. “The exchange has been cooperating with SEC and other relevant regulators and agencies on the matter. An all parties meeting were convened by the SEC on 20 December 2016 between Ekpe, his solicitors, and the management of the exchange and CSCS.� Regarding the complaints by other clients, the NSE said some of the transactions were outside its control, as they were not done on its floor. Specifically the PSDA securities investment, which it said “is a portfolio management investment scheme offered by PICO at guaranteed interest rates. “PSDA is not a product traded on the floor of the exchange or regulated by the exchange. Moreover, the exchange has no regulatory oversight over PICO (because it is not a dealing member of the NSE) and portfolio/ fund management transactions.� While condemning PSL for not remitting the proceeds for the sale of Ekpe’s shares to him, the exchange also blamed Ekpe for failing to formally complain “when he received trade alerts notifying him of the sale of his shares and the proceeds of sale were not credited to his account. According to the exchange, Ekpe rather resorted to addressing the issue privately with Ogiemwonyi, who is his long-time friend and only complained on 16 October 2016, several months after the first trade occurred on 30 June 2016. “Had the exchange been notified on time, the loss could have been mitigated,� the exchange said. SEC assures investors Responding to news that investors in the capital market were recently defrauded by PSL, which is a licensed member of NSE, SEC said as the Continued on page 28





Safeguarding the Payment System In order to ensure that the integrity of the banking system is not compromised, there is need for the Senate to harmonise the various versions of the Payment System Bills before the National Assembly, writes Obinna Chima

Nigeria has over the years seen efforts aimed at creating a robust financial system framework through several reform initiatives targeted at fostering stability, sanitising governance and restoring confidence in the system. A sound payment system infrastructure, where banks and their customers can transact business with confidence and convenience, trust and timeliness, supports many of the reforms. In 2007, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) launched the Payment Systems Vision 2020, which identified series of recommendations to increase the resilience of the payment system infrastructure in order to encourage the usage of electronic payment methods were inaugurated. Clearly, the economic benefits of migrating from cash-dominated environment to an electronic payment market are unquestionable. That is why the recent one-day Public Hearing on Bill for an Act to Provide for the Management, Administration, Operation, Regulation and Supervision of Payment, Clearing and Settlement Systems in Nigeria and for Related Matters, 2017, held by the Senate has remained the cynosure of all eyes. The initial Bill was sponsored by Senator Hope Uzodiinma. In the recent past, the CBN had in conjunction with the relevant stakeholders in the payment system in Nigeria also came up with an ideal draft legislative proposal to develop a legal framework that will accommodate its initiatives on the Payments System Vision 2020 (PV2020). The Legal Special Interest Group of PSV2020 was charged with the responsibility of coming up with the Bill. The membership of the group was drawn from the CBN, banks, payment system service providers, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and the Federal Ministry of Justice. The group then studied legislations on payments system of some countries including India, Namibia, Ghana, South Africa, Croatia, Australia, the European Union and Malaysia in carrying out its task. Thereafter, the group came up with a Bill titled “Payment System Management Bill (PSMB), 2016.� The bill was then approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for presentation to the National Assembly as an executive Bill. But apart from the PSMB 2016, which was approved by FEC then, there is also another Bill on Payment System similarly titled “Payment System Management Bill, 2016� sponsored by Senator John Owan Enoh, who is the Chairman,

Senate Committee on Finance. However, at the request of the Senate Committee on Finance, the CBN reviewed the Bill sponsored by Senator Enoh and harmonised it with the bill approved by the FEC and came up with a harmonised version titled: “Payment System Management Bill, 2017â€?. Therefore, stakeholders have continued to stress the need for the regulators to, through the public hearing, review and harmonise the National Payment System Bill, 2017 (NPSB) vis-Ă -vis the central bank’s version of the harmonised Payment System Management Bill, 2017 (PSMB) and make appropriate recommendations. Matters Arising Based on the governance structure provided under PSMB, the CBN is the sole authority for management, regulation and oversight of the payment system with Payment Scheme Boards and a Strategy Committee (with membership drawn from other regulatory agencies and relevant stakeholders) providing support services to the Bank. The bill was so structured because the key infrastructure, systems and participants in the payment systems are statutorily under the purview of the Bank. Therefore, the arrangement ensures that there is no gap between the management of payment systems and the monetary policy transmission mechanism. This, according to a report is the structure preferred by the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructure (CPMI) which is the international body on development of payment systems. However, the NPSB provides for recognition of an association of payment system participants as regulators of the members. In other words, most regulatory and oversight of the payment system under the NPSB is through the instrumentality of self-regulation by system participants through their association or associations. The NPSB also placed a role on the Minister Finance thereby introducing another governance structure. But the CBN in a presentation argued that: “The international best practice on Payment System as stipulated by the CPMI places the responsibility of oversight of payment systems on central banks. The Core Principles of Systemically Important Payment Systems (CPSS) principles in placing the responsibility of oversight of the

payment system on central banks require them to ensure compliance with the core principles by payment and settlement systems. “The CPSS also require the central bank to cooperate with other central banks and any other foreign or domestic entity for promotion of payment systems safety and efficiency. Furthermore, most payment systems settle in central bank money for safety, availability efficiency, neutrality and finality.� Indeed the largest settlement system that settles the large value transactions in Nigeria is the CBN RTGS. It will be more difficult for the central bank to perform this role should the governance not be fully vested in it. Similarly, under the PSMB, there are provisions relating the power of the CBN to provide for authorisation to operate system, application for authorisation, status inquiries on application by the Bank, conditions for authorisation, refusal, revocation of authorisation and conditions for change in the payment system. These are extensive provisions for entry and exit into the payment system which ensure that only the most technically viable and sound entities are allowed to participate in the sector. But the CBN was also given no similar power under the NPSB. Rather, there are only provisions for an association (named “Payment System Management Body�), to be recognised by the Bank, saddled with the responsibility of organising, managing and regulating the participation of its members in the payment system. “This means that, the Bank is not in the position to determine who should or should not participate in the payment system. This is contrary to the international best practice on Payment System as stipulated by the Committee on Payment and Market Infrastructure (CPMI) of the Bank for International Settlement (BIS), which places the responsibility of oversight of Payment Systems on central banks,� the central bank stated. Furthermore, the PSMB gave the CBN powers on supervision, calling for returns, documents or other information, issuing directions, making regulations, establishing a committee on Payment System Strategy and Payment Scheme Boards, general matters, delegation, and cooperation with other authorities. While the central bank has some powers under NPSB on some of the above matters, the powers are not as elaborate as under PSMB. In fact the NPSB allocates these

powers between the Bank and the proposed “Payment System Management Body�. Therefore, the Bank would have more latitude to regulate and oversee the Payment System under PSMB than it would have under PSB. “PSMB has provisions for indemnity and protection of the Bank against adverse claims for actions done in good faith. There are also provisions under PSMB for restriction on execution against property of the Bank. NPSB has no such provisions. “There are provisions for resolution of disputes under both Bills. However, while under NPSB the only option provided is arbitration, the PSMB has provisions for ADR generally and ombudsman. The latter is thus more comprehensive. “The PSMB also has a provision for requirement of digital signature which would ensure the integrity of electronic messages relating to Payment System. The NPSB has no provision for requirement of digital signature. Both PSMB and PSB have created offences around clearing, settlement, payment business and failure to follow directives of the Bank. “However, only the PSMB has provisions for offences and penalties in respect of operating without authorisation of the Bank and third party deposit, clearing or payment. It is also only PSMB that has provision for the Bank to apply administrative sanctions,� it stated.The NPSB empowers the Minister of Finance to exempt any person or categories of persons from the provision of the Bill prohibiting persons other than payment system participants and their agents from operating a payment system. However, this power was given to the CBN under the PSMB obviously because it is only the Bank that has the technical and operational capacity to determine the systemic importance of any activity surrounding the payment system. This point was buttressed by the fact that there exists within the CBN, the requisite capacity (human and infrastructure) for the effective management of the national payment systems capable of optimal achievement of the objectives of the PSMB. In view of the fact that the PSMB is more encompassing, it has been recommend that the Committee should engage the Committee of Banking and Insurance with the view to adopting the reviewed PSMB 2017 for better Payment System regime in Nigeria.





Building Local Capacity for Exports Goddy Egene writes that Fidelity Bank has stepped up efforts in building capacity for local exporters through its export management programme Recent developments in the global energy market and local oil and gas industry have heightened the need for Nigeria to diversify its economy away from crude oil. This has become more important as some of the leading countries who import oil are looking to become oil independent economies in the not too distant future. Exporting of non-oil commodities and finished products will not only improve Nigeria’s foreign exchange revenue profile but will also help drive employment generation, sustainable poverty reduction and internally generated revenue both at the state and federal levels. The federal government in realisation of this is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the economy is successfully diversified into other sectors especially agriculture and solid minerals. A sizeable number of Nigerians are ignorant about the quantum of agro commodities and solid minerals prevalent in the country and the geographical distributions of these products. This ignorance cascades down to the seasonality, the countries of export, product uses, intermediate products obtainable from the primary products and their international prices. There is no gain saying the fact that the availability of this key information can spur interest that could ultimately push people to trade internationally and become self-reliant thus making Nigeria export dependent rather than the current situation where it is import dependent. In a move hailed by several stakeholder as highly exemplary, Fidelity Bank Plc has devised a strategy to equip customers and non-customers alike to develop the much needed skills set to understand the intricacies of exporting the various commodities and minerals which the country is richly blessed with in great abundance. This, the bank is doing through the Export Leadership Institute (ELI), which was launched in collaboration with Lagos Business School (LBS) and Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC). That initiative, which was launched in August 2016 has led to the birth of the Export Management Programme (EMP). Three EMP series have been held since then whilst efforts are in top gear to host another (EMP 4) later this month. The programme is designed specifically to provide impactful, world-class training needed to improve the competitiveness of Nigerian enterprises, particular export-oriented businesses and the associated value players in the global market. It aims to prevent the pit falls that were prevalent in the past when huge sums

responses to these signals. The EMP streams were oversubscribed underscoring the level of significance that people and organisations attach to the programme. At the completion of each exercise, participants were awarded an Export Manager Certificate, including a post-programme Export Marketing Plan project. The curriculum for the programme covered areas such as Nigerian exportable items and locations; incentives for exports, domestic policies and export institutions; product development processes for export; exploring solid minerals for export and exporting services. Others included: exporting services; business negotiation skills; roles of government inspection agents; role of Federal Produce Inspection Services; transportation and logistics management, export financing and documentation; and the African Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA).

Expectedly there have been positive fallouts from this initiative. Each of the streams THISDAY gathered has formed export co-operatives and are already geared towards doing their first export transaction. In a similar vein, however, individual participants and corporates, who participated have been buoyed by the knowledge acquired. For instance, speaking about his experience, Mr. Oyewusi Tajudeen of De Epicurean Limited, said: “The program is knowledge-packed, an eye-opener to the essentials. It is totally worth it. I am in the process of achieving my exporting dreams.� For Ndubuisi Chijioke of Jimcol Resources Nigeria Limited, the programme was encouraging to his aspiration to explore export business opportunities. “The programme has been very informative and encouraging to my aspiration to explore export business opportunities,� Chijioke said. For Amina Ibrahim of Moonstar Nigeria Limited each session proved more informative and interesting. “Every session and everyday was better than the last. I highly recommend the programme for anyone wanting to venture into exports,� she declared. Speaking about the EMP, Fidelity Bank CEO, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo said: “We are doing the tough job of financing SMEs in Nigeria. A number of them have export potentials. It was therefore a natural fit for us to partner with the LBS and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council to make this happen. A well-diversified Nigerian economy is germane to economic growth and development. When the economy grows, businesses flourish and banking thrives better. It’s a win-win for all.� Already there is increasing clamor to have replicas of the program in Kaduna and Abuja to cater for the market outside of Lagos. The management of the bank and its partners- LBS as well as the NEPC is considering acceding to the request of the intending participants to take this to other parts of the country. This need is occasioned by the fact that a sizeable number of people who play in the agriculture and solid minerals sectors are not in the North. Fidelity Bank has over the last couple of years, built one of the strongest Micro Small Medium Enterprise (MSME) franchise in the country. Through its free, dedicated (one-on-one/ group) business advisory service offerings and other capacity building initiatives such as SME focused seminars/conferences held across the country, the bank has helped over 170, 000 small businesses raise their level of competitiveness in the international marketplace.

the CSCS that his shares were being sold. On the part of Alabi, Anono and others, when they did not receive the interests promised them by PICO since 2014, analyst are seeking answers as why they did not formally report to the relevant authorities. Why did they have to wait until Ekpe’s case before making their complaints public. According to analysts, there are lessons to learn from the saga. “As an investor, you should try to separate business from friendship no matter what. I think the friendship and relationship between Ekpe and Ogiemwonyi, which we understand has been long-standing, contributed to the saga. If friendship has been put aside, this should not have happened because the amount involved is too huge to be ignored. Maybe there is something both of them are not telling the public,� a market operator told THISDAY on Monday. The operator said investors should always monitor what their brokers, investment advisers and portfolio managers are doing with their investments. “They should not 100 per cent trust their brokers and go to sleep. They should from time to time cross check what is happening to their investments and demand regular update

from their brokers and if they notice any issue, they should report to the relevant authorities immediately,� the operator said. Another analyst said stockbrokers should always live according to the dictum in the market that: “Our word is our bond.� They should also live within their means and not taking uncalculated risks by investing clients’ money outside their mandates. “Stockbrokers should also ensure they separate business and friendship and try very hard not to breach the trust of their clients,� the analyst added. For the regulators, he advised: “They should step up their monitoring and enforcement activities. “The regulators must ensure that operators play within their registered functions and ensure the monitoring of their operations through their regular quarterly returns. Any firm or operator found going outside its registered functions (through new products not registered by capital market regulators) or floating subsidiaries to operate outside the market should be given the appropriate checks. This is why it is very important for all the regulators to collaborate and make sure that operators do not take advantage of weakness in the system to defraud investors,� an analyst said.

Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo

of money were lost owing to lack of capacity and knowledge on the part of exporters. Nigerian banks have over the years classified export business as high risk principally because of the huge volume of documentations involved. More so, some banks feel reluctant because of multiple jurisdictions as well as quality and quantity specifications that need to be met at both ends. Bankers also place high emphasis on logistics because of the vital role it plays in the export business value chain. Given the above scenario it is imperative for an exporter or intending one to understand that the rudiments and intricacies of export business are getting higher especially given that global competition has become more intensified in terms of quality, price, supply chain management and dependability of delivery systems. Similarly, changing consumer and regulatory preferences are changing producers’

LESSONS TO LEARN FROM N10BN SHARE SCAM apex regulatory authority of the Nigerian capital market, it would do everything within the confines of the Investments and Securities Act (ISA) 2007 and the Rules and Regulations made pursuant to the Act, to ensure the protection of investors and their investments in the market. “The Commission has established a robust framework for investigating complaints received from investors. The Commission also has an excellent enforcement mechanism and continues to maintain zero tolerance to any form of infraction in the market. Furthermore, the Commission adopts a risk-based monitoring and supervision of operators and institutions in the market to forestall potential systemic collapses. The Commission imposes stiff sanctions on erring operators to serve as a deterrent within the limits permitted by law, while infractions with elements of criminality are referred to the Law enforcement agencies for prosecution as provided under Section 304 of the ISA 2007. In furtherance of this, the commission has developed a thriving partnership with the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to prosecute these matters,� it said. SEC added that trading platforms and other Self-regulatory Organisations in the Nigerian

capital market have viable rules/risk management strategies and have also adopted corporate governance standards that conform to global best practice. The commission continues to collaborate with these platforms to ensure the eradication of all forms of market manipulations. “With respect to the activities of Partnership Investment Company Limited (PICL) and Partnership Securities Limited (PSL) in the Nigerian capital market, the commission wishes to state that it has had all parties meeting with some of the parties concerned and further investigations are ongoing. The matter is also currently before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),� SEC said. Unanswered questions and lessons to learn While efforts are on to resolve the matter and restore investor confidence, analysts and market watchers said there are certain questions waiting for answers. For instance, they asked why Ekpe wasted so much time before he lodged his complaints considering the huge amount involved in the transaction. Why did he not report to the NSE immediately after he discovered that the proceeds of the sale were not credited to his account, contrary to the mandate he gave to PSL and after receiving over 80 alerts from





DMO Engenders Confidence with Eurobond Success Abimbola Johnson writes that the success of Nigeria’s $1bn Eurobond sale was a reaffirmation of investors’ confidence in the country’s economy It is no longer news that the Nigerian economy entered recession last year. Also, it is no longer news that the federal government is working assiduously to ensure the economy recovers this year. However, what is news is that contrary to the thinking of pessimists, investors are more bullish on the future prospects of the economy given the determination of the federal government to ensure that it recovers fully and impacts positively on the lives of the citizenry. Having realized that the economy is going into recession due to externalities that are mostly beyond its control, the federal government commenced initiatives that would engender its earnest recovery. Faced with dwindling revenue as a result of the decline in the price of crude oil, the federal government had to resort to borrowings to part finance the economic diversification programme. Shifting focus from crude oil as the mainstay of the economy, it is believed, would be the right way to build a sustainable economic base. This is why the government has come up with various programmes that will make agriculture attractive to invest in. Also, attention is being paid in the exploration of mineral resources to boost the revenue of the government. Most of all, the government is committed to the rehabilitation of the decayed infrastructure, a move that is expected to impact positively on corporate organisations. These are policies that if well-funded and implemented have the capability to turn the economy around. It is from this perspective that one can begin to appreciate government’s decision to enhance its financial position by exploring the immense opportunities in the international capital markets. As a result, the idea of the $1 billion Eurobond came. Contrary to apprehensions that investors may shun the portfolio; it got global endorsement, and by extension that of the federal government’s economic recovery initiatives. Specifically, stakeholders had envisaged that the Eurobond issuance will meet brick wall due, mainly, to the country’s foreign exchange policy which has seen the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) control the exchange regime. According to some of the stakeholders and international financial market analysts, government’s forex policy regime will adversely impact on the fortunes of the Eurobond. But that did not happen when last week, the bond 750 per cent oversubscribed, underscoring a buoyant investor appetite for scarce frontier African paper, despite a recent sell off in emerging market assets. The Global medium term Note programme of $1000, 000,000 is due to mature in 2032 The Debt Management Office (DMO) defied all known predictions by international financial and capital market analysts to prove that Nigeria’s economy remains resilient and robust in the international capital market during the issuance of the bond. Nigeria issued $1billion 15-year bond at a 7.875 coupon at a most turbulent time of her economy. This feat proves unambiguously the resilience of the Nigerian economy and strength, particularly in terms of effective bullish public debt management record. This is the first time Nigeria is issuing a $1billion Eurobond in a single tranche. In 2013 the federal government issued a $1 billion Eurobond but in two tranches of $500m each for five and 10 years maturity each. 2011 was the debut outing of $500m with maturity period of 10 years. The federal government will take advantage of this success to reflate an economy in recession and the otherwise turbulent market. Comparatively, Egypt, with a higher credit rating issued a 10-year Eurobond at 7.5 per cent compared to


Nigeria’s 15-year 7.8 per cent. It shows that Nigeria has a stronger performance in view of the longer maturity tenor. The Ministry of Finance averred that the success of the bond issuance was clearly a sign of renewed confidence in the economy which has been hurt by the slump in crude oil prices. The notes represent the country’s third Eurobond issuance, following issuances in 2011 and 2013. The notes were approximately eight times oversubscribed with orders in excess of $7.8 billion compared to a pre-issuance target of $1 billion, demonstrating strong market appetite for Nigeria. “This is despite continued volatility in emerging and frontier markets and it shows confidence by the international investment community in Nigeria’s economic reform agenda. The offering attracted significant interest from leading global institutional investors. The notes will be admitted to the official list of the UK Listing Authority and available to trade on the London Stock Exchange’s regulated market,� the Ministry explained. But a most glaring fact is that foreign investors are seeing what domestic investors may overlook which is that the Nigerian economy has very bright prospects. Hence, the Eurobond was oversubscribed despite rating downgrade from “B+� to “B� by S&P, a global rating agency in third quarter of 2016 and a recent downgrade by Fitch another rating agency ( long-term foreign and local currency issuer rating) to “B+� with a

negative outlook. At 7.9 per cent yield, it is believed that a stable outlook for crude oil prices and the considerable gains recorded against militancy in the Delta region, which pushed back output level to 1.9mbpd from 1.6mbpd, may have buoyed interest in the issue. Besides, the success of the Eurobond is positive for fiscal policy given the need to finance the 2017 budget and restore the economy to the path of growth. Above all other factors that have made the Eurobond successful, is the expertise of the DMO that helped to market the bond and raise the funds mostly needed now by the government. This was made possible by the capacity DMO which has built up over the years, especially, since it was established in 2000. Prior to the establishment of DMO, the management of the nation’s debt was characterized by systematic and structural deficiencies. In practice, debt management functions were split across several government departments including the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation and the Central Bank of Nigeria. This approach was laden with operational inefficiencies and poor coordination, inadequate debt data recording system and poor information flow across agencies. The result was inaccurate and incomplete loan records which gave rise to difficulties in the verification of creditors’ claims arising from conflicting figures from various bodies handling the debt management function.

However, the establishment of the DMO brought sanity into the system as it centralised the nation’s debt management functions with the statutory mandate of maintaining comprehensive, accurate and timely records of the nation’s debts, prudent management of the debt portfolio and negotiating with and ensuring debt relief from creditors. Besides, the emergence of Dr. Abraham Nwankwo at the helm of DMO in 2007 gave more fillip to the operations of the agency with positive impact on the economy. Given his solid academic background and position as one of the pioneer management staff of DMO, Nwankwo led the charge in the ongoing transformation of the capital market and played a pivotal role in the repositioning, strengthening and resuscitation of the FGN Bond market. The DMO has formulated a National Debt Management Framework (NDMF), 2008-2012, a review of same and publication of the revised (2nd) NDMF, 2013-2017 which incorporated debt management policies and guidelines. The agency has ensured regular and timely servicing of government’s debt and has continued to conduct an annual Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA) as well as successfully preparing a Medium Term Debt Management Strategy (MTDS), 2012-2015 which is being implemented. -Johnson wrote in from Www.





