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Foreign Reserves Rally to $42.8bn As CBN, rice farmers move to add 2mt to national output Banks disburse N55bn under Anchor Borrowers' Programme Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja Nigeria's external reserves rallied to a new high of $42.8 billion on Tuesday with confidence returning to the economy as the continuing intervention of the Central

Bank of Nigeria (CBN) draws various exchange rates to convergence point. The figure is $2.4billion more than the $40.4billion

for last month. The Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, declared yesterday that the

Bank's intervention in various sectors of the economy, including agribusiness, with emphasis on local production of rice has helped to conserve

foreign exchange. Speaking in Abuja at a press briefing by the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) vis-à-vis their collaboration

Inflation Declines for 12th Consecutive Month to 15.13%… Page 10

with the CBN's Anchor Borrowers' Programme (ABP), Okorafor stated that as at Tuesday, foreign reserves hit a new high of $42.8 billion just as the bank has so far disbursed Continued on page 6

Thursday 15 February, 2018 Vol 23. No 8337. Price: N250

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Ortom at Senate, Presents Copies of Letters on Security Threat to Presidency… Page 10

Fearing Adverse Impact on Buhari, 9 APC Senators Oppose Change in Election Order Walk out on Senate Allegation of inducement trails protest House adopts harmonised bill 7 RECs confirmed Damilola Oyedele and James Emejo in Abuja Fearing the amendment to Electoral Act, 2010 and Electoral (Amendment) Act 2015, reordering the sequence of 2019 general elections, would adversely affect the chances of President Muhammadu Buhari, nine All

Progressives Congress (APC) senators, on Wednesday, walked out on the Senate, vowing never to allow the alteration to stand. The aggrieved senators stormed out of the upper chambers, shortly after the adoption of the report of Continued on page 6

APC Losing Goodwill, Tinubu Tells Oyegun, Party Leaders PDP: Ask Buhari to join retirees' club Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, yesterday expressed concern that the party was losing the goodwill that heralded it to victory in 2015.

Speaking at a meeting with the National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, and members of the National Working Committee (NWC), Tinubu said the reason for some of the challenges the Continued on page 8

At Last, Embattled South African President, Zuma Resigns... Page 47

AMBASSADORIAL VISIT... Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara (Right), and Ambassador of Sweden to Nigeria, Ambassador Inger Ulvedt, during her courtesy visit to the speaker at the National Assembly, Abuja…yesterday


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PAGE SIX FEARING ADVERSE IMPACT ON BUHARI, 9 APC SENATORS OPPOSE CHANGE IN ELECTION ORDER the Conference Committee of the Senate and the House of Representatives that harmonised the two versions of the amendment bill. They complained about what they called the irregular procedure applied by Senate President Bukola Saraki during the passage of the report, claiming that the amendment was targeted at the president. But moments after the show by the aggrieved senators, the report also got a smooth sail in the House of Representatives, from where the offensive clause originated. The House in the Committee of the Whole, presided over by Speaker Yakubu Dogara, in the absence of Deputy Speaker Lasun Yusuf, passed the conference report without much ado. Entitled: “A bill for an Act to amend the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010 and Electoral (Amendment) Act 2015,” it seeks to, among others, provide a time-line for the transmission of a list of candidates, limit of campaign expenses and address the omission of names of candidates or logo of political parties and for other related matters. An amendment to S25 of the principal act, which seeks to reorder the sequence of election, however, became controversial, with reports filtering out of the Presidential Villa in Abuja indicating that the presidency is uncomfortable with the proposal. With the amendment, the National Assembly election holds first, followed by the state Houses of Assembly and governorship election, while the presidential election comes last. But proceedings at the Senate became dramatic after the report of the harmonisation committee was adopted, with some senators, alleging that one of the amendments targeted President Muhammadu Buhari, and staging a protest. Nine senators from the All Progressives Congress (APC), led by Senator Adamu Abdullahi (Nasarawa APC); Ovie Omo-Agege, Delta-APC; Binta Garba, Adamawa-APC; Ali Wakili, Bauchi-APC; Kurfi Umaru, Katsina-APC and Andrew Uchendu, RiversAPC; Abdullahi Danbaba, Sokoto-APC; Yahaya Abdullahi, Kebbi-APC; and Abu Ibrahim,

Katsina-APC walked out of plenary proceedings in protest to the adoption of Section 25 of the amendment bill, which provides that elections shall be held in the following order: (a) National Assembly elections (b) State Houses of Assembly and Governorship elections (c) Presidential election, on separate days. The drama started as soon as the report was presented for consideration with some senators complaining that they had not received copies, therefore, would not be able to follow the deliberations. Senate President Saraki directed the Chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC, Senator Sulaiman Nazif, to distribute copies. Following the presentation by Nazif, Saraki put the question to vote on whether the recommendation, which would change the election order, should be adopted. As he ruled in favour of the adoption, some senators could be heard protesting in disagreement with his ruling. Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (Delta APC) led the pack of protesters by calling for physical votes, to ensure clarity in the number of ‘ayes’ and ‘nays’. His position was backed by Senator Kabiru Gaya (Kano APC). Saraki, however, ruled both of them out of order and admonished them not to be personal on the issue, as several bills had been passed in the chamber by voice vote. He said: "We will come and go, but the institution will stay. We need to come up with laws that will build strong institutions. Let us not be personal about this. Let us behave like statesmen. We have procedures on some of these things. "There are many bills we have passed. If there are issues, there are mechanisms we can use to resolve them. I have allowed everybody to contribute. But I think we need to move to the next item on the Order Paper." This, however, did not stop the protest as some senators walked out of the plenary into the media centre to address newsmen. Senator Abdullahi, who spoke for the dissenting voices, said the amendment was targeted at weakening Buhari

in the 2019 polls, adding that only INEC, as the electoral body, is constitutionally empowered to fix election schedules. He queried the haste in passing the amendment, if it was without ulterior motive. "Considering the strategic importance of the bill, it does not need to be rushed. So many members of the committee did not sign. We need to know why they did not sign. I believe that the content of the bill is not fair. We need to be fair. Why the rush? We will all pass out one day. Why do we want to pass a law? I will not be part of it.” Senator Andrew Uchendu (Rivers APC) supported Abdullah’s position and maintained that the amendment would not stand. Omo-Agege claimed that there were at least 59 senators who were opposed to the amendment. He claimed further: “When this bill was passed in the House of Representatives, only 36 members were present. This cannot stand in a House of 360 members.” According to him: “This amendment needs to be debated before it is passed. There is a section in our standing rules that if a bill is sent to the House of Representatives and it makes any inputs, the Senate shall dissolve into a committee of the whole. "We are supposed to determine if the decision of the House is in tandem with what the Senate passed. That was not done. We are 59 senators who are opposed to Section 25 of the Electoral Act. We cannot stand and allow a law passed against Mr. President to stand.” However, defending the passage of the amendment, Senate spokesman, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, at a separate press briefing, said there is nothing unusual about the election order in Nigeria’s history. He said: “This sequence of election in which the Presidential election was held last had been adopted in past elections particularly in 1979 when election to the Senate was conducted on the 7th of July followed by House of Representatives election on 14th of August.” "Also, in 1992, the Senate

and House of Representatives elections were held on the 4th of July, while the presidential election was held later on 12th of June, 1993. “In 1999, elections to the Senate and House of Representatives were held on the 20th of February, while the Presidential election was held on the 27th of February.” “In 2003, the National Assembly election was held on the 12th of April while the Presidential election held on 19th of April. Similarly, in 2011, National Assembly elections held on the 9th of April while the Presidential election held on the 16th of April.” Nazif also dismissed allegations that there were predetermined motives for the adoption of the earlier amendment by the House. “For the avoidance of doubt , this bill with the inclusion of section 25(1), which makes provision for the sequence of election different from the one earlier rolled out by INEC has not in any way violated any provisions of the laws governing the operations of the electoral body, " he clarified. Also contributing at the conference, the House Chairman of the Conference Committee, Hon. Edward Pwajok, explained that the amendment would enhance the credibility of elections in Nigeria. He said: "The sequence of election provision in the bill is not targeted at anybody but aimed at further giving credibility to the electoral process by way of giving the electorate the opportunity to vote based on individual qualities of candidates vying for National Assembly seat." While he was evasive on whether the National Assembly would override the president if he vetoes the bill, Pwajok said they would cross the bridge when they get there. "On whether it would be assented to or not by the President as far as we are concerned remains in the realm of conjecture for now but if such eventually happens, we'll know how to cross the bridge," he said. There are, however, allegations that the lawmakers who protested against the amendment, may have been influenced by some members of the executive arm of government to oppose it.

THISDAY gathered that while the dissenting voices do not have 59 senators, as claimed by Omo-Agege, the group is working hard to woo more lawmakers to their side.

“But with this, we've 500,000 farmers under this season's farming. From this figure, we have 200,000 farmers for the dry season. “With this new digitalized programme, I can, from my phone, reach all the farmers. It's a global innovation. Farmers are now accessible, verifiable and the entire process reliable. Anyone coming to do business with us can access us and work with reliable data.” Goronyo added that RIFAN has national working committees, six zonal offices and heads at both local government and ward levels. He also disclosed that 32 states are currently on board the ABP, revealing that Benue, Nasarawa, Enugu and Cross River States could not join this year's farming season as they could not tidy up their application and documentation processes before the deadline, adding that such states would be

part of the next phase. Also speaking at the event, the Special Adviser on Agriculture and Development Finance to the CBN Governor, Mr. Tunde Akande, noted that to kickstart the 2018 farming season, the partnership with RIFAN was key, adding that the bank had digitalise loan process for smallholder farmers. The collaboration with RIFAN, he stated, has also helped in monitoring farmers closely and ensuring they get input, extension services and other incentives needed to achieve bumper harvests. Akande said: “The ABP started in November 2015. Under two years, we decided to upscale it. We have decided to collaborate with RIFAN but we will also partner with maize, cassava, sorghum, etc., using commodities associations. “They have structures at all levels. We want to

provide mentoring, extension services, etc. to farmers through them. We can now provide tractorisation and all that. “It's about the loan being well utilized. There is a guaranteed market for farmers under this programme. We have deployed seamless technologies to them. We have taken their biometrics and we have their contacts. " Days of taking loans and inputs without accounting for them are over. In no distant time, we will attain food sufficiency and even export to earn foreign exchange.” He also disclosed that under the ABP, all loans given to farmers are compulsorily insured by the Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC), adding that each farmer gets N250,000 to cultivate one hectare of land for the dry season farming.

House Pass Bill without Much Ado In the House, the consideration of the conference committee report was undertaken at the Committee of the Whole which was chaired by Speaker Dogara in the absence of the deputy speaker. But unlike the scenario in the Senate, the amendment scaled through smoothly without any dissenting member. According to Hon. Edward Pwajok (APC, Plateau) who presented the harmonised version, in the event of the death of a candidate during an election, it was agreed that INEC should suspend election for 21 days to enable the party affected conduct primaries within seven days to replace the dead candidate. The amendments also mandate INEC to declare an election null and void if votes exceeded accredited voters. THISDAY had reported exclusively the discomfort of the presidency with the reordering of the sequence of elections and its moves to frustrate it. It reported that the presidency intended to veto the amendment bill, and in the event of a veto override by the National Assembly, it would work on INEC to challenge it in court on the ground that the bill conflicts with the electoral umpire’s constitutional power to choose dates of elections. Senate Confirms 7 RECs In another development, the Senate on Wednesday confirmed the nominations of seven Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) of INEC, and withheld confirmation on two nominees. Those confirmed are Baba Abba Yusuf (Borno reappointment), Mr. Segun Agbaje (Ekiti - reappointment), Dr. Uthman Abdulrahman Ajidagba (Kwara- New appointment), Dr. Cyril Omorogbe (Edo - New appointment), Dr. Emmanuel Alex Hart (Rivers - New appointment), Alhaji Mohammed Ibrahim (Gombe

- New appointment) and Mr. Yahaya Bello (Nasarawa - New appointment). Mr. Monday Udoh Tom (Akwa Ibom) was not confined because there was a petition against him, while Mr. Eric Olawale (Osun) was not confirmed because he did not show up for the screening by the Senate Committee on INEC. Women Development Centre DG Asks Women to Register Meanwhile, the DirectorGeneral, National Centre for Women Development, Mrs. Mary Ekpere-Eta, yesterday called on women to take full advantage of the ongoing continuous voter registration being conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to get their permanent voter card (PVC) ahead of the 2019 general elections. In a statement, the DG reiterated the recent declaration of women backing the restructuring of the country, stressing that obtaining the PVC was the first step for women who hoped to return politicians that support restructuring. She stressed the need for girls who turn 18 this year and other women qualified to vote to make out time to register at INEC designated centres. Ekpere-Eta said women could only speak on developmental challenges that affect their communities, such as corruption, unemployment and poverty, by getting PVCs to vote for those who can address these issues. She said: "From data obtained by NCWD, there has been a large turnout of women at registration centres. Nevertheless, there is still room for improvement in terms of the number of those who complete the process and obtain their PVCs. "This appeal that women should go out to get their names into the voters register is very important, judging by the fact that we women constitute about 50 percent of the country's population and we have to invest in the future of our children by voting for our preferred candidates for different positions at all levels of government.”

FOREIGN RESERVES RALLY TO $42.8BN about N55 billion to farmers nationwide under the Anchor Borrowers' Programme. He disclosed that the apex bank was targeting an additional two million tonnes of rice to the national output this year through its partnership with RIFAN under the ABP. He noted that some people were of the argument that the price of rice was high, explaining that with time, the price will fall as production increases nationwide. Okorafor pointed out that besides RIFAN, the CBN's ABP was in league with other commodity associations in the country, including cassava, sorghum, maize and others with a view to revolutionising agribusiness, and guaranteeing food security. In his remarks, the President of RIFAN, Alhaji Aminu Goronyo, lauded President Muhammadu Buhari's support and

launch of the ABP in 2015, describing it as a huge success. Goronyo disclosed that about five million farmers are to cultivate 200,000 hectares of land for rice production under a pilot scheme. He said: “For two years, the ABP worked successfully as CBN/State governments’ programme. Now, it has graduated from governmentgovernment collaboration to government-private sector collaboration. We launched the pilot scheme in Gwagwalada, Abuja on Tuesday. Other states have launched today (Wednesday). It is tagged the RIFAN-CBN model. “This collaboration is to put Nigeria on the right track in agribusiness. Before 2015, it was operating on an analogue model, thus making monitoring and compliance very challenging. So, all that was done in agriculture was not recorded in details.

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NGN NGN 0.10 1.10 0.25 2.80 0.21 2.91 0.70 11.85 1.50 31.50 NGN NGN 0.04 0.44 0.02 0.32 0.02 0.38 CAVERTON 0.15 2.85 UNITYBANK 0.09 1.81 HPE Nestle Nig Plc ₦1,320.00 Volume: 520.743 million shares Value: N4.718 billion Deals: 5,694 As at yesterday 14/02/18 See details on Page 41

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AIB Impounds Delta Aircraft as 5 Injured in Emergency Landing in MMA Chinedu Eze The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has grounded the US-bound Delta Airline aircraft that made an emergency landing at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMA), Ikeja, Lagos on Tuesday night. The Commissioner of AIB, Mr. Akin Olateru, said the Bureau took the step because the Airline failed to report the incident, in which five persons were injured, 17 hours after it occurred. “Consequently, the Bureau has impounded the aircraft and insisted that it must not be accessed to avoid contamination before investigation,” he said. The Bureau also directed the crew not to travel until they are interviewed by the agency. Olateru made this known while briefing aviation correspondents at the agency’s headquarter at the MMIA, Lagos on the latest on the incident involving the Delta Airline. He said: “As you are aware, AIB is an agency of government that investigates accidents and serious incidents. The agency was established by an enabling Act of 2006, and all we do here is in accordance with our regulation which takes a cue from the ICAO Annexe 13. Everything we do here is in accordance with ICAO Annexe 13. Unfortunately, up until 3:00 pm, this afternoon, Delta as an airline has refused to notify AIB in accordance with the law of our country. “But they notified the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) but they refused as at 3pm today, there is still no notification from Delta as to this serious incident. We have an obligation to

notify the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) on this serious incident but unfortunately, we cannot fulfil that obligation because we are still waiting for Delta to give us information as to this serious incident. This is a serious incident and by law we are investigating.” He explained that because the serious incident happened in Nigeria, it is the country of occurrence and it has a significant role to play in the investigation. He regretted that instead of Delta reporting the mishap to Nigeria, it first reported it to NTSB. According to him: “But in this case, we are able and equipped to investigate this serious incident and we will investigate it. But for the sake of clarity, I am disappointed in Delta. It is totally unacceptable, and we condemn it in its totality and I believe the way I see it we are being undermined, which is not acceptable. “ICAO law governs all the activities of air transport business. They know that we must be notified. Our websites are there; they can download the form, they can download the App. We wrote to Delta October last year notifying them that we have AIB App, which they just need to download on their phone and send us notification.” Throwing more light on the major incident, the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Muhtar Usman, described the incident as very serious one after inspecting the damage and noted that the cause of the serious incident would be known after investigations have been carried out. Usman said: “I have been at the site and from what we

Delta aircfrat saw it is a serious incident and by ICAO standards and also in line with the NCAA Act that sets up the AIB, they will be investigating the serious incident to determine the cause and also make safety recommendations to prevent such from happening again. “One of the engines of the aircraft was reportedly on fire, the captain requested or declared what we call May Day, which was an emergency that he wanted to come back citing one of the engines was on fire, requesting for emergency services and all the agencies that were required to be there were there for that aircraft to ensure that everything went smoothly. “The aircraft landed safely, there was precautionary evacuation of passengers, however, details of the cause and recommendation will come from the AIB.” The Delta Air Lines Flight DL055, which departed MMIA about 10.45 pm on Tuesday night made an air return to Lagos barely 31 minutes into the 11 hours flight, following a breakdown of one of the two engines mid-air. Five of the over 100 passengers, who were on-board

the Airbus A330-200 aircraft with registration number N858NW, were injured. It was gathered that the injured passengers and crew members were rushed to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja; Air Force Base Clinic; and FAAN Medical Centre for speedy medical attention while the aircraft blocked access to the runway for about an hour before being pushed back to allow departure and landing of other aircraft. A report received from the Consumer Protection Directorate (CPD) of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) indicated that the flight departed at 22:45, but made an emergency landing at 23:16, which was 31 minutes after departure. The report said that the pilot-in-command (PIC) announced the evacuation of all the passengers on board within 90 seconds, after contacting the control towers because the left engine of the aircraft caught fire mid-air in-flight. The CPD report stated that passengers were evacuated via the emergency sliding doors within few seconds while all airport agencies' officials on duty were on the

ground within few minutes that the emergency alarm was announced. Some of the agencies on ground included the Aviation Security (AVSEC), NCAA, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Fire Service, Port Health and Aviation Clinic. Others were officials of Quarantine, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and several others who rendered assistance to the passengers and the crew members. The report added: “Although, there is no death recorded as at the time of filing this report, but quite a number of crew and passenger casualties were recorded and have been taken to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) at Ikeja, Air Force Base Clinic and FAAN Medical Centre for speedy medical attention. “Meanwhile, the Delta aircraft was on the runway for over an hour, which led to its closure before KLM, Lufthansa and Air France could depart afterwards. The aircraft was later towed with a push back truck to the open parking bay close to boarding gate E 63. “However the remaining casualty-free passengers were

later taken to a hotel after the flight was announced cancelled and rescheduled for a date yet to be specified and communicated.” Delta in its statement noted that the flight landed safely and customers exited the aircraft on the runway via emergency slides. It said that airport fire authorities met the aircraft upon arrival while the passengers were bussed back to the terminal. It said: “Five of the passengers had non-critical injuries as a result of the evacuation. Delta teams have provided overnight hotel accommodations to customers and will rebook customers on an alternate Delta aircraft Wednesday (yesterday) afternoon. The safety of Delta’s customers and crew members is always our top priority.” Both NCAA and the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) have swung into action to find out what caused the incident and would make their reports known to the public as quickly as possible, sources from the agencies said. The passengers of the illfated flight were billed to fly out with another airline on Wednesday night.

expressed the hope that Tinubu's intervention would help “to heal wounds, where the party has wounds, and bring everybody together behind one single objective." Oyegun, who described Tinubu as a peace ambassador, also expressed the hope that the effort would succeed in putting the APC in a good condition to be a fighting political force such that in 2019, the election would become virtually a runaway victory for the party. "There is no question at all that we have major issues with the National Assembly, major issues in Kano, Kogi, and Benue States. So, we truly welcome your appointment and I want to say that we will give you all the assistance that you will possibly need to make your assignment a most successful one," he said.

way he counselled former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida to quit politics. Such a club, he said, best suits the president. The PDP added that the APC national leader’s stance completely vindicated its position that Buhari should not seek re-election in 2019, having failed in governance and nation building, saying the president ought to step aside because of his inability to connect with the social and economic realities and speed of the current generation. The PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, on Wednesday said Tinubu was proverbially passing a message to Buhari and his supporters as the president no longer enjoys mass acceptance among Nigerians ahead of the 2019 general election. It said: “Every discerning Nigerian has discovered the fact that Tinubu is subtly passing a critical message to President Buhari and his supporters that he should not contest the 2019 election and

that Nigerians have already moved on even without them. “Even Tinubu knows that President Buhari, for obvious reasons, is the most qualified of all our elder statesmen to join the retiree’s club and save the nation the agony of more years of misrule characterised by untold economic hardship, heavy bloodletting and general indignation.” The party said supporters of Buhari should, therefore, accept the reality by reading the handwriting on the wall and heed wise counsel from well-.meaning Nigerians. According to the PDP: “In any case, the APC is already on a death row, having led the worst government in the history of our country and will end up as the first party in government at the centre that will be rejected by Nigerians at a second attempt. “It is to this end that the repositioned PDP has opened its doors to all in the patriotic quest to end the APC misrule by ensuring a new engagement among Nigerians from all walks of life.” it said.

APC LOSING GOODWILL, TINUBU TELLS OYEGUN, PARTY LEADERS party might have faced was due to its inexperience in governance. According to him: "We worked hard for victory. We have never governed before, but we won the confidence of Nigerians to govern. We have a creed to really serve the country; change and reform the country. “It is not easy to have those changes implemented like instant coffee. We have to grow it and face challenges. I sympathize with us and we should equally look at ourselves. Since we won the election, the expectations were very high and the goodwill was extremely high. But where are we today? Apparently referring to criticisms and concerns shown by Nigerians over the performance of the APC-led administration, Tinubu said there were a lot of things that the party met on assumption of office, which ordinarily were enough to overwhelm any government. He, however, said that the party and its administration would remain undaunted

in their determination to confront challenges as they come and try to do something to improve the lives of Nigerians. "It is only because people are not paying attention to the various statistics that are available and we had to push out. But I won't touch those areas yet. The challenges of security, the challenges of reforms and re-engineering the finances of this country, stopping corruption and challenging the status quo to change and reform ourselves are there. It doesn't go away overnight. You should work on it and work hard at it," he said. Tinubu, who arrived the National Secretariat of the APC at 2.pm, spoke on how he would execute the assignment given to him by President Muhammadu Buhari to reconcile aggrieved party men. He gave insight on how he hopes to approach the assignment, saying that he would seek advice and try to build confidence amongst the stakeholders of the party.

He said: "The solution is to seek opinion and advice on the various complex issues around some states or if there is any national one, to reconcile; move the party in a cohesive manner, and reposition if any, and build the confidence among ourselves. While speaking on the outcome of the meeting, which lasted for over two hours, the National Publicity Secretary, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, said it was an exploratory meeting meant to spell out the rules of engagement. He said that the leadership of the party made it clear that it was ready to work with him to actualize his mandate. “In whatever way we need to assist Asiwaju in this assignment we will be ready to do so,” he said. On Tinubu’s term of reference, Abdullahi said that it was to identify areas of conflict within the party and to find ways of resolving them. Earlier, while welcoming Tinubu to the party headquarters, Oyegun

PDP: Ask Buhari to Join Retirees’ Club Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked Tinubu to tell Buhari to join the retirees’ club the same


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News Editor Davidson Iriekpen Email davidson.iriekpen@thisdaylive.com, 08111813081

Inflation Declines for 12th Consecutive Month to 15.13% Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja For the twelfth consecutive month, inflation rate has continued a downward trajectory, recording a slowdown from 15.37 per cent in December 2017 to 15.13 per cent in January 2018, a 0.24 percentage points decrease. According to latest figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation, started 2018, increasing by 15.13 per cent (year-on-year) in January. The statistics agency stated: “This was 0.24 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in December (15.37 per cent) making it the twelfth consecutive disinflation (slowdown in the inflation rate though still positive) in headline year on year inflation since January 2017. Based on the new NBS’ figures, increases were recorded in all Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) divisions that yield

the headline index. On a month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 0.80 per cent in January 2018, showing 0.21 percentage points increase over the rate of 0.59 per cent recorded in December 2017. The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the twelve-month period ending January 2018 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve-month period was 16.22 per cent, showing 0.28 percentage points decline over 16.50 per cent recorded in December 2017. The urban inflation rate rose by 15.56 per cent (year-on-year) in January 2018 from 16.78 per cent recorded in December 2017, while the rural inflation rate also eased by 14.76 per cent in January 2018 from 15.02 per cent in December 2017. On month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 0.83 per cent in January 2018, up by 0.17 from 0.66 per cent recorded in December 2017, while the rural index also rose by 0.77 per cent

in January 2018, up by 0.23 when compared with 0.54 per cent in December 2017. The corresponding twelvemonth year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index is 16.55 per cent in January 2018. This is less than 16.92 per cent reported in December 2017, while the corresponding rural inflation rate in January 2018 is 15.89 per cent compared to 16.10 per cent recorded in December 2017. High year-on-year food prices and food price pressure continued into December though generally at a slower pace year-on-year. The food index increased by 18.92 per cent (year-on-year) in January 2017, down from the rate recorded in December (19.42 per cent).

On a month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased by 0.87 per cent in January 2018, down by 0.29 per cent from 0.58 per cent recorded in December. The average annual rate of change of the food sub-index for the twelve-month period ending January 2018 over the previous twelve-month average was 19.62 per cent, 0.07 percentage points from the average annual rate of change recorded in December 2017 (19.55) per cent. The rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of imported food in general as well as bread and cereals, milk, cheese and eggs, vegetables, fish, coffee tea and cocoa, meat, potatoes, yam and other tubers and oil and fats. The ‘’All Items Less Farm

Produce’’ or Core sub-index, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce, stood during the month of January 2018 at 12.10 per cent, similar to rate recorded in December 2017. On a month-on-month basis, the Core sub-index increased by 0.68 per cent in January 2018, higher from 0.51 per cent recorded in December. The average 12-month annual rate of change of the index was 13.01 per cent for the twelvemonth period ending January 2018, this is 0.45 percentage points lower than 13.46 per cent recorded in December 2017. The highest increases were recorded in prices of fuel and lubricants for personal transport and transport equipment, vehicle

spare parts, accommodation services, maintenance and repair of personal transport equipment, appliances articles and products for personal care, hotels and restaurants, hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments, clothing materials and other articles of clothing, garments, non-durable household goods and solid fuels. In January 2018, all items inflation on a year-on-year basis was highest in Kebbi (18.55 per cent), Nasarawa (18.49 per cent) and Bauchi (18.01 per cent), while Delta (12.77 per cent), Kogi State (13.28 per cent) and Anambra (13.34 per cent) recorded the slowest rise in headline yearon- year inflation.

Cont’d on page 50

THISDAY MD, Bello Decries FG’s Lackluster Attitude to Worsening Apapa Traffic Gridlock Abiodun Eromosele The Managing Director of THISDAY Newspapers, Mr. Eniola Bello, has decried the federal government deafening silence and lack of concern to the plight of residents, businesses and commuters whose lives are endangered on daily basis by trucks and containers due to the bad nature of the port access roads. Bello, who stated this at a one-day seminar organised by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), said businesses in Apapa have closed shop leading to loss of jobs. Also, he said the dream of accomplishing a blue economy in the Nigeria maritime sector would remain a mirage without spelt out benefits for the media sector. Bello, who applauded NIMASA for the lofty idea of blue economy, argued that a lot of things needed to be fixed for smooth operation of the concept. According to him, “I speak from the perspective of media relation. What will you achieve with blue economy if the media is not taking into the concentration in the budgetary allocation of government agencies? The media in Nigeria is challenged in several ways. No regular salaries for journalists and many of the obligations of the government to the media establishments as forth estate of realm are neglected. “THISDAY and other front line newspapers like The Punch, The Guardian and others have been making the dilapidated infrastructure in Apapa the gateway to the country ports a front burner issue for years yet government behaves like deaf and dump. Agencies are asking for partnership from media houses yet they are not willing to patronise us in return through adverts. So call it blue, red, green

or any economy, it cannot work properly if government does not play its role effectively by addressing issues being raised by the media.” In his response, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr Peterside Dakuku, sympathised with the plight of the media outfits amid economic challenges and pledged to do all that is lawful within his power to promote and support journalism in the country. “All what Bello said were true but we should please endeavour to also understand development from the angle of government to balance things. In government, we deal with decision-making and allocation of resources. But in all of these, I want to plead for understanding as we move on. “I am willing and will always support all media activities provided it is within the ambit of the law and the budget of NIMASA. However, as a people, we must embrace the message of change of this government because it is no longer business as usual, ”he said Peterside said the salient message of blue economy as being conversed by the NIMASA in the maritime sector is to ensure sustainability of the economy growth both through on and off sea operations in Nigeria. “To get things right, we need the media to partner us to send the right messages across. As at the moment, oceanic business needs knowledge which we lack and policy frame work to enable people take advantage of the process. “Knowledge about ocean economy is needed. We require investment both through the government and private initiates in the sector. Now we must brace up for water mining particularly in shipping and deep sea fishing, ” he said.

PROJECT INSPECTION

L-R: Federal Controller, Works Lagos, Godwin Eke; Group Managing Director, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, Paul Gbededo; President/CE, Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote; and Managing Director, AG-Dangote Construction Company Limited, Mr. Ashif Juma, during the inspection of Apapa-Wharf Road under construction by AG-Dangote Construction Company....yesterday

Ortom at Senate, Presents Copies of Letters on Security Threat to Presidency Says IG has no business determining which law is good Damilola Oyedele in Abuja Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State yesterday appeared before the Senate Committee on Police over the killings in the state, where he presented copies of his letter notifying Vice President Yemi Osinbajo of pending attacks by armed herdsmen in the state. At the meeting which was held behind closed doors, Ortom also made it clear that the Inspector General of Police (G), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, has no business determining whether the anti-open grazing law is good, but has the constitutional mandate to uphold it. Sources privy to the details of the meeting told THISDAY that Ortom also presented copies of the letters which he wrote to security agencies over the pending attacks, before the attacks which claimed over 73 lives happened on January 2 and 3, 2018.

The committee had been mandated by the Senate to meet with Ortom for his submissions, following allegations levelled against him by Idris. Idris at a recent meeting with the committee on his level of compliance with the resolution to apprehend the perpetrators of the attacks and hand them over to the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice for prosecution, had blamed the implementation of the anti-open grazing law for the attacks. Idris had also accused Ortom of making inflammatory statements, and further inciting violence by publicly displaying the bodies of the victims of the attacks. He also accused Ortom of arming Tiv militia, thus encouraging the proliferation of small arms and ammunition. Ortom expressed a vote of no confidence on Idris, whom he accused of taking sides in the crises. A lawmaker who spoke off

record said the governor also maintained that his letter to Osinbajo as acting president, written in October 2017, was on the security threat, contrary to claims by the VP’s office that the letter was not about the impending attacks. “He presented copies of the letter to the VP, and to security agencies. He also told the committee that he personally met with the president after he returned to brief him on the impending threat.” “The governor’s position is that there is a complicity against Benue State in high places, particularly when considering that no action was taken to avert the attacks, and comments credited to the IG, and the Minister of Defence. Tiv people are also being attacked in Nasarawa State.” “In the first place, the IG has no business pronouncing a law as good or bad, his job is to implement the law. He said it was communal crises, not so?

But policemen are also being killed by the herders, do the policemen and civil defence men who were murdered have communal issues with the herders? He has taken sides, his men are being killed and he is not saying anything.” “The governor made it clear that he has no confidence in the IG’s ability to provide security. He stayed in Benue State for just one day contrary to the orders given to him by the president to relocate to the state,” the lawmaker said. He explained further that the governor chronicled the developments which led to the enactment of the law, particularly the Agatu killings which claimed hundreds of lives. “The latest crises have left the state with about 160,000 refugees in nine camps, and several communities are still occupied by armed herdsmen. These are the things he made clear to the committee,” the lawmaker added.


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COMMENT

Editor, Editorial Page PETER ISHAKA Email peter.ishaka@thisdaylive.com

2019 AND THE VOTE CONJURERS

Desperate politicians are posing new challenges to the will of the people, writes Olusegun Adeniyi

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or a man who came to power without contesting an election in the real sense of the word, one can forgive the fact that Governor Yahaya Bello may not understand how democracy truly works. The Catholic Bishops who criticised President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, according to the governor, did so because they are corrupt and tithe-obsessed. And should Buhari decide to seek re-election next year, Bello would conjure in Kogi State (where there are only 1,350,883 registered voters) ballots that “will dwarf that of Katsina State” with a total registered voters of 2,827,943—more than double that of his state! Ordinarily, one could dismiss such drivel as nothing but loose political talk from a young man who has been helped by benevolent spirits yet refuses to learn any lesson in decency and humility. However, since to be forewarned is to be forearmed, it is important for Nigerians to begin paying attention now before our democracy is derailed by desperate politicians who have scant regard for the will of the people. And with the Kano State Governor, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje adding his own pledge, it is possible that these governors, who happen to be at the forefront of the Buhari-must-run campaign, know something that ordinary Nigerians do not know. Despite the fact that the total number of registered voters in his state is 4,975,701, Ganduje said on Monday that he would deliver five million votes to Buhari next year! Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony for the 44 new local government council chairmen and 484 councillors elected last Saturday, Ganduje said the 100 per cent victory recorded by the All Progressives Congress (APC) is an indication that the “party is Kano”. He added: “The overall number of votes scored by the APC candidates is more than what President Buhari scored in the 2015 general election. That is to say that if eventually he agreed to contest the 2019 general election, I assure you; we will give him five million votes.” Against the background that social media is replete with still and motion pictures of boys mostly under the age of 10, thumb-printing ballot papers in the so-called local government election, there are questions as to whether these are the votes Ganduje is promising Buhari next year. This concern has already prompted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a public statement. Acknowledging the pictures of the underage voters, the commission stated that “as far as we can ascertain, they (the pictures) relate to a local government election conducted at the weekend (in Kano). While the commission remains resolute in our commitment to sanitise the nation’s electoral process and deliver free, fair and credible elections, we cannot be held directly or vicariously liable for a process outside our legal purview.” It is noteworthy that INEC has distanced itself from the shenanigans in Kano but to the extent that this is a recurring issue in our democratic journey, the commission would have to do more to weed out the data of children who have been enlisted by unscrupulous politicians to pad the voter register. But given the law, it is only the political parties and the civil societies that can help the commission in realising that objective. Except we want to deceive ourselves, the malaise is not restricted to Kano State, it is a national challenge that goes unnoticed, especially in places where only one political tendency dominates the entire environment thus making it easy to cover-up. Indeed, the Kano issue needs to be carefully interrogated. First, I have confirmed from INEC that no new voter has been added to the register in the state since the 2011 registration exercise updated in 2014 for the 2015 General Elections. It is also important to highlight the fact that no voter register was used in any of the images on the social media about last Saturday’s local government election in Kano. What went viral were images of small boys and young men thumb printing ballot papers and stuffing ballot boxes in homes and narrow alleyways (not at polling

IT IS IMPORTANT FOR NIGERIANS TO BEGIN PAYING ATTENTION NOW BEFORE OUR DEMOCRACY IS DERAILED BY DESPERATE POLITICIANS WHO HAVE SCANT REGARD FOR THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE

units). Incidentally, there were similar video clips during the last local government elections in Ekiti and Delta States held in December 2017 and January this year respectively. Although in those cases, adults were used to thumb print and stuff ballot boxes, it is nevertheless a criminal act irrespective of the ages of perpetrators. In Kano last weekend, there were reports of polling officials waiting in vain for sensitive materials to be supplied by officials of the State Electoral Commission which, as is now obvious, was a deliberate arrangement to disenfranchise genuine voters and rig the poll. Meanwhile, the allegation of under-age voting is an old one and fits into the narrative of population distribution in the country so for that reason, one needs to be circumspect in discussing last weekend farce in Kano. But if all the stakeholders do their job, it should be no problem. INEC, based on the provisions of the Electoral Act, gives Nigerians the opportunity to interrogate the voter register before it is finalised and on the eve of general elections. That register, including pictures of registrants, is displayed at registration centres and polling units nationwide for claims and objections. The purpose is for the register to be interrogated by citizens and purged of ineligibles (under-aged, aliens, etc). But how many Nigerians care to check, let alone help INEC to clean up the register? Unfortunately, once finalised, it requires a legal process to null or delete the names of voters from the register. It becomes even more difficult where there is community complicity/connivance as it is most often the case. That explains why the collaboration of all the critical stakeholders is important if we must rid our elections of fraud. At a period when many Nigerians are calling for the restructuring of our skewed federation so as to take powers from the centre and give to the states or other loose and yet-to-be-defined arrangements, it is important to interrogate the misuse of power, especially by those governors who seem unconstrained either by conscience or the rule of law. That many of them have overpowered the system can be seen in what transpires at the so-called local government elections, an issue I intend to deal with next week. The greater danger is that they want to transport this political debauchery into federal elections. We should not allow them. While a democratic system with parties alternating in power may not necessarily guarantee assurance of development, it is also true that when politicians know that bad behaviour can cost them at an election, as we saw with the presidency in 2015, then they will begin to act in the interest of the people. But if the underpinning philosophy of any political system, as the Bellos and Gandujes of this world are now telling us, is that famous Yoruba refrain “be ti e dibo, a ti wole” (even if you refuse to vote for us, we have won), then it is not only democracy that is in danger, it is our very survival as a nation. In their new book, ‘How Democracies Die’, Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt argue that while there is a general tendency to believe that a democracy is imperilled only by military adventurers, these days it is elected leaders who most often subvert the very process that brought them to power. These are men who have no qualms “rewriting the rules of politics to permanently disadvantage their rivals” they wrote before adding, “The tragic paradox of the electoral route to authoritarianism is that democracy’s enemies use the very institutions of democracy—gradually, subtly, and even legally—to kill it.” On this matter, Governors Ganduje and Bello, as well as other confederates in electoral manipulation, will not have the last word! Adeniyi, Chair of THISDAY Editorial Board, wrote from Abuja

STATE POLICE AND PUBLIC SECURITY Tayo Ogunbiyi canvasses the need for state police

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he debate over the necessity for the establishment of state police has been on for quite some time. A latest disclosure by the Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, at the security forum organised by the National Assembly about the expediency for state police has, however, suddenly given hope to advocates of a decentralised police system that victory is near. State police is an important component of true federalism and emblem of authority of governance, since sovereignty is divided between the federal authority and federating components. Though the 1999 Constitution provides for a single federal police, this precludes states from taking charge of the protection of lives and property of their people as chief security officer and denied them the emblem of authority. If Nigeria is really a federation, this is a constitutional lacuna that must be addressed through constitution amendment to pave way for state police. Considering recent level of threat to public security across the country, taking recourse to state police seems a more attractive option. The centralised policing system has not really been effective and it is only logical that we consider other plausible options. Aside the well accepted philosophy that that policing is essentially a local matter, every crime is local in nature. Hence, it is only rational to

localise the police force. No matter its form, crime detection needs a local knowledge that state police can better provide. Similarly, police officers who serve in their indigenous communities are stakeholders with vested interests in such places. Considering the reality that they will always be part of their respective communities, even after retirement, it is doubtful if they will perpetrate anti- social activities in such communities. A recent Human Right Watch survey reveals that most of the accidental and other extra judicial killings that have taken place in the country were perpetrated by officers posted outside their states of origin. Also, knowledge of the local environment is needed for effective policing. It is only logical that to fight crime in the same locality, you need law enforcement personnel familiar with the terrain. Using police officers from Jalingo, for instance, to burst a crime in Onitsha could at best be counter- productive. The local criminals with good knowledge of the area will always outwit such ‘foreign’ police officers. Intelligence gathering is an indispensable necessity in crime fighting. But this seems to be currently lacking in the system. It is difficult to access high-quality intelligence, unless you know the people very well, and they in turn trust you. The present arrangement certainly negates credible intelligence gathering. We live in a society where

people treat perceived strangers with lots of reservation. This, no doubt, is quite understandable. It is difficult to trust somebody whose language, culture and tradition you are unfamiliar with. The truth is that people will always be afraid of passing on information to those they don’t trust, and this is for obvious reasons. Perhaps more importantly, it is important that a state governor who ought to be the chief security officer of his state has the control of the police command in same state. The current trend where the police commissioner in a state takes orders from Abuja concerning security issues in a state is not too tidy. Ironically, almost all state governments in the country invest significantly in the diverse security agencies in their respective states. In Lagos, for example, the state government has in the last 17 years invested billions of naira on public security. In fact, the first security trust fund to be established, by any government, in the country was initiated by the Lagos State Government. Many other states have since followed the Lagos model, in the process committing several billions of naira into the project. Now, will it not amount to double standard that a governor bears such a huge financial burden, which in the first place should be that of the federal government, only for the system to turn

around and deny him un-hindered control of same institution at crucial moments? To properly address current security question in the country, we need to tackle the touchy issue of state police. No matter how much a state government spends on security, the reality is that it has no direct control over any of the national security organs. The current centralised police structure in the country will continue to limit the capacity of states to effectively and clinically address security issues. It has been argued severally that state police is nothing but a recipe for anarchy as it could lead to abuse of power. This argument is neither here nor there. The reality, however, is that the present centralised policing arrangement has, over the years, equally been subjected to limitless abuse in diverse ways. At some period in our national history, we have witnessed instances of distasteful use of police by the appropriate authorities to perpetrate gross injustice. The truth of the matter is that in-spite of all the arguments against state police, the reality is that Nigeria is too large and complex to be policed centrally. If we are really serious about overcoming current security challenges in the polity, the time to embrace the option of state police is now. Ogunbiyi is of the Ministry of Information & Strategy, Alausa, Lagos


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EDITORIAL WHEN POLICE BECOME PRIVATE GUARDS The police force must be helped to regain its pride of place

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lthough the revelation that no fewer than 150,000 police personnel, representing about 30 per cent of their entire force, are attached to unauthorised individuals in the country came as no surprise, it is nonetheless a serious indictment on the institution. Yet, Mr Mike Okiro, Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC) and a former Inspector General of Police, who lamented that “we cannot afford to have more than half of the population of the police in private handsâ€?, also argued that “we could not sustain enforcement of the (presidential) order on the withdrawal of policemen attached to unqualiďŹ ed persons in the country because of lack of fundsâ€?. The implication of Okiro’s statement is that the Nigeria Police Force is being sustained from the money realised from the bodyguard duties its men now perform with big men. That perhaps explains why it is now a common ďŹ ght for policemen and other security agents to be performing one form of menial duties or another: from carTHE LEVEL OF rying bags for some DEGENERATION IS SUCH political ofďŹ ce holders THAT ALL MANNER OF or businessmen to CHARACTERS NOW GO shining their shoes, it ABOUT WITH POLICEMEN is almost as if many of WHO CARRY BAGS AND these law enforcement UMBRELLA FOR THEM agents have become errand boys. It is a shame that at a period the nation actually needs them the most, these police personnel—who in the past used to quell civil disturbance while managing emergency situations—are being deployed to act as personal security guards and handbag carriers to spouses of political ofďŹ ce holders. This is despite the fact that upon assuming ofďŹ ce in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered that police personnel attached to unauthorised persons and Very Important Personalities (VIPs) across Nigeria be withdrawn and sent to confront the security challenges in the country.

Letters to the Editor

It is noteworthy that whenever they assume ofďŹ ce, every Inspector General of Police (IGP) would order the immediate withdrawal of all unauthorised police guards from private individuals and corporate bodies. But it has been to no effect because such directives were never really obeyed. Perhaps they were never meant to be obeyed. The affected personnel usually include those given by the special protection unit, the mobile police unit and conventional policemen that were sent out as guards to companies and inuential citizens.

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tatutorily, only the president, vice-president, governors, local council chairmen, legislative principal ofďŹ cers in the states and at federal level, magistrates and judges are entitled to police protection. But for pecuniary reasons, this privilege has over the years been abused by senior ofďŹ cers in charge of police commands and formations, who assign most of their men to undeserving politicians and businessmen, leaving ever fewer numbers of personnel for real police work. The level of degeneration is such that all manner of characters now go about with policemen who carry bags and umbrella for them. To the extent that the very idea of using our police personnel as private guards undermines their integrity, we need to put an end to the current abuse while restoring some measure of respect and dignity to the institution. At a period of national security emergency, such as we have in Nigeria today, this misuse of men and ofďŹ cers of the police should not be allowed to continue. The United Nations estimation is that the average police force should have three police persons for every one thousand citizens which means that Nigeria falls far short of this requirement given that the total strength of our police force is still less than 400,000. But the real challenge is that majority of the existing force strength serves just a few people more or less as guardsmen. When you juxtapose this with inadequate remunerations and low morale which pervade the police force it is easy to understand why the nation is currently unsafe.

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

COMBATING LASSA FEVER

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ith the trend of things now, the fear of Lassa fever seems to be the beginning of wisdom. And despite the assurance from the federal government that all is well, many have continued to live in fear and rightly so as the number of infected patients is staggering. There have been confirmed cases in Bauchi, Ebonyi, Edo, Enugu, Kano, Nasarawa, Ogun, Rivers, and Taraba States with recorded deaths in Kogi, Ondo and Plateau States, among others. The disease which got its name from Lassa, a village in Borno, North Eastern Nigeria where it was first identified in 1969, occurs more in the dry season than the rainy season. It is caused by a species of rodents called the Natal multimammate rat, the common African rat, or the African soft-furred rat. The Lassa virus is transmitted when the droppings, that is the urine or faeces of the rat- the natural reservoir for the virus- comes in contact with foodstuffs or in the process of the rat accessing grain stores, either in silos or in residences. The rodents live in houses with humans and deposit excreta on floors, tables, beds and food. Consequently the virus is transmitted to humans through cuts and scratches, or inhaled via dust particles in the air. In some regions these rodents are also consumed as food. Secondary transmission of the virus between humans occurs through direct contact with infected blood or bodily secretions. This occurs mainly between individuals caring for sick patients, although anyone who comes into close contact with a person carrying the virus is at risk of infection. Nosocomial transmission, that is the transmission that occurs as a result of treatment in a hospital and outbreaks in

healthcare facilities in endemic areas, represent a significant burden on the healthcare system due to the high infectivity, morbidity and mortality associated with it. In the early stages, Lassa fever is often misdiagnosed as common cold, typhoid or malaria, and as a result many patients fail to receive appropriate medical treatment. Making a correct diagnosis of Lassa fever is made difficult by the wide spectrum of clinical effects that manifest, ranging from asymptomatic to multi-organ system failure and death. The onset of the illness is typically mild, with no specific symptoms that would distinguish it from other febrile illnesses. In 80% of cases, the disease is without symptoms but in the remaining 20%, it takes a complicated course. It has an incubation period of six to 21 days after which an acute illness develops. Early signs include fever, headache and general body weakness, followed by a sore throat, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea in some cases. After four to seven days, many patients will start to feel better, but a small minority will present with multi-organ involvement. It can affect the gastro intestinal tract causing nausea, vomiting and stooling of blood as well as difficulty in swallowing. Cardiovascular system symptoms include hypertension or hypotension as well as abnormal high heart rate and shock. In the respiratory tract, the victim experiences chest pains, cough and difficulty in breathing. The virus also causes difficulty in hearing, meningitis and seizures. Other symptoms include swellings, hypertension, bleeding and shock. Death from Lassa fever most commonly occurs 10 to 14 days after symptom onset. Non-specific symptoms are facial swelling, and muscle fatigue, as well as conjunctivitis and mucosal bleeding.