Irene: FG Should Lead by Example by Insuring All its Assets Mr. Peter Irene, is the Interim Managing Director, International Energy Insurance (IEI) Plc. In this interview with Ebere Nwoji, he shared his experience on his efforts to restore IEI back to profitability and sound Corporate Governance status. He proffered ways to boost insurance sector’s contribution to the GDP among other issues. Excerpts: Nigeria is in recession; a situation, which has adversely affected many businesses, how has International Energy Insurance (IEI) which you manage fared in the face of the problem and what is the future of the industry like? Well, I can say that in the long term, the future of insurance is very bright, but you know, Nigerians, always look at the short term. But you can see how foreign investors are rushing to invest in companies in Nigeria because they are not looking at today but tomorrow. As for the recession, yes the recession has affected insurance industry just as it affected other sectors. Basically, because of scarcity of dollar, it has affected the insurance industry in so many ways. One of the ways is this, most insurance firms, had their treaty agreement in Naira even when they accepted dollar risks. What it means is that for example, you now have a claim, you have to pay in dollar but at the time you took up the risk, even though some people placed it in dollar, the exchange at that time was a fixed rate. Because of that, most insurance firms have to cough out huge claims in dollar. You can imagine how dollar has increased by almost 50 percent. That is one aspect, another issue is that most treaties in Nigeria are denominated in naira and most of them were translated at the exchange rate ruling at that time if you have to pay, it means that you have to cough out money from your internal operations to make up when you are paying claims in dollar that were denominated in naira. Another thing is that most of the dollar claims that were not paid before, will have to be paid now and to do that, you have to pay more Irene and that will impact on your total comprehensive income. So those are the issues and many insurance Third Party Motor Insurance, you will find out companies are caught up with this. That means that some people are charging as low as N1, 700. I discovered that even local government we have to be very cautious in our business. What we have done is that any risk that we officials are making more money than the Insurunderwrite in dollar, instead of putting it in Naira ers themselves because instead of charging the treaties, we have to do facultative insurance which asking rate of N5, 000, the local government means we have to do it separately and ensure will charge less and make so much from a large pool, far above what the Insurers are getting. that it is in dollars. So that foreign exchange risk will not affect But if we will come together and be united, it this last account and will no longer be so. But in will be better. But if we go to our meetings as the same way, when you have assets, you have we normally do and discuss one thing after liabilities. If you have assets in terms of dollars which some of us will go back and do another and liabilities of same, it means you have to thing, it will not help us. But the National Insurance Commission cough out much more money. That will affect your profit or loss. It is a temporary issue but (NAICOM), is working much harder now, you as I said, for insurance, the future is still bright know recently, it set up the Insurers Committee just as we have Bankers Committee. The because of our population. You can see that with GDP, what we get as committee is working very hard to ensure that insurance cover is less than one percent which these things are put in their right perspective. means there is a big market. As far as the future If these issues are right, am sure insurance will is concerned, people will begin to buy insurance fare better for it. and with the efforts of NAICOM in enforcing The few of you that are in oil and gas compulsory insurances, we will get there. It may not necessarily be an immediate thing but I think insurance pool are you now speaking with one voice in terms of pricing? insurance has great potentials in this country. Well, in terms of pricing. I think we are speaking In the midst of all these, at the interim, with one voice .Don’t forget that Oil and Gas what do you think the industry should do insurance is a very volatile business and if we don’t speak with one voice, one claim alone can to keep its head above the waters? In my own view, number one thing is unity wipe out the whole funds you have. Most of among the operators. If insurance companies these businesses come from outside the shores can come together and speak with one voice, and the people involved are very thorough, so then insurance will raise its head. One of the you have to charge appropriate premium and if major problems of the industry now is that I you don’t, then you are killing yourself. don’t think we are charging adequate premium. So are you saying the pool is working? Though product pricing is not a marketing Yes, the pool is working strategy; rather product dispensation through easily accessible retail channels that will drive Let’s come to IEI, what can you say is the demand. Insurance is an industry, which depends on large numbers. One, the large numbers are area of strength of the company? The strength of IEI now, compared to what not there yet. Two, the rates we charge do not it was before, I think I can say we are very commiserate with the risks involved. If you are bringing in risks and you are not much stable than what it was before the interim charging adequate rate, you are killing yourself. management came in. Our core business line I think the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) has remained oil and gas insurance and other should do more than it is doing now. For example, non-life businesses. As you can see, we are paying claims and our services have improved.

on how much we are able to raise either in first or second quarter. But the main highlight of the forth coming Annual General Meeting will be how to raise the capital as I have said, if we are given the permission by the shareholders. Secondly, we want to negotiate with Daewoo for that debt, we want permission to negotiate with them. Thirdly we want to change our Auditor to one of the big four. These are the main issues and most importantly, we want to get approval for our 2016 Accounts. When we came here, the accounts were not ready but we have gotten about three accounts ready and we have met up with all the demands. Before now, three accounts were in arrears. But they have all been approved and published. We have met with our new Auditors to discuss the audit of our 2016 accounts. So which of your accounts is still outstanding? We have no outstanding accounts now. As I told you, we have updated our accounts and are working on the 2016 accounts. It is ready just that we have not done our Annual General Meeting. In a nutshell, how will you want to see IEI in the next five years? Well, we want IEI to come back to what it was in 2008 and beyond to be one of the first 10 if not the first five, and to help to raise the standard of insurance in Nigeria.

We have a stable Board, a Board with integrity. You know once you have people of integrity as your board members, it is a very big strength. Are you looking at shoring up your shareholders’ funds how soon will that happen? Very soon; we are preparing for our Annual General Meeting. It will take place this month all things being equal. One of the issues we are looking at is that we are going to raise a lot of capital. We are looking at different ways either through private placement, rights issue or by any other means. We have a lot of professionals working in collaboration with us. In the industry today, what is in vogue now is injection of foreign funds and collaboration with foreign investors and partners. Are you thinking along that line, are you looking at the possibility of bringing in foreign Investors? Yes, we have plans for that and many foreign investors are interested in Nigerian firms for investment. If you look around, you see the trend. Many investors coming into the industry come with huge funds, I don’t think local investors alone can generate the kind of funds coming into the industry. Our existing investors are also looking in the direction of such foreign investments. What are your growth plans for IEI this year? Well, first, with the funds we are expecting, we want to diversify and look into other areas apart from oil and gas business. Our growth plan will depend on the success of what we are doing now. Because of Risk Base Supervision (RBS), we want to know how much capital we will secure but in the interim, we are trying to expand our business to other areas so that we can bring in the much needed premium. So it all depends on what we achieve. We will in this first quarter concentrate effort on raising capital that is our major plan. It will depend

What do you have to tell government on the way forward for insurance industry? We want government to lead by example by insuring all their assets and pay their premium as and when due. I learnt the group life insurance premium of government workers has not been paid what happens if any of the workers loses his or her life? Government should lead the people right by paying its premium before it can think of enforcing compulsory insurances which the industry operators have been pushing for. You talked about diversification, are you thinking of going into life under writing? Well, it all depends. In the future life business will be a major source of long term funds. You can see what is happening in pension sector. I learnt the assets now is up to N6 trillion. So life underwriting is not only good for IEI but for the entire industry. If we are the ones underwriting Pensions, you can imagine what our premium figures will be now. It is in life business that all these foreign investors are interested; you can see Old Mutual of South- Africa and the rest of them. They are making money and I believe that the prospect of life insurance is high. May be in future, IEI will consider going into life business. But the problem of life insurance is that it needs a lot of technology and people to do it. I believe that in the future, if you are not underwriting life business, you are not there. What do you think should be done to make Nigerians appreciate insurance and see it as a necessity? It is really a problem but I think what we need is education. Many Nigerians don’t understand insurance. If you go to my village now and talk about insurance, they will be looking at you as a strange person I remember in those years when I was in secondary school, my brother was working with an insurance company and I always ask him what do you do every day and he will say, we do insurance, we collect money from people and give them insurance cover and it sounded strange to me but thank God they have now included insurance in the curriculum of secondary schools in Nigeria. It will help to educate people about insurance from Continued on page 31





Total, Schlumberger, SNEPCo, Others to Speak at WAIPEC 2017 The Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) has announced the first set of speakers to feature at the West African International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference 2017 (WAIPEC)), a three - day major platform for the oil and gas industry, taking place in Lagos later this month Industry leaders and expert speakers have been drawn from key stakeholders involved in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria

to lead discussions and provide invaluable insight at WAIPEC 2017. These include: Group General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), Dafe Stephen Sejebor; Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Mr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote; Managing Director, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo), Bayo Ojulari; Chief

Executive Of Offi ficer fi cer and Managing Director, Nigeria LNG Limited, Tony Attah; Chief Executive Of Officer, SEPLAT, Austin Ojunekwu Avuru; Chief Executive Of Officer, Frontier Oil Limited, Dada Thomas;Managing Director, FIRST Exploration & Petroleum Development Company, Ademola Adeyemi Bero; Managing Director, Midwestern, Mr Charles Chiedu Odita; Chief Executive

Of cer, Oildata Energy Group, Offi Emeka Ene; Managing Director, Niger Delta Exploration & Production Plc, Dr Layi Fatona; Chairman, Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited, Abdulrazaq Isa; Deputy Managing Director, TOTAL Exploration and Production, Ahmadu Kida Musa; Group Managing Director, Schlumberger, Ifeanyi Nwagbogu; General Manager, National Content, Shell Nigeria Exploration & Production

Company Limited (SNEPCo), Chiedu Oba ; General Manager, Nigeria Content, Chevron Nigeria, Olusoga Oduselu WAIPEC’s first class conference programme will lead on unlocking strategic value - leveraging innovation, best practices and technology to grow West Africa’s energy industry, through a series of plenary and industry panel sessions and topical presentations.

PETAN chairman, Bank Anthony Okoroafor explained that PETAN has commissioned this event WAIPEC to provide the oil and gas sector with a much-needed business platform to showcase expertise and discuss opportunities. “WAIPEC is strategically located in the heart of the commercial area to facilitate access, and is very much organised by the industry for the industry,� he said.

Nigerian Airline operators and their insurers from its reinsurance list due to nonpayment of premium. Are you comfortable with attitude of Airline operators in Nigeria towards insurance? Well, one of the things I noticed when I joined the company is that aviation rates are low. Insurance companies are not charging enough premium.

dictated in Nigeria. I don’t think their problem in terms of cost is insurance. They should be talking about high cost of fuel and other expenses that shoot up their cost of operation not insurance, if you don’t pay for insurance, what have you paid for. They should make insurance their first priority by paying for their insurances. The cost of running airline is high what I did when I took up the leadership of this company is to streamline our aviation underwriting to make it workable. I ensured that we retain very small percentage. Aviation is a special interest area of business because it covers so many things like the

hull, the passengers and so on. So insurance is very key. Nobody has ever survived air accident except Dana. I am surprised that they survived it and I congratulate them. Hardly do airlines survive it because the interest is high, because it is a public liability issue so we have to be very careful. The most critical is passengers’ liability. I think the problem of our airline operators is because we are in third world country so they can’t charge high airfare. If they do, they will be out of business because people cannot pay especially with exchange rate of Naira to dollar.

IRENE: FG SHOULD LEAD BY EXAMPLE BY INSURING ALL ITS ASSETS youthful age. They should spread it so that people will cultivate savings habit. Nigerians want to consume everything now but we should educate people to save for the rainy day. Some institutions of higher learning don’t have insurance department Ahmadu Bello University has been doing Diploma in insurance. I think it is not up to five years they secured accreditation for B.Sc. degree in insurance. They should do more and other institutions should follow suit. So we have to educate ourselves. It is not only passing the law, we should educate people. CIIN should take more proactive steps and go to schools to encourage them to offer insurance.

If you are the president of this great country Nigeria, what policy will you put in place to promote insurance? If I become president of Nigeria today, I will enforce compulsory insurances nation nationwide, because the laws are there, for example. Why government must be paying to people when houses collapse. That should not be if such collapsed building has insurance cover. Once you enforce compulsory insurances, all these things will stop. Insur Insurance will begin to take up such risks. You cannot say the enforcement will not work as some people always think, because

it is Nigeria, don’t forget the world is changing every day. Insurance industry in Nigeria will witness revolution and it is already happening. Look at ‘no premium “no cover,� policy of the industry. It has worked and it has saved many companies. You can imagine the premium we would have generated if all residential buildings in Lagos are insured. So if I become president, from my government, I will enforce compulsory insur insurance starting from insurance of states and federal government properties. You are into aviation insurance, recently, Lloyds of London, threatened delisting

But airline operators are complaining that aviation insurance rates are high in Nigeria compared to other countries? It is not true; most of aviation insurances in Nigeria are taken overseas .So the rates are not


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EDUCATION Yeketi: Kwara People Now have Confidence in Public Schools The Kwara State Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, Musa Ayinla Yeketi recently spoke with select journalists on the state of education in the state and the ministry’s efforts to restore confidence in public schools. Hammed Shittu presents excerpts What is the situation of education in Kwara since you assumed office? When I came in and I saw the position the education in this state was, the first thing we did was to go round which is still on till now, to ascertain the status of our schools. When I came in, the attitude of teachers to teaching was nothing to write home about and we discovered that the cause is lack of monitoring by the ministry. We then decided that the commissioner has no business in the office between the hours of 8am and 2pm when schools will be closing, I am only a commissioner if I do my job; she is only a permanent secretary if the teachers do their job very well, this message was equally passed to the Teaching Service Commission and their directors. So, we are always out moving from one school to another to find out whether the teachers are doing their job or the students are in schools. This action has put all the teachers on their toes; they find it very difficult not to go to schools because a number of teachers have been sanctioned. When we came in, those that were working in rural areas always divide themselves into two, some will go this day, some will go the other day, but that has stopped now. If you move round to our schools now, there has been improvement in the turnout of schools, parents are now having confidence in public schools unlike before and to add to it is this recession matter, a lot of parents are now withdrawing their children from private schools because they cannot afford the fees again and because they are have confidence in public schools. Teachers are now doing their job and they are doing it very well so the turnout in schools has increased. We are not working on the public schools alone, we are equally working on private schools, they used to resume at will and close at will, but now, we now have one academic calendar both public and private schools go on midterm together, this is putting sanity in the academic pursuit in the state. Before now when public schools vacate, private schools would still be in session and this was affecting the students but now they now vacate at the same time and that has brought sanity and discipline and we are happy about it. Many of our students have won some international competitions which show the improvement in the academic standard and also, this ministry has zero record of exam malpractice and how do we do that? During WAEC and NECO examinations, we move out. In those days you discover that in a school with about 50-60 students sitting for an exam, when you get there you discover that over 100 students are sitting for the examination because there are numbers of magic centres but that has stopped now because for that alone, a number of principals were sanctioned, now for any school to accommodate any repeater or external student, there must be approval from the ministry and he must state the reason why the student is coming to a new school to re-sit an exam. Who will tell him instead of going to this school, go to that school? That alone we are using to curb examination malpractice. A lot of private schools have been closed down because they did not follow the lay down rules, operating under an atmosphere that is not conducive for learning and for that every private school here is on its toes now and this is across the state. We discovered that some private schools operate under one approval, with the cooperation of the ministry; of all the ministries we have in this state, ministry of education has been commended by the Kwara State Revenue Service (KWIRS) for

To what extent have you addressed the problem of cultism across schools in the state? The state government has done a lot on cultism and now you know if anybody harbors a cultist as a tenant, the landlord will be prosecuted and the student (cultist) if convicted is likely to be jailed for 10 years. Recently, some students were convicted and anti-cultism campaign is on for students to know that cultism is a crime, so the state government is doing a lot on that. What is the penalty for loitering? For now, there is no law. When they are arrested, we take them to the Civil Defence office. Then the parents will be invited and they will appeal and talk to them just to advocate and tell them what is wrong and what is right.


improving on the quality of education in the state and we are proud of that. Since we came in, we have been moving round all schools and we have concluded that of the Kwara South section, we are now in Kwara North. We are looking into the infrastructure of all the schools, the number of staff they have; looking into ghost workers’ issues, at the end of the day by the time we conclude the whole thing, we will present a report to the governor. There are many discoveries we made, part of the discoveries were the identification of some dilapidated classrooms, we have their records and we are forwarding it and as a result of that the governor has approved the renovation of 420 classrooms.# What challenges did you face in carrying out monitoring of schools especially private schools in making them comply with the ministry’s rules and regulations? There is no challenge because in the letter of approval given to these private schools it is indicated that they have to follow the academic calendar of the ministry. The only thing is that the previous head of the ministry did not implement it. The thing has been there in fact one of the proprietors of the schools we closed down because they did not observe mid-term said that for the 60 years they have been operating, they did not know that there is an academic calendar, so we made them know that there is an academic calendar and they have to comply with it. In fact there is one 5 star school outside this state that not comply, we invited the proprietors here and told her that the school will be closed down if she did do not comply because we gave her the approval; now the school is co-operating very well. If you don’t go for mid-term or you don’t comply with the academic calendar, we give you a fine of about N100,000 to be paid

within one week; if you don’t pay it then we close your school down, so everybody now complies with the directives. How many of the private schools have been penalised? Over 123 schools have been sanctioned and closed down for not following the due process in establishing the school but some of them are already coming up. So, the number has now dropped. You can imagine somebody putting little children under an uncompleted building. When you apply for that you will be given provisional approval for you to get yourself set in your permanent site, but some continue under that condition, although some of them are now complying and writing for approval and they are paying the required fees, so the number is coming down. What are you doing to restore the confidence of the people in public schools? Well, the issue is that the ministry is allowed to show responsibility in monitoring schools. The enrolment has increased we had low enrolment before because the public does not have confidence in public schools. Now, with the activities of the ministry, the public is beginning to have confidence. Before now, you see teachers during working hour attending to social ceremonies. But today, when he goes out, he will have the fear “officers of the ministry might be in the school, and I will be sanctioned�, so he goes back. Most of the teachers didn’t even have their children in public schools, we talked to them, “you are already killing the public school, you are a qualified teacher yet your child is not here. How do you want other people to bring in their children?� They reasoned with us and they are bringing their children in the public schools. The enrolment is already increasing.

How is the ministry trying to sort out problems of teachers and their salaries? The issue is that we have a number of them that are not qualified to teach and this is another area the ministry is trying to curb. Most of the people in the teaching profession are not teachers; they are only taking teaching appointment as a second job. There is what we call teachers’ allowance. When I came in as commissioner, I met many of them in the ministry working as administrative officers, yet collecting teachers’ allowance. They only use the opportunity of whoever that is very close to him. Look in to their qualifications, they are not teachers. So the next thing I did was to post every one of them out. Lack of commitment is one of the reasons. Even with the owing of salaries, some are still very committed. Even in the Teaching Service Commission, I was in Agbeyangi, out of 23 teachers on two occasions that I was there, I always met 12 teachers, yet the commission does not even owe them salary. But the government is really looking to the settlement of the arrears. I pray that with the efforts of the governor, the whole thing will be cleared this year even before the local government elections. President Buhari has said recession will end this year so I pray it ends so that everyone will be able to carry out his own assignment. What is the plan of the ministry this year? Training and re-training of teachers is very much there and that is a continuous exercise. We did a lot in the 2016 and we are doing more. We have it in the budget, the teachers will be trained. What is the secret behind your success since you took over the leadership of the ministry of education and human capital development? Do I really get it? As the head of any establishment, you will be happy to see your subordinates wanting you to succeed and I think that is what the governor is doing. He identifies that even before he says one thing, here in the ministry we have thought ahead. I still have a number of memo still not implemented because of money, this state would have gone ahead. Because of our performance, Sokoto State has been here to under study. We had two professors, two PhD holders and the commissioner for education. Jigawa has signified its intention to come down here and understudy us. And at the National Council on Education, Kwara State came first of all the 36 states in implementation and performance. Now, what do you expect of the chief executive




ASUU Bemoans Mass Exit of Lecturers from Kogi Varsity Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja The acting Chairman, Kogi State University, Anyigba branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dr. Aina Daniel has lamented the exit of about 60 choice lecturers from the institution as a result of the deteriorating situation at the university. Daniel, who made this known in a chat with journalists in Lokoja, said the action has a debilitating effect on the

psyche and academic standard of the institution. According to him, about 200 staff of the institution have not received salaries for over eight months now and they have been working, this he described as the height of injustice. He said over the years, they have been on a long struggle of one type or the other with the state government on a number of issues relating to the smooth running of the

university. “ASUU-KSU has sought to have audience with the visitor to educate the administration on the modus operandi of the university system, but we have been denied such opportunity. Our demands have been forwarded to government but there has been no formal response. “We have cried out to the world about the deteriorating situation in Kogi State University, the climax of which

is the mass exodus of about 60 choice lecturers with its attendant debilitating effect on the psyche and academic standard of the university.� The acting chairman stressed that lecturers have applauded the staff screening exercise embarked on by the government as they believed it would reposition the financial status of the state when leakages through which “ghost workers� and other untoward methods are blocked.