And one of the hallmarks of Lassa virus infection is the absence of functional antibodies during acute infection. Lassa fever is endemic to West Africa as confirmed incidences have been recorded in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria and Mali. However, concerns exist that there may be Lassa(-like) viruses in other countries such as Central African Republic, Ghana, Mali, Ivory Coast, Togo, Benin and Cameroon due to trans-border migration. Furthermore, Mastomys rodents are distributed across the African continent, indicating a strong possibility for the spread of the disease they carry. As mentioned earlier, Clinical diagnosis of Lassa fever infections are difficult to distinguish from other viral haemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola and from more common febrile illnesses such as malaria, but Lassa fever is most often diagnosed by using enzymelinked immunosorbent serologic assays (ELISA), which detect IgM and IgG antibodies as well as Lassa antigen. Reverse transcription – PCR (RT-PCR) is routinely used for confirmation of cases. The virus is excreted in urine for three- nine weeks and in semen for three months. No vaccine for Lassa fever is currently available for use in humans. There are three ways by which the virus can be treated and also prevented from further spread. These are implementation of barrier nursing, which is isolation of victims, tracing of people that have come in contact with sufferers as well as the initiation of treatment with the only available drug, Ribavirin. The latter is only effective if administered early, within the first six days after disease onset. Bilkis Ogunnubi, Alausa, Lagos


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POLITICS

Group Politics Editor Tobi Soniyi Email tobi.soniyi@thisdaylive.com 07054786260 SMS ONLY

PERSONALITY INTERVIEW

Kogi Speaker: Assembly’s Approval Not Needed for N10bn Loan Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello recently took a facility of N10 billion to pay workers’ salaries without the approval of the state House of Assembly. The speaker of the assembly, Mr Matthew Kolawole argues that Bello does not need the lawmakers’ approval for the loan. He spoke with journalists in Lokoja. Yekini Jimoh was there and presents the excerpts: How far has the state’s house of assembly gone with the passage of the budget? We planned to pass the budget in the month of March after we return from recess by February 28th but the executive arm of government wanted to commence the implementation of the budget immediately. This compelled members of the assembly to quickly return to the house to attend to the budget defence by ministries, department and agencies. Apparently, when we looked at the 2018 appropriation bill , we discovered that some areas in the budget needed to be reviewed upward. Actually the 2018 budget as presented to the house on December 21st, 2017 was a little above N147 billion, but during budget defence we have to increase it to over N151 billion for obvious reasons. For instance, the sum of N100 million was appropriated for Kogi State University for accreditation exercise and during the defence of the budget the management of the institution complained vehemently that the sum allocated to the university would not be enough for the accreditation. After realising the importance of accreditation of courses to the institution, being the only state university we have, we don’t have any option than to increase the allocation to N500 million. Similar consideration was given to the college of nursing Obangede which also had its budget increased. The house also considered and increased the sum allocated for road construction from Okengwe to Ayere due to some bridges involved. So we have passed the 2018 appropriation bill and the state governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello had assented to the bill. The budget is ready for implementation. There is the rumour that the state government planned to sell some of the state’s properties to finance the 2018 budget, what is the position of the Kogi State House of Assembly on this? Am not aware of the rumour. Besides, there is now no way I can believe what is being posted on social media. Again the house has not received any letter from the executive arm of government to that effect and if the rumour is true definitely the house will be infomed, but for now it is still a rumour. What is the position of the house on the contentious issue of local government autonomy? Yes! The alteration bill emanated from the National Asembly and we have fifteen alteration bills sent to the state’s house of assembly. In fact, at the speaker’s conference we have looked into the bill critically and discovered that out of the fifteen items, the issue of local government autonomy is contentious. We are not against it, I am a product of local government because the votes that took me to the assembly came from the local government. I represent Kabba/Bunu state constituency and I want the local government to enjoy autonomy, but in a situation where we want to pass a law and we discovered that there is a petition, we have to hold public hearing on the issue and that is exactly what we have done, but some people see our action as throwing away the bill which is not true. As I have said , the NUT sent a petition demanding that it should be separated from the local government autonomy. Its grouse is that the local government chairmen do not pay their salaries and allowances as at when due. The NUT also demanded that its pay should come directly from the federation account.. Even at the speaker’s conferences, we resolved that the bill should not be passed

Kolawole

until the contentious issues from the petition are resolved and the only way to resolve them is to hold public hearing where the NULGE, NUT, civil society organizations and the general public will sit down and discuss the issues involved. As soon as we return from the recess the public hearing will commence. The state government took a loan of N10 billion without the approval of the house. Isn’t the approval of the house required for such transaction? The loan was taken by the state government through a consultant which does not require our approval. The aim of the loan was to augment what the government had, to pay the backlog of unpaid salaries of civil servants in the state. I was part of the committee that mediated between organised labour in the state and the state government before labour called off their strike. One of the resolutions during our joint

The Fulanis and our parents have been living and doing businesses together without any crises. So if there is a problem today I believe that it is better to solve the problem through dialogue

meeting was that government should pay the backlog of salaries it owed the workers and what the government needed to pay the salaries was N16 billion. But the state government only had N6 billion from Paris Club refund and to be able to pay the salaries, government had to quickly source funds to pay the salaries before Christmas and end of the yea. So a consultant was contacted and the state government borrowed the sum of N10 billion. Before the repayment, the executive will have to write to us for the regularisation of the loan. That is when we will come in because the fund is a loan not a grant . We thank God today that the noise about the non payment of salaries have died down in the state. I have to mention it categorically that Kogi state is among the few states in the country that pay minimum wage which makes the salaries and wages very high in the state. There is a general outcry over the plan to establish cattle colony in the state, what is the position of the assembly? In Kogi State the issue of cattle colony has been politicised to distract from the good intention of the government on the best way to solve the herdsmen and farmers’ clashes. In fact cattle colony is a policy of the federal government to find a lasting solution to the incessant clashes between the Fulani herdsmen and farmers. The federal government only asked the state government to key into it for the realization of the policy. Obviously , the Land Use Act has been existing for long in this country and the Act empowered the state governors to either approve or revoke any land as the case may be. The claim that the colony was targeted at taking people’s land is not true and the House of Assembly has no power to revoke the Act. The Fulanis and our parents have been living and doing businesses together without any crises. So if there is a problem today I

believe that it is better to solve the problem through dialogue which Governor Yahaya Bello has been preaching at many fora so that people of the state can live harmoniously in peace. I am optimistic that the steps taken so far by the governor for the establishment of ranches will go a long way in solving the problem and will also boost the economy of the state. In the last tow yeas, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been enmeshed in crises. What are members of the party in the assembly doing to resolve the crises? It is highly unfortunate that the crises in Kogi chapter’s of APC lingered till now. The crisis is within the executive of the party and I believe that whatever has a beginning must also have an end. Sadly, even when some stakeholders made effort to wade into the crises , the utterances of some of the executive members of the party in Kogi state did not help matters. On our part as members of the party and with the governor as the leader of the party in the state, every problem within the party will be resolved so to make the party stronger to face the 2019 elections. What are the achievements of the Kogi State House of Assembly in 2017? The house in 2017 decided on some bills , some motions were also raised on the floor of the house and resolutions were passed. One of the bills passed last year was that of the administration of criminal justice which was passed by the house and assented to by the governor of the state. The bill is significant to the country and it has been domesticated in Kogi state to quicken the process of dispensation of criminal justice . Also in 2017 we had six bills that had passed through public hearing, some of the bills had to do with traffic law, hotel and tourism , energy , water and pension reform. As soon as we return from recess we will attend to the bills by passing them into law.


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T H I S D AY ˾THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2018

POLITICS

Nemieboka: Okorocha Acting FG’s Script on Rivers The decision of the Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha to grant amnesty to suspected criminals wanted in Rivers State is simply incomprehensible, says Vincent Nemieboka, the Rivers State liaison officer in Abuja. He spoke with Damilola Oyedele who presents the excerpts:

A

few days ago, Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha declared amnesty for some suspected criminals who have been declared wanted by security agencies for criminal acts committed in Rivers state. What is your take on that? It does not make sense. It is crazy. Omoku in Ogba Egbema Adoni Local Government in Rivers State has been the epicenter of cultism in the state with lots of reports of killings in the last one year. The killings got to a climax with the cold blooded murder of 23 persons on new year’s eve as they were returning from church. The Rivers State Government in conjunction with security agents, declared the master mind wanted and eventually the security agents killed him: (Don Wanny) and also his younger brother who was his second in command. The security agents declared 32 persons wanted and to encourage people to provide information that would lead to the arrest of these criminals, Rivers State Government placed a N20 million bounty on each of them. That is N640 million which the state government was willing to part with, so that the people of Omoku and the entire state would enjoy peace and security. Now for Rochas or the Government of Imo State to turn around to grant the same people amnesty is simply outrageous. First, the crime for which he is granting them amnesty was committed in Rivers state. Not in Imo State. Secondly, they were not declared wanted by the Imo State Government, so on what basis did the Government of Imo State grant them amnesty? So if Rochas is granting them amnesty and security agents in Imo State are supervising this amnesty programme, it becomes curious how the same organizations in one state can declare persons wanted, and the same organizations in another state, will supervise the granting of amnesty, for crimes committed in another state. The answer is simple it should be recalled that Governor Wike had raised the alarm that the All Progressives Congress-led federal government was arranging to grant amnesty to these criminals to undermine the security of lives and properties in Rivers State. Is this amnesty granted by Imo State Governor not a confirmation of the fears of the Rivers State Governor? Has the gang been terrorising Imo state? That, I do not know but in the course of accepting the amnesty, these cultists clearly said that they were Don Wanny’s boys. It means they are the same people whom Rivers State Government placed a bounty on. These are people who are known to be residing and terrorizing people in Rivers state. So how come Rochas Okorocha is granting them amnesty in Imo State? Worse still, the Governor of Imo State didn’t even have the courtesy of showing empathy to Rivers people for their loss on the 1st January, 2018. Now that Okoocha has granted them amnesty, what implication does it hold for the two states as neighbours? It would create unnecessary tension between the two states, between people that have enjoyed good neighbourliness. The two states share common boundaries and some of the people of both states share common heritage. For instance there are Egbema people in Rivers state and in Imo state. There has been no tension in the relationship between these states. But what Okorocha is doing will precipitate tension at the highest level of governance of the two states. Today, the Rivers State governor is clearly disagreeing with the actions of Okoocha because of the grave security implications of those actions on Rivers state. What could be the motive of the federal government in simply granting amnesty to suspected criminals, as you claim the governor said? Over the years the Rivers State governor has

Nemieboka

been telling Nigerians about the desire of some unscrupulous people to instigate the federal government to declare a state of emergency in Rivers state. Wike has also said that several efforts have been made to instigate insecurity in Rivers State. The Imo State governor is obviously doing this in collaboration with the federal government to pursue a partisan agenda in Rivers State. Rivers has been in the news over state of insecurity. What is the real situation now? Rivers state has 23 local governments areas, majority of the local governments are very peaceful including Port Harcourt and Obiakpo that are the most populous. Most of the reports of crises about Rivers states used to emanate from Ogba/Egbeme/ Ndoni Local Government, but people think it is the whole state that is affected. Rivers state is peaceful. But the Minister for Trasport, Rotimi Amaechi himself has had cause to denounce what he described as the increasing violence in the state. Are you saying he is wrong? The issue of violence in Rivers state is exaggerated by Amaechi and his cohorts. The truth of the matter is that most of the states in this country are restive as we speak today. There are pockets of violence virtually in every state. But Rivers state is singled out as if incidents in Rivers are spectacular and unique. What Amaechi did by broadcasting to the people of the state was unfair and the intention was clearly to create disaffection among the

Is this amnesty granted by Imo State Governor not a confirmation of the fears of the Rivers State governor?

people in Rivers State. Now the question is this: are these conflicts and the violence peculiar to Wike’s administration? Were there no kidnappings when he, Amaechi was governor of the state? Was there no act of violence in various communities when Amaechi was on the saddle? The dimensions of the conflicts were even more pervasive when Amaechi i was the Governor. So to present himself as a saint and the current governor as a bad guy is unfortunate. Amaechi should learn from the statemanly disposition of his predecessor, Dr. Odili who didn’t interfere with issues of governance when he was governor. Amaechi should focus his attention on discharging his functions as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Recently, Wike gave SUVs to members of the National Assembly from the state, in both the PDP and APC. The gesture was however criticized as a ploy to lure some members of the APC to the PDP, and could be part of a plot to weaken the structure of the APC in Rivers. That is not fair, this is not the first time a River State governor is supporting state indigenes that are representing the state at the centre. We see these parliamentarians as officials of Rivers State Government because they are representatives of both Rivers state government and Rivers people in the Nigerian federation. What the governor has done is to assist them, but this is not the first time this has happened. Odili did it. it. Amaechi did it, but the twist in his own action was that at the time he did it, he did not give cars to all those who were not favourably disposed to him. Do you think the PDP now has the wherewithal to return to power in 2019? It is up to Nigerians. The PDP had managed this country, we were sure of our circumstances in that dispensation. Fuel price was reduced to N87 per litre as against 145 today. The APC government increased fuel price with a promise that there won’t be payment of subsidy again but today we are hearing of subsidy. The same people said it was a scam then. Now we are paying more for fuel and they are still talking about subsidy. They promised that with the increment in price it will eliminate payment of subsidy. Look at foreign exchange, the fight against corruption, job losses and others. They

promised to make the dollar to be at par with the naira, they said they would restructure, but the President who is the leader of the party had said in his national broadcast that he did not believe in it. Governor El Rufai who is the chairman of their restructuring committee, was on air and said those clamouring for restructuring are opportunists. The same people are the people who are now prescribing restructuring. If Nigerians are not satisfied with what they have done, the power is in their hands, people should take their PVC and vote. What are your thoughts on the third force? That is another dubious adventure, dubious because most of the people that are promoting intervention or the third force are people who had served in government in one capacity or the other. I do not belong to the school of thought that says because the APC or the PDP supposedly have not done well, therefore the institution should be destroyed and we should get another party. The essence of democracy is to ensure that the electorates are given the benefits of making choices at different points in time. George Bush Jnr. didn’t do well, the electorate voted for Obama. George Bush left a crisis in their economy; Obama came with bailout and all sorts of policies to revamp the economy. At the end of Obama regime, maybe because of the impact of globalization and the populist message of Donald Trump the electorate preferred him over and above Hillary Clinton who appears to be more experienced. Nobody advocated for the demolition of the political institutions. Those clamouring for a third force are pursuing a very selfish and dubious agenda. As a people if we want our democracy to strive instead of campaigning for the demolition of those institutions that we have been able to build, we should rather campaign for the re-strengthening of those institutions. If the current managers of these institutions are not doing well, party members should remove them and bring new sets of people. Now what happens if the third force becomes a political party and it does not do well? Should we destroy it? It would be a bad thing and it would end up as a vicious circle.


20

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY

FEATURES

Acting Features Editor Charles Ajunwa Email charles.ajunwa@thisdaylive.com

Connecting Akwa Ibom Governor Udom Emmanuel has within his short period on the saddle, prioritised the linking of all the majors towns and villages to Uyo, the state capital. Joseph Ushigiale reports

Dualisation of 13.5km Okopedi-Oron by East-West Road Phase II

I

n the last 19 years since the country returned to civil rule, Akwa Ibom State has been fortunate to be blessed with visionary leaders who have laid solid foundations for its development. From the tenure of Obong Victor Attah who, in 1999, began the journey of laying a solid blueprint for a new Akwa Ibom State; to his successor, the Transformation leader, Godswill Akpabio under whose reign, the state attained its apogee in the provision of 21st century infrastructure. Today, Governor Udom Emmanuel is consolidating the efforts of his predecessors by engaging in major road construction to link every strategic touch points including villages, towns and council areas to Uyo, the state capital. Recently, the Commissioner for Works, Ephraim Inyang-Eyen for two days took some reporters on a guided tour of some of the roads currently either being rehabilitated or constructed from the scratch across the state. One unique approach the present administration has adopted is to focus on such areas like Oron and others that had hitherto complained of being left behind in infrastructure development. It has also ensured it gets to the grassroots not only to unravel communities that are cut off from civilisation as a result of lack of access roads but also provides them with succour. According to the commissioner, “the philosophy behind road construction in Akwa Ibom State is to open up the state for development. The prosperity of any nation is largely and inextricably linked to the quality and pace of infrastructure development. When

good roads abound in a specific locality, it has the multiplier effect to stimulate local entrepreneurs and attract foreign investors needed for the creation of employment opportunities.” Already across the state, the impact of the governor’s road projects is already being felt in the nooks and crannies of the state. It has created a value chain for local content providers like contractors, artisans, food vendors, and a host of others who provide related services as corroborated by the commissioner. Inyang-Eyen explained that “Infrastructure variables like good roads have a positive

Emmanuel...walking his talks

Today, Governor Udom Emmanuel is consolidating the efforts of his predecessors by engaging in major road construction to link every strategic touch points including villages, towns and council areas to Uyo, the state capital

correlation with private investment and economic growth, thus, it can be said that promoting investment-led-growth requires adequate funding on infrastructure to create new capacities while equally maintaining the existing ones. “Expenditure on roads enhances distribution of goods and services through local and national markets and good transport linkages reduce transport costs while promoting industrial development.” On the issue of how the state is grappling with sourcing funds to drive the process which is a major challenge at this point where some states can hardly pay workers’ salaries. The commissioner assured that the road projects are financed by the Akwa Ibom State Government through adopting a

unique financing model called Alternative Project Funding Approach (APFA). He pointed out that “We had to devise a new strategy that brought about the idea of Alternative Project Funding Approach (APFA); so we now decided to get investors who come in and invest their money and work out a MoU. So what we came out with was the APFA. We agree with you, give you the job, you use your money, do a minimum of 50 per cent of the job; then as you start the work when the contract has been awarded, we issue you an Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO).” Adding that “it is the reason why we are able to do much more than our resources can carry especially in times like this. For the APFA, what this government has done is a standardised method that a kilometre of road is N320m under a normal terrain; every job is given at N320m-N340m per kilometre maximum, except in difficult terrains.” He also highlighted the strong local content built into the government’s initiative arguing that its mission is to encourage and challenge indigenous contractors to build world-class quality infrastructure that can compete with global standards. The commissioner said in order to achieve that “we set the ground rules, specify what we want and follow up with supervision. “The problems in the past arose because even where there were specifications, no one bothered to supervise and insist that the right things should be done and of course we have very strong corporate governance ethics here. They all know me because if I come to your site and you deviate from the standard


21

˾T H I S D AY THURSDAY˜ͯͳ˜ͰͮͯͶ

FEATURES

Commissioner for Works, Ephraim Inyang-Eyen (3rd right) on inspection of the 6.41km Into Edino-Ekwere Azu Road with bridges

The philosophy behind road construction in Akwa Ibom State is to open up the state for development. The prosperity of any nation is largely and inextricably linked to the quality and pace of infrastructure development. When good roads abound in a specific locality, it has the multiplier effect to stimulate local entrepreneurs and attract foreign investors needed for the creation of employment opportunities

Commissioner for Works, Ephraim Inyang-Eyen (middle) on inspection of projects

specifications we set for you, we will break the structure down and you start all over again at your own cost; that is why they call me ‘Bulldozer’.” One of the local contractors Engr. Uwem Okoko of Hensek Integrated Services Limited described his company as “an engineering solution powerhouse fully manned by Nigerian professionals with world-class spirit. Incorporated in July 2006, this A-class Civil Construction firm has over 150 dedicated staff and over 350 skilled/ semi-skilled workers. Hensek prides itself on being the highest paying civil construction company in Nigeria, today, 90 per cent of who are indigenes. We have done quite some significant projects and are proud of our growth.” Commenting on the governor’s choice to take a risk with local contractors in building roads, Okoko said “It takes a high level of passion and trust to achieve that. That is why we thank Governor Udom Emmanuel

for his desire is to develop local content and increase our capacity. He has given us the support and we have delivered. “We have not compromised standards and it is evidenced in the projects handled by our firm for the Akwa Ibom State Government, which include the site office of Ibom Power Plant, 132KV transmission lines that convey power from Ikot Abasi to Eket, Mini Jetty in Ikot Abasi, 5km Mkpok Ukat Road, Access Road to Ibom Power Plant, Nto Obong/ Ikot Ebo Road, Akai/Ikot Okoro Road and some Federal Government projects including a 330-132/33 KV Power Sub-Station at Ikot Abasi, which made Hensek the first indigenous company to handle a project of this magnitude and several other road projects we cannot count.” He urged the people to emulate the good examples of the governor, have faith and work hard. Drawing from his own experiences, he narrated that “I started my construction company with one shovel

and one wheelbarrow 10 years ago as a graduate! #Dakkada phenomenon is not just for Governor Udom Emmanuel. It is a wakeup call from God himself. “We are all born great! You can become whatever you want to become! We are lucky, we don’t have war; we don’t have famine! We have rivers, we have sunshine, fertile ground and good Government. We have a Good Governor, who has the interest of the people at heart! We have all we need to succeed in Akwa Ibom. “When you wake up, think of what you want to be! Start working on it immediately. No one has the key to success except you! There is no reason why an Akwa Ibomite should not succeed! Give your love and support to Udom Gabriel Emmanuel. There can only be one governor in a state. The seed of victory and prosperity has been sown in these eight months; only God knows what will happen in the next eight years.” Another local contractor, Elder Ben

Udobia of Benest Technical Services said his company is an indigenous multidisciplinary Engineering, Technical, Construction and Petroleum Products Marketing Company with wide National and International connections which started in 1983. He commended the courage of the governor to support and encourage local content in all its ramifications. “I really appreciate Governor Udom Emmanuel for reposing trust in us. I have constructed and completed the Information Drive in Uyo, the Ikot Isop -Ikot Edehe Road with a bridge. We are on other projects. We have delivered to specifications and standards. It means a lot to us being saddled with these special responsibilities. It takes a man who has concern about his people to do so to ensure that local capacity is developed. Today we can favourably compete and bid for jobs outside our shores and to that we are grateful.”


22

IMAGES

Chairman All Progressives Congress in Rivers State, Davies Ibiamu-Ikanya; Former National Deputy Chairman, PDP, Dr Sam Sam Jaja; Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, Nancy Stephens and Bekinbo Dagogo Jack; shortly after Amaechi paper presentation on maritime security held at Chatham House in London ...recently

T H I S D AY ˾ ˜ͯͳ˜ͰͮͯͶ

Photo Editor ÌÓÙÎßØÔËÖË Email ËÌÓÙÎßØ˛ËÔËÖË̶ÞÒÓÝÎËãÖÓàÏ˛ÍÙ×

L-R: General Manager, SIFAX Shipping Company Limited, Mr. Henry Ajoh; Chairman, Nigerian Ports Consultative Council (NPCC), Otunba Kunle Folarin; Executive Secretary/CEO, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Mr. Hassan Bello; and National President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Prince Olayiwola Shittu; at the town hall meeting on the Federal Government’s newly introduced cargo palletisation policy held in Lagos...recently

Kwara State Governor, Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed (3rd right) during inspection of ongoing project at Kwara State University Post Graduate School in Ilorin...recently

L-R: Chief Executive Officer, Matkis Group, Mr. Jimi Shotunbde; Chairman, Inspiration Fm Group, Dr. Erastus Akingbola and Group General Manager, 92.3 Inspiration Fm, Mr. Azubike Osumili, during the meet and greet with media buying agencies, by inspiration fm radio station, in LagosÖrecently KOLA OLASUPO

L-R; Health Portfolio Manager, MTN Foundation, Victor Orie-Ononogbu; Sales Support Analyst, MTN, Ijeoma Akenegoh; Director, MTN Foundation, Mosun Belo-Olusoga; Director, Imam Hassan Idris Tahir and , Assistant Director of Bab-Es-Salam Orphanage Home, Mohammad Shabaa during the donation of household and food items by MTN Foundation to Bab-Es-Salam Orphanage in LagosÖrecently

L-R: Managing Director, First Track Educational Resources Limited, Mr. Segun Jegede; Prof Wole Smith, SAN of Faculty of Law, University of Lagos and Director Legal Services, Water Resources, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Mr. Gboyega Oyekanmi at a workshop on Capacity Building for Lawyers and Procurements Officers in the ministry organised by First Track Educational Resources Limited in Ikeja, GRA, Lagos...recently KOLAWOLE ALLI

L-R: Managing Partner, SIOA Partners, Pastor Itua Ighodalo and President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Mr. Ismail Zakari, during the visit of ICAN to SIOA Parters in Lagos.. recently YOMI AKINYELE

L-R; Country Manager of Winrock, the implementing partner of Power Africa Programme, Mr. Javier Betancourt; Zonal Head, Ikeja 2 of First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Mrs. Adejumoke Arije; wife of the Chief Executive Officer of Rubitec Utilities Limited, Mrs. Caroline Soremekun; Chief Executive Officer of the Company, Mr. Bolade Soremekun; Team Lead, Transaction Banking Sales of FCMB, Mr. Ike Ezeji and Transaction Banking Sales Officer of the Bank, Mrs. Modupe Ade-Akinleye, during the commissioning ceremony of Rubitec’s Solar power mini-grid in partnership with the Ogun state government at Gbamugbamu town, Ijebu East in Ogun State...recently


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Quick Takes MainOne Plans 3rd IT Summit Ă‹Ă“Ă˜Ă˜Ă?ĂĄĂ“Ă–Ă–Ă?Ă™ĂœÞÒĂ?ĂžĂ’Ă“ĂœĂŽÞÓ×Ă?Ă’Ă™Ă?Ăž Ă?ÞËÕĂ?ÒÙÖÎĂ?ĂœĂ?ËÞÓÞĂ?Ă‹Ă˜Ă˜Ă&#x;Ă‹Ă– ĘŽĂ‹Ă‘Ă?Ă’Ă“ĂšĂ?Ă Ă?Ă˜ĂžËœĂ?ĂœĂŽĂ?Ă˜Ă“ĂžĂ?Ë› ÓÞÒĂ‹Ă?Ă™Ă?Ă&#x;Ă?Ă™Ă˜ÎÓÑÓÞËÖĂŽĂ“Ă?ĂœĂ&#x;ĂšĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜åÓÞÒÞÒĂ?ÞÒĂ?Ă—Ă?ËŤĂ‹ĂŽĂ“Ă?Ă‹Ă–ÓÑÓÞËÖ ĂœĂ‹Ă˜Ă?Ă?Ă™ĂœĂ—Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ËŹËœÞÒĂ?Í°ÍŽÍŻÍśĂ?ĂŽĂ“ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ĂĄĂ“Ă–Ă–Ă?Ă?Ă‹ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă‹Ă•Ă?ĂŁĂ˜Ă™ĂžĂ?Ă‹ĂŽĂŽĂœĂ?Ă?Ă? Ă?ĂœĂ™Ă—ÞÒĂ?Ă‹Ă&#x;ĂžĂ’Ă™ĂœĂ™Ă?Ă“Ă?ĂœĂ&#x;ĂšĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă?ĂœĂ“Ă?Ă‹Ë?Ă’Ă?Ă“Ă?Ă?ʜÓĂ?Ă?Ă™Ă?Ă?ĂœĂ“Ă?Ă‹Ă˜

Ă˜Ă˜Ă™Ă Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ËœĂ˜Ă‹Ă—ĂŽĂ“ĂœĂ‹Ă˜ĂŁĂ?ËœĂ?Ă&#x;ĂšĂšĂ™ĂœĂžĂ?ĂŽĂŒĂŁĂ?ĂšĂ?Ă‹Ă•Ă?ĂœĂ?Ă?ĂœĂ™Ă—Ă?Ă™Ă—ĂšĂ‹Ă˜Ă“Ă?Ă? Ă“Ă˜Ă?Ă–Ă&#x;ĂŽĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă Ă‹Ă˜ĂžĂ“ËœĂ?ĂœĂ“Ă?Ă‹ËœĂ?Ă—Ă‹Ă‹Ă˜Ă•ËœĂ˜ĂŽĂ?Ă–Ă‹Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ“Ă?ĂœĂ™Ă?Ùʰ Ă‹Ă—Ă™Ă˜Ă‘Ă—Ă‹Ă˜ĂŁÙÞÒĂ?ĂœĂ?Ë› Ă’Ă?Ă?Ă Ă?Ă˜ĂžËœĂĄĂ’Ă“Ă?Ă’ĂĄĂ“Ă–Ă–ÒÙÖÎĂ“Ă˜ Ă‹Ă‘Ă™Ă?Ă˜Ă?âÞĂĄĂ?Ă?Ă•ĂœĂ“ĂŽĂ‹ĂŁËœĂ“Ă?Ă?âÚĂ?Ă?ĂžĂ?ĂŽ ÞÙĂŒĂœĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ÞÙÑĂ?ÞÒĂ?ĂœÙàĂ?Ăœͳ͎͎Ă—Ă“ĂŽÞÙĂ?Ă?Ă˜Ă“Ă™Ăœ Ă?âĂ?Ă?Ă&#x;ÞÓàĂ?Ă?Ă‹Ă?ĂœĂ™Ă?Ă? Ă—Ă&#x;ÖÞÓÚÖĂ?Ă“Ă˜ĂŽĂ&#x;Ă?ĂžĂœĂ“Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă™ĂœĂ“Ă˜ĂžĂ?Ă˜Ă?Ă?Ă“Ă˜Ă˜Ă™Ă Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă“Ă™Ă˜Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă‹ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă–Ă‹ĂžĂ?Ă?Ăž ĂŒĂ?Ă?ĂžĂšĂœĂ‹Ă?ÞÓĂ?Ă?Ă?Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ă—Ă?ĂœĂ‘Ă“Ă˜Ă‘ĂžĂœĂ?Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ă“Ă˜ÎËÞËĂ?Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ?ĂœËœĂ?Ă™Ă–Ă–Ă‹ĂŒĂ™ĂœĂ‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ëœ Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ?ĂœĂšĂœĂ“Ă?Ă? Ă˜Ă?ĂžĂĄĂ™ĂœĂ•Ă“Ă˜Ă‘ Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽ Ă?ĂŁĂŒĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă?Ă&#x;ĂœĂ“ĂžĂŁ Ă‹Ă—Ă™Ă˜Ă‘ ÒÙÞ ÞÙÚÓĂ?Ă?Ë› Ă?ĂœĂŽĂ?Ă˜Ă“ĂžĂ?Ă“Ă?Ă‹Ă–Ă?Ă™Ă?âÚĂ?Ă?ĂžĂ?ĂŽÞÙĂšĂœĂ™Ă Ă“ĂŽĂ?Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂšĂ‹ĂœĂ‹Ă–Ă–Ă?Ă–Ă?ĂŽĂ˜Ă?ĂžĂĄĂ™ĂœĂ•Ă“Ă˜Ă‘ Ă™ĂšĂšĂ™ĂœĂžĂ&#x;Ă˜Ă“ĂžĂ“Ă?Ă?åÓÞÒĂ‹Ă–Ă–ÞÒĂ?Ă?Ă?ĂšĂœĂ™Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă“Ă™Ă˜Ă‹Ă–Ă?Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ?ĂœĂ™Ă˜Ă?ĂœĂ™Ă™Ă?Ë›

Kenya Women MFB Selects PFS’ CLIREC

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L-R: Executive Director, Retail & Consumer Banking, Sterling Bank, Mr. Grama Narasimhan; Winner of International Holiday Trip to Dubai, Mr. Obinna Henry Ezeanyim; Regional Business Executive, Sterling Bank Plc, Ms. Eniola Obe; Winner of International Holiday Trip to Dubai, Mr. Okpara Obiora Damian; Head of Retail Distribution/Sales, Sterling, Mr. Cosmas Uwaezuoke, during the Sterling Bank 1dament promo prize presentation to winners of International Vacation at the Radission Blu Anchorage Hotel in Lagos ... recently

Nigeria Maintains Steady Growth in Teledensity, Mobile Internet Subscription Stories by Emma Okonji Nigerian telecoms subscribers maintained a steady growth in teledensity and mobile internet subscription in the last half of 2017, according to statistics released and obtained from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telecoms industry regulator. The statistics, obtained from NCC’s website, showed that both teledensity and the number of mobile internet subscription, grew from July to December 2017, bringing the total number of subscriber teledensity to 103.61 per cent, as at December 2017, up from 79.39 per cent in

ICT July 2017. The number of mobile internet subscription also rose from 91.4 million in July 2017 to 98. 4 million in December 2017. In technical parlance, teledensity is the number of active telephone connections per one hundred inhabitants living within an area and is expressed as a percentage figure. The NCC’s statistics revealed the sum total of all active telephony subscribers and teledensity as calculated on monthly and annual basis. Mobile internet subscription is best described as the active online presence of subscribers,

connected to the internet though mobile devices, like mobile phones and tablets. Teledensity and mobile internet subscription assumed new growth in the last six months in 2017, after a deep in the first six months in 2017, which was largely attributed to the effect of recession that Nigeria had during 2016 and in early part of 2017. According to the statistics, in July last year, the total number of telecoms subscribers across networks was 139.1 million, with a teledensity of 79.39 per cent. In August, number of subscribers rose slightly to 139.4 million, with a slight increase in

teledensity of 99.6 per cent. In September, subscriber number rose to 139.9 million, with teledensity of 99.9 per cent. In October, subscriber number also increased to 140.7 million, with increase in teledensity of 100.5 per cent. In November, subscriber number surpassed that of October figure, to reach 142.3 million, with increased teledensity of 101.66 per cent, while in December, the number of subscribers also increased to 145.1 million, with increased teledensity of 103.6 per cent. The statistics shows that telecoms subscribers number Continued on page 24

NBC Begins Digital Mapping Ahead of Digital Switchover In order to forestall what happened in 2012, 2015 and 2017, when Nigeria serially missed out in its 11 years plan to switch from analogue broadcasting to digital broadcasting, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), has commenced the digital mapping of Nigeria, a process that will facilitate the phased switchover to digital broadcasting. The process is said to be in line with the federal government white paper on the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting, after June 2019. The Director General, NBC, Is’haq Modibbo Kawu, who disclosed this to journalists in

IT Abuja recently while briefing them on the progress of the country’s digital switchover (DSO), said: “As part of acceleration of the work, we have commenced the digital mapping of Nigeria. It is a process that would help to give clarity to the entire DSO process.� The journey towards the digital terrestrial television (DTT) broadcasting, started in June 17, 2006, after Nigeria had signed international and regional agreements to conclude digital migration by June 17, 2012. However, Nigeria, in 2012 missed out in the digital

switchover process for lack of preparation on the part of government. A new date of June 2015 was chosen, but again Nigeria missed it for paucity of fund. Another date, June 17, 2017 was again chosen for the switchover, which the country equally missed. Despite missing out severally on DSO, Kawu however said so much have been achieved in the entire process, even though enough cities have not been covered, till date. According to him, “June 17, 2017, was a mere benchmark date for the digital switchover in our country. Our mission remains constant: to switch off analogue completely when we

achieve up to 95 percent access to free digital television content across our country.� Kawu said in order to speed up the process of DSO, two more states, namely Kaduna and Kwara were switched on at the end of 2017, bringing it to four, the number of states already switched on. Enugu State was switched on recently and we also switched on Osun State February 12. The plan is to switch on six more, one each from the six geo-political regions during this year, he said. He explained that the second national signal distributor, Continued on page 24

ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă“Ă?Ă?Ă“Ă˜Ă‹Ă˜Ă?Ă“Ă‹Ă–ĂŁĂ?ĂžĂ?Ă—Ă?Ě™ĚšËœĂ™Ă˜Ă?Ă™Ă?Ă“Ă‘Ă?ĂœĂ“Ă‹ËŞĂ?Ă–Ă?Ă‹ĂŽĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ę¨Ă˜ĂžĂ?Ă?Ă’ Ę¨ĂœĂ—Ëœ Ă’Ă‹Ă? Ă‹Ă˜Ă˜Ă™Ă&#x;Ă˜Ă?Ă?ĂŽ ÞÒËÞ Ă?Ă˜ĂŁĂ‹ Ù×Ă?Ă˜ Ă“Ă?ĂœĂ™Ę¨Ă˜Ă‹Ă˜Ă?Ă? Ă‹Ă˜Ă• Ě™ ̚ÒËĂ?Ă?Ă?Ă–Ă?Ă?ĂžĂ?ĂŽĂ“ĂžĂ?Ă‹ĂĄĂ‹ĂœĂŽĂĄĂ“Ă˜Ă˜Ă“Ă˜Ă‘Ă‹Ă&#x;ÞÙ×ËÞĂ?ĂŽĂ‹Ă?Ă?Ă™Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂžĂ? ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă™Ă˜Ă?Ă“Ă–Ă“Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă?ÙÖĂ&#x;ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ëœ ËœÞÙĂ‹ĂŽĂŽĂœĂ?Ă?Ă?ÞÒĂ?Ă“ĂŽĂ?Ă˜ĂžĂ“Ę¨Ă?ĂŽĂ˜Ă?Ă?ĂŽĂ? Ă?Ă™ĂœĂ‹Ă—Ă™ĂœĂ?Ă?ĘŠĂ?Ă“Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ?ĘĽĂ?Ă?ÞÓà Ă?Ă‹Ă?Ă?Ă™Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂžĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă™Ă˜Ă?Ă“Ă–Ă“Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ĂšĂœĂ‹Ă?ÞÓĂ?Ă?Ă? Ă‹Ă?ĂœĂ™Ă?Ă?ÞÒĂ?Ă“Ă˜Ă?ÞÓÞĂ&#x;ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ë›

Ă?Ă™ĂœĂ—Ă?ĂœĂ–ĂŁĂ•Ă˜Ă™ĂĄĂ˜Ă‹Ă? Ă?Ă˜ĂŁĂ‹Ù×Ă?Ă˜Ă“Ă˜Ă‹Ă˜Ă?Ă?ĂœĂ&#x;Ă?ĂžĂ™Ăœ  Ă’Ă‹ĂŽĂ“ĂŽĂ?Ă˜ĂžĂ“Ę¨Ă?ĂŽĂ“ĂžĂ?ĂšĂ?Ă?Ă&#x;Ă–Ă“Ă‹ĂœĂ˜Ă?Ă?ĂŽĂ?ÞÙĂ“Ă˜Ă?Ă–Ă&#x;ĂŽĂ?Ă?Ă‹Ă?ĂžĂ?ĂœĂœĂ?Ă?ÙÖĂ&#x;ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă™Ă? Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂšĂœĂ™Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?ĂŽĂ“ĂžĂ?Ă—Ă?ËœĂ?Ă‹Ă?ĂžĂ?ĂœĂœĂ?Ă?ÙÖĂ&#x;ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă™Ă?Ă?Ă&#x;Ă?ÞÙ×Ă?ĂœĂ›Ă&#x;Ă?ĂœĂ“Ă?Ă?Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽ Ă“Ă—ĂšĂœĂ™Ă Ă?Ă?ĂœĂ?Ă?ĂšĂ™Ă˜Ă?Ă“Ă Ă?Ă˜Ă?Ă?Ă?˞ËĂ?Ă’Ă“Ă?Ă Ă?Ă‹Ă˜Ă?Ă‹ĂœĂœĂ?ËÖ̋ÞÓ×Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă˜Ă‹ĂœĂ“Ă™Ă™Ă? ÞÒĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă™Ă˜Ă?Ă“Ă–Ă“Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ĂšĂœĂ™Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?ËœÞÓ×Ă?Ă–ĂŁĂœĂ?ĂšĂ™ĂœĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ÞÙĂ—Ă‹Ă˜Ă‹Ă‘Ă?Ă—Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ‹Ă˜ĂŽ Ă‹Ă&#x;ÞÙ×ËÞĂ?ĂŽĂ?Ă?Ă?Ă‹Ă–Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă™Ă?Ă–Ă™Ă˜Ă‘Ă™Ă&#x;ĂžĂ?ĂžĂ‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă“ĂžĂ?Ă—Ă?Ë› ËšËœËœĂœË›Ă?Ă–Ă?Ă•Ă?ĂœĂ?Ă—Ă“ËœĂ?Ă‹Ă“ĂŽÞÒĂ?Ă™ĂŒĂ”Ă?Ă?ÞÓàĂ?Ă™Ă?ÞÒĂ?ĂšĂœĂ™Ă”Ă?Ă?Ăž ĂĄĂ‹Ă?ÞÙĂŽĂ?ÚÖÙãĂ‹ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă™Ă˜Ă?Ă“Ă–Ă“Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă?ÙÖĂ&#x;ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ÞÒËÞĂĄĂ“Ă–Ă–Ă?Ă‹Ă?ÓÖÓÞËÞĂ?Ă‹ĂœĂ?ĂŽĂ&#x;Ă?ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ Ă™Ă?ÞÒĂ?ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ˜Ă‹ĂœĂ™Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽÞÓ×Ă?Ă™Ă?ÞÒĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă™Ă˜Ă?Ă“Ă–Ă“Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ĂšĂœĂ™Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă“Ă˜ Ë› ËŤĂ’Ă?ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă™Ă˜Ă?Ă“Ă–Ă“Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ĂĄĂ“Ă–Ă–Ă?Ă˜Ă‹ĂŒĂ–Ă? ÞÙĂ“Ă˜Ă?ĂœĂ?Ă‹Ă?Ă?Ă“ĂžĂ?ÙÚĂ?ĂœĂ‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă‹Ă– Ă?ĘŠĂ?Ă“Ă?Ă˜Ă?ĂŁĂŒĂŁĂšĂœĂ™Ă Ă“ĂŽĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă‹Ă?Ă‹Ă?ĂžĂ?ĂœĂœĂ?Ă?ÙÖĂ&#x;ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ÞÙĂ&#x;Ă˜ĂšĂœĂ™Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?ĂŽĂ“ĂžĂ?Ă—Ă?Ëœ Ă?Ă&#x;Ă?ÞÙ×Ă?ĂœĂ›Ă&#x;Ă?ĂœĂ“Ă?Ă?Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ“Ă—ĂšĂœĂ™Ă Ă?ĂœĂ?Ă?ĂšĂ™Ă˜Ă?Ă“Ă Ă?Ă˜Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă‹Ă—Ă™Ă˜Ă‘ÙÞÒĂ?Ăœ ĂŒĂ?Ă˜Ă?ʨÞĂ?ËœËŹĂ’Ă?Ă?Ă‹Ă“ĂŽË›

Twitter Posts First-ever ProďŹ t ĂĄĂ“ĘľĂ?ĂœĘ¨Ă˜Ă‹Ă–Ă–ĂŁĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ˜Ă?ĂŽĂ‹ĂšĂœĂ™Ę¨ĂžĂ“Ă˜ͲÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍľËœĂ‹Ă?Ă?Ă‹ĂžĂ“ĂžĂ’Ă‹ĂŽĂŒĂ?Ă?Ă˜Ă&#x;Ă˜Ă‹ĂŒĂ–Ă? ÞÙĂ‹Ă?Ă’Ă“Ă?Ă Ă?Ă?Ă™Ă–Ă–Ă™ĂĄĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă‹Ă˜ Ă“Ă˜Í°ÍŽÍŻÍąËœĂ?Ă Ă?Ă˜ÞÒÙĂ&#x;Ă‘Ă’Ă“ĂžĂ?Ă&#x;Ă?Ă?ĂœĂ‘ĂœĂ™ĂĄĂžĂ’ Ă“Ă?Ă?ÞÓÖÖĂ?ÖÙå˛ Ă’Ă?Ă?Ă™Ă?Ă“Ă‹Ă–Ă—Ă?ĂŽĂ“Ă‹Ă?Ă™Ă—ĂšĂ‹Ă˜ĂŁĂ—Ă‹ĂŽĂ?Ă‹ĂšĂœĂ™Ę¨ĂžĂ™Ă?ÍœÍˇÍŻĂ—Ă“Ă–Ă–Ă“Ă™Ă˜Ă“Ă˜ÞÒĂ? ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ›Ă&#x;Ă‹ĂœĂžĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă™Ă—ĂšĂ‹ĂœĂ?ĂŽåÓÞÒĂ‹ÍœÍŻÍ´ÍľĂ—Ă“Ă–Ă–Ă“Ă™Ă˜Ă–Ă™Ă?Ă?Ă“Ă˜ͲÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍ´Ë› Ă?Ă Ă?Ă˜Ă&#x;Ă?ĂĄĂ‹Ă?Ă&#x;ÚͰÚĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂŁĂ?Ă‹ĂœĚ‹Ă™Ă˜Ě‹ĂŁĂ?Ă‹ĂœÞÙÍœÍľÍąÍ°Ă—Ă“Ă–Ă–Ă“Ă™Ă˜Ë›

Ă˜Ă‹Ă–Ă?ĘľĂ?ĂœÞÙĂ?Ă’Ă‹ĂœĂ?ÒÙÖÎĂ?ĂœĂ?ËœĂĄĂ“ĘľĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă‹Ă“ĂŽÞÒĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă Ă?Ă˜Ă&#x;Ă?Ă‘ĂœĂ™ĂĄĂžĂ’ĂĄĂ‹Ă? ĂŽĂœĂ“Ă Ă?Ă˜ĂŒĂŁËŤĂ?Ă™Ă˜ĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă&#x;Ă?ĂŽĂ?ĂžĂœĂ™Ă˜Ă‘Ă?Ă˜Ă‘Ă‹Ă‘Ă?Ă—Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ‘ĂœĂ™ĂĄĂžĂ’ËœĂ“Ă—ĂšĂœĂ™Ă Ă?ĂŽĂœĂ?Ă Ă?Ă˜Ă&#x;Ă? Ă?Ă?Ă‹ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă?ËœĂ“Ă—ĂšĂœĂ™Ă Ă?ĂŽĂ™ ËœĂ‹Ă˜ĂŽĂŒĂ?ĘľĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă‹Ă–Ă?Ă?Ă?âĂ?Ă?Ă&#x;ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ë›ËŹĂ’Ă?Ă?Ă™Ă—ĂšĂ‹Ă˜ĂŁ Ă?ËÓÎÓÞÖËĂ&#x;Ă˜Ă?Ă’Ă?ĂŽĂ˜Ă?ĂĄĂ?Ă?Ă‹ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă?ĂŽĂ&#x;ĂœĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ÞÒĂ?Ă›Ă&#x;Ă‹ĂœĂžĂ?ĂœÞÙĂ’Ă?ÖÚÚĂ?ÙÚÖĂ? ĂŽĂ“Ă?Ă?ÙàĂ?ĂœĂ‹Ă˜ĂŽÞËÖÕĂ‹ĂŒĂ™Ă&#x;ĂžåÒËÞ˪Ă?ÒËÚÚĂ?Ă˜Ă“Ă˜Ă‘Ă™Ă˜ĂĄĂ“ĘľĂ?ĂœËœĂ“Ă˜Ă?Ă–Ă&#x;ĂŽĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ Ă?Ă˘ĂšĂ‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ÞÒĂ?Ă?Ă’Ă‹ĂœĂ‹Ă?ĂžĂ?ĂœĂ–Ă“Ă—Ă“ĂžÞÙͰ͎͜Ă?Ă’Ă‹ĂœĂ‹Ă?ĂžĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă™ĂœĂ—Ă™ĂœĂ?ĂšĂ?ÙÚÖĂ?Ë› Ă™Ă?ĂĄĂ“ĘľĂ?ĂœËœ Ă‹Ă?Ă•Ă™ĂœĂ?Ă?ĂŁĂĄĂ‹Ă?Ă‹Ă–Ă?Ă™ÚÙĂ?ÓÞÓàĂ?Ă“Ă˜Ă‹Ă˜Ă?Ă‹ĂœĂ˜Ă“Ă˜Ă‘Ă? Ă?ÞËÞĂ?Ă—Ă?Ă˜ĂžË› Ă?Ă?Ă™ĂœĂŽĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ ÞÙ Ă’Ă“Ă—Ëœ ËŤͲ ĂĄĂ‹Ă? Ă‹ Ă?ĂžĂœĂ™Ă˜Ă‘ Ę¨Ă˜Ă“Ă?Ă’ ÞÙ ÞÒĂ? ĂŁĂ?Ă‹ĂœË›Ă?ĂœĂ?ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ˜Ă?ĂŽÞÙĂœĂ?Ă Ă?Ă˜Ă&#x;Ă?Ă‘ĂœĂ™ĂĄĂžĂ’ËœĂ‹Ă?Ă’Ă“Ă?Ă Ă?ĂŽĂ™Ă&#x;ĂœÑÙËÖĂ™Ă? ĂšĂœĂ™Ę¨ĂžĂ‹ĂŒĂ“Ă–Ă“ĂžĂŁËœĂ“Ă˜Ă?ĂœĂ?Ă‹Ă?Ă?ĂŽĂ™Ă&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă’Ă“ĂšĂšĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă?Ă‹ĂŽĂ?Ă˜Ă?Ă?Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂœĂ?Ă‹Ă?Ă’Ă?ĂŽʨàĂ? Ă?Ă™Ă˜Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă&#x;ÞÓàĂ?Ă›Ă&#x;Ă‹ĂœĂžĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă™Ă?ĂŽĂ™Ă&#x;ĂŒĂ–Ă?ĂŽĂ“Ă‘Ă“ĂžĂ‘ĂœĂ™ĂĄĂžĂ’Ë› ËŞĂ—ĂšĂœĂ™Ă&#x;ĂŽĂ™Ă? ÞÒĂ?Ă?ĂžĂ?Ă‹ĂŽĂŁĂšĂœĂ™Ă‘ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă?ĂĄĂ?Ă—Ă‹ĂŽĂ?Ă“Ă˜Í°ÍŽÍŻÍľËœĂ‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ‹Ă’Ă?Ëβˏ

Fans to Watch UEFA League Live Ă‹Ă˜Ă?Ă™Ă?ÞÒĂ?Ă’Ă‹Ă—ĂšĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă? Ă?Ă‹Ă‘Ă&#x;Ă?Ă‹ĂœĂ?Ă“Ă˜Ă?Ă™ĂœĂ‹Ă˜Ă‹Ă—Ă‹Ă¤Ă“Ă˜Ă‘ÞÓ×Ă? Ă‹Ă? Ă?Ă“Ă˜Ă?Ă•Ă?Ă˜ËœĂ‹Ă˜Ă“Ă˜ĂžĂ?ĂœĂ˜Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă‹Ă–ĂšĂœĂ?Ă—Ă“Ă&#x;Ă—ĂŒĂ?Ă?ĂœĂŒĂœĂ‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ‹Ă˜ĂŽÙʊĂ?Ă“Ă‹Ă– Ă?ĂšĂ™Ă˜Ă?Ă™ĂœĂ™Ă?ÞÒĂ?Ă?Ă™Ă™ĂžĂŒĂ‹Ă–Ă–Ă?Ù×ÚĂ?ĂžĂ“ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă“Ă?Ă?Ă?ĂžÞÙĂ’Ă™Ă?ĂžĂ?Ă‹Ă˜Ă?ÞÙĂ?âĂ?Ă–Ă&#x;Ă?Ă“Ă Ă? Ă Ă“Ă?ĂĄĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă™Ă?Ă–Ă“Ă Ă?Ă’Ă‹Ă—ĂšĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă? Ă?Ă‹Ă‘Ă&#x;Ă?Ă—Ă‹ĂžĂ?Ă’Ă?Ă?˛ÒĂ?Ă?Ă?ĂšĂœĂ?Ă—Ă“Ă&#x;Ă— Ă Ă“Ă?ĂĄĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă Ă?Ă˜Ă&#x;Ă?Ă?ĂĄĂ“Ă–Ă–ĂŒĂ?Ă“Ă˜ Ă‹Ă‘Ă™Ă?ËœĂŒĂ&#x;ÔËĂ‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ™ĂœĂž Ă‹ĂœĂ?Ă™Ă&#x;ĂœĂžË› ÙÖÖÙåĂ?ĂŽĂŒĂŁĂ—Ă™ĂœĂ?ĂžĂ’Ă‹Ă˜Ă‹ĂŒĂ“Ă–Ă–Ă“Ă™Ă˜ĂšĂ?ÙÚÖĂ?ĂĄĂ™ĂœĂ–ĂŽĂĄĂ“ĂŽĂ?ËœÞÒĂ? Ă’Ă‹Ă—ĂšĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă? Ă?Ă‹Ă‘Ă&#x;Ă? Ă“Ă? Ă™Ă˜Ă? Ă™Ă? ÞÒĂ? Ă—Ă™Ă?Ăž ĂĄĂ‹ĂžĂ?Ă’Ă?ĂŽ Ă?ĂšĂ™ĂœĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ Ă?Ù×ÚĂ?ĂžĂ“ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă?Ă“Ă˜ÞÒĂ?ĂĄĂ™ĂœĂ–ĂŽË›ÓÞÒÞÒĂ?Ę¨ĂœĂ?ĂžĂœĂ™Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ™Ă?Ă—Ă‹ĂžĂ?Ă’Ă?Ă?Ă™Ă? ÞÒĂ?Ͱ͎ͯ;˚Ͱ͎ͯ͜Ă?Ă?Ă‹Ă?Ă™Ă˜Ă‹Ă–ĂœĂ?Ă‹ĂŽĂŁÚÖËãĂ?ĂŽĂ–Ă‹Ă?ÞãĂ?Ă‹ĂœËœĂ‹Ă?ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă&#x;Ă—Ă?Ă? Ă˜Ă?âÞĂĄĂ?Ă?Ă•åÓÞÒÞÒĂ?Ă™Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ™Ă?ÍŻÍ´Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ•Ă˜Ă™Ă?Ă•Ă™Ă&#x;ĂžÚÒËĂ?Ă?Ë›

From private sector point of view, there has been respectable growth in the nation’s economic performance

Managing Director, Grand Oak Limited, Mr. Fatai Odesile


24

T H I S D AY Ëž ËœÍŻÍłËœÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍś

   NIGERIA MAINTAINS STEADY GROWTH IN TELEDENSITY, MOBILE INTERNET SUBSCRIPTION and teledensity reached their peak at 155.1 million and 110.8 per cent repetitively, in January 2017, before nose diving between the months of February and July in 2017. As at July, subscriber number was as low as 139.1 million, with a teledensity 79.39 per cent, before the figures started picking up again. Mobile internet subscription, which also maintained a steady growth in the last six months in 2017, was 91.4 million in July, 92.2 million in August, 92.9 million in September, 93.9 million in October, 94.8 million in November and 98.4 million as at December 2017. A breakdown of the December figure of 98.4 million mobile internet subscription, shows that MTN had the highest number of mobile internet subscribers on its network, totaling 36.1 million, followed by Globacom with 26.9 million mobile internet subscribers, Airtel with 23.9 million mobile internet subscribers and 9mobile with 11.3 million mobile internet subscribers on its network. NBC BEGINS DIGITAL MAPPING AHEAD OF DIGITAL SWITCHOVER Pinnacle Communications Limited, has moved to site in Delta state, and also packed up for work in Gombe state. At the Abuja briefing, Kawu also said NBC has submitted a long list of new radio and television stations to President Muhammadu Buhari, for presidential assent. The President has always been encouraging the NBC to open up access for Nigerians to be able to register newer radio and television stations, because of his belief that they will help to deepen democratic discourse, while also helping to create new jobs through the broadcasting value chain, he said. Kawu advised broadcasters and all stakeholders in the DSO process, to ensure that they give their full support to enable the country achieve its digital switchover dream. He therefore warned broadcasters in particular to ensure ethical broadcast of contents, especially as the county approaches the electioneering year in 2019.



Newly Licensed InfraCos Will Address Telecoms Infrastructure Deficit, Says NCC Boss Stories by Emma Okonji The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, has assured Nigerians that the additional two Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) that were licensed last December will, in collaboration with the existing two InfraCos, address the shortfalls in telecoms infrastructure in the country, especially with last mile broadband capacity transmission. Danbatta, who spoke at a panel session of the International Institute of Communications (IIC) and Regional, Telecommunications and Media Forum in Singapore, told the large audience that the newly licensed InfraCos would facilitate the deployment of infrastructure for the telecommunications sector. The NCC boss noted that the commission had to develop innovative solutions to fasttrack infrastructure deployment with a view to deepening the nation’s broadband penetration. This is just as industry stakeholders had earlier called on NCC to expedite action in the licensing of additional InfraCos to cover each of the six geo-political regions of the country. The stakeholders said the additional InfraCos would assist the existing two InfraCos to begin the rollout of nationwide broadband infrastructure, which they said, would further reduce the perceived high cost of bandwidth in the country and also further boost online presence among Nigerians. The stakeholders were worried that the continued lack of sufficient broadband infrastructure has created so much difficulties for the

telecoms operators to maintain cheap telecoms service offerings across the country. The board of NCC had recently issued two additional InfraCo licences to Zinox Technology Limited for South-east, and Brinks Integrated Solutions Limited for North-east, bringing the total number of InfraCos licensed so far to four. The NCC boss, therefore, called for the development of human capital which is in tune with the dynamism of the industry to achieve the desired balanced regulatory intervention. “Regulators must consider

the idea of having in-house Research and Development units that reach out and collaborate with researchers, academia in order to align and be abreast of technological innovations and trends,� he explained. Also, in a paper titled: ‘Building Institutional Capacity and Human Capital: How A Regulator Builds Capacity That Fits For Purpose In A Rapidly Moving Environment,’ Danbatta told the gathering that NCC would continue to ensure that its institutional structure remains pliable enough to tackle emerging technologies and exigencies of the telecom-

munications sector. He said the commission’s performance has attracted the recognition of numerous reputable institutions both locally and internationally, especially in the last two years. “In 2017, the Bureau for Public Service Reforms in Nigeria reviewed the commission’s structure, processes and work culture, scored it a platinum category and recommended it a model for other public institutions in the country to emulate,� he added. Over a year ago, MainOne Cable Company Limited, and IHS Limited were licenced as InfraCos for the Lagos zone

and North-central zone respectively, to provide broadband infrastructure services in the zones. The InfraCo licences are based on the NCC’s Open Access Model (OAM) in line with the National Broadband Plan (NBP) of (2013 – 2018). As part of the initiative to achieve ubiquitous broadband penetration in the country, NCC, as the driver of the process, has so far licenced a number of companies to stimulate broadband penetration, to include Bitflux Communications Limited for 2.3 GHz and MTN Nigeria for the 2.6 GHz licences.

COURTESY VISIT

L-R: VDT Director, Umar Abdulahi; Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Commucations Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta; Director VDT, Mr. Tokunbo Talabi; MD/CEO, VDT, Mr. Biodun Omoniyi; MD of Bitux, Mr. Lekan Balogun and Sales Manager, VDT Abuja, Mr. Bravo Lewechukwu, during a courtesy visit of VDT Communications Limited to NCC in Abuja...recently

Interpol,VoguePay to Launch Crime Control Platform in Nigeria Following the increased cases of crime rates across the country, the International Criminal Police Organisation, (INTERPOL), has partnered VoguePay, a leading online payment and security infrastructure provider for the design and delivery of its citizen-focused action and information portal for crime control in Nigeria. Aptly named InterPort, it is a platform to access information, manage stakeholder engage-

ments and manage crime reporting. The multi-channel digital platform enables INTERPOL to improve citizen engagement and improve collaboration with its partner networks for control of crimes in Nigeria. Speaking on behalf of the agency, its Commissioner of Police in Nigeria, Olushola Subair noted that “the partnership with VoguePay would help the agency to increase the safety of Nigerians and

to protect the economy while enabling citizens and businesses to comfortably embrace available technologies to grow their businesses, increase their profits and create more jobs.� As the technology partner, VoguePay brings its experience in payment security and blockchain to implement a scalable, cross-agency blockchain-enabled data collaboration platform that delivers assurance of a trust less, virtual chain-of-evidence

compatibility among all INTERPOL stakeholders. CEO of VoguePay, Michael Simeon, noted that “blockchain technology is the next evolution in identity management and that by leveraging blockchain, INTERPOL is now better positioned to offer cross-agency data and biometric collaboration with its key partners in Nigeria with a single version of the truth.� The project will be delivered

in phases by VoguePay with blockchain technology to improve access to information, manage stakeholder engagements and crime reporting for INTERPOL operations in Nigeria. VoguePay is a global online payment gateway that supports multi-currency transactions. Its Africa’s first blockchain-powered digital banking platform is due to launch this year.

NCS Faults NITDA Boss on Planned Licensing of IT Contractors Group Business Editor

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

Ă™Ă˜Ă‹ĂžĂ’Ă‹Ă˜äĂ? Comms/e-Business Editor

Ă—Ă—Ă‹Ă•Ă™Ă˜Ă”Ă“ Capital Market Editor

ÙÎÎãĂ‘Ă?Ă˜Ă? Senior Correspondent

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

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The Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), an advocacy group and umbrella body of all Information Technology (IT) professionals in Nigerian has reacted to a recent statement credited to the Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, on the plans by NITDA to register and license all IT contractors in Nigeria. In a statement released by NCS and signed by its President, Prof. Adesola Aderounmu, the NCS kicked against the plan by NITDA to register and license IT professionals, insisting it is not within its

mandate to do so. The Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN), it was gathered, is mandated by law to register all IT professionals in the country, and any attempt for another agency of government to embark on IT registration, will likely bring about conflict of roles and interest. Part of the statement released by NCS stated: “Our attention has been drawn to a policy statement released by National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Director General, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami on the 12th Febru-

ary, 2018 which on general principle is to register and license all IT contractors in Nigeria. Our position is that this is not part of NITDA’s mandate because as the name suggests this agency is to plan, promote and develop regulatory framework and guidelines as stated in NITDA Act 2007, section 6a.� The statement further said that Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN) Act 49 of 1993 is saddled with the mandate to register, license, supervise and control the profession as stated in CPN Act section 1 (2). The said statement is capable

of confusing the general public to create an uncoordinated approach to policy issues and both Acts of Parliament as stated earlier. NCS is of the belief that NITDA’s mandate is to ensure seamless cooperation and interaction towards the use of IT as a development tool for the country. According to Aderounmu, “NCS commends the approach and wisdom of the Presidential Executive Order 005 of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, which emphasizes professionalism. The Public Procurement Act 2007 with particular reference to section 19 if properly

implemented will promote best practices professionally. On a related note CPN Act section 22, states that failure to engage professional practitioners is an offence in Nigeria punishable under the Act.� He therefore advised NITDA not to embark on registering and licensing of IT contractors and service providers activities and instead concentrate on developmental issues which he said, could be jointly achieved collaboratively. “CPN is the only agency with the mandate to register and license IT professionals and contractors in Nigeria,� Aderounmu said.


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Sustaining Africa’s Digital Presence Having pioneered digital marketing and advertising, Google has promised to maintain the surge through right policy implementation, writes Emma Okonji The first clickable web advert was sold in 1993 and in 2000, Google launched its Adwords. In 2017 Google launched Shopping Ads, which show the customer a picture of the item, its price and the store name. Customers who click on the ad will be directed to the website where they can buy that item. Since then, digital advertising has enjoyed immense growth in Africa and beyond, giving rise to increased online presence and internet usage in Africa through mobile devices, the predominant means of internet connectivity. Recent statistics released by Google showed that internet access is increasing annually in Africa. According to the statistics, between 2014 and 2017 mobile internet access in Kenya increased from 45 per cent to 53 per cent, while South Africa grew from 48 per cent to 65 per cent just as Nigeria increased in internet access from 62 per cent to 63 per cent. With the predominance of mobile internet in Africa, the share of online searches conducted on smartphones by Google in fourth quarter (Q4) 2017, shows that Nigeria leads in online search by 86 per cent, Kenya 81 per cent and South Africa 67 per cent. Mobile searches of where to buy products have increased 140 per cent over the past year in Kenya, according to Google data. Same day shipping searches have doubled and there has been 150 per cent increase in travel searches and a threefold increase in ‘open now’ searches between 2015 and 2017, according to internal Google United States data. Globally, the revenue from internet advertising exceeded that from TV advertising for the first time in 2016, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report. The total internet advertising market worth in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa is estimated to reach $1 billion by 2020, up from an estimated $647 million in 2017. Recent research shows that 65 per cent of Nigerian internet users shop online, as do 70 per cent of South African and 60 per cent of Kenyan internet users, according to Insidify data. Google Search, Maps, YouTube, Gmail, Chrome, Android and Play have over one billion users each as at December 2017. And all these are signs of great potential for the entire digital marketing ecosystem which Google is promoting through the Google Display Ad Network. Google’s drive for digital marketing In technical parlance, digital marketing is the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the internet, which also include mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium. Over the years, the business of digital marketing has grown so big such that digital experts have predicted that the revenue from internet advertising alone, would continue to exceed that from TV advertising, going forward. Little wonder it was estimated that the total internet advertising market worth in Africa, Nigeria inclusive, would surpass the $1 billion mark by 2020. The Group General Manager, Hitch Digital, Nicky van der Meulen, spoke recently on how Google is enhancing the growth of digital marketing across globe, using its Google Display Ad Network in ensuring that advertisers in the digital market ecosystem are able to meet their target audience, introduce advertisers to multiple websites and widen their reach within the entire digital marketing ecosystem, which is made up of advertisers, publishers, agencies and the target audience. Van der Meulen, however, stressed the importance of availability of local data across African countries, to drive digital marketing. Local data for digital marketing Stressing the need for local data in boosting digital marketing in Africa, Meulen said lack of local data and the ignorance of commercialising local data owned by some individual and organisations, have always remain a major challenge for digital marketing in Africa. She called on African governments to ensure that African countries are able to generate local data for digital marketing, instead of relying on global data that is region specific.

Culled from business2community.com Citing big telecoms company operating in Africa with huge data, Meulen said such organisations could afford to release some of the general data without jeopardising their operations. She said when data is freely released for commercial purpose, it would address a whole lot of sharp practices in the system and also avoid unnecessary competition and market rivals that often lead to stealing of ideas that are not originally owned by individuals or organisations that are in possession of such ideas. Google’s ad policies, enforcement In order to create a level playing ground for all members of the digital marketing ecosystem, and to maintain the rise in online presence, Google has introduced lots of solutions that will further help in driving digital marketing in specific countries of the world. My Account, for example, gives people quick access to settings and tools for managing their Google experience on products, including ads

In February last year, PageFair released its 2017 adblock report, titled: ‘The state of the blocked web.’ The report reveals that mobile adblock usage is growing explosively in Asia and is set to spread to North America and Europe as well. According to the report, Ad blocker usage grew by 30 per cent in 2016 and also includes the results of adblock users

settings. My Account was built in Munich, launched in 2015, and has seen over one billion visits since it was launched. In maintaining a healthy business relationship among members of the digital marketing ecosystem, Google introduced some policies and followed them up with strict implementation. Google, for instance, took down 1.7 billion ads for violating its advertising policies in 2016. The figure is more than double the amount of bad ads taken down in 2015. Google promised to publish 2017 numbers in early 2018. In order to ensure full compliance, Google, in 2016, removed over 100 000 publishers from AdSense, and only approved about 12 per cent of publishers who apply for AdSense. Head of Ads PR, EMEA, Google, Jenn Kaiser, said policy implementation is key to controlling bad ads on the Google Display Network Ad. Kaiser insisted that Google advertising policies are designed to promote good experience for people viewing ads, to help advertisers be successful and to help make sure that ads follow applicable laws in the countries where they appear. In February last year, PageFair released its 2017 adblock report, titled: ‘The state of the blocked web.’ The report reveals that mobile adblock usage is growing explosively in Asia and is set to spread to North America and Europe as well. According to the report, Ad blocker usage grew by 30 per cent in 2016 and also includes the results of adblock users. Brand visibility, safety The bottom line for policy implementation is about brand visibility and safety. Presenting a paper on the evolution of digital advertising recently, the Country Manager, Google Kenya, Mr. Charles Murito, said customer presence online is fast increasing, especially in Africa. He therefore advised brands to move swiftly with consumer online growth in order to provide the right contents for the customers. Citing Pragmatic marketing, which is an enhanced technology that allows the entire digital marketing ecosystem to reach their audience much faster, Murito attributed the growth in online presence among African countries on the availability and affordability of mobile devices, occasioned by the fact that Africans are majorly mobile dependent people. He, however, said the number could grow

faster than that if the cost of mobile broadband data is drastically reduced. He said South Africa still have the highest rate of mobile broadband data in Africa, which is put at $7.6 per gigabyte, followed by Kenya at $4.9 per gigabyte and Nigeria at $3.1 gigabyte. He said Tanzania and Ghana operate at $2.3 per gigabyte each, while Egypt has the lowest rate of mobile broadband data at $1.2 per gigabyte. In March 2017, Google announced increased brand safety levels and controls for advertisers. In January this year, it announced greater control for users with new features in Ad Settings, including the ability to mute reminder ads. In March 2017, Google expanded its inappropriate content policy to include dangerous and derogatory content. The Coalition for Better Ads announced their initial Better Ads Standards in March 2017. These are industry standards developed by the coalition, of which Google is a member. The standards are based on consumer research into what types of ads experiences users find most annoying. YouTube and brands YouTube, one of Google’s advertising tools, has over 1.5 billion monthly logged in users and every day, people watch over a billion hours of video and generate billions of views. Africans are spending more and more time on YouTube - presenting more opportunity for marketers to reach them there. Watchtime on YouTube over the past 12 months has increased 120 per cent year on year in Nigeria, 110 per cent year on year in Kenya and 90 per cent year on year in South Africa. The greatest impact for brands in terms of ad recall and brand awareness are seen in the first 6 - 15 seconds of an advert, according to Google data. Online video is growing at the speed of light. Cisco predicts that by 2020, 90 per cent of internet traffic will be video. YouTube is at the heart of this transformation, driving around 50 per cent of online video viewing today. Agency Relationship Manager, YouTube South Africa, Jonathan Andrews, said 400 hours of content are uploaded on YouTube every minute and that creators applying to the YouTube Partner Programme need to have accrued 4000 hours of watchtime within the past 12 months and have 1000 subscribers to be eligible to earn revenue from their channels.


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Oguche: Tech Innovation Will Boost Customer Loyalty Deputy Marketing Manager, TECNO Mobile Nigeria, Mr. Attai Oguche, spoke with technology reporters in Lagos on the company’s plan to increase its market share in Nigeria through the adoption of best-in-class mobile technologies and innovation that will drive customer loyalty. Emma Okonji presents the excerpts: TECNO Mobile as a brand has been operating in the Nigerian market for some time now, how has the journey been so far? It has been a very interesting but challenging journey so far but we are proud of all our achievements for the years we have done business particularly in places like Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania and Kenya where we control their smartphone market space. In our close to 11 years of opening shop, TECNO smartphones can proudly be seen in nearly 40 countries around the world and this is not a mean feat but something worth celebrating. When we started, we noticed a market that was highly competitive, and we faced a lot of challenges but with dedication, today we can boldly say, it has been a journey that is worthwhile. TECNO has obviously displaced some leading smartphone brands in Nigeria and most Africa countries. What will you say has been the key winning strategy? Our successes are end products of several key strategies. So, why it might be difficult to specifically say which strategy has made our rise possible, it is important we note that our knowledge of consumer insight, local realities, market dynamics and good product segmentation have been an essential ingredient in our rise to prominence. TECNO has bagged several notable awards and is recognised across the world for its products and contribution towards the mobile world. What is the impact of the awards and achievements on the brand? We are humble at the recognition and several awards won so far, and we feel elated because they are evidences to our hard work. Also, we would not have achieved these much without the help of our local teams across different regions, our stakeholders and of course, our patriotic consumers. Since the launch of the new TECNO Phantom 8, it has enjoyed impressive review from

We are simply spreading our wings and doing all we can to take over every market we get into by continuously dishing out top of the line devices. At TECNO, we have adopted a unique strategy we like to call ‘Glocal’that is, think global and act Local. This concept has helped us and our over 250 engineers to endlessly produce enough smartphones with tailored features for both our African and global customers

Oguche several tech analysts who claims the device has ground breaking specs. How apt is this statement? This is not something new for us at TECNO. We are a brand that continuously innovates and when you take a look at our history in the market you will see that this notion is clear.The new TECNO Phantom 8 is unique in a lot of ways and it is one device every classy smartphone lover should have. On the Storage department, the new TECNO Phantom 8 got all it takes to beat any other smartphone right now. Powered by latest android version 7.0 media-core processor, a massive 6GB Random Access Memory (RAM) and a 64GB read-only memory (ROM) which is expandable to 128GB via its MicroSD slot. The design of the TECNO Phantom 8 is beautiful and carries a lot of modern influences: an all sleek-metallic luxury finish with rounded chamfered edges and subtle curves to deliver an amazing touch. These elements balance the beauty and the strength of the device. How will you describe the strength of the new TECNO Phantom 8 in terms of image capturing? Of course, users will capture amazing images with the 20MP selfie and 12/13MP rear camera that the new Phantom 8 flaunts. One amazing thing about the camera of the device is that, the 20MP selfie camera captures stunning, high-resolution photos with zero shutter lag. These are just some of the things the Phantom 8 users will enjoy. The Phantom 8 enjoyed a massive global launch in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates just like its predecessor TECNO Phantom 6/6Plus. Is it then appropriate to say that

TECNO is totally shifting market focus to South-east Asia and the Middle-east? Not at all. We are simply spreading our wings and doing all we can to take over every market we get into by continuously dishing out top of the line devices. At TECNO, we have adopted a unique strategy we like to call ‘Glocal’- that is, think global and act Local. This concept has helped us and our over 250 engineers to endlessly produce enough smartphones with tailored features for both our African and global customers while maintaining a truly global standard in product innovation and quality. Last year’s edition of the Phantom was the Phantom 6 and this year’s edition is the Phantom 8. Why did the company skip the Number 7? Well, we know our esteemed users expected the Phantom 7 as it is meant to be the immediate number after the Phantom 6/6 Plus but since our engineers did a wonderful job during production, we decided to budge ahead with the Phantom 8 and I can confirm to you, that users are in for a big treat with the device. The market challenge of after sales, comes with increased mobile shipments to any market. What strategy has the TECNO Mobile brand adopted to cope with increasing after sales demands in Africa markets? CarlcareTM our after sales division currently host the largest network of after sales centres with trained local engineers. In Nigeria alone, we have about 95 centres which employ over 100 engineers. Our updated after sales policy also reflects innovation in customer service. We strive to stay ahead of the curve in customer satisfaction and that is what is endearing

customers to the brand. For instance, TECNO Mobile introduced 12+ months warranty to Nigeria’s mobile market. We have taken that even a step further. Now CarlcareTM operates return policy for factory defect products of the TECNO Mobile brand. For our flagship products, we now offer free expense screen insurance policy, which means that users of our premium phone lines like the TECNO Phantom 8 smartphones can enjoy free screen insurance on their device in CarlcareTM outlets nationwide, even though it comes with some terms and conditions attached to it. Tell us more about yourself and the TECNO brand that you currently represent? I will like to begin with the TECNO brand, which comes with lots of innovation that will continually enhance customer experience. The brand will continue with its research and development plan to always create customertailored mobile devices that are affordable and still meet the customer needs, in line with the customer lifestyle. For my details, I am a graduate of the Lagos Business School (LBS) and I have worked with top brands such as P&G, Airtel, Reckitt Benckiser, Cadbury, La Casera, British council, Coca- Cola, Nokia, Google, Diageo brands like – Johnnie Walker , Baileys to name a few. Having garnered wealth of experience in my previous employments, I have brought such marketing innovation and communications experience to managing the Tecno Mobile brand. An astute communications person with over 10 years of professional work experience with top flight agencies, I have been responsible for conceiving and executing numerous brand activation and sponsorship campaigns for the TECNO Mobile brand.


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   Global Accelerex Launches First Certified Android PoS Terminal Global Accelerex, a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) licensed payment terminal service provider and payment service solution provider, has launched NEXGO N5, the first single unit android point of sale terminal to be certified for payment acceptance in Nigeria. The newest revolutionary device in the nation’s payment system runs on Lollipop 5.0 operating system and performs four times faster than any other payment terminal around. It has efficient battery conservation and high performance. It is loaded with better protection against vulnerabilities and malware, giving users peace of mind that allows them to focus on running their businesses effectively. Commenting on the introduction of the new product, the company’s Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Kayode Ariyo, said that the introduction of the terminal marks another milestone in their quest to revolutionise Point of Sales (PoS) business in Nigeria with the most efficient payment solutions. He reiterated the company’s bias for world-class technology, excellent service quality and innovation. According to the Chief Technology Officer, Mr. Stanley Peters, “We remain committed in our determination to deploy the best available PoS systems in the world into Nigeria. We will leverage technology to make payment systems faster,

safer and more dependable. The unique terminal offers improved network selection logic, limited interruption of connectivity and standby power time of 120 hours, lasting up to five days before the battery drains out.� Packed with a Quad-core processor, the smart terminal enables users multitask – giving them the luxury to perform multiple functions on the PoS terminal, without it slowing down or hanging. The processor also encourages lower power consumption and higher performance per watt. With its sleek and stylish design, this cutting-edge device has garnered world-class certifications which include PCI - certification of payment data security by international standards; EMVco - evaluates the security of a payment card before a transaction is approved; Visa - for smooth transition of card and contactless transactions; Mastercard - enhances functional reliability, interoperability and overall security; and AmEX, which enables international card acceptance and seamless transaction approval. The N5 provides users with features no other PoS can. It supports the use of magnetic strip cards, IC cards, contactless and Near Field Communications (NFC) transactions. All the user needs to do is swipe the card atop the terminal, and the transaction starts processing.

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Ericsson Boosts Radio Software Operations from 4G to 5G Stories by Emma Okonji Ericsson has finalised its 5Greadiness for operators by enhancing its 5G Platform with new solutions for the radio and core network. The network company has launched 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) commercial software based on the recently approved first 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) standard. It also introduced a new category of radio products called Street Macro – a new site type that addresses the need of operators to grow in cities with limited available radio locations. To capture growth opportunities presented by new 5G use cases, Ericsson expanded its

5G Core System offering with new capabilities to support 5G NR and also enhances its Distributed Cloud solution. Ericsson introduced its 5G Platform in February 2017 with additions made in September the same year. It comprises the 5G core, radio, and transport portfolios together with OSS/ BSS, network services and security. Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Networks at Ericsson, Fredrik Jejdling, said: “Operators who want to be early with 5G now have the essential pieces for launching 5G networks already this year. With our expanded platform, they will get more efficient networks as well as opportunities to create new

revenues from emerging consumer and industrial use cases.� CTO, TIM, Giovanni Ferigo, said: “Ericsson is an important enabler of our 5G in-field innovation activities that span several cities in Italy. Together, last December – marking an Italian record - we activated a 5G NR cell in the mmW frequencies in the city of Torino, reaching speeds above 20Gbps. We are looking forward to testing Ericsson’s new solutions that will contribute to address the wide variety of use cases we are working on.� The Ericsson’s 5G radio network software provides multi-band support for global deployment. It will allow operators to use new frequency spec-

trum as it becomes available. The 5G radio network software complements Ericsson’s already launched baseband and 5G radios. Operators can simply activate their 5G networks and take the first steps with commercial 5G capabilities and new applications leveraging advanced mobile broadband services. This will cater efficiently for growing data traffic and enable access to multimedia content, such as 4K/8K video streaming and virtual reality/ augmented reality. According to Ericsson’s new economic study of enhanced mobile broadband, evolution to 5G will enable 10 times lower cost per gigabyte than current 4G.

NITDA Begins Tour of ICT Facilities in A/Ibom National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the government agency responsible for the implementation of information technology (IT) policies in the country, has embarked on a tour of critical ICT facilities in Akwa Ibom State. This is in line with the ‘Executive Order 3’ issued by the federal government in a bid to enforce the procurement of IT local contents by Ministries, Department, Agencies (MDAs) and promote the country’s burgeoning ICT industry for economic growth. The ICT facilities that were visited are: Start Innovation Hub , Roothub and other ICT clusters in the state. The tour is to promote “StartUP Friday� which is designed to bridge the gap that exists among ICT startups, and investors. The National Coordinator for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE), Dr. Amina Sambo, who represented NITDA, visited the ICT stakeholders in the state for assessment and to promote “Startup Friday,� the Akwa Ibom edition. During the visit to Start Innovation Hub, one of the innovation hubs in the Niger Delta region, Sambo was received by the CEO, Start Innovation Hub, Hanson Johnson, who took the NITDA team round the ICT facilities and introduced the various programmes and startups in the hub to the team. According to Sambo, “We at

OIIE are impressed with the level of work done by young people in Akwa Ibom despite L-R: Head, Human Capital Management, Wema Bank, Funke Okoli; Managing Director, Wema Bank Plc, Segun Oloketuyi and President/ the very limited resources they Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) at the presentation of CertiďŹ cate of Accreditation to the Wema are exposed to. We hope that Purple Academy in Lagos‌recently with this facility on the ground, there would be change of narrative from an oil dependent region to an ICT hub.â€? The team added that in 2017, it met the Jiggle team at Lagos Consolidated Hallmark Insur- website is further evident in the and congratulated them again ance (CHI) Plc, in a move to provision for clients to report for the cheque they won and The Chief Executive Officers of that the availability of world ensure that its seamless service and lodge in their claims, send also noticed that some of the Nigeria’s leading data centre class Data centres in Nigeria is offerings are within the reach supporting claims documents startups that competed in service providers- MDXi Data critical infrastructure required of its rapidly growing clientele by uploading pictures and the programme came from Centre, Medallion Communica- for the implementation of the and potential customers, has relevant forms as well as track various places outside Lagos tions, and Rack Centre, will be country’s broadband initiatives. unveiled a new website - www. the status of their claims. and this is why government guests to the Nigeria InformaWith the theme “Data Centre Built for the digital age, the chiplc.com. and investors will have to look tion Technology Reporters Operation In Nigeria: Impacts, The new website has been website is easy to navigate beyond high income areas of Association (NITRA)’s breakfast Benefits And Challenges In designed to present an utmost and very suitable for the Nigeria for their programmes.â€? meeting to discuss data centre a Knowledge Economyâ€?, user-friendly experience multi-device social networking Other places visited by the management and its operational the experts will discuss the alongside hassle-free navigation customer. NITDA team, were Roothub efficiencies. challenges in delivering efManaging Director of CHI and improved functionalities. and Hubitz where the team General Manager, MDXi Data ficient data centre services to It enables users, with a click, Plc, who is also the current interacted with members of the Centre, Mr. Gbenga Adegbiji; Nigerians. The event slated access to information on various Chairman of the Nigerian Insurhub and had a experience of CEO of Medallion Communi- to hold on Friday, February classes of general insurance ers Association (NIA), Mr. Eddie their needs and aspirations. cations Mr. Ike Nnamani and 16, 2018 in Ikeja GRA, will business to take decisions based Efekoha, attributed the efforts According to Jonson, “We CEO, Rack Centre, Mr. Tunde feature MDXi Data Centre, as a on available options and forms of several weeks deployed in are pleased with this visit, Coker, have all indicated interest leading connectivity solutions building the website to the of protection desired. it has demonstrated that the to be physically present at the company, operator of MDX-i With a very easy and friendly determination of the company government is serious with ICT breakfast meeting which will Lekki Data Centre. on boarding process, the website in ensuring insurance services and the drive for diversified have over 50 journalists from MDXi Data Centre, like enhances the purchase of insur- are made available with ease economy which ICT would various media organisations other Tier III certified Data ance products online through to the end users. According be the driver. We believe that in attendance. Centres operating in Nigeria, the aid of premium calculators. to him, the closer insurance this recognition would spur As the world is increasingly has access to fibre connectivity It also facilitates payments with services are to the end users, us to achieve greater things exploiting information technol- from all the major ISPs and Bank Debit Cards and online particularly via desktops and in future.â€? ogy for innovative services telecommunications operators payments via specified bank mobile devices, the better for Sambo in her engagement and competitive advantage, in the region. accounts with several tier one higher insurance penetration with the Honourable Com- the data centre is playing a Rack Centre operation, being with the attendant positive and two banks. missioner, Ministry of Science rapidly expanding role in job one of the major players in a Also, through a Unique effects on revenue growth. and Technology in Akwa Ibom creation and preservation as State-of-the-Art, Tier III CertiDeployment of latest technolCustomer Dashboard available State, Prof. Nse Udo Essien, well as the overall economic fied Data Centre Carrier, offers for new and existing customers, ogy is an integral part of the said the state would work recovery. neutral collocation services. they can view online real-time strategic plan of CHI Plc in its with OIIE to ensure they have Nigeria has witnessed signifi- Their managing directors the status of their policies, and quest to emerge as a leader in a wonderful “Startup Fridayâ€? cant investments in data centres will be discussing how best the Nigerian insurance industry, transactions. event experience in Uyo, Akwa being established in the country. to offer data centre services The functionality of the new he said. Ibom State. And it has often been argued to customers.

WEMA PURPLE ACADEMY CERTIFIED Experts to Address Data Centre Operational Efficiencies

Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Launches Website


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Stakeholder Engagement as Tool for Inclusive Governance Two weeks after the Lekki Concession Company Limited began the implementation of the toll fees increment along the Lekki-Epe expressway, Raheem Akingbolu writes on the communication approach adopted by the company and the state government, making the process seamless Due to the complexity inherent in the public sector, where there may be ambiguous measures of service and perceived elements of public policy prioritisation, governments and their administrators in ideal democratic setting have since realised the need to engage the public through various platforms before taking any decision that would impact on the people. In such circumstance, it is always important to understand who the stakeholders are both in a specific and broader sense. Perhaps that was what informed the approach the Lagos State government and the Lekki Concession Company Limited (LCC), adopted towards the end of last year when they announced that the toll fees along Lekki-Epe Eexpress way would be increased. Obviously, the initiators of the plan had learnt some lessons from the fallouts of the first attempt made by the previous administration in the state, when public opinion overwhelmed the decision and killed the plan. Rather than forcing it down the throat of Lagos residents, the state government, through the company developed a well-tailored strategy that is hinged on stakeholder engagement. First, they indentified those who are the focus of the activities as well as identifying those directly involved with or responsible for increment. The initiators also collaborated well with various authorities, the National Union of Road Transport Workers, (NURTW) and other members of the public. The announcement Towards the end of last year, the Lekki Concession Company, had issued a statement to announce that the toll fee would be increased. The company had stated that the toll fare increase was as a result of current economic and business realities that have adversely increased the cost of operations and maintenance of the company’s loan obligations. The Managing Director, LCC, Mr. Mohammed Mubashiru Hassan, noted that the feedback and recommendations received during the series of consultations held in December 2017 with stakeholders in Eti-Osa Local Government area and its environs considerably influenced the new toll fares to be paid by motorists plying the Expressway and the Link Bridge. Detailing the new development, Hassan said: “Since the commencement of tolling in December 2011, the toll tariffs had remained the same despite the continuous increase in the cost of operations to ensure that the toll plazas and the road infrastructure are well maintained. The toll review has also become necessary to enable the company meet its loan obligations to its local and foreign lenders, considering the fact that foreign exchange rates have continued to increase astronomically in the last couple of years. LCC cannot continue to operate or provide the services required from us if we do not review the toll tariffs�. In line with the popular belief that nature abhors change, residents of Lagos had reacted harshly and called for Governor Ambode’s intervention when the announcement was first made late last year. According to them, the decision made life difficult for Lagosians. This cannot be unconnected to two reasons; the sudden fuel scarcity that created havoc for residents and the negative effect of both the increment and fuel scarcity on Lagosians, who had planned for ease-free Xmas and New Year. But rather than using the instrument of government to enforce the implementation of the increase, government took a subtle approach and engages all the stakeholders on why the increment was inevitable. AccordingtoTHISDAY findings at LCC office in Lagos, many of the consulted stakeholders included but not limited to traditional rulers, community leaders, residents’ associations, youth groups and Eti-Osa Local

Government officials. Others are; members of the media as well as members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Eti-Osa Local Government Area. At the end of the various engagement exercise, they (the stakeholders) unanimously agreed that there was a need for constant upgrade of road facilities, as the Eti-Osa/Lekki-Epe corridor was rapidly becoming an international economic hub for investors. Reacting to the new toll fares for branded commercial vehicles popularly called ‘Danfo’, Chairman, National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, Jakande, Eti-Osa Local Government Chapter, Alhaji Taofeek Oluwa, commended the foresight of LCC in consulting with leaders and members of the NURTW in Eti-Osa LGA. He noted that although the toll fare review by LCC was unavoidable, the NURTW was glad to know that LCC took their advice for a minimal increment on toll fare from N80 to N100 (N90 for eTag users) for commercial transport buses plying the Eti-Osa/Lekki-Epe. Feedbacks Looking back at how motorists and commuters responded to the toll review on Admiralty Circle Plaza and the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge Plaza and the experience of its workers manning the tolls, LCC, has stated that the company recorded a massive compliance. While thanking Lagosians for their support, the company apologised for traffic congestion on the first day and promised to look into how to improve on its service. During a media parley to update the public on developments around the toll review, Hassan told journalists that the toll review was a socio-economic decision made at the right time to avoid yearly increments. Mr. Hassan said the toll review was mooted a few years ago but had to go through the due process of consultations. “The compliance level is satisfactory. If there is no compliance, by now, you would have noticed dissenting activities. We are, however, in a democratic government; there is right of choice for those who are willing to pay and those who don’t want to pay. In November 2017, we made an attempt to carry out the review but the Lagos State Governor, His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode directed LCC to carry out further consultations with stakeholders in the Eti-Osa/Lekki-Epe corridor which we have since done. We cannot but attribute this high level of compliance and understanding by

motorists to the advice and support we received from the media, Eti-Osa/Lekki-Epe Indigenes and Residents, National Union of Road and Transport Workers (NURTW), Traditional Rulers and Youth Organisations as well community development Associations and civil society groups,� Hassan stated. While engaging the media on alternative routes for motorists who are not willing to pay the new tariff, Hassan encouraged motorists to sign up for the electronic tags (e-Tag), which provides quick access through both toll plazas. He also said e-Tag users are entitled to 10% discount, which can increase to as much as 50% discount depending on the frequency of passage. He corrected the misconception that the e-Tags were designed for the elites of the society, pointing out that a lot of commercial buses (popularly called ‘Danfo’), corporate and private vehicles use the e-tag for easy passage through the toll plazas. He further stated that owners of several vehicles can secure a single e-Tag account for their vehicles so as to fund it centrally and monitor the movement of their vehicles through the toll plazas. He added that occasional road users can also register for the e-Tag as the funds paid into the account does not expire at any time until used. To register for the e-Tag, motorists are required to provide the vehicle license, proof of ownership and any valid identity card. He also reiterated that the eTag, once acquired can be used in any of the lanes at the plazas. He further assured the public that his organisation was poised to continue the development of the Lekki axis. “The Ajah flyover has been completed and we have the intention of rehabilitating the road up to Eleko Beach so that the benefits seen in the Lekki area can be extended further along the axis. Possibly, it may spill over to Epe which already has a six-lane road,� he added. Lekki Concession Company Limited has managed operations of the theEti-Osa/Lekki-Epe Expressway for the past 10 years despite the yearly increase of the cost of operations and the rate of inflation. In addition, LCC provides various other services to road users free of charge, especially as it relates to their convenience such as the 24/7 free vehicle breakdown and recovery services by the Company’s Route and Incident Management team; LCC dedicated Police team to ensure safety and security of road users; the Toll free Customer Service helpline and

other services. Over 100,000 road users were said to have benefited from the free service of the Route and Incident Management team since inception. Power of engagement Three developments that emanated as a result of the toll fare increment demonstrated the power of engagement. First, the timely statement issued by the Police to warn members of the public against disturbing peace, when it was discovered that some groups were contemplating protest despite the mutual agreement. Another related development was the statement that was credited to Eti-Osa Local government, which also corroborated the police stand. Finally, the statement issued by the leadership of the NURTW, appeared to be the major intervention that laid the issue to rest. Following the announcement of the toll review, the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, Jakande, Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State, was quick to assure residents and commuters on the affected areas that there would be no fare increase as a result of the toll review. According to the Chairman, National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, Jakande, Eti-Osa, Alhaji Taofeek Oluwa, it was encouraging that LCC carried the Union along as one of the critical stakeholders consulted during the engagement process for the toll review which resulted in the minimal increase in tariff charged branded commercial buses. Speaking further, Alhaji Oluwa said, “As long as LCC honours its agreement of our mutual understanding at the stakeholders’ meeting, we can confidently support LCC by assuring that commuters will not suffer any increase in the fare paid to board branded commercial buses coming into or going out of Eti-Osa/Lekki-Epe Expressway. The NURTW is happy toendorse the toll fare review�, Alhaji Oluwa noted. This statement was corroborated by another NURTW Jakande Eti-Osa official, Alhaji Quadri Adesokan, who stated that LCC has promised to improve the standards of the roads for the safety of passengers. “We have heard the concerns of the LCC and have agreed to support them because they have promised us to maintain the roads. A large number of our buses are using the e-tag which affords us unhindered entry and return from Lekki-Epe Expressway�.


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NIRSAL, German Firm Sign MoU on Mechanisation of Post-harvest Processing Udora Orizu in Abuja The Nigeria Incentive Based Risk-Sharing for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) in line with its mandate to derisk post-harvest loss and promote mechanisation of post-harvest processing has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with RIELA, a leading German agricultural processing technology company, which provides complete value chain solutions. The Managing Director of NIRSAL, Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed, who signed on behalf of NIRSAL at the MoU signing ceremony in Abuja weekend, stated that the event was a significant step in supporting commercial agriculture in Nigeria. According to him, It marks the strategic partnership with RIELA of Germany, adding that RIELA has over eleven production facilities across the globe including Tanzania in Africa.

He added that they are industry leader in post -harvest processing, storage and distribution technology. “In Nigeria we are blessed with the production of various agricultural commodities, but we all know that the post harvest loss risk is extremely alarming. The majority of our farm produce is lost due to pest and deterioration. This is fundamentally caused by post - harvest processing and storage practices. We all know that we are blessed with good soil, climate, satellite and everything we need to produce maximally but the fact that you have got maximum yield doesn’t mean you have got maximum value financially speaking. “And as a risk management company and a finance enabler if we don’t fix that segment of the value chain, it means we are carrying out risk and there’s no way that we can

convince financiers to put their money in projects when loss is up to 40 to 60 per cent. So it’s in our own self - interest as NIRSAL and its part of our mandate to see what is the issue with post- harvest loss and can we leverage technology and science and partnership to solve that problem in a commercially sustainable way,� he said. According to him, “Our partnership with RIELA is designed to provide increased access to harvest and post- harvest technology equipment, it aims to help our farmers at the primary production level with technology, training, machinery and technical assistance. ,�We believe that this multi-level support will improve their productivity and therefore increase their income, increase the chance that this project will pay back the loan, capacity to make profit and capacity to make a living out of agriculture�.