“As it affects the university, the kind of screening exercise they were subjected to is an aberration. Statutorily, the visitor to the university has the prerogative to send a visitation panel to the university which should perform such task. Alternatively, the visitor may direct the governing council to perform the task.� Aina added that they did not resist the screening exercise because there was no governing council in place and the

visitor was then first settling down as ASUU-KSU calls for the immediate reconstitution of the governing council. “Recent developments on our campus suggest that the lack of a governing council appears to be a ploy to erode the university autonomy which stands it out from all other institutions, ASUU-KSU will resist this. The autonomy of the university is sacrosanct and cannot be compromised any further.

Institute Expels 20 Students for Exam Malpractices Laleye Dipo in Minna The Justice Fati Lami Abubakar Institute of Legal Studies, Minna, Niger State has expelled 20 of its students and directed six others to re-sit their second semester examination. The 20 students were expelled for their alleged involvement in examination malpractices, while the case against the six others could not be proved beyond reasonable doubt therefore they were asked to re-sit the examination. The Provost of the institute, Dr. Mohammed Aliyu Bussa, who disclosed this on Monday during the matriculation of fresh students, said the decision of the management was the outcome of “a legal panel set up to investigate the cases against the affected students.� He said the panel recommended that those “found guilty should be dealt with to serve as deterrent to other students in the institute. “This institute has no room

for such capital offences, discipline and accountability will remain the watchwords of the management.� Bussa therefore charged the new students to take their studies seriously, warning that any one that falls below the required grade would be shown the way out of the institution. The provost added that the management would not tolerate the involvement of students in secret cult activities or other immoral behaviours, which would be visited with outright dismissal. He disclosed that virtually all the 26 courses run by the institute have been accredited by the relevant agencies and announced plans to introduce eight new courses to be offered at diploma level. The provost, who thanked the state government for supporting the institute, said the administration has to do more to enable the institute attain the enviable height it has set for itself.


L≠R:The Principal of LycĂˆ e FranĂ ais Louis Pasteur, Lagos, Mr. Alain Berna; Primary School Director, Mrs. Pascale Lagleize; and Head of Pedagogical Training in Lagos, Olivier Alfonsi, during the presentation of the French primary school curriculum to parents...recently

Driving Change in Nigerian Varsities through ETT Uchechukwu Nnaike As part of efforts to transform the curriculum and teaching methods in Nigerian universities, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Total Upstream Nigeria Limited, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have been engaged in the Empowering the Teachers (ETT) programme since 2010. The ETT was designed to enable outstanding young Nigerian faculty in science and engineering to collaborate with faculty at MIT in developing new curriculum and teaching methods that adopt MIT’s emphasis on problem solving approach and developing entrepreneurial attitudes among students. The programme, which started with eight fellows, currently has over 50 fellows spread across several universities in the country. Speaking at a one-day ETT

summit with the theme ‘Convergence of Change Agents: 5 Years of Inspiring Innovation’ in Lagos recently, the Managing Director, Total, Mr. Nicolas Terraz, stated that the fellows have become change agents, satisfying the intent of the programme. According to him, one of the best ways to support and transform the local economy is through capacity building, adding that the country needs a critical mass of skilled people to support its industrailisation efforts. While congratulating the fellows, Terraz reminded them that they have an important task on their hands. “You have been designated as change agents. It is by no means going to be easy as you may have some bureaucracies to contend with. However a lot is expected from you, we have gathered you to build a strong network of change. I understand most of you are already actively engaged in

research. The company will support good innovations that you may come up with.� In his remarks, the Group General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), Mr. Dafe Sajebor, noted that one of the major challenges facing inclusive development of Nigeria is the technological deficiency in the education sector, which has negatively affected the quality/performance of graduates from Nigerian universities. “More worrisome is the non-dynamic nature of the curricula of the science and engineering faculties, which leaves most graduates behind the modern global trends and standards.� While commending NNPC/ Total and MIT for the initiative, he said having sponsored about 50 fellows to MIT, it has become imperative to convene the summit to assess the impact the programme has made on Nigerian universities.

Ganduje Makes Case for Community Participation in Education Devt Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano The Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has disclosed that the large population of pupils in the state has become a major challenge to the government. Ganduje, who made this known at the end of the education week ceremony, called for the support of private organisations and active community involvement in providing basic education. He said his administration has rehabilitated over 2,000 classrooms and several three storey building blocks for pupils across the 44 local government areas with instructional materials distributed to them to reduce the population. “For example, we have paid N1 billion as counterpart funding to the federal government and we are expecting N1 billion from the federal government. At the end of the day, we will be working with

N2 billion and see how we can address this issue of decongestion in our schools. We are also providing furniture. “In basic education, what we observe is that government will not be able to do it alone and therefore, there is one segment that needs to be considered, which is community participation in education. We have the highest number of primary school pupils. Apart from education, it is because not many people are interested in investing in education that is why we have the volume like that. The governor said education is broad, adding, “sometimes you become confused on where to start. I think in anything you want to do, you first start with the foundation. That is why we are putting emphasis on basic education to ensure that we get it right. To help as many children as possible in the school to reduce the ones outside the school and

to also invite private people and organisations that will undertake corporate social responsibility in education. “We believe if this concept is embraced by members of the public that would be a huge achievement. I think we are succeeding. We have the Education Trust Fund which we are about to launch so that we can get the right people to legally operate on this concept and system, and that is why we are designating the whole week as the Basic Education Week. We are going to start with the stakeholders to know their problems, even though the problems are many. “We even picked the teachers because they are the nucleus of progress as far as the education system is concerned. If their minds are not at rest, they will be teaching absent mindedly. So you know what it means for somebody to be teaching with an absent mind.�




Nigerian Student Wins DStv Eutelsat Awards

Funmi Ogundare

A Nigerian student, Master Emmanuel Ochenjele, 18 and Master Leoul Mesfin from Ethiopia, have emerged winners of this year’s DStv Eutelsat Star Awards in the poster and essay category respectively. The award is aimed at encouraging young minds to explore innovative thinking in science and space technology. Now in its sixth year, the competition, also designed to sustain interest from African learners aged 14 to 19, attracted over 1,000 entries from 20 countries and judged on accuracy of information, creativity and originality, overall layout of poster, graphic or illustrative style, as well as referencing. With his depiction of a constellation of diverse satellites all contributing to the advancement of solutions to challenges of global warming, conservation of biodiversity, as well as stable energy supply, Ochenjele will be visiting Eutelsat, a satellite factory in Paris to understand how satellites are operated. Mesfin’s entry struck the judges as it considers continental and country-specific needs and closely aligning to the topic. He won a trip to Paris to witness a rocket launch into space. The runner-up in the essay category was Master Davids Bwana from Tanzania, who won a trip for two to visit MultiChoice facilities and the South African National Space Agency near

Johannesburg, while Aobakwe Letamo from Botswana was the runner up in the poster category. The four winning schools were also rewarded with a DStv installation, including dish, TV set, PVR decoder and free access to the DStv education bouquet. In her remarks at the awards ceremony in Lagos recently, Claudie HaignerÊ, Europe’s first female astronaut and now Special Advisor to the Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA), who chaired the jury for the first time, described it as a mind-changing experience. She said the visionary ideas on Africa’s future satellite landscape developed in the essays and posters underscore how Africa’s youth expect technology to drive positive change for the continent, adding that the jury engaged in intense discussions to award the most realistic and creative proposals that deserved to stand out on the African stage. She congratulated all the finalists for their work and the winners for their brilliant ideas. The Managing Director of Multichoice Nigeria, Mr. John Ugbe, described the partnership with Eutelsat as enhancing, saying that it has changed television across Africa. He commended the winners and their teachers, saying that their efforts have yielded positive results. The Regional Vice-President, Eutelsat,

Mr. Benn Rodney, who stated that launching a satellite into space is expensive, said solutions to problems facing the continent could be gotten if emphasis is placed on research and science. “Satellite needs to be designed by scientists who have interest in physics, chemistry and mechanics. With the competition, we can stimulate students to go into the fields of science and technology.� He said the competition would further stimulate the students’ talents and make them express themselves artistically, adding that the winners showed something beyond going to Google for information. The minister of communication and technology, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr. Sunny Echono, said the sixth edition shows sustained interest from African youths, adding fresh impetus to the mission shared by MultiChoice and Eutelsat to encourage them to positively change their world via innovative thinking in science and technology. The Nigerian winner, Ochenjele, while expressing his delight about his success, thanked Multichoice and Eutelsat for the gesture, saying it means a lot of choice for him. “It is just God giving talents and creativity. With the reward, I hope to see Nigeria as the giant of Africa forever.�


L≠R: The Executive Director, Corporate Affairs, PZCussons Nigeria Plc, Yomi Ifaturoti; Vice≠ Principal Administration, Estate Senior Grammar School, Ilupeju, Iyashere Joyce; the Principal, Jesugbamila Esther and the Global CEO PZCussons UK. Dr. Alex Kanellis, at the interactive session with students of the school hosted by Inner Hearts, an initiative of PZCussons employees to give back to the society in LagosÖ recently

‘Auto Mechatronics Curriculum Upgrade will Prevent Quackery’ Akinwale Akintunde The Director General, National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Aminu Jalal, has affirmed that the recently upgraded Auto Mechatronics curriculum and developed National Occupational Standard (NOS) will checkmate quackery in the country. He said the upgraded curriculum will not only prevent quackery in the automotive industry, but will be another source of job opportunity for youths that dream of working in the industry. Jalal, who made this known in a chat with journalists in Lagos at the critique workshop of the upgraded curriculum, said: “As part of the council mandate to ensure the survival, growth and integrated development of the Nigerian automotive industry using local human and materials resources, the council in time past conducted a skill gap analysis of auto technicians nationwide and see the need to develop a modular curriculum which

we did in collaboration with relevant stakeholders. “The council collaborated with Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, auto industry practitioners, National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), German Technical Cooperation and other relevant auto stakeholders leading to the production of the curriculum for training auto technicians in vehicles mechatronics. The curriculum will remedy the skill gaps noted in the survey conducted in 2010.� Jalal added that the development of the NOS and delivery of the National Vocational Qualification Framework (NVQF) was aimed at enthroning and institutionalising competency based Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Nigeria. “The framework will in the near future place out of school children, working adult, graduates and apprentice at both formal and non-formal setting in their rightful position as far as skills acquisition

and competency are concerned.� Other stakeholders who spoke at the two-day workshop were Dr. Ibidapo Olabode of the National Business and Technical Exam Board (NABTEB); Engr. S.M Yussuf of NBTE; and Mr. Yakubu Joshua, President, Automotive Sector Skill Council. They said the upgraded curriculum remedied the skills gap noted in the 2010 survey. According to them, the old Mechanics Trade Test III (Basic), II (intermediate) and (final level) were replaced with a competency based automotive mechatronics curriculum using the concept of modularization as enshrined in competence based education and training. They agreed that the upgraded curriculum is of standard acceptable anywhere in the world because it gives a clear statement of what the learner must know or be able to do, whether the learning took place in a classroom, on-the-job or less formally.

Don’t Look Away; Please Be an Enabler! Practising and training on various topics within the eld of learning disabilities for over 15 years to date makes me absolutely appreciative of what most of us do unconsciously, relatively eortlessly, and in so doing, in very many ways take for granted. I do my hat to those developed nations that have grasped the call to lend a listening ear and a compassionate heart to the simple needs of people with disabilities. I have found that physical disabilities that aect mobility often feature prominently within several physical conditions and impairments which include incapabilities in: learning, language development, behavior and social development, conditions associated with ageing, chronic illnesses, acute illnesses and indeed accidents. Physical disabilities aecting mobility are usually caused by damage to the spinal cord.The gravity of the disability depends on where the injury is on the spine. The spinal cord may have been partially or completely impaired. Physical disabilities could result from a congenital condition like cerebral palsy. They could also happen after birth due to injury, for instance from lack of immunization. Furthermore infections and exposure to high levels of environmental toxins such as lead could result in paralysis of the legs and of the upper limbs. You must understand that physical disabilities could cause possible loss of control over the muscles of the bladder and rectum. Therefore you may nd yourself caring for an adult or a child that is incontinent of urine or faeces or both. Now physical disabilities could last a lifetime or linger on until the disease or ailment causing it has been treated or cured. Physical disabilities may go on to result in the paralysis of the limb or area aected. Granted≠caring for a disabled person make simple living functions which include feeding, toileting, sleeping, personal care, mobility and at times even breathing daunting. However, the fact remains that specially thought≠ through procedures and physical aids can make all of the functions IĂ­ ve described above and many more easy to carry out. In fact mobility aids immediately confers on its user: ability, movement, hope, independence, dignity, a sense of self≠ worth and opportunities to make choices. Have you got wheelchairs and walking aids, to spare? Some practical ways you could help disabled people include: ËžĂœĂ?Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă™ĂšĂšĂ™ĂœĂžĂ&#x;Ă˜Ă“ĂžĂ“Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă™ĂœÞÒĂ?Ă—ÞÙĂ—Ă‹Ă•Ă?Ă?ÒÙÓĂ?Ă?Ă?ĂœĂ?Ă–Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ÞÙÞÒĂ?Ă“Ăœ own lives. ËžĂ?Ă?ĂœĂ‹Ă“Ă˜Ă“Ă˜Ă‘Ă?ĂœĂ™Ă—ĂŽĂ™Ă“Ă˜Ă‘Ă?Ă Ă?ĂœĂŁĂžĂ’Ă“Ă˜Ă‘Ă?Ă™ĂœÞÒĂ?Ă—Ë› ËžĂ˜Ă?Ă™Ă&#x;ĂœĂ‹Ă‘Ă“Ă˜Ă‘ÞÒĂ?Ă—ÞÙĂŽĂ™ĂžĂ’Ă“Ă˜Ă‘Ă?Ă?Ă™ĂœÞÒĂ?Ă—Ă?Ă?Ă–Ă Ă?Ă?Ë› ËžĂœĂ™Ă Ă“ĂŽĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă—Ă™ĂœĂ?ÞÓ×Ă?Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ?ÚËĂ?Ă?Ă?Ă™ĂœÞÒĂ?Ă—ÞÙĂ?Ù×ÚÖĂ?ĂžĂ?Ă?Ă’Ă™ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽÞËĂ?Ă•Ă?Ë› ËžĂ?Ă“Ă˜Ă‘ÚËÞÓĂ?Ă˜ĂžåÓÞÒÞÒĂ?Ă—Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂœĂ?Ă‹ĂŽĂ“Ă–ĂŁĂšĂœĂ™Ă Ă“ĂŽĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ÞÒĂ?Ă—åÓÞÒÖÙÞĂ?Ă™Ă? encouragement to keep going (e.g. studying, socialising). ËžĂœĂœĂ‹Ă˜Ă‘Ă“Ă˜Ă‘Ă?Ă&#x;ĂœĂ˜Ă“ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă“Ă˜Ă?Ă&#x;Ă?Ă’Ă‹ĂĄĂ‹ĂŁÞÒËÞÞÒĂ?ĂŁĂ?Ă‹Ă˜×ÙàĂ?Ă‹ĂŒĂ™Ă&#x;ĂžĂ?Ă‹Ă?Ă“Ă–ĂŁË› ËžĂ‹Ă•Ă“Ă˜Ă‘Ă?Ă&#x;ĂœĂ?ĂŁĂ™Ă&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă&#x;ĂœĂ˜Ă“ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă“Ă?Ă?ĂžĂ&#x;ĂŽĂŁĂ‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ă?Ă?Ă&#x;ĂœĂ?ĂŽËœĂ˜Ă™ĂžĂ?Ă‹Ă?Ă“Ă–ĂŁĂ—Ă™Ă Ă‹ĂŒĂ–Ă? or shiftable. ËžĂ?Ă—Ă™Ă Ă“Ă˜Ă‘ĂžĂ’Ă“Ă˜Ă‘Ă?ÞÒËÞĂ?Ă‹Ă˜ĂŒĂ?ĂžĂœĂ“ĂšĂšĂ?ĂŽÙàĂ?ĂœĂ™ĂœĂŒĂ&#x;Ă—ĂšĂ?ĂŽĂ“Ă˜ĂžĂ™Ë› ËžĂœĂ™Ă Ă“ĂŽĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă?Ă‹Ă?ĂŁÞÙĂĄĂ?Ă‹ĂœĂ?ÖÙÞÒĂ?Ă?Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ?ÙÙÞåĂ?Ă‹ĂœËžĂ‹Ă‘Ă?Ě‹Ă‹ĂšĂšĂœĂ™ĂšĂœĂ“Ă‹ĂžĂ? clothes and footwear. ËžĂœĂ™Ă Ă“ĂŽĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ÑÙÙÎĂ–Ă“Ă‘Ă’ĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă“Ă˜ÞÒĂ?ĂœĂ™Ă™Ă—Ë› ËžĂœĂ™Ă Ă“ĂŽĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă?Ă&#x;Ă˜Ă?ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă‹Ă–Ă‹Ă“ĂŽĂ?ĂĄĂ’Ă“Ă?Ă’Ă“Ă˜Ă?Ă–Ă&#x;ĂŽĂ?Ă’Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂœĂ‹Ă“Ă–Ă?åÓÞÒÑÙÙÎĂ‘ĂœĂ“ĂšËœ ramps for easy access, non≠ slip oor and table surfaces and reachable work tops. ËžÙÖÖĂ‹ĂŒĂ‹Ă–Ă–Ă“Ă˜Ă?Ă“ĂŽĂ?Ă‹ Ă&#x;ÖË̋ÒÙÙÚÚÖËĂ?Ă?ĂŽĂ™Ă˜ÞÒĂ?ĘŽĂ™Ă™ĂœË›Ă–Ă‹ĂŁåÓÞÒĂŒĂ–Ă™Ă?Ă•Ă? on a cookie sheet or the lid of a cardboard box . Omoru writes from the UK

NCCE Accredits 24 Programmes at FCE Okene Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) has granted full accreditation to all the 24 NCE programmes run by the Federal College of Education Okene, Kogi State. The Provost, Dr. Iyela Ajayi, who disclosed this in Okene, attributed the success to adequate preparation, hard work and commitment on the part of the management, staff and students of the college. “Only very few tertiary institutions in the country can record this type of success in accreditation of academic programmes. Among all the federal colleges of education in the country, our institution is the only college that recorded full

accreditation for all the academic programmes which of course represented 100 per cent. “We are not unaware that it is not easy to finance accreditation of courses because it requires a lot of funds especially now that the country is facing recession. To achieve this feat we have to recruit new academic staff; we have to upgrade our facilities among other things that are part of the prerequisite for accreditation.� While lauding the patience of the NCCE accreditation team for taking its time to go round the college for the purpose of the exercise, Ajayi hinted that the institution is expecting another accreditation for the undergraduate courses.




Medical Student Makes History at OOU’s Convocation Funmi Ogundare For the first time in the history of the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) College of Medicine, Ogun State, a graduate of Medicine and Surgery, Dr. Saheed Alabi has achieved an unprecedented feat with distinctions in seven courses out of 10, emerging as the overall best graduating student at the institution’s combined 2014/15, 2015/16 convocation ceremony recently. He was among the 43 first class graduates the institution produced this year. He got an automatic employment and promise of further studies abroad from Governor Ibikunle Amosun. A breakdown of the statistics revealed that 5,809 graduands received their degrees, diplomas and certificates in the Faculties of Law, Pharmacy, Basic Medical Science, Health Science, Engineering, Environmental Science, Arts, Education, out of which 41 had PhD; 379 master’s degrees; 110 got postgraduate diploma; 811 made second class upper division; 2,319 made second class lower; 1,192 had third class; while 20 made pass grade. Alabi, who was conferred with a special award, was the cynosure of all eyes as he was called to receive his prize. Asked how he felt being the first to achieve the feat despite the challenges confronting the institution, he said, “I am glad I achieved that feat of being the first to graduate with MBChB with honors in the history of the university. I first read about the requirements during my 100 level days and felt it is not possible to get it, but now it is history. Someone has done it. I give Allah all the glory

as well as my lecturers and mentors.� He attributed his success to God’s favour and blessing, saying, “I do not know anything except that which God has taught me for He is the ‘All-knower, the all-wise’. Only God grants success, however, it is important we read in addition to praying. Also important is imparting knowledge unto others, know when you assimilate the most and make the best use of that time.� Alabi said he plans to commence and complete his internship programme and afterwards do his postgraduate programme in clinicals and academic. He advised other students to make prayer their priority, saying, “they should be diligent and hardworking.

Strike the iron when it is hottest, read when you best assimilate and teach your colleagues or engage in academic discussions with your colleagues. Humility is key to making it in life and also form the habit of having good mentors and get advice from them.� The best graduand, who said he had assisted in carrying out a surgery on a patient during his COBMES posting, thanked the vice-chancellor and his management team for their efforts in putting the institution in its rightful place, as well as the governor for supporting the university. In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Saburi Adesanya, congratulated the graduands while advising them to bring to bear the skills and technique they acquired

to excel in their areas of endeavour. “The challenge of your generation is the hydra-headed problem of unemployment. This problem has been with us for some time now, hence you need a positive attitude outside there to succeed. One sure way to be relevant and useful to yourselves is to be competitive. You must inculcate the ‘can do spirit’ and be not only employers of labour, but job creators.� He expressed concern that the university is faced with enormous challenges, which threaten the sustenance of its achievements, adding that it needs more facilities to meet its immediate need of increasing student population and development of its urban social amenities.