Communications Week Opens Voting for BoICT Awards 2018 Emma Okonji The board and management of CommunicationsWeek Media Limited, a certified global ICT company with over two million online subscribers, said it has opened its portal to the general public to vote for nominees of this year’s Beacon of ICT (BoICT) Awards. The Beacon of Information and Communication Technology awards series are widely regarded as the most prestigious annual event available in the ICT industry in Nigeria. The awards ceremony reward best practices and recognise outstanding contributions to the growth of the sector. Announcing the commencement of the voting process,

the Chief Executive Officer and Editor in-Chief, CommunicationsWeek Media Limited, the organisers of the event, Mr. ken Nwogbo, said the BoICT Awards winners had always emerged through a transparent voting process that involves business leaders and readers, with independent quality experts. Business leaders and readers can cast their votes via http://boict.nigeriacommunicationsweek.com.ng Nwogbo said, adding that the theme for this year’s lecture is “Leveraging ICT Value for Building Institutions�. Now in its ninth year, this year award will start with the distinguished lecture series. The lecture and award are slated for Saturday, April 28,

2018, at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos. The Beacon of ICT Distinguished Lecture is designed to explore efforts to put Nigeria on the global Information and Communications Technologies map. The lecture series is reserved for distinguished achievers. Past Keynote lecturers include: the former Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ernest Ndukwe; former Director-General of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Yomi Bolarinwa; CEO, OR System France and specialist in Counterpart Risk, Dr. Jean Luc Fort; and Chairman, Knowledge Factory International, United Kingdom, Professor Chris Nwagboso, among others.

iSON Technologies, OutSystems Partner on LowCode Solutions Emma Okonji iSON Technologies and OutSystems have announced a strategic partnership focused on helping organisations in African and Middle Eastern(AME) regions achieve digital transformation faster. iSON Technologies, the leading IT player catering to the African and Middle Eastern markets will use the OutSystems low-code platform to accelerate digital transformation initiatives in the regions. OutSystems combines the power of low-code development with advanced mobile capabilities, enabling visual development of entire application portfolios that easily integrate with existing systems. The partnership is aimed at empowering enterprises to quickly create and

deliver effective, innovative and compelling enterprisegrade applications. iSON Technologies is focused on transforming large organisations. With OutSystems, it now has an in-house development solution for replacing existing legacy systems and developing additional functionality with a short time to market. The joint solution will enable organisations in telecoms, BFSI, Real-Estate, Oil and Gas, Manufacturing, Retail and other sectors to rapidly capitalise on market opportunities. Speaking about the partnership, Chief Growth Officer, OutSystems, Mr. Akshay Grover, said: “OutSystems is one of the most advanced low-code platform and it is consistently rated a leader by the analyst community. The

partnership is a win – win with the sectors’ desire to come up to speed to cater to its customer’s needs. As we focus on digital transformation for organisations in the AME regions, this partnership will empower us to deliver enterprise mobility solutions fast.� Commenting on the partnership, Vice President of Global Channels and Alliances, OutSystems, Bob Wilson, said, “We are pleased to deliver these solutions in partnership with iSON, who has been at the forefront of digital transformation across Africa and the Middle East. With iSON on board, we gain a genuine partner with market-specific knowledge, allowing us to contribute to the innovative digital capacities of companies in these markets.�

CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT OLODU KEONYEDI

BeneďŹ ts of Money Market Funds

ÞÓĂ?Ă?Ă‹ĂœĂŒĂ?ĘľĂ?ĂœÞÙĂ“Ă˜Ă Ă?Ă?ĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă‹Ă?Ù×ÚÙĂ&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ“Ă˜ĂžĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă?Ăž ĂŁĂ“Ă?Ă–ĂŽĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ Ă“Ă˜Ă Ă?Ă?Þ×Ă?Ă˜Ăž ĂžĂ’Ă‹Ă˜ Ă‹ Ă?Ó×ÚÖĂ? Ă“Ă˜ĂžĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă?ÞãÓĂ?Ă–ĂŽĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă™Ă˜Ă?Ë› Ă‹Ă˜ĂŁĂŁĂ™Ă&#x;Ă˜Ă‘Ă“Ă‘Ă?ĂœĂ“Ă‹Ă˜Ă?Ă—Ă‹ĂŁĂ˜Ă™ĂžĂ’Ă‹Ă Ă?Ă’Ă?Ă‹ĂœĂŽ Ă™Ă? ÞÒĂ? ĂŒĂ?Ă˜Ă?ʨÞĂ? Ă™Ă? Ă—Ă™Ă˜Ă?ĂŁ Ă—Ă‹ĂœĂ•Ă?Ăž Ă?Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ? Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽ Ă?Ù×Ă? ÞÒËÞ Ă’Ă‹Ă Ă? Ă’Ă?Ă‹ĂœĂŽ Ă‹ĂŒĂ™Ă&#x;Ăž Ă“ĂžËœ Ă—Ă‹ĂŁ Ă˜Ă™Ăž Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ?ĂœĂ?ĂžĂ‹Ă˜ĂŽ ÞÒĂ? ĂĄĂ™ĂœĂ•Ă“Ă˜Ă‘ ĂšĂœĂ“Ă˜Ă?ÓÚÖĂ?Ă? ĂŒĂ?Ă’Ă“Ă˜ĂŽ Ă“Ăž ĂĄĂ’Ă“Ă–Ă? Ă‹ Ă Ă?ĂœĂŁ Ă?Ă?ĂĄ Ă?Ă—Ă‹ĂœĂž Ă™Ă˜Ă?Ă? Ă‹ĂœĂ? Ă‹Ă–ĂœĂ?Ă‹ĂŽĂŁ Ă“Ă˜Ă Ă?Ă?ĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă“Ă˜ÓÞ˛ Ă?ĂĄĂ“Ă–Ă–ĂžĂœĂŁÞÙĂŽĂ?Ę¨Ă˜Ă?Ă—Ă™Ă˜Ă?ĂŁĂ—Ă‹ĂœĂ•Ă?ĂžĂ?Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ? Ă“Ă˜ ÞÒĂ? Ă?Ó×ÚÖĂ?Ă?Ăž ĂĄĂ‹ĂŁ ÚÙĂ?Ă?Ă“ĂŒĂ–Ă?Ëž Ă—Ă™Ă˜Ă?ĂŁ Ă—Ă‹ĂœĂ•Ă?Ăž Ă?Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽ Ă“Ă? Ă‹Ă˜ ÙÚĂ?Ă˜Ě‹Ă?Ă˜ĂŽĂ?ĂŽ Ă—Ă&#x;ĂžĂ&#x;Ă‹Ă– Ă?Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽ ÞÒËÞ ĂŽĂ?Ă‹Ă–Ă? Ă“Ă˜ Ă?Ă’Ă™ĂœĂžĚ‹ĂžĂ?ĂœĂ— ĂŽĂ“Ă?Ă?Ă™Ă&#x;Ă˜Ăž Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă&#x;ĂœĂ“ĂžĂ“Ă?Ă? Ă?Ă&#x;Ă?Ă’ Ă‹Ă?ĂžĂœĂ?Ă‹Ă?Ă&#x;ĂœĂŁĂ˜Ă™ĂžĂ?Ă?ËœĂŒĂ‹Ă˜Ă•ĂŒĂ“Ă–Ă–Ă?Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂšĂœĂ™Ă—Ă“Ă?Ă?Ă™ĂœĂŁ Ă˜Ă™ĂžĂ?Ă?˛ÒĂ?Ă—Ă™Ă˜Ă?ĂŁĂ—Ă‹ĂœĂ•Ă?ĂžĂ?Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ă‹ĂœĂ?Ă—Ă‹Ă˜Ă‹Ă‘Ă?ĂŽ ĂŒĂŁ Ă?âÚĂ?ĂœĂ“Ă?Ă˜Ă?Ă?ĂŽ Ă?Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ? Ă—Ă‹Ă˜Ă‹Ă‘Ă?ĂœĂ? ĂĄĂ’Ă™ Ă‹ĂœĂ? ĂžĂœĂ‹Ă“Ă˜Ă?ĂŽ ÞÙ ÙÚÞÓ×ÓĂ?Ă? Ă?Ă’Ă‹ĂœĂ?ÒÙÖÎĂ?Ăœ ĂœĂ?ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ˜Ă? ĂŒĂŁ ĂŽĂ?ĂšĂ–Ă™ĂŁĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ Ă‹ ĂŒĂ‹Ă–Ă‹Ă˜Ă?Ă? ×Óâ Ă™Ă? ĂšĂ™ĂœĂžĂ?ÙÖÓÙ Ă“Ă˜Ă Ă?Ă?ĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ÞÙĂ?Ă˜Ă?Ă&#x;ĂœĂ?ÞÒĂ?Ă“Ă˜Ă Ă?Ă?ĂžĂ™ĂœËŞĂ?Ă—Ă™Ă˜Ă?ĂŁĂ“Ă?Ă?Ă‹Ă?Ă?Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽ ĂœĂ?ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ˜ĂœĂ?Ă—Ă‹Ă“Ă˜Ă’Ă“Ă‘Ă’Ă?ĂœĂžĂ’Ă‹Ă˜ÞÒĂ?Ă“Ă˜ĘŽĂ‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ĂœĂ‹ĂžĂ?Ë›  Ă—Ă™Ă˜Ă?ĂŁ Ă—Ă‹ĂœĂ•Ă?Ăž Ă?Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽ Ă?Ă‹Ă˜ ĂšĂœĂ™Ă Ă“ĂŽĂ? Ă˜Ă&#x;Ă—Ă?ĂœĂ™Ă&#x;Ă?ĂŒĂ?Ă˜Ă?ʨÞĂ?Ă?Ă™ĂœĂ“Ă˜Ă Ă?Ă?ĂžĂ™ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă?ĂšĂ?Ă?Ă“Ă‹Ă–Ă–ĂŁĂ“Ă˜Ă‹Ă’Ă“Ă‘Ă’ Ă“Ă˜ĘŽĂ‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă?Ă?Ă™Ă˜Ă™Ă—ĂŁĂ?Ă&#x;Ă?Ă’Ă‹Ă?ÞÒĂ?Ă?Ă&#x;ĂœĂœĂ?Ă˜ĂžĂ“Ă‘Ă?ĂœĂ“Ă‹ Ă?Ă?Ă™Ă˜Ă™Ă—ĂŁË›  Ă?ĂœĂ? Ă‹ĂœĂ? Ă?Ù×Ă? Ă™Ă? ÞÒĂ? ĂŒĂ?Ă˜Ă?ʨÞĂ? ÞÙ Ă?Ă™Ă˜Ă?Ă“ĂŽĂ?ĂœË? Low risk investment Ă’Ă?ĂœĂ“Ă?Ă•Ă?Ă™Ă?Ă“Ă˜Ă Ă?Ă?ĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă“Ă˜Ă—Ă™Ă˜Ă?ĂŁĂ—Ă‹ĂœĂ•Ă?ĂžĂ?Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ? Ă‹ĂœĂ? Ă Ă?ĂœĂŁ ÖÙå˞ ÞÒĂ? Ă?Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽ Ă—Ă‹Ă˜Ă‹Ă‘Ă?ĂœĂ? Ă“Ă˜Ă Ă?Ă?Ăž ĂŁĂ™Ă&#x;Ăœ Ă?Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ă“Ă˜Ă Ă?ĂœĂŁÖÙåĂœĂ“Ă?Ă•ĂŽĂ?ĂŒĂžĂ?Ă?Ă?Ă&#x;ĂœĂ“ĂžĂ“Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă&#x;Ă?Ă’Ă‹Ă? ĂžĂœĂ?Ă‹Ă?Ă&#x;ĂœĂŁ ĂŒĂ“Ă–Ă–Ă?Ëœ  ĂŒĂ™Ă˜ĂŽĂ?˛ÙĂ&#x; Ă‹ĂœĂ? Ă Ă?ĂœĂŁ Ă?Ă&#x;ĂœĂ? ĂŁĂ™Ă&#x;Ăœ Ă?ËÚÓÞËÖ Ă“Ă? Ă?Ă‹Ă?Ă? Ă?ĂœĂ™Ă— ÞÒĂ? àÙÖËÞÓÖÓÞÓĂ?Ă? Ă“Ă˜Ă?Ă&#x;ĂœĂœĂ?ĂŽĂ?ĂœĂ™Ă—ÞÒĂ?Ă?ÞÙĂ?Ă•Ă—Ă‹ĂœĂ•Ă?Þ˛ Higher return than the ination rate ÓÞÒ ÞÒĂ? Ă?Ă&#x;ĂœĂœĂ?Ă˜Ăž Ă“Ă˜ĘŽĂ‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ ĂœĂ‹ĂžĂ? Ă“Ă˜ Ă“Ă‘Ă?ĂœĂ“Ă‹ Ă?ĂžĂ‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ? Ă‹Ăž Ă‹ĂŒĂ™Ă&#x;Ăž Í’Í•Ë›Í—ĎŻËœ Ă“Ă˜ĘŽĂ‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ ĂœĂ‹ĂžĂ? Ă‹Ă? ĂĄĂ? Ă‹Ă–Ă–Ă•Ă˜Ă™ĂĄËœĂ“ĂžĂ“Ă?ÞÒĂ?ĂœĂ‹ĂžĂ?ËÞåÒÓĂ?Ă’ĂšĂœĂ“Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă“Ă˜Ă?ĂœĂ?Ă‹Ă?Ă? ÙàĂ?ĂœÞÓ×Ă?ËœĂœĂ?Ă?Ă&#x;Ă–ĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă“Ă˜Ă‹Ă?Ă‹Ă–Ă–Ă“Ă˜ÞÒĂ?ĂšĂ&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă’Ă‹Ă?Ă“Ă˜Ă‘ Ă Ă‹Ă–Ă&#x;Ă?Ă™Ă?ÞÒĂ?Ă—Ă™Ă˜Ă?ĂŁË› Ă?ĂšĂœĂ“Ă?Ă?Ă?ĂœĂ“Ă?Ă?Ă?ËœĂŁĂ™Ă&#x;ĂœĂ—Ă™Ă˜Ă?ĂŁĂŒĂ&#x;ĂŁĂ?Ă–Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽ Ă–Ă?Ă?Ă?ÑÙÙÎĂ?Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ă?ĂœĂ Ă“Ă?Ă?Ă?ËœĂ?ÙÓÞåÙĂ&#x;Ă–ĂŽĂŒĂ?Ă‹Ă Ă?ĂœĂŁ ĂĄĂ“Ă?Ă?ĂŽĂ?Ă?Ă“Ă?Ă“Ă™Ă˜ÞÙĂšĂ&#x;ÞãÙĂ&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ă“Ă˜Ă‹Ă˜Ă“Ă˜Ă Ă?Ă?Þ×Ă?Ă˜ĂžÞÒËÞĂĄĂ“Ă–Ă–Ă‹Ă–ĂĄĂ‹ĂŁĂ?ĂœĂ?ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ˜Ă‹Ă˜Ă“Ă˜ĂžĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă?ÞÒÓÑÒĂ?ĂœĂžĂ’Ă‹Ă˜ÞÒĂ?Ă?Ă&#x;ĂœĂœĂ?Ă˜ĂžĂ“Ă˜ĘŽĂ‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ĂœĂ‹ĂžĂ?Ë› Ă’Ă?Ă?Ă? Ă’Ă“Ă‘Ă’ Ă“Ă˜ĘŽĂ‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă‹ĂœĂŁ ĂžĂœĂ?Ă˜ĂŽĂ? ĂĄĂ“Ă–Ă– Ă—Ă‹Ă•Ă? ÞÒĂ?Ă?Ă™Ă?ÞÙĂ?ÑÙÙÎĂ?Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ă?ĂœĂ Ă“Ă?Ă?Ă?ÞÙĂ?Ă™Ă˜ĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă&#x;Ă?ÞÙ ĂœĂ“Ă?Ă?Ă“Ă˜ÞÒĂ?Ă˜Ă?Ă‹ĂœĂžĂ?ĂœĂ—ĂœĂ?ĂŽĂ&#x;Ă?Ă“Ă˜Ă‘ÞÒĂ?ĂšĂ&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă’Ă‹Ă?Ă“Ă˜Ă‘ ÚÙåĂ?Ăœ Ă™Ă? Ă—Ă™Ă?Ăž Ă“Ă‘Ă?ĂœĂ“Ă‹Ă˜Ă?Ëœ Ă?Ă?ĂšĂ?Ă?Ă“Ă‹Ă–Ă–ĂŁ Ă“Ă? ĂŁĂ™Ă&#x;Ăœ Ă“Ă˜Ă?Ù×Ă?ĂœĂ?Ă—Ă‹Ă“Ă˜Ă?ĘŽĂ‹ĂžĂ?Ë› Ă?Ă?ÚÓÞĂ?ÞÒĂ?Ă˜Ă?ÑËÞÓàĂ?Ă?ĘĽĂ?Ă?ĂžĂ?Ă™Ă?Ă‹Ă’Ă“Ă‘Ă’Ă?ĂœĂ“Ă˜ĘŽĂ‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă‹ĂœĂŁĂ?Ă?Ă™Ă˜Ă™Ă—ĂŁËœĂ—Ă™Ă˜Ă?ĂŁĂ—Ă‹ĂœĂ•Ă?ĂžĂ?Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ă‹ĂœĂ? ĂŒĂ?Ă˜Ă?Ă’Ă—Ă‹ĂœĂ•Ă?ĂŽĂ‹Ă‘Ă‹Ă“Ă˜Ă?ĂžÞÒĂ?Ă“Ă˜ĘŽĂ‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ĂœĂ‹ĂžĂ?Ë› Higher returns than standard savings accounts Ă’Ă? Ă—Ă™Ă?Ăž ÚÙÚĂ&#x;Ă–Ă‹Ăœ Ă“Ă˜Ă Ă?Ă?Þ×Ă?Ă˜Ăž ĂŽĂ?Ă?ĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ Ă?Ă™ĂœĂ—Ă‹Ă˜ĂŁĂŁĂ™Ă&#x;Ă˜Ă‘Ă“Ă‘Ă?ĂœĂ“Ă‹Ă˜Ă?åÓÞÒĂ‹ÖÓʾÖĂ?Ă?Ă‹Ă?Ă’ÞÙ Ă?ĂšĂ‹ĂœĂ? Ă“Ă? Ă?Ă‹Ă Ă“Ă˜Ă‘ Ă‹Ă?Ă?Ă™Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂžĂ?Ë› Ă’Ă?Ă˜ ĂŁĂ™Ă&#x; ĂŽĂ?ÚÙĂ?Ă“Ăž Ă—Ă™Ă˜Ă?ĂŁ Ă“Ă˜ Ă‹ ĂŒĂ‹Ă˜Ă• Ă‹Ă?Ă?Ă™Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂžËœ ĂŁĂ™Ă&#x; ĂŒĂ‹Ă?Ă“Ă?Ă‹Ă–Ă–ĂŁ Ă–Ă?Ă˜ĂŽ

ÞÒËÞ Ă—Ă™Ă˜Ă?ĂŁ ÞÙ ÞÒĂ? ĂŒĂ‹Ă˜Ă• Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽ Ă?Ă‹ĂœĂ˜ Ă“Ă˜ĂžĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă?ĂžËœ ĂšĂœĂ?Ă?Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ–ĂŁ ÞÒĂ? Ă“Ă˜ĂžĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă?Ăž ĂœĂ‹ĂžĂ? Ă™Ă˜ Ă‹ Ă?Ă‹Ă Ă“Ă˜Ă‘Ă? Ă‹Ă?Ă?Ă™Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă“Ă‘Ă?ĂœĂ“Ă‹Ă“Ă?ĂŒĂ?ÞåĂ?Ă?Ă˜Í”Ě‹Í•ĎŻĂŒĂ&#x;ÞÓĂ?ĂŁĂ™Ă&#x; ĂŒĂ™ĂœĂœĂ™ĂĄĂ—Ă™Ă˜Ă?ĂŁĂ?ĂœĂ™Ă—ÞÒĂ?ĂŒĂ‹Ă˜Ă•ËžÞÒĂ?Ă–Ă?Ă˜ĂŽĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ĂœĂ‹ĂžĂ? Ă“Ă?ĂŒĂ?ÞåĂ?Ă?Ă˜Í“Í‘Ě‹Í“Í’ĎŻË›

Ă˜Ă Ă?Ă?ĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ Ă“Ă˜ Ă—Ă™Ă˜Ă?ĂŁ Ă—Ă‹ĂœĂ•Ă?Ăž Ă?Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽ ĂŁĂ™Ă&#x; Ă‹ĂœĂ? Ă?Ă&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă™Ă?Ă‹ĂœĂ?ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ˜Ă’Ă“Ă‘Ă’Ă?ĂœĂžĂ’Ă‹Ă˜ÞÒĂ?Ă“Ă˜ĘŽĂ‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ĂœĂ‹ĂžĂ?Ëœ Ă‹Ă?Ă‹ĂžÞÒĂ?Ă–Ă‹Ă?ĂžÞÓ×Ă? Ă?Ă’Ă?Ă?Ă•Ă?ĂŽÞÒĂ?Ă“Ă˜ĂžĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă?ĂžĂœĂ‹ĂžĂ? Ă?Ă™ĂœÞÒĂ?Ă—Ă™Ă˜Ă?ĂŁĂ—Ă‹ĂœĂ•Ă?ÞåËĂ?Ă‹ĂŒĂ™Ă&#x;Þ͖͒ϯ˛

ÞÒËĂ?Ă‹Ă?Ù×ÚÙĂ&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă?ĘĽĂ?Ă?Ăž  Ă™Ă˜Ă?ĂŁ Ă—Ă‹ĂœĂ•Ă?Ăž Ă?Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽ Ă’Ă‹Ă? Ă‹ Ă?Ù×ÚÙĂ&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ Ă?ĘĽĂ?Ă?Ăž Ă™Ă˜ Ă“ĂžĂ? Ă“Ă˜ĂžĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă?Þ˞ Ă?Ă Ă?ĂœĂŁ Ă“Ă˜ĂžĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă?Ăž Ă‹Ă?Ă?ĂœĂ&#x;Ă?ĂŽ Ă“Ă? Ă‹ĂŽĂŽĂ?ĂŽ ÞÙ ÞÒĂ? ĂšĂœĂ“Ă˜Ă?ÓÚËÖ Ă?Ă&#x;Ă— Ă™Ă? ÞÒĂ? Ă“Ă˜Ă“ĂžĂ“Ă‹Ă– ĂŽĂ?ÚÙĂ?ÓÞ˛Ă™Ă&#x;Ăœ Ă“Ă˜Ă“ĂžĂ“Ă‹Ă– ĂŽĂ?ÚÙĂ?Ă“Ăž Ă‘ĂœĂ™ĂĄ Ă‹Ăž Ă‹ Ă?Ă‹Ă?ĂžĂ?Ăœ ĂœĂ‹ĂžĂ? ĂžĂ’Ă‹Ă˜ Ă?Ó×ÚÖĂ? Ă“Ă˜ĂžĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă?Ăž Ă“Ă˜Ă Ă?Ă?Þ×Ă?Ă˜ĂžËœ ÞÒĂ?ĂœĂ‹ĂžĂ?ËÞåÒÓĂ?Ă’ÞÒĂ?Ă?Ù×ÚÙĂ&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ“Ă˜ĂžĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă?ÞËĂ?Ă?ĂœĂ&#x;Ă?Ă?ĂŽĂ?ĂšĂ?Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ă™Ă˜ĂŁĂ™Ă&#x;ĂœĂ“Ă˜Ă“ĂžĂ“Ă‹Ă–ĂŽĂ?ÚÙĂ?Ă“ĂžĂ‹Ă˜ĂŽÞÒĂ? Ă?ĂœĂ?Ă›Ă&#x;Ă?Ă˜Ă?ĂŁ Ă™Ă? Ă?Ù×ÚÙĂ&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ëž Ă“Ăž Ă’Ă‹Ă? Ă‹ Ă—Ă™Ă˜ĂžĂ’Ă–ĂŁ Ă?Ă‹ĂšĂ“ĂžĂ‹Ă–Ă“Ă¤Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜åÓÞÒÞÒĂ?Ă‹Ă˜Ă˜Ă&#x;Ă‹Ă–ĂœĂ‹ĂžĂ?Ă™Ă?Ă“Ă˜ĂžĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă?Ăž Ă—Ă?Ă‹Ă˜Ă“Ă˜Ă‘ÞÒËÞÞÒĂ?Ă?Ù×ÚÙĂ&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă?ĂœĂ?Ă›Ă&#x;Ă?Ă˜Ă?ĂŁĂ“Ă? Ă—Ă™Ă˜ĂžĂ’Ă–ĂŁË› Start small and grow Ă™Ă&#x; ĂŽĂ™Ă˜ËŞĂž Ă˜Ă?Ă?ĂŽ ÞÙ Ă’Ă‹Ă Ă? Ă‹ ÖÙÞ Ă™Ă? Ă—Ă™Ă˜Ă?ĂŁ ÞÙ Ă?ĂžĂ‹ĂœĂž Ă“Ă˜Ă Ă?Ă?ĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ Ă“Ă˜ Ă—Ă™Ă˜Ă?ĂŁ Ă—Ă‹ĂœĂ•Ă?Ăž Ă?Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ëœ ĂŁĂ™Ă&#x; Ă?Ă‹Ă˜ Ă?ĂžĂ‹ĂœĂž Ă“Ă˜Ă Ă?Ă?ĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ Ă‹Ă? ÖÓʾÖĂ? Ă‹Ă? ͒͑˜͑͑͑ Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽ ĂŁĂ™Ă&#x; Ă?Ă‹Ă˜ Ă•Ă?Ă?Ăš ĂžĂ™ĂšĂšĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ ĂŁĂ™Ă&#x;Ăœ Ă‹Ă?Ă?Ă™Ă&#x;Ă˜Ăž åÓÞÒ Ă‹ Ă—Ă“Ă˜Ă“Ă—Ă&#x;Ă—Ă™Ă?͖˜͑͑͑ÞÙĂ?ĂžĂ‹ĂœĂžĂ?Ă˜Ă”Ă™ĂŁĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ÞÒĂ?ĂŒĂ?Ă˜Ă?ʨÞĂ?˛ÒĂ?ĂŽĂ“ĘĽĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă˜ĂžĂ?Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ—Ă‹Ă˜Ă‹Ă‘Ă?ĂœĂ?Ă’Ă‹Ă Ă?ÞÒĂ?Ă“Ăœ ĂŽĂ“ĘĽĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă˜ĂžĂ?ĂžĂ‹ĂœĂžĚ‹Ă&#x;ÚÎĂ?ÚÙĂ?Ă“ĂžËœĂ?ÙãÙĂ&#x;Ă?Ă‹Ă˜Ă?Ă™Ă˜ĂžĂ‹Ă?Ăž ÞÒĂ?Ă—Ă?Ă™ĂœĂšĂœĂ™ĂšĂ?ĂœĂŒĂœĂ“Ă?Ę¨Ă˜Ă‘Ë› Investment for your children Ă’Ă“Ă? Ă“Ă? Ă‹ Ă Ă?ĂœĂŁ Ă&#x;Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă&#x;Ă– Ă“Ă˜Ă Ă?Ă?Þ×Ă?Ă˜Ăž Ă™ĂšĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ Ă?Ă™Ăœ ĂšĂ‹ĂœĂ?Ă˜ĂžĂ?Ëœ ĂĄĂ’Ă™ Ă‹ĂœĂ? Ă–Ă™Ă™Ă•Ă“Ă˜Ă‘ ÞÙ Ă?Ă‹Ă Ă? Ă?Ă™Ăœ ÞÒĂ?Ă“Ăœ Ă?Ă’Ă“Ă–ĂŽĂœĂ?Ă˜ËŞĂ? Ă?Ă&#x;ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ? Ă™Ăœ ĂžĂ™ĂĄĂ‹ĂœĂŽĂ? ÞÒĂ?Ă“Ăœ Ă&#x;Ă˜Ă“Ă Ă?ĂœĂ?ÓÞã Ă?ĂŽĂ&#x;Ă?Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ë› Ă‹ĂœĂ?Ă˜ĂžĂ?Ă?Ă‹Ă˜Ă?ĂžĂ‹ĂœĂžĂ?Ă‹Ă Ă“Ă˜Ă‘Ă?Ă™ĂœÞÒĂ?Ă“ĂœĂ?Ă’Ă“Ă–ĂŽĂœĂ?Ă˜ Ă‹Ă?Ă?Ă™Ă™Ă˜Ă‹Ă?ÞÒĂ?ĂŁĂ‹ĂœĂ?Ă‘Ă“Ă Ă?Ă˜ĂŒĂ“ĂœĂžĂ’ĂžĂ™ËœĂ?ÙÖĂ?Þ˪Ă?Ă?Ă‹ĂŁ ÞÒĂ?ĂšĂ‹ĂœĂ?Ă˜ĂžĂ?Ă‹ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă‹Ă Ă“Ă˜Ă‘Ă?Ă™ĂœÞÒĂ?Ă“ĂœĂ?Ă’Ă“Ă–ĂŽĂœĂ?Ă˜Ă&#x;Ă˜Ă“Ă Ă?ĂœĂ?ÓÞã Ă?ĂŽĂ&#x;Ă?Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ Í’Í— ĂŁĂ?Ă‹ĂœĂ? Ă?ĂœĂ™Ă— ÞÒĂ?Ă“Ăœ ĂŒĂ“ĂœĂžĂ’Ë›

Ă?ÞÒĂ?ĂŁĂ?Ă‹Ă˜Ă?Ă‹Ă Ă?Ă?Ă™ĂœÞÒĂ?Ă“ĂœĂ?Ă’Ă“Ă–ĂŽĂœĂ?Ă˜Ă?Ă™ĂœÍ’Í—ĂŁĂ?Ă‹ĂœĂ? åÓÞÒ ÞÒĂ? Ă?Ù×ÚÙĂ&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ Ă?ĘĽĂ?Ă?Ăž Ă™Ă˜ ÞÒĂ?Ă“Ăœ Ă“Ă˜Ă“ĂžĂ“Ă‹Ă– ĂŽĂ?ÚÙĂ?Ă“ĂžËœÞÒĂ?ĂšĂ‹ĂœĂ?Ă˜ĂžĂĄĂ™Ă&#x;Ă–ĂŽĂ˜Ă™ĂžĂ˜Ă?Ă?ĂŽÞÙĂĄĂ™ĂœĂœĂŁ Ă‹ĂŒĂ™Ă&#x;Ăž ÞÒĂ? Ă?Ă?ÒÙÙÖ Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă? Ă™Ă? ÞÒĂ?Ă“Ăœ Ă?Ă’Ă“Ă–ĂŽĂœĂ?Ă˜ Ă?ĂœĂ™Ă— Ă—Ă‹ĂžĂœĂ“Ă?Ă&#x;Ă–Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ÞÙĂ‘ĂœĂ‹ĂŽĂ&#x;Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ë› Ă™Ă&#x; Ă?Ă‹Ă˜ Ă›Ă&#x;Ă“Ă?Ă•Ă–ĂŁ Ă?Ă™Ă˜Ă Ă?ĂœĂžĂ?ĂŽ Ă“Ă˜ĂžĂ™ Ă?Ă‹Ă?Ă’ Ă‹Ăž Ă?Ă’Ă™ĂœĂž Ă˜Ă™ĂžĂ“Ă?Ă?Ë? Ă˜Ă–Ă“Ă•Ă? ÙÞÒĂ?Ăœ Ă“Ă˜Ă Ă?Ă?Þ×Ă?Ă˜ĂžËœ ĂŁĂ™Ă&#x; ĂŽĂ™Ă˜ËŞĂžĂ’Ă‹Ă Ă?ÞÙĂĄĂ‹Ă“ĂžĂ&#x;Ă˜ĂžĂ“Ă–Ă“ĂžĂœĂ?Ă‹Ă?Ă’Ă?Ă?ÓÞ×ËÞĂ&#x;ĂœĂ“ĂžĂŁ ĂŽĂ‹ĂžĂ?ĂŒĂ?Ă?Ă™ĂœĂ?ĂŁĂ™Ă&#x;Ă?Ă‹Ă˜Ă?Ă‹Ă?Ă’Ă™Ă&#x;Þ˛Ă˜Ă‹Ă?Ă’Ă™ĂœĂžĂ˜Ă™ĂžĂ“Ă?Ă?ËœĂ“Ă?ĂŁĂ™Ă&#x;Ă’Ă‹Ă Ă?Ă‹Ă˜ĂŁĂ˜Ă?Ă?ĂŽĂ?Ă™ĂœĂ“Ă—Ă—Ă?ĂŽĂ“Ă‹ĂžĂ?Ă?Ă‹Ă?Ă’ ĂŁĂ™Ă&#x;Ă?Ă‹Ă˜ËÚÚÖãĂ?Ă™ĂœĂŁĂ™Ă&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ă‹Ă?Ă’Ă™Ă&#x;Þ˛

ÞÓĂ?Ă‹ÑÙÙÎĂ™ĂšĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă?Ă™ĂœĂšĂ?ÙÚÖĂ?Ă?Ă‹Ă Ă“Ă˜Ă‘Ă&#x;ĂšĂ?Ă™Ăœ Ă‹ĂšĂœĂ™Ă”Ă?Ă?ĂžË?  Ă?ĂŁĂ™Ă&#x;Ă‹ĂœĂ?ĂšĂ–Ă‹Ă˜Ă˜Ă“Ă˜Ă‘Ă?Ă™ĂœĂ‹Ă˜ĂŁĂšĂœĂ™Ă”Ă?Ă?ĂžËœĂ?Ă‹ĂŁĂŁĂ™Ă&#x; ĂĄĂ‹Ă˜ĂžÞÙĂŒĂ&#x;ĂŁĂ‹Ă?Ă‹ĂœËœĂ?Ă›Ă&#x;ÓÚ×Ă?Ă˜ĂžËœĂ–Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ?ĂžĂ?ËœĂŁĂ™Ă&#x;Ă?Ă‹Ă˜ ĂŒĂ?Ă?Ă‹Ă Ă“Ă˜Ă‘Ă&#x;ĂšĂ?Ă™ĂœÞÒĂ?ĂšĂœĂ™Ă”Ă?Ă?ÞËĂ?ÞÒĂ?Ă?Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ă•Ă?Ă?Ăš Ă?Ă‹ĂœĂ˜Ă“Ă˜Ă‘Ă“Ă˜ĂžĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă?ÞåÒÓÖĂ?ĂŁĂ™Ă&#x;Ă?Ă™Ă˜ĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă&#x;Ă?ÞÙĂ?Ă‹Ă Ă?Ë› Ă“Ă˜Ă‹Ă–Ă–ĂŁËœ ĂĄĂ’Ă“Ă–Ă? Ă“Ă˜ĘŽĂ‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ ĂœĂ‹ĂžĂ? Ă—Ă“Ă‘Ă’Ăž ĂŒĂ? Ă’Ă“Ă‘Ă’Ëœ åÓÞÒĂœĂ?Ă‹Ă?Ă&#x;ĂœĂŁ ĂŒĂ“Ă–Ă– Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽ ÙÞÒĂ?Ăœ ÑÙàĂ?ĂœĂ˜Ă—Ă?Ă˜Ăž Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă&#x;ĂœĂ“ĂžĂ“Ă?Ă?Ă‹ĘľĂœĂ‹Ă?ĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ĂŁĂ“Ă?Ă–ĂŽĂ?Ă™Ă?ÙàĂ?Ăœ͙͒ϯ˞ĂŁĂ™Ă&#x;ĂĄĂ“Ă–Ă– Ă‹Ă‘ĂœĂ?Ă? åÓÞÒ Ă—Ă? ÞÒËÞ ÞÒĂ?ĂœĂ? Ă’Ă‹Ă? Ă˜Ă?Ă Ă?Ăœ ĂŒĂ?Ă?Ă˜ Ă‹ ĂŒĂ?ĘľĂ?ĂœÞÓ×Ă?ÞÙĂ“Ă˜Ă Ă?Ă?ĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă—Ă™Ă˜Ă?ĂŁĂ—Ă‹ĂœĂ•Ă?ĂžĂ?Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ? ÞÙÎËã˛ Ă‹ĂœĂ? ÞÙ Ă?ĂžĂ‹ĂœĂž åÓÞÒ ĂĄĂ’Ă‹Ăž ĂŁĂ™Ă&#x; Ă’Ă‹Ă Ă? Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽ Ă?ĂœĂ™Ă—ĂĄĂ’Ă?ĂœĂ?ĂŁĂ™Ă&#x;Ă‹ĂœĂ?Ë›

Olodu keonyedi – is a trained engineer and by passion and personal development a public/motivational speaker, a business coach and human capacity developer, he has a B.Eng degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Nigeria Nsukka, he is a member of Nigeria Society of Engineer and a COREN registered Engineer. Email: olodukeonyedi@gmail.com Tel: 08037489704, www.instagram.com/sir_keon. www.facebook.com/olodu keonyedi_mentorship


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T H I S D AY Ëž ËœÍŻÍłËœÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍś

  



‘Food and Financing, Important Lagos NIPR Set to Accelerate Momentum for Gender Equality to Address Imbalance’ For the build-up, leading To solve the perennial crisis of social and financial inequalities in the country, Oxfam, an international non-governmental organisation, in collaboration with BudgIt Information Technology Network Lagos, has established the need for food and financing to bridge the gap. This was stated at a forum in Lagos with the theme; ‘’Even it up: Tackling inequality in Nigeria through analysis and advocacy.’’ Major highlights of the event were; Right to Food(R2F) and Financing for Development (F4D). According to the nongovernmental organisation, the forum, which was attended by relevant stakeholders, was initiated in its enduring commitment to creating a world without poverty where people are capable of building a livelihood. Oxfam, which launched and implemented the strategic partnership programme in 25 countries in 2015, has three basic theories for change: Right to food, conflict and fragility and financing for development. According to Coordinator of private & public sector transparency & accountability coordinator ( Oxfam ), Mr. Celestine Okwudili Odo, “The organisation has five pathways to change: improved policies of government on tax and budget, improved policies of private sector on tax, wages and corporate social responsibility, increased citizen’s voice, stronger and wider alliances across the country. According to him, Oxfam’s strategy includes “research, lobby and advocacy, citizens mobilisation and enlightenment, networking and alliance building, capacity building for the civil society and the government. “Other local partners include; Action Aid Abuja, Niger Delta

Budget Monitoring Group ( NDBUMOG), BudgIT Information Technology Network Lagos, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre ( CISLAC ), KEBETKACHE Women Development and Resources Centre, HEDA Lagos, Farm and Infrastructure Foundation ( FIF ) and Nigeria Association of Nigeria Traders ( NANTS ).� According to Celestine, Data collection and Analysis are important to generating contents for advocacy and implementation. Explaining the concept of the Right to Food (R2F) Bill, Mrs. Abiola Bayode from Farm and Infrastructure Foundation (FIF) said, “It is a human right bill which protects people from hunger.� She further said, “The challenge is that the government sees food as a need and not a human right. We want to see that the right to food is explicitly stated in chapter four (4) of the Nigerian constitution; this will make the government more accountable on food security in Nigeria. “It is therefore not about distributing food free of charge to all Nigerians, but a necessity to protect the vulnerable people by creating an enabling environment.� In addressing some of the challenges encountered in the implementation of the programmes, Mrs. Emem Okon said, “it has been noticed that community needs most often do not get included in the state and federal government budgets. “Therefore, we are training members of communities on how to conduct needs assessment. We also train government agencies, parastatals and ministries on community needs assessment to ensure that the extant or future budgets include the needs of the people.�

Raheem Akingbolu

and other promoters of print media platforms for their efforts to promote professionalism in the industry. They should not rest on their oars; rather they should buckle up more by encouraging newspaper owners to provide robust Online Versions of their newspapers that would complement the hard copies. My friend, the publisher of the 100-year-old Gongwer News in Michigan, US, once told me that information is the key and should not be received free. NPAN still needs to go back to the drawing board to re-assess the issue of free news online with a view to arriving at a win-win position. There is a need for all stakeholders to pursue a common goal that would further make newspaper business profitable. “Though there are many challenges, the print media is definitely more respected, especially when you do it right. No discerning reader will give regard to a story posted at the corner of the room of an unknown blogger to the one written by a trained journalist and produced through a standard process.

Stories by Raheem Akingbolu

The Lagos State Chapter, the leading branch of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, has unveiled plans to host the maiden women assembly tagged: Strong Tender & Empowered Women Summit (Stews), aimed at articulating and aggregating a collective voice to build momentum for gender equality, women empowerment and effective implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals.

The free-to-attend summit, themed: ‘Women Taking Charge, Good For All’, will engage feminists, professional women, governmental and legislative bodies, academia, corporate organisations, women’s associations, NGOs and the Media, in commemoration of the International Women’s Day on March 8, 2018 at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos by 10 am. Speaking of the Summit, the Chairman of the Lagos State Chapter of NIPR, Olusegun McMedal, said that the initia-

tive is a strategic move by the Chapter to accelerate the momentum for the call for women empowerment and deepen the Institute’s feminist’s scorecard. According to him, “The Summit is a viable platform to bring key stakeholders to discuss issues and strategies to enhance women’s emancipation in Nigeria and it’s expected to issue a CommuniquĂŠ at the end of the plenary to engage the governmentâ€?. He added that, “the Summit is targeted at women in higher, intermediate and lower occupations including students.

women in corporate, political, religious and entertainment have been invited to share advice and tips on how to transcend social, economic and political challenge against women. Students of the School of Media and Communications, PAN Atlantic University, University of Lagos, and Covenant University have also been invited to share stories of women who inspire them to escalate the discuss�. The Wife of the Vice President of Nigeria, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, is expected as the Special Guest of Honour.

MERITORIOUS AWARD

L-R: Group Head, Private Banking, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Idowu Thompson, receiving the “Best Private Bank in Nigeria 2018� award from Publisher and Editorial Director, Global Finance Magazine, Joseph Giarraputo, at the Global Finance Private Banking Award held in New York, United States... recently

Bosch Introduces New Insight Publicis’ Campaign Drives New Markets for Expert Indentifies Newspaper’s Screwdriver to Market Heineken Niche in Today’s Market Bosch Professional Power ‘‘From tightening to loosenDespite its followers and recent popularity among Nigerian readers, Online News Portals and other social media platforms, will only play complementary roles to hard copy newspapers, the Managing Director of the Point Newspaper, a weekly tabloid, Mrs. Yemi Kolapo, has said. Speaking to journalists in Lagos recently on the advantage the print media has over digital, Kolapo, who is the Managing Director of the Point Newspaper, stated that the insinuation in some quarters that Digital Media is a threat to Traditional Media is not a true reflection of what happens among Nigerian readers. While she is not dismissing the fact that various online platforms and blogs are playing complementary roles, she argued that Print Media still remains the most credible and trusted source of information to readers across board. She said: “First, let me commend the leadership of the Newspapers Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN),

Tools Nigeria, one of the leading manufacturers and marketers of power tools for construction, woodworking and metalworking industry, has announced the launch of a smart screwdriver ‘Bosch GO’ into Nigeria market. According tio the company, ‘Bosch GO’ is the smart screwdriver where a simple push gets the work done and it‘s intelligent E-clutch system knows when to stop on reaching the target torque. The strong spindle lock closes the gap between manual and automatic operation helping users to stop impending work on demand. The lithium-ion battery powered screwdriver is compact and easy to carry around anytime, anywhere. The tool is designed to be as close to the shape and size of a manual screwdriver in order to help the Nigerian user leapfrog from manual effort to effortless working with minimal discomfort. The new product, which is said to have been developed with an extended UX approach and with a userfriendly design, adds an aesthetic value to repair tasks.

ing screws, the new offering comes with adjustable 5/2.5 Nm torque and the speed goes upto 360 rpm.It has superior balance and weighs only 280 gms for reduced userfatigue. The user can even use the product manually as it has a spindle lock that allows him to carry on the screwdriving operation without any hassle‘‘ ‘Bosch GO’ is powered by the 3.6V 1.5Ah in-built battery for longer run time and 90 mins ofchargingattains a full charge. ‘Bosch GO’ features new innovations that delivers unprecedented run-time and efficiency for any kind of application. It has a MicroUSB charging point and a 3-LED charging indicator. The screwdriving functions can be carried on with absolute ease due to the rotary brush plate that assists with the forward and reverse rotation. The smart screwdriver is available in a kit version which comes with a 33 pc accessories kit, USB adaptor and a USB cable. Packed in a compact plastic case with a sleeve, user manuals and product-related information, this product is a go-getter.

Stakeholders in the brand and marketing management space have described the Insight publicis’ Winning Campaign as a creative ingenuity that has further repositioned Heineken in the market. They have argued that if the decision by Heineken to task agency with creating the brand’s first Nigerian campaign was meant as an experiment, then the gamble has paid off. Insight Publicis has been able to reenact the usually high standard of Heineken’s global campaigns but in a way that excites and resonates with Nigerian consumers across board. The 58 seconds commercialVillager- which features Jidenna, the Nigerian born international act, is Heineken’s first glocalised commercial. A campaign that right from launch, has triggered an outpouring of positive feedback with many commenting on how finally, Heineken has connected with them and now they can relate better with the brand. This aspect of relatability was the missing link in previous Global campaigns.

And because of the success of the campaign, Heineken is in the process of rolling-out the same commercial in 15 other African markets where the premium brand has presence. Amidst declining sales from last year, Heineken wanted a commercial to recruit and retain younger drinkers between ages 18-24 and regain 5 percent of the lapsed drinkers that represent the 25-34 age group. But all these were to be done within the brand’s global thematic parameter of Internationality, Tradition and its Natural Ingredients. Sinmisola Hughes-Obisesan, Insight Publicis’ Creative Director noted; “Insight Publicis was tasked with creating a locally relevant thematic campaign for the Heineken brand. We dug deep to search for insights that would resonate and in execution, topped it off with Heineken style wit blended with classic Naija-isms.� But more importantly, the ad was supposed to highlight the parallels between the world’s most international brand – Heineken and Nigerians.


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Consumption Tax: A Win-win for Govt and Businesses A Lagos–based business analyst and entrepreneur, Ndubuisi Adaba writes on how consumption tax can benefit state governments and businesses A consumption tax is essentially a tax on the purchase of a good or service. It may take different forms such as sales taxes, tariffs, excise or other taxes on consumed goods and services. It has the distinct feature of not penalising savings unlike income taxes. Consumption tax is charged in different forms in several parts of the world. For instance, in Canada, most provinces charge a consumption tax (Provincial Sales Tax, which can range from 0 to 10%) along with the federally applied Goods and Services Tax of five per cent (akin to our value added tax). On its part, Japan charges a consumption tax of eight per cent (1.76 per cent charged locally while the balance is federal) and Singapore has a consumption tax of seven per cent while in Australia it is a national Goods and Services tax rate of 10 per cent. In Nigeria, Kano State passed a law in 2017 that imposed a consumption charge of five per cent on goods and services purchased in any hotel, restaurant, fast food outlet, bakery, takeaway, suyaspot, shopping mall, store, event centre and other similar businesses within the state. Apparently it is applicable to all sales of goods and services in the state. Ogun State also promulgated a consumption tax law in 2017. While many may not know, Lagos State, Nigeria’s commercial hub, does indeed have a consumption tax. The Lagos State Hotel Occupancy and Restaurant Consumption Tax Law, which was signed into law on June 22, 2009, imposes a tax on goods and services consumed in hotels, restaurants and event centres within the territory of Lagos State. It is charged as five per cent of the value of the goods or services consumed. According to this law, the term hotel is defined as including motels, guest houses and apartments for short-time letting, while a restaurant is defined to include any food sale outlet, bar tavern, inn or cafÊ, whether or not located within a hotel. Event centres include halls, auditoriums, fields, and places designated for public use for a fee. They will charge it along with but separately from the Value Added Tax (VAT). As regular consumption of goods and services (from shopping malls, supermarkets, stores markets boutiques, sundry traders and service providers) are not included, the Lagos State Consumption Tax is thus asymmetrical on its effects on citizens. This means that the not-so-wealthy that use hotels, restaurants and events centres sparingly pay a lot less than the rich who frequent these facilities. Furthermore, the tax is also on what is consumed. Although the Lagos State consumption tax is in force, enforcement has so far not been very efficient. The tax is actually charged to the consumers of goods and services, meaning that the operators of hotels, restaurants and events centres act merely as collecting agents

Ambode

on behalf of government and do not bear the cost of this tax. Inefficient enforcement has resulted in situations where several operators have not been brought into this tax net or are not collecting the tax. And where some operators are collecting the tax, they fail to remit same to the government. Therefore, only a small proportion of operators are actually making remittances to the state’s coffers, thereby denying Lagos state the wherewithal to actualise its growth plans. Lagos, with over 20 million inhabitants is particularly shortchanged in this regard. At this time of dire need of funds to bridge the huge infrastructure deficit in Lagos, the state can least afford such leakages. This is coupled with a rising population and reduced funding from the federation account. To check this, and ensure an efficient consumption tax regime, Lagos State must pursue its administration differently from the way it has been done thus far. A new approach would be to engage in massive and repeated sensitisation of operators as well as all citizens on the imperative of taxation in general and consumption tax specifically. The relevant agencies of government must also ensure complete identification, enumeration and registration of all operators in a continuous process. The government must also explore innovative ways that will make the due tax easier for operators to collect, separate and remit to government. This will entail the installation of new technology at the operators’ paypoints as being proposed. The installed software will

in turn enable government monitor and track remittances more efficiently. It is incumbent on government to ensure timely remittances by operators. Conversely, it is easier on operators when they make timely remittances of collected taxes. A situation where unremitted taxes cumulate to hundreds of millions and government agents resort to the sealing of operators’ premises is counter-productive or inefficient at best. Since government will be employing moral suasion along with strict enforcement, it is critical for the government to demonstrate enhanced efficiency and transparency in spending. For instance, by outlining projects under consideration or execution and dedicating proceeds from taxation to execute such projects will help in stemming the belief that government is not accountable to anyone. In a nutshell, the government must show increased transparency in matters relating to spending. Looking at this issue purely from a business standpoint, it is my opinion that it is in the interest of entrepreneurs and business owners that this tax is enforced efficiently. I will give some reasons. Efficient enforcement and collection will contribute to the growth of the internally generated revenue IGR of the state and a huge chunk of it is projected for the improvement of physical and social infrastructure. Improved Infrastructure will result in a more competitive environment for companies and industries as a result of lower operating costs (power, transportation, maintenance, insurance etc) and higher operational efficiencies and profitability.

This improvement in the ease and cost of doing business will also attract a lot of investments into Lagos, further improving the economic activity which all point to increased patronage of the hospitality industry. It is in recognition of its huge potential to enhance the state’s revenue base that I welcome the recent passage of the Hotel Occupancy and Restaurant Consumption (Fiscalisation) bill by the Lagos State House of Assembly. The inclusion of such provisions as registration of electronic fiscal devices, installation of software and hardware, as well as the power to enter and inspect points of sale in the hotels and restaurant, among other requirements, would definitely reduce evasion of taxes by these business concerns. An improvement of the state’s infrastructure will also result in more productive citizens. As less time is spent in traffic for instance due to the availability of better roads as well as alternative means of transportation such as light rail systems and the waterways; leads to lower levels of employee downtimes because of better healthcare systems; higher employee motivation levels due to availability of recreational parks, etc. The resulting inefficiencies will also free up time to enable people keep multiple jobs more easily. Improved family incomes by the way also means improved patronage of hotels, restaurant and events centres. Lastly, it is instructive to note that the infrastructural development and improvement initiatives of Lagos State also aim at exploiting and advancing her tourism potential. Governor Akinwunmi Ambode proclaimed at the One Lagos Fiesta in December 2017, that his administration is committed to making Lagos “a must-visit and Africa’s best tourism destination�. Current initiatives such as the transportation masterplan; waste management masterplan (cleaner Lagos Initiative); preservation of the state’s historical and cultural heritage; and the creation of more recreational centres and parks are all key drivers of tourism as they have a pull effect on tourists. Tourism opens up a place further to foreign investments while local businesses and service providers are able to attract offshore funds through the influx of tourists. For instance, certain businesses in Egypt were set up to service tourists. Accommodation, feeding and entertainment, which are provided by the hospitality industry, usually constitute the tourist’s biggest spend. Therefore, hotels, restaurants and events centres may yet be the biggest beneficiaries of consumption tax, which they collect from their clients on behalf of the government. - Adaba is a Lagos-based entrepreneur

Diamond Bank Supports NYSC Members with Paga’s Agent Launches Financial Services Center New Initiative Diamond Bank Plc has shown its commitment to empowering young entrepreneurs and SME operators through the National Youth Service Corps Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (NYSC-SAED) initiative as itrecently rewarded a set of corp members for the fifth consecutive edition in a row. Speaking on behalf of the bank, the Head, Sales, Diamond Bank, Mrs. Ogechi Altraide, said the bank understands that youths constitute about 60 per cent of the nation’s population and are the driving force of the economy. She further stated that the NYSC-SAED initiative was born out of the bank’s love for the youth and passion for

grooming young entrepreneurs who would become employers of labour and business leaders of tomorrow. A statement from the bank quoted her to have also stressed that Diamond Bank was doing a lot to ease the pains of the young graduates as job search which was why it created the first ever Curriculum Vitae (CV) bank which allows young graduate to upload their CVs to a digital bank where employers can easily asses the documents for employment purposes. She also encouraged the corps members to take advantage of all the Diamond Bank entrepreneurship grooming platforms which included SAED and BET, so as to acquire all

the necessary skills to build a formidable business career. “The edge I have in business today is as a result of the trainings and funding I got from the Diamond Bank full scholarship to Enterprise Development Center (EDC) which fortified me for the task ahead,� Mr. Abiodun Folawiyo, a past winner of the BET (Building Entrepreneurs Today) program, another platform through which Diamond Bank grooms and supports young entrepreneurs, said. Also, one of the NYSC State coordinators, Prince Mohammed Momoh, urged the NYSC members to participate actively in all activities of the day and make sure they go out better than they came.

Leumastek Ventures, a retail entrepreneur registered under the Paga Agent Network recently built and launched a dedicated one-storey building to bring financial services to communities in Badagry, Lagos. According to a statement, the center, being the third the agent has launched, is expected to serve as a convenient location for people in Badagry to send money to anyone, deposit and withdraw money from any bank account, pay bills and have access to other financial products. The event was graced by royal fathers in the community, customers and friends of the

agent, Paga staff and Paga Founder and CEO, Tayo Oviosu. A Paga business developer Adenike Yusuf said: “we are all out to support one of our own, and this is one of many ways we make life possible for our agents and for Nigerians because we believe that Paga agent network will be the bank branch of the future.�. Also, Paga General Manager, Agent Network and Sales, Arike Okunowo explained: “The launch of this beautiful purpose-built edifice clearly demonstrates the immense opportunities of the Paga agency business which is focused on solving

the payment needs of all Nigerians and delivering financial services to the mass market. The people of Badagry in general can now leverage Leumatek’s office as a convenient, one-stop centre for payment services.� Paga Agent Network has been recognized by World Bank and International Monetary Fund as the fastestgrowing Agent Network for its role in driving financial inclusion in Nigeria. Paga moves to expand its Agent network to 40,000 across Nigeria in 2018, connecting even more remote and urban areas with financial services.


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DEVELOPMENT

Rafsanjani: To Really Progress, African Leaders Must Fight Corruption On the sidelines of a recent advocacy visit to Lagos to highlight the need for both legislative and executive progress on the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, the Head of Transparency International in Nigeria and Executive Director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Mr. Auwal Musa Ibrahim (Rafsanjani) spoke with Abimbola Akosile on good governance, corruption and various development issues. Excerpts: meet with all the indicators of progress of a developed country, we must fight corruption. We must not allow corruption to thrive in our governance processes. So African leaders should take this theme of African Union on fighting corruption as very important and as a very powerful message that would ensure that fighting corruption is achieved and it succeeds. Otherwise the African nations will continue to linger in the kind of violent conflict we have seen, in the kind of under-development we are seeing and in the kind of impunity we have also seen. So we hope that the African leaders will take advantage of this theme to mainstream it into the governance architecture of the various countries.

Sir, you are welcome to Lagos...what brings you to Lagos this time around? I came to Lagos to meet with like minds, organisations and individuals like you to see how we can galvanise efforts and support to ensure that the Petroleum Industry Bill is passed by the National Assembly. This is important because if we want to really improve in the area of our extractive, we must have a law that governs this sector which is very important. So the Petroleum Industry Bill will help to ensure that there is efficiency, there is transparency, there is clear division of responsibility and it will also ensure more diversification of investment in the area. So this is why we think that we need to advocate the passage of this law. At least we know that under the law, it will also help to address the issue of problems around the host communities, the problem of governance structure in the oil and gas sector. So it is so important that we cannot simply continue to allow this sector to linger in the lacuna we have found ourselves over the years. This is why we are here, meeting with organisations and media houses to ensure that we galvanise support for the passage of this law. Congratulations on the opening of the CISLAC Office in New York, which is a positive thing.... what was the main reason for that particular choice of location to cite an overseas office? Thank you....we decided to open our global office in New York given the lots of activities going on around New York, particularly with the United Nations and CISLAC is registered in the United States of America and also registered with the United Nations. So it is natural that since we do a lot of activities with the UN it is natural that we establish out office near the UN. So we set up this office to be able to deal with so many issues that require international advocacy. For example illicit financial flow, issues of assets recovery, issues of forced labour and migration and issues around the implementation of the SDGs and also issues of ensuring UN decisions are actually involving the non-state actors and whole lot of other things like working with different missions to give voices to people in the Diaspora from different countries. So, these are the reasons why we thought it is relevant and important to set up a global office that will carry out our advocacy that we have been doing around issues of governance, issues of anti-corruption, issues of human rights and a whole lot of other key developmental advocacy and deepening parliamentary democracy also. You were at the Global Forum on Assets Recovery (GFAR) that took place in Washington in December last year (2017). What were the

Rafsanjani major lessons from that forum for Nigeria? The major lesson that I learnt is that it is important that Nigerian government works closely with the civil society groups, focused civil society groups that are working in the area of assets recovery, area of anti-corruption, to be able to lend its support to the Nigerian government to ensure that the foreign governments where assets are being domiciled are actually brought back because if the civil society support the cause, it is easy for the Nigerian government to be able to get these assets returned back to Nigeria. So, I think it was a very good opportunity because civil society had supported its efforts and willingness to work with the Nigerian government based on clear terms of engagement to ensure that we advocate for the return of our stolen assets. One of the major conditions we have given is that these stolen assets when it comes back it must not be re-looted. Secondly, there must be a clear framework on how this money should be utilised; it should not be spent like it was spent in the past where you cannot track anything. So that is why we went ahead to even recommend the setting up of an integrated trust fund that will be able to deal with some specific sectors like in the area of health, in the area of education

and of water and sanitation. Nigerians have been deprived from these areas by the looters who have stolen and looted this money. So when this money comes, we can be able to inject them in the sector so that Nigerians can benefit from what they have been denied from benefiting in the first place. The African Union recently had a summit and the theme this year is on fighting against corruption in member countries. As an anticorruption advocate, what is your advice for the African leaders who went to the summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on fighting corruption in Africa? The African governments and African leaders must know that fighting corruption is important if we want to achieve development, and if we want to achieve peace and stability in our region. This is because corruption spurs conflict, corruption makes development to be impossible, corruption also creates instability; it also creates underdevelopment. Corruption creates unemployment and it also creates inequality. So this is why if African leaders really want to progress, want their countries and their people to be lifted out of abject poverty, out of under-development, out of lack of direction and also inability to

Coming to Nigeria, you do a lot of advocacy and interaction with members of the National Assembly. From your interaction, do you think the legislators are really helping in the fight against corruption in Nigeria? I think the National Assembly has the responsibility to key in into the fight against corruption in Nigeria. Because one of the major components of their work is to make laws for good governance, peace and stability, and there is no way you can make good laws for peace and stability without supporting the anti-corruption war. This is because if you want to make laws for good governance it means that corruption will be eliminated. Therefore I think they have responsibility to ensure that the fight against corruption succeeds, because they make those laws also, even the law setting up the anti-corruption agencies are legislated by legislators. So, it is not just to make the law and leave it, but also to lead and live by the law. To ensure effective implementation of the law lies with the National Assembly, so through their oversight, they should be able to ensure that the fight against corruption succeeds. And if there are some bridges or issues around that they should be able to intervene in a manner that would support the anti-corruption war and not undermine the anti-corruption war. So, currently, some of the National Assembly members, because of the way and manner in which our electoral systems are, they appear not to be interested in that because of the perception they have over there. But I think if we really see clearly, every member of the National Assembly, whether Senator or House of Representatives, has to play a role to ensure that anti-corruption war succeeds. NOTE: Interested readers should continue in the online edition on www.thisdaylive.com

RANDOM THOTS Misplaced Revenue Despite its huge war-chest, Lagos is leaking revenue. And with a seemingly unwieldy population of around 20 million citizens, who are daily pursued by the Lagos Inland Revenue Service (LIRS) and other revenue-generating agencies to pay their taxes, levies, and fines, that leak is not so surprising. Although the state reportedly contributes more than 60 per cent of the total tax revenue accruing to the federal till on a monthly and annual basis, there is

always room for a tighter state revenue generation drive that is both efficient and citizen-friendly. Recently, a close friend discovered one of these revenue leakages, albeit at some personal discomfort to his pocket. Pressed to answer the call of nature (urination) under the CMS/Marina Bridge on the Island, he was accosted by two officials purportedly working for the State, with one sporting the green KAI t-shirt. There were no visible signs or

warning from the officials in mufti. After entreaties on his poor health and the urgent need to avoid being dragged to the nearby mobile court for prosecution, he was ‘asked’ to buy a container of Izal disinfectant, from prices ranging from 1.8k and above; and he ended up parting with N1,000, in a process more punitive than corrective. From his interaction, it appeared the ‘officials’ are all in cahoots to make money at the expense of the government.

As is said in street parlance, this one is another job for the boys. Although Lagos is generating billions daily from other revenue sources, this is a revenue leak. The least government can do is place visible warning signs to deter offenders and ensure a cleaner environment. For a state seeking to be ranked among the cleanest cities in the world, that is not asking for too much… is it? -Abimbola Akosile


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Nigerians deserve positive change!

Are Nigerians Truly Ready for Change? Some analysts believe many Nigerians are not ready for change for the better, which may involve painful processes and some level of sacrifice, just like breaking the egg to get an omelet. But others argue that the sacrifice is not collective and that the minority elite in the country don’t share the same view concerning pain and sacrifice, and so the status quo should remain in the nation’s development process. To you, are Nigerians really ready for change? Abimbola Akosile

THE FEEDBACK

* Oftentimes our leaders selfishly manipulate the masses by rigging elections with financial inducement, false promises, small arms etc. Some even recruit thugs to violate citizens’ rights and intimidate innocent people. Religious, traditional institutions, military, paramilitary and other security operatives must be adequately deployed to ensure peaceful, free and fair elections devoid of any violence. God bless Nigeria. - Miss Apeji Patience Eneyeme, Badagry, Lagos State

Yes, they are ready:

5

No, they are not ready:

2

Others:

9

Radical tip:

Check thyself!

Total no of respondents:

16

Male:

13

Female:

3

* The problem with Nigerians is that they don’t know that they have a role to play for change to happen in Nigeria. - Mr. Feyisetan Akeeb Kareem, Delta State

Highest location:

Lagos (5)

* The question we need to ask is: are our leaders committed to development? Various governments come and go, but citizens cannot see how their policies affect their different social life. To say that Nigerians need to sacrifice before we effect change is wrong and we cannot take the bull by the horn. We Nigerians are not even proactive enough to work; we keep quiet too much, although some civil societies are proactive. When we see our leaders as the ones to effect the desired changes, then will Nigeria be ready for a change. - Mr. Michael Adedotun Oke, Founder, Michael Adedotun Oke Foundation, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja * Nigerians are not ready for true change, playing to the gallery of elites who don’t care about their wellbeing. Elites focus is not in line with fellow Nigerians, they don’t even want to know who we are. - Mr. Yusuf Muh’dBashir Omotayo, Nda-Aliu, Kwara State * Until the desire for measurable and sustainable national transformation burns deep in every Nigerian whether great or small, the quest would remain lip service in the mouth of a select few while the majority continue to bear the brunt of the challenges we have been faced with for so long. - Ms Nkeiruka Abanna, Lagos * Nigerians are not truly ready for change yet; until we start taking ownership of the politi-

cal processes to decide who represents us in public offices. In Ghana and Benin Republic, offer a youth money during elections, he will tell you, you lack integrity and are therefore unfit to govern. In these sister countries, the people determine leadership but in Nigeria, it is money for hand, votes for you; forgetting that you don’t eat your cake and have it. How then can we effect any positive and progressive change when we compromise easily or when we sell our vote which is our power for a mess of porridge? The choice is ours to change or quench. God bless Nigeria. - Mr. Odey Ochicha, Leadership Specialist, Abuja * The only thing that remains in Nigeria is God’s intervention over social vices that are rooted in governance. Things are up and down without solution. - Mrs. Ijeoma Nnorom, Lagos State * Nigerians are truly ready for change but the will is not there. To have true change, tribalism, sectionalism, ethnicity, religion, must be dealt with. These are some of the things that are making the public not to feel the impact of this present administration. Today, if you are connected to PMB, then you are above the law. Then what change are we talking about? With God all things are possible and change will surely come one day. - Hon. Babale Maiungwa, U/Romi, Kaduna * I believe Nigerians are sensible enough and truly ready for ‘true’ change. If we have the right leaders, we won’t even have a choice.

- Mr. Adewumi Temitope, Agroshowroom, Osun State * Your analogy is apt; cracking eggs to make omelets is what Nigerians did a long time ago. Nigerians were ready for change in 2015; reason why they placed their sacred trust in the Buhari administration. Alas - the jury is still out on whether or not that trust has been betrayed. If the PMB administration succeeds in getting Nigerians back on its side, it’ll go down in history as one of the country’s best ever governments. - Mr. E. Iheanyi Chukwudi, B.A.R., Apo, Abuja * Well, our leaders’ mindset is to steal money meant for development. - Mr. Gordon Chika Nnorom, Public Commentator, Umukabia, Abia State * Nigerians are naturally impatient. They are result, target oriented. Change is a constant factor in any developmental process. This jet age encourages sharp or digital reasoning and actions. Any anti-change slow leader is treated with contempt. Nigerians are genuinely ready for change. Our leaders still lack that capacity and level playing ground for the kind of our desired change. The room for improvement is enormous. The ball is in our collective court. - Mr. Apeji Onesi. Lagos State * They are ready, seeing how people are trooping out for registration of voters cards, and despite risks, cost of transportation, people are resisting till they are registered. Nigerians are poised to vote out non-performing leaders. Voters’ cards should be made as ATM cards to enable people vote anywhere. - Mr. Dogo Stephen, Kaduna State * Nigerians were ready for change in 2015 but majority are now disappointed with the type of change this current administration has brought their way. Now it seems the citizens are ready for another change come next year; the outcome of that desire, if expressed, may shock many. - Mr. Olumuyiwa Olorunsomo, Lagos State * Nigerians surely want change, going by the frustration of almost everyone with what counts as the status quo. But the question

of Nigerians being ready for change is a tough one, if we judge by our disposition. We obviously prefer the easy road that leads nowhere to the difficult route that leads to development. - Mr. Oluwapelumi Oyeniyi, Osun State * We are the reason for the lack of positive change. The citizens that complain about public officers are oftentimes the same people who exert pressure on public officials to act corruptly or to exhibit nepotistic tendencies. This is where the seeds are planted. Most of us are experts at practicing this same type of nepotism we accuse others of doing, in our own sphere of influence. Unless the people do some introspection we can’t get it right. Before we can have the moral high ground to accuse others of nepotism, we should look at the man in the mirror first. - Mr. Buga Dunj, Jos, Plateau State

Next Week: Where Should Restructuring Start From? ÖÞÒÙĂ&#x;Ă‘Ă’ÞÒĂ?Ă?ĂŽĂ?ĂœĂ‹Ă–Ùà Ă?ĂœĂ˜Ă—Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ“Ă?ĂŁĂ?Ăž ÞÙĂ?Ă&#x;Ă–Ă–ĂŁËÎÙÚÞÞÒĂ?Ă Ă‹ĂœĂ“Ă™Ă&#x;Ă?Ă?ĂžĂœĂ“ĂŽĂ?Ă˜ĂžĂ?Ă‹Ă–Ă–Ă?Ă?Ă™Ăœ ĂœĂ?Ă?ĂžĂœĂ&#x;Ă?ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă™Ă?Ă“Ă‘Ă?ĂœĂ“Ă‹ÞÙËÖÖÙåÙàĂ?ĂœĂ‹Ă–Ă– ĂŽĂ?Ă Ă?ÖÙÚ×Ă?Ă˜ĂžËœÞÒĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă“Ă?Ă‹Ă‘Ă?Ă˜Ă?ĂœĂ‹Ă–Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă–Ă“Ă˜Ă‘ ÞÒËÞÞÒĂ?ĂšĂœĂ™Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?ĂĄĂ“Ă–Ă–Ă?Ă Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ&#x;Ă‹Ă–Ă–ĂŁĂ™Ă?Ă?Ă&#x;ĂœË› Ă‹Ă˜ĂŁĂ?Ă&#x;Ă‘Ă‘Ă?Ă?ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă?Ă’Ă‹Ă Ă?ĂŒĂ?Ă?Ă˜ĂšĂœĂ™ĘĽĂ?ĂœĂ?ĂŽĂ™Ă˜ Ă‹ĂœĂ?Ă‹Ă?Ă™Ă?ĂœĂ?Ă?ĂžĂœĂ&#x;Ă?ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ËœĂŒĂ&#x;ĂžÞÒĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă‹ĂœĂ?Ă?Ù×Ă? ĂšĂœĂ“Ă™ĂœĂ“ĂžĂŁĂ‹ĂœĂ?Ă‹Ă?Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ“Ă?Ă?Ă&#x;Ă?Ă?ĂŽĂ&#x;Ă?Ă?Ă™ĂœĂœĂ?Ă?ĂžĂœĂ&#x;Ă?ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ë› Ă˜ĂŁĂ™Ă&#x;ĂœĂ™ĂĄĂ˜Ă Ă“Ă?ĂĄËœĂ“Ă˜ËšĂ™Ă˜ĂĄĂ’Ă“Ă?Ă’Ă‹ĂœĂ?Ă‹Ëœ Ă?Ă?Ă?ĂžĂ™ĂœĂ™ĂœĂ“Ă?Ă?Ă&#x;Ă?Ă?Ă’Ă™Ă&#x;Ă–ĂŽĂœĂ?Ă?ĂžĂœĂ&#x;Ă?ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ĂŒĂ?Ă‘Ă“Ă˜Ëœ ÞÙĂŒĂ™Ă™Ă?ÞÎĂ?Ă Ă?ÖÙÚ×Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ“Ă˜ÞÒÓĂ?Ă?Ă™Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂžĂœĂŁËŁ Ă–Ă?Ă‹Ă?Ă?Ă—Ă‹Ă•Ă?ĂŁĂ™Ă&#x;ĂœĂœĂ?Ă?ĂšĂ™Ă˜Ă?Ă?ĂŽĂ“ĂœĂ?Ă?ĂžËœĂ?Ă’Ă™ĂœĂž Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ó×ÚÖĂ?ËœĂ‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ?ÞËÞĂ?ĂŁĂ™Ă&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă&#x;Ă–Ă–Ă˜Ă‹Ă—Ă?ËœÞÓÞÖĂ?Ëœ Ă™ĂœĂ‘Ă‹Ă˜Ă“Ă?Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ËœĂ‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ–Ă™Ă?Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ë›Ă?Ă?ĂšĂ™Ă˜Ă?Ă?Ă? Ă?Ă’Ă™Ă&#x;Ă–ĂŽĂŒĂ?Ă?Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂŒĂ?ÞåĂ?Ă?Ă˜ÞÙÎËãĚ™Ă?ĂŒĂœĂ&#x;Ă‹ĂœĂŁ Í’Í–ĘśĂ™Ă˜ĂŽĂ‹ĂŁËœĂ?ĂŒĂœĂ&#x;Ă‹ĂœĂŁ͚͒̚ÞÙabimbolayi@yahoo.com, greatbimbo@gmail. comËœabimbola.akosile@thisdaylive.comË›Ă?Ă?ĂšĂ™Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ă˜ĂžĂ?Ă?Ă‹Ă˜Ă‹Ă–Ă?Ă™Ă?Ă?Ă˜ĂŽĂ‹ Ă?Ă’Ă™ĂœĂžĂžĂ?âÞĂ—Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă‹Ă‘Ă?ÞÙ08023117639Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽËš Ă™Ăœ08188361766Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽËšĂ™Ăœ08114495306Ë› ÙÖÖËÞĂ?ĂŽĂœĂ?Ă?ĂšĂ™Ă˜Ă?Ă?Ă?ĂĄĂ“Ă–Ă–ĂŒĂ?ĂšĂ&#x;ĂŒĂ–Ă“Ă?Ă’Ă?ĂŽĂ™Ă˜ Ă’Ă&#x;ĂœĂ?ĂŽĂ‹ĂŁËœĂ?ĂŒĂœĂ&#x;Ă‹ĂœĂŁÍ“Í“


34

T H I S D AY ˾ ˜ͯͳ˜ͰͮͯͶ

BUSINESSWORLD

DEVELOPMENT

In Oyingbo, Lagos, trading continues unabated to boost a virile economy

ABIMBOLA AKOSILE

Obaseki Lauds Women for Breaking New Grounds, Urges ICT-based Solutions Edo govt to construct 25 new roads

Abimbola Akosile Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has celebrated the innovative spirit of women researchers who have broken new grounds in science and technology, commending them for braving the many cultural hurdles to stamp their names in history. Obaseki said this on the occasion of the commemoration of the 2018 International Day for Women and Girls in Science marked every February 11 by the United Nations. The governor said breakthroughs by women researchers in recent years across the globe have shown that when spaces are open for everyone to thrive, much can be achieved to advance the cause of mankind. According to him, “There has been an upsurge of women scientists who are breaking new grounds in various scientific fields. I believe this reality is

a call on us here in Edo State and Nigeria to continue to expand the space for women to get into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. Already, we are focusing on basic and technical education to ensure that our children, including boys and girls get a head-start to explore carriers in science and technology without discrimination. “However, we need to do more and encourage our female children to strive to be the best in whatever they aspire to be, especially in science disciplines,” he said. He noted that this year’s theme for the event, ‘Equality and Parity for Peace and Development’ emphasises the need to break down stereotypes and open the space for women to explore interest in STEM fields. According to him, “This challenge is more pertinent in the age of Information and

Communication Technology (ICT). The use of mobile phones and the internet has made it easy for people to access and process information that can enable them break barriers. “So, we encourage our women and girls to deploy ICTs to solve societal problems and in doing so, break stereotypes cast in STEM disciplines. There are many resources on the Internet to learn from, many mentors to channel and many mountains to climb if they are committed and willing to explore the sciences”, he added. The world body says a significant gender gap has persisted throughout the years at all levels of STEM disciplines all over the world, noting that even though women have made tremendous progress towards increasing their participation in higher education, they are still under-represented in these

fields. According to the UN, the General Assembly adopted a resolution to establish an annual International Day on 22 December, 2015, “to recognise the critical role women and girls play in science and technology communities”. In welcoming the efforts of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the UN Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and other relevant organisations that support and promote the access of women and girls and their participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, training and research activities at all levels decided to proclaim February 11 of each year the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

Meanwhile, the Edo State Government has earmarked 25 new roads for construction across the state in the coming weeks, as it intensifies efforts to deliver projects that will transform the socio-economic landscape of the state. Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Osarodion Ogie Esq., disclosed this during a chat with journalists, in Benin City, Edo State. He said, “The state government led by Godwin Obaseki will deliver on its mandate to transform infrastructure across the state. In the coming weeks, 25 new roads have been earmarked for construction by the state government.” He added that the Obaseki-led administration has provided leadership capable of transforming the state into an economic hub. “The governor knows how to pull resources for the benefit of a great majority of Edo people.

As an investment banker, he is someone who knows how to manage resources to drive socio-economic growth through infrastructural development.” On security in the state, the SSG said the state government takes security of lives and property across the state seriously, “which accounts for why it is considered as the safest in the South-South region. “The increasing number of investors visiting the state is a pointer to the fact that the state has the best security arrangement in the region. Embassies have security reports from every part of the country for foreign investors. That they indicate interest to do business in Edo shows that our security report is favourable for investors.” He added that the state government will continue to improve on the security architecture and ensure investors get benefit from siting their companies in the state.

Insecurity: Lawmaker Seeks Quick Assent to Climate Change Bill Damilola Oyedele in Abuja The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Climate Change, Hon. Sam Onuigbo has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly grant assent to the newly-passed Climate Change bill as part of efforts to restore security to Nigeria. Onuigbo, speaking with newsmen in Abuja recently, reiterated the position of several environmental experts that the consequences of climate change have exacerbated the insecurity in Nigeria. Signing the bill, which was recently passed into law by the eighth assembly, is therefore imperative to provide a legal

framework for collaborative efforts, to checkmate the threat posed to Nigeria’s stability, by climate change, he said. “We must continue to stress that harmful events and activities such as gas flaring, bush burning, oil spillage, drought, desertification, floods, gully and coastal erosions, famines, damage to critical infrastructure which still occur in Nigeria, undoubtedly destroy the environment, ultimately affect the climate and threaten development across all sectors of our national economy and the security of lives and property,” he said. Onuigbo, who is also Vice President of Global Legislators Organisation for Balanced En-

vironment (GLOBE) added that the frequent clashes between farmers and herdsmen, which is claiming several lives across the country, with its threat to food security, is fallout of the devastating effects of climate change. “Climate change has security implications, what it is costing us now in terms of human life is by far more than what it would have cost us if we had treated the issues urgently. We all watched Lake Chad receding; between 8 and 10 million people depend on the lake, and some of them do not have any other skills aside those skills dependent on the water. “As the Lake dried up from

25000 square miles in the 1960s, to about 2500 square miles today, it has led to loss of livelihood for many, involuntary migration, low food production and disturbing rise on insecurity in the North-east region and across Nigeria,” he explained. Speaking further, the lawmaker accused heads of agencies, whose mandates relate to climate change of inaction, to reverse the effects of the scourge. He noted that several of them shun invitations meant to interface on climate change issues, with the National Assembly and at other stakeholders’ fora. “They are however quick to travel with Mr. President

to climate change events for declarations, but when you invite them for discussion on these issues they travelled for, they are nowhere to be found. Prominent people, you ask them to show evidence of the practicality of what they are doing, they cannot,” Onuibgo lamented. Onuigbo, representing Ikwuano/Umuahia North/ South federal constituency of Asia state, is sponsor of the bill named “an Act to Provide a Legal Framework for the Mainstreaming of Climate Change Responses and Actions into Government Policy Formulation and Implementation and the Establishment of the National Climate Change Council and

other related matters.” The bill when signed into law is expected to ensure Nigeria meets her international climate change obligations, including Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), international treaties and agreements, under the United Nations Framework Conventions on Climate Change, including the Paris Agreement. It is also expected to ensure that Nigeria pursues sustainable economic development that fosters the availability of clean energy, while also ensuring that strategic climate change responses are consistent with national development priorities, in conformity with the stipulations of the 1999 constitution.


35

T H I S D AY ˾ ˜ͯͳ˜ͰͮͯͶ

BUSINESSWORLD

DEVELOPMENT QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“Wecentralisedsecurityinthehandsofthepolice,whichbasicallyshouldprovidesecurity oflivesandproperty.Atindependencein1960,wewerelessthan60millioninpopulation. Today,weareabout200millionandthenumberofpolicemencannotreallypolicethe entirecountryandprovidesecurityforNigerians.WemayneedtorejigtheConstitutionto bringsecurityundertheConcurrentListofthelegislaturesothatitwillbeeasyforthe statestosetupsomethingthatwillbeinlinewithproperguidelines.Statepolicinghasbeen acceptedbyallandsundry” - SENATE MINORITY LEADER, SENATOR GODSWILL AKPABIO, SPEAKING AT A RECENT SECURITY SUMMIT IN ABUJA ‘Lagos Can Generate N7bn Annually from Waste Bin Branding’ Abimbola Akosile

Female Genital Mutilation Has Declined in Southeast, Globally, Say UNICEF, UNFPA NGO tasks Kwara residents on harmful practice Amby Uneze in Owerri and Hammed Shittu in Ilorin The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) have jointly declared that the prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) within the South-east region of Nigeria and other places around the world has declined by nearly a quarter (25 per cent) since year 2000. This stemmed from UNICEF’s joint efforts with the UNFPA to end the scourge in some countries, disclosed at a recent one-day policy dialogue with Women of Divine Destiny Initiative (WODDI) with support from UNICEF/UNFPA in Owerri, capital of Imo State with the theme ‘Ending female genital mutilation is a political decision’. Also, a joint statement issued by UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta H. Fore and UNFPA Executive Director, Dr. Natalia Kanem was presented in Owerri, the Imo State capital by UNICEF’s Chief of Field Office, Enugu, Dr. Ibrahim Conteh, on the recent International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, marked worldwide on February 6 annually. Conteh said “Around the world, momentum to eliminate female genital mutilation is building. Political will, community engagement, and targeted investment are changing practices and changing lives.” According to Conteh, in countries where UNFPA and UNICEF work jointly to end female genital mutilation, girls are one-third less likely to undergo this harmful practice today than they were in 1997. More than 25 million people in some 18,000 communities

Say ‘No’ to Female Genital Mutilation & Cutting! across 15 countries have publicly disavowed the practice since 2008. Globally, its prevalence has declined by nearly a quarter since around 2000. “This is good for girls and young women themselves; it is also good for their families and communities. Girls who are not subjected to the practice tend to grow up to be healthier and have healthier children. They are often better educated, earn higher incomes and are more empowered to make decisions about their own lives. Communities and countries that confront the harmful practice and commit to changing it reap commensurate benefits”, the statement says. It however restated a call on governments at all levels, civil society organisations, as well as traditional and religious leaders to join together and end the scourge of Female

SOURCE: NOI Polls

Genital Mutilation and Cutting in Imo State and Nigeria. “Female genital mutilation is many things, including being a violent act that causes infection, disease, childbirth complications, and even death. A cruel practice that inflicts lasting emotional harm and preys on the most vulnerable, least powerful members of society - girls between infancy and age 15, as well as a violation of human rights that both reflects and perpetuates the low status of girls and women in too many places. “The Sustainable Development Goals recognise that female genital mutilation undermines progress towards a more equal, just, and prosperous world. They set an ambitious target of eliminating all such harmful practices against girls and women by 2030”, it noted.

An environmental support services firm, Breval Tulip has disclosed that Lagos State Government can possibly earn over N7 billion annually from its proposal to the state on commercial waste bin branding. The Executive Director, Corporate Services, Breval Tulip, Mrs. Busayo Binuyo revealed this during a recent presentation to the management of the Lagos State Advertising Agency (LASAA) on the untapped benefits of waste bin branding. Speaking at the meeting, Binuyo said her company was specifically focused on commercial and industrial waste bin distribution and branding, and was hoping to help the state increase its internally generated revenue (IGR) through branding of the waste bins. She said, “We, as an environmental support service company, are focused primarily on industrial and commercial waste bin distribution and branding. This aspect of waste management in Lagos state is currently open to commercial operators and we are hoping to take advantage of this to contribute our quota to the vision for a cleaner environment in the state. “Currently we have over a million waste bins and dumpsters which we are ready deploy exclusively to commercial and industrial areas. What we are offering specifically is a combination of hi-tech receptacles and revenue through branding. “Our waste bin containers are uniquely equipped with trackers to pinpoint their location and signal the appropriate waste disposal agency when they are full. Our bin bags come in different colours to enable users sort their waste into the appropriate bag. We believe that this will further help the state waste recycling programmes since the waste collected would have been sorted out by the users through our colour bags”, she stated. Binuyo, who noted that the business of cleaning Lagos is a collective responsibility of all stakeholders, hinted that Breval Tulip was at an advanced stage of perfecting plans with some commercial waste operators to also deploy dumpsters to markets. She also stated that her company has put up an alternative plan to pick up waste in their branded bins in situations where the appropriate waste management agency delays in picking up the accumulated waste. On the uniqueness of Breval Tulip waste branding model, she said: “What we have, added to these spectacular waste bin prototypes, is a branding opportunity. We are offering brand owners an unusual opportunity to reach their target audience by advertising their brands on our waste bins. We believe that this is an idea that will benefit users, brand owners and the state. “For the waste bin user, this proposal means that they will simply get the waste bins and bags free of charge as advert payments would have covered the cost of the bins. For the brand owners, this definitely presents a rare opportunity to reach their target audience who use the waste bins every day. For the state, we see another huge opportunity for Lagos State for further shore up its revenue through payment for the adverts on the waste bins. “When our one million waste bins and dumpsters are fully deployed, we estimate that the state will make over N7 billion in advert revenue from waste bin branding alone”, she added. Binuyo added that her company is also in talks with other stakeholders in the state waste management project to ensure that the idea is not sabotaged.


36

T H I S D AY THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2018

HEALTH & LIFESTYLE

Acting Features Editor Charles Ajunwa Email: charles.ajunwa@thisdaylive.com

Nigeria’s Poor Attitude to Healthcare Financing While many countries, even in Africa, have increased their health sector funding in a bid to reduce diseases and mortality rates, Nigeria has continued to slip backwards allocating only about 30 per cent of the required yearly amount. Martins Ifijeh writes

Buhari

A

2016 research done by Obumneke Obieche and Valentine Odili in the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) has shown that on the average, Nigerians spend a minimum of N4,870. 00 in the treatment of malaria per episode. That is about $13.5. Ironically, less than half of that amount, N1891.00 ($5.2) is what the Nigerian Government in 2018 will spend on the health of each citizen for a whole year, if the 2018 proposed budgetary allocation is eventually passed by the National Assembly. This means for a month, government will support the health of each of its citizens with an abysmally paltry N157 naira, an amount that can not buy half loaf of bread. This is what the breakdown of the health allocation of N340.45 billion in the proposed 2018 annual budget of N8.6 trillion suggests, that is 3.9 per cent; an amount the federal government and the Federal Ministry of Health magically hopes will be enough to carter for the myriads of healthcare challenges bedeviling the nation, including malnutrition, incessant outbreaks of diseases, cancers, typhoid fever, malaria, primary healthcare concerns, just to mention a few. But the same Nigeria, which often prides itself as the big brother to all African countries, hosted Heads of States of member countries of the African Union in April 2001 where they all agreed to allocate at least 15 per cent of their annual budgets to improving their countries’ health sectors. Unlike the big brother clout which Nigeria used in bringing these countries together to make the now famous‘Abuja Declaration’, where the agreement was made, the country quickly made a volt face and has since then refused to honour an agreement it played host to 17 years ago, resulting in the poor health indices, high mortality rate and reduced life expectancy rate currently experienced in the country.

Since the Declaration, the highest health allocation for Nigeria was in 2012 where 5.95 per cent was allotted to the health sector. In 2014, it allocated N216.40 billion to healthcare, representing 4.4 per cent. In 2015, it was N237 billion, which represents 5.5 per cent of the entire budget. Same with 2016 (4.23 per cent) and 2017 (4.16 per cent). Like a habit which has now been considered ‘normal’, the Nigerian Government, again in 2018 followed the same trend. This time it even reduced the proposed health sector allocation from 4.16 per cent in 2017 to 3.9 per cent in 2018, even though the pile of healthcare issues are growing every year. But the World Health Organisation (WHO) says for Nigeria to be seen to prioritise healthcare, it must at least spend a minimum of N6,908 per Nigerian in a year, which when multiplied by 180 million people will amount to N1.2 trillion. The WHO, in its wisdom, also recommended a minimum of 13 per cent of annual budget for health. Between AU’s 15 per cent and WHO’s 13 per cent, the Nigerian Government has tilted towards none. Thankfully, some countries have started raising their health budgetary allocation towards fully keying into the WHO recommendation of 13 per cent or the Abuja Declaration by the African Union of 15 per cent. For instance, Rwanda reportedly devoted 18 per cent of its total 2016 budget to healthcare. Botswana budgeted 17.8 per cent to health; Malawi, 17.1. per cent, Zambia, 16.4 per cent and Burkina Faso, 15.8 per cent. But Nigeria still lags behind in this regard, which has had direct consequences on the funding capacity of the Health Ministry and its affiliated agencies and parastatals, thereby making the fight against poor healthcare very unrealistic. This puts Nigeria as one of the nations of the world with the least healthcare spending per head when compared with other countries,

especially in Africa. For instance, it has been reported that South Africa spends about seven times more per head on healthcare than Nigeria does, while Angola spends about three times more per head than Nigeria It is also worthy of note that on healthcare alone, the United States spends above $7,000 per citizen, which is about N2. 5 million using a forex rate of N360 to a dollar. Switzerland spends a minimum of $6000 per person, which is about N2.2 million. This, when compared to Nigeria’s N1,688 per head for a whole year, suggests why the country still grapple with poor health indices and the poor mortality rates for a country that prides itself as the giant of Africa. The President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Ahmed Yakasai in an earlier interview with THISDAY, said in 2015, the United States allocated 20.7 per cent of its annual budget to health, Germany 19.4 per cent, Iran 17.5 per cent, China 12.6 per cent, while Turkey allocated 10.7 per cent of its entire budget to health. No wonder various statistics show that Nigeria has one of the worst health records in the world. The country’s average mortality rate is put at 52 years, whereas in some less economically strong nations, even in Africa, their mortality rates rank way better than Nigeria’s. The poor funding pattern in Nigeria has been the major issue with the health sector, leading to several shameful health indices the world has known us for. Some of which include the fact that Nigeria is the second highest contributor to maternal and child deaths globally. Nigeria is the second highest contributor to malnutrition globally, just second to India. Nigeria also has about the poorest Universal Health Coverage system globally, with accessibility and affordability of healthcare still a big issue, especially for poor citizens. Also, the prevalence of disease outbreaks have increased over the years in the country, with 2017 having the highest so far in the history of Nigeria.

This lack of investment in the healthcare has also contributed to brain/patient drain, with 37,000 Nigerian doctors living in the diaspora, with about 30, 000 of them in the United States, and over 5, 000 in the United Kingdom. Only about 40,000 doctors are currently practicing in Nigeria. Patient drain has also increased in folds. Last year alone, over one billion dollars was spent by Nigerians on medical tourism abroad because of lack of confidence in the healthcare system. Ironically, the chief offender among those who spent these monies outside Nigeria is the country’s president, who obviously has, like millions of Nigerians, lost confidence in the healthcare system. These indices perhaps explain why experts believe the recently proposed allocation for health should be revisited, and increased if the government must be seen to be serious about tackling the several healthcare challenges it is currently facing. Among those who have kicked against the poor health allocation is the National Association of Community Health Practitioners of Nigeria (NACHPN). They have called on the National Assembly to do the needful in increasing the percentage. The association said the allocation for health in the 2018 budget cannot adequately take care of the health of Nigerians. It said while the community health practitioners made the call during a briefing organised by the PACFaH@Scale coalition in Abuja. PACFaH@Scale is a new project implemented by civil society organisations, following the end of PACFaH project this year, and will run from 2017 to 2022. The sum of N340 billion is proposed for the health sector in the 2018 national budget. Its National President, Comrade Akor Okechukwu, said while the overall budget of the country has grown by 92 per cent from N4.49 trillion in 2015 to 8. 61 trillion in 2018, the health budget has grown by only 14 per cent.


37

T H I S D AY THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2018

NEWS

PAMO, Nigeria’s First Private Medical University Opens in Rivers Martins Ifijeh As part of plans to address the high demand for admission into medical schools in Nigeria,PAMO University of Medical Sciences, described as the country’s first private medical university,was last weekend inaugurated in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The university, consisting of eight faculties, including Basic Medical Sciences, Clinical Sciences, Allied Health Sciences, Dentistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Postgraduate Studies, among others, hopes to bring improvement in medical education and health services to the country. Speaking at the inauguration, the Pro-Chancellor of the university and a former governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili, said competent and disciplined intellectuals were already being assembled to tutor students of the school. He said the idea of the university was initiated after a chance meeting with the Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, during a flight delay in Abuja in 2016, where Prof. Rasheed suggested that he should contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the area of medical sciences through the establishment of the institution. “I thank the federal government for providing the licence to operate, and the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike for his support and encouragement. The University has set a record in being the university that took the shortest time to plan and establish. It took only eleven months from submission of our ‘letter of intent’ to the granting of an operating licence by the federal government.” He also described PAMO

University of Medical Sciences as the first private university of any type to be established in Rivers State. Commending the former Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar, who was installed as the Chancellor of the university, for his contribution to the life of the institution, Odili said; “Your Excellency, posterity will continue to extol you for all your contributions not only to the Nigerian project which remains work in progress but also for your indelible role in the making of history of the university.” In his address after installation as the Chancellor of the institution, Abdulsalami noted that less than five per cent of qualified candidates are able to gain admission into medical programmes in existing Nigerian universities. He said the inability of the institutions in Nigeria to meet up with demands for admission into universities to read medical-related programmes gave birth to PAMO University of Medical Sciences. “Over the last decade, Nigeria has witnessed a phenomenal growth of private universities arising from the inability of public universities to cater for the demand of applicants seeking admission every year. On his part, Governor Wike declared that the state government would partner private investors to promote tertiary education in the state. He also announced a grant of N500 million for PAMO University to support the development of the school and its students. Wike also encouraged private universities and investors to key into the plans of his administration to invest in that sector. The governor stated that to consummate the partnership with PAMO University of Medical Sciences, the state government would sponsor

Malnutrition of Children Under Five Years Worsens, Says UNICEF Kuni Tyessi in Abuja Despite budgetary allocations towards tackling the menace of malnutrition and the constant on-going enlightenment on the need for proper nutrition in the early stages of a child’s life, the spate of malnutrition has continued to increase. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) specialist on monitoring and evaluation, Ms. Maureen Zubie-Okolo revealed this in Enugu, during a two-day media dialogue on data-driven reporting. The research is in collaboration with the National Bureau of Statistics in the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2017 in which 33,901 households and 2,239 enumeration areas across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT were used. While noting that health issues related to malnutrition can also do lifelong harm, she said the spate of malnutrition cuts across children who are

too thin for their age, children who are too short for their age and children who are to thin for their height. “Malnutrition among the children under five years has worsened generally. Underweight prevalence has increased from 24.2 per cent to 31.5 per cent, stunting prevalence increased from 34.8 per cent to 43.6 per cent while wasting prevalence increased marginally from 10.2 per cent to10.8 per cent. ”In low and middle income countries, the age 3-24 months is a time when growth falters for too many children. An inadequate diet during this period increases the risk of stunting, micro- nutrient deficiencies, illnesses and death.” Meanwhile, a total of 34,367 eligible women; 28,085 of mothers and caregivers of children under five years and 15,183 men were interviewed using structured questionnaires aided by Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) devices.

100 indigenous students annually for the next five years. He said the state government established the College of Medical Sciences at the Rivers State University because of its commitment to train qualified medical doctors.

“With two faculties of Medical Sciences in two universities, Rivers State will soon become a medical hub for training and certification of medical doctors and health professionals in Nigeria and beyond.

“We are glad to have PUMS as beneficiaries of this new partnership and to demonstrate our commitment, therefore Rivers State Government has approved a grant of N500 million to support the development of

the university. “In addition, the state government will also enter into memorandum of understanding with PUMS where we will be sponsoring 100 Rivers State students yearly for five years,” he added.