Fraud: NANS Urge ICPC, EFCC to Probe, RemoveVC Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has called for the removal and probe of the Vice-Chancellor of Michael Opara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Prof. Francis Otunta over allegations of corruption and forgery to the tune of N81 million. The students’ body made the call during its peaceful protest to the headquarters of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Ministry of Education where he was declared unsuitable for the position due to corruption allegations against him. The National President of NANS, Chinoso Obasi, during the protest called on the anti-corruption agencies to beam their searchlight on tertiary institutions in the country. He said the body have resolved to partner the various anti-graft agencies in the country, hence its decision to whistleblow the alleged acts of dishonesty by the VC, while hoping that justice would be served and the public funds illegally diverted be recovered. Obasi noted that NANS under his watch has accepted to act in good faith and whistle blow corrupt practices particularly in the education sector in line with the resolve of the federal

government to encourage whistle-blowing, curb corruption and recover stolen funds. He regretted that the worst corruption was being perpetrated in tertiary institutions, adding that corruption cannot be defeated if not channeled to the tertiary institutions, secondary and primary education. “A lot of our administrators have ruined the tertiary institutions, looting resources meant to build, train and educate our nation’s manpower for future development as a people and nation.� “In making true the essence of complementing your efforts, the NANS wish to call on the ICPC to probe the allegations of fraud and corrupt practises levelled against Otunta during his tenure as rector of Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Unwana and now as the vice-chancellor of MOUA, Umudike, Abia State. “Otunta had while serving as rector, allegedly conspired with four other persons and forged the letter-headed paper of Emma-Ishiagu Int’l Ltd and opened account No. 4110018208 with Fidelity Bank with intent to defraud and allegedly obtained N81,700,000 from the polytechnic.� The protesters accused the VC of similar offence, extortion of N4,000 from students for campus shuttle and compulsory N5,000 levies for ICT# # . NANS said the above allegations have made Otunta unsuitable to continue to

occupy the office of VC, while insisting on his resignation from office in order to face the allegations levelled against him. Obasi added: “I gave him seven days ultimatum he refused to resign, I gave him four days he refused to resign, this is my next action and if I find out that the anti-corruption agencies are not doing what they are supposed to do, I will mobilise over 20.1 million students to Umudike, I will push him and install anybody as the VC, we don’t want to take laws into our hands.� The protesters were armed with various placards with inscription like: ‘Resign Now, Concentrate on Defending the Corruption Allegations before You; ‘Save our Educational Institutions from Corrupt Administrators’: ‘Francis Otunta When Did You Become Education Contractor ’, among others. The students later went to the ministry of education, but there was no official of the ministry on ground to receive them. In his remarks after receiving a letter of petition submitted to the agency, ICPC Head of Administration, Mr. Nathaniel Baku, said NANS has always being a partner to the commission. He stressed that ICPC has been doing system review to sanitise the university system, while promising that the agency would take the necessary action.



Importance of Class Control, Mgt in Learning Ă–Ă‹Ă?Ă?ĂœĂ™Ă™Ă—Ă—Ă‹Ă˜Ă‹Ă‘Ă?Ă—Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂœĂ?Ă?Ă?ĂœĂ?ÞÙĂ‹Ă–Ă–ĂžĂ’Ă“Ă˜Ă‘Ă?ÞÒĂ?ĂžĂ?Ă‹Ă?Ă’Ă?ĂœĂŽĂ™Ă?Ă?ÞÙ



Enact Law to Address HND/BSc Dichotomy, NAPS Tells N’Assembly Hammed Shittu in Ilorin The National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS) has called on members of the National Assembly to enact a law that would put an end to the dichotomy between Higher National Diploma (HND) and bachelor’s degree holders in the country. The association said the move would lead to the development of the country’s polytechnic and colleges of technology. The National President, Adeyeye Olugbenga, made this known in Ilorin, shortly after the inspection of the Kwara Stateowned International Vocation and Skills Acquisition Centre in Irepodun Local Government Council of the state. “The members of the National Assembly should ensure that the process that led to the abolishment of # the dichotomy between HND/BSc graduates is

completed on time and backed by law. The development will enhance technological advancement of the country. “Most of the graduates of the nation’s polytechnics and college of technology are well practically trained and they can compete with any university graduate. If the issue of dichotomy between the HND/BSc is nipped in the bud, the gesture will add value to the technological development of the country.� Olugbenga, who lauded the state government’s efforts in the establishment of the centre, said such gesture would create employment opportunities for graduates of polytechnics and colleges of technology. He called on other state governments to replicate the centre in their various states, as it would help at diversifying the country’s economy and also ensure quick recovery from the recession.




Acting Features Editor: Charles Ajunwa Email

Wike’s Excitable Projects Owing to the number of projects he has initiated and inaugurated since he assumed office, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has been dubbed 'Mr. Project' by the people each time they catch a glimpse of him anywhere in the state, Davidson Iriekpen writes


t is not a surprise that anywhere he enters in the state, people troop out to shout ‘Mr. Project’, ‘Mr. Project’. This is the new name the people of Rivers State have given their governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike. This again played out last week when he moved to Ekpeye land where he flagged off the completion of the Edeoha-Ikata-Ochigba-Ozocha Road, pledging that the area would experience unprecedented development now that peace has returned to the communities and their environs. Performing the flag off of the construction of the road, the governor said the contract was awarded in fulfillment of his promise to the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Chibodum Nwuche. He said the immediate past All Progressives Congress (APC) administration in the state had abandoned the road project because Nwuche was working with him at the time. He said that the contractor would be mobilise to site as the state government has released funds for the road project. He said: "Though Nwuche has moved to another political party, I am bound by my promise, hence I am here to flag off the construction of the road." The governor charged the people of the area to cooperate with the contractor by providing a peaceful environment for the contractor to deliver his work as scheduled. According to him, the road would be inaugurated among the Jubilee projects for the 50th anniversary of the state. In his remarks, member representing Ahoada East Constituency 2, Hon. Ehie Edison, said the road would create access to 21 communities in the constituency. He noted that the people of the area are grateful that Wike has kept his promise, pledging that his support base in Ekpeye land will remain strong. The road project is among the many that Wike has awarded or inaugurated since he assumed office as governor in 2015. Knowing how backward the state was in the area of road infrastructure and how difficult it was to move from one community to another, the

Despite the scarce resources and the pressures from the APC-led federal government and its agencies, Wike has remained undaunted. His focus is on how to bring development to his people based on the massive support he has received from them. So far, in the last 20 months, the governor has embarked on and completed over 25 critical roads and sundry projects in the state, thereby reducing the suffering of his people

Akpabio (middle) inaugurating Igwuruta≠ Chokocho Federal Road constructed by Wike. Flanked by Wike (1st right) and his deputy, Mrs. Ipalibo Gogo Banigo (1st left)

Lamido (2nd left) inaugurating the reconstructed Ozuoba≠ Rumuosi Road in ObioAkpor Local Government Area. Wike (3rd right) and others watch

governor on assumption of office, pledged to change the situation. From May 2015, hardly would a month end without the governor either flagging off or inaugurating a new project to the admiration of the people of the state. Despite the scarce resources and the pressures from the APC-led

federal government and its agencies, Wike has remained undaunted. His focus is on how to bring development to his people based on the massive support he has received from them. So far, in the last 20 months, the governor has embarked on and completed over 25 critical roads and sundry projects in the state, thereby

reducing the suffering of his people. As a demonstration of his love for his people, Wike is unperturbed if the road projects are federal or not. He also does not consider if the area is in ‘opposition’ domain or not. To show that the projects completed are not propaganda, the governor on many occasions




had invited eminent personalities across the country to inaugurate them. For instance, the former Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido, was in the state recently to inaugurate the reconstructed Ozuoba-Rumuosi Road in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area. While commending Wike for the numerous projects he has so far embarked upon, Lamido urged governors on the platform of other political parties to emulate him and stop using economic recession as excuse for their failures. Specifically, Lamido said the APC has embarrassed Nigerians both locally and internationally by failing to provide adequate leadership since taking over power at the federal level. He advised the leadership of the party at all levels to learn the art and science of leadership and projects delivery from Wike. The former Jigawa governor said the leadership of the APC is learning on the job after their electoral victory, pointing out that they have embarrassed Nigeria internationally through their failure to work for Nigerians. He said APC cannot work for Nigerians because the party lacks the capacity for pro-people governance; adding that they only grabbed power for the sake of it and not ready for service. He said: "Only PDP governors are working. We in PDP, care and we are concerned. If we are given a responsibility, we discharge it creditably. Governor Wike has done very well. I extend the gratitude of the entire PDP family to Governor Wike for his performance." In his remarks at the occasion, Wike explained that the Ozuoba-Rumosi Road is a direct reward to the people of Akpor Kingdom for their support. He said the community was forgotten by the previous administration, hence his resolve to reconstruct the road linking them with their kiths and kins in neighbouring communities. He pledged that whether there is economic recession or not, he "would always fulfill my campaign promises to the people of the state for the role they have played by voting for me." He added that he has a responsibility to work for the people and that they don't deserve excuses. Also, former Governor of Akwa Ibom State and Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, was in the state recently to inaugurate the Igwuruta-Chokocho federal road reconstructed by Wike. During the inauguration of the project, thousands of people including traditional rulers, elders, clerics, women and youths from Etche and Ikwerre Local Government Areas thronged the venue of the ceremony at Chokocho in Etche Local Government Area, singing and dancing over the construction of a road that reconnected communities cut off from each other for about 20 years. He commended the governor for being a transformational leader who has governed his people with compassion and judicious application of resources, adding that the governor deserves the applause he is getting for the infrastructural renaissance taking place in the state. He called on the federal government to release to states budgetary provisions for the rehabilitation of federal

As a government, let me assure you that we are very well prepared for the administration of Rivers State.You will recall that the outgone administration declared publicly that Rivers State government will not be able to pay salaries after they wasted all the resources of this state playing national politics

'Mr. Project' acknowledging cheers from Rivers residents

One of the roads completed by Wike's government

Wike....taking development to all parts of Rivers

roads in the state. Akpabio said there was no reason why the federal government should continue to budget for roads annually when such federal roads were never constructed. He insisted that financial allocations for federal roads should

be released to state governments to handle the roads within their respective states. "Where you have federal roads, the federal government may never come. As such, states will have to take their destinies in their own hands. Here is a governor who does not

care if a road belongs to the federal or state government, he goes ahead to construct to the benefit of his people. Distribute money voted for federal roads to states. There is no need to continue to vote money for federal roads which are never constructed. These funds can be distributed to the states to construct the roads," Akpabio said. In his address at the ceremony, Wike said the successful reconstruction of the IgwurutaChokocho federal road was in fulfillment of the pledge he made to the people of Etche during the campaign. He announced that his administration would also construct the Chokocho-Igbo-Etche-Rumukrusi Road to link more Etche communities. He added that his performance was a fallout of the charge that he received from Akpabio who pleaded with him never to make unfulfilled promises or disappoint his supporters. "I will never play politics with the construction of roads in the state. I will never make promises that I will not fulfill. My pledge is my bond. Whether or not there is economic recession, we shall continue to work for the people of the state. Recall that the APC claimed that they were the ones constructing this road. But the truth is known to the people. We shall continue to construct more roads so that APC members can ply on them to access venue for campaigns. We are committed to serving all the people of the state, irrespective of their political inclinations," Wike said. Other eminent Nigerians as the former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Augustine Alegeh (SAN), former Senate President David Mark, National Caretaker Committee Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmed Makarfi and Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, had variously inaugurated projects. During the recently held 12th All Nigerian Editors Conference (ANEC) in the state, the governor had led the editors to tour 24 projects sites spread across seven local government areas of the state namely Port Harcourt, Obio/ Akpor, Ikwerre, Eleme, Khana, Gokana and Etche Local Government Areas for them to see things for themselves and be convinced that all he was doing in the state was not propaganda. And to achieve maximum exposure of the selected projects, the tour was divided into two teams; Wike led a team, while the Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Emma Okah led the second team. The list of the projects visited include: Law Centre, Civic Centre, Federal High Court being constructed by the Rivers State Government, Garrison-AkpajoEast West Road, Second Nkpogu Bridge, Dr Peter Odili Road, Abuluoma-Woji Road, Woji-Akpajo Road, Elelenwo-Akpajo Road, Sakpenwa-Bori Road, Rumukwurusi-Eneka Road, Igwuruta-Okehi Road, Rukpokwu-Eneka and Oroigwe Road. Other projects visited are: Industry Road, Njamanze Road (Diobu), Eagle Island Bridge –Agip, Rumuepirikom-Rumuolumeni Road, Rumuolumeni-Elioparanwo-Ogbogoro-Ozuoba Road, Ozuoba-Rumoosi Road, Alakahia-Rumualogu Road, Nkpolu-Rumuigbo-Rumuaholu-Obiri Ikwere Road and Aluu-Rukpokwu Road. Many observers believe that with the rate Wike is going, if he continues with the pace he started, there is no doubt that he might end being the best governor Rivers State has ever had. On many occasions, Wike has reassured the people of the state that his administration would not abandon any ongoing projects, irrespective of the economic downturn in the country. Speaking at the symposium/heroic award by the Grand Patron of Apara Committee of Friends, the governor noted that his projects execution framework has been properly laid out to accommodate all ongoing projects. He noted that his principled and consistent execution of projects have stimulated economic growth across the state. He said because the administration was well prepared, it was able to tackle projects abandoned by the immediate past administration and initiate new projects for the people. He promised that he would never disappoint the people of the state in his commitment to the development of the state. “As a government, let me assure you that we are very well prepared for the administration of Rivers State. You will recall that the outgone administration declared publicly that Rivers State government will not be able to pay salaries after they wasted all the resources of this state playing national politics.”


T H I S D AY Ëž ,ÍŻÍł, 2017


Union Bank Commences Activities to Mark 100th Year Anniversary Mary Ekah Activities heralding the commemoraton of the 100th year anniversary of Union Bank of Nigeria commenced yesterday in Lagos. The anniversary is being marked five years after the bank was acquired by a new international investor group in 2012. Following this, the new management team led by Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Emeka Emuwa, embarked on a transformation programme to reposition the financial institution with the objective of becoming a leading provider of quality financial services in Nigeria. Speaking at the event, Emuwa said 100 years was no easy feat

for any institution, adding, “I am proud to be a part of this milestone achievement at Union Bank. While we will celebrate our past achievements, this milestone also signals the start of our legacy for the next one hundred years.� He explained that this year will be about “showcasing who we are as an organisation – a responsive corporate citizen to our communities and a champion for sustainability and social innovation.� Emuwa also unveiled the guiding themes for the bank’s 100th celebrations which are Celebrate. Impact. Lead. The bank will be unveiling activities under the three themes during the course of the year.

Union Bank was established in 1917 as Colonial Bank and in 1922, Barclays Bank acquired it, changing the name to Barclays Bank DCO (Dominion, Colonial and Overseas) and through the years, the Bank went on to become one of Nigeria’s leading financial institutions. Barclays Bank DCO was renamed Barclays Bank Nigeria Limited following the enactment of the Companies Act of 1968. In 1971, the bank was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Nigerian government acquired a stake making it a wholly Nigerian –owned bank. In 1979, following a public offering, the bank was renamed Union Bank of Nigeria to reflect the new ownership structure.

FG Begins Disbursement of Social Intervention Funds Nume Ekeghe The federal government has commenced disbursement of interest-free loans to the latest accredited beneficiaries of MarketMoni, the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) targeting market women, traders, artisans, youth and farmers. MarketMoni is one of four schemes under the social intervention programme of the federal government, and is being executed by the Bank of Industry. As part of the efforts of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to stimulate economic activities and deepen financial inclusion for the underbanked and unbanked, over 24,000 Nigerians - including market women and traders, artisans, and youth - have so far benefited from the special intervention programme since

its roll-out in December, 2016. The Office of the Vice-President, in a statement revealed that the federal government has commenced the disbursements in 13 states and the Federal Capital Territory, through the Bank of Industry (BOI), and will be expanding across all states over the next two months. The areas of current disbursement include Abuja, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Ekiti, Kogi, Kwara, Niger, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo and Rivers. BOI acting Managing Director, Mr. Waheed Olagunju, recently reiterated that MarketMoni was a demonstration of the government’s resolve to accelerate development of Nigeria’s microenterprises. He urged beneficiaries to be judicious in the use of the funds and to pay back, as it enables the programme to remain sustainable and expand its reach

to millions of Nigerians and stimulate economic activity at the base of the pyramid. According to Olagunju, “This federal government programme aligns with BOI’s goal of inclusive growth and expanding economic opportunity. Access to affordable funds is a primary challenge of micro, small and medium enterprises. “MarketMoni is a direct response to this challenge – granting loans at unprecedented rates that cannot be accessed anywhere else. The government identifies with Nigerians working hard to keep their businesses afloat, and will continue to extend its assistance through initiatives of this nature.� MarketMoni seeks to expand access to credit for 1.6 million microenterprises annually, with over 50 per cent targeted at women-owned enterprises.

Fitch Rates Nigeria’s Eurobond ‘B+’ Fitch Ratings has assigned Nigeria’s $1 billion 15-year 7.875% senior unsecured notes a final rating of ‘B+’. The final rating replaces the expected rating that Fitch assigned on 6 February 2017. According to a statement, the rating was in line with Nigeria’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of ‘B+’, which has a Negative Outlook.

“The rating is sensitive to changes in Nigeria’s LongTerm Foreign-Currency IDR. On 25 January 2017, Fitch affirmed Nigeria’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency IDR at ‘B+’ and revised the Outlook to Negative from Stable,� it added. The federal government last week announced that its US$1 billion Eurobond was 780 per cent oversubscribed, demonstrating a strong market

appetite for Nigeria. The government also revealed that the newly established US$1 billion Global Medium Term Note programme will bear interest at a rate of 7.875 per cent and will mature on 16th February 2032, with a bullet repayment of the principal. Nigeria intends to use the proceeds of the notes to fund capital expenditure in the 2016 budget.

FCMB Promotes Work-life-balance First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited said it recently demonstrated its ‘great place to work’ philosophy by organising series of activities to mark the 2017 edition of its Employee Health Week. The annual programme, which was primarily aimed at promoting healthy living for employees of the bank and their families, commenced yesterday and will end on February 18. The exercise, according to the lender, forms part of its commitment to ensure a healthy lifestyle and productivity among its workforce in a sustainable manner. In a statement, FCMB announced that during the week, its employees will participate in various health and social

activities. These include medical check-up, good nutrition, how to maintain healthy lifestyle, aerobics, sporting and other fun-filled activities, which will be anchored by a team of medical personnel and other professionals engaged by the bank. Speaking on the significance of the Employee Health Week, the Divisional Head, Corporate Services of FCMB, Felicia Obozuwa, restated the commitment of the bank to initiative and execute programmes that promotes healthy living for employees. She added that the bank recognises the enormous efforts and contributions of its workforce in the growth and achievements recorded over the years.

According to her: “Employee health and general well-being are key priorities for us. The Health Week is one of our initiatives to promote a healthy lifestyle for our employees and their family members to ensure a healthy society. “We are determined to build an organisation that is impactful in the lives of our employees and other stakeholders to reinforce our core values of professionalism, sustainability, customer focus and excellence. “Hence, we will continue to carry out programmes that will ensure that our employees get the best information and support, to ensure that there are in the best state of health, which is in line with our ‘great place to work’ mission.�

Banking hall


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OCTOBER 2016 Broad Money (M2)




≠≠ ≠ ≠ Currency Outside Banks


≠≠ ≠ ≠ Demand Deposits


≠≠ Quasi Money


Net Foreign Assets (NFA)


Net Domestic Assets(NDA)












≠≠ Other Assets Net


Reserve Money (Base Money)




Ě‹Ě‹Ă‹Ă˜Ă•Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?ĂœĂ Ă?Ă?

4,415,126.62 ˞ÙĂ&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă?Ě‹

MANAGED FUNDS Month Inter≠Bank Call Rate

December 2016 ͎ͯ˛͹͡

Minimum Rediscount Rate (MRR) Monetary Policy Rate (MPR)


Treasury Bill Rate


Savings Deposit Rate


1 Month Deposit Rate


3 Months Deposit Rate


6 Months Deposit Rate


12 Months Deposit Rate


Prime Lending rate


Maximum Lending Rate


OPEC DAILY BASKET PRICE AS AT, MONDAY, 13 FEB 2017 The price of OPEC basket of thirteen crudes stood at $53.47 a barrel on Monday, compared with $53.23 the previous Friday, 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


     ˾  WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2017

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































210,257,918,940.00 -44.58





07 Access Bank Plc










08 Lafarge Africa Plc










09 Presco Plc










10 Ecobank Transnational Incorporated










11 United Bank for Africa Plc










12 Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc










13 Unilever Nigeria Plc










14 FBN Holdings Plc










15 Mobil Oil Nig Plc










16 Guinness Nig Plc










17 Total Nigeria Plc
































-0.05 -2,331.69













22 International Breweries Plc










23 Flour Mills Nig. Plc










24 Julius Berger Nig. Plc










25 Okomu Oil Palm Plc




























28 FCMB Group Plc










29 Fidelity Bank Plc



















31 Sterling Bank Plc










32 Diamond Bank Plc










33 Custodian And Allied Insurance Plc










34 Wema Bank Plc










35 National Salt Co. Nig. Plc



















37 Cadbury Nigeria Plc










38 Mansard Insurance Plc










39 PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc










40 Continental Reinsurance Plc










41 Unity Bank Plc










42 Honeywell Flour Mill Plc










43 Skye Bank Plc










44 Wapic Insurance Plc










45 Resort Savings & Loans Plc










46 Cement Co. Of North.Nig. Plc










47 Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc










48 AIICO Insurance Plc










49 UACN Property Development Co. Limited










50 Fidson Healthcare Plc










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

18 Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc 19 Forte Oil Plc. 20 7-Up Bottling Comp. Plc 21 Oando Plc

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

30 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)

Open 10-Feb-17

Close 13-Feb-17

Change %

25,340.02 8.77

25,244.29 8.74

-0.38 -0.38

105.21 8.19

104.73 8.15

-0.45 -0.45

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

Table 3 Top 5 Gainers Stock

Open Close Change 10-Feb-17 13-Feb-17 %

PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc UACN Property Development Co. Limited Zenith Bank Plc Seplat Petroleum Dev. Co. Ltd Guaranty Trust Bank Plc

11.04 1.89

11.59 1.98

4.98 4.76

15.45 375.00 24.01

15.74 380.00 24.25

1.88 1.33 1.00

Table 4 Top 5 Losers Stock

Open Close Change 10-Feb-17 13-Feb-17 %

National Salt Co. Nig. Plc Nigerian Breweries Plc Transnational Corporation Of Nigeria Plc Cement Co. Of North.Nig. Plc Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc

7.40 125.00 0.80

7.03 118.75 0.76

-5.00 -5.00 -5.00

4.50 17.80

4.28 17.00

-4.89 -4.49

Market starts week with 0.38% decline Market pulse on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) today – Monday, February 13th, 2017 ended on a negative note as the stock market closed red. This was further highlighted by positive performance from the NSE Subsectors: Banking, Insurance and Consumer Goods (Save Oil & Gas). Furthermore, trading activities decreased in volume as 141.92m shares worth of N1.38 billion in 2,386 deals exchanged hands today. This is a decrease from the 201.73m shares worth of N2.59 billion in 2,604 deals which exchanged hands on Friday. Topping in volume terms are: Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc and E-tranzact International Plc, while Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Presco Plc ended trading as the most active stocks in value terms. Brent crude oil today, Monday settles at US$55.52 per barrel. The All Share Index (NSEASI) closed negative with 0.38% (-95.73) decrease to close at 25,244.29 from 25,340.02 the previous trading day. Market capitalization depreciated in tandem to N8.74 trillion from N8.77 trillion of prior trading day. Similarly, the Thisday BGL 50 Index holds position at 104.73 from 105.21 recorded at the end of the previous trading day, while its market capitalization stood at N8.15 trillion from N8.19 trillion of the previous trading day. Market breath closed positive as 15 stocks gained on the bourse today while 17 stocks declined, leaving 33 stocks unchanged. PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc topped the Thisday BGL 50 Index gainers’ list as it emerged as the day’s toast of investors with a gain of 4.98% to close at N11.59 per share. It was followed by UACN Property Development Co. Limited with a gain of 4.76% to close at N1.98 per share. Others on the gainers list include: Zenith Bank Plc, Seplat Petroleum Dev. Co. Ltd and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc; while on the decliners’ list, National Salt Co. Nig. Plc move to lead the pack with a loss of 5.00% to close at N7.03 per share. It was followed closely by Nigerian Breweries Plc with a loss of 5.00% to close at N118.75 per share. Others on the decliners list include: Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc, CCNN Plc and Stanbic IBTC Holdings 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


T H I S D AY ˾ , FEBURARY 15, 2017


Forte Oil Shares Return to Positive Territory Goddy Egene and Nosa Alekhuogie The shares of Forte Oil Plc bounced back to positive territory yesterday after recording losses for 12 consecutive trading sessions. The stock gained 5.0 per cent to close at N56.70 per share as some bargain hunters renewed demand considering its current price attractive. Forte Oil has suffered sig-

nificant price decline since its full year results were released, showing a decline of 50 per cent in profit after tax. Disappointed investors have been dumping the shares over the past 12 trading sessions. The equity had suffered a 32.8 per cent decline since the beginning of the year, falling from N84.22. However, respite came yesterday when bargain hunters saw value in the price and increased




their demand. Consequently, the equity ended up among the price gainers for the day. Analysts at Meristem Securities Limited are projecting a price of N64.09 per for Forte Oil Plc this year. According to them, Profit after tax (PAT) of Forte Oil for 2016 came in at N2.896 billion, down 50.11 per cent from 2015. “PAT was largely dragged by the 155.51 per cent growth in finance cost and 24.06




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


per cent decline in other income in the year. The higher finance cost was due to the additional funds borrowed to finance the overhauling of the Geregu Power Plant in the year. Going forward, we do not envisage a further decline in other income and finance income for 2017, however, forecast a 23.52 per cent increase in the company’s finance cost in 2017. Hence, we reviewed our 2017 earnings

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





forecast upwards to N4.26bn, which represents a 47.47 per cent increase from 2016 PAT. Having reviewed our projections to reflect the current economic realities, we arrived at a 2017 target price of N64.09, representing a premium from the current market price at N54.70. We therefore place a “HOLD” recommendation,” they said. Meanwhile, the market maintained its downward

slide, with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index falling by 0.84 per cent to close at 25,032.17. The depreciation recorded in the share prices of Access Bank, Nigerian Breweries, Nestle, Zenith Bank and Unilever were mainly responsible for the loss recorded in the NSE ASI. Consequently, the year-to-date decline of the ASI stood at 6.86 per cent yesterday.


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≠R elated Services AIRLINE SERVICES AND LOGISTICS PLC NIGERIAN AVIATION HANDLING COMPANY PLC Transport≠R elated 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



     ˾  WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2017


CWG Plc to Boost Nigerian Banks with Infosys Finacle on Cloud Goddy Egene CWG Plc, a systems integration company listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE)   is to offer the Infosys Finacle banking solution as a managed service on cloud.  This offering will enable Nigerian banks to leverage Finacle’s industry-leading solution suite, along with other enterprise-class applications hosted on a private cloud. The offering will help the banks to optimise operating expenditure by ensuring

optimum infrastructure utilisation, and substantial reductions in infrastructure and application management costs. According to the company, it will be  offering Finacle on private cloud, hosted on Huawei hardware and powered by Intel X86 chipset. The new solution will enable banking running Finacle to optimise infrastructure and technology management costs, while assuring agility and flexibility to scale operations rapidly “With this new offering,

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

hosted on a private cloud, Finacle becomes the first comprehensive banking platforms to be available as a managed service on cloud in Nigeria,” the company said. Currently, banks can use this offering for hosting their development, training and testing (SIT/UAT) environment on the cloud. An option to move the production environments on cloud is marked for future availability But the cloud deployment, banks can easily integrate new

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 13-Feb-2017, unless otherwise stated.

innovations from Finacle on an ongoing basis, and minimize the costs and efforts of implementation. Commenting on the development, Chief Executive Officer, CWG Plc, James Agada, said: “Banks understand that technology is critical for simplifying banking to create sustainable business growth. But many are burdened with disparate host systems added piecemeal, over time, and developed on aging technology. These legacy systems are simply

not equipped to readily respond to change. A pain-free approach to banking transformation, with an adaptive solution at the core, will prove invaluable for banks looking to gear themselves fortomorrow. We are happy to offer Finacle on Cloud, as an adaptive solution to give banks the leverage to innovate and transform.” Also commenting, Senior Vice President and Head, Growth Markets, Infosys Finacle, Venkatramana Gosavi, said: “Increasingly

banks will need to adopt flexible cloud deployment strategies, so that they can manage the growing banking transactions load from digital age channels, even while reining in technology management costs. The cloud play is a game changer to improve cost efficiency and agility. We are happy to see CWG take the lead in helping Nigerian financial institutions of all sizes, begin their cloud journey with confidence, with the benefit of the proven Finacle solution.”

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 Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Afrinvest Equity Fund 127.63 127.86 0.39% Nigeria International Debt Fund 216.55 216.88 0.52% ALTERNATIVE CAPITAL PARTNERS LTD Web:, Tel: +234 1 291 2406, +234 1 291 2868 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn ACAP Canary Growth Fund 0.69 0.70 -1.24% AIICO CAPITAL LTD Web:, Tel: +234-1-2792974 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn AIICO Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 17.78% ARM INVESTMENT MANAGERS LTD Web:; Tel: 0700 CALLARM (0700 225 5276) Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn ARM Aggressive Growth Fund 12.06 12.42 -2.32% ARM Discovery Fund 284.06 292.63 -1.08% ARM Ethical Fund 21.82 22.48 -2.33% ARM Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 17.36% AXA MANSARD INVESTMENTS LIMITED Web:; Tel: +2341-4488482 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn AXA Mansard Equity Income Fund 105.62 106.36 0.51% AXA Mansard Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 17.09% CHAPELHILL DENHAM MANAGEMENT LTD Web:, Tel: +234 461 0691 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Nigeria Global Investment Fund 2.16 2.21 -0.68% Paramount Equity Fund 9.38 9.63 0.26% Women's Investment Fund 85.01 87.19 0.49% CORDROS ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED Web:, Tel: 019036947 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Cordros Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 17.59% FBN CAPITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234-81 0082 0082 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn FBN Fixed Income Fund 1,106.84 1,107.91 1.51% FBN Heritage Fund 109.60 110.33 -1.78% FBN Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 15.72% FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Institutional $105.48 $106.26 1.42% FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Retail $105.22 $106.00 1.86% FBN Nigeria Smart Beta Equity Fund 112.08 113.57 -0.52% FIRST CITY ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1 462 2596 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Legacy Equity Fund 0.94 0.95 0.53% Legacy Short Maturity (NGN) Fund 2.61 2.61 1.74% FSDH ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: 01-270 4884-5; 01-280 9740-1 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Coral Growth Fund 2,169.88 2,194.50 -1.80% Coral Income Fund 2,147.72 2,147.72 2.07% GREENWICH ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED Web: ; Tel: +234 1 4619261-2 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Greenwich Plus Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 9.63% INVESTMENT ONE FUNDS MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 812 992 1045,+234 1 448 8888 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Abacus Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 16.61% Vantage Balanced Fund 1.68 1.70 0.16% Vantage Guaranteed Income Fund 1.00 1.00 15.15%

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 0.99 1.01 0.48% Lotus Halal Fixed Income Fund 1,015.41 1,015.41 1.26% MERISTEM WEALTH MANAGEMENT LTD Web: ; Tel: +234 1-4488260 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Meristem Equity Market Fund 9.64 9.73 -0.19% Meristem Money Market Fund 10.00 10.00 14.70% PAC ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1 271 8632 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn PACAM Balanced Fund 1.06 1.08 0.70% PACAM Fixed Income Fund 10.40 10.43 -0.06% PACAM Money Market Fund 10.00 10.00 12.93% 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 111.00 111.72 8.93% SFS CAPITAL NIGERIA LTD Web:, Tel: +234 (01) 2801400 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn SFS Fixed Income Fund 1.26 1.26 1.05% 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 1,811.57 1,821.30 -1.08% Stanbic IBTC Bond Fund 151.65 151.65 -1.50% Stanbic IBTC Ethical Fund 0.75 0.76 -1.95% Stanbic IBTC Guaranteed Investment Fund 188.79 188.79 1.02% Stanbic IBTC Iman Fund 127.19 128.85 -2.03% Stanbic IBTC Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 17.72% Stanbic IBTC Nigerian Equity Fund 7,254.71 7,342.43 -4.31% UNITED CAPITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 803 306 2887 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn United Capital Balanced Fund 1.13 1.15 9.04% United Capital Bond Fund 1.25 1.25 16.11% United Capital Equity Fund 0.65 0.66 0.14% 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 9.64 9.81 0.17% Zenith Ethical Fund 11.05 11.15 1.30% Zenith Income Fund 17.04 17.04 3.12%


NAV Per Share

Yield / T-Rtn

11.41 124.56

1.01% 0.48%

Bid Price

Offer Price

Yield / T-Rtn

7.81 70.90

7.91 72.23

-10.99% -6.44%

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

2.40 4.96 11.39 14.02 136.68

2.44 5.05 11.49 14.22 138.68

-12.50% -29.21% -5.00% -12.02% 5.20%

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.












Michael Flynn: Trump’s National Security Adviser Resigns US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has resigned over allegations he discussed US sanctions with Russia before Donald Trump took office. Mr Flynn is said to have misled officials about his call with Russia’s ambassador before his own appointment. It is illegal for private citizens to conduct US diplomacy. US reports earlier said the White House had been warned

about the contacts last month and was told Mr Flynn may be vulnerable to Russian blackmail. The national security adviser is appointed by the president to serve as his or her chief adviser on international affairs and defence. In his letter of resignation (PDF), Mr Flynn said he had “inadvertently briefed the vicepresident-elect and others with incomplete information regarding

Toshiba Chairman Quits over Nuclear Loss Toshiba chairman Shigenori Shiga has resigned, hours after the Japanese conglomerate revealed details of a multi-billion dollar loss. Earlier Toshiba had delayed issuing its results, but it then said it was set to report a net loss of 390bn yen ($3.4bn) in the year to March 2017. The company said it expected to take a 712.5 billion yen ($6.3bn, £5bn) writedown at its US nuclear business. The situation has led some analysts to warn the company’s future is at risk. Mr Shiga was stepping down “to take management responsibility for the loss”, the firm said. Shares fell by as much as 9% on Tuesday and have lost about 50% since late December, when it first warned about the extent of the problems. Chip deal The losses are linked to a deal done by its US subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric, when it bought a nuclear construction and services business from Chicago Bridge & Iron in 2015. Assets that it took on are likely to be worth less than initially thought, and there is also a dispute about payments that are due. It has already announced plans to sell off part of its profitable memory chip business to raise funds. It is the second largest chip maker in the world,

behind Samsung. The company is still struggling to recover after it emerged in 2015 that profits had been overstated for seven years, prompting the chief executive to resign. UK plant in limbo The question marks over the future of Toshiba’s nuclear business could affect a planned new power plant in Cumbria in the UK. Toshiba has a 60% stake in NuGen, a joint venture with France’s Engie which has the contract to build the Moorside plant. It is estimated that the plant will eventually provide as much as 7% of the UK’s energy needs. However, in a statement, NuGen said:“NuGen acknowledges the announcement that Toshiba’s review into the future of its nuclear power business outside Japan is complete and that it remains committed to developing NuGen’s Moorside Project.” Earlier, the GMB union had asked for early clarification on the project’s future. Its senior organiser for Sellafield, Chris Jukes, said: “Brexit should be a perfect opportunity to demonstrate conclusively a better way for nuclear in West Cumbria. “For 70 years Whitehaven has been a hub for nuclear. The West Cumbria area needs the regeneration a new plant would bring.

Georgian Orthodox Church Caught in ‘Poisoning Plot’ Georgian police have arrested a priest suspected of plotting to poison a top figure in the Georgian Orthodox Church. Prosecutors said cyanide was found in Fr Giorgi Mamaladze’s luggage when he was detained at Tblisi airport on Friday, before he could fly to Germany. The head of the Georgian Church, Patriarch Ilia II, is being treated in hospital in Germany. Ilia might have been the target, but that is not clear. The government said Georgia had “averted a major disaster”. “A treacherous attack on the Church has been prevented,” said Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili. The patriarch underwent successful gallbladder surgery on Monday. Fr Mamaladze heads the

Church’s property department and manages a medical centre in Georgia. Speaking on Georgian Rustavi-2 TV, Prosecutor-General Irakli Shotadze said a homemade gun was found when police searched Fr Mamaladze’s home. The priest had asked someone - not identified - to sell him cyanide, and that person had tipped off the police, Mr Shotadze said. Patriarch Ilia, 84, has run the Georgian Orthodox Church since 1977. Repressed in Soviet times, the Church has enjoyed a big revival since Georgian independence in 1991. More than 80% of Georgia’s 4.5m people call themselves Orthodox Christians, according to census figures.

my phone calls with the Russian ambassador” late last year. The White House has appointed Lt Gen Joseph Keith Kellogg as interim replacement for the post. Mr Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, initially denied having discussed sanctions with Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, and Vice-President Mike Pence publicly denied the allegations on his behalf. But he came under further pressure on Monday when details

of his phone call emerged in US media, as well as reports the justice department had warned the White House about him misleading senior officials and being vulnerable to Russian blackmail. According to the Washington Post, the message was delivered by then-acting attorney general SallyYates, who was subsequently dismissed by President Trump for opposing his controversial travel ban. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry

Peskov said Russia would not be commenting on the resignation. “This is the internal affair of the Americans, the internal affair of the Trump administration. It’s nothing to do with us,”he added. Other Russian lawmakers have spoken out in defence of Mr Flynn, with Senator Alexei Pushkov tweeting that he had been“forced to resign not because of his mistake but because of a full-fledged aggressive campaign”. “Trump is the next target,” he tweeted.

Mr Flynn had encouraged a softer policy on Russia, but questions were raised about his perceived closeness to Moscow. Senior Democrat Adam Schiff said Mr Flynn’s departure would not end questions about any contacts between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia. Congressional democrats John Conyers and Elijah Cummings have demanded a classified briefing to Congress on Michael Flynn by the Justice department and FBI.

Kim Jong≠ nam

North Korean Leader’s Brother Kim Jong-nam ‘Killed in Malaysia’ The half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been killed in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, South Korean sources say. Malaysian police only said that a Korean man waiting at the airport for a flight to Macau on Monday had fallen ill and died on his way to hospital. They did not confirm that he was Kim Jong-nam, 45. The late Kim Jong-il’s eldest son is thought to have fled North Korea after being passed over for the leadership.

In South Korea, unnamed government sources reported his “killing”to media outlets. According to a report from TV Chosun, a cable television network in South Korea, Mr Kim was poisoned at the airport by two women, believed to be North Koreans. A UK source with close ties to the Kim family told the BBC that poison had been involved in the death. An autopsy was to be performed on the man’s body at a hospital in Putrajaya, near Kuala Lumpur.

Bypassed for succession In 2001, Mr Kim was caught trying to enter Japan using a false passport. He told officials that he was planning to visit Tokyo Disneyland. Once seen as a likely successor to Kim Jong-il, he was thought to have fallen out of favour with his father over the incident. Bypassed in favour of his youngest half-brother for succession when their father died in 2011, Kim Jong-nam kept a low profile, spending most of his time overseas in Macau, Singapore and China.

He was quoted by Japanese media in 2011 as saying he opposed “dynastic succession”. He was also quoted in a 2012 book as saying he believed his younger half-brother lacked leadership qualities, the succession would not work and that North Korea was unstable and needed Chinese-style economic reform. Mr Kim was reportedly targeted for assassination in the past. A North Korean spy jailed by South Korea in 2012 was reported to have admitted trying to organise a hit-and-run accident targeting him.

NATO Chief Seeks Bigger Defence Budgets Ahead of US Meeting The NATO chief urged allies on Tuesday to step up their defence spending, a day ahead of the first meeting between new U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and his 27 NATO counterparts in Brussels. U.S. President Donald Trump suggested during his campaign that he might not defend allies who refuse to contribute their fair share. His comments have alarmed European nations, particularly those near Russia’s border, like Poland and the Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. “Fair burden-sharing and increased defence spending

underpins the trans-Atlantic alliance,”NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters.“If we reduce defence spending in times when tensions are going down, we have to be able to increase defence spending when tensions are going up, as they are now.” While the Trump administration is weighing its defence commitments to Europe, NATO leaders have already committed to halting spending cuts and raising their military budgets to 2 per cent of gross domestic product. But apart from the United States, only four other NATO member countries do so — Britain,

Estonia, Poland and debt-ridden Greece, according to NATO figures. Low defence spending is not a new problem for NATO but it has taken on greater prominence as allies struggle to fathom what Trump might actually demand from them and amid Russia’s increasingly aggressive acts. After the end of the Cold War in 1990, European nations reined in their military budgets and the 2008 economic crisis only forced further cuts. Still, concern about the growing shortfall and the damage it was doing to defence research and development was already on

NATO’s radar a decade ago. Successive NATO chiefs have warned of the dangers of not doing more. But after Russia annexed neighbouring Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014, only years after invading neighbouring Georgia in 2008, the writing was on the wall. In 2014, NATO leaders committed to halt the decline and move within a decade to spend 2 per cent of GDP. “We don’t expect all allies to meet the 2 per cent immediately, but we expect allies to stop the cuts,” Stoltenberg said Tuesday. Indeed 24 of the 28 allies already have.






Fayose Slams FG for Withholding Ekiti’s Federation Account Allocation, Cries out to Nigerians Victor Ogunje ÓØÎÙÕÓÞÓ Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has slammed the federal government for what he described as a deliberate attempt to victimise the people of the state for his consistent criticism of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration by withholding the January Federation Account allocation to his state. Fayose also alleged that the federal government was using the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC) to frustrate ongoing projects in the state through what he alleged were “frivolous” investigations. In the same vein, the state Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ade Adesanmi, warned the government against deploying the apparatus of the state to fight its perceived enemies at the expense of

innocent civil servants who have families, children and enormous responsibilities to shoulder. At a press conference in Ado Ekiti yesterday, Fayose said: “It is unavoidably necessary to bring to the public domain the current harassment, oppression and intimidation of my office and the good people of the state by the federal government because of my stand on national issues. “In the last three or four weeks, after the Federal Allocation Committee meeting, it is sad that the state Federal Allocation for January has not been released. “Secondly, the budget support, for which we signed an ISPO for all states in Nigeria, Ekiti remains the only state not paid for the month of January. And it seems this is deliberate because up till now, no excuse

or explanation has been given. “I have written to the Federal Ministry of Finance, my commissioner has been there, as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), nobody is ready to talk to us. We contacted the minister, all the directors at the Ministry of Finance everybody is shying away from talking to us for the last 10 days now. “It is important to note that the allocation and budget support from Abuja is our legitimate right. We have done the needful on our part and nobody from their end has queried the process. I don’t know why the average civil

servant in the state should be made to suffer because of politics, it is not my salary, it is the salary of the Ekiti civil servants. “Doing this in the name of politics and to destabilise this state is not in line with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I’m reminding them and speaking to Nigerians that the statutory allocation for local governments in Lagos State was stopped then by the federal government during former President Olusegun Obasanjo reign and it was fought until the money was paid back. I think we have

gone past that kind of episode. “I want to appeal to the federal government, I want to appeal to the ministry of finance not to allow themselves to be used to oppress and suffer the civil servants in the state. This state has been running peacefully well supporting Fayose. If this is a political attempt to cause chaos in the state, it will not stand. I will not also be cowed from saying the truth.” Meanwhile, state Head of Service, Dr. Olugbenga Faseluka, has stated that the public service must be exposed to continuous training and retraining

in order to position it for efficient and effective service delivery to the people. Speaking at the first convocation ceremony of the state Staff Development Centre, the Head of Service asserted that the training of the workforce is the only guarantee to deliver a virile and stable public service. Faseluka who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Office of Establishments and Training, Mr. Banjo Ojo, said the Staff Development Centre was set up by the state government in order to impart requisite knowledge in the staff and build human capacity as required by the public service.