L-R: Vice Chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC), Dr. Ikenna Emeka; President, Association of Fertility and Reproductive Health, (AFRH), Dr. Faye Iketubosin; and Chairman, LOC, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi, during a press conference on the upcoming 8th Annual International Conference to be hosted by AFRH in Lagos ...recently

Adelusi-AdeluyiTasksHealthcare Lawmaker to Begin Free Medical Professionals on Use of Digital Outreach in Ebonyi on pregnant women and under Platforms Benjamin Nworie in Martins Ifijeh An appeal has gone out to healthcare professionals in the country to leverage communication and networking in order to improve the net worth of health service given to the patients. To underscore this approach, they were urged to become early adopters in the use of digital health platforms that will positively improve patient outcomes. This was the submission of leading health practitioners at the launch in Nigeria of the IQVIA HCPSpace, a digital healthcare platform by leading global provider of information, innovative technology solutions and human data science, IQVIA, formerly known as Quintiles IMS. IQVIA HCPSpace is a web and mobile-based platform designed to bring together all specialties and sub specialties of Doctors, Pharmacists, Nurses, Medical Laboratory Scientists, and all other Healthcare Professionals, where they can connect with peers, follow Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), discuss medical cases, establish public/ private groups, view videos for increased knowledge, earn Continuing Professional Development, CPD points from content provided by approved bodies and KOLs, find jobs and career opportunities across multiple regions in Africa and the Middle East. Chairman of the occasion and President, Nigerian Academy of Pharmacy, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi noted

Abakaliki

that IQVIA’s HCPSpace is a bridge-building tool that will encourage collaboration among healthcare providers whilst driving efficiency, performance and capacity utilisation as well as innovation in the nation’s health space as a whole. “I would like to commend IQVIA for trying to crack a problem that has remained with Nigeria for quite a while given the numbers of government committees that had been set up in the past to solve the challenge of inter professional collaboration and promote harmony in the health space. This tool will be a blessing to the nation as it will radically alter Nigeria’s health landscape for good and help to reduce unnecessary competition among professionals,” Adelusi-Adeluyi stated. Chairman of the IQVIA HCPSpace Advisory Board, Dr. Femi Olugbile, pointed to the growing domestication of technology for personal and professional use across the world as well as creating a sense of team in community via multi-specialty task performance and problem solving tools. He also noted that healthcare around the world faces imminent disruption as evidenced by an alliance announced recently by three heavyweights in Corporate America – e-commerce giants, Amazon, global multinational, Berkshire Hathaway and Investment bank, JPMorgan Chase. The HCPSpace provides a solid platform to prepare for the imminent disruption of the nation’s health space.

Member representing Ohaozara/ Onicha/Ivo Federal constituency in Ebonyi, Hon. Linus Okorie has initiated a constituency wide free medical and welfare outreach programme to address the health and other needs in the constituency. The exercise which is captured under his CaringHeart Foundation is expected to be flagged off by the state governor, David Umahi at Akaeze on February 17, 2018. According to the lawmaker, the Foundation shall also be making a donation of some basic health consumables like needles, syringes, gloves and cleaning liquids to each host health centre visited. The lawmaker explained that the programme involves two cardinal components; medical and welfare outreach engagements across the 10 clans-Akaeze, Ishiagu, Uburu, Okposi, Ugwulangwu, Abaomege, Ukawu, Oshiri, Isu and Onicha respectively on a monthly basis, starting from February through November 2018. He added that each outreach shall be hosted at designated government owned health centres in each clan. Okorie said: “The Linus Okorie (CaringHeart) Foundation has initiated a constituency wide free medical and welfare outreach program to address the health and welfare needs of Ohaonivo. “The medical outreach consists of two partners: Amurt Foundation, whose team will focus exclusively

five children; the second partners, Coalition of Professionals will engage all other groups including the elderly, young adults and older children, men and women. “Services to be rendered include free registration, free laboratory investigations, free doctors’ check and treatment of common illnesses, free ultrasound scan for pregnant women, free drugs and free ambulance referral. “The welfare outreach is a programme that will see us worshipping each month from February to November 2018 in a local church, selected by the CAN/Ministers Forum leadership of each clan. It will typically hold on the Sunday after each medical outreach”. “The foundation will in the course of each worship distribute some welfare materials such as foodstuff, wrappers and cash support to selected widows and other indigents to be nominated by the church leaders of the clan hosting the church. We will also render some support to the local church. “These programmes have been designated to hold on the third Saturday and Sunday of each month starting from February 17/18 2018 at Akaeze, Ivo LGA, and end in November 2018 at Onicha, Onicha LGA”. He therefore called on everyone to kindly join the train of making a success of his programme as it was his hope that the little effort would positively impact some of the poor and needy in the society


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HEALTH

Remembering Nigeria’s Top Health, Science Researchers Research is one area the Nigerian Government has paid little attention on despite the benefits it brings to a nation. It has not also taken seriously findings from credible researchers in the country. Martins Ifijeh writes on Nigeria’s top 28 health and science researchers who have moved against the tide to have their work on global map When the famous American author of Rise and Fall of America’s Growth, Robert Gordon, in 2016 relayed a definitive account of events that changed the fortunes of his country from 1870 to 1940, he mentioned research and innovation as the bedrock in which all the good things that happened to the United States rode on. He said between the last two centuries, the United States made advances in public sanitation, pharmacology, communication and electricity because they had armies of people who were ready to churn out solutions through researches. His book suggests the successes so far attained by U.S. and other developed countries have not only made standard of living better for them, it has reduced in several folds the number of avoidable deaths and disease outbreaks. An enviable result many developing countries, like Nigeria fantasise having someday. But, while these successes have been attributed to the high regard placed on researches, most admirers, like Nigeria have refused to do what it did; that is, give priority to research. They have either discouraged research directly through lack of funding or through factors that make research a herculean task in the country. But it wants to be like the U.S. or Germany in medicine, pharmacology, technology, economy and infrastructure. It magically hopes one day it will reap where it had not sown. Apart from funding, lack of recognition of researches by credible Nigerians, lack of enabling environment, and lack of dialogues with these scholars for the purpose of policy framework and societal good have made many researchers and would-be-researchers slowed down in churning out innovative approaches for government and stakeholders to run with. But despite these odds, a recent study done by a Nigerian, Mohammed Dahiru Aminu, which THISDAY came across recently, highlighted Nigeria’s top 28 health and science researchers/ scholars, who have made several research works that could compete with those of the world’s best scholars, and as well make the country better off if the solutions proffered in them were picked up, and possibly implemented, especially by the Nigerian Government, who obviously should have a bigger clout to support their works. Aminu who did the study said he was surprised that in a country where almost everything works against researching, a pool of resilient scholars could still be found even though weighed down by extreme improbability of researching and publishing successes. Yet their works were published in notable academic journals around the world. Aminu arrived at these top 28 researchers by collecting a list of the most published scholars in Nigeria since 1910 to 2017, including their total publications; total citations from their publications and number of documents that cite their works; the period within which the publications were made; and their h-indexes. He used Scopus -the world’s largest abstract and citation database for peer reviewed literature. The documents surveyed cut across almost all subject areas: as medicine; biological sciences; biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology; social sciences; environmental science; pharmacology, toxicology and pharmaceutics; immunology and microbiology; earth and planetary sciences; veterinary medicine, psychology, neuroscience, health professions, decision science, dentistry, among others. The study showed that the most published scholars, include Oyewusi Gureje, Department of Psychiatry, University of Ibadan. Using Scopus, he stands as the most published scholar in Nigeria. He has published in the best journals in the field of medicine. He currently has 338 publications and 18038 total citations by 14619 documents. His publication range is 1986 to present, and his h-index is 59. Bolajoko Olubukunola Olusanya, Centre for Healthy Start Initiative, Lagos, has 164 publications

Olusanya, Adewole and Okonofua are among Nigeria’s top 28 researchers

and 5907 total citations by 4753 documents. Her publication range is 2000 to present, and her h-index is 32. Using Scopus, Olusanya ranks the 8th researcher in Nigeria, but using Research Gates puts her at number two, just before Gureje. Adesola O. Ogunniyi, of the Department of Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan, has 198 publications and 5015 total citations by 3874 documents. His publication range is 1987 to present, and his h-index is 23; Akintunde Sowunmi, Malaria Research Laboratories, University of Ibadan, has 194 publications and 3252 total citations by 2089 documents. His publication range is 1988 to present Friday Ebhodaghe Okonofua, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo State, has 190 publications and 3019 total citations by 2684 documents. His publication range is 1985 to present, and his h-index is 28. Using Scopus, he ranks number five in Nigeria. The present Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, who was of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Ibadan, has 140 publications and 9339 total citations by 8173 documents. His publication range is 1992 to present, and his h-index is 22. Using Scopus, Adewole is the 14th top researcher in Nigeria. Ebenezer Olatunde Farombi, Department of Biochemistry, University of Ibadan, has 179 publications and 3126 total citations by 2343 documents. His publication range is 1997 to present, and his h-index is 31. Using Scopus, he ranks number six. Emmanuel Adoyi Ameh, Department of Surgery, National Hospital, Abuja, has 176 publications and 3058 total citations by 2657 documents. His publication range is 1996 to present, and his h-index is 20 and he ranks 7th using Scopus. Other scholars who made the top 28 in Nigeria include late Benjamin O. Osuntokun, Department of Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan; Felix Ebhodaghe Okieimen, of the Geo-Environmental and Climate Change Adaptation Research Center, University of Benin, Obinna Onwujekwe, Health Policy and Research Group, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Adelola A. Adeloye, Department of Surgery, University College Hospital, Ibadan; Isiaka Ajani Ogunwande, Department of Chemistry, Lagos State University; Lateef A. Salako, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of Ibadan; Peter Achunike Akah, of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Joseph Olusegun Ayo, Department of Veterinary Physiology, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Others are Charles Okechukwu Esimone, Department of Pharmaceutical Microbiology and Biopharmaceutics, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka; Morenike Oluwatoyin Luwatoyin Folayan, Department of Child Dental Health, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife; Anthony Amaechi Attama, Department of Pharmaceutics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Wasiu Lanre Adeyemo,

Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Lagos; Olumbe Bassir, (Sierra Leonean, who spent most of his professional career in Nigeria, and died, 2001, in Ibadan) of the Department of Chemical Pathology, University of Ibadan. Others are Andrew Jonathan Nok, (died November 2017) of the Department of Biochemistry, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; Yekini Shehu, Department of Mathematics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Robert A. Asiedu, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan; Akpan Ndem Ikot, of the Department of Physics, University of Port Harcourt; Michael Umale Adikwu, of the University of Abuja; and Tolu O. Odugbemi, of the Department of Community Health and Primary Care, University of Lagos. No doubt the top researchers moved against all odds to have their work published in globally recognised academic journals, but how many of their innovations and researches have been expanded by the government and major stakeholders who have the clout. For instance, THISDAY sort audience with one of the researchers, Bolajoko Olubukunola Olusanya. She is the country’s number two top researcher if Research Gates Score is used for evaluation. The first being Oyewusi Gureje. Olusanya says it was unfortunate that Nigeria does not give priority to research despite the immense benefits attached to it. She says other countries have made significant progress in diseases prevention and morbidity reduction because of the importance they give to research. She said now that the top 28 researchers in Nigeria have been spotlighted, first by the study done by Aminu, and now by THISDAY, the Nigerian Government, especially through the Ministry of Health, should take their findings seriously. “When the younger ones know that Nigeria takes research seriously, it will encourage them to also go into it. Many of us have done hundreds of researches individually, government should harness our findings for the purpose of policy formulations.” Dr. Bolajoko Olusanya’s husband, Jacob Olusanya, a former bank chief executive, who is also a leading researcher in Nigeria told THISDAY that the Ministry of Health should create a unit that monitors researches on health sciences in the country, adding that government should also have dialogue with the top researchers in the country, so that their findings in the different areas they have done researches will not go down the drain. “If we have people who can publish as much as 100 researches and more in this environment despite the odds, they should be celebrated, encouraged and considered as mentors for the younger generations, so that Nigeria, which prized itself as the leader of Africa, will not just be doing that with the word of mouth, but in all areas, especially in research.” The Olusanya’s who are not academicians despite having one of the highest research publications in the country, now jointly run

the Centre for Healthy Start Initiative in Lagos, where researches are done often to address issues affecting newborns. In one of their studies, they realised that 14 per cent of children in normal schools within Mushin in Lagos have hearing problem. That research gave birth to Phoenix Hearing Centre to tackle the problem. “But we were not satisfied with just treating them. We then started newborn screening programme in 2005, which was launched by the then Minister of Health. The idea was to find out what causes hearing problem. This led us to do additional studies in Mercy Children Hospital and Island Maternity Hospital where we discovered that jaundice was the major problem. “So we now started focusing on jaundice. We have place specialised tents in the two hospitals with support from a U.S. organisations. Babies with jaundice are kept under these canopies for about five hours a day, and if done consecutively for three days, the jaundice disappears.” The Olusanyas say this research could potentially help in reduction of several thousands of hearingloss-cases and deaths in newborns in Nigeria. “Hearing was a major problem among children in these hospitals. And indices now have shown that it has drastically reduced because every year we gather data from them. “Usually, jaundice in babies mostly starts after they have been discharged from the hospital. And most mothers don’t recognise how dangerous it can be. So what happens is that once they see that the baby’s skin colour is changing, they start using all kinds of traditional medicines. By the time they come to the hospital, the damage may have been done. So we decided to design something for the mothers to help them at home to be checking if their babies have jaundice or not. It is a small card which when taken near the nose of the baby can tell whether the baby has jaundice or not.” If these researches were done in developed countries, it would be most certain their governments will pick up from there and help their newborn citizens prevent hearing loss and death associated with jaundice. The intervention will not be in only two hospitals, but in thousands of hospitals across their country. Dr. Olusanya said in the 168 researches the centre has done, most of the challenges faced was funding, as many works were done through personal resources. “Research in Nigeria means you have to be swinging against the tide compared to your colleagues outside the country who have regular power supply, who do not have the kind of infrastructural challenges we have in this country.” “The cost of doing research in Nigeria is astronomical. Researchers don’t need to be in the universities. Any body that has any skill and track record in publishing should be encouraged. TEDFUND should be open to any researcher, whether in the university or outside the university. As long as you are research credible,” he added.


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HEALTH

‘Nigeria Has Less than 10 Paediatric Oncologists’ Ayodeji Ake Nigeria doesn’t have up to 10 pediatric oncologists to cover the tens of thousands of children suffering from cancer in the country, the Founder, The Dorcas Cancer Foundation (TDCF), Dr. Adedayo Joseph, has said. She said apart from other factors contributing to the increment of childhood cancer, the inadequate number of pediatric oncologists has indirectly led to the increased number of children dying from the dreaded disease. Stating this during an interactive session to commemorate this year’s World Cancer Day held recently in Lagos, he said only pediatric oncologists have the right expertise to treat childhood cancer and not general doctors. “On prevention, I believe first step is early detection. Cancer in children is not common. The second step is getting the right expert to attend to them. For the fact that I’m an oncologist doesn’t mean I can treat children with cancer, we need a pediatric oncologist to look after them. Those are specialists in children cancer. “Although I have the knowledge but not better than the pediatric oncologists who does it every day. We need

the children to be treated by specialists. There are so many children out there living with cancer and are being looked after by general doctors who does not specialise in childhood cancer,” she said. Speaking on other factors, Joseph highlighted; late detection, lack of funds, absence of cancer hospital for children and expensive cancer treatment as factors increasing the burden. Emphasising on expensive treatment of cancer, she advocated for policies directed at assistance for children living with cancers whose parent cannot afford treatment. She said: “The most important thing is awareness. community awareness and healthcare workers awareness. We need them to pay more attention to children. There is need to be policies when it comes to cancer because treatment of cancer is very expensive but a child doesn’t have to die because their parents can’t afford the treatment, so there have to be some kind of policies on health insurance scheme set up that supports childhood cancer. In my opinion, there should be policy directed assistance,” she said. On accessing quality healthcare and early detection of cancer, the Director, Health

Foundation Calls for Training, Supervision of Volunteers in Health Sector Rebecca Ejifoma With the launch of Volunteer Safe Project, George Kerry and Be in Health Foundations have called on the Nigerian Medical Association, the Federal Ministry of Health and all state ministries of health to develop training and supervision strategy for volunteers in the humanitarian sector in order for Nigerians to enjoy better health services. The Founder of George Kerry Life Foundation, Dr. Matilda Kerry alongside her partner and founder of Be in Health Foundation, Ijeoma Ugwudi, said this during the launch of Volunteer Safe Project in Lagos, an initiative of both foundations. Kerry said that volunteerism in health was a necessary response to health disparities and inequitable access to healthcare in developing countries. “And Nigeria, with a population of over 150 million and an average ratio of two skilled healthcare workers to 1000 Nigerians, volunteers would answer so many needs, from environmental sanitation issues to emergency response, health education and promotion, vaccination efforts and health screening services among others.” Giving statistics, she said that globally, volunteers contribute over $35 billion (13 trillion Naira) per year in volunteer hours. Adding,

she said in Nigeria, volunteers form about 40 per cent of the Nigerian health sector. They are of high value to nations and organisations, the community and the workforce in human development and capacity building. According to Ugwudi, these groups of people play an important and often under-appreciated role in healthcare. “We can enjoy healthier communities and better health services as a result of this special group of people. Hence, volunteers in health need more training to get it right. Our training on ethics and accountability is a first step in the right direction.” To achieve this, the project is conducting a one-day ethics and accountability in healthcare training workshop for 1000 volunteers working in the humanitarian sector. This will, according to them, increase awareness and practice of ethical behaviour and accountability among volunteers in delivering services to the public and reduce medical negligence among volunteers providing health services among others. This training, which began on February 9, will run till March 31st in Ikorodu, Badagry, Epe, Ikeja, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland and Victoria Island, respectively. “After Lagos, we hope to take it to all states of the federation,” Ugwudi said.

Educators, Lagos State, Mrs. Olubunmi Ilawole, noted that

the Lagos State health insurance scheme kicking off soon will

screen for early detection of cancer at the primary healthcare

level, improving quality health services in the state.

L-R: Vice Chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC), Dr. Ikenna Emeka; President, Association of Fertility and Reproductive Health, (AFRH), Dr. Faye Iketubosin; and Chairman, LOC, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi, during a press conference on the upcoming 8th Annual International Conference to be hosted by AFRH in Lagos ...recently

Mapoly Lecturer Needs N5.4m for Hip Replacement In India A lecturer in the department of mass communication of the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, Dotun Oladipupo has called for the support of Nigerians for fund to undergo a hip replacement surgery in India. Dotun, a father of one has been fighting “Sickle cell anemia” all alone up until 2016 when he became terminally ill and has since been on the

sick bed. He is a symbol of HOPE for many sickle cell anemia patients in Ogun state. In his quest to raising the hope of fellow sickle cell anaemic patients, he started a charity organisation which is registered with Corporate Affairs Commission with the name “Oladipupo Sickle Cell Foundation” and wrote a book with the title Fate,and in his generosity gave 10 per

cent of the total sales to the downtrodden suffering from sickle cell anaemia. He received an Excellence Award from Ogun State Government, for contribution to health and community service on May 28th, 2012. Oladipupo has since October 2016 been ill and can only sit with support mechanism. He cannot stand at all. You can reduce his hardship

this year if you drop any amount of money today. He has undergone several surgeries before now and he now requires a major surgery which will require Five million, four hundred thousand naira in India. Kind hearted Nigerians are advised go help him raise the funds. His account details are, Oladipupo Dotun John, 2008920469 Zenith Bank

Foundation Donates Medical Lagos to Host International Equipments to Methodist Conference on Fertility Church Emmanuel Ugwu, Umuahia The clinic belonging to The Methodist Theological Institute (MTI) Chaplaincy is now in a good stead to offer improved healthcare services following a donation of medical equipment and supplies by a United States-based philanthropic organisation, The Nwadinobi Foundation. The equipment and supplies worth millions of naira include beds, orthopedic mattresses, clutches, walkers and various medical supplies and consumables. Founder of Nwadinobi Foundation, Dr John Nwadinobi said he feels a sense of joy and fulfillment by giving back to the society, especially the church, adding that he was determined to assist the MTI clinic to offer standard healthcare services. He promised to bring more hospital accessories and medical supplies to the clinic, adding that he would also assist in training the staffs of the MTI clinic, including physicians and nurses while updating them with latest development in healthcare services. Rector of MTI, Very Rev.

Okechukwu Ogba, was excited to receive the donations and thanked Dr. Nwadinobi for the gesture, which he said would attract divine rewards as the donation is good works. He said that a member of the church, Dame Ngozi Chikwendu, who is a former head of service, Abia State, had built the clinic for MTI and had promised to bring her cousin, Dr. Nwadinobi to equip it. According to him, the promised has now been fulfilled with the coming of Dr. Nwadinobi with the equipment and medical supplies. He expressed gratitude to Dame Chikwendu, who even in retirement has continued to offer services to God and humanity. In her remarks, Dame Ngozi Chikwendu said she was happy her cousin, Dr. Nwadinobi has fulfilled the promise he made, urging him to continue to offer assistance to the MTI clinic on regular basis and to attract other philanthropists to the clinic . She said that God would “align the clinic with the right personnel to convert the clinic into a centre of excellence for physical and spiritual healing.”

Martins Ifijeh The annual international conference for the Association for Fertility and Reproductive Health (AFRH), will hold in Lagos with the theme ‘New Frontiers in Reproductive Technology’. The conference, which is the eighth in the series, will hold in September 26-28, 2018 with participants from different facets of medicine coming into Nigeria from United Kingdom, United States, Asia, Europe and other African countries. Participants will include obstetricians, gynecologists, surgeons, embryologists, ultra-sonographers, health regulators as well as other support service industries. Organised by the Association for Fertility and Reproductive Health (AFRH), the Local Organising Chairman of the conference, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi said the conference will explore integrating innovative technology into treatment options and offers wide array of services in reproductive health education with emphasis on fertility services. The association strives to provide educational materials and serves as a research

institution in areas of need to be used in fertility and reproductive health education while establishing a good working and cooperative relationship with government and nongovernmental organisations. Ajayi noted that, “the Nigerian cultural background of social isolation for infertile couples has made Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) practice in the country relevant with an estimated 25 per cent suffering from one fertility related issue or the other. However, available evidence shows that a significant proportion of infertility is amendable through A.R.T. intervention,” he added. Inaugurated over 25 years ago, the Association for Fertility and Reproductive Health (AFRH) continuously creates awareness, facilitates research studies and disseminates learnings among stakeholders. These trainings take place across different cities nationwide. The closest one being the workshop titled ‘Basic Course on Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology’ holding 16th-17th February in Lagos. Other training as well will hold in the course of the year.


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BUSINESS/MONEYGUIDE

Osinbajo: BoI Disburses N295m to 5,600 GEEP BeneďŹ ciaries in Kogi Senator IroegbuĂ“Ă˜ĂŒĂ&#x;ÔË The Bank of Industry (BoI) has put the number of beneficiaries of the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) in Kogi State at 5,600. This is even as the Development Finance Institution (DFI) announced that it had disbursed over N295million in the process of executing the programme in the state. The GEEP MarketMoni Alert, which is a component of the federal government’s social intervention programmes, is aimed at helping micro enterprise operators in the country bridge the gaps in access to affordable credit. The GEEP, which is being administered by the BoI, seeks to provide non-interest loans raging from N10,000 to N100,000 to 1.6million beneficiaries in the 774 Local Government of the federation. Speaking during a formal launch of the programme in Lokoja yesterday, Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, stated that the programme was conceived to take care of the interest of the people at the base of socioeconomic pyramid across the

country. He said some of the beneficiaries who are majorly traders, artisans, farmers and market women who plied their trade in these target areas, were eligible to access loan under the programme to grow their businesses. Osinbajo urged the over 5,000 beneficiaries in Kogi state not to consider the loan as a national cake, but that which requires repayment so that other people can benefit. The Vice President restated the commitment of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to growing the economy of the country through industrialisation and development of the nation’s human capital base. Also speaking on the sidelines of the event, the GEEP MarketMoni Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Uzoma Nwagba, said the programme was packaged to address the issue of lack of access to finance by those operating with the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sub-sector. Nwagba added that, “the micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) space,

especially the micro part of it accounts for close to 23milllion Nigerians. These are people who have no access to credit from the commercial banks. “We have a lot of market women, artisans youths, even farmers who can’t access credit to build their businesses. We therefore need a more innovative way to provide credit to these groups of people.� “The federal government has the mandate to meet the needs of the people at the base of the pyramid and that is why the present administration has come up with its social intervention programmes of which GEEP marketmoni is an integral part.� On the involvement of the BoI in the scheme, Nwagba, who represented the bank’s Executive Director, Micro Enterprise Directorate, Toyin Adeniji, said the federal government leveraged on its expertise and long years of working in the target Broad street sector of the economy. He noted that since the programme commenced, the bank had been working diligently and professionally to deliver on this mandate across the states of the federation.

MARKET INDICATORS MONEY AND CREDIT STATISTICS

(MILLION NAIRA)

AUGUST 2017

FirstBank Records N1tn Transactions on Mobile Banking Channel FirstBank of Nigeria Limited has revealed that it has recorded giant strides in its drive for financial inclusion via its 894 quick banking, a USSD based channel that enables customers to access banking services using any type of phone and without data/internet. The bank explained in a statement that transactions via the banking channel grew by about 250 per cent in 2017, to now over 4.5million customers with a target base of over 6.5 million before the end of this year. Over N1 trillion worth of transactions have been processed using the 894 services, with over N3 trillion worth of transactions projected to be processed this

year alone. The bank explained that the platform was designed for businesses to receive payments for goods and services, and to address their cash management challenges. It is also a very viable channel for government to collect taxes and other statutory payments. According to FirstBank’s Group Head, e-business, Chuma Ezirim, a major element of the bank’s strategy is to make payments and collections easier for businesses around the country. Digitising payment and collections processes not only improves transparency and efficiency, but also helps a business to grow. “That’s why our 894 service is very useful for our Cor-

porate and SME customers because every Nigerian can pay using 894 irrespective of the type of phone he/ she uses, and without the barrier of internet access�, he enthused. Speaking on the impact of the bank’sfinancial inclusion services on customers and the economy, Ezirim said that in addition to providing FirstBank customers more convenient and faster ways to carry out basic banking transactions, “the 894 banking service has led to the creation of over 500 new jobs for young Nigerians who assist customers to adopt digital platforms at the various branches of the Bank nationwide.�

Broad Money (M2)

21,851,454.31

-- Narrow Money (M1)

9,890,813.10

---- Currency Outside Banks

1,523,239.91

---- Demand Deposits

8,367,573.19

-- Quasi Money

11,960,641.22

Net Foreign Assets (NFA)

9,732,990.89

Net Domestic Assets(NDA)

12,118,463.42

-- Net Domestic Credit (NDC)

26,821,446.81

---- Credit to Government (Net)

4,824,226.22

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

7,834,536.74

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

--3,010,310.52

---- Credit to Private Sector (CPS)

21,997,220.59

--Other Assets Net

--14,702,983.39

Reserve Money (Base Money)

5,486,804.65

--Currency in Circulation

1,868,735.07

--Banks Reserves

3,268,266.17 ˞ÙĂ&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă?Ě‹

Money Market Indicators (in Percentage)

FG Raises N176bn inTreasury Bills Sale

Month

August 2017

Inter-Bank Call Rate

Nigeria has raised N176 billion worth of treasury bills at an auction on Wednesday, traders said. The central bank offered N6 billion of three-month paper, N30 billion of six-month bills and N140 billion of one-year notes. The Bank issues treasury bills twice a month to help the government to finance its budget deficit, curb money supply growth and provide an

avenue for lenders to manage liquidity. According to Reuters, total demand for the notes stood at N229.9 billion as investors were demanding as high as 20 percent yields for the one-year paper, which sold for 13.7 percent. It sold the one-year paper at 14.3 percent in January. The bank auctioned the three-month bill at 11.95 percent

from 12.55 percent last month and the six-month note at 13.65 percent from 13.92 percent. The government has been working to lower its borrowing costs, particularly as inflation fell for the 12th time in a row on Wednesday. The government also plans to refinance $2.5 billion worth of treasury bills from the proceeds of a planned Eurobond sale this first quarter.

Afreximbank Urges Use of‘ Factoring’to Expand Value Chains African countries should make use of factoring to take advantage of the opportunities for expanding the continent’s regional value chains, participants at a regional factoring conference held in Dakar have stressed. The Managing Director of the Intra-African Trade Initiative at the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Kanayo Awani, said this yesterday at the opening of the two-day Regional Conference on Factoring that, in spite of the

potential upside, Africa’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) continued to face difficulties in accessing finance. Awani, who is also Chairperson of FCI’s Africa Chapter, noted that in other regions, such enterprises accounted for the largest shares of trade finance transactions concluded through factoring, noting that in Europe, for instance, factoring represented 10.4 per cent of GDP at 1.5 trillion Euros. Africa only accounted for one per cent of global factoring

transactions, stated Awani, who explained that the low volumes of factoring in Africa was largely attributable to lack of information and awareness. She said that the conference, co-organised by Afreximbank and FCI, the global representative body for the factoring and receivables finance industry, was to equip participants with relevant tools to tap into the opportunities available to grow factoring in the continent, especially in the context of intra-regional trade.

22.63

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

14.00

Treasury Bill Rate

13.35

Savings Deposit Rate

4.08

1 Month Deposit Rate

8.86

3 Months Deposit Rate

10.14

6 Months Deposit Rate

11.51

12 Months Deposit Rate

11.40

Prime Lending rate

17.69

Maximum Lending Rate

31.20

ËžĂ™Ă˜Ă?ĂžĂ‹ĂœĂŁÙÖÓĂ?ĂŁĂ‹ĂžĂ?Ě‹ͯ͹Ϲ

OPEC DAILY BASKET PRICE AS AT TUESDAY FEBRUAR 13, 2018

The price of OPEC basket of fourteen crudes stood at $60.52 a barrel on Tuesday, compared with $61.04 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. The OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), ZaďŹ ro (Equatorial Guinea), 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


T H I S D AY ˾ ˜ͯͳ˜ͰͮͯͶ

41

MARKET NEWS

Equities Market Halts Losing Streak as Banking, Consumer Stocks Lead Rebound Goddy Egene and Nosa Alekhuogie The equities market rebounded yesterday, halting a seven-day losing streak to close higher. The market witnessed a free fall for seven days as investors locked in profits from an early year rally that saw prices hit new highs. However, barging hunting in banking and consumer goods sectors lifted the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index

(ASI) by 1.1 per cent to close at 42,171.80 yesterday. Similarly, market capitalisation added N166.4 billion to close at N15.1 trillion. Stockrokers had on Tuesday said: “Market performance to remain soft in coming sessions with the possibility of a rebound at the end of the week, driven by bargain hunting.” However, the rebound can largely be attributed to buying interest in Banking

P R I C E S MAIN BOARD

F O R DEALS

and Consumer counters with Zenith Bank (+5.0 per cent), United Bank for Africa (+6.3 per cent ) and Nestle (+1.9 per cent) weighing the most on performance. But Skye Bank Plc led the gainers chart with 10 per cent trailed by FCMB Group Plc that garnered 9.8 per cent. Conversely, First Aluminum led the price losers with 9.1 per cent, trailed by LASACO

S E C U R I T I E S

MARKET PRICE

QUANTITY TRADED

VALUE TRADED ( N )

Assurance Plc with a decline of 5.8 per cent. Volume and value of trading also rose by 10.7 per cent and 28.1 per cent to 520.7 million shares and N4.7 billion respectively. Commenting on the performance, analysts at Cordros Capital Limited said: “We expect appetite to remain strong, as investors continue to hunt bargains and take position ahead of Q4-17 earnings,

T R A D E D MAIN BOARD

A S

amidst generally improving macroeconomic conditions.” Also commenting, analysts at Meristem Securities Limited said: “The bullish charge in the market was led by gains recorded on counters in the banking and consumer goods sectors, which offset the loss on the market’s heavyweight, Dangote Cement Plc. We expect a continuation of the bargain hunting activities in the market and an improve-

O F

ment in the market mood to sustain the recovery in the near term.” The NSE Banking Index led with a growth of 2.7 per cent, followed by the NSE Insurance Index and NSE Consumer Index that appreciated by 1.3 per cent and 1.0 per cent in that order. Analysts at FSDH Merchant Bank had said the banking sector would remain top performer in 2018 to improve on its performance in 2017.

1 4 / 0 2 / 2 0 1 8 DEALS

MARKET PRICE

QUANTITY TRADED

VALUE TRADED ( N)


     ˾  THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2018

42

Nigeria Daily Stock Market Report: dŚŝƐĂLJĨƌŝŶǀĞƐƚ/ŶĚĞdž'ĂŝŶƐϮ͘Ϭй

THISDAY AFRINVEST 40 INDEX

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DĂƌŬĞƚƌĞĂĚƚŚ/ŵƉƌŽǀĞƐ DĂƌŬĞƚďƌĞĂĚƚŚ;ĂĚǀĂŶĐĞͬĚĞĐůŝŶĞƌĂƟŽͿǁŚŝĐŚŵĞĂƐƵƌĞƐŝŶǀĞƐƚŽƌ ƐĞŶƟŵĞŶƚ͕ŝŵƉƌŽǀĞĚƚŽϭ͘ϯdžĨƌŽŵϬ͘ϰdžƌĞĐŽƌĚĞĚƚŚĞƉƌĞǀŝŽƵƐĚĂLJ ĐŽŶƐĞƋƵĞŶƚ ŽŶ Ϯϱ ƐƚŽĐŬƐ ĂĚǀĂŶĐŝŶŐ ĂŐĂŝŶƐƚ ϭϵ ƐƚŽĐŬƐ ƚŚĂƚ ĚĞĐůŝŶĞĚ͘dŚĞďĞƐƚƉĞƌĨŽƌŵŝŶŐƐƚŽĐŬƐǁĞƌĞ^<z ;нϭϬ͘ϬйͿ͕&D ;нϵ͘ϴйͿ ĂŶĚ /DKE ;нϳ͘ϴйͿ ǁŚŝůĞ &/Z^d>hD ;Ͳϵ͘ϭйͿ͕ >^K ;Ͳϱ͘ϵйͿ ĂŶĚ dZE^ ;Ͳϱ͘ϬйͿ ǁĞƌĞ ƚŚĞ ǁŽƌƐƚ ƉĞƌĨŽƌŵĞƌƐ͘ /Ŷ ůŝŶĞ ǁŝƚŚ ĞdžƉĞĐƚĂƟŽŶ͕ ƚŚĞ ŵĂƌŬĞƚ ƌĞďŽƵŶĚĞĚ ƚŽĚĂLJ͘  &ŽůůŽǁŝŶŐ ƚŚĞ ŝŵƉƌŽǀĞŵĞŶƚ ŝŶ ŝŶǀĞƐƚŽƌ ƐĞŶƟŵĞŶƚ͕ ǁĞ ĂŶƟĐŝƉĂƚĞƉŽƐŝƟǀĞŵĂƌŬĞƚƉĞƌĨŽƌŵĂŶĐĞƟůůƚŚĞĞŶĚŽĨƚŚĞǁĞĞŬ͘ tĞ ĂůƐŽ ĞdžƉĞĐƚ ƐƵƐƚĂŝŶĞĚ ŝŵƉƌŽǀĞŵĞŶƚ ŝŶ ŵĂƌŬĞƚ ĂĐƟǀŝƚLJ ĂƐ ŝŶǀĞƐƚŽƌƐƚĂŬĞƉŽƐŝƟŽŶŝŶƐƚŽĐŬƐǁŝƚŚĂƩƌĂĐƟǀĞǀĂůƵĂƟŽŶ͘

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Fundamental Performance Metrics for THISDAY AFRINVEST 40 Index

Ticker

Current Price

Previous Current Price Weighting Change

Price Change YTD

Price Change Index to Date

ROE

ROA

P/E

P/BV

Divinden Earnings d Yield Yield

THISDAY AFRINVEST 40 1,733.47

1.98%

12.4%

73.3%

25.1%

7.9%

8.4x

1.2x

3.3%

1

Guaranty Trust Bank PLC

45.60

0.0%

21.3%

11.9%

12.5%

26.0%

4.3%

9.5x

2.3x

4.5%

10.0% 10.5%

2

Zenith Bank PLC

31.50

5.0%

14.2%

22.9%

21.5%

21.7%

3.2%

6.2x

1.3x

6.4%

16.1%

3

Nigerian Brew eries PLC

129.00

0.9%

7.7%

-4.4%

-4.5%

18.9%

8.6%

31.8x

5.8x

2.8%

3.1%

4

Nestle Nigeria PLC

1,345.00

1.9%

6.2%

-13.6%

-13.6%

78.4%

19.0%

35.0x

23.2x

1.9%

2.9%

5

Dangote Cement PLC

258.40

-0.1%

6.2%

12.3%

12.3%

30.4%

15.7%

17.8x

5.1x

3.3%

5.6%

5.0%

6.5%

31.3%

31.4%

2.6%

0.3%

18.8x

0.7x

1.7%

5.3%

5.0%

4.8%

20.6%

18.9%

15.1%

2.0%

5.1x

0.7x

5.2%

19.6%

5.2x

0.9x

6.3%

19.2%

0.7x

3.1%

-17.7%

6

FBN Holdings Plc

11.55

7

Access Bank PLC

12.60

8

United Bank for Africa PLC

11.85

6.3%

4.5%

15.0%

13.8%

17.2%

2.2%

9

Ecobank Transnational Inc

19.65

0.0%

3.4%

15.6%

20.8%

-14.6%

-1.3%

10

SEPLAT Petroleum Development C

685.00

0.0%

3.0%

9.4%

9.4%

-12.4%

-6.7%

11

Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC

45.00

0.0%

2.8%

8.4%

10.0%

28.7%

3.4%

10.4x

105.00

0.0%

2.3%

11.7%

11.7%

14.6%

5.6%

19.7x

2.8x

0.6%

5.1%

51.00

0.0%

1.7%

13.6%

13.6%

47.1%

9.8%

4.6x

7.7x

1.9%

21.9%

4.3%

34.8%

0.9x 2.7x

-15.3% 1.3%

9.6%

12

Guinness Nigeria PLC

13

Lafarge Africa PLC

14

Fidelity Bank PLC

3.29

4.8%

1.5%

33.7%

27.5%

8.0%

1.1%

2.9x

0.5x

15

Oando PLC

5.99

0.0%

1.2%

0.0%

0.0%

40.7%

4.2%

2.7x

0.6x

16

Dangote Sugar Refinery PLC

21.00

0.0%

1.1%

5.0%

3.1%

43.2%

19.8%

8.2x

3.2x

2.4%

12.2%

17

Okomu Oil Palm PLC

72.00

-0.7%

1.0%

6.4%

6.4%

37.4%

25.9%

9.6x

3.1x

2.1%

10.4%

18

Unilever Nigeria PLC

49.00

0.0%

1.2%

19.5%

21.9%

50.3%

8.4%

30.2x

11.5x

0.2%

3.3%

19

International Brew eries PLC

57.50

0.0%

0.7%

5.5%

4.6%

24.6%

7.4%

60.2x

13.7x

20

Flour Mills of Nigeria PLC

32.40

2.9%

0.6%

11.7%

11.7%

13.1%

3.0%

6.8x

0.8x

2.8%

14.8%

21

Transnational Corp of Nigeria

2.08

4.5%

0.7%

42.5%

40.5%

19.6%

4.1%

8.3x

1.4x

22

UAC of Nigeria PLC

17.00

0.0%

0.5%

0.6%

0.6%

6.3%

2.2%

10.9x

0.7x

23

Diamond Bank PLC

2.91

7.8%

0.9%

94.0%

85.4%

2.5%

0.3%

11.7x

0.3x

229.00

-0.4%

0.5%

-0.4%

-0.4%

37.3%

7.4%

8.5x

3.0x

2.6%

11.7%

2.80

9.8%

0.8%

77.2%

3.8%

0.6%

8.1x

0.3x

3.6%

12.3%

4.0%

24

Total Nigeria PLC

25

FCMB Group Plc

26

11 PLC

199.00

0.0%

0.5%

2.3%

2.3%

32.6%

12.0%

10.6x

2.9x

-1.7%

0.4%

3.5%

7.1%

44.3%

3.7%

11.4x

5.0x

27

Forte Oil PLC

45.00

28

PZ Cussons Nigeria PLC

25.00

0.0%

0.4%

21.4%

18.2%

10.7%

5.0%

23.7x

2.4x

29

Cadbury Nigeria PLC

14.80

0.0%

0.3%

-5.6%

-5.1%

4.5%

1.6%

42.2x

2.5x

0.0%

37.0%

1.7%

12.0% 5.8%

9.2% 8.5%

9.5% 8.8%

2.0%

4.2% 2.4%

30

Presco PLC

70.00

0.3%

2.2%

2.2%

42.9%

25.9%

3.4x

1.2x

2.1%

29.0%

31

NASCON Allied Industries PLC

20.75

-1.2%

0.3%

12.2%

8.0%

53.4%

18.1%

11.7x

5.4x

3.4%

8.6%

32

UPDC Real Estate Investment Tr

10.00

0.0%

0.3%

0.0%

0.0%

0.8x

7.2%

33

Union Bank of Nigeria PLC

7.85

3.3%

0.3%

0.6%

4.5%

5.6%

1.2%

34

Julius Berger Nigeria PLC

27.30

0.0%

0.3%

-2.5%

-2.5%

-12.2%

-1.2%

35

Sterling Bank PLC

2.24

4.7%

0.5%

107.4%

98.2%

6.1%

0.6%

5.0%

0.3%

30.5%

30.5%

61.6%

0.0%

0.2%

-1.9%

-1.9%

61.2%

10.0x

0.5x

10.0%

1.4x

-8.4%

11.8x

0.7x

8.5%

15.8%

5.1x

2.2x

23.6%

4.4x

1.6x

ŽŵƉĂŶLJŝŶ&ŽĐƵƐ͗EŝŐĞƌŝĂŶƌĞǁĞƌŝĞƐWůĐ;͞E͟Ϳ

36

Dangote Flour Mills Plc

15.85

EŝŐĞƌŝĂŶ ƌĞǁĞƌŝĞƐ WůĐ ;͞E͟Ϳ ŝƐ ƚŚĞ ůĂƌŐĞƐƚ ďƌĞǁŝŶŐ ĐŽŵƉĂŶLJ ŝŶ EŝŐĞƌŝĂǁŝƚŚƚŽƚĂůŝŶƐƚĂůůĞĚďƌĞǁŝŶŐĐĂƉĂĐŝƚLJŽĨŽǀĞƌϭϲ͘ϱŵŚůĂŶĚ ƌĞǀĞŶƵĞŽĨEϯϭϯ͘ϳďŶĂƐĂƚ&z͗ϮϬϭϲĂĐĐŽƵŶƟŶŐĨŽƌŽǀĞƌϲϱ͘ϬйŽĨ ŵĂƌŬĞƚ ƐŚĂƌĞ͘ E ƌĞůĞĂƐĞĚ ŝƚƐ ϵD͗ϮϬϭϳ ƌĞƐƵůƚ ŽŶ tĞĚŶĞƐĚĂLJ͘ ZĞǀĞŶƵĞ ŐƌĞǁ ϭϰ͘ϰй zͲŽͲz ;ĨƌŽŵ EϮϮϮ͘ϳďŶ ŝŶ ϵD͗ϮϬϭϲ ƚŽ EϮϱϰ͘ϳďŶ ŝŶ ϵD͗ϮϬϭϳͿ ŽŶ ƚŚĞ ďĂĐŬ ŽĨ ŚŝŐŚĞƌ ƉƌŝĐĞƐ ĂƐ ǁĞůů ĂƐ ƐƚĞĂĚLJ ǀŽůƵŵĞ ŐƌŽǁƚŚ͘ ŽƐƚ ŽĨ ƐĂůĞƐ ƌĂƟŽ ŚŽǁĞǀĞƌ ĚĞƚĞƌŝŽƌĂƚĞĚ ƚŽ ϱϴ͘ϭй ŝŶ ϵD͗ϮϬϭϳ ƌĞůĂƟǀĞ ƚŽ ϱϲ͘ϯй ŝŶ ϵD͗ϮϬϭϲ ƚŚŽƵŐŚ KƉĞƌĂƟŶŐĞdžƉĞŶƐĞŵĂƌŐŝŶŵŽĚĞƌĂƚĞĚĨƌŽŵϮϲ͘ϵйƚŽϮϲ͘ϭй͘

37

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Niger

21.20

38

Chemical and Allied Products P

38.85

0.0%

0.2%

14.3%

8.8%

84.3%

38.5%

17.0x

11.9x

5.8%

5.9%

Beta Glass PLC

72.10

4.9%

0.1%

40.5%

40.5%

18.4%

11.9%

10.2x

1.7x

1.4%

9.8%

7.20

0.0%

0.1%

-0.1%

-0.1%

4.7%

2.8%

21.4x

1.0x

5.6%

4.7%

39 40

Transcorp Hotels Plc T o p 10 G a ine r s

22.8%

T o p 10 T r a d e s b y V o l u m e

P ric e

P ric e C hg %

Vo lum e

P ric e C hg %

1.10

10.0%

SKYEB A N K

113.2

10.0%

FCM B

2.80

9.8%

FCM B

54.1

9.8%

dŚĞŝŵƉĂĐƚŽĨĐŽƐƚŵŽĚĞƌĂƟŽŶǁĂƐĨƵƌƚŚĞƌƐƚĞĚďLJĂϰϬϰ͘ϴй ũƵŵƉŝŶŽƚŚĞƌŝŶĐŽŵĞ;ĨƌŽŵEϬ͘ϰďŶƚŽEϮ͘ϬďŶŝŶϵD͗ϮϬϭϳͿĂŶĚ ĂůƐŽ Ă ƐŝŐŶŝĮĐĂŶƚ ϮϮ͘ϲй zͲŽͲz ;ĨƌŽŵ EϭϬ͘ϮďŶ ƚŽ Eϳ͘ϵďŶ ŝŶ ϵD͗ ϮϬϭϳͿƌĞĚƵĐƟŽŶŝŶEĞƚĮŶĂŶĐĞĐŽƐƚ͘ŽŶƐĞƋƵĞŶƚůLJ͕EƌĞĐŽƌĚĞĚĂ ϭϵ͘ϰйzͲŽͲzŐƌŽǁƚŚŝŶEĞƚ/ŶĐŽŵĞ;ĨƌŽŵEϮϬ͘ϭďŶƚŽEϮϰ͘ϬďŶŝŶ ϵD͗ϮϬϭϳͿ͘^ŝŵŝůĂƌůLJ͕Yϯ͗ϮϬϭϳƐƚĂŶĚĂůŽŶĞǁĂƐůĂƌŐĞůLJƉŽƐŝƟǀĞĂƐ ZĞǀĞŶƵĞ ƌŽƐĞ ϭϮ͘ϵй YͲŽͲY ;ĨƌŽŵ Eϲϱ͘ϯďŶ ƚŽ Eϳϯ͘ϳďŶ ŝŶ Yϯ͗ϮϬϭϳͿ͘

D IA M ON D B N K

2.91

7.8%

UB A

41.9

6.3%

UB A

11.85

6.3%

D IA M ON D B N K

38.0

7.8%

Z EN IT H B A N K

31.50

5.0%

GUA R A N T Y

35.8

0.0%

FB NH

11.55

5.0%

T R A N SC OR P

31.9

4.5%

A C C ESS

12.60

5.0%

LA SA C O

23.8

-5.9%

1.90

5.0%

WA P IC

18.2

4.9%

D A N GF LOUR

15.85

5.0%

Z EN IT H B A N K

15.7

5.0%

B ET A GLA S

72.10

4.9%

J A IZ B A N K

15.5

3.8%

ŽƐƚ ŽĨ ƐĂůĞƐ ĂŶĚ KƉĞƌĂƟŶŐ ĞdžƉĞŶƐĞƐ ƌŽƐĞ ϭϱ͘ϯй ĂŶĚ ϭϲ͘ϱй ƚŽ Eϰϴ͘ϯďŶ ĂŶĚ EϮϮ͘ϲďŶ ƌĞƐƉĞĐƟǀĞůLJ͘ EŽƚǁŝƚŚƐƚĂŶĚŝŶŐ͕ ŽƚŚĞƌ ŝŶĐŽŵĞ ƌĞĐŽƌĚĞĚ Ă ϳϵ͘ϱй ũƵŵƉ ďƵƚ ǁĂƐ ƵŶĂďůĞ ƚŽ ŽīƐĞƚ ƚŚĞ ŝŵƉĂĐƚ ŽĨ ŶĞƚ ĮŶĂŶĐĞ ĐŚĂƌŐĞ ;ƵƉ ϱϮ͘ϵй YͲŽͲY ĨƌŽŵ Eϭ͘ϳďŶ ƚŽ EϮ͘ϲďŶͿ͘,ĞŶĐĞ͕ƚŚĞŽŵƉĂŶLJƌĞĐŽƌĚĞĚĂŵĂƐƐŝǀĞĚĞĐůŝŶĞŝŶWd͕ ĚŽǁŶ ϳϱ͘ϭй YͲŽͲY ĨƌŽŵ Eϭ͘ϬďŶ ƚŽ EϮϱϵ͘ϵŵ͘ E ĚĞĐůĂƌĞĚ ĂŶ ŝŶƚĞƌŝŵ ĚŝǀŝĚĞŶĚ ŽĨ Eϭ͘ϬϬ ƉĞƌ ƐŚĂƌĞ͕ ŝŵƉůLJŝŶŐ Ă LJŝĞůĚ ŽĨ Ϭ͘ϲй ĂƐ Ăƚ dŚƵƌƐĚĂLJ͛Ɛ ĐůŽƐĞ ƉƌŝĐĞ͘ tĞ ĚŽ ŶŽƚ ĞdžƉĞĐƚ Ă ƐŝŐŶŝĮĐĂŶƚ ŵŽǀĞŵĞŶƚŝŶƚŚĞƐŚĂƌĞƉƌŝĐĞŽĨƚŚĞŽŵƉĂŶLJŐŝǀĞŶƚŚĞůŽǁLJŝĞůĚ ĂŶĚƚŚĞƐƵďͲŽƉƟŵĂůƉĞƌĨŽƌŵĂŶĐĞŽĨƚŚĞƋƵĂƌƚĞƌůLJĞĂƌŶŝŶŐƐƐŽĨĂƌ ŝŶϮϬϭϳĂƐǁĞĞdžƉĞĐƚŝŶǀĞƐƚŽƌƐƚŽĐŽŶƟŶƵĞƚŽƚƌĂĚĞĐĂƵƟŽƵƐůLJ͘

T o p 10 L o s e r s

Afrinvest Securities Limited (RC 603 315) (A Dealing Member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange)

T ic k er

19.5% 1.4%

SKYEB A N K

C ILEA SIN G

T ic k er

T o p 10 T r a d e s b y V a l u e

P ric e

P ric e C hg %

T ic k er

Value

P ric e C hg %

F IR ST A LUM

0.40

-9.1%

GUA R A N T Y

1626.7

0.0%

LA SA C O

0.32

-5.9%

N EST LE

544.4

1.9%

A B CTRA NS

0.38

-5.0%

UB A

487.6

6.3%

C A VER T ON

2.85

-5.0%

Z EN IT H B A N K

486.7

5.0%

1.81

-4.7%

NB

229.9

0.9%

P H A R M D EKO

2.25

-4.7%

FB NH

168.3

5.0%

UN IT YKA P

0.42

-4.5%

FCM B

146.1

9.8%

WEM A B A N K

1.25

-3.8%

SKYEB A N K

122.0

10.0%

H M A R KIN S

0.30

-3.2%

D A N GC EM

109.3

-0.1%

J A P A ULOIL

0.37

-2.6%

D IA M ON D B N K

104.9

7.8%

T ic k er

UN IT YB N K

Investment Research

Brokerage Ayodeji Ebo | aebo@afrinvest.com

Robert Omotunde | romotunde@afrinvest.com

Bolaji Fajenyo | bfajenyo@afrinvest.com

Omotola Abimbola | oabimbola@afrinvest.com


43

     ˾  THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2018

MARKET NEWS

SEC Lists Negative Impacts of Unclaimed Dividends on Investments Goddy Egene The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said the continuous retention of dividends by companies has a great potential of distorting the true financial position of companies and misleading investors and other members of the public. The apex regulator of the nation’s capital market also said the huge amount of unclaimed dividends could discourage foreign investment as well as discourage members of the public

from staking their funds in the market. The Director, External Relations, SEC, Mr. Henry Adekunle Rolands, stated this at the 2018 Listed Companies Dividend Payment Awards ceremony organised by Third Observers Nigeria Limited in Lagos. Speaking on ‘Market initiatives being led by SEC towards curbing unclaimed dividends in the Nigerian capital market,’ Rolands said non-receipt of dividends discourages investors in stock market and encourages them to

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

search for alternative investment outlets such as the real sector and money market. This development, he said, denies public companies the opportunity of cheaper source of finance. While acknowledging the high level of unclaimed dividends in the market, the SEC chief cited some of their causes. According to him, a careful assessment of the current practice of printing and mailing dividend warrants as means of paying dividends revealed that, some of the causes of unclaimed

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 13Feb-2018, unless otherwise stated.

dividends are associated with shareholders, while others are associated with registrars, stockbrokers and postal system. He said causes associated with shareholders include incomplete or wrong mailing addresses when completing application forms, thus making it difficult to deliver dividend warrants; non or late communication to the Registrars, when change of address occurs, thus making the dividends warrant returned when posted; provision of an address in a place that cannot be accessed. “Also, unclaimed dividends

arise where the shareholder is unaware of such declaration of dividends; deceased shareholder without a Will and his/her family did not contact the company’s registrar to supply information that will assist withhold his/her dividends; where the next-of-kin is not provided at all or where the next-of-kin is not aware of the shareholding of the deceased shareholder equally lead to unclaimed dividends,” Rolands said. On the causes associated with registrars the SEC director cited: wrong adoption of shareholder’s

address from the application form due to a mistake in picking of post office number or street number; inadvertent issuance of dividend warrants to the wrong beneficiary; unintentional omission of some shareholders’ names while issuing dividend warrants; late (or non posting at all) of dividend warrants by some Registrars due to manipulative tendency to benefit from the funds before payment; inefficient and poor data management capability of some Registrars, leading to inadequate update of investors’ personal data.