FG Denies Plan to Raise N5tn from Asset Sales Ndubuisi Francis ÓØÌßÔË The Ministry of Budget and National Planning has denied reports in a section of the media that the federal government is planning to raise about N5 trillion from assets in the next four years. The ministry in a statement released by Mr. Akpandem James, the Media Adviser to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, said its attention had been drawn to publications in a section of the media indicating that the federal government is planning to raise about N5 trillion from assets sale in the next four years. The publications claimed that the projected amount was contained in the Economy

Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) being finalised by the federal government. In the statement yesterday, the ministry said it had become necessary to clear the air that the ERGP which is being finalised and will soon be presented to the public has no recommendation for raising that amount of revenue from sale of assets. According to the ministry, to achieve the strategic objectives of the plan, 60 strategies have been developed for implementation with four key execution priorities, including stabilisation of the macroeconomic environment, agriculture and food security, sufficiency in energy (power and petroleum products), and industrialization focusing on Small and Medium Scale Enterprises. 

INEC to Hold Outstanding Polls in Rivers State Saturday The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed Saturday this week for the conclusion of outstanding rerun elections in Etche and Omuma Local Government Areas in Rivers State. The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Aniedi Ikoiwa, said this in a statement issued in Port Harcourt yesterday. He said the exercise would hold in Etche and Omuma councils. The election, according to the statement, is to fill the Etche constituency II seat in the state House of Assembly and Etche/ Omuma seat in the House of Representatives. INEC said the election would hold in 147 polling units in 19 registration areas in Etche and one polling unit (Umuogba Community I) in Omuma. The commission encouraged

eligible voters in the constituencies to come out en masse to vote for their candidates. ”The commission assures the public of a credible and fair conclusion of the election in Etche Local Government Area,” the statement read. It also said arrangements had been made for adequate security during the exercise. Following court rulings that invalidated the 2015 federal and state legislative elections in the state, INEC slated March 19, 2016, for rerun poll. But the exercise was marred by violence, which forced the electoral body to suspend the polls midway. On December 10, 2016, when the rerun was rescheduled, it was inconclusive in Etche and part of Omuma areas due to some irregularities, prompting the repeat which has been fixed for Saturday.


Former military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (left), and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, during his courtesy visit to Babangida at his Hilltop residence in Minna...yesterday

Arik Suspends Flights to London, Johannesburg IATA suspends airline’s membership OAS helicopters The new management of Arik Air has announced the suspension of flights to London and Johannesburg. In a statement made available by the media consultant of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Simon Tumba, the airline said it has the intention to stop all international flights “to enable us find permanent solution facing our passengers as it will enable us to carry out a thorough assessment of the situation. “The strategic business decision is meant to realign our operations and refocus on satisfying our domestic and West Africa and other international passengers. It will also present Arik with excellent opportunity to engage and discuss with creditors who have become restive since the intervention and have also understandably exhausted their patience due to non-payment of accumulated debt and nonperformance on services and

contracts,” the airline said. The statement added that arrangements were being made to refund all international passengers of the airline that are affected by this decision. “To our international creditors, Arik is most grateful for your patience and understanding. We reassure them that all pending issues with the airline will be duly addressed as a matter of priority as we plan to engage them in this regard,” the airline said. It noted that international route is very critical for the strategic turn around, growth strategy and stability of the airline. “Therefore, we intend to revisit the routes immediately we address all the problems inherited, which is affecting and creating more dissatisfied passenger base. We appeal to all passengers to kindly bear with us as the decision is to ensure that the airline adheres strictly to international aviation best practices,” the airline also said. Meanwhile, in reaction to

AMCON takes over

the takeover of the airline, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has suspended Arik Air, which means that the airline cannot interline, code share or partner IATA member airlines and would not engage in the Billings and Settlement Plan (BSP). THISDAY learnt that IATA and AMCON would meet today to discuss the suspension of the airline. In a related development, AMCON has taken over Odengene Air-Shuttle Services (OAS) Helicopters in Lagos, following a court order. AMCON last Tuesday sealed the company at Maryland in Lagos, indicating that the company had been taken over by corporation. The order on the company’s office read: “Possession Taken Today 14/2/17 by AMCON Court Order on Suit No. FHC/4CS/1139/2016,” reported the News Agency of Nigeria

(NAN). However, it could not be confirmed if the company was indebted to some banks which was transferred to AMCON, thus necessitating its take over. The company was, nonetheless, among the airlines that received the federal government intervention fund during the tenure of President Goodluck Jonathan. A source at the premises said that the notice by AMCON stated that the company had been taken over following a court order. OAS is one of the leading helicopter chatter service companies in the country. AMCON last Thursday also took over the management of Arik Air. AMCON said that the development would save the airline which was burdened by a huge debt overhang that was threatening to permanently ground the airline.




Adamawa Christians Accuse FG of Discrimination in Rehabilitating N’East Says NEMA deliberately sidelines them on the basis of religion Army chief not truthful on Boko Haram defeat

Paul ObiĂ“Ă˜ĂŒĂ&#x;ÔË Christians from seven local government areas in Adamawa State yesterday accused the federal government of bias and discrimination in the rehabilitation of the North-east geo-political zone ravaged by the Boko Haram insurgency.  The accusations came on the heels of recent allegations by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), accusing the acting President Yemi Osinbajo of sitting on the fence while Christians are being hacked to death and their property destroyed by Boko Haram and other religious extremists in the North.  The Christians drawn from Gombi, Hong, Madagali, Michika, Maiha, Mubi North and Mubi South decried the systemic discrimination against them by the federal government, particularly, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in the rehabilitation of victims  affected by the Boko Haram terrorism.

They argued that all palliatives and interventions initiated by government through the Presidential Committee on North-East Initiative (PCNI), NEMA and the state government have tilted their interventions and humanitarian assistance in favour of Muslims to the outright neglect of the Christian communities in the state. Speaking with journalists in Abuja yesterday, the leader of the state Christian group, Rev Paul Alhamdu, said: “With great hope and expectations, we have heard announcements and news about relief and rehabilitation coming to our communities. “Most of our people are not in Internall Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps but with friends and relatives in communities. Relief items brought to the communities are usually taken to the palace of Emirs and traditional rulers. “The sharing of these relief materials are usually done in discrimination against us (Christians), for example, NEMA brought some relief materials on the 31st March,

2015 in Mubi North and Mubi South Local Government Areas, and our people did not get a share from the relief materials. “We feel neglected by our leaders at every level. The primary responsibility of government is the security and welfare of its people but our government has not compensated us, neither are we being cared for effectively. “Series of panels of investigation have been set, many groups have asked for our details and statistics of losses and we have seen reports that have come out of the findings into our situation as a people, but we are yet to see the implementation of these findings.� He explained that given that the Boko Haram sect perpetually targets Christian

communities, schools, churches and businesses, government has not responded to their plight fairly. “Even though we have heard that the government is investing heavily in restoring North-east, we advise that they check to see how effective it has been,� he stated. They also took a swipe at the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt General Tukur Buratai, stating that his penchant for misinforming the public on the defeat of Boko Haram insurgents has now reached a new level. Alhamdu told journalists: “We even hear of the total defeat of Boko Haram but when we examine our situation realistically, it has been hope against hope for too long as it is yet to be completely true for us. Even though the world is focused on

killing Shekau and liberating the North-east, we still see the activities of Shekau in the way we are treated by government. “There are instances of the military saying that they have defeated Boko Haram, one of such instances was when Buratai said: ‘We have more than degraded Boko Haram. As a result of this kind of declaration, we came out of our hiding only to find out that the reality on ground was different’. “We are continually called upon to return to our communities as safety is now guaranteed and normalcy has returned, yet we are still very unsafe as we cannot go to our farms; some of those who have tried have been killed in cold blood,� Alhamdu said. On his part, Rev. Sabestine Handre said though the military have achieved successes in

certain areas, the information by the army to the public was somehow misleading. Handre stated: “The COAS made that statement based on the success they achieved in other places. We believe that is not absolute; there has not been any complete success. He has not lied, but he has also not said the whole truth.� Further, Rev. Saul Danzaria explained that currently, the number of military officers on ground is not enough to stop completely attacks by the Boko Haram sects. Danzaria added that notwithstanding the presence of the military in Mubi town, most villages are prone to attacks given the absence of soldiers in villages spread across the seven local government areas.

Anenih Tells PDP to Forget Presidency Until Buhari Finishes His Tenure A former Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),  Chief Tony Anenih, has told the party to forget about the presidency until the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari is over. Speaking when the leadership of the Jerry Gana strategy review and inter-party affairs committee visited him in Abuja, Anenih, according to The Cable, said it was very shameful for members of the party to be struggling for the presidency and other elective positions when the party was not yet in order. The former ruling party is torn between two opposing blocs – Ahmed Makarfi camp and Ali Modu Sheriff camp – over leadership. Four of its members in the upper chamber of the National Assembly defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) within three months. Commenting on the challenges, Anenih said reorganisation of the PDP should be the main focus. “When Buhari’s tenure finishes, we will know who takes over from him. When he finishes his tenure, there will be more conventions on both sides and God will lead us to choose somebody who will help Nigeria,� he said. “He may not be a party member now, either APC or PDP, but if God says that is the person, we will vote for him. “God will direct the party to go and bring him. If He says it is President Buhari, of course, he can finish his tenure, but one day he will hand over. So what is important is to organise a party.�

Anenih said selfish interest landed PDP where it is at the moment, and advised the party leaders to organise a convention that would lead to the emergence of credible leaders who can offer constructive criticism to the APC. “Right from 2014, we have missed many opportunities to reorganise PDP. It is because of the selfish interest of some party leaders that PDP is where it is today,â€? he said. “PDP should have been in power now but everybody wants to be a presidential candidate, national chairman‌ It is never done.â€? He told the party leaders to stop saying they were waiting for the Court of Appeal judgment before reorganising PDP. Anenih also appealed to Nigerians to pray for the speedy recovery of Buhari and his return to Nigeria, expressing worries over some negative comments about the president’s ailment. “I think what Nigerians should do now is to pray for Buhari to come back home in good health, bring out Nigeria from the woods and reposition things,â€? he said. “Let God give him speed recovery so that we can receive him. That is more important to me than talking about VicePresident Yemi Osinbajo would have to resign. “Why should we be talking about this? It is silly and very unfortunate.â€? The elder statesman spoke after former President Goodluck Jonathan said he was happy that PDP was planning to regain the presidency.


L≠R: President/CEO, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; overall winner of National Distributor for Dangote Sugar, Alhaji Ali Balarabe; Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Oscar Onyema; Director, Dangote Sugar Refinery, Abdu Danta, at Dangote Foods Award/Gala Nite in Lagos, yesterdayĂ– Ă–  

Dogara Bemoans Worsening Economic Indicators Damilola OyedeleĂ“Ă˜ĂŒĂ&#x;ÔË˿ The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has bemoaned the worsening economic indices brought about by economic recession, which he said are indicative of the anguish which Nigerians are dealing with. This is as he inaugurated the House of Representatives Tactical Committee on the Economic Recession with the mandate to interface with government ministries, agencies, and departments, as well as the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigeria Labour Congress, Civil societies organisations, and other relevant bodies. Speaking at the inauguration yesterday, Dogara said the

several policies formulated to tackle the recession would yield no results if not properly implemented. “The double quarters of negative growth, high levels of inflation, worsening purchasing power of the naira and the increasing levels of unemployment are all strong indicators that all is not well. Today, some of our people can no longer afford to feed. Some school children are dropping out of school due to inability of parents to pay school fees. Transportation, power, healthcare are difficult for the ordinary citizen. There is general anguish on the faces of Nigerians due to poverty and hunger,� Dogara said. The Speaker said Nigerians cannot however to lament,

but to proffer and implement solutions to the challenges, which are well known. “As a parliament, we are committed to ensuring that the sufferings experienced by ordinary Nigerians are alleviated. These challenges may appear too difficult to surmount but the good news is that they are surmountable. Other nations have surmounted greater economic challenges in the past and Nigeria’s case cannot be different,� the Speaker added. The Chairman of the committee, Hon. Bode Ayorinde, said the recommendations of the committee would be implemented as they are being agreed on. “If we have an interaction with the Central Bank of

Nigeian (CBN) Governor for instance, on how to arrest the free fall of the naira, as we leave here, he starts implementation,� he said. Fielding questions yesterday, Ayorinde said the National Assembly cannot be held responsible for the recession as it carried out its oversight functions effectively. “It is not the responsibility of the House to execute the budget, but we can rub minds, and interface on how to tackle these negative tendencies,� he said. He added that the committee would suggest short-term strategies to alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians, and long term measures to help the country exit recession.  




NIRSAL, Nigeria Railways Begin Movement of Grains by Rail James Emejo iØÌßÔË

The Nigerian Incentive Based Risk Sharing for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) in collaboration with the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) yesterday inaugurated a unique scheme to move grains from the northern part of the country to markets, industrial zones and ports in the South. In the first stage of the initiative, a consignment of 800 tonnes of soyabeans left Funtua, Katsina State for Apapa port,

Lagos after a brief ceremony from where it will be loaded onto ships for exports. The Managing Director of NIRSAL, Aliyu Abbati Abdulhameed, at the ceremony, said the scheme was in line with the focus of the federal government on making agriculture a key anchor of economic diversification. According to him, the scheme would help to drastically reduce the cost of transportation of grains, enhance the income of small

Court Dismisses Nyame’s No-Case Submission Alex Enumah ÓØÌßÔË A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) sitting in Gudu District of Abuja, has dismissed a no-case submission filed by former Taraba State Governor, Jolly Nyame, in a corruption suit preferred against him by the federal government. Nyame is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly misappropriating state funds to the tune of N1.64 billion. At the last adjournment, following the closure of the prosecution’s case, having called 14 witnesses, the defence had told the court that it intended to file a “no case” submission on the grounds that the prosecution has failed to establish a prima facie case against Nyame. The trial judge, Justice Adebukola Banjoko, after taking submissions from both prosecuting and defence counsel, Adebisi Adeniyi and Charles

Edosamwan (SAN), respectively, fixed February 14 for ruling on the no-case submission filed by Nyame. Delivering ruling on the no-case submission yesterday, the judge however, held that the prosecution through the various evidences brought against Nyame, have proved that the former governor has a case to answer. Consequently, the court ordered the defendant to enter his defence and fixed March 8, 2017 for the defendant to commence his defence. Also, the court held that in line with the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), the trial will run on a day-to-day basis. Nyame is facing a 41-count charge of criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of state funds to the tune of N1.64 billion, when he was governor of Taraba State between 1999 and 2007.

Army Officers to Testify Against Shiite Members Standing Trial in Kaduna John ShiklamÓØ ËÎßØË Eight military officers are to appear before a   Kaduna High Court  to testify in a case involving 92 members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), also known as Shiite.  The Shiite members are standing trail following their alleged involvement in the clash with the Nigerian Army in Zaria in December 2015.  The clash led to the death of over 300 members of the Shiite members allegedly killed by soldiers as well as an army corporal allegedly killed by the accused the Shiite members standing trail. The Shiites who have been in prison custody since their arrest in December 12, 2015, are standing trial for alleged  culpable homicide (killing of one Corporal Yakubu Dankaduna), rioting and unlawful assembly. The presiding judge, Justice David Shiri Wyoms,  adjourned the case to March 1, 2017 when it came up for continuation of hearing yesterday.  The case was adjourned following an application by

the Dari Bayero , the Director of Public Prosecution in the Kaduna state Ministry of Justice. Bayero, in a motion,  had  informed the Court that he had logistic challenges in bringing the military officers to testify in the matter.  So far 31 witnesses have testified, in the case and 50 exhibits have been tendered. Responding to the motion for the adjournment, counsel to the IMN, Festus Okoye, pointed out that the prosecutor  had over a month to put his house in order but failed to do so, noting  that the accused persons have been in prison custody for 14 months awaiting trial. He however said he  will not object to the adjournment of the case based on the undertaking by the prosecutor to produce all the military officers mentioned as witnesses in the case before the court at the next adjourned date.    In his ruling,  Justice David Wyoms, adjourned the case to the March 1, 2017 and directed the prosecutor to produce all the eight named witnesses who are army officers at the next adjourned date.

holder farmers, boost exports and preserve scarce foreign exchange in line with the agricultural promotion policy of the Buhari administration. He said: “It is our hope that this scheme will reduce the cost of transporting grains from the north to the south by over 20 per cent, boost local production, boost exports and help to conserve scarce foreign exchange. “This will no doubt result in wealth creation for small holder farmers of those produce, job creation, inclusive economic growth, diversification of national revenue and GDP amongst other benefits in line with the Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP) of the Buhari administration.”

However, the grains by rail initiative is another dimension of the transport segment of the NIRSAL’s Farm-to-Market Scheme which was flagged off last year with the historic movement of cattle by rail from Gusau, Zamfara State and Nguru, Yobe State to Lagos. NIRSAL’s role in the grains by rail project is to facilitate bank finance for the purchase of necessary equipment through the provision of necessary bank guarantees, provision of insurance cover for goods being moved, and creation of all relevant linkages. The scheme, which is in partnership with Connect Rail Services would further serve to reduce cost of transportation, increase profit margins for

farmers and provide a smooth link between exporters of agric produce and the local farmers who cultivate the grains in the North. On his part, the Chairman, Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC),  Usman Abubakar, expressed delight at the take-off of the scheme and commended the NIRSAL management for accepting to play the very important role of facilitating bank financing of logistical elements which are critical for the smooth operations of the scheme.  He said: “The NRC is happy to work with NIRSAL and Connect Rail Services to get this project off the ground. This project is especially good for the country in this time of recession

because it will link farmers in the north to markets in the south and exports, help reduce high food prices while at the same time helping farmers get good value for their produce. It is a project that works for the people and complements the efforts of government to diversify the economy. We are indeed happy to be a part of it.” In a statement, Coordinator, Research and Strategy, NIRSAL, Bello Abdullahi Abba, said the focus of the agency was on enabling a structured, sustainable and business oriented approach to agriculture that could stand the country in good stead in the emerging post oil Nigerian economy.


Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike (right), biding the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, farewell at the Port Harcourt International Airport....yesterday

US Announces Fresh Grant of N241.6m to Support Nigeria’s Power Sector Nigeria, US firms sign MoU on renewable energy devt Alex EnumahÓØÌßÔË The United States of America has reiterated her commitment to the development of Nigeria’s power sector with the announcement of a fresh grant of $767,512 (N241.6 million) to support the development of renewable energy in Nigeria. The grant, which was received by Community Energy Enterprises Limited (CESEL), a private Nigerian company, is for the development of solar micro grids in 25 communities across Nigeria. The USAID Mission Director, Michael Harvey, made the announcement yesterday in Abuja, during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between CESEL and Renewvia Energy Corporation; a US based renewable energy developer.

“CESEL and Renewvia will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) together outlining their cooperation on the projects to develop solar microgrids at 25 communities across Nigeria. Power Africa and United State Trade Development (USTDA) will witness and announce their support at the MoU signing as this project is an example of power Africa support for the addition of 60m new electricity connections for African residential consumers,” he said. He added that Power Africa, a US-Government-led initiative which has been very active in Nigeria’s power sector, would provide funding support to the CESEL for feasibility study that “Would assess the rollout of 25 solar microgrids in rural and peri-urban communities across Nigeria totaling up to

10 megawatts and connecting over 10,000 households.” CESEL Managing Director Dr. Patrick Tolani, who signed on behalf of the company, stated that the benefiting communities include those that are completely off-grid and those had no access to electricity for more than 10 to 15 years. The communities according to him, include Brass in Bayelsa State, Magboro  in Ogun State, Ilaje and Igbokoda in Ondo State; and a community which was completely cut off   the grid because of isolation in Osun State. Also speaking, the Managing Director of Renewvia, Clay Taber, said: “Renewvia and CESEL would sell microgrid customers electricity by KiloWhats (KWh) through a “pay as you go” structure.

“The competitiveness of the system helps to ensure payment, as the project would provide consistent and reliable power at a less expensive price than current rural power generation by diesel.”  He added that Renewvia and CESEL also planned to facilitate the transaction through mobile payments. He said the project would employ local and remote resources to support the needs of the power plant for each microgrid. Earlier, Power Africa Coordinator, Andrew Herscowitz, noted that Nigerians would be willing to pay for the price of electricity if it is reliable, adding that Power Africa is in Nigeria to make the power sector more efficient and profitable. 




 Senate C’ttee Summons Finance Minister over N2bn Tucked in Housing Budget Fashola: My hands are clean unproductive ministry Omololu Ogunmade Ă“Ă˜ĂŒĂ&#x;ÔË The Senate Committee on Land, Housing and Urban Development yesterday uncovered a whooping sum of N2 billion cautiously tucked in 2017 housing budget during the defence of the sector’s estimates for the year in National Assembly. The sum was planted in the budget under the guise of an unknown “regional housing schemeâ€? in 2017. While confronted with the proposal, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, who had appeared before the committee to defend the budget of housing arm of his ministry, washed his hands off the alleged fraud, saying it was rather smuggled into the budget without his knowledge. But more shocking was Fashola’s allegation that the figure was tucked in his ministry’s budget by the Ministry of Finance.