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 aaml@afrinvest.com Web: www.afrinvest.com; Tel: +234 1 270 1680 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Afrinvest Equity Fund 187.51 187.93 5.41% Nigeria International Debt Fund 245.59 246.03 6.05% ALTERNATIVE CAPITAL PARTNERS LTD info@acapng.com Web: www.acapng.com, Tel: +234 1 291 2406, +234 1 291 2868 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn ACAP Canary Growth Fund 0.85 0.86 3.63% ACAP Income Funds 0.62 0.62 3.64% AIICO CAPITAL LTD ammf@aiicocapital.com Web: www.aiicocapital.com, Tel: +234-1-2792974 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn AIICO Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 16.15% ARM INVESTMENT MANAGERS LTD enquiries@arminvestmentcenter.com Web: www.arm.com.ng; Tel: 0700 CALLARM (0700 225 5276) Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn ARM Aggressive Growth Fund 19.76 20.35 8.13% ARM Discovery Fund 415.98 428.52 6.92% ARM Ethical Fund 30.25 31.16 10.72% ARM Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 16.01% AXA MANSARD INVESTMENTS LIMITED investmentcare@axamansard.com Web: www.axamansard.com; Tel: +2341-4488482 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn AXA Mansard Equity Income Fund 161.32 162.45 6.35% AXA Mansard Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 15.73% CHAPELHILL DENHAM MANAGEMENT LTD investmentmanagement@chapelhilldenham.com Web: www.chapelhilldenham.com, Tel: +234 461 0691 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Chapelhill Denham Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 N/A Paramount Equity Fund N/A N/A N/A Women's Investment Fund N/A N/A N/A CORDROS ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED assetmgtteam@cordros.com Web: www.cordros.com, Tel: 019036947 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Cordros Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 15.66% CORONATION ASSEST MANAGEMENT investment@coronationam.com Web:www.coronationam.com , Tel: 012366215 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Coronation Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 N/A Coronation Balanced Fund N/A N/A N/A Coronation Fixed Income Fund N/A N/A N/A FBN QUEST ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD invest@fbnquest.com Web: www.fbnquest.com; Tel: +234-81 0082 0082 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn FBN Fixed Income Fund 1,172.95 1,174.12 2.19% FBN Heritage Fund 147.76 149.12 6.01% FBN Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 15.40% FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Institutional $114.09 $114.64 1.05% FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Retail $113.05 $114.60 1.11% FBN Nigeria Smart Beta Equity Fund 188.02 190.82 10.10% FIRST CITY ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD fcamhelpdesk@fcmb.com Web: www.fcamltd.com; Tel: +234 1 462 2596 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Legacy Equity Fund 1.37 1.40 5.26% Legacy Debt Fund 2.93 2.93 1.61% FSDH ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD coralfunds@fsdhgroup.com Web: www.fsdhaml.com; Tel: 01-270 4884-5; 01-280 9740-1 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Coral Growth Fund 3,112.23 3,157.53 4.47% Coral Income Fund 2,513.22 2,513.22 2.74% GREENWICH ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED assetmanagement@gtlgroup.com Web: www.gtlgroup.com ; Tel: +234 1 4619261-2 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Greenwich Plus Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 14.61% INVESTMENT ONE FUNDS MANAGEMENT LTD enquiries@investment-one.com Web: www.investment-one.com; 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 15.06% Vantage Balanced Fund 2.18 2.21 3.65% Vantage Guaranteed Income Fund 1.00 1.00 17.67% Kedari Investment Fund (KIF) 115.93 116.26 0.79%

LOTUS CAPITAL LTD fincon@lotuscapitallimited.com Web: www.lotuscapitallimited.com; Tel: +234 1-291 4626 / +234 1-291 4624 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Lotus Halal Investment Fund 1.16 1.18 1.08% Lotus Halal Fixed Income Fund 1,044.83 1,044.13 1.33% MERISTEM WEALTH MANAGEMENT LTD info@meristemwealth.com Web: http://www.meristemwealth.com/funds/ ; Tel: +234 1-4488260 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Meristem Equity Market Fund 16.23 16.38 15.17% Meristem Money Market Fund 10.00 10.00 14.20% PAC ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD info@pacassetmanagement.com Web: www.pacassetmanagement.com/mutualfunds; Tel: +234 1 271 8632 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn PACAM Balanced Fund 1.30 1.32 9.50% PACAM Fixed Income Fund 11.35 11.44 2.98% PACAM Money Market Fund 10.00 10.00 13.70% SCM CAPITAL LIMITED info@scmcapitalng.com Web: www.scmcapitalng.com; Tel: +234 1-280 2226,+234 1- 280 2227 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn SCM Capital Frontier Fund 142.80 145.02 10.77% SFS CAPITAL NIGERIA LTD investments@sfsnigeria.com Web: www.sfsnigeria.com, Tel: +234 (01) 2801400 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn SFS Fixed Income Fund 1.51 1.51 1.80% STANBIC IBTC ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD assetmanagement@stanbicibtc.com Web: www.stanbicibtcassetmanagement.com; Tel: +234 1 280 1266; 0700 MUTUALFUNDS Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Stanbic IBTC Balanced Fund 2,335.72 2,353.95 4.11% Stanbic IBTC Bond Fund 176.95 176.95 0.28% Stanbic IBTC Ethical Fund 1.06 1.08 5.94% Stanbic IBTC Guaranteed Investment Fund 225.64 225.74 2.47% Stanbic IBTC Iman Fund 186.69 188.94 4.28% Stanbic IBTC Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 14.91% Stanbic IBTC Nigerian Equity Fund 10,163.78 10,303.22 5.12% Stanbic IBTC Dollar Fund (USD) 1.07 1.07 0.94% UNITED CAPITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD unitedcapitalplcgroup.com Web: www.unitedcapitalplcgroup.com; Tel: +234 803 306 2887 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn United Capital Balanced Fund 1.38 1.39 16.20% United Capital Bond Fund 1.58 1.58 12.21% United Capital Equity Fund 1.01 1.03 11.59% United Capital Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 14.38% United Capital Eurobond Fund 102.98 102.98 0.74% United Capital Wealth for Women Fund 1.12 1.13 16.30% ZENITH ASSETS MANAGEMENT LTD info@zenith-funds.com Web: www.zenith-funds.com; Tel: +234 1-2784219 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Zenith Equity Fund 13.34 13.54 6.42% Zenith Ethical Fund 13.88 14.04 5.31% Zenith Income Fund 19.40 19.40 2.56%

REITS NAV Per Share

Yield / T-Rtn

10.00 133.45

-11.35% 0.75%

Bid Price

Offer Price

Yield / T-Rtn

12.29 159.09 118.04

12.39 162.59 120.28

1.40% 11.42% 8.06%

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

EXCHANGE TRADED FUNDS Fund Name Lotus Halal Equity Exchange Traded Fund SIAML Pension ETF 40 Stanbic IBTC ETF 30 Fund

VETIVA FUND MANAGERS LTD Web: www.vetiva.com; 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

funds@vetiva.com Bid Price

Offer Price

Yield / T-Rtn

5.47 9.52 19.02 22.68 152.53

5.51 9.60 19.12 22.88 154.53

15.28% -0.57% 7.07% 15.23% 2.65%

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 www.fman.com.ng. Fund prices are supplied by the operator of the relevant fund and are published for information purposes only.


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INTERNATIONAL

email:foreigndesk@thisdaylive.com

At Last, Embattled South African President, Zuma Resigns South Africa’s embattled President, Jacob Zuma, has resigned his office with immediate effect, BBC reported. He made the announcement in a televised address to the nation yesterday evening. Earlier, Zuma’s governing

African National Congress (ANC) party told him to resign or face a vote of no confidence in parliament on Thursday. The 75-year-old has been under increasing pressure to give way to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, the ANC’s

Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe opposition leader is dead Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the opposition party in Zimbabwe, has died. The politician suffering from cancer died in South Africa yesterday. “I can confirm that he died this evening. The family communicated this to me,” Elias Mudzuri, MDC vice-president, told reporters. Moments later, Mudzuri tweeted: “It is sad for me to announce that we have lost our icon and fighter for democracy.” Tsvangirai, who was suffering from colon cancer, had been receiving treatment at a hospital in South Africa. He was in a South African

hospital when former President Robert Mugabe gave up power. Tsvangirai, according to The Cable, had to cut short his trip to witness the transition in his country. From being a staunch supporter of Mugabe, the deceased became a strong opponent. Tsvangirai was born in 1952 in the village of Buhera, about 200-kilometres south of the capita l H a r a r e . A s a y o u n g m a n , he worked in the mines, rising from plant operator to plant supervisor. He joined Mugabe’s ZanuPF party at the time of Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980.

new leader. Zuma, who has been in power since 2009, faces numerous allegations of corruption. His resignation came at the end of a long speech in which he said he disagreed with the way the ANC had acted towards him. He said he did not fear a motion of no confidence, adding: “I have served the people of South Africa to the best of my ability.”

The 75-year-old has come under increasing pressure to resign amid numerous allegations of corruption. Zuma had maintained that he has done nothing wrong and sees no reason to stand down, BBC reported. But he said the ANC had failed to explain why he had been recalled. In a lengthy, unannounced, interview with national broadcaster

SABC, Zuma made no reference to the early morning police raids and arrests at the home of his close associates, the wealthy, Indian-born Gupta family. The Guptas have been accused of using their close friendship with the president to wield enormous political influence. Both parties deny all allegations of wrongdoing. Zuma stressed that he was not defying the ANC but he disagreed

with its decision to ask him to resign. “It was very unfair to me that this issue is raised,” he said. “Nobody has ever provided the reasons. Nobody is saying what I have done.” Zuma’s decision to cling on to power has put him at odds with South Africa’s deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, the ANC’s new leader and his expected successor.

US Launches $5.5m Support Programme for Political Parties Alex Enumah in Abuja The United States of America, through its Agency for International Development (USAID), has launched a $5.5million support programme aimed at helping political parties to adopt better governance practices and improve the quality of political discourse. At the launch of the threeyear ‘Responsive Political Party Programme’ was the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington; International Republican Institute (IRI) President, Daniel Twining; Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekeremadu, and more than 40 other prominent Nigerian politicians. According to a statement from

the Public Affairs Section of the US Embassy in Abuja, the support programme is being implemented for USAID by IRI and Search for Common Ground. “The three-year $5.5 million Responsive Political Party Programme (RPPP) will help the major national political parties in Nigeria improve responsiveness to their constituents. It will also contribute to creating peaceful participation ahead of the upcoming elections,” the statement said. Symington told the assembled politicians that “if you seek to be followed… tell the story not only of what is wrong, but what you would do right for the future. And the greatest ‘right’ you can

do is to inspire your members to come together and make Nigeria a better country.” The activity promises to help parties contesting the upcoming elections to become more representative of the citizenry and improve the oversight of government programmes. It also aims to increase the frequency and intensity of political party interactions with their constituents, improve communication among party officials, candidates, and officeholders at all levels and boost the participation of marginalised groups in political processes as well as within the parties themselves. According to the statement,

“The RPPP will also help spread the message of peace and nonviolence through the electoral process; determine early warning signs of electoral violence, and formulate strategies to mitigate potential violence through conflict assessment in conjunction with political parties and civil society organisations. In his remark, Deputy Senate President, Ekeremadu stated: “Working with IRI on this project, our parties will be stronger and more efficient, vibrant and responsive to the yearnings of Nigerians. “I assure you of the cooperation of the National Assembly towards the actualisation of this noble initiative.”


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NEWSEXTRA

Governors Resolve to Raise Team to Liaise with N’Assembly on State Police Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) last night in the State

House Conference Centre, Abuja, resolved to raise a team within it to discuss with the National Assembly on the possible

DPR: Marketers Diverted 162 Trucks, Nine Million Litres of Petrol in Three Months

Realises N12m from fines levied on erring marketers Chineme Okafor in Abuja Between December 2017 and February 2018, about 162 trucks containing eight million litres of petrol supplied by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as intervention products were diverted away from their original destination service stations across Nigeria, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on Wednesday disclosed. The DPR stated shortly after all its controllers met with its Director, Mr. Mordecai Ladan, in Abuja on the current petrol scarcity experienced in cities across the country, that its Special Intelligence Unit (SPU) created to monitor the situation made this discovery. Speaking to journalists after the meeting, DPR’s Public Relations Officer for its Abuja office, Mr. Mohammed Saidu, stated that the SPU discovered that most of the volumes of petrol were diverted from the Kano Depot of the NNPC. According to him, one petroleum products marketer -A.Y Maikifi, alone diverted 115 trucks between December 2017 and January 2018. He explained that the marketer has been fined N1.2 billion for such infraction, while the DPR has realised about N12 million from the gradual payments of its fine to other culpable marketers. “The DPR has uncovered massive diversion of products. These were as a result of Special Intelligence Unit that we just created to intensify surveillance. This SPU goes about to give us report, in fact they work day and night. We received report that largely some of the diverted products do not appear on the manifest. “About 162 trucks slightly above 9 million litres have been discovered to be diverted between January and February,” said Saidu. He further explained: “These give DPR a lot of concerns and that was why DPR gathered all the controllers across the country to make sure they further strategise and give clear cut directives as to how they should go about uncovering these sharp practices. “The products so far diverted were from Kano NNPC depot where one marketer, A.Y Maikifi

diverted 115 trucks between December 2017 and January 2018 and you could see that it was the peak of the crisis. “Those trucks were specifically meant for intervention but those trucks never got to any station because the station he claimed to be taking the truck was a non-existing station. Our intelligence unit visited there and discovered that the land was not even cleared let alone a filling station existing there,” he added. Saidu noted that: “One of the reason DPR called for a meeting of all the operations controllers across the country was to make sure each of them will replicate this intelligence unit and that will go a long way in helping the DPR. “The concern is that these products were not in the manifest. Were it not for the intelligence unit, there was no way DPR would have known such product existed let alone track.” On what will happen to the marketers found culpable, Saidu said: “All the marketers that have been found culpable have been fined N275 per litre (of product diverted). For instance, AYM Maikiffi has been fined N1.2 billion and he must pay because he could not account for the product. “There are smaller marketers that have since commenced payment of their own. We have realised over N12 million from marketers who have come forward to accept they have diverted and are willing to pay the fine. Some have paid up to 50 per cent while some are still pleading but until they finished payment DPR will not lift the fine.” Asked why the DPR just got wind of the diversions which happened in December and January, as well as in February, Saidu said: “What happened was that during this period when NNPC gave its intervention products DPR was not involved. Intervention products are products that are given to marketers to take to certain locations to beef up supply but we were surprised that these products were taken to difficult location where they think DPR cannot locate.

Alleged N10m Bribe: EFCC to Arraign CCT Chairman March 16 The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will arraign the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Justice Danladi Yakubu Umar, in connection with alleged N10million bribery scam on March 16. He was alleged to have demanded for the bribe from a former Comptroller of Customs, Mr. Rasheed Owolabi Taiwo. Umar will be arraigned at

the High Court of Federal Capital Territory. In the charge sheet, marked CR/109/18, the CCT chairman was alleged to have collected N1.8million bribe, suspected to be part of the N10million through his Personal Assistant, Alhaji Gambo Abdullahi. ThesuspectwillbeprosecutedbyMr. FestusKeyamo (SAN) on behalf of the federal government.

creation of state police. The decision was a prompt follow-up to the submissions at the just concluded two-day summit on national security organised by the Senate in collaboration with state governors and the federal government in Abuja. At the event, the governors threw their weight behind Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo’s position at the opening of the event last Thursday that state police was “the way to go.” The NGF meeting also had

on its agenda last night the recovery of stamp duties and improvement of internally generated revenue (IGR) through harmonised motor registry/ traffic management system by dimensions information technology. The meeting which started at 9p.m. and presided over by the NGF Chairman and Zamfara State Governor, Abdulazeez Yari, received a briefing from the Constitutional Amendment Committee chaired by Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State.

The committee also briefed the forum on health agenda for 2018 meant to secure the governors’ commitment to universal health care coverage, polio eradication and nutrition, among others. The governors were also briefed by the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, on the finances accruable to states. Present at the meeting at the time of filing this report were, governors of Bauchi, Mohammed Abubakar; Borno, Kashim Shettima; Kebbi, Atiku Bagudu; Kogi, Yahaya Bello;

Kwara, Abdulfatah Ahmed; Jigawa, Ibrahim Hassan; Ondo, Rotimi Akeredolu; Kaduna, Nasir el-Rufai; Nasarawa, Tanko Al-makura and Kano, Abdullahi Ganduje. Deputy governors in attendance were from: Benue, Benson Abounu; Ebonyi, Kelechi Igwe; Enugu, Cecelia Ezeilo; Plateau, Sonni Gwanle Tyoden; Osun, Titi LaoyeTomori; Rivers, Ipalibo Banigo; Ogun, Yetunde Onanuga; Akwa Ibom, Moses Ekpo; Ekiti, Kolapo Olusola; Sokoto, Ahmed Aliyu, and Lagos, Oluranti Adebule.

PEER REVIEW MEETING

L-R: Resident Programme Officer (Nigeria) of the International Republican Institute (IRI), Husna Hassan; President IRI, Daniel Twinning; former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; Africa Regional, John Tomaszewski; and, Resident Programme Director (Nigeria), Sentell Barnes, at a meeting of a delegation of IRI with the former vice president in Abuja....yesterday.

Secondus: APC Has Sown Hunger, Poverty in Nigeria PDP cancels all pre-conditions for admission of defectors Emmanuel Addeh inYenagoa The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Uche Secondus, yesterday in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, declared that the ruling APC had only succeeded in spreading hunger, poverty and uncurbed killings in the last three years of its reign. Speaking when he joined Governor Seriake Dickson at the inauguration of the Oxbow Lake Pavilion in Swali, a tourist centre built by the current administration, Secondus noted that the country was presently under the control of a cabal which has left President Buhari helpless. He also maintained that there would be no pre-conditions for new defectors to the party and directed that all politicians and their supporters who have decided to return to the PDP must be treated like old members. Secondus, who was addressing a mammoth crowd of PDP supporters who were also at the venue to receive scores of defectors from the APC in the state, insisted that the PDP was on a mission to rescue the country from the fangs of the ruling party in 2019. “All rights and privileges (of returnees) are hereby restored. There will be no barrier to your aspiration. It is like as if you are seven years or 17 years in the party. By extension, no state chapter should bar anybody from coming into the party.

We have opened the door. The space is hereby open. You and your supporters are welcome. You are free to contest elections. We are waiting for other prominent stakeholders in our country to come back to PDP to rescue our country from this challenge of difficulty hunger, killings , poverty. From today you will no longer carry brooms,” the PDP chairman told a tumultuous audience. He added: “Our country has witnessed the era of broom from 2015, but this broom has brought us evil, this broom has brought us vengeance, hunger, poverty and killings in our land. “From today, we will throw these brooms into the ocean, into the river. Never again shall our people witness poverty and killings. “We are repositioning our party. Bayelsa State has laid that foundation. This crowd is too much. The governors of PDP are performing, all the 11 governors of PDP are the best today. This is the party that can rescue us from hunger and poverty. Me and my NEC will provide a free and fair process for primaries and the general elections.” But the politician expressed pessimism over the readiness of the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) to conduct free and fair elections in 2019, describing the electoral umpire as a parastatal

of the present government. “Our fear is that will INEC play the game regarding the provision in the constitution?. Will they not rig elections. Our fear is that they are getting ready because they are parastatals of APC to rig election. “But in 2019, nobody can rig election. Come to the people and reconnect. Our votes will count in the next election. It is time to take out this evil, this evil party called APC. They have visited vengeance on this country. From the north, south, west and east,” he said. While describing the pavilion as an aqua stadium similar to the ones in Florida United States, Secondus predicted a return of the PDP in 2019, stressing that “today, the PDP government is broken, the APC is broken, there is confusion, this is a government ruled by cabals, there is a lot of evil in our land.” In his remarks, Dickson highlighted some of the achievements of his administration, and said PDP remained the only platform to win elections in the state. He said the APC is not on ground in the state and challenged his opponents to test their popularity without relying on security institutions and other federal agencies to rig the election. “Bayelsa State wonderful healthcare facilities, infrastructures like roads and bridges, and we will continue to do more. Bayelsa is

one of the safest, one of the stable State to invest and live in. “We are utilising this occasion of grand launching of the pavilion to signpost another side of the state, that we will also become the headquarters of tourism in Nigeria. We will be inaugurating the new Yenagoa City, the International Airport with the longest runway. “To those who are out there deceiving people with newspaper articles, who are not on ground, let me call on you to play according to the rules. “If you are truly on ground and you are willing to test your popularity in elections, mobilise your people, sell what your party has done to our people, tell our people in your communities what the federal government has brought to them. Because what we have put on ground is in every community for people to see. “Young people of this state should not allow themselves to be deceived and misled. Politics is not about cultism, promoting killings, buying arms for misguided youths and promoting and funding drug abuse. “Politics is about service to our people and that is what we have been doing. If you are out there know that those people don’t have a party on ground in this state,” he said.


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EWSEXTRA

FG Hands over Apapa Road Design to Dangote, Raises Trailer Park Cost to N9.55bn Says $25bn focused lab investment begins March 5 Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja The Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday said it had completed the design for the reconstruction of a major part of Apapa-Oworonshoki expressway in Lagos meant to be concessioned to Dangote Group and consequently handed it to the company. The council also approved the augmentation of the contract cost for the construction of trailer and truck park on Tin Can Island in Lagos from the initial N8.66 billion to N9.55 billion. Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who made the disclosure while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the weekly FEC meeting in the State House, said the truck park project which was part of the move to ease acute traffic crisis along the collapsed Oshodi - Apapa express way, would be completed this year. “The Ministry of Power, Works and Housing presented only one memo - a memorandum seeking the augmentation of the price due to the need for increased scope of work especially shoreline protection of the Tin Can Trailer and Truck Pack, which is almost finished. “It is an ongoing project. We sought council’s approval to augment the price from N8.66 billion to N9.553 billion which was an augmentation of N892.177. 289 million. We expect that truck pack will now be completed this year and it will be one of the many multi-prong efforts being pursued

to give relief to the Apapa area, to facilitate vehicular truck and trailer movement and also maritime and import and export business and general economic activity for Apapa in particular, Lagos at large and the country as a whole. The memorandum was approved,” Fashola said. Fashola who also provided clarification on the planned concession of the reconstruction of some parts of Apapa - Oshodi express way as well as Ijora end to Wharf Road, disclosed the planned collaborative reconstruction agreement between Dangote Group, Flour Mills and Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) as their corporate social responsibility. He also highlighted the challenges posed by the move. According to Fashola, the portion conceded to Dangote Group for reconstruction between the Apapa Creek Road and Coconut bridge had been designed and handed over to the Dangote Group, explaining that the next move is to go for procurement and eventual FEC approval before the eventual kick-off of the reconstruction. He said: “I think road development is clearly the mandate of the Ministry ofPower,Works and Housing, especially the work sector by legislation. There is multi-agencies’ collaboration. The Nigerian Port Authority, the Apapa Port, Tin Can Island that are critical to the economy are affected. So, there is multi-agencies’ interaction and that is what we have been having really and truly. “You will recall that I briefed

you about a four-kilometre stretch between the bridge from the Apapa Police when you are coming from Ijora, just to the junction of Point Road right through to Wharf Road, to the entrance of the Apapa Port. That is the stretch that the Dangote Group, the Flour Mills, and the NPA agreed to do as Corporate Social Responsibility as soon as possible. That is going on. It is a problem because after the works started, we found that the gas lines that supported most of the industries there and keep them in operation were within the right of way. “Now we are faced with two choices - relocate the entire gas line which will cause a lot more in terms of relocation of services and reinstallation which was essentially outside the scope of what was a donation to them or to change the alignment of the road so that we don’t damage that gas pipeline. So, that is what we are dealing with and those who know will tell you

that construction in built up areas like where vehicular traffic has to also pass through - cargo gas to move in and out of the port - is not a construction that is always easy to do because we can’t shut down as it were. “The other side from Creek Road, Liverpool Road to the Coconut Bridge Tin Can Island part, is the part that is going to be concessioned to the Dangote Group which showed interest to take it over, build it under the tax credit scheme of the federal government. That requires first a design so that we can know what the quantities are. We have finished the design. We have handed over the designs to them. It also requires for them to get their engineers to say this is the price of this item or that item. And then, we will now go to the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), fix the price because it is public funds, even though they are advancing the money, they are going to claim it back.

“So, we are at that process. We have finished the evaluation process on the sections involving Liverpool Road and the first five kilometers out of the Tin Can. So, as soon as we get BPP approval, we will come back to FEC because this is public fund for which they will claim tax credit back. So, we might as well get the price right,” he stated. In his own briefing, the Minister of Budget and Planning, Udo Udoma, said in pursuit of the implementation of Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), the government is organising a focused laboratory in March with a target of $25 billion investment. According to him, the programme will bring in investors with focus on specific sectors such as agriculture, transportation, power, manufacturing and processing, pointing out that a number of federal ministers will be brought on board to drive the programme.

He also said the move is aimed at generating a significant sum of money for domestic investment. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had while inaugurating a Nestle project in Agbara, Ogun State last week announced the plan of the government to generate $24 billion from focused laboratories on the implementation of ERGP. The vice-president had also stated that the planned project would generate 150,000 jobs. Udoma stated that the ongoing implementation of ERGP is yielding positive results as evident in the increasing level of capital inflow, improved foreign reserve which he said now stood at over $40 billion while inflation has continued to trickle down. According to Udoma, the development only shows that all indices of a growing economy are visible.

House Mandates Enelamah, Adeosun, W’Bank to Halt Contract Extension for GEM Coordinator James Emejo in Abuja The House of Representatives yesterday passed a motion mandating the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun and the World Bank not to renew or extend the contract of the current Growth and Employment (GEM) Project Coordinator. It further directed both ministers to immediately liaise with the Head of Service to identify a capable director and assistant director to be posted to occupy the positions respectively after the expiration of the contract of the current consultant. The House further mandated the existing joint committee of the House Committees on Finance, Industry, debts, aids and loans to investigate the circumstances surrounding the engagement of a consultant as GEM Project Coordinator and approval of the consultant’s remuneration contrary to the original plan for the management of the project. The motion, sponsored by Hon. Mark Terseer Gbillah (APC, Benue) noted the impending expiration of the one-year contract of the current GEM Project Coordinator on Thursday, February 15, 2018 and allegations that Enelamah in collaboration with the World Bank are on the verge of renewing his contract for a further term of two

years even though it has cost the country about N60 million from the SME funds for the initial one year contract. Gbillah said it would cost about N120 million for the alleged two-year extension especially when this is a position that is originally intended to be occupied by a serving director within the Federal Civil Service as there are no specialised skills a consultant provides that a capable director cannot offer- with even greater sense of commitment and responsibility considering the impending end of the GEM project in September 2018. He, expressed worry at allegations that the renewal of the GEM project coordinator’s contract is intended to ensure the illegal diversion of $35 million from the project funds for the creation of an SME Fund proposed by the same project. Lawmakers unanimously backed the motion, Hon. Abubakar Chika Adamu (APC, Niger) said the jobs ought to be advertised adding that appointments had been skewed to favour only a section. We need to stop this political impunity.” Also, Hon. Abubakar Useni Moriki (APC, Zamfara) said there had been infractions in the disbursement of funds by the project managers. He said: “Instead following the terms to the letter, consultants have now been introduced. No further appointments should be made.”

GREAT ECONOMISTS

L-R: Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mr. Babatunde Fowler; Chairman, NASD Plc & Capital Bancorp, Mr. Olutola Mobolurin; Partner/ Head Tax, Regulatory/People Services Division, KPMG Professional Services, Mr. Wole Obayomi; and Chief Executive Officer, Economic Associates. Dr. Ayo Teriba, during a one-day business seminar on Nigeria’s Economic Outlook organised by RCCG Christ Church Parish, in Lagos.....yesterday

False Asset Declaration: CCT Threatens to Throw out FG’s Suit against Supreme Court Justice, Ngwuta Alex Enumah in Abuja The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) yesterday threatened to throw out the federal government suit accusing a Supreme Court Justice, Sylvester Nwali Ngwuta, of false declaration of his assets, if the government fails to proceed with the trial at the next adjourned date. The federal government had last year arraigned Justice Ngwuta before the tribunal on a 10-count charge bordering on false declaration of asset and money laundering. But at the resumed trial yesterday, the tribunal berated the federal government over the poor and shoddy manner it has been going with the trial. The Tribunal Chairman, Danladi Yakubu Umar, consequently threatened to strike out the 10-count charge

brought against the apex court Justice by the federal government should the government lawyer refuse to proceed with the trial on February 20, 2018. Although the trial was slated for yesterday, it was however stalled following a request for an adjournment by one Julius Kolawole, who announced his appearance for the federal government in the matter. Kolawole told the tribunal that the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) had engaged a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Abeni Mohammed, to take over the trial which started since last year without any headway, and that the new lawyer needed time to formally takeover the case. At this point, the Tribunal Chairman, Umar, cut in and demanded the whereabouts of the newly engaged government

lawyer, and was told that the senior lawyer was not present in court. The tribunal chairman, who was furious with the explanation, reminded the government legal team that the matter was for definite trial, having suffered series of adjournments from the same government that brought the criminal charge against the Supreme Court Justice. Umar told the prosecution that his tribunal is a serious court for serious complainant and that any attempt to further scuttle the definite trial would be resisted and that the charge may be struck out. Umar, however, granted the adjournment requested and shifted the matter for definite trial on February 20 with a warning that the charge maybe terminated that day should the federal government

come up with any excuses to further abort the definite trial of the defendant. “The next adjourned date of February 20, 2018, is for definite trial, and we will not tolerate any further request for an adjournment. This is a serious court of justice that must be respected,” he said. Another member of the tribunal, Mr. Williams Atedze, berated the federal government for taking the tribunal for a ride in the prosecution of the high profile case. “One of the salient points in our law profession is that lawyers are supposed to be men of honors, but the contrary appears to be the case in this instant matter. This matter has been consistently adjourned at the instance of the federal government for no just cause, and this is not good in any criminal trial,” he said.


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Senate Gives Agencies One Week to Submit 2018 Budget Details The Senate has issued a one-week ultimatum to 63 government agencies who are yet to submit details of their 2018 budget proposals. Coming under order 43, Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, said the attitude of the agencies was frustrating the effort of the senate for a speedy passage of the budget. He said only one of 64 agencies submitted details of its budget to the senate. “Mr. President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria submitted, presented to the National Assembly in a general sitting the main budget as well as the summary of the budget of the agencies. By so doing he has completed his work. What is required of the agencies is for them to present the details of their agencies. “Mr. President, my office has been working closely with the office of distinguished Senator Ita Enang. We have insisted that the details of the budget must be presented to the senate so that it would be considered alongside the 2018 budget and be passed

as quickly as it can and together. “This is the The Nation of Wednesday February 7, 2018, in which Senator Ita Enang was calling on all the 64 agencies they must submit their budgets to him for onward transmission to this senate. So far, Mr. President, it is only one that has submitted.” According to Premium Times, he prayed the Senate to direct the agencies to submit their budget details within one week. Senate President, Bukola Saraki, threatened to invoke legislative sanctions on the agencies if they fail to comply within the time frame. He said: “This has been a matter we’ve been talking about for a very long time and these agencies continue to have total disregard for due process. Mr. President, the executive arm is doing things properly, and agencies just do things in the wrong way. The SA to the President has even gone far to put an advert in the paper. So, I think it’s very clear the mandate we give to them one week. “It’s not that we don’t know what to do. Some of our

cooperation should not be misread as weakness or not knowing what to do because definitely we can

mandate the Ministry of Finance to ensure that they do not further other releases because they are

breaking the law. We will give them one week and after that one week they don’t then we’ll

take necessary actions to show that they need to comply with the law that guides them.”

REGISTERING FOR NATIONAL ID CARD UK Appeal Court: Nigerians Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (right), registering for the National Identification Number (NIN), being conducted by Senior Officer of National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Taiwo Adetoro (left), at the Banquet Hall, Lagos House, Ikeja.... Cannot Pursue Shell Spill Claim in Enrolment yesterday England Ejiofor Alike with agency reports The Court of Appeal in London yesterday ruled that two Nigerian communities cannot pursue Royal Dutch Shell in English courts over oil spills in Nigeria’s Delta region. Two Nigerian communities had brought separate legal actions against Royal Dutch Shell and its Nigerian subsidiary in 2016. The first claim was brought on behalf of 2,335 people from the Bille Kingdom, a fishing community whose environment had been devastated by oil spills over the past five years. The second claim was on behalf of the Ogale Community in Ogoniland, which consists of around 40,000 people. Shell had disputed the jurisdiction of the UK court, and argued that the case concerned Nigerian plaintiffs and a Nigerian company. In his ruling, the judge struck out the claims against Royal Dutch Shell and its Nigerian subsidiary, the UK high court ruled that the two Niger Delta communities devastated by oil spills cannot pursue their case against Shell in the United Kingdom for oil spills that occurred in Nigeria. However, the judge gave the communities permission to file an appeal. The split decision upheld a High Court ruling was said to be a setback to attempts to hold British multinationals liable at home for their subsidiaries’ actions abroad. Reuters reported that the Appeal Court yesterday rejected the appeal from law firm Leigh Day on behalf of Nigeria’s Bille and Ogale communities, and upheld a ruling that English courts do not have jurisdiction over claims against Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC). SPDC is jointly operated with the Nigerian government

Shell said the court “rightly upheld” the earlier ruling, and said Nigeria’s “well-developed justice system” was the correct place for the claims. Its subsidiary SPDC has also denied responsibility for the spills, which it says were due to sabotage and illegal refining. One of the three senior High Court judges, the Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Sales, disagreed with the majority ruling, writing that the communities have “a good arguable claim that (Shell) assumed a material degree of responsibility in relation to the management of the pipeline and facilities” operated by SPDC. Leigh Day said the two Nigerian communities intended to bring the case to Britain’s Supreme Court. “We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will grant permission to appeal and will come to a different view,” Leigh Day partner Daniel Leader said. King Okpabi, the ruler of the Ogale community, said the English courts were the only hope, and that they “cannot get justice” in Nigeria. The case is significant in determining whether multinational companies can face legal action in England over their subsidiaries’ actions abroad. The Amnesty International had criticised the last year’s ruling by the UK high court, saying it could rob the communities of justice and allow UK multinationals to commit abuses overseas with impunity. “This ruling could mean that the communities will never receive meaningful compensation, and that the oil spills will not be properly cleaned up,” said Campaigner on Business and Human Rights at Amnesty International, Joe Westby. Westby stated that the ruling set an especially dangerous precedent, adding that if it stands, then the UK courts have given free rein to multinational companies based in the UK to abuse human rights overseas.

Bill to Prohibit Foreign Medical Trip by Public Servants Scales Second Reading

James Emejo in Abuja A bill seeking for Act to amend the National Health Act to regulate or prohibit international medical trip by public servants and for other related matters yesterday passed its second reading in the House of Representatives. The sponsor of the bill, Hon. Sergius Ogun (PDP, Edo), said it is desirable and timely in recognition of the need to support government’s initiatives to strength statutory institutions for optimal performance as well as the need to generate more revenue to address developmental deficits and other lingering challenges. He said such funds could be sourced from the huge resources spent on unregulated foreign medical trips particularly by public servants. He argued that most of the medical trips abroad do not have positive impacts on the country’s economy. In his lead debate, Ogun said given Nigerians preferences for anything foreign, it’s not surprising that over 5,000 citizens fly out on a monthly basis to seek medical treatment in India and other countries. He said the country loses over $500 million annually with India alone scooping about

$260 million of the resultant capital flight. Among other things, he said though there exist a few good private hospitals which are too expensive for ordinary Nigerians, existing public health facilities, health personnel, health regulatory authorities and enabling legal frameworks which regulate the sector do not provide the conducive environment that guarantees the delivery of qualitative, affordable and standard health care services in the country. As a result, he said the bill had been proposed to amend the Principal Act to regulate international medical trip especially by public servants who are the custodians of public institutions. He said: “This amendment will no doubt facilitate the development of effective health care facilities and general economic development.” This bill generated a lot of interests from members who all gave their support and expressed reservations in specific areas. Some of them couldn’t control their emotions as they recounted personal experiences about the dysfunctional health care delivery system in the country, worsened by sheer neglect by past administrations.

Hon. Abdulrasak Namdas (APC, Adamawa) said the situation was pathetic stressing that foreigners ought to be attracted into the country for their medical need rather than Nigerians spending a fortune on medical trips abroad. He said doctors in public hospitals have their respective private hospital and do not take government medical centers seriously. He added that some public officials particularly tell lies in other to embark on fake medical trips abroad- thereby squandering public resources. Hon. Edward Pwajok (APC, Plateau) said the bill should be allow for public hearing so that grey areas such as whether to regulate or out-rightly prohibit medical trip abroad would be addressed. He regretted that so much money was bing spent outside the country by public officers, stressing that “Thing must be made to work properly.” Also, Hon. Johnson Agbonayinma (APC, Edo) blamed successive administrations for failing to provide good hospitals over time. But Hon. Nkem Uzoma Abonta (PDP, Abia) said though the intention of the bill was good, the practicability remained a source of worry for him.

He said the issue was a regulatory one which could have been addressed through a motion. He said there was need for further clarity on whether the prohibition would affect all public servant- those who make such trips with their own monies- and those who rely on public fundsas well as whether the bill seeks to regulate or prohibit foreign medical trips. Also, Hon. Nnenna Elendu warned that the bill, unless fine-tuned, could infringe on the rights of persons to make personal decisions on their health. She said: “Can we really stop a person from going medical trip abroad? It may infringe on persons’ rights. I don’t think there’s anywhere this is obtainable. I fear it will infringe on people’s rights.” However, members expect that the grey areas highlighted in the bill will be addressed by the time it is subjected to a public hearing where stakeholders will be allowed to make input on the subject matter. Nevertheless, the bill was unanimously passed through voice vote and referred by the House Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara to the committees on health services and institutions for further legislative action.

INFLATION DECLINES FOR 12TH CONSECUTIVE MONTH TO 15.13% On a month-on-month basis however, January 2018 all items inflation was highest in Kogi (2.72%), Bayelsa (2.39%) and Sokoto (1.68%), while Kebbi, Bauchi and Cross River recorded price deflation on a month on month all item

basis in January 2018. In January 2018, food inflation on a year-on-year basis was highest in Kwara (24.46%), Nasarawa (22.77%) and Bayelsa (22.60%), while Bauchi (13.34%), Anambra (14.63%) and Benue (14.78%)

recorded the slowest rise in food inflation. On a month-on-month basis, however, January 2018 food inflation was highest in Bayelsa (3.47%), Kogi (3.38%) and Nasarawa (2.26%), while Cross River, Kebbi.

Yobe, Anambra and Delta all recorded food price deflation or negative inflation (general decrease in the general price level of goods and services or a negative inflation rate) in January 2018.


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ARG Asks S’West Governors to Stop Fulani Herdsmen Attacks Says all nationalities must keep Nigeria united grabbing law on rampaging herdsmen Gboyega Akinsanmi in Lagos and Femi Ogbonnikan inAbeokuta The Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) yesterday asked all governors in the South-west to end the rising spate of Fulani herdsmen attacks in the region, noting that their undue silence would not promote peace and security. The ARG, a pan-Yoruba sociopolitical think-tank, emphasised the need to ensure the unity of Nigeria, though claimed that the responsibility to keep it united lied more on all nationalities that comprise Nigeria. These were contained in a statement its National Chairman, Hon. Olawale Oshun, issued yesterday, urging all elected officials in the region “to wake up to their responsibilities. To do otherwise is to court historical and electoral disaster.” Suspected Fulani herdsmen had on Tuesday chased out workers at the Akure South Local Government secretariat. The incident happened following a disagreement by the herdsmen and workers in the area. The Osun State Government had last week lamented the persistent attacks by herdsmen that forced farmers in the state to abandon their farms, saying such posed threats to food security as well as security of lives, especially in rural areas. Also in Ekiti, Ogun and Oyo States, the activities of herdsmen had at different times cost lives; wreaked

havoc on farmers’ settlements and inflicted varying degrees of injury on some farmers in the states. Disturbed by the trend of herdsmen attacks in the Southwest, yesterday, the ARG lamented that the Yoruba governors and their governments had failed to respond decisively to the menace of herdsmen attacks. Two months ago, the group claimed that it had cause “to alert all the Yoruba governors and their governments on the need to be proactive to the Fulani herdsmen’s potential to overrun parts of the Southwest in the purported but false search for food for their cattle. “We had in seeking that our governors pay attention to the unfolding herdsmen drama been worried by their silence, a silence that in many quarters of Yorubaland is now interpreted as self- serving and cowardly. “Now that the birds have come home to roost with real attacks in at least three of the states, it is hoped that our governors would see the need to be prepared to prevent further unwarranted attack on our people by a terrorist group though widely disclaimed by the nationality they belong to but emboldened by the callous indifference of those who have the power to intervene.” The ARG specifically said the citizens of Nigeria “desire a united country. It is the responsibility of all nationalities that comprise Nigeria to keep it united. While we share in that responsibility, we as Yoruba must be conscious of our responsibility to ourselves and

Ecobank Fails to Stop Testimony, Otudeko Confirms N3.5bn Final Payment The Chairman of Honeywell Group, Oba Otudeko, yesterday confirmed that the Honeywell companies are no longer indebted to Ecobank Nigeria. Otudeko said Honeywell had paid a total of N3.5 billion to the bank as full and final settlement of all its obligations to the bank. He made this statement yesterday when he gave evidence in the ongoing matter instituted by Honeywell against Ecobank before Justice Idris of the Federal High Court, Lagos division Led in cross-examination by Honeywell’s counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Otudeko affirmed that the Honeywell companies, following an agreement reached with the Managing Director of Ecobank, Jibril Aku, and other executives of the bank on July 22, 2013, paid a total sum of N3.5 billion as full and final settlement of Honeywell’s obligations to the bank. Prior to giving evidence, Ecobank’s counsel, O.A. Divine, sought to stall proceedings by making an application to adjourn the matter on the basis that another appeal and an application for stay of proceedings had been filed on Tuesday at the Court of Appeal. Honeywell‘s counsel, Olanipekun, however objected to the oral application for adjournment, stating that the matter

for the day was the delivery of a ruling regarding the issue of cross examination of Ecobank’s witness (Otudeko). Olanipekun said the application was an abuse of court process as it was an attempt to arrest the ruling of the court. After listening to arguments of the counsel, Justice Idris ruled that he was unable to place any value on the application to stay proceedings because the copy presented to the court by Ecobank’s counsel was not a certified-true-copy. On the issue of the matter for the day, the judge also affirmed that indeed the “ruling of the court cannot be arrested.” Justice Idris subsequently ruled that cross examination should proceed. Olanipekun, therefore, concluded the cross examination of Otudeko, while Ecobank’s counsel declined to re-examine him. The witness was thereafter discharged. It appears that Ecobank’s strategy to call Otudeko as its star witness fell flat on its face as counsel was unable to extract any testimony from Otudeko to support Ecobank’s case. Despite being the party that invited the witness, Ecobank’s counsel abruptly declined to proceed with the witness. The matter was adjourned till March 12, 2018.

to the country.” It therefore, urged all elected officials – governors, senators, federal lawmakers, state lawmakers and local government chairmen – in the South-west “to wake up to their responsibilities. To do otherwise is to court historical and electoral disaster.” The group noted that all Yoruba governors should now come together “to find a lasting solution to the marauding herdsmen. They are now causing mayhem in Ekiti, Ondo and Ogun States. We need not wait until they overrun all our territories before waking from our

Ogun to enforce anti-land slumber.” Meanwhile, the Ogun State Government has reiterated its commitments to address the threats posed by the frequent clashes between farmers and herdsmen, which occur mostly in Yewa North Local Government Area of the state, by strengthening its anti-land grabbing law. The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Taiwo Adeoluwa, disclosed this yesterday after the security council meeting with the service chiefs in the state. According to him, the state has sufficient provisions in the law to

deal with issue of the rampaging herdsmen and land grabbers. Adeoluwa said this was part of the decisions reached at the security council meeting which had the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Yetunde Onanuga superintending, as the governor, while Senator Ibikunle Amosun, was said to be unavoidably absent. The state House of Assembly had last year passed the anti-land grabbing law tagged ‘Prohibition of Forcible Occupation of Landed Properties Law, 2016’ which prescribes 25 years imprisonment for any violator and death sentence

where there is loss of lives. He said the challenges posed by the farmers and herdsmen clashes has become a real national issue and Ogun State, was not isolated from the clashes. He, however, noted that some of the clashes have been exaggerated by the media, bordering on the realm of sensationalism. While he appealed to media to exercise caution in their reportage of the farmers-herdsmen clashes, Adeoluwa commended the federal government for its efforts at curbing the excesses of the rampaging herdsmen.

OUR BUDGET IS READY

L-R: Special Adviser on Legislative Affairs, Hon Zakari Shinaka; Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Bashir Garba, Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Sulaiman Usman (SAN), Commissioner of Budget, Bala Kokani, and Speaker, state House of Assembly, Hon. Salihu Maidaji, watching Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal sign the Sokoto State 2018 budget into law...yesterday

Another JAMB Official Confesses to Embezzling N23 million Senator Iroegbu in Abuja with agency report Barely 24 hours the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) vowed to unravel the mysterious “snake” that swallowed N36 million from its vault in Benue State, another state Coordinator of the board in Nassarawa State has given a bizarre account of how another N23 million got disappeared. Reports revealed yesterday that the JAMB official, Labaran Tanko, had confessed to the investigative panel of the board set up to audit all the state accounts. Tanko was said to have claimed that his car got burnt and in the process, scratch cards worth N23 million were destroyed in the inferno. When contacted, the Head of Media and Public Relations, JAMB, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, confirmed to THISDAY about the development. Benjamin said it was part of the broader investigations about the activities of the board especially at the state levels. Findings had revealed that the JAMB Registrar Ishaq Oloyede, was not impressed with the development and dismissed Tanko’s claims, which seems to have mirrored that of Benue debacle.

In Benue saga, a JAMB sales clerk, Philomina Chieshe, had told JAMB registrar and his team who conducted fact-finding sessions on alleged fraud at the board that she could not account for N36 million she made in previous years before the abolition of scratch cards by the organisation. In the course of interrogation, Chieshe confessed that her housemaid “connived with another JAMB staff, Joan Asen, to “spiritually” steal (through a snake) the money from the vault in the accounts office. But in the case of Tanko, the board said after a thorough investigation, it discovered that the cards which reportedly burnt alongside Mr. Tanko’s car were used by students in Nasarawa State to register. It said this was easy to discover through simple checks done by its officials. Tanko, who made the confession at a session where suspects of fraud and criminality were interrogated by top officials of the board, including Oloyede, however stood by his claim. “I thank God that I am alive today,” Tanko told the panel. “I had an accident on July 3, 2016. I was not the one that packed the

cards because I was rushed to the hospital, and they came to pack the burnt scratch cards to the office but it could not be counted. I have the serial numbers of the cards.” Until Oloyede’s took over as registrar, JAMB candidates usually purchased scratch cards from JAMB state offices and other designated centres to gain access to the board’s website for either registration or to check their admission status. However, new reforms introduced by Oloyede when he assumed office in 2016, ended the use of scratch cards, replacing it with a more efficient and effective platforms. The board also gave reasons why Tanko’s defence was untenable. “Every staff who has scratch cards in their possession must have the serial numbers. We found out that the cards you claimed got burnt were used despite the police report you presented to us and for JAMB, that is N23 million of government money,” the registrar said during the session. He also said the suspect, just like the lady indicted in Benue, would be handed over to the police once the board concludes its in-house investigations.

“Those that we want to transfer have been transferred to the (board) headquarters until they account for the missing funds. But those we believe are ‘beyond us’ will be handed to the police immediately,” Oloyede said. Earlier, Benjamin had in his response to Premium Times, outlined steps taken by the board on the matter. “All the suspects have been suspended by the board. In Tanko’s case, the committee has already written a report which the management have sent to the (Education) ministry. Once it is approved, it will be done,” Mr. Benjamin said. He also said the board will monitor with careful scrutiny how staff entrusted with sensitive responsibilities handle government funds henceforth. “The fight against corruption by the board was given a boost by the recent visit by the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu. Given the kind of commendation by Magu and the confidence reposed in the management of the Oloyede-led board, we would have no option than to continue to do more,” Benjamin said.


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Register with Political Parties, Ekweremadu Tells Civil Servants The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has called on Nigerians, including civil servants to register with the political parties of their choice to improve the quality of governance in the country. He also advocated the use of electronic voting in the conduct of party primaries to make them more transparent and credible. Ekweremadu made the calls at the launch of the “Responsive Political Party Programme in Nigeria” by the International Republican Institute (IRI) in Abuja, Tuesday night.

He said since the constitution does not permit independent candidacy yet, political parties are not only the sole platforms for leadership recruitment, but also authentic avenues for ensuring that elected leaders are responsive to the yearnings of the people in line with their campaign promises. “The notion that civil servants cannot be members of political parties in Nigeria is unfounded. For the avoidance of doubt, the Supreme Court is clear on this in the case of INEC versus Musa and OTHERS (2003). In a judgment

delivered by His Lordship, the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mohammed Uwais (rtd), the apex court declared that any guidelines, be it INEC electoral guideline, civil service rule or the Electoral Act that bars civil servants from belonging to political parties is inconsistent with Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution. “This section clearly provides that “Every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons, and in particular he may form or belong to any political party, trade union or any

other association for the protection of his interests.” “By belonging to a political party, civil servants will also be in a position to block the nomination of leaders, who do not care about their welfare,” Ekweremadu explained. He promised that the National Assembly was working on removing the restrictions on electronic voting from our electoral laws to enable technology play greater role in creating more credible and transparent electoral process that would in turn drastically reduce election petitions.

The lawmaker, however, stressed that the credibility of any electoral process starts with a free, fair, and credible primary election. “Unfortunately, our political parties still operate manual membership registers that are largely unreliable and obsolete. “Therefore, to get their primaries right, political parties should upgrade to both electronic registers and electronic voting systems. This will substantially reduce pre-election disputations,” he added. He called on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to seize the

opportunity of the proposed fresh membership registration exercise to build an electronic membership register as recommended by its Post-election Review Committee. Ekweremadu expressed sadness that the nation’s political parties lacked the strong financial base or investment to be self-reliant despite the windfalls they enjoy through the sale of nomination forms. He warned that the continued reliance on donations by godfathers was dangerous for the nation’s democracy as “he who pays the piper, would want to call the tune.”

Insecurity: DSS Quizzes Maku

for Five Hours Emmanuel Ukumba inLafia The National Secretary of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Labaran Maku, was on Tuesday grilled for over five hours by the Nasarawa State command of the Department of State Service (DSS) in Lafia. Maku, who said he was invited by the agency to address issues bordering on his personal safety and security of the state, did not give details of his chat with the DSS. The former Minister of Information urged politicians to join hands and ensure peace and development in their communities.

He said: “I was a commissioner, deputy governor in Nasarawa State and minister at the federal level. But today I am no longer in position, but I can still move around freely because I serve the country very well and refused to be corrupt. “So, leaders should understand that the authority and privilege of every public officer would surely end one day whether we like it or not.” Maku also described his invitation by the DSS as a good one, adding that it has nothing to do with the speculation in the social media that he would be arrested over the Ombatse saga of 2013.

Police to Launch Standard Call Centre to Curb Insecurity Oghenevwede Ohwovoriole in Abuja Nigerian Police is to launch an upgraded call centre soon, the call centre will enable the Nigerian Police to take several calls at the same time and deplore officers of the force to where ever the attention of the Nigerian Police force is needed within 10 minutes. The Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja at the CLEEN Foundation’s public launch and sensitisation workshop on the use of ICT in the prevention of corruption in public and private sectors in Nigeria. Represented byAbayomi Shogule, the IG also disclosed that through the Nigerian Police initiative of Public Compliant Rapid Response Unit (PCRRU) the police through the PCRRU has been able to handle 7216 compliants, and the force was able to solve 5927, with10 officers dismissed, 64 punished, four demoted and two faced suspension and there were 560 fake compliants. “The police will is working in collaboration with an Embassy in Nigeria to upgrade the call centre the that which can take more than a call at a time and that this will enable the police to deplore officers of the Nigerian Police to where the call came from within five to ten minutes,” he said. The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, who was represented by Mr. Tony Orilade, disclosed that the commission had recovered about N500bn in cash excluding properties in 2017 alone and that this was possible as it is easier to get funds and asset’s fufieture than getting convictions of the suspects in courts.

According to Orilade, “The CLEEN Foundation’s initiative is quite commendable as the EFCC has such interface with the public through the social media, called info on social media. ‘”When we get any info on the social network we work on it and send it to a department to further work on it. The EFCC was able to recover about N500billion in 2017 alone. “This was possible because commission has the power to recovery funds and final fufieture but for convictions the commission relies on the courts.” The Executive Director of CLEEN foundation Mr. Benson Olugbuo, on his part said that the launch couldn’t have come at a better time than now, saying all they are doing is to help involve more citizens in the fight against corruption as all the various agencies of government already have a platform through which they fight corruption in the system. He disclosed that the Transparency International (TI) had Nigeria ranked 136 most corrupt country in the World. “It could not have come at a better time now that the AU has recognised President Muhammadu Buhari as the continent’s anti corruption Ambassador,” he added. “Despite the collective war against corruption globally, corruption is still growing stronger. “According to a recent report by Afro barometer: the perception of corruption in Nigeria is high despite the praises on President Buhari’s fight against corruption. Nigeria is ranked 136 most corrupt country out of 176, according to TI.”

INVESTMENT MEETING

L-R: Vice Chairman, Franco-Nigeria Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), Mr. Eric Jeannean; Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye; and Consul General of the French Consulate in Nigeria, Polon Ceaux, during a business breakfast meeting with FNCCI in Lagos.....recently

Patience Jonathan: Ozekhome, EFCC’s Lawyer Clash over Representation Davidson Iriekpen A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chief Mike Ozekhome and counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Rotimi Oyedepo, clashed at the Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday. The disagreement was over the representation of four companies that pleaded guilty to laundering $15.5million allegedly belonging to former First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan. While Ozekhome is claiming to have been validly appointed to represent the firms, another lawyer, Luke Aghanenu, also claimed that he was briefed by the companies to represent them. The companies are – Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited, Seagate

Property Development and Investment Company Limited, Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited and Avalon Global Property Development Limited. The EFCC arraigned them with a former Special Adviser on Domestic Affairs to President Jonathan, Waripamo Dudafa, a lawyer Amajuoyi Briggs and a banker, Adedamola Bolodeoku. Unlike the companies, Dudafa, Briggs and Bolodeoku pleaded not guilty to the 17-count charge. Aghanenu filed a motion for change of counsel, praying the court to hold that he was validly appointed by the companies’ directors to represent them, not Ozekhome. The motion was argued before

Justice Babs Kuewumi. While Ozekhome urged the court to dismiss the application for change of counsel, Oyedepo said he was not opposed to the motion. There was a heated exchanged between Ozekhome and Oyedepo when the SAN accused EFCC of trying to determine which lawyer would represent the companies. Ozekhome said EFCC being the prosecution should not be interested in who represented the companies. He said: “Because we want to set aside the guilty plea of the companies, they arranged with the EFCC to change counsel. We’ll not allow that to happen. They’ll continue to contend with my face. “It already show your interest,

that you (EFCC) have an interest in who represents the defendants you’re prosecuting.” But, Oyedepo described Ozekhome’s comments as prejudicial, saying they were unfair to him and EFCC. “The allegation made by the learned SAN is totally unmeritorious. It is not in the interest of justice. It’s prejudicial to us. It’s unfortunate. “This is not the only case we are both involved in, so why would I not want to see his face? My prayer is that he should be busy, that people should contact and give him briefs,” he said. Oyedepo said it was wrong for Ozekhome to “scandalise” him, but the SAN insisted that the EFCC had a preference for the lawyer who would represent the firms.”

Plateau Govt Sacks 747 Teachers, Reinstates 141 Plateau State government yesterday announced the sack of 747 primary school teachers over basic qualifications. This was just as it also reinstated 141 teachers earlier disengaged from service by the immediate past administration. The Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education

Board (SUBEB), Matthew Sule, who made the revelations during a refresher course for officials in the education sector in Jos, said: “747 primary school teachers have been relieved of their job for lack of basic qualification for the profession.” He explained that the

affected teachers did not present the basic certificates that qualified them to teach in public schools within the stipulated time, as required by the state’s Teaching Service Commission. He added that those who had attained the maximum number of years in public

service were also retired. In respect of the 141 teachers recalled, Sule said they were recalled because they had met the requirements laid down by government. He disclosed that due to sacked 747, there was an urgent need to employ new teachers to fill the vacancies created.


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NEWSEXTRA

150 Deputy Directors in MDAs Failed Promotion Exams, Says Oyo-Ita Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja No fewer than 150 Deputy Directors in the Federal Civil Service who sat for promotion examinations to the position of Directors in the past three years failed in their bid to move to the next level. This was made known by the Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita, at the second edition of her office’s quarterly meeting with organised labour in Abuja yesterday. Oyo-Ita also disclosed that the issue of promotions for the 2014 batch of Directors in the administration cadre of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) has finally been resolved. She added that she was impressed by the lifting of the court injunction on the promotion issue of promotion for the administration cadre will enable the civil service administrative positions hitherto filled by officers in acting capacity be filled by substantive directors. She said: “I am particularly delighted to inform you that the issue of promotion for the

2014 batch of directors in the Administration Cadre has been finally resolved. The lifting of the court injunction on this issue also led to the conduct of examinations for 2015 – 2017 batch of Directors in the same cadre. “Over 290 Deputy Directors sat for the examination out of which only about 140 were successful. I am certain that going forward, the civil service will ventilate itself and officers will be rewarded for hard work. “With this, we now have a solution to the issue of dearth of Directors of Administration in MDAs. Departments which were hitherto manned by officers in acting capacity would now be manned by substantive Directors.” She also said efforts were already being made to enhance service delivery, as workers cannot perform optimally if their environment was nothing to write home about. “The issue of a conducive working environment for staff that has been raised by organised labour is very dear to my heart. “To achieve this I have set up a committee on office allocation

and expansion with a focus on maintenance, rehabilitation and expansion of office allocations to MDAs. “Similarly, I have also approved the constitution of two committees on the development of a policy framework for Public Service Disaster Prevention and Safety Management’’, Oyo-Ita said. While expressing her appreciation to the Presidency and the Federal Civil Service Commission for supporting the efforts made towards resolving the knotty issue of promotion of Deputy Directors to the next level, Oyo-Ita enjoined the leaders of organised labour to explore the opportunity presented by the meeting to resolve other burning issues in order to promote industrial harmony. Also speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Deputy President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr. Mohammed Kiri, lamented the absence of a robust system of succession in the civil service. He also harped on the issue of poor working environment as part of the problems affecting workers in the public sector.

Nigerian Student Invents Procedure That Could Revolutionise Retinal Disease Diagnosis Vincent Obia A Nigerian doctoral student at Brunel University London’s Department of Computer Science, Bashir Dodo, has won the “Best Student Paper” award at the industry-leading BIOIMAGING 2018 conference in Portugal. A statement yesterday by Senior Media Relations Officer at Brunel University, London, Tim Pilgrim, said Dodo won the prize for discovering a new technique for identifying and diagnosing damage to the human retina. He demonstrated a new algorithm for OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) equipment, which can automatically segment images of the retina into distinct layers. It is hoped that the new

procedure, which can separate the retina into seven distinct layers, would improve the accuracy and speed of diagnosis, and help save the sight of patients by identifying damage early. Inspired by the psychological concept of similarity, Dodo used the ideas of continuity and discontinuity to develop an OCT algorithm that can identify where one layer of the retina transitions to the next. OCT machines are used by ophthalmologists to produce non-invasive three-dimensional photographs of a patient’s retina, which are used in the diagnosis of eye-related disease. Dodo said, “Layer segmentation is one of the early processes of OCT retina image analysis, and already plays an important role in clinics.

“For example, the thickness profile of the Retinal Nerve Fibre Layer – which can be calculated directly from the segment layer – is used in the diagnosis of glaucoma, which is one of the most common causes of sight-loss worldwide. “Automatically segmenting the layers could provide critical information for abnormality detection by comparing them to the average population, and monitoring the progress of disease against previous scans.” While doctors are currently able to identify the layers manually from OCT images, Dodo’s new technique automatically segments images of the retina, allowing specialists to spot abnormalities quicker and better track the progress of medication.

Group, Artistes Seek LASG’s Support to Tackle Unemployment, Crime Through Talent Hunt A non- governmental organisation, Project Alimosho Music Fashion and Award Show and some artistes have solicited the support of the Lagos State Government (LASG) to use talent hunt to curb crime rate in the Alimosho Local Government Area of the state. The Coordinator of the NGO with bias for talent hunts, Mr. Temitope Ogunleye, made the appeal during a joint news conference in Lagos. Ogunleye said youth restiveness could be arrested by positively developing their potential through talent development. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the NGO is a trade event for promoting skills acquisition in fashion design and talents’ exhibition. Ogunleye said the group’s upcoming talents hunt in music scheduled for August 18 in Egbeda near Lagos would help youths to develop their dreams and visions in music, fashion and creative art.

According to Ogunleye, the event tagged “Project Alimosho Musical Contest” is an annual event which began in 2017 to hunt for talented youths. “I started the vision to remove the stereotype that is associated Alimosho with only crime and other bad things. “There are talented youths in the area that need proper mentoring to showcase Lagos to the world, three of such youth were discovered and empowered in our 2017 talent hunt. “If they support us, crime rate will be drastically reduced and this will be good for us and our neighbouring communities. “We grew up in Alimosho and know every nook and cranny of the community; the youths here are talented but the weakness most of them have is that they are not empowered. “We need to showcase Alimosho by promoting the creative minds there,” Ogunleye said. He urged youths to visit Project

Alimosho website on www. projectalimosho.com to get details on how to be part of its musical talent show. Also, an artiste, Oladimeji Abidakun, said that Project Alimosho would serve as a platform where relevant stakeholders in the creative and entertainment industry could interact. Abidakun, popularly known as Ken 2 Natural, added that the group was collaborating with security agencies to provide adequate security during the event. Another artiste, Essence Okoro, who had benefited from the talent hunt, said she had achieved so much after the last programme. She said it was during the last programme that Kenny’s Music discovered and promoted her. Okoro advised youths to take advantage of the opportunity the Alimosho Project would provide to showcase their talents in music, fashion and modeling.


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THURSDAYSPORTS

Group Sports Editor Duro Ikhazuagbe Email duro.ikhazuagbe@thisdaylive.com

Dutch Club, Sittard, Suspends Sunday Oliseh Duro Ikhazuagbe Former Super Eagles Captain and Coach, Sunday Oliseh, has been suspended from his The Netherlands’ second tier club side, Fortuna Sittard, for what the team’s management called “unacceptable actions”. However, in a tweet yesterday afternoon to counter Sittard’s position, Oliseh insisted he was suspended because he refused to ‘participate in Illegal activities’. This was Oliseh’s reaction on his official twitter account: “I confirm: Due to my refusal to participate in Illegal activities at Fortuna Sittard & violate the law, I have been suspended from my duties as Coach by the foreign owners of Fortuna. Unfortunate for the lovely fans, my players & our hard fought phenomenal positioning for Promotion.” Earlier, Sittard had in the statement said that Oliseh had been put on “non-active” duties, stopping short of saying he has been sacked. “Several attempts by the club to encourage a change in the coach’s behaviour have unfortunately not worked, resulting in an unworkable situation,” Sittard’s statement said. “The board of Fortuna Sittard emphasizes that the decision to suspend Sunday Oliseh is not motivated by the

current sporting performance. “The coach’s unacceptable actions have made cooperation between many people within the organisation impossible - from players to employees. “Fortuna Sittard regrets the decision, but states that the club interest goes above all else,” concludes the statement from the Dutch second tier club Oliseh, 42, was appointed as Sittard coach in late December 2016. Sittard finished 17th in the 20-team league at the end of last season but is currently third on the table and five points behind leader NEC. With eight wins and just one loss earlier this season the club actually won what is called the “second period” of the league, which is made up of four periods. The club plays in the Eerste Divisie, which is the professional league below the Eredivisie, Holland’s topflight, and it consists of 20 clubs. The Eerste Divisie champions gain automatic promotion to the Eredivisie, while eight clubs made up of the period champions and the other best-ranked teams, will compete in play-offs for two further promotion places. Oliseh was appointed as head coach of the Dutch club on an initial 18-month contract with an option to extend it for another season.

2018 LAGOS POLO TOURNEY

Twinwater, A-Plus in Decisive Open Cup Clash Jericho, Avon seek redemption After two days of thrilling matches at the ongoing 2018 Lagos Polo International Tournament, hostilities continue today with top-class action guaranteed as Lagos Twinwater confronts Lagos A-Plus in the Open Cup of the two-phase competition which has GTBank as major sponsor. Three other matches scheduled for the day include; Lagos Aragon and Lagos United tango in first of three Silver Cup matches on schedule. Other Silver Cup matches will see Lagos NRT and Kaduna Dattaku square off while there will be all-to-play-for between Ibadan Jericho and Lagos Avon following the two sides’ defeats in their opening matches. Jericho were overpowered by Kano BUA 5-3 while Avon were edged 6-5 at the tail-end of their exciting duel with Lagos Alchemy. Four matches were decided on Tuesday with Lagos Twinwater formed by Ayo Olashoju (0), Ibrahim Musa Dantala (+2), Ali Berjawi (+2) and Augustine Canale (+6) produced a strong finish from the third chukka to beat Lagos STL which has Seyi Tinubu (-1), Khalifa Ibrahim (+3), Sadiq Dantata (+1) and Leroux Hendricks (+5) by 10 - 7 1/2 goals to take firm control of the group in their quest to qualify to the final. Port Harcourt Strata Base

edged Kano Hago 6 1/2 - 6 in a keenly contested tie while Lagos RCF, featuring Natalie Allan, the only female player on parade in the tournament, made a telling contribution as she scored the last goal to help Lagos RCF to an impressive 8 - 5 1/2 win over Lagos Lamaena. Ibadan Eleyele featuring Salisu Umar, Babao Lawal and Nurudeen Akibu were also impressive as they outplayed Lagos Anglestone 6- 3 1/2 to boost their chance of progressing in the Silver Cup. The last match of the day was in the Open Cup where Lagos STL and Lagos Twinwater tango. Looking ahead to their gigantic clash with Lagos Avon, Edozie Onwuli, who scored the first goal of the tournament declared that Jericho have noticed the lapses that cost them their first game of which they were in control till the last chukka. “My horses are not playing up to their maximum capacity because they played in Port Harcourt in December and at the start of this month, they also played in Ibadan. “I have to manage them to give me the best result and the plan to get the best out of them has been worked out. I know we can beat them and score the goals to cover for the deficit we had in our first match,” the immigration officer concluded.

Sittard’s Turkish owner, Isitan Gün, was excited at the coming of Oliseh given his background as former top player and coach with hand on experience as member of FIFA Technical Study Group. He endured a turbulent reign as Super Eagles boss

after succeeding late Stephen Keshi in July 2015. In early February 2016, a frustrated Oliseh posted an eight-minute video rant on his own website to hit back at what he called the “insanity” of his critics in Nigeria.

He had come under pressure after Nigeria failed to get past the group stages of the 2016 African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Rwanda. The coach later apologised to the NFF for his outburst aimed at the Nigerian media

as well as some of his former international teammates but the damage done could not be ameliorated. He officially stood down as Eagles coach in February 2016, Oliseh previously played for Dutch giants Ajax from 1997 to 1999.

L-R: Member, Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) Board, Henrietta Ukaigue; Chairperson of the NWFL, Aisha Falode; Chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC), Dr Kweku Tandoh; and President of Nigeria Referees Association (NRA), Tade Azeez at the unveiling of plans for the maiden edition of the NWFL Champions Shield at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos…yesterday

Lagos to Host Maiden NWFL Champions Shield March 4 Falode thumbs up Gov. Ambode for aiding devt of female football Duro Ikhazuagbe The maiden Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) Champions Shield, has been slated to hold on March 4 at the Agege Township Stadium. League champions, Nasarawa Amazons and Aiteo Cup winners, Rivers Angels, are the two teams to slug it out to know which of the two from the outgone season is the true champion. Speaking at the unveiling of the tournament at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos yesterday, NWFL Chairperson, Aisha Falode, was full of thanks to Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode for his fatherly interventions in the development of women football. “We cannot thank Governor Ambode enough for he has shown that he represents the new face of

leadership in both sports and arts. Lagos has been the leader in youth development efforts since he became governor of this state. “We knew he would help us to take the women game forward, but we must confess that we did not expect the extent he has gone to help us,” Falode stressed at the briefing. She emphasized that the competition was part of the board’s drive to give the league a solid footing and the needed flavour to attract potential partners for the women game in the country. “This is a top-class NWFL programme by all standards and it promises to live up to its billing. “The league champions, Nasarawa Amazons and Aiteo Cup winners, Rivers Angels, will contest for the Champions Shield. You can call it a revenge match you

will not be wrong considering how the Lafia ladies almost reduced the Garden City team to a bystanders in the 2017 NWPL Super 4 in Benin City. “Lagos populace is certainly going to witness what they have not seen previously about women football when the two gladiators confront each other at the Agege Stadium on Sunday, March 04. “This is another wonderful opportunity for us to showcase the football loving Nigerian populace especially the football loving people of Lagos state, our hosts, the beauty and quality of our women league as well as demonstrate to the corporate world the benefits of partnering with us and how ready we are to make such partnership work mutually.” Also speaking at the event, Chairman of the Lagos State Sports Commission, Dr. Kweku Tandoh, said the state’s support for the NWFL

programme was in line with the expansive programme to move sports forward by leveraging on women football. “His excellency, Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode did not hesitate to buy into the Aisha Falode led NWFL board’s decision to host the Champions Shield in Lagos because of his conviction in using sports as a potent tool to drive the human development campaign of the state as well as making the Lagos hub of sports in the West African sub-region “The state will gladly consider hosting the NWFL Champions Shield once again should the league body ask for it,” Tandoh stressed. Before the Champions Shield match, the NWFL will hold its Congress on March 3, 2018 as well as mentor over 1,000 young school girls on the need to blend sports with their education.

NANPF Asks NFF to Dissolve, Reconstitute Players’ Status Committee Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja The National Association of Nigerian Professional Footballers, (NANPF) has requested the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to dissolve and reconstitute the Players Status and Arbitration Committee because it is not constituted in accordance with relevant provisions of the law as enshrined in the FIFA rules. The players union demand

was contained in a statement signed yesterday by Danladi Musa, AGM Communication. It observed that the committee as currently composed does not only breach the relevant provisions of FIFA Rules governing the procedures of the Players Status committee and National Disputes Resolution Chamber and the NFF statutes in term of representation, but also in terms of numbers of members in the committee. The Union also observed

that from a legal point of view the faulty composition both in terms of number and representation, the decisions that will be taken from the committee will not be binding and enforceable. “The importance nature and role of the Players Status and Arbitration committee in football governance and general welfare of players and coaches who are the beneficiaries cannot be overemphasized,” the union said.

It also craved for the indulgence of the federation as the chief custodian of football laws to advice and request the president and members of the Executive Board of the NFF to dissolve and reconstitute the committee according to the relevant provisions of the FIFA rules governing the procedures of the Players Status and Dispute Resolution chamber and the NFF Statutes without delay for the sake of industrial peace and harmony.


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THURSDAYSPORTS U E FA C H A M P I O N S L E AG U E

Ronaldo Sets Record as Real Madrid Defeats PSG 3-1 Liverpool hammers Porto 5-0 to set sight on q’finals

A Cristiano Ronaldo brace helped Real Madrid come from behind to boost their hopes of once again retaining the Champions League during a pulsating last-16 3-1 victory over Paris St-Germain at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu last night. The Portuguese forward scored a late close-range strike after his penalty had cancelled out Adrien Rabiot’s opener at the end of a thrilling first half. Brazilian left-back Marcelo wrapped up the victory minutes after Ronaldo’s tap-in with a goal created by Marco Asensio. The emphatic spot-kick meant Ronaldo became the first player in Champions

Ronaldo... sets another record

League history to score 100 goals for the same club Last season, Zinedine Zidane’s Real became the first team to retain the Champions League and won La Liga for the first time since 2012. This term they are already out of the Copa del Rey and fourth in La Liga, 17 points behind leaders Barcelona as pressure on their French manager has mounted. PSG played their part in an end-to-end contest, with Neymar’s delicate assist for Rabiot a highlight and Kylian Mbappe forcing a strong save from Real goalkeeper Keylor Navas. But the result puts Real in control heading into the second leg at Parc des Princes on March 6. However, Zidane’s side also survived a second-half penalty claim with the scores level when Rabiot’s shot hit Sergio Ramos high on the arm. Elsewhere on the night, Sadio Mane scored a hat-trick as Liverpool marked their first Champions League knockout game for nine years with an emphatic victory at Porto. Mane opened the scoring when home goalkeeper Jose Sa failed to hold his placed strike. Mohamed Salah then showed wonderful composure

Mastercard Renews UEFA Champions League Partnership UEFA on Tuesday announced the extension of Mastercard’s partnership with the UEFA Champions League for the 2018-21 cycle, continuing its relationship with the leading global payments and technology company which began in 1994. The agreement also includes sponsorship rights for the UEFA Super Cup in 2018, 2019 and 2020. For over 20 years Mastercard has been a supporter of Europe’s premier club competition and has been giving priceless experiences to fans globally. Mastercard will continue to offer children from around the world the opportunity to become Player Mascots and have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to walk onto the pitch alongside some of the

game’s biggest stars before UEFA Champions League matches. Commenting on the agreement, UEFA Events SA Marketing Director, GuyLaurent Epstein, said: “Longevity is instrumental in building successful partnerships, and we are delighted to extend our relationship with Mastercard. “Partnering a global brand such as Mastercard presents many benefits and opportunities for UEFA and we are excited about continuing our excellent relationship over the coming years. As an industry leading technology company, we look forward to further collaboration with Mastercard, as the role of digital becomes increasingly important in building deeper connections with global audiences,” he noted.

WTA Tour Live on Kwesé TV As top professional women tennis players compete for cash and rankings in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tour, Kwesé TV has promised to broadcast action live actions for its subscribers. In a statement issued yesterday, Kwesé TV said its subscribers will be able to watch the Qatar Total Open taking place in Doha which kicked-off yesterday 12 February and runs through until 18 February. Kwesé TV will also air the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, holding at the Aviation Club Tennis Centre, Dubai, UAE from 19 – 24 February.

From Dubai, the WTA Tour moves to Acapulco, Mexico for the Abierto Mexicano TELCEL presentado por HSBC which is scheduled for 25 February to 3 March. This tournament coincides with the 25th anniversary of Abierto Mexicano TELCEL presentado por HSBC, the most important tennis tournament in Latin America. Kwesé is also the exclusive home of ESPN and the WTA tournaments will be live on ESPN, channel 310 on Kwesé TV as well as on Kwesé Sports 2, channel 305. Kwesé Sports is Econet Media’s exclusive sports content platform available on the Kwesé TV network.

Real Madrid’s Marcelo (left) dashing away from two PSG defenders during their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 clash at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid, Spain…last night

to steer the ball home for Liverpool’s second and his 30th of an incredible debut season at the club. With two away goals scored, the visitors could have been

forgiven for taking a more conservative approach from then on but instead they went for more. A swift Liverpool counterattack ended with Sa spilling

Roberto Firmino’s shot into Mane’s path and the striker made no mistake, before Firmino scored his 21st of the season, sweeping home James Milner’s cross.

Mane got his third with a driven strike late on to become only the second Liverpool player to score a hat-trick away from home in Europe since Michael Owen in 2002.

Hazard Targets EPL Top Four Finish with Chelsea Chelsea must strive to finish in the Premier League’s top four and secure Champions League football for next season, playmaker Eden Hazard has said as the London outfit got back to winning ways with a 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion on Monday. The champions have failed to replicate last season’s dominance, winning just three of their last 11 matches across all competitions to sit fourth in the league, 19 points behind leaders Manchester City, and eliminated from the League Cup. Hazard scored a brace to

lead Chelsea to a much-needed win over West Brom after consecutive league defeats by Bournemouth and Watford, and the Belgian is keen for the club to maintain their momentum throughout the rest of the campaign. “It was a good response to the two losses... We have great players and we need to finish in the top four at the end of the season, that’s our target,” Hazard told the club’s website. (www.chelseafc.com) “We have 11 games to play between now and then and we have to give everything to achieve that.”

The Champions League and FA Cup are Chelsea’s only chances of winning a trophy this season as their gap to City appears to be insurmountable. Hazard, 27, called for his teammates to be united as Chelsea push towards achieving consistent results with the hopes of winning at least one trophy this season. “We are all together,” Hazard said. “We have to work and win games. When you play for Chelsea you have to put this in your mind and give everything on the pitch. “We need to be in the

top four, for the Champions League next season, and it would be good if we can take the FA Cup. We are also in the Champions League, it’s not easy to win the Champions League but we will go for everything. “We have three months to play until the end of the season and we have to give everything to reach our targets... the target has to be to win trophies.” Chelsea host Hull City in the FA Cup on Friday before the first leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie against Barcelona on Tuesday.

Schools Intensify Training for Zenith/ Lokosa, Maikaba Win January LBA Kano Pillars forward Junior club to a 2-0 success. His tally Lokosa and Abdu Maikaba ensured he won the player’s Delta Principal’s Cup Q’finals of Akwa United have been award for January ahead the trio Schools taking part in the last-eight stage of the Zenith Bank sponsored Delta State Principal’s Cup Competition have intensified training for the matches slated to hold next week. Head of the Organising Team, Tony Pemu, told journalists yesterday that all the schools have their eyes on the final. He added that the players were highly motivated that the number one citizen of the state, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, will be physically present at the final. Pemu said: “The players are eager to make name for themselves by playing in the very final and of the eight teams only two will make it. The players are also anxious to meet Governor Okowa who has promised to be with us

at the final. “We are making all arrangements to ensure this edition is better than last one. The standard is higher already and we expect things to get even better as we go on.” On February 20 at the Sapele Stadium, Marvel Secondary School will clash with Iwere College, Koko while on February 21, Obule Integrated Schools and St. Paul’s College Ozoro will compete for honours at the Ughelli Stadium. On February 22, Comprehensive Secondary School and Boys’ Secondary School will lock horns at Agbor Stadium. The final quarterfinal match will be decided on February 23 between Otokutu Secondary School and Ogume Grammar School at the Oleh Stadium.

named the League Bloggers Awards (LBA) Player and Manager respectively in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) for the month of January. Lokosa and Maikaba emerged winners for their outstanding performance with their clubs in the month of January. They finished head and shoulders ahead of six other nominees from LBA’s shortlist of four each in the player’s and manager’s categories. The Kano Pillars striker, currently the leading scorer in the country’s top division, accounted for 67 percent of his club’s total goals in January. He scored six goals in six matches, only failing to score in the 0-0 draw at El-Kanemi Warriors. It was in the game against title holders Plateau United that Lokosa netted twice to help his

of Samad Kadiri of Lobi Stars as well as the Akwa United pair of Victor Mbaoma and Dennis Nya who also had impressive outings in their first month of the season. Lokosa’s other goals came in the games against Katsina United, Nasarawa United, Rivers United and Abia Warriors. Maikaba, on the other hand, came out tops for the manager’s award in a field that included Plateau United’s Kennedy Boboye, Ibrahim Musa of Kano Pillars and Duke Udi of Sunshine Stars. The Akwa United head coach led his team to finish top of the log in January. His team won four out of their six matches including a 2-1 win at Tornadoes. Maikaba’s team also drew 1-1 at FC Ifeanyiubah in their last game in January.


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MISSILE Soyinka to Buhari â&#x20AC;&#x153;Can you imagine a minister of defence (Mansur Dan-Ali) opening his mouth to utter obscenities such as, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;What do you expect the herdsmen to do if the path of their grazing route is blocked?â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;ŚWhy is this man still in oďŹ&#x192;ce? What sort of government tolerates that kind of callous individual within its ranks?â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, on President Muhammadu Buhariâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s response to the herdsmen killings.

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IKEEKWEREMADU GUEST COLUMNIST

A Vote for State Police T

he National Security Summit initiated by the Senate kicked-off last Thursday, 8th February 2018 with a clear pro-state police/decentralised policing disposition by the presidency. In a speech delivered on his behalf by the vice president, President Muhammadu Buhari said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The nature of our security challenges is complex. Securing Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s over 923,768 square kilometres and its 180 million people requires far more men and materials than we have at the moment. It also requires a continual re-engineering of our security architecture and strategiesâ&#x20AC;Ś. We cannot realistically police a country the size of Nigeria centrally from Abuja. State police and other community policing methods are clearly the way to goâ&#x20AC;?. This is a cheery paradigm shift coming from the presidency. For years, some of us have been like a lone voice crying in the wilderness about the unsuitableness of a unitary police system for our federal system. I have been at the helms of the amendment of the 1999 Constitution for a couple of years. Decentralised policing is one of the perennially proposed amendments that consistently fail to garner the needed support. However, Nigeria continues to pay dearly for it. Some always argue that Nigeria is not mature for state police/decentralised policing. But, as my friend and former colleague, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN), once argued, it is not a question of maturity, but a question of the federal system we opted for. If you choose to travel in a car, you just have to use the road, not rail. If you get a flight ticket, you have to fly. Ironically, Nigeria operated decentralised policing from the colonial period up to the fall of the First Republic in 1966. The Native Authority Ordinance No. 4, 1916 vested the responsibility of maintaining law and order in the Native Authorities. It was further enhanced by the Protectorate Laws (Enforcement) Ordinance No. 15, 1924. A Nigeria Police Force, with nationwide jurisdiction, only came into being on April 1, 1930, but existed side by side with sub-national police organisations. The 1960 Constitution recognised the Local Government Police in Western Nigeria, Sheriffs and Court Messengers in Eastern Region, the Native Authority Police in the Northern Region. A return to the right system has, however, being inhibited by fear: possible misuse by the governors, serving as a secession army, etc. But the questions are: Is it mandatory for all states? Is the current police system devoid of corruption and political abuses? What we need is a decentralised police system where every layer of government can set up the policing that addresses its needs, while also ensuring that there are legal valves guarding against our fears. This is the practice in other federal jurisdictions. In Canada, there is no express mention of the establishment of the police in the Constitution. However, there is the provincial responsibility for the administration of justice. Thus, beside the federal police- Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) - the Provinces maintain independent police and establish laws that regulate their service and structure. Ontario and Quebec have the Ontario Provincial Police and Surete du Quebec, respectively. The remaining provinces contract out most/all of their law enforcement responsibilities to the RCMP. Some provinces

Buhari delegate some policing responsibilities to their municipalities, while big cities like Toronto and York have their own police service. The United States operates several security agencies at the federal level, but the states and even some municipalities maintain their police service, independent of the federal government. Legislations on policing are generally contained in state laws and regulations. The federal system in Australia ensures that federating units are responsible for policing within their respective jurisdictions. The Commissioner of Police in the state may be removed by the Governor in Council, but on a recommendation by the Chairperson of the Crime and Misconduct Commission or on an address from the Legislative Assembly to that effect. Section 144 of the Constitution of Brazil establishes five distinct police bodies- Federal Police, Federal Highway Police, The Federal Railway Police, The State Military Police and Fire Brigade, and State Civil Police. The first three are affiliated to the federal authorities, and are concerned with federal laws. The last two are subordinated to state governments, enforcing state legislations only. However, the state police forces are under the supervision of the Secretariat for Public Security, the state government agency responsible for supervising police activities in the state. The Secretariat for Public Security itself is subordinate to the National Council of Public Security, the federal body responsible for security matters. The first step is to amend Sections 214 and 215 of the 1999 Constitution, which brings the police under the exclusive control of the Federal Government. Police should be removed from item 45 of Part 1 of the Second Schedule of the 1999 Constitution and moved to the Concurrent List, Part 2 of the Second Schedule to allow states to establish State Police Service under approved guidelines. The National Assembly should provide the framework for the establishment, structure and powers of the state police. The powers of the governors should be limited to making policies and should not extend to the operational use and control. Just like the National Judicial Council (NJC) the Federal Police Service Commission should exercise a level of oversight over the

activities of the state police such as maintaining common facilities for all Police Services in the country, including training, criminal intelligence data bases, forensic laboratories, and rendering assistance to State Police Services in specialised areas like behavioral analysis, counter terrorism, etc. Others include a system of inspectorates and certification such as supervision of recruitment, training, supervision of standards, and annual certification of every State Police Service (which should be a statutory prerequisite). The State House of Assembly may enact laws regulating state police, but such laws must be in consonance with Constitutional provisions and federal legislations regarding policing. The National Assembly, in conferring powers on the state police, should clearly define jurisdictional boundaries. There should be caution in the areas of appointment and removal of the Commissioner of Police, the funding and the general control of the police being, being areas which may allow the political class to manipulate the institution. For this reason, there should be established a body to be known as â&#x20AC;&#x153;State Police Service Commissionâ&#x20AC;? for all the states of the federation. Such body should comprise a representative of the executive to be appointed by the Governor, representative of the Federal Government to be appointed by the Police Service Commission, two independent experts in security matters to be appointed by the Governor (subject to confirmation by the State House of Assembly), and a representative each of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress to be appointed by the Chairman of the state branch. Others are a retired police officer not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police, representative of the Nigerian Bar Association to be appointed by the Chairman of the state branch, representative of the Nigerian Union of Journalists to be appointed by the Chairman of the state branch, and representatives of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and other relevant civil organizations, as the case may be. The body should be responsible for the recruitment, appointment and removal of the members of the state police force. While the Federal Police Service Commission functions like the NJC in the disciplining of Commissioners of the state police, the State Police Service Commission will deal with those of the others levels of officers below the Commissioner. Further functions and powers of the Commission should be specified either in the Constitution or an Act of the National Assembly. Appointment of the Chief of Police of the

State should be clearly defined thus: the State Police Commission proposes three qualified candidates (not necessarily police officers) to the Governor, who then presents his choice from amongst them to the State House of Assembly for ratification by a simple majority; tenure of the Chief of Police should be a non-renewable term of four or five years; and removal only upon a recommendation to the Governor by the State Police Service Commission and subject to the ratification by a two-thirds majority of the State House of Assembly. The funding of the state police should be a first line charge on the state account. Alternatively, the funds can be deducted at source from the Federation Account and paid to the Police Service Commission for onward disbursement to the State Police Service Commission. An Act of the National Assembly or the Constitution should make provision for the type of arms a sub-national police can acquire. There should also be provisions stipulating unacceptable conducts which can lead to the disbandment of a sub-national police command. During the Senateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Security Summit, Senator Adamu Aliero emphasised that the states lacked the resources to fund state police. That may be true. But the Constitution also allows both the Federal Government and the states to set up universities. Yet, that does not mean it is compulsory for every state to establish a university. The old Anambra State under Senator Jim Nwobodo was the first to establish a state university. But those states, which could not afford it, had their citizens in federal universities until they were able to set up one. Every state university enhances access to tertiary education for the people of that state, just as every state police established will enhance security in a particular state. So, state police will not be compulsory. Those who have the resources will go ahead, while the federal police will take care of those unable to afford it for now. In fact, with state police in place, the federal police will have more manpower for states that are unable to establish their own. Meanwhile, states which cannot afford state police today may be able to afford it in the future, just as in the case of the evolution of state universities. The important thing is to lay down the legal frameworks that permit and modulate decentralised policing so that those who can afford it can start, while those who believe they cannot afford it will not also hold others down. t&LXFSFNBEV BMBXZFSJTUIF%FQVUZ 1SFTJEFOUPGUIF4FOBUF

Olusegun Adeniyiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Verdict For a man who came to power without contesting an election in the real sense of the word, one can forgive the fact that Governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello may not understand how democracy truly works. The Catholic Bishops who criticised President Muhammadu Buhariâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s administration, according to the governor, did so because they are corrupt and titheobsessed. And should Buhari decide to

seek re-election next year, Bello would conjure in Kogi State (where there are only 1,350,883 registered voters) ballots that â&#x20AC;&#x153;will dwarf that of Katsina Stateâ&#x20AC;? with a total registered voters figure of 2,827,943â&#x20AC;Ś /05&1MFBTFTFF0MVTFHVO"EFOJZJT WFSEJDU iBOEUIF7PUF$POKVSFSTw PO QBHF 5IF DPMVNO XJMM CF CBDL UP UIJT QBHF OFYU XFFL

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THURSDAY 15TH FEBRUARY 2018  
THURSDAY 15TH FEBRUARY 2018  
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