Fashola’s denial as well as his allegation against Finance Ministry prompted the committee to summon the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, to appear before the committee to explain the mystery behind the figure’s appearance in Housing budget. According to Fashola, the Ministry of Finance had planted the figure in the 2017 housing budget as its own initiative with the label “Regional Housing Scheme.� While being questioned by the Committee Chairman, Senator Barnabas Gemade, on how the figure and the scheme came about, Fashola said: “I know as much of it as you do because it is not our initiative.� Consequently, Gemade ordered the committee clerk to send a letter of summons to Adeosun to come and explain all she knew about the allocation. Breakdown of housing votes in 2017 budget include: N64.199 billion main housing proposal in 2017; another N41.89 billion

FG Suffers Setbacks in N1.5bn Fraud Charge against Ex-NSA Aide, Security Consultants The federal government suffered a major setback in its prosecution of Colonel Nicholas Ashinze and three security consultants in the N1.5billion fraud charge brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on its behalf. The Federal High Court judge in Abuja, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, rejected the major bank documents sought to be tendered by government to establish its case against the five defendants. The judge refused to admit the bank statement, account opening mandate and the certificate of clearance sought to be tendered by government on the ground that they were not brought to court by the appropriate person known to law. Justice Kolawole said an EFCC operative, Mr. Hassan Seidu, who sought to tender the documents that were mainly computer-generated ones was not the appropriate and proper person known to law to tender such documents. The court held that the prosecution erred in law by refusing to invite the markers of the documents who are officials of Heritage and Enterprise Banks Plc to come to court to tender the documents. Justice Kolawole said in line with the provisions of the Evidence Act, the EFCC operatives cannot be cross examined in the documents he did not make as anything said by him will amount to hearsay which cannot be given any probate value by the court. The court held that apart from mere receiving the documents from the two banks, the witness had not establish his knowledge of the document or that he

participated in their making. Justice Kolawole therefore held that EFCC operative was not a competent witness to testify on the document in line of the Provisions of Section 84 of the Evidence Act and therefore rejected and marked the documents as rejected documents as far as the trial of the alleged corruption was concerned. The EFCC lawyer, Mr. Ofem Uket, however, after the ruling sought an adjournment of the trial to enable him put his house in order. The request was granted by Justice Kolawole and adjourned the matter till March 7, April 13, as well as May 4 for continuation of trial. The EFCC had arraigned the quartet of Colonel Nicholas Ashinze, a former Aide in the Office of National Security Adviser; (NSA), an Austrian and Security Consultant Mr. Wolfgang Reinl; a retired military intelligent officer, Sagir Mohammed, and a legal practitioner, Mr. Edidiong Idiong, before Justice  Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court, Abuja on a 13-count charge of corruption and money laundering to the tune of N1.5billion.  The defendants however denied the charges preferred against them. The defendants were arraigned alongside five companies accused of allegedly diverting huge sums from the office of the former NSA. The companies are: Geonel Integrated Services Limited, Unity Continental Nigeria Limited, Helpline Organization, Vibrant Resource Limited and Sologic Integrated Services Limited. The defendants had been granted bail at the last hearing in November 2016.

Culture committee slams Lai Mohammed for running

for national housing programme; N5.379 billion for construction, completion and rehabilitation of federal secretariat; N3.367 billion for projects and programmes as private public partnership (PPP) initiative and N1.325 billion for Zik Mausoleum and prototype housing scheme. Other allocations include: N3 billion for Cadastral URD and Lands; N2.140billion for URD/ Special Projects: N1.2 billion for payment of outstanding local debts  and N1.69 billion for constituency outreach intervention projects, among others. However, Fashola urged the committee to raise the housing budget by N6 billion to enable the ministry pay $11.9million that Nigeria is owing Shelter Afrik, a housing development and financing organisation, which has 44 African countries in its membership including Nigeria. Fashola who is the chairman, governing board of the organisation, said countries such as Nigeria which have failed to pay their dues will be expelled from the organisation at the end of the year.

Responding, the committee asked him to send a written request to it and its counterpart in the House of Representatives through the Ministries of Finance and Budget and National Planning. But the committee queried the minister over his perceived decision to sideline the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) in the miinistry’s implementation of the National Housing Programme. Fashola however, said the FHA as currently positioned lacked the capacity to meet project delivery status of the housing sector. He said: “The FHA delivered the FESTAC Town Housing Estate in Lagos in the 70’s, Gwarinpa Housing Estate in Abuja in the 90’s but mass housing deliveries being carried out by the ministry in collaboration with private developers are not being done decades apart but on yearly basis in line with government intention of addressing the problem of housing deficit on time. “If we are to address the housing deficit problems

confronting Nigerians, it can’t be a one decade or two-decade intervention delivery model which the FHA is known for.� But the committee disagreed and instead, charged him to carry FHA along in the National Housing Programme. Fashola however, insisted that the purpose of the ministry and that of FHA were not identical, adding that “until our purpose is united, our action will not be united.� According to him, the key factors of acceptability and affordability which the private developers engaged by the ministry must be adhered to by FHA before considering it for participation in the programme. The committee also insisted that Fashola must carry the government agency along and urged him to include it as one of the ministry’s contractors in the implementation of the National Housing Programmee this year. In a related development, the Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism, yesterday queried Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed, over lack of initiative to grow a viable

ministry. The committee frowned at poor revenues being generated by the culture and entertainment industry under Mohammed. The query was spurred by the presentation of paltry N620,000 as the ministry’s total internally generated revenue (IGR) in 2016. The committee chairman, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, said budget should not only be about expenditure but also about revenue generation. Urhoghide said: “Budget is not just about expenditure. No one is talking about revenue. We need revenue profile. Each time you come, only expenditure is mentioned. How can you say it is N620,000.00 that was raised by your ministry from the culture sector? “We must exhaust all the avenues to generate funds internally. We seriously frown at the low and poor IGR. We query it. You must look inward because this is not acceptable.� But Mohammed said the current structure in the industry had made it difficult for the government to regulate the sector adding that there was no political will to develop it.


L≠R: Group Managing Director, Diamond Bank, Uzoma Dozie; winners of Diamond Mobile App/YĂ­ ello Account, A Tailor from Kano, Tasiu Mansur Suleiman, and Deputy Managing Director of the bank, Caroline Anyanwu, during the presentation of Diamond Mobile App/ YĂ­ ello Account cheque to two million customers in Lagos....Monday  

Stakeholders Allege Diversion of N10bn Using Arik as Conduit Chinedu Eze

The Association of Concerned Aviation Industry (ACAP) has alleged that the N10 billion requested by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to fix Arik Air might be diverted by the Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, to pursue his gubernatorial ambition in 2019. ACAP in a full page advertisement said AMCON and Sirika want to use Arik Air as conduit to divert the money and wondered

why despite the N20 billion AMCON allegedly spent to revive Aero Contractors, the airline is in a worse state today than when it was taken over by the corporation five years ago.  “On Monday ACAP issued a statement warning of a plot by a cabal to hijack Arik Air, some people thought it was an exaggeration. Now, the evil agenda hatched by Minister of State, Sirika, using the AMCON as cover, is beginning to unfold.   “Within 24 hours of the hostile takeover, AMCON is saying that it needs N10billion to fix the airline.

 “ACAP wishes to remind the public that this same AMCON took over Aero in 2012 claiming that the airline owed  N12billion. At the time, the airline had nine aircraft and was worth far more than the alleged debt,� the body said.  It noted that after taking over Aero, AMCON has used an additional N20billion to chase a purported N12billion debt, leaving the airline “in a N32billion debt hole!�   “Aero is down from nine aircraft to two and by the time chop-chop asset

corporation of Nigeria and their paymasters finished with the airline, its value as at last year was under N5billion! They have come again! They say they need N10 billion. Nigerians should ask them: for what?� the stakeholder said. ACAP said it was aware that the minister who allegedly is the arrowhead of “this hostile takeover, is planning to run for election as governor in his state in 2019. Is the N10 billion the first tranche of his campaign fund?




Osinbajo Blames Current Hardship on Corruption Says Imo oil communities are not treated well by gov Wike chides ruling party for misinforming him

Ernest ChinwoÓØÙÜÞ ËÜÍÙßÜÞ ËØÎAmby UnezeÓØáÏÜÜÓ The Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has said the hard times currently faced by Nigerians is a result of the corruption that took place in the country for so many years. Osibanjo spoke yesterday at the Aztech Arcum Events Centre, Port Harcourt, during a ‘critical stakeholders’ meeting that was attended by leaders and members of the All Progressives Congress (APC). But Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has berated the state chapter of the APC for trying to instigate conflict by holding the alternative meeting after the acting president had met with stakeholders that cut across party lines in the state. Some leaders of the APC at the meeting were the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, and the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Obong Nsima Ekere. Also in attendance at the meeting was the DirectorGeneral of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside and former Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Timipre Sylva, the Chairman, Senate Committee on FERMA, Senator Magnus Ngei Abe and chairman of APC in the state, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya. Osinbajo said: “The APC is a party of today and the future. It is easy for people to say times are hard. Yes, times are hard. One of the reasons for the hard times is the corruption that took place for so many years.

“We are investigating at the moment, the $15 billion of the defence contract award. If $15 billion dollars disappeared, when you have a reserve of $30 billion, there is no way there will not be hardship. “The other thing is the destruction of pipelines and facilities. Oil prices fell by half, then we started losing one million barrels a day, 60 per cent of revenue. There is no way there will be no recession. We are sure that because of the way we are approaching the business of governance, even with the little resources, things will change for the better. “For the first time, we have bailed out the states of the federation. When we came, 22 states were not paying salaries at all. We had to bail them out twice. Despite the lean resources, we are still able to support the states. In the next few months, as things shape up, this country will improve and the exchange rate will improve.” He also expressed displeasure on the attitude of some Nigerians, who were involved in destructive criticisms and running down the government of President Muhammadu Buhari. Also speaking, the Director General of NIMASA, Peterside, noted that last Monday’s stakeholders’ meeting at the Government House, Port Harcourt, was with a section of Rivers people, mostly members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), maintaining that Amaechi was committed to the development of the Niger Delta. He also noted that politicisation of the Niger Delta struggle was one of the challenges the region has been facing, maintaining that when Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was

New Monarch Emerges in Igbara-Oke, Ondo James SowoleÓØÕßÜÏ A notable business tycoon, Prince Adefarakan Agbede, has been elected the new Olowa of IgbaraOke in Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State. Agbede of the Ogidi ruling house, scored eight out nine votes cast by nine kingmakers under the headship of Chief Joseph Olofin, who is the Sapetu of IgbaraOke. The other ruling house, Aruogbon did not present a candidate for the stool while the Ogidi ruling house presented four contestants for the Olowa stool. The stool became vacant following the demise of the former monarch, Oba I. A Adepoju, who joined his ancestors in December 2016. The election of Agbede was greeted with jubilations as indigenes of the town, particularly youths trooped out in their hundreds celebrating the election of the new monarch. After the announcement of the results of the election by the head of the kingmakers, the oba-elect came into the town and went straight to the All Saints

Anglican Church, Igbara-Oke for thanksgiving. Members of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) prayed for the new monarch and the entire Igbara-Oke Community. Speaking after the service, the oba-elect, said he had been contributing to the development of the town for decades and that he would continue to do so. THISDAY learnt that the new monarch, who was the Asiwaju of Igbara-Oke, contested for the same stool in 2004 but lost to the immediate past monarch.

Oba Agbede

President, there was no agitation for resource control, but as soon as he lost the 2015 election, his kinsmen started agitating to control their resources. But speaking at another event in Port Harcourt yesterday, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, berated the leaders of the APC in the state for misinforming Osinbajo that they were holding an APC meeting in Port Harcourt, only for them to turn around to pretend to hold a Niger Delta Stakeholders meeting.  The governor lauded Osinbajo for setting the records  straight  when he proclaimed the APC slogan and explained   that he was at yesterday’s event to meet his Rivers APC family.  Wike spoke at the state secretariat of the PDP, Aba Road, Port Harcourt, where he received

former Ndoni APC  members led by Chief Ofili Enebeli after their  defection  to PDP. The governor declared that the successful official engagements of the Acting President to Rivers State  sent shivers down the spine of political mischief makers spreading   false stories   about the state, hence they resorted to their usual  desperate anti-Rivers politics. Meanwhile, Osinbajo has regretted that the oil producing communities in Imo State have largely been neglected by the federal government and noted that the time has come for the communities concerned to receive adequate attention like their counterparts in other states. He also directed all Niger Delta Development Commission

(NDDC) contractors handling unfinished projects in the state to return to work with immediate effect. Osinbajo spoke in Owerri while on a one-day working visit to the state yesterday, informing that he had come at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari to consult with stakeholders in the oil producing communities of the Niger-Delta region which Imo State is one of them. The vice-president confessed at the palace of Imo State Chairman of Traditional Rulers Council, Eze Samuel Ohiri, that the people of Imo State have been largely marginalised as an oil bearing state of Nigeria, however said the federal government would make amends. He promised that Imo would

henceforth receive fair treatments from the federal government. ``My visit here is in continuation of the consultation which Mr President said I should do to all the states of the Niger Delta, and I can say that the oil producing communities of Imo have been largely ignored’’, he said. The acting president however, promised that the federal government would look at the ways to redress the injustice done the area by given more attention to the state. On the issue of unfair appointment and allocation of projects raised by Governor Rochas Okorocha, Osinbajo said it was not correct that President Buhari was not fair to Imo people.


Chijioke Oraku, the physically≠ challenged man, who was brutalised by soldiers in Onitsha when he was received by Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State during  the  state executive council meeting in Abakaliki...yesterday

Former Rivers Govt Chief President, Govs, Legislators of Staff, Emeh Leaves APC for Book Launch in Abeokuta President Muhammadu Buhari when the Supreme Court will for PDP will join state governors and restore the decision in Swem v. A frontline politician in Rivers State and one of the leaders of All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Emeh Glory Emeh, has defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Emeh, who has served the state in various capacities including Senior Special Assistance on Media and Strategy, state Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Commissioner for Transport and Aviation during the former Governor Peter Odili’s administration, was said to be under immense pressure from both his political mentors and associates to return to the PDP where political pundits believed the man generally described as political engine room and strategist actually belongs. The leadership of PDP in the state was said to have mounted enormous pressure on the Ikwerre-born chartered accountant and lawyer to come back to where they described as his political home. Before Emeh’s defection to

the PDP, the social media and APC platforms, as well as the political atmosphere in the state were awash with the story of his resignation from the opposition APC in the state. THISDAY checks revealed that he had from the beginning observed and complained about the leadership and organisational problems rocking the state chapter of the APC.   Though it was not clear why the legal practitioner and financial expert-turned politician left the APC, many believe that the exit of the renowned political strategist and media guru would be a huge loss to the party as he is said to be endowed with enormous political experience and exposure particularly in the area of propaganda warfare. When THISDAY spoke with Emeh to know why he left the APC, he promised that he would give details later in an exclusive interview.

legislators on Tuesday, 21 February, 2017 in Abeokuta for the public presentation of the book, Buhari vs Yar’Adua: Facing The Future. The book reflects on the landmark presidential election case between the candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Gen Muhammadu Buhari and President Umaru Yar’Adua of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2007.   According to a press statement signed by the author, who is also Special Assistant to the Governor of Ogun State, Mr. Soyombo Opeyemi, “The aim of the book is to ensure that no future elections are rigged in Nigeria and that the Judiciary will never, either by design or default, endorse electoral robbery.” “The book also interogates the justice system in Nigeria, reflecting on the vicissitudes of the third organ of government. It appraises the philosophy guiding election petitions in the country and looks forward to a time

Dzungwe (1966) as the binding precedent,” the statement said. The governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, is the Chief Host of the event. Other dignitaries expected at the book presentation are First Lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, Wife of the Governor of Ogun State, Mrs. Olufunso Amosun, Distinguished Senators Gbolahan Dada and Lanre Tejuoso, Representatives Olayiwola Kazzim, Segun Williams, Olusola Ojugbele, Kayode Oladele, Adekunle Akinlade, Isiaka Ibrahim, Kehinde Odeneye, Speaker Ishola Adekunbi, Honourable Members of the Ogun State House of Assembly, state Attorneys General,  Members of the Ogun State Executive Council and Chairmen of Ogun State LGs/LCDAs. Dr. Kayode Oyende of the Faculty of Law, Lagos State University will be the reviewer while Chief Emmanuel Adeniji and Engr. Joseph Adesina are Guests at the book presentatio




Navy Arrests 17 Vessels, Crew for Maritime Illegalities Chiemelie Ezeobi  The Western Naval Command (WNC) of the Nigerian Navy (NN) yesterday said the command has over the course of one year arrested 17 vessels and their crew members for different maritime illegalities. The crew and their vessels were arrested for illegalities

not limited to conveying of stolen products, patrolling without permit, discrepancy of products, illegal products and piracy. The command made this disclosure during the visit of the 134 participants of National Defence College Course 25 led by the Commandant, Rear Admiral Ilesanmi Alade on a

Umahi Demands Sack, Trial of Two Soldiers who Brutalised Physically-challenged Man Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, has demanded the dismissal of two soldiers who brutalised a physicallychallenged man, Mr. Chijioke Oraku, in Onitsha, Anambra State. Oraku, a native of Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, was dehumanised by the  two soldiers penultimate week   for wearing army camouflage. The video of the beating went viral thereby attracting national outrage that made the army authorities to demote the soldiers and sentence them to 21 days in detention. Umahi, who received Oraku during the states executive council meeting in Abakaliki yesterday, noted that the sanctions meted to the soldiers were mild going by the fact that they “did not behave like human beings.� The governor, according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Emma Anya, said: “We believe that 21 day imprisonment is  not enough. The soldiers did not behave

like human beings and to be demoted is not enough. “I suggest to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Yusuf Buratai, that those soldiers be sacked from the army and be prosecuted immediately.� Umahi, who however thanked Burutai for taking the actions against the soldiers, directed the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Benard Odoh, to write a letter demanding the dismissal and prosecution of the soldiers. He was also full of praises for his Anambra State counterpart, Willie Obiano, for his quick intervention in  the matter. Umahi, however,  asked his Senior Special Adviser and Welfare Matters, Rev. Father Abraham Nwali, to interact with Oruka on ways the state government could properly rehabilitate him.  He also ordered the release of N500,000  to  the brutalised man for the continuation of his   treatment and temporary upkeep. 

Principal, Seven Others Arraigned for Tampering with BEDC Meters A vice-principal of a secondary school in Benin City, Mrs. Caroline Akoriegie and a civil society activist, Mr. Joseph Ngbede were among the eight people arraigned at a Federal High Court Benin City last Thursday for allegedly tampering with electric fittings. This, according to a statement from the Head Key Clients Group, Abel Enechaizam, Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), is a crime that is punishable under Section 3 (6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M.17 Laws of Nigeria 2004. A second count of unlawful disconnection, removal, damage, tampering and interference with electric fittings, meters or other appliances designed to use for transforming or converting electricity property of the BEDC. The suspects were arraigned at the instance of BEDC, which had complained of overwhelming energy theft through meter bypass and tampering especially from some members of the civil society who use it as a cover up to avoid payment of electricity bills. The suspects were charged under Section 3 (6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act

Cap M.17 LFN 2004 which deals with the offence of conspiracy to commit the said offence to wit: tampering with electric fittings. If convicted, the offence carries the same penalty as committing the offence itself (life imprisonment). Mr. Brodrick Okirierie, Igbinoba Osayende and Mrs Akoriegie Caroline who were alleged to have tampered with electrical fitting were charged under Charge No. FHC/B/6C/2017 committed the offence at Imade Street, Okhoro area of Benin- City. The other persons-Airiofolo Daniel, Bankole Olalekan, Adeyemi Samuel, Simon Ewaocheand Joseph Ngbede charged on N FHC/B/7C/2017 were alleged to have committed the offence at No 3 Airiofolo Aremie Oko Benin City. The suspects were also further charged for tampering with, unlawful disconnection, damage or removal of electric plants, works, cables, wires or assembly of wires designed under Section 1(9) of the aforementioned Act 2004 which deals with the offence or used for transforming or converting of electricity.

strategic military installation tour. The arrested vessels MT Tanko, MV Bayagbona, MT Saint Leo, MT Our Lady of Fatima and MT Roula, were held for being in possession of illegal crude products. Others like MV Aesteris, MV Peace, MV Long Island, MV Omat Grace, MT Alba and MT Dejikun, were arrested for conveying stolen oil products.   However, MT Maximus was arrested for piracy, while MT Liang Zian and MT Anuket Emerald were arrested for having no approval and MV Zahara for discrepancy of products, while MV Sunessex was based on a court order. In his remarks, the WNC Flag Officer Commanding, Rear Admiral Fergusson Bobai, said

the command has been acting on the chief of naval staff’s zero tolerance for maritime illegalities. Bobai who was represented by the Chief Staff Officer (CSO) WNC, Rear Admiral Thaddeus Udofia, said the command has also been providing support for the state in terms of internal security with its reinforced presence at sea.  On the visit he said, “This tour will help consolidate the knowledge acquired by the participants in state craft and security.� While fielding questions from journalists, Rear Alade said the strategic military installation tour also afforded the opportunity to visit the Nigerian Air Force    Logistic Command, then the 9 Brigade and 81 Division of the Nigerian

Army before embarking on a sea trip. He said: “The NDC, Abuja trains middle cadre officers particuarly of the rank of Colonel and its equivalent in the Nigeria Armed forces and other personnel from MDAs and other arms of government. “We train them to become strategic leaders of tomorrow and one of the areas that we train them is what we call national security and state craft. In that package, visits to strategic military installation is one of the subject. “This year, National Defence College choose Lagos are and as you  heard a while ago, the participants have been briefed on the activities of the Western Naval Command. “The major objective is to let the participants be aware of

WE WANT GOOD GOVERNANCE Coalition for Good Governance and Change Initiative during a protest in Abuja...yesterday

the capability, effectiveness and efficiency of our armed forces so that they will go back and it will assist them also in writing their reports. “Anybody who has to take strategic decision tomorrow, must be well grounded on the activities of the armed forces. That is why we are here. “After now, the Nigerian Navy will be taking the participants to sea , for sea exercise they will remain there overnight. It is to further give them that experience and let them know how capable the Nigerian Navy is.� Among the 134 participants were 10 military personnel from other allied countries which includes South Africa, Indian, Brazil, Cote D’Ivoire , Mali, Ghana, Burkina faso, Tanzania, Cameroun and Togo.


Five Farmers, Two OPC Members Kidnapped in Lagos Chiemelie Ezeobi Barely 24 hours after the release of the abducted secretary of Isheri North Estate Association, Dayo Adekoya, five farmers and two members of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) were yesterday evening kidnapped at Epe area of Lagos. The five farm workers who were seconded to Eliasa farms were abducted while at work at the Igbodu area of Epe, alongside the OPC members who were the

local security on ground.  It was gathered that they were abducted by gunmen numbering about 15, who dressed in military camouflage, stormed the farm situated along Ishiwo road.   Investigation revealed that the two OPC were employed by the farm owner to provide security at the farm when kidnapping in the community was on the increase in the area.   After abducting the OPC members and the farm workers, they were  taken through the

forest into their waiting boat at the riverside. As at the time of filing this report, the kidnappers have not contacted the farm management to make any ransom demands.  A source in the area that spoke on anonymity said about two weeks ago, same gunmen invaded the community and abducted six farmers and one customer who came to buy farm produce. He said: “The Lagos State government and security

agencies should focus more attention on the area because of the increase of kidnappers in that part of the state. “The kidnappers also stormed the community on Friday, January 27, 2017 and abducted a 24-year-old Olabiyi Ifeoluwa, a Graduate of Nutrients and Biotechnology from Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho in Oyo State and three other farm workers identified simply as Busuyi, Kposu a Togolese national and one John.�

EFCC Re-arraigns Francis Atuche, Charles Ojo over N125bn Fraud The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday re-arraigned before a Lagos Federal High Court, a former Managing Director of  Bank PHB, Francis Atuche. Atuche is charged alongside Charles Ojo, a former Managing Director of Spring Bank Plc on an amended 45-count charge of N125 billion fraud. Their re-arraignment yesterday was as a result of the transfer of Justice Saliu Saidu, the previous trial judge presiding over the case. The accused were consequently

re-arraigned before a new judge, Justice A.O Faji. They pleaded not guilty to the charges, while the court allowed them to continue on their earlier bail conditions. They were first arraigned in 2009 before Justice Akinjide Ajakaiye. Ajakaiye had granted them bail in the sum of N50 million each with two sureties each in like sum. They were later re-arraigned before Justice Binta MurtalaNyako on February 3, 2012, and

subsequently, before Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia on January 16, 2013. Both judges had adopted the bail terms granted by Ajakaiye. The EFCC had again on February 20, 2014 re-arraigned the accused before Justice Saidu following a re-assignment of the case. In the charge, the accused were alleged to have granted credit facilities, manipulated shares and committed general banking fraud to the tune of N125 billion. The offences contravene the

provisions of Sections 7(2) (b) of the Advanced Fee Fraud Act, 2004, and Sections 15(1) of the Failed Banks (Recovery of debts) and Financial Malpractices in Banks Act, 2004. It also contravenes the provisions of Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C38, Laws of the Federation, 2004, as well as Section 14 (1) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2004. Justice Faji adjourned the case to February 22 and 23 for trial.




Group Sports Editor Duro Ikhazuagbe Email

Aiyegbeni: I Want to End My Football Career in England

Former Super Eagles forward, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, has revealed he wants to end his career in England after signing for Coventry on Monday. The 34-year-old has a decade of experience in England but in the last five years he has played abroad apart from a brief spell at Reading. He told BBC Sport: “I left to play in China, Qatar and Turkey, but my family and heart was always in England. “I’ve always said I would love to end my career in England and that plan is still on track.” Aiyegbeni has scored 96 Premier League goals - more than any other Nigerian and just five less than the top-ranked African scorer Didier Drogba. His career in England began 14 years ago and has played in the top flight for Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, Everton and Blackburn.


He has now dropped down to League One, where Coventry is rooted to the foot of the table, but is determined to show he can still make an impact. “My career in England started in 2003 and I have been very lucky to play for some top managers and teams,” Aiyegbeni added. “Things are quite tough for Coventry City at the moment and I understand what is expected of me. “I had the opportunity to train with the players here, I see great qualities and believe things can get better. “I love scoring goals and helping my team-mates to score, together we can lift the club. “I know this league very well because I have played in it with Leicester City and Reading in the past.” Coventry City Manager, Russell Slade, further shed light on the signing of Aiyegbeni and believes that the club have landed a player with “a terrific goal record.” The former Premier League star will stay at the club “on a deal running until May 2017, pending international clearance.” “We’re pleased to have secured the signing of Yakubu, who brings vast experience and a terrific goal record. The striker will wear number 22 at Coventry City.


PSG Maul Barca 4-0 Paris St Germain’s Angel Di Maria was at his vintage best as he scored twice on his birthday in a 4-0 demolition of Barcelona in their Champions League last-16 first leg last night. The Argentina winger, 29, scored in each half with PSG’s Germany midfielder Julian Draxler and Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani also finding the net as the French champions tore apart a disorganised Barca side who have it all to do in the return. PSG, eliminated by the Catalans in the Champions League quarterfinals in

2013and2015,werethemoreaggressive sideattheParcdesPrincesandhaveput themselves in a commanding position ahead of the March 8 second leg at the Camp Nou. Five-time European champions Barca have not exited in the last 16 since going out to Liverpool in the 2006/07 season. Elsewhere on the night, Benfica defeated Borussia Dortmund 1-0 to also gain advantage going into the second leg. Mitrologu poked in the goal for the Portuguese team while Pierre Aubameyang lost Dortmund’s penalty.

Bayern, Arsenal Light up Allianz Arena Bayern Munich and Arsenal will meet in their big-name UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg this evening, both hoping European success will help lift mid-season gloom on their domestic fronts. The other game of the evening is between Napoli and Real Madrid. Bayern are on track for a recordextending fifth consecutive title with a seven-point lead thanks to their 2-0 win over Ingolstadt on Saturday. But that result does not tell the whole story, with the German champions looking lacklustre for most of the match before snatching two goals in the final minutes. The Bavarians have been more

a model of efficiency under coach Carlo Ancelotti than the high-scoring, high-speed train of past seasons under predecessor Pep Guardiola. Ancelotti could be without winger Franck Ribery, with the Frenchman working towards a comeback from a thigh muscle injury sustained two weeks ago. “It will be difficult but we will have to see. We will, however, take no risk with this,” said the coach. RESULTS PSG 4 – 0 Barcelona Benfica 1 – 0 Borussia Dortmund TODAY FIXTURES Bayern Munich vs Arsenal Real Madrid vs SSC Napoli

PSGí s Di Maria celebrating his opening goal against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 rst leg game last night

2017 NPA Lagos International Polo Gallops off with Clashes in Silver Cup Duro Ikhazuagbe For the next 11 days, the attention of polo aficionados will shift to the Ribadu Road ground of the Lagos Polo Club as the 2017 NPA Lagos International Polo Tournament gallops off to exquisite actions of topflight matches. Already in town for the prestigious Majekodunmi Cup are top players from Argentina and South Africa. Some of the stars listed to light up the tournament include; Manuel Crespo a seven-goaler from Argentina; South African Tom De Bruin +7; and Alfredo Bigati, another +7 handicap player from Argentina, who will be making his debut. Other professional players include; Santiago Cernadas +6, Santiago Astrada +6, Diego Whyte +5 and Martin Juaregi +5 all of whom are Argentines. South African Leroux Hendriks +5 is not left out. Of course, some of Nigeria’s

middle-rated handicap players like Adamu Atta, Babangida Hassan, Bello Buba, Bashir Dantata, Kwame Isa, Abdulrahman Mohammed, Ahmed Umar, Murtala Aliyu and Saidu Umar will also be on parade. The 11-day polo extravaganza, which has Guaranty Trust Bank as main sponsor, will see teams compete for honours in four main cups namely Silver Cup, Open Cup, Lagos Low Cup and Majekodunmi Cup split over two weekends. Scheduled to kick off the 2017 edition in the newly introduced Silver Cup this afternoon is the match involving Lagos STL and Ibadan Challenge. Speaking at a media session to herald the 2017 edition of the premier polo tournament in the country, Lagos Polo Club President, Ade Laoye, promised polo faithfuls top-class action alongside fun and excitement. He added that this year’s edition will be better, describing

the Lagos Polo Club as the new face of polo in Nigeria. The LPC chief stated that massive infrastructural upgrade has been carried out for proper and efficient polo with all the safety measures. GTBank Head of Corporate Affairs and External Communications, Oyinade Adegite, pledges the financial institution’s support for the game. She said, “For GTBank, polo is a special game; a special sport. The uniqueness and the quality of the game endeared us to the sport. Aside, the passion and competitiveness of the sport are part of the values that drives our commitment.” Nigeria Polo Association Chairman, Dolapo Akerele, also expressed confidence on the success of the tournament pointing that Lagos Polo Club has continued to excel and show examples to other clubs. Aside polo, a lot of social activities are on the card for the duration of the tournament.

Deputy Tournament Director, Seyi Oyinlola disclosed that 10 teams will battle for the newlyintroduced Silver Cup which used to be the Dansa Cup while four Lagos teams will compete in the Open Cup. He added further that an unprecedented 12 teams will feature in the Low Cup while three teams will contest for the prestigious Majekodunmi Cup, regarded as the most prestigious polo title in Nigeria. Lagos Centaurs, Lagos Fifth Chukker and Kano Keffi Ponys are the teams competing in the Majekodunmi Cup. Oyinlola also disclosed that there are three select cups which are Oba of Lagos Cup, Italian Ambassador’s Cup and Independence Cup. The Oba of Lagos Cup will feature two Lagos teams and it will come up on Saturday February 18 while the final of the Silver and Open Cups comes up the next day to wind up hostilities for the first week.

Golf: Danjuma Shines at IBB Ladies Open Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja Rachael Danjuma exhibited ironcast character over the weekend by winning the 19th IBB Ladies Open Golf Championship in Abuja by nine shots after three days of intense golf. The golfer, a former lady captain of Jaji Golf Club, shot a combined gross score of 256 to beat the field of 45 golfers, who played in the final round. Danjuma, who has 8-handicap, typically romped to victory over IBB International golf course to tie up her second major tournament since she coasted to victory three months ago at

the Northern Nigeria Zonal Open Golf Championship also in Abuja. A strong field of over 90 lady golfers from Uganda, Zimbabwe, Ghana and 27 golf clubs in Nigeria attended the well-organised tournament. A bogey finish in the last four holes of the final round could not dislodge Danjuma from making a routine victory in the ladies Handicap 0-28 flight category. Jessica Tei, from Ghana finished second. The young 5-handicapper from Achimota Golf Club, edged last year’s winner, Amina Wilfred of IBB Club on count-back after they both shot 267 gross. A former national cycling

champion, Rita Izoje from James Ibori Golf Club, Asaba, once again grabbed the attention- not on the track, but on the golf course by finishing in fourth position, 18 shots outside the lead. Tei and Izoje enlivened a spectacular event by thrilling the guests that included Plateau Governor, Simon Lalong, Ugandan High Commissioner to Nigeria, Kagimu Kiwanuka, Kaduna State First Lady, Hadiza El-Rufai and others with their dancing ability, when they stepped out with their entourage to receive their prizes. V. Manteau from Ghana finished 5th, while the 6th and 7th positions went to S. Kadiri

of IBB and Blessing Obaje of Otukpo respectively. The evergreen Susan Cole-Kotas finished in eighth position with 282 gross, in addition to making waves with some auxiliary prizes, including the longest drive and nearest to the pin. Blessing Adakole, (Otukpo), B. Hassan (Abeokuta), Justina Christopher (Lafia) S. Choi and Mirabel Edozie, both from IBB Club, took 1st -5th nett positions in Handicap 0-28 flight category. All 45 players who made the final day cut were presented with medals. The tournament was organised by the Ladies Section of IBB Club.



Wednesday February 15, 2017



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Pius Anyim to Herman Hembe

ÏI will not allow you to use the National Assembly platform to pursue personal vendetta. It was after all your eorts to get the MD to come and see you privately failed that you con rmed this date (after several postponements). I want you to know that nobody will see you privately, rather we are ready for the hearing,Î ó Former SGF, Anyim Pius Anyim, to Hon. Herman Hembe, whose committee is probing the Centenary City project


0805 500 1974

The Virus of Hate Speech


n a recent discussion of the virus of hate speech that is plaguing the public sphere, a lawyer was reported as saying that there are more important issues worthy of attention. Now, that could amount to underrating the power of ideas as a motive force of history. The power of words and how they are deployed should never be treated with levity. Words could be a tonic for the soul; words could also be irresponsibly employed as weapons with lethal consequences. During World War II, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill proved to the world how words could be deployed to fight anti-fascist battles at the most critical moments. On the other side of the divide, German Nazi Leader Joseph Goebbels deployed hate speech against the Jews to prepare the ground for the Holocaust in which more than six millions were murdered. So the merchants of hate speech are toying with fire! It is, therefore, in the interest of the social order that the government and the people assume the responsibility of preventing destructive deployment of words. Contrary to what the purveyors of hate speech in our midst say, there is nothing indeterminate about prejudicial and inciting statements against a group of people. Socially destructive words are embodied in such a demonisation. Besides, there is no contradiction between the rebuking of hate speech and freedom of speech as defined in the 1999 Constitution. In fact, an organisation campaigning against hate speech, the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development, has put the matter unambiguously like this: Hate Speech is Not Free Speech. Just as freedom of speech cannot be pleaded to inflict noise pollution on the environment, so also can the right to free speech be claimed for incitement of a mob to mass murder.

When a person or a group of persons commit a crime and you go beyond condemning the crime to speak against the religion, ethnic group or gender of the offender, you are in the process committing a crime of hate speech. To spread lies, prejudice and incitements against a religion, ethnic group or gender is a clear hate speech making. The media is replete with an amazing lack of sense of responsibility in this respect. When some cattle herders invade farms and kill the owners, their criminal act has nothing to do with their claimed religion or ethnicity. The murder is committed in the cause of an economic activity of seeking grazing land for their cattle. It is wrong, therefore, to report the crime with the headline: “Muslim Fulani Herdsmen Kill Farmers.� Such reportage is unhelpful in tackling the problem. Those who commit crimes should be prosecuted and punished according to the law and more definitively agricultural policy should be implemented in a way to modernise livestock production. Instead of focussing on the solution of the socio-economic problem, attention is diverted by those fuelling religious and ethnic incitements. After all, when armed robbery and kidnapping take place you don’t read headlines such as the following: “Yoruba Armed Robbers Arrested� or “Igbo Kidnappers Demand Ransom.� Yet every criminal in Nigeria has ethnic and religious identities. There are armed robbers, assassins and kidnappers from Christian homes; no one has accused Christianity of promoting armed robbery or assassination. It would, of course, amount to making hate speech to do so. When a man commits a crime, he should be made to face the wrath of the law as Mr. X or Mallam Y; he should not be identified as a Christian or Muslim. It is also utterly diversionary calling him Fulani or Yoruba. At the root of the problem is the fact that politicians

thrive on the manipulation of ethnicities and religions. This has worsened the politics of identity. The cost of this to the polity and society is enormous. Doubtless, freedom of expression should be the armour every citizen needs to participate fully in the conversations about many issues. However, the atmosphere is increasingly polluted by hate speechmongers waving the flag of free speech. The pollution of the public sphere has been enhanced by the relative anonymity offered by the social media. Some of the discussions taking place in the social media are laden with hate speech. Some are downright primitive in content. For every topic under the sun there is invariably recourse to an attack on the religion and ethnic origin of the person on the opposite side of the debate. Curses and abuse are substituted for facts. Logic and civility have no place on some Internet forums. To be sure, it should be acknowledged that this is a wider sociological affliction confronting humanity. The warriors in the cyberspace are operating in a global environment in which a post-truth age has been infamously proclaimed with ominous moral outcomes. Those in power in the United States are already legitimising what they call �alternative facts� in contradistinction to the fact known by everybody else. Racism, bigotry and misogyny have been normalised in the most powerful quarters in the world. There is already an immense influence of these morally and culturally destructive global currents on Nigerians across generations. The fog of hatred has blinded many participants in what is supposed to be a vigorous and enlightening debate. Hence, the debate generates more heat than it sheds lights on the issues. Last Wednesday, a lawyer and public intellectual, Mr. Fola Arthur-Worrey, did an efficient job on this

page of disabusing the minds of members of the public against the bogey of Islamisation of Nigeria. The former Solicitor-General of Lagos State strenuously argued with facts and logic that since 1960 no government in Nigeria could be reasonably accused of making Nigeria an Islamic Republic. However, this great effort at clarification generated enormous bile given the tone and tenor of the responses to Arthur-Worrey. It is remarkable that nobody disputed the facts stated by the lawyer. Not even “alternative factsâ€? were offered. All that Arthur-Worrey got were abuse, insults and curses. For instance, someone wrote that Arthur-Worrey “is naĂŻve.â€? Well, those who play with the fire of a religious war are worse than being naĂŻve; they are reckless manipulators of public opinion. They do so for their selfish interests. The problem facing Nigeria is poverty. The problem manifests as hunger, ignorance and disease. The problem is not about doctrines. There is no conflict between Islam and Christianity. Similarly, those who dismiss proponents of national integration as naĂŻve are themselves dangerously naĂŻve; the separatists are yet to come up with a formula for a bloodless disintegration of Nigeria. Being ahistorical in their approach, they underrate the material basis of the integration of Nigeria as they peddle their message of hate. The material interests involved transcend ethnic sentiments. A productive conversation about how to correct the structural distortion of Nigerian federalism is possible without the poison of hate speech. You cannot t bring about positive changes with hate speech; the result of hate speech is often in the form of mass murder perpetrated by those manipulated advocates of hate. Free speech should be defended at all times; but there should be no place for hate speech at any time.

A Malaria-free Africa Within Reach Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Aliko Dangote


tunning progress against malaria in the past decade has allowed the world to imagine a different future. Finally, a malaria-free Africa is within our reach. With Africa taking the lead, we are on the threshold of eliminating this deadly disease from the continent for good. The last chapters of our fight will be the most difficult yet. Eliminating malaria will take bold commitments from African leaders in the public and private sectors. We must double down on our existing malaria control efforts and think creatively about new funding sources, innovative new tools and unique partnerships to drive down cases and deaths and move more countries toward elimination. Strong leadership has been key to progress across the continent. Since 2000, we have cut malaria mortality rates in Africa by 62 per cent. Sirleaf Ten years ago, malaria was killing a child every 30 seconds on our continent, and a scant five which shoulders 29 per cent of the global malaria per cent of the population at risk of malaria burden, the public and private sectors are joining slept under insecticide-treated mosquito nets. forces to fight it. Late last year, the Nigerian Now, more than half of the at-risk population Health ministry and the Dangote Foundation sleeps under bed nets. These are extraordinary launched the Private Sector Engagement Strategy, achievements. Our continent is demonstrating that which leverages business expertise and innovation we can lead the charge in the malaria fight. But and capitalises on the strength of government malaria still ravages our families, communities efforts to control malaria. An innovative financial and economies. instrument now under discussion in Nigeria In many African countries, malaria reduces will seek up to $300 million from investors to GDP growth by one per cent annually. In Nigeria, finance malaria control. malaria costs $1 billion a year in prevention We are inspired by the progress made by our and treatment, absenteeism, loss of productivity ministers of health, our health workers and our and disability. communities with support from our partners So why are we hopeful? Momentum is in countries across the continent. The world’s building up across the continent. In Nigeria, oldest and deadliest disease is finally in retreat.

Dangote In 2005, there was no data on how many Liberians were dying from malaria. Nor did national health care officials know how many children with a fever had the disease. So Liberian health and finance ministers, non-governmental organisations and others joined forces against malaria. They strengthened diagnostic capacity at the local level, improved case supervision at the county level, and enhanced management systems for health data. Ten years later, Liberia’s malaria-related deaths have been cut in half. Today, all public and private health facilities are supplied with rapid diagnostic tests. Nigeria has made remarkable progress in expanding the use of insecticide-treated bed

nets. In 2015, some 69 per cent of Nigerian households owned at least one bed net. The impact of these interventions has been significant: malaria prevalence in young children declined from 42 per cent to 27.4 per cent between 2010 and 2015. Similar advancements are under way across Africa, thanks to the efforts of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance, a ground-breaking coalition of heads of state and government from African Union-member countries fighting malaria through high-level advocacy and action. Both the alliance Scorecard for Accountability & Action and the alliance 2030 Scorecard Towards Malaria Elimination are helping track countryby-country progress and drive action on control and elimination. The alliance recently recognised seven countries for achieving more than 40 per cent reduction in malaria incidence and deaths. The need for renewed leadership, creative approaches to financing and new tools to fight malaria is why we, along with three other African leaders, joined the End Malaria Council, which was launched recently alongside the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The council is a group of public and private sector leaders committed to keeping malaria elimination high on the global agenda. This includes encouraging African leaders to continue to increase domestic funding to fight malaria. All of us have a role to play in ridding our continent of this disease — from researchers and scientists to health workers, business leaders and government officials at every level. The end of malaria starts now. r 1SFTJEFOU 4JSMFBG PG -JCFSJB XSJUFT GSPN .POSPWJB%BOHPUF 1SFTJEFOUPG%BOHPUF(SPVQ  XSJUFT GSPN -BHPT

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Wednesday 15th Febraury 2017  
